Type: Aquatic Humanoid
Speed: 20 + strength score - armour penalty
Ability Scores: Obalans gain a +2 racial bonus to DEX and WIS, and take a -2 racial penalty to STR.
Languages: Obalans begin play speaking an Obalan language of their choice.
Amphibious: Obalans first evolved as an aquatic species, and breath water as easily as they breathe air. Extended periods (about a day, depending on humidity) out of water can cause skin dehydration and irritation, but this is nothing more then a mild irritant.
Swim: Obalans have a swim speed of 30' + strength score - armour penalty, and gain a +8 racial bonus to swim checks.
Deep Sight: Obalans are very well adapted to the lightless depths of the oceans, but less so to air-filled environments. They can see in the dark up to 120 feet while underwater, and gain Low Light Vision when out of the water.
Camouflage: Obalans gain a +4 racial bonus to stealth checks when in water (or similar environments).
Weapon Familiarity: Underwater combat involves a great deal more melee then surface dwellers are accustomed to, and Obalan evolution accounts for this. The are proficient with any form of thrusting/piercing melee weapon (knives, spears, harpoons, tridents, etc), and gain a +2 racial bonus to their damage rolls when using such weapons.
Natural Armour: Obalans gain a +1 bonus to their natural armour.
Sneak Attack: Obalans gain Sneak Attack as a bonus feat.
Obalans are a slender bipedal species, generally between 4 and 5 feet tall, and weighing between 60 and 140 pounds. Their skin is covered in small but hard scales, generally in different shades of blue or grey with different coloration and pattern indicating their regional heritage. They have eyes farther apart on their skull then most humanoids, an elongated facial structure, and can comfortably tilt their heads completely back to orient with the long axis of their body (which is useful when swimming). Their build is streamlined for swimming underwater, and they have small fins protruding along the sides of their arms and legs.
The Obalans are unusual among sentient species in that they are water-breathers instead of air breathers. They evolved as hunters at the coastal areas of the archipelago planet Obala, living underwater and coming to the surface and shores to catch surface creatures seeking to drink.
Obalan society typically revolves around their clans - roughly a dozen great families that formed the ruling council of pre-contact Obalan society, and hundreds of lesser families. While the exact numbers and families varied greatly over time, the system formed a solid foundation for their collective identity.
When first contact was made, their society had stabilized at a high pre-industrial level. Once the language barrier was solved, the Obalans rapidly advanced their base technology level through trade, and began colonizing the waterways of many other worlds. Even after their integration into the Vela Confederacy, the Obalan families still carry a great deal of internal power and prestige amoung their own people.
To an outside observer, Obalan culture has an almost mafia-like quality to it. The families has a strictly defined structure to it, though it is very climbable to anyone with sufficient ability. Their also place great importance on respecting the elders and superiors of their families. Between the families, there is a great deal of jockeying for social prestige and economic and military power.
While Obala as a planet does not maintain a military, it's youth often join any number of military or paramilitary forces in attempts to increase their own prestige. Most of the Obalan families maintain their own 'security forces', and they will generally band together when faced by an outside threat.
Obalan sprituality is generally limited. While ancestor worship is not uncommon, many of them view most forms of religion as wasteful and unneccessary.
Obalans are a race that adopted clothing as a consession to the social sensibilities of the other races. They generally favour form fitting clothing, and fabrics that do not gain weight when wet. They will often wear the colours of their Family, but there is a great deal of variation in cut and style.