View Full Version : [Race] Merrows

2006-08-17, 04:08 PM

Merrows are amphibious creatures of the sea, existing perfectly on land, as well as underneath the sea.
* Personality: Merrows are cheerful people who are nice to be around, making them good traders.
* Physical Description: Merrows are tall but slim, averaging at 6'4" tall and usually weighing from 120 to 200 pounds. There is very little difference in the height or weight of male and female merrow. Their skin is covered in blue-green scales, ranging in color from almost completely blue, to almost completely green. They have no hair at all, not even on top of their heads. Merrows usually wear no clothes at all, save for a loincloth. Some might consider Merrows beautiful, but most people consider them too strange looking to be attractive. Merrows reach maturity at around 30, and live to be around 115 years old.
* Relations: Merrows get along with all other races well, except for evil ones, whom they avoid due to their deciet.
* Alignment: Merrows are fun-loving folk, but they believe that rules are very important for a good life, and are usually lawful. They also do not wish to be predjudiced at all, and tend to be neutral on the good-evil scale.
* Merrow Lands: Merrows do not have any particular place they call their own, usually living in family clans on huge rafts, which they use to ferry the goods that they trade.
* Religion: Merrows worship the High Steward of Water*, who created them.
* Language: Merrows speak Aquan, the language of the water spirits, as well as common. If they are able, they usually take the time to learn the native languages of the people they trade with, in order to make them feel more comfortable with them.
* Names: Merrows are named by their parents at the day of their hatching. This is a formal name that is usually only used in clan meetings. They also have a nickname, which they use more often, and a family name, which is usually based off of the goods that the family sells.
* Male Formal Names: Hemashner, Shensad, Eimlendal.
* Female Formal Names: Ennnaedel, Innosenni, Maatenil.
* Nicknames: Esh-kamla (fish-catcher), Iel-dela (sea-jumper), Renten-mala (good speaker).
* Family Names: Tennay-tla (gold seller), Wennra-tla (food seller), Fenli-ralai (coin changer).
* Adventures: Adventuring merrows are usually those who are bored with trading, or those who have been evicted from the family trade for some reason.

Merrow Racial Traits:

+2 Charisma -2 Constitution: Merrows are very friendly, and get along well with people, but are physically weak.

Medium: As Medium creatures, merrows have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Merrow land speed is 30 feet, and they have a swim speed of 20 feet.

Low-Light Vision: A merrow can see twice as far as a human in conditions of poor illumination. He can deterine color and detail under these conditions.

Merrows get a +2 bonus to appraise checks.

Natural Armor: Because of their scales, merrows gain a +1 natural armor bonus, which increases by one every five levels (+1 at level 1, +2 at level 5, ect).

Automatic Languages: Common and Aquan. Bonus Languages: Dwarven, Elven, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, Orc. Merrows are traders, primarily, and usually take the time to learn the languages of those they trade with.

Spell-Like Abilities: Water Breathing, permanent.

Favored Class: Bard. A multiclass merrow's bard class does not count when determining wheather he takes an experience point penalty.

*See my deity list, which should be coming soon.

2006-08-17, 04:16 PM
Would it perhaps be better to use a name for them which hasn't already been assigned to
aquatic ogres (http://www.systemreferencedocuments.org/35/sovelior_sage/monstersOtoR.html)?
Especially since you're making them out to be friendly, and all... :)

Edit - haha! learning by example is what separates me from the animals. :)

I know the feeling as far as racial names go though... WotC, and other people, have a nasty tendency to adopt names from popular folklore and culture and adapt them to fit the game world... And then of course those of us who know the folklore get confused or annoyed at discrepancies.

2006-08-17, 04:17 PM
Where have I heard the name Merrow (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/ogre.htm#merrow) before.......
Anyway, I don't see any problems. The scaling NA is really all they get, as swim speeds/underwater breathing only count in certain campaigns. Nice to have a race with a cha bonus for a change :)
Edit: gah, ninja'd is I
Edit 2: but I used a pretty link and more sentences, so I feel better.

2006-08-17, 04:19 PM
Thanks for telling me about the aquatic ogres, I don't have the MM yet, and just used the name for the Irish water-spirit. Also, I created these for my own campaign, whick will take place in a group of islands.

2006-08-18, 01:29 AM
I'd suggest that, instead of the Water Breathing spell-like ability, you give it the Aquatic subtype, and the Amphibious extraordinary ability. I think that's more typical for creatures that can naturally live in water and on land. For example, the Sea Hag (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/hag.htm#seaHag) is an example of a naturally amphibious creature.

On the other hand, you could instead give it the Gills race feature, like the Aquatic Elf (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/monsters/elf.htm#aquaticElf): "Merrows can survive out of the water for 1 hour per point of Constitution (after that, refer to the suffocation rules)." But, as you say, merrows "[exist] perfectly on land", so I'm really just throwing this out as an option.

Furthermore, you might want to add this: "A merrow has a +8 racial bonus on any Swim check to perform some special action or avoid a hazard. It can always choose to take 10 on a Swim check, even if distracted or endangered. It can use the run action while swimming, provided it swims in a straight line." -- This skill also seems pretty standard for aquatic creatures.

My final suggestion is that you might want to give an additional attribute penalty, like a -2 to, uh, something. :) With all its fun abilities, a merrow might be getting into +1 LA territory. Sadly, it's harder to say with aquatic characters... Maybe you could throw on said penalty, then throw on a couple more fun little skill bonuses? Or maybe just bump the swim speed up to 30? 40 even?

Anyway, though the huge block of text above this might suggest otherwise, I like these guys: you do a good job of describing them, and they're a balanced, interesting and very playable race. Well done. ;D

2006-08-18, 04:37 AM
Technically, the +8 racial on swim checks comes free with the swim speed. I assume they reprint it on every swimming creature so some PC doesnt drown one cause the DM forgot