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Cipher Stars
2012-06-20, 04:12 PM
The Merfolk
3.5 or Pathfinder (No particular focus, if I remember right)

http://www.fugly.com/media/IMAGES/Random/mermaid-photo-bomb.jpghttp://media.animevice.com/uploads/2/20763/503731-mdshfrt490.jpg


The Merfolk:


Monstrous Humanoid [Water, Extraplanar] Merfolk are native to the Elemental Plane of Water and can breathe both water and air.
+4 Dex. (Female: +2 Cha, -2 Con.) (Male: +2 Con, -2 Cha)
Medium As a medium creature, Merfolk have no benefits or penalties to size.
Merfolk have a Swim speed of 60 feet and land speed of 5 feet if using a full-round action, lacking the ability to make 5-foot step actions. Merfolk cannot function properly on land without aid. A merfolk without land speed cannot stand upright without having to balance on their tail, which is less than easy for them. They are always considered flat-footed without land speed.
Spell-like Abilities (Sp): Once per day per every 4 Hit Dice, a merfolk can act as though hasted for 1 round/2 HD; all merfolk can speak and communicate with aquatic animals only as if they had a permanent speak with animals spell.
Aquatic Traits (Ex): Merfolk are all connected to one species of aquatic animal that determines a special ability and appearance. No two merfolk look exactly alike, and can appear to be completely different species at times because of their affinity towards a certain kind of undersea creature. It is up to the player to decide the specific appearance of the character in relation with their linked creature. Females rarely have characteristics of their linked creature above the hips, but such does often affect hair and eye color, as well as facial structure. Males are generally wholly affected by their link, both in upper and lower torso.
Merfolk can select one special ability of the linked creature, such as poison if the linked creature has it. The ability is then recreated by your DM (Or post the request here) to suit a player character.
All Merfolk lack legs. There are three types of lower bodies:
o Tentacles: A merfolk with tentacles has 90-foot Swim speed, and a 30-foot land speed. Tentacles to provide a +10 bonus to grapple checks. Octopi, squids and jellyfish can grant tentacles.
o Fish Tail: The standard fish tail grants a 90-foot Swim speed. Merfolk with fishtails tend be alluring and gain a +2 Insight bonus to Bluff and Diplomacy checks when dealing with Humanoids. Most creature affinities grant Fish Tails.
o Great Tail: Merfolk with great tails have large, thick lower bodies that usually have multiple fins. Merfolk with great tails have the standard swim speed of 60 feet. They gain a +4 Circumstance bonus against Bull Rush attempts. They also gain +2 Insight to Intimidate checks. Whale affinities typically grant Great Tail, but can sometimes simply grant Fish Tail and a larger size category.
Summon Bubble (Su): Only female merfolk only can summon a large bubble that she can sit on. On land, it hovers, ignoring difficult terrain and caltrops, providing a 20-foot land speed. The bubble can be popped if it takes 1 or more points of damage. The bubble uses the her Dexterity modifier and uses any deflection modifier if she has one. The bubble does not otherwise have any defense of its own. It bursts automatically if targeted with a fire or electric spell or if it comes within 5 feet of an open fire larger than 5 feet. Bubbles cannot be summoned in hot environments, such as in a desert. Male merfolk cannot summon bubbles.
Level Adjustment: +2

Polished up by Debihuman.

Jarrick
2012-06-20, 09:38 PM
This is an interesting take on the race. It'd be hard to integrate into an average campaign, but would be pretty cool for a high seas or undersea campaign. Allows for a lot of versatility without having to include several different races in your undersea campaign.

I'll say that the swim speed seems a little high. The bubble thing for females is interesting, but I think you could do without it and just give females access to the same affinities as males. Also, the lower and more uniform you can keep the LA, the smoother they'll function in a party together, so smoothing out the affinities and getting their power level pretty close would be a step in the right direction.

Im interested to see how this turns out. I'll be watching. :smallsmile:

Cipher Stars
2012-06-21, 11:17 AM
This is an interesting take on the race. It'd be hard to integrate into an average campaign, but would be pretty cool for a high seas or undersea campaign. Allows for a lot of versatility without having to include several different races in your undersea campaign.

I'll say that the swim speed seems a little high. The bubble thing for females is interesting, but I think you could do without it and just give females access to the same affinities as males. Also, the lower and more uniform you can keep the LA, the smoother they'll function in a party together, so smoothing out the affinities and getting their power level pretty close would be a step in the right direction.

Im interested to see how this turns out. I'll be watching. :smallsmile:


Thanks. I opened the traits, all it took was changing one word XD
The Swim Speed seems to be perfect at the moment. As I haven't seen any other aquatic creature with more. The intention is that Merfolk are the fastest creatures in the sea.

I don't know what you mean about the LA.
Its kind of a flustercluck right now. I can't find too many aquatic creatures with their own traits and all that, so the few I could find seem to be rather diverse in power level. Even though they are very low in CR...

I could perhaps just remove the idea of categorizing them, and instead make a pool of traits and possible types of creatures that would possess them... hm...

Jarrick
2012-06-21, 12:51 PM
I could perhaps just remove the idea of categorizing them, and instead make a pool of traits and possible types of creatures that would possess them... hm...

I like this idea. What I meant by smoothing out the LAs was to make all the racial variants have the same or very close to the same LA rather than having some at +0 and another all the way up around +3. I mean, you dont have to even them out of course, having a wide range of power levels in the same race is cool in its own right, but it makes it easier on the DM when everyone is roughly the same power level. It's just a matter of personal preference really.

As for finding abilities, they dont all have to be from animals, just make up a few that go along with the mermaid mythos. An alluring song effect, able to make fog clouds or otherwise effect the weather in minor ways, electrical damage, a bite attack, grant water breathing to others for set amounts of time, or maybe even some enchantment/illusion magic would work nicely.

You might even consider making a short (3-5 levels) monster class or paragon class that gets more stuff as it levels to build on a more "basic" mermaid race.

Debihuman
2012-06-22, 04:52 PM
If a creature is from the Elemental Plane of Water it should get the Water Subtype, otherwise it would get the Aquatic Subtype.

The Water Subtype allows it to breathe both water and usually air. It doesn't need a special ability to breathe both.

If it has the Aquatic Subtype, it breathes only water unless it also has the Amphibious Special Ability.

Special Abilities ALWAYS have a designator (Ex, Sp, or Su)


3.5 and Pathfinder sometimes use different rules. Which one is this for?

Debby