Mermaid/Merfolk

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Picture of "A Mermaid" by John William Waterhouse, 1905.Picture of "A Mermaid" by John William Waterhouse, 1905.

A mermaid is an aquatic creature with the head and torso of human female and the tail of a fish. The male version of a mermaid is called a merman; the gender-neutral plural is merfolk.They were known to sing sailors to their deaths or squeeze the life out of drowning men, while trying to rescue them.

A mermaid has eyes of a fine light blue; its nose small and handsome; its mouth small ,lips thin and its teeth small, regular, and white.Its chin well shaped, its neck full, its ears like those of the eel, but placed like those of the human species; and behind them are the gills for respiration, which appear like curls.

Merfolk are about 8 feet long from the top of the head to the end of the tail, and weigh about 400 pounds.

Most merfolk encountered outside their home are warriors; the information in the statistics block is for one of 1st level.

Merfolk, 1st-Level Warrior
Medium Humanoid (Aquatic)
Hit Dice 1d8+2 (6 hp)
Initiative +1
Speed 5 ft. (1 square), Swim 50 ft.
Armor Class 13 (+1 Dexterity, +2 leather), touch 11, flat-footed 12
Base Attack/Grapple +1/+2
Attack trident +2 melee (1d8+1) or heavy crossbow +2 ranged (1d10/19-20)
Full Attack trident +2 melee (1d8+1) or heavy crossbow +2 ranged (1d10/19-20)
Space/Reach 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks -
Special Qualities Amphibious, Low-Light Vision
Saves Fort +4, Ref +1, Will -1
Abilities Strength 13, Dexterity 13, Constitution 14, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 9, Charisma 10
Skills Listen +3, Spot +3, Swim +9
Feats Alertness
Environment Temperate aquatic
Organization Company (2-4), patrol (11-20 plus 2 3rd-level lieutenants and 1 leader of 3rd-6th level), or band (30-60 plus 1 3rd-level sergeant per 20 adults, 5 5th-level lieutenants, 3 7th-level captains, and 10 porpoises)
Challenge Rating 1/2
Treasure Standard
Alignment Usually neutral
Advancement By character class
Level Adjustment +1

Combat

Merfolk favor heavy crossbows of shell and coral that fire bolts fashioned from blowfish spines, with an underwater range increment of 30 feet. Merfolk often barrage their enemies before closing, when they resort to tridents.

Amphibious (Ex) Merfolk can breathe both air and water, although they rarely travel more than a few feet from the water's edge.

Skills A merfolk 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.

The merfolk warrior presented here had the following ability scores before racial adjustments: Strength 13, Dexterity 11, Constitution 12, Intelligence 10, Wisdom 9, Charisma 8.

Merfolk Characters

A merfolk's favored class is bard.

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