Homebrew Spotlight: Merfolk


 Medium Humanoid (aquatic) (12 RP)

Racial Traits

  • +2 Dexterity or Constitution, +2 Charisma, -2 Intelligence: Merfolk are graceful, hale, and beautiful. (0 RP)
  • Medium: Merfolk are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size. (0 RP)
  • Aquatic: Merfolk are humanoids with the aquatic subtype. (0 RP)
  • Lowlight Vision: Merfolk have low-light vision. (1 RP)
  • Slow Speed: Merfolk have a base speed of 5 feet. (-2 RP)
    • Swim Speed: Merfolk have a swim speed of 50 feet (see fast below). They gain a +8 racial bonus on all Swim checks and can always choose to take 10 with Swim checks, even if rushed or threatened. Merfolk can use the run action while swimming, as long as they swim in a straight line. (2 RP)
      • Fast: Merfolk gain a +10 foot bonus to their base speed [x2 =20 ft].(2 RP)
  • Amphibious: Merfolk are amphibious, but prefer not to spend long periods out of the water. (2 RP)
  • Armor: Merfolk have a +2 natural armor bonus. (4 RP)
  • Legless: Merfolk have no legs, and cannot be tripped. (0 RP)
  • Depth Tolerance: Merfolk often dive deep in their home waters to search for food. They can stay in the depths for 10 minutes per point of Constitution modifier plus 10 minutes per level.  (1 RP)
  • Quick Reactions: Merfolk receive Improved Initiative as a bonus feat. (2 RP)
  • Languages: Merfolk begin play speaking Common and Aquan. Bonus: Merfolk with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Badgen, Draconic, Elven, Lutran and Sylvan. (0 RP)

Alternate Racial Traits

  • Darkvision: Some Merfolk favor the lightless depths over shallower waters. Merfolk with this racial trait gain darkvision with a range of 60 feet and light sensitivity. This racial trait replaces low-light vision.
  • Seasinger: The beautiful voices of the Merfolk are legendary. A seasinger gains a +2 racial bonus on Perform (sing) checks and a +1 racial bonus to the save DC of language-dependent spells. This racial trait replaces low-light vision.
  • Strongtail: A few Merfolk have broad, strong tails that are more suited for land travel than the typical Merfolk tail. Merfolk with this racial trait have a land speed of 15 feet and a swim speed of 30 feet.

Merfolk have the upper torsos of well-built and attractive humans and lower halves consisting of the tail and fins of a great fish. Their hair and scales span a wide range of hues, with Merfolk in a given region closely resembling each other. Merfolk can breathe air freely but move on dry land only with difficulty, and rarely spend long periods out of water. A rare few Merfolk learn to transform their tails into legs, using the fins to feet spell and making it permanent.

As a race, Merfolk are insular and distrustful of strangers, but individuals, especially adventuring Merfolk, break the mold and can be quite garrulous. Most Merfolk concern themselves more with nature and the arts than with morality and ethical debates, and have a strong inclination toward neutral alignments.


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I mostly based this race on the Pathfinder race, with some of my own additions to make them unique.


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