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Merfolk

Slipping in and out of the crashing waves, this beautiful woman has the lower torso of a long, slender fish.

Merfolk CR 1/3

Source Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 204
XP 135
Merfolk warrior 1
N Medium humanoid (aquatic)
Init +1; Senses low-light vision; Perception +3

Defense

AC 13, touch 11, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 natural)
hp 7 (1d10+2)
Fort +4, Ref +1, Will –1

Offense

Speed 5 ft., swim 50 ft.
Melee trident +2 (1d8+1)
Ranged heavy crossbow +2 (1d10/19–20)

Statistics

Str 13, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 9, Cha 10
Base Atk +1; CMB +2; CMD 13 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Skill Focus (Perception)
Skills Perception +3, Swim +13
Languages Aquan, Common
SQ amphibious

Ecology

Environment temperate ocean
Organization solitary, company (2–4), patrol (3–10 plus 2 lieutenants of 3rd level and 1 leader of 3rd–6th level), or shoal (11–60 plus 1 sergeant of 3rd level per 20 adults, 5 lieutenants of 5th level, 3 captains of 7th level, and8–12 dolphins)
Treasure NPC gear (trident, heavy crossbow with 10 bolts, other treasure)

Description

From the waist up, merfolk bear the torsos of well-built humans and delicate features reminiscent of elves and other humanoids tied to the natural world. A merfolk’s lower body consists of the fins and tail of a great fish. Depending on the region, the scales of merfolk vary in hue, including gleaming silver, pale green, or even blue with stripes of yellow and crimson. Merfolk typically measure 6 to 8 feet in length and weigh over 200 pounds, with females being slightly smaller than males. Although amphibious, merfolk move only with difficulty on land and rarely wander more than a mile from sea.

It is quite rare for a merfolk to make contact with a creature not of its kind. In fact, many go to great lengths to steer sailors away from their lands, even resorting to violence if necessary. Ancient accounts hint at merfolk protecting a terrible secret bound to the depths, and though no reports mention what this secret is, the lengths merfolk go to remain isolated from other races highlight the importance of this safeguard.

While merfolk outwardly appear to be a beautiful and powerful race, some sages and seafarers whisper that degenerate and mutated merfolk roam the deepest, most isolated regions of the seas and oceans. Some evidence states that this offshoot fell to the worship of twisted and sinister powers lurking in the darkness below, while other theories include all merfolk in this sinister agenda, holding that even those merfolk who believe they control their own destinies are, in fact, merely unknowing puppets of a sinister and unknown master race deep under the sea.

Advancment and Variants

Source Pathfinder #124: City in the Deep pg. 75
Merfolk advance by character class. Adventuring merfolk are most often bards, kineticists, rangers, skalds, sorcerers, and swashbucklers. They explore coastlines and sunken ruins, and they occasionally ally with surface dwellers who use magic to venture beneath the waves. Though adventuring merfolk are more outgoing than settled ones, they always maintain a slight reservation toward non-merfolk. Gaining the unhesitating trust and friendship of a merfolk is a rare accomplishment.

In shoals, merfolk usually advance as bards, druids, fighters, oracles, rangers, shamans, and skalds. Shoal leaders are often druids, oracles, or shamans with unmatched knowledge of the ocean’s denizens and complexion. Leaders are usually referred to by name and hold no title, as they are considered servants, rather than masters, of their communities. Leaders are expected to protect and guide the shoal, keeping its people safe and prosperous. A leader who fails may be exiled or even killed for failing to live up to these expectations.

Merfolk witches are rare and powerful beings. Merfolk treat witches with respect but fear them for their link with unknown entities. Scholars who are concerned with the potential link between merfolk and an evil race consider merfolk witches to be the foremost agents of their hidden overlords. Merfolk witches are thought to commune with the supernatural beings they serve, carrying out their wishes with unquestioning loyalty.

Arctic Merfolk (CR +1): Arctic merfolk live in the polar regions of the world, swimming in the iciest waters. They have the same statistics as merfolk, except they have cold resistance 5 and a +2 natural armor bonus. Arctic merfolk tend to be paler than their temperate and tropical kin. Their skin tones are waxen brown, gray, or snow white, and their tails can be gray blue, gray green, ice blue, pearly white, periwinkle, or silver.

Deep Merfolk (CR 3): Deep merfolk live near the ocean floor in the cold and lightless depths. While they have humanoid torsos and fish tails akin to other merfolk, their skin is murky and translucent, giving them a ghoulish look, and their long, silvery tails have red fins. Their eerie appearance leads to rumors that deep merfolk are evil creatures and that they worship demons and slaughter innocents. These rumors are unfounded, though; deep merfolk have the same reserved nature as their kin and generally keep to themselves. While individual deep merfolk may lead evil lives, the race as a whole is peaceful and neutral.