Beastfolk, Half-Merfolk (3.5e Race)
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(Note: Half-Merfolk are originally the idea of Cli' San Aquanova, who posted them in the Wizards of the Coast online forums in the Races section; I have modified them to suit my purposes, and expanded on the information that was already provided.)
Those who know the merfolk best quickly realize that they have aspects that are not strictly fishlike, many having the lower quarters of dolphins, and not just fish. Regardless of their waterborn affiliations, though, groups of coastal-dwelling merfolk sometimes develop a fascination for land-dwellers, and often relationships grow between those of the water and those of the land, though whether for brief or extended periods depends on the tendencies of the individuals involved. Half-merfolk (also called “mertouched”) are the fruit of these dalliances, the children of surf and shore, and equally at home in both worlds.
Half-merfolk are a cheerful and playful race, taking after the dolphinlike aspects of their sea-based progenitors. They are sometimes mischievous and teasing, but they are seldom cruel or evil. They like to play with friendly aquatic creatures and sun themselves on flat rocks, just like their merfolk parent, and generally prefer to avoid conflicts when possible, though they can be fierce fighters if pressed. Because of their special status as a go-between for the sea and the shore, half-merfolk find themselves in a special position in society, on the boundary between worlds, and so they are very broad-minded, and often eager to try out any new idea or trend that they might come across.
 Physical Description
In general, half-merfolk are of human height and build, though they are almost uniformly slender and comely, with sleek and strong swimmer’s bodies. Their hair can be any of a variety of colors, including ones not found among humans, and is usually worn very long, and their skin can be any normal human shade, or sometimes various shades of blue or green. They have no body hair, as this would increase their drag in the water. Eye color is usually a shade of truly stunning blue or green. Some half-merfolk have webbed hands and feet, allowing them great underwater speeds, while others actually revert to the shape of normal merfolk when they enter the water, with the lower quarters of a dolphin or large fish, changing back when they leave an aquatic environment.
Half-merfolk tend to get along well with most non-evil creatures, especially those of the sea. Aquatic elves, locath, tritons, merfolk, selkies and the people in fishing and whaling communities are all considered good friends, so long as they give the sea and the living things within it proper respect, and the half-merfolk are natural diplomats between these various races and cultures. They violently despise evil underwater races, especially the ixitxachitl and sahuagin, and will do whatever they can to rally support against the undersea menace that these races present.
Note: Half-merfolk can interbreed with any species that humans can, with the offspring resulting being the same as if the half-merfolk were a full-blooded human.
Most half-merfolk can share any of the wide, varying outlooks of the differing peoples from which they spring, but also are steeped in the views of the merfolk. Because of their widely varying life experiences while growing up, their love of freedom, and their comfortable outsider status derived from their ability to move above and below the waves without restrictions, half-merfolk tend to be Chaotic Good in alignment.
Being a crossbreed species, and quite rare at that, half-merfolk have no lands of their own, per se, though they tend to prefer coastal communities, switching freely between merfolk and human modes of life and companions as their mood and preferences direct.
Half-merfolk tend to revere the same gods as the merfolk, or non-evil sea and water elemental gods.
Half-Merfolk speak the language of their progenitors as well as the language of the land folk. They also know a smattering of other languages, and in fact might know as many or more languages as humans. Starting languages are Aquan and Common, and their bonus languages are any found among the human settlements where they grow up.
Half-merfolk take names either from their human ancestry or from their merfolk parentage.
Half-merfolk have an unquenchable wanderlust, viewing the entire ocean as their home, and ranging freely across its surface and beneath the waves. Thus, it is very common to find half-merfolk adventuring with parties, though they tend to prefer to stick close to the water, where they have the most advantage, though they don’t suffer unduly (except in basic comfort) when not able to immerse themselves beneath the waves.
 Racial Traits
- +4 Dexterity, +4 Charisma, -4 Strength
- Monstrous Humanoid (aquatic)
- Half-merfolk base land speed is 30 feet: Swim speed 50 feet.
- Low-light vision
- Half-Merfolk gain a +8 racial bonus on all Swim checks and can always choose to take 10 on Swim checks, even if rushed or threatened. Half-Merfolk can use the run action while swimming, as long as they swim in a straight line.
- Aquatic: Half-merfolk can breath water as well as air, and can descend up to four times the depth a human can without taking pressure damage.
- Merfolk Blood: Half-merfolk are considered merfolk for spell and magic item purposes.
- Weapon Proficiencies: half-merfolk are automatically proficient with the trident and net.
- +4 racial bonus on Bluff, Diplomacy and Gather Information checks
- Automatic Languages: Aquan, Common. Bonus Languages: Any.
- Favored Class: Bard.
- Level Adjustment: +1
 Vital Statistics
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