Merfolk, Tirr (3.5e Race)

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Merfolk[edit]

A female Merfolk.

The merfolk that inhabit the waters between the Tirran Continents have long been known to the dwellers of the surface, and have had countless interactions with them. Most form small communities and settlements beneath the waves, to protect themselves from dangerous predators of the deep, and are granted some benediction from the progenitor of their species, the Aesir, Undine.

Personality and Relations[edit]

Merfolk are typically cheerful, if somewhat reclusive and observant around other races, given a level of uncertainty and sense of not belonging on the surface. They usually tend to gravitate towards more whimsical entities, and are easily amused and enthralled by music and dance, even to the point of being far more open and joyful, with any race or culture.

Physical Description[edit]

Merfolk usually have pale skin, which can be varying shades of blue or white, usually in more softer, lighter colors. Most prefer short hair, of which is usually a dark hue, particularly navy or royal blues, though cerulean, teal, and even colors of violet are not uncommon. Red, Green, and Blonde hair is rare, but are noted.

Physically, Merfolk are different from other humanoids mostly because of their environmental adaptations. On their necks, they have small flaps of skin covering a set of gills, often no bigger than the palm of a hand. These are usually unnoticed when on land, as the skin recedes over them to keep infections or contamination out of concern. On each arm and leg, small ridges are present, and act as fins to better maneuver in water, as well as having slightly webbed feet and toes. These webbings vary in how far they might extend, from individual to individual, but usually as long as half the distance between the knuckle and first joint of the fingers. Webbing does not occur between the thumb and the index finger.

Alignment[edit]

Merfolk usually range in alignment, depending on individual goals and means, but are typically Chaotic Neutral, given to their whimsical nature and tendency to respect and appreciate song and dance over all else. Neutrality often comes to mind simply because the Merfolk have never acted as a group against any other political entity, and mostly enjoy their underwater homes, while some might go on journeys through the lands of the upper world, to see the sights, sing the melodies, and learn the dances of many cultures beyond their own. As always, individual cases can vary, but this is a very, highly common template applied to most of the kind.

Religion[edit]

Undine, the Aesirean goddess of water, is widely worshiped, and some even speculate, safeguarded during her slumber by Merfolk, who are said to have been spawned due to her influence. Generally, Merfolk hold no real opinion towards the Pantheon, but it is not uncommon for a select few to worship deities from the Pantheon, or other Aesir.

Racial Traits[edit]

  • Attributes: +4 Charisma, −2 Strength, −2 Constitution
  • Type: Humanoid(Aquatic)
  • Size: Medium
  • Speed: Base land speed for Merfolk is 30 feet, 50 feet when Swimming
  • Low-Light Vision: Merfolk can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They retains the ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.
  • Amphibious: Merfolk can breathe normally, both on land, and in water, and do not suffer penalties when using a spell with vocal components underwater.
  • Racial Bonus: Merfolk gain a +8 Racial Bonus to any movement-related check while swimming. This includes checks such as Tumble to move past hostile targets. Merfolk also have the ability to take 10 on any swim check that would not be considered part of an exceptional situation (I.E. A merfolk cannot take 10 to escape the pull of a whirlpool, for example.) Finally, Merfolk take a racial penalty of −4 to all Balance checks while on land.
  • Transformation (Ex): Two times a day, Merfolk may choose to transform the lower half of their bodies to a more traditional merfolk tail. This form allows for an increase of Swim Speed equal to 10 times their hit die, divided by two. It also increases the racial bonus gained for swim checks by one for every hit die, and decreases their base land speed to 5 feet, and merfolk gain the Monstrous Humanoid type when using this, replacing their Humanoid (Aquatic) type; If humanoid-based heavy armor is worn during the transformation, it is destroyed, as well as any legwear or boots being worn, though Light Armor is unaffected. This transformation is permanent until canceled out by using another use of the ability.
  • Aquatic Combat: Merfolk can fight underwater with minimal combat penalties. (-1 hit roll & -1 damage)

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Merfolk Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Simple Moderate Complex
20 years +1d6 +2d6 +3d6
Table: Merfolk Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
62 years 93 years 125 years +3d10 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.


Table: Merfolk Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 4' 9" +2d8 40 lb. × (2d4) lb.
Female 4' 9" +2d6 35 lb. × (2d4) lb.



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