Archives of Nethys

Core Races | Other Races


Merfolk

Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon), Pathfinder RPG Bestiary pg. 204 (Amazon)
Monster Entry Link
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. As a race, merfolk are insular and distrustful of strangers, but individuals, especially adventuring merfolk, break the mold and can be quite garrulous. Merfolk concern themselves more with nature and the arts than with morality and ethical debates, and have a strong inclination toward neutral alignments.

Merfolk Racial Traits

+2 Dexterity, +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma: Merfolk are graceful, hale, and beautiful.
Medium: Merfolk are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Slow Speed: Merfolk have a base speed of 5 feet. They have a swim speed of 50 feet.
Aquatic: Merfolk are humanoids with the aquatic subtype.
Amphibious: Merfolk are amphibious, but prefer not to spend long periods out of the water.
Low-Light Vision: Merfolk have low-light vision.
Armor: Merfolk have a +2 natural armor bonus.
Legless: Merfolk have no legs, and cannot be tripped.
Languages: Merfolk begin play speaking Common and Aquan. Merfolk with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Aboleth, Aklo, Draconic, Elven, and Sylvan.

Merfolk Alternate Racial Traits

Replaces Low-Light Vision

Darkvision
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
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
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
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.

Replaces Armor, Speed

Secret Magic
Source Inner Sea Races pg. 216
Merfolk sometimes manifest magical powers they are unwilling to explain to nonmerfolk, leading scholars to speculate that the magic originates from the merfolk’s rumored eldritch patrons. Such merfolk have only a 40-foot swim speed, but they add +1 to the DC of any enchantment spells they cast, and if they have a Charisma score of 13 or higher, they gain the ability to cast the following spell-like abilities: At will—speak with animals (aquatic animals only); 1/day— fins to feetARG (self only), hydraulic pushAPG. This racial trait replaces the armor racial trait and alters the merfolk’s movement speed.

Replaces Slow Speed

Strongtail
Source Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)
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 Favored Class Options

Instead of receiving an additional skill rank or hit point whenever they gain a level in a favored class, Merfolk have the option of choosing from a number of other bonuses, depending upon their favored class.

The following options are available to all Merfolk who have the listed favored class.

Druid (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 hit point to the druid’s animal companion. If the merfolk ever replaces her animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.
Ranger (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1 hit point to the ranger’s animal companion. If the ranger ever replaces his animal companion, the new animal companion gains these bonus hit points.
Sorcerer (Advanced Race Guide pg. 1 (Amazon)): Add +1/2 to the sorcerer’s caster level when determining the range of any spells with the water descriptor.