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.
Random Starting Age
Adulthood Intuitive Self-Taught Trained
15 years +1d4 +1d6 +2d6
Random Starting Height & Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Male 5 ft. 10 in. +2d10 in. 145 lbs. 2d10x5 lbs.
Female 5 ft. 8 in. +2d10 in. 135 lbs. 2d10x5 lbs.

Merfolk are among the best known and yet the least understood of the aquatic races. Folklore is filled with stories of merfolk: legends of beautiful merfolk falling in love with humans, or ship crews saved from storms by friendly bands of the creatures. Among land dwellers, merfolk are almost- legendary figures of impossible beauty and magic. In reality, merfolk are secretive and prone to intense xenophobia. They value their privacy and are more likely to react to surfacers with aggression than with friendship or passion. Merfolk communities guard their territories ruthlessly. They may warn away ships and travelers who seem nonthreatening or genuinely lost, but if trespassers appear hostile, merfolk attack first.

Merfolk have the upper bodies of graceful humanoids with fine, delicate features. Their skin can be deep, warm shades of brown, lighter shades of tan and gold, or very pale tones of peach and white. Merfolk have the lower body of a great fish, with a long tail ending in powerful fins to aid with swimming. Merfolk scales are iridescent and grow in many colors, most commonly the green and blue shades of the sea. Like many fish, merfolk have darker scales on their backs and lighter ones on their undersides, which helps mask their presence from creatures below them in the water.

Although many surfacer myths about merfolk are untrue, one bears out: most merfolk are genuinely gifted musicians. Merfolk might experiment with a harp or woodwind, particularly one discovered on a wrecked ship or stolen from a seaside community, but many merfolk are practiced singers. Merfolk voices naturally and lightly span ranges that would make human bards envious, and their songs travel far underwater or across the surface of the sea.


Merfolk are an insular and guarded race. While they might work with non-merfolk on occasion, only rarely do they trust these allies fully. Merfolk who adventure on their own often do so because nothing is left for them in their homes.

Sahuagin and merfolk clash frequently, and sahuagin have been known to destroy entire merfolk colonies, taking the few survivors as prisoners. A merfolk who escapes this fate may be left alone in the world, his friends and family dead or captured. Some of these unfortunates leave their former territory, suppressing their painful memories, and caring little where their travels take them. Other merfolk leave their homes only as a means to protect their own: to rescue loved ones captured by aquatic slavers, to recover powerful magic items to defend their lands, or to seek a cure for a disease or curse.

On rare occasions, a merfolk community may exile a merfolk who has broken the trust of his neighbors. Exiled merfolk feel great shame and often lie about their origins to their fellow travelers. Some of these adventurers seek a way to regain the good graces of their community, such as by performing a great service, killing a ferocious predator, or finding a lost treasure to bring home with them.

Rumors exist of merfolk exiled from their community for no reason other than their lack of musical talent. Some merfolk tribes see musical expression as a sacred merfolk ability—a gift from the gods themselves. A merfolk who cannot sing, or one who sings badly, is thought to be cursed, destined to bring ill fortune to their kin. "Cursed" merfolk are gently but firmly turned out of their homes and left to make their own way in the world. Many become wanderers and adventurers, spending their time among races who do not recognize the stigma that caused their banishment.


The following racial traits may be selected instead of existing merfolk racial traits. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.


The following options are available to all merfolk who have the listed favored class, and unless otherwise stated, the bonus applies each time you select the favored class reward.


The following racial archetype is available to merfolk. Wave Warden (Ranger)

Merfolk Equipment

Merfolk have access to the following equipment.

Underwater Crossbow

An underwater crossbow functions like its normal counterpart above water, and can be used underwater. When fired underwater, the crossbow has a range increment of 20 feet. Anyone proficient with a normal crossbow can use an underwater crossbow.

Underwater crossbow, heavy 100 gp 8 lbs.
Underwater crossbow, light 70 gp 4 lbs.

Merfolk Feats

Merfolk have access to the following feat.

Merfolk Magic Items

Merfolk have access to the following magic item.

Merfolk Spells

Merfolk have access to the following spell.