Merfolk are mythological creatures that have the upper bodies of humans and the lower bodies of a marine animal, almost always a fish. They originated in medival folklore as mermaids, creatures that would seduce blueballed sailors to drown them (mermen were invented sort of as an afterthought to explain procreation). They are prominently featured in MTG, RPGs, and even 40k had a minor aquatic race at one point. Creatures similar to merfolk can also be found in many videogames, such as the Zora from The Legend of Zelda, the Naga from Warcraft, and the Slithereen from Dota2.
Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder generally have given merfolk only lackluster attention, as their unique body configuration makes them to all practical purposes useless on your typical land-based campaign, but, if you add them into a "surfacers gone underwater" campaign (itself a rarity), they tend to be overpowered, as they are faster and don't need to worry about breathing underwater. D&D usually tries to push the Triton over the merfolk as a consequence, as Tritons at least can try to partake in both underwater and traditional campaigns.
Still, despite their issues, /tg/ has had a spattering of threads dedicated to merfolk over the years where it has discussed how an underwater civilization would develop, and many people have wished to use merfolk characters or merfolk cities in their campaign. Unfortunately, most settings have rules that are not conducive to using merfolk as player characters, fluff that does not include merfolk as a major power, and a lack of effort to describe a thriving merfolk civilization.
With get +2 in dexterity, constitution, and charisma with no stat minus, +2 natural armor, and unlike some amphibious races not drying up if they're on land, Merfolk are a fantastic race. The only problem? Sloooow on land. 5 feet move (15 with a trait- still half of everyone else). If you pick a class that gets a way to give them respectable movement and/or you just don't mind being the slowest one around, a solid choice.
|This article or section is about Monstergirls (or a monster that is frequently depicted as a Monstergirl), something that /tg/ widely considers to be the purest form of awesome. Expect PROMOTIONS! and /d/elight in equal measure, often with drawfaggotry or writefaggotry to match.|
Mermaids are naturally among the most common monstergirls. They have a very similar problem to centaurs though, in that if they're a nonhuman animal from the waist down, where's their vagina? Also like with the centaur, different approaches to "The Mermaid Problem" have been taken. Some give merfolk the genitalia of fish, thus having fertilization occur externally (sexual interactions with humans are typically of the oral variety in this case). Others instead have the fish part start just below the genitals, which would logically result in a weird hole through the middle of their bodies. Still others have the fish part start above where human genitals would be and just slap on a forward-facing human vagina at waist-height. The simplest approach taken is making mermaids limited shapeshifters, capable of transforming their tail into legs. This is typically paired with a duration limit or need to return to water within a limited time to stop them from being reduced to strictly better humans and keep them sea creatures.
On their page titled "The Mermaid Problem," TVTropes of all sites puts forth the clever idea of replacing the fish tail with a dolphin tail. This is brilliant for more reasons than that article seems to realize, since not only does it simplify a lot of the internal biology by making them fully-fledged mammals, but there's also the fact that dolphins are actually notoriously perveted in regards to sexual behavior, with individuals of both sexes often trying to bone dolphins and non-dolphins alike, and there being so much sex overall that the females of some species have evolved an additional pelvic orifice that exists for the sole purpose of sex. On top of that, since it's hard to hold onto someone you're constantly thrusting into when you A) are floating around in the ocean, B) don't have arms, and C) can't coil around them like a snake or eel, dolphins of both sexes actually have MOTHERFUCKING PREHENSILE GENITALS. Yeah, you're probably getting several ideas right now, aren't you, you perv?
It'd be more surprising if the Monster Girl Encyclopedia didn't have a mermaid mamono. They are portrayed as incurable romantics who yearn to find that special someone. They also have quite a family tree, with Merrow (their perverted cousins), Sea Bishops (mermaid clerics of the sea goddess), Mersharks (aggressive shark-based mermaids), Unagi Joro (lamia-esque eel-maids from Zipangu) and even Selkies (wereseals) making up part of the Mermaid class of mamono.
- Merfolk/Homebrew for an extensive piece of homebrew all about merfolk.
- Cerulean Seas Campaign Setting (Pathfinder compatible)
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
| Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:|| Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:|| Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|