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Basic Information

Mermaids are half-woman and half-fish creatures that live under the ocean- specifically, top half, roughly to the waist, woman, rest fish. Whether they are a single gender species or not, and whether they are friendly, neutral or hostile to humanity (or just dangerous) is open to debate. Also in debate are their levels of sapience, technology and civilisation.

For added variation, the humanity of the human end and the fishyness of the fishy end can also be adjusted, for a spectrum from the barely humanoid to a person with fishtail-tentacle things as legs. In some cases, the "fish" end may actually turn out to be cetacean rather than fish (which at least keeps the whole assembly mammalian).

Mermaids are traditionally added to the long list of things trying to seduce humans - this can blur the boundary (if it exists) between them and thinks like lorelei and sirens.



Game and Story Use

  • Some evolutionary biologists consider than mankind may have evolved along the water margin (probably sea coasts) before striking inland - what if some groups went the other way? There is, after all, evidence that the whales are descended for a land mammal…
  • Amuse yourself with subverting expectations - the real mer-people may be a lot more like sea-cows than expected or may, rather than human like, be a savage ichthyoid predator. For giggles, have the vicious, carnivorous fish lady able to cover herself in a glammer of an attractive, traditional mermaid. Or allow both genders of mer-people to use that glammer. Or, mosquito like, decided that the males are inoffensive herbivores and the females the carnivores.
  • Never let them touch … any part of yourself. Ever.


  • Mermaids can be use to explore medieval fantasy's oceans.
  • Mermaids can try to fail in love with one of the PCs who hate water.
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