Coral /tg/!Coral is cool.How feasible would it be for an underwater civilization to use coral as a foundation for its society?For example, metallurgy is difficult without fire, you'd have to rely on volcanic vents. But coral is very hard. Could you not cultivate it into shapes and forms for tools?
Very unfeasible. Coral is slow growing and cannot be molded.
>>27484565It can be molded to a degree but it is very hard and you never get exactly the shape you wantAlso for how hard it is coral is very brittle, strike it the wrong way and it will shatter and you cannot control where the cleavage lines that cause that will formtl;dr no, unless you bring magic into it
>>27484565>>27484708Pretty much this, although cultivating coral gardens was a popular leisure activity of the wealthy in an underwater setting I worked on.
>>27484548coral is a living animal, so i guess an underwater civ could train/buff/control them to make some buildings (or just decorations)now for the weapons, i'd rely more on sea shells and glass.oh, and keep in mind the bottom of oceans can be volcanic, making an underwater forge not that weird
>>27484863This. And volcanic glass would most likely be the strongest material for tools and weaponry that isn't a byproduct of large sea creatures.I've tooled around with this idea as well. Growing coral into sculpted gardens would be possible, but would need several things such as some form of calcium-based fertilizer to speed growth and probably selective breeding for faster growth and varied colors or textures (like brain coral). The culture associated I imagine to be akin to growing bonsais.By extension, the same concepts applied to underwater architecture leads to grand palaces that would defy gravity on the surface, grown over many generations for durability and treated almost like European mansions covered in ivy growth. Likely to be many symbiotic species bred to maintain the form of home or garden as well.Coral armor as presented in D&D would be plausible, but yes, also crap compared to other options.
>>27485075>>27484824 here, I am going to steal all of these ideas for my setting, I hope you don't mind.
>>27484548Well an underwater race will probably have magic of some kind anyway, so very feasible. Coral can be fashioned into very sharp points for harpoons and tridents, and large pieces can be sculpted to whatever finish is desired.With magic ofc, breeds of coral can be created that grow hyper-rapidly, gornw to whatever shape is desired.Although it may be more effecient simply to shape it into ornaments and trade it to surface people for stone and fired pottery.
>>27485153No, it's not feasible. Calcium carbonate is not good for tool use. Buildings maybe if you got enough of the stuff to fashion into blocks, but you'd deplete that faster than the coral could grow.If anything, coral would be a nuisance for underwater civilizations. They'd have to scrap it off like barnacles.
>>27485075Coral used as reinforced plates in a leather (fish-hide?) armor would be effective, much like ceramic plates in modern body armor. I would think toughened shark hide would be enough most of the time, tho, since underwater enemies are unlikely to be using more than teeth.
>>27485205>coral as armorYou've never actually handled coral, have you? It's quite breakable. Hard is not the same as sturdy.
>>27485203Coral has been used for arrows and spear heads, its plenty good enough for that. Admittedly, unwater races have no use for arrows, but I'm sure a spear would be handy for hunting and fighting. As for tools in general, it depends what you mean. Coral would make a reasonable substitute for stone or bone tools, but yes you're not going to be building a car out of it anytime soon.
>>27485236This is just the same as ceramics, they break when hit by a weapon but in doing so they absorb the impact and save the guy wearing them. Coral plates would offer good ablative protection, tho again there is not much call for heavy armor underwater anyway. Surface raiders would use it tho, I'm sure.
>>27485205Wouldn't anything solid enough to make good armored plates just be heavy and awkward to wear underwater?I'd say in an underwater setting, you're probably not going to get anything tougher than sea creature hides.
>>27485258> brittle shit like coral is just as strong and protective as purpose-designed ceramic armorNope. Try again.
>>27485288Coral is surprisingly light, which is why it would be better than stone. But yes, you wouldn't bother wearing it while underwater, its hard to think of any situation where it would help there. But for surface raids against costal fishermen it should do just fine.
>>27485250Stone is as plentiful underwater as above it, indeed it is almost a requirement for coral, since most varieties require some form of hard substrate.Coral would be pretty much useful for an underwater civilisation it's fragile, living, catches diseases easily, literally a single touch can kill the organism, massively sensitive to heat and light, grows in extremely narrow depth and water conditions.For any reasonable under water civ, it would be as this anon suggests >>27485153 a nuisance, to be disposed of, or used entirely for decoration.
>>27485316There are many many forms of coral, and coral can be treated or prepared in various ways. A race that lives underwater would find all kinds of uses for it.
>>27485345Coral is lighter than stone, and can take a very sharp edge. Even if a race doesn't domesticate corals, they would still find it a useful resource to "mine".
>>27484548>>27484565Maybe you could use magic to make the coral grow the way you want it to?
>>27485391No. It's coral. It grows the way it does because it's a bunch of tiny polyps that collect over time.
>>27485356But all coral uses calcium carbonate to make it's exoskeleton. You'd literally be using eggshells. It's not useful at all.
>>27485409Couldn't you just shape it by scraping off the bits you don't like to make it grow a different way, kind of like one can with trees.
>>27484565>>27484708>>27484824INCORRECT!!!Because of SCIENCE!!!! Seriously, check out the internationally awesome BioRock.Coral naturally grows slowly, strong, and brittle. Dying because of acidification of the ocean, increased CO2 (also makes it more acidic), and pollution. Biorock makes metal frames and runs a low electrical charge through them, which activates the calcium carbonate used by corals. This means that in a small zone around the frame, the corals basically have to expend zero energy towards making their 'skeletons.' Results: superfast coral growth, that can be molded around existing shapes.Doesn't grow as fast as plants, mind you, but it self repairs, and also is under the branch of 'keystone species' because it provides food and shelter for so many other animals.
>>27485203Why would you fashion it into blocks?You'd just grow the coral into a house shape.
>>27485391Absolutely you could, same as any organism. If you have magic you could do all kinds of cool things with corals, like adjust their constituence by "feeding" them suitable minerals as they grow. You could probably do a lot of cool stuff just thru domestication, in fact.
>>27484548I proposed the idea of the coral armor some time ago.It takes decades to grow in right shape, while changing the concetration of minerals in water for the best armor.Realisticaly it is not worth it, but i think it makes one hell of a unique artifact.
>>27485481Might be worth it for a race like sea elves, who either life forever or have the nature magic to speed the growth up. Properly tended domesticated corals would probably grow incredibly quickly, too.
I think people need to start getting a bit more specific. with what they might use the coral for,Do broken sheets of foliose montipora could acts as crockery or dishes.Tips of seriatopora could work as harpoon or spear tips.Heliofungia actiiformis could be used as I don't know... a wig maybe.Try and be a bit more specific people.
>>27485418You literally don't know what literally means. Mineral composition is not the only factor that matters, some corals have a pretty dense structure and many can hold a wickedly sharp edge, both of which could be of use to an underwater race. Sharp edges in particular are an essential tool that would otherwise be tough to get hold of underwater.
Coral as a building material is fine, especially underwater. Long-lived civilizations can probably make houses/structures from them.For weapons and armor, most coral skeletons are too brittle. I can see mace heads/bludgeoning weapons made out of SPS/massive ones like Goniopora or Porites. Stabby shit won't work, except for one-use Acropora/Pocillopora stilettos. For cutting, best you'd come up with would be analogues to obsidian "swords" used by Mesoamericans - you get a bunch of large and semicircular corallites (Fungina, Euphyllia, Plerogyra) and fasten them along a handle. They'd be sharp, but they'd still chip/break easily.What would be effective would be weapons tipped with some of the more venomous ones, like Millepora. Those burn with a single touch, so would be more useful weaponized.For armor, most corals would be too heavy and unwieldy to use as armor. Even if you could use large corallites like some form of mail, you're just better off using scale mail from fish/turtles/bivalves.Great, now I'm thinking of clam mail.
>>27485520Thing is, underwater folk don;t have much use for most tools. Dishes and crockery? How do you stop your food just floating off the plate? Harpoons and spears I could see, and both have historically been made from coral by humans, but even then you need wood for the main body of the weapon. I guess you could use whalebone or something, tho.
>>27485536Essentially, if you wanna mine marine organisms for useful tools, it's better to make shit out of mollusks, arthropods and to a lesser extent, echinoderms.Urchin spine blowdarts/tips, especially with the venom still active. Cucumber bolas/nets using fibers from the adhesive they excrete, that kind of shit.
>>27485553>Thing is, underwater folk don;t have much use for most tools. Dishes and crockery? How do you stop your food just floating off the plate?Food would probably come in cages, and be a mixture of underwater plants and (possibly still-living) sea creatures.
>>27485536>>27485579More and more as I try to fluff out this underwater setting it is becoming obvious to me that I need a fucking marine biology doctorate to get everything accurate...
>>27485553Maybe you'd have two plates one on top of the other, like a clam shell. Although that begs the question of why you just don't use a clam shell.To be honest I can't really think of any situation that wouldn't be better served by coral than by either stone, or by other organic materials like bone.
>>27485580Or some kind of jar-thing with a lid. How do you even preserve food underwater? I'd guess most would be kept alive right up to the point of consumption.
>>27485580I can see sea-dwellers trawling with huge zooplankton-catchers made from extracted baleen/gill rakers. Then put in makeshift pools in underwater caverns isolated by pockets of air so the food can't escape. Yummy.Also, seaweed farming. Not too sure about seagrass, that might be too close to the surface/surface dweller kingdoms.
>>27485605Agreed, although it would certainly have some kind of decorative role. Can you eat the living bit of corals? I could see sea elves growing "gardens" of it to breed fish and the like, kind of like sea-sheep.
>>27485608I'd imagine so, most of the common folk probably make do with the most basic sort of fish that can be farmed from vast schools.The wealthy and powerful probably have private zoos/food stores of rare and exotic sea-life.
>>27485615Seaweed farming is a definate, there are even humans who do this, growing it along "vines" like grapes.
>>27485608Giant barrel sponges with woven serpent star/crinoid covers. Water would still be flowing through thanks to the sponge, so stuff in there won't suffocate due to low O2 levels.
>>27485653They basically lay out ropes in suitable areas and the weed just grows on them obligingly.
>>27485146By all means, please do. I'm here to help, after all. This is a friendly board.
So since this thread has gone full underwater civilizations, does /tg/ mind if I dump my ideas for my underwater setting? Seems like there's some knowledgeable people in this thread, and I'm always eager to pick up new ideas to make it better.
>>27485608Same way you preserve food out of water. Seal it in a glass bubble and then sterilise it with heat.Assuming access to volcanic vents, it would actually be a relatively easy thing to do.
>>27485593just have the merfolk use cobalt-nickle alloys for their tools. just as hard as steel, just as tough, but also immune to corrosion, high melting temp, and very durable. give it a neat magical water name like... idk...aquatite or something. justify their use of it by saying the merfolk havevery advanced metallurgy because they are an ancient race or something.
>>27485655How do you get them out without them escaping?
>>27485695That seems incredibly unlikely underwater. Volcanic fumes tend to be very deep, and they spew out all kinds of deadly poisons.
>>27485639Corralivorous fish aren't that numerous, as they're still essentially carnivores. Most you'd have are a small school of butterflyfishes - which do not provide too much sustenance.For farming, best way to go would be pretty much like some damselfish do - farm filamentous hair algae, which the farmers would then have entire schools of rabbitfish/surgeonfish graze on. Now those are popular human food fish so I guess piscivorous mer-people would eat them too.
I can see structures and emplacements being made of coral as disposable cover/obstacles using "lolmagic" but I cannot phantom how it'd make good armor that wouldn't be better served by bones and shells. Heavy armor to underwater folk would be like Tortoise shells and shit.TORTOISE KNIGHT GO!
>>27485697What would they need such tools for?
>>27485697So... Remove any possible uniqueness to the idea by asspulling an underwater supermetal out of nowhere.Gee, if only we'd thought of that!
>>27485723Fish-men would be able to breed suitable fish strains I'm sure. Or maybe they'd just hunt seals or something, those look like good eating.
>>27485720Regular forges spew out all kinds of deadly poisons as well, that never stopped us.
>>27485738killing eachother, same as humans in the middle ages
>>27485698They can have small holes cut in the sponge's superstructure to grab stuff inside. Actually, some of these sponges can fit human adults so they can probably be used as refrigerator-analogs.
I always think people should be more specific with the setting of what an underwater civ would actually be.Are we talking tropical, temperate, arctic. Is the main species limited by light or pressure. Are they air or water breathers. Can they handle exposure to either. Is their survival technological or biological.
>>27485754Well, they spew deadly poison up the chimeny usually, and even when the wind changes, the concentration is low because air is pretty tenuous. Volcanic fumeroles are surrounded by clouds of concentrated toxins.
>>27484548There's a druid spell for that, look it up
Idea for an underwater civilization: Genetic experiment increases Cuttlefish lifespan, intelligence to the point of sentience. Cuttlefish develop language based on rapid color changes in skin; begin making stone tools.
>>27485755Bone or coral spears are fine for that, or magic.
>>27485739its a real metal actually. and i think it is pretty unique. the OP can give the metal religious or cultural significance, or a state secret or anything he wants. it could become a trade good because of its durability and corrosion resistance. all kinds of things could be done with it to differentiate it from plain ass steel.
Coral is basically bone.Does that mean that a Necromancer's powers could control coral?Given /tg/'s hard on for Necromancers, I think this needs looking into.
>>27485777Yeah, but the basic point still stands. Obviously an underwater civilisation would have to learn how to work around that by, say, increasing the current in the area to ensure the water stays relatively clear, or building funnels of heat resistant coral around the vents that direct the toxins elsewhere.
>>27485795They have no way of making it, nor of mining the ores required to make it.
I liked how the Atlanteans from Dominions use coral armor and coral weapons. Also has a weak poison effect.
>>27484548>For example, metallurgy is difficult without fire, you'd have to rely on volcanic vents.I always imagined that if an underwater civilization somehow progressed to the point of metalworking they'd use air pocket smelters that have vents to the surface.
>>27485795Okay, but how do they get it in the first place? Mining underwater is not really viable.
>>27485793christ.... if OP wants the merciv to be competative with landcivs then they will need quality metals. metals are better than coral and bone. learn to arms race.
>>27485801There's still the problem of the great depth. Hardly anythng lives that deep, and merfolk are unlikely to be adapted to such deep conditions. Then there's the problem of how you actually hold ores in place over the heat source since that is well below the surface, the water at the vent itself is "only" around boiling temperature. And even then, you have the problem of how they get hold of the ore in the first place, since mining underwater is extremely challenging even with modern technology.
>>27485720I concur. Most vents are hundreds of meters below the last possible vestiges of sunlight and are actually either located along rifts or on isolated seamounts/ridges. Wouldn't be too reliable and the temperature differences between the actual vent and the surrounding water (2-4oC).Anything that can dive that deep from the surface and survive at both temperatures and pressures would be superhuman enough to not really need to forge metal.Plus, I doubt it would really be hot enough - most of these vents are just 200-400oC hot. To get higher temperatures, you'd probably need to go straight to escaping magma - which would mean areas of seafloor spreading - a bit rarer than hydrothermic vents on Earth at least.
>>27485810Actually, MA Atlantis is all about coral. It's their theme, all their weapons and armour is made from it, and their cities are made from cultivated coral as well. I mean, their capital only mage is called the Coral King, and their high priest unit is called the Coral Queen.They really like their coral.
>>27485833What threat do surface civs pose to merfolk, exactly? If the merfolk want to raid, they need only pick an isolated region with no standing armies in it, and there's really nothing the surface folk can do about it.
>>27485716I actually posted about this on /tg/ long, long ago, but it was a setting based around a merfolk society living in the parts of the ocean that light still reached, because when you went down below the twilight zone, shit started getting freaky and lovecraftian.All merfolk magic is based around induction into one of the great cults of their society, which worship various animal spirits, the five most powerful and widespread ones being Shark, Whale, Crab, Octopus and Albatross. Magic is mostly based around making yourself closer to the spirit you worship, by way of transformations and various tricks, and over time powerful merfolk come to resemble their spirit animal more and more even when not channeling it.The downside of all the cults is that they are just that, multiple cults vying for most power and influence over merfolk society, long noble lines tie their power to their patron cult, and things can get particularly byzantine in the big cities.Add to this the fact that illegal cults worshiping the abominable ancient gods sleeping in the abyss and driven mad by their whispers are forever trying to undermine merfolk society so as to better fragment and destroy it to pave the way for their masters' awakening, and things can be highly chaotic.Anything you'd like me to expand on, I realize I just kind of infodumped a very bare-bones description there.
>>27485854Look at how much ecological devastation the Industrial Age caused in the ocean.Now imagine if we wanted to do it deliberately.
>>27485838I hadn't considered metal, actually. I was just thinking about how they would create glass for food preservation.
>>27485803they mine it the same way that humans mined it. hit the ores with a big hammer. then smelt them in a blast furnace. the furnace can be fed air from the surface with tubes and isolated from the water in a water proof casing. cobalt was named after kobolds by middle ages german miners. they were able to mine and smelt the metle just fine. its poisonous when it is being smelted but the isolated furnace will solve that problem.
>>27485873So the land folk will poison the sea? The WHOLE sea? Don't you think that might backfire horribly? Besides, the merfolk can simply move, theirs would be a highly mobile culture even if they did practice "agriculture".
>>27485847Maybe there is a seperate caste of merfolk that are adapted to survive in the depths. They are the metal and glassworkers of the civilisation.The merfolk society is based on constant trading between the deep caste and the shallow caste. Shallow caste has food and building material, deep caste has tools.
>>27485735Most heavy-armored fishes these days are freshwater. Heavy scales don't really add to the pelagic lifestyle.For ocean-going fish scale armor, good try would be scales from older fishes like coelacanths, tarpon, bonefishI'm not sure how you'd tan "leather" underwater, but shark skin would also be good armor, given a particular denticle density. It might be safer to harvest from rays/skates. Hell an entire manta/devil ray "armored cloak" might be nice protection for royalty going into battle.
>>27485875Those vents aren't hot enough to melt sand. And even if they were, how would the merfolk blow them? They have no metal pipes, and afaik they don;t have air in their lungs anyway. Plus I don;t know for sure, but I would guess hot glass would crack or set too rapidly underwater to be blown even if they did have air and pipes.I could see glass and similar ceramics being highly sought after by merfolk, tho. Maybe some basic trade with land-dwellers, trading poisons, fish and treated hides for glassware.
You think this nigga needs armor or weapons?He is both.Flee land vermin, the ocean is here to claim it's birthright.
>>27485894Er no, mining like that won't work underwater. Silt will fill your shafts, and toxins will pollute the water you're "breathing" very quickly. As for merfolk inventing and building a blast furnace, just no.
>>27485902dude are you fucking serious? merfolk and humans can fight each other for any number of reasons. control of riverways and estuaries, control of islands, control of all manner of resources that both sides want. they would fight for the same reasons that humans have fought since forever.
>>27485954No, I don;t see that at all. If the merfolk have desires to rule the land then sure, they would adopt surface technology to do so, but why would they? And if the surface folk wanted to invade the sea, well, that's just tough. Even if we, today, discovered hostile merfolk living in our oceans, there'snot much we could do to actually wage war against them.
>>27485798(Hard) Coral is almost entirely calcium carbonate superstructure, built from layers and layers.Vertebrate bone is mostly calcium phosphate. Starts off by calcifying a lacunar cartilaginous matrix.A bit different.
>>27485987many the merfolk want to conquer an area and make it a subject state. maybe they want to demand tribute. maybe they just want to expand their empire, maybe they are waging a religious war, maybe they are themselves a client of some other power that forces them to goto war. seriously dude. just think
>>27485875Glass as we know it might not be plausible, but maybe they could use structures woven from "glass" fibers, extracted from Hexactinnelid sponges.
>>27485987maybe the humans and merfok are fighting over fishing rights or trade routes
>>27486029They have nothing to gain from that, but okay. If they did, then obviously they would either adopt surface technology or they'd lose pretty quickly. But even if they lose, they can't be defeated because they can just retreat underwater and strike from another direction. There's really nothing surface folk could do to stop them.
Why would an underwater race want armor? Maybe light armor at best, but if your underwater wouldn't the emphasis be dodging? In the water I would imagine those who are more agile and can react faster have the advantage in dodging attacks given you have an X Y and Z axis to dodge in making it better to dodge then just wearing heavy armor and sinking.
>>27486062Then the merfolk win. Even if you pack every merchant ship with soldiers instead of trade goods, merfolk would be able to cooridnate a much larger boarding party, board the ship at sea and slaughter the humans. They could even drill holes in the hull from underwater if all they wanted was to stop human traders.
>>27485755>killing eachother, same as humans all time everytime.FTFY
>>27486069Armor that is light enough would be useful, if it could deflect a shark's tooth or a rival's spear jab. Practically speaking tho, merfolk would be better of fighting naked or in skintight leather of some kind.Stupid sexy merfolk
>>27486108>Practically speaking tho, merfolk would be better of fighting naked or in skintight leather of some kind.So if most merfolk are running around naked, I take it that means decorations would be a big thing for distinguishing yourself from everyone else. Which raises the question of how one would tattoo underwater.
>>27486065merfolk have nothing to gain from a tribute empire? are you serious? humans can equipe troops with water breathing items or bombard them with sinking explosives dumped over the side of ships, or use mages to give soldier water breathing. so much shit could happen.youre just closed minded and hate the idea of a merfolk civilization and try to manufacture roadblocks to ruin the idea
>>27486029I can see one plausible reason for a conflict between merfolk/surfacedudes.Shallow strait/waterway/canal between two large bodies of water. Merfolk has cities in both bodies of water. Surface peeps use the strait as a high-traffic channel for trade.Merfolk don't like the surface peeps' constantly using the strait throwing their trash/excrement/waste, etc. Surface peeps don't appreciate running over/crashing into merfolk travelling between.WAR!
>>27486069Armor would help against these. Even a sharkskinsuit.
>>27486144Merfolk have a lot to gain from tribute, but nothing to gain from conquering land. They can't hope to hold land, at most they could hole up in costal fortresses or something. But that would lose them their one military edge, the unpredicatble nature of their attacks. As raiders, they could be paid off like the vikings were, or else rob remote areas and pirate passing ships more or less with impunity. When there is no warning of the attack, their technological inferiority would count for much less, but in a stand-up fight they're going to be seriously outclassed.
>>27486140Ritual scarring using nematocysts. Either from box jellyfish, fire corals or siphonophores. Could be a rite of passage as well.
>>27486140Tattooing should be possible, plenty of sources of ink and all you really need is a sharp needle, maybe a hollow fishbone or even a piece of coral.
>>27486150That's a war the surface folk can't win, tho. They'd have to reach some kind of deal,maybe paying the merfolk tribute and sticking to certain narrowly defined routes.
>>27486216>>27486228>Naked, ritually-scarred, tattooed merfolk (who will most likely be more powerfully built than most humans due to spending all their time swimming) raiding coastal settlements and ships for useful surfacer equipment.Scary shit.
>>27486212youre assuming that merfolk cant travel on land. the way i envision merfolk, is that many species can travel on land but need to keep their skin wet or must lay eggs in water, which is why their settlements never are far from water
>>27486144A specially researched Cloudkill/Stinking Cloud bomb/depth charge would be pretty nasty in terms of anti-merfolk magitek.I can imagine special wall of force/gust of wind-derived spells that when weaponized into bombs/harpoons, would create pockets of air to trap water-breathers in.Hell, a modified create earth/move earth could potentially kick up so much silt/sediment into the water column that water breathers would suffocate.
>>27486268I guess if they're just amphibians they wouldn't even live in the water, but then its a completely different question.
>>27486249Depends on the tech level of both civilizations. If the surface-dwellers tech up to ironclads, there's nothing the merfolk can do to the ships unless they pick up some metallurgy. Actually, they'd need pretty decent tools in order to damage wooden ships anyway, which they can't do without a decent source of heat.
>>27486320Why damage the ship? Just scale it and pillage the hold.
>>27486272Using high fantasy magic you could take the fight to them, but even then, they'd have high magic of their own so I'd say it's a wash.
>>27486320True, tho then merfolk could simply capture the ships instead. A highly mobile enemy that is (effectively) invisible until it attacks is not something anyone can fight effectively. Your only real hope would be to hire merfolk of your own, kind of like how medieval kingdoms hired turcoman horse archers to save them from other bands of raiding horse archers.
Oh, and what of Freshwater Merfolk? How do they get these essential building materials and tools?
>>27486329Surface dwellers would have to tech up to ships that would be hard to scale - maybe up the height or make some impractically wicked slope. Funny thing is, conflict between surface and merfolk would probably give birth to surface marine corps.>>27486332Yep, high fantasy magic is the ultimate awesomizer. Although the merfolk should have different spells, given they wouldn't have access to dry land reagents and reagents that require dryness. They wouldn't be familiar at all with fire spells, and most probably earth spells as well. Air might work, barely. Definitely no electrical/gas-based spells. They wouldn't be too focused on area effect stuff except maybe bursts. What they should have a lot of are water (duh) spells and maybe sonic. *but* if they use echolocation in any way, then they themselves would be incredibly susceptible to sonic spells.
>>27486434Well it depends how magic works, ofc. If its just science by another name, then their repetoire would be limited but well-developed in the areas of interest to them. They may not have the "firepower" to invade the surface, but they should be able to fend off any attempt by the surface to attack them, too. If magic is something more esoteric or shamanic, they might have access to levantine spirits and horrors that dwarf anything the surface could deal with. Think Cloverfield or Cthulhu.
>>27486486>levantineI mean leviathan, of course.
>>27486433Freshwater merfolk...Better armor and land-going capabilities, probably. Better able to adapt to changes in salinity, temperature, oxygen levels, etc.Rarer though, since I assume they'd need either huge rivers like the Amazon/Nile, or vast lakes/inland seas.These merfolk would probably wield turtle/tortoiseshell shields while wearing crocodile armor breastplates and armored catfish skull helmets.
>>27486512Such merfolk wouldmost likely live in human river towns. I can't see such a race ever having political strength, they're far to vulnerable to having their river damed or diverted and rivers tend to be pretty poor in natural resources. Maybe some kind of underclass who scrape a living diving for freshwater pearls or something.
>>27486486>If magic is something more esoteric or shamanic, they might have access to levantine spirits and horrors that dwarf anything the surface could deal with. Think Cloverfield or Cthulhu.>>27485864 here, I had magic fluffed as being related to the spirit you worship by channeling its power. So Shark cult magic is things like turning your mouth into a razor-sharp maw, or being able to "smell" someone you've injured from miles away, up to full-body transformations, although those are beyond most merfolk. Though a powerful merfolk who can transform themselves into some giant primeval shark-monster is a pretty big equalizer for fighting ships, I'd imagine.Though there was also Sea Witches, who worshiped the spirits of the ocean itself, their magic was more elemental and external, and they could, if powerful enough, call up squalls and other such natural disasters. Most merfolk considered them strange though, just like those surfacers who worship the sun or trees or whatever.
>>27486584Dagon cult master race reporting. Y'all just jelly of mah tentacles.
>>27486614The standard merfolk response to the unnatural things that emerged from the abyssal zone was to kill on sight.Not that there weren't a lot of hidden cults to the sleeping gods, mind you, and entire abyssal races that followed them.
>>27486539Oh and they wouldn't have the super-strength regular merfolk have, since they wouldn't be swimming as much or in as rough conditions. They'd be frailer too, because regular merfolk would need to be adapted to live at some pressure underwater. They'd have better eyesight tho, I could see regular merfolk vision as being very limited in color perception and range.
>>27486657>I could see regular merfolk vision as being very limited in color perception and range.This makes me think, what sort of art forms do you think would emerge in merfolk society?I was thinking that since they can't really write on paper, that long stone murals depicting historical events and famous legends would be popular, so sculpture would be an obvious one.
>>27486539I'm thinking major lakes, like the Great Lakes or the African Rift Lakes. They wouldn't be so much as "freshwater" merfolk as they would be "inland" merfolk. A major lake would have one or two major cities/settlements, then rivers/tributaries would have nomadic groups travelling between bodies of water.Hell, that may be a nice setting. Lake merfolk which are at odds with their ocean-going brethren, with the riverine/shorebound/estuarine nomads caught in-between.
>>27486688Sculpture, possibly even sculptures "grown" from living coral over the course of years, like the bonsais another Anon mentioned. Music would be the big one I think, and its likely they wouldn't have need of writing. They'd have well-trained memories instead, like pre-literate people elsewhere. If they ever built a society complex enough to need writing, I would see them making impressions or scratches on stone, maybe even trading for sheets of lead from surface folk.
>>27486657They might have better structural integrity if they're capable of going on land for limited amounts of time.Actually, I just realized that since living in the ocean is kinda like being in zero-g, ocean merfolk would have difficulty operating above water unless specially trained for that. Their bodies wouldn't be too used to their feet-ankles-legs-hip joints-spines supporting their entire bodyweight.
>>27486747Lake merfolk could work. They wouldn't really have any contact with sea merfolk tho, they may not even be related. Even so, lake merfolk have numerous disadvantages compared with sea merfolk, not least the lack of mobility. As such they'd have to come to some kind of terms with surface folk, and would probably end up more or less part of the surface society. Surface cities have many luxuries unavailable underwater, I could see large "shanties" of merhuts in the waters around the coastal lake towns.
>>27486794Yes I doubt merfolk would enjoy being on the surface even if they could survive their fine. River merfolk would be true amphibians, that's definitely a significant advantage to balance out the physical weakness.
>>27486794>Merfolk emerges from the depths of the ocean>Falls flat on his faceYeah, I'd imagine that those who intend to raid/trade/travel on the surface would probably spend a fair amount of time practicing beforehand.Which would be amusing, since instead of a swim skill you'd have a walk skill.
>>27486834>tfw be a merfolk who wants to go on a raid, but can only hold your breath for half an hour
>>27486761>>27486688Etching would be written language, pretty much like cuneiform. Etching on shells, probably huge pen mussel shells - which actually don't weigh much.Actually, pretty much any modern mollusc shell can be carved/etched on.
>>27486688>>27486761>>27486884Jewelery would probably be another big art form, especially since as has been previously discussed, merfolk probably wouldn't wear much clothing, although it would more be pearls and colorful shells than actual jewels. Could combine it with etching too.
>>27486800A few lake settlements could. Fox example, I could imagine lake merfolk from Taal Lake (pictured) would either be trading or warring with inshore merfolk from Balayan Bay. The single tributary between the two would be hotly contested, or taxed by the stonger of the two.Schools of fish migrating between the bodies of water would be contested, or be subject to treaties. Something like "Bayfolk cannot harvest from school migrating lakeward to spawn, lakefolk cannot harvest juveniles going out to sea".Or if the two settlements are too insular (lol), the riverfolk between can act as mediators/traders.
>>27485798Necromancy works by controlling life forces to reanimate the dead, so no, but a necromancy could maybe reanimate dead coral. Ecological ramifications of that not yet considered.The magic you're looking for is skelekinesis.
>>27486884Yes that's definitly the way to go if you need to write underwater. Some sharp obsidian "pen" and a pile of shells. Would make keeping any kind of archive a bother, tho. I don't think their society would be complex enough to need writing, and if they absolutely needed it they could always use surface scribes and keep the records on a dry atoll or something.
>>27486975I could see gold jewelry being a major market in merfolk societies, as the only metal that doesn't corrode or tarnish. Aside from that, polished shells and coral, held together with shark-gut string, and head-dresses of bone holding further adornments.Real polished gemstones would probably have to be traded for, but would also work well underwater.
>>27487028I was thinking something like a Tibia as a pen, but then it'd have to write on softer stuff, like fish skin. I guess a mako shark tooth or a viperfish fang would be a more practical writing implement.
>>27487067Gold and Gemstones, since they would mostly require expensive trade with surfacers, would probably be a popular sign of wealth and status.
>>27487082Pearls. Or they'd trade pearls for surface gems.
Does /tg/ think that merfolk cities would be doable? I would assume that a large part of their society is fairly nomadic, but how big and impressive a city do you think would be feasible given technological constraints?
>>27486991Possibly, especially if fresh and salt merfolk can tolerate one another's environment for a time at least. Ultimately, the lake merfok can't hope to beat the sea merfolk, they have the same problems surface folk would have. And I doubt they would have much reason to be in conflict, what would merfolk care about a tributary when they can simply trade with costal setllements far and wide directly? I could see the river folk wanting to control it, but not why the sea merfolk would want to, other than to fuck with the river folk.
>>27486059Holy shit, Merfolk and fiberglass, that's fucking brilliant! How common are these types of sponges, though?
>>27487073Those would make good needles I think.
>>27487105The problem is food. If your merfolk can farm fish and seaweed at sufficient densities then they could sustain a city. The population density could be inflated with "bread and circuses" style welfare, but would naturally be low. Merfolk have little reason to congregate, unlike humans who have limited mobility and a complex material culture that requires a large number of specialist professional roles to be filled. I could see permenant trade posts and maybe towns around useful geographic oddities, but I'd see them more like horse nomads, living in semi-nomadic tribes and family bands.
>>27487122They could cultivate them so that shouldn't matter. What could they use it for, tho?
>>27487187Perhaps settlements building up around religious sites and such as well, but I agree that most would probably be nomadic.Would be cool to have one ancient holy city or something which is used as a meeting point for the various tribes.
>>27487107If the ocen merfolk are dependent on a particular type of fish (religious/cultural significance, dietary requirement, high-value resource) and the fish in question is catadromous/anadromous, there would be a lot of interest in making sure the rivers the fish uses to travel/spawn/migrate are either free of interference.Or maybe the lake/river itself would have some cultural significance, like a shrine to something there/ancestral birthplace, etc.Of course, it's also a possibility that a particular species of merfolk is anadromous - they need to lay eggs/breed/spawn in freshwater. And like turtles/salmon, they have to go back to their river or birth to mate there.
>>27487215Even nomads build cities, or something like cities. They would have some strategically positioned "forts" that have been inhabited more or less continually for generations. Such sites would inevitably come to be centers of religious cults and shapers of the general culture.
>>27487135These could work as smaller threading needles. Or an underwater dinglehopper.Now I'm imagining an old Japanese merfolk using a giant Murex to rake his sandy zen garden.
>>27487219If they can only meet in brackish water, then there's no way for the sea merfolk to win. If they can tolerate one another's water, I would say the sea merfolk have the edge because there's probably more of them and they're physically stronger.
>>27487187>>27487215Settlements would be around permanent sources of food, so inshore near reefs/seagrass meadows/kelp forests. Out in the open ocean, food is scarce - you can't depend on a school of tuna to pass by a particular square kilometer for weeks, maybe months. Out there, settlements would be on seamounts/within atoll lagoons.Coastal nomads would work. Epipelagic nomads would need tuna/marlin-like speeds to be able to keep up with the rare schools of fish, or have help from dolphins/porpoises/sharks/billfish.Or you could have small tribes following jellyfish blooms, either feeding on the jellyfish or the occasional loggerhead turtle/sunfish that comes to feed.
>>27487360I think most merfolk would probably stick to the continental shelf. I mean, the open ocean is pretty much a desert, it's not that you couldn't make a journey out into it and survive with proper preparation, but it's certainly not a comfortable place to live.
>>27487360You'd have a fundamental breakdown between nomadic "open seas" merfolk and settled coastal merfolk. The settledfolk would have a much more complex society, and would need to reach friendly terms with neighbouring surface folk. The sea nomads would have a simple tribal society and would see surface folk as either irrelevant or as raiding targets. The two cultures would remains friendly to one another, with the nomads coming to the settlements every now and again to sell purpoises / sharkskins / turtles for weapons and for surface jewelry / civilized luxuries.
>>27487399They could breed dolphins or herd whales, maybe.
>>27487459That could work. Plus the idea of a nomadic tribe of merfolk living alongside their family's ancestral whale pod is pretty awesome.
>>27487479I wonder how much you could load onto a whale without hampering its ability to feed and swim? They could find a role as merchants, carrying huge loads swiftly and saftely across the oceans at rates surface shippers can't compete with.
You brillian/tg/entlemen, this thread is beautiful and my hat's off to you for it.This thread has also now been archived for propriety's sake.
>>27487459If they bread dolphins the way we bred dogs, that would be cool. Specific breeds would be able to chase down fast prey, defend against other predators, guard vs enemies, sense/track individuals, retrieve things/prey, act as minor beasts of burden, act as rescue animals, seeing-eye dolphins, small pointless ones as pets for rich Paris Hilton-types, and even as food.An additional one might be having specially-bred dolphins or whales for long-distance communication. Merfolk relays a message translated into whalesong, whale relays it to another specific whale dozens of kilometers away, then message gets re-translated back into merspeak.
FFSIT'S MAGIC YOU AINT GOTTA EXPLAIN SHIT
>>27487660Enter a special class of merfolk - whaletalker. Would take years of learning to be able to fluently translate mertalk to whalesong, and even then that would be specific to a particular species of whale. So different tribes/lineages using different whales wouldn't be able to communicate that way.Wars would involve capturing a whaletalker of the enemy tribe to spy on enemy communications.
>>27487660Dolphin dogs is a great idea. I doubt you can breed sharks, but maybe you could capture baby sharks and raise them, kind of like how people kidnap baby elephants to train them for war.Also killer whales.
>>27487672Example of everyone who made an incomprehensible pile of "cool stuff!" that wasn't interesting at all right here.
>>27487672well no, you aint gotta explain shit, but if you don't, you miss out on all the interesting ideas this thread has produced.
>>27487713Whalesong probably isn't that complicated tbh. And you could communicate over long distances underwater without whales, using some kind of conch.
>>27487775>>27487713On the other hand, trained song-whales or dolphins could exist who perform like living musical instruments.
>>27487718Breeding sharks is doable but depends on if the shark gives birth or lays eggs. In the ase of egglayers, it would be easier to collect eggs and then raise the pups training from birth.Viviparous ones would need to be ranched. Which is harder but probably more fruitful as the big lamnids (great white, tiger, mako) usually give birth.Nomads would probably be dependent on whale sharks for their sharking needs though. I bet those can haul a lot of weight/cargo and would be easier to deal with than more intelligent whales.
>>27487827How trainable is a shark? I understand they're pretty stupid.
>>27487672Magic /tg/!Magic is cool.How feasible would it be for an arcane civilization to use coral as a foundation for its society?For example, logic and good plot is is hard when you write, you'd have to rely on being intelligent. But magic is very handwaving. Could you not cultivate it into shapes and forms for tools?
>>27487898With enough magic you can do anything. That's why yours is not an interesting question to ask.
So /tg/, what sort of monsters would you have in your merfolk setting? The ocean has some weird looking things in it, so it's not like there's a lack of inspiration.
>>27485463>Biorock>Durrr what if I do electrolysis on sea water>PatentedAhh the patent system. Screwing over the third world since it began.
I assume someone has already said this, but shark shagreen could be a nice substitute for leather. Leather itself, and even rawhide, would be almost impossible to make underwater, but shagreen cane be made without tanning.
>>27486069Even underwater a harpoon, dart or weapon in an enemy's hand will move faster than you can dodge. It doesn't matter that you have more directions in which to dodge if you can't react in time and move your body out of the way.
>>27489187and if you're weighed down by armor underwater it doesn't matter if you can deflect weapons, because your opponent can take their time finding a gap to drive their blade into while your dumb ass lies on the seafloor struggling to move.As people have said, anything other than light armor would be retarded, and it's unlikely that most merfolk would wear much at all in their day to day life.
>>27489242shields (and spear-shields) sounds viable tho, you can probably use them to swim faster too (depending on how you move)
>>27489331It would be quite awkward to move, but it's a possibility, could make it out of a bigass turtle shell or something.
>>27487660Nomad merfolks could have (or follow) herds of whales. Maybe they could feed on them (like Mongol were said to feed on their horses when necessary) if they don't find fishes or anything else.
>>27489242you offered no reason for this. scale mail would be perffectly fine for use. fish have bladders that they use to change their boyancy. merfolk would also have a bladder that they can use to counter the sinking bouyancy of any armor.
merfolk thread? merfolk thread! commencing dumpthere seems to be alot of people here that want merfolk to be weak and stupid with no technology. i think that is not very interesting at all.i think the extreme productivity of ocean ecosystems, such as kelp forests, almost guarantees a high population. kelp can grow several feet per day. that is ONE plant. a single merfolk could survive on only a few square yards of ocean floor. this large population will be free to persue all manner of intellectual, artistic, social or athletic professions. their close proximity guarantees a complex social structure and vigorous competition between individuals and groups.i imagine the merfolk to be sort of like the greek polis system. city states that are competative and fiercely independant. OFten the city states are based on ethnic or religious groups.
>>27493074There was a thread a while back trying to make subraces of merfolk, I didn't get to add my 2 cents to it, but the way I divided them down was coastal, oceanic, deep ocean, reef, arctic, river/lake, and marsh. Each with slight variations on the normal pathfinder merfolk, with coastal merfolk being the generic ones from the books. I'll try and dump some of my merfolk as well
alot of people are talking about how unfeasable it would be for merfolk to have metals because of the lack of fire. they arent taking into account that their civilization would not develope in total isolation. they live in the lakes rivers and oceans of the world right alongside other terrestrial people. becasue they control the water, merfolk would easily dominate trade and commerce. in my opinion, commerce would be a central focus of their society. all of this trade would bring in constant new ideas and technologies. merfolk would be able to take the technology of the terrestrial races and adapt it for the ocean.
Here's an idea for underwater races:Pistol/Mantis Shrimp claw guns.
>>27493371Wait.Hypercavitation Plasma rifles.
>>27493344Would you kindly post any fluff attached to the varieties? The actual stats would be appreciated as well.
merfolk would have no problem using basic metals such as copper, tin, bronze all of which are highly resistant to corrosion. from this base, merfolk could learn and adapt the smelting technologies to make them work underwater. greekfire is an example of flames that water cannot put out. they could make strutures underwater that have air pockets that allow a normal fire. air could be fed from the surface with normal bellows.man i really need to organize my folder
>>27493366I like that idea for the coastal, reef and the river/lake merfolk I mentioned in my last post. The other subraces (oceanic, deep ocean, arctic and marsh) I don't see getting as much contact as the others so I would think they'd have different societies.
>>27493530Common Coastal MerfolkThe Merfolk are the mysterious and secretive people who have populated the world’s waters, and they are as widespread as humans are on land. Communities exist in mountain lakes, coastal reefs, kelp forests, rivers, and even inside polar ice shelves. Due to being an ancient species, they are just as physically diverse as humans.Physical Description: All Merfolk have the upper bodies of slender, tall and shapely humans and the lower bodies of powerful scaled fish that are at least twice as long as human legs. Their skin can be almost any color, but dark greens, sliver, blue, brown as well as most human pigments are common. Many Merfolk also have dramatic and brightly colored stripes, rings, spots or other patterns similar to those found in sea creatures all over the world. Some have long colorful hair on their heads while others have feathery fins or crests. Merfolk have specially adapted gills that can breathe both water and air. Their tails allow powerful swimming, but are equally capable of supporting the rest of the body upright on land as they slither along.
>>27493530Society: The Merfolk are an optimistic people, who approach life with vigorous gusto. The natural bounty of the sea allows Merfolk to lead relatively labor free lives with plenty of free time for a passionate love for, arts, athletics, magic, and leisure. Many devote their extra hours to all manner of professions simply for the enjoyment of them, or to compete for prestige. Merfolk culture has a heavy emphasis on commerce, and all merfolk develop an affinity for negotiation. Rather than give live birth, Merfolk lay soft eggs that must be kept in well oxygenated water at all times. For this reason, Merfolk cities are never seen far from water.Relations: Merfolk are the gatekeepers to the waterways, and this gives them a position at the center of commerce. They have contact with all manner of races who wish to use rivers, lakes, and oceans for trade or transport. However, despite how engaged and personable Merfolk appear to be while on the surface interacting with other races, they are extremely protective and secretive of their lives and communities under the water surface. A Merfolk will gregariously discuss all manner of happenings above the waves, but will turn stoic and silent if the conversation turns to Merfolk affairs. Merfolk generally regard themselves as distinct and apart from the other common races due to their unique bodies, but their agreeable enthusiastic attitude usually makes relations easy. However, they get along best with humans because they most often create waterside communities. Merfolk find little in common with the grim and stoic dwarves and their mountain citadels are even more difficult to reach for aquatic peoples.
>>27493530Alignment and Religion: The exuberant personality of many Merfolk tends to make the lawful alignments a minority. Individuals generally worship a wide pantheon rather than a single deity. City temples are usually very large combined buildings for all the gods. Each deity has a section within the great temple devoted to its particular tenets. Merfolk worshippers may offer prayers and sacraments to which ever god has purview over their current situation.Adventurers: Merfolk become adventures to experience the world, to test themselves, to bring home vast treasures or secrets, to earn prestige, or to achieve a specific goal. Merfolk’s wide variety in characteristics and interests allows them to be gifted in any adventuring class.Merfolk Racial Traits+2 to one ability score: Merfolk characters receive +2 to one abilitys of their choice at creation to represent their varied nature.Medium: Merfolk are medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.Slow Speed: Merfolk have a base speed of 20 feet, but are never encumbered by heavy load or armor.Aquatic: Merfolk gain a swim speed of 30 feet, a +8 racial bonus to swim checks, and can breathe both water and air.Lucky: Merfolk receive +1 to all saving throws.Waterway Traders: Merfolk receive a +2 racial skill bonus to all diplomacy and bluff checks. When using diplomacy to shift a creature’s attitude, they can do so up to three steps rather than just two.Skilled: Merfolk receive an additional skill rank at first level and an additional rank every time they gain a level.Languages: Merfolk begin play speaking Common and Aquan. Merfolk with a high intelligence score can choose Gnomish, Orcish. Sylvan, Elvish, Draconic, and Halfing.
thats the only fluff i have written so far.eventually maybe i will write some for other types.i really like this artist's style. its a very cool merfolk design too
some people are saying that merfolk wouldnt use armor. i think that is wrong. merfolk could easily use tight fitting flexible armors like scale or brigadine. chain would be usablewithout too much drag by fitting a tight smooth suit over the top of it.
>>27493762Thank you. I do like custom racial fluff. Usually more interesting than what is in the books.
>>27493563but waht about sinking anon?!?!?well, there are alot of ways to counter sinking. instead of the cloth underpadding that terrestrial races use, merfolk use padding made out of kelp airbulbs that also serve to lighten the entire suit.
>>27493530I did something different than: >>27493567>>27493595>>27493635As in my setting merfolk are a bit rarer and as such I kept them as an advanced race. The problem with them, though, is that statting them out, two of their traits aren't in the race builder, and that is the 5ft landspeed, and the immunity to being tripped from having no legs. I figured that those two things together would equal out to 0 build points, so after that, merfolk (from the book) come out to about 17 build points all together. So I'm using that to work with them.
>>27493957whoops quoted wrong post
>>27493960what is the complete list of traits you are using?
>>27494032Oops, I miscounted it seems, but going by the book, for the normal (coastal) merfolk I got: speed slow: -1flexible +2 dex +2 con: 2advanced cha: 4nat armor +2: 3swim: 2Powerful swimmer: 2lowlight vision: 1Amphibious 2and then the legless(immune to tripping) and the 2nd slow speed (minus another 20 down to 5ft), cancel each other out. so it comes out to 15 bps. The +2 cha, ll vision, and 2nd slow speed allow for some play room for the other sub-races, but I am trying to keep within 2 BP of the originals to keep them kinda even.
>>27494201forgot a pic, also seems the board's back up.
some in this thread have questioned why would merfolk want to fight wars oror creatae empires? the question you should ask is, 'why wouldnt they fight wars?" all animals on earth fight each other for resources. social animals like hyenas and lions fight perpetual wars over territory and food. the same forces apply to humans and merfolk. unless someone can justify why they dont, merfolk will have to compete with other groups just like every other race. conflict is simply a fact of life.
>>27494201isnt there an option to give them 15ft move speed at the cost of low light vision?
>>27495694you could, in the advanced race guide for pathfinder (where I got all this from), Merfolk also have a few racial variations, one is dark vision and light blindness instead of lowlight, another is 15ft land speed but swim is now 30 ft, and the 3rd gives +2 to preform sing, and +1 to dcs of language-dependant spells for low light vision
What about SF underwater civilisation ?I was thinking of making one for 40k, specialised on genetics because they had to modify themselves to expand to all kind of water, ground then space.They would have a complex cast system based on both genetics and social standing.But I'm not sure about how they would look. Of course different subspecies mean they can be very diverse, but I want something alien without looking too strange.tl:dr : SF marine aliens pics or descriptions.
>>27488588The usual sharks, squid and octopodes, possibly intelligent versions of each. Deep sea horrors could take the place of dragons. Expeditions to the land would supply all kinds of horrible legends to scare merbabies.
>>27489157Most merfolk can spend at east a little time on the surface, so they could have tanning racks on atolls or something. But most leather would get waterlogged and would rot pretty quickly, I imagine they would have specialised versions made from various aquatic mammals skins, as well as sharks.
>>27492417Also, if you can't dodge, then armor is exactly what you want.
Druids can do wonders with coral.
>>27499351Coral is odd, in that the living bit is just a skin and the "bones" are secretions rather than body parts. I would imagine merfolk magicians would know how to control it, but regular druids would be left scratching their heads I think.
>>27499369see >>27499379In her defence, besides being a druid she is also a half dryad, and can more easily control organic matter, be it plant, animal or fungi.
>>27499456A dryad is for trees, if she were half Naiad she could probably control coral.
What you think about the concept of their flesh being the most terrific poison on earth, if eaten (with one in one million chances for the person that ate it becoming immortal?), being able to assume human form for one moon cycle if they taste human blood and sometimes living in small groups among humans, adapting to their customs?Places like Brazil, Japan, Australia, the caribbean, Thailand, Indonesia, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Italy and maybe Iceland would be perfect.
>>27499751I don't see why they'd be toxic, tho I could see them using all kinds of potent poisons on their weapons. Having a land/sea cycle could be interesting, such a species would develop a weird hybrid culture I think.Merfolk interested in trade or simply curious about the land could well take up residence in human towns if they were permitted. Freshwater merfolk would probably be fully integrated into the local culture eventually.
>>27499796I took the venomous nature of their flesh directly from an ancient Japanese tail about a 800 y old nun who was cursed to live forever after she was the only survivor of a banquet in her native fishermen village. The fishermen killed a merfolk (ningyo) and prepared it to be the most impressive meal of the party but they all ended up suffering horrific deaths.
>>27499847Venom is biologically expensive to make, for a species that is rarely or never predated it just doesn't make sense.
>>27499861Really? But apparently a lot of fish have poisonous flesh.Why would you think the merfolk are not used to be predated? I mean... how do you think they deal wih all the underwater menaces, like possibly hostile races like the sahuagin, cecaelias, krakens, leviathans, sharks and so on?Do you think their supernatural voices could bewitch/frighten them?
>>27499952They won't be predated for the same reason human's aren't: They're smart, so they'll kill off all the possible predators or domesticate them. There's a long tradition of merfolk having supernaturally bewitching voices, and given how sound works underwater, I could see them having something like whalesong that is comparable to a Bach concerto, certainly they would have little use for musical instruments and they could no doubt startle, terrify or mesmerise a human who has never encountered them before.
>>27499987Sounds like a good idea. I will be monitoring this tthread, or make anoher in case this one just die.I have a character extremely eager and curious to live among humans, and I'm searching for good ideas to better enrich his story.In this setting, the merfolk live in fancy, rather chaotic courts, much like the faeries from Changeling.
>>27500106>bishi merfolkEww, no thanks.
>>27500150Even the most beastly of male merfolk are strangely... attractive. Pic related, the closest thing of a bishounen in Darkstalkers.If you want uncanny fish-faced underwater races, you should stick to the locathah, I guess.
>>27500229I prefer the monstrous ones, especially the hugely muscled variants. I figure if female merfolk can be cheesecake, male merfolk ought to be beefcake.
>>27500244>>27500229 Pic related, my favorite mtg merman. Now THAT is a man, none of this floppy-haired bishi nonsense.
>>27500244All kinds are great to me. To the more intimidating, shark-like hunter males to the more androgynous, sorcerer elvish-like males.In some worlds, merfolks aren't a warrior race, so you can expect more slender males in some societies, just worried with sunbathing on the rocks.
>>27500341I could see freshwater merfolk being slim. In European myths, males are almost invariably monstrous, if they exist at all, while females are all nubile.
>>27495394>tumblr nose, now in blue!
>>27500502Indeed, in the case of a lot of water beings across europe, the female looks attractive while the male is either heinous or menacing, like the selkies, merrows, vodyanoi, and river spirits (opposite to nymphs).Yet some males like the Näcken, the Huldrekarl and the Fossegrim had the same role as the females, luring mortals to their watery graves with their enchanting voices.
>>27500947Now I'm just imagining manly mermen jeering on those pansy humans. "C'mooon, only a flounder would scared of jumping off a cliff like that, for Kraken's sake you have ALL this water to land in, you little bitch."And that was when the human man was tempted into casting himself upon the rocky shoreline.
>>27501083You could imagine then either as lustful and seductive or mischievous, like aquatic versions of satyrs or pookas.
>>27486098>Sing us a song!
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aquaria_(video_game)Not that is the end all be all for ideas, but not only is this a really fun game it explores some of the themes thrown out here. I'm sure you guys can adapt bits and pieces of it to be useful.
>>27501810Will definately take a look.captcha: nautical bloodwin
>>27501810>AquariaMy nigga. That game was really fucking dark, too. And half the bosses were fucking nightmare fuel.
nice thread.Now I want to play one in rpg, but handling 3d fights seems tough.
I can't see metallurgy being feasible for an underwater civilization. They'd have little access to ore deposits, and wouldn't be able to smelt them anyway.You'd need to get a watertight tube from the surface, down all the way to the forge. It has to be watertight, decay and corrosion resistant, and not a food item for fauna. Also, it needs to be buoyant and not allow sea life to cling to it and drag it down. Not only that, it needs to be able to deal with wave action at the surface so you don't get water and silt into the tube itself. Lastly, it would take a lot of work moving that air down the pipe, considering the depth is around 20-40 ft. And those are the shallow areas.That's a lot of stuff that needs to work just so, in order for you to be able to get air down to a forge. This isn't even taking into account forge maintenance in an underwater area, which would also be hell.
>>27505469There's alos the fact that underwater folk don't have much use for tools anyway. Any industrial activities would have to be done on the surface, or via trade.
>>27487827i think dolphins being mammals are more easily trained then sharks..
>>27488588Old Ones, Outer Gods,
>>27504683there is a 3rd party underwater setting for pathfinder called cerulean seas. they way they do 3d fights is this: place a wooden dowl vertically on a base. then make small gridded platforms out of clear plastic, punch a hole in the middle, and thread the plastic onto the dowl. mark the dowl with tik marks to show depth/height. use clothespin to hold the plastic at the depth that your character is at. place model on the plastic
>>27488588I kind of like the idea of having sea elves as a mammal race, and merfolk as a fish race. You can split myths involving merfolk into the two types.. with the friendly, attractive, intelligent run-in-with-humans-now-and-then part going to the sea elves and the creepier not so friendly aspects being put on the merfolk. Your sea elves live in shallower waters with their own culture, they breathe air and occasionally use islands and rafts for various reasons, and maybe use some magic to make underwater breathing areas. They wear kelp clothing and use nets, tridents, coral knives, and collect pearls. They trade with humans very rarely, and have superstitions about them. Meanwhile, in the deeps.. you have merfolk with gills and fins and scales. They are much less intelligent and don't speak a language any human could understand. Some sea elves may be able to interact with them but the cultures are about as separate as the elves are from land creatures. Despite being more primitive minded they have a more developed civilization and culture than the sea elves, simple due to being able to stay in one place for longer. Being in shallow water leads to more roaming, constantly seeking out new shelters and food, but the merfolk were able to cultivate some forms of agriculture and develop architecture and create stronger weapons.So you end up with two very different races. Plus you've got kuatoas and whatever else lives down there for the merfolk to deal with..
>>27493366I would imagine metal to be something rare and confusing. It's that hard shiny stuff that can be found in shipwrecked, and later it turns brown and brittle. However certain metals don't rust and those would be coveted, and depending on how often the creatures deal with surface folk they may or may not have access to them. I also think that sea creatures would probably eat most of their food raw, but maybe they could dry things (on rocks, rafts, islands, etc) or they could use underwater heat sources to poach their food?
>>27509603also I should point out that in this world the sea elves would have flippery feet and webbed hands, while the merfolk would have long fishtails and scales over their entire body... no hair, etc.
ive been trying to think of good named for underwater races but i am horrible with names. anyone got any ideas?
>>27510667those are pretty good. i was also thinking about:merrowsselkiecollectively i call all merfolk 'mers'
Merfolk Merchant> Oh yeah this coral armor is totally magical and special, see how organic the coral ridges are here along the shoulders and collar? This lightweight armor can easily stop a thrust spear and break swords all while providing both light movement and extreme durability. You should totally buy this. We merfolk specially treat this armor for years and it can be yours for a tidy sum of 10,000 gold."..."Jajaja baka surface dwellers they think they bought something good, such stupid jejejeje:"
>>27511087Selkie kinda works and I think its neat that you have a derogitory term for all the denizens of the deep.
The merfolk of my setting are basically a large city dedicated to magical research that sunk themselves deep underwater to escape an apocalypse like that of a world-wide nuclear explosion, only with raw magical power.Since magic works like a real property of reality similar to electromagnetic fields, the "manapocalypse" didnt outright kill them, but it did affect their bodies, forcing it to evolve and adapt to its new watery enviroment.At a complete lack of originality, the city is named Palantis
Honestly? I tortured myself for months trying to make an organic, function mer society before. In the end I scrapped everything and replaced everything with mer-ruins and the rich aristocrats that had bathe-spheres and diving suits to explore, study, and even vacation there.
what is the race the mermaids hate the most?
>>27514557The hundred meter dash
>>27514599Fuck you /tg/ this is comedy goldLaugh! Laugh for my amusement!