What are the best races to use in a primarily aquatic setting?
"Primarily aquatic" means that parts of the setting are non-aquatic, which means that coastal/swamp/amphibious races are hard to overrate, because they live in the gate to another world.
Other than that you need an open sea race (I'm okay with various varieties of merfolk monopolizing this), a variety of seabed races, and some manner of birdfolk to represent the sky.
Cephalopods are extremely intelligent, if you want to go based on some sort of realism / biological basis.
But you'd also need to consider how any underwater sentient race would develop into the bronze age without easy access to metals.
>I'm of the opinion that deeper should always mean scarier.
Scary deep sea stuff time?
Scary deep sea stuff time!
Indeed. This is the gulper eel ones.
And here's an illustration on how the actual fish and it's titular loosejaw look like in action. It's definitely among the freakier deep sea fish, which is saying something.
Ture. You never know what's down there, other than the fact it's probably spooky.
On a semi-related note, gulper eels have alwasy been one of my personal favourite deep sea fish. They just look so freaky. I don't think the above mermaid picture quite does them justice, but then again translating the physiology to even a vaquely human form would be pretty much impossible. I mean, it's literally a huge mouth with a tail attached to it.
The gulper eel, along with the black swallower, is pretty much the perfect posterboy for the deep sea as "underwater vore hell" (or rather postergirl, since as far as I know gulper eels like most other deep sea fish have males that exist primarily to mate and die shortly after, while the females are the freaky eating-machines with the huge jaws and the ridiculous teeth and so on). It's a huge mouth and an elastic stomach, with some other bits that are there to get the mouth near something it can eat. Pretty much everything that's not strictly necessary for that one purpose has been lost or atrophied; even their muscles have a different, simpler structure compared to any other fish.
To survive as a species in the wild you've got to be the best at your specific survival gimmick, which the gulper does marvelously, but what's in their future besides extinction? Like you've said, all they do is eat (and breed). They're not equipped to do anything else so when nature throws a curve-ball and something in their environment changes (human meddling most likely), they're fucked
Starting to run out of good quality pictures of deep sea mermaids, although I have plenty of pictures of actual abyssal fish.
I also have somewhere a pdf of a Pathfinder 3rd party book about underwater stuff. It has stuff like underwater dwarves and sea urchinfolk. I'll see if I can find it as it seems like it could be pretty relevant to this thread.
I'm also the guy who wrote rules for deep sea merfolk for 3.PF, but they're still untested and could use more work.
What is in the future of anything, but extincion? All who live must die, be it individual or species.
The deep sea at least is a very stable enviroment, largely unaffected by changes on the surface. It's been estimated that most deep sea fish established their niche sometime in the mesozoic (the effects Permian-Triassic mass extinction reached there as well, killing 90% of all live in the sea) and they or their enviroment have not seen major change since then. Indeed some abyssal animals, like the vampire squid, are the last remnants of genuses that used to live in a wider variety of enviroments but now only survive in the abyss.
Vampire squid are actually an older genus of cephalopod that based on the fossile records was more prominent during the time of the dinosaurs, when their fossils have been found in rocks formed in relatively shallow waters. They were later replaced by modern squids and octopuses, and now only survive in the deep low oxygen enviroment where the more active types of cephalopods can't survive.
Are they blind?
Wouldn't hunting for prey be difficult if they were as 'agile' as their cousins? I'd assume if they weren't staying close to the floor, they'd be easy pickings for something larger
Speaking of the black swallower, I'm somewhat dissapointed that the artist who did the anglerfih, gulper eel and stoplight loosejaw mermaid pictures hasn't done one of it, nor has some other artist for that matter (most abyssal mermaid pictures I have are generic anglerfish, plus the three ones that have been posted and one not quite as well drawn viperfish). You'd think it be one of the easiest ones to draw, considering it actually looks like a regular fish.
Well, this is the deep sea we're talking about, so "looks like a regular" fish still means pitch black scaleless skin and sharp pointy teeth, but at least it doesn't look like an angry football or a giant disembodied mouth.
However, despite looking relatively normal, for a given definition of normal, the black swallower (also known as the great swallower or the horrible vorefish) is one of the more extreme examples of the whole "swallow things bigger than yourself" thing many abyssal fish do. They are known to regularly swallow prey animals twice their size and ten times their weight, and have been known to swallow even larger prey (at least four times their size), although at that point it usually ends up being fatal for the swallower as well, either from their stomach bursting or from the prey starting to decompose before they finish digesting it, which leads to a buildup of gasses that lift the fish to the surface where it dies.
With all that, you'd some vorefag had drawn an antropomorphised waifu version of one. Step up your game, vorefags, my collection isn't complete untill I have pictures of mermaid versions of every well known deep sea fish!
Vampire squid don't really hunt; they're largely sessile and feed exclusively on small invertebrates and "marine snow" (the remnants of dead biomass drifting to the ocean floor from above), neighter of which necessiates them to move a lot. If threatened, they'll pull the black "cape" formed from the membrane between their tentacles over their heads, spray glowing ink and pulse their lights in such a pattern that it looks like they're swimming away fast despite them actually remaining perfectly still and hoping the predator was fooled and chased after the direction the lights indicate the squid was moving.
This entire description made me chuckle in delight. Those guys sound alot less dangerous/deadly/menacing than their name suggests, especially when you compare it to something like the gulper eel (gives off puffer-fish like image)
Found the pdf.
Also here's the current iteration on the rules for the deep sea mermaids I've been working on:
I've posted them before but I've made some changes since, such as adding a subrace that lets you NOT play as a horrible vore mermaid. The subrace thing could still use some work, though, as I'm unsure if there should be a cost assocated with picking one. They're also based on me wanting to represent specific traits of different fish, so they're in no way balanced with each other. I'm also thinking of maybe adding racial feats and stuff.
Also the 5th edition version wasn't originally done by me, although I've edited it slightly. Not sure how to best do the racial ability. The current form is very wordy compared to most 5th edition ones, but the original version by the anon who did it felt a bit too strong (it was basically once a day save or die effect where if a creature failed to escape the grapple to be swallowed it was considered dead).
For something called "vampire squid from hell", they are indeed kind of pushover. Methinks the scary name is just to fool people into not metting with them.
The again, all deep sea fish tend to look a lot scarier than they are, due to a difference in scale (they're usually very small), and due to them being very squishy and weakly muscled, to the point that handling any specimens of them must be done extremely carefully to not accidentally shear of their skin when touching them. Of course, a human, or even one of the more rubustly built fish would not survive for long in their native enviroment, so it's less that they're weak and more that they've evolved for an entirely different sort of enviromental factors.
Cephalopod folk that exhibit extreme sexual dimorphism. Males known as Mind Flayers (Upper body of a cephalopod, lower body of a human) and Females known as Scyllas (Humanoid upper body, cephalopod lower body)
Deep sea anglerfish come in many forms, many of which are spherical and all of which are spooky.
While they're well known for the whole "parasitc mating" thing, where the male fuses with the female, that's only done by a few genuses of anglerfish (two or three, if I recall correctly), which doesn't even include the most well known genus. For the rest the male merely dies ahortly after mating, as is the norm for deep sea fish. Kind of sucks to be a male deep sea fish, really. The females get to look scary as hell and can live for decads, if not longer, while the adult males usually lack even the ability to eat, and must find a mate before starving to death.
Interestingly, for the species of anglerfish that do have parasitic males, some species have never been observed with more than one male, while other species can have up to half a dozen. Nobody is quite sure whe certain species appear to be "monogamous" and others not. Does the male of the "monogamous" species rather die than attach to a female that has already been claimed, or does the female prevent more than one male from attaching to herself?
In any case, there is much we can learn from such noble creature.
Or, you could take advantage of the fact that you're on a fucking image board and post pics, nigger.
For the racial feats, maybe some bioluminescence related abilities, and something that increases the effect of swallow whole ability?
That manga is cute, although the main character being an anglerfish is largely inconsequential. They probably could've done more with it.
>being this angry because I didn't go out of my way to spoonfeed you
Don't take so many steroids, anon.
It gets explored quite a bit, especially when she attracts that... swordfish mermaid? in about chapter 3.
Crabpeople are my favorite. Lobsterfolk are alright too.
Crab people always. So many times.
Those characters look dumb as fuck.
I love them.