Creative Characters – Hrubglurb, the Merfolk Pirate


Welcome to Creative Characters. This is where I indulge myself a bit and create an unusual character, based on a concept, idea, theme, feat or whatever else catches my fancy. These characters are NOT supposed to be optimized, but they ARE supposed to be INTERESTING.

For the sake of reference, and consistency, all characters here are created with the Elite stat array (15,14,13,12,10,8) and all hit points are rolled as averages (and rounded down). They are also written so that they can be used as either NPCs or PCs as the reader chooses, and are written with all special abilities typed out, so as to ensure a minimum amount of book flipping throughout your game.

This is a recurring series, and you should be seeing installments of it each week. Should you wish to see a particular build or idea featured here, then please don’t hesitate to comment

This time around we’re looking at making a Pirate. In this case, one who SWIMS the 7 seas, as opposed to sailing them. Please Welcome Hrubglurb, the Merfolk Pirate.

Hrubglurb the Pirate (CR 5)

XP 1,600
Male merfolk ranger 6
CN Medium humanoid (aquatic, merfolk)
Init +5; Senses low-light vision; Perception +13


AC24, Touch 16, flat-footed 19 (+5 armor, +1 deflection, +5 Dexterity, +3 natural armor)
hp 53 (10 (from class)+5d10+10 (Constitution)+5 (favored class bonus));
Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +4


Speed 5 ft., swim 50 ft.
Melee trident+8/+ (1d8+2/x2)
Ranged +1 shock heavy underwater crossbow+11/+11/+6 (2d8/19-20×3 plus 1d6 electricity) (using Rapid Shot)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 5, concentration +6)

1staspect of the falcon, gravity bow


Before Combat Hrubglub places himself as far from danger as he can, preferring to buff himself if time allows. If not, he will immediately start firing bolts as quickly as he can, favoring spellcasters as his targets. If there are no spellcasting targets, he prefers targeting to closest enemies, to take advantage of his Point-Blank Shot feat. He will also fearlessly fire into melee combat, trusting to his Precise Shot and skill with the crossbow to avoid hitting his allies. Without having time to prepare with spells, he has the following profile:

Ranged +1 shock heavy underwater crossbow +9/+9/+4 (1d10/19-20×2 plus 1d6 electricity) (using Rapid Shot)
Skills Climb +11, Intimidate +9, Perception +10, Stealth +13, Survival +10, Swim +19 (includes +8 racial modifier due to Swim speed).


Str 14, Dex 20 (15+2 race+1 level+2 item), Con 14 (12+2 race), Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 10 (8 +2 race)
Base Atk +6; CMB +8 ; CMD 23
Feats Armor Proficiency Light, Armor Proficiency Medium, Crossbow Mastery, Endurance, Martial Weapon Proficiency, Point-Blank Shot, Precise Shot, Rapid Reload (heavy crossbow), Rapid Shot, Shield Proficiency, Simple Weapon Proficiency
Skills Climb +13, Intimidate +9, Perception +13, Stealth +14, Survival +10, Swim +21 (includes +8 racial modifier due to Swim speed).
Languages Aquan, Common
Combat Gear +1 shock shock heavy underwater crossbow, +1 chain coat, amulet of natural armor (+1), belt of incredible dexterity (+2), cloak of resistance +1, pirate’s eye patch, ring of protection +1; Other Gear fishing net (used as a backpack), small treasure chest (for storing coins), sash and dashing shirt (all wet); 784 gp (these remaining coins can be spent at the GM or player’s discretion before the start of the game session).



Hrubglurb is amphibious, but prefer not to spend long periods out of the water.

Favored Enemies (Ex)

Hrubglurb gains a +4 bonus on Bluff, Knowledge, Perception, Sense Motive, and Survival checks against humanoids with the human subtype. Likewise, he gets a +4 bonus on weapon attack and damage rolls against them. Likewise, he gains a +2 bonus against humanoids with the aquatic subtype.

Track (Ex)

Hrubglurb adds +3 on Survival skill checks made to follow tracks.

Wild Empathy (Ex)

Hrubglurb can improve the initial attitude of an animal. This ability functions just like a Diplomacy check to improve the attitude of a person. Hrubglurbs rolls 1d20 +6 to determine the wild empathy check result. The typical domestic animal has a starting attitude of indifferent, while wild animals are usually unfriendly.
To use wild empathy, Hrubglurb and the animal must be within 30 feet of one another under normal visibility conditions. Generally, influencing an animal in this way takes 1 minute, but, as with influencing people, it might take more or less time.

Hrubglurb can also use this ability to influence a magical beast with an Intelligence score of 1 or 2, but he takes a –4 penalty on the check.

Combat Style Feats (Ex)

Point-Blank Shot, Rapid Shot

Favored Terrain (Ex) – Water

Hrubglurb gains a +2 bonus on initiative checks and Knowledge (geography), Perception, Stealth, and Survival skill checks when he is in watery terrain.

Hunter’s Bond (Ex)

Companions – This bond allows Hrubglurb to spend a move action to grant half his favored enemy bonus against a single target of the appropriate type to all allies within 30 feet who can see or hear him. This bonus lasts for 1 round. This bonus does not stack with any favored enemy bonuses possessed by his allies; they use whichever bonus is higher.


Hrubglub is an oddity among the merfolk, as he prefers the company of other races to that of his own. He finds the views of his own race to be both restrictive and narrow, and their focus on keeping others away to be a hindrance to the growth of their society. He is also a violent person, having taken up the mantle of a pirate, stealing and robbing from everyone that he can find. Often he’ll function as a scout for the pirate crew that he works with, though he holds no real allegiance to any pirate band, in particular, often flitting from crew to crew as the mood and money takes him.

The one thing that he truly wishes though, is to go ashore. From other pirates, he’s heard wonders of the lands further away from the coast, and he knows that he could make an impact there, with his skill and keen eye. He has tried to move ashore, but once he got more than a few miles away from the coast, he realized that his current form is unsuitable for life ashore, and returned to the sea, with a bitter taste in his mouth. Now, he wants to find a way to go ashore, be that on wheels, legs, or flying. He wants to see the world, and he’s willing to sell his skill with a crossbow cheaply if someone can help him achieve his dream.

About Kim Frandsen

Kim is a freelance writer for various companies (including Publishing, Fat Goblin Games, Flaming Crab Games, Outland Entertainment, Purple Duck Games, Rusted Iron Games and Zenith Games) as well as an editor of the Pathfinder and D&D 5th Edition product lines for Publishing. Hopes to one day rule the world!

View all posts by Kim Frandsen →

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