This installment of PDG’s low-cost oddball series clocks in at 10 pages, 1 page front cover, 2 3/4 pages of SRD, leaving us with 6 1/4 pages of content…so, what is this about?
Well, first of all, this is a legend – and a race. the melusine take the traditional take on the aquatic lady and her jealous suitors and translates it to a race, divided along the gender line by an extreme sexual and ethical dimorphism. Whereas female melusines are good fey (CR 5) – they can change from mermaid-like mode of propulsion to legs and back and they are nigh impossible to scry. At the same time, they are susceptible to being watched while they change – being caught in the act can stun them for MINUTES. Yeah, ouch. at the same time, though, they can grant various modes of propulsion and monster abilities to others via a touch, a transformation that can theoretically also be used offensively.
On the flip-side, the males of the species, the CR 6 nicors, have a foul temper indeed and may plant suggestions with a mere glance, but only when meeting the gaze through water. Unlike their brides, these guys also have a unique weakness to mirrors – and no ability to change into a less conspicuous form. Now here’s the cincher – female melusines mating with males of their species always produce males, while liaisons with humans, elves etc. result in female offspring. This renders inter-species relationships a necessity for the continuation of the species, but seeing the nasty temperament of the males, one that is risky indeed for the father-to-be.
The pdf also provides two (3, really) magical items. The first would be rings of the melusine, which help when stretching the truth/lying, while also providing a reroll versus enchantment for female rings, 1/week nondetection for the male ring. The second item nets a bonus to Perception and AC while underwater or flying and 1/day alarm.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no significant glitches. Layout adheres to the one-column digest-style standard of the series and the pdf does sport a beautiful full-page full-color artwork – nice! Speaking of which – the pdf also features full bookmarks, in spite of its brevity. Kudos for going the extra mile!
Perry Fehr’s Melusine take the iconic dimorphism and cultural trope of the mermaids and translated it more than well into PFRPG-rules – the unique weaknesses and signature abilities breathe the spirit of fairy-tales of odd fey-rules, of unearthly accords. In one sentence – this is a truly inspired little mini-bestiary. The basic racial constellation is narrative gold and is suffused with potential galore. All in all, a great little file for a more than fair price – well worth 5 stars + seal of approval.
You can get this nice, inexpensive file here on OBS!