Merfolk are a powerful race that are balanced out by their poor land movement resulting from possessing a tail instead of legs:

Base Speed (Slow Speed): Merfolk have a base speed of 5 feet. They have a swim speed of 50 feet.

Legless: Merfolk have no legs, and therefore cannot be tripped.

Merfolk have the upper torsos of well-built and attractive humans and lower halves consisting of the tail and fins of a great fish.

The salamander bloodline for the bloodrager class replaces the "legs" with a tail. This tail is different from the merfolk tail in that it is better suited to land:

Serpent’s Tail (Su) At 1st level, your legs twist together into a slithering serpentine tail. Your speed is reduced by 10 feet (to a minimum of 5 feet), and you can’t be tripped.

Your footwear melds into your body and is nonfunctional unless it provides a constant bonus and does not need to be activated. You also gain a tail slap natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage (1d4 if you are Small) + your Strength modifier. At 4th level, your speed is no longer reduced by 10 feet. At 8th level, your tail slap’s damage increases to 1d8 (1d6 if you are Small) + your Strength modifier. At 12th level, your reach with your tail slap increases by 5 feet.

If my race is merfolk, and I make use of the bloodrager salamander bloodline, can I replace the merfolk locomotion with the salamander locomotion completely?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Why do you think the Salamander Bloodline speed is better? "Your speed is reduced by 10 feet (to a minimum of 5 feet)" \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Nov 30, 2020 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ Merfolk base land speed is five feet. Salamander base land speed is 20 feet, and this improves to 30 at level four (read description in OP). \$\endgroup\$
    – Koga
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ TMK merfolk characters usually either stay in the water to use their water speed of 50, take the Strongtail alternate racial trait to set land speed to 15, use Secret Magic alternate racial trait to access Fins to Feet setting land speed to 30, or manually cast Fins to Feet if their class allows to set land speed to 30. \$\endgroup\$
    – Koga
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:02
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    – V2Blast
    Nov 30, 2020 at 9:21

1 Answer 1


This does not work how you want it to

While it's true that your Salamander tail would "replace" your Merfolk tail, you do not gain any benefit from this.

Based on your comment, you think the Salamander tail goes off of the speed of 30 feet used by "most" humanoids. However, it is used on your actual land speed given by your race. In this case, your Merfolk speed of 5 feet would be reduced by 10, to a minimum of... 5 feet.

  • \$\begingroup\$ That answers my question. Unfortunate. If I cast Fins to Feet do I lose that attack functionality of a salamander tail? \$\endgroup\$
    – Koga
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:38
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ You'd have to ask your GM, but you would in my games. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ifusaso
    Nov 30, 2020 at 4:45

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