Harpies (Pathfinder Race)

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Harpies[edit]

Save for the tattered wings and taloned feet, this creature resembles a feral woman with a wild look about her.

Harpies are characterized for their mischievous mannerisms and oftentimes their wicked natures, antagonized for their historical reputation of indiscriminate murder and foul stenches. Nevertheless, they are a people, a people of intuition with a plan to survive — albeit a self-centered, materialistic one. Frequently hunting in flocks of four or five, harpies utilize their capabilities of flight and their alluring melody to their fullest extent in order to prosper from game, always keeping an aerial advantage on their targets, whom they choose with great tactical deliberation.

Design Note: See Flying Races (5e Guideline)

Physical Description[edit]

Society[edit]

Relations[edit]

Alignment and Religion[edit]

Adventurers[edit]

Harpy Racial Traits[edit]

  • +2 Dexterity, −2 Constitution, −4 Intelligence, +2 Charisma: These creatures are nimble and quick-witted, often reacting to given situations with acrobatic prowess, granting them a +2 racial bonus to Dexterity. Their thinner skeleton and leaner muscles, however, prove to make them overall weaker than other races, granting them a -2 racial deduction from Constitution. Moreover, being raised in an uncivilized environment with heavy traditional influences, harpies are slower to considering newer ideas and are almost always losing their train of thought, granting them a -4 racial deduction from Intelligence. When dedicated to pursuing prey or manipulating the masses, they have this uncanny, sometimes eerie ability to respond with considerable sycophantic appeal within conversation, granting them a +2 racial bonus to Charisma.
  • Medium Size:
  • Average Base Flying Speed: 60 feet.
  • Captivating Song (Su): A harpy’s song has the power to infect the minds of those that hear it, calling them to the harpy’s side. When a harpy sings, all creatures aside from other harpies within a 300-foot spread must succeed on a Will saving throw (DC 13 + the user's Charisma modifier) or become captivated. A creature that successfully saves is not subject to the same harpy’s song for the next 24 hours. A victim under the effects of the Captivating Song moves toward the harpy using the most direct means available. If the path leads them into a dangerous area such as through fire or off a cliff, that creature receives a second saving throw to end the effect before moving into peril. Captivated creatures can take no actions other than to defend themselves. A victim within 5 feet of the harpy simply stands and offers no resistance to the harpy’s attacks. This effect continues for as long as the harpy sings and for 1 round thereafter. This is a sonic mind-affecting charm effect.
  • Flight: Harpies are natural-born fliers with an incredible wingspan of more than twice their height. Grants 60 ft. of flying speed and +4 racial bonus to any Fly checks.
  • Natural Attack (talons): Lacking most tools (and the hands to utilize them), the harpy's feet are their primary means of attack besides its Captivating Song. Due to this creature's size, this attack does 1d4 + base attack bonus + Strength modifier of Slashing damage. Rather than receiving an additional natural attack with a higher attack bonus, harpies will receive an additional damage die for each appendage capable of unleashing the attack. These attacks do not count as unarmed attacks.

Alternate Racial Traits[edit]

  • −2 Strength, −4 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma: Some harpies are raised in more urban, innovative environments. They have adapted to become more civilized creatures whom live amongst the people, maintaining a fair, necessary diet. Because their ancestry requires them to be rather voracious entities, this shift in habitat proves to make these harpies overall weaker than those raised in the wild, granting them a -2 racial deduction to Strength and a -4 racial deduction to Constitution. However, this lifestyle has made their populations realize their ignorance of the surrounding world; absorbing education from other beings has allowed the harpies a +2 racial bonus in Intelligence. These ability scores replace the previous modifiers.

Player Character Balancing[edit]

The following traits are options for games wherein the Flight trait would ruin how the game is played. You cannot select these racial traits and maintain the Flight trait.

  • +2 Dexterity, −2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma: These creatures are nimble and quick-witted, often reacting to given situations with acrobatic prowess, granting them a +2 racial bonus to Dexterity. Being raised in an uncivilized environment with heavy traditional influences, harpies are slower to considering newer ideas and are almost always losing their train of thought, granting them a -2 racial deduction from Intelligence. Nevertheless, when dedicated to pursuing prey or manipulating the masses, harpies have an uncanny, sometimes eerie ability to respond with considerable sycophantic appeal within conversation, granting them a +2 racial bonus to Charisma.
  • −2 Constitution, +2 Intelligence, +2 Charisma: Some harpies are raised in more urban, innovative environments. They have adapted to become more civilized creatures whom live amongst the people, maintaining a fair, necessary diet. Because their ancestry requires them to be rather voracious entities, this shift in habitat proves to make these harpies overall weaker than those raised in the wild, granting them a -2 racial deduction to Constitution. However, this lifestyle has made their populations realize their ignorance of the surrounding world; absorbing education from other beings has allowed the harpies a +2 racial bonus in Intelligence. These ability scores replace the previous modifiers. Cannot also have the Beguiling Liar trait. Must have the Integrated trait (see below).
  • Gliding Wings: Harpy fledglings, although rare due to their hastened growth rate, are remarked to be excellent gliders. Some harpies never grow out of this gliding phase and may dedicate themselves to mastering it. Harpies with this trait take no damage from falling whatsoever (as if subject to a constant, non-magical feather fall spell). While midair, harpies can move up to 5 feet in any horizontal direction for every 1 foot they fall, at a speed of 60 feet per round. A harpy with gliding wings cannot gain height with these wings alone; it merely coasts in other directions as it falls. If subjected to a strong wind or any other effect that causes a creature with gliding wings to rise, it can take advantage of the updraft to increase the distance it can glide. Replaces Flight.
  • Beguiling Liar: Creatures of deceit, harpies are capable of manipulating persons with great prowess, even without their song. This grants them a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks to convince an opponent that what they are saying is true, even though they are telling a lie. Cannot be paired with the Integrated trait.
  • Integrated:
  • Stench Aura: Up close, harpies reek with the stench of consumed victims, and they rarely let creatures not yet captivated too near, lest they smell the gore and decay upon their unwashed feathers. This hideous smell manifests as a 15-foot aura that nearly every other creature finds offensive. All living creatures (except those with the stench aura ability) within the aura must succeed at a Fortitude saving throw (DC 10 + 1/2 the user’s character level + the user’s Constitution modifier) or be sickened for 5 rounds. Creatures that succeed at the saving throw cannot be sickened by the same harpy's stench aura for 24 hours. A delay poison or neutralize poison spell or similar effect removes the effect from the sickened creature. This is a poison effect.
  • Scent: Having been fastidious on their own personal odor in the past, and having trained to hone their hunting skills for serious game, harpies trade their filthy lifestyles away as to heighten their abilities to track the more flavorful scents around them. This creature gains the scent ability. Replaces Stench Aura.


Favored Class Options[edit]

Vital Statistics[edit]

Table: Harpy Random Starting Ages
Adulthood Intuitive1 Self-Taught2 Trained3
6 years +3d4 (9–18 years) +4d4 (10–22 years) +8d4 (14–38 years)
  1. This category includes barbarians, oracles, rogues, and sorcerers.
  2. This category includes bards, cavaliers, fighters, gunslingers, paladins, rangers, summoners, and witches.
  3. This category includes alchemists, clerics, druids, inquisitors, magi, monks, and wizards.
Table: Harpy Aging Effects
Middle Age1 Old2 Venerable3 Maximum Age
42 years 66 years 80 years 110 years
  1. At middle age, −1 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  2. At old age, −2 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
  3. At venerable age, −3 to Str, Dex, and Con; +1 to Int, Wis, and Cha.
Table: Harpy Random Height and Weight
Gender Base Height Height Modifier Base Weight Weight Modifier
Female 4'11" +2d4 inches 70 lb. 70 × () lb.

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