Harpies have a reputation as foul and despicable creatures, yet this is not in fact true of all creatures with harpy ancestry. Indeed, some harpies hail from an older ancestral line of divine servants who were created to punish the vicious, carrying them off to be judged by the gods or harrying them and stealing their food. Those who descend from this ancient and venerable line of harpies continue to this day, though few now serve as instruments of divine justice explicitly.

Ancestral Traits

Those of harpy ancestry have the legs, talons, and wings of a giant vulture and the torso, arms and head of a human. More often than not, harpies are assigned female at birth, but all genders can be found among the harpies. Harpies tend to have certain traits.

Age. Harpies mature at the same rate as humans and live for about as long.

Size. Harpies are the same height as humans, though they rarely weigh more than one hundred pounds. Your size is Medium.

Speed. Your base speed is 30 feet.

Talons. Harpies have sharp talons on their feet. You can scratch as an unarmed strike. On a hit, you deal piercing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier. You can also grip things with your feet while you fly, though you cannot manipulate objects beyond picking them up and dropping them.

Vulture Wings. A harpy’s wings are functional, but small given the harpy’s size. You have a flying speed equal to your current speed, but only if you are not wearing medium or heavy armor. At 1st level, you fall if you end your turn in the air with nothing holding you aloft. When you reach 5th level, you may remain aloft for up to 2 hours per day, all at once or in several shorter flights. You regain one hour of flying time when you complete a long rest.

Cultural Traits

Harpy communities are usually found in remote areas, often in the mountains.

Despite their isolation and reputation, harpy communities welcome visitors and tend to make good hosts. Among their cultural practices, harpy communities excel at music and song, including it in their children’s education from a young age. Harpy towns usually have at least several vibrant faith communities as well, perhaps a vestige of the divine calling of harpy ancestry long ago.

Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2 and your Charisma by 1.

Alignment. Harpy communities tend to respect individuality and privacy, though their communities also tend to be harmonious places. Even so, they lean toward chaos.

Musical Savants. Those who grow up in harpy communities are taught to develop music and performance from a young age. You have proficiency in Performance and with one musical instrument of your choice. When you roll Performance to sing a pleasing song, you roll with advantage.

Divine Heritage. Though most of those of harpy ancestry no longer serve the gods as instruments of retribution, there is still a strong tradition of religious practice in harpy communities. You have proficiency in Religion.

Languages. You speak, read, and write Common and Celestial.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

More Ancestries & Cultures, Copyright 2020, Arcanist Press LLP.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page