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Harpies are humanoids with feathery bird wings for arms. Their arms still function like human arms, including hands. These wings are strong enough to allow for flight, allowing harpies a great amount of maneuverability.

A harpy’s body is covered in layers of feathers, and their feet end in sharp talons. Otherwise, a harpy has the same features as a human, although their skin tones are redder.

The First Bards

Harpies were the first bards. Their voices are naturally magical and have the ability to influence the minds of others. They founded the first bardic colleges, places devoted to learning vocal magic.

As word of these magical institutions spread, they attracted interest from traveling adventurers and musicians. Colleges began to specialize in different forms of magic and musical training, diverting from the original goals of the first bardic colleges.


Artistic expression is important among harpies. Singing is the most obvious example, but dance, theater, and opera are all highly valued.

All harpies receive some form of performing arts training during their youth, and artistic expression plays a part in milestone events during a harpy’s life. When a harpy turns 14 years old, they are expected to put on a small performance for the community as a sign that they are ready to be treated as a participating member.

High Homes

Harpy communities and their bardic colleges are usually built in high, hard-to-reach locations, such as the tops of mountains.

Harpies can utilize their flight to easily access these locations, which are much harder for land-based creatures to reach. If attacked, harpies can use their mystical harpy song to lure foes into a dangerous fall.

Harpy Names

Harpy names often incorporate elements of art like music and dance.

Example Names: Hrathka, Orlando Songcaller, Diya.

Harpy Traits

You gain the following traits as a harpy.

  • Ability Score Increase. You gain a +2 and +1 bonus to two different ability scores of your choice, or +1 to three different ones.
  • Age. Harpies mature and age at the same rate as humans do.
  • Size. Harpies are generally built like humans. Your size is Medium.
  • Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet.
  • Harpy Flight (Major Feature). You have a flying speed of 30 feet. To use this speed, you can’t be wearing medium or heavy armor. Additionally, you must use your arms to fly. If you stop using your arms to fly, such as for making an attack or casting a spell, you begin falling.
  • Languages. You can speak, read, and write Common and Giant.

Major Features

Choose one of the following major features.

  • Harpy Song. As an action, you begin singing a song. All creatures within 30 feet of you that can hear you must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw or be charmed until the song ends. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. You must take a bonus action on subsequent turns to continue singing. You can stop singing at any time. The song ends if you are incapacitated. Any creature that is charmed by you must end its turn closer to you than it was when its turn started unless it was 5 feet away from you. A charmed target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a successful save. You can maintain singing for up to 1 minute. After you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a long rest.
  • Mesmerize. You can weave subtle magic into a conversation or performance. If you spend at least one minute talking to a creature or performing while they’re watching, you can attempt to charm them as a free action. They must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. The DC for this saving throw is 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed saving throw they are charmed by you for as long as the conversation or performance lasts, and up to 1 minute after. While charmed in this way, the target is inclined to think positively about your ideas or suggestions, although they have enough sense to not harm themselves or do anything drastically against their nature. A creature is not aware of this effect when the condition ends or if they succeed on the saving throw. Once you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
  • Sonic Scream. As an action, you unleash powerful sonic scream in a 15-foot cone. Each creature in the area must make a Dexterity saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus. A creature takes 2d6 thunder damage on a failed save and half as much damage on a successful one. The damage increases to 3d6 at 6th level, 4d6 at 11th level, and 5d6 at 16th level. After you use this ability, you can’t use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Minor Features

Choose two of the following minor features.

  • Bardic Cantrip. You know one bard cantrip of your choice. Charisma is your spellcasting ability score for it.
  • Fluent. You can speak, read, and write two additional languages of your choice.
  • Oldest Bard. You have proficiency in the Arcana skill.
  • Performer. You have proficiency in the Performance skill and one instrument or art tool of your choice.
  • Sonic Resistance. You have resistance to thunder damage.
  • Talons. Your talons are natural weapons, which you can use to make unarmed strikes. If you hit with them, you deal slashing damage equal to 1d4 + your Strength modifier, instead of the normal bludgeoning damage for an unarmed attack. This attack doesn’t cause you to begin falling if you are flying with your harpy flight. Your natural weapons are considered to have the light and finesse weapon properties. They are not weapons, but attacks with them are considered weapon attacks. This means that you can use your natural weapons for effects like the paladin’s divine smite, but feats like dual wielder do not apply the AC bonus.
  • Trained Tools. You have proficiency in two tools of your choice.
  • Winged Descent. You take half damage from falling.
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Ancestry Awakened: Copyright 2021, Pirate Gonzalez Games: Author Timothy Gonzalez