The Slayer's Guide to Harpies
Harpies may appear to be mere monsters rather than a race of intelligent beings. Their hideous appearance and malicious cruelty certainly make it seem as if this were the case. For harpies are more than just winged terrors with which to frighten earthbound characters. They are living embodiments of the divine wrath of Shala, Goddess of Storms and Mistress of Thunder. Looked at in this light, they acquire additional levels of interest, making them a suitable subject for not merely a single encounter or even adventure, but perhaps of an entire series of scenarios.
Harpies are cruel and vicious monsters that delight in the suffering of others. They also elevate selfishness and narcissism to new heights, in their constant drive to establish their superiority over “lesser” species like humans, dwarves, and elves. Yet, many Games Masters probably consider harpies no better than animals, unthinking brutes that can be used to challenge low to mid-level adventurers once creatures like orcs and hobgoblins cease to pose a threat to them. Unfortunately, this fails to take into account the unique strengths and abilities of the harpy, which, when used properly, allows them to be used as opponents for even higher-level characters. The Slayer’s Guide to Harpies is designed to provide the GM with ideas on how to do just that.
Harpies may appear to be mere monsters rather than a race of intelligent beings. Their hideous appearance and malicious cruelty certainly make it seem as if this were the case. For harpies are more than just winged terrors with which to frighten earthbound characters. They are living embodiments of the divine wrath of Shala, Goddess of Storms and Mistress of Thunder. Looked at in this light, they acquire additional levels of interest, making them a suitable subject for not merely a single encounter or even adventure, but perhaps of an entire series of scenarios. Harpies have the potential to become an example of how deities interact with their devotees and enemies in a fantasy campaign, which is why they are far more than a collection of attacks and special abilities.
The information presented in these pages is presented as if scholars and sages of a fantasy setting had collected it. In many cases, this information is fragmentary or conjectural. This is done so as to leave some elements mysterious and open to the choice of the Games Master (multiple explanations are offered from which to choose), preventing players who read this book from knowing all the answers in advance. Game-related material is presented in boxed texts throughout and is intended to add spice to harpy encounters. Whilst many players are prepared to deal with the captivating song of the harpy, how many would know what to do when faced with a harpy bard whose song can overcome measures set against it? These and similar rules expansions and additions make the harpy a beast no adventurer will soon forget – if he lives to tell the tale.
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