Tabletop Review: Legendary Races: Harpy
by William Cohen on September 17, 2012

Legendary Races: Harpy
Publisher: Purple Duck Games
Pages: 34 pages
Cost: 5.49 (PDF)
Release Date: 07/12/2012
Get It Here: DriveThruRPG.com

Introduction: This thirty-four page PDF introduces a wonderful amount of information on one of the most horrid monsters ever to haunt the imaginations of role-players, the harpy. This supplement is for the Pathfinder campaign system, but can be easily modified to fit in any fantasy game setting with little or no difficulty. After carefully reading this supplement, my group of Pathfinder players agreed with my general assessment that this product as a whole breathes new life into the stereotypical harpy that most gamers are accustomed to from earlier editions of the game.

Contents: Within this supplement is contained a lot of information on harpies and their lot. Topics such as their creation via old legends, harpy physiology, habitat and society of the harpy, different types of harpies to include the civilized harpy, archetypes that harpies can assume, harpy feats, harpy adventurers, equipment that harpy use, spells, and so on. The amount of information is absolutely awesome. After reading and playtesting some of the content within, the harpy has gone through a phenomenal revision that will amaze the players who encounter them on their travels in whatever fantasy campaign system is utilized.

Some of the highlights that I personally found worthwhile, of great interest, and of possible use in a future game or so was the concept of civilized harpies. No longer are all harpies considered brutal man-killing machines of pure evil, but now, they can be members of the local populace in a city setting. The civilized harpies are not full fledged harpies, but a mere variant, so they do not get all the natural abilities that most enjoy from the monster book of choice, but gain them while gaining experience points and leveling. I found the overall design of the harpy class to be balanced in almost every aspect. Well done job on this new race.

The sections on the harpies physiology, habitat, and society will assist a DM greatly in ensuring that harpies are presented in such a way that makes sense based on the information given. Also, the information on how harpies use classes provide a whole array of new concepts as far as abilities for those classes. The thought of encountering a raged harpy barbarian , a bomb-throwing harpy alchemist, or a spell-slinging harpy sorcerer is just too good to describe. The concept of a hex-throwing harpy witch was just too classy. Two harpy archetypes were presented; the Black Pit Corrupter (antipaladin) and the Goetic Summoner (summoner) and those will challenge a party of adventurers with considerable danger.

The Harpidite is introduced in this supplement as a throwback and not as a crossbreed. These harpidites are more human in appearance, more beautiful in appearance, unable to fly due to smaller wings, and usually driven away by their harpy kin to be raised by humans or other races. The harpidite race and class is covered in great detail and surprisingly very balanced. Along with all the general traits, bonuses to stats, natural abilities and whatnot, a whole list of feats specifically for this harpidite race is provided, making them very diverse in their choices if they were to be adventurers.

Since I am on the subject of Harpy adventurers, there are some examples of those provided. Pazuzu, King of the Wind Demons who is widely worshiped by those of the harpy/harpidite race is mentioned, and all relevant information, such as stat blocks and domain (for clerics) are provided on this very evil entity.

Harpies, like any other intelligent tool-utilizing race, can use equipment just as well as their enemies. A section is provided on some of the equipment they can utilize, whether it be magical items, armor, or weapons.

A section covers a variety of harpies which will certainly prove dangerous to encounter, such as the Vortex Harpy, Reaper Harpy, Feaster Harpy, Famine Harpy and others… a comprehensive list of spells are also provided that have been specifically designed for harpies that both adventurers and wandering encounters can utilize to their advantage.

Positive Notes: This is one of the better third party supplements that I truly enjoyed reading on my off nights. My Pathfinder group found it to be very fulfilling in many areas, and it certainly brought light unto a very misinterpreted race, albeit a deadly one. The art contained was good. The document as a whole was brilliantly designed and it was easy to read. It was well formatted and the large number of stat blocks provided for all of the additional monsters and so on were superbly done. I found the inclusion of classes from the Pathfinder Advanced Player’s Guide to be exemplary. Overall, the information provided in this PDF was stunning. It will provide a ton of information for many a gaming session and, once again, allowed an infamous creature to reenter the game as a more powerful adversary for the players to encounter.

Negative Notes: The harpy has always been portrayed as an evil race and I found it slightly odd that the civilized harpy race can be any alignment. Despite the fact that the civilized harpy is discarded to be left for dead, slain by another horrible creature, or destroyed by fearful villagers, the civilized harpy’s alignment would be limited to any non-good due to its very nature. DM’s who allow this race to be played by the player’s will have to make that determination. More art would have been nice but the well done content within made up for that.

Overall Review: This is a superb product. It is impressive in every detail provided and the information contained will ensure a DM has many a surprise for his/her players. The concepts contained will keep the players on edge as they encounter the new and revised harpy as never seen before. This is certainly a must have in any DM’s repertoire of monster books/PDF’s.



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William Cohen

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  • Mark Gedak

    Thanks for the review.

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