I am running a modified Odyssey of the Dragonlords campaign called Clash of the Titans. My players are at the end of the campaign as written investigating the tower of the big-bad. I wanted to have a beholder at some point in the game, but beholders dont really fit a Greco-Roman campaign. So I created the Harpy Noble. For those familiar this encounter triggered when the PCs tried to free the captive silver dragon Nephele by trying to smash the adamantine locks – causing a massive raucous and drawing the attention of the harpy noble Juno. One character died in this encounter after eating 3 death rays – but was reincarnated as an ogre-magi (oni) triggered by a magic item he has been carrying since level 3 or 4 – a crystal skull which he knew was magical but they could never figure out what it did. I use the AD&D reincarnation table for this spell. This encounter wasn’t just dangerous because of the harpy noble, but I allowed her minion harpies to stack their songs. So the party had to make six wisdom saving throws not to be charmed and incacpacited. They would then need to break the charm for each fail they go – or kill the harpy singing/stunning them.
I got the idea of a harpy noble from Everquest, where the leadership of the harpies have medusa heads. A head of snake hair works quite well as eye-stalks.
NB: I use an abbreviated stat block for my monsters. Just makes them easier to read in combat and easier to convert to other games like OSR. It should be easy to decipher. One call out, I use the AC number for all DCs as well.
Medium monstrosity, lawful evil
AC 18, HP 180, Speed 20 ft., fly 40 ft. (hover)
DEX +2, CON +4, INT +8, WIS +7, CHA +8; +5
Skills Perception +12
Senses Darkvision 120 ft., Passive Perception 22
Languages Deep Speech, Undercommon
CR 13 (10,000 XP)
Antimagic Stare. The harpy noble’s humanoid eyes can affect a creature with antimagic, as in the antimagic field spell, up to a 150-foot away. All spellcasters cannot cast spells unless the target averts its eyes. A creature that is the focus of the harpy noble also has its magic items suppressed.
Snake Hair. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4d6 piercing damage.
Luring Song. The harpy noble sings a magical melody. Every humanoid and giant within 300 feet of her that can hear the song must succeed on a WIS saving throw or be charmed until the song ends. The harpy must take a bonus action on its subsequent turns to continue singing. It can stop singing at any time. The song ends if the harpy is incapacitated. While charmed by the harpy, a target is incapacitated and ignores the songs of other harpies. If the charmed target is more than 5 feet away from the harpy, the target must move on its turn toward the harpy by the most direct route, trying to get within 5 feet. It doesn’t avoid opportunity attacks, but before moving into damaging terrain, such as lava or a pit, and whenever it takes damage from a source other than the harpy, the target can repeat the saving throw. A charmed target can also repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns. If the saving throw is successful, the effect ends on it. A target that successfully saves is immune to this harpy’s song for the next 24 hours.
Snake Eyes. The harpy noble shoots three of the following magical eye rays from a snake head at random (reroll duplicates), choosing one to three targets she can see within 120 feet of her:
- Charm Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be charmed by the beholder for 1 hour, or until the beholder harms the creature.
- Paralyzing Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Constitution saving throw or be paralyzed for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
- Fear Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or be frightened for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
- Slowing Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the target’s speed is halved for 1 minute. In addition, the creature can’t take reactions, and it can take either an action or a bonus action on its turn, not both. The creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
- Enervation Ray.The targeted creature must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw, taking 36 (8d8)necrotic damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.
- Telekinetic Ray.If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Strength saving throw or the beholder moves it up to 30 feet in any direction. It is restrained by the ray’s telekinetic grip until the start of the beholder’s next turn or until the beholder is incapacitated.
If the target is an object weighing 300 pounds or less that isn’t being worn or carried, it is moved up to 30 feet in any direction. The beholder can also exert fine control on objects with this ray, such as manipulating a simple tool or opening a door or a container.
- Sleep Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or fall asleep and remain unconscious for 1 minute. The target awakens if it takes damage or another creature takes an action to wake it. This ray has no effect on constructs and undead.
- Petrification Ray.The targeted creature must make a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw. On a failed save, the creature begins to turn to stone and is restrained. It must repeat the saving throw at the end of its next turn. On a success, the effect ends. On a failure, the creature is petrified until freed by the greater restoration spell or other magic.
- Disintegration Ray.If the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take 45 (10d8) force damage. If this damage reduces the creature to 0 hit points, its body becomes a pile of fine gray dust.
If the target is a Large or smaller nonmagical object or creation of magical force, it is disintegrated without a saving throw. If the target is a Huge or larger object or creation of magical force, this ray disintegrates a 10-foot cube of it.
- Death Ray.The targeted creature must succeed on a DC 16 Dexterity saving throw or take 55 (10d10)necrotic damage. The target dies if the ray reduces it to 0 hit points.
Legendary Actions x3
- Snake Eyes. The harpy noble uses one random snake eye.
- Luring Song. The harpy noble uses luring song.
She will be accompanied by [number of party members+1] normal harpies that each have 1 hit point.