Birdlike beings with captivating voices, sirens are known for their musical talent and graceful figures. Capable not only of beautiful harmonies, but also of affecting reality with their voices alone, sirens are thought to be the original bards, crafting a magical art that then spread to other species.
Sirens are small humanoids, standing from 3 to almost 4 feet tall, with clear bird-like features. Sirens have arms that resemble wings but end in hands, taloned feet, and feathers that cover their limbs, and sometimes even their chests and backs. A siren’s head is always perfectly humanoid, though they can occasionally have feathers in place of hair. Even though sirens are usually thought of as females, males of this species exist as well. The main feature of a siren is, of course, its voice: they possess a wide vocal range, incredible breathing control, and are able to imitate almost any sound with their voices alone. A siren’s song, while mostly known for the power it has, is a key factor in courting between sirens, as the real test of love and compatibility is often an improvised duet, in which the real harmony between the couple is revealed. While sirens rarely actually need clothes, they may wear them according to the fashion of their residence. However, they love shiny jewels and are attracted to most precious stones and metals… and at times even those that are not actually so precious but just look shiny, making many sirens wear many accessories that have little worth, and often even poorer taste.
- Hit Die: a siren uses a d8 as Hit Die at every siren HD he or she gains.
- Ability Score Modifiers: sirens are graceful but delicate beings, possessing strong voices but weak limbs. They gain –2 Strength, +2 Dexterity, and +2 Charisma.
- Size: sirens are Small creatures and gain a +1 size bonus to their AC, a +1 size bonus on attack rolls, a –1 penalty to their Combat Maneuver Bonus and Combat Maneuver Defense, and a +4 size bonus on Stealth checks.
- Type: sirens are monstrous humanoids.
- Base Speed: sirens have a base speed of 20 feet on land, and they have a flight speed of 40 feet with good maneuverability.
- Languages: sirens begin play speaking Common. Sirens with high Intelligence scores can choose any language they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic). See the Linguistics skill page for more information about these languages.
- Terrain: mountains.
- Save DCs: Charisma-based.
- Starting Wealth: 3d6 × 10 gp (average 105gp.) In addition, each character begins play with an outfit worth 10 gp or less.
- Mythical Resistance: sirens are immune to sonic and language-dependant effects, though they can still benefit from bardic performance.
- Beguiling Liar: sirens gain a +4 racial bonus on Bluff checks to convince other creatures that what they are saying is true when they tell a lie.
- Gift of Tongues: sirens gain a +1 racial bonus on Bluff and Diplomacy checks, and they learn one additional language every time they put a rank in the Linguistics
- Siren’s Song: sirens gain a +2 racial bonus on Perform (singing) checks.
- Magical Linguist: sirens gain a +1 bonus to the DC of spells they cast that have the language-dependent descriptor or that create glyphs, symbols, or other magical writings. They also gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against such spells. Sirens with a Charisma score of 11 or higher also gain the following spell-like abilities (the caster level is equal to the user’s character leverl):
- Claws: sirens receive two talon attacks. These are primary attacks that deal 1d3 damage plus the siren’s Strength
- Darkvision: sirens can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
A siren’s class skills are: Acrobatics (Dex), Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Disguise (Cha), Escape Artist (Dex), Fly (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (all) (Int), Perception (Wis), Linguistics (Int),Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Sleight of Hand (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Stealth (Dex), and Use Magic Device (Cha).
Skill Ranks per Level: 6+ Int Modifier
|Level||Hit Die||Base Attack Bonus||Fort Save||Ref Save||Will Save||Special||Spells per Day|
|1st||1||+0||+0||+0||+2||[Feat], Bardic knowledge, cantrips, countersong, fascinate, maestro performance||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||3||+2||+1||+1||+3||[Feat], Maestro performance||3||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||4||+3||+1||+1||+4||[Ability score increase], Bonus feat||3||1||—||—||—||—|
|5th||5||+3||+1||+1||+4||[Feat], Maestro performance, maestro harmonics||4||2||—||—||—||—|
|6th||6||+4||+2||+2||+5||Suggestion, versatile performance||4||3||—||—||—||—|
|7th||7||+5||+2||+2||+5||[Feat], Maestro performance||4||3||1||—||—||—|
|8th||8||+6/+1||+2||+2||+6||[Ability score increase], Bonus feat||4||4||2||—||—||—|
|9th||9||+6/+1||+3||+3||+6||[Feat], Maestro performance||5||4||3||—||—||—|
|10th||10||+7/+2||+3||+3||+7||Sublime harmony, versatile performance||5||4||3||1||—||—|
|11th||11||+8/+3||+3||+3||+7||[Feat], Maestro performance||5||4||4||2||—||—|
||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||[Ability score increase], Bonus feat||5||5||4||3||—||—|
|13th||13||+9/+4||+4||+4||+8||[Feat], Maestro performance||5||5||4||3||1||—|
|14th||14||+10/+5||+4||+4||+9||Sublime harmony, versatile performance||5||5||4||4||2||—|
|15th||15||+11/+6/+1||+5||+5||+9||[Feat], Maestro performance, overtone performance 1/day||5||5||5||4||3||—|
|16th||16||+12/+7/+2||+5||+5||+10||[Ability score increase], Bonus feat||5||5||5||4||3||1|
|17th||17||+13/+8/+3||+5||+5||+10||[Feat], Maestro performance, overtone performance 2/day||5||5||5||4||4||2|
|18th||18||+14/+9/+4||+6||+6||+11||Sublime harmony, versatile performance||5||5||5||5||4||3|
|19th||19||+15/+10/+5||+6||+6||+11||[Feat], Maestro performance, overtone performance 3/day||5||5||5||5||5||4|
|20th||20||+15/+10/+5||+6||+6||+12||[Ability score increase], Maestro masterpiece||5||5||5||5||5||5|
All of the following are class features of the siren.
Sirens are proficient with all simple weapons, longsword, rapier, sap, shortsword, shortbow, and whip. Sirens are also proficient in the use of light armor and shields (except tower shields). A siren can cast her bard spells while wearing light armor and using a shield without incurring the normal arcane spell failure chance.
A siren casts arcane spells drawn from the bard spell list. She can cast any spell she knows without preparing it ahead of time. Every bard spell has a verbal component (singing, reciting, or music). To learn or cast a spell, a siren must have a Charisma score equal to at least 10 + the spell level. The Difficulty Class for a saving throw against a siren’s spell is 10 + the spell level + the siren’s Charisma modifier.
Like other spellcasters, a siren can cast only a certain number of spells of each spell level per day. Her base daily spell allotment is given on TABLE: Siren’s Spells per Day. In addition, she receives bonus spells per day if she has a high Charisma score.
The siren’s selection of spells is extremely limited. A siren begins play knowing four 0-level spells and two 1st-level spells of her choice. At each new siren level, she gains one or more new spells as indicated on TABLE: Siren’s Spells Known. Unlike spells per day, the number of spells a siren knows is not affected by her Charisma score.
Upon reaching 5th level, and at every third siren level after that (8th, 11th, and so on), a siren can choose to learn a new spell in place of one she already knows. In effect, the siren loses the old spell in exchange for the new one. The new spell’s level must be the same as that of the spell being exchanged, and it must be at least one level lower than the highest-level bard spell the siren can cast. A siren may swap only a single spell at any given level, and must choose whether or not to swap the spell at the same time that she gains new spells known for the level.
A siren need not prepare her spells in advance. She can cast any spell she knows at any time, assuming she has not yet used up her allotment of spells per day of the spell’s level.
Sirens learn a number of cantrips, or 0-level spells, as noted on the table above under “Spells Known.” These spells are cast like any other spell, but they do not consume any slots and may be used again.
- Maestro Masterpieces
- Maestro Performances
A siren is trained to use the Perform skill to create magical effects on those around her, including herself if desired.
She can use this ability for a number of rounds per day equal to 4 + her Charisma modifier. At each level after 1st a siren can use maestro performance for 3 additional rounds per day.
Each round, the siren can produce any one of the types of maestro performance that she has mastered, as indicated by her level. Starting a maestro performance is a standard action, but it can be maintained each round as a free action. Changing a maestro performance from one effect to another requires the siren to stop the previous performance and start a new one as a standard action.
A maestro performance cannot be disrupted, but it ends immediately if the siren is killed, paralyzed, stunned, knocked unconscious, or otherwise prevented from taking a free action to maintain it each round. A siren cannot have more than one maestro performance in effect at one time.
At 11th level, a siren can start a maestro performance as a move action rather than a standard action.
Each maestro performance relies only on audible components, therefore the targets must be able to hear the siren for the performance to have any effect, and such performances are language-dependent effects. A deaf siren has a 20% chance to fail when attempting to use a maestro performance. If she fails this check, the attempt still counts against her daily limit. Deaf creatures are immune to maestro performances.
A siren’s repertoire includes a limited subset of a bardic performances, and a wider array of powerful melodies with extraordinary powers. At the indicated levels, a siren learns the countersong, fascinate, and suggestion performances.
Additionally, at 1st level, 3rd level, and every two levels thereafter, a siren learns a single maestro performance. To learn a maestro performance, the siren must have the indicated number of ranks in any one auditory-based Performance skill.
Unlike normal bardic performances, maestro performances have a base effect as well as a stronger effect that can be activated separately, which is called a refrain. While the base effect follows all the normal rules for bardic performance, the refrain functions much like a separate ability, is not a language-dependent effect (unless specified), and has full effect on deaf creatures.
Activating the refrain of a maestro performance is a standard action that consumes 1 round of maestro performance and requires the siren to make a Perform check in an auditory-based Perform skill of her choice. The DC of this check is equal to 10 + the minimum number of ranks needed to learn the maestro performance + 1/2 the siren’s level.
If the siren fails the check by 10 or more, the refrain has no effect and the use is wasted. If the siren fails the check by less than 10, the refrain has its base effect. If the siren succeeds at the check, the refrain has an intermediate effect. If the siren succeeds at this check by 10 or more, the refrain has a stronger effect.
The specific effect of each maestro performance and their refrains is described below; however, all ,maestro performances are supernatural effects, while all the refrains are spell-like abilities (unless differently specified), against which spell resistance is applied. The concentration needed to activate a refrain is not compatible with the effort of flying, so a siren cannot activate a refrain while flying. [Bard – Bardic Performance]
List of base maestro performances
Countersong (Su): At 1st level, a siren learns to counter magic effects that depend on sound (but not spells that have verbal components). Each round of the countersong she makes a Perform (keyboard, percussion, wind, string, or sing) skill check. Any creature within 30 feet of the siren that is affected by a sonic or language-dependent magical attack may use the siren’s Perform check result in place of its saving throw if, after the saving throw is rolled, the Perform check result proves to be higher. If a creature within range of the countersong is already under the effect of a non-instantaneous sonic or language-dependent magical attack, it gains another saving throw against the effect each round it hears the countersong, but it must use the siren’s Perform skill check result for the save. Countersong does not work on effects that don’t allow saves. Countersong relies on audible components. [Bard – Countersong]
Fascinate (Su): At 1st level, a siren can use her performance to cause one or more creatures to become fascinated with her. Each creature to be fascinated must be within 90 feet, able to see and hear the siren, and capable of paying attention to her. The siren must also be able to see the creatures affected. The distraction of a nearby combat or other dangers prevents the ability from working. For every three levels a siren has attained beyond 1st, she can target one additional creature with this ability. Each creature within range receives a Will save to negate the effect. If a creature’s saving throw succeeds, the siren cannot attempt to fascinate that creature again for 24 hours. If its saving throw fails, the creature sits quietly and observes the performance for as long as the siren continues to maintain it. While fascinated, a target takes a –4 penalty on skill checks made as reactions, such as Perception checks. Any potential threat to the target allows the target to make a new saving throw against the effect. Any obvious threat, such as someone drawing a weapon, casting a spell, or aiming a weapon at the target, automatically breaks the effect. Fascinate is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting ability. Fascinate relies on audible and visual components in order to function. [Bard – Fascinate]
Suggestion (Sp): A siren of 6th level or higher can use her performance to make a suggestion (as per the spell) to a creature that she has already fascinated (see above). Using this ability does not disrupt the fascinate effect, but it does require a standard action to activate (in addition to the free action to continue the fascinate effect). A siren can use this ability more than once against an individual creature during an individual performance. A Will saving throw negates the effect. This ability affects only a single creature (but see mass suggestion, below). Suggestion is an enchantment (compulsion), mind-affecting, language-dependent ability and relies on audible components. [Bard – Suggestion]
At 2nd level, a siren can choose one type of Perform skill. She can use her bonus in that skill in place of her bonus in associated skills. When substituting in this way, the siren uses her total Perform skill bonus, including class skill bonus, in place of its associated skill’s bonus, whether or not she has ranks in that skill or if it is a class skill. At 6th level, and every 4 levels thereafter, the siren can select an additional type of Perform to substitute. The types of Perform and their associated skills are: act (Bluff, Disguise), comedy (Bluff, Intimidate), dance (Acrobatics, Fly), keyboard instruments (Diplomacy, Intimidate), oratory (Diplomacy, Sense Motive), percussion (Handle Animal, Intimidate), sing (Bluff, Sense Motive), string (Bluff, Diplomacy), and wind (Diplomacy, Handle Animal). [Bard – Versatile Performance]
At 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, and 16th level, a siren gains a bonus feat from the following list: Basic Harmony, Battle Cry, Charming Performance, Compelling Harmony, Counterpoint to Inspiration, Discordant Voice, Extra Performance, Harmonic Sage, Harmonic Spell, Hymn Singer, Insightful Advice, Intimidating Performance, Lingering Performance, Prodigy, Rouse Emotions, Spellsong, Voice of the Sybil. The siren must meet all requirements for the feats gained this way.
At 5th level, a siren can use her knowledge of music to enhance or disrupt other performances. Both effects require the siren to use a swift action and spend one daily round of maestro performance. If maestro harmonics is used to enhance a performance, the siren chooses one bardic performance – or similar performance-based effect – originating from a creature within 30 feet and, until her next round, the range it affects is doubled. If maestro harmonics is used to disrupt a performance, the siren chooses one bardic performance – or similar performance-based effect – originating from a creature within 30 feet and makes an opposed Perform check against the originating creature. Success means the effect is suppressed until the end of the siren’s next turn. If the siren’s check beats the opponent’s by 10 or more, the effect is suppressed for 1 extra round for each 10 points, and the creature cannot start a different performance for that duration.
At 10th level, and again at 14th and 18th level, the siren chooses any one maestro performance that she knows. She can activate the refrain of that performance even when she is maintaining a different maestro performance. Doing so spends an additional round of maestro performance and gives a –5 penalty to the Perform check.
Starting from 15th level, the siren can use a move action to initiate a maestro performance while maintaining another maestro performance. While two maestro performances are in effect at the same time, the siren can choose which refrain to activate, but cannot activate both at the same time. While maintaining an overtone performance, the siren expends two daily rounds of maestro performance each round and, at the end of the performance, she is fatigued for a number of rounds equal to how long she maintained the overtone performance. A siren can use overtone performance once per day at 15th level, twice per day at 17th level, and three times per day at 19th level.
At 20th level, a siren composes an absolute masterpiece filled with power. The siren learns one performance from the masterpiece list if she meets the requirements for it. If the siren does not meet the requirements for any masterpiece, she instead learns 3 regular maestro performances. A maestro masterpiece can only be activated by spending a round of maestro performance as a standard action while maintaining one of the maestro performances that are required to learn it, effectively taking the place of the previous performance. Activating the refrain of a maestro masterpiece is a full-round action and consumes 3 daily rounds of maestro performance. Apart from the above, a maestro masterpiece follows all the rules of a regular maestro performance.
Of Stranger Bonds, © 2019, Alessandro Passera