Like their spiritual cousins, the houri, pipers are a fairly common halfbreed that does well in the world. The children of elves (or humans) and satyrs, pipers inherit power over music, an affinity for the natural world and a certain carefree attitude from their fey heritage, which is counterbalanced by the stability and focus of their more mortal blood. Pipers seek out the company of others and walk through mortal societies as vibrant, joyful souls that brighten the world around them
Pipers look mostly human or elven, with small horns that protrude from their forehead and a slight curve to their pointed ears. Pipers may or may not have cloven hooves instead of feet. In terms of dress, pipers tend to favor light, unrestricting clothing and armor and tend to dress to attract and allure, or to enhance performances if the piper intends on playing for others. Pipers tend to either dress in bright, flashy colors or in natural ones that help them blend into the woodlands. Pipers tend towards small, tasteful pieces of jewelry rather than bangles or thick necklaces, mostly so that they don’t snag on things in the event that a swift escape needs to be made.
Pipers can be stereotyped by others as being a race of fun-loving swindlers, not necessarily without cause. Pipers do inherit a carefree joy from their fey parentage, and their charm and vibrancy draws lovers and rubes to them with equal ease. Not every piper actually takes advantage of that, though, especially since they are typically raised by their mortal parent with almost no influence from the satyr who sired (or birthed) them. Many pipers learn responsibility and stability from the mortal societies that raise them and know that there’s a time and place to cut loose and a time to be a lot more serious about matters. Piper emotions, for better or worse, are extremely intense. That passion can inspire others, but it also means that pipers suffering from grief, loss, and fury know pain that others sometimes have trouble understanding.
Pipers tend to fall into one of two categories, romantically. Some take after their satyr parent and take many casual lovers that they feel no real attachment to. Others, especially those whose mortal parent had their heart broken by a satyr’s lies, are cautious about love and deal only in firmly committed relationships. Piper friendships are fierce, and a piper may be the heart and soul of her group of friends. Some handle the pressure of the role better than others.
The overwhelming majority of pipers are raised by single parents or, at the very least, with the knowledge that they are the product of a one-night stand or even infidelity. They may grow up with stigma for being an “illegitimate” child, or their native culture may not care. In either event, pipers grow into fierce emotions, joy, and music early in their lives—blessings and curses from their fey blood. Even those pipers who grow up facing discrimination about their origins gather admirers easily, sometimes to the frustration of parents and elders.
Eventually, pipers leave home. They are seemingly incapable of settling down in one place for too long, and even though some —perhaps most—try to make a stable life for themselves where they are born, they inevitably leave, looking for something they never really find. Pipers pick up a smattering of skills and professions during their wanderings, mostly becoming good at a little bit of everything, and never have trouble working for a hot meal and a roof over their head. For many pipers, these mundane concerns help keep them grounded in the real world and remember why they aren’t supposed to use and abuse people. Some need the reminder much more than others.
Many pipers end up as adventurers, either part-time (when they feel like a job is easy, or the mood strikes them) or full time, attached to paramilitary companies or chartered adventuring parties. The vast and overwhelming majority of pipers become bards, with druids, rangers, and oracles taking up the minority of their adventuring skill set. Pipers understand that adventuring is a serious job, but they get fed up pretty quickly with people who think that just because something is serious it can’t also be fun, and also tend to get irritated with stealth -oriented teammates who insist they be quiet or still their music. Pipers tend not to like dour races like dwarves and orcs, and keep the company of halflings, gnomes, elves, and humans instead.
Ability Score Adjustments
Medium: Pipers are Medium creatures and thus have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Other Racial Traits
Speed: Pipers have a base speed of 30 feet.
Forest Slip (Ex) A piper may move through any sort of undergrowth at her normal speed and without taking damage or suffering any other impairment. Terrain magically manipulated to impede motion, however, still affect her. Pipers also gain a +2 racial bonus on Stealth checks in forests.
Pipes of Panic (Sp): A piper able to make music can cause a number of things to happen. They gain the following as spell -like abilities usable once per day each, at a caster level equal to their character level: charm person, sleep, and cause fear. The piper may not use these spell-like abilities if it cannot make sound (such as within the area of a silence spell).
Musical Composition (Ex) Pipers who cast spells make music rather than speaking the normal incantations of a spell’s verbal component; they increase the Spellcraft DC to identify spells they cast by 5 and gain a +1 bonus to the save DC of bard spells they cast.
Low-light vision (Ex) Pipers can see twice as far as humans in dim light.
Languages: Pipers begin play speaking Common and Sylvan. Pipers with high Intelligence scores can choose any languages they want (except secret languages, such as Druidic).
Alternate Racial Traits
Forlarren Tainted (Sp): Some pipers resemble the blighted fey known as the forlarren. While these beings normally cannot have children their relation is attested to in the most obvious form; they lack the ability to weave magic through their pipes but can cast heat metal and hold animal as spell-like abilities up to once per day each. This replaces pipes of panick.
Satyr Aptitudes (Ex) Some pipers have a talent for the things a satyr is known for. They gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception, Perform, and Stealth and these are always treated as class skills. This racial trait replaces musical composition.
Satyrical Horns (Ex) Some pipers lack the musical tone of the satyr. These pipers are sometimes jokingly referred to as “bleaters” due to their normal voice. For whatever reason, these piper’s horns are always more forward facing, allowing them to be used as a weapon. The piper gains a gore attack that deals 1d6 damage. This replaces musical composition.
Favored Class Options
Alchemist: Add +10 minute to the duration of mutagens.
Summoner: Add +1/4 evolution points.
Witch: Gain 1/6 of a new hex.
Bloodforge, © 2017, Dreamscarred Press, LLC; Author: Matthew Ryan Medeiros, Jade Ripley, based on material by Owen K.C. Stephens