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The Siren is a female monster from Classical Mythology, best known for using its hypnotically alluring voice to lure men to their deaths on jagged rocks. Due to various conflicting descriptions, sirens have often been confused with or even combined with the harpy or the mermaid in many /tg/ media.
The siren first appeared in Advanced Dungeons & Dragons as the Sirine; a nymph with a deep spiritual connection to the sea. Described as often having yellow-green, green or blue skin and silver or dark green hair, they are an isolationist and contemplative species, caring for little more than to find themselves a secluded den close to the sea or on the sea where they can sit, think and sing. They want nothing from society and contribute nothing to it, except maybe misery by their lashing at out people who disturb them. They can cast Charm Person 1/day via their song, causing it to affect every listener within 30 feet, and can use fog cloud, polymorph self, and improved invisibility 1/day each; all of their spell-like abilities are cast as if by an 11th level mage. They can also reduce anyone foolish enough to let them touch them to babbling imbeciles, dropping their Intelligence down to 2.
Sirines would later make their way to 3.5 in the Monster Manual 2.
In Birthright, where most monsters are unique creatures, the Siren is actually a bit odd among awnsheigh in that she isn't a horrible murderous monster. Once a normal singer with minor Azrai blood, she was tainted, Phantom of the Opera style, by a mysterious tutor who lured her into the dark world and brought her bloodline powers to the forefront, rendering her incapable of speaking without blasting everyone in front of her with a huge cone of sonic damage. Resisting the dark urges of her Azrai bloodline, the Siren ended up wandering, accidentally destroying a few barns, until she happened upon the Dusk Man, another awnsheigh and a brutal tyrant, engaging in the traditional awnsheigh pasttime of rapacity upon a local family. They briefly contested powers, and then she gigged him in the heart when he started monologing about how her strength would soon be his. Now, she's the ruler of his holdings.
Life's rough there, but she has a tight-knit court of supporters who love her to bits, absorbing his power stabilized her own (though not the the point that she can speak without hurting people; she uses a sign language devised by her courtiers and written words to communicate), and she's even fallen in love with a ranger who recently moved in.
In Plane Shift: Ixalan, sirens - interpreted here as a harpy-like race of bird-people with both male and female members, all of whom can produce supernaturally charming song - are presented as a playable race for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition. They have the following stats:
- Ability Score Increase: Your Charisma score increases by 2.
- Size: Sirens stand about 5 to 6 feet tall, but their bodies are slender and their bones partially hollow to facilitate their flight. Your size is Medium.
- Speed: Your base walking speed is 25 feet.
- Flight: You have a flying speed of 30 feet. You can’t use your flying speed while you wear medium or heavy armor.
- Siren's Song: You know the Friends cantrip and can cast it without material components.
- Languages: Common and Siren
Odyssey of the Dragonlords
In the Odyssey of the Dragonlords setting, sirens are a tragic race of coastal bird-people, looking like humans (both female and male) with wings with scaled limbs that end in prehensile talons. Believed to be descended from a nereid who fell in love with an avian celestial, sirens are not amphibious, but are well-adapted for living in and around water. Their artworks, poetry and architecture emphasize their special releationship with both the clouds above and the sea below. Once, sirens dwelled in a great and beautiful city, where they spent their days singing praises to Sydon, the Titan who governs the ocean. Unfortunately Sydon is a vindictive, vainglorious prick who is never satisfied; he chastised the sirens as vain, selfish and hubristic for daring to build tall towers and to offer him songs instead of blood sacrifices, an act that shocked and mortified the sirens so badly that their entire city crumbled into nothingness and was swallowed by the sea. Many of the sirens went mad, and were corrupted by Sydon's sister-wife into the bloodthirsty harpies that now bedevil the coast. The survivors still dwell in small flocks along the shoreline, afflicted with a racial curse of manic-depression as a result of Sydon's pointless cruelty. One day, a siren may experience extremes of joy and hope - only to then fall into soul-crushing sorrow and pessimisim as she succumbs to the grief planted in her very soul.
Thylean sirens are a playable race with the following stats:
- Ability Score Modifiers: +2 Charisma, +1 Dexterity
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 30 feet
- Vision: Normal
- Enthralling Voice: You gain Advantage on Performance and Persuasion checks made with your voice.
- Powerful Lungs: You can hold your breath for up to 1 hour.
- Wavering Emotions: After completing a short or long rest, you must decide if you are experiencing Unbridled Joy or Unrelenting Sorrow. If you are experiencing Unbridled Joy, you can use your Flight ability. If you are experiencing Unrelenting Sorrow, you can use your Songs of Sorrow ability. You cannot use an ability if you are not in the proper moodset.
- Flight: You have a Fly speed of 30 feet, but cannot fly if wearing Medium or Heavy armor.
- Songs of Sorrow: You can cast Charm Person, Enthrall (from 3rd level) and Hold Person (5th level) once per short rest, using Charisma as your spellcasting ability score. These SLAs all have the Vocal component, as they use your singing to function; a creature that can't hear you sing is immune to these powers.
Seas of Vodari
In the Seas of Vodari, sirens more closely resemble the old sirines of AD&D; incredibly beautiful amphibious humanoid fey with golden or amber eyes, light blue to deep indigo hair, greenish blue to turquoise iridescent skin, fins on their calves and forearms, webbed hands and feet, and gills in their necks. Once native to the Feylands, sirens were stranded on Vodari after their vain queen agreed to a singing contest with an archfey named Muse, who wagered the eternal banishment of the loser and her people on the outcome, and then cheated. Ever since, they have been trapped in the mortal world, where they live in small, tightly knit coastal communities that follow a loose matriarchy - it's implied but never explicitly stated that there are male and female sirens on Vodari.
Ability Score Increase. Your Wisdom score increases by 1.
- Age. A siren matures at the same rate as humans, but they’re considered young until they reach the age of 30. On average, they live close to three centuries.
- Alignment. Sirens prefer having the freedom to do what they want rather than having to follow someone else’s rules. Most sirens tend to be self-serving, but fight to protect their companions and anything beautiful from harm.
- Size. Sirens have slender but muscular builds. Their height ranges from 5 to 6 feet. Your size is Medium.
- Speed. Your base walking speed is 30 feet. You have a swimming speed of 30 feet.
- Amphibious. You can breathe air and water.
- Fey Ancestry. You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed, and magic can’t put you to sleep.
- Language. You can speak, read, and write Common and Sylvan.
- Subrace. Two subraces of sirens are found in Vodari: seasinger sirens and wavedancer sirens. These distinctions are based on which magical gift a siren receives as they near adulthood. Seasingers and wavedancers usually live in the same communities, or at least in close proximity to each other. Choose one of these subraces.
Seasinger Siren As a seasinger siren, your love of singing has bestowed magical gifts upon you. During adolescence, your beauty and presence became even more alluring and you gained the ability to enchant your songs.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Charisma score increases by 2.
- Alluring. You have proficiency in the Persuasion skill.
- Singer. Whenever you make a Charisma (Performance) check to sing, you can add twice your proficiency bonus, instead of any proficiency bonus you normally apply.
- Siren Song. You can use your action to sing a song laced with a subtle enchantment to a creature that you can see within 60 feet. If it can hear you (though it need not understand you), it must succeed on a Wisdom saving throw. The DC for this saving throw equals 8 + your Charisma modifier + your proficiency bonus. On a failed save, it becomes charmed by you for one hour or until you or your companions do anything harmful to it. The charmed creature regards you as a friendly acquaintance. When the effect ends, the creature knows it was charmed by you. You can target an additional creature with your song at 3rd and 5th level. The creatures must be within 30 feet of each other when you target them. After you use your Siren Song, you can’t use it again until you finish a short or long rest.
Wavedancer Siren As a wavedancer siren, your love of frolicking beneath the waves provided you with gifts as your grew from a child to an adult. You gained the ability to magically transform your legs into a tail.
- Ability Score Increase. Your Dexterity score increases by 2.
- Sea Dancer. You gain proficiency in the Acrobatics skill and advantage on Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks made while underwater. In addition, whenever you make a Charisma (Performance) check to dance, you are considered proficient in the Performance skill.
- Darkvision. Accustomed to life deep underwater and having fey heritage, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.
- Tail. As a bonus action, while the lower half of your body is submerged in water, you can magically transform your legs into a tail covered in bluish-green scales. Your tail has no impact on your worn equipment and any worn magical items work identically to when you have legs. While you have a tail, your base speed is 10 feet and your swim speed increases to 50 feet. You can change your tail back into legs as a bonus action.
In Pathfinder, the Siren is a distant relative of the Harpy, appearing as a huge female bird of prey with the head of a gorgeous human woman. They are natural oracles and wield powerful enchantment spells through their voices. Being all-female like their man-eating cousins, they need to grab human men to procreate; unlike their harpy kindred, sirens are actually a very devoted and loving race. Yes, they will kidnap potential husbands in addition to just trying to seduce or rescue-romance them - they're Chaotic Neutral, after all - but they treat them well and fall very deeply in love. So much so that they've been known to commit suicide, or outright die of heartbreak, if the man they have their eyes on is stolen away or resists their charms. They have a very powerful magical song that can be used to captivate, fascinate, charm or put to sleep those who hear them, can use the Bardic Performance ability of a 4th-level Bard, and can cast Cause Fear, Charm Person, Deep Slumber and Shout as spell-like abilities, each one being usable thrice per day.
Naturally, the siren has appeared as a monstergirl in many, many depictions. That said, they're usually just portrayed as either mermaids or harpies with bard-like magical powers; even the Monster Girl Encyclopedia settled for just depicting its siren as a pop idol-themed harpy.