The Stirge: A HARP Conversion

Copyright Kerry Drake © 2005

Edited by Nicholas HM Caldwell for The Guild Companion

"Many friendships have been tested by this process of removing a Stirge."

Stirges are small winged creatures that drink blood for sustenance, much like vampire bats. Unlike vampire bats, Stirges will attack a full-grown man to get that blood. Stirges have two wings and four legs that end in small pincers, which can clamp onto their victims. Their coloring scheme runs from rusty-red to reddish brown, and their eyes and feet are yellow.

Combat: Stirges have an innate ability to find weaknesses in their prey's defenses and are quick to exploit these openings. A long, hollow beak can strike through any chink that might be found in any type of armor, and if any critical causes bleeding damage, the Stirge will attach to that wound and cause triple damage from bleeding every round thereafter. When a Stirge drains a total number of points of blood from a victim equal to its own hits, it becomes bloated and flies off to digest its protein-rich meal.

Due to their strong grip, the only way to remove a Stirge is to kill it. If an attack against an attached Stirge misses, make another attack roll against the victim to see if the attack hits the victim instead. Many friendships have been tested by this process of removing a Stirge.

Habitat/Society: Attics, dungeons, and copses of trees make ideal nesting areas for Stirges. Although they resemble birds, Stirges hang upside down when sleeping, leading many to suspect that they may be closely related to vampire bats.

Ecology: Stirges can sense heat sources within 200 feet, and can smell blood from over a mile away. Creatures with Tough Hide (Major) or better are usually immune to a stirge's blood draining attack, since their hides are too thick to penetrate. Characters who protect their entire bodies with special leather or better armor (this special armor costs two to three times more than normal armor) can safely approach a stirge.

After a Stirge satiates itself and releases a victim, it sleeps for one day, plus one day for every 10 points of blood it drank (the maximum sleep period is after drinking 55 points of blood or six days). Attackers will normally be able to surprise a sleeping Stirge, as they wake slowly. This is the time of their greatest vulnerability.

A colony of Stirges will wreak havoc over an area nearly 1 mile in diameter. Often, the presence of stirges is only discovered long after the colony has departed, making it very difficult to track them.

Appendix A: HARP Statistics

HITS: 55
SIZE/CRIT: Tiny (2' Wing Span)
MOVEMENT: 4' (8')
DEFENSIVE BONUS: 65 (20 Stats; 45 Survival Instinct)
ATTACKS: 60 T-Puncture
OUTLOOK Aggressive / Hungry
SPECIAL ABILITIES: Flight; Survival Instinct; Night Vision
STATS: St 75(5); Co 75 (5); Ag 75 (10); Qu 75 (10)
Sd 75 (5); In 75 (5); Re 75 (5); Pr 75 (5)
RR: Stamina RR: 20; Will RR: 20; Magic RR : 20

Appendix B: System Reference Document Entry


Tiny Beast
Hit Dice: 1d10 (5 hp)
Initiative: +4 (Dex)
Speed: 10 ft., fly 40 ft. (average)
AC: 16 (+2 size, +4 Dex)
Attacks: Touch +6
Damage: Touch 1d3-4
Face/Reach: 2 1/2 ft. by 2 1/2 ft./0 ft.
Special Attack: Attach, blood drain
Saves: Fort +2, Ref +6, Will +1
Abilities: Str 3, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 1, Wis_12, Cha 6
Skills: Hide +14
Feats: Weapon Finesse (touch)

Climate/Terrain: Temperate and warm forest and underground
Organization: Clutch (2-4), swarm (5-8), or flock (9-13)
Challenge Rating: 1/2
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: -


A stirge attacks by landing on a victim, finding a vulnerable spot, and plunging its proboscis into the flesh. This is a touch attack and can target only Small or larger creatures.

Attach (Ex): If a stirge hits with a touch attack, it uses its eight pincers to latch onto the opponent's body. An attached stirge has an AC of 12.

Blood Drain (Ex): A stirge drains blood, dealing 1d4 points of temporary Constitution damage each round it remains attached. Once it has drained 4 points of Constitution, it detaches and flies off to digest the meal.

Appendix C: Open Gaming License and Legal Matters

This article: "The Stirge: A HARP Conversion", Copyright &copy: 2005 by Kerry Drake, is an Open Gaming article.

This article is covered by the Open Gaming License. The title " The Stirge: A HARP Conversion" is Product Identity, all other material in this article (except the entirety of Appendix A and the Open Gaming License itself ) is Open Game Content. Appendix A is Closed Content and may not be reproduced without permission of the author and The Guild Companion. Portions of this work are derived from the System Reference Document, Copyright © 2000 by Wizards of the Coast, and are used with permission.


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System Reference Document Copyright 2000, Wizards of the Coast, Inc.; Authors Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams, Bruce R. Cordell, based on original material by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson.

"The Stirge: A HARP Conversion", Copyright © 2005 by Kerry Drake, first published by The Guild Companion (