So You Want to Play a Thriae ...

William T. Thrasher

There comes a time in every GM’s campaign – often right at the beginning – when a player states a desire to take on a highly specialized or exotic role, often in the form of a non-standard race. Often this desire remains unfulfilled due to concerns of game balance, a lack of developed material, or outright stubbornness on the part of the GM and other players. As a result, many interesting character concepts go unplayed. Well, not in my campaign. Tell me what you want to play, and I’ll find a way to make it happen.

Welcome to the first installment of “So You Want to Play . . .”, a semi-regular series of articles detailing playable versions of the many intelligent races all too often relegated to the GM’s toolkit and left out of the hands of players. We open this series with the Thriae, a race of bee-women inspired by the Greek nymphs of the same name and introduced in Pathfinder Bestiary 3, which describes the winged creatures as follows:

“Highly spiritual creatures and keepers of the world's greatest secrets, the thriae are a race of female, beelike seers coveted for their powers of divination and prophecy. Roughly humanoid in size and appearance, thriae keep to the outskirts of civilization, tending to their mysterious rituals and maintaining a watchful—if passive—eye over the machinations of nearby societies. While possessing an eerie air of mysticism, thriae are nonetheless startlingly beautiful, their slender bodies giving an unexpected grace to the otherwise unsightly mannerisms of giant bees.”

Given the popularity of humanoid bees in fan artvideo games, and a certain online adventure game my editors have forbidden me to mention, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to create a playable form of the thriae when one of my players requested it. The racial traits detailed below are by no means exhaustive, but create a mostly-balanced 1st Level Thriae that can grow into something akin to the monstrous humanoids presented in the bestiary as it gains levels, Feats, and experience.


Thriae Racial Traits

+2 Charisma, +2 Dexterity, –2 Intelligence: Thriae are graceful and agile, but lack quick-thinking, independent mindsets.

Medium: Thriae are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

Graceful Flyer: Thriae have a base speed of 30 feet and a fly speed of 30 feet. Fly is always considered a class skill for Thriae.

Darkvision: Thriae can see in the dark up to 60 feet.

Blood of Seers: Thriae with a Wisdom score of 11 or higher gain the following spell-like abilities: 1/day – detect magic, read magic,

Thriae Sting: Thriae possess a venomous stinger that can be used to make unarmed attacks. Damage is normal for the Thriae’s size (1d3 as a Medium creature). However, on a successful hit the stinger may deliver Thriae Venom 3 + Con Modifier times per day. This venom can also be “milked” from the singer and used to coat weapons.

Thriae Venom: injury; save Fort DC 15; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save.

Merope Consumption: As a standard action, a thriae may consume a dose of merope, a magical honey produced by their queens, to gain a +2 insight bonus to attack rolls, saving throws, and caster level checks made to overcome spell resistance, for 1d6 + 3 rounds. Merope may be consumed a number of times per day equal to 1 + Wis Modifier.

Hive Mentality: Thriae are communial creatures, drawing strength and purpose from their sisters. A thriae deprived of the company of her own kind (at least 2 other thriae) suffers a –2 penalty on all Will Saves.