a new race by Calithena
The next article is a re-imagining of the Swan Maidens of legend as a PC race. They get a minor boost in Wisdom and Charisma, and have the ability to shape-shift into a swan. This ability is counter-balanced by the danger that their shape-shifting shawl may be captured, and they will then be forced to serve the new owner of the cloak. Swanmay characters are always female, and lawful/good. Calithena suggests letting them advance as either warriors or priests. A few ecological and philosophical details are also presented.
I found the article interesting. I recognized the basic idea of the race from Swan Lake, and have no reason to believe any of the details to be incorrect. The character does not seem overpowered, and provides verisimilitude. I would probably present this as a playable race in any future campaign I run.
Of course, one has to adjust for one's own campaign world. There are some legends where the swan is actually a male, so I may allow a male swanmay. One problem would be in a race-as-class game. I would probably treat the swanmay as a Fighter with clerical spells equivalent to a cleric half their level, and make the character advance at the same pace as a Magic-User. In a game like OD&D with level limits, I would probably limit them to dual class level 5 fighter/level 5 cleric, but that would need some playtesting. I would keep their alignment as Lawful, but allow Neutral/Evil (the Black Swan) All told, a good solid article, and like any GM, you can see I couldn't help but tinker with it!