Wednesday, May 30, 2018

OSR: Snake Wizard

Not this
Or this
Or this
There we go
When I was first able to get my wife to play RPGs, she played a conjurer wizard who was obsessed with snakes. He was a reasonably nice wizard, he just didn't understand it was weird to keep the desiccated remains of your master in your basement, collect all of your shed skin, and invite snakes to cuddle in all of the camp sleeping bags. He was also entirely certain that his goal in life was to rend open the Plane of Snakes and drown all of biped civilization in a sea of serpents. It was for the good of us all. This is for you Choraster the Wise.

If you are going by Skerples' estates, these guys are Outlaw wizards, because no one wants to be around a wizard who smells like snake musk and keeps an actual snake in their trousers.

Edit: Taking some feedback from Skerples of Coins and Scrolls. the original 2nd Cantrip could break several economies (especially the food one as he pointed out) so I'm making a change here.

School: Snake Wizard

Perk: You are immune to snake venom. If you can smell something, you can taste it too.

Drawback: You are cold blooded and must either spend an hour sunning each day or otherwise be kept warm or you will be unable to restore HP via lunch.

Cantrip:
1. When prone, you can slither and squirm at full speed provided you don't use your hands.
2. You can cause a harmless non-venomous 1 HD (1hp) garter snake to crawl out of any logical location ( from a hole, around a doorway, in an unattended boot etc.) It is not under your control and, if questioned, is admittedly a little confused about its whereabouts.  You begin with a snake familiar who is ultimately loyal to The Serpent. In any instance where the familiar would be killed, you may call upon another but it will be the same snake and may invoke a Curse or Mutation for your dereliction of duty.
3. You can swallow anything that is less than the circumference of your neck without difficulty.

Hm, maybe...

Snake Wizard spell list

You automatically get the "Speak with Snakes" spell at level 1. Roll for your other spell normally.


1. Speak with Snakes
R: 0 T: self D: [dice] minutes
You can talk to snakes and they can talk back. Small snakes know about grass, dirt, and rodents. Larger snakes know about people and may even be able to tell them apart. Really large snakes, the dangerous ones, know all sorts of things. Snakes will generally treat people who can speak to them with mild curiosity and bemusement.

2. Magic Misssssssile
R: 200' T: creature D: 0
Target takes [sum] + [dice] damage, no Save. As a Snake Wizard your spell is a magic snake that you pull out of your sleeve and throw like a goddamn javelin.

3. Snake Eyes
R: 30' T: creature D: [dice] rounds
For the duration of the spell, the target is branded with a stylized snake eye and is unable to roll above a 1 on d6's. This can be used, for example, to make sure MD are not exhausted at the expense of power or it can cause weapons to deal minimal damage.

4. Gift of Fangs* Shamelessly stolen from Skerples
R: touch T: [dice] weapons D: 1 hour
Weapons you touch become venomous, dealing an additional 1d4 damage on a hit.

5. Shed Skin
R: 0 T: Self D: 0
You shed your skin in 1d6-[dice] rounds and restore [sum]/2 HP. This process, however, leaves you naked and disarmed. Your shed skin is whole, similar to that of a snake, and can be kept or preserved.

6. Boa Constrict
R: 30' T: 1 Creature D: [dice]*2 rounds or [sum] rounds
One or both of your arms transform into massive boa constrictors that extend towards the target creature. They must save or be paralyzed for the duration of the spell. If you use both arms, the spell lasts for [sum] rounds but you cannot use your arms for anything else (including casting.)

7. Snake Ball
R: 60' T: [sum] HD of Creatures D: [dice]*2 rounds
You summon forth a massive illusionary snake mating orgy ball which immediately starts rolling towards your targets. Targets must Save versus Fear or immediately retreat. The ball's speed is your Movement and will follow the targets for the duration of the spell.

8. Snakes to Stairs
R: Touch T: Point D: [sum] minutes
You call upon a [dice]*50' long snake to anchor itself between yourself and a point within its reach. It will bend its body into something akin to stairs, allowing it to support [sum] human sized creatures. It will not move from this point and will not take part in combat. It has [sum] HP and all attacks automatically hit.

9. Sticks to Snakes
R:0 T: Sticks or Snakes D: [dice]*2 rounds
You transform [sum]/2 sticks or stick-like wooden objects into 1 HD snakes (damage 1d6, armor as leather) with a [sum] chance of each being venomous (Save vs Constitution or +1d6 poison). You can also reverse this spell and turn [sum]/2 HD worth of snakes into sticks. A snake of 3 HD or more turns into a 1d8 damage Staff. A snake of 6HD becomes a 1d8 damage Staff that deals additional poison damage as above. Ever 3 HD above this adds +1 to Attack.

10. Snake Charming
R: 50' T: [sum]/3 HD creature D: [dice] hours
The target is put into a blissful semi-conscious daze, treating nothing around them as a threat and acting much like a sleep walker. Doing any sort of damage will break the charm, but, for example, holding a blade to their throat will not.

Emblem Spells

11. Avatar of the Serpent
R:60' T: Point D: Varies
At a point you designate, you call upon an avatar of The Serpent (the Ur-snake, the Snake Elemental, the Hissing God, whatever). The Avatar is not under your control, but is also not immediately hostile to you. The size, HD, and damage of the snake depends on the [sum] rolled:

1-7: person-sized, 2 HD, 2d6 damage
8-12: ogre-sized, 4 HD, 3d6 damage
>12: Jafar at the end of Aladdin-sized,  6 HD, 4d6 damage
24: like-holy-fuck-Jörmungandr-sized, 10HD, 6d6 damage, what-have-you-done?!

The Avatar will either strike once or constrict one target for [sum] duration before vanishing. Investing 4 or more [dice] into the spell makes it permanent. Good job bringing back the Snakeman Empire buddy.

12. Plane of Snakes
R: 100' T: area D: [dice] rounds
At a point you designate, you rip a hole between this world and the Elemental Plane of Snakes. For [dice] rounds, [sum] 1 HD snakes (1d6 bite, Save vs Constitution or +1d6 poison, armor as leather) pour from the rift attacking everything in sight. Everyone but you and other snakes must Save vs. Panic. You do not have control over these snakes and, when questioned, speak only in cryptic riddles as the only understand reality through the lens of all things being Snake. Investing 4 or more die results in the rift to the Plane of Snakes being open for [dice] days instead.

Technically, a Snake Witch. 
Mishaps:
1. MD only return to your pool on a 1-2 for 24 hours
2. A snake craws from your sleeves and bites you for 1d6 damage
3. Turn into a giant snake for 1d6 rounds and immediately draw the focus of all hostile combatants.
4. Suddenly shed all of your face skin (including your eyes), blind for 1d6 rounds as it flakes away
5. Arms turn into lethargic snakes for 1d6 rounds, disarmed and unable to retrieve items.
6. Sneeze out snakes for 1d6 rounds, unable to take other actions.

Dooms:
1. You can no longer slither or swallow like a snake, this is a sad day indeed.
2. You can no longer speak to snakes and when they are summoned, they are immediately hostile to you.
3. The Serpent, incarnation of Magic and Snakes, blesses you with Snake. And by that I mean the picture below is now you.

Can't get any better than this.
You can avoid this fate by opening a permanent gate to the Plane of Snakes or by unhinging your jaw and swallowing the phylactery of a powerful Snakeman Lich-King. 

6 comments:

  1. I love it. Weird enough that I can't immediately think of something comparable, yet there are few situations where these guys showing up would feel truly out of place.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yeah, Wizards are Weird (tm) so slap a random descriptor on the front and you got yourself whatever weird old coot you need, haha!

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  2. Wow, this is crazy, I love it

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    1. Hey thanks a lot! Sorry it took a while to respond, blogger is bad about giving me notifications.

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  3. Hm. The powergamer in me suggests that Snake Eyes plus Shed Skin is an infiniheal, available as early as level 2.
    On the other hand, there's plenty of high-powered nonsense around anyway. So even with two HP-tank templates, it's probably still fine.

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    1. True, but it does mean you spend a lot of time naked. Not super applicable in high stress/high danger situations.

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