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Serpis

Created by Jason Yarnell
from adaptations of Josh Keysers works and Warhammer FRP

1. Overview

The Serpis are a mysterious and seldom seen race of humanoid reptiles. Rumored to occupy the southern coastlines of the Jungles of Chult, only the native Chult and a few Kesh invaders can really say for sure. The Haradrim have even claimed to have seen them in the Oasis of Naavaal. Regardless of who or where the viewer claims to have been, they are always determined to not return to the location. The Serpis are a reclusive race that hold no love for the Softskins, a derogatory name for any non-reptilian race, and only wish to be left alone by the tainted ones.

2 Physical Description

2.1. General

The Serpis are quite possibly the most colorful of all the races on Pangea. Covered in scales from head to tip of tail that ranges from as fine and as soft as babyskin to hard and lumpy. These same scales range in color from drab greys and browns to electric blues and gaudy oranges. There seems to be no limit to their variety. Some generalizations can be made however, the brightly colored Serpis tend to be the ones that occupy the Jungles of Chult while the thicker skinned greys and browns are almost exclusive to the Harad Wastes. They are a large people averaging 6' 4"and weighing in at nearly 300 lbs. There is no difference between the males and females, at least not to the mammalian eye.

Roll

Height

Weight

(-220) or less

4' 11"

125 lb.

(-219)-(-211)

5'

132 lb.

(-210)-(-141)

5' 1"

140 lb.

(-140)-(-131)

5' 2"

148 lb.

(-130)-(-116)

5' 3"

156 lb.

(-115)-(-91)

5' 4"

165 lb.

(-90)-(-46)

5' 5"

173 lb.

(-45)-(-36)

5' 6"

182 lb.

(-35)-(-27)

5' 7"

192 lb.

(-26)-(-15)

5' 8"

201 lb.

(-14)-00

5' 9"

211 lb.

01-15

5' 10"

221 lb.

16-27

5' 11"

232 lb.

28-36

6'

243 lb.

37-42

6' 1"

254 lb.

43-45

6' 2"

265 lb.

46-90

6' 3"

277 lb.

91-115

6' 4"

289 lb.

116-130

6' 5"

301 lb.

131-140

6' 6"

314 lb.

141-170

6' 7"

327lb.

171-210

6' 8"

340 lb.

211-230

6' 9"

354 lb.

231-240

6' 10"

368 lb.

231-240

6' 11"

383 lb.

241-270

7'

397 lb.

271 or greater

7' 1"

412 lb.

2.2. Coloration

Serpis are reptilian and thus are often offensive in appearance to the rest of the world. Due to this they receive a -20 to their appearance which only applies to non-serpis.

Roll

Back Color

Belly Color

1-2

Red

Yellow

3-4

Red

Green

5-6

Red

Blue

7-8

Red

White

9-10

Red

Red

11-12

Red

Orange

13-14

Orange

Yellow

15-16

Orange

Green

17-18

Orange

Blue

19-20

Orange

White

21-22

Orange

Red

23-24

Orange

Orange

25-29

Green

Green

30-33

Blue

White

34

White

White

35

Black

White

36

Black

Black

37

Black

Red

38

Black

Blue

39

Black

Orange

40

Black

Red

41-50

Brown

Brown

51-60

Grey

Grey

61-80

Stripped (Roll twice ignore this result if rolled again)

81-100

Spotted (Roll twice ignore this result if rolled again)

2.3. Endurance

The Serpis are not especially known for their great endurance or lack of it, for that matter. However, all Serpis will have a tendency to seek out warm areas during the morning or dusk hours and will also push for reduced activity at the height of the day.

2.4. Aging and Life Span

Serpis have the standard lifespan of most humans, attaining adulthood at the age of 9 and considered middle aged around 20. Most do not live beyond the age of 100.

2.5 Resistance

The Serpis are a tough breed able to resist the affects of most common diseases and poisons as well as being resistant to what we would consider to be fear. This is due, in part, to their rather alien outlook. They are, however, quite susceptible to magic.

RR

Female

Male

Disease

+5

+5

Poison

+10

+10

Mentalism

-5

-5

Channeling

-5

-5

Essence

-5

-5

Fear

+20

+20

3. Talents & Flaws

Any of the following Talents & Flaws can be chosen by a Serpis regardless of gender or station. Only a Serpis can choose these; someone who was raised in their culture cannot. All Serpis have the Battle Reflexes talent and the Fear of Magic flaw free of charge.

3.1 Touched by Zorath 5 to 50 (See comments)

You have been chosen by Zorath to carry some of his power. You are to spread his word and to lead his people; you are his priest and are therefore allowed to use his magic. You do not fear it for Zorath himself has given it to you.

3.1 Movement of the Rocks -15

You have never been able to stalk very well; your tail has little muscle control for fine movement and always seems to drag behind you or thump into bushes. This hindrance gives you a -15 to any stalking and hiding maneuvers as well as a -10 to the subterfuge stealth category.

3.3 Chameleon 15

Your hide has the ability of the chameleons. To shift colors to match the surrounding terrain. This only applies to your scaly hide and nothing else. This results in a +10 to all Stalk and Hide maneuvers.

3.4 Softskin -15

Your scales are incredibly smooth and soft. The scales are so fine that they feel like the skin of a human. This has reduced your natural armor class to one.

Miscellaneous Stats:

Stat

All

ST

+4

QU

-2

PR

0

IN

0

EM

0

CO

+4

AG

-2

SD

0

ME

0

RE

0

 

All

Base Movement Rate

50

Body Development

7-5-3-1

Channeling

6-5-4-3

Essence

6-4-3-2

Mentalism

5-3-2-2

Natural AC

4

Background Points

50

Social Class

Primitive

The Cultural Aspects

1. Individual Psychology

1.1. Demeanor

The Serpis demeanor is very different from our own. They do not have a culture or even a social structure. Complete loners except during the mating season, these people wander their homelands following the will of Zorath.

Exactly what this 'Will' happens to be is uncertain. Not even a Serpis would be able to tell you. They are extremely territorial and do not tolerate trespassers, attacking them with amazing savagery.

With the exception of feeding time, mating or to chase off a potential challenger, the Serpis are surprisingly tame and reserved, moving and interacting at a leisurely pace as if they had all the time in the world.

1.2. Language

As a reclusive people the Serpis tend not to learn much of the other races languages. However, due to necessity and the invading Kesh armies, many have learned to speak with the softskins. Serpis get an additional 3 ranks to put into any of the languages listed below.

 

All

 

Language

Starting

Max

Comments

Serpis

8/0

10/0

Native language

Adunaic

0/0

5/0

Kesh and Dunedain

Westron

0/0

3/0

Tursh and the most common of languages

Nahaiduk

0/0

4/0

Chult (Only if from Chult)

Haradaic

0/0

5/0

Haradrim (Only if from the Wastes)

1.3. Fears and Inabilities

Serpis fear nothing more than magic. To the Serpis it is known as Sskahaas (literally: poison). Any who use it are known as the Tainted Ones and are treated as murderers. The only exceptions to this are those who have been touched by Zorath and therefore protected. All others have sold their souls so that they may corrupt the world and help prepare the way for the Dark One.

1.4. Prejudices

Aside from their fear of magic and all who use it, the Serpis are surprisingly free of prejudices. They judge each person on an individual basis.

2. Culture

2.1. Clothing and Adornment

Clothes? Serpis have no concept of the idea. However, they do like shiny objects and will adorn themselves with jewelry, shiny rocks or even exceptionally bright feathers. Armor is rarely worn and even then it is just another piece of shiny jewelry, a Serpis wearing a full suit of any armor has never been seen.

2.2. Technology and Magic Level

Serpis do not have a technology level. They do not craft items of any sort simply taking what they want. They are very adept at hunting and foraging without the aid of any other devices and their natural weaponry performs quite adequately when threatened.

Magic is the epitome of evil. No good can come from such a heinous power. The Shamans of the Serpis are rare and all are marked with his symbol (a crest that can be raised or lowered that runs down the top and back of the head to just above where the tail meets the spine). It is only they who can safely utilize the Dark One's creation for Zorath has given them protection.

These shamans are heavily respected and just as feared by all because Zorath has picked them above all the others to utilize an evil poison.

2.3. Art and Architecture

Art among the Serpis extends to the wearing of shiny and/or pretty things and the painting of ones body to enhance the ferocity of their appearance. They do not live in any dwelling, simply hiding in caves when the weather gets too rough.

2.4. Lifestyle

The Serpis are primarily hunters, gathering fruits and berries only when other food is not readily available. Many of the jungle dwellers have taken to raiding the hives of insects, primarily termites and ants as they supply an easily accessible and plentiful food supply.

2.5 Marriages and Family

Serpis mate about once every two years and that is about the extent of their interaction with one another. Once a female has copulated she will find a relatively safe place to dig an egg cache wherein she will lay between eight and twelve eggs. She will then bury them and allow the earth to incubate the unborn Serpis.

Once the young hatch they will have to dig their way out of the hatchery or soon suffocate. Once exposed the young immediately set out looking for food. The young Serpis resemble immature crocodiles and will behave in every way as such for the first five years. During this time they will grow enormously fast, reaching their full adult size but still maintaining their crocodilian shape.

Once they have survived to their fifth year the young Serpis will begin to develop the humanoid form of the adults. It is during this four-year period that they will also develop the higher brain functions. The Serpis learns by relying on genetic memory and experiences during this metamorphosis period. At the age of nine the Serpis is, for all intents and purposes, an adult.

2.6 Religion

The Serpis religion revolves around a single God named Zorath. Depicted as an utterly massive crocodile, it is he that has created the world and all the creatures within. A god dedicated to the very simple aspect of survival and those that do are able to join him in Kiskora, the Serpis heaven. Here the Serpis can hunt and lounge in his tropical paradise.

Any Serpis that dies is not allowed in this place. Only those who survive one hundred years will be shown the way to Kiskora. How the Serpis survives this long does not matter, just that he does.

However, the Dark One is bent on stopping the Serpis from joining their master. He has corrupted many things in his attempts to destroy the Serpis. He has created magic and with it he has changed Zorath's creatures so that they can better hunt and kill the Serpis.

Snakes are primary among them. Once they were like the Serpis with arms and legs, now they crawl along the ground on their bellies, silent stalkers that have been given poison to balance out their loss in size. It is no coincidence that the Serpis word for snake is the same as that used for magic; Sskahaas.

2.7 Social Organization

Serpis culture is nearly non-existent; they travel alone and only meet for mating or accidentally. The only exception to this is when a shaman has gained enough strength of personality to gather together a sizeable force of his kind and set out on a Hithkosha.

This is an all out assault on any living creature they come across, coupled with a feeding frenzy. Huge expanses of land are cleared of any creatures the Hithkosha comes across. The shaman enters a transcendental state akin to a berserker rage totally dedicated to the destruction of all threats to the Serpis peoples. Unfortunately, in this state the shaman declares that all creatures, from the lowliest insect to the mightiest nation are threats.

The Chult have come to know the threat of this and have even moved entire clans into other lands to avoid the crazed lizardmen. They were even able to lead a sizeable force of Kesh invaders into the path of a Hithkosha, neither side was ever heard from again.

Should two shamans caught up in the Hithkosha meet they will immediately forget all else and attack each other. Their Serpis armies will scatter and head for safer ground as the magics unleashed tend to devastate the surrounding area.

2.8 Trade

Serpis do not trade, truly not understanding why the other races do.

3. Serpis as Player Characters

The Serpis, when played correctly, promise to give the player a challenge. They have no concept of morality or society. They see something they like; they take it. If they're hungry, they eat, whether their meal wants to be eaten or not.

They are large and ferocious with no sense of ethics to keep them in check. This is an extremely difficult character to play in a team environment, especially if that team consists of any magic-users. It will take a lot of patience and talent to keep the Serpis in line.

Overall, this race is not recommended for an inexperienced group of players.

3.1. Professions

The Serpis are not spell-casters and wouldn't be even if they had the choice. Priests of Zorath are the only exception to this. The following are all of the professions broken down by Background Point cost:

No cost: Fighter, Thief, Rogue

5 Points: Priest of Zorath.

15 Points: Animist.

50 Points: Mentalist, Lay Healer, Healer, Armsmaster, Magent, Combat Healer, Monk, Mythic, Paladin, Sword Dancer, Warrior Monk, Arcanist, Chaotic, Magehunter, Bard, Illusionist, Ranger, Nightblade, Magician, Warrior Mage, Dabbler, Summoner, and Wizard.

3.2. Packages

The Serpis are not a civilized group and their tendency to be isolated from most peoples limits their training package selections. The following are the most likely packages they would select. The ones in Bold are the most common:

Adventurer, Animal Friend, Arms Instructor, Astronomer, Bodyguard, Caravan Guard, Conjurer, Cultist, Explorer, Groom, Guardian, Herbalist, Highwayman, Hunter, Mercenary, Pilgrim, Protector, Shaman, Slayer, Soldier, Templar, Theurgist, Traveler, Wanderer, Warrior Priest, Weapon Master, Witch, Zealot.

The following training packages are not allowed to the Serpis:

Apprentice, Architect, Assassin, Burglar, Court Magician, Cut Purse, Encroacher, Any race specific TP's, Jester, Martial Artist, Martial Arts Challenger, Martial Arts Master, Minister, Ninja, Shaikan, Temple Monk.

Any Training Packages not listed are subject to GM approval.

3.3 Special Skills

3.3.1 All Outdoor-Environment Skills Everyman

The Serpis' constant exposure to the outdoors and their instinctual quest for survival make them naturally attuned to the outdoor skills necessary to do so.

3.3.2 Small Claw, Small Bash and Medium Bite Everyman

Like all races that have natural weapons, they are always considered everyman for them.

3.3.3 All Urban Skills Restricted

The Serpis are not fond of the cities of other cultures and disdain them. Most Serpis never see a town or village and those that do, find it hard to relate to the city-dwellers and their habits.

3.4. Hobby Skills

The Serpis have 14 ranks to divide among the skills listed below. No more than 2 ranks can be put into any one skill.

Ambush, Body Development, Climbing, Crafts: Body Painting, Cult of Zorath Religion Lore, Desert Fauna Lore, Desert Flora Lore, Foraging, Frenzy, Hiding, Hunting, Languages, Jungle Flora Lore, Jungle Fauna Lore, Medium Bite, Observation, Read Tracks, Silent Attack, Small Bash, Small Claw, Sprinting, Star Gazing, Swimming, Tracking, Weather Watching, Jungles of Chult or Harad Red Wastes Region Lore, Weapons, Wrestling.

3.5. Equipping

Serpis acquire equipment. They do not make it and they do not buy, sell, or trade it. Everything they have has been found or taken from someone else.

All equipment is bought from the Copper Age.

Adolescent Development:

Category

All Genders

Athletic - Brawn

2

Athletic - Endurance

2

Athletic - Gymnastic

1

Awareness - Searching

1

Body Development

3

Communications Category

1

Lore - General

3

Outdoor - Environment

3

Subterfuge - Stealth

2

Tech/Trade – General

1

Weapon - Two-handed

2

Weapon – Pole-arm

3

Weapon – Thrown

1

Skill

All Genders

Sprinting

2

Swimming

1

Climbing

1

Alertness

4

Speak Serpis

8

Harad Wastes or Jungles of Chult Region Lore

3

Stalk

2

Hide

2

2-handed Weapon (Battle-axe, Two-handed sword or Claymore)

2

Spear

3

Thrown Spear

1

Small Claw

2

Small Bash

1

Medium Bite

2

Editor's Note

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