For my next post in the A-Z Challenge, I will be posting a Sandbox Encounter dealing with an ancient reptilian race filled with hatred and a desire for conquest. S is for Serpentfolk.
Brief Description: Also known as the Manasa, the serpentfolk are an ancient race of serpentine humanoids, whom legend states have walked the earth since before the rise of mammals. Over time, the serpentfolk have mystically crossbred with humans and other humanoids, mixing their blood and abilities, the better to infiltrate and eventually destroy those that opposed their territorial expansion. Although largely humanoid in form, the Manasa still have the mentality of reptiles. Concepts such as mercy and compromise are unknown to them. They are utterly ruthless, and have little concept of honor. Survival and victory are their only goals, though they are fully capable of employing subtle or deceptive methods to obtain them. Through their crossbreeding and mystical experiments, the Manasa have evolved into three distinct types, or castes: the Manblooded (mostly humanoid), the Hybrid (half snake/half man), and the Nagaborn (mostly serpentine).
Encounter Groups: These are common encounter groups for this type of encounter.
- Novice (levels 1-3): 4 Men-At-Arms, 1 Hybrid Serpentfolk. 2d6x10 silver shillings. (I use a silver standard in my campaigns.)
- Seasoned (levels 4-6): 8 Men-At-Arms, 2 Hybrid Serpentfolk, 1 Manblooded Serpentfolk. 2d4x1000 silver shillings, 1d3 gems, 1d3 jewelry, two consumable items (50% chance each), and one magic item (50% chance).
- Veteran (levels 7-10): 16 Men-At-Arms, 4 Hybrid Serpentfolk, 2 Manblooded Serpentfolk, 1 Nagaborn Serpentfolk. 2d6x1000 silver shillings, 2d4 gems, 1d4+1 jewelry, one magic weapon (50% chance), one magic armor (50% chance), two magic items (50% chance each), and two consumables (50% chance each).
Stat Blocks: The following stats are provided as examples for inspiration. Please adjust as needed to fit your preferred gaming system and style.
- Men-At-Arms: AC 8 ; HD 1d6+2 hp; Atk: by weapon (1d6); ST: 16; SP: +1 on attack rolls in defense of their patron; MV: 12; CL 1; XP: 15.
- Hybrid Serpentfolk: AC 3 ; HD 4; Atk: bite (1d4+poison) and long sword (1d8) or long bow (1d6); ST: 13; SP: darkvision 60 ft, immune to poison, poisonous bite, speak with snakes, spell-like abilities; MV: 12; CL 9; XP 1,100.
- Manblooded Serpentfolk: AC 1 ; HD 7; Atk: long sword (1d8) or long bow (1d6); ST: 9; SP: alter form, control snakes, darkvision 60 ft, immune to poison, ophidiaphobia, speak with snakes, spell-like abilities; MV: 12; CL 12; XP 2,000.
- Nagaborn Serpentfolk: AC -2 ; HD 9; Atk: bite (1d6+poison) and long sword (1d8) or long bow (1d6); ST: 6; SP: darkvision 60 ft, immune to poison, ophidiaphobia, poisonous bite, speak with snakes, spell-like abilities, spit; MV: 12; CL 15; XP 2,900.
Encounter Ideas: Here are six different scenarios related to this encounter type.
- The serpentfolk are preparing to ambush an expedition, hoping to use their infiltration abilities to take the place of a few "survivors".
- The serpentfolk are currently setting up camp, as they are travelling across the Madlands.
- The serpentfolk demand tribute from the party in exchange for not attacking them.
- The serpentfolk are fleeing a divinely-warped aberration from the depths of the Madlands, and is more than willing to send the party in that direction to distract it.
- The serpentfolk pose as an expedition, and seek to gain the trust of the party to add to their assumed identities to help them infiltrate human society.
- The leader of the serpentfolk is seeking a religious artifact for his goddess, Dark Mother of Reptiles.