Constrictor SerpentFolk in BRP

Here's another entry for my BRP Bestiary. The largest type of SerpentFolk, the Boai, keep this week's post in their uncompromising embrace... Along with this, I need to provide the Hit Location chart for all of these slithering monstrosities so that they better fit into the optional rules presented in the Basic Roleplaying rule book. I do so love the modular nature of the Big Gold Book!

As a point of note, these SerpentFolk entries could easily find a home in your fantasy campaign, or as a further differentiated version of Call of Cthulhu's Serpent Men. They were originally envisioned to be part of a CoC campaign set in my hometown in Texas, US. Anthropomorphic snake-aliens genetically modified from Terran stock? Yes, please!

Hit Locations
D20 roll result (HP formula)
1-2 Hindtail (1/4 total HP)*
3-8 Foretail (1/3 total HP)*
9-11 Abdomen (1/3 total HP)
12 Chest (2/5 total HP)
13-15 Right Arm (1/4 total HP)
16-18 Left Arm (1/4 total HP)
19-20 Head (1/3 total HP)
*due to the nature of their anatomy, SerpentFolk use slightly different rules when their tails are injured. Injuries to Hindtail do not affect their movement rates, nor cause them to fall.
Injures dropping their Foretail location to 0 or lower force them to crawl along using their arms.

Constrictor SerpentFolk
The Boai SerpentFolk require a unique combination of climate and environment. Their size demands a hot, humid region to keep their powerful metabolisms running. Boai, being large predators, also settle only in lush areas with a variety of potential prey. From birth, their diamond-patterned bodies continue to grow as long as they have a ready supply of food. They tend to spend their early years growing to intimidating size either on their own or protected by their parents. Once they out-grow others, they create around themselves a retinue that provide their giant overlord with what they want so they can pursue their own interests. These groups quickly organize themselves into a hierarchy. The thugs and brutes which best provide for their Boai master rise to the top. Those who don't help them practice their grappling techniques.

The most social type of SerpentFolk, mature Boai will first attempt to dominate anyone who they come in contact with. Juveniles work at attracting as little notice as possible until they gain sufficient size and strength to control others. Descended from constrictors, the Boai grapple their foes and work their strong coils around them to suffocate them.

Characteristic Roll (Average)
STR 3d6+6** (16-17)
CON 3d6+3 (13-14)
SIZ 3d6+6** (16-17)
INT 3d6 (10-11)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 3d6 (10-11)
APP 3d6 (10-11)
Move 11
Hit Points 15
Damage Bonus +1d6
Armor 3 (heavy scales)
- Heavy Mace 45%, 1d8+2+db (crushing)
- Grapple 75%, varies
- Brawl 55%, varies
- Command 15%, Dodge DEXx3%, Insight 40%, Language (Reptilian) INTx5%, Language (Other) INTx2%, Persuade (Intimidation) 30%
- Boai Growth. When individual Boai have sufficient food, they grow. While slow, this rate of growth will continue until the brute meets with a violent end or old age overtakes them. After introducing a Boai character into a campaign, track their growth. As long as they do not fall into subsistence living, you should add 1d6+3 to their STR and SIZ characteristics every two (2) years. See the table below for the average STR and SIZ for the early years of Boai development. As a note, the Boai do not sexually mature until they are 12-13 years old.
** These stats represent a young Boai, just preparing to gather their gang around them.

Age in years STR and SIZ roll (Average)
birth-1 1d6 (3-4)
3-7 2d6+3 (10)
8-14 3d6+6 (16-17)
15-16 4d6+9 (23)
17-18 5d6+12 (29-30)


Cottonmouth SerpentFolk in BRP

To blow the dust off this blog and vent the crazed torrent of gaming pent up in my noggin, I present my version of SerpentFolk for use in generic BRP.

As players of Call of Cthulhu may know, SerpentMen (or the Children of Yig) can cause SAN loss, target you with sorcery, and envenom your character with a carefully-aimed bite pretty much simultaneously. This assumes, of course, that they didn't already have their Lightning Guns or domination potions un-holstered.

On the other end of the spectrum, my RuneQuest game had several Chaos-mutants whose base creatures were snakes. I took the concept of the SerpentMen from Call of Cthulhu, introduced a subtle change in anatomy, and caused my players all kinds of trouble with a "band" of Thed-worshiping anthropomorphized snakes.

"Anatomical change?" you ask.

Yes, I got rid of their legs. Instead of four-limbed SerpentMen, I give to you two-armed SerpentFolk. The name was deliberately chosen to differentiate them from their Mythos-inhabiting cousins and because not all of these creatures are male. Well, consistently anyway. SerpentFolk can, like their broo cousins, do naughty things to captives to reproduce. They may also change gender over the course of a year and lay neonate-clones of themselves if they have the energy for it.

To make things even more interesting, several distinct breeds of SerpentFolk stalk the realms of my BRP games... Closest to their SerpentMen relatives are the venomous Cottonmouth.

Cottonmouth SerpentFolk
These reptiles skulk and swim through the swamplands of temperate areas. As adults, their dark-banded bodies provide excellent camouflage in the brackish mud of their native swamps. Cottonmouth's broad triangular shaped heads house their venom glands, and their eyes have elliptical pupils. These SerpentFolk take their name from their primary social custom with non-serpents; they will hold open a wide, cotton-white mouth to display their retractable fangs to potential aggressors. The contrast between the color of their mouths and their surroundings is a startling sight in the swamps.

Cottonmouths rarely interact with others, even among their own kind. When they do it is to mate and raise young to the point they can take care of themselves. These creatures tend to use simple melee weapons when cornered. However they much prefer to draw intruders into their domain into carefully prepared traps, snares, and tripwires.

Characteristic Roll (Average)
STR 3d6 (10-11)
CON 3d6+3 (13-14)
SIZ 2d6+4 (11)
INT 3d6 (10-11)
POW 3d6 (10-11)
DEX 3d6+3 (13-14)
APP 3d6 (10-11)
Move 9 (12 swimming)
Hit Points 12
Damage Bonus none
Armor 1 (light scales)
- Short Spear 40%, 1d6+1+db (impaling)
- Short Spear (thrown) 40%, 1d6+1+1/2db (impaling)
- Bite 55%, 2d4+db (impaling) + poison (see below)
- Dodge DEXx2%, Fine Manipulation 30%, Language (Reptilian) INTx5%, Stealth 30%, Swim 65%, Track 25%
- Cottonmouth Venom. When a bite attack penetrates armor and delivers at least 1 point of damage to the target, that character is subject to a dose of Poison with POT equal to the Cottonmouth's CON. This is handled according to page 229 of the Basic RolePlaying rulebook. Details of their venom are listed below.

Cottonmouth Venom Details
[Speed of Effect] Symptom (Effect)
[1 - 2 combat rounds] location bitten swells dramatically (-15% to all skills using that limb/location)
[5 - 10 minutes] increased heart rate, chills, uncontrollable trembling (penalty increases to -25% to skills using the bitten limb/location, -10% to all other skills)
[15 - 30 minutes] paralysis of the limb/location bitten (-15% to all skills, limb affected is unusable - if the location is Head, Chest, or Abdomen the victim falls unconscious)