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)