September 4, 2017

The Serpent Gods

Otherworldly Patron
Comments from the Knuckle: "I wrote this one up towards the end of my days at school, when I started really reading about the pantheon of the Yuan-ti. I dunno about everyone else, but I felt lumping them in with the Great Old Ones was a disservice."

The Serpent Gods

Few warlocks hear the hissing voice of the ancient Serpent Gods. These gods, long-imprisoned beyond the borders of the multiverse, can no longer make clerics, and choose instead to bewitch and seduce individuals with their power. To the uninitiated, their warlocks seem to be pledged into a pact with a Great Old One, but these warlocks are not ashamed to bare the fangs of their masters and unleash their venom upon the world. The Serpent Gods willing to forge such a pact with mortals include: Apophis, the Hooded Lord of Chaos; Karkitak, the Serpent King; Leviathan, the Sea Scourge; Naga, the Divine Serpent; Nahash, the First Cursed; Nidhoggr, the World-Eater; and Vasuki, the Trickster.

Expanded Spell List
The Serpent Gods let you choose from an expanded list of spells when you learn a warlock spell. The following spells are added to the warlock spell list for you.

Serpent Gods Expanded Spell List
Spell Level Spell
1stanimal friendship, dissonant whispers
2ndacid arrow, alter self
3rdbestow curse, conjure animals
4thfreedom of movement, phantasmal killer
5thgeas, mislead

Emissary of the Serpent
Starting at 1st level, as a bonus action on your turn you can invoke your patron, causing scales to grow all over your body. While your scales cover you, your AC equals 13 + your Dexterity modifier. These scales last until you use your action to dismiss them.
     You also know the cantrip snakebite. It does not count against your number of cantrips known. Lastly, you can speak to snakes as if you shared a language.

Venom of the Serpent Gods
Starting at 6th level, when you hit a creature with the snakebite cantrip you can force the target to make a Constitution saving throw against your warlock spell save DC. On a failed save, the target is poisoned for 1 minute. It repeats this saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on a success.
     Once you use this feature you can't use it again until you complete a short or long rest.

Serpent Cunning
Starting at 10th level, you are slippery as a snake, and extremely hard to pin down. You have advantage on saving throws made against being restrained and ability checks you make to escape grapple.
     Additionally, when you are restrained or grappled, you can use an action on your turn to end the condition, loosing you from your bonds.

Skin of the Scaled Ones
Starting at 14th level, as a bonus action, you can shift your form into that of a giant constrictor snake. You retain your personality, and Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma scores. You assume the hit points of the giant constrictor snake, and add your Charisma modifier to your AC in this form. When you use the bite attack of the giant constrictor snake, the target also takes 2d6 poison damage. You also gain the Multiattack trait, allowing you to make one constrict attack, and two bite attacks.
     Your gear merges with this form and cannot be used. You can remain in this form for a number of hours equal to half your warlock level. You retain the ability to cast eldritch blast, and maintain concentration on any spells that you were concentrating on before your transformation. You cannot cast any other spells in this form. You revert to your normal form when this form drops to 0 hit points, or when you end it early as an action. Any excess damage carries over to your normal form.
     You can use this ability twice and regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.

New Spell
This cantrip is available to warlocks that make their pact with the Serpent Gods.

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 action
Range: 90 feet
Components: V, S, M (a snake fang and a vial of snake venom)
Duration: 1 round
Pointing with two fingers, you let loose spectral set of snake fangs in a bright green flash, which lunge at the spell's target. Make a ranged spell attack roll. On a successful a hit, the target takes 1d8 poison damage and has disadvantage for the duration on their next Constitution saving throw against being poisoned.
     This spell's damage increases when you reach 5th level (2d8), 11th level (3d8), and 17th level (4d8).


  1. The general idea seems great (and helpful- I'm currently running a side adventure with Yuan-ti. How do you always make those exactly when I need them?).

    However, the focus on one cantrip doesn't seem like a good idea- warlocks already get the best damage cantrip, and they get ways to improve it (at 6th level, eldritch blast with cha mod will deal about twice as damage as snakebit). Why would a warlock want to focus on a lesser one?
    I think venom of the serpent gods won't be too powerful if allowed to be used with any spell (as long as it's one target).

    1. Snakebite is mainly for flavor, but also to give you another tactical option. For DPR, no, it's not the best choice, but if your buddy is trying to poison the target, it's a pretty good option.

    2. But tying Venom of the Serpent Gods to it makes it look like it's at least a partial focus instead of just being another option.

    3. Consider letting eldritch blast do poison damage and give it a invocation that bypasses immunity or resistance??

      This sounds great and I love how it works now. Maybe even have invocations work on snakebite like it is eldritch blast?

  2. Looms fun i can. Now make reptile its mortal kombaaat

  3. Alter Self on the spell list seems very odd given that Warlocks get an invocation for that. it does give you it earlier, but it sort of ends up feeling like a wasted option otherwise

    1. Well, and it saves you spending an invocation. That's not inconsiderable.

    2. Suggestion is a Yuan-ti spell, so it might work better.

    3. Suggestion is already a warlock spell.

    4. Right, don't know how I missed that.
      Protection from poison?

  4. Looks good, but I'd also like the option to use Snakebite while in serpent form as well as EB. In fact why not reduce number of times per day usable and open up all cantrips while in serpent form?

    1. Snake form doesn't alter your cantrips. You just have snake-bite at first level as well as snake form at lvl 1. The main point is that you have to look like a snake to have that ac.

    2. I toyed with snakebite being usable in snake form, but allowing snakebite + Venom of the Serpent Gods + giving bonus HP was too good.

  5. Looks awesome! I'll show this to one of my players. They're considering playing a Warlock, and I'm throwing Against the Cult of the Reptile God into the sandbox, so it could be cool. Thanks for your ideas!