Snakes get a bad rap in our world. As a kid I recall people always being afraid of snakes with numerous claims about them being slimy, creepy and scary. The fact they have no legs and feet, in a way, makes them alien to most other things people interact with. When you add into the mix most snakes either crush their prey while it is alive or poison it to death or so it is comatose for consumption makes for a creature that can live up to part of its reputation. But worry not, snakes and not slimy. Their scales are smooth and like many reptiles fairly cool to the touch. My son is getting a snake for a pet as soon as the kind he wants is available from a local dealer. Not to get too deep on it, he is getting an egg eating snake from Africa so he does not make his sister upset by feeding mice to a snake. She just got mice as pets for Christmas. With snakes on the brain I was very excited to see Hero Forge release two snakelike options during their Treasure Tuesdays in February — serpentfolk and nagas.
Serpentfolk and nagas slither into Hero Forge
When we look at reptiles who rely on the sun to provide warmth, look different and have this bad reputation it is no wonder where fantasy writers have taken reptilian races in a fantasy world. As opposed to this evil bent with conquering and destruction being prevalent what if you had a section of your world where these creatures prayed to the sun god? What if the dawning of the sun was a major event? Serpent creatures could greet the sun like a friend, even though they worship it. I could easily see either a whole new set of racial abilities or stat blocks for monsters because this is a very divergent way of looking at this staple species.
Most monstrous humanoids in Dungeons & Dragons tend to be neutral or evil. We know even though races might have an evil bent some are available as playable races. Look at grung, yuan-ti, orc and others. We have stats to play these races in 5E D&D and nowhere does it require we play these races as evil. With 5E D&D being the most heroic of rule sets throughout the game’s numerous iterations of rules it makes sense to give players all these options. It gives the players a chance to provide an interesting and unique backstory. This is something many players, like myself, truly love doing.
I am not asking you to abandon these races of monsters completely, but how much of a surprise will it be when adventurers encounter helpful monsters? It makes them paranoid. Keeping your players on their toes is a Dungeon Master’s job after all!
If you are looking to play this as a character your culture can be whatever your DM allows but there is no reason why your character could not be different. My daughter’s current obsession is frogs, so when One Grung Above came out she really wanted to play a grung character. Despite years of playing this game I really was not familiar with them so I said sure. We rolled up a character and she has been playing ever since. Afterward I read up and saw how evil grung are, vicious slavers who poison their slaves. This did not fit for a character my 8 year old was playing. Slavery is too big for her to deal with so at least where she is from this is not the case.
If you want to be different, be different. Worship the sun and the dawn. A Celestial warlock, Light cleric or even a Way of the Four Elements monk are very interesting takes at looking at the options for these types of characters. If you are looking for a custom miniature so you can have exactly the character you want to play, check out Hero Forge. With their recent Treasure Tuesday they released serpentfolk and nagas. These both present different snake bodies in place of the legs as well as being able to have either a humanoid head or a snake head. Add that to Hero Forge’s already amazing character creation options and you will not find another miniature quite like the one you create.
I have been a fan of Hero Forge for years and they have come a long way with all the options they now offer. When I heard they were doing more serpent stuff I was very excited. Let me know if I persuaded you to use these awesome races in a new way or if you think I should make up a new race and stat blocks. Would they be enemies?
Thanks for reading. Until next time, stay nerdy!