Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherms

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Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherms

Postby alex_greene » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:25 pm

It's about time the reptilians made a comeback. As Open Content.

And not as a retooling of a Gloranthan critter, but a complete rethink. One suited to Legend.

Discuss.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby danskmacabre » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:29 pm

You mean as a playable race or just a monster?
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby alex_greene » Fri Mar 16, 2012 1:45 pm

All options.

NPCs, player characters, sentient humanoid monster types to fight. Anything from a long-dormant threat inadvertently awakened by the player characters to become the major menace of the campaign's story arc to that monstrous hood-necked cobra person high sorcerer with his army of pet orc minions in the Temple of Golatra or whatever.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:24 am

Serpent People have a long history in modern fantasy - largely because the genre arose at the same time as palaeontology was making the general public aware of the true extent of geological time. The idea that there may have been entire cycles of pre-human history was a powerful one. And the notion that the non-human civilisation should take the form of reptile or snake people arose naturally from the discovery of various species of dinosaurs and other prehistoric reptilian species. You can see pulp writers playing around with these ideas in everything from the Serpent Folk of Robert E. Howard and HP Lovecraft to the immortal Serpent Mother of Yu-Atlanchi in Abraham Merritt's Face in the Abyss. So to me, one of the most important element of any depiction of the serpent folk and other saurians the notion that they are the last remnant of a pre-human civilisation that may have achieved levels of technological and sorcerous expertise that humans can only dream of. The existence of such archaic survivals throws the transience of human civilisation into high relief - when viewed against the expanse of geological time, human history is nothing more than a brief flicker in the darkness.

For more inspiration, you might like to look at the Silurians and Sea Devils from Doctor Who or the Reptoids of UFO culture.

(Incidentally, the wikipedia page on the Reptoids mentions that the concept may have originated in a a 1934 Los Angeles Times article in which a geophysical mining engineer claimed to have discovered subterranean labyrinths beneath Los Angeles to an underground city built by an advanced race of "Lizard People" to escape surface catastrophes some 5,000 years ago. Interesting that this should arise at the same time as Howard, Lovecraft, and Merritt were active....)
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby strega » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:29 am

For inspiration.

Ophiolatreia on Project Gutenberg

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/39015
My Getting started with Legend file including a suggested starting adventure.

My Romano-British Game setting.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby alex_greene » Sat Mar 17, 2012 11:57 am

I'm already there:-

{PDF} Tree and Serpent Worship in India

{PDF} The Lair of the White Worm - Bram Stoker

All of this research, of course, happens to fall on St Patrick's Day. :D
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Xtreme Hids

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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Prime_Evil » Sat Mar 17, 2012 12:23 pm

Snakes. Why did it have to be snakes?
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby alex_greene » Sat Mar 17, 2012 2:32 pm

Would you like to know more? :D

Reptilians in Legend, by Alex Greene, First Draft, on 4shared

Same document, first draft, posted to BRP Central

Have fun playing with your serpents. Just give me feedback where possible. Corrections sent to me by PM only. As with my other work, Potion Creation In Legend, still available online, I'll notify you all here on the Mongoose boards of any revisions to the basic article.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby yojimbo » Sun Mar 18, 2012 1:09 pm

Really like the Saurian and Serpent folk stuff. Your saurians seems to effortlessly meld ufology, the classic lizard man, and the prehistoric reptile people of shows like Land of the Lost.

One archetype that seems to be missing is the dragon man. Examples being D&D's kobolds (3/4e), draconians, and dragonborn. These are reptile men that have some link to dragons.

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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby havercake lad » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:22 pm

Reptile Men of Pio and their dinosaur like mounts are stated up in Mongoose's own Elric core rulebook.

Plus the Reptilian Phoorn and the Mernii (the proto Melniboneans) seem to have interbreed at times. I wonder if some degenerative hybrids exist on some plane or other ?
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby alex_greene » Sun Mar 18, 2012 4:14 pm

I'm glad you are enjoying the article so far.

As for the dragon men ... I had to leave something for a possible sequel, didn't I? :)
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:18 pm

Awesome work.

It might also be worth mentioning the Naga of Hindu mythology.

Also, note the Chinese legend of the White Snake:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legend_of_the_White_Snake

There was a movie of this story made last year under the title The Sorcerer and the White Snake (白蛇傳說) that contains some amazing visuals:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eova0lSmxGw
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Mixster » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:51 pm

I did some statting of a kobolds recently, made it so I could convert some D&D stuff in case I needed it.

I think I lost the file though. Here's what I can remember:

Kobold
Many people have unjustly disfavored the kobold as a minor creature living deep underground, as pit slaves to the dragons.
However, kobolds are actually descended from dragons, a culture and a race much older than our human one, it is believed that the kobolds have once held a great civilization, perhaps even before the elves arose.
However minor they may seem, kobolds, perhaps due to their draconic ancestry, have a remarkable talent for magic.
Strength 2d6+3 (10)
Size 1d6+3 (7)
Dex 3d6+3 (14)
Con 2d6 (7)
Pow 3d6+3 (14)
Int 2d6+6 (13)
Cha 3d6 (11)

Abilities: Dark Sight, Natural Armour (1 AP to all locations), Magic in the blood.
Magic in the blood: Kobolds using common magic get +1 magnitude to all their spells for free. Kobolds using sorcery can add an extra level of manipulation, without spending time or Magic Points.
(So for example, a Kobold with 58% in manipulation, could cast a spell with 6 targets (manipulate targets 6 times), and they could all be within his POW in meters (Manipulate range once), as a singe Combat Action, for 1 MP).

Reasoning for the stats, I gave a decent minimum strength so they could still do something besides stealing and casting spells. The way I see it, they are already penalized enough by being small that they don't need to lose strength as well.
I gave the magic blooded special rule because it fitted really well with their D&D stats (wherein they are by far the best sorcerers), if removed their POW should probably go up, but I really like the rule.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Prime_Evil » Sun Mar 18, 2012 10:20 pm

The write-up of the kobold is nice. However, I suspect that the idea that kobolds are reptilian creatures originates with D&D - in Germanic mythology they are usually depicted as small humanoid beings who can be broadly classified as faeries (although they do take animal form on occasion).
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby alex_greene » Sun Mar 18, 2012 11:17 pm

The term "Kobold" is also the origin of the name of the metal cobalt (Co, Group 9 Period 4 transition metal, atomic number 27, atomic weight 58.933195). In fact, the first time I ever heard the word "Kobold" was through chemistry classes in school, when the teacher used to tell the class that the "Kobold ore" they dug up instead of the ores they wanted was useless to them, hence its classification as a "mischievous" ore that kept turning up where it was not welcome.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Prime_Evil » Mon Mar 19, 2012 3:47 am

That's interesting - I didn't know that.

And who said that roleplaying doesn't teach you anything ;)
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby Mixster » Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:25 am

Prime_Evil wrote:The write-up of the kobold is nice. However, I suspect that the idea that kobolds are reptilian creatures originates with D&D - in Germanic mythology they are usually depicted as small humanoid beings who can be broadly classified as faeries (although they do take animal form on occasion).
I actually didn't know that, but reading an article about kobolds has made me agree.

The name can be changed however anybody wants, and should work for most small, dragon-descended, spell-casting reptilians.

I wanted to give them a bonus to building traps as well, but I'm uncertain of what to do, since I think giving straight skill bonuses to some races is a tad silly.
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby warlock1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:51 am

Prime_Evil wrote:That's interesting - I didn't know that.

And who said that roleplaying doesn't teach you anything ;)
LMAO, I learnt everything I know from roleplaying :D
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Re: Saurians and Serpent People - Our Favourite Poikilotherm

Postby warlock1971 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:54 am

alex_greene wrote:Would you like to know more? :D

Reptilians in Legend, by Alex Greene, First Draft, on 4shared

Same document, first draft, posted to BRP Central

Have fun playing with your serpents. Just give me feedback where possible. Corrections sent to me by PM only. As with my other work, Potion Creation In Legend, still available online, I'll notify you all here on the Mongoose boards of any revisions to the basic article.
Thanks for for sharing Alex!

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