Hello everyone, partly on request for a friend of mine I took some time to write up a homebrew ancestry for the snake-tailed Lamia. The primary inspiration was Monmusu, but I feel this should be usable as a more bestial snake-person too, if you’d prefer. Also, naturally, there is no reason there can’t be male Lamia.
Without any further ado, here is the Ancestry in question!
-Size: Medium; however, your long tail means you take up an additional 5-foot space adjacent to you. If you did not move or only took a single move action in a turn, you can coil up as a free action so you only take a single 5-foot space.
-Speed: 25 feet
-Ability Boosts: Strength, Charisma, Free
-Ability Flaw: Wisdom
-Languages: Common, [racial language], [3-5 bonus languages for high INT]
-Traits: Uncommon, Humanoid, Lamia
Serpent’s Tail: Cannot be tripped, +2 to resist any other method of being knocked prone. Cannot ‘jump’, but after coiling up can lunge up to 15 feet in any direction, including straight up, without needing an acrobatics check.
-Serpent’s Venom: While most Lamiae do possess a pair of snakelike fangs, for most they are too small to be of use. You, however, were born not only with a large and dangerous pair of fangs, but also possess the ability to inject your victims with a mild venom. You gain a Fangs unarmed attack that deals 1d6 poison damage. Your Fangs are in the Brawling group and have the Finesse, Poison, and Unarmed traits. (Associated ancestry feats at 1 and 9. feat at 9 gives Poison effect, poison damage and Enfeebled)
-Serpent’s Gaze: Born with a brilliant hood, a hypnotic gaze, or perhaps a combination of the two, you have learned to use this feature to fascinate or intimidate others. You become trained in your choice of Diplomacy, Deception, or Intimidation. At 5th level you become an Expert in the chosen skill. (ancestry feat at 9 gives ability to cause Fascinated to single target)
-Echidna: Magic flows through your veins, marking you as an Echidna, a Lamia with potent magical powers. You gain one cantrip from the arcane or occult spell list. You can cast this spell as an innate spell at will of the appropriate tradition. A cantrip is heightened to a spell level equal to half your level rounded up. (associated ancestry feats at 5 and 9 give additional SLAs)
-Medusa: Also sometimes called a Gorgon. In mythology, Medusae are said to be able to turn someone to stone with their gaze, but in reality the magic you can focus through your eyes is far weaker. You gain the “Paralyzing Gaze” action. (associated ancestry feats at 5 and 13 makes it more debilitating)
--Paralyzing Gaze (2 Actions)
Frequency: Once per round
Requirements: You and your target can see each-other.
Effect: Your target must attempt a Will saving throw.
Critical Success: The target is unaffected, and cannot be targeted by Paralyzing Gaze again for 24 hours.
Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: The target is Paralyzed until the start of their next round, and cannot by targeted by Paralyzing Gaze again for 24 hours.
Critical Failure: The target is Paralyzed for 1 minute, and cannot be targeted by Paralyzing Gaze again for 24 hours.
-Melusine: A subspecies of Lamia that often live by the shore, they are more akin to sea snakes than terrestrial snakes. While they seem to possess dragonlike wings on their arms, these are actually fins, and are used to aid in swimming. You gain a 10-foot swim speed and gain the Amphibious trait. (Level 1 ancestry feat increases swim speed to equal to land speed)
--Lamia Lore: [Lamia] Become trained in Athletics and Survival. If you’re already trained in one or both skills (such as through a class or background), you become trained in another skill of your choice. You also become trained in Lamia Lore.
--Lamia Weapon Familiarity: [Lamia] You are trained with Scimitars, Falchions, Longbows, Compound Longbows, Shortbows, and Compound Shortbows. In addition, you gain access to all uncommon Lamia weapons. For the purpose of determining your proficiency, martial lamia weapons are simple weapons and advanced lamia weapons are martial weapons.
--Constricting Coils: [Lamia] When you start a turn with a target already grappled, you can wind your tail around their body, allowing you to maintain your Grapple without needing to use either hand. While using your tail to grapple a target, you gain a +2 bonus to Athletics checks to maintain the grapple and can move to any space adjacent to your target.
--Ophidian Senses: [Lamia] You gain an imprecise Scent sense with a range of 30 feet.
--Tough Scales: [Lamia] You gain a +1 item bonus to AC while unarmored.
--Snake Friend: [Lamia] You gain a +2 bonus to Nature checks to Command an Animal if the target is a snake, and all snakes have a starting attitude toward you only of Indifferent. In addition, you can train Snakes as if you had the Train Animal feat.
--Envenom Weapon: (requires Serpent’s Venom heritage) [Lamia] [Poison] You can apply your venom to a weapon that deals Slashing or Piercing damage using two Interact actions. An envenomed weapon deals additional Poison damage each hit equal to one quarter your character level (minimum of 1) on each successful strike. Though it doesn’t act like an alchemical poison, it still disappears on a critical failure.
--Sea Snake: (Requires Melusine Heritage) [Lamia] Your Swim speed is upgraded to equal your Land speed.
--Flying Snake: [Lamia] When coiled up, you can instead launch yourself 30 feet in any direction, rather than 15 feet.
--Powerful Tail: [Lamia] You gain a Tail unarmed attack, which deals 1d8 bludgeoning damage with the Finesse and Unarmed traits. This attack can be improved with Handwraps of Mighty Strikes. This unarmed attack can be used at any time unless your tail is already occupied or somehow unavailable.
Special: If you have Constricting Coils, you can apply the damage from your Tail unarmed attack as a free action once per round to a target you have grappled with your tail; you still must roll attack to see if you achieved a critical. If you are using Constricting Coils, you cannot use your Tail unarmed attack.
--Tripping Tail: [Lamia] You do not require a free hand to perform a Trip attack; if you roll a critical failure, you are not knocked prone. You cannot use this feat if your tail is already occupied or somehow unavailable.
--Climbing Snake: [Lamia] You gain a Climb speed equal to your Land speed.
--Lamia Weapon Grace: [Lamia] Whenever you critically hit using a Lamia weapon or one of the weapons listed in Lamia Weapon Familiarity, you apply the weapon's critical specialization effect.
--Ophidian Arcanum: (requires Echidna heritage) [Lamia] Pick a single 1st level spell from the same tradition as the Cantrip you chose on taking the Echidna heritage. You can cast this spell once per day as an innate spell of that tradition.
--Stunning Gaze: (requires Medusa heritage) [Lamia] Paralyzing Gaze also inflicts Stunned 1 on a Success, and on a Failure or Critical Failure, when the Paralyze ends the victim is also Stunned 2
--Extra-Tough Scales: (requires Tough Scales) [Lamia] You become an Expert in Unarmored Defense if you aren’t already. When you gain a class feature that grants you Master or greater proficiency in any type of armor, you also gain that proficiency in Unarmored Defense.
--Grabbing Tail: (requires Constricting Coils, Expert Athletics) [Lamia] When you roll a Critical Success on a strike, you can attempt a Grapple check as a free action using your tail. You cannot perform this feat if your tail is already occupied or somehow unavailable.
--Spring Back: [Lamia] You gain the Spring Back reaction.
Spring Back (Reaction)
Trigger: You are attacked or subject to an effect that requires a Reflex Save.
Requirement: You are not Coiled Up (see Size notes)
Effect: You reposition yourself to any space within 5 feet of your ‘tail’ token. This provides a +2 bonus to your AC or Reflex Save.
--Greater Ophidian Senses: (requires Ophidian Senses) [Lamia] Your Imprecise Scent sense now has a range of 40 feet, and you gain a Precise Scent sense with a range of 10 feet.
--Potent Venom: (requires Serpent’s Venom heritage) [Lamia] A number of times per day equal to half your character level, you can attempt to inject a victim of your Fangs natural attack with Lamia Venom.
Saving Throw: DC=10 + CON mod + character level; Onset Immediately; Maximum Duration 1 minute; Stage 1 1d6 poison damage (1 round); Stage 2 1d8 poison damage and Enfeebled (1 round) 1; Stage 3 2d8 poison damage and Enfeebled 2 (1 round).
---Special: If you have the Envenom Weapon feat, you can apply this poison to your weapon.
--Hypnotic Glance: (requires Serpent’s Gaze heritage) [Lamia] Pick a single target that you can see and can see you. That target rolls Will.
Critical Success: The target is unaffected and cannot be targeted by Hypnotic Glance again for 24 hours.
Success: The target is unaffected.
Failure: The target is Fascinated by you for 1 round. So long as you maintain line of sight with the target, you can use Hypnotic Glance at the start of your next turn on the same target as a free action.
Critical Failure: The Target is Fascinated by you for 1 minute, and if they were hostile towards you, they are Indifferent for the duration of the Fascinated condition.
While fascinated, the Coerce and Make An Impression actions take only 1 round to perform, rather than 1 minute.
--Greater Ophidian Arcanum: (requires Ophidian Arcanum) [Lamia] Pick a single 3rd level spell from the same tradition as the Cantrip you chose on taking the Echidna heritage. You can cast this spell once per day as an innate spell of that tradition.
--Gliding Snake: (requires Flying Snake) [Lamia] If you launch yourself in the air with Flying Snake, at the end of your turn you can choose not to fall back to the ground, but to begin gliding. At the start of your next turn, you can move as if you possessed a 10 foot fly speed, but lose 15 feet of altitude at the end of your turn, and cannot take any actions other than to move until you either cancel your flight (immediately falling to the ground) or touch ground as a result of the altitude drop.
--Lamia Weapon Expertise: [Lamia] Whenever you gain a class feature that grants you expert or greater proficiency in certain weapons, you also gain that proficiency in Scimitars, Falchions, Longbows, Compound Longbows, Shortbows, and Compound Shortbows, and all lamia weapons in which you are trained.
--Petrifying Gaze: (requires Medusa heritage) [Lamia] [Curse] Paralyzing Gaze gains the Curse trait, and now inflicts Petrification on a critical failure rather than Paralysis. This effect lasts for 1 hour instead of 1 minute, at the end of which the target must make another Will save, with the following effects:
Critical Success: The target suffers no further ill effects.
Success: The target is Stunned 2
Failure: The target is Paralyzed for 1 minute, and then Stunned 3
Critical Failure: The target is Petrified for another 24 hours, at which point they can roll Will again, but at a stacking -2 penalty.
The Petrification effect automatically ends if the Medusa Lamia ever dies. Even if they return to life somehow afterward, the effect is still broken.
-Superior Ophidian Senses: (requires Greater Ophidian Senses) [Lamia] Your Imprecise Scent sense now has a range of 50 feet, and your Precise Scent sense extends to 30 feet.
Fang Blade: [Lamia] [Agile] [Forceful] [Sweep]; Melee, Advanced, Uncommon, 2 GP, 1d6 S, 1 handed, - range, 1 bulk, Sword weapon group. If an Injury poison is applied to a Fang Blade, that poison gains a +1 to the DC per die of damage the weapon deal.
Interesting write up. I've been working on my own version of a Lamia Ancestry for my setting, so I thought I'd offer some comments.
Love some of the naming sense used. Like the thematic image of them coiling up to perform a leaping action.
While scent is an interesting ability to get, I personally find it more interesting/thematic to focus on a snake's pit organ to give the ancestry thermal sense instead. Basically try to make their sense feats a bit more more unique compared to other animal-people ancestries.
The special bonus on Powerful Tail is very awkward. It feels like you're dancing around just having the ability to use Constrict. Just make a feat that gives Constrict. Here's my draft:
Constrict ◈ (Feat 5)
Requirements: You have a creature grabbed.
You wrap your serpentine body around a creature and attempt to crush it in your coils. You deal bludgeoning damage equal to 1d8 plus your Strength modifier to the grabbed creature; the creature must attempt a basic Fortitude saving throw against your class DC or spell DC, whichever is higher.
Potent Venom: Rather than spelling out a DC, most ancestry feats just use the wording: "your class DC or spell DC, whichever is higher." I think it'd be better to just mimic that rather than try to make a unique DC calculation.
Greater Ophidian Arcanum seems like it might be a bit too good. I can't think of any other ancestry that allows a free selection of a third level spell. The amount of choice here makes it incredibly powerful compared to some of the alternatives in other ancestries.
Finally, my 2-cents of the Medusa-themed heritage. Anything involving petrification needs to have the incapacitation trait. Also, with the way 2E is handling creatures that can petrify - they all now have auras that can inflict slowed 1 first, then their active petrification requires that the target is slowed from that aura. So something you could do is have one feat that allows them to active such an aura - with a later feat then allowing them to focus their gaze on a single target for enhanced effect. [Alternatively, just give them flesh to stone as an innate spell as a 17th level feat.] Personally, I dislike making a crit failure effect petrify on an unlimited use ability - since that seems like it would encourage the PC to just spend the first several rounds of combat fishing for nat 1's on an enemy saving throws until they've targeted everything in the room, ignoring their actual class abilities until they've done so.
To be honest I mostly relied on looking through the Archives of Nethys site to try and figure out the wording for all the stuff, so I've already been working on a better-worded version of this ancestry, but your suggestions are all still good ones, so thank you for your comments.
For Scent, I didn't realize until earlier this morning that there are even rules for making new custom senses, so I'm definitely gonna replace Scent with thermal sense. Hopefully the ranges on the Precise and Imprecise versions of the sense are good.
Good idea on splitting off the bootleg Constrict ability and just making it its own thing. I suppose if someone wants both they can always forgo picking a higher-level ancestry feat later.
Potent Venom spelling out its own DC (and same with Petrifying Gaze later) is partially due to me apparently completely missing that bit of wording on every example feat I looked at, so thank you for pointing that one out!
Petrifying Gaze, and really the entire Medusa heritage, is something that I wasn't certain if it was just strong enough or too strong. From the sounds of it, and from talking with some other friends, I think I'm going to roll a lesser version of Stunning Gaze into the Heritage ability, and either use your suggestion for a level 17 "Flesh to Stone" innate spell for a 17th level feat, or make it usable a set number of times per day. I'm thinking of basing it off the character's Constitution modifier.