Serpent-Men Custom Classes

Yuan-Ti_PurebloodLong before humans struggled up from the lowly depths of apedom, the Ophidians – prehistoric snake-men of brilliant intellect – reigned during ancient epochs.

In their declining æons, the Ophidians kept early human slaves as servants and feedstock. As they degenerated in numbers and power, they were compelled to create Serpent-Men hybrids of various castes to serve them.

Eventually, these servants outnumbered their Ophidian rulers. In the ancient realm of Valusia, the humans (and hybrids) overthrew their Ophidian overlords and created their own civilisation.

In the end, Valusia was itself subject to destruction and chaos. Volcanoes and earthquakes rent the land asunder, and great storms swept across the land creating impossible cyclones and whirlwinds that swept fragments of Valusia – and its Serpent-Men – away to far-flung Hyperborea.

Hyperborea HR


All Serpent-Men classes require a minimum Wisdom, Dexterity, and Charisma scores of 9 or higher. (Specific Serpent-Men castes may have additional requirements.)

Class Category Values

For the purposes of custom class creation, treat Tainted Ones as Value 0 and Altered Ones as Value 1. Other types of Serpent-Man are known to exist, but are not tolerated in modern Valusian society.

Serpent-Man “Tainted Ones” (+75 XP)

Tainted Ones are the inevitable results of ongoing cross-breeding between humans and Ophidian hybrids over many centuries. They appear mostly human, but with elongated skulls and minor reptilian features, such as slitted eyes, a forked tongue, or patches of scales on their skin.

Tainted Ones were looked down upon by Ophidians as regrettable by-blows, but are typically considered ‘elite’ by modern Valusians. (The Linyi openly distrust them, however.)

  • Infravision: Tainted Ones gain infravision to a range of 30′. Like real snakes, this infrared sense acts to detect ambient heat energy.
  • Serpent Tongues: Tainted Ones speak Valusian and on additional language of choice. Due to their Ophidian heritage, however, there are some words and phrases which are impossible for them to say.

Tainted Ones can follow most classes available to typical Valusians but favour Arcane- or Thievery-related ones. Note that XP requirements will need to be recalculated and maximum level is restricted to 13th.

Serpent-Man “Altered Ones” (+150 XP)


Altered Ones were originally human agents of the Ophidians who willingly transformed themselves into Serpent-Men. Although naturally appearing as reptilian humanoids, they are able to undergo an alchemical transmogrification which allows them to impersonate normal humans. They can even mimic a specific individual (although the disguise is rarely perfect).

These creatures were originally charged by the Ophidians with infiltrating human societies and managing covert operations that require direct contact with other cultures. They have bred true as a separate caste within Valusian society, but are often viewed with suspicion and distrust if their true nature becomes known. (Among the Linyi, they are typically despised unless serving the tribe as a Snake Shaman.)

  • Infravision: Altered Ones gain infravision to a range of 30′. Like real snakes, this infrared sense acts to detect ambient heat energy.
  • Alter Visage: In their ‘natural’ forms, Altered Ones appear as reptilian humanoids. However, they can permanently change their appearance into a different humanoid via an alchemical transformation. This process requires 1 week and 1000gp in reagents. (Altered Ones can freely return to their natural appearance at any time, shedding their humanoid skins over 1 turn.)
  • Bonus Proficiencies: Altered Ones gain 1 rank each in Disguise and Mimicry as bonus proficiencies. (The character also uses these skills when attempting to use Alter Visage to replicate a specific person.)
  • Serpent Tongues: Altered Ones speak Valusian and on additional language of choice. Due to their Ophidian heritage, however, there are some words and phrases which are impossible for them to say.

Experience Point Progression

Serpent-Men racial classes (Tainted and Altered) increase the amount of experience required to gain each level after 8th by 15,000XP.

Hyperborea HR


About K-Slacker

Gamer and 5th-level magic-user.
This entry was posted in Astonishing ACKS, Campaign Setting, House Rules, Races and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Serpent-Men Custom Classes

  1. K-Slacker says:

    Altered Snake-Men revert to their ‘natural’ form when slain. Physical injury can also damage their disguise, particularly if a mortal wound is inflicted.

  2. K-Slacker says:

    Here is a “bloodline proficiency” for characters with minor Ophidian taint (not a ‘true’ Serpent-Man Hybrid). It is available only at character creation and may be selected as a general proficiency with special referee permission.

    Snake Blood: Likely of Ixian or Valusian origin, the character possesses serpentine ancestry. He has “heat pits” which allow him to sense heat (infravision, 15′ range). He may also learn Parseltongue (the language of snakes) as an additional language, but does not suffer from the Ophidian inability to pronounce certain words and phrases. His appearance will possess some subtle hints of his snake blood.

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