Jesus Christ Serpent

Discussion of GMing 1879. Warning: Here there be spoilers!
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Slimcreeper
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Jesus Christ Serpent

Post by Slimcreeper » Mon Nov 12, 2018 10:51 pm

For your review and feedback, since we haven't seen much action here lately.

This is a rough draft, and it might be too high-magic for even the Gruv, I don't know.

Jesus Christ Serpent

A truly unusual snake-like creature, the Jesus Christ Serpent can grow as long as a lorry and as big around as a horse’s body. Its oddities only begin with its size, however. Unlike most snakes, it has two powerful legs in the first third of its body, allowing it to rear up a good 15 feet in the air. The height allows it to bring its powerful fangs down like pickaxes on the backs of armored foes, allowing it to deliver debilitating poison. Its mottled green and grey scales blend in with the swamps, lakes and rivers it calls home.

By far its most curious trait is that which inspired its name. The Jesus Christ Serpent secretes a kind of mucus containing a magical essence of elemental water allowing it to actually walk and slither on water. Not float, but move on the surface as though it was solid. While the creature can swim, it prefers to hunt on the surface. It will sometimes spear large fish and fling them onto the shore. Sometimes it will pin an air breathing animal under the water so that it drowns.

It is easily large enough to swallow a troll or saurid hulk whole, in the manner of serpents. For prey that is larger, it will sometimes wrap it up and crush its bones to make it an easier mouthful. The only thing that makes this creatures slightly less terrifying is that it is unlikely to kill an entire party of people. It will attempt to eat one and then leave to digest it in peace, only attacking in self-defense once it has a meal in its belly.

DEX: 9 Initiative: 9 Unconsciousness: 52
STR: 10 Physical Defense: 10 Death Rating: 62
TOU: 10 Mystic Defense: 7 Wound Threshold: 15
PER: 5 Social Defense: 5 Knockdown: 15
WIL: 6 Physical Armor: 9 Recovery Tests: 5
CHA: 4 Mystic Armor: 4
Movement: 9
Adventure Reward: Journeyman

Attack: 12
Actions: 2; Bite (Damage 15, Debilitating poison Step 15), Tail Sweep (Damage 12)

Powers:
Camouflage. Step 14
Surprise Strike. Rank 4
Stealthy Stride. Step 16.
Water Walk. This doesn’t require any tests. The Jesus Christ Serpent can walk on water and mud as if it were solid ground. Water that is roiled by weather, the passage of ships, or other phenomenon may force the creature to make a knockdown test.
Swallow Whole. Against a helpless or unconscious creature that is troll-sized or smaller, the JC Serpent will forgo causing damage with its attack and will attempt to swallow it whole. Instead of causing damage, compare the damage result to the victim’s Wound Threshold. If successful, the victim is swallowed whole and immediately starts drowning. Each round the victim also takes step 8 acid damage. The victim must be cut out of the JC Serpent quickly. A Melee attack with an edged weapon may do the trick; or if the JC Serpent is incapacitated a suitable skill may be substituted. Using a Melee Attack requires a Called Shot and enough damage to cause a Wound. Victims attacking from the inside out are considered Harried if they use any weapon larger than size 2. A skill such as Hunting or Wilderness Survival can be used if the JC Serpent is incapacitated. In this case, the TN is the Wound Threshold of the Serpent.

Special Maneuvers:
Out of Water (JC Serpent) For a creature human-sized or smaller that is under water, the JC Serpent can spend two additional success to fling the animal out of the water, typically onto the land. The Serpent makes a damage test; the result is the number of yards the victim is flung. The victim takes step 5 falling damage if it hits the land against which no armor protects.
Pin. (JC Serpent) This combinations a Bite and Hold attack and Attack to knockdown. The JC Serpent must make a Called Shot, as with the Bite and Hold. Then, as an Attack to Knockdown, the creature makes a Step 10 strength-based damage test. The first round, this attack does no damage, but the result is the TN for breaking free. The creature is driven to the bottom of the lake or river and held down and immediately begins drowning. Each subsequent round, the JC Serpent also causes Strength Step damage (as with Bite and Hold), and injects poison.

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Andrew1879
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Re: Jesus Christ Serpent

Post by Andrew1879 » Tue Nov 13, 2018 2:18 am

I'd rule that this is more of an Earthdawn creature than an 1879 creature. Its AP Award comes out to 6170, which makes it a Master Tier creature, and that's erring on the low side, not adding in APs for the two special maneuvers or the two Powers that don't have Steps. Something like this in the Gruv would merit a serious military response, with a squadron of armoured vehicles or OBV mages, or a reinforced battalion with infantry, cavalry, and artillery.

Slimcreeper
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Re: Jesus Christ Serpent

Post by Slimcreeper » Thu Nov 15, 2018 7:08 pm

That was kind of my feeling. I'll revise it as I have time and scale it back a bit. The important things are that it walks on water, fishes by throwing them onto the shore (won't matter in play much), tries to pin targets to the bottom, and will try to swallow one of your friends and then wander off into the swamp.

Is the walking on water magical effect too magical for 1879?

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Andrew1879
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Re: Jesus Christ Serpent

Post by Andrew1879 » Fri Nov 16, 2018 1:16 pm

The walking on water thing is a bit high level for the Gruv, and definitely out of line for Earth two years after the Awakening. I'm also looking at the Attack and Damage Steps, the special attacks, and so forth. The beastie is stacked a bit heavy for the scale of the game, although if you wanted to use it as an excuse for the party to drive a kettle ...

Slimcreeper
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Re: Jesus Christ Serpent

Post by Slimcreeper » Fri Nov 16, 2018 10:26 pm

Okay, I thought it felt like an Earthdawn creature too. But here's the thing. If it's not in 1879, I can't call it the Jesus Christ Serpent, and that is half the fun. Le sigh.

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