Naga (4e Race)
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Serpentine creatures with an intelligence and speed to boot, they crush those who stand against their harmony without mercy
|Average Height: 5'0"-5'4"|
|Average Weight: 160 - 250 lbs.|
|Ability Scores: +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence or Strength|
|Speed: 6 squares|
|Languages: Common and Naga|
|Skill Bonuses: +2 Acrobatics and +2 Arcana or Religion|
|Snake Blood: You have resist 15 poison. The resistance increases to 20 at 11th level and 25 at 21st level.|
|Reptile Body: You have the reptile keyword.|
|Immunity: The naga is granted a +5 racial bonus to Fortitude checks to resist the effects of poison.|
|Constrict: You can use constrict as an at-will power.|
The naga are one of the many races created by the sarrukh creator god races when they took humanoids and mixed their being with their own reptilian features. Nagas have long vied for supremacy in their creator's eyes against the yuan-ti, who ended up usurping the sarrukh empire when it crumbled in its final days. Facing exile or oppression under the cruel new leaders, some nagas fled to another plane, while others stayed and endured the yuan-ti reign. Upon the collapse of the empire, the nagas migrated amid the coming of the new age to more arid climates where they now can be found, like in the Anauroch desert.
Naga resemble enormous snakes, but with shoulders, arms, and an upper body that is generally humanoid in form. They typically hold their heads and torsos off the ground while moving, using their long tails lined with grip scales on the underbelly to propel forward. When they are upright like this, they are usually around 5 feet tall. But the length of their entire bodies from tip to tail can be up to 20 feet. They can increase their speed by lowering their bodies and using their hands for extra propulsion. As expected of their body shape, they move and slither in ways that are hard to hit, and so their strikes are deadly.
They commonly adorn their torsos with armor, jewelry, and a vague nod toward the clothing worn by other races, like the silk of togas, cloth belts, and shirts. However, they tend to eschew things like tattoos or alterations directly on their skin. Naga, particularly those in positions of power, are drawn to wear regalia, like that of religious significance. Male naga have broad hoods, wider than their shoulders, giving them a cobra-like appearance. Females have narrower hoods and longer faces, resembling other species of vipers.
Attitudes and Beliefs
For the most part, naga individuals adhere to their racial beliefs of betterment in mind being parallel to bettering the body. There is an ideology of harmony between mental and physical power. One is imbalanced focusing only on one of the two, and it results in uncontrolled strength or overzealous thinking. However, this naga ideology is quite neutral in terms of their place on an alignment scale, whereas individual naga have a tendency to take it to extremes, usually being a bit more insidious. The drive to attain the perfect harmony of mind and muscle sometimes has naga looking down on other races, seeing them as target practice to better their own skill. Other times, they have a completely uncaring attitude towards other races, until they are deemed obstacles to be eliminated. Then their vicious side comes to surface, and they destroy their targets mentally and physically without mercy.
There are two known naga communities: one in the natural world, and the other in the distant plane of Amonkhet. The ones who stayed in the natural world maintain antagonistic relationships with the yuan-ti, and often subjugate other creatures like kobolds and lizardfolk to work in the lowest rungs in their hierarchical society. They commonly are found in the Anauroch region, where they guard their temples dedicated to gods like Sess'innek, Shekinester and Parrafaire. However, there are some who are known to dwell in more tropical regions, such as the jungles of Chult. They are a hostile people who do not take well to non-reptilian outsiders.
Those who live in Amonkhet endure the harsh and deserts within guarded citadels usually built around two main temples. One is dedicated to Kefnet the Mindful, and the other is Rhonas the Indomitable. Priests to the two gods reign supreme in their hierarchy, teaching acolytes to develop their battle styles and thinking early. The principle of mind and body dependency in Amonkhet is called the Sweetest Harmony. Unlike the naga of the natural world, those in Amonkhet are observed to ride things like chariots, which is highly unusual since they usually pride themselves in their speed.
With their emphasis on training the mind and body, it is not long before some acolytes must set out into the world to receive the lessons the world has to offer which their teachers cannot bequeath to them. As adventurers, they tend to be rather solitary and slow to open up to others they travel with. Challenges are but trials to be overcome to naga, and they do not shy from chances to prove their skills in puzzles and strategy as well as shows of power. Most take up a mix of combat styles, ranged and melee, with mixes of magic, particularly mind-altering spells to use on an opponents psyche. Divine powers are a part of their lives, but few ever truly rely on them, instead focusing on their own arcane understanding and martial prowess.
Swordmage: This class is a mix of magic to better support its use of weaponry, a match made in heaven to the naga. This is commonly taken up by those who have supposedly mastered both their mental and physical training, thereby making them harmonizers of mind and body. Naga swordmages tend to be rather pompous, even towards their own race, as they view their power as a great achievement.
Wizard: For the naga who excel in the mental arena, they are trained well in the utilization of strategies and tactics in battle, though not necessarily well enough to participate up close. They therefore tend to specialize to support the ones who do the close combat, using magic to mess with the minds of enemies and create openings for the perfect strike. Naga wizards tend to be very bookish and eager to learn, particularly of new weaknesses in opponents they can exploit with illusions.
Rogue: Naga who focus on the training of their bodies usually rely on weapons like shortswords and daggers in addition to their own bodies. They like to use poisoned weapons, which allows them to take down opponents who may be stronger. Naga rogues like to strike with purpose and speed, retreating shortly, and then repeating to create devastating barrages. Speed and accuracy are critical to them even if they are not specialized in long-ranged combat
Three sample naga adventurers are described below.
Sorjos is a naga wizard who is dissatisfied with his unappreciated smarts. Thus, he struck out to prove that his intelligence alone would be enough in the world. He was rescued from a bandit ambush by some adventurers when his magic proved inadequate to protect himself. He goes with his new crew a bit grudgingly, believing himself to be their secret leader with his smarts.
Xaatiscz is a naga swordmage that found an ancient ruin formerly guarded by the Zhentarim. She and a small platoon went in to explore when they were inadvertently transported to a different part of the world. As she is the only one who survived the teleport, she now seeks for a way home and is trying to earn her keep in a guild which was kind enough to give her reduced room and board. She finds these "flesh beings" in her adventuring party confusing and complicated, and sees herself as their protector.
Chidzji is a naga rogue with a critical failure from his masters in the mental department. Having an uncontrollable kleptomania, they found him unable to pass any of the mental strategy tests and so booted him out to the real world to learn just how bad unrestrained greed can be. He is very down on his luck and goes off in search of treasure to satiate his sticky fingers, ignoring his elders.
Roleplaying a Naga
When creating a naga adventurer, here are a few points to consider.
Harmony. Naga are not provocative, nor do they like being provoked. If something does not bother them and it seems to be in good balance, they will leave it alone, be it a corrupt slave system or an oppressive tyrant in a foreign country.
Brain and Brawn. The emphasis of mental and physical balance means most naga try to appear at least proficient in many things. They believe the two supplement each other, and so they do not go into battle without a clear mind to think, and they do think without action resultant of contemplation.
Venomous. For the most part, naga will not bother you if you do not bother them. However, there is an unfortunate tendency to be a little evil due to their complacent nature with ill in the world. They do not fight cleanly, resorting to uses of underhanded tactics like illusions and poison to win over opponents.
Naga Characteristics: Fast, elusive, two-faced, selfish, complicit, indifferent, deterministic
Naga Male Names: Aator, Agraturra, Soshnoshmalat, Hethoduss, Usherthazs
Naga Female Names: Itsule, Udma, Ora, Zassis, Srinthishtha