View Full Version : Pathfinder - The Lamia (Revised)

2010-01-17, 06:17 PM
My attempts to make lamia a 1st-level playable race using the pathfinder system for stats. I would assume it is LA 0, I hope. Tell me whatca think and/or any other concerns or ideas you may have.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Lamia~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Lamia are a colorful and passionate race, typically dwelling in the warm and wet places in the world, such as marshes, around lakes or warm coastlines. They are fiercely territorial of their clan homes, and fight any who would disturb their homes if uninvited. Despite their strong community bond and protective instinct, they still allow some guests into their homelands, and a outgoing and friendly lot when traveling. Lamia traders, selling wares from their clans around the world are very common and well known among the lands, and their exotic looks and silver tongues let them deal with others easily. These travelling merchants usually return home with more then enough coin to spread among the clan, and earn great respect and reverence for such deeds.

Physical Description: Lamia are a thin and sleek race, with elvin like torsos, long, slender, and sensitive ears, and with lower bodies of a snake. Typically, their tails are completely scaled up to the waistline. Sometimes however, they have patches of scales along their back, shoulders, eyes and hands. Rarely, they are born entirely covered in scales - but this is nearly unheard of, and mostly seen in the more wild and savage lamia clans, or those with a hint of yaun-ti blood in their veins. Typically, this is seen as a bad omen. Usually lamia are about 10 to 12 feet long from head to the tip of their tails and about 350-400 hundred pounds, though other sizes are known, with females being smaller and lighter then the males. Most lamia have clawed fingertips, though they are to small and weak to be used as weapons. Their eyes have a feral, predatory look to them, and are wide and shaped like a snake’s, and often match the color of their scales, though oddities have been noted, such as an all black lamia with bright orange eyes. Their hair always matches one or more colors found on their scales - which can be anything based on clan and region, such as golden in the oasis's of the deep desert valleys, bright emerald green in the verdant jungles, or even silver and white in the frostfell (which they can survive in due to being warm blooded, unlike their other serpentine cousins). All in all, no two lamia are alike, and there are no identical siblings in a clutch on record, making identical twins and triplets impossible.

Society: Lamia are very territorial, and often fight and skirmish with other more hostile tribes of humanoids such as orcs, ogres and goblins, and have very tightly knit communities. They rarely have more then a parent/child hierarchy in their family groups, seeing the entire tribe as an immediate family. Unlike other races, lamia do not suffer any ill effects (none known, at least) from incest, thus a lamia community could be isolated for several hundred years with little change on the physical or mental capacity of the clan. Lamia women usually out number men five to one, and most warriors and powerful positions of society are given to females. Usually, the oldest female of the clan leads as the "High Mother", who makes all important decisions for the clan, blesses mated pairs, and names hatchlings, and oversees the daily life of the clan. During times of war, usually the high mothers mate (if any), commands behind the front lines and orders the hunters and warriors of the community, though if none such mate exists, the high mother has been often seen in such positions as well, acting as judge, jury, and executioner in most cases. Lamia, despite their air-headedness and whimsical natures, are a very spiritual and expressive people, and place great value on the unseen elements of the world, especially spirits of the earth and water. This makes shamans more common in their society who act as healers and spirit guides for the clan.

Usually a mated pair of lamia lives in a cave, hut or similar small home, dwelling together - though larger homes for larger families is expected. Lamia tend to have polygamous families, with a single male coupling with up to five, to some rare cases, to ten females. While this is not a taboo in their culture to have even more than ten mates, it is looked down on when there are plenty of males in the clan. Lamia are an egg-laying species, and a single female lamia can lay up to one to three clutches of two to four eggs after a single pairing, as their reproductive system stores the sperm of the males. As such, family groups over time can grew too large for the clan to support, and such clans usually split in half and move their separate ways to keep from having to step on each other’s (figurative) toes. Lamia can live to be up to 150 to 200 years old, and mature quickly - reaching full adulthood in only 15 years. With this quick reproduction rate, quick maturity, plus their long lives, some believe lamia will outnumber humans given enough time or potential.

Relations: Lamia and halflings get along well together in more civilized regions, though the more savage and wild lamia clans who resort to eating other humanoids tend to favor misguided or lost halflings as favored snacks, rivalling that of elf meat. The more peaceful and glibbed-tongued of the lamias do not have such predatory urges, and such stories are forgotten once one talks with a reserved member of the species. Lamia in the more civilized regions are usually a cheerful lot, happily trading their clans wares or dealing with nearby communities openly and without any threats or malice, believing in all are friends until proven otherwise. This typically makes them a naive lot, easy to manipulate, but should they be betrayed, their wrath is quick and furious. More than one community has been silenced by a clan of scoured snakefolk seeking retribution from a mayor's double dealings or another clan’s trickery or discovered slight. They enjoy the company of the elves, who are on good terms with each other due to their fondness of manufactured and natural beauty around them, their long lives make both favored companionship for the other, and such couplings are not unheard of. However, while elves are usually a patient lot that prefer to see events unfold before them before they act, lamia favor the humans traits of acting immediately and rashly, which puts communities of elves and lamia at odds, despite their familiarities. Humans and lamias get along well enough, though at times. More rural human communities are wary of the 'snakefolk' from the stories of their more savage, people-eating kin. Lamia have awkward dealings with dwarves and gnomes, while all lamia like the thought of sun bathing on a warm stone by the lake as a relaxing pass time, few like the idea of living under one, and usually are only found above ground. And gnomes act like strange kin to themselves, both are energetic, a bit eccentric, and passionate about their surroundings, but the little stubby ones just make lamia usually feel awkward. This is mainly because gnomes feel like some kind of distant family or kin to the lamia due to their general attitudes, but their culture and appearance are so bizarre it makes them have to look twice to make sure the gnomes are not hiding some kind of tail or something behind them, making encounters between gnomes and lamias very awkward for both parties. Though despite this, they usually make close friends with gnomish settlements, with enough time, and rarely do the two fight. Lamia despise orcs and half-orcs. Despite their friendly and outgoing attitude, lamia find the brutal ways of the orcs and half-orcs to much like their wilder, savage kin, and try to avoid any contact with such creatures, lest they somehow 'spread' their savagery to the civilized clans like some kind of untamed plague. Lamia's common and favored dish is roasted goblin, both civilized and wild alike, though they require a great deal of cleaning and preparation before they are edible. As such, goblins fear the serpent folk as natural predators, fleeing in terror at the slight of even a hatchling by the innate fear of being devoured.

Alignment and Religion: Lamia are highly traditional, and bound by blood and honor to their clan and families. They have a strong sense of friendship, and blood-bonding with trusted outsiders to make them an official part of the clan and forever honored guest is a common practice to non-lamia individuals who prove themselves to the clan. Lamia tend to be playful and a bit manipulative, but are otherwise quick to forgive and forget and expect others to do the same. This sometimes of course, gets them in trouble with others who hold a grudge for long periods of time, such as the dwarves. Lamia traditions are usually strongly tied to freedom and community, believing that while they are stronger as a whole, none should hold power over another entirely, and should be trusted with their own devices for good or ill, making the high mothers more of a stand in only for drastic issues that threaten to tear the clan apart. Usually most lamia are chaotic good, with lawful tendencies being incredibly rare.

Adventurers: Lamia adventurers are very common, even more so then halflings or humans. And even more, they usually adventure in small packs, sometimes bringing their mates, siblings, clan members, blood-bond friends or the like with them. Lamia clans usually have strong traditions about travel and exploration, and at least once in every lamias life have they traveled the land a great deal and usually on a pilgrimage to visit the other more peaceful clans, while the more foolhardy of the lamia sometimes visit their more savage kin in the wilds to learn of their ways and discover forbidden lore, to see the world for all its colors. Lamia traveling merchants are very, very common, and many elder lamia horde wealth throughout their life simply to invest in caravans that travel the worlds villages and the cities to return to their clan every few moons to spread the wealth with their family. Such lamia are often viewed with great honor and respect, and many a clan has been saved during times of famine or draught by a timely visit from a distant relative across the world baring food and gold.

Naming: Lamia names tend to have heavy draconic influence in them, usually focusing on "sha", "ss", "vis" like sounds, which is the most comfortable for them to pronounce. Members of a clan take their clan name as a surname. A lamia is named once, though it may use alias's, there is no tradition or culture in the lamia clan system for changing the name or titles of a hatchling threw age or deed - the only title of position in a clan is the high mother, and healers and the like are simply professions and are equal to all others in the eyes of the clan. Due to this way of living, lamia do not see the need for a list of titles and find no power in others who use them, a kingo or queen to them may be close to a high mother, but anything else is an equal or prey in their eyes.

Female Names: Ashta, Veshi, Sashti, Sylina, Visha.

Male Names: Sylvanir, Telok, Vashyr, Lyronir, Agnomir.

Clan Names: Ternock (Swiftscale), Charir (Red Fang), Altiui (Blue Tail).

Lamia Racial Traits

- +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Wisdom. Lamia are incredible agile and fast, both in body and emotions. Their are a free-spirited and openly emotional people as a whole, but their whimsical nature grates on others and their emotional outbursts tend to get them into trouble.

- Medium: Lamia are Medium creatures, and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.

- Normal Speed: Lamia have a base speed of 30 feet.

- Natural Swimmers: Lamia have a swim speed of 30 feet, and may take 10 on swim checks even when distracted or threatened. Swim is always a class skill for lamia.

- Natural Climbers: Lamia have a climb speed of 30 feet, and may take 10 on climb checks even when distracted or threatened. Climb is always a class skill for lamia.

- Low-Light Vision: Lamia can see twice as far as humans in conditions of poor illumination.

- Keen Senses: Lamia receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.

- Bite: All lamia have long, serpentine fangs they can unfold from the roof of their mouth to make a bite attack at a enemy. This is a primary natural attack that deals 1d4 points of damage plus its strength modifier and inflicts a poison if the attack is successful (see below). A lamia may use this attack in addition to other attacks during a full attack.

- Poison (Ex): Bite—injury; save Fort (DC 10 + 1/2 lamia hit dice + con bonus); frequency 1/round for 1 round per con modifier (minimum 1); effect 1d2 Wis damage; cure 1 save. A lamia may only inflict its poison on a enemy once per hour.

- Lamia Immunities: Lamia are immune to their own poison and that of other lamia, and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against all other types of natural poison.

- Weapon Familiarity: Lamia are proficient with short-spears, long-spears, spears, javelins, halberds and treat any weapon with the word "lamia" in its name as a martial weapon.

-Languages: Lamia begin play speaking Draconic and Common. Lamia with high Intelligence scores can choose any of the following: Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Goblin, Halfling, and Sylvan.

~~~~~Cultural Feats~~~~~

Keen Vision (Racial)
Prerequisite: Wis 11, Perception 1 rank, Lamia.
Benefit: Your night vision is much greater then the rest of your kin's. You gain dark-vision, out to a range of 60 feet. Dark-vision is black and white only, but a lamia can operate perfectly fine in complete darkness. In addition, your low-light vision becomes improved low-light vision, and you may now see four times as far as a human in such conditions. You gain a +2 bonus to sight-based Perception checks.

Lamia Chosen (Racial)
Prerequisite: Str 13, Cha 13, Lamia, 1st level only.
Benefit: You are one of the rare few chosen lamia born with additional arms, openly viewed as a living blessing of the gods and destined for greatness. You gain an additional set of arms and hands. These arms and hands may be used to wield weapons and objects just like your primary arms with ease. You qualify for the multi-attack and multi-dexterity feats.

Lamia Prodigy (Racial)
Prerequisite: Cha 13, Lamia.
Benefit: You have a small talent for sorcery, and gain the ability to use these spell-like abilities. 1/day - Chameleon Power, Detect Poison, Magic Fang. Your caster level for these effects is equal to your character level, and these effects are based on your charisma bonus. You must have a charisma score of 11 or higher to use these abilities.

Scent (Racial)
Prerequisite: Wis 13, Perception 1 rank, Lamia.
Benefit: Your natural senses are sharper then your other kin, and you can smell the blood and sweat of others like a true predator with a flick of your tongue. You gain the scent ability out to 30 feet. You gain a +4 bonus to survival checks to track when using scent, and a +2 bonus to scent-based Perception checks.

Shadowscale (Racial)
Prerequisite: Con 13, Lamia, 1st level only.
Benefit: You are one of the rare few chosen lamia born with scales capable of catching the light and surroundings to become nearly invisible. You can have your scales along your body make you go into a chameleon like state. You gain the effects of invisibility, as the spell, usable at will as a standard action - except that a enemy may make a perception check, DC (10 + 1/2 lamia's hit dice + lamia's con modifier) to sense your position clearly for 1 round if you are within 30 feet of the observer, thus negating all benefits gained by invisibility used against that observer for that round, such as concealment. Like the spell, any action that would normally break the spell also breaks this invisibility. This is an extraordinary ability.

Thick Scales (Racial)
Prerequisite: Con 13, Lamia, 1st level only.
Benefit: You were born with thicker then average scales, and many patches of scales appear on your back, arms, and chest were no scales are suppose to be. Due to this quirk of birth, you’re more resilient than the rest of your kin, and you gain a +2 natural armor bonus to your armor class.

~~~~~Cultural Equipment~~~~~

Serrated Fang-caps
Type: Exotic, Light Melee Weapon.
Damage: Special.
Critical: Special.
Weight: --
Type: S & P.

These weapons improve the bite damage of a lamia who has them bound to his fangs. These little metal tooth-caps have sharp, serrated tips, allowing the lamia to sink their teeth into their victim and leave the fang-cap within their foe, making them take damage over time and more so when they try to remove it.

These weapons are treated as martial weapons for lamia. Any creature with a set of fangs and a bite attack can use these weapons, though they usually must be customized for such use.

These weapons are one-time use before new ones must be applied to the fangs of a lamia or recovered, and usually coated in the lamia's venom. For the bite attack this weapon is used in conjunction with, increase the damage dice by one step. On a successful attack, the fang-cap sticks into the enemies flesh and is left behind when the lamia pulls back. Each round thereafter, the enemy takes 1 point of damage as the long, jagged piece of metal digs into his flesh until it is removed, or the victim does not move at all, is knocked unconscious, or otherwise helpless. It requires a heal check (Dc 15) to remove the fang-cap safely, otherwise it must be pulled out, dealing 1d6 damage in the process. Creatures immune to sneak attack damage and critical hits are also immune to this damage.

Tail Spike
Type: Exotic, Light Melee Weapon.
Damage: 1d6
Critical: 20/x2
Weight: 5 lb.
Type: B & P.

This item is a small tail ring with large, wicked spikes along the edges. When worn by a creature with a tail, specifically designed for a lamia, it effectively allows them to use their tail as a deadly flail.

These weapons allow a creature to swipe or smash enemies with his tail and impale their flesh with those deadly spikes. A creature with this attachment can make normal and full attacks with their tail spikes as with any manufactured weapon. A creature requires the multi-attack and multi-dexterity feats to use this weapon in conjunction with others properly, though by itself they receive no penalties for using it. This weapon is treated as a martial weapon for lamia.

2010-01-17, 07:41 PM
Aside from the fact that Favored Classes aren't in the races anymore (you choose one at the beginning of your character's career, and this is his Favored Class), I'm wondering what happens if they want to wear boots and the likes?

2010-01-17, 10:32 PM
They cannot wear boots or shoes, sandles, etc obviously. Though, they can obviously wear tail-wraps, tail rings, etc. Such things would need to be customized, of course.

2010-01-17, 10:43 PM
Aside from the fact that Favored Classes aren't in the races anymore (you choose one at the beginning of your character's career, and this is his Favored Class), I'm wondering what happens if they want to wear boots and the likes?

take out the shoelaces and tie a pretty bow arouund their tail?

2010-01-17, 10:48 PM
^ Win. :smallcool:

Took out the favored class bit. But, overall, whatca guys think? I was going to give them a more detailed soceity, culture, theme and the like. Possibly actually make them a less feared/reclusive people and maybe a more active race in the world. Like, replacing halflings... nomadic snake people ftw. >.>

2010-01-17, 10:59 PM
I would be interested to see more of this, actually. Sign me up for more.

2010-01-18, 01:15 AM
Fully updated, with cultural information, etc. Not to mention specific racial feats and some lamia-equipment. Enjoy peeps.

Edit: Despite serrated fangcaps being a 1/bite only bonus/use, and a damage-over-time effect? Their is nothing keeping you from enchanting them with the returning quality to have them teleported back onto your fangs the next round, etc. This would force the enemy to take the removal damage.

2010-01-18, 02:17 AM
This is pretty friggin' awesome, yoh. Lots of sweet, juicy details to gorge myself on which I can really dig. Know what I'm saying? Zang zang.

2010-01-18, 02:19 AM
Zug zug for the zang zang (I think...). :smallwink:

Update: Performing spelling corrections/etc. >.>

2010-01-18, 03:11 AM
If they wear Medium armours, that presumably leaves their tails - a significant part of their total body area - un-armoured.

I'd add that if flanked, they lose they armour bonus.

Also, if they are natural hunters, how about Track as a bonus feat?

2010-01-18, 03:22 AM
In pathfinder, their is no track feat. Track is automatically added to the survival skill, so anyone with ranks in it can use it.

Also, it means medium-sized armors. Not that the armor cannot fit their entire body - it just means its scaled down. Lamia's are not giants or ogres in size, nor are they very tall (4-5 ft. tall unless they strech themselves to like, 8ish feet or coil around something), their only large in the fact that their tails kinda stick out there. Thats why they get the -1 attack, ac, -4 stealth penalties for being large and no bonuses. I would asume that the penalty to armor is enough of a nerf for their tail's exsistance.

Also, for the sake of simplicity, no called shot special rules. Hell, lets just say that lamia's who invest in high quality armor buy, I dunno, spine-like plates that fit down their tail and attach with a band or something along the length, cause I for one do not feel like making special rules for attacking their tails - if i did it to them, I would have to do it for centuars, dragons, naga's, dnd-standard lamias, lizardfolk, etc. Just dont even get into that, not to mention it is extremely unfair, unbalanced in a negitive/nerfing way. I mean, when your flanked, your kinda screwed anyway, toss in that, why even bother adventuring at all?

2010-01-18, 03:33 AM
I say just make em medium

2010-01-18, 03:42 AM
I considered that. Im still considering it. I just dunno... I mean, streched out their over the 10 feet mark. They can reach up over 6-7 feet by streching themselves up. I suppose the only thing it would change is, they wouldnt get the penalty to attack rolls, ac, and stealth - which I was using for a makeshift balance I guess.

Medium it is.

2010-01-18, 03:45 AM
It almost sounds like it would be better to make them medium size then, possibly with the powerful build feature (or some variant of that).

2010-01-18, 03:49 AM
Well atm they are basically medium creatures with only the penalties of large size.

So they may aswell just be medium.

They don't have the reach of large creatures in combat so is the non-combat applications of the length\height worth the combat penalties? And tails don't really count anyway

2010-01-18, 03:53 AM

1: Made to medium.

2: Removed the light build feature.

3: Removed the +4 bonus to stealth checks.

4: Removed the +4 swim bonus from natural swimmers.

5: Gave them natural climbing (doesnt give bonus to climbing).

I noticed that the snakes in pathfinder all have base land speed, swim speed, and climb speed. Decided to give lamia's those movement rates, to. Not to imba, I hope?

2010-01-18, 03:59 AM
Not all snakes are natural climbers or swimmers, and I doubt many are both. So i think snakes should have either climb or swim speeds.

Which could be a nice little thing to do, let them choose which environ they favor. Gaining either a climb or swim speed, and perhaps some other bonus related to the area. Survival\track checks perhaps

2010-01-18, 04:39 AM
Thats not entirely true.. many have both, to be honest. I live in texas. x.X Our snakes favor water and rocky enviroments. My aunt found a 10-foot long cotten mouth (a water snake that favors lakes, has a puffy white mouth and black body, thus the name, usually only 3-4 foot long) in her bathroom once that crawled threw her cracked window - that was 8 foot off the ground - just to try to get into the toilet... :smallsigh: I dunno how it did it, but she sent us pics. I will upload them sometime >.>

Anyway, back on track. Rangers get favored terrains, why should races get it? Isnt that a feat/class/skill rank kinda flavor for speccing them to survive in a specific place? I mean, nothing physically would be different about a lamia who lives around cliffs and one that lives on the coast... except maybe coloring, scars, size, etc. Would it be to overpowered to let them have swim and climb speed?

2010-01-18, 05:37 AM
well i dont think a height within it's length counts >_>

though on 2nd thoughts something like that probably would be handled by climb

2010-01-18, 12:49 PM
I like them. Beautiful picture - who was the artist?

my .02

I have trouble with them being warm blooded. Do they give birth to their children as eggs or live birth?
I see them as being primarily a lawful race. Snakes are always so implacable. I don't see them getting along very well with any warmbloods. Hobbits, gnomes etc...
For game balance I don't think they should get a climb speed and a swim speed. You probably have to state whether they get these with a light, medium, heavy load etc.... My temptation would be to give them only one or the other.

They probably have a racial bonus to 'rising from prone'.

The tooth caps are very imaginative.

Overall very good job. Thanks.

2010-01-18, 03:18 PM
They lay eggs - usually 3-4 clutchs as stated in their soceity info bit, 2nd paragraph. They are warm-blooded simply because I have yet to read any lore or mythos about any lamia or naga being cold-blooded like their snake counterparts - for all intents and purposes, like their human/elvin torsos, they seem to be warm blooded, mammal/reptile hybrids. Thats the only information I can find on them. Sadly, cant even look up naga or lamia on google or deviant art without finding some kinda vore-porn. :smallfurious: This world is ****ed up, just for the record.

And, the whole thing about not getting along with others? Thats exactly the reason I made them charismatic and easy to get along with, and usually enjoy travelling/meeting with others/making friends. I figured it would be a less-cliche twist then "DEATH TO THE WARM BLOODS! MORE BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!" Seriously, the yaun-ti, which I plan on making a off-set cousins of the lamia (the 'savage ones' you saw mentioned in the information, which are actually monstrous with hit dice/etc), will more then make up for their violent tendancies. Im just kinda exhuasted of the cliche "if its a snake, its evil and aggresive themed" feel that wotc puts on anything snake related - medusa's, lizardfolk, yaun-ti, viper-based-artifacts, etc. Get my reasoning?

(As for the artist of the above picture, I do not know. I found it skimming google for lamia/nagas.)

2010-01-18, 03:25 PM
Another awesome pic/comic I found while searching for lamia's on deviantart (abandon all hope ye who enter there, just a warning).