Well, today hasn't exactly been the greatest, so I figured instead of sitting around in a slump, I'd feed my rage (ha-tchtchtchtchtch) into productivity instead. So, let's finally get through of the H entries and get into the product identity avoidance schemes
What's the difference between a giant hornet and a giant wasp? Very little; just an added bite attack and some attack bonus-producing anger hormones. Really, looking at the stats, they seem to speak to me as less "giant hornet" and more "revised giant wasp". When I think of a monstrous hornet, I imagine a cow-sized version of the Asiatic hornet, decapitating with its vorpal mandibles as its flesh-dissolving enzymes are squirted violently to deal acid damage to the unfortunate giant bees and their cloud giant wranglers (because cloud giants love them some fresh giant honey).
In addition to having one of the silliest names of any gnome-esque small humanoid ever, the huggermugger presents us with the oddity that is a size Small creature of the Humanoid type that has a Level Adjustment of +2; I can't think of many of those in existence off the top of my head. The reason they get this LA is because they've got both the minotaur's uncanny natural cunning and a confusion aura made by babbling in a three-huggermugger chorus, all wrapped up in a high-Dexterity package. As for what role the huggermugger plays, well... Imagine a kender, only the authors realize that they're jackasses. That, in essence, is what the huggermugger is.
Oh, and they have their own exotic racial weapon, a curved knife called the hook-blade. It's okay, but nothing to write home about.
Inphidians (General) and Inphidian, Common
See? The title of this thread didn't lie! Yes, the inphidians, those yuan-ti with the serial numbers filed off, are back with a vengeance. While the original Tome of Horrors
only had one inphidian
, this title expands on them since it is no longer constrained under the "mostly 1E/AD&D conversions" premise. While their origin is shrouded in mystery – our good friends, those wacky sages, are unsure whether they are the results of mad wizard hanky-panky or a serpent deity's equivalent of a drider – they are rather well-known to societies around them, spending a lot of time on plying the underdark merchant circuits with both slaves and venoms/antivenoms made by their master distillers.
In addition to reprinting the common inphidian, as well as the inphidian gauntlets and Serpent clerical domain, from the first ToH, we have two new inphidians added to the group by this book. Before those two, though, I figured I'd note the revisions to the common inphidian between the first and second Tomes. Namely: there aren't any revisions, at least as long as you have the Tome of Horrors Revised Edition
like I do. I don't have a copy of the original 3.0 ToH, though, so I can only guess that the common inphidian's changes revolved specifically around edition differences. Anyway, let's get moving on...
Based around spitting cobras, the CR 3 cobra-back inphidians are distinguished from their common kin by neck hoods and their muscular bodies. In game terms, the main differences are 2 more points of Strength and 1 more hit die than the common inphidian, as well as projectile venom instead of the blinding liquid the common inphidian can squirt out. In inphidian society, the cobra-backs are the enforcers, acting as guardians that are loyal but prone to overdoing the violence on enemies and bullying other inphidians to "toughen them up"...which means that we can only conclude that inphidian society is basically high school.
Inphidian, Dancer Charmer
Dancercharmer inphidians, in addition to having one mouthful of a name, trade out some of the the standard inphidian's Strength and Constitution in favor of rather impressive Charisma, and they have a charm spell-inducing dance rather than any projectile weapons. They also...hm...wait...
*Looks a bit further down* Ahhh, they're either called a dancer ophidian or
a charmer ophidian; one really should put a / in that entry name, then.
Anyway, dancer/charmer inphidians are an-always female subspecies of inphidians that are basically an entire race of belly dancers. Because when I think "serpentine Monstrous Humanoids", I totally think a culture spawning a caste of individuals that act on human attraction...unless they actually were originally human, but still. To add to the Arabic feel, there's a statement in the text of a rumor that the ruler of the inphidians has a palace with a harem of dancer/charmer inphidians, because if you're going to take that first step, why not go the whole way?