NEPA Known World
Staff of the Serpent
A staff which transforms into a snake on command.
This magical item appears to be a well made and solid staff of hardwood shod with a dull copper collar. Very faint runes appear to be carved in its wooden surface which can only be seen upon very close inspection. In normal combat the staff acts as a +1 magical weapon (bonus applies to “to hit” and damage rolls). However, with the speaking of a magic word, the staff instantly transforms into a large snake. If the command is spoken when a successful hit is made, the snake coils around the creature struck.
The victim is allowed to make a saving throw vs. spells to avoid the serpent’s coil. Any man-sized or smaller victim who fails to save will be held helpless for 1d4 turns unless the snake is ordered by the owner to release the victim before that time. Creatures with strength scores greater than 12 may make a strength check (very difficult; 19 or higher) to be released, once every round. However, a -1 cumulative penalty is imposed for every attempt past the second as the victim becomes weaker and weaker. At the order of the owner, the snake will also squeeze its victim for continuing damage while being held. The snake does not bite nor does it have venom. Creatures larger than man-sized cannot be ensnared in the snake’s coils.
The snake’s characteristics are as follows:
AC 5; HD 3; hp 20; MV 60’ (20’); #AT 1; D 1d3 plus special; Save C3; ML 12; XP 6
When freed, the snake crawls back to its owner and becomes a staff once again. The snake is completely healed when it returns to staff form. If killed in snake form, it cannot return to staff form and it loses all magical properties. If its owner is killed, the snake turns back into staff form until a new owner speaks the magic word.
This item does not have or use charges.
The staff and its powers may be wielded by anyone with the required proficiency.