why’d it have to be snakes?

Best. Cleric. Evar.

What’s up with the Cleric spell list in the Marsh/Cook (and Mentzer) Expert rules?  Were there a whole bunch of snake-themed dudes in the early games way back when?   Two or three years ago it was just another snake cult…

* Neutralize Poison
* Snake Charm

* Sticks to Snakes

* Growth of Animals SNAKES
* Speak with Animal SNAKES


Make Snakes Awesome

  • Cleric Level 3
  • Range 60
  • Duration Permanent
  • By means of this spell a cleric can transform one snake within range into awesomeness – like shooting lasers from its eyes, or having two heads, or regenerating while eating their own tails, or shedding skin to create extra boss magical leather armor, or dripping hallucinogenic addictive venom or whatever dude.  The awesomeness may gain a reaction roll bonus from NPC’s who appreciate greatness and 1970’s Proto-Metal.

Snakes to Ladders

  • Cleric Spell Level 2
  • Range 30′
  • Duration 2 turns
  • This spell turns any snake, serpent, eel, worm, or other scaly tubular poisoned critter, like a purple worm, into a ladder with fanged hooks to grab on to walls, 10′ long per hit die.  If the snake has more hit dice than the caster, whoever climbs the ladder must save vs. poison or be pricked by the poisonous fangs.

Turn Into Crazy Snake-Man

  • Cleric Spell Level 4
  • Range 0
  • Duration 6 turns
  • This spell turns the cleric into a crazy snake-man.  The cleric cannot speak in crazy snake-man form, cannot wear clothes and has no hands, but can slither around and pass through holes too small for a Halfling to crawl through.  The cleric’s bite becomes deadly poison and he or she has Armor Class 6.  If the crazy snake-man successfully bites a victim, he or she may coil around that victim to automatically do 2d4 points of damage the next round–but this is only possible if the cleric was wearing an extra nifty little hat thingy at the time when the spell was cast (see picture, above).

8 Responses to “why’d it have to be snakes?”

  1. April 20, 2010 at 3:36 am

    So I’ve always kinda figured the snake thing was from the Bible – you know, Moses and his stick that turned into a snake and a bunch of snakes were a punishment from God for…something they did wandering in the desert and then Jesus says something about handling snakes and not dying – I think that happened to the Apostle Paul in Acts… So, yeah, holy snakes…um…

  2. April 20, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Dude, you just made my morning!

  3. 4 James
    April 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    Bill, that is what I had long assumed as well. But then I realized that practically every D&D player would much rather be Thulsa Doom than Moses.

  4. April 20, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    Your argument convinced me up to Purify Sacred Snakes, but that’s just too AAAAGH HELP SNAKE BITING ME AND MAKING ME SEE COLORFUL SOUNDS.

  5. 6 Greengoat
    April 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I commend you for your Conan referencing. You forgot the “Snakes to Arrows” spell though.

  6. April 20, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I didn’t forget: I wrote it up and then realized that “Finger of Death” did everything “Unerring Poisonous Snake Arrow” ought to do.

  7. 8 Eric W
    April 20, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    I forget — wast Sticks to Snakes reversible? It’d be awesome to turn a giant coral snake into beautiful polished timber to place in one’s living room, beneath the TV.

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Past Adventures of the Mule

April 2010

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