Dread Serpent

680 XP

MP Cost: 3
Components: V, S, (F)
Casting Time: One standard action
Range: Evil Eye
Target: One humanoid; usually one who is already affected by your mesmerize spell (but see below)
Duration: One round
Saving Throw: Will negates
Prerequisites: Magic attack bonus +4, mesmerize
Magic Attack Roll: Sets DC for the target’s saving throw

This spell creates an illusionary snake or similarly dread, poisonous creature from another object. The illusion affects only the target, with any other observers seeing clearly that the object remains as it really is. Dread serpent can be used in one of two modes:

  • Turn part of the target’s clothing into a serpent. In this case, you must mesmerize the target before the spell is cast. Casting this spell ends the effects of the mesmerize spell, as dread serpent immediately supersedes said spell; this means that if the dread serpent fails, the target is no longer mesmerized either.
  • Turn your own sorcerer’s staff into a serpent, which you hurl at the target’s feet. In this case the target must be within 20 feet of you, though you need not make an attack roll against him. The main advantage of this mode of the spell is that you need not have mesmerized the target before casting it. The target receives a Will saving throw. If he fails, he perceives the serpent biting him and dies at once. If he makes his saving throw, he perceives himself slaying the serpent and the object reverts to its original state. In either case, making the saving throw (and, in the target’s perception, fighting the snake) takes one round, during which time the target may not take any other actions and is at –2 to Defense due to distraction.

Focus: For the second mode of operation, this spell requires you to be carrying a staff worth at least 50 silver pieces, though it can functionally be quite mundane. It could be simply an ornate or decorated quarterstaff or some kind of magical staff if you are willing to fling said staff at the feet of an enemy.

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