Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Buan Themes: Snake Twin

(Note. The inspiration for the Twin Snake theme, as well as the photos included in this article, come from Amaya, a television show owned by GMA network. None of the pictures used here are owned by Nosfecatu Publishing, and are used for nonprofit.
The belief in the Twin Snake extends beyond that show, and I credit Willian Henry Scott's Barangay as the principal source for this idea.)

(Note2. You will need the Arcane Power D&D 4E supplement, as well as the theme rules found in Dragon 399, to use these fan-made rules.)

Marian Rivera as Amaya, the
 woman with a twin snake.
Ancestor spirits called the umalagad are commonly venerated in the Buan Campaign Setting. Their deeds while they were among the living are remembered through song, empowering them in the afterlife. They, in turn, use this power to aid those who are especially attuned to them, such as characters who have access to primal powers or the babaylan.

From time to time, an umalagad may choose favor an individual in a more personal manner. It assumes the form of a serpent and is born from the same womb as their chosen. As the child grows, the twin snake becomes her best (and sometimes only) friend as it guides her to its destined path in life.

When a child is born with a kapid, it is believed that the child has been handpicked to perform some special purpose in life. If news of it spreads, the child may be seen as an incredible boon to their town, thrusting the individual into positions of responsibility that she may not necessarily want. On the other hand, she may be seen as a sign of ill omen or as a threat to a current datu or rajah's position of power and thus hunted by the people. As such, twin snakes often seek to escape responsibility or certain death. Many become adventurers.

Creating a Snake Twin 

If her true nature is revealed to her community, the snake twin is often looked at with reverence, fear, or both. The special circumstances of their birth results in being treated as different or special, and their social capabilities often suffer as a result. For this reason, Snake Twins tend to take classes where charisma is not a primary attribute. Nevertheless, the umalagad ignore the pressures of social culture and may choose an individual regardless of standing. The lowliest alipin and the ruling datu are as likely to be born under their favor. Similarly, a Snake Twin may come from any class.
Note. When using Snake Twin powers, it emulates the power source of your primary class if it is Arcane, Divine, or Primal. Otherwise, it is a primal power.

Starting Feature

While it is in the guise of a snake, the kapid is actually a primal spirit. Even when struck, it only disappears momentarily, reforming once again when its twin is in need of it later on.
Benefit: You gain Arcane Familiar as a bonus feat, but you must choose the serpent as your familiar's form. When you take a a familiar feat or power that requires the arcane power source, it may now be used on primal or divine powers instead. In addition, you gain the Serpent Lunge power.

Additional Features

Level 5 Feature

The kapid, as a primal spirit, is knowledgeable in the the lore of spirits and deities. It imparts this knowledge on its twin when asked. In addition, when in need to communicate with other primal spirits or with deities, it can speak for these entities on behalf of its twin, increasing the likelihood that they will listen.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Nature checks and Religion checks. This bonus increases to +5 when using these skills during ritual casting.

Level 10 Feature

The supernatural poison of the kapid now course through the veins of its twin, protecting it from the venom of other snakes and poisonous creatures.
Benefit: You gain resist 10 poison. If you already have resistance against poison, increase that resistance by 5 instead.

Optional Features

A Snake Twin may embrace her nature and take the following powers.

Level 2 Utility Power

The kapid shares the primal spirits' powers of prophecy on a smaller scale, able to see the immediate future and warn you of impending danger.

Level 6 Utility Power

The kapid aids its twin in the thick of battle, striking in conjunction with her weapon or implement and causing her opponent to think twice about its next attack.

Level 10 Utility Power

The kapid assumes the humanoid form it had in life, which exactly mirrors the image of its twin.

Two-weapon fighting: You are doing it right.