Word of the day: ophidiophobia – fear of snakes
Arachnapobia is the one irrational fear we’ve all heard of, but lots of people are afraid of snakes. I suppose that’s down to the likelihood of each phobia popping up. In the UK, you are much more likely to meet an itty-bitty spider than you are to have any interaction with a snake.
I have one Dungeon & Dragons group that have never encountered a spider, monstrous or otherwise because of one friend’s intense phobia. And it’s a good rule to have – D&D has a some alarming arachnids with extra powers. Not content with ‘giant spiders’, the Monster Manual also includes stats for a ‘phase spider’. These monstrosities can shift in and out of the current plane of existence, reappearing wherever they feel like.
I mention this, because the Horned Serpent taps into the same mentality: take a creature people have a primal reaction to, and give it magical powers.
Fantastic Beasts only specifically mentions two abilities – they can fly and turn invisible- but it’s nice to take a few liberties. After all, those two spells are what people think the creature has. So why not give it the spell that make it much harder to hit, and the ability to cause it’s prey to levitate helplessly into the air?
The book doesn’t say whether the Horned Serpent constricts of strikes with venom, so I went with the former. When a giant snake can strike from above, or move unseen, we should make the most of it. In D&D, when you attack, your invisibility drops. Would you rather get awake with a cheeky bite, or use that power to get right up close and cuddly with your prey?
Thank You For Reading
Here are the rest of the Fantastic Beasts, made into D&D monsters.