Snake Charmer (5e Class)
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Lifting the wooden flute to his lips as his wicker basket sits in front. He starts to play and the lid pops open with a cobra bouncing back and force, bobbing to the music. People from the street corner gather around to watch this spectacle. Copper and silver coins get tossed to his feet as he and his pet snake take a bow for the crowd. A traveler strumming a lute to calm down a giant snake that stepped in her path. Using her charm to convince the big constrictor to let her pass through the territory and also give directions to the nearest watering hole. A warrior summoning a stealthy snake to bite enemies in the midst of battle. One does not simply choose to become a snake charmer, the snakes decide for you. Failing to charm a snake could lead to deadly situations where they turn hostile. Whether street performer, explorer, or soldier, snake charmers find a way to use their magical instruments and mystique to charm serpents, exploit one's mind, and orchestrate an army of snakes.
Snake charming is seen as a very mystic act. Being able to tame a vicious and carnivorous beast is a unique form of magic. There are few snake charmers in the world and it takes immense training in their chosen instrument and luck to actually have the snakes see them as a companion. Sometimes snake charmers sit at a king's side as they are seen as a good luck charm. The art of snake charming was formed naturally through primal civilizations who learned to communicate with those animals. Snakes formed out of magic, monstrosities, or undead forms have proven challenging to snake charmers as their mind differs from the standard beast. All snake charmers have a sense of accomplishment when it comes to charming snakes, they look at it as an art form. What they do with their art will establish their identity as a snake charmer.
Creating a Snake Charmer
A snake charmer shines as the face of the party when talking to snakes. As you create your snake charmer, you need to think about why you have a connection to snakes. Perhaps you grew up on a snake-infested island and lived among them. Or you are a trained musician who finds a special connection when playing music for snakes. Whatever your origin, snake charmers use musical instruments and magic to convey their feelings to their slithering friends and sway their emotions. Do you have a snake as a pet? Find wild ones to tame? Or create extradimensional snakes to talk to? Perhaps you studied zoology and became enticed by the way snakes behave. Or you found a magical punji that calls snakes whenever you play. Whether you are an adventurer who uses your friendliness with snakes as an advantage when going against foes, a street artist who collects petty coins by making your snake dance, or you aren't friendly towards snakes at all but instead enslave them to do your bidding, you decide your fate and how it relates to your reptilian helper.
- Quick Build
You can make a Snake Charmer quickly by following these suggestions. First, Charisma should be your highest ability score, followed by Dexterity. Second, choose the Charlatan or Entertainer background.
As a Snake Charmer you gain the following class features.
- Hit Points
Armor: Light armor
Weapons: Simple weapons, hand crossbows, rapiers, shortswords
Tools: Two musical instruments of your choice
Saving Throws: Wisdom, Charisma
Skills: Choose three from Animal Handling, Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Medicine, Nature, Performance, Persuasion, Survival
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:
- (a) A shortsword or (b) A rapier or (c) Any simple weapon
- Leather armor, and a dagger
- Two musical instruments, and a gaming set
- (a) A diplomat's pack or (b) An entertainer's pack
|Features||Cantrips Known||Spells Known||—Spell Slots per Spell Level—|
|1st||+2||Spellcasting, Natural Charmer||2||3||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|3rd||+2||Snake Charmer Song||2||5||4||2||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|4th||+2||Ability Score Improvement||2||6||4||3||—||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|6th||+3||Snake Charmer Song feature||3||8||4||3||3||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|7th||+3||Fruitful Chime (d8)||3||9||4||3||3||1||—||—||—||—||—|
|8th||+3||Ability Score Improvement||3||9||4||3||3||2||—||—||—||—||—|
|10th||+4||Snake Charmer Song feature||4||10||4||3||3||3||2||—||—||—||—|
|11th||+4||Fruitful Chime (d10)||4||11||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|12th||+4||Ability Score Improvement||4||11||4||3||3||3||2||1||—||—||—|
|15th||+5||Fruitful Chime (d12)||5||13||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|16th||+5||Ability Score Improvement||5||13||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||—|
|17th||+6||Snake Charmer Song feature||6||14||4||3||3||3||2||1||1||1||1|
|19th||+6||Ability Score Improvement||6||15||4||3||3||3||3||2||1||1||1|
You have learned to bend the wills of wild snakes to your liking. Your spells are part of your wide collection of melodies that you can adapt to different situations.
You know two cantrips of your choice from the bard spell list. You learn additional bard cantrips of your choice at higher levels, as shown in the cantrips Known column of the snake charmer table.
- Spell Slots
The snake charmer table shows how many spell slots you have to cast your spells of 1st level and higher. To cast one of these spells, you must expend a slot of the spell's level or higher. You regain all expended spell slots when you finish a long rest.
For example, if you know the 1st-level spell cure wounds and have a 1st-level and a 2nd-level spell slot available, you can cast cure wounds using either slot.
- Spells Known of 1st level and Higher
You know three 1st-level spells of your choice from the bard spell list.
The spells known column of the snake charmer table shows when you learn more bard spells of your choice. Each of these spells must be of a level for which you have spell slots. For instance, when you reach 3rd Level in this class, you can learn one new spell of 1st or 2nd Level.
Additionally, when you gain a level in this class, you can choose one of the snake charmer spells you know and replace it with another spell from the bard spell list, which also must be of a level for which you have Spell Slots.
- Spellcasting Ability
Charisma is your spellcasting ability for your snake charmer spells. Your magic comes from your passion and energy you surge out during your performances. You use your charisma whenever a spell refers to your spellcasting ability. In addition, you use your charisma modifier when setting the saving throw DC for a snake charmer spell you cast and when making an attack roll with one.
Spell save DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier
Spell Attack modifier = your proficiency bonus + your charisma modifier
- Ritual Casting
You can cast any snake charmer spell you know as a ritual if that spell has the ritual tag.
- Spellcasting Focus
You can use a musical instrument (see "Equipment") as a Spellcasting Focus for your snake charmer Spells.
You have an instinctive connection with snakes. You gain the ability to comprehend and verbally communicate with snakes. The snakes can convey simple ideas back to you like the surrounding terrain or monsters nearby. You can also possibly make them do small favors for you within the bounds of their anatomy.
Through study or natural talent, snakes have become ordinary for you. Whenever you make an ability check related to snakes, you are considered proficient in the skill and add double your proficient bonus to the check, instead of your normal proficiency bonus.
At 2nd level, as an action using your spell-casting focus, you can make music to call upon a snake to fight for. It appears in an unoccupied space of your choice within 10 feet of you.
The snake is friendly to you and will obey your commands to the best of its ability. See its game statistics in the stat block to the right, which uses your proficiency bonus (PB). In combat, the serpent sidekick shares your initiative count, but it takes its turn immediately after yours. It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. That action can be one in its stat block or some other action.
The snake remains for 1 minute, until it is reduced to 0 hit points, until you use this feature to summon a serpent sidekick again, or you are incapacitated. You can use this feature to summon a serpent sidekick a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. You regain expended uses when you finish a long rest.
Snake Charmer Song
At 3rd level, you chose a song that will be the theme for your snakes: Song of the Predator and Song of the Allure, both detailed at the end of the class description. Your choice grants you features at 3rd and again at 6th, 10th, and 17th level.
Ability Score Improvement
When you reach 4th level, and again at 8th, 12th, 16th and 19th level, you can increase one ability score of your choice by 2, or you can increase two ability scores of your choice by 1. As normal, you can't increase an ability score above 20 using this feature.
Beginning at 5th level, the power of the snakes you can summon with your serpent sidekick has escalated. Your serpent sidekick now has a swimming speed equal to their walking speed.
In addition, your serpent sidekick gains the following features:
Growth. You can now choose the size of your serpent sidekick when you summon it (small or medium).
Multiattack. As an action, the serpent sidekick can make two bite attacks instead of one.
Resistance. Your serpent sidekick gains resistance to poison damage.
When you reach 7th level, you can booster your serpent sidekick in battle. As an action, your serpent sidekick regains hit points equal to 1d8 + your charisma modifier, granted that it is within 30ft of you. You can only use this feature once on each instance of serpent sidekick. The die changes when you reach certain levels in this class. The die becomes a d10 at 11th level and a d12 at 16th level.
At 9th level, your serpent sidekicks have become a deadly war machine. When you summon your serpent sidekick, choose only one of the following features for it.
Constrictor. The size of your serpent sidekick is now large. Additionally, it gains an action. Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +1 plus PB to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 2d8 + PB bludgeoning damage, if the attack hits and the target is a creature, it must succeed on a DC 14 grapple check or be grappled by the serpent sidekick. Until this grapple ends, the creature is restrained, and the serpent sidekick can't constrict another target.
Fatal Toxins. Your serpent sidekick gains an action. Venom Spray. (Recharge 5–6). The serpent sidekick shoots poison in a 15-foot line. Each creature in that area must make a DC 14 Constitution saving throw, taking 6d6 poison damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one. Immediately after using this feature, roll a d6, if you roll a 5 or 6 the feature recharges and you can use it again the next turn. If you do not recharge it you can roll again at the end of your next turn and every turn thereafter until recharged.
At 14th level, your serpent sidekicks have grown to count on your guidance in battle. As an action, you can cause your serpent sidekick to immediately use its reaction to make one bite attack.
When you reach 20th level, you have perfected calling onto the snakes for help. You can regain all of your expended uses of your serpent sidekick feature whenever you finish a short rest.
In addition, when you roll initiative and have you no uses of your serpent sidekick feature left, you regain one use of that feature.
Snake Charmer Song
It's not the price of the instrument, it's about the quality of the music. Choosing a song as a snake charmer can be a very stressful task. It will change how any snakes see them for the rest of their time. When choosing a snake charmer song, they think about what comes most naturally to them. Over time intelligent snake charmers have found the best notes and tunes to catch the attention of snakes. Turning them into songs and spreading the knowledge, all other snake charmers have adopted the songs and are bolstering their music catalog.
Song of the Predator
Snake charmers that pursue the brutish song of the predator understand that the snakes they charm are there for battle. This song was composed of a collection of themes from a war. The battle cries, war chants, and clanking metal seemed to make the allied snakes vicious and bloodthirsty. The song can now be played on any instrument and includes a lot of harsh, low bass notes but at a fast pace.
- Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose the song of the predator at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with medium armor and martial weapons.
You can also use weapons you are proficient in as a spellcasting focus for your snake charmer spells and serpent sidekick.
- Skin Cloak
Also at 3rd level, the skin on your snakes can change color to blend into the environment making them harder to hit. Your serpent sidekick gains +2 AC. This bonus is not effective if the attacker does not rely on sight to do so.
- Physical Deterrent
When you reach 6th level, your snakes gain the resilience to tolerate physical challenges. Your serpent sidekick gains advantage on any Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution saving throws they attempt.
- Warfare Maneuvers
Beginning at 10th level, your snakes have become more effective on the battlefield. Your serpent sidekick has advantage on an attack roll against a creature if at least one of your or your serpent sidekick's allies is within 5 ft. of the creature and the ally isn't incapacitated.
- Ultimate Hunter
At 17th level, your snakes become the ultimate hunters. When you summon a serpent sidekick, it starts out as invisible until it attacks. Additionally, if the serpent sidekick's first attack coming out of invisibility hits, it is a critical hit.
Song of the Allure
Snake charmers that learn the calming song of the allure tend to lure snakes of beauty and glamour. This song was composed of years of angelic hymns from temples. The sounds would echo out of the temples and bring in the colorful snakes of the jungle inside to experience the song. Snake charmers have combined those sounds into a song that specializes in the allure of snakes. The song can be played by any instrument with the help of the humming of the voice and has a lot of smooth long drawn-out notes that flow like a wave.
- Bonus Proficiencies
When you choose the song of the allure at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with one Charisma based skill of your choice.
You also learn one additional cantrip from the Bard spell list.
- Enticing Appearance
Also at 3rd level, the skin on your snakes can change color to hypnotize ones you are trying to charm. When you have a creature make a Wisdom saving throw to resist the effects of a spell, they do so with disadvantage as long as they can see your serpent sidekick and are within 10 feet of it.
- Supernatural Protection
When you reach 6th level, your snakes gain the ability to endure magical abilities. Your serpent sidekick gains advantage on any Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws they attempt.
- Colorful Coil
Beginning at 10th level, the scales on your snake shine bright with an array of distracting spirals. When a creature that can see your serpent sidekick attacks a target other than it that is within 5 feet of it. The serpent sidekick can use its reaction to impose disadvantage on that attack roll.
- Hypnotic Beguiling
At 17th level, your snakes have become just as good as charmers as you are. Each creature that starts its turn within 10 feet of your serpent sidekick must make a Wisdom saving throw or be stunned for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success.
If a creature's saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to this feature for the next 24 hours. The DC for this feature is equal to your spell save DC.
Prerequisites. To qualify for multiclassing into the Snake Charmer class, you must meet these prerequisites: Charisma 13
Proficiencies. When you multiclass into the Snake Charmer class, you gain the following proficiencies: Light armor, one musical instrument of your choice, one skill from the class's skill list