Serpentine Thunder

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7/21/2019 Serpentine Thunder 1/22 Serpentine Thunder Dragons and Arquebusses in a Late Medieval World  by John Laviolette

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Dragons and Arquebusses in a Late Medieval World 


John Laviolette

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Table of Contents



Character Creation............................................................................................................... 7

Draconic Features............................................................................................................7Dragon Creation.............................................................................................................. 9

illage Creation............................................................................................................ !!"eginning the #ame.......................................................................................................... !$

 %&C Creation and Dis'ute Rolls...................................................................................!$

Con(lict Rolls................................................................................................................ !7)it &oints.......................................................................................................................*$

+'ecial ,ctions and Rolls.................................................................................................. *5

&laying the #ame...............................................................................................................$$


Serpentine Thunder is *//5 by John Laviolette.

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0ou are a dragon1 a creature o( a-e and (ear. 2en have tried to 3ill you1 but it ta3es guts

to try1 since even in slee'1 your breath is deadly and your scales are thic3. 0our 3ind hasalso insinuated yourselves into human society to better control these dangerous

mammals4 its not 6ust a matter o( meta'hor that leads monarchs and em'erors to use the

dragon as a royal symbol.

"ut a ne- era has come1 and brings -ith it something ne-. The Gun.

+er'entine hunder is a role'laying game set in the age o( the early gun. 2en (ear

dragons and -ould 3ill them i( they had the chance 8 and -ith a cannon cre- or a band

o( men armed -ith mus3ets1 they have that chance. Dragons can no longer rely on thea-e they ins'ire in men bred over generations to (ear their 'o-er4 they must decide ho-

they are going to (ace this ne- era.


0ou -ill need

• en:sided dice

• inde; cards

• to3ens to 'lace on the cards

<ne o( the 'layers -ill ta3e the role o( the humans threatening the dragons. his role is

similar to -hat other role'laying games -ould call the gamemaster1 although in

Serpentine Thunder any 'layer can introduce ne- (acts to the (ictional -orld they buildduring 'lay. he gamemaster is res'onsible (or setting u' the villages and to-ns that the

dragons must deal -ith. he gamemaster should immediately -rite =+L,I%> on one

inde; card. his -ill be e;'lained later.

he other 'layers -ill ta3e the role o( the dragons. hese dragons borro- (rom easternand -estern draconic legends as -ell as a little bit (rom (aerie lore4 all dragons have the

(ollo-ing (eatures Fangs and alons1 +cales1 Lea'1 +hado-1 #lamour1 +ha'eshi(t1 and

"reath1 'lus three o'tional (eatures1 +ting1 enom1 and ?ings.

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Character Creation

Draconic Features

Fangs and Talons are a dragons most basic -ea'on. Dragons can tear or bite through

metal. =Fangs and alons> is treated as a single (eature rather than t-o se'arate (eatures.

Scales are a dragons 'rimary de(ense. For a -ea'on to even damage a dragon1 it has to 'ierce the dragons scaly hide.

, dragons giant Leap is -hat humans mista3e (or (light. "ecause they can 'ut so much

 'o-er into their lea'1 dragons can cross great distances4 it ta3es several seconds (or them

to land. , Lea' is al-ays in a straight line1 but a dragons o'tional Wings can 'rovidelimited maneuverability and slo- descent.

Shadow is the dragons ability to become com'letely insubstantial. ?hile in shado-:

(orm1 a dragon cannot be a((ected by anything 'hysical1 nor can the dragon a((ectanything 'hysically. )o-ever1 dragons need to breathe and eat1 so they must emerge

(rom +hado- eventually.

Glamour is the dragons ability to cloud minds and tric3 the senses. It began as a means

o( communication dragons cant s'ea31 but communicate by sho-ing mind:images toeach other. )o-ever1 human beings have no inherent glamour and thus dont understand

the (alse nature o( the mind:image1 -hich leaves them vulnerable to being (ooled. ,

dragon can create an illusion that a((ects all o( the senses in any location it can see orsense. , side e((ect o( #lamour is the ability to =s'ea3> to humans in any language the

dragon has heard4 i( the dragon does not actually 3no- that language1 this is mere

mimicry1 but other-ise can be used to communicate.

Shapeshift is the ability to ta3e human (orm4 some dragons are able to ta3e other (ormsas -ell. ?hile shi(ted1 dragons cant use their inherent draconic abilities e;ce't (or

+hado- and #lamour1 -ith #lamour being limited to the range o( touch4 a dragon in

human (orm can thus ='ay> (or a cas3 o( -ine -ith (aerie gold that vanishes -hen thedragon has le(t the merchants 'resence1 or use #lamour to disguise themselves as a -ell:

3no-n baron or local 'riest. 2ore 'o-er(ul sha'eshi(ters can ta3e other (orms and gain

abilities s'eci(ic to those sha'es1 limited only by their +ha'eshi(t 'o-er.

, dragons Breath is one o( its most dangerous (eatures. It comes in three varieties (iery1corrosive1 and 'oisonous. @ach dragon can only use one o( these varieties. , dragons

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"reath -ill a((ect anyone close enough to touch1 but a dragon can also belch a (ine mist

o( (iery1 corrosive1 or 'oisonous dro'lets4 this cloud dissi'ates as it moves4 dragons -ith

a more 'o-er(ul "reath can belch (arther.

Venom and Sting are o'tional attac3 enhancements. , bite -ith enom -ill continue todamage its victim every day1 even a(ter the victim has le(t the dragons 'resence4 a +ting

in the dragons tail 'aralyAes the victim until it -ears o((.

hese are the 'ersonal (eatures o( dragons4 they may also have t-o other (eatures thatarent 'ersonal in nature Allies and Hoard. ,llies re'resent ho- -ell the dragon has

insinuated itsel( into human society4 these can be 'eo'le the dragon has be(riended -ith

-hile disguised as a human1 'olitical (igures the dragon subtly controls through #lamour1or individuals the dragon has o'enly bargained -ith. )oard re'resent the dragons

 'ersonal -ealth gathered through the ages4 it can be used (or bribes and acquiring

services legitimately.

Dragons have -ea3nesses +lee' and Cold. Dragons slee' dee'ly and can only bea-a3ened by touch or 'hysical attac3. Furthermore1 as cold:blooded creatures1 they slee'

more in the -inter. During cold -eather1 dragons -ill be sluggish and at a disadvantage.

Dragon Creation

Dragon character generation involves dividing !B bonus dice bet-een these t-elve

(eatures. I( a 'layer does not assign bonus dice to ,llies1 )oard1 +ting1 enom1 or ?ings1

the dragon does not have these (eatures at all4 (or the other (eatures1 all dragons can usethe basic (eature even i( it has Aero bonus dice assigned to it1 -ith the limitation that a

+ha'eshi(t o( / means that the dragon can only ta3e human (orm1 not any other (orms.

,(ter assigning bonus dice1 decide i( the dragons "reath is (iery1 corrosive1 or 'oisonous.Fiery and corrosive "reath do the same amount o( damage1 but (iery ignites (lammable

items1 'ossibly doing continuing damage1 -hile corrosive "reath destroys armor4

 'oisonous breath1 on the other hand1 does double damage.

 %e;t1 choose a name (or the dragon and (or at least one human ,lly or enemy1 i( the 'layer did not 'ut dice into ,llies. I( the 'layer ta3es an enemy instead o( ,llies1 the

 'layer gets to decide -hether the enemy 3no-s the characters draconic nature or not.

,lso1 describe in one or t-o sentences -here the dragon lives and -hat its involvement

-ith nearby humans has been. Is the dragon living secretly as a human Living in a caveLiving dee' underground in a hidden underground 'alace1 reachable only by +hado-

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Finish o(( by deciding but not -riting do-nE the dragons attitude to-ards humans

)el'1 )arm1 or Ignore <'enly or )idden ,nd are their limits or e;ce'tions 0ou dont

-rite this do-n because you can change it at any time its 6ust a distillation o( your goalas a dragon.

,ll o( these details should (it on one inde; card or character sheet. @ach 'layer should

also ta3e t-o inde; cards and -rite =L@,&> on one and ="R@,)> on the other1 sincethese -ill be used (requently during 'lay.

Village Creation

he gamemaster gets to generate villages and to-ns instead o( dragons. @ach village onlygets eight bonus dice instead o( !B1 but its much harder to =3ill> a village than it is to 3ill

a dragon4 you 3ill individual 'eo'le instead. I( during 'lay the dragons decide to relocate

to a to-n1 the gamemaster gets to design it -ith !* bonus dice instead o( eight. illagesand to-ns have the (ollo-ing (eatures Cra(t1 2etal-or31 rade1 ?alls1 nights1

@;'ertise1 ?inter.

Craft is the villages ability to -or3 -ith -ood and other goods so(ter than metal. It can

 be used to ma3e s'ears and arro-s1 or to design ingenious tra's. Its also the villageschemical s3ill1 used (or ma3ing gun'o-der. ?ith Cra(t / and an a''ro'riate cra(tsman1 a

village can 'roduce everything e;ce't gun'o-der4 gun'o-der requires Cra(t !.

Metalwor  is the s3ill villages need in order to 'roduce guns themselves1 or any other

metal items li3e armor or s-ords. I( a village has a blac3smith1 it can 'roduce metal itemsother than guns even i( 2etal-or3 is /4 mus3ets and canon require at least 2etal-or3 !.

Trade re'resents contact -ith other villages as -ell as 'ros'erity. I( a village doesnt

have 2etal-or3 !G to ma3e guns or Cra(t !G to ma3e gun'o-der1 it can still use rade toget these items.

Walls 'rovide basic de(ense4 to enter a -alled village1 a dragon needs to either destroy it

 'hysically1 Lea' over it1 or enter by subter(uge1 bribery1 or similar methods. ?alls can be

re'aired -ith Cra(t.

!nights are armored military men. ,s long as a villages nights score is 'ositive1 the

local (eudal lord can send retainers and mercenaries to deal -ith any 3no-n dragons.

@ach 3night -ill have a starting ,rmor score equal to the villages nights rating. I(

nights equals /1 the village can still raise and equi' an army -ith Cra(t or 2etal-or3Eor hire mercenaries -ith rade.E

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a villages "#pertise score re'resents its ability to raise s3illed s'ecialists blac3smiths1

chemists1 'hysicians1 archers. illages -ill have enough s3ill to 'er(orm necessary

(unctions li3e shoe a horse1 gro- cro's1 or bre- beer or -ine even -ith an @;'ertise o( /.)o-ever1 having a s3illed blac3smith adds @;'ertise to attem'ts to ma3e armor or guns4

having a s3illed chemist adds @;'ertise to ma3ing gun'o-der4 having a s3illed archer

gives an o''ortunity to attac3 (rom a distance even -ithout guns4 having a s3illed 'hysician enables 3nights and mercenaries to be healed.

Winter re'resents ho- cold it gets in this area during the -inter. he grou' 3ee's trac3

o( the seasons4 in mid:autumn1 the gamemaster can begin as3ing (or ?inter rolls to see i(

the -eather gets colder4 a(ter mid:-inter1 'layers can as3 (or rolls to see i( the -eather-arms u'. his is covered in more detail later.

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Beginning the Game

NPC Creation and Dispute Rolls

,(ter assigning bonus dice to a villages (eatures1 both the 'layers and the gamemaster

need to create im'ortant human characters in the village. &layers create their ,llies orenemies and should have already created names during an earlier ste'1 but this this stage

assigns bac3grounds to those characters. he #2 mean-hile creates a cou'le im'ortant

locals the lord o( the nearest manor1 'erha's1 an abbot o( a monastery1 any e;'erts thevillage needs (or the beginning o( the story. his 'hase is done as a grou'1 a(ter the

creation o( dragons and the village1 because it introduces the basic mechanics o( con(lict

resolution1 in the (orm o( $ispute %olls.

For each human %&C1 the 'layers and the #2 beginning by discussing the basic (actsabout the character. hese are 'hysical1 educational1 economic or social (acts1 and each

(act has the 'otential o( acting as a bonus or 'enalty during con(licts. +ome sam'le (acts

&)0+IC,L big1 (ast1 ambide;trous1 or any other 'hysical descri'tor 

@DHC,I<%,L e;'ertise1 e;'eriences -ith other regions 'reviously lived in

another to-n1 visited 3ings courtE

@C<%<2IC -ealth1 'ersonal 'ossessions s-ord1 armor1 (ortress1 horseE

+<CI,L the %&Cs social status abbot1 lord1 3ing1E -ho the %&C 3no-s1 guilds

or grou's the %&C belongs to

he e;act category a (act (alls under isnt im'ortant4 the categories are merely a

suggestion to ma3e clear -hat 3inds o( (acts are not allo-ed 'ersonality1 motivations1moods1 and o'inions. ,ll o( these are determined by -hoever is 'laying that character at

that moment and does not need to be revealed in any -ay e;ce't through that characters


,s a brie( aside1 the gamemaster should 'ic3 ,-e1 )ate or Fear as the basic attitude o( agiven %&C to-ards dragons. ,gain1 this is not revealed4 its a guide (or the #2 on ho-

to 'lay an %&C. It does not necessarily remain the same throughout the game1 nor does it

have to be the same (or every dragon1 or (or every 3ind o( situation involving dragons.+ince 'layers -ill be 'laying their ,llies as %&Cs1 they can choose ,-e1 )ate or Fear as

the ,llys attitude as -ell1 although the de(ault is assumed to be ,-e. %&Cs -ho (eel

,-e to-ards dragons may 'otentially side -ith them1 or at least suggest ma3ing 'eace-ith dragons. )ate and Fear1 in contrast1 indicate con(lict -ith dragons1 -ith )ate being

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aggressive =lets go u' to the dragons cave and 3ill it right no->E and Fear being

de(ense =I 6ust sa- a dragon emerge (rom that hill RH%>E

?hen the 'layers and the gamemaster suggest (acts about a character1 one or more (acts

are bound to be dis'uted. Record any (act that is acce'ted by everyone at the table4 thatimmediately becomes 'art o( the character. I( a (act is dis'uted1 the 'erson -ho disagrees

-ith that (act can say either =that contradicts the setting> or contradicts another (actalready acce'ted1E or the 'erson could say =that (act is acce'table1 but Im challenging it>.

I( a 'layer (eels the (act is a contradiction1 the grou' should discuss -hy it is or isnt

contradictory1 'erha's re-ording the (act to resolve the contradiction. I( a 'layer is 6ust

challenging the (act1 then there can be some suggestions on re-ording to see i( the 'layer-ill agree to something a little more limited1 but i( neither side gives1 -rite the dis'uted

(act on a 'iece o( scratch 'a'er1 then continue discussing (acts (or this character.

<nce the grou' has decided =this is enough detail (or this character>1 count u' the

number o( dis'uted (acts4 each 'layer1 including the gamemaster1 rolls that many ten:sided dice. For each 'layer1 i( any o( the dice comes u' even and doesnt match any o(

that 'layers other dice results1 discard that die. he rest o( the dice 8 odd dice results and

dice that match 8 count as the number o( successes that 'layer gets in this Dis'ute Roll.

he 'layer can s'end these successes as votes in su''ort o( a dis'uted (act or thenegation o( that dis'uted (act. For every dis'uted (act1 i( it has more votes in (avor than

votes against1 it gets recorded on the %&Cs sheet. I( not1 the dis'uted (act is discarded.

 EXAMPLE  ,bby1 "etty1 Carla1 and Donna are 'layers4 @ddie is the gamemaster.

@ddie (rames the scene ="aron #ram1 lord o( illegard1 is hosting a tourney at hismanor. he "aron himsel( rides in several o( the events and demonstrates his master

horsemanshi'.> @ddie clari(ies1 -hen as3ed1 that hes adding the (ollo-ing (acts to "aron

#ram "aron1 o-ns a manor1 master horseman. %o one ob6ects to this1 but ,bby suggestsan addition to the baron =he barons 3nights are so amaAed at his horsemanshi' because

o( the barons cri''led right hand1 in6ured in a 'ast cam'aign.>

@ddie acce'ts the im'lied =-ar veteran> as a (act1 but disagrees -ith =cri''led right

hand>. =hats too severe1 I -ant him to be able to (ight (rom horsebac3 -ith lance andshield.> "etty suggests =scarred hand> as a modi(ication. ,bby as3s1 =?ill you acce't

that his scarred hand occasionally causes him 'ain> @ddie acce'ts4 "aron #ram gets (ive


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,bby introduces her ,lly1 "ertrand de "lanc1 a clergyman1 -ho has counseled a young

-oman -ithout realiAing she -as a dragon in human (orm. ="ertrand is 'resent at the

tourney1 o( course1 since1 as the "arons con(essor1 he is e;'ected to attend court(unctions. )o-ever1 "ertrand is 'aying little attention to the games4 he is reading a letter

(rom the bisho'1 an old (riend (rom the seminary.> ,bby suggests this gives these (acts

"arons con(essor1 literate1 (riend o( bisho'1 attended seminary. @ddie inter6ects1 =lets notdo literate1 because 'riests are the main literate grou'1 any-ays4 I cant see giving a

 bonus (or that.>

=?hat about the con(essor 'art> ,bby as3s. @ddie has no ob6ections1 because the baron

should have a con(essor1 and he has no one 'lanned (or the 'art.

@ddie adds =he bisho's letter is a -arning he has heard rumors no doubt (alseE that

"ertrand has (allen into the devils 'arty.> )e -ants to add =sus'ected as +atanist> as a

(act. ,bbie ob6ects to this. "etty suggests changing this to =-arned o( danger> and ma3ethe bisho' concerned about "ertrands -ell being. @ddie doesnt acce't this1 so both o(

these get listed as dis'uted (acts.

Carla adds another (act1 =3no-n (or his healing s3ills>1 claiming it1 too1 could be

mentioned in the letter. @ddie thin3s this contradicts the setting1 because only dragonshave su'ernatural 'o-er in Serpentine Thunder& Carla clari(ies that she means

3no-ledge o( herbs and 'oultices. @ddie agrees this -ont be a contradiction1 but

challenges any-ays. hat gives "ertrand three dis'uted (acts4 everyone rolls three diceand bids their successes on -hichever (acts they 're(er. =?arned o( danger> and =healing

arts> get the votes and are recorded as (acts.

+ome %&Cs are going to have several (acts recorded on their sheet. his ha''ens -hen

the 'layers (eel that character is 'articularly interesting and im'ortant to the story. <ther %&Cs are 6ust bit 'layers and -ill only have one or t-o (acts =oh1 theres a blac3smith in

to-n1 he o-ns a crossbo-.>E I( you cant thin3 o( any details you -ant to add to an %&C1

then dont -orry about it4 dont add details to that %&C.

his entire 'hase o( 'lay should (lo- as i( you -ere describing a Late 2edievalKearlyRenaissance village or to-n and its ty'ical inhabitants4 its technically the (irst scene. %ot

all the named %&Cs need to be introduced in this (irst scene1 but each 'layer1 includingthe gamemaster1 should have at least one o''ortunity to introduce an %&C in this scene be(ore shi(ting to another scene. Its 'robably best to start -ith the gamemaster1 -ho adds

the (irst %&C and (rames the scene1 then continue around the table. ,(ter everyone has

had an o''ortunity to add an %&C to the scene or 'ass1 the gamemaster can either addanother %&C or 'ass on the second go:round4 %&C creation in the (irst scene ends -hen

everyone has 'assed or someone introduces a con(lict.

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Conflict Rolls

,ny 'layer -ith an ,lly in the scene or -ho chooses to enter the dragon character into

the scene can introduce con(lict4 li3e-ise1 the gamemaster can introduce con(lict bet-een

an %&C and any dragon ,lly currently in the scene. <nce this ha''ens1 the game hasmoved into normal 'lay4 'layers may add ne- %&Cs (rom time to time1 (rame ne-

scenes1 or use Dis'ute Rolls1 but the em'hasis -ill be on Conflict %olls.

, Con(lict begins -ith a =(ree and clear> stage during -hich the 'layers and thegamemaster state -hat they are 'lanning to do and -hat they ho'e to accom'lish. hey

can change their 'lans a(ter hearing anyone elses 'lans1 but it cant change once dice are


During =(ree and clear>1 either 'layers or the gamemaster can claim that a s'eci(ic (act

hel's their side or hinders the other. I( there is a disagreement on -hether any (acts a''ly

to the con(lict1 handle it as a Dis'ute Roll (irst. <nce all the (acts are agreed u'on or

a((irmed during a Dis'ute Roll1 each (act either adds one die or deducts one die (rom theCon(lict Roll.

he gamemaster and each 'layer start -ith (ive dice each1 'lus or minus dice (rom (acts1

 'lus e;tra dice (rom any s'eci(ic scores that a''ly such as a dragon attem'ting to snea3 'ast a to-n guard using +hado- or #lamour.E <nce the total number o( dice are 3no-n1

roll and count successes1 using the same method as (or Dis'ute Rolls4 ho-ever1 in a

Con(lict Roll1 the number on each dice matters1 because it indicates -hen actions ha''en.

,ll o( the !s are counted (irst4 'layers can a''ly their successes to do damage 'hysical1social1 emotional1 or -hatever 3ind o( damage is a''ro'riate.E &layers can also use

successes to maneuver (or (urther advantages move to higher ground1 aim1 steel yoursel(

(or a tough argument1 runE or roll the successes over (or more dice on the ne;t roll.

,(ter the !s are resolved1 the *s are resolved ne;t. ?hat the 'layer can s'end these

successes on can be limited by -hat has already ha''ened1 but is other-ise the same as

resolving the !s. Do the same (or each number1 in order.

 EXAMPLE  ,bbys dragon1 ?yrmtongue1 is attem'ting to contact her ,lly1 Father"ertrand1 -ithout being noticed by the guards. ?yrmtongue is in the (orm o( a young

-oman1 -hom "ertrand thin3s is a -itch1 but has been trying to lead her gently bac3 to

the (aith. "ertrand is in the "arons manor1 and @ddie the gamemaster states that theguards are e;tra vigilant because o( a recent attem't on the "arons li(e one o( the other

dragons -as trying to scare the "aron a-ay (rom his lair.E here are t-o guards 'resent.

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,bby states ?yrmtongue is using #lamour and natural stealth rather than +hado-1

 because she doesnt -ant to a''ear to "ertrand as i( (rom no-here. ?yrmtongue is going

to disguise hersel( as a guard in case natural stealth (ails and the guards s'ot her.

,bby is rolling 5 dice G $ (or #lamour1 dice total. he guards are 6ust guards4 no (acts-ere introduced e;ce't =e;tra vigilant>1 -hich adds ! die1 'lus they are considered

e;'erts1 so @ddie rolls 5 dice base G ! (or =e;tra vigilant> G * (or the villages @;'ertise1also dice total.

,bby rolls B1 51 51 /1 51 !1 !1 !4 @ddie rolls M1 /1 !1 1 /1 71 91 7. a3ing each number in


's ,bby gets one /1 so it is discarded. @ddie gets t-o /s4 he s'ends one success on

s'otting ?yrmtongue1 and one success to =damage> ?yrmtongues $:'oint #lamour. )e

narrates =the guards s'ot this strange guard and realiAe theyve never seen him be(ore.hey call (or him to halt.>

(s ,bby gets three1 @ddie gets one4 all count1 since !s are odd. @ddie doesanother 'oint o( damage to ?yrmtongues disguise1 but ,bby 'uts t-o successes

 bac3 into the disguise and uses the e;tra success to lie to the guards. =I have come

to relieve you. he "aron -ould li3e you to 6oin him in the great hall.>

)s @ddie gets one1 but it is discarded1 since Ms are even and only count i( there is

more than one.

*s ,bby gets three successes1 @ddy gets none. +ince the guards @;'ertise *

-ould cover =never leaving your 'ost>1 ,bby s'ends her three successes as

damage to both o( the guards sense o( duty. <ne leaves to 6oin the "aron in thegreat hall4 one guard remains -ith a sense o( duty o( !.

+s ,bby gets one1 but it is discarded1 since Bs are even and only count i( there is

more than one.

,s @ddie gets t-o 7s. )e 'uts both successes into damage against ?yrmtongues#lamour1 dro''ing it to ! again.

-s @ddie gets one1 but it is discarded1 since s are even and only count i( there is

more than one.

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.s @ddie gets one1 -hich counts1 since 9s are odd. he guard sees through the

magical disguise although he cant tell that ?yrmtongue is a dragon1 because thatis +ha'eshi(t1 not #lamour.E =0oure that -itch I sa- -ith Father "ertrand> the

guard hisses.

<n the ne;t turn1 the guard -ill 'robably call (or hel' and dra- his s-ord1 then attac3.

,bby -ill ho'e to get a success be(ore @ddy does1 so she can dro' the guards =sense o(duty> to / and at least 'revent him (rom calling (or hel' ?yrmtongue could 'robably

ta3e him in a (ight.E

Hit Points

 %ote that in our ?yrmtongue versus the guard e;am'le1 ,bby =damaged> the guards

sense o( duty1 -hile @ddy damaged ,bbys magical disguise. his is the general -ay toaccom'lish actions in +erpentine Thunder4 assign =hit 'oints> to -hat you -ant to do1then use successes as =damage>4 -hen damage e;ceeds hit 'oints1 the action succeeds.

here are three -ays to determine hit 'oints (or a goal

!. i( the goal is covered by one o( the scores (or your target1 such as @;'ertise (or the

guards sense o( duty or #lamour (or the dragons disguise1 the hit 'oints are equalto that score by de(ault4

*. i( a 'layer -ants a better #lamour1 tougher guards1 or something li3e that1 the

 'layer can o't to roll (or the creation be(orehand1 'utting successes into the hit

 'oints (or that creation4

$. i( the goals target does not have any relevant scores li(ting a heavy boulder you 'lan to thro-1 crossing a raging river1E its 6ust one or more (acts.

For method N*1 there is al-ays the ris3 that you -ont get as many successes as you

-ould have i( you had acce'ted the de(ault score. For method N$1 th 'layers andgamemaster discuss ho- many (acts they thin3 the goal should require1 'erha's dis'uting

some o( the (acts.

 EXAMPLE  Carlas ,lly1 Jacinda the -asher-oman1 has lost her ladys dress in the river4

it dri(ts do-nstream and gets snagged on a roc3. Carla states that Jacinda dives into theriver1 s-ims to the roc31 and retrieves the dress1 (or three (acts. @ddie says hell allo-

diving in as automatic1 but s-imming the river requires overcoming its =hit 'oints>1 and

he claims three hit 'oints one (or Carlas (act =s-im the river>1 one (or =(ight the

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current>1 and one (or =s-im bac3>. =Retrieve the dress> is a se'arate one:'oint tas3. I(

Carla doesnt dis'ute this1 this becomes a Con(lict Roll4 i( she does1 there is a Dis'ute

Roll (irst.

In the case o( struggling inanimate ob6ects and (orces1 li3e s-imming the river orretrieving a dress1 'layers al-ays have the o'tion o( s3i''ing a Con(lict Roll and

handling it only by a Dis'ute Roll... or no roll at all1 i( no (acts are dis'uted. In mostcases involving no struggle bet-een 'eo'le or dragons1E no roll is the best and (irst

choice4 i( there is a disagreement1 choose a Dis'ute Roll ne;t4 i( a 'layer or the

gamemaster thin3s this is an im'ortant con(lict in the story1 then resolve it -ith a Con(lict


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Special Actions and Rolls

+everal situations are resolved in s'ecial -ays during a con(lict. hose s'ecial situations

are @((ects o( Cold ?eather4 ?ounding Dragons4 Damaging ,rmor1 ?alls1 or +cales4Hsing H' )oard4 #aining ,llies4 Losing ,llies4 Lea'ing or Hsing ?ings4 Raising an

,rmy or Finding @;'erts4 ,rchers4 #uns4 Canon4 "ombs4 "reath ,ttac3s4 Fire4

Corrosion4 &oisonous "reath and +ting4 enom4 +hado-1 #lamour and +ha'eshi(t.

 Effects of Cold Weather  as mentioned in the section on draconic (eatures1 dragons are

susce'tible to cold -eather4 -hen in a cold environment1 they are sluggish and (eel

slee'y and su((er a cold 'enalty on all actions. he 'enalty is negated i( they are in a

-arm environment1 even i( it is currently -inter.

he year is divided into eight semi:seasons early s'ring1 mid:s'ring1 early summer1 mid:

summer1 early autumn1 mid:autumn1 early -inter1 and mid:-inter. 2id:s'ring and early

autumn are considered normal -eather4 the other semi:seasons give dice (or s'ecial=-eather rolls> that 'layers or the gamemaster can call (or to change the current -eather

mid:autumn1 early s'ring ! bonus die (or gamemaster 

early and mid:-inter * bonus dice (or gamemaster 

mid:s'ring1 early autumn ! bonus die (or 'layers

early and mid:summer * bonus dice (or 'laters

?eather rolls are treated li3e Dis'uted Rolls. he gamemaster says =he -eather shouldget colder today> or the 'layers say =It should -arm u' today>4 each side rolls ! die1 'lus

the bonus dice (or the semi:season4 i( the village has a ?inter score1 add that to the

number o( dice (or the gamemaster in the -inter and add it to the 'layers dice in the

summer. he dice are rolled4 each 'layer success cancels out one gamemaster success1then -hoever still has successes -ins and can move the cold -eather 'enalty one ste' in

-hichever direction they 're(er.

Dragons have to deduct the cold -eather 'enalty (rom their Con(lict Rolls. )umans,llies or %&CsE are una((ected by cold -eather. I( the -eather is -arm1 there is no

 'enalty (or anyone1 but the gamemaster has to reduce the -arm -eather to Aero one ste'

at a time be(ore it turns into a cold -eather 'enalty.

Wounding Dragons although human hit 'oints is determined the same -ay hit 'oints ingeneral are determined1 dragons do not have hit 'oints4 instead they ta3e ?ounds1 -hich

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act as a 'enalty in the same -ay cold -eather does1 but only on 'hysical actions. ,llies1

)oard1 #lamour1 +hado-1 and +ha'eshi(t are una((ected by -ounds. &assive e((ects1 such

as the de(ense value o( +cales1 are also una((ected. I( a dragons -ounds leave it unable toact no dice to rollE and the dragon is attac3ed1 a single 'oint o( damage that ma3es it 'ast

+cales -ill 3ill it.

 Damaging Armor 1 ?alls1 or +cales damage to a target 'rotected by ,rmor or +cales1 or behind a ?all1 must (irst overcome the ,rmor1 +cales1 or ?all score4 any e;cess 'oints

are removed (rom hit 'oints. I( an attac3er -ishes to destroy the 'rotection1 dont a''ly

the e;cess 'oints to the targets hit 'oints4 a''ly them to the ,rmors hit 'oints instead.

<nce the hit 'oints reach Aero1 there is a breach in the 'rotection4 an attac3er can s'endone 'oint to aim at the breach1 thus by'assing 'rotection com'letely. Fire1 ho-ever1 -ill

com'letely destroy leather or cloth armor instead o( merely breaching it4 acid or

corrosive dragon breath -ill li3e-ise com'letely destroy metal armor.

Using Up Hoard  )oard dice can be added to a dragons dice 'ool to bribe or -in over a

human4 ho-ever1 the )oard bonus is handled a little di((erently than other bonuses the

 'layer declares ho- many )oard dice she is using. ,(ter the Con(lict Roll1 the 'layer and

the gamemaster ma3e a Dis'ute Roll1 -ith the 'layer rolling the (ull )oard score and thegamemaster rolling the number o( dice the 'layer ris3ed. I( the gamemasters successes

e;ceed the 'layers successes1 the )oard is reduced by one 'oint 'ermanently.

Gaining Allies: 'layers can introduce ne- %&Cs into the game as (acts at any time1 'ossibly requiring a Dis'ute Roll. he ,llys base hit 'oints and s3ills equal the dragons

,llies score1 unless the 'layer o'ts to search (or an ally using a Con(lict Roll. he 'layer

rolls 5 dice G ,llies G any other bonuses involved4 the gamemaster rolls 5 dice Ga''ro'riate bonuses4 the 'layer s'ends successes either on (acts to counteract thegamemasters actions or on the ,llys score1 -hile the gamemaster s'ends successes to

reduce the 'otential ,llys score or to 'er(orm other actions. I( the allys base score ends

 'ositive1 the 'layer adds that ,lly.

 Losing Allies the ,llies score re'resents the dragons in(luence among humans1 rather

than the number o( allies1 but losing named allies can threaten the ,lly score1 es'ecially

i( the ,lly lost had a higher base score than the dragons ,llies score. ,ny time an ,lly

dies1 (lees1 or betrays the dragon1 ma3e a Dis'ute Roll the 'layer rolls dice equal to

,llies1 the gamemaster rolls dice equal to the lost ,llys base score. I( the gamemasterssuccesses e;ceed the 'layers successes1 the ,llies score is reduced by one 'oint


 %amed ,llies that already e;ist -hen the dragons score dro's do not ad6ust their scores


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 aising an Arm! or "inding E#perts the gamemaster can acquire 3nights1 mercenaries1

or e;'erts o( various 3inds in the same -ay that 'layers can gain ne- ,llies1 but

substituting nights1 rade1 or @;'ertise in 'lace o( the ,llies score. I( 3nights1mercenaries1 or e;'erts are lost1 the gamemaster does not  test the villages scores in the

same -ay that 'layers test their ,llies score. illage scores only decrease through the

de'o'ulation mechanic described later.

 Leaping or Using Wings -hen a dragon lea's in the air1 the 'layer can 'ut Con(lict Roll

successes into the Lea' and record them in some -ay on the inde; card labeled L@,&.

&layers cant 'ut more successes into that Lea' than their Lea' score. <n each subsequent

Con(lict Roll1 the dragon remains in the air1 slo-ly (alling4 the Lea' loses one 'oint.?hen it reaches Aero1 the dragon has landed.

I( a dragon does not have ?ings1 it must land be(ore adding successes to Lea' again4

also1 it cant change direction in mid:lea'. , -inged dragon1 on the other hand1 can add?ings dice to subsequent Con(lict Rolls and rebuild the Lea' bac3 u' to the Lea' score

ma;imum1 or roll successes into maneuvering in mid:lea'. o lea' over a -all1 the

dragon must have a Lea' score higher than the villages ?alls score.

Guns guns give humans an advantage because they can be (ired (rom outside a dragons breath range4 (urthermore1 anyone can be trained to use a gun in a basic (ashion1 although

e;'ert gunners have an advantage. #uns1 ho-ever1 can only be made in villages -ith a

2etal-or3ing score o( ! or higher or by an e;'ert blac3smith1 -hile gun'o-der can only be made by an e;'ert chemist or in a village -ith Cra(t ! or higher. I( the village cant

 build a gun or the gun'o-der needed1 they can use rade to attem't to 'urchase it (rom

another village.

&layers do get one s'ecial =attac3> against guns1 ho-ever guns are still ris3y1 dangerousthings in this time 'eriod1 so 'layers can a''ly successes to the =gun e;'lodes> goal1 -ith

hit 'oints equal to the quality o( the gun de(ault is 2etal-or3ing or the blac3smiths

@;'ertise.E I( a gun e;'lodes1 ma3e a Dis'ute Roll1 -ith each side rolling Cra(t G2etal-or3ing to determine the damage.

Canons are really big guns. hey (unction in mostly the same -ay1 e;ce't that they have

an e;tra +iAe score1 -hich does not de(ault1 but is decided by a Dis'ute Roll. @ach siderolls a number o( dice equal to the +iAe o( canon the village is attem'ting to 'urchase or build4 i( the gamemaster loses the dis'ute1 the canon is the smallest siAe and does the

same damage as a gun4 i( the gamemaster -ins1 the e;tra successes determine the +iAe1

-hich adds to the damage done. +iAe also adds to the damage done by an e;'lodingcanon.

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 Archers the longbo- can do as much damage as a gun and has the advantage o( not

e;'loding1 but it cannot be used e;ce't by an e;'ert archer.

 $om%s bombs are gun'o-der 'ac3ed into a clay 'ot or other container. ,ll that matters

is the Cra(t score (or ma3ing a bomb. Larger bombs can be made4 use the +iAe rules (orcanons to determine damage. he disadvantage o( a bomb is that it must be 'laced

manually 8 ris3y1 -hen attac3ing a dragon 8 or thro-n (rom -ithin the same range as adragons breath -ea'on.

 $reath Attac&s breath attac3s move to-ards their target some-hat slo-ly and can thus

 be dodged1 unli3e the e((ects o( dragons breath -hen close enough to touch the dragon.

?hen a dragon belches (orth its breath attac31 the 'layer 'uts successes onto an inde;card labeled "R@,). <n the ne;t Con(lict Roll1 the gamemaster com'ares successes to

the "reath rating4 i( the gamemaster -ins1 the %&C dodges1 other-ise1 the breath attac3

stri3es the target.

I( there are multi'le targets1 each target needs enough successes to beat the "reath ratingon the inde; card.

"ire i( a dragon -ith (iery "reath attac3s a (lammable target and e;ceeds its hit 'oints1 it

catches (ire and the e;cess damage becomes the intensity o( the blaAe. he 'layer records

the intensity on an inde; card labeled FIR@. <n the (ollo-ing Con(lict Roll1 the 'layercan roll e;tra dice equal to the intensity o( the (ire and use successes to build the (ires

intensity. I( the (ire intensity e;ceeds the ,rmor score o( (lammable armor1 it damages

the armor as described 'reviously. &eo'le engul(ed in (lame ta3e damage equal to the(lames intensity reduced by armorE on every Con(lict Roll until the (ire is e;tinguished.

Corrosion acid and corrosive "reath -or3s li3e (iery "reath against metal armor until

the acid is -i'ed o(( in some -ay.

 Poisonous $reath any %&C that breathes a 'oisonous cloud is damaged directly1 -ithoutany armor reduction. &oisonous clouds dissi'ate over time4 use the same method as (or a


 'ting  a 'oisonous sting1 unli3e 'oisonous "reath1 'aralyAes the victim. he 'layer

records successes on an inde; card labeled +I%#4 the victim is unable to move or attac3until the 'aralysis -ears o((. Hse the same method as used (or the decay o( a Lea' to

determine -hen it -ears o((.

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(enom a 'oisonous bite damages its victim every si; hours in other -ords1 at da-n1

noon1 dus31 and midnightE until it dissi'ates1 using the same method as (or Lea'.

 'hado)* Glamour and 'hapeshift  the =magical> abilities o( a dragon can be =seen

through> by any %&C -ho overcomes the strength o( the e((ect1 but the e((ect itsel( 'ersists until the dragon ends it or dies. he only -ay to counteract these magical e((ects

is (or a 'riest @;'ertE to damage the e((ect through a''eal to a higher 'o-er.

+hado- allo-s the dragon to 'ass through material ob6ects and hide inside -alls.#lamour e((ects can be created at a distance as long as the dragon is not in human or

other sha'eshi(ted (orm.

+ha'eshi(t / allo-s dragons to ta3e human (orm1 but +ha'eshi(t !G allo-s the dragon to

ta3e animal (orms1 tree (orms1 or even invent (antastic (orms li3e demons1 unicorns1 or

giants. ?hen inventing a ne- (orm1 the 'layer describes the 'otential 'o-ers o( that (ormas (acts -hich can be dis'uted4E the 'layer can then assign a number o( dice equal to

+ha'eshi(t to each 'o-er to give it a rating.

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Playing the Game

he rules so (ar have covered all the details o( actions ta3en in con(licts and ho- to

resolve them1 but ho- do you actually 'lay Serpentine Thunder ?hat do the 'layersdo1 and -hat does the gamemaster do

?hat the 'layers do -ill de'end on -hat the dragons attitude to-ards humans is. ,

 'layer -ho has chosen the attitude =)arm )umans <'enly> intends o'en -ar(are onhumanity1 -hich -ill 'robably be ans-ered -ith gun(ire. =)eal )umans +ecretly> is a

di((erent res'onse entirely4 the dragon is 'erha's re'entant about 'ast draconic

o''ression and aims to avoid death by changing minds1 one at a time. <ther dragons may

attem't esca'e or intrigue4 dragons may even be o''osed to each other.

he gamemasters tas3 is to guess -hat the dragons attitudes are by their actions and

 'rovide a''ro'riate challenges. I( the dragon is attac3ing1 the gamemaster can tem't -ith

(riendly humans1 or raise an army. Individual villages may be some-hat -ea3 com'aredto dragons1 but they ma3e u' (or this -ith numbers1 and -ith (irm resolve once 'eo'le

start dying.

@arlier1 there -as a brie( mention o( an inde; card labeled +L,I%. @very time a dragon

3ills an %&C in a -ay that can be traced to dragons or something unhuman1 at the least1Ethe gamemaster adds one to3en to +L,I%. ,s the bodies 'ile u'1 the village can call u'on

the memories o( the slain to strengthen their resolve4 the gamemaster can ta3e to3ens

(rom +L,I% to use as one:time only bonus dice.

+L,I% can only be erased t-o -ays (leeing the village -hich requires damaging+L,I%1 -hich has hit 'oints equal to the current number o( to3ens1E or destroying the

village. For 'ur'oses o( destruction1 the village has armor equal to its ?alls and hit

 'oints equal to its total dice assigned to (eatures Cra(t1 2etal-or3ing1 and so on.E @verytime a draconic attac3 overcomes the ?alls1 the e;cess 'oints are done as damage to the

villages hit 'oints. o heal damage1 the gamemaster must use +L,I% to3ens. ?hen the

village damage equals hit 'oints1 the village is destroyed.

he village could use its rade score to contact another village (or assistance1 using theearned successes to set the scores (or the second village. he gamemaster could then

combine the village resources to (ace the draconic threat. @ach village gets its o-n

+L,I% count and its o-n hit 'oints (or destruction 'ur'oses.

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"oth dragons and villages can be im'roved. ?hen a 'layer in some -ay eliminates a

named %&C or converts the %&C to an ,lly1 the 'layer can select one draconic (eature

and ma3e a Dis'ute Roll1 using (acts re'resenting -hy that score should be im'roved."oth the gamemasters dice and the 'layers dice start at a base equal to the selected score

 'lus the number o( (acts. I( the 'layer -ins1 the score goes u' one 'oint. illages use the

same 'rocess to im'rove1 but the trigger (or im'rovement is the elimination or conversiono( an %&C or dragon. @limination (or either case can be inter'reted broadly.

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Serpentine Thunder -as created as 'art o( the %ovember *M:)our Ronnies com'etition.

<ut o( (our 'ossible terms1 I chose Dragon and #un to (ocus the game around. he game-as com'leted on ?ednesday1 %ovember 9th1 *//5.