Hero Abilities Package - Dragon, Plumed Serpent

Plumed Serpent Dragon

Plumed Serpent Dragon Racial Package (Cost 232-95=137)

Conversion Notes: This package represents the minimum abilities of a plumed serpent hatchling from Rifts role playing game. This write-up uses Champions 5th edition rules. Plumed serpents have two forms, one human and one of a giant bird-like serpent. At starting levels they can only change between forms once a day. Don't forget to add the bonuses for their Growth when in dragon form. Note that the P.P.E. Endurance Reserve is used for spell casting and activation of magic items, where the I.S.P. Endurance Reserve is used for activation of psionic abilities.

Plumed serpents are large feathered serpents grow to about 60 or 70 feet long as adults. They are common to the arid desert and desert like areas of North and South America, and are the closest thing to a native dragon that North America has. They are covered with rich, iridescent feathers reminiscent of those on a hummingbird. The feathers around the head form a full mane-like ruff, which is what gives the creature its name. Plumed serpents have a pair of wings and one set of powerful legs with talon-like claws, but no arms or hands. Plumed serpents are as formidable as any dragon in combat, with a keen mind for tactics and magic.

A plumed serpent will choose as much as 500 square miles as its territory. Consequently, it considers itself Lord of that region and can do whatever it pleases to whomever it pleases within that territory. Only the plumed serpent may decide who may live, work in or travel through its domain. Thus, many a traveler, bandit and adventurer has met with these strange creatures. Generally, creatures smaller than a human or who possess animal intelligence are allowed to live and move through the territory unmolested, but larger animals, especially intelligent races, are watched carefully, chased out, charged travelling tariffs and tolls, or given ultimatums, or beaten and robbed, or destroyed, depending on the serpent's alignment, current mood, and past experiences with the race. Actually, depending on the beast's mood, most ignore transient intruders three-quarters of the time, and only take notice of those who are despoiling its land, animals or people, or if they are making a commotion. Those who show respect and are courteous and cooperative are likely to be allowed to live and even stay awhile. Primitive humanoids are viewed with neutrality, and as long as a large number of them do not enter the creature's territory at one time, they are usually ignored or chased away. Some plumed serpents are diplomatic and will warn the interlopers or discuss their intentions and rules, while others will simply attack, while some in a grouchy, anti-social mood, but too disgruntled or depressed to take action, will burrow into the sand and hide until the intruders leave. Only a large, well-armed number of soldiers can hope to invade a plumed serpent's territory successfully. The creatures use cunning and tactics, hit and run attacks, all of the magic at their disposal, and most of all, they usually exhibit the wisdom to run when outmatched, but most do not leave permanently. They only retreat to plan their retaliation, and usually return with other plumed serpents, monstrous allies or even friendly humans or minions/worshipers. A vengeful serpent trying to reclaim its territory may wage a campaign for centuries.

After hatching they quickly grow to 30 feet in size, have a thick feathered hide and functional wings capable of flying. They have powerful claws and can breath bolts of lightning. They can shape shift between a human form and their natural form. The human form will always be the same gender as their natural one, and will resemble common humanoids from whatever region the plumed serpent was hatched.

Plumed serpents heal quickly, they can turn invisible three times a day for five minutes. All dragons can sense the presence of other dragons nearby, no matter the form they take. They do not need to eat to survive, but do so simply to enjoy the taste of food.

They hatch knowing their native language and two others common to the region they were hatched, as well as having basic survival skills, probably psionically imprinted by their parents. All dragons have a natural rivalry for each other and they are very territorial. Plumbed serpents in particular are very arrogant creatures.

Plumed serpents are all born with 6 minor psionic abilities. They can learn magic occupations.

To learn more about the plumed serpents, I suggest purchasing and reading Rifts World Book 15: Spirit West by Wayne Breaux Jr.

Illustration by Wayne Breaux Jr.
Champions rules conversion by Mathew R. Ignash - mathewignash@comcast.net.
Last Updated - January, 2004

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