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Often confused with the Lamia, the Naga is a creature from Asiatic mythology (specifically, Hinduism) that combines human and snek in its appearance. Nagas are divine serpents, portrayed as capable of shapeshifting between purely human, purely serpentine, and half-way forms; many artwork depicts them as snakes with human heads, though they can and do often have arms - divine ones in particular tend to have more than one pair of arms, given Hindu deities are usually multi-armed.
This origin is why "naga" is often used as an alternative name for the same "snek-centaur" as the typical lamia. When the two races are visually distinct from each other, it's usually achieved by giving the naga "more serpentine features" than the lamia has. Exactly what that means depends on the interpretation.
In Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder, for example, Nagas resemble giant snakes with human heads. In the earliest editions, the human heads were very distinctive from the snake bodies, but as editions have gone past, they've become more and more reptilian-faced, and honestly kind of creepy-looking.
In more monstergirl/furry communities, nagas are basically lamias (humanoid upper torso, giant snake's body from the wast down), but with scaly skin on their upper torso as well (normal lamias, like your typical merfolk, are depicted with human skin giving way to scales). Sometimes, they may go so far as to have anthropomorphic snake's heads atop their human-like shoulders, but this is most common amongst furry artists.
Finally, a naga may be described as having an "armless" humanoid upper torso (with said torso potentially overlapping with the aforementioned "scaly-skinned humanoid and/or snake-morph upper torso" depiction). What this basically amounts to is the "human-headed snake" naga, but with boobs, so it's pretty much only seen in monstergirl porn - it allows one to mix "monstergirl" with "amputee" fetishism.
Nagas in the realms of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are considered a kind of aberration. They cover a wide variety of the alignment spectrum, with different subspecies having different abilities and personalities.
Nagas are a race that dwells on multiple planes in the multiverse of Magic: The Gathering, specifically inhabiting the planes of Amonkhet, Ravnica and Tarkir. These nagas vary from the classic naga/lamia approach, with a human upper torso on a snake's body, centaur style, to having a snake's head in addition to that, making them technically a form of serpentfolk
In Warcraft, Naga are bascially high elf mermaid. They were high elves who were high on draining magic from the wells of eternity, but the night elves blow up the wells and sank the high elves under the sea. In a desperate attempt to save her kind, Queen Azshara made a pact with one of the old gods and transformed her people into the Naga that was known today. They return in Warcraft 3: the frozen throne where Illidan called them to assist him in his quest to destroy the lich king once and for all (SPOILER: They failed lol). Naga are the unofficial fifth faction that can never be played in the multiplayer games but campaign. All Naga are fishy green looking creature with fish scale on them and all of them has the usual snek like lower body. Male Naga has buff muscle body and they carry giant anchor like trident to battle and female Naga are potent magic caster who still has tits on them (despite being sea creature, but they were cursed high elves anyway). They enslaved various races and creatures like Mur'gul (evil murloc) to build their building using some kind of water magic, dragon turtles that could spit rocks as some kind of siege weapon and Couatl a flying magical beast as some kind of distant cousins of wind serpents who can both fly and swim.
Nagas, in the sense of "snake-taurs", are the First Great Race of Rokugan, having been the very first race to found an empire in the lands that are now known as the setting of the Legend of the Five Rings. They possess a group collectiveness/memory called the Akasha, and went into a racial hibernation eons ago. During that time, the Nezumi rose to sapience and founded an empire, only to lose it when Lu Feng fell to earth and created the Shadowlands. Then, by the time the nagas woke up, huimanity had their own centuries-old empire of Rokugan. Needless to say, they're having a hard time adjusting.
Rokugani nagas come in multiple bloodlines; Asp, Greensnake, Cobra, Chameleon and Constrictor. They are prone to diffuse mutations, especially the Cobras. Female nagas can shapeshift their tail into a set of human-like legs.
Nagas have their own dedicated sourcebook in the L5R RPG, "The Way of the Clans #8: The Way of the Naga". They were also provided as a PC race in the Rokugan Campaign Setting for Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition.
Surprisingly, nagas have actually appeared as playable characters in certain games.
- +2 Constitution, +2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
- Base speed 40 feet
- Immune to Shadowlands Taint
- +2 racial bonus to Charisma and Diplomacy checks made against other Naga.
- +2 racial bonus to Wilderness Lore skill checks.
- -4 racial penalty to Animal Empathy, Handle Animal and Ride checks.
- Alien: You starting Honor is always 0.
- Bloodline: Choose the Asp, Chameleon, Cobra, Constrictor or Greensnake bloodline. Your racial abilities are further modified by your bloodline.
The nagas of Amonkhet, a race of cobra-headed serpentfolk, were made into a playable race for Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition in the online web-enhancement "Plane Shift: Amonkhet". There, they had the following traits:
- +2 Constitutioon, +1 Intelligence
- Speed 30 feet
- Normal Vision
- Speed Boost: if both your hands are free, as a bonus action, increase your walking speed by +5 feet until the end of your turn.
- Poison Immunity: You take no damage from Poison Damage and cannot be Poisoned.
- Poison Affinity: You have Proficiency with the Poisoner's Kit
- Natural Weapon: As an Unarmed Strike, you can choose to either Bite or Constrict. A Bite attack inflicts 1d4 + Str modifier Piercing damage and forces the victim to succeed on a Constitution save (DC 8 + Naga's Con modifier + Naga's Proficiency bonus) or else take 1d4 Poison Damage. A Constrict attack 1d6 + Str modifier Bludgeoning damage and automatically grapples the victim. Until you either let them go or they escape by succeeding on a Strength check (DC 8 + Naga's Str modifier + Naga's Proficiency bonus), the victim is Restrained and you can't make another Constrict attack.
|Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Races|
|Player's Handbook:|| Dragonborn - Drow - Dwarf - Elf - Gnome |
Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human - Tiefling
|Dungeon Master's Guide:||Aasimar - Eladrin|
|Elemental Evil Player's Guide:||Aarakocra - Genasi - Goliath - Gnome (Svirfneblin)|
|Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide:||Duergar - Ghostwise Halfling - Svirfneblin - Tiefling Variants|
|Unearthed Arcana:|| Changeling - Minotaur - Revenant - Shadar-kai |
Shifter - Tiefling Variants - Warforged
|Volo's Guide to Monsters:|| Aasimar - Bugbear - Firbolg - Goblin - Goliath |
Hobgoblin - Kenku - Kobold - Lizardfolk
Orc - Tabaxi - Triton - Yuan-Ti Pureblood
|Plane Shift: Amonkhet:||Aven - Khenra - Minotaur - Naga|
|Plane Shift: Innistrad:||Human|
|Plane Shift: Kaladesh:||Aetherborn - Dwarf - Elf - Human - Vedalken|
|Plane Shift: Zendikar:||Elf - Goblin - Human - Kor - Merfolk - Vampire|