The Naga is a creature from Hindu mythology 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 and/or multiheaded as a display of divinity (the multiple heads are meant to represent being all-seeing, and the multiple arms are meant to represent being omnipotent and having a hand in every event in your life).
The Greek Lamia is also snek-centaur, but always female - and malicious. Where these 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.
Nagas in the realms of Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder are classed under aberration. The first-edition Monster Manual listed three types: Guardian Naga (20' long) were Lawful Good, Spirit (15') Chaotic Evil, and Water (10') pure Neutral. Again: we're not counting lamia, yuan-ti, the Type V Demon nor all the rest of 'em.
The Dark Naga came out in the Creature Catalog 1984. Second Edition put 'em as "Naga, Dark" in a whole separate "Monstrous Manual" entry much as they'd sequestered the Jermlaine from other gremlins. Why? Ask Lorraine. Anyway they're Lawful Evil and 12' long, and do magic.
The Naga as a race (where not demoniacs) got a matron goddess, Shekinester. Very little information on her exists.
Surprisingly, nagas have actually appeared as playable characters.
Rokugani Naga D20 PC Stats:
- +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.
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 basically elf mermaids. They were Night Elf nobles of the old kingdom, who basically served as part of the Queen Aschara's army of groupies, not doing much on their own besides court matters, being yes men and women to the queen, and getting high on the magic from magic inland sea called the Well of Eternity. When the demons of the Burning Legion came knocking, the Night Elf nobles were the faction that sided with the demons in that war. By the time the demons lost the war, the Nobles were split roughly three ways: Elves who saw this shit was insane and GTFO'd; Legion loyalists; and the Queen's loyalists.
When the demons were kicked out, the Well of Eternity blew up, and Azshara's loyalists stayed with her in her palace on the shore of the Well. The palace had survived the aftermath (either through divine intervention, extremely good luck, or both), but was quickly finding itself sinking into the new ocean that formed in the center of the old continent. In a desperate attempt to save herself and her egomaniacal vision, Queen Azshara made a pact with one of the Old Gods which transformed her people into amphibious snake people: the Naga that was known today. Azshara was also said to grow to enormous proportions, but this information couldn't be verified at the time.
Since then, they've been doing a whole lot of nothing that would be apparent to land dwellers, other than serving as the occasional trash mob. They make a substantial return in Warcraft 3: the Frozen Throne. In the elf campaign, the surviving elf royal, Prince Kael'thas, is helping a force of humans fight the Undead. The elves are left to fight a desperate interdiction action to protect the humans' rear flank, but the racist (and strategically idiotic) human general, infamously named Lord Othmar Garithos leaves Kael with dwindling support. Unexpected help comes from a Naga army lead by a Naga sea witch named Lady Vashj: sorely needed aid against the Undead's surging numbers and the increasingly desperate odds.
For the crime of fighting alongside "monsters" who might have an interest in seeing the Undead go away, Garithos has all the elves arrested. While awaiting execution, Vashj pops up and jailbreaks Kael and his elves. She recruits them for Illidan in his mission to destroy the Lich King once and for all (SPOILER: They failed lol). Vashj joined Illidan in hiding in Outland, defecting to his service permanently, but Vashj's force was just one Sea Witch with one army, from an pretty big nation.
Naga went back to doing a whole lot of nothing, but they made the brief cameo appearance throughout the years as minor plot point as they schemed to disrupt and/or take over the surface. It wasn't until the Battle for Azeroth expansion that they actually became relevant again. Among other existential threats, the Naga were making moves and would eventually attack the surface in force, not the small forces that would hit the surface from time to time, but their entire damned empire, with backing from their Old God patron.
In WC3, 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 scales 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 four-armed and potent magic users who still has tits on them (despite being sea creatures, but they were cursed elves anyways). They enslaved various races and creatures like Mur'gul (evil murlocs) 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 Fu Leng 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.
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Yeah, you knew this was coming.
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 (yes, that's a thing).