Naga (Dungeons & Dragons)
This Dungeons & Dragons-related article describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (May 2012) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Nagas appear as large snake-like creatures with humanoid heads. They often range widely in coloring and scale patterns, but are all usually about the same size. Most will 'stand' at a height about equal to or just above that of a regular human (six feet or so), but because of the length of their trailing tails they can raise themselves up by a few feet, to intimidate foes, or simply get a better view. The four most common races of naga are the dark naga, guardian naga, spirit naga, and water naga.
- 1 Publication history
- 1.1 Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)
- 1.2 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)
- 1.3 Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)
- 1.4 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)
- 1.5 Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)
- 1.6 Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)
- 1.7 Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–)
- 1.8 Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)
- 2 Description
- 3 Types
- 4 Society
- 5 Shinomen nagas
- 6 In the Forgotten Realms
- 7 Related creatures
- 8 References
The naga was one of the earliest creatures introduced in the D&D game.
Dungeons & Dragons (1974–1976)
The guardian naga, the spirit naga, and the water naga first appeared in the official newsletter of TSR Games, The Strategic Review #3, August 1975.
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)
The dark naga first appeared among several new creatures in the "Creature Catalog" insert in Dragon #89 (September 1984).
Dungeons & Dragons (1977–1999)
This edition of the D&D game included its own version of the naga, in the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (1977), and Expert Set (1981 & 1983). The naga was also later featured in the Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1991), the Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (1991), and the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game set (1994).
Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)
The dark naga appeared in the Anauroch supplement (1991) for the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, and in Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix II (1991). The dark naga then appeared in the revised Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (1993), and the Monstrous Manual (1993). The dark naga is further detailed in Dragon #261 (July 1999), in "The Ecology of the Dark Naga."
The banelar, a relative of the naga for the Forgotten Realms setting first appeared in Dragon #197 (September 1993), and later appeared in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One (1994). The bone naga first appeared in The Ruins of Myth Drannor (1993), and later appeared in Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One (1994).
Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (2000–2002)
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)
The dark naga, the guardian naga, the spirit naga, and the water naga appears in the revised Monster Manual for this edition (2003).
The bone naga template for the Forgotten Realms setting appeared in Serpent Kingdoms (2004), including the bone naga dark naga sample creature. Also appearing in this book are the banelar naga, the faerunian ha-naga, the iridescent naga, and the nagahydra.
Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–)
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)
The naga appears in the Bestiary playtest document for this edition (2012).
Nagas, resembling giant snakes, vary in appearance. Some have humanoid heads and some are more snake-like, and the torso may or may not be covered in scales. Each type of naga has a certain amount of spell casting power.
- Banelar Naga – purplish naga that can manipulate magic items with short tentacles around its face; named after their association with the deity Bane
- Bone Naga – a unique type of undead naga
- Bright Naga – chaotic evil naga that can mock sorcerous spellcasting
- Brine Naga – powerful naga that resembles a sea serpent
- Dark Naga – lawful evil
- Guardian Naga – lawful good
- Ha-naga – a massive and powerful naga lord, often worshipped by spirit nagas as a god
- Iridescent Naga – chaotic good
- Master Naga – Possesses seven cowled heads, wearing giant gems whose value corresponds with the naga's age.
- Spirit Naga – chaotic evil
- Water Naga – neutral
- Worm Naga – powerful servants of the deity Kyuss transformed into nagas
According to "The Ecology of the Dark Naga", the guardian, spirit and water nagas are "true" nagas, while the dark naga (and its undead counterpart the bone naga) merely resemble them. The article does not mention the other types of naga.
In the Rokugan campaign setting, the nagas of the Shinomen Forest are an ancient race of noble creatures. These nagas have humanoid torsos and snake tails. Five bloodlines are known to exist: asp, chameleon, cobra, constrictor, and greensnake.
In the Forgotten Realms
In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, nagas were created by the reptilian creator race, the sarrukh, along with yuan-ti. The banelar and iridescent nagas originated in the Realms, as well as a Faerûnian version of the ha-naga.
- Nagahydra – Five-headed abomination combining features of nagas and hydras.
- Kuntz, Robert J. and James Ward. Gods, Demi-gods & Heroes (TSR, 1976)
- Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual (TSR, 1977)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by J. Eric Holmes. Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (TSR, 1977)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Dave Cook. Dungeons & Dragons Expert Set (TSR, 1981)
- Gygax, Gary, and Dave Arneson , edited by Frank Mentzer. Dungeons & Dragons Set 2: Expert Rules (TSR, 1983)
- Allston, Aaron, Steven E. Schend, Jon Pickens, and Dori Watry. Dungeons & Dragons Rules Cyclopedia (TSR, 1991)
- Cook, David, et al. Monstrous Compendium Volume Two (TSR, 1989)
- Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
- Greenwood, Ed. Anauroch (TSR, 1991)
- Richards, Jonathan M. "The Ecology of the Dark Naga: Fool Me Twice." Dragon #261 (TSR, 1999)
- Wise, David, ed. Monstrous Compendium Annual Volume One (TSR, 1994)
- Cook, Monte, Jonathan Tweet, and Skip Williams. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
- Wyatt, James, and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Wyatt, James. Oriental Adventures (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
- Collins, Andy, Bruce R. Cordell, and Thomas M. Reid. Epic Level Handbook (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
- Bonny, Ed, Jeff Grubb, Rich Redman, Skip Williams, and Steve Winter. Monster Manual II (Wizards of the Coast, 2002)
- Tweet, Jonathan, Mike Donais, Skaff Elias, and Rob Heinsoo. Miniatures Handbook. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003
- Greenwood, Ed, Eric L. Boyd, and Darrin Drader. Serpent Kingdoms (Wizards of the Coast, 2004)
- Decker, Jesse. "The Spire of Long Shadows." Dungeon #130 (Paizo Publishing, 2006)
- Mearls, Mike, Stephen Schubert, and James Wyatt. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2008)
- Bestiary 121712 D&D Next Playtest Packet (Wizards of the Coast, 2012), page=73
- Perkins, Christopher Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2014), page=233-234