Magical jewelry is a just a staple of D&D. All classes can use it, it can look innocuous, add flair, all kinds of stuff. Now I am a sucker for a good looking bracelet, arm band, or cuff. Combine that with a sense of subterfuge magic jewelry can bring to a game, I wanted to make a magical item that would be interesting.
My influence for this item is actually Maze Arcana co-creator and awesome DM, Satine Phoenix (though I think I was also listening to Switchblade Symphony). Whenever she dresses-up, she often utilizes bracelets, beads, armbands and the like (not to mention her solid black band tattoo on her upper arm). I really like the aesthetic of armbands and bracers. But at the same time, what if that jewelry came to life? Or if you did not put it on, but it put itself on you? Obviously a serpent would be able to do that. But what of function, has to be poison.
In addition, I try to root all the jewelry designs I use in my game with real-world techniques and things. The picture below fit perfectly, as I can imagine Satine rocking it. Sadly, this never got used in my campaign, Toell’s Bed.
So here it is:
Wondrous Item, uncommon (requires attunement)
This bronze cuff covers a good portion of the forearm and has a greenish tint. It takes the form of a serpent wrapped around the arm. As a bonus action, if attuned and wearing the cuff, you can speak the command word “sarpa,” animating the cuff into a poisonous snake (Monster Manual pp. 334). It obeys you and can be commanded as a bonus action. While animated, you can use beast sense, as the spell, with the snake at will. If the snake moves farther than 60 feet from you or is reduced to 0 hit points, it reverts to a cuff. You may also speak the command word again to revert it back to a cuff. It cannot be animated again until the next dawn.
While not animated, you can use your action and speak the command word, “zaha.” The cuff secretes a basic poison (see Player’s Handbook pp. 153) that coats a weapon held in the same hand as the side the cuff is worn on. You cannot use the ability again until the next dawn.
Hope you dig it. Let me know what you think on Twitter @OnlyPlayWizards