The Serpentis Discipline is gained after the fight with Lucretia. Without the WOD mod's Giant Cobra transformation that makes the final battle with Lucretia so formidable, the remaining disciplines are nothing Christof does not have access to twice over already, assuming he read the Tome of Blood Magic. This means, of course, it is possible for two characters to have blood draining abilities, but with no material advantage to the player, as there can only be one in the Dark Ages and one in modern times. Moreover, switching like this means the Society of Leopold, the entirety of the Setite temple, and the Tower of London with its many non-humanoid enemies must be completed without blood drain, if Wilhem is to be given the Blood Magic tome. The challenge is even greater because Theft of Vitae is more than twice as powerful. Four- or five-dot Theft of Vitae is a one-shot kill vs human enemies; two, and three vs policemen, for Tongue of the Asp.
The Teutonic Knight base and the Society of Leopold are each two entirely different scenarios with and without blood drain. For players looking for a challenge, giving the tome to one of the Dark Ages coterie rather than giving it to Christof, and/or using it sparingly in the Teutonic Knight base, makes that area a chance to use skills rather than just walk from instakill to instakill. More importantly, the return to the modern age can be retained as the struggle to gain power and starting over again from scratch that the game developers doubtless intended. There is no outstanding reason for giving it to a particular Dark Ages team member. Serena will be spending a lot of XP on Lure of Flames, or getting her physical stats up, and Erik arrives late, so it will probably be Wilhem. Note that Wilhem's disciplines are wiped clean on his return in the final two dungeons, and Tomes do not survive the transition to the modern age.
Three of the five best spell effects in the game belong to one Discipline tree, Serpentis, and there are no Attribute requirements at all. Serpentis looks for all the world like a Discipline group made up by a power gamer to get all the best spell effects in one Discipline tree. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that it is an attempt by the developers to give the Followers of Set enemies, the best spells in the game. Damage prevention (Skin of the Adder) IS superior to damage enhancement for NPCs that want to live longer, so they can slow players down and take up their time.
Eyes of the Serpent Edit
- 5 blood
Eyes of the Serpent is a mesmerize effect like Presence's Awe and the lesser Mesmerize; the single-player game could be completed more than adequately with this one skill and Blood Healing alone. It has the advantage of being usable both as crowd control, and a source of blood, as its target is defenseless against Feed.
Tongue of the Asp Edit
- 20 blood. 15 blood at four and five dots
Only beasts and Vienna's Teutonic Knights cannot be fed upon...except by Serpentis' other mega-skill, Tongue of the Asp, which so closely resembles the Theft of Vitae that can kill humans instantly, and render vampires incapable of doing anything other than fighting, in two casts or less (cops take three), when it is at four or five dots. Draining humans to death with Theft inexplicably incurs no humanity loss (same with Blood Magic's Theft of Vitae).
Skin of the Adder Edit
- 20 blood. 10 blood at 4 and 5 dots. Lowers Appearance by a hefty 25 points. However, Appearance is the only Attribute that can be significantly raised (to 120, if it was not capped at 100) with wearable items.
As with Fortitude, no visible effect on damage prevention on the character screen, and little indication with testing that it actually works.
Hatch the Viper Edit
- 30 blood. 20 blood at four and five dots
Admittedly the snakes summoned are nearly the weakest summoned creature, but it really does not matter how many hit points they have if the creature being fought, like Zulo and Vozhd and Alligator, would otherwise kill the summoner in a single bite-simply summon another. Once the desired amount of padding has been created, feel free to cast another damage spell. Repair the wall, and repeat as necessary.
Giant Cobra Edit
- Not available in the basic game
And finally, the Serpentis spell that is enabled with the WODmod modification, that turns the player into a creature so powerful it never actually appeared as a regular enemy in the single player game: the Giant Cobra. Overpowered is an understatement