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Adder was the most common type of viper[6] snake found in Faerûn.[4]


Adders were scaled and highly venomous serpents, sometimes growing big enough to swallow one or multiple humanoids at a time.[7] Some adders' scaled were colored black, banded with thin grey stripes. Their heads had horn-like ridges above the eyes, the most distinct feature of the adder. Their venom glands appeared as slight bulging beside the creatures' ear holes and fed deadly venom into their sharp fangs. Like other snakes, they had forked tongues that served as a tactile sensory organ.[12]



Amphisbaena were considered close relatives of adders or very close resembling them in the markings' patterns but possessed a much deadly venom.[6]

Black adder

Black adders were known for their deadly venom. A vial of it often went for 75 gold coins in Cormyr circa 1371 DR.[10]

Black sand adder

The 6 feet (1.8 meters) long black snake found in Zakhara's greatest sea of sand, often used as living weapons by the zin.[3]

Common adder

Common adders could be found throughout Serpent Hills in the Western Heartlands. The species of the common adder were known fo their sexual dimorphism. Male adders had greenish-gray scales with angular black patterns on their scales, while females had reddish-brown scales and darker black patterns. A bite of a common adder was venomous but not lethal for most beasts and humanoids of medium size. Their venom caused nausea and vomiting and could incapacitate a creature for up to for days after a bite.[6]

Flame adder

Species of adder from Kara-Tur.[9]

Giant snow adder

A species of giant adder hunted for their hide that usually went for 300 gp and their paralytic venom.[11]

Puff adder

The puff adder was found in the Duskwood where it preyed upon the badger mice.[4] These serpents puff out their skin to appear more menacing toward attackers.[8]

Other Habitats[]

A grey-scaled adder.

Beyond the world of Toril, adders could be found on the worlds of Athas,[13] Aebrynis,[14] and Eberron,[15] as well as on the third layer of Arborea, Pelion, adders could be found inhabiting the desert realms of Amun-thys.[16]

Among the Domains of Dread, adders could be found in Nova Vassa.[17]


The spell of melf's acid arrow required powdered rhubarb leaf and the stomach of an adder as its material components.[18]

The spell fist of the adder transformed the caster's arms into adder snakes allowing them to deal devastating unarmed attacks with the serpents' bites. The material component of the spell was the shed skin of a venomous snake, such as adder, washed in tears.[19]

Adders could be created via use of the sticks to snakes spell.[20]

Scales from flame adders were used in the creation of flame eggs, beautiful but deadly explosive magical items from Kara-Tur.[9]

Black adder venom was often used by lizardfolk.[21]

A fang of an adder was one of the components of potions of longevity.[22]

In the 14th century DR, in Waterdeep's Cloaksweep Alley one could find the old man who cooked ear oil out of adder fat, claiming it was a cure for deafness when poured into the ear.[23]



  • Adder's root was a highly poisonous and deadly plant.[24]
  • 1328 DR was named the Year of the Adder.[25]
  • The five-headed whips of the drow priestesses of Lolth had living adders as the part of the weapons.[26]
  • Clerics of the god Set could turn into giant adders via the incarnation of evil divine spell.[27]

See Also[]


Curse of the Azure BondsShadowdaleCaravans
Referenced only
Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage
Prophet of MoonshaeStar of CursrahDissolutionVenom's TasteVanity's Brood
Referenced only
Pool of RadiancePool of TwilightPassage to DawnThe City of Splendors: A Waterdeep NovelLady of PoisonThe Halls of StormweatherShadow's WitnessThe RageThe RiteTwilight FallingElminster in HellElminster's DaughterResurrectionDarkvisionFrostfellThe Fall of HighwatchCry of the Ghost WolfThe Bargain
Video Games
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards


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  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Rick Swan (1994). Al-Qadim: Caravans: Adventure Book. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-903-3.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 James Butler, Elizabeth T. Danforth, Jean Rabe (September 1994). “Explorer's Manual”. In Karen S. Boomgarden ed. Elminster's Ecologies (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 1-5607-6917-3.
  5. Doug Stewart (June 1993). Monstrous Manual. (TSR, Inc), p. 320. ISBN 1-5607-6619-0.
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  7. 7.0 7.1 Lisa Smedman (March 2004). Venom's Taste. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 15. ISBN 0786931663.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd, Darrin Drader (July 2004). Serpent Kingdoms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 0-7869-3277-5.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Mike Pondsmith, Jay Batista, Rick Swan, John Nephew, Deborah Christian (1988). Kara-Tur: The Eastern Realms (Volume I). (TSR, Inc), p. 62. ISBN 0-88038-608-8.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Sean K. Reynolds, Steve Miller (2000). Into the Dragon's Lair. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 91. ISBN 0-7869-1634-6.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Jeff Crook, Wil Upchurch, Eric L. Boyd (May 2005). Champions of Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 108. ISBN 0-7869-3692-4.
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  14. Wolfgang Baur Warlock of the Stonecrows. Edited by Dan Wenger. (TSR, Inc.), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-0185-3.
  15. Bill Slavicsek Eberron Campaign Setting. Edited by Michelle Carter. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 194. ISBN 620-86400-001-EN.
  16. Wolfgang Baur and Lester Smith (1994-07-01). “The Travelogue”. In Michele Carter ed. Planes of Chaos (TSR, Inc), p. 55. ISBN 1560768746.
  17. Lisa Smedman The Awakening. Edited by Richard Pike-Brown. (TSR, Inc.), p. 23. ISBN 1-56076-883-5.
  18. R.A. Salvatore (August 2008). Passage to Dawn. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0786949113.
  19. Mark Middleton et al (January 1998). Wizard's Spell Compendium Volume Two. (TSR, Inc), pp. 371–372. ISBN 978-0786906642.
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  21. Andrew Finch, Gwendolyn Kestrel, Chris Perkins (August 2004). Monster Manual III. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 96. ISBN 0-7869-3430-1.
  22. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins, James Wyatt (2014). Dungeon Master's Guide 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 188. ISBN 978-0786965622.
  23. Ed Greenwood (January 1993). Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. (TSR, Inc.), p. 66. ISBN 1-56076-335-3.
  24. Template:Cite book/Realms of the Dragons/Penitential Rites
  25. James Lowder (August 1993). “Novel Ideas”. In Roger E. Moore ed. Dragon #196 (TSR, Inc.), p. 65.
  26. Richard Lee Byers (July 2002). Dissolution. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 5. ISBN 0-7869-2714-3.
  27. Eric L. Boyd (1997). Powers and Pantheons. (TSR, Inc), p. 129. ISBN 0-7869-0657-X.