Tuesday Magic Item – Snakestrike Cigarettes

31 July, 2012

I snapped open my steel cigarette case and offered them around.  “We act as soon as we are done, yes?”

a cobra vai fumar

a cobra vai fumar

They nodded and we lit up our cigarettes, the snake scale pattern to the paper flaring brightly as they were lit.   We all kept our thoughts to ourselves, checking and preparing our weapons in the faint light from the burning tips of the cigarettes.

I took one last drag and tossed the butt to the ground, crushing it under my heel.  “Now, for our country and liberty!”  Together, our weapons at the ready, we rushed forward.

Snakestrike Cigarettes

These cigarettes are sold in packs marked with a pipe smoking snake and under a variety of brand names, though some are higher quality than others.  The cigarettes themselves have a snakeskin-like appearance to their paper and its has a slight golden color as it burns.  The tobacco in them has been blended with some herbs, spices and other alchemical additives which causes the smoke of these cigarettes to have a grayish color.

Fully smoking one of these cigarettes inflames the passions and inspires the smoker to act, now.  For 1d4+1 minutes after smoking a Snakestrike Cigarette, the smoker gains a +2 bonus to Initiative rolls, +2 moral bonus to resist fear and 1d4 temporary hit points.

Chain smoking these cigarettes can retain the Initiative and moral bonus but the temporary hit points can only be gained once per day.

Aura faint transmutation; CL 5th
Slot none; Price 250 for 10; Weight
Construction Requirements
Brew Potion or Craft Wondrous Item and 5 ranks in Craft: Alchemy, haste, resistance; Cost 125 for 10

Notes:  Inspired by the Brazilian Expeditionary Force of the Second World War:

Due to the Brazilian dictatorship’s unwillingness to get more deeply involved in the Allied war effort, by 1942 a popular saying was said at a session by Getulio Vargas: “it’s more likely for snakes to start to smoke now than for the BEF to set out.”  Until the BEF entered combat, the expression “a cobra vai fumar” (“the snake will smoke”) was often used in Brazil in a context similar to “when pigs fly.” As a result, the soldiers of the BEF called themselves Cobras Fumantes (literally, Smoking Snakes) and wore a divisional shoulder patch that showed a snake smoking a pipe.  After the war the meaning was reversed, signifying that something will definitively happen and in a furious and aggressive way. With that second meaning the use of the expression “a cobra vai fumar” has been retained in Brazilian Portuguese until the present times.


  1. Cool. Packing a pipe must be tough on a snake. 😉

    • Yes, snakes are not known for having pockets. Still, too cool of an image not to use.

  2. Trey beat me to the comment! This would work well in his Weird Adventures setting. I read that book while drifting off to sleep on my pain medication. Which was weird. Awesome post.

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