Monster Monday-Drow (Dark Elves)

Another in the humanoids are monsters series. Humanoids behave rationally, unlike other monsters, and so are more likely to negotiate and compromise. Their ability to have classes and powers like those of player characters also makes them powerful and varied foes. I try to make my races different in order to add a variety of flavors to the game.

Drow are the last members of the Exile pack, with NekolynsOsprytes, and Livecaps. The Drow are mechanically very similar to surface elves, their mortal enemies, but even more capable of specialization with a higher variety of classes.DrowBig

Like surface elves, Drow live long lives. While long ago they were almost identical to their cousins, living underground, millenia of internal conflict, and training for war against the surface have changed them greatly. They can live as long as elves, but they rarely die of natural causes. Their wars among themselves lead to early death, even for their best protected leaders.

The Drow live in great caves, down below most other deep races. Their societies can have different configurations in these caves, but a constant is the conflict between houses and individuals. In the oldest Drow societies, great houses have taken a majority of the power in their house fortresses and war among themselves. Those not members of the houses can live on their own, but it is often safer to enlist in the guard of one of the houses.

Like elves, the Drow spend much of their youth specializing for their place in society. Their attribute bonuses are class dependent, they receive +4 to their most important attribute, +2 to their second and third most important attributes, and -2 to their least important attribute, excluding Charisma. They are sociopathic and hateful, they can’t get along with each other let alone other races that see them as threats (-4 Charisma).

Drow have infrared vision. They also start with Crusade (Elves) I at least and get +2 to Stealth checks.

Classes

Many Drow are trained from youth for combat. All fit individuals are part of the militia against the surface (unfit individuals are sacrificed), and a large portion have training beyond the required to develop other skills.

Cleric-Drow are highly religious. Their evil deities are in large part why they were exiled by their surface cousins. They still cling to these deities, craving their blessings on their crusades against the surface. Their highest leaders will often have intense religious training and close ties to a deity.DrowFighter

Fighter-Every army needs foot soldiers. The drow militia are mostly fighters or soldiers, whether wielding melee weapons or ranged weapons. These combatants are highly skilled, even in the lower ranks. The sons of the great houses will often engage in armed combat, but to a degree unfathomable by most living on the surface.

Magic-user-The Drow have a natural knack for magic. Mostly left-handed, they are frequently trained in war magic to support their armies. Unlike elves, drow mages spend a great deal of time researching new magics. Their skill sets are broad and their understanding of magic rivals that of the oldest gnome magic schools.

Thief-The Drow have lived in the dark too long not to have learned to use it to their advantage. Whether houseless urchins stealing to live or house spies stealing information and wealth from rival houses, the theives among the drow are highly skilled and well known.

DrowAssassinAssassin-Being able to steal information from rival houses is valuable, but many houses put effort into training assassins to eliminate the leaders of other houses. These same assassins will often be sent by the drow to precede united forays against the surface, assassinating key figures in the target nation before the attack. Drow assassins are among the most feared enemies, both within the drow and in other communities.

Battle Mage-Given the constant warring in their society and against other societies, many drow mages come to train in combat in addition to their magic. Knowing the effectiveness of magic, many warriors also embrace magic. Battle Mages are especially common among the members of the great house, wanting to have multiple means of keeping themselves alive.

DrowNecromancerNecromancer-Amoral and solely concerned with conquest and revenge, the drow accept necromancers in their ranks. Drow necromancers rarely have trouble finding raw materials for creating their hordes. In wars among the largest houses, the necromancers filling out armies with undead are often targeted for assassination.

Priest-At the top of many drow hierarchies are the priests of their deities. Often drow houses will consider their house’s standing with their deity as the most important asset they have in wars with other houses, even when those houses worship the same deity.

Enchanter-Drow societies are very old, and they have adapted to live underground partly through the use of enchanted items. Enchanters will put effort into creating giant lights for their caves by enchanting massive rocks and drow cities are often the richest source of magical items any world.

The Drow are wrathful and dark folk. Their rage is constantly broiling under the surface. Their skin is a dark, purplish hew and their hair is white. Many consider long hair a sign of authority and power.

Drow are probably the best min-maxing of the races, I’m not even sure they’re balanced. Would you play one? How would you handle a foray into Drow cities? What about a Drow attack on a goodly nation? How would you use them as a Master Weaver? Let us know in the comments below!

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