PDA

View Full Version : [d20r, Race] Drow



Fax Celestis
2008-12-24, 01:52 PM
Also known as dark elves, drow are a subterranean offshoot with a distinct bent towards magic. Their adaptation to living below the surface has afforded them the ability to see better in dark conditions, but that same adaptation has left them susceptible to abrupt exposure to sunlight.

Drow have dark skin, nearly black in most cases. White is the most common hair color among drow, but almost any pale shade is possible. Drow tend to be smaller and thinner than other sorts of elves, and their eyes are often a vivid red.

Drow usually coat their arrows with a potent venom.
+2 Dexterity, -2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma.
Medium size.
A drow's base land speed is 30 feet.
Immune to sleep spells and effects. Drow do not sleep: rather, they trance, similar to elves.
+2 racial saving throw bonus against Charm or Compulsion spells or effects.
+2 racial bonus on Will saves against spells and spell-like abilities.
Darkvision out to 120'.
Racial Weapon Proficiency: Drow are automatically proficient with the the hand crossbow, rapier, short sword, and any weapon with the word "drow" in its name.
Natural Magic: A drow has a small pool of magical charges they may tap into daily. A drow has one charge per three class levels, minimum one. A charge may be spent to activate one of the following spell-like abilities or to power a feat with the [Drow] descriptor: dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire. Caster level equals the drow's class levels.
Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds drow for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin.
Favored Class: Sorceror.

WaterTengu
2008-12-24, 02:21 PM
why a negative on wisdom? wouldn't their senses be heightened because of the darkness?
why a positive on charisma? drow tend to be standoff-ish and crude.

Knaight
2008-12-24, 02:32 PM
Where exactly did this standoffish and crude idea come from? I have more often seen the portrayal of Drow as manipulative, scheming elves with a strong force of personality. As for wisdom, its much more than just perception.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-24, 02:35 PM
why a negative on wisdom? wouldn't their senses be heightened because of the darkness?
why a positive on charisma? drow tend to be standoff-ish and crude.

The -Wis is due to not many drow entering into priestly or druidic roles, while the +Cha is due to their natural predilection towards spontaneous magics. Also, the -Wis is to make the total ability modifiers into a +0, so that I can feel a little bit better about giving an LA +0 race spell resistance.

Baron Corm
2008-12-24, 03:08 PM
I don't know about balance because it's for d20r, but this drow would be proficient with a "Drowkiller Mace". Just a pointless nitpick :smalltongue:

Fax Celestis
2008-12-24, 03:11 PM
I don't know about balance because it's for d20r, but this drow would be proficient with a "Drowkiller Mace". Just a pointless nitpick :smalltongue:

A weapon titled like that would have a Special line that read:


Special: Despite having "drow" in its name, drow are not proficient with drowkiller maces.

Vic_Sage
2008-12-24, 07:20 PM
The -Wis is due to not many drow entering into priestly or druidic roles, while the +Cha is due to their natural predilection towards spontaneous magics. Also, the -Wis is to make the total ability modifiers into a +0, so that I can feel a little bit better about giving an LA +0 race spell resistance.
Actually alot of Drow enter ways of the Cleric, I think it was like 55% of all females become Clerics of Lolth.

lesser_minion
2008-12-24, 07:48 PM
Historically, many drow (all females) had a higher charisma score and cleric instead of wizard as a favoured class.

The idea seemed to be that drow society was literally ruled by its clerics, who were invariably female. The males actually had a charisma penalty. I haven't really read up on drow since then, but I ignore that rule in my RL campaign.

Alteran
2008-12-24, 08:04 PM
A weapon titled like that would have a Special line that read:


Special: Despite having "drow" in its name, drow are not proficient with drowkiller maces.

Ah, I disagree. I'm sure Drow would be interested in finding more ways to kill each other, they tend not to get along very well with anybody.

Greg
2008-12-24, 08:07 PM
The -Wis is due to not many drow entering into priestly or druidic roles, while the +Cha is due to their natural predilection towards spontaneous magics. Also, the -Wis is to make the total ability modifiers into a +0, so that I can feel a little bit better about giving an LA +0 race spell resistance.
Favoured class is cleric/wizard, so if anything, the WIS and CHA modifiers should be switched.

Limos
2008-12-24, 11:59 PM
Bah, I've always hated Drow. It's gotten much worse now that they have Drow in the 4e monster manual for a player race. Everyone always wants to be Drow.

I've always hated Elves in general though, so don't mind me.

newbDM
2008-12-25, 12:07 AM
What is d20r?

And there are the official lesser drow by WotC which are LA+0:
http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/iw/20040215a&page=2




Bah, I've always hated Drow. It's gotten much worse now that they have Drow in the 4e monster manual for a player race. Everyone always wants to be Drow.

I've always hated Elves in general though, so don't mind me.

Why does this always have to come up in elf/drow threads? :smallfrown:

RTGoodman
2008-12-25, 02:21 AM
What is d20r?

It's Fax's d20/3.x remake/rewrite/whatever, called d20 Rebirth. You know, like all those links in his sig? :smallwink:


Personally, I don't think the Wis penalty works for them canonically either, but there's no other stat you could really penalize to give them a balanced set of modifiers. Now, see, the problem is that Drow (to me, at least) seem almost Mary-Sue-ish in their ability to do well at EVERYTHING, from Fighting to Sneaking to Magicing to Praying, so there aren't ANY penalties that make sense (except for Con, 'cause Elves of all sorts are frail anyway).

I don't know how much you'd be into it, not knowing everything you're planning on doing for them, but I guess you could conceivably make a racial feat for Drow like that one feat from the 3.x Dragonlance stuff (Dynamic Priest, I think it's called?) that lets Clerics use Cha instead of Wis for spellcasting. That gives them a reason to have a Wis penalty and still have Cleric as a popular class choice, I guess, but I'm not sure if it fits with your design philosophy for d20r.

Devils_Advocate
2008-12-26, 12:35 AM
Well, they're overpowered as a LA +0 race for regular 3.5 Edition d20. Spell resistance is even better than the bonuses dwarves get to saves, which is what brings them near LA +1. A bonus to a casting stat always means cheese potential, as well. Admittedly not so much with Cha as with Int or Wis.

They may be balanced against the other d20r races, though. (Haven't looked at 'em yet.)


why a negative on wisdom? wouldn't their senses be heightened because of the darkness?
why a positive on charisma? drow tend to be standoff-ish and crude.
Drow are crazy in a sexy way. Impressive force of personality, not a lot of common sense. At least, spinning them like that is what these stat mods make sense for.

Incidentally, Charisma actually makes more sense as the ability score for priestly spellcasting than Wisdom does. Think about it; which of the following are more appropriate to a divine champion?

- Persuasive. Decisive. Possessed of an ineffable shiny mystical quality.
- Perceptive. Rational. Having a great deal of common sense.

I'd say the former more than the latter.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 12:51 PM
Favoured class is cleric/wizard, so if anything, the WIS and CHA modifiers should be switched.

Uh. Check again:


Favored Class: Sorceror.

sigurd
2008-12-26, 01:12 PM
For a redone game, why not drop the 'drow' name?

Without the historic game baggage I like the race.


Sigurd

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 01:13 PM
For a redone game, why not drop the 'drow' name?

It's "iconic", if you will: removing it would likely cause pitchfork-wielding riots.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 01:15 PM
Well, they're overpowered as a LA +0 race for regular 3.5 Edition d20. Spell resistance is even better than the bonuses dwarves get to saves, which is what brings them near LA +1. A bonus to a casting stat always means cheese potential, as well. Admittedly not so much with Cha as with Int or Wis.

They may be balanced against the other d20r races, though. (Haven't looked at 'em yet.)

What if I were to have the SR kick in at, say, ECL 5, like raptoran flight?

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 01:50 PM
I guess if people really didn't like it, it might be possible to change the Wisdom penalty to either 'pick from this list' or 'DM may choose an ability score to penalise'. That actually gives DMs a decent chance of curbing character abuse. And an early warning sign if you play a drow fighter and the DM makes you dump Strength.

I don't think decent unrestricted SR is really acceptable for a +0 LA (it needs work to be balanced at +1 IMO) regardless of ability scores, simply because it is normally very hard to get, and several common spells (save-or-lose with no save, anyone?) are far more dangerous when SR is not available. Possibly scaling the LA with actual character level or even ditching LA and just penalising XP awards instead (but this may be too much of a step back to 2e)

If decent unrestricted SR became a bit more common, and spells became less of a serious threat, I could maybe see a +1 LA race with unrestricted SR.

Otherwise, there could be a 'Drow Elite' prestige class that gave you the SR and maybe some extra perks.

EDIT - Sorry, this is unclear. I know that SR alone can't really justify +2 LA. I don't think it has a place in anything smaller in the existing rules, but properly balanced wizards could cut it to +1 LA.

EDIT 2 - Sorry, I missed Fax's post about this above as well.

Shadow_Elf
2008-12-26, 03:16 PM
Uh. Check again:

They mean that in 3.Xe, their favoured classes were Wizard (male drow) and Cleric (female Drow).

Also, people have to remember when critiquing the balance that the Drow must be balanced with other d20r races, not with standard 3.Xe races. There may be a different standard around which LA +0 is based, depending on how Fax is doing this.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 03:22 PM
Edited SR to only activate after ECL 5.

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 04:29 PM
Also, people have to remember when critiquing the balance that the Drow must be balanced with other d20r races, not with standard 3.Xe races. There may be a different standard around which LA +0 is based, depending on how Fax is doing this.

I'm sorry for any offence taken there. My assumption was that spellcasting would still be one of the biggest threats faced by characters - and I was working on the difficulty in obtaining spell resistance (the 'Spell Resistance' spell notwithstanding) in 3.0 - meaning that characters with innate spell resistance granted through character race would seriously outshine characters without it. Hence my comments about SR being difficult to balance as a racial trait. You're right, it could be reasonably balanced with the other races, depending on what they get.

In fact, Fax seems to have already solved my problem by cutting the SR at low levels - with slightly easier obtained spell resistance, this should work perfectly well. 3.x Spell Resistance is apparently absolutely impossible to obtain for a mundane if you actually want something that is relevant at the level of play at which it is obtained.

Talya
2008-12-26, 04:37 PM
The -Wis is due to not many drow entering into priestly or druidic roles

From what fluff I've seen, every single drow female raised in a traditional drow city must become a cleric. They can multiclass, certainly, but they need at least that first level of cleric at some point in their life.

I'd say this represents a higher than normal percentage of drow entering priestly roles.

Now, I understand you not wanting to change the drow name to keep the iconic feel, but if you change the fluff to the point that it no longer really resembles drow behavior, why bother?

Anyway, it's a minor criticism. It seems balanced, at least. If you were refluffing them for a custom setting, I'd certainly try playing a drow sorceress based on these rules.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 04:56 PM
From what fluff I've seen, every single drow female raised in a traditional drow city must become a cleric. They can multiclass, certainly, but they need at least that first level of cleric at some point in their life.

I'd say this represents a higher than normal percentage of drow entering priestly roles.

Now, I understand you not wanting to change the drow name to keep the iconic feel, but if you change the fluff to the point that it no longer really resembles drow behavior, why bother?

Anyway, it's a minor criticism. It seems balanced, at least. If you were refluffing them for a custom setting, I'd certainly try playing a drow sorceress based on these rules.

See, I was under the impression that the "Drow females enter Cleric" thing was Faerunian, not un-setting-specific.

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 05:00 PM
From what fluff I've seen, every single drow female raised in a traditional drow city must become a cleric. They can multiclass, certainly, but they need at least that first level of cleric at some point in their life.

I'd say this represents a higher than normal percentage of drow entering priestly roles.

Now, I understand you not wanting to change the drow name to keep the iconic feel, but if you change the fluff to the point that it no longer really resembles drow behavior, why bother?

Anyway, it's a minor criticism. It seems balanced, at least.

While you are right about many drow females becoming clerics in a matriarchal and basically theocratic society, this is a fluff element, and so it is generally up to the DM, even though it is strongly implied in 3.x core material.

A Wisdom penalty is about the only plausible ability score that can still be penalised for drow (with Strength a close second) if you are worried about net bonuses to ability scores. The fluff issue of "not many drow entering priestly or druidic rules" may be a bit idiosyncratic to Fax's perception of elves in his own campaigns, but it is mainly his rules set, and it will be coloured by his ideas just as much as 3.x and 4e are coloured by the impressions of their respected designers.

Devils_Advocate
2008-12-26, 05:09 PM
What if I were to have the SR kick in at, say, ECL 5, like raptoran flight?
In that case, they only become overpowered at level 5.

Again, that's in a regular 3.5 game. If spellcastiing is less powerful, or SR is cheaper, or races in general are more powerful, or caster level is easily boosted, or some other relevant change, in d20r, then they could be fine.

But in a regular game, this SR means that spellcasters of the drow's level with no caster level boosts are 50% less likely to effect the drow with a whole bunch of spells than they otherwise would be. It's on par with melee attacks or ranged attacks against a chracter having a 50% miss chance.

If you give a character considerably more potent defense than most characters, that's not good for game balance. Either you try to balance it out by dragging down offensive ability, in which case the character "participates" in games of Rocket Tag mainly by Not Getting Killed (a la Monk); or you keep offense at a normal level in addition to powerful non-offensive ability, and the character is plain overpowered (a la Cleric).

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 05:14 PM
In that case, they only become overpowered at level 5.

Again, that's in a regular 3.5 game. If spellcastiing is less powerful, or SR is cheaper, or races in general are more powerful, or caster level is easily boosted, or some other relevant change, in d20r, then they could be fine.

But in a regular game, this SR means that spellcasters of the drow's level with no caster level boosts are 50% less likely to effect the drow with a whole bunch of spells than they otherwise would be. It's on par with melee attacks or ranged attacks against a chracter having a 50% miss chance.

If you give a character considerably more potent defense than most characters, that's not good for game balance. Either you try to balance it out by dragging down offensive ability, in which case the character "participates" in games of Rocket Tag mainly by Not Getting Killed (a la Monk); or you keep offense at a normal level in addition to powerful non-offensive ability, and the character is plain overpowered (a la Cleric).

Hm. Okay, I see where you're coming from. What about, then, making it 7+levels, instead of 10+levels? That'd mean that an equally-leveled caster without boosts would have a 65% chance, 75% with Spell Penetration, 85% with Greater Spell Penetration. It'd be a meaningful chance, but not a gigantic possibility.

Kroy
2008-12-26, 05:29 PM
Hm. Okay, I see where you're coming from. What about, then, making it 7+levels, instead of 10+levels? That'd mean that an equally-leveled caster without boosts would have a 65% chance, 75% with Spell Penetration, 85% with Greater Spell Penetration. It'd be a meaningful chance, but not a gigantic possibility.

That seems 'bout balanced, though it's hard to judge without any other races to compare it to.

Shadow_Elf
2008-12-26, 05:30 PM
How does Spell Resistance work in d20r? Or, for that matter, in 3.Xe?

I remember that in the original D&D Miniatures game, Spell resistance was very simple: Your Spell Resistance had a number from 1-20. After making an attack against you, a character casting a spell had to make a second d20 roll. On a roll matching your Spell Resistance Score or above, the spell succeed.

So to hit a creature with SR 11, you had to roll 11+ in order to hit them.

I think that this system would be easy enough to implement here, if its not far too different from what the system currently is. Then you could give Drow SR equal to their Class levels: an ECL 5 Drow character has SR 5, which means that spells have a 20% chance of failing against it. But then Spellcasters can get modifiers to their SR rolls. I.E. Spell Penetration gives you a +1 modifier on the roll, etc.

Maybe this is too much of a chage, and I'm just crazy. Thoughts?

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 05:39 PM
How does Spell Resistance work in d20r? Or, for that matter, in 3.Xe?

I remember that in the original D&D Miniatures game, Spell resistance was very simple: Your Spell Resistance had a number from 1-20. After making an attack against you, a character casting a spell had to make a second d20 roll. On a roll matching your Spell Resistance Score or above, the spell succeed.

So to hit a creature with SR 11, you had to roll 11+ in order to hit them.

I think that this system would be easy enough to implement here, if its not far too different from what the system currently is. Then you could give Drow SR equal to their Class levels: an ECL 5 Drow character has SR 5, which means that spells have a 20% chance of failing against it. But then Spellcasters can get modifiers to their SR rolls. I.E. Spell Penetration gives you a +1 modifier on the roll, etc.

Maybe this is too much of a chage, and I'm just crazy. Thoughts?

It's a big change. The difference between the minis game and the 3.x game is that spellcasters roll 1d20 and add their caster level, then compare that number to their target's SR. Equalling or exceeding that number means the spell succeeds.

Athaniar
2008-12-26, 05:44 PM
See, I was under the impression that the "Drow females enter Cleric" thing was Faerunian, not un-setting-specific.
Don't mind me, I'm just white text


Favored Class: Wizard (male) or cleric (female)

Devils_Advocate
2008-12-26, 05:46 PM
I kind of skimmed your Dromite writeup, but it doesn't look to me like the stuff you're charging them a racial hit die for is all that much better than even relatively low SR.

Take away SR entirely, and I'd say that your drow is somewhere between grey elves and high elves, roughly.

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 05:47 PM
Hm. Okay, I see where you're coming from. What about, then, making it 7+levels, instead of 10+levels? That'd mean that an equally-leveled caster without boosts would have a 65% chance, 75% with Spell Penetration, 85% with Greater Spell Penetration. It'd be a meaningful chance, but not a gigantic possibility.

A possibility could be to cap or set the SR provided from being drow. Instead of autoscaling to as high a level as the drow wants, you could simply force them into relying on magic to increase the SR at high levels. That gives them a potent defensive advantage for a few levels, which probably makes sense, but this swiftly becomes less significant as their enemies become more powerful.

It brings back the 3.x issue of "character race makes no difference at high levels" unfortunately. Unless there were items with 'boost resistance' effects. But I would like to see something closer to 4E on the magic items front (i.e. few assumed or necessary magic items in gameplay so that you can get half-decent economies). Because SR would normally be obtained through an item, I'm not sure where you could go with this.

I think if everyone got a few decent with-level scaling abilities, you could probably prevent drow being overpowered that way as well.

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 05:47 PM
I kind of skimmed your Dromite writeup, but it doesn't look to me like the stuff you're charging them a racial hit die for is all that much better than even relatively low SR.

Take away SR entirely, and I'd say that your drow is somewhere between grey elves and high elves, roughly.

Okay. I was kinda bent on keeping SR since it's, well, "iconic drow", but I guess I can make a Paragon class or something.

EDIT: SR removed.

Shadow_Elf
2008-12-26, 05:55 PM
Okay then. Caster level = 1/2 level of casting class, +1 additional for wizards, IIRC. So average Spell Resistance roll for a casting character is 1/2 level + 10.5 (average d20 roll), +1 for wizards. So giving a Drow Level + 10 is too much, and Level + 7 is also potentially too much. Maybe 1/2 ECL + 7, but they get access to it @ level 1? Or ECL-5 + 7 (ECL + 2), and they gain access to it @ level 5, as the current incarnation.

Lemme see how the math checks out (assuming everything I've assumed here (not being a player of 3.Xe) is correct):

Original Idea: ECL + 10 SR:
Level 5 Drow would have SR 15, and a level 5 Wizard would have an average roll of 13.5. Which means said wizard is hitting 42.5% of the time. Too much SR.

ECL + 7:
Level 5 Drow would have SR 12, and the Level 5 Wizard would have an average roll of 13.5. The wizard hits the Drow 57.5% of the time. But the Drow also gets saves vs. the effect, etc., so maybe this is still too much?

ECL + 2:
Level 5 Drow would have SR 7, and the Level 5 Wizard would have an average roll of 13.5. The Wizard hits the Drow 82.5% of the time. The Drow makes the spell less likely to hit, but not by much.

1/2 ECL + 7:
Level 5 Drow would have SR 9, and the level 5 Wizard would have an average rolls of 13.5. The Wizard hits the Drow 72.5% of the time. The Drow makes a significant impact on the success of the spell, but not game breakingly big impact.

I hope all this math is right...

EDIT: Whoa, that took longer to type than I thought. Hope this is still relevant...

Fax Celestis
2008-12-26, 06:03 PM
It'll be relevant for the Paragon Class.

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 06:26 PM
Shadow_Elf:

I don't think any 3.x ever properly clarified the term 'Caster level' - I think 4E is a little better written than 3.5 as far as clarity is concerned (but I don't have the books - I still use the 3.0 books), but I always understood it to refer to your level in the specific class from which you are casting the spell, plus possibly a bonus from PrCs that advances spellcasting and a few class features, special abilities and so on

Spell Penetration rolls in most OGL games that kept the concept are:


d20 + Caster Level + bonuses

The bonuses I can remember for 3.x are:
+2 for Spell Penetration feat +2 for Greater spell penetration feat (stacks with Spell Penetration) +10 for Assay Resistance, which I think needs to be killed horribly and purged from existence with fire and salt +2 for school specialisation


That means that the SRD Drow SR of 11 + Character level 'deflects' a spell 50% of the time and Fax's original plan deflects it 45% of the time, neglecting the various bonuses available against spell resistance.

Shadow_Elf
2008-12-26, 06:45 PM
Is there a difference between Caster Level and Spell Level? Since Spell level is 1/2 Level in casting class. Is Level in Casting Class the definition of Caster Level, or is it Spell Level? All these terms confuse me...

I think I'll just stick to my 4e books. Its much easier to understand.

Meek
2008-12-26, 07:15 PM
A spell's level is...the level of that spell. Spells range from levels 1 to level 9. Different classes get these levels of spells at different points. The Wizard begins with 1st level spells, then gets 2nd level spells at 3rd level, 3rd level spells at 5th level, and so on, as given by the class.

Caster level is your level for spellcasting, which determines durations of spells and effects. For some classes, this can be half their level for other classes, their whole class level is the caster level. It depends.

lesser_minion
2008-12-26, 07:19 PM
There is a difference. In 3.x and earlier editions, all spells were divided into overall 'bands' representing their magnitude - these bands were described, confusingly, as levels. A spell level refers to the overall magnitude of the spell. 1st level casters have access to '0-level spells' and '1st-level spells'.

A wizard is able to memorise a particular number of spells at each spell level, up to a maximum depending on how many levels he has taken in the wizard class. He can also memorise a lower level spell in place of a higher level one. Until 4E, D&D used Vancian Magic, under which a wizard forgets a spell after casting it.

In 3.x, casters had the option to trade in a higher level spell slot for a lower level one enhanced in one of a number of ways - for example, the caster could alter the spell so he need not speak while casting or need not gesture.

3.x also introduced a number of variant casters who bent the rules of Vancian magic slightly - Sorcerers were given a number of spell slots, but didn't have to memorise spells in advance and didn't forget them after casting (sorcerers were removed from 4E because the new casting rules left no difference between Sorcerers and Wizards). A sorcerer was described as a caster with a natural gift for magic that allowed him to cast spells intuitively rather than going through all of the precise formulae a wizard might use.

The term 'Caster Level', as Meek just explained while I was writing this, refers to the level the wizard is treated as being when casting their spells - most spells have a longer range or duration, or deal more damage depending on Caster Level.

EDIT - sorry about all of the terms which sound similar. The Giant actually did a joke (http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0012.html) about it in OOTS.

Meek
2008-12-26, 07:25 PM
Off-Topic, but Sorcerers are returning in PHB2 to 4e. They just needed some time to get a makeover.

And I totally forgot about caster level modifying damage dealt too. Good thing somebody came and elaborated more on that. But yes, all the different sorts of "levels" being thrown around for magic can get confusing.

Vent
2009-04-08, 04:52 PM
Random thought, but what about tying SR to their Natural Magic charges, at least initially. Activate Spell Resistance as an immediate action against one spell for one charge, activate to get SR for a number of rounds equal to their CHA modifier, or something like that (though with the limited number of charges, this may be limiting it too much).

(Ops. I might have committed thread necromancy)