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TechnOkami
2010-07-21, 02:32 AM
How can you "properly" play as a Derro? One of the GM's I know declares it impossible. I seek to refute him.

The Tygre
2010-07-21, 10:07 AM
That depends on your character (cheap answer, I know), but overall? Insane. The defining qualities of any good derro are paranoia, sadism, and madness. For a PC, that means starting with your personal habits.

First and foremost, you don't trust your team. Period. They're out to get you. If they're passing out candy and hugs, its so they can stab you in the back and poison you. Derro are so paranoid they make drow look like a trust exercise. Understand, I'm talking about full-blown, schizophrenic, delusional paranoia. Everything is out to get you. Always. This manifests several ways. For starts, your derro might be a kind of creepy voyeur. He doesn't interact with the party; he sits in the shadows, and watches, observing they're behavior, calculating. The other route is threatening; he's part of the group, boasting, being intimidating, showing he's the top dog, that he could cut them any moment. Aside from that, he's probably a hoarder; keeps a stash of weapons and money for himself when (not if) worse comes to worst.

The sadism is a bit more obvious. This guy loves inflicting pain. He gets his kicks off of screams, and his favorite porn is of the torture variety. Maybe it's subdued, like experiments to see how long a rat can live with its organs twisted around; maybe it's personal, needles and runes dug through the skin; or maybe it's extroverted, the derro always keeping his enemy a couple of hit points away from the end, just so he can squeeze a few more minutes of pain out. A derro should always keep some 'toys' on him; needles, knives, scalpels, screws, rope, nails, whatever. All that matters is that derro love pain. It doesn't even have to be physical; a derro is just as happy to torture his victims via the invisible lines. Make them angry, make them sad, make them scared, make them lonely. Kill a rival's loved ones for the sweet tears, drive an enemy to suicide, play mind games with perceptions of reality, or just scare the crap out of them. It's all good to a derro.

Finally, there's insanity. Derro are insane by design. It's what elevates them past 'evil dwarves' like the duergar into a full blown race. Derro are literally, genetically, insane. It runs in their blood. They're mad from birth. Even if your system isn't using sanity rules, look some up. Give your derro some random insanity. Then, look up someone (preferably vile) and follow their example, for starters at least. It practically roleplays itself!

Other than that, there are a few sources I can give. Paizo has Classic Horrors Revisited, which has a chapter dealing with derro and how they interact with society, painting them sort of like Grays from UFO mythology. Mongoose Publishing has a whole book on derro, The Slayer's Guide to Derro; it has a couple of prestige classes, some sample NPCs, and it goes more in depth about derro society and religion. Finally, Kobold Quarterly recently released an Ecologies book, which has a chapter on our favorite dwarven sub-race. I'd recommend giving it a look.

Person_Man
2010-07-21, 01:30 PM
The level adjustment for a Derro is " (+2 if sane)." Thus by RAW you cannot play a derro unless he is sane.

TechnOkami
2010-07-21, 04:20 PM
The level adjustment for a Derro is " (+2 if sane)." Thus by RAW you cannot play a derro unless he is sane.

This is true. Which is where I beg the GM's to let me play one and fudge the rules a bit.

Thurbane
2010-07-22, 05:20 AM
Take a sane Derro, and grab the feats Willing Deformity and Deformity (Madness). Feat intensive, but allows you total immunity to mind effects for those cost of 2 feats and -4 to WIS. It also allows you to add 1/2 total levels to 1 Will save/minute. If you worship an Elder Evil, you can get these feats for "free" at the rate of 1/5 levels.

...although I guess that defeats the purpose of trying to get +6 CHA.