Forgotten Realms: Empire of Ashes
The infamous drow of the Underdark are among the most universally-despised races of the Realms, owing largely to the predilections and depredations of the servants of the sadistic Spider Queen. While individual dark elves may or may not be bloodthirsty, sadistic, violently racist, and/or megalomaniacal, they do tend to be quite ruthless as a result of surviving an upbringing in drow society. Although natural sorcerers like their closest cousins, the high elves, almost all drow have also learned to handle themselves in a fight (those who couldn’t do so were killed soon after coming of age and entering drow politics). They also excel at skulking and infiltration, with drow assassins ranking among the most legendary murderers in existence. Dark elf “priests” are the sorcerous minions of the Spider Queen and her ever-squabbling and treacherous Royal Court.
Dark elves are slight and sleek – figure height and weight for their ST (p. B18), but subtract 2 inches from height, and use the Skinny column for weight (overweight elves are virtually nonexistent). Drow complexion is jet black, and their hair ranges from charcoal to spiderweb gray; eyes are often unnerving gemstone hues — ruby, amethyst, topaz, etc.
Drow Template (75 points)
Attributes: ST -1 (-10), DX +1 (20), IQ +1 (20).
Languages: Elvish (Native), Common (Accented) (4), Undercommon (Accented) (4).
Advantages: Appearance: Attractive (4), Combat Reflexes (15), Dark-Adapted Vision* (15), Magery 1 (15), Magic Resistance 2 (Improved) (10), Silence 2 (10), Perk: Drow Gifts* (1).
Disadvantages: Callous (-5), Code of Honor: Dark Elven Grace* (-5), Distinctive Features (Dark Elf) (-2), Social Stigma (Monster) (-15), Skinny (-5), Quirk: Chauvinistic (-1).
Dark-Adapted Vision (15 points) – You can see in absolute darkness as if you had full Dark Vision (pg. B47), and can ignore any darkness penalties of -3 or worse. However, you suffer the equivalent of a darkness penalty to vision and combat rolls in bright light: from -3 in full daylight (or any situation where normal characters would have no vision penalties) to -1 at dawn or twilight (or any situation where normal characters would have -2).
Code of Honor: Dark Elven Grace (-5 points) – The drow twist on the social graces of elven court: always conduct yourself with style and grace; show no weakness, and tolerate none in your contemporaries, whether allies, enemies, servants, or superiors; an enemy’s weakness is to be exploited (a worthy enemy would show none); answer courtesy with courtesy, but always be wary of treachery; face disrespect or dishonor with ruthless vengeance, even if it takes centuries to exact.
Drow Gifts – Dark elves can improve Magery and learn the Light Walk skill as for other elves (see DF11, p. 41), and may take the Forest Guardian talent up to 4 (DF3, p. 7), but substitute Crossbow for Bow and Survival (Underdark) for (Forest). In addition, they may buy the following optional traits, either during creation, or with earned character points:
- Appearance up to Transcendent (20)
- Dark Vision (25) (upgrade from Dark-Adapted Vision) for 10 points.
- Detect: Supernatural – Small Class (e.g., Fire Magic) (5)
- Small Class (e.g. All Magic) (10)
- Large Class (e.g. All Supernatural Beings or Phenomena) (20)
- All Supernatural Beings and Phenomena (30)
- Magic Resistance (Improved), any level (5/level)
- Silence, up to 4 (5/level)