"Go to the sign of Harvel's Axe, a dubious inn on the edge of the Thieves Quarter, in the City of Greyhawk, and look to your own wrist. If you perceive a bracelet and dangling dice, watch for the next throw in the war between Law and Chaos and be prepared to follow the compelling geas." -Signal

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Drow of the Underdark, Grandeur

The Drow of the Underdark is a book that I held off on buying for a long period of time. With it being based in the Forgotten Realms I was under the impression that this would be a Drizzt Do'Urden love fest. I was pleased when I finally did pick up a copy to find out that this was not the case.

I am going to step up on a soap box for just a minute. I am sure that there will be a few that I offend to some level here. The entire Drizzt Do'Urden situation is something that makes me angry. I hate that one writer's take on a single character of a race has gone so far to shape the interpretation of the race as a whole in game terms. I rate my vitriol for Drizzt right up with the my feelings on the Twilight characters. I want my Drow and Vampires back. Back to the book now.

The book does Drow as right as I could expect it to. I think that the Drow will always be a Greyhawk race to me and I find myself thinking of how the book would relate to that setting as much as anything when I read it. I prefer Erelhei-Cinlu over Menzoberranzan but that is just me. The book is based on the Drow in Realm terms and that is that.

The book does a good job of covering the Drow as a race and as a culture as well. It is broken down into a number of chapters which I have copied below.

Introduction: Drow in the Realms
The Nature of Dark Elves
Dark Elven Society
Drow Religion
The High History of the Drow
Drow Spells
Drow Magical Items
Drow Craftwork
Drow Language
Drow Nomenclature
A Selected Glossary of the Drow
Dark Elven Runes
The Spider and the Axe: War in the Depths
The Underdark
Monsters of the Underdark

Though most of the information is useful I found that the sections on Drow Spells and Drow Magic Items were the most useful. I think that is because these are items that can be ported with little effort outside the Realms setting. The monsters are now some that are commonly accepted into the game since this book is over 20 years old so they have already been ported basically.

In the end even if you hate Menzoberranzan, Drizzt Do'Urden or the Realms in general this book is one that you should find useful. The Drow are a universal villain anymore and need a place in most any campaign at some point. I of course give no credit for that to the dual wielding surface dwelling drow but to the evil that was initially laid out by the original Dungeonmaster himself.

Published: 1991
Pages: 128

From the back cover:

The Drow of the Underdark

They are the favorite foes of many a party of adventurers. In these pages, the drow come to life, their culture and powers detailed for the first time. This guide presents new rules galore: new spells, new magic items, insight into the mysteries of Lolth, Monstrous Compendium entries for related monsters of the Underdark- and much, much more.

Learn all about the drow herein, from words of the ancient sage Erlathan Greycloak:
"Proud, graceful evil. Cruelty personified; talent wasted, beauty lost in darkness."

to the lore of Elminster:
"Did I ever tell thee how close I came to having a drow wife? No? Well, then..."

From the publisher:

All that is powerful and frightening about the race called Drow is detailed in this accessory!

The dark Drow elves are a magical race living far underground. Coming to the surface world only to make war, they are one of the most feared races in the Realms. All facets of Drow life are detailed in this 128-page product.



Level: Cantrip/Zero
Range: 6"
Duration: Special
Area of Effect: One Item
Components: V,S
Casting Time: 2 Segments
Saving Throw: Special

By means of this spell the magic user is able to cause any item they select to transform in appearance. The item targeted will become the most desirable object in the confines of the room the spell is cast in.

While this spell is in effect the item will be the focal point of all in the room. While not otherwise distracted or engaged in activity their eyes will return to this object. Those seeing the object are not in any way coerced to act upon their attraction to the item but if they were to try and remove anything then it would be this item.

The spell will remain in effect until such time that the object is removed from the area that the spell is cast in. Once it is removed it will then have a duration of one turn per level of the caster. Until such time that the spell expires the object will be the most valuable and desirable object the owner possess.

There is no saving throw connected with the effect of this spell. Those viewing the item will be entitled to a saving throw if they were to state that they are trying to disbelieve the effect though nothing will make them think they should. Any effect along the line of True Seeing will prevent this spell from affecting those with that ability.

Disclaimer: The spells that you will see, for how ever long the write ups last, were all written up or conceived of back in the 80's so the terminology may not appropriate for anything other than 1e and depending on how well I did back then it may be slightly off for that as well. If there is any duplication of spells that exist now it is most likely I wrote mine first :) Please feel free to comment on them but try not to be too hard on me. If anyone wishes to use these in anything they print please let me know in advance and all I ask is proper credit.

1 comment:

Callin said...

I've been working on my Drow campaign more of late and I find this book to be of much use.

As for the soapbox comment. While I agree with you that Drizzt is overplayed, I would point you to Tolkien for a prime example of one author defining a race (elf).

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