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Psionic Nazi Slaver Dwarves!


D&D 4th Edition (and Beyond)

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Osirion

http://theactionpoint.wordpress.com/2010/03/31/psionic-nazi-slaver-dwarves- yes-really/

I'm really excited about this concept and wanted to share it with the world.


Godwinned


DM Wellard wrote:
Godwinned

Wow, that seems to be the ultimate expression of Godwin's law.


I thought that's what the Duergar were already?

Cheliax

Me too.


Maybe I'm just anal, but I'd want to know what happened to the Aboleths. What is the 'gotcha' for their long term plans, but that will probably be in a future post.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

I like the concept a lot. I like how you've written out all the steps in your creative process, too. I love Hard Boiled Cultures - it's a great supplement. One Bad Egg had some of the best 4e products available, I was very sad to see that they had folded.

Cartigan wrote:
I thought that's what the Duergar were already?

4e's taken the Duergar in a bit of a different direction, they're all about summoning demons (or devils, I can't remember) and making infernal pacts. I like them, although I'm not fond of the spiky hair they've given them.

Raevhen wrote:
I'd want to know what happened to the Aboleths. What is the 'gotcha' for their long term plans...

Me too! I wanna write this campaign.


That doesn't really diminish my point. Duergar were the psionic, nazi slavers. If that changed in "100 something years," well oh well, but there is no need to create an entire race to do something that not only previously existed but previously existed perfectly - the Duergar, evil Dwarf psionic slavers. If you are going to be changing up the mythos anyway (like saying Dwarves wern't enslaved by giants), why not just change the Duergar back to what they were and replace Giants with Duergar?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Cartigan wrote:
why not just change the Duergar back to what they were and replace Giants with Duergar?

Maybe he doesn't want all the baggage that comes along with the Duergar? From the looks of things, he's trying to break away from Canonical ideas.


Yeah - I get the sense the goal of this isn't, "I want to use some psionic nazi slaver dwarves," but rather, "what interesting changes can I make to dwarven culture?" Moving away from the dwarves entirely would be missing the original goal entirely.


Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Yeah - I get the sense the goal of this isn't, "I want to use some psionic nazi slaver dwarves," but rather, "what interesting changes can I make to dwarven culture?" Moving away from the dwarves entirely would be missing the original goal entirely.

I thought Duergar were Dwarves?


Cartigan wrote:
Matthew Koelbl wrote:
Yeah - I get the sense the goal of this isn't, "I want to use some psionic nazi slaver dwarves," but rather, "what interesting changes can I make to dwarven culture?" Moving away from the dwarves entirely would be missing the original goal entirely.
I thought Duergar were Dwarves?

They are. (Well, the workaholic gray cousins of dwarves.) Still, he didn't just call them duergar because he set out to make a different version of dwarven culture and just accidentally ended up with something a lot like 3.5 duergar.


DM Wellard FTW!


Paul Worthen wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
why not just change the Duergar back to what they were and replace Giants with Duergar?
Maybe he doesn't want all the baggage that comes along with the Duergar? From the looks of things, he's trying to break away from Canonical ideas.

That could be. But I would say that he has already fallen into a sort of 'canonical' idea by having psionic dwarves that enslave a large group of servants. I would suggest that one either one either just make them into the Duergar or try to make them more different just so one doesn't confuse an Iron Dwarf with a 3.5 Duergar.

I would prefer the making them the same because, as daysoftheking wrote in his blog, "Names have a lot of power, especially when they are used right." I believe that Duergar has a lot of power behind it, and it is especially meaningful when one applies it to an psionic dwarven slavers. (Also, while Iron Dwarf is a reasonable name, I am much more found of new names rather than [noun/adjective] [race].)

Although this direction goes against what the Duergar (with poisoned spiky hair that they can shoot out of their body as a projectile weapon) stat blocks in the Monster Manual 2, I wouldn't really care about forgetting them.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Blazej wrote:
I believe that Duergar has a lot of power behind it...

And I think that's exactly what he's trying to avoid. You say to your players, "That's the Duergar kingdom", and they have a pre-formed idea of what that place should look like. Bur if you say, "that's the realm of the Iron Dwarves", then I think you spark some curiosity, and also get the players to come into the situation with fresh minds.


Paul Worthen wrote:
Blazej wrote:
I believe that Duergar has a lot of power behind it...
And I think that's exactly what he's trying to avoid. You say to your players, "That's the Duergar kingdom", and they have a pre-formed idea of what that place should look like. Bur if you say, "that's the realm of the Iron Dwarves", then I think you spark some curiosity, and also get the players to come into the situation with fresh minds.

Except when the realm he is imagining is the Duergar...

Quote:
I suddenly hear Christopher Lee in my head: “They delved too greedily, and too deep.” While this is a Tolkien-ism, I’m going to use it for my own ends. What if they delved way, WAY too deep? As in, into the Underdark type deep?

Yeah, these are totally not Grey Dwarves (Duergar)

Oh wait, he refers to them being converted by Aboleths instead of Illithids. Fish people instead of Cthulhu monstrosities TOTALLY changes everything. Though how they broke into a aboleth enclave when aboleths can ONLY exist underwater escapes me.

Honestly, just reading the entire thing makes me think this guy has never heard of Duergar before and thinks he is making up something cool and new. But the fact that this is pretty much EXACTLY the story of the Duergar makes me think he just wants other people to think he is being unique when he is ripping them straight out of the mythos and renaming them with only MINOR details changed.


There are no new ideas. Pretty much any concept, any plot, any setting ideas someone comes up with have cropped up before - but that doesn't mean they can't be done, and done well.

This guy has come up with an idea for his game that he is excited about and putting a good deal of work into crafting as something unique and interesting. I suspect it will go over well. I doubt his gamers will think he is either ripping off the standard Duergar concept, or just trying to take them and paint them as regular dwarves, or anything along those lines.

For myself, I've never been excited about Duergar. They've always just been "those evil underground dwarves who turn invisible." I never heard of the psionic connection, or that they were changed by Ilithids, or anything along those lines. I found the 4E lore for them a bit more useful - feeling like it cemented their place more in their mind - but still had no real interest in them.

I found his write-up of the Iron Dwarves, and the concepts behind it and the direction he was going with it, to be far more fascinating.

I guess you have some sort of huge attachment to the Duergar and feel he is infringing on it. I suppose I can understand that. But I myself have never had any interest in the Duergar, but find what he is doing here to be really cool.

That's a sign to me that, despite whatever disparagements you want to toss his way, he is clearly doing something right.


Since he went through the process of how he came up with the idea, I'd say he was subconsciously inspired by the 3.5 druegar at worst. (Also, the druegar were originally altered by illithids? I thought they left regular dwarven society because of religious differences then eventually developed random psychic powers because the Underdark is weird and mutations just occasionally happen. Learn something new every day.)

As for the aboleths, there's bound to be underground lakes and rivers somewhere down there. If there wasn't, all the other stuff would probably die from dehydration and the water table has to be somewhere in this bizarre land called D&D.


They were enslaved by the illithid which was what gave them their psionic powers. He just replaced "illithid" with "aboleth" and used a plot-hook to explain it which made zero sense. They broke into an aboleth enclave? You realize this would have to be underwater right? So the Dwarves just drilled straight through a wall into a lake? They decided to go for a swim? What?

Qadira RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Cartigan wrote:
They were enslaved by the illithid which was what gave them their psionic powers.

Much like githzerae.

Cartigan wrote:
They broke into an aboleth enclave? You realize this would have to be underwater right? So the Dwarves just drilled straight through a wall into a lake? They decided to go for a swim? What?

Sounds like a mistake. I can visualize that, and the scenes of panic as a hundred thousands gallons of water come pouring into the cave that was dry only minutes before. And, as the dwarves are about to lose consciousness, an immense, dark figure looms in the waters above them, curious.

Or, and I apologize for not knowing how 4th Edition handles psychic domination, it's possible that the dwarves ran afoul of an aboleth while they were still in dry tunnels, and compelled to open a passage to the aboleth's pool.

There are all sorts of ways this could happen, many of which make great stories.


Davi The Eccentric wrote:
Since he went through the process of how he came up with the idea, I'd say he was subconsciously inspired by the 3.5 druegar at worst. (Also, the druegar were originally altered by illithids? I thought they left regular dwarven society because of religious differences then eventually developed random psychic powers because the Underdark is weird and mutations just occasionally happen. Learn something new every day.)

Well religious differences crop up in Dragon Lance version of the Dark Dwarves but I honestly can't remember what the story was with the Duergar.

Hmm...OK I pulled out 1E's Dungeoneer's Survival Guide because its the earliest book I can think of that has a kind of race overview. Still nothing really about their history there just that they are evil - like to mine and are slavers.

They'd have first appeared in Monster Manual II (1E) and I don't know where my copy is. Anyone want to look that source up and see if it sheds some light on the topic? Anyone know what module they first appeared in? I don't think they had an appearance in the Spider Queen series.


Paul Worthen wrote:
Blazej wrote:
I believe that Duergar has a lot of power behind it...
And I think that's exactly what he's trying to avoid. You say to your players, "That's the Duergar kingdom", and they have a pre-formed idea of what that place should look like. Bur if you say, "that's the realm of the Iron Dwarves", then I think you spark some curiosity, and also get the players to come into the situation with fresh minds.

I would suggest that players are just as likely to see "Iron Dwarves" and immediately have a pre-formed idea of what the place would look like just because of the word "dwarves." If one was trying to go into the situation with fresh minds, I would say just create a completely new name for them. That way players can't go in having an idea what they look like, where they live, what their personalities are like, what their goals are, etc.

If one is going to use a preexisting name, to me, going with Duergar is preferable to Iron Dwarf because, while they both conjure images of what they are in the player's minds, the Duergar is closer to the race he is trying to describe (unless any of the players have read the entry in the Monster Manual 2).

Matthew Koelbl wrote:
But I myself have never had any interest in the Duergar, but find what he is doing here to be really cool.

I just find that odd because, to me, the two don't seem to be that different. Their goals, back stories, and physical build to be very similar in my mind. If you are finding what he is doing to be really cool, then I would suggest that you really do like the 3.5 Duergar beyond the short bit of description they were given in the Monster Manual.

I don't particularly care even if his new race was a carbon copy of the duergar. I would suggest that he be aware of similarities though, so he can use the 'duergar' name to his advantage or differentiate his race more from the 3.5 duergar.


Chris Mortika wrote:
Cartigan wrote:
They were enslaved by the illithid which was what gave them their psionic powers.

Much like githzerae.

Cartigan wrote:
They broke into an aboleth enclave? You realize this would have to be underwater right? So the Dwarves just drilled straight through a wall into a lake? They decided to go for a swim? What?

Sounds like a mistake. I can visualize that, and the scenes of panic as a hundred thousands gallons of water come pouring into the cave that was dry only minutes before. And, as the dwarves are about to lose consciousness, an immense, dark figure looms in the waters above them, curious.

Or, and I apologize for not knowing how 4th Edition handles psychic domination, it's possible that the dwarves ran afoul of an aboleth while they were still in dry tunnels, and compelled to open a passage to the aboleth's pool.

There are all sorts of ways this could happen, many of which make great stories.

4E handles story elements via DM fiat. So yeah - if the plot needs the Aboleth's to have compelled the Dwarves to open a gate or some such then that is what happened.


Jeremy Mac Donald wrote:

Well religious differences crop up in Dragon Lance version of the Dark Dwarves but I honestly can't remember what the story was with the Duergar.

All I really know about the 3.5 version of dreugar is that they live further down than most dwarves, are grey and bald, worship a god of unending toil, and have the psychic ability to turn invisible and eight feet tall.

Long-term domination in 4e generally has whatever limitations the DM thinks it needs for a good story, so it could work either way. Also, by "underground lake", I intended a cavern that had a lake in it, not them accidentally digging into the side of lake. Still, it could work. One team of miners open the way into the lake and drown, aboleths find out about the near-by dwarves, another team of dwarves goes down to find the remains of the first team of dwarves and gets dominated by the aboleth that swam up the flooded tunnel.


I think the idea is fun. World-building in general is fun. But what we must understand as world-builders is that there really is nothing new under the sun. (Or underdark!)

It's normal for a long series of thought processes to lead us round to some place we've been before, or some place others have been. Because of the way this process works, the idea at which we arrive might seem fantastically new and original to us, and prompt us to throw it out there for others to appreciate as well. However, that is when we discover that other perspectives might see similarities to other works more clearly than do we who are still close to, and enthusiastic about, our ideas.

This doesn't make the experience any less personal or unique to us, and it doesn't mean that following through is not worth it. But we must accept that the broader idea may already exist, and be prepared to relegate our enjoyment and "originality" to the unique flavor we bring to the thing from this point on.

In any case, it's likely not worth arguing too much over. It sounds like a fun idea for this person's campaign.


What if they were Psionic Marxist Slaver Dwarves?


I really don't see an issue with Iron Dwarves/Duergar. Would there have been so much drama if he would have just re-skinned the fluff? For example, I like the mechanics of the Kalashtar race but have no use for the fluff, so I re-imaged them to better fit my homebrew setting. The short version says: Psionically attuned albinos who have a racial vampiric heritage. Would you call foul on me as well?


You don't have to rely on one large lake where aboleths reside, but a whole interconnected system of underwater lakes and rivers, that may eventually go to larger seas, oceans, etc.

What may need a little more fleshing it is what do the aboleths gain from dwarven enslavement, as it is obvious dwarfs need water, and they shun the surface world.

I would imagine there is some type of mineral or magic in the deepest and darkest rivers and lakes the aboleth use to enslave unwary prey.

But the iron dwarf image and rust from water (dominated race that does not take care of its weapons or equipment) is another good image to associate their masters.

I am was never a big fan or duergar, especially the psionic enlargment ability. So I don't see it as blasphemy to re-invent the concept.


Raevhen wrote:

I really don't see an issue with Iron Dwarves/Duergar. Would there have been so much drama if he would have just re-skinned the fluff? For example, I like the mechanics of the Kalashtar race but have no use for the fluff, so I re-imaged them to better fit my homebrew setting. The short version says: Psionically attuned albinos who have a racial vampiric heritage. Would you call foul on me as well?

Except the Duergar havn't really been reimagined at all

The only differences are minor - reason for leaving the surface was being greedy miners instead of outcasts or whatever reason there was (though later, they end up becoming shunned ANYWAY), they were enslaved by Aboleths instead of Illithids, and they ended up taking over the Dwarves. Which could easily be retconned in between 3.5 and 4 anyway due to the time span and the whole world-upside-down happenings anyway.

Dwarves from the surface relocate to the Underdark and are enslaved by local psionic race and given psionic powers.
That is the Duergar.


Cartigan wrote:

Dwarves from the surface relocate to the Underdark and are enslaved by local psionic race and given psionic powers.

That is the Duergar.

But the similarities were unintentional and he came up with the name before the most of the similarities were made. Besides, at this point we're really just arguing about what their name should be. (Besides, it's probably easier to make the dwarf monster stats psychic than make the 4e duergar stats non-infernal.)

EDIT: Tell you what, we all agree that these are basically duergar, although he didn't set out for that, and we all just stop arguing about it?

Osirion

New At The Action Point! Sandbox Path--The Tarrasque, Elder Evils, and more Psionic Nazi Slaver Dwarves!

Osirion

New At The Action Point!! Wil Wheaton Said it Best...Don't Be A Dick!

Osirion

Cartigan wrote:
Raevhen wrote:

I really don't see an issue with Iron Dwarves/Duergar. Would there have been so much drama if he would have just re-skinned the fluff? For example, I like the mechanics of the Kalashtar race but have no use for the fluff, so I re-imaged them to better fit my homebrew setting. The short version says: Psionically attuned albinos who have a racial vampiric heritage. Would you call foul on me as well?

Except the Duergar havn't really been reimagined at all

The only differences are minor - reason for leaving the surface was being greedy miners instead of outcasts or whatever reason there was (though later, they end up becoming shunned ANYWAY), they were enslaved by Aboleths instead of Illithids, and they ended up taking over the Dwarves. Which could easily be retconned in between 3.5 and 4 anyway due to the time span and the whole world-upside-down happenings anyway.

Dwarves from the surface relocate to the Underdark and are enslaved by local psionic race and given psionic powers.
That is the Duergar.

The post I wrote showed my train of thought rather clearly. I guess I came to some similar design decisions as the folks who worked on the gray dwarves. Parallel design strikes again. Can you cite some of the sources for the duergar you're talking about? If they're that close already I might as well mine them for ideas.


Fixed link to new blog entry.

Anyway, if you want info on the duergar, I'd say look in the first 3.5 Monster Manual and the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

EDIT: Just read the article. Wow. That guy really is a dick.

Osirion

Davi The Eccentric wrote:

Fixed link to new blog entry.

Anyway, if you want info on the duergar, I'd say look in the first 3.5 Monster Manual and the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

EDIT: Just read the article. Wow. That guy really is a dick.

Just read the info on duergar in both 3.5 MM1 and XPH. I'm not seeing the references that Cartigan is mentioning. Am I just missing it? Really, the description of my Iron Dwarves bears little resemblance to the duergar, especially as the XPH puts them out. Do they have some psionic abilities? yes. But it appears the personalities are *drastically* different, with XPH being pretty much standoffish and mine being expansionistic zealots. And I can't find the illithid slavery reference anywhere.

Maybe he's thinking of the githyanki/githzerai?


daysoftheking wrote:
Davi The Eccentric wrote:

Fixed link to new blog entry.

Anyway, if you want info on the duergar, I'd say look in the first 3.5 Monster Manual and the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

EDIT: Just read the article. Wow. That guy really is a dick.

Just read the info on duergar in both 3.5 MM1 and XPH. I'm not seeing the references that Cartigan is mentioning. Am I just missing it? Really, the description of my Iron Dwarves bears little resemblance to the duergar, especially as the XPH puts them out. Do they have some psionic abilities? yes. But it appears the personalities are *drastically* different, with XPH being pretty much standoffish and mine being expansionistic zealots. And I can't find the illithid slavery reference anywhere.

Maybe he's thinking of the githyanki/githzerai?

Page 8 of Expanded Psionics Handbook under Duergar 'Relations.' The last sentence of the section: "...abandoned the gray dwarves to the thralldom and misery under mind flayer rule."

But I really don't see if that has been expanded anywhere else (I don't recall seeing it looking through the 3.5 Monster Manual or the Ecology of the Duergar in my old Dragon magazine).


Davi The Eccentric wrote:

Fixed link to new blog entry.

Anyway, if you want info on the duergar, I'd say look in the first 3.5 Monster Manual and the Expanded Psionics Handbook.

EDIT: Just read the article. Wow. That guy really is a dick.

Races of Faerun probably gives the most detail.

Best line...
Quote:
The Iron Kingdom was dominated by the shield dwarves of Clan Duergar,

So the Duergar are Iron Dwarves.

Osirion

I'm not an FR player. Haven't been since 2nd Edition. Never read any of that stuff... it's setting-specific source material for a world I'm not interested in. The core 3.5 rules don't have anything about duergar slavery by mind flayers in them.


daysoftheking wrote:
I'm not an FR player. Haven't been since 2nd Edition. Never read any of that stuff... it's setting-specific source material for a world I'm not interested in. The core 3.5 rules don't have anything about duergar slavery by mind flayers in them.

But, to be fair, the core 3.5 rules have a total of five sentences about the Duergar (other than their bonuses and abilities they have from their race). I don't believe it would have be in the best interest (if one is only going to use that many sentences) to use one to describe what happened to their race long ago.

Osirion

Blazej wrote:
But, to be fair, the core 3.5 rules have a total of five sentences about the Duergar (other than their bonuses and abilities they have from their race). I don't believe it would have be in the best interest (if one is only going to use that many sentences) to use one to describe what happened to their race long ago.

That's kind of what I'm saying. The core 3.X duergar as written have precious little written about them and that is my only influence as I don't have any of the Realms stuff. This really is a case study in parallel design. And that is really kinda fascinating to me.


daysoftheking wrote:
Blazej wrote:
But, to be fair, the core 3.5 rules have a total of five sentences about the Duergar (other than their bonuses and abilities they have from their race). I don't believe it would have be in the best interest (if one is only going to use that many sentences) to use one to describe what happened to their race long ago.
That's kind of what I'm saying. The core 3.X duergar as written have precious little written about them and that is my only influence as I don't have any of the Realms stuff. This really is a case study in parallel design. And that is really kinda fascinating to me.

Also unless he's attempting to publish (ie make money) from this idea I don't think it is a problem. D&D has the tradition of ripping off other genres from day 1. I mean Jack Vance didn't get credit but he might aswell have written the orifinal spell system, down to the details of the spells. No one argues that Gygax and Arneson didn't have good ideas and we all let it be cool. So what his dwarves are just like Duergar, it isn't hard to go "Hmmm Psycic slaver dwarves sound cool" and end up there. Also the ideas he has on his blog about the terrasque and the aboleths with the dwarves is pretty good stuff. So read that and insert Duergar if you like.


About half way through Fall of Thanes, the final book in The Godless World trilogy by Brian Ruckley. It's been a pretty good read.


Larry Latourneau wrote:
About half way through Fall of Thanes, the final book in The Godless World trilogy by Brian Ruckley. It's been a pretty good read.

Well....that is obviously in the wrong place....sorry about that :)


daysoftheking wrote:
Blazej wrote:
But, to be fair, the core 3.5 rules have a total of five sentences about the Duergar (other than their bonuses and abilities they have from their race). I don't believe it would have be in the best interest (if one is only going to use that many sentences) to use one to describe what happened to their race long ago.
That's kind of what I'm saying. The core 3.X duergar as written have precious little written about them and that is my only influence as I don't have any of the Realms stuff. This really is a case study in parallel design. And that is really kinda fascinating to me.

Alright, cool.

Just because I feel like it, I'm summerized all the books that have bits about the duergar to really get more of an understanding about the various variations of their culture though the different books. Most mesh pretty well, but a few go slightly different paths.

3.5 Monster Manual: Evil underground dwelling dwarves. They are devoted to a deity that demands continous, hard work.

3.5 Expanded Psionics Handbook: Evil underground dwelling dwarves. Duergar are a psionic race that was once enslaved by the mind flayers. They are sullen race of workers who use a significant number of slaves for forced labor.

3.5 Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting: Evil Underdark dwelling dwarves. They were once enslaved by the mind flayers and, because of that experience, gained a few mental powers.

Ecology of the Duergar, Dragon #325: Evil underground dwelling dwarves. They are devoted to a deity that demands continous, hard work. The organization is a strong theocracy to their deity. They don't seem that they are slavers as they forbid other races (who are seen as abominations) access to their cities. From the descriptions it seems more likely that they would kill someone before enslaving them, although I could imagine it such that slavery is the only way a non-duergar might come into one of their cities.

Pathfinder Chronicles Into the Darklands: Evil underground dwelling dwarves. They are devoted to a deity that demands continous, hard work. From him is where they got their powers (although they seem to be labeled magical rather than psionic). They also seem to be a strongly religious people and slavery (mostly, it seems, of other races) plays be a very important part in their culture.

4e Monster Manual 2: The duergar were a clan of dwarves that lived in the Underdark. There they were attacked, defeated, and enslaved by mind flayers. They are free now, but have taken to worshiping devils and maintain a steady stock of slaves.

Overall, they seem to be group of religious zealots that often have slavery as an important part of their lives. Most seem to have the it set that long ago there was some schism between the dwarves and the duergar such that the duergar were (or feel like) the dwarves abandoned them to a period of suffering. At the end of this period they had their additional powers (from psionic exposure/experimentation or gifts from a dark deity).

Looking though this I really do see the 4th edition duergar as a slightly different version of the same race (as opposed to thinking that their only common connection was that they were both evil dwarf races). Aside from them firing off quills from their head of hair (boo), they seem a lot more similar now after looking at it.

I would have to say that I see a lot of these aspects of the duergar in the Iron Dwarves as well, which I do find interesting.


The quills are Beard quills....a nice trick but I've found them to be inconsequential in effect

Osirion

New at The Action Point:

Six Tropes, Under the Gods, Indivisible...

Osirion

New at The Action Point:
Parallel Design-- Choose Your Own Psionic Nazi Slaver Dwarves


I find the changes interesting and beneficial.


Blazej wrote:
I find the changes interesting and beneficial.

Regardless of similiarities I liked the original ones, but I must say I like these somewhat more in that the concept of dwarves worshipping Yuan-ti (or rather similiar style monster) is cool and the idea of a Thulsa Doom major villian has always been one of those awesome ideas I never really used. I can just see some artillery dwarves who use snakes as arrows :P


Interesting that you mention Yaun-Ti as being iconic to The Realms. Might well be true - as I am no Realms fan and have not read the material but the realms is certainly not the source for Yuan-Ti. They first appear in 1st Edition in the module I1 Dwellers of the Forbidden City (an excellent and classic adventure) which would stick them squarely in the Greyhawk setting originally.

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