I'm nominally still here too.
I still think I'd prefer to be a male drider. I'd still like to use the Symbiote Gunner idea LINK, though perhaps reskinned to shoot bio mechanical spiders from a steam/gear cybernetic grafted weapon. I really only need a list of spider's by CR and level I can summon/shoot them at and the class is done...
Though if it is too much a headache and we are using Thunderscape rules then a Golemoid is likely my class preference...
Thanks for your support guys.
We will start off without gestalt, that does not mean you can't gain access to another class later on. 3rd level.
OSW you can use Symbiote Gunner, though reskinning it seems a bit farther than expected. Submit your reskinned version and we may accept it, I would suggest just sticking with the original idea. Especially if you shoot those spiders, then you lose the ability to do some of your grit actions.
OSW and Rynjin, do you have a preference in which campaign/module we play?
I would actually prefer the second one, though with some of the first's flavor (the Drow themselves don't have magic, but do have technology).
It gets a good dynamic, the campaign incorporates elements of light vs dark, and magic vs tech.
Since we're not doing Gestalt I'll need to retool my character. Do you mind if I play an Aberrant Aegis? It's basically similar to Fleshwarping, I'm augmenting my own body with different Customizations at each level up.
Ok broaching an idea, this is designed to allow more powerful characters but also make them less of a headache to create...it's flavorful as well.
Career Archtypes are essentially templates applied to characters that grant various benefits related to the career at levels 1, 5, 10, 15 and 20.
Careers tend to be such things as merchant, soldier, engineer and so forth. Presenting a sample career below.
Level 1: Recruit.
Benefit: You have gone through basic training and can select one of the following abilities. Once selected is cannot be changed.
Trench fighter: you know how to use cover to your advantage and a gain a +2 bonus to AC against ranged attacks so long as you are in cover.
Marksman: your training emphasized ranged combat greatly, you take only 1/2 of the penalty for each additional range increment with a ranged weapon.
Front liner: the front lines are often the most brutal part of the battlefield, you gain DR 1/magic to represent your innate toughness.
Scout: recon is a vital part of warfare, thus scouts such as yourself must be watchful. You gain perception as a class skill, if you already have it as a class skill you may once per day roll a perception check twice and take the better result.
Thoughts? Note that the above is an uncompleted career.
I thought we were doing the game without magic? Aegis is psionic but would still be under that scope.
They don't have any overt Psionic abiities or powers. Their schtick is creating a suit of armor from nothing, and having customizeable bits to it.
The Aberrant archetype takes that one step farther: All the Customizations affect your own body, and it no longer creates a suit of armor.
Plus it trims out all the ones having to do with Psionic crystals and whatnot, and replaces them with ones like "You grow tentacles" or "You have eyes on stalks".
I try to incorporate something along those lines in my campaigns. I would be fine with each PC having a career. Once the logical career is chosen, we will need to flesh out those with options and developments.
That may be so Rynjin, but you better come up with a good background for me to allow it. I have seen such things in campaigns and don't care for them that much. A glass cannon so to speak, good damage and can drop easily. Sell it to me with your story.
If you don't care for them, TBH I don't really want to try and change your mind on it. You'd always subconsciously be in the back of your head "I don't like this".
Though I'm not sure where you get the "glass cannon" idea from in the first place. The class is based around ARMOR, and utility mostly. Bit of damage, lot of defense (has both Evasion and Stalwart in class, as well as several different ways to raise armor and natural armor bonuses, extra Con as an Enhancement, and so on). More "mighty glacier" than anything else.
Anyhow, did we decide Alchemy (Extracts-wise) was magic or no? I can't remember. I'd love to play an Alchemist or Investigator as well.
If those are a no-go, Mutagenic Mauler Brawler, or Mutation Warrior Fighter could be fun as well.
Basically, I just want to play a class that mutates itself in some form or fashion.
Alchemists are pretty damn common in Drow society, they are also the oldest "tradition" of Drow superscience. An alchemist is seen as a universal Drow career choice across all city states.
I would note however the classes from Thunderscape, such as the Mechamage and Thunderscout aren't "magical" per se in this game. Rather they are masters of Preserver technology and can generate all sorts of "superscience" effects with it. Think the Engineer from Mass Effect with the omni tool.
Also I present the following for GM inspection, note GM that one of the weapon qualities (Energy) is technically psionic but can easily be reflavored and does not require psionics to function...
The Drow while no where near Precursor levels of technological power are not primitive and indeed have designed numerous technologically advanced weapons and armor. Some such as las weapons are essentially a more primitive form of Precursor weapons while Combi weapons are a truly Drow invention.
-Combi- Combi weapons are essentially combination energy-projectile weapons. The most common example is the Plasma rifle which wraps bullets in a fiery envelope as they fire, effectively turning them into miniature fireballs.
-Las- Las weapons are essentially slower firing versions of Precursor weapons, while no where near as powerful as the weapons of the ancients Las guns are still a force to be reckoned with. Capable of penetrating an abomination's hide or an ironman's torso with ease these weapons are popular amongst the elite. They also have an incredible shelf life, thanks to their slow fire their manite powerpacks are virtually inexhaustible.
Combi weapons are basically guns from Thunderscape with weapon qualities like this, http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons/magic-weapon-special-abil ities/flaming and this http://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-weapons/magic-weapon-special-abil ities/flaming-burst.
Las weapons use the following enhancement http://www.d20pfsrd.com/psionics-unleashed/equipment/psionic-items/psionic- weapons#TOC-Energy.
Also on board with trading house... Here is the idea expanded, note that rather then all players having to be from the same city state they can come from virtually any state, any background. I encourage my fellow players to devise city states themselves, one city state for example could be a scientific one with a Tesla bent (e.g lightning guns) and so forth.
Trading Houses are the one universal "funnel" of Drow society, effectively serving as a talent drain trading houses take all who have the skills, experience and sheer bravery required to blaze new trade routes, guard old ones and search for fantastic riches.
Trading houses can very from meritocracies to practically a form of inherited nobility depending greatly on the house in question. However in most cases a cabaless Drow with enough skill, nerve and intelligence can rise to the heights of power.
The most powerful Trading houses rival minor city states in sheer scope and terms of power.
I don't see why would not be able to be any of those four classes Rynjin. Alchemy I would say is the basis for the Drow's technology.
Just making sure. I thought at some point I had come across something that said even Extracts were out since it uses very small amounts of magic to make the chemicals work (by default flavor).
Here is one city-state. Will rework Pharnox as a Steamwright, also details on the PC's own trading house.
The PC's trading house at this point in time exists in name only, the PCs are fairly experienced (thinking about level 5) people who have over the course of their careers acquired several contacts. Contacts who can turn them into a real trading house...
However these contacts need a reason more then just favors owed to the PCs to invest the staggering amounts of capitol needed to create a trading house. One reason to invest would be for the PCs to discover and map a new trade route, one that say leads to a mithral vein and so forth.
Of course that is not the only discovery that could propel the PCs to the height of wealth and power...
Population: 5000 (2300 in the outlying farms, plantations and mines)
Inhabitants: Convicts, exiles, cabaless Drow and the occasional Drider
Imports: Storm cannons and advanced weapons and armor
Exports: Raw materials and Phelthonese Riflemen
Industry: Phelthos makes it own rifles, armor, grenades and alchemical items. It is fully capable of producing these in masterwork quality. However Phelthos is not advanced enough to make storm cannons and more advanced weapons such as combi and las guns and must import them at great expense.
Army: 300 Grenadiers (level 6 Drow warriors with Scatterguns and grenades), 600 Phelthonese riflemen (level 8 warriors), 50 cannons (and 150 cannoneers) and 10 stormcannons (and 40 cannoneers).
Gazetteer: Phelthos is established on the ass end of the upper layer right next to a dense Fungi forest, it's people are outcasts, convicts and others disreputables. Despite this however the city-state is close knit, a reaction to living right next to the Fungi forest which has never been fully charted (the closest anyone has ever penetrated is fifty miles into the interior).
The vile Derro make a sizable nest within the forest and launch countless attacks in great hordes ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand. As a result Phelthonese riflemen are perhaps the most skilled and disciplined in the Deeps and Phelthos makes heavy use of artillery as well.
While masters of defensive warfare Phelthos has virtually no vehicles and cannot at least at this time muster an expedition to cleanse the forest of a Derro infestation which likely consists of tens of thousands.
Likely same style of stat determination although I may do some simplification of Drow/Drider racial templates (bring Drow to a 13 RP value and Driders to a 15 RP value) I may also draft up stats for the dreaded mushroom men, the ettercaps!
Mushrooms (some even sentient!), dire moles, dire rats, dire bats...
However it can really vary depending on the area, some places such as the Stalactite caverns have very unique wildlife...
Speaking of which... "drumroll" another city-state...
Inhabitants: The brave, the bold and the crazy.
Exports: Airborne thunderscouts, jetpacks (and jetpack troopers) and airborne vehicles.
Industry: Tentorian industry is small scale and specialized in making the things that are required for this unique state's survival... Tentorium makes nearly Precursor grade jetpacks in addition to powered gliders and even airships.
However it can't manufacture anything on a factory scale level of production, instead it employs small but skilled workshops of artisans.
Army: 1000 riflemen (level 5 Drow warriors), 200 jetpack commandos (level 6 slayers), 40 scuttlers, 100 cannons (and 300 cannoneers) 120 gliders and 5 airships.
Gazetteer: Tentorium (literally hanging city) was founded within the massive Floating vault, so named because it is a massive cavern twenty miles wide and three miles deep. The ceiling is dotted end to end with a series of giant stalactites where the Drow of Tentorium make their home.
In the empty space between the ceiling and the floor lies a technological marvel, a relic of the ancients: a series of a 100 small floating platforms that still function. Contained upon these platforms are strange reactors which allow the manufacture of immensely powerful technology of near Precursor quality...
However Tentorium cannot just waltz in and claim this prize, for on the vault's floor lie colonies of abominations, the stealthy ropers climb from below to feast upon the flesh of the Drow and Lurkers hide themselves amongst the platforms, waiting patiently to claim the prize of Drow meat.
Worse however are the dreaded Whirlmaw flights, these unnatural predators will convalesce into great flocks of a hundred or more Whirlmaws and launch brutal feeding frenzies against both the platforms and even the city state itself.
Yet the Drow of Tentorium are stubbornly resilient, they refuse to backdown from the prize of Precursor technology and are engaged in a never ending war against the abominations...
I can't remember a lot of stuff that's been posted because it reads as though many things went through like 6 different iterations before being scrapped for some reason or another.
Yup. I concur.
Drow race stats or careers?
Male driders as posted in the thread or to be advised?
How exactly does the Fleshwarper Feat work? I'm making a Beastmorph Alchemist with the "Fleshwarper race".
Is it basically "Craft Wondrous: The tech version" or can it be used for other, odder abilities?
The concept is basically my Drow wants to make himself into the perfect being over time, fearsome in combat and able to survive in any environment.
So would I (given the time, the cash, and the materials) be able to do stuff like:
-Graft extra eyes on various parts of my body (granting me All-Around Vision).
-Give myself echolocation as a bat or dolphin or stranger creature (Blindsight).
-Implant various poison glands into my flesh (giving myself a poisonous bite or toxic skin).
-Give myself gills in addition to lungs (Waterbreathing)
-Graft dragon scales onto me (giving me fire resistance)
And other such ideas.
@Rynjin to handle fleshwarping I think a career archetype is warranted, note on the archetypes I think (correct me if I am wrong GM) that they are supposed to replace the gestalt.
As such try designing a fleshwarper career archetype yourself Rynjin and present it before us for inspection.
I'll see to redesigning driders and Drow eventually, anyone want to play a sentient mushroom?
Also anyone want to take a crack at making a city state? (this is a hint, flesh out the setting)
Interesting. I could come up with something along those lines later. Are the "archetypes" meant to be along the same line as a class in terms of power, or more a CR +2 Template?
Also, is there perhaps an alternative we can come up with for the Drow Nobility line of Feats (and the default SLA ability in the first place)? That is the vast majority of Drow racial Feats (5 in total) and generally what makes up their racial identity to an extent. Seeing a more chemical based one, perhaps around mutations or gadgeteering would be interesting.
And I might have an idea for a city.
Career archtypes are like a template that increases in power as you level with abilities gained at level 1, 5, 10, 15, 20.
Fleshwarping itself can bestow several things but mostly it specializes in giving you such things as claws, "pockets" (hide the dagger in your body), poison glands, potion glands (you inject the potion gland with a potion before inserting it into your body and then can activate it anytime in the future) and some monster abilities like stench, compression and fast healing.
As for racial feats I would need to examine those in the light of the new drow race template I plan on making (designed to be less confusing) but I can envision all Drow receiving a bonus feat associated with their city state...
Rynjin wrote:I can't remember a lot of stuff that's been posted because it reads as though many things went through like 6 different iterations before being scrapped for some reason or another.
Yup. I concur.
Drow race stats or careers?
Male driders as posted in the thread or to be advised?
Can we lock down some stuff - I admit I'm still out on a limb trying to get to the spiders by CR/level I need, but sometimes it feels like we are getting further away from starting with more home brewing. ;P
Career archtypes are like a template that increases in power as you level with abilities gained at level 1, 5, 10, 15, 20.
I caught that much, I just wasn't sure what base power level we were shooting for with them. Equivalent in power as, but simpler than Gestalt? Equivalent in power to adding a Template like Half-Fiend to your character? Somewhere in between?
Either way, I'll work on it tomorrow. Bed time now.
Drider male remains untouched save for the option to take +2 str and con, -2 int instead of +4 str, -2 mental stats.
The above is a good example of what career templates are designed to be, they have a theme and some in built choices for advancement for the player. Careers are designed to "fill in" a character's niche, for example a wizard could take the "thief" career in order to represent him as an arcane rogue without having to take the class.
The Fleshwarper is a master of shaping the flesh of himself and others into newer, and often more powerful forms.
Cold Anatomist (EX): At 1st level a Fleshwarper may use Knowledge: Local to perform any function a Heal check could achieve.
Environmental Adaptation (Su): Once per day at 5th level a Fleshwarper can inject himself or a willing ally with a special serum as a Standard action that adapts the Fleshwarper's body to protect himself. Choose Fire, Water, Earth, or Air. You gain Energy Resistance 30 to the respective elemental damage (Fire, Cold, Acid, and Electricity respectively), and gains one of the following benefits: Smoke Vision or +20 feet to base speed (Fire), Water Breathing or a Swim speed equal to your base speed (Water), Earthglide (Earth),a Fly speed equal to your base speed (Good maneuverability). These benefits last for 1 minute per character level. If the Fleshwarper has the ability to create a Mutagen, he gains his choice of these abilities for the duration of the Mutagen.
Beneficial Mutation (Su): At 10th level once per day as a Standard action the Fleshwarper may inject himself or a willing ally with a serum that grants him or his ally a single ability from the list of abilities provided by the spells Beast Shape II and Monstrous Physique II. This ability can be used for up to 1 minute per level. These minutes do not need to be consecutive, but must be spent in one minute increments. If the Fleshwarper has the ability to create a Mutagen, he can instead gain these abilities for the duration of the Mutagen, but this counts as the full daily use of this ability.
Improved Beneficial Mutation (Su): At 15th level when using the Beneficial Mutation ability, the Fleshwarper instead chooses two abilities from the spells Beast Shape III or Monstrous Physique III. If he so chooses he may take one ability from each list.
Mutation Mastery (Su): At 20th level a Fleshwarper's ability to transform himself or others reaches its peak. The Fleshwarper's Beneficial Mutation ability now allows him to draw up to four abilities chosen from the spells Beast Shape IV or Monstrous Physique IV. While under the effects of Beneficial Mutation, the Fleshwarper may change one of the chosen abilities as a Swift action, two as a move action, or all four as a Full Round Action.
This is what I was thinking of. Is this too powerful? I was initially asking what power level to shoot for, not theme.
Population: 9700 Drow, 1000 Drider, 500 miscellaneous Fleshwarped creatures (no citizenship)
Inhabitants: Intellectuals, scientists, and madmen.
Imports: Food, Slaves (Test subjects)
Exports: Industrial chemicals, Fleshwarped troops, chemical and biological weapons
Industry: Jumira primarily manufactures only the materials they need to continue experimentation and scientific progress. Any excess is exported to other cities to fund in part necessary materials (food and supplies, mostly) and mostly funneled into R&D.
Army: 250 Battle Chemists (level 5 Drow Alchemists), 100 snipers (level 5 Drow Gunslinger Riflemen), 100 Drider "Cavalry" (level 2 Drider pikemen) 500 Fleshwarped (ranging in usefulness from the pitiful Grothlut to a few of the powerful Urgoci).
Jumira is, first and foremost, a research facility focused on the development of chemical and biological weapons, especially the concept of creating a Fleshwarped "super soldier" capable of retaining rational thought, increased ability, yet being as easy to control as other Fleshwarped creatures. At any given time, there may be a creature extant that contains two of these three qualities, but success on that front is minimal at best.
Further success has been achieved with "lesser" research, resulting in chemical bombs that create a cloud capable of stripping the flesh from most creature's bones in seconds, diseases that create unstable mutation or death, and other such weaponry, but they are merely side projects to the main goal.
Of the sum total 11, 200 inhabitants, only about a dozen actually conduct research. These "Prime Researchers" are both the governing body and sole reason for existing of Jumira. The rest of the population serves as hired help, military defense, and in a pinch test subjects.
Fleshwarper: the first ability should simply change heal to an int based skill and grant a +5 bonus on all fleshwarping procedures.
The rest is good but more options at each level should be provided, look at my soldier career above, careers are designed to allow "tailoring", for example if a player wants to make a slayer who is a badass sniper he takes the soldier career and selects the "marksman" line of abilities.
On Jumira I would note that the Drow don't experiment on their own as a matter of course (driders came about because the Drow were really desperate and all drider candidates volunteered for the transformation). They also don't take slaves (a lingering effect of being enslaved themselves to the Duergar for 500 years) but nothing prevents them from growing fleshwarped beasts of war via test tubes...
If you want to design a list of fleshwarping procedures and costs Rynjin I will review...
It seems Pathfinder may have opened the way towards fleshwarping already...
Why should the first ability do that? It's meant to represent the Drow having no real regard for the suffering of others, merely result. It is similar to the Vivisectionist ability that uses Kn. Nature instead. I changed it to Local because they work more with humanoid races.
There are plenty of options at each level, since all of the abilities save the first allow for selection from a menu of abilities.
For example, Improved Beneficial Mutation has the capability to grant any two of:
burrow 30 feet, climb 90 feet, fly 90 feet (good maneuverability), swim 90 feet, all-around vision, blindsense 30 feet, darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision, scent, blood frenzy, cold vigor, constrict, ferocity, freeze, grab, horrific appearance, jet, leap attack, mimicry, natural cunning, overwhelming, poison, pounce, rake, sound mimicry, speak with sharks, trample, trip, and web.
For either 1 minute per level, or 10 minutes to an hour per level with Mutagen.
The way you're doing it is essentially creating several different "class templates" but only calling it one, which is odd. If the selection is only made at 1st level and then grants several fixed abilities it is essentially the same as making several different ones.
Would you mind explaining the logic behind not experimenting on their own? A Lawful Evil society of "crazy" scientists would be very pragmatic about that sort of thing. The overwhelming majority of test subjects they'd have access to is Drow, and they're already proven to be susceptible to Fleshwarping techniques. Quite successfully, in fact.
Likewise the slave thing. I thought they were meant to be a pragmatic race, not a sentimental one?
Not a LE race, N. Drow are willing to consider some things that "heinous" by surface standards, for example employing nuclear weapons, scorched earth tactics, chemical weapons, poison and so forth.
At the same time however this is not out of active malevolence, if you ask a Drow commander how he approaches warfare the answer is simple: Survival and victory in that order. Good and evil don't color his vision.
He's not going to send his men into the the city where they will be sniped at, land mines will be placed and so forth. He is going to order his artillery to level the entire city, why waste good men when you can destroy the enemy from afar?
This also informs Drow warfare, the fact of the matter is everyone in war (at least to the Drow) is a target. There are no civilians, merely ill trained and ill equipped soldiers. This not because the Drow actively enjoy slaughter or war but because it just is.
This is also the reason Drow don't take prisoners, they drain valuable resources better spent on the army.
The Drow opposition to slavery is practical, they themselves with no help from anyone successfully rebelled and decimated the Duergar. The Drow aren't willing to take that risk, especially considering the fact that they don't have labor issues to begin with. (numerous children and big families are the norm, good healthcare combined with the "more hands, more guns" mentality=rapidly expanding population)
On the subject of test subjects it isn't that the Drow don't experiment on their own but rather that these people are volunteers. They weren't coerced into this, they wanted it. And there are no shortage of volunteers, a good fleshwarp can allow one to achieve prosperity in short order.
I would also note that it isn't just fleshwarping available either, cyborgization is also available.
Forgot that those transmutations did so much (I play the conjurer type magic user a lot).
Note that career archetypes are called that for a reason, they are designed to be broad in choices even if the players want to specialize.
Let's say you took the "criminal" career, you could choose to specialize in say intimidation, extortion and so forth. You could also choose to specialize in the black market and you could mix the two, say you want more then a generic thug. You want a thug with elements of a mob boss, not only strong enough to take what he wants but savvy enough to sell it on the black market and perhaps one day become his own "boss" complete with minions.
Sorry if this isn't making sense, trying here.
Pharnox, I am going to take the material in the campaign info and put it in several google docs. This will allow us to add to them and edit them, rather than just me.
I agree with most of what you all are posting, sorry weekends are normally busy for me!
I agree that the fleshwarper career looks pretty good and has great diversity with the given lists. Though the first ability should apply to the skill Heal, and give a bonus to fleshwarping. Instead perhaps a +2 for each increase. Changing the skill to Int would give a small boost but only really for Int based characters like the wizard or alchemist. I don't think substituting Heal with Knowledge Local would work, perhaps you could give your heal check when fleshwarping a bonus when dealing with humanoids using Kn Local. Perhaps use that as an option.
A good question about slaves. The drow might be a bit off put by the idea of slavery since it was done to them, but would they not be practical with their enemies? Drow are still Lawful Evil correct? Corrected from ninja post above. ;)
It does seem that the world is continuing to be built but perhaps we should focus more on the characters. Making sure that the basic information is there.
Week ends...a good day to sleep in;)
I think we need the following...
City-state of origin: What is says on the tin.
Contact(s): These are the guys who you've worked for, fought besides and so forth. And they are genuinely impressed by you, impressed enough to give you the support necessary to fund a trading house... If you can deliver the "goods" via exploration that is.
Contacts should have a big impact, private individuals could have valuable skills and decent amounts of money to invest but the big cheese is also available. These guys are vorns, generals and so forth. They can give you staggering amounts of capitol and power but at a cost, your trading house rather then being independent may be a "government enterprise". Think the East India company from Pirates of the Caribbean.
I wanted to avoid a flat bonus to Heal checks, since that's kinda boring, but if that's what you guys prefer then the 1st level ability could be:
Specialized Surgeon (Ex): The Fleshwarper gains a bonus equal to half his level (minimum 1) on Heal checks to perform Fleshwarping surgery or torture.
I'm honestly a bit disappointed by such a big shift in Drow morality. CE to LE is more a pragmatic change (LE makes more sense for an organized nation, but keeps the heinous edge to the campaign). Neutral makes them less interesting, IMO. Not that all Drow should be Evil, but much like the nation of Cheliax, it should be their cultural inclination.
Making them generally Neutral like the other 90% of races in the game robs them of much of their uniqueness.
I get where your coming from but note that N is the tally of the civilization as a whole, evil Drow and evil city-states do exist. LE is the only evil alignment though...
Note that LE Drow are LE only to the enemy, they don't scheme and back-stab their way to power. Think of the military kind of LE, e.g "we are loyal to our brothers, we will heal them, we will risk our lives for them and we will kill everyone of those bloody sons of !@#$%^!"
If you need further inspiration think Thrawn from the Star Wars expanded universe and to a lesser extent the Chiss.
What you described is LN, basically.
LE characters would (or, could, it's not exactly NECESSARY) work within the system and cut dirty backroom deals to usurp the positions of those with better jobs, though without the CE "Klingon promotion" tactics that would logically cause the collapse of society.
Actually, given the views of the god Torag in the Golarion setting, what you described can even be Lawful GOOD. His PALADIN CODE suggests genocide against Orcs and Goblins is A-OK.
By your metric every society that has ever existed is LE. "We are great people to each other. Just not those other guys trying to kill us."
Well I am trying to avoid having this game go into a bloody LE messup (not opposed to evil campaigns but they need to be well thought out, think Way of the Wicked).
Admittedly the Alignment system is..."simplistic".
I would note though that Drow would never descend into "Nazi LE", organizing immobile, resource consuming (you have to guard those things) camps for the sole purpose of genocide isn't Drow style... If the Drow want to perform genocide they do it by the old fashioned bullet (and perhaps flamethrowers)...
If everyone plays LE properly there shouldn't be an "bloody mess-up". LE characters have a code, lines they won't cross, and concrete goals to carry out.
Way of the Wicked is actually one of the worst examples of a Lawful Evil based campaign I've ever seen. The plot is nonsensical and causes too much collateral damage for little purpose (the return of Asmodeus worship to a small, overall inconsequential island nation). Releasing the Tears of Aklys is highly suspect as an LE action given the main people it harms are peasants, not the armies, and the whole plot with Chargammon is just head scratchingly badly written.
Jumira, in case you're wondering, would be my vision of a Neutral Evil scientific group.
Lawful Evil is more...refined. I've played LE characters in good groups before. The hallmark of a good LE character is that most Evil you do is "necessary evil". Torture for information, not for pleasure. Murder for a purpose, not because it would be convenient or you enjoy it. You get the idea.
I don't mind LE but wouldn't play it personally but I would note that LE is the only variant of evil the Drow would go for, NE and CE are just not the way to go. As one theme is "us against the world" (that we know of) Drow butchering Drow needlessly (including in the name of science) isn't allowed...
Just weighing in here:
* Without slaves the drow are logistically gimped. In our world slavery moved a lot of earth, moved mountains in fact, built monuments, drained swamps bridges, solidified social stratification, cemented upper class relationships through being gifted and freed and generally added a lot of interesting (although debased and immoral) aspects to early and classic societies. Spiders and ettercaps cannot fulfill all those functions.
* Even among their own, are there NO outcasts, no bondsman or serfs? No indebted and no personal slaves? Even of other races?
* Being "slaves of the duergar for 500 years" does not feel like a valid reason to indulge in slavery. If anything, even in a Neutral, "enlightened" social construct the Drow could easily give as good as they got.
* Are you saying that all drow we know are descended from drow who were once slaves of the duergar? Akin to how the githyanki and githzerai are descended from former human slaves of the illithid?