Zanan's page

43 posts. No reviews. No lists. No wishlists.


Wild growth Hex linked to charisma?

Was just reading the Wild Growth Hex feat and wondered that it was linked to the witch's charisma rather than the usual hex-related intelligence score.

Could it be that the charisma carried over from Wild Growth Channel?

Well, it's kind of strange that those who voice their reservations about the name are kind of ridiculed quite a bit in this playtesting thread. Nigh any other class has some sort of telling name that gives away what you would expect from a class behind that name. As has been pointed out above, "oracle" as a class name will suggest something to the gamer that is not exactly in there. It is fair enough of Paizo to define their own "oracles" and if the latter (in general) lack what "oracle" traditionally meant, people should be able to voice their concerns. That's the topic of the thread.

Now, since the lead designer has already said that the name will not change, there ain't no need for blue/red mustang snipes. It would be more constructive to either stay away or add ideas to turn the oracle as they are into something more traditionally oracle-ish by adding this or that description or class ability. If the latter will not come into the plans either, this topic is done ...

hogarth wrote:
BronzeSparrow wrote:
I'm probably alone in this, but I don't think the oracle class lives up to its name.
Well, it's still better than "Monk", so that's something. :-)

True enough! Still can't help but smile about the concept of female "monks" (or rather "nuns"?) which becomes especially apparent in the German versions of the class. The 3.xE PHBs really topped that when they had a female monk and thus "she's" in the description of the class.

Well, since we don't need to bother about the name as such, there should be something "oracle-ish" in any oracle, no matter whom or what s/he follows, something that justifies the name. And it doesn't need to be a great thing, but something universal.

At the moment, we've got the base/core cleric spell list. The same "problem" with regards to offensive spells was apparent in 3.xE. Enter the Spell Compendium and the various setting and Complete series plus regionalized (e.g.Frostburn) books and you you'll end up with enough "firepower" soon enough. I reckon that PF will sooner or later have similar books like the SC, so nae need to bother about this right now. If there's need, get your hand at the Spell Compendium and adapt some spells from there.

Pope William T Wodium wrote:
I don't think any special prophetic power needs to be added to the Oracle for any reason, least of all to justify the name.

Shouldn't the name of a class at least vaguely define or present what the class is all about - at first glance? Take the base classes and you know exactly what they are about - by drawing a link to the general meaning of the word. Take the oracle and compare the general meaning/idea behind that word/denomination and compare it to the class. There's not that much oracle-ish in there, unless you take certain routes. It's somewhat like calling the rogue class "assassin".

Just to add to the above (for I didn't find the EDIT option), my "Haethan" comes from the Anglo-Saxon version of the word (heathen), i.e. "hæðen".

Edit: at least not when I checked back just now, 2 hours after posting. For this reply the edit option was shown though.

Regarding the name ... that's also something I'd like to adress. Much of what the OP has said holds true, a short look at the meaning does actually verify this.

Oracle at etymonline

On the other hand, the description given is not exactly that of a oracle in ancient tradition and meaning either:

Oracles do not usually associate with any one church or temple, instead preferring to strike out on their own, or with a small group of like-minded individuals.

I was working on a similar class for 3,5E when 4E happened by, one that worked much along the lines of the PF oracle. Away from the established churches, but also tied to the deities. Hence I gave it the name "Haethan" (singular & plural), coming from the Germanic (Old Germanic / Gothic) forms for "heathen"/"heiðinn". The latter not in the sence of being different of a true faith (in the original case: "not Christian"), but the "true version of the respective deity's faith as established by the respective church canons et al".

Well, unless it is all done and dusted by now, a few wishes ...

- Please keep the tieflings (if they are in there) as they were in the 3,5E MM. No "must-have horns and tails" as in 4E please.

- If possible, offer variants of e.g. the half-fiends, since a default glabrezu-related half-fiend will surely look different to a succubus related one, won't they?

- Keep the erinyes as they were in 3,5E (or even better the Planescape Monstrous Manual, with polymorph self (or a succubus-like change shape), plane-shift, limited numbers et al). No mixing up with the succubi please.

- Keep the mariliths as they were in the good old days too, i.e. again with polymorph self (or the like). You can hardly get better guild-leaders and evil-doers from "outer space" of their CR ranking than them,IMHO.

Speaking of the polymorphing and change-shaping, please make sure that the ability description clears up what the changed outsider retains and what s/he does not. (That is, ability stats, special abilities et al. 3,5E was not that clear on that, or "nerfed" some of the polymorphed folk quite a bit.)

Well, I ordered it via Amazon* a wee while back and wouldn't want to think what I paid over there :-(

Anyway, the reason I ordered was that it follows in the footsteps of another Mythic Vistas publication, Hamunaptra. If you think Eternal Rome is good, wait for Hamunaptra!

Anyway, it is 3,5E material with updates on several rules, a new fighter class, i.e. the Gladiator (quite good and easily adoptable to nigh any setting), with a number of special features describes in the book (special as in beyond the normal class features). There are character options for e.g. the druid (turning them towards the Celts rather than the purely / steretypical Nature-loving folk), special weaponry (pilum et al) and armor feature, new PrC classes and feats - mainly Roman style and again easily adoptable to anything 3Eish. You get a quick - but good - rundown on Roman history and that of the surrounding "nations", notes on how or whether to use certain D&D monsters and creatures, a handful of new ones too.

All in all, in a 1 to 10 rating, I'd give it a 8,5 or even 9. Comapct, sound and at its current price a must have!

*Yes, my bad since I didn't check here first ...

Haven't seen the deities so far (can someone kindly point me at a PF book that covers/names them?), but I would like to know whether we have a set pantheon venerated by all (e.g. "Goddess of Night" venerated by elves, humans, hobgoblins, but under different names) or whether we will see a number of pantheons, e.g. for the elves, humans and orcs?

Regarding stats and deities, the latter do not need the former. The Forgotten Realms had a decent enough version presented in the F&A series, i.e. very powerful avatars. The deities were simply limited in the numbers of avatars they could have at the same time. That would be good enough for any hero to aspire (and write him-/herself into the deity's badbooks). The later books of 3,5E re-invented this by giving the archfiends so-called "aspects".

James Jacobs wrote:
Yup; Golarion's "Underdark" is indeed known as the Darklands. Although the creatures that dwell therein certainly have various other names for it... it's what the surface folk call it that sticks up here. And they call them the Darklands. We wanted a name that was simple and descriptive, like, well, like "underdark." Which is, itself, not all that exotic sounding.

Since WotC and the Lady Penitent series virtually nuked my City of the Spider Queen - sequel attempt, yet the material is still there, Paizo does not actively looking for more input on that book right now, I suspect? Setting, NPCs from high to low level, new monsters, freshly converted tentacle rods and the like all at the ready.

crosswiredmind wrote:
Balabanto wrote:
Succubi are devils? But they were demons before? Way to go, Wizards! Destroy every existing long running campaign and don't support them!

This is what I do not get. WotC took an imaginary being and made it a different type of imaginary being and so people hate them for it as if you cannot simply say - in my campaign they are still demons.


The point is that there is absolutely no need for this. Just recently, the FC I and II introduced to us the advanced versions of both the succubus (lilitu) and the erinyes (brachina), alongside tons of other new and old (converted) fiends. Now they merge - for no obvious reason - the seductive demon with the essential fury-ladden but no less charming erinyes and make them devils. Why? We will have about half a dozen more monster books in 4E with tons of new and old fiends and there will surely be a seductive demoness on their way too.

Apart from that, they bin about half the lore on various Abyssal Lords along the way, namely Grazz't and a quarter dozen Queens of Succubi, namely Malcanthet, Shami-Amurae and the one who I can't name right now. For no point whatsoever. (Obviously, they already cut the main soul providers' straight access to the fiendish realms when they removed their planeshift abilities. Unless you think that the succubi and erinyes only subverted and corrupted the souls, but hand no hand in their transfer - energy drain and all).

Psionics in AD&D were literally a pain in the back of any DM, since they essentially were seperate rules. 3E/RE done away with that, but still - much like Shadowcasters et al and their magic - you need a seperate book and additional time to get a grasp of psionics. And additional work is something that does not (always) go down well the throats of younger gamers - just see what WotC have done to pacify the latter in 4E. Make it easier, faster, more powerful and all that.

I have no problem with psionics, actually try my luck with a soulknife these days ... and they are quite neat in their own roles. Haven't dug too deep into the other classes so far though ...

Why do so many people *hate* 4e?

I am not in the state of hating it, as I haven't seen much of WOW-E as yet. But since they are essentially about to wreck much of "my" preferred setting while chucking long established lore, I have no problem in understanding why people start to hate 4E even before it is out.

And it looks much like that the "hate" comes from the role-players who live their setting (Greyhawk, FR, Eberron) and know its lore, rather than the players who essentially run about for XP, loot and monster - slaying, what I call the WoW-Brigade these days.

My deity "fluff" (speaking purely of the Forgotten Realms) stands in the Faiths & Avatars series. If the WoW-generation needs godkilling as bait, so be it. Methinks Chris Perkins said something like quite the opposite was going to happen, so that's how quickly opinions can change.

Maybe I have a completely wrong concept about the divine and deities in general. But if ever a character wants to engage a god with bloodshed in mind, he or she will have a rude awakening ... no matter what the rules say.

Starglim wrote:
Zanan wrote:

So I'll lay my head on the block as well. Feel free to swing the axe.

This is an item I always wanted my nasty rogues to have ...

Whisper Stone

Designer's notes:

I must admit I have a liking for magical sling stones and this one does something fun. Word usage is a bit odd, though I'm not one to talk.

I hope you didn't post the designer's notes. The judges really hated that in one of the other items.

Matter of factly, I did. For I was under the impression that the test was primarily designed to check whether the designers know the rules (inside out) first and foremost, as well as showing some kind of invention. We do find a number of items in d20/D&D books lacking the correct calculation, especially when it comes to items featuring several abilities and thus requiring special attention when it comes to creation and prizing. As I said, I didn't mean to show off with the skills here, just creating the item for my rogues.

NB: One of the most ingenious items ever created, IMHO, were the Moonsilver Shards in the Arms & Equipment Guide, i.e. "darts" which turned into a magic missile when thrown.

I'm also willing to subject my entry to a professional critique, so here we go:

Whisper Stone

These rune-engraved stones have the size of a sling bullet and are usually crafted for thieves' or assassins' guilds. A whisper stone can be thrown as a ranged attack with a range increment of 20 feet, and on impact resolves into a preset illusion which shall act as a timely distraction. Rogues use these items to draw away the attention of a target intended for a sneak attack or wrong-track possible pursuers after such a deed.
The stones are crafted with a raw silent image and ghost sound spell, who can be attuned by the rogue for a purpose needed at the time. To attune a whisper stone, the rogue has to hold it in a hand and concentrate on the images and sounds required for 5 rounds. A whisper stone can be attuned only once and the image and sound remain for 5 rounds, behaving exactly like programmed for every single round.

Faint illusion; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, ghost sound, silent image; Price 344 gp; Weight 0.05 lb.

Now we know it! Darkjoy likes his/her saving throws! :-)

BTW, the one of these Nausea Pills ... shouldn't it be Fort DC 14? (3rd level spell with a INT 13 (i.e. +1) to cast?)

Clark Peterson wrote:

I absolutely cannot believe I like this. It is a real creative solution to behirs and purple worms and things that like to swallow whole. Its fun. I hated the name though.

I surprisingly vote keep.

*In a hushed voice* Most "swallow whole" beings, even those you mentioned, are unlikely to ever fail their Fort saves here though.

Darkjoy wrote:

Whisper stone

Cool item but I would have changed it like this:

The illusion should have DC's stated, it shouldn't auto-succeed.

For that added touch, the user needs to whisper the details of the illusion to the stone....

Hm hm ... well, it is always a bit awkward, as people would have to "interact" with the illusion to validate a save. Obviously, auto-succeed was and is not intended. About a dozen odd possibilities spring to mind, e.g. does you "actively interact" with something about 30 feet away which just sprang into existence? Obviously, the DC as such is not that hard to calculate, though I might have squeezed it in nonetheless, since there was a bit of room left with regards to word count.

So I'll lay my head on the block as well. Feel free to swing the axe.
This is an item I always wanted my nasty rogues to have ...

Whisper Stone

These rune-engraved stones have the size of a sling bullet and are usually crafted for thieves' or assassins' guilds. A whisper stone can be thrown as a ranged attack with a range increment of 20 feet, and on impact resolves into a preset illusion which shall act as a timely distraction. Rogues use these items to draw away the attention of a target intended for a sneak attack or wrong-track possible pursuers after such a deed.
The stones are crafted with a raw silent image and ghost sound spell, who can be attuned by the rogue for a purpose needed at the time. To attune a whisper stone, the rogue has to hold it in a hand and concentrate on the images and sounds required for 5 rounds. A whisper stone can be attuned only once and the image and sound remain for 5 rounds, behaving exactly like programmed for every single round.

Faint illusion; CL 5th; Craft Wondrous Item, ghost sound, silent image; Price 344 gp; Weight 0.05 lb.

Designer's notes:

Words: 172

The stones were developed as use-activated, single-use wondrous items, with a duration pushed to 5 rounds for 'ghost sound' (CL). The concentration-linked duration of 'silent image' was circumvented with a required number of rounds of concentration while programming/attuning the stone.
As it is an item with similar abilities, i.e. two illusion spells which are used at the same time, the following rule was applied for calculating the prices in gold and XP:

Multiple Similar Abilities
For items with multiple similar abilities that don’t take up space on a character’s body use the following formula: Calculate the price of the single most costly ability, then add 75% of the value of the next most costly ability, plus one-half the value of any other abilities.

Base calculation
Silent image - 1st level spell - 1 x 1 x 50 = 50 GP
Ghost sound - 0 level spell - (= 1/2 cost of 1st level = 25 GP x 0,75) = 19 GP

Total: Market Price: 69 GP, Cost to create: 35 GP, 3 XP.

Whisper Stone calculation (CL 5)
Silent image - 1st level spell - 1 x 5 x 50 = 250 GP
Ghost sound - 0 level spell - (= 1/2 cost of 1st level x 0,75) = 94 GP

Total: Market Price: 344 GP, Cost to create: 172 GP, 14 XP.

Well, I'll lay my head on the block as well. It's an item I always wanted my rogues to use ... and a simple one as well.

... ah mea culpa. Wrong thread. Mine was no "alternate" and thus switched to the more approriate thread.

Thraxus wrote:

Wings are not the only controversy, the creature's size is too.

Pulled from Wikipedia.

The size of Balrogs is also a matter of dispute. For example, in his notes, Tolkien states:

"[the Balrog] strode to the fissure, no more than man-high yet terror seemed to go before it."'
The History of Middle-earth Volume VII (The Treason of Isengard), X The Mines of Moria II: The Bridge

Yes, but wouldn't this also apply if the balrog simply bowed down to pass through these halls?

Anyway, the whole description of a balrog perfectly matches that of the balors of D&D, at least in the current edition.

Congrats for making the last 32 Christine!

By my reckoning you're the only female amongst them and one out of two Europeans! So go for it and give us a great land as well!

More on the Anvil a bit later.

Actually, my first Underdark campaign was without any drow, which might surprise those who know me :-).

No, roundabout 1997/8 we played Night Below over in Britain and it was such a great game that I bought the box myself and played it - this time as a DM - over here in Germany. Lot's of work went into it though, as I had to convert it to 3E and 3RE in the process, along with changing large parts of the final book.

Anyways, Underdark is a must have these days, as it details the environment like no other book these days. A look into Sandstorm (lack of food, water and all) might be useful as well. Make sure that there is enough flexibility in the adventure too. If they have to cut their way through miles of miles of tunnels and monsters, the fun will run out sooner or later. Of course, getting in and out of the Underdark (at least that of Faerûn) is not always easily done.

I'd suggest that you draw up a decent list of events, places and monsters and incorporate them in the plot, always keeping in mind that PCs will not have much flexibility in their choice. You see, on the surface, they might decide to go north when the actual tradeway goes from west to east ... just for fun, a.k.a. monster bashing (or to annoy you). This choice is rather limited in the tunnels of the Underdark.

Clark Peterson wrote:
That's right. Never. Being the demon prince of undead pretty much means I'm up late. After all, I've got a harem of succubii to least until 4E comes out and they make them devils (curse you!)

There are still the lilitu (FC I), of course. But then again, the demon prince of undead (i.e. Orcus?) deserves such a fate! If only for harrassing Kiaransalee!

I for one be a little bit at a loss with regards to how "a country" is defined? The only source I have for reference on Pathfinder is the free download PG which presents Standpoint. But that's a city, not a country ...

First, anything by Paul S. Kemp can be considered a treat.

Second, if you are not willing to start off with trilogies et al, stand alone's like Mistress of Night, The Black Bouquet, Escape from Undermountain or Darkvision do a world of good when it comes to envisage the Realms as they should be perceived.

I am a bit at a loss with people saying that they cannot find "empty" spaces within the Realms, i.e. those 20odd million square miles which make up "Faerûn". Furthermore, there are a few so-called Terrae Icognitae which can be used be DMs to their hearts' content too, or, if need be, a simple switch back in time (say 5,000 years) too.
I placed my Night Below campaign in northern Impiltur, the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil in eastern Damaara without much problem.

Eberron's empty spaces are presumably there because they had not enough time to fill them as yet. As I said, you get about as many Eberron sourcebooks as you get 3E FR books. Wait another 10 years and rest assured, people will cry out for a new setting.

A game world simply has to develope over time in- and out of setting, for it would simply not realistic to have people using magic and flying on dragonback while leaving vast stretches of land unexplored for more than ... FR timescale ... 25,000odd years.

Joseph Yerger wrote:
Aside from that, Forgotten Realms as a novel based setting is alright in my book; except for the increasing prevalence of Drow, good Drow, Drizzt in every day life. People talk about Drizzt's mom being the meanest or worst Drow, what about Eclavadra? (Greyhawk, she was a pain in everyone's A$$).

As I said before ... make sure that you do not mix up "number of novel volumes published" with "importance to the setting". Drizzt is very much a cult hero amongst the novel readers (and heroic apprentice gamers maybe), but within the setting, he's virtually a non-entity. Same with the WotSQ thing ... the whole six-book series was important to the drow, but the rest of Faerûn hardly noticed. And this hardly already includes the CotSQ campaign.

I was actually somewhat surprised to see Artemis listed amongst the vilesto fo the vilest in one of the latest Dragons, right next to said Eclavdra, Manshoon, Igglwiv, Iuz, LOLTH (!) and what have you. For the assassin is just a single character who is hardly in the shakers-and-movers union like the others mentioned there. Warped perspectives, IMHO.

NB: I thing I did not mention above - novels. It is a fact that many FR novels are best sellers* and as such you would be surprised if they would not be included in the setting - especially if they cover important persons or events.

The problem is that sometimes these novels take up a) a far greater publicity than they ought to and b ) more importance when it comes to pushing events forward than sourcebooks.

With regard to "a)", just take a look at Drizzt. He's got novels galore and people apparently have a lot of fun reading his trials and tribulations. But to me, he always remained that loner renegade drow up there in as unimportant a stretch of the Realms you can find. I mean, if I want to find out about vampires or the U.S.A., I don't solely look through the "Buffy - The Vampire Slayer"'s glasses, do I?

B ) ... well, there was a time when FR novels featured some heroic tales of some minor characters, people who would not change the Realms as such. That focus is still there, but over the course of the last few years, trilogies have been released shedding more light on Realms-shaking events. That - of course - goes hand in hand with an annoying wait till such a trilogy finishes. (Archwizards, Last Mythal, The Haunted Lands, Lady Penitent ... and WotSQ just takes the biscuit.) On the same note, sourcebooks covering or updating certain stretches have become quite rare - well, if you consider that some of the designers already knew about 4E and probably Spellplague, there's no wonder - on hindsight.

In any case, you probably have to weigh up the monetary gains from all things FR here too. After all, WotC have to sell to survive and they will - as all business do - keep the cash cows well fed. So we will have to "endure" a few more Drizzt novels, whether we like him or not.**

BTW, I was somewhat "impressed" last night. A friend of mind has acquired all sourcebooks that there are on Eberron - in its relatively short existence - and seeing them books all stacked up I would hazard a guess that they already have overtaken the 3E/3RE sourcebooks on the Realms published since 2000. No wonder the novels have taken over the Realms ...

*Then again you wonder what does it not malke onto the NYT Bestseller List, don't you? No disrespect whatsoever, but sometimes ...
** Worst thing that actually happened with the revelations in The Orc King was the fact that Drizzt will live in-setting for another 100 years. (Takes a bit of a spoiler note, don't it? I mean, we all know now that the chap is essentially bullet-proof in all the next dozen novels ...)

Well, matter of factly, I cannot say too much about other settings, as I virtually never touched Greyhawk, Birthright or the other D&D settings. I do have a bit of experience in Earthdawn and the German version of D&D, i.e. DSA (Das Schwarze Auge / The Black Eye), as well as Eberron.

I essentially started with the Realms and still hold them dear. I can understand why people get annoyed with some of its features and cannot understand the Ragnageddon which is planned for the 4E Realms.

The Realms as a setting and it's bashers look to me like a football club (I'm speaking of the game with the ball at the players' feet, just in case) and their supporters. They were developed over 30odd years, catering to the demands at the time, no matter whether these were the demands of the designers, the publisher or the players. The pattern in the early 90s seemed plain enough: provide a large game place with a setting for fantasy middle age Europe-, Inka/Maya-, desert-, nomadic- and far eastern-style games.* It didn't take off and over the course of the last decade, the Realms were moved back to a more original middle age high fantasy setting. High Fantasy, btw., does include lots of mages. I never ever felt the weight of those thousands of mages looking over my shoulder as a DM or player either. For the current Realms cover 20odd million square miles of space to play in and to enjoy. You will - if you care to look - always find a place to suit your needs, whether this means barren lands with half an orc every few miles, or a bustling city full of mages and the like.

Gods? Too many? Why? Plenty is good! The Romans had 140 deities, the Greeks too, the Celts more than 400. What's bad about that? Too much choice? Come on! If you make your drivers licence, you don't stop driving just because you are suddenly facing the tough choice of which car to buy! The greater the choice, the better. No-one forces you to read all entries about each and every god. But as much as a wizard studies all those 1000 spells he gets in 3RE, a cleric can start studying a few more than the hardcore-FR big gun deities.

Why the football remark? Well, fans tend to be on a high or bitterly disgruntled during their course of support. You have bad seasons and players, and you have good ones. Usually, people only remember the good ones and the good games. If you start asking for all the wrong things though - bungs, scandals, you name it - people will start up a list that wrenches your gut in no-time. But that is not exactly what makes up the history of or the feelings for a club. There will always be good times and bad times and as with my footie, so I go with the Realms: I take what I need, enjoy the good times and try to leave the bad ones behind to the best of my ability. I have no problem ignoring a few dozen chosen that MIGHT happen by, or the gut-wrenching 5:1 drubbing my team suffered 56 months ago. It is the joy of the game that makes me like the FR or my footie team and watch/play it. and so far, I have not met a setting that gave/gives me so much fun like the Realms, nor a team that is better than the Rangers. That is not to say I am not open to new things, changes, or new horizons, of course.

*You see, Eberron is actually not that different. You get a patchwork of dragon-, elven-, psifolk- and giant-/(not really) drow- continents instead of your Kara-turs, Mazticas or Evermeets.

Edited article above:
Just as a sidenote ... the Götterdämmerung, i.e. a German version for Ragnarök (which is not an exact translation though), in the Nordic sagas is not exactly an end of the world. This "end of days" or "Judgement Day" stuff reminds of Christian beliefs, but is most likely just an interpretation of what the skald heard on this matter. A number of deities (e.g. Balder) and humans actually survived it all (very Noah-like) or were resurrected and a new life cycle began/begins.
That said, people should take note that this is just a saga and we know near to nothing about the true belief amongst the Norse folk, vikings et al.

Not that bad an article ...

Just as a sidenote ... the Götterdämmerung, i.e. German for Ragnarök, in the Nordic sagas is not exactly an end of the world. This "end of days" or "Judgement Day" stuff was actually/apparently added to this cycle of sagas on the Nordic gods when these people started to became Christians. At least as far as I know. A number of deities (e.g. Balder) and humans actually survived it all (very Noah-like) or were resurrected and a new life cycle began/begins.
That said, people should take note that this is just a saga and we know near to nothing about the true belief amongst the Norse folk, vikings et al.

Not that bad an article ...

I was in a way somewhat dissappointed with this article. Not the article as such - which was indeed a real treat - but the rather short sequence of articles on one and the same demon lord. The Book of Vile Darkness had him, the recently published Fiendish Codex I as well ... so I would have hoped for different, yet unseen or unheard of Abyssal Lords.

Anyway ... I haven't dug too deep into Pathfinder, but do Demon Lords feature in there as much as in "Core D&D"?

Seems I need to get into contact with that man soon. Maybe my plan for the "Demonicon of the woman with the unpronouncable name" just switched sides ...

WormysQueue wrote:
Zanan wrote:
Pathfinder needs some more exploration before I comment.

But I'd be quite interested in what you have to say about the Drow of (under) Golarion (next year in the "Second Darkness"-AP). :)

Welcome to the boards, this is a pleasant surprise.

We are everywhere ... but not everyone knows it.

(But now you have suddenly increased my interest a thousandfold. Drow of Golarion ... hm ...)

No-one mentions the deicide among the drow deities? Shame on you surfacers! ;-)

Regarding the changes that will come with 4E ... those wanting to ignore it could (and yes, I know that it is a big "could") simply switch back in time, for there are still 20,000odd years of Faerûnian history without Spellplague needing to bother anyone of you in the slightest. But the sting of the knoweldge that there WILL be a "Ragnageddon" coming your way still hurts.

Ever since the War of the Spider Queen (stretching over 6 novels (or rather 9, as it unfolds now) and 4 years in real time - in essence some 150 to 200 game sessions) I stopped playing close to the current timeline. Just take Lady Penitent or The Haunted Lands as examples. Players and DM still have to wait what unfolds there till mid-/late-2008 ... and the omens from TGHotR simply kill all games set amongst the drow or in Thay, as players and DM hardly have a clue what will happen there. Or has happened to those not mentioned in the novels so far. (E.g., the Vhaeraunian drow of Cormanthor or Ched Nasad or Chaulssin ... should have all converted or exited the faiths by now. But have they? Or converted to whom?)

I know that I won't leave the Realms because of 4E. Neither will I join the growing Eberron following (this setting has not yet managed to spark my interest). Pathfinder needs some more exploration before I comment.

Rezdave wrote:
Molech wrote:
Rezdave, your CR equivilent breakdown of Beholders, Mind Flayers and Drow is not accurate BECAUSE the number of CR 2 drow in any society gets smaller and smaller while the number of CR<2 drow gets larger and larger.

You mean the number of CR>2 drow increases, but I know where you're coming from. Then again, there would presumably have been leveled Illithids and leveled or advanced Beholders.

This was the simple version. If you assume ratios among Drow and Mind Flayer society are roughly equal for leveled members then the numbers hold. This was just a quickie comparison and I intentionally cut corners.


The CR comparisson lags, of course. The political structure of drow cities have been detailed in various sources and you will hardly find simple MM drow warrior 1 en masse opposing e.g. these MM mindflayers. Drow characters are indeed far more likely to advance in levels than mindflayers (if both survive), for the latter already start off with an ECL of 15. But I would assume that this wasn't your point anyway, right?

Just keep in mind that the D&D drow where intended to be Chaotic Evil, especially their raiding parties and priestesses. That was the general lay out and this has come down to us through the years in lorebooks and novels time and again.

Obviously, society and all came later on and if you think carefully on it, a CE society does not exactly work long enough under all the alignment guidelines - unless there is a certain structure or regime in place. Most knowledge presented on drow (FR- or otherwise) shows us the MM-Lolthite beat-them-up version. Making assumptions from that or the presentation in novels (who often solely focus on the CE evil priestesses and their doings rather than society as a whole) will obviously lead to conflicting views.

IMHO, the NE alignment for the race and society as a whole fits them best ... and I kindly disregard the turn-the-new alignment-on-its-head-again sidebar in the new Drow of the Underdark. But that's just me.

IMHO, the value and importance of alignment is vastly overrated ... but why not let the drow speak for themselves, aye?

Here you find what Quenthel Baenre of Menzoberranzan, Mistress of the Academy called Arach-Tinilith has to say about drow and their alignment:

The traitor elves of the World Above professed to hate evil. In reality, Quenthel thought, they feared what they didn't understand. Thanks to the tutelage of Lolth, the drow did, and having understood it, they embraced it.
For evil, like chaos, was one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the individual soul. As chaos gave rise to possibility and imagination, so evil engendered strength and will. It made sentient beings aspire to wealth and power. It enabled them to subjugate, kill , rob, and deceive. It allowed them to do whatever was required to better themselves with never a crippling flicker of remorse.
Thus, evil was responsible for the existence of civilization and for every great deed any hero had ever performed. Without it, the people of the world would live like animals. It was amazing that so many races, blinded by false religion and philosophies, had lost sight of this self-evident truth. In contrast, the dark elves had based a society on it, and that was one of the points of superiority that served them to exalt them above all other races.

War of the Spider Queen I - Dissolution, p. 243

+ + +
Dark elves are courteous, urbane folk, and can be very amiable companions when they have no pressing reason to kill you.

Much of the alignment problem stems back from the 1stE and AD&D drow perception as a vile monster race. They were invented to be mean and evil, thus they got the respective alignment out "culture". As this did not work in 3E and after a deeper look into their civilization's workings, it was sensibly changed to NE. And if you look carefully, you'll find that much of what we know of drow society is just about the clergy (of Lolth) as well as the ongoings amongst the nobles in the drow houses - which in Forgotten Realms terms represent about 5 to 10 % of society.

Essentially, the drow have a militaristic and very hierarchical society, lead by a church which appears to be chaotic from the inside, but which does indeed follow a rigid dogma too. It's not like the drow - including the priestesses - indulge in slaughter each and every day. Lolth herself is said to be "chaos" personified too, but she does indeed care for her race and once it gets into difficulty, she is quick to order ceasefires or the like. Mind you, she even dictates that mindless slaughter amongst the drow to enhance one's own position is not approved by her ... and those who commit it will eventually stand before her throne and have to justify their deeds. Not that happy a thought, aye?

That said, I never been strict with the alignment rules of 3E, one-step and all, as it does not always represent the specific deity in question. Hence, I went back ... ahem ... never went away from the alignment rules on clergy and worshippers as given in the books of the Faiths & Avatars series, with regards to the Forgotten Realms. And they say: LE? No problem, even for the clergy.

Well ... massive money has been spend in my group on 3,5E material, not that much on 3E stuff. Since my favourite setting, the Forgotten Realms will not see an update since virtually the end of next year and virtually being mauled left, right and centre, the hesitency to change to 4E in both rules and in-setting time is quite tangible.

Does the 4E actually offers that much of an improvement? Much of what was wrong with 3E was rooted out with 3,5E. The system works well enough and the cosmetics needed here and there do not require a large scale overhaul of rules and setting anyway.

There is surely no doubt whatsoever that 4E will bring D&D to a new level, but I for one would have no problem with 3,5E material from Paizo or other publishers for a year more or so. It is not that WotC provide us with tons of ready-to-use adventures that makes us dependend on just one publisher.

Essentially, I would not even mind if Third Party publishers continue on the 3,5E path for a longer period, since the basis for 3,5E gaming is there and very much settled. One just hopes that the 3,5E SRDs and OGL does not simply die with the ascendance of 4E.