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    3.5 Drow Greyhawk-style?
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 13, 2005
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    Wed Mar 30, 2005 5:19 am  
    3.5 Drow Greyhawk-style?

    Has anyone un-updated the 3.5 version of the Drow to give them back their "melting magic items?"

    My players will be heading below to face a few Drow in an upcoming adventure (assuming they actually get around to doing it, and assuming they don't all get killed by another goblin/bizarre die rolls scenario again*). I dislike what they've done with the Drow in 3.5--they've taken away their special magic items.

    I intend to "fix" that little change for my campaign, so I'm wondering if anyone else has given it any thought.

    *3rd-level TPK by one goblin. Nobody could roll above a 5 to hit the thing, and it rolled almost nothing but 19s and 20s when attacking. "Law of averages" strikes at the weirdest times and in the funniest of ways! Laughing
    Mad Archmage of the Oerth Journal

    Joined: Dec 09, 2002
    Posts: 342
    From: Ohio

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    Wed Mar 30, 2005 10:05 am  

    Simple solution have the weapons made with a magnesium alloy, this would mean when the metals hit fresh air and sunlight at once they will burst into flame (like a road flare) and become useless.
    we'll say a magnesium/ adamantine alloy which would allow for elasticity plus the strength/ hardness of the adamantine.
    One the magnesium is burnt out the adamantine is pitted, and the blade is basically useless. from that point on it won't hold an edge and is a chunk of metal, that is if the magnesium content isnt greater than the adamantine. If thats the case you get a nice pile of ash. =)

    Just a thought. =)
    -Rick "Duicarthan" Miller
    Editor-in-Chief, Oerth Journal
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 31, 2005 1:06 am  

    Then there's value. 3.5 includes value of magical items in its CR, so in order to squeeze old-style Drow magic items onto the right-level Drow, they need to be of reduced value.
    Mad Archmage of the Oerth Journal

    Joined: Dec 09, 2002
    Posts: 342
    From: Ohio

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    Thu Mar 31, 2005 3:09 pm  

    Because of the weapons/ armors frailties (even for Drow above ground) I would have the items cost change to 1/2 or 3/4 the normal market price.

    Now keep in mind, this also allows you to have the drow (a strong magical society), generate these items in a much more expediant fashion.
    Just a thought for ya there.
    -Rick "Duicarthan" Miller
    Editor-in-Chief, Oerth Journal

    Thu Mar 31, 2005 7:08 pm  

    The 3.5 FR Underdark book has Drowcraft items that are charged by faerezz (the magical radiation in the Underdark; this is also the energy that makes teleporting in and out of the Underdark difficult like in 1E). Drowcraft items give a +1/+1 Luck bonus in areas of faerezz. In the sunlight they "melt", however (like in the old days).

    However, the book also speaks of Dark Oil that the drow can apply to their Drowcraft blades when they come to the surface. The Dark Oil is only temporary and needs to be reapplied every 24-hours or something.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Thu Mar 31, 2005 11:21 pm  

    Duicarthan wrote:
    Just a thought for ya there.

    And a good thought too. I'm just about to sit down and do some calculations to see what I need to get done.

    Anonymous wrote:
    The 3.5 FR Underdark book....

    Aw, jeez--I gotta buy a FR book to play GH-style Drow?? First I hear WotC is dropping the Greyhawk line, and now this??

    *sputter* *sputter* *sputter*

    [turmoil] I buy that book to use one little bit of it in my Greyhawk campaign, and they turn around and say, "See? FR is more popular than Greyhawk, so we were right to drop it." [/turmoil]

    I am too bitter and shallow a man to give them that. I'd rather turn to a life of crime first. Idea Maybe I'll just give up D&D completely and look into selling arms to third-world nations.... Mad
    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 10, 2005
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    From: Muncie Indiana

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    Thu Apr 07, 2005 3:19 am  

    Try browsing the book instead of buying it ahead of time. It will save you money and you will have the info you need if you're only looking for basic information. If you can't find try Feel free to ask someone that owns the books about them if you'd like to get a good idea of the content.

    Edited by Duicarthan 04-07-05 11:25AM EST
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:42 am  

    Yup yup, that's part of my current plan.

    Always good advice though, thanks.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Jun 18, 2004
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    Fri Apr 08, 2005 2:59 pm  
    Drow Items

    I haven't gone and done the "melting magic items" yet, but the drow my guys are facing are a "Rogue House", banished to the surface.... However, one possible thread does have them going underground.

    IIRC, FR handles Drow items as an additional +1 in the Underdark, +2 in areas of high magical radiation, and they go "poof" after a few days above ground. I think this is called "drowcrafted", and is applied to already enchanted items.

    The old-school ones were just naturally imbued with power, and became pitted and brittle two weeks after exposure to sunlight, or a month or so aboveground if not exposed to sunlight.

    My take on it: Any Drow-made weapons, armor, or cloaks of Masterwork quality will gain an "enchantment equivalent" of at least +1 after a month of exposure to the radiation in the Underdark. This level of "enchantment equivalent" can go as high as +4, but requires some serious craftmanship to achieve that level of sensitivity to the magical radiation.

    The item is considered magical for all practical purposes, except Detect Magic (although I'm tempted to allow this). It ignores DR/magic, and can have further enchantments placed on it.

    Exposure to sunlight (even indirectly) will destroy Drow weapons in a week's time. Removal from the underdark environment will cause them to lose a +1 every week (although they do not lose the Masterwork quality). Taking them back to the UD environment will cause them to gain it back at a rate of +1 a month.


    PS: As far as the 3.5 "game balance algebra", I really don't give a flying rodent's sphincter about such minutiae (no offense to those who do). As I see it, all rules are merely guidelines. Nothing should bind the DM's hands. (Except for maybe his girlfriend, and then only in very special circumstances. Embarassed )

    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 24, 2001
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    Mon Apr 11, 2005 8:50 am  

    For those concerned with game balence

    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Dec 19, 2003
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    Thu Aug 18, 2005 1:44 pm  

    To borrow from MST3K:

    Party member: What?!? Your special items decay in sunlight? Thats unfair, and bad for game balance.

    Drow: What did you expect? WE'RE EVIL!
    Black Hand of Oblivion

    Joined: Feb 16, 2003
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    From: So. Cal

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    Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:17 am  

    I don't have a problem with disintegrating drow equipment as either a player or a DM. The original 1e drow equipment was set up the way it was so that a squad of level 2 drow fighters actually had a chance of at least being a nuisance to the party of 8th-10 level adventurers that were invading their territory. Those drow couldn’t really take all that much damage, but the main point was that even the lowliest drow was equipped extremely well. There was not meant to be anything “fair” about that. Drow had good equipment, good magic resistance, and just enough useful innate abilities to be a real nuisance.

    When I went through the GDQ series as a player, I wasn’t upset when all of my drow-craft items disintegrated. Nobody was. Of course we all knew it was going to happen anyways. Did we feel cheated, or were we upset little winers? Not at all. It was just something else that added to the mystique of the drow. And besides, during the adventures all of our characters had found some great items of non-drow manufacture anyways that were most often at least as good as if not better than the drow craft stuff, or better suited to us.

    On occasion we did use drow craft items, but very rarely, and not because we all had huge amounts of magical armor and weapons. The first reason was that we had heavier armor than chainmail, and usuallyit was magical if only a little. The second reason was that most of us used weapons other than a shortsword, dagger, or mace, or used a larger shield than a buckler. The third reason is a simple one- many of the characters could not even make use of the items. The mage might pick up a dagger, but was he really going to use it? If so, then things really had fit the fan if the mage was going wooly berzerker with a dagger in melee. Some didn't want to use the itmes or werren't proficient in their use. The rogues used the most drow stuff, but even still not all that much.

    You can’t have adventurers coming out of an adventure with all the loot of having fought against drow totaling in the hundreds, all with permanently magical Elven chain, bucklers, shortswords and daggers. Talk about glutting the market with items! To allow such a thing is just Monte Hall.

    SKR’s rant seems to miss the whole point of why the rules for drow items were written the way they were in GDQ. “But it’s not fair!” Well hell, neither is running into every enemy that has an unholy weapon that you can’t use. Do I wine? No! I bust out the ol’ evil crushing warhammer and destroy that sucka! The point is, things don’t always go your way and not everything is made just for you, but at least drow weapons can be used where they were intended to be used, and they can be used by anyone who just happens to be there, which is in the Underdark.

    Besides, I’d rather not be a player in, or run players through an adventure where they will literally come away with thousands of magic items (and that is just the weapons and armor!) if they can find a way to transport them all to the surface. It is just bad economics, if not possibly the worst case of a Monte Hall scenario in the making.

    I like the mytique, and I'd run the old modules just how they were intended to be, and with the same effects of drow items disintegrating in the sun. If the players want to make some easy money then keep the drow stuff hidden and sell it at night. Best make sure to be long gone by the morning though, for there will be some pissed off customers with useless piles of dust.
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    Last edited by Cebrion on Sun Sep 25, 2005 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 30, 2005 6:17 am  

    I'm still working out how to properly generate the CR for 2nd level Drow warrior properly equipped. I think averaging the appropriate CR 2 with the CR of a creature that can afford all the equipment they have at full price.
    Adept Greytalker

    Joined: May 14, 2003
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    From: the Free City of Dyvers (Kansas City, MO)

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    Thu Sep 01, 2005 6:29 pm  

    Listen, if you're the DM, just make it that the drow items melt or otherwise become useless on the surface. You don't need some rule to tell you that - you're the freakin' DM! Myself, i don't see a problem letting the PC accquire drow items; any item they get has a chance of being ruined or lost in some way...
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Sat Sep 10, 2005 1:40 pm  
    my conversion notes

    A few notes: This is a Greyhawk module, and with sticking to the stats presented in the original adventures, the characteristics scores for Drow encountered are calculated using G. Gygax’s ability score ranges listed under the drow entry at the back of each adventure. In addition, for those who wish to keep the Greyhawk drow much closer to the original, the additional level-based spells from the first edition stats are also included. 3.5 DM’s who want to keep the stats lower powered to the 3.5 monster Manual should simply disregard the bonus class/gender based spells original Greyhawk drow possess (with the exception of the ‘All Drow’ spells, which have remained unchanged). These include the following:

    All drow, 1/day: Dancing Lights, Darkness, Faerie Fire

    Any drow with 4 or more class levels, 1/day: Detect Magic, Detect good (Know Alignment was dropped in 3.0), Levitate

    Female Drow only, 1/day: Clairaudience/Clairvoyance, Discern Lies, Dispel magic, Suggestion

    These spells are cast as a sorcerer of the drow’s total class level, or as a sorcerer at the minimum level required to use the spell in question.

    Ability Scores: The average ability score for Greyhawk drow females and males are listed below (rounded down). These are before any adjustment for character levels.

    Female: Str 11, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 15, Wis 13, Cha 14
    Male: Str 8, Dex 17, Con 10, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 12

    Racial Abilities: +2 to Will saves vs spells & spell-like abilities, +2 to Enchantment magic saves, immune to magical Sleep, Darkvision 120’, Spell Resistance: 11+ class levels. +2 racial bonuses to listen, search and spot checks. Coming within 5’ of a secret door entitles the drow to a free spot check. Greyhawk drow are very stealthy (according to their original write up), gaining a +4 racial bonus to hide and move silently checks. Drow struck with bright light (such as sunlight, or a Daylight spell) are blinded for 1 round, and remained dazzled as long as they stay within the area of the illumination. Although there is no official rule for it, female drow might gain a +5 racial bonus to their intimidate checks vs. male drow, at your discretion (this would go a ways to countering the high intimidation score male fighters have, without neutering them against other males).

    Greyhawk drow weapons, Cloak and boots: Greyhawk drow weapons receive their magic-like pluses from the weird radiations of the drow homeland, as well as their mixture of adamantine alloy. As noted in the module, these items irreversibly rot when exposed to sunlight (Faerzress weapons from the Realms have borrowed upon this). Though fine weapons, Greyhawk drow arms are not always necessarily masterwork quality, nor do their magic-like abilities require them to be. Drow cloaks grant a +5 competence bonus to hide checks. Drow boots grant a +5 competence bonus to move silently checks. The bonuses for cloak and boots, as well as armor check penalty, have already been added to drow skill totals. All drow, unless otherwise noted, are assumed to be wearing the boots and cloak their race is noted for (for some hefty Hide/move silent mods for these elves). Greyhawk drow wear a fine mesh of black elven chain mail armor, similar to that found in the 3.5 DMG (does not impeded the drow’s normal 30’ movement speed, has an arcane spell failure of 20%, Max Dex bonus +4, armor check pent: -2, light armor, weighs 20 lbs). The armor check penalty for this chain mail has been added to the skill rank totals. All Greyhawk drow receive proficiency in the shortsword, hand crossbow (exotic weapon) and either dart or javelin as bonus weapon proficiencies. Drow hand crossbows are of the Small variety. Greyhawk Drow knockout poison requires a primary and secondary DC 15 Fort save or unconscious for 2d4 hours. Drow carry 1d4-1 doses each, and each dose is sufficient to cover 1 shortsword or 1 dagger, or 10 hand crossbow bolts.
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