Publication:Unearthed Arcana/Drow Paragon
|This material is published under the OGL|
Separated from the rest of the elven people by a legacy of deceit, betrayal, and evil, the drow are easily one of the most dangerous of the humanoid races. Most drow paragons embody all their race’s evil nature and delight in calculated cruelty, but some manage to pull away from this dark path, instead embodying the potential that all elves share for beauty, grace, and martial skill.
Drow society is full of intrigue and fierce competition. Even the most able drow paragons can do little more to advance their race than to strive against the machinations of other powerful drow. When they succeed in breaking away from drow culture and its cruel influence, however, good-aligned drow paragons can be the most able and successful members of their race.
Making a Drow Paragon
Drow paragons have the following game statistics.
Abilities: Drow paragons favor fighting from ambush, making Dexterity important for its role in sneaking and striking with ranged weapons. Wisdom helps in detecting a potential foe before the foe detects the drow in turn. Strength is also important due to its obvious role in melee combat.
Alignment: Any. The vast majority of drow, including most drow paragons, are unrelentingly evil. However, the few good-aligned drow who survive their formative years are actually quite likely to gain levels in the drow paragon class. This makes good-aligned drow paragons more frequent than good drow of other classes, but still nowhere near as common as evil-aligned drow paragons.
|1st||+0||+0||+2||+0||Improved Spell-Like Abilities||+1 level of cleric or wizard|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Improved Darkvision (+30 ft.), Light Sensitivity||—|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Ability Boost (Dex +2)||+1 level of cleric or wizard|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the drow paragon class.
Spellcasting: At 1st and 3rd level, a female drow paragon gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in cleric. A male drow paragon instead gains new spells per day as if he had gained a level of wizard. The paragon does not, however, gain any other benefit a character of that class would have gained (bonus metamagic feats, and so on). This essentially means that the character adds the level of drow paragon to her level in cleric or wizard, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.
If the drow paragon is female and has no levels in cleric, or is male and has no levels in wizard, this class feature has no effect.
Improved Spell-Like Abilities: At 1st level, a drow paragon gains one additional daily use of each of her innate spell-like abilities.
Light Sensitivity (Ex): A 2nd-level drow paragon’s light blindness is lessened to light sensitivity. Instead of being blinded by bright light, she is merely dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Playing a Drow Paragon
Religion: Much of drow culture is dominated by religion, and the powerful priestesses who rule drow society see drow paragons as tools—more skilled than other ambitious drow, perhaps, but no more inherently valuable. This outlook chafes against the drow paragons own belief that she is the elite of her race. As a result, drow paragons are unlikely to follow religion of any kind when removed from the direct influence of the drow priestesses.
Other Classes: Drow paragons see members of other classes as tools. They value a broad skill set in those with whom they associate, provided they can control the actions of these associates when the need arises. Drow paragons are willing to work with anyone they can manipulate to their own ends.
That said, drow paragons often see fighters as ideal companions because they combine great martial proficiency with physical prowess, while at the same time they are typically incapable of matching the drow’s stealth and subtlety—ensuring that the drow paragon can gain the upper hand whenever desired.
Characteristics: Drow paragons are typically more reserved than other members of their race. Drow paragons consider themselves the elite of drow society, although they are careful about sharing these viewpoints with the powerful priestesses that hold sway over most aspects of drow culture. If anything, drow paragons are even more secretive and devious than average members of their race, and their success in such dangerous society emphasizes their ability to navigate treacherous social environments and manipulate the actions of others. It is said that the day a drow stops scheming is the day of her death.
Background: Drow paragons learn their skills just as other drow do: by succeeding where weaker drow fail. Drow paragons build their skills among the hidden dangers of the subterranean realms and in a society where the powerful freely prey upon the weak. Regardless of alignment or other abilities, drow paragons are all forced at some point to make a decision about their race’s cruel and everpresent religion. Those drow paragons who choose to follow the tenets of the evil priestesses often rise to become deadly lieutenants, carrying out the will of the matriarchs. The few who reject the priestesses’ teachings must do so quietly and covertly, biding their time until they can escape the influence of other drow.
Other Races: Most drow paragons have little use for members of the other races, viewing them only as potential prey or slaves. Good-aligned drow paragons, however, see the merits of interracial cooperation. These paragons seek out adventurers of other races, often coming to relate more to the societies of their adventuring companions than to their own culture.
Drow Paragons in the World
Adventures: Drow paragons adventure for one of two reasons. Those of an evil bent adventure to increase their own personal power, by acquiring wealth and powerful magic items or by improving their combat skills. Those few drow paragons with less selfish motives adventure to remove themselves from the influence of their race’s harsh and cruel society. These latter drow paragons are the ones most likely to be seen in the company of other races.