Note: This material may be considered Mature in nature.
The material below is designated as Open Game Content
The drow construct their cities in large, natural caverns,usually at least a mile across and several hundred feet high. As the city grows, it expands out through the natural stone surrounding the city, creating a warren of tunnels and rooms connected to the city. Seen as a whole, a mature drow city sits at the centre of a web of tunnels extending for miles in every direction and filled with scheming drow, their mercenaries, slaves,and spiders.
The primary sections of a city are the city center, city proper, the tunnels, the perimeter, and the fringe. The city center is at the heart of the city and normally contains the financial districts and most influential and powerful noble houses. Often walled and always heavily protected, the city center is the secular heart of the drow city, without which the rest would quickly fall into ruin.
The city proper is composed mostly of businesses, temples, and the homes of drow. By far the most densely populated of any portion of the city, the city proper is also the heart of the drow religious life.
Temples crop up every few blocks and small shrines dot even the residential areas and busy streets of the business district. If the city center is the heart of the drow city, the city proper is its body and soul. It is from here that the churches lead the city, issuing edicts to the residents of the city and subtly guiding the hands of the nobles, all the while preaching the glory of the dark pantheon of drow culture.
Home to organized crime and less organized gangs of drow schemers and criminals, the tunnels run under and around the city proper and city center. Patrolled only by the agents of those who make their home here,the tunnels are dangerous in the extreme – those who come here to live are willing to protect their territory with extreme violence. Few venture into the tunnels without an armed escort and even fewer leave if they come here looking for trouble.
Encircling the city proper is the perimeter. This area is the edge of the developed city and, as such, is constantly changing. The true perimeter holds a few drow homes in spaces carved from the cavern walls and sometimes carved into the walls themselves. These homes are often the fortresses and estates of petty drow nobles, those too poor or too threatened by life within the city proper or city centre. As the city expands, it overtakes the perimeter, incorporating the structures here as it spreads and pushing the true perimeter further away.
The fringe is the least controlled area of the city and consists mostly of armed garrisons and scout camps. This is the post of the drow armed forces, who patrol the area surrounding the city with an eye toward stopping invasions and preventing the ingress of potentially hostile infiltrators. Those who choose to live here are very rare and face constant trouble and potential disaster should a group of flayers or angry driders come crashing into their estate. Those who do live here normally have something to hide or wish to separate themselves almost entirely from drow culture.
Each section of the city has its own benefits and drawbacks for the construction of a silken stronghold. While living in the city centre provides great access to resources and fantastic protection from outside invaders,it also costs a king’s ransom and puts one at risk from attacks from other noble houses.On the other hand, living in the hinterlands is dirt cheap, but provides access to no resources and creates the risk of being eaten by a flayer if one has a bit of bad luck. The table below illustrates the advantages and disadvantages of living in different sections of a drow city and allows Games Masters to nicely abstract the general composition of different sections of drow cities.
Area: The area of the city the noble house is constructed in.
Resource Availability: Different types of construction and resources can only be had at a given level of availability. A gambling den, for example, requires at least fair resources, while a fungus farm requires no resource availability at all. This is important because a noble house cannot control a resource in an area more affluent than the area in which it is constructed. Thus,while a noble house in the City Centre can control a business anywhere else in the city, and beyond, one built in the perimeter cannot control a resource found in the city proper or city centre.
Resource Modifier: Resources found in different areas provide different levels of income. Modify the income of a resource area by this number to determine the total income (or loss) it provides for the month.
Danger: Drow cities are not truly safe by the standards of surface dwellers. Their chaotic nature and belief in the right of the strong to rule makes their law enforcement spotty, at best, and allows various types of criminal activity to flourish. Couple this with the danger of strange creatures from the Underdeep attacking, and it becomes obvious there is a great deal of danger to go around. The danger rating of each area of the city shows how dangerous the area is (see below for more information).
Cost: This is the cost per unit to construct anything in a particular area of the city.
Upkeep: The cost per unit, per month to maintain an estate in a given area of the city.
Drow City Sections
|Section||Resource Availability||Resource Modifier||Danger||Cost||Upkeep|
|City Centre||Excellent||X10||**||5,000 gp||2,000 gp|
|City Proper||Good||X5||Low||3,000 gp||1,000 gp|
|Perimeter||Fair||X1||Average||1,000 gp||500 gp|
|Tunnels||Poor||X3/4||High||500 gp||300 gp|
|Fringe||*||X1/2||Extreme||200 gp||100 gp|
*The fringe does have some resources available. These are noted in the ‘resources’ section, below.
**The City Centre has dangers all its own, namely the Game of Bones. While there is little danger of being accosted in the street by random criminals, nobles who live in this part of a drow city must be prepared at all times for a sudden attack brought on by the manoeuvrings in the Game of Bones.
Resources of a Drow City
Noble houses need a steady infusion of cash to keep running. All those spies and soldiers have to be paid,not to mention the upkeep and expansion of the estate,or the many luxuries the nobles enjoy. In true drow fashion, the easiest way to get the funds necessary to support their lifestyle, the drow nobility seize control of various businesses and other institutions in the city through elaborate protection rackets. These controls are far from foolproof and have no legal validity,however, and so shift from house to house based on the outcome of the Game of Bones. Such resources are known as ‘contested resources’ and are far from stable investments.
Following are descriptions of the many resources available in a dark elf city. While not an exhaustive list, those resources described below are the foundations of all drow cities. To determine the number and locations of these resources, see the Available Resources section, below.
The drow enjoy fine foods, and the restaurants in mostof their cities serve a wide variety of dishes to suit their tastes. Like luxury merchants, no one needs to eat ata restaurant, but many do for the sheer pleasure of the experience.
Earnings: 10d10 – 5d10 gp
Takeover DC: 15
Required Resources: Poor
Gambling dens, theatres, and other sources ofdrow amusement are all regarded as entertainment venues suitable for control by a drow noble house.Unfortunately, they are also easier to take over than many other types of resource, making them risky investments.
Earnings: 20d20 – 15d10 gp
Takeover DC: 10
Required Resources: Fair
Perhaps the simplest resources to control are the residents of an area. Through clever use of insurance schemes and other protection rackets, housing areas can be converted into profitable assets for a conniving noble house. Though readily available, these areas are also easy to overthrow and can be quite volatile given the disparate nature of the residents. They also provide relatively little income, all things considered.
Earnings: 1d10 – 5d10 gp
Takeover DC: 15
Required Resources: Poor
Closely related to the raw materials business,manufactories create items for sale. Smithies,woodworkers, and other craftsmen are all considered part of the manufactory business.
Earnings: 15d10 – 5d10 gp
Takeover DC: 25
Required Resources: Fair
Staple merchants offer food, clean water, or other basic necessities of life within drow cities. The sell the materials that few drow wish to make, but which all drow need to carry on and, as such, tend to produce a small but steady stream of profits.
Earnings: 5d20 – 5d10 gp
Takeover DC: 15
Required Resources: Fair
Specialized merchants sell things like paper, pens, spell components, and other items needed by specific professions. These merchants can make more money than staple merchants, but the higher prices of their inventory can cost them dearly in lean times.
Earnings: 10d20 – 10d10 gp
Takeover DC: 20
Required Resources: Good
These merchants sell items no one in the city needs,but many want. Whether they sell fine wines or pieces of art, the luxury merchant is in the business of selling items to fill the desires of others.
Earnings: 15d20 – 15d10 gp
Takeover DC: 20
Required Resources: Excellent
The drow need metal, stone, wood, and other raw materials just like any other civilization. These types of resource either procure or make available these resources to those who need them within the city.Though highly profitable, these operations are prone to take over due to their need to remain accessible to a wide variety of individuals and organizations in order to maintain their businesses. Though the risk is great, if protected these resources can prove extremely beneficial to a house.
Earnings: 20d20 – 10d10 gp
Takeover DC: 10
The specifics of different businesses and resources are left to the Games Master’s discretion – it is enough to know the category (merchant, entertainment, etc) of business, however, without needing to know the exact type.
There are a finite number of resources in a drow city, based on its population and overall wealth. To determine the number of each type of business in a given city, please consult the tables below. The population value table consists of the following columns:
Population: The number of individual drow living within the city. It is assumed there are an additional20% more than this number kept in the city as slaves,mercenaries, merchants, or other jobs non-drow may hold in the city.
Areas: These columns denote the number of areas within each section of the drow city. Areas are important because they are what noble houses control.Each area can contain a number of businesses, as seen in the table below.
Noble Houses: The number of noble houses found in a city of this size, on average. This also includes organizations of any power, such as wizard guilds,criminal empires, or trade groups.
Areas by Population
|~Population||City Centre||City Proper||Perimeter||Tunnels||Fringe||Noble Houses|
Business in City Centre Areas
|D100 Roll||Business Type|
Business in City Proper Areas
|D100 Roll||Business Type|
Business in Perimeter Areas
|D100 Roll||Business Type|
Business in Tunnels Areas
|D100 Roll||Business Type|
Business in Fringe Areas
|D100 Roll||Business Type|
Once you know the number of areas available in a drow city, you can then determine the types of business in those areas by consulting the tables below. There is one table for each of the city section types, and each city area will contain 1d6 resources at any given time.
Getting some space in the city centre of a mature drow city to build your new silken stronghold requires one of two things – a great deal of power and influence or an extremely unlikely run of good luck. In most campaigns, the city centre is the domain of powerful,established drow noble houses which are unlikely to part with their living space willingly. Likewise, the tunnels are impossible to gain territory in, unless you are willing to depose one of the current gangs down there and seize their space for your own. In most cases, these two areas of the city are best left to their own devices until you are a more powerful player in the Game.
Conversely, getting space on the fringe or perimeter is very easy. The perimeter, at least, does not even need to be cleared of monster infestations because the guards and military patrol it semi-regularly to prevent any sizeable groups from taking root there. The fringe, on the other hand, is dotted with clusters of vile creatures, each ready and willing to create all manner of havoc for those unfortunate enough to stumble into their lairs or cross their wandering paths.
To take control of an area in the perimeter, a drow need only find some empty space and claim it. Construction can begin immediately and no one will step in and try to stop it – the drow nobility encourages construction and population in the perimeter, as it is by this method that the city grows.
To control an area in the fringe, the drow must clear an area of at least 5 square miles around the site of the stronghold. To do this, he must annihilate, drive out,or bargain with the existing inhabitants of the region– the Games Master should determine who and what these actually are using the encounter tables in SRD as a basis. Once such an area has been cleared, regular patrols must be set in place to keep the region free of encroaching enemies. At least two patrols should be travelling the area at any one time,each with a unit size of at least 10. The Games Master should adjudicate as to the success of these patrols and of which, if any, creatures will attempt to take back the land by attacking the patrols, as well as the effect of the fighter either increasing the size and regularity of thepatrols, or pulling them back after heavy losses.
Once the stronghold has been completed, the drow need only send out one patrol at a time in order to keep the region relatively safe. However, fighters may be determined to increase their region of control,by sending additional patrols to cover more areas of5 square miles each. Once again, two patrols will be needed to do this until a garrison (small fortress)can be built, when only one patrol will be needed for the 5 square mile area. The Games Master is free to adjudicate that certain areas near to the main stronghold no longer need continual patrols once the fighter has established himself in the wilderness and controls at least 20 square miles of territory in total, or is within one mile of the city perimeter.
Perhaps most difficult is obtaining space within the city proper. Though horribly crowded and cramped,the city proper offers the easiest access to the widest variety of shops and other resources, without the ridiculous expense and difficulties inherent in moving into the city centre. But gaining space to construct anything in the city proper is handled by special dispensation from the churches of the drow. In almost all cases, the church requires both a substantial payment and a significant quest undertaken to prove the worthiness of the candidate. Those who succeed
in their quest and have the cash are given the claim of an area of the city decided upon by the church. The church clears the land and evicts the current tenants of the area, but provides no further services.
This method of construction is how the city proper is expanded into the perimeter, as noble houses are allowed to build their estates just inside the edges of the city proper, nearly bordering the perimeter. As businesses move out to take care of the needs of the nobles and their servants move out to be nearer to their masters, the city expands and the perimeter is pushed further out into the fringe.
Building the Stronghold
Once adequate territory has been gained, the fighter can then take the very expensive step of building his stronghold. This will take a great deal of gold and a very long time, but it is only when the last stone is laid that a fighter can truly feel that all his sword work throughout the years has finally been justified, for he will be lord of all he surveys!
To build the stronghold, the fighter need only work through the Construction List below, selecting what he needs. Both players and Games Master should at this point begin drawing up an accurate map of the stronghold, whether it is a small fort or a huge castle, in order to properly gauge what is needed. Players should be warned – there are a lot of very nice options that can be taken when building a stronghold, but they are also very expensive!
There are several rules that a fighter should be aware of when choosing items from the Construction List with which to build his stronghold;
† All the costs of hiring and feeding workers is taken into account within the prices on the Construction List.
† One engineer must be hired for every 50,000 gp, or part of, spent on building the stronghold. See Staff below for further details.
† When building a stronghold in difficult terrain (such as mountains, swamp or desert), all costs on the Construction List must be doubled to take into account the difficulty of creating solid foundations or simply transporting materials through the wilderness.
† The stronghold will take one week to construct for every 2,000 gp spent on the Construction List. The fighter may reduce this time to one week for every 5,000 gp by increasing all costs by 50% as he hires more workers.
† All constructions may be built larger than their base size listed below on the Construction List. Doubling any dimension (height, width or length) will double the cost of the construction. Tripling any dimension will also triple the cost. Such costs are cumulative – for example, a wall doubled to 60 ft. high will cost 8,000 gp. If the width of it is also doubled to 40 ft. wide, the final cost will be 16,000 gp. No dimension may be more than tripled in size and no construction may be more than twice as high as its
† When increasing the size of a construction, the Structure Points of it will also increase in proportion to the cost increase. So, for example, the wall above would have 600 Structure Points when its height was doubled, and 1,200 when its width was also doubled.
† All constructions are considered to have a Hardness score of 8. This may be increased to 10 by doubling the final cost of the construction.
† All constructions are assumed to have adequate doors, trapdoors, windows and arrow slits, as the player desires.
|Barbican||55,000 gp||40 ft.||20 ft.||100 ft.||800|
|Bastion||6,000 gp||30 ft.||20 ft.||-||400|
|Buttresses||750 gp||20 ft.||-||-||+20%|
|Fleshcrafter’s Surgery||10,000 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.|
|Fungal Garden||1,000 gp||50 ft.||50 ft.|
|Gatehouse||8,000 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||50 ft.||100|
|Keep, Round||120,000 gp||80 ft.||40 ft.||40 ft.||1,250|
|Keep, Square||80,000 gp||80 ft.||40 ft.||40 ft.||1,000|
|Library, Arcane||5,000 gp||20 ft.||40 ft.||40 ft.|
|Moat||500 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||100 ft.||-|
|Outbuilding, Stone||900 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.|
|OvarisiteCreche||1,000 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.|
|Spider Pen||500 gp||10 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||400|
|Torture Chamber||1,000 gp||10 ft.||10 ft.||10 ft.|
|Tower, Round||25,000 gp||30 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||800|
|Tower, Square||18,000 gp||30 ft.||20 ft.||20 ft.||600|
|Underground Corridor||150 gp||10 ft.||5 ft.||5 ft.||-|
|Wall||4,000 gp||20 ft.||20 ft.||100 ft.||300|
Barbican: The barbican is a combined construction, consisting of a gatehouse and two towers, all specially reinforced to provide a highly defensible entrance to the stronghold. The drawbridge is of hardened wood and has a hardness of 6 and 30 Structure Points. In addition, the barbican also has a portcullis with a hardness of 10 and 10 Structure Points. The listed height of the barbican is that of its two towers. The actual gatehouse will always be half the height of the towers.
Bastion: The bastion is a half-tower used to provide extra defence to a wall. The bastion must be mounted against a wall and no more than one may be built for every 100 ft. of wall length.
Buttress: Designed to give extra strength and reinforcement to walls under constant bombardment by siege engines and magic, a set of buttresses take the form of several stone supports built along the outer side of a wall. A set of buttresses grant a 20% bonus to the total Structure Points of a wall. No wall may have more than one set of buttresses. The buttresses may be increased in height to give a wall either a 40% or 60% (by doubling or tripling their height, respectively) increase in Structure Points, but not buttresses may be higher than the wall they support.
Fleshcrafter’s Surgery: This area is used by visiting fleshcrafters to work on their noble clients. Most noble houses prefer to have the work done in their own estates, where the results can be carefully monitored by other members of the house and the instruments and facilities are a known quantity. All Craft (flesh) skill checks made in this chamber receive a +6 circumstance bonus.
Fungal Garden: This smelly area is normally located beneath the main structure of the estate or in an enclosed courtyard. It contains a fast-growing collection of fungi that are all edible and provide enough sustenance to keep 100 drow alive for up to three weeks without the need for outside supplies. The garden is normally not used for day-to-day eating but is kept up in case of sieges or famine. If used as the primary source of food for a week or more, the fungal garden requires one month per week it was used to replenish the supply of fungus.
Gatehouse: The gatehouse is little more than an opening within a section of wall to allow entrance to the stronghold. It has a drawbridge of hardened wood with a hardness of 6 and 30 Structure Points. In addition, there is also a portcullis with a hardness of 10 and 10 Structure Points.
Keep, Round: The centre-point of any large stronghold, the keep is the main building within the courtyard, often dwarfing its defences in size and majestic glory. A keep may have any amount or arrangement of rooms and floors within, as chosen by the player building the stronghold. Round keeps are difficult to construct but are able to weather bombardments that would crush a more basic square design.
Keep, Square: Square keeps are identical to those with rounded walls but are far easier to construct. However, they are also more vulnerable to attack.
Library, Arcane: This library provides wizards and others who research arcane matters with an invaluable source of information. All Spellcraft and Knowledge (arcana) checks made in this area require one hour to perform, but receive a +4 insight bonus due to the large amount of research material available.
Moat: Moats are relatively simple to construct and greatly add to the defensibility to a stronghold. However, they can also take a lot of resources away from the construction of the stronghold itself if they are designed to completely surround it, as such digging requires a lot of manpower. Most moats are simple ditches, though an engineer may be lucky enough to have a close river with which to divert water to fill it, making the moat virtually impassable. Once a moat has been filled with water, enterprising adventurers often fill it with a variety of unpleasant surprises, from poisons to aquatic creatures to cause further trouble to an attacker. Any drawbridge of the stronghold will automatically be long enough to cross the moat safely when fully extended. The height of the moat listed on the Construction List above actually refers to its depth, and many adventurers will be keen to make it even deeper, in the usual manner of increasing the size of constructions.
Outbuilding, Stone: Outbuildings are common within the courtyards of strongholds and are typically used as storehouses, stables and barracks for mercenaries and guards. Players may choose any arrangement of rooms within an outbuilding as they desire, and may add additional floors simply by increasing the height of it. Several outbuildings may be joined together to form larger constructions.
OvarisiteCreche: This room is usually located deep within the estate and is quite heavily guarded. It is here that the drow keep their broodmares and house the ovarisites that assist in their reproduction. Those who do not have an ovarisite crèche must allow their children to be gestated by the drow temples, which reduces the effective Influence of the noble house by 1,000 points.
Spider Pen: Used to hold the many spiders owned by an estate, each pen can hold up to 4 spiders of size large or smaller.
Torture Chamber: The torture chamber is used to get information from the captured enemies of the drow and is quite frequently used by the more active noble houses. For 500 gp, a torture chamber that provides a +2 circumstance bonus to any checks used in torture (see Tricks of the Drow). For 2,000 gp, this bonus is increased to +4, and for 5,000 gp, the bonus is increased to +6. A well-stocked torture chamber can be quite valuable to the drow.
Tower, Round: Designed to be the most defensible point of any stronghold, round towers are mighty constructions that can withstand a great deal of bombardment before being destroyed. The arrangement of any rooms and floors within the tower may be left to the player.
Tower, Square: Far easier and cheaper to build than round towers, the square design is the most common found on strongholds, though it is less resilient to attack.
Underground Corridor: Many strongholds have underground areas designed for defence, stores or even prisons. The cost listed is for a single 10 ft. high square of 5 ft. on each side to be burrowed into the ground and constructed with appropriate support to avoid cave-ins. Players may join such squares together to form long corridors, intersections and subterranean rooms.
Wall: The basic defence for any stronghold, walls provide a protective enclosure for other buildings. A player may decide to have a single five foot wide passage built inside the wall free of cost, in order to allow movement within the stronghold and provide firing positions for archers.
Building With Webs
The information above assumes buildings constructed from stone found in the caverns below. In fact, much of the drow’s construction is not done in this manner, as their cities often rise in great tiers above the floor of the caverns they inhabit. Though the buildings on the very lowest levels of the drow cities are typically built of stone, the upper levels are always built from webbing. Fortunately for the drow, the construction webbing produced by their spiders is very sturdy and resilient and only grows more so through the years.
The longer a structure of webbing persists, the stronger it becomes and the more difficult it is to damage. Drow cities that have stood for millennia have buildings so strong and so resistant to normal damage they are nearly invulnerable.
The cost of building from webs is a mere 20% of the cost of building with stone, but the structures have only 20% of the structural points of a building constructed from stone. The building is otherwise quite sturdy and stands up to standard wear and tear very well, especially given the presence of so many normal spiders in them who cannot resist spinning their webs to add to the overall strength of the thing. The construction webbing is woven so finely and so tightly by the spiders who create it that it resembles nothing so much as a very fine, flexible sheet of grainless wood and has most of the other properties of wood, as well, including its vulnerability to fire. Though much less flammable than other webs of a looser weave, construction webbing still burns as well as wood under most circumstances.
For each year the structure remains standing, it gains an additional 1% of the structural points it would have had were it built from stone. This does not increase indefinitely – if a building persists for 100 years, it will ‘max out’ at having 115% of the structural points of the same type of building constructed from stone. After 10 years, the web loses its flammability, as well, and begins to look smoother and sleeker than wood, taking on an almost metallic sheen. Water poured on the web at this point simply slides off, and other fluids are shed just as easily. After 20 years, the web has roughly the same texture and fire resistance as polished stone, though it will not achieve its full strength for many years. Even when fully cured, the construction web weighs very little – a cubic foot of the stuff weighs a mere five pounds.
Building in Stalactites
There are many stalactites within the Underdeep that are capable of supporting a large noble house in their interiors. Some drow prefer to build their noble houses in such places, because they provide the natural defences of being high in the air, where ground troops and most conventional assaults would be impossible to carry out.
Stalactite estates are completely self-contained and do not have external structures of any type. Instead, the stalactite is hollowed out and rooms are constructed in its interior. Treat this as the construction of underground corridors, with a cost of 300 gp for 10-ft. x 5-ft. x 5-ft. section carved from the stalactites. Other interior rooms cost the normal amount, in addition to the amount required to carve them from the stone, to construct.
Income and Taxes
Building an estate is incredibly expensive but running one will drain the coffers of even the wealthiest family. Unlike the strongholds on the surface, which levy taxes on the commoners, the drow survive by a complex system of graft and protection rackets, as noted above. Legally, a house can claim control of a number of areas equal one-fifth of its current rank (or a minimum of one area) as protected holdings of the house. These are protected from overt attacks by other noble houses and legally belong to the house which claims them. In the event that a new noble house is given territory bordering that controlled by an existing noble house, the new estate cannot claim any of the protected territories of the existing noble house. This can lead to cases where the protected areas of an estate are far from the estate itself, forcing the new noble house to decide whether it should defend its estate with its Power, or use that Power and Influence to protect its holdings in different parts of the city.
Weapons and Defences
Any fighter worth his sword will make sure any stronghold of his is well stocked with skilled mercenaries and guards in order to repel any attack. However, many will also recognise the need to add far stronger weapons and defences in order to not only drive off an invading force, but to utterly destroy them as they hurl themselves against the high walls of the stronghold.
The Stronghold Weapons table below features several weapons a fighter may like to employ in the defence of his new stronghold. Unless otherwise noted, all weapons detailed below require a 10 ft. square space in which to operate.
Rate of Fire
Though often crewed by several men, many of the weapons found within a stronghold are huge and
complicated devices, not easily or quickly operated. Each weapon on the table above is listed as having a rate of fire – this is how many full-round actions must be spent by the crew reloading the weapon before it may fire again.
Each weapon may lose up to 25% of its crew, rounding down, before its rate of fire is affected. Each crewman lost after this point will cause the rate of fire to be doubled
|Weapon||Cost||Damage||Structural Damage||Critical||Range Increment||Rate of Fire||Crew|
|Arrow Catapult||500 gp||Special||- -||100 ft. (min. 100 ft.)||6||2|
|Ballista||500 gp||3d6||-||X3||120 ft.||3||1|
|Catapult, Heavy||800 gp||5d6||3d6||-||200 ft. (min. 100 ft.)||8||5|
|Catapult, Light||550 gp||3d6||1d6||-||150 ft. (min.100 ft.)||5||2|
|Catapult, Medium||675 gp||4d6||2d6||-||150 ft. (min. 100 ft.)||6||3|
|Fire Projector||3,600 gp||4d6||1d6||-||30 ft. max.||2||4|
|Trebuchet||1,400 gp||6d6||4d6||-||200 ft. (min. 200 ft.)||10||6|
Arrow Catapult: This is a special kind of catapult,designed to specifically target massed units. Several arrows are loaded into a wooden rack and are launched by a spring action that sends them raining down on to the enemy. A Profession (siege engineer) check at DC 20 is made as for firing a catapult and, if the shot successfully strikes a target, will cause 1d10 hit points of damage to all subjects within 20 feet of its point of impact.
Ballistae & Catapults: The full rules for using ballistae and catapults are covered in SRD. Catapults may launch flaming shots, designed to start fires on board attacking war machines. Flaming shot is used in exactly the same way as regular catapult ammunition but in addition to normal damage, will also cause 1 point of Fire Damage on any war machine it successfully hits. Flaming shot costs 250 gp for 20 shots.
Fire Projector: These are one of the most feared weapons employed upon the walls of a stronghold, for whilst short ranged, they can spell the doom of any attacking war machine. By using a highly combustible alchemical mix of gases and minerals, the fire projector can shoot a huge torrent of searing flame for many feet, setting enemy war machines alight and annihilating units unfortunate enough to come within range. Fire Projectors cause Fire Damage equal to the amount of structural damage rolled every time they hit a target.
This weapon is considered to fire in a 30 ft. cone, in the same way similar spells do, as described in SRD. A creature caught in the cone of a fire projector may make a Reflex save at DC 10 in order to receive half damage. However, 1d20 should be rolled every time a fire projector is used. On the roll of a 1, the fire projector will automatically explode, igniting its lethal ammunition in a spectacular display of pyrotechnics. Everything within 10 feet will sustain its normal damage.
Trebuchet: Trebuchets are immense weapons, slightly different in principle to catapults but working in an identical fashion. Trebuchets require a 20 ft. square space in which to operate.
Every stronghold of note has a large staff working behind its walls, hired by the fighter to ensure the smooth running of his fortress and allowing him to concentrate on important matters of territory and warfare. From the lowly cook who feeds the entire garrison of the stronghold, to the skilled engineer who ensures its walls are always maintained in the finest condition, a fighter will soon come to recognise that he needs to hire far more than simple mercenaries.
Unless otherwise stated, all staff may be considered to be either 1st or 2nd level experts in their field, or commoners, as appropriate. The Games Master is welcome to generate abilities and statistics for them as appropriate. Not all the staff listed below are required for every stronghold, but fighters will find their affairs are managed a lot better if they employ the right people for the right jobs. Other player characters may adopt certain positions if the fighter deems them fit for the post.
|Staff Member||Cost per Month|
|Captain of the Guard||2,000 gp|
|Siege Engineer||100 gp|
|Stable Master||10 gp|
Alchemist: Few noble houses can afford the additional luxury of a permanent alchemist, much less take the risk that his experiments may cause major structural damage! However, such an alchemist will be able to automatically provide 40 rounds of flaming catapult shot per month. In addition, the Games Master may rule that he may be set other tasks of the players’ choosing.
Armourer: Armourers are essential in keeping the equipment of mercenaries and guards in good working order. One armourer is necessary for every 100 armed men present within the stronghold. If sufficient armourers are not present, units will receive a –1 circumstance penalty to their Armour Class in unit combat until enough armourers are present.
Captain of the Guard: Only the very greatest ofnoble houses are likely to have a captain of the guard. Such a man ensures the defences of the stronghold are kept tight at all times and he personally manages all mercenaries present. The captain of the guard is a barbarian, fighter or ranger of a level equal to half that of the fighter who owns the stronghold, rounding down.
Castellan: Second only to the captain of the guard, the castellan is responsible for the safety of the estate. Managing the placement of defences and fortifications, he is often a vital component for the smooth running of any stronghold. The castellan is a fighter or ranger of a level equal to a third that of the fighter who owns the stronghold, rounding down.
Chamberlain: The chamberlain manages all non-military aspects of the estate and handles all domestic duties, such as the hiring of suitable cooks. He is essential for any fighter who does not wish to get bogged down by the day-to-day routines of the stronghold.
Cook: Cooks provide foods and drink for every member of the stronghold’s forces. One cook is needed for every 50 people present in the stronghold.
Engineer: Every estate requires the services of an engineer to ensure walls, towers and keeps are well maintained and able to stand in battle. A stronghold without one engineer for every 100,000 gp of its original value will lose 1d6 Structure Points from every construction each month.
Herald: These specialists help keep the drow nobles apprised of the various fates and fortunes of the other noble houses and their members. This allows the nobles to stay abreast of social developments and provides them with the information they need to act accordingly when entertaining guests, be they friend or foe. If a herald is present, the nobles gain a +2competence bonus to all Diplomacy checks made within the estate.
Siege Engineer: Dedicated siege engineers are essential for the proper function of all stronghold weapons. One will be required for every weapon, or the rate of fire for each will be doubled due to the lack of speed of untrained crews.
Torturer: For drow, keeping a torturer on hand is a point of pride. A torturer is required for the proper use of a torture chamber, another drow favourite.
Weaponsmith: Weaponsmiths are essential in keeping the arms of mercenaries and guards in good working order. One weaponsmith is necessary for every 100armed men present within the stronghold. If sufficient weaponsmiths are not present, units will receive a –1circumstance penalty to all attack rolls they make in unit combat until enough weaponsmiths are finally hired.