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The drow love their weapons and have designed a number of killing tools specially tailored for their tastes. Specifically engineered to cause the most horrific injuries possible, some of these weapons are not as efficient as others, but have a psychological impact that cannot be denied. These weapons cause 1d6 nonlethal damage to those targets who fail a Will save (DC 5 + damage caused by the attack). Actual damage is inflicted regardless of the saving throw result.
Blood Spigots: These ingenious and devilish devices are used by ramming them into the flesh of a target and standing back. Their clever design forms a vacuum which sucks the blood and other fluids from the body of the target at an alarming rate. The spigot can be removed with a successful Strength check (DC 20). If the victim wishes to remove the spigot himself, he must make a successful Will save (DC 20) in order to build up the nerve to tear it out, but no such roll is necessary if the subject is willing to let someone else tear the weapon from his flesh. Removing the spigot causes 1d6 hit points of damage.
Collapsing Steel Bow: This steel bow is actually three weapons in one. In its primary form, it is a steel composite bow. It can also be twisted and opened into a pair of short swords with curved blades and handles. Collapsing or reconstructing the bow is a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity. Collapsing the bow into the pair of blades can be done as a move action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, provided the user does not care if he snaps the string.
Dire Fang: This weapon is wielded by strapping it to the forearm so the tip of the weapon extends over the hand of the wearer. When the tip is rammed into a target, a tightly coiled spring in the base of the weapon drives a steel spike forward through the hollow tip and into the target. A large poison reservoir allows the weapon to contain up to 10 doses of any single poison, though the weapon does require a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity to reset once it has been used.
Fanged Axe: The blade of this axe is bifurcated vertically, giving it a pair of long, narrow cutting surfaces reminiscent of spider fangs. The blades are designed to enter the flesh point first then tear down and out of the body to create a nasty-looking wound.
Fanged Web: This drow improvement over the standard net incorporates dozens of jagged blades and crystalline fibers to make an effective, dangerous capturing device. Individuals caught in the fanged web are wise not to struggle, as doing so can inflict very serious wounds.
Impaling Blade: These massive spears sport a massive, jagged blade almost two feet in length at their tip. Though the weapon is useless for slashing, it is perfect for its primary purpose: impaling an enemy and keeping them from moving around the field of battle. Whenever the weapon scores a critical hit, the target is allowed a Fortitude Saving throw (DC 5 + damage caused). If the save is successful, the target is not impaled and may continue to act normally. If the target fails his save, however, he is impaled and immediately loses his Dexterity bonus and may not move freely. If an impaled character attempts to move, he must succeed in an opposed Strength check (DC 15), with a –5 circumstance penalty. If he wins, he may move up to one-half his normal movement, but if he fails he may not move at all (though this is still considered a move action). If the impaled creature attempts to attack, he suffers a –4 penalty to all attack and damage rolls while he remains impaled. Similarly, creatures who attempt to cast a spell or manifest a psionic power while impaled require a successful Concentration check (DC 20) at a –4 circumstance penalty in order to successfully cast the spell – failure on this Concentration check does not result in a lost spell, as the caster was simply unable to even attempt to cast the spell due to the horrible pain. Creatures who manage to move while impaled on a weapon are no longer considered impaled and may move normally during their next action.
Ripper Chains: Similar to spiked chains, these weapons are lighter and more flexible. In use, they are built to wrap around a limb or other body part and then are yanked back to the wielder. This causes horrific wounds as the jaggedly barbed chain rips furrows through the flesh of the target.
Serrated Bone Cutlass: Fashioned from the leg bones of a fallen foe, the serrated bone cutlass is treated with various alchemical mixtures to give it a ragged, terribly sharp edge. Though not as deadly as a keen blade, the serrated bone cutlass is a fast, dangerous weapon that tears through flesh more than it cuts.
Shard Throwers: These weapons do not cause a significant amount of damage, but their ability to pepper a cone with shards of envenomed crystal is used often in drow combat tactics. The weapon looks like little more than a 3-foot-long rod of steel mounted on a complex tangle of springs and canisters. When fired, the weapon uses a spring-driven piston to hurl dozens of tiny crystal shards, each steeped in poison, into a cone-shaped area. It requires a full-round action that provokes an attack of opportunity to reload a shard thrower after it has been fired.
Spiderhair Blades: While these short swords look much like any other small, bladed weapon, they create horribly painful injuries. While being forged, the swords are repeatedly dusted with crystalline fibers (see below). This makes the blade weaker, overall, but also causes the weapon to shed these irritating fibers into any injury they inflict. As the fibers worm their way down into the injury, they cause terrible pain and copious bleeding, making these weapons much feared by the enemies of the drow.
Spine Hammers: These massive weapons are favoured by the priestesses of the drow and find much use in their hands. Constructed much like a standard warhammer, the striking surface of the weapon is lined with row after row of pyramidal spikes and is capable of ripping through skin as well as crushing bone.
Martial Weapons - Melee
|Light melee weapons||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Blood Spigot||100 gp||1d3||1d4*||X3||1 lb||P|
|Collapsing Steel Bow (Swords)||150 gp||1d4||1d6||19-20/X2||8 lb||P|
|One-handed melee weapons||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Serrated Bone Cutlass||100 gp||1d4||1d6||19-20/X3||5 lb||S|
|Spiderhair Blade||300 gp||1d4||1d6*||19-20/X2||5 lb||P|
Martial Weapons – Ranged
|Weapon||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Collapsing Steel Bow (Bow)||150 gp||1d4+2||1d6+2||X3||80 ft.||8 lb||P|
|Shard Thrower||100 gp||1d6||1d8||X3||20 ft.||5 lb||S|
|Shard Load||1 gp||—|
Exotic Weapons - Melee
|Light melee weapons||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Dire Fang||300 gp||1d3||1d4**||X3||2 lb||P|
|One-handed melee weapons||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Fanged Axe||50 gp||1d4||1d6||18-20/X2||5 lb||S|
|Two-handed melee weapons||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Impaling Blade||100 gp||1d4||1d6||X3||10 lb||P|
|Ripper Chain||100 gp||1d8||2d6||X3||15 lb||S|
|Spine Hammer||350 gp||1d8||2d6||19-20/X3||—||15 lb||P/B|
Exotic Weapons – Ranged
|Weapon||Cost||Damage (S)||Damage (M)||Critical||Range||Weight||Type|
|Fanged Web||50 gp||1d4||1d6***||—||10 ft.||10 lb||P|
* The Blood Spigot inflicts 1d4 hit points of damage on a successful strike. If it scores maximum damage or a critical hit, it is stuck in the body of the victim and begins siphoning his blood out at the rate of 1d4 hit points of additional damage per round. Note that this ability does not work on undead, plants, constructs, or other creatures without a circulatory system.
**Any type of poison can be placed in the envenomator and injected upon a successful, damaging strike with the weapon.
***The fanged web causes no damage until it has entangled a target. Entangled targets suffer 1d6 hit points of damage each round they remain entangled in the web, including rounds in which they attempt to escape. This weapon is otherwise treated as a normal net.
The shard thrower fills a 20-ft. long cone with deadly shards. One attack roll is applied to all targets in the area of effect.
*Any creature hit by a spiderhair blade must immediately make a Fortitude save (DC 15). Those who succeed at the save suffer no additional ill effects, those who fail suffer 1d3 hit points of extra damage from the weapon. If the target fails its first Fortitude save, it must make an additional Fortitude save each round or suffer 1d3 hit points of damage. Once a target succeeds at the Fortitude save, no additional damage is caused by that particular injury, though the target could suffer a subsequent injury from a spiderhair blade and begin taking aggravated damage again.
The existence of the drow is owed not only to the patronage of their spidery gods, but also their ability to conquer and control their environment. This mastery over their territory was made possible through drow ingenuity and inventiveness, which spawned a number of tools to make their lives easier. A selection of these tools can be found below, along with information on how the tools are used.
|Breeding Rings||100 gp||5 lb|
|Crystalshroud Cloak||100 gp||7 lb|
|Essence Injectors||300 gp||2 lb|
|Dreamspittle (per dose)||150 gp||.1 lb|
|Instrument Gloves +1||200 gp||1 lb|
|Instrument Gloves +2||400 gp||1 lb|
|Instrument Gloves +3||800 gp||1 lb|
|Locking Collar||50 gp||3 lb|
|Swing Lines||20 gp||2 lb|
Breeding Rings: The drow view of the impregnation process is, at best, brutal. It is based around the subjugation of the partner and only one of the involved parties ever experiences any real pleasure with the experience. Pain and suffering, from the moment of their conception, is built into the drow psyche. The drow priestesses designed the breeding rings to keep their male partners in line and to make sure any struggles were met with the maximum pain. The hooks are jagged rings of steel, their inner surfaces lined with dozens of barbs, attached to lengths of steel chain. The barbs on the rings are angled forward, allowing a hand to slide into them easily, but preventing it from sliding back out without suffering grievous injury. When the chains are affixed to wall posts, the breeding hooks hold the victim’s body immobile and spread-eagled, so that any motion causes intense pain as the flesh of the hands and wrist are torn.
These hooks are also used to control slaves while they are moved. While a slave might escape if he is truly determined, his hands would be destroyed in the process. The breeding hooks come in small, medium, and large sizes, for restraining creatures of the appropriate size. When a creature who is wearing the rings wishes to move, he must make a successful Will save (DC 15) in order to overcome his fear of pain to do so. Any movement made while wearing the rings inflicts 1 hit point of damage to the wearer and causes excruciating pain.
Crystalshroud Cloak: There are times when the drow wish to travel inconspicuously, either through hostile territory or simply to avoid notice when doing something they would rather not be caught doing. The cloak is a deep black in colour and has a voluminous hood capable of completely covering the face of its wearer. Crafted from polished crystalline fibers, the cloak acts as a one-way window – the wearer can see through the hood covering his face, but others cannot see in. The cloak also contains two dozen tiny, hidden pockets, each of which can hold a tiny object. The pockets seal almost invisibly thanks to the interlocking weave of the crystalline fibers and require a successful Search check (DC 20) to find.
Dreamspittle Poison: Derived from a variety of fungi and distilled along with a healthy dose of spider venom, this poison is useful for relaxing a subject and is fatal only in very large doses. When injected, the poison immediately disrupts the ability of the target to control his muscles with any accuracy. The subject is allowed a Fortitude save (DC 15) to avoid the effects of this poison. If the save is failed, the subject instantly loses his Dexterity bonus against any attacks directed against him. The secondary effects of the poison kick in 1d4 rounds later, at which time the subject suffers vivid hallucinations and collapses to the ground, unable to move. This effect lasts for 1d6 hours. A successful Heal check (DC 15) can be used to maintain this state in a subject indefinitely, keeping them in a paralyzed stupor for as long as the medic wishes. This requires an additional dose of poison every 1d6 hours, but only one Heal check per day.
The poison builds up quickly in subjects if additional doses are given within a few minutes of one another. Each additional dose injected into a target within a 10 minute time frame increases the DC of the Fortitude save to resist the poison by 1. Thus, if a subject is struck twice by weapons coated with dreamspittle, the DC of the first Fortitude save is 15 and the second is 16.
Dreamspittle is a favoured recreational poison for the drow, who use the poison during their mating rituals and in a bar game involving self-inflicted injuries and injections.
Essence Injectors: These flat metal vials are generally positioned between the shoulder blades of a drow and fastened into place with a pair of leather straps that wrap around the shoulders. A thin needle runs from the vial and under the skin of the drow, while a thinner wire runs up and over the drow’s shoulder to dangle over his chest. When the wire is pulled, as a free action, the contents of the essence injector are forced into the body of the drow. The essence injector is normally worn as a way for a drow to quickly consume an emergency potion.
Instrument Gloves: The drow are quite skilled in the creation of delicate tools and the instrument gloves are the height of their expertise. Instrument gloves contain tiny lenses, screw drivers, cutting blades, scissors, and even small hammers, all integrated into the design of the glove. The wearer can then use any of the tools without needing to switch hands and each tool can be very finely controlled due to their placement on the glove. A single instrument glove provides its bonus to a single type of trade skill only, as the tools must be customized for not only the wearer, but the Craft skill he chooses to practice. These gloves can be used with the Craft (flesh) skill and typically contain scissors, skinning blades, pliers, and other tools used to rip the skin up to make it easier to refashion with magic. Gloves come in +1, +2, and +3 circumstance bonus varieties.
Locking Collars: The locking collar is a jointed device constructed from woven steel wires. A complex locking mechanism is used to put the collar in place and it is this device which makes the collar so lethal. When snapped around the neck of the target and locked, the collar is snug but not painful or dangerous. If the target attempts to remove the collar, in any way, a set of intricate gears within the locking mechanism begin tightening the collar. A key can be used to unlock the collar, which can be broken with a successful Strength check (DC 40), or opened with a knock spell, but will otherwise continue tightening until the target is choked to death.
A locking collar can be used as a weapon, provided the target is grappled or otherwise immobilized. If a drow wants to attach a collar to a target he is grappling, he can do so with a successful grappling check, but suffers a –4 penalty to the check as he struggles to hold his victim immobile and get the collar on.
Swing Lines: A specialized variant of the construction webbing used to build drow structures, swing lines allow drow to make their way around or over the numerous crevasses and pitfalls found in the underdeep. The lines are stored in leather canisters, in which they soak in a watery adhesive solution. One end of the lines is coated with a glob of extremely sticky glue, which will stick to virtually any surface and is strong enough to support up to 500 pounds of weight. The line can be thrown up to 30 feet and will stick to whatever surface it touches – if aiming for a particular spot, rather than simply trying to hit a wall, the thrower must succeed at a ranged touch attack. Once the line is in place, the drow can swing on it, climb it, or otherwise use it to make their way across, around, or over the obstacle.
Swing lines can be used in combat, as well. Hitting a target with a swing line requires a successful ranged touch attack. Targets suffer a –1 penalty to their Armour Class for every swing line stuck to them, as their movement and ability to dodge incoming blows is greatly restricted. The wielder of the swing line must maintain their grip on the swing line in order to inflict this penalty on the target, if the swing line is dropped or otherwise allowed out of their grasp, it is no longer a cause for concern. Pulling a swing line off its target requires a Strength check (DC 25). Pulling a swing line out of the hands of its wielder requires an opposed Strength check (DC 15).
The wielder of a swing line may attempt to deprive a foe of their Dexterity bonus during a round by yanking on the swing line. This requires an opposed Strength check – if the wielder wins, the target loses its Dexterity bonus for this round and is considered flat-footed until the beginning of the next round. If the target wins the Strength check, however, the wielder of the swing line loses his grip on the silk rope.
Regaining control of a swing line requires a successful Dexterity check (DC 15), after which the wielder may begin using it as normal.
Swing line adhesive retains its strength for 8 hours, after which time it decays into a dry paste and flakes away. The swing line itself is a 30-foot length of silk rope and may be used as such indefinitely.
Because drow society is so violent, its nobility rarely go anywhere unarmoured, and even commoners tend to wear whatever protective equipment they can afford when going into the rougher neighbourhoods. Because of this, the drow have created a variety of armour types, from the surprisingly strong and ornate spidersilk, to the woven crystal armour favoured by the strongest drow warriors. This section provides information about this armour and its creation.
|Armour||Cost||Armour Bonus||Max Dex Bonus||Armour Check Penalty||Arcane Spell Failure||Speed 30 ft.||Speed 20 ft.||Wt|
|Bloodthirster Armour||500 gp||+0||+6||0||5%||30 ft.||20 ft.||10 lb|
|Mummied Armour||300 gp||+2||+5||-2||5%||25 ft.||15 ft.||5 lb|
|Scrollsheath Robes||150 gp||—|
|Venomsoaked Armour||200 gp||+2||+6||-2||10%||25 ft.||15 ft.||10 lb|
|Spellsplinter Armour||500 gp||+5*||+3||-4||40%||25 ft.||15 ft.||30 lb|
|Spidersilk Armour||300 gp||+5||+5||-4||30%||25 ft.||15 ft.||15 lb|
|Blackened Bone Armour||250 gp||+6||+3||-5*||35%||25 ft.||15 ft.||35 lb|
|Silkshell Armour||3,000 gp||+9||+2||-5||35%||20 ft.||15 ft.||40 lb|
|Woven Crystal Armour||5,000 gp||+10||+2||-7||50%||20 ft.||15 ft.||60 lb|
*The noise made by the clacking bones of this armour imposes a –10 armour check penalty on all Move Silently checks.
** See the description of this armour for information about how this bonus changes during combat.
***See item description for information about this bonus and how it is depleted by absorbing magical energy.
Blackened Bone Armour: A drow version of splint mail, blackened bone armour is crafted from the arm bones, leg bones, and rib cages of the slave races. Molten iron and other metals are drizzled over the bones as the armour is created, which makes the armour both light and resilient. The largest problem with the armour is the clacking noises it makes during battle and while the wearer is moving at more than half their normal speed.
Bloodthirster Armour: The drow revel in the pain of their enemies and slaves, relishing the exquisite sounds, smells, and sights of carnage and torture in the same way other races delight in the smell of a freshcooked meal or the perfume of a lover. This armour type shares the lust and taste for blood of the drow who created it and functions most efficiently when it is soaked in the crimson fluid. Constructed of hollow pitch leech fungus fibres, the armour provides only modest protection when dry, but forms a slick, nearly seamless coat of protection when drenched in blood. The armour starts with the armour bonus shown in the table above, but this bonus increases by +1 in every round in which the wearer injures a living creature, to a maximum +8 circumstance bonus. Note that the armour bonus decreases by 1 for every hour that passes without blood splashing onto the bloodthirster armour.
Mummified Armour: Spellcasters favour this type of armour, which is crafted from the cured flesh of fallen slaves, typically half-orcs or dwarves. Though the armour is actually little better than simple cloth robes, its appearance is quite horrific and provides arcane spellcasters with the sort of grim visage the drow favour.
Scrollsheath Robes: Drow wizards do their best to scrape out every advantage they can, no matter how minor it may seem on the surface. The scrollsheath robes are one such example – robes with scroll cases built into the sleeves for quick access. Further refinements were added over time, culminating in armour that allows two scrolls to be stored in each sleeve of the armour, allowing the wizard to retrieve the scroll as a free action, unrolling it from the edge of the sleeve itself so it is ready for immediate use.
Silkshell Armour: This plate variant is constructed by weaving metal threads with silk fibers. When the fitted armour is complete, the whole is heavily lacquered and cured with spider ichors. The result is a strong and light armour fitted perfectly to the form of the wearer.
Spellsplinter Armour: Amongst a race so well-known for its magical skills, it is only natural the drow would develop armour designed to protect them from the spells of others. While spellsplinter armour does require frequent repairs and a steady supply of reagents to keep it working efficiently, it also provides one of the few effective safeguards against magical attack. When the wearer is targeted by a spell and fails his saving throw, he may gain another saving throw by activating his armour as a free action. The armour bonus for the armour is then reduced by an amount equal to the level of the spell saved against, as the crystals used in the armour’s creation are destroyed by the flow of magical energy they absorbed.
Repairing spellsplinter armour is not difficult – it simply requires five pounds of spellbane crystal and a successful Craft (armoursmithing) check (DC 15 + 1 per point of armour being repaired). This process requires one full 8-hour day per point of armour restored. If one of the skill checks fail, the armour is not only left unrepaired, it actually suffers an additional 1d4 points of armour reduction. If the armour bonus is ever reduced to 0 or less by such a failure, the armour is destroyed and cannot be repaired.
Spidersilk Armour: This lightweight, resilient armour is crafted from the same silk used to create drow buildings. Though heavier than the gossamer threads of a smaller spider, the cords of silk are perfect for protecting the wearer from injury.
Venomsoaked Armour: This armour is woven from silk and cured in a variety of deadly toxins, which gives it a shimmering, oily appearance. The wearer of this armour may drag his weapon across the armour to coat its edge or tip with poison (this is a move action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the poison has a Fort save (DC 15) with initial and secondary damage of 1d3 points of temporary Strength damage). While the armour is not built for heavy combat, drow spies and assassins make good use of it in their business. Each suit of this armour contains enough venom for five applications. Poison can be reapplied to the armour by a successful Craft (alchemy) check (DC 20), which requires 8 hours of work and 100 gp worth of poisonous reagents.
Woven Crystal Armour: Incredibly heavy due to the density of the crystals used in its construction, woven crystal armour is highly prized by those strong enough to wear it for the protection it offers. Unlike metal armours that seek to turn aside or absorb the impact of attacks, woven crystal armour actually disperses the force of impact through the resonation of the crystals. This creates an eerie moaning sound during battle, as the crystals become excited from impact and spread the vibrations to other parts of the armour.