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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 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 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 with less selfish motives adventure to remove themselves from the influence of their race's harsh and cruel society.
These latter drow are the ones most likely to be seen in the company of other races.
Most drow have little use for members of the other races, viewing them only as potential prey or slaves.
Good-aligned drow, however, see the merits of interracial cooperation. These drow seek out adventurers of other races, often coming to relate more to the societies of their adventuring companions than to their own culture.
DROW ELF TRAITS
Drow elf characters have the following racial traits.
• +2 Dexterity, +2 Charisma, -2 Constitution.
• Medium: As medium creatures, drow have no special modifiers due to their size.
• Drow base land speed is 30 feet.
• Immunity to magic sleep effects, and a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and spell-like effects.
• Darkvision (Ex): Drow can see in the dark up to 120 feet. Darkvision is black and white only, but is otherwise like normal sight, and drow can function just fine with no light at all.
• Weapon Proficiency: A drow receives the Martial Weapon Proficiency feat for the rapier and the short sword, and the Exotic Weapon Proficiency feat for the hand crossbow.
• +2 racial bonus on Listen, Search and Spot checks. A drow who merely passes within 5 feet of a secret or concealed door is entitled to a Search check to notice it as if she were actively looking for it.
• Spell-like abilities: Drow can use the following spelllike abilities once per day: dancing lights, darkness, faerie fire. Caster level equals the drow’s class levels.
• Light blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light (such as sunlight or a daylight spell) blinds drow for 1 round. On subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the effected area.
• Automatic Languages: Common, Elven, Undercommon. Bonus Languages: Abyssal, Aquan, Draconic, Drow Sign Language, Gnome, Goblin.
• Favoured Class: Wizard (male) or cleric (female). A multiclass drow's wizard or cleric class does not count when determining whether he or she takes an experience point penalty for multiclassing.
DROW ELF ADVANCEMENT
A drow who takes levels in his racial class uses the following game rule information.
Hit Die: d6.
Skill Points at Each Level: 4 + Int modifier (x4 if 1st level is the character's 1st character level).
Class Skills: Climb (Str), Craft (Int), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (Wis), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), Survival (Wis), and Swim (Str).
Table X: Drow Elf Racial Levels
|Level||Attack||Fort||Ref||Will||Special||Spells per Day|
|2nd||+1||+0||+3||+0||Int boost, Spell Resistance||-|
|3rd||+2||+1||+3||+1||Improved spell-like abilities||+1 level of cleric/wizard|
|4th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Imp. darkvision, light sensitivity||-|
|5th||+3||+1||+4||+1||Dexterity boost||+1 level of cleric/wizard|
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: Drow with racial class levels are proficient with all simple weapons and longswords, and with light armour.
Save Bonus (Ex): At 1st level, a drow receives a +2 bonus on Will saves against spells and spell-like effects.
Intelligence Boost: At 2nd level, a drow’s Intelligence score increases by 2 points.
Spell Resistance (Su): At 2nd level, a drow gains Spell Resistance equal to 9 + the total of his class levels.
Improved Spell-Like Abilities: At 3rd level, a drow gains one additional daily use of each of his innate spelllike abilities.
Spells per Day: At 3rd level and 5th level, a female drow gains new spells per day as if she had also gained a level in cleric. A male drow instead gains new spells per day as if he had gained a level of wizard. The drow 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 to his level in cleric or wizard, then determines spells per day and caster level accordingly.
If the drow is female and has no levels in cleric, or is male and has no levels in wizard, this class feature has no effect.
Improved Darkvision (Ex): At 4th level, a drow's darkvision range increases by 30 feet.
Light Sensitivity (Ex): A 4th-level drow's light blindness is lessened to light sensitivity. Instead of being blinded by bright light, he is merely dazzled in bright sunlight or within the radius of a daylight spell.
Dexterity Boost: At 5th level, a drow's Dexterity score increases by 2 points.
Balancing the Drow
If we compare a 3rd-level drow using these rules to a standard drow 1st-level rogue, which is ECL 3 (1 Class Level + 2 Level Adjustment), we find the 3rd-level drow has 7 (+2 x Con modifier) more hit points, +1 better base attack bonus, +1 better saves, one extra feat, but has 8 (+2x Int modifier) fewer skill points, and lacks the sneak attack ability.
PRESTIGE CLASS: The DRIDER
The greatest evil dwelling in the drow realms, driders are perverted aberrations of drow elves, taking on many characteristics and physical traits of a monstrous spider. Transformed by the dark magic of an evil power, driders are deadly killers, using their physical and magical abilities to great effect in ambushing their prey.
To become a drider, a character must fulfill all of the following requirements.
Race: Drow elf.
Drow racial level: 3rd.
Spells: Ability to cast 3rd-level arcane spells or 3rd-level divine spells.
Alignment: Chaotic Evil.
A drider uses the following game rule information.
Hit Die: d6.
Skill Points: 2 + Int modifier.
Class Skills: Climb (Str), Hide (Dex), Intimidate (Cha), Jump (Str), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Spellcraft (Int), Spot (Wis), and Survival (Wis).
Table XI: The Drider
|1st||+0||+0||+0||+0||Bite attack, climb speed 15’, Large size, natural armour +1, Strength boost|
|2nd||+1||+0||+0||+0||Constitution boost, poison bite|
|3rd||+1||+1||+1||+1||Mental ability boosts, spell-like abilities|
|4th||+2||+1||+1||+1||Dexterity boost, natural armour +2|
|5th||+2||+1||+1||+1||Climb speed 30’, natural armour +4|
Weapon and Armour Proficiency: A drider gains no proficiency in any weapon or armour.
Strength Boost: At 1st level, a drider's Strength score increases by 2 points.
Climb Speed (Ex) : At 1st level, a drider gains a climb speed of 15. It gains a +8 racial bonus on all Climb checks. The drider must make a Climb check to climb any wall or slope with a DC of more than 0, but it can always choose to take 10, even if rushed or threatened while climbing. The drider normally climbs at a speed of 15 feet. If it chooses an accelerated climb it moves at double the given climb speed (or its base land speed, whichever is lower) and makes a single Climb check at a -5 penalty. Creatures cannot run while climbing. The drider retains its Dexterity bonus to Armour Class (if any) while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against it.
At 5th level, a drider's climb speed increases to 30 feet. Bite Attack: At 1st level, a drider gains a natural bite attack which deals 1d4 damage.
Large Size: At 1st level, a drider becomes a Large creature. He has a -1 penalty to Armour Class, -1 penalty on attack rolls, -4 penalty on Hide checks, +4 bonus on grapple checks, and lifting and carrying limits double those of Medium characters.
Natural Armour: At 1st level, a drider gains a +1 natural armour bonus. This increases to +2 at 4th level.
Constitution Boost: At 2nd level, a drider's Constitution score increases by 2 points.
Poison Bite (Ex): At 2nd level, the drider's bite attack becomes poisonous. The bite requires a Fortitude save (DC 13 + the drider's Constitution bonus). Initial and secondary damage are both 1d6 Strength.
Mental Ability Boosts: At 3rd level, two of a drider's Intelligence, Wisdom or Charisma scores increase by 2 points each.
Spell-Like Abilities: Starting at 3rd level, a drider can use dispel magic and detect magic once each per day, as the spells. Caster level is equal to 2 + the drider's class levels.
Dexterity Boost: At 4th level, a drider's Dexterity scoreincreases by 2 points.
Balancing the Drider
If we compare a 3rd-level drow/3rd-level cleric/4th-level drider using these rules to a standard drider, which is ECL 10 (6 Hit Dice + 4 Level Adjustment), we find the drow/cleric/drider has 5 fewer ability score points (using the elite array), -2 less natural armour bonus, 12 (+4 x Con modifier) more hit points, -1 worse base attack bonus, +3 better aggregate saves, one extra feat, darkvision range of 120' rather than 60', Spell Resistance 2 points higher, and slightly lesser spell-like abilities.