Into the Unknown: The Dungeon Survival Handbook, that launches a few days after the Drowathon (and thanks to WotC’s advance preview scheme to support FLGS will be on sale at the Drowathon) comes with a few new themes to help adventurers survive and thrive in the hostile environment of the Underdark.
Looking through the list of themes it includes, there are 2 typical drow roles that I don’t think have been covered, so i’d like to present my take on them here:
Almost all Drow worship Lolth, the spider queen, and if not her, they worship one of her children. The drow take this worship seriously, adorning themselves, their armour, equipment, houses…. everything… with the symbols of their goddesses power – the arachnid. There are those with the necessary skill and vision, that can sense how Lolth manipulates the web of arcane energies, and learn how to weave their abilities into this web to increase their potency.
Creating an Arachnomancer
Arachnomancers share little in common with others of their power, they hail from all aspects of drow society, some begin their lives as lowly pleasure slave, others as raiders, others still come from the noble houses, born into a life of matriochial smotherering. Indeed, other than race, and a worship of Lolth, all that can be determined is that in some part of their life, Lolth spoke to them in the form of a spider.
Pre-req Race: Drow
Pre-req Diety: Lolth
Lolth’s influence upon the world is felt throughout drow society, but none more so by those who dedicate their life to the Lolth’s ambitions. These individuals are a direct part of her plans, and can use her power to enhance their own abilities, attacking with incredible power.
Benefit: You gain the Web of Influence power.
Web of Influence * Theme Power
“The sticky strands of Lolths web of power leak into the real world as you attack.”
Encounter * Shadow
Free action * Personal
Trigger: You hit and deal damage with an at-will attack power
Target: One target of the triggering attack
Effect: The target is slowed until the end of your next turn. If the attack already slowed the target, it is immobilized instead.
Level 5 Feature:
Those who worship Lolth, and revel in her power spend incredible amounts of time in the dark recesses of the Underdark, around the symbol of her worship, the spider. Her dedicated followers learn the ways of the Underdark and its many species, becoming immune to the dangers its creatures pose
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Dungeoneering and Nature skill checks. Increase this bonus to +4 when dealing with spiders. In addition, you gain a +2 bonus to saving throws against effects imposed by spiders.
Level 10 Feature:
As Lolths power grows, so does that of her truest believers. Those that have survived the dangers of the Underdark, the brutal backstabbing culture of the drow, and the predjudice of the outside world can truly call themselves Arachnomancers. Few survive this long to be chosen as vessels for Lolths children, but those that do
Benefit: You gain a second use of the Web of Influence power, but can only use it once per round. In addition, you gain the following encounter power: Hatchling Eruption
Hatchling Eruption * Theme Power
“As you open your mouth, a flood of tiny spiders flow out, crawling over your foes, biting and injecting them with thousands of tiny specks of posion.”
Encounter * Shadow
Standard action * Close Blast 3
Target: Each creature in the blast
Effect: You deal 1d8 posion damage to the target.
While all drow society is exposed to the symbolic spiders that accompany Lolth’s worship, her chosen ones, the Arachnomancers, understand that the symbols are anchor points in the great web of power that Lolth has woven across the Underdark, and is now expanding into the surface world. Arachnomancers use spiders, and the symbols of them to expand their influence.
Level 2 Utility:
Because of their affinity with spiders, arachnomancers are tasked with hunting down the most venomous examples of the species, and plucking them from their webs. Such a task often proves deadly to those without the purest dedication to Lolth. Fro those that can do it, they learn how to move over and through the spiders webs without disturbing them.
Weave Walker * Theme Power
“Using the gentliest of movements, you pick your way across the spiders web, unhindered by the sticky strands.”
Daily * Shadow
Minor Action * Personal
Effect: Until the end of the encounter, you can ignore difficult terrain caused by webs.
Level 6 Utility:
While the drow worship and adjorn themselves with symbolic spiders, other races, even amongst the deep dwellers of the Underdark, view spiders with suspicion and fear. Amongst the surface dwellers, arachnids are thought of as evil, and some puny individuals break down.
Arachnophobia * Theme Power
“Weaker minds crumble from their inner fears, asthe lingering vestiges of your contact with spiders hangs to you like a thick veil, the echoes of their scuttling legs swirling around.”
Daily * Shadow
Minor Action * Personal
Effect: You create a zone in close burst 3 that moves with you and lasts until the end of your next turn. Creatures that start or end their turn in the zone take 1 + your Charisma modifier psychic damage. A creature can only take this damage one per round.
Level 10 Utility:
Much of the drow cities found in the Underdark are crafted from hardened webs strung between stalactites and stalagmites. In some places, these webs are hudreds of generations old, and as solid as the granite walls of the cavernous Underdark. In other places, the webs are fresh and can be manipulated, gathering up the strands and moving them to a more suitable location.
Wall of Webs * Theme Power
“Strands of silken spider webbing dart from your hands, forming a thick barrier to protect you from your foes.”
Daily * Shadow, Conjuration
Minor Action * Area wall 5 within 5 squares
Effect: You conjure a wall of webs that lasts until the end of the encounter. The wall is 2 squares high, blocks line of sight and is treated as difficult terrain. As a Minor action, you can move the wall 5 squares.