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From the cover of Drow of Porphyra by Patricia Cavalieri


After more than a decade of sharing my love for the drow on this web site, Purple Duck Games invited me to write an entire book about them. This is the dream project I never thought I would have the chance to do, so I poured everything I've dared to dream about dark elves into it. No two chapters are alike since I have many flavors of drow brewing, and if you don't care for one mix, you might find what you love in the next chapter. Even if you are sick of drow, have never understood their appeal, or have come to loathe them for different reasons, you can discover ways to make them work for you in my book. If you stick around, you might not want to run a game without them again.

If you have questions, check out the full FAQ for the project - and if you still have questions after that, please feel free to send them my way.

If you have read any of the chapters, please leave a rating and a review on the site(s) of purchase or at the very least on a blog, at RPG.net, or somewhere online. It is very difficult to get any kind of feedback and I am grateful for the time you take to leave your thoughts, in the hopes that your observations will help others make the choice to try out what I've made or to search for something that's more their speed.

An Overview

"All drow are alike, and the only good drow is a dead one.”

Assume all drow are the same at your peril - especially in Porphyra! On the Patchwork Planet, dark elves were summoned from disparate and distant worlds, with entirely different origins, masters, and plans. Scattered across the Underdeep, the drow have thrived below and made secret forays into the lands above. They are ready to become tempting dreams and lurking nightmares anywhere, in any campaign that wants something more from drow than what you've seen before.

Each chapter in the drow of Porphyra focuses on one of the tribes, providing all of the following:

  • A brief history of the tribe on their home world and in recent nights

  • The hierarchies and divisions of their society, from nobles to guilds and beyond

  • Laws and punishments particular to the culture

  • Religious expectations, whether they follow one god or many or none

  • Goals for characters within their families, groups, cities, and nations

  • Notable cities and plot hooks for interacting with the tribe, from within or without

  • Methods common to their kind, whether they rely on raids or seduction or other guises

  • Racial and faction traits to help customize your characters from the base on up

  • Alternate systems and mechanics necessary for the tribe (and for evil or other campaigns)

  • Feats and equipment that are useful to have at hand

  • Details for creating player characters, allies, antagonists, and others with new depths

A poster of the cover art is also available.

Chapter By Chapter

Symbol of Karzerothrine

Interior art by Gary Dupuis

Chapter 1 focuses on the Karza, favored children of the Dark Mother of verminkind. They are blessed with an aberrant fertility that allows them to swarm over their enemies as no other drow can. They raid to feed their hunger for slaves and violence, as well as their goddess's hunger for souls. Their laws are few, their fervor unyielding, and their fear nonexistent. After all, there will always be more!

Highlights include:

  • Unique drow statistics and alternate vermin-based traits

  • Systems for harvesting poison or creating entirely new ones

  • A new vision of the goddess Karzerothrine

  • The verminkind domain and spider subdomain

See the in-depth review by Endzeitgeist!

Nalbrezu warning glyphs

Interior art by Gary Dupuis

Chapter 2 provides the rap sheet on the Nalbrezu, who were sold into slavery to demons of the Abyss and made a deal with devils for their freedom. For them, vengeance is a sacred duty, crime is necessary, and family is closer than close. Their Code keeps them in line and their business keeps them neck-deep in other people's intrigues. For a fee, of course. Because with the Nalbrezu, nothing is free.

Highlights of this chapter include:

  • Options for the Courts of Corruption

  • A skill system for hiding people and objects

  • Rules for handling mundane torture and interrogation

  • Hidden compartments and secret pockets

Read what Endzeitgeist had to say about this chapter!

Symbol of the Erikryptos

Interior art by Gary Dupuis

Chapter 3 is the siren song of the Xelusine, seducers from the deep. Born of a corrupted wish, these drow are worshiped by cultists rather than served by slaves. They offer forbidden pleasures wherever they roam, and bless their most devoted disciples with the gift of becoming drow, themselves. Heedless of noble houses, without families to hold them back, the Xelusine create a world in which everything is permitted, if desire can make it so.

Highlights of this chapter include:

  • A template for converting other races to drow

  • Special systems for temptation and satisfaction

  • The cult leadership feat, with downtime and mass combat options

  • Apathy, avarice, gluttony, and vanity domains and subdomains

Check out Endzeitgeist's sumptuous review!

Sample Strivog fetish

Interior art by Tomi Baranya

Chapter 4 is the haunting historyof the Strivog, boogeymen from a dying world. Having claimed magically glowing ice caverns in a remote corner of the Underdeep, they build their empire with blood and bone. They torture and torment, but maintain a cold distance and a brutal, simple efficiency. Because for the bone brow, death is the truth and the only reality worth preparing for.

Highlights of this chapter include:

  • A unique system for character options and advancement

  • Changes to Craft, Profession, and Perform categories

  • Rules for building items imbued with the strengths of fallen foes

  • A selection of Necromancy spells

Read Endzeitgeist's comprehensive review!


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