Menzoberranzan: a Game of Houses - Sandbox

Old Oct 25 '10, 9:55am
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Menzoberranzan: a Game of Houses - Sandbox

Arcane Age: Netheril - Forum
Dungeons & Dragons 3.5e - Forgotten Realms 3.5e
Ad Closes: Nov 6 '10
Estimated Members Requested: 25

The Underdark
Never does a star grace this land with a poet’s light of twinkling mysteries, nor does the sun send to here its rays of warmth and life. This is the Underdark, the secret world beneath the bustling surface of the Forgotten Realms, whose sky is a ceiling of heartless stone and whose walls show the gray blandness of death in the torchlight of the foolish surface-dwellers that stumble here. This is not their world, not the world of light. Most who come here uninvited do not return.

Those who do escape to the safety of their surface homes return changed. Their eyes have seen the shadows and the gloom, the inevitable doom of the Underdark.

Dark corridors meander throughout the dark realm in winding courses, connecting caverns great and small, with ceilings high and low. Mounds of stone as pointed as the teeth of a sleeping dragon leer down in silent threat or rise up to block the way of intruders.

There is a silence here, profound and foreboding, the crouched hush of a predator at work. Too often the only sound, the only reminder to travelers in the Underdark that they have not lost their sense of hearing altogether, is the distant and echoing drip of water, beating like the heart of a beast, slipping through the silent stones to the deep Underdark pools of chilled water. What lies beneath the onyx surface of these pools can only guess. What secrets await the brave, what horrors await the foolish, only the imagination can reveal – until the stillness is disturbed.

This is the Underdark.

* * * * *

There are pockets of life here, cities as great as many of those on the surface. Around any of the countless bends and turns in the gray stone, a traveler might stumble suddenly into the perimeter of such a city, a stark contrast to the emptiness of the corridors. These places are not havens, though; only the foolish traveler would assume so. They are the homes of the most evil races in all the Realms, most notably the duergar, the kuo-toa, and the drow.

In one such cavern, two miles wide and a thousand feet high, looms Menzoberranzan, a monument to the other worldly and ultimately – deadly grace that marks the race of drow elves. Menzoberranzan is not a large city by drow standards; only twenty thousand dark elves reside there. Where, in ages past, there had been an empty cavern of roughly shaped stalactites and stalagmites now stands artistry, row after row of carved castles thrumming in a quiet glow of magic. The city is perfection of form where not a stone has been left to its natural shape. This sense of order and control, however, is but a cruel façade, a deception hiding the chaos and vileness that rules the dark elves’ hearts. Like their cities, they are a beautiful, slender, and delicate people, with features sharp and haunting.

Yet the drow are the rulers of this unruled world, the deadliest of the deadly, and all other races take cautious note of their passing. Beauty itself pales at the end of a dark elf’s sword. The drow are the survivors, and this is the Underdark, the valley of death – the land of nameless nightmares. – R.A. Salvatore (Homeland)

~ * ~

Station: In all the world of the drow, there is no more important word. It is the calling of their – of our – religion, the incessant pulling of hungering heartstrings. Ambition overrides good sense and compassion is thrown away in its face, all in the name of Lolth, the Spider-Queen.

Ascension to power in drow society is a simple process of assassination. The Spider Queen is a deity of chaos, and she and her high priestesses, the true rulers of the drow world, do not look with ill favor upon ambitious individuals wielding poisoned daggers.

Of course, there are rules of behavior; every society must boast of these. To openly commit murder or wage war invites the pretense of justice, and penalties exacted in the name of drow justice are merciless. To stick the dagger in the back of a rival during the chaos of a larger battle or in the quiet shadows of an alley, however, is quite acceptable – even applauded. Investigation is not the forte of drow justice. No one cares enough to bother. –excerpt of an essay on Station by Drizzt Do’Urden (again, R.A. Salvatore; Homeland)

Game Description:

the GameYou just lost it.

D&D 3.5+; Gestalt lvl 11; Forgotten Realms - Mythallar Era of Netheril in NY 870
Applications due: TBD
Sheets: not used, ask me about Character Threads if not familiar with them.

I have long wanted to run a campaign set in Netheril. I will be pulling fluff from the 2e Netheril Boxset, but will not be bound by it entirely. This is my take on Netheril and I will also be taking inspiration from Ancient Rome.

Netheril is still a young empire, destined to stand for nearly another 3000 years. Twenty-five years ago the Arch-Arcanist Ioulaum created the first Mythallar. Four years ago he raised the first of Netheril's flying cities using heights of magic never before seen upon Abeir-Toril. Ioulaum's Enclave is but the first of many. All across the Empire Arcanists strive to be the next to raise an Enclave to soar above the Empire.

Much of the Realms exist in a state of barbarism with few other great civilizations of note. North west of the Empire lies the under-mountain nation of Delzoun. Far to the south, on the Sword Coast lies Calimshan. East of Calimsham, across the Lake of Steam lies Jhaamdath. And to the east lies fabled Cormanthyr, the Elven Court.

You are of the patrician class of Netheril. Your studies have brought you to Ioulaum's Enclave where each has been trained as either an Arcanist or Priest of the Nine.
Level: 11th
Gestalt: LA / Racial HD allowed on one side. Fractional BAB / Saves.
Rule 11: Pre-mod Stats ranging from 7 to 18. You may have no more than two odds. And your total stat mods = 11. Example: Str 18, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 17.
Alignments: Any.
Materials: XPH, Core, Forgotten Realms line, ToM, ToB: Bo9S, Completes, Races of, Libris Mortis, Lords of Madness, Eberron line, most WotC books.
Unusual materials / Homebrew: TOMEs, Oslecamo. On a case by case basis.
HP: Average +1 (+con) for each
Including 1st. I am done with random stats and HP in my games
level. To avoid confusion: d4: 3.5 (per level; keep track of your fractions, they add up); d6: 4.5; d8: 5.5; d10: 6.5; d12: 7.5
Races: Human with a free +2 to any stat. Cohorts may be more diverse.
LA: LA Buyoff allowed.
Classes: Found here
Feats: Everybody gains a
In addition to the standard feats at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, etc. And in addition to any other bonus feats you are entitled to by classes, templates, etc
Bonus Feat per level. Regional (FR) Feats may only be taken at level 1. You may have up to two Regional Feats, don’t worry about meeting region requirements. You may only select a Tome Feat using your standard feat progression, with the exception of classes that give Tome Feats. No flaws or traits allowed.
Leadership: Found here
Skills: No distinction between class and non-class skills. No synergies. Any class (base or PrC) that gets 2+int skills instead gets 4+int skills.
acrobatics (balance, tumble), appraise, athletics (climb, jump, swim), autohypnosis, bluff, concentration, craft, decipher script, diplomacy, disable device (includes Open Lock; Int), disguise, forgery, legerdemain (escape artist, sleight of hand, use rope),
no longer a skill. Anybody can attempt to “gather info” using any skill they can justify
gather information
, handle animal, heal, iaijutsu focus, intimidate, knowledge (arcana; includes psionics), knowledge (architecture and engineering), knowledge (dungeoneering), knowledge (geography), knowledge (history), knowledge (local: choose a location), knowledge (nature), knowledge (nobility and royalty), knowledge (planar), knowledge (religion), perception (listen, spot), perform, profession, ride, search, sense motive, speak language, spellcraft (includes psionics), stealth, survival, use magic device (includes psionics) Tome of Necromancy, Tome of Fiends, Races of War (be sure to check out "The Failure of Feats" section), Dungeonomicon

For (free) Download: Tome of Awesome <--- more complete than what is on DanDwiki.

go here

To start your application make a post in the Applications folder with character name (if you know it) and your MW handle in ().
Example: Veir-iliv (Jreece). After characters are chosen your application will double as your Character Thread.

PSAOriginally printed Nov 19, 2011
For those of you new to my games, I do not use "sheets". At all.

Go ahead and make them up for your personal benefit and to generate stat-blocks to build off of, but I will not be looking at sheets for any reason. Instead every aspect of your character is to go into your Character Thread.

Some of you have already taken to this, most of you have been in earlier games of mine and already know this. Some of you have yet to put a single thing into your "CT". Which is fine if you're busy or whatever. But until your character is approved on the CT, you may not post IC.

I realize that this creates some extra homework for you, the player, but I'm ok with that. :p
example appName:
Race / Template(s):
Class / Role:
Background: I am a very reactive DM, interesting backgrounds and characters may receive more interesting adventures.
Description: This is *not* an invitation to post a pic. In fact I would rather you didn't. If you absolutely must, put it in a Spoiler tab.
Personality: What makes your PC click?
Team Background: To be fleshed out with the rest of your band. What great deeds have you done? Who have you royally pissed off? Inquiring DMs want to know.

Loved ones: Family, friends, neighbors. People who might depend on your PC in a time of crisis.
Nemesis: Someone who is or was out to get your PC. Potential BBEG/BBGG types.
Rivals: From friendly rivals in your chosen vocation to bitter enemies, likely not powerful enough to threaten the entire party.

Brief RP sample, involving the metaplot as you know it:
example extended stat-blockName
Race Class

Initiative: +?, Senses: listen +?, sense motive +?, spot +?
?; Touch: ?, Flat-Footed: ?; Speed: ?ft
?; Fort:
Base: , Con: +
?, Ref:
Base: , Ref: +?
?, Will:
Base: , Will: +

Attack –
BA +; Grapple
Special actions –

? Spells (CL ; DC ? – ?)
0th (?)

R11 - Str: , Dex: , Con: , Int: , Wis: , Cha:

Str: , Dex: 1, Con: , Int: , Wis: , Cha:
Light load:
Med load:
Max load:
Off Ground:
Str , Dex: , Con: , Int: , Wis: , Cha:



? pts
: concentration
ranks: , +

DM of Arcane Age: Netheril

Last edited by Drowbane; Oct 25 '10 at 10:05am..
Yay...I was not looking forward to having to keep the spider caster in my head for a couple weeks...he is creepy

Did you decide on the free LA for people or are we just sucking up the Drow LA on one side of the build?

I will set up Application Threads shortly.

From the Game Ad

Noble House: House Nizzre (means "lightning")
Matron: Veldri Nizzre (Veldri_Nizzre)

Noble House: House Melrahel (unsure of any translation)
Matron: Chess'albraste Melrahel (Maxwell)

Noble House: open
Matron: open (could be you!)

Mercenary Band: L'Jiala'in Velve (the Laughing Blades)
Guild Master: ??? (Chronic's friend, or if he doesn't show up an NPC or also played by ChronicLunacy)
Second in Command: Zirbilin Nirrinath (ChronicLunacy)

~ * ~

I will be rolling dice to check House Rank within the city. No starting house will be higher than 15th, however. And while not all Houses are obsessed with promotion, many (most?) are.

L'Jiala'in Velve stands outside of the House Ranking. If is largely a home for displaced Nobles and promising commoners. It operates with the blessing of the Ruling Council (a privilege for which it pays handsomely). The only "house" likely to accept non-drow.
I'd like to add a bit about L'Jiala'in Velve. In keeping with the translation ("The Laughing Blade"), the members of the mercenary guild tend to wear stylized theatre masks depicting a laughing face when they're on duty. This allows them to walk the city freely, lead double-lives, and even infiltrate the city's noble houses without immediately being recognized. These masks are magic items that act the same way a drow house insignia does, with varying effects individual to the wearer.

I just finished the last book resurrection of war of the spider queen tonight, this is like a godsend, completely interested.

Who wants to work to create a house right outside ruling counsel looking to take over the 8th counsel seat or something like that? I'd like to play second or third daughter to have people to plot against both in house and outside house.

LaRoche: Amusingly enough, I am on the early chapters of Dissolution (3rd time reading the series).

Dandy: you can submit for both. I just put up the App-links. If selected as a Matron, you can have your subordinate as a Cohort.

posting intrest.. I was thinking of House Princess (First or second daughter to matron) any of PC houses will do actually.

Okay, either of the houses want my gish-ish crossbow-slinger?

EDIT: Could a male Ranger exist, drawing on the innate magic of the Underdark (the Underdark drowns in magic, let's face it), without offending Lolth or her female left hands?


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