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While drow can run the gamut where the core classes are concerned, centuries of tradition and social pressure have resulted in specialties and restrictions. In Lolth-dominated society, the favored class for females is (of course) the Cleric. A male's favored class is the Wizard, though this is due more to general elven ancestry than societal stimuli in most cases. In some drow cities, however, becoming a Wizard is the means to attaining great power, in both a political and personal sense.

Some core classes are considered rare in drow society, the least rare of which would perhaps be the Bard. Whereas certain drow societies revere those few bards in their presence, the same cannot be said for the scattering of Barbarians found within dark elven ranks. Considering the drow lifestyle and society as a whole, barbaric brutes are naturally looked down upon. On the less chaotic side of the spectrum, though just as rare, are the Monks. As Lolth has deliberately created and nurtured chaos within her drow children down the millennia, it's small wonder that very few Monks would arise from the maelstrom. There are individuals, however, that resist the chaos around them and hold themselves to more lawful ideals. Some of these individuals have even banded together, and formed small sub-societies of their own (a prime example would be the Blackened Fist of Undrek'Thoz).

There are Rogues aplenty in drow society, most coming from the ranks of the downtrodden drow, meaning those who are not part of the small percentage of social elite. They are also (naturally) prevalent within the ranks of Vhaeraun's lay worshipers and clergy. Another path many of the commoners of drow society take is that of the Fighter. Though they rarely attain true noble status, drow fighters can sometimes climb their way through the ranks to notable status within society all the same.

While the Druid may not seem particularly appealing to your average drow, some rare exceptions do exist. At times, the Druid class is taken up by a drow in order that they may in turn take up with certain particular vile prestige classes that require the knowledge which only the Druid class can bestow. Paladins, of course, are by far the most rare, though the option is technically possible for a drow who leaves behind his or her society, and strives through many years of difficulties and trials to attain a new outlook on life and a strong measure of atonement.

Where prestige classes are concerned, the Assassin is without a doubt at the top of the list. Many drow cities have prestigious and infamous academies that train prospective youths in various philosophies of death, and these assassin's guilds have produced some of the deadliest and most successful killers in the Underdark.
Blackguards are also common among the drow, as are many of the divine prestige classes such as the Arcane Devotee, Divine Champion, Divine Disciple, and Divine Seeker. After all, any drow who wishes to thrive within Lolth-dominated drow culture does well to tie himself or herself to the Spider Queen's faith.
There are a multitude of other possibilities where prestige classes are concerned, and many more opportunities open up if a DM is willing to tweak minor details of existing deity, world, or region specific prestige classes. Some examples would be the Bloodsister and Nightshade prestige classes from Dragon Magazine #298, which are Greyhawk specific.

Aside from the ideas presented above concerning the more common prestige classes, there are some that have been created specifically with the drow in mind. We've included these prestige classes below (along with their source), and will add to the list as we come across any new (official) ones.

  • Arachne
    [ Faiths and Pantheons p.182-84 ]

    [ House Rules version can be found here ]
    The Demon Queen of Spiders is a cruel, capricious deity who delights in pitting her worshipers against one another. Arachnes are priestesses of Lolth who have risen to the pinnacle of drow society, worshiping Lolth only for the power she grants.

  • Arachnomancer
    [ The Underdark p.28-30 ]

    Many drow worship the spider goddess, Lolth, and some few attach an extra reverence to all spiderkind as well. Arachnomancers are arcane spellcasters who have been drawn to the lure and power of spiders, and seek mastery and emulation of these creatures through magic.

  • Darkmask
    [ Lords of Darkness p.33-4 ]

    [ House Rules version can be found here ]
    Most of the surface drow worship Vhaeraun. Some strike a balance between their faith their skills at stealth, becoming a specialized sort of cleric/rogue called a Darkmask. The darkmasks are the elite of Vhaeraun's clergy, and they are called upon to handle very specific missions for the Masked Lord.

  • Drow Judicator
    [ The Underdark p.33-5 ]

    A mortal imbued with fiendish cruelty, the drow judicator is a knight most foul. This unholy warrior is steeped in the divine energy of Selvetarm, the Spider that Waits, self-appointed Champion of Lolth. Consort of demons and demonic arachnids, the drow judicator is hated and feared by all, especially other male drow who are jealous of the heights of power to which he has risen.

  • Fang of Lolth
    [ Song and Silence p.8-10 ]

    Many bards and rogues study ways to "trick" magic items into working without their usual requirements. Sometimes, though, the curious get more than they bargained for. Twisted by their own machinations, and those of the clergy of Lolth who create the magic items known as Fang Scarabs, Fangs of Lolth begin a transformation into a spiderlike form. Whether they fight the change or readily embrace it, those afflicted become targets of the clergy, either to be subverted or killed.

  • Silverhair Knight
    [ Dragon Magazine #315 p.28-31 ]

    Silverhair Knights, devout followers of Eilistraee that are also known as "sin eaters", trained to aid in the conversion and subsequent protection of drow who have come to the surface of Faerūn.

  • Slime Lord
    [ Player's Guide to Faerūn p.186-87 ]

    Though Ghaunadaur is a member of the drow pantheon, he is not a drow god at all. The Lord of Slime is a primordial deity of slimes and oozes, revered by aboleths and ropers as well as outcast drow. Slime Lords, the most favored of Ghaunadaur's servants, are not clerics; they are spies and infiltrators who can change their shapes in order to move unnoticed among members of any race.

  • Sword Dancer
    [ Faiths and Pantheons p.205-206 ]

    Eilistraee the Dark Maiden encourages drow to return to the surface world and reestablish themselves as rightful, nonevil inhabitants of the Night Above. Sword Dancers are expected to lead that migration and work to promote harmony between drow and surface-dwelling races.

  • Yathrinshee
    [ Player's Guide to Faerūn p.187-89 ]

    Because she is a goddess of undeath, Kiaransalee favors servants who combine their clerical mastery of the undead with arcane research into negative energy and necromancy. Yathrinshees, the elite ranks of Kiaransalee's priests, are powerful masters of necromantic magic, both arcane and divine.

Page Last Updated September 24th, 2005

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