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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 08:05 AM
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Drow Campaign

So I've recently discovered the Drizzt Do'urden books and am really intrigued by Drow society. The whole houses vying for a seat in power and constant backstabbing has a real Game of Thrones feel to it. I'm sure there's potential for turning this into a campaign - or at least a mini-adventure - but I can't find any existing adventures written about it to use for advice/inspiration.

I figure the game would involve a significant amount of roleplay - as it's my understanding from the R Salvatore books that if a Drow house attacks another it's all or nothing; one of them is going to be wiped out. But I imagine that quests to build reputation for your house would involve the killing of monsters in the Underdark, so it could be possible to balance the game between the two.

I imagine that the roleplay and politics would require a fairly mature group of players and, as the Drow are predominantly considered evil, rules would need to be established regarding what is acceptable behaviour. I figure that the party would probably consist of members of the same house - it would offer some measure of control to the potential chaotic characters - with the overall goal of the campaign being to challenge the lowest ranking house for a place on the council.

What does everyone think? Is it a good idea or even a feasible one? Has anyone experience of running a Drow/single society/political/evil campaign like this? Any suggestions of things I might need to consider or could incorporate into the game?

This is very much just a discussion about the possibilities of running a game like this. I have no ideas yet and based one what you all think I may not even pursue this any further, so I'm open to all and every point of view.
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Old Sep 17th, 2020, 10:16 PM
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I am absolutely positive I have seen game ads for similar ideas, they would be in the 3.5/PF area if I saw them/read them enough to remember this much.

I am exhausted, so I won't try to run a search, but a search of players seeking games for some keywords might turn up some old games... then you could PM the DM's or players, and see how they turned out.

Not sure what keywords to use... intrigue might be one. House could be good, but might return a lot of false positives, too.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 04:56 AM
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Thank you very much! I'll save you the effort and do my own legwork on this one - my earlier searches of the forums for drow related threads were unsuccessful but I'll try some of your suggestions and see what turns up.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 11:31 AM
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The only drow focused game I remember was Cloibbra Kai ~ City of Shadows by Superstrength79. Don't know much about the game other than 'drow' but you could check with them.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 05:07 PM
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Thank you Starflier, I'll look them up.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 06:24 PM
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Your ideas are definitely feasible. I have played in several campaigns featuring the drow and the rivalry of the Houses. It is important to have mature players, who understand and accept the nature of the drow. These are easy campaigns for feelings to get hurt, due to the malevolent and backstabbing nature of drow. Staying organized is a key, because it is easy for the number of npc's to increase and the game to bloat with them as everyone, players and Dm alike try to keep track of everyone and their motivations. Keeping the rivalry to just two Houses works best in my experience. Three of the four games I played in and the one I Dm'd, created great fun and memories for everyone who played in them. The fourth game, bogged down due to some of the reasons I mentioned. I don't know if you are a history buff or not, but the rivalry between the Italian city-states in the medieval period can give you some good ideas and examples. The Borgias and the Medici's could give any drow house a run for their money in regards to cunning and malice. Good luck and I hope you have a good game.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 07:47 PM
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This is good advice, thank you! I think you're right about restricting the rivalry to just two houses so the game doesn't get bogged down in NPCs. This is the kind of stuff that I hadn't thought about that will help make the difference between a good game and a total flop.
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Old Sep 18th, 2020, 11:31 PM
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I have been part of some of those games, and there were some hurt feeling but everyone was an adult an could ignore that.
This was not only a drow campaign but an evil one as well. We had the GM thoroughly as we showed that evil does not have to be blatant or mean, just self serving. We went for so long using people in a way that was evil but not murdery that the GM forgot we were actually evil and told a paladin player he could join. We warned both of them, but they didn't listen...

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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 01:53 AM
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I would suggest looking at how Blades in the Dark or Shadowrun deals with faction/corporate rivalries and masses of NPC's

how various ninja clans interact in anime or games (Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game) is another source of inspiration.

I don't feel that the various houses would all-out attack each other, because that would leave them vulnerable to attack from some other house. it's more likely they are all trying to stock up on troops, weapons and undermine each other either politically or by some other clandestine means.

House A attacks House B's supply shipment but leaves evidence that it was House C. House B musters up its forces to look big and scary and intimidates House C to pay recompense. Or embarrasses them politically. House C offended makes an alliance with House D to get House B to back down or take back what they said. House D agrees but sets fire to House C's mushroom farms blaming House B. War then actually breaks out. House A sits back, laughs and eats popcorn, only to die from poisoning by House E.
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Old Sep 19th, 2020, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost6442 View Post
House A attacks House B's supply shipment but leaves evidence that it was House C. House B musters up its forces to look big and scary and intimidates House C to pay recompense. Or embarrasses them politically. House C offended makes an alliance with House D to get House B to back down or take back what they said. House D agrees but sets fire to House C's mushroom farms blaming House B. War then actually breaks out. House A sits back, laughs and eats popcorn, only to die from poisoning by House E.
Now that sounds like a fun game!

I'll look into those other game systems for guidance on running factions/groups.

@jj_wolven, that sounds like exactly the kind of thing that would make this work. I think mature players are definitely important to differentiate between murderhobos and real devious evil characters who use people rather than do the outright killing. I feel that's how the Drow work.
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DM: A Crack in the Dome
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