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Thread: Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (The Dark Elf Race)

  1. #11
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Fredericksburg, VA (USA)
    If you do indeed go with the Spider/Demon Dark Elves I agree you should use the name Drow (it's in the D20 SRD) over Dark Elves so it doesn't appear that Dark Elves are just a culture of Elves instead of a distinct faction. I'm not sure if Lolth can be used however because I believe specific named dieties were excluded from the open license (though I may be wrong.)

  2. #12
    I prefer the name Drow and, as you say, it's in D20.

  3. #13
    Abecedarian Mage Trudd's Avatar
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    Feb 2013
    Bordeaux (France)
    if you still consider different cultures, Drow may be underground dark elves and Druchii for the pirate ones.

  4. #14
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Well, if I was doing the Dark Elf race.. have a little unit list free and a handful of ideas.

    One thing that was interesting about the original master of magic dark elves was how each of their units had a magical attack. This was a very interesting racial trait, and worked well with how the race also produced large amounts of mana just by, well, living. Sadly, it was also.. kinda overpowered, allowing them to horribly murder most other units in an equal encounter.. and that was before getting into how cheap the nightblades were. So I was wondering how to keep that in without being unbalanced.

    And then another idea struck me... One thing that's not often addressed is the dark elf habit of.. well, keeping slaves. The Drow especially loved doing that, leading into the fray with dozens of goblin slaves to soften up and tire out enemies before a single drow warrior showed themselves, capturing giants for use as heavy shock troopers, and generally farming out all the boring low class work, like farming, to captured non drow slaves.

    So... Why not roll with that? Beyond the obvious implications for a unit list, what does slavery mean for the cities? If drow made very poor farmers and craftsmen, but they could capture population from enemy cities to do there work for them.. Well, behind each elegantly clad and expertly armed drow noble is a whole line of logistics, and if you don't have the slaves to do that, you aren't really a noble, are you?

    Raiding enemy cities, capturing wandering monsters to add to your zoos and farms, enslaving defeated enemy armies to do your dirty work...

    I don't think any other faction is as focused on making the enemy work for you.

    As for the actual suggested unit list...

    Slave Warriors: These poor pitiful souls are what results from long term enslavement in the drow cities. It is almost impossible to tell from which race they come from after their long life of soul destroying drudgework, and they have little, if any, spirit left. They are armored in rags and given only the most basic of spears as a weapon.

    A very cheap unit that costs no upkeep besides food.. but removes a slave population unit from the city and can be 'undrafted' to add a point of slaves to any city they are in. Who cares for the lives of slaves after all? If you need more, just go capture some.

    Chain Gang: This group of 'engineers' lack the advanced tools and learnings of their peers. What they do have is a healthy fear of their master's lashes.

    Like the slave warriors, a cheap but weak unit that costs little but takes a point of slave population to be built. A very poor engineer.. but very cheap, too. After all, slaves don't get payed. Only fed.

    Mercenary Band: As cruel and deadly as the Drow may be.. they are also, all in all, rich. Mercenaries may not be as deadly as a Drow Blademaster, but they are more competent and better equipped then the retched slaves that inhabit the bottom ranks of the army. Armored in leather and skilled with sword, Mercenary Bands fill out the mass of the drow armies that actually need someone who know what they are doing.

    A cheap unit.. with a surprisingly high upkeep. Mercenaries may be fast to hire and raise, but they tend to insist on being payed. About equal to the MOM swordsman units in power, probably.

    Commoner Archers: Even drow have commoners. After all, who else is there for the Nobles to make feel properly insignificant? While they may not be a match for their richer brethren, even commoners can afford a bow and arrows, and many become skilled at it. When war comes, they muster out in numbers, seeking a fortune that will allow them to become nobles. While their magic is weaker then other drow, they have enough to infuse their bolts with a minor enchantment, just enough to count as magic weapons verses those resistant to cold steel.

    Your basic archer unit. More skilled, but more costy then the normal. The Drow talent for magic means their arrows count as enchanted, just perfect for shooting those nasty ethereal monsters.

    Spiderling Swarm: Almost everyone knows the link between dark elves and spiders, so famous and old is it. The Spiderling Swarm stands as proof that this bond has not weakened in the modern days. While not as big as the tales tell, being merely the size of dogs, a swarm of spiderlings is still a grave threat when they swarm over you in their dozens.

    The Dark Elf version of a cavalry unit, Spiderling swarms are both cheap and low upkeep, needing only food as they are but animals, and therefor do not need to be payed. On the other hand, they aren't a match for a real cavalry unit either, depending on weight of numbers and poison to drag enemies down. Oh, and being spiders they can probably walk over walls.

    Dark Mason: While Chain Gangs are quite sufficient for the normal form of infrastructural work and ripping down the walls of low level cities, against enemies worth respecting they come up a little.. lacking. This is where the Dark Mason comes in. Trained war sorcerers with an interest in engineering, Dark Masons lead teams of engineering constructs backed up with their own fell magic.

    Upgraded combat engineers. Highly expensive and highly skilled, Dark Masons combine an engineers ability to rip down walls with respectable inter unit combat capacities and a magical ranged strike like all noble dark elves have. They might also have some sort of crumble type spell too.

    Drow Nightblades: Drow nobles who have dedicated their entire lives to master both the sword and their own racial magics, Nightblades combine elite skills at combat from the first level with the dreaded ability to shadowstep, a tactical ranged combat teleport that allows them to bypass all defenses, as well as the normal magical ranged strike possessed by nobles.

    Alright, now we're cooking with gas! Nightblades combine top level melee combat skills with a respectable ranged punch, and a tactical teleport ability to bypass enemy lines and murder the soft fleshy things behind all the armor clad warriors. The downside? Cost. Drow nobles do not work for the cheap, in either food or gold. They take substantial training as well.

    Spider Priestess: The divine spell caster unit of the Dark Elves, Spider Priestesses are no laughing matter, with a powerful command of magics to punish enemies and aid allies. They posses potent magical protections, and strike those foolish enough to attack them with a magical and poisoned chain whip. Like all drow nobles, they possess a powerful ranged magic strike.

    Expensive like other nobles, and a unit on the top of the tech tree, the spider priestess is a powerful and expensive divine caster that can strip the flesh from their enemies or simply trap them in binding webs.

    Warlock: Dark Elf Warlocks are the most powerful of their fell race in magic, and have trained for literal human lifespans to master their powerful incantations. No other drow can equal the strength of their ranged arcane blasts, and they possess a potent mastery over the arts of fire to back it up. Their only weakness is in melee combat.. a weakness which few survive the firestorms they call up to take advantage of.

    A top tier arcane caster with a powerful blast. Expensive, strong, and worth it.

    Drider Raiders: Said to be descended from those who have drawn the wrath of the Dark Elves' jealous goddess, Driders are half spider, and half elf. Combining the mobility of the arachnids with the cruel minds of the drow has lead to a deadly combination, skilled in both mace and bow, and mobile enough to run from anything that might kill them.

    Heavy Cavalry with a basic ranged attack. Drider Raiders are the other half to the coin that spiderling swarms are, and make up the stronger side of the Drow Cavalry forces. They're a bit slower then normal cavalry however. Like all spiders, they can walk on, or in this case over, walls,

    Drider Covens: Not all drider are abandoned by the goddess of the Drow however, and many of those so blessed will band together in covens, seeking strength in numbers. Commonly skilled with the spear, they make a deadly combination of steel and magic.

    An expensive unit that offers a mid game access to holy magic, keeping you from having to wait for the top of the tech tree to open up spider priestesses. Dryder Covens combine a light cavalry's melee strength and speed with low level divine magic. Like all spiders, they can walk on, or in this case over, walls,

    Behemoth Spider: The vision that meets someone's mind's eye when someone says the words 'giant spider', a Behemoth Spider is a monster that is larger then a catapult, and only grow scarier when the Drow wrap them in steel armor to be used as warbeasts. Far more terrifying then that however, is the Maelstrom Engine mounted on the beasts back and manned by an apprentice Warlock. Few who see its devastating arcs of lightning ripping down walls and rending apart the flesh of its targets alike will forget the sight.

    Dark Elf Siege Engine. Giant spider with a lightning ray on it's back. Not much better then normal siege engines for ripping down walls in fact, but superior in killing normal units and monsters, and also possesses a powerful melee attack from the giant spider the thing is mounted on. Said spider can also just rip down walls if it runs out of ammo, too. It's a bit too heavy to walk over walls though.
    Last edited by Happerry; 04-05-2013 at 02:36 AM.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    I would like to stay away from the Drow. Takes away from the Master of Magic feel and pushes it into more of a D&D/Forgotten Realms type deal. Master of Magic had a pretty lighthearted tone, even when dealing with undead and such. Drow slaver/spider-worshipping/every member of the race is psychopathically evil by nature type stuff kind of feels off to me. The purple skinned nightmare riding Dark Elves are what I want to see. Maybe based more off of Norse mythology where they are equally skilled craftsmen and sorcerors. Since its entirely plausible for the player to be playing a full on goody goody life mage ruling them, I think all the races should be portrayed relatively neutral, morally.

  6. #16
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    How is what I did "psychopathically evil by nature"? They're a luxury obsessed race with powerful innate magics in that list. Is keeping slaves any worse then the goblin raiding fixation discussed over in that thread? And hey, if you want to play a goody goody race, just don't take slaves. It'll make the game harder, but some people like a challenge.

    And honestly with the invisible assassins as a racial unit type stuff I always took the MoM Dark Elves as pretty evil myself.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    The psychopathically evil by nature thing just comes from my understanding of Drow in D&D. What with the demon blood corrupting them towards being evil psychopaths. I wasn't specifically referring to your post.

  8. #18
    I'm not sure which cultural direction I like best. I do see wanting to separate WoM from FR, however.

    Of course, I like a lot of your upper tier unit ideas Happerry. Even if we pitch them from another cultural point Dark Masons could still be higher tier engineers that build faster and be more combat ready. A giant monster siege engine with a lighting gun on it's back is cool whether or not the monster is a spider, lol.

    This issue seems to be divided between:

    "Let's make them like Drow! It will be perfect!"


    "Let's DON'T make them like Drow! It would be terrible!"

    Me, I see both sides... More people need to weigh in.

  9. #19
    I think the best solution is probably to make it both ways
    I am new to this forum,but i did read that you plan to make races and include different cultures that can be chosen at start of the game,like e.g. Elves that can be played as High Elves,Wild Elves and Wood elves.Thats great btw.
    Wouldnt it be great as well to offer a drow like culture and a mom like culuture for Dark Elves?

    regardless what you do,i do think this game needs Dark Elves in the end.
    I know about half a dozen friends of mine that still play MoM from time to time, and for all of them,myself included,Dark Elves are among the favorite if not the favorite race in mom.Not only because they might be a bit overpowered there but also because it simply felt great and unique to play them.
    So since i think many old mom players feel like this about the dark elves,u should be careful to make them too much drow like ONLY,because this race is very iconic for Master of Magic.

    My Idea for including Dark Elves for this game would be via DLC/expansion together with a new underground sphere/or mom like Myrror sphere and maybe another race,e.g. draconians , both starting on the underground sphere.
    U could even add new cultures to existing races like dwarves and orcs then, that allow those to start on this sphere,maybe like cave dwarves and goblinish orcs.
    I think this would be a great expansion.

  10. #20
    Archmage of the Central Tower Happerry's Avatar
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    Apr 2013
    Honestly, you could De-Drow-Reference my list pretty easily. Just replace the slave units and driders, and then change the spider priestess's name to something else. Like, say...

    Commoner Levee : Even commoners are expected to fight for their nations, and Dark Elf nations are not exempt from that fact. In times of war, the commoners are mustered in mass, and given light armor and javelins to strike down their foes. Like all dark elves, they have some innate magic, which they use to make their attacks strike past defenses against mundane weapons.

    A replacement for the Slave Warrior! Light Armor and Javelins make for a light infantry unit that can also harass enemies at range. As with most dark elf units, they're probably more expensive then most of the equivalent units in other races.

    Lizard Knights : Lesser dark elf nobles mounted on a species of cave lizards, these medium cavalry take full advantage of their mounts ability to climb up sheer walls to bypass enemy defenses and strike where they are least wanted. Armed with lances and hand crossbows, Lizard Knights make a powerful raiding unit.

    The Drider Raiders replacement, instead riding those interesting wall walking lizards we see in the forgotten realms. Keeping the wall walking as something common on the cavalry lets me keep the actual siege engine as a top tier unit, and between lances, hand crossbows, and the lizard's bite attack they should be a quite decent, if expensive, medium cavalry unit.

    Shade Lords : These elite mounted nobles ride flying Nightmares and are trained in potent arcane magics to rend their foes to dust. While their martial training has suffered somewhat in comparason, they are still armed with arcane weapons they enchanted themselves to slay their foes.

    A replacement for the Drider Covens and giving the dark elves a flying unit. Sorcerers to the later Wizard of the Dark Elf Warlock (Though come to think of it, the actual warlock class might fit better there, with it's variety of powerful blasts and things that make blasts better..), they wield enchanted weapons and armor, even if their still stuck with a sorcerer's attack bonus, and combine flight with potent magic attacks. Medium tier arcane access instead of divine access, but at least you get a mage before the end of the tech tree, right?

    Also gives a reference to the MOM Nightmare unit.

    Change the Spider Priestess into the High Priestess and strip off the Spider Priestess's web spell...

    And then the Chain Gang can either be changed to something like Drudge Workers or such if it's not left as it is. Or just dropped for the later tier Dark Mason, which would still leave the dark elves with twelve units, counting whatever settler they end up with.

    Edit: And was keeping the Spiderling Swarm because one spider unit doesn't make them drow and i like the idea of a spider hunting pack.
    Last edited by Happerry; 04-05-2013 at 10:34 PM.

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