The first module of the second Adventure Path” “Curse of the Crimson Throne” written by Nicholas Logue back in 2008, before the advent of the PFRPG proper, this module is set in Korvosa, in the northern country of Varisia.
The adventure features a small derro contingent at the finale, the first appearance of the race in the Pathfinder series. As such, it’s a seminal work and set the scene for a lot of the thematic flavour of the derro of Golarion, casting them in sharp contrast to their previous incarnations as former Suloise slaves in the 2E Flanaess or the irrevocably warped escaped mind flayer thralls of the 3E Forgotten Realms setting.
Yes, the derro beneath Korvosa are something different again…
This is the first in a series of short posts about possible derro lairs, guard posts, enclaves and other settlements, based on maps I’ve sourced.
I’ve modified this map using just Preview as I haven’t got the hang of GIMP and currently lack access to Photoshop – it’s based on the excellent Dyson style “Mountaintop Science Facility w/ Temple Facade” (link in image to original) from the guy over at Megadungeon. I’d originally intended to use unchanged but on reflection feel that splitting it into different themed sections works better as I’ll explain below.
A rogue-like game set in a bizarre underground environment linked to their previous Fallen London offering, the player controls a ship that ventures through the subterranean ocean or “Unterzee” in search of profit, adventure and reputation. As a game it good but definitely requires patience and a sense of fatalism, tempered by persistence – it’s not an easy games or one for the novice or faint-hearted.
As a setting though it’s pretty interesting.. and reminiscent of the Sunless Sea from D1-2 or the Night Below, but with a further Lovecraftian element refracted through a Victorian perspective.
And just who would be crazy enough to captain a ship on a subterranean ocean littered with massive stalagmites and unseen horrors.
The article “By Any Other Name: Races of the Underdark, by Owen K.C. Stephens first appeared in DRAGON #281 (March 2001).
It’s first section contains some example prefixes for derro names, but the player is encouraged to mix and match with name fragments from other articles in the series (dwarves, elves) or alternatively combine with the duergar and svirfneblin name fragments on the other tables within the article.
I’ve listed the derro name prefixes here for reference:
Thus the two main derro deities with names of Diirinka may mean “treacherous wizard” or “lucky savant” whereas Diinkarazan may be loosely translated as “lost cursed brother” and secari is an “ornamental dagger” as described in early derro descriptions.
Other supplements have used other naming conventions with variable consistency, which I aim to compile as a list at some stage as a resource.
Addit April 2018: the Kobold Press supplement “Unlikely Heroes for 5th Edition” has some suggested derro names as discussed in this later blog post.