Derro (4e Race)

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Murderously insane and cruel, combining the worst qualities of human and dwarf.

A derro in disguise.
Racial Traits
Average Height: 3'5" – 3'11"
Average Weight: 60 – 80 lb.
Ability Scores: +2 Constitution, +2 Charisma
Size: Small
Speed: 5 squares
Vision: Darkvision
Languages: Common, Deep Speech
Skill Bonuses: +2 Dungeoneering, +2 Intimidate
Alien Mind: +5 racial bonus on saving throws against domination effects.
Dwarven Heritage: You can take feats that have either dwarf or human as a prerequisite (as well as those specifically for derro), as long as you meet any other requirements.
Scream of Madness: You can use scream of madness as an encounter power.

Scream of Madness Derro Racial Power
You let loose a blast of mental energy born from your insane thoughts, assaulting the minds of your foes.
Encounter Star.gif Psychic
Minor Action Close burst 1
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Charisma + 2 Vs. Will
Hit: Charisma modifier psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the beginning of your next turn.
Level 11: Charisma + 4
Level 21: Charisma + 6

Derro are the degenerate, subterranean offspring of humans and dwarves, said to have been created by some crazed deity in ages past. Blessed — to use their word — with a form of racial madness and often possessing additional mental disorders, derro are unstable at best. They are unbelievably cruel and sadistic, and take great pleasure in harming others.

Play a derro if you want...

  • To be a crossbreed of dwarf and human.
  • To be naturally and irreversibly insane.
  • To be able to assault the minds of your enemies.
  • To be a member of a race that favors the cleric, warlock, and warlord classes.

Physical Qualities[edit]

Derro resemble small, slender dwarves. Their skin ranges from white to blue, usually with shades of grey, and is usually pale in color. Their eyes seem too large for their head and lack both irises and pupils, giving them an almost insectile appearance. A derro's hair is coarse, greasy, and almost always some shade of white, though a few individuals have grey or even black hair. Few have actual beards, but their mustaches can grow to ridiculously long lengths that can hang well past their chin.

Derro like to dress themselves in clothing that makes them feel important, preferring flashy (even gaudy) outfits with lots of adornments. They covet anything precious and valuable, and so their homes are often littered with precious metals, valuable artwork, and weapons taken from defeated foes. Derro have little actual appreciation for art, keeping it almost solely for the purpose of showing off their self-appointed social stature. Their weapons and armor are cruelly edged and rusty, designed to inflict the greatest amount of pain possible before the victim dies. Most derro also carry a dagger or other small weapon that is left unsharpened so they can savor the cutting they inflict on captured opponents.

Derro mature quickly, reaching adulthood at around 7 years of age, and can live to see 80 if they don't fall victim to another derro before then.

Playing a Derro[edit]

Derro are, above all else, cruel. Their entire society is centered around enslaving and torturing those weaker than oneself, killing them off whenever they cease to be of personal amusement. Their government is little more than a tyrannical dictatorship in which the most powerful individual who possesses the most slaves rules over everyone else in the society. Assassination is the preferred means of self-advancement, and it is thus rare that a single derro remains in power for more than several months.

Individual derro are as unpredictable and chaotic as their society. Irreversibly mad by virtue of their heritage, many derro also develop additional mental disabilities and afflictions. Schizophrenia and multiple personalities are very common, and some derro are born so horribly psychotic that they don't survive through their first year. An individual measures his standing within the community by how many slaves he possesses, how much wealth he has amassed, and, most importantly, how feared he is by others. Of course, many also suffer from delusions of grandeur caused by their unstable minds, so a derro's "standing" can vary greatly from the viewpoint of one individual to the next.

The patron deity of the derro is Diirinka, a horrible and cruel deity who may have been responsible for their creation. All derro fear Diirinka and make frequent sacrifices (often in the form of other derro) to him to avoid his wrath, although very few actually worship him. Those few who devote themselves to Diirinka are known collectively as the Touched, and other derro follow them fanatically, fearing that to disobey them is to invite the wrath of Diirinka upon themselves. As with all positions within the derro hierarchy, however, the Touched are only obeyed for as long as they can fend off the attempts on their life — all eventually fall to the swift dagger of one of their "followers".

The primary derro kingdom is known as Diit, named after their god, and is arguably one of the most dangerous locations to live in the known multiverse. Diit sees on average two dozen murders each day, with piles of bodies simply thrown outside the city limits to attract scavengers that the derro kill for food and sport; a common expression goes that if you stumble upon a derro city before you smell it, you deserve what's coming to you. Fully three-fourths of Diit's population is composed of non-derro slaves, creatures of many varied races that have been captured in raids on neighboring cities, passing caravans, and even the surface world.

Derro names are often unoriginal amalgams of human and dwarf names, making no attempts at either hiding their origin or making the names sound like part of the derro language. Family names are rarely kept, as most derro create for themselves an illustrious "proper name" meant to display his importance and power. Proper names are rarely more than intimidating combinations of words like "Bloodbather", "Dreadtongue", or "Soulgrasp", or even outright titles like "the Grand Vizier of Madness and Suffering Unimaginable". Derro sometimes claim multiple proper names in an attempt to sound even more impressive.

Derro Characteristics: Insane, unpredictable, malicious, sadistic, cruel, dominating, torturing.

Male Names: Arikom, Baenn, Bharik, Dodrak, Krigran, Migrim, Quindal, Ranis, Sadek, Thoregg.

Female Names: Ankra, Biza, Gwistra, Matta, Mirdis, Narri, Luuva, Stalja, Visine, Zanndryn.

Derro Adventurers[edit]

Three sample derro adventurers are described below.

Gwistra the Bonebreaking Queen of Dying Slaves is as ruthless as she is lazy. The only form of work she can tolerate is punishing her slaves for not meeting her every desire...or sometimes just for fun. Ordinarily, she would never bother to leave her own house, but rumors of a female drow with pink hair have sparked her interest and prompted her to head an expedition into the Underdark. What a fabulous addition to her harem such a slave would make — how dearly others would pay for even a quick glance at such a trophy!

Baenn the Dreadmaker is perhaps one of the lowest-ranking derro in Diit, or so others would think. Remarkably level-headed for a derro, Baenn has learned to keep a low profile, doing everything he can to keep his true power a secret so that none might be tempted to take it from him. But lately that pesky neighbor has been saying weird things to him like "shun the frumious homunculus" and "hide your gold in a potato sack". It's obviously a code of some sort, and Baenn just knows that someone is going to try to kill him soon.

Narri and Stalja are identical twins in more ways than one: they each have an alternate personality that is exactly the same as the other's normal personality. They eat together, sleep together, work together, and kill together; not once in the twenty years of their lives have they been more than ten feet from one another. They wear the exact same clothing, finish each others sentences, and swap positions quite frequently, making it virtually impossible to tell them apart. It's a wonder they haven't discovered a ritual to fuse themselves yet.

Derro Racial Feats[edit]

The following feats are exclusive to the derro race.

Heroic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Echoing Scream
Shared Madness
Paragon Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Taunting Voice
Epic Tier Racial Feats
Name Description
Dominating Shout

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