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Derro (4e Monster)

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Date Created: February 14, 2009
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Derro are the degenerate offspring of humans and dwarves, created by some malign deity in ages past. They resemble small dwarves but have grey or blue skin and white hair. Unlike true dwarves, very few derro have beards. Derro are naturally insane, either because of their unusual mixed heritage or because of some cruel choice by their creator. They often possess multiple mental disorders, with schizophrenia and multiple personalities being the most common. In fact, nearly one in ten derro are so horribly psychotic that they do not survive past their first year of life.

The only unifying trait of the derro is cruelty - every individual, even the children, takes great pleasure in inflicting pain upon others. They particularly enjoy breaking the spirit of captured enemies. Their society is just as chaotic as they are, with the ruler at any given time holding power solely because he has enough slaves to enforce his rule. It is rare that a single individual holds any position for more than a few months; a dagger in the back usually ends their term prematurely. Derro law dictates that only the victim of an attack can press charges against the assailant, so assassinations are usually made in public before a large audience.

The derro follow the god Diirinka, a terrible entity of madness and chaos who claims to have created them. Although few derro actually worship him, all of them fear Diirinka and make regular sacrifices to him in order to avoid his wrath. He is a fickle deity, however, and has been known to strike down even his most fervent of worshipers simply for his own amusement. Diirinka teaches his followers to pursue personal power at all costs and to enslave or kill those who are weak.

For derro as a playable race, see Derro (4e Race).

Derro
A typical derro (shown on the right).
DracomortisAdded by Dracomortis

Derro Vocalist

Vocalists are derro who have learned to use their scream of madness power much more frequently than usual. Their mental screams cause lasting mental trauma and can briefly disorient opponents. Arguably more insane than most of their kin, vocalists shriek and howl nearly constantly. For this reason, they are usually kept on the outskirts of derro societies.

Derro Vocalist
Level 5 Artillery
Small natural humanoid
XP 200
Initiative +4 Senses Perception +3, darkvision
HP 52; Bloodied 26
AC 17; Fortitude 17, Reflex 17, Will 19
Saving Throws +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
BasicMelee Short Sword (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+12 vs. AC; 1d6 + 4 damage.
BasicRanged Hand Crossbow (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +12 vs. AC; 1d6 + 4 damage.
Close Scream of Madness (standard; recharge D6 (5) D6 (6)) ♦ Psychic
Close blast 3; +10 vs. Will; 3d6 + 4 psychic damage, ongoing 2 psychic damage, and the target is dazed (save ends both). Miss: Half damage, no ongoing psychic damage, and the target is not dazed.
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Dungeoneering +5, Intimidate +9
Str 15 (+4) Dex 14 (+4) Wis 12 (+3)
Con 16 (+5) Int 15 (+4) Cha 20 (+7)
Equipment hand crossbow, short sword, 20 bolts

Derro Vocalist Tactics

The tactics of a vocalist are as simple as they are effective: draw opponents in close with its hand crossbow, then repeatedly unleash its scream of madness on as many of them as possible. If it can get some distance between it and its opponents, the vocalist will continue to use its hand crossbow while waiting until it can scream again; if not, it draws its short sword and hacks away.

Derro Madguard

Madguards serve as the head of command for small groups of derro. Their usual role is to lead scouting parties and reconnaissance groups that wander the tunnels farthest from derro cities, serving as a first line of defense against any possible threat their homeland may face.

Derro Madguard
Level 5 Elite Soldier
Small natural humanoid
XP 400
Initiative +6 Senses Perception +8, darkvision
Bastion of Insanity aura 5; all allies gain +1 to Will defense, and +1 to damage rolls when using a power that has the psychic keyword.
HP 136; Bloodied 68
AC 23; Fortitude 21, Reflex 17, Will 19
Saving Throws +2; +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
Action Points 1
BasicMelee Longsword (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+12 vs. AC; 1d8 + 4 damage.
BasicRanged Hand Crossbow (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +12 vs. AC; 1d6 + 4 damage.
Close Scream of Madness (standard; encounter) ♦ Psychic
Close burst 3; +10 vs. Will; 3d8 + 4 psychic damage, and the target is marked until the end of the derro madguard's next turn.
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Dungeoneering +5, Intimidate +7
Str 18 (+6) Dex 14 (+4) Wis 12 (+3)
Con 20 (+7) Int 15 (+4) Cha 16 (+5)
Equipment chainmail, hand crossbow, heavy shield, longsword, 20 bolts

Derro Madguard Tactics

Madguards will eagerly wade into combat along but prefer to bring other derro, particularly vocalists, into the fray so that they can maximize the benefit of their bastion of insanity aura. If multiple madguards are working together, they use their scream of madness to try to force targets into attacking them while their remaining troops move around to flank the enemy.

Derro Mindscar

Derro mindscars are apprentice magic users whose mental capabilities have not yet been fully refined. Their magic is fueled by raw potential rather than disciplined training, which makes them unpredictable foes. A mindscar's powers often leave its victims damaged for extended periods of time, though few can survive their vicious attacks. Mindscars study under a savant and wear brown robes to signify their status as an apprentice. Though they are only novices, they consider themselves above most other derro, and at times small groups of mindscars have even slain their savant masters.

Derro Mindscar
Level 8 Controller
Small natural humanoid
XP 350
Initiative +7 Senses Perception +6, darkvision
HP 90; Bloodied 45
AC 22; Fortitude 20, Reflex 20, Will 22
Saving Throws +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
BasicMelee Short Staff (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+13 vs. AC; 1d6 + 5 damage.
Ranged Mental Blast (standard; at-will) ♦ Psychic
Ranged 10; +12 vs. Will; 1d8 + 5 psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the derro mindscar's next turn.
Ranged Phantasmal Assailant (standard; encounter) ♦ Illusion, Psychic
Ranged 10; +12 vs. Will; 2d6 + 5 psychic damage, ongoing 5 psychic damage, and the target grants combat advantage to all the derro mindscar's allies (save ends both).
Close Scream of Madness (standard; encounter) ♦ Psychic
Close burst 3; +12 vs. Will; 3d8 + 5 psychic damage, and the target is dazed (save ends). Miss: Half damage, and the target is not dazed.
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Arcana +12, Dungeoneering +8, Intimidate +12
Str 17 (+7) Dex 16 (+7) Wis 14 (+6)
Con 18 (+8) Int 17 (+7) Cha 22 (+10)
Equipment brown robes, short staff

Derro Mindscar Tactics

Unlike most derro, mindscars don't try to make prisoners of their enemies — their mental powers are too unstable and erratic to be fully controlled, so they simply aim to kill, using phantasmal assailants as soon as combat begins. If led by a savant, they will usually ease the assault as their foes weaken so that their more skilled leader can dominate the victims or otherwise subdue them for later use.

Derro Venomblade

Venomblades are derro who focus their efforts on mastering the art of stealth and assassination, rather than developing their mental talents. Skilled in the use of many poisons and able to strike before the opponent knows that danger is present, venomblades can quickly take out small group of enemies and infiltrate deep into the heart of hostile cities.

Derro Venomblade
Level 9 Skirmisher
Small natural humanoid
XP 400
Initiative +11 Senses Perception +8, darkvision
HP 98; Bloodied 49
AC 21; Fortitude 23, Reflex 21, Will 22
Saving Throws +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
BasicMelee Dagger (standard; at-will) ♦ Poison, Weapon
+14 vs. AC; 1d4 + 5 damage, the derro venomblade makes a secondary attack against the same target, and the derro venomblade shifts 1 square. Secondary Attack: +14 vs. Fortitude; see greenblood oil for the effect.
BasicRanged Thrown Dagger (standard; at-will) ♦ Poison, Weapon
Ranged 5/10; +14 vs. AC; 1d4 + 5 damage, and the derro venomblade makes a secondary attack against the same target. Secondary Attack: +14 vs. Fortitude; see greenblood oil for the effect.
Melee Assassinate (standard; the derro venomblade has combat advantage against the target) ♦ Poison, Weapon
The derro venomblade makes two dagger attacks with a +2 bonus on the attack roll. If both dagger attacks hit the same target, the target takes an extra 1d4 + 5 damage and ongoing 5 damage.
Close Scream of Madness (standard; encounter) ♦ Psychic
Close burst 3; +12 vs. Will; 3d8 + 5 psychic damage, and the target is dazed until the end of the derro venomblade's next turn. Miss: Half damage, and the target is not dazed.
Greenblood Oil ♦ Poison
A creature hit by a weapon coated in greenblood oil takes ongoing 5 poison damage (save ends). First Failed Save: The target is also dazed (save ends). Second Failed Save: The target is stunned instead of dazed (save ends).
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Dungeoneering +5, Intimidate +9, Stealth +9
Str 17 (+7) Dex 21 (+9) Wis 12 (+5)
Con 18 (+8) Int 20 (+9) Cha 19 (+8)
Equipment 2 daggers, 10 doses of greenblood oil

Derro Venomblade Tactics

Venomblades prefer to ambush their target from hiding and will usually refrain from attacking until they can do so on favorable terms. They focus their efforts on the most obviously dangerous targets first, especially if they can discern a clear leader amongst the enemy. In groups, they quickly flank enemies to make the best use of their assassinate ability, or use scream of madness to temporarily stall while they reatreat to more advantageous positions.

Derro Savant

Derro savants are spellcasters who initially gained their power through the chaotic forces of their own minds. They then honed this power to heightened levels through structured discipline and study. Lesser apprentices called mindscars often accompany savants, but they are otherwise rarely found amongst their own kind. Savants prefer quiet, isolated locations where they can conduct unthinkable experiments on other creatures: they claim that these procedures "enhance" the patients, but the subjects rarely survive. Those that do live through the probing of a savant often wish they were dead. Savants dress themselves in dull grey robes made of silk, a rare commodity in the Underdark, to distinguish their superiority over other derro.

Derro Savant
Level 11 Elite Controller (Leader)
Small natural humanoid
XP 1,200
Initiative +8 Senses Perception +7, darkvision
HP 230; Bloodied 115
AC 27; Fortitude 25, Reflex 23, Will 27
Saving Throws +2; +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
Action Points 1
BasicMelee Short Staff (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+16 vs. AC; 1d6 + 5 damage.
BasicRanged Hand Crossbow (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
Ranged 10/20; +16 vs. AC; 1d6 + 5 damage.
Ranged Illusory Ambush (standard; at-will) ♦ Illusion, Psychic
Ranged 10; +15 vs. Will; 1d8 + 5 psychic damage, and the target takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls until the end of the derro savant's next turn.
Close Scream of Madness (standard; recharge D6 (5) D6 (6)) ♦ Charm, Psychic
Close burst 3; +15 vs. Will; 3d8 + 5 psychic damage, and the target is dominated (save ends). Miss: Half damage, and the target is not dominated.
Area Illusory Wall (standard; encounter) ♦ Illusion
Wall 8 within 20 squares; the wall blocks line of sight for all enemies, but not allies, until the end of the encounter. The wall can be up to 8 squares long and 4 squares high. When an enemy moves adjacent to or starts its turn adjacent to the wall, the derro savants makes an attack as a free action; +15 vs. Will; the target treats the wall as blocking terrain (save ends). Miss: The wall no longer blocks line of sight or movement for that creature for the remainder of the encounter.
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Arcana +14, Dungeoneering +9, Intimidate +13
Str 18 (+9) Dex 17 (+8) Wis 15 (+7)
Con 19 (+9) Int 18 (+9) Cha 23 (+11)
Equipment grey silk robes, hand crossbow, short staff, 20 bolts

Derro Savant Tactics

Savants prefer to confuse and dominate their foes rather than kill them, realizing the potential slaves have as future test subjects in their cruel experiments. They use illusory wall to set up ambush spots for any allies they may have, then hits as many foes as possible with illusory ambush to make its forces seem much larger than they actually are. Savants typically reserve their scream of madness for particularly troublesome opponents, which it can then turn against the victim's allies.

Derro Lunatic Priest

Lunatic priests are the fanatic worshipers of the derro god Diirinka and are the highest-ranking of the derro. They dress themselves in ceremonial white robes emblazoned with hundreds of grinning mouths, the holy symbol of their deity. They are the voice of their god, even though that voice is often nonsensical gibberish, and to invoke their wrath is to draw the ire of Diirinka himself.

Derro Lunatic Priest
Level 14 Artillery
Small natural humanoid
XP 1,000
Initiative +11 Senses Perception +15, darkvision
HP 111; Bloodied 55
AC 26; Fortitude 26, Reflex 26, Will 28
Saving Throws +5 against domination effects
Speed 5
BasicMelee Mace (standard; at-will) ♦ Weapon
+21 vs. AC; 1d8 + 6 damage.
Ranged Bolt of Lunacy (minor; at-will) ♦ Psychic
Ranged 5; +19 vs. Will; 1d10 + 6 psychic damage.
Ranged Diirinka's Hideous Laughter (standard; at-will) ♦ Divine, Psychic
Ranged 10; +19 vs. Will; the target is knocked prone at the end of its turn each round and takes a –2 penalty to saving throws against powers with the psychic keyword (save ends both).
Close Perfect Insanity (standard; recharge D6 (5) D6 (6)) ♦ Disease, Psychic
Close blast 3; +19 vs. Fortitude; the target contracts cackle fever.
Close Scream of Madness (standard; encounter) ♦ Psychic
Close burst 3; +19 vs. Will; 4d8 + 6 psychic damage, ongoing 5 psychic damage, and the target is stunned (save ends both). Miss: Half damage, no ongoing psychic damage, and the target is not stunned.
Alignment Chaotic evil Languages Common, Deep Speech
Skills Dungeoneering +7, Intimidate +16, Religion +17
Str 20 (+12) Dex 19 (+11) Wis 17 (+10)
Con 21 (+12) Int 20 (+12) Cha 25 (+14)
Equipment ceremonial robes, chainmail, heavy shield, mace

Derro Lunatic Priest Tactics

Lunatic priests are more concerned with spreading the mad word of their deity than their own lives, so they fight with reckless abandon, attempting to strike as many foes as possible with perfect insanity so that they will be afflicted even if the priest should fall. If it can, it will use Diirinka's hideous laughter on foes to weaken their resolve before using its other abilities.

Derro Lore

A character knows the following information with a successful Nature check.

DC 15: Derro are degenerate crossbreeds of human and dwarf that live beneath the surface of the earth, deep within the Underdark. They are wholly evil and utterly insane as a species, and take great pleasure in enslaving and torturing others.

DC 20: Most derro prefer to take prisoners and slaves instead of killing their opponents, but such individuals usually wind up dying in derro cities anyway.

Encounter Groups

Derro are rarely encountered alone, usually traveling with a handful of their kin. Particularly large groups also frequently bring a variety of enslaved creatures with them, which can be of almost any race.

Level 5 Encounter (XP 1,000) — Derro Patrol

  • 1 derro madguard (level 5 elite soldier)
  • 3 derro vocalists (level 5 skirmisher)

Level 8 Encounter (XP 1,700) — Derro Elite Guard

  • 2 derro madguards (level 5 elite soldier)
  • 2 derro mindscars (level 8 controller)
  • 1 derro vocalist (level 5 artillery)

Level 9 Encounter (XP 1,900) — Derro Assassin Squad

  • 2 derro mindscars (level 8 controller)
  • 3 derro venomblades (level 9 skirmisher)

Level 11 Encounter (XP 2,950) — Derro Tutelage

  • 5 derro mindscars (level 8 controller)
  • 1 derro savant (level 11 elite controller)

Level 15 Encounter (XP 6,100) — Voice of Diirinka

  • 2 derro lunatic priests (level 14 artillery)
  • 6 derro mindscars (level 8 controller)
  • 1 derro savant (level 11 elite controller)
  • 2 derro venomblades (level 9 skirmisher)



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