The Drow Matriarch
[D&D Prestige Class]

The Drow Matriarch
Drow matriarchs are powerful political and/or religious figures in the drow hierarchy – as regal and ruthless as the situation demands.

Drow matriarchs are dark elf females most often with levels of cleric and/or bard, noble, rogue, or witch.

To qualify to become a drow matriarch (DwMa), a character must fulfill all the following criteria.

Alignment: Any evil.
Feats: Leadership and two of the following: Iron Will, Skeptical, Sly, or Sophisticated.
Gender: Female.
Race: Drow.
Skills: Bluff 2, Intimidate 7, Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) 4, Sense Motive 6.
Special: The character must have been born into a prominent drow family, must hold a position of power in drow society, or must have a notorious reputation among drow. The character can lose that prominence after entering this prestige class and still progress as a drow matriarch.

Game Rule Information
Drow matriarchs have the following game statistics.

Base Attack Bonus: Average (as an assassin).
Hit Die: d8.
Saves: Good Will / Poor Fortitude and Reflex.
Class Skills: The drow matriarch's class skills are Appraise (Int), Bluff (Cha), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Diplomacy (Cha), Intimidate (Cha), Knowledge (Arcana) (Int), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Knowledge (Nobility and Royalty) (Int), Knowledge (Religion) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Perform (Cha), Profession (Wis), Sense Motive (Wis), Spot (Wis), and Spellcraft (Int). Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Intelligence modifier.

Class Features
All of the following are class features of the drow matriarch prestige class.

Weapons and Armor Proficiency: Drow matriarchs are proficient with all Simple weapons and with the hand crossbow. They gain no additional armor proficiencies.

  1. Authority, Spider's Finesse, Vicious Strike [+1d6]
  2. Power & Influence, Underdark Empress [+2]
  3. Silence
  4. Vicious Strike [+2d6]
  5. Power & Influence
  6. My Rivals Fall Before Me, Underdark Empress [+4]
  7. Vicious Strike [+3d6]
  8. Power & Influence
  9. My Name in Vain
  10. Aura of Respect, Underdark Empress [+6], Vicious Strike [+4d6]

The drow matriarch commands unwavering obedience from others. She can issue one command per day per drow matriarch level, affecting arachnid creatures as well as those normally targeted by the spell. If the targeted creature fails its Will save (DC 10 + drow matriarch level + Charisma modifier + 3 against drow males and arachnids), it does as she commands. This is a spell-like ability.

Spider's Finesse
Using poison to discreetly eliminate her enemies is a skill every drow matriarch perfects. She suffers no chance of poisoning herself when handling toxins.

Vicious Strike [1st/4th/7th/10th level]
She is cunning and deadly, skilled at striking foes when they least expect it. At 1st level and every three levels thereafter, the drow matriarch deals Sneak Attack damage +1d6, which stacks with any existing Sneak Attack damage.

Underdark Empress [2nd/6th/10th level]
The drow matriarch holds extraordinary sway over drow and spiders. At the 2nd level and every four levels thereafter, she receives a +2 bonus to her Leadership score when attracting drow and arachnid followers and cohorts.

Power & Influence [2nd/5th/8th level]
She grows more powerful and more influential as she ascends in levels. At 2nd level and every three levels thereafter, the drow matriarch may either advance in spellcasting as if she has gained a level in bard, cleric, or witch; gain an Inheritance as a noble of her character level; or select a bonus feat from the following: Combat Reflexes, Improved Critical, Iron Will, Persuasive, and Weapon Finesse. She must otherwise qualify for any feat chosen.

Silence [3rd level]
The drow matriarch demands absolute silence from lesser beings. Three times per day, her Authority ability may function as a Language-Dependant silence spell that only affects the targeted creature. If the creature fails its Will save (DC 10 + drow matriarch level + Charisma modifier + 3 against drow males and arachnids), it is rendered silent by Compulsion for 1 minute per matriarch level. The drow matriarch can never silence herself or objects with this spell-like ability.

My Rivals Fall Before Me [6th level]
The drow matriarch is a deadly rival, one not to be crossed lightly. If she studies her victim for 3 rounds and then makes a Vicious Strike with a melee weapon that successfully deals damage, the attack has the additional effect of killing the target if it fails a Fortitude save (DC 10 + drow matriarch level + Intelligence modifier). While studying her victim, the matriarch can undertake other actions so long as her attention stays focused on the target and the target does not detect her or recognize her as an enemy. If the victim's saving throw succeeds, the attack is just a normal Vicious Strike. Once the drow matriarch has completed the 3 rounds of study, she must make the deadly attack within the next 3 rounds. If the attack is attempted and fails (the victim makes its save) or if the drow matriarch does not launch the attack within 3 rounds of completing the study, 3 new rounds of study are required before she can attempt another My Rivals Fall Before Me attack.

My Name in Vain [9th level]
In the murderous political world of the drow, few ascend to the highest levels or power without perceiving and unraveling the many plots against them. Whenever an elven or arachnid being on the same plane utters the drow matriarch's name, she knows; whenever any creature within 300 feet of her utters her name, she knows. She knows the general direction and distance of the creature and receives a brief mental image of its face. For the purposes of spellcasting and other acts requiring concentration, this mental image is as distracting as being struck for 1 hit point of damage. To avoid such distraction, the drow matriarch can disengage and re-engage this supernatural sense as a free action.

Aura of Respect [10th level]
The drow matriarch's intimidating presence can cause even the most determined foe to waver. When a creature within 5 feet attempts to attack the drow matriarch with weapon or magic, it is forced to make a Will save (DC 10 + drow matriarch level + Charisma modifier + 3 against drow males and arachnids). Success allows the creature to attack the matriarch normally that round and for the rest of that encounter. Failing the save compels the creature to not attack the drow matriarch that round – although it is free to take other actions and to attack other targets – and the creature must continue making Will saves each round it attempts to attack the drow matriarch until it succeeds at the save. If the creature is within her reach when it fails the save, the drow matriarch is allowed an attack of opportunity against her would-be killer. Aura of Respect is a supernatural emanation that functions as a Compulsion and Mind-Affecting effect. Creatures immune to charms or fear are undeterred by the aura.

Epic Drow Matriarch: The epic-level drow matriarch continues her Hit Die, skill point, Authority, Vicious Strike, Power & Influence, and Underdark Empress progressions. In addition, she receives bonus epic feats at 15th level and every five levels thereafter (15th, 20th, 25th, 30th, etc.).

History: Originally posted on the Wizards of the Coast message boards in September of 2003 as the matriarch.

Board Link: To feedback on this class posted on the Wizards of the Coast message boards.


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