City of Drow: A Path of Ascension Variation
Found in several variations under the GameSpy heading "Action"
Designed as a persistent world by some University of Chicago students. Originally published as "City of Drow" Several NPCs are based off of PCs on the now defunct "BH Path of Ascension" server.
Suggested Size: 8-32 players
RP/PvP/PvE/RP Lite/PvP Lite: City of Drow attempts to create more of an atmosphere than the original Path of Ascension module it is built off of. RP is highly encouraged but not strictly enforced. It is a team oriented PvE module for the most part with plenty of outlets for lite RP and PvP.
The Grand Duchess (It has now been established that her name is High Lady Suroth Staja) - The Grand Duchess is the ruler of the new city-state that players start off in. She is played by a DM. She is usually angry or annoyed about something, and is quick to let you know about it.
Lord Caldur "Englefoot"/Staja - The Grand Duchess' cousin, Caldur, aka Caldur Englefoot, appears to be the city-state's invisible hand of power. He is usually the first DM character players meet. Most player characters end up working for Caldur as an operative of the Grand Duchy. PCs carry out missions for Caldur that typically include intelligence missions, assassinations, investigations, etc. As the most mild mannered and rational drow found in the mod, it is safe to assume that the tolerance for other races and beliefs as long as they are tempered by absolute loyalty is mainly due to Caldur's influence. One gets the feeling that he is results oriented.
Story The story behind the module is somewhat odd and perhaps distasteful to some D&D purists. The City of Drow is a city-state. Its name is not wholly clear since it is referred to as the Grand Duchy. It is a city controlled by the drow on the surface. The drow house Staja has found its way to the surface and has attacked the largely unarmed town of Ascension. The Grand Duchess and Caldur (see above), contrary to what one would suspect from a drow, are willing to accept anyone to work for the city-state so long as their absolute loyalty is guaranteed. The Grand Duchess and Caldur see the small town of Ascension and the large city that has been built next to it due to their lucrative influence as a foothold in the surface world. The ruling house (Staja) has to occassionally battle back forces from their Underdark brethren, but it is clear that the Grand Duchess would much prefer to rule the surface world than have anything to do with the slimy pit she formerly called home. Player characters logging into the server can help the Grand Duchy solidify its position against neighboring states, or they can simply go through the regular Path of Ascension part of the module, or they can form a guild and make a bit of profit out of the situation.
Notes: The City of Drow has interesting story elements behind it that are constantly in a state of development. This leads to several incongruities within the mod. For example, the Grand Duchess of the city state is rarely named the same way twice. She is usually simply referred to as, "Grand Duchess."
While the DMs react to different races and classes differently, there is no preferrence for drow.
Several elements were added to the original Path of Ascension module using the expansion sets, both of which are now required.
Shop items in City of Drow are very boring now. Very basic stuff. The point was to get players to not all eventually be warrior-mages and instead be more dependent on class diversity. Special items are still available as drops in certain areas or as unique items that the player is awarded through role play.