Karza Character Creation
The karza are elven in stature, with skin tones ranging from onyx black to medium shades of gray, though darker skin is the most prized. White, gray, and blond hair are common, but shiny silver locks are rare and admired. The karza have eyes like their surface cousins, with irises in deep black, brown, and red, and occasionally purple. Variations are usually linked to breeding outside of karza stock, but that isn’t always held in high regard. When all else fails, alchemical treatments for skin and hair are available, although they are painful, temporary, and easily sabotaged. Desperation makes them popular, however.

The Elven language that the karza speak is heavily accented in a way that’s foreign to Porphyra and to the other drow nations that dwell beneath it. Karza often add clicks, hisses, and hums for extra inflection, but much of the underlying structure and vocabulary is the same - a coincidence that annoys the karza more than it should.

All karza possess the following racial characteristics.

  • +2 Strength, +2 Charisma, –2 Intelligence: Karza are robust and imposing but emulate an insectile intellect.
  • Elf: Drow are humanoids with the elf subtype.
  • Medium: Drow are Medium creatures and receive no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  • Normal Speed: Drow have a base speed of 30 feet.
  • Darkvision: Drow can see in the dark up to 120 feet.
  • Drow Immunities: Drow are immune to magic sleep effects and gain a +2 racial bonus on saving throws against enchantment spells and effects.
  • Keen Senses: Drow gain a +2 racial bonus on Perception checks.
  • Poison Use: Drow are skilled in the use of poison and never risk accidentally poisoning themselves.
  • Spell Resistance: Drow possess spell resistance equal to 6 plus their class levels.
  • Spell-Like Abilities: Karza can cast ghost sound, blend, and spider climb, once each per day, using her total character level as her caster level.
  • Light Blindness: Abrupt exposure to bright light blinds drow for 1 round; on subsequent rounds, they are dazzled as long as they remain in the affected area.
  • Languages: Drow begin play speaking Elven and Undercommon. Karza with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following languages: Abyssal, Aklo, Aquan, Common, Draconic, Gnome, Goblin, or Orc.

Alternate Racial Characteristics
A starting karza character can benefit from alternate racial abilities, but only from one of the categories below. Feats or blessings can allow for more traits to be taken later, but these options must be earned or developed over time and are beyond the ken of novice drow. And while it might seem like insect mutations would give the karza an edge over other drow, they are just as likely to elicit resentment. Without a reputation to precede them, a karza’s differences confer no special social bonuses. Consult your GM before selecting any of these options.

In place of the keen senses racial characteristic, a karza can manifest one of the following traits :

  • Bite: A few karza gain fangs and a natural bite attack, dealing damage equivalent to that of a creature two size categories lower than normal for their size (or 1d3 for Medium). They also add 1-1/2 of their Strength bonus to damage rolls. The bite is a primary attack, or a secondary attack if the drow is wielding manufactured weapons. This trait can be taken up to two times. The second time it is taken, the bite damage increases by one size category, the enlarged teeth disfigure the mouth, imposing a -1 Charisma penalty.
  • Cave Dweller: Many karza gain a +1 bonus on Knowledge (dungeoneering) and Survival checks made underground.
  • Toxic: Rare karza gain the following extraordinary ability: A number of times per day equal to their Constitution modifier (minimum 1/day), a drow can envenom a weapon with toxic saliva or blood (using blood requires the creature to be injured when it uses this ability). Applying venom in this way is a swift action. When you take this trait, choose one of the following venoms.
    • Life-Stealing Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the user’s Hit Dice + the user’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1 Con; cure 1 save.
    • Paralytic Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + the 1/2 user’s Hit Dice + the user’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Dex; cure 1 save.
    • Weakening Venom: Injury; save Fort DC 10 + 1/2 the user’s Hit Dice + the user’s Constitution modifier; frequency 1/round for 6 rounds; effect 1d2 Str; cure 1 save.

In place of the drow immunities racial characteristic, a karza can manifest one of the following traits:

  • Burrow: A few karza have reinforced hands with webbed fingers and gain a burrow speed of 10 feet.
  • Natural Armor: Some karza develop a chitinous hide and gain a +1 natural armor bonus to their Armor Class.
  • Swarm Tactics: Many karza receive Swarm Strike as a bonus feat.

Instead of the spell-like abilities racial characteristics, a karza can manifest one of the following traits:

  • Blindsense (30 Feet): Using nonvisual senses such as acute smell or hearing, some karza notice things they cannot see. They usually do not need to make Perception checks to pinpoint the location of a creature within 30 feet, provided they have line of effect to that creature. A creature that the drow cannot see still has total concealment against individuals with blindsense, and the drow still have the normal miss chance when attacking creatures that have concealment. Visibility still affects the movement of the drow, and they are still denied their Dexterity bonus to AC against attacks from creatures they cannot see.
  • Spider Legs: A few karza develop a set of two spider legs from their backs or sides. These legs cannot hold weapons or grasp objects, but they can deliver touch attacks, perform the somatic component of spells, be adorned with magical items (taking up shoulders, body, hands, wrists, or ring slots), and perform natural claw attacks (1d4 for Medium size). All spider legs gained through the racial ability have a +2 bonus to CMD versus any combat maneuvers aimed at them. Only one hand counts as the primary hand; all others make off-hand attacks.
  • Stinging Tail: Rare karza have a tail they can use to make attacks with a reach of 5 feet. The tail is a natural attack that deals 1d6 points of damage plus the user’s Strength modifier if Small, 1d8 points of damage plus the user’s Strength modifier if Medium, or 1d10 points of damage plus 1-1/2 times the user’s Strength modifier if Large. The tail also confers the Toxic ability from above and can deliver poison, though its bulk imposes a -1 penalty to Reflex saves as a result.

See Also