Derro (Dungeons & Dragons)

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Derro
D&DDerro.JPG
Characteristics
Type Monstrous humanoid
Stats Open Game License stats

The derro are a fictional species of monstrous humanoids in the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game. They were first devised for the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons First Edition adventure The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth.[1]

Derro appear in both the Forgotten Realms and Greyhawk campaign settings.

Publication history[edit]

The derro first appeared in the first edition in the adventure module The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (1982),[1] and was reprinted in the original Monster Manual II (1983).[2]

The derro appeared in second edition for the Greyhawk setting in the adventure modules Greyhawk Ruins (1990) and Flames of the Falcon (1990), and the boxed set From the Ashes (1992). The derro then appeared in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[3] The derro mutants appeared in Dungeon #81 (July 2000), including the multi-armed derro mutants, the grimlock-derro conjoin, and the derro with eyestalks.

The derro appeared in the third edition Monster Manual (2000),[4] and in the 3.5 revised Monster Manual (2003).[5]

The derro made an appearance in the fourth edition Monster Manual 3 (2010).

Physical description[edit]

Derro appear to be a degenerate subspecies of dwarves, augmented and twisted by ancient dark magics. Their rough skin is white with bluish undertones and is spotted with short tufts of coarse hair, which is well tended and trimmed in highly ritualistic tribal patterns. Their hair is straight and tends to be tan or pale yellow, and is often worn with weaves or tribal braids. Their eyes are most disturbing, as they are a uniform pale yellow in color and glow with a faint sickly yellow light, lacking in both iris and pupil.

Society[edit]

Derro are widespread and are likely to be found in small bands throughout the Underdark. Derro warrens exist in many drow and duergar cities, and independent derro strongholds lie in the deepest reaches of the Underdark. Derro scouts and marauders search the areas near and around their settlements for victims to enslave and torment.

The derro are a strange and sadistic race; they are clever, stealthy, and murderously insane. It is very common for a derro to devote his or her self to some strange quest, such as collecting only certain types of gemstones for a magical device or slaying as many members of a particular race as possible. Other derro are assigned specific missions by powerful derro savants. These mission-driven derro might join a company of comrades to fulfill their irrational goals.

Religion[edit]

The two known gods of the derro are Diirinka and Diinkarazan.

Derro in various campaign settings[edit]

Derro in the Forgotten Realms[edit]

In the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, derro are the Delzoun, a dwarven clan who were the result of genetic breeding performed by mind flayers.

Derro in Greyhawk[edit]

In the World of Greyhawk setting, derro are thought to be the result of breeding a race of slaves from dwarven and human stock by the Suel Imperium.

Possible creative origins[edit]

Richard Sharpe Shaver's deros are the degenerate, sadistic descendants of a proto-race that live in vast cavern complexes below the Earth.[6] The author, in a bipartite tale he claims is true, asserts that the European dero are responsible for activating "the Nazis guarding the camps to the abysmal depths of depravity to which they descended. For centuries, the dero have been doing the same things—and worse—though on a smaller scale."[7]

Other publishers[edit]

The derro is fully detailed in Paizo Publishing's book Classic Horrors Revisited (2009), on pages 4–9.[8]

Additional reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Gygax, Gary (1982). The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth. WI: TSR. ISBN 0-935696-72-5. 
  2. ^ Gygax, Gary. Monster Manual II (TSR, 1983)
  3. ^ Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1993)
  4. ^ Williams, Skip, Jonathan Tweet, and Monte Cook. Monster Manual (Wizards of the Coast, 2000)
  5. ^ Williams, Skip. Monster Manual. Renton, WA: Wizards of the Coast, 2003
  6. ^ Shaver, Richard Sharpe. Amazing Stories: I Remember Lemuria (Experimenter Publishing, March 1945)
  7. ^ Shaver, Richard Sharpe. Amazing Stories: Thought Records of Lemuria (Experimenter Publishing, June 1945)
  8. ^ Jacobs, James, Rob McCreary, and F. Wesley Schneider. Classic Horrors Revisited (Paizo, 2009)

External links[edit]

Image[edit]