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Excerpts: Divine Power Destruction Domain

In today's Divine Power preview, we present a new domain for followers of Gruumsh and Tharizdun: the destruction domain!


Each deity holds sway over certain aspects of existence. For example, Erathis is the god of cities and nations. She often represents law, order, authority, and invention. Aspects of existence such as these are summed up in domains, spheres of divine influence. Each deity is associated with two or three divine domains.
More than thirty divine domains are presented in this chapter, and the domains of the deities from the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide are noted. Erathis, for example, is associated with the civilization, creation, and justice domains.

Using Domains

Your divine character gains access to the domains of his or her deity, which means you gain access to those domains' feats. Each divine domain has a divinity feat and a domain feat associated with it. These feats follow the normal rules for feat selection. If your character worships multiple deities with a common theme (such as the three gods of destiny, Avandra, Ioun, and the Raven Queen), you gain access to all their domains.
Divinity Feats
Characters who have the Channel Divinity class feature can gain additional Channel Divinity powers by taking divinity feats. As long as you have a particular divinity feat, you can use its power.
Domain Feats
Domain feats provide benefits when you use divine at-will attack powers associated with them. Each domain feat notes its associated powers. If you have more than one domain feat associated with the same power, that power can benefit from only one domain feat at a time. You decide which domain feat applies each time you use the power. For example, if your cleric of Kord has the domain feats Power of Strength and Power of War and uses priest's shield, you choose which feat's benefit to apply.


Gruumsh and Tharizdun share the destruction domain, but their outlooks have little in common.
Gruumsh exhorts followers to senseless carnage, burning, and the defilement of lands. His raging hordes scour the world, bringing cities down and dragging nations to their knees. Destruction is an end in itself, and the more violent the end, the better.
Tharizdun desires destruction on a grander scale. He is the god of cataclysms. No mere wildfire or volcanic eruption satiates his demands on his followers. The mad god seeks the world's end by whatever means possible. His crazed followers are often truly mad.
Other gods of destruction might be associated with natural disasters: storms, earthquakes, and the like. An unaligned god of destruction could be an uncaring agent of doom or a herald of the world's end, duty-bound to begin a cycle of cosmic rebirth by unleashing devastation upon the world. A good god of destruction might exist in a very dark world, where most of what exists is corrupt and must be wiped clean.
Power of Destruction (Domain)
Prerequisite: Any divine class, must worship a deity of the destruction domain
Benefit: You gain a +2 feat bonus to Intimidate checks.
When you use a power associated with this feat and hit an unbloodied enemy with it, you gain a +2 bonus to the damage roll. The bonus increases to +3 at 11th level and +4 at 21st level.
Powers: ardent strike (paladin DP), bond of censure (avenger DP), grasping shards (invokerPH2), righteous brand (cleric PH)
Path of Destruction (Divinity)
Prerequisite: Channel Divinity class feature, must worship a deity of the destruction domain.
Benefit: You gain the Channel Divinity power path of destruction.

D&D Never Split the Party Contest

Enter to win a trip for your D&D group to reunite at Gen Con 2009!
Wizards of the Coast is looking for a Dungeons & Dragons gaming group that has been separated over the years, to reunite for the ultimate gaming weekend at Gen Con 2009 on August 13-16th.
The prize includes travel accommodations for 4 days and 3 nights, as well as 4-day convention badges for yourself and up to 5 other people in your D&D gaming group.
Answer the following questions and submit your application to by 11:59 P.M. (Pacific Time) July 1, 2009.
  • Describe your original D&D gaming group including, identifying each member by first and last name (in 100 words or less).
  • How did you meet?
  • Where did you gather to play?
  • Were you the Dungeon Master of the group? What was your PC?
  • Did you have any fun "house rules"?
  • What was your favorite game night tradition?
  • When was the last time you played together?
  • Why did you split up?
  • Why should WotC reunite your game group at Gen Con?
  • Your contact information (Name, email, phone).
Winners will be selected and notified by July 15, 2009.
By submitting this information, you acknowledge that you have read and agree to be subject to the Official Rules. You also agree to be contacted by Wizards of the Coast and/or its representatives throughout this contest. Only the gaming group members identified in this entry form are eligible to participate in any prize awarded to the winner of the contest.

Intrigue in the Summertime

The quiet step in the castle corridor, and a courtier looks furtively around before activating a secret door to a clandestine meeting place. In another part of the world, a smiling noblewoman makes a subtle gesture, and loyal followers draw weapons and kill the king. Spies traverse the countryside of yet another country, looking for traitors. With the new Eberron setting out this month, we look at some hooks for introducing intrigue into your campaign. You can, of course, use them in any campaign world where the cities are large… and often corrupt.

Save the Duke

The public notice is large, and very unusual.
The Duke Has Been Poisoned (but lives)
The Watch is searching for anyone with any information about this crime
Rewards offered for good information or assistance with the case
Who would advertise that the duke has been poisoned? Besides, he’s still alive. Is the case that complicated or hard to solve? People are definitely talking, and not in all sympathetic ways. "What kind of a duke lets himself be poisoned?" "I knew the Watch was incompetent, but this?" Something has to be done to quiet the talking, or the damage from rumor could be worse than any actual poisoning.
Story Elements
Select or generate story elements from this table.
1. The duke has been poisoned with a special magical poison that only has one antidote. The antidote is known, but cannot be made here. Adventurers are needed to go and have the antidote made before the duke dies.
2. The poisoning was rather mild, and that is why the duke survived. The conspirators (one of whom is the Captain of the Watch) are trying to make a big deal about this attempt to "root out the criminals" so that later when they really do poison the duke no one will suspect. Or, they will have a scapegoat set up to take the blame.
3. The duke’s brother has been possessed by a devil, and is plotting to take the throne. The devil is slowly subjugating or replacing people in the court with his own servants. Knowing who to trust is very difficult by the time the PCs get involved.
4. The duke faked the poisoning himself, because he knows there is a plot afoot to kill him and wants to root out the perpetrators. By spreading the story of his poisoning, he hopes to provoke the assassins to try to strike while he is still apparently weak. He could use the PCs as guards or as investigators.
5. The assassination attempt was masterminded by a rival of the duke’s that has not been heard from in years. This rival is orchestrating his personal revenge against the duke to look like a conspiracy so that there are plenty of people to blame; the rival hopes to escape notice.

Impostor in the Court

The great elven city attracted all kinds, but usually not human beggars. They are commonly shunned, and this one is no exception. He looks new to town, and unaware of the "way things are done here." He started begging in front of the tavern two days ago, and despite repeated pointed remarks and even a visit by the Watch he has not left.
"You wonder why I’m here too, don’t you?" he says to you as you pass by. "I see you're adventurers. That’s why I’m here. No, I don’t need an adventurer. I've got to warn you that Eilistara is not what she seems. She's a devil in disguise, and she’s up to no good. Sure, she started as an adventurer, but she came back alone, didn't she? What happened to her companions? Adventurers always have companions, don’t they?" As he speaks, his voice becomes more agitated and a wild look fixes in his eyes. "She's disguised, but I can see through her disguise. She’s a devil, I tell you!"
Story Elements
Select or generate story elements from this table.
1. Eilistara is the daughter of an important person in the city government of this elven capital. Defying her parents (in a way), she took to the life of adventuring and saw some moderate success until recently.
2. Eilistara and her companions ran into devils, and were indeed overcome. She was the last to fall after a succubus questioned her under torture as to her identity and circumstances. Since then, the succubus has taken her shape and returned to infiltrate the elven city. She might be an advance agent for a diabolic plot to take over this elven nation from the inside.
3. Eilistara could be a changeling instead of a succubus, working for herself to steal as much as she can, or else may be in cahoots with other changelings to take control of the elven court. In this way, you might look to introduce changelings into your campaign (or campaign world).
4. If a succubus, Eilistara has found a victim to hold in her charmed grasp. An old flame of the real Eilistara showed interest when the succubus arrived alone, and she quickly used her charming kiss to control his mind. Now the poor victim is a slavish follower of Eilistara’s, and will do anything for her.
5. This is the real Eilistara, but she encountered an artifact that turned her to evil or a spirit that possessed her. Either way, she slew her companions and returned to town to plot against the elven monarch.
6. Colio was a prisoner of the succubus or changelings (or at the location of the artifact) and witnessed what happened to Eilistara. He later escaped, but is mentally scarred by his ordeal and is going mad. He does not give coherent information, though he does give lucid clues from time to time.

Changeling Disguise
Changeling Racial Power
You alter your form to look like another person.
Minor Action Personal
Effect: You alter your physical form to take on the appearance of any Medium humanoid. You retain your statistics in your new form, and your clothing, armor, and possessions do not change. The new form lasts until you change form again.
Any creature that attempts to see through your ruse makes an Insight check opposed by your Bluff check, and you gain a +5 bonus to your check.

Crime of Convenience

Standing on the gallows platform, the elderly man cries and shouts to the world. "I am innocent! I have done nothing but inconvenience those in power! I don’t deserve to die!" Below on the ground, a woman cries and begs anyone close to help her husband before he is executed. Around them, the hangman and the guards continue with the task of preparing to hang the condemned man, oblivious to the cries of the man or his wife. People standing around don’t seem interested either, but there is something in his voice that convinces you he is telling the truth (assuming the PCs made a passive Insight check).
Story Elements
Select or generate story elements from this table.
1. The man is Fordio, a minor courtier in the nation. He is the unfortunate victim of ambition, and was framed to cover up someone else’s crime. Though the crime he was convicted of is real, he had nothing to do with it.
2. Fordio is being killed in a plot to get rid of him and prevent him from telling what he knows. His trial was held in the middle of the night, and the hangman hopes to have him dead very soon.
3. There was a scandal in the court, and though it was mostly covered up some information still managed to leak out. Now someone has to die to satisfy the curious. Fordio was chosen because he has little value to those in real power. His charges are trumped up but related to the scandal.
4. Fordio’s wife, Espera, is in league with those who framed Fordio, as she wants to be rid of him to marry someone else. She was not in on whatever is going on in the court, but helped plant evidence against Fordio so that he would be convicted quickly. Her tears are a sham.
5. Fordio is not the first person to suffer this fate; the others were unable to assert their innocence because they were drugged or assassinated in their cells. But such attempts against Fordio failed.
6. Fordio is actually the mastermind of a vast conspiracy to overthrow the government and take over. He has arranged this performance either to either prove himself innocent and thus make himself above accusation in the future, or else to fake his own death so that he can later return to life and work in secret.

About the Author

Robert Wiese has been playing D&D since 1978 after he watched a game played in the car on the way home from a Boy Scouts meeting. He was fascinated, and delved into this strange world of dragons and magic and sourcebooks. Years later, he was hired to edit tournaments for the RPGA Network, and from there progressed to running the network after his boss was assassinated in the great Christmas purge of 1996. Times were tough, but he persevered and brought the RPGA into a shining new era. Eventually he met a girl who liked to play D&D too, and he left Renton for the warmth and casinos of Reno, Nevada. Now, he works in the Pharmacology department of UNR studying mouse foot muscles and the effects of RF emissions on same. He spends as much time as possible with his wife Rhonda, son Owen, and newborn daughter Rebecca


The sun, the moon, and the stars speak to you in the voiceless language of cycles. The natural flow of the seasons tugs at your blood as the tide acts upon the oceans, pushing and pulling with gentle insistence regardless of the storm’s fury, the dragon’s flight, or the antics of otherworldly primordials. Just as the constellations move around the sky in a steady, imperturbable cadence, your spells are strong and unshakable, and tied to energies that can outlast all others.

Cosmic Persistence: While you are not wearing heavy armor, you can use your Strength modifier in place of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifier to determine your AC.

Cosmic Power: You gain a bonus to the damage rolls of arcane powers equal to your Strength modifier. The bonus equals your Strength modifier + 2 at 11th level and your Strength modifier + 4 at 21st level.

Soul of the Cosmic Cycle: At the end of a short rest or an extended rest, you choose a cosmic phase from those described below and gain its benefits.

The first time you become bloodied during an encounter, your phase immediately changes to the next higher-numbered phase (or back to the phase of the sun if you are in the phase of the stars). For example, if you begin an encounter in the phase of the moon, after becoming bloodied you would be in the phase of the stars.
In addition, each time you use a daily arcane attack power, you can choose to change your phase to the next higher-numbered phase immediately after resolving the effects of the power.
1. Phase of the Sun: At the start of your turn, each enemy adjacent to you takes fire and radiant damage equal to your Strength modifier. You also gain resist 5 cold.
2. Phase of the Moon; You gain a bonus to AC equal to the number of conscious enemies adjacent to you.
You also gain resist 5 psychic.
3. Phase of the Stars; Whenever an enemy’s attack misses you, you can teleport a number of squares equal to your Strength modifier as a free action.
You also gain resist 5 radiant.

The resistance granted by this class feature increases to 10 at 11th level and to 15 at 21st level. While you have resistance from this class feature, your arcane powers ignore all targets’ resistance to that damage type up to the value of your resistance.


Creating a drow campaign can be a challenge. Half of your job
is coming up with a good reason for the player characters to
interact with the drow at all. Presented below are fifty sample
adventure seeds to help get you started. The list offers ideas for
drow PCs, non-drow PCs, and characters who are enemies or
allies of the dark elves.
1 A svirfneblin warren notices increasing drow patrols and
seeks protection against these incursions.
2 A surface slave trader is discovered to be a drow in
disguise and flees down an old mine shaft.
3 A drow noble seeks to eliminate his older siblings so that
he will rise in power within his house.
4 Drow wine becomes a hit in local taverns, and the PCs
must journey into the Underdark to establish a secure trade
route with the supplier.
5 City leaders fear that drow saboteurs have infiltrated their
ranks and ask the PCs to ferret out the dark elves.
6 An aged dwarf recounts creating a wondrous sword that
was stolen by drow long ago, and he makes a dying request
to be buried with the weapon.
7 Monstrous spiders start breeding in huge numbers beneath
a halfling community and begin to terrorize their burrow
8 Drow twins have been seen on the surface. One is a noble
warrior, the other a cruel murderer. The PCs must hunt them
down to bring the killer to justice and save the warrior from a
merciless mob.
9 Someone is murdering drow merchants at a peaceful
Underdark trade conclave. The killer must be stopped before
war breaks out between the races.
10 A drow alchemist has found the secret to making
drowcraft weapons and armor that can remain viable in
sunlight. This discovery could enable the dark elves to
conquer the surface world, so the alchemist must be protected
(or eliminated, depending on the PCs’ agenda).
11 A patriarch of Pelor seeks to bring the might of the sun to
bear on a drow city to eradicate its evil.
12 Duergar assassins hatch a plot to kill all the scions of the
noble houses in a small drow city.
13 Followers of Eilistraee seek protection from drow
marauders during an important dance ritual.
14 A substance has been discovered that weakens drowcraft
weapons and armor, and the PCs must sneak it into drow
15 A cult of enlightened drow seeks to reclaim its surface
heritage but is opposed by other dark elves.
16 Dwarf miners break through into an ancient drow temple
and are beset by ghostly spiders.
17 A deep dragon annoyed by grimlock raiders calls in a
debt and asks the drow to clear out the pests.
18 Avatars of Lolth and Corellon Larethian battle in the
streets, and adherents to both faiths join in the fray.
19 The chitine declare one of the PCs to be a prophet for
their race and seek to follow her to freedom.
20 Followers of Vhaeraun seek to infiltrate the Fane of Lolth
and activate a powerful magic item to destroy it.
21 Many albino drow children are being born. Divinations
blame an ancient curse that is coming to fruition.
22 Drow insurgents try to taint a surface city’s water supply
with a virulent form of the disease known as slimy doom.
23 A forest community of elves is discovered to have been
burned to the ground, but no bodies are found. Tracks lead to
a cave in a nearby cliff.
24 Drow merchants want to obtain kuo-toa eggs to sell as a
rare delicacy.
25 A lost drow shrine to an elder god is discovered beneath
a temple of Pelor.
26 Aboleths want to add drow prisoners to their slave ranks
so they can spy on a nearby drow settlement.
27 Tremors beneath a drow city threaten to destroy it
completely. The PCs must explore forgotten tunnels and find
the source.
28 A PC wakes to find spider legs growing from her back,
and she learns that Lolth has chosen her for a special mission.
29 Drow necromancers have opened a gate to the Negative
Energy Plane somewhere in the Underdark. It must be found
and sealed.
30 Injured veterans treated at the local temple of St.
Cuthbert have been emerging with prosthetic limbs of drow
31 Two rival lords court a drow embassy in the hope of
gaining a powerful ally.
32 Three drow who were turned to stone long ago and stored
in the local guildhall have disappeared.
33 A drow blackguard seeks to become a death knight and
must sacrifice two heroes to complete the process.
34 The PCs are asked to investigate a gigantic spiderlike
machine that has been seen plodding through the lower
35 Followers of Orcus try to assassinate the high priestess of
36 A gang of pirates strikes a deal with the drow for magical
support during their midnight attacks on shipping lanes.
37 Clerics of Lolth lose control of many summoned demons,
which roam the Underdark on a rampage.
38 A drow matron has been replaced by a greater
doppelganger that must be stopped before it plunges the city
into all-out war.
39 A drow galley that sank in an Underdark sea is rumored
to contain vast treasures.
40 On a whim, Lolth turns all her clerics in a city to stone.
The PCs must discover how to end her curse.
41 A mad drow prophet seeks to repair the schism between
drow and elves, but both sides try to silence him.
42 Svirfneblin suspect a drow curse when all the gems in
their mine turn to coal.
43 A holy icon of Lolth has been stolen. It must be
recovered, but the mere sight of the icon can kill the viewer.
44 The drow launch a quest to find the sacred web of the
Great Spider of the Underdark.
45 Large numbers of piercers move into a drow cavern, and
skilled exterminators are needed.
46 A murdered drow matron is resurrected and needs help to
regain control of her house.
47 A surface elf decides to investigate his lost drow heritage
and needs safe escort to a drow city.
48 Duergar ghosts take up residence in a drow temple and
must be removed.
49 The king declares drow to be imaginary and wants all
references to the dark elves expunged from the kingdom. The
PCs must investigate this strange decree.
50 Street urchins say that dark elves are kidnapping their
fellows in the night.