It was the home of Drizzt Do'Urden , and many of his early adventures dealt with the political intrigue and characters of the city. It was located in the Upper Northdark , about 3. The deep gnome city Blingdenstone was located about 45 miles to the west of Menzoberranzan. Menzoberranzan was located in a huge arrowhead-shaped cavern, some two miles wide and a thousand feet high. The drow called the cavern, Araurilcaurak. Buildings were often covered with the city's main motif: the spider, in honor of Lolth.
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Running a 5e campaign, I know a lot has changed about Menzo. For instance Lolth is no longer the sole power with her children coming back. My campaign is taking us to Menzoberranzan, but I don't really know how to describe it, or shops, or houses there. I've been googling and searching all morning but I can't find more than the wikis. The wikis are great but they describe history and events, not physical descriptions of architecture or the common goings on.
The information is pretty huge and is about 20 pages long. There are lots of physical descriptions. Furthermore there is tons of material about the Underdark. If your adventure is taking place there, it would help you a lot. There is an early R. I seem to remember Drow using levitate abilities to gain access to buildings, but that was a long time ago, so I could be way off. As I recall, the city is dominated by powerful houses which war with each other. I imagine the holds of the houses being build up in and upon massive stalagmites which support the cavern which houses the city, with hubs of housing and structures surrounding the base.
The slums would be the areas furthest away from these seats of power. Now obviously this is an older map, so just kind of X out the houses that don't exist anymore like Oblodra dropped into the Clawrift and Do'Urden.
For strict 5E material, you should stick to Momonga-sama's answer. But if you're still in need of ideas and inspiration, you could consider acquiring the Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue supplement may be hard to get a physical copy , but PDF is also available. Chapter 4 in this supplement is devoted to the City of Spiders, spanning around 20 pages. This chapter includes tons of descriptions and a handful of illustrations other than the ones in Lino Frank Ciaralli's answer.
Now, I mentioned this isn't quite 5E because it was published while 4E was the norm. And while this supplement is intended to be edition-neutral, it covers the period from DR to DR. Which means all of this happens before The Sundering. I don't own this one and I haven't read it, but it could be useful. Thanks to keithcurtis for pointing out that this supplement does not take place in the Forgotten Realms, nor is there any mention of Menzoberranzan.
In 2nd Ed there was a whole boxed set: Menzoberranzan - the Famed City of the Drow that is chocker block full of pictures and descriptions of the city. For some visuals there was a video game that had some nice for the time graphics of both interior and exterior scenes in the city. I would recommend the book series War of the Spider Queen. It contains much information about the different parts of the city, and special attributes about different areas within the city like how the market area has spells of silence around it to prevent the noise from bothering the other parts of the city.
That series also gives a detailed understanding of the non-drow races living there. It was the book series that got me into DnD in fact. It is described as a vast cavern, about two miles long. One wall plateau is consumed by the Academy, Tier Breche, where young priestesses, soldiers, and wizards of the noble houses go to be educated.
Many huge stalagmites climb toward the ceiling, and these are turned into dwellings, in much the same way surface elves coax trees into a desired shape rather than simply clearing them and building something from scratch. Walled off in the center is the marketplace, where the Drow and others can conduct a brisk business, but the higher-up Drow don't need to deal with it if they don't wish to.
Rothe herds are raised a little ways off, and I'm sure some river flows nearby, to supply water. Though the Drow can see somewhat in darkness, the region is dimly illuminated by glowing fungus, so others can function as well. Sign up to join this community.
The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. What does Menzoberranzan look like? Ask Question. Asked 3 years, 11 months ago. Active 1 year, 10 months ago.
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It's not Menzoberranzan, but Erelhei-Cinlu is the original Drow city. Salvator stories, it's very purple. Active Oldest Votes. Not to make you aggrieved, here is some crucial info: Population: 20 drow plus thousands of slaves of various races. The city has a large standing army of trained drow warriors and mages, bolstered by armed slaves and magical wards.
The citizens themselves form a formidable militia. You can easily purchase well-trained slaves, fungi, molds and exotic creatures for food even ones imported from the surface , poisons, potions, oils and elixirs, jewelry, perfumes and silk.
The most important organizations are: The ruling Council comprised of the matron mothers of the eight most powerful drow noble houses in the city the Church of Lolth based in Arach-Tinilith Breagan D'aerthe company of drow spies, mercenaries and assassins.
Roflo 3, 1 1 gold badge 17 17 silver badges 49 49 bronze badges. Momonga-sama Momonga-sama 9, 1 1 gold badge 29 29 silver badges 83 83 bronze badges. I'd add there is some physical descriptions for the city and some other Underdark locations in the Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. That's exactly what I needed. Daemendred Daemendred 2 2 bronze badges. The question is asking about Menzoberranzan in 5th edition, as opposed to previous lore.
Citations and sources are encouraged in answers. The nobles separated themselves from the commoners most of whom did not have this power by making the only way into the upper floors was to levitate to an upper balcony. Unless you have reason to believe something has fundamentally changed that would be reflected at the general architectural and everyday life level of Menzoberranzan, more detailed sources from previous editions are super helpful to people trying to flesh out the world.
Roflo Roflo 3, 1 1 gold badge 17 17 silver badges 49 49 bronze badges. Although it is a wealth of information and adventure seeds, it does not take place in the Forgotten Realms, nor is there any mention of Menzobaranzan. There is a 4th edition book on the city specifically, though, with a poster map. If I might add to it from even earlier sources: In 2nd Ed there was a whole boxed set: Menzoberranzan - the Famed City of the Drow that is chocker block full of pictures and descriptions of the city.
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It is famed as the birthplace of Drizzt Do'Urden , the protagonist of several series of best-selling novels by noted fantasy author R. Menzoberranzan has been developed into a video game of the same name and a tabletop RPG setting. Menzoberranzan has been described as "a perfect unjust state" and compared to Glaucon 's vision of a state that is held together only by the fear of retribution. In , the character Drizzt Do'Urden was created by author R. Salvatore as a supporting character in the Icewind Dale Trilogy and referenced the character's "years in Menzoberranzan". Salvatore was given carte blanche to create the entire society within the city.
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Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue details the drow city Menzoberranzan. Shannon Appelcline commented that " Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue brings together geographical details of the Realms that were previously available two decades earlier in FOR2: The Drow of the Underdark and the original Menzoberranzan It also contains some information simultaneously being published in 'Council of Spiders' Alongside this reprinted material — covering the setting of Menzoberranzan, the houses of Menzoberranzan, and the drow of the Realms — Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue also advances the timeline of the city. This includes details on how the War of the Spider Queen changed the city and totally new material on the Spellplague. The result turns the system-neutral Menzoberranzan supplement into an era-neutral supplement that allows players to run Menzoberranzan in any era, from its 2e origins to the 4e present-day. Some of Menzoberranzan also moves beyond the city into the Underdark that surrounds it: the Northdark.
It contains all of the information a Dungeon Master needs to run adventures or an entire campaign based in this treacherous city, including descriptions of city locations, drow houses, key organizations, and the precarious political landscape. It also gives players the information they need to create characters who are members of drow houses or organizations within Menzoberranzan, as well as explains the benefits and rivalries that come with choosing a particular allegiance. Menzoberranzan: City of Intrigue , by Brian R. It was published in August Farewell to 4e. Take One. When Menzoberranzan was first announced in early as part of the Rise of the Underdark event, it was called a "Campaign Setting".