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Cosmar
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Posted - 11 Jun 2019 :  22:04:45  Show Profile Send Cosmar a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
So, in game terms, Drow are significantly more powerful than their elven cousins, at least in 3.X (I can't remember/never learned their stats from 2E or 4E+).

3.X, they get spell resistance, several very useful spell-like abilities, darkvision, and bonuses to Dex, Int, and Cha.

They still get Con penalty like most elves, and the Darkvision makes sense because of living underground so long. But why are they so much more dexterous, charismatic and intelligent compared to many other elves, and why the SLA's and spell resistance? Are they Lolth's blessings, or were they natural evolutions? Does it have something to do with being exposed to faerzress for so long?

And if it's Lolth's blessing, why wouldn't Corellon have blessed other elves in similar fashion?

Edited by - Cosmar on 11 Jun 2019 22:05:45

Irennan
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Posted - 11 Jun 2019 :  23:28:57  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
It was mostly the faerzress exposure, but that heavily depends on the edition. In 5e, they are quite weak compared to other races.

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Ayrik
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  01:28:03  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Drow are powerful because drow are popular.

They started off as an elite 1E monster race which inspired Drizzt. They grew in power as Drizzt carried them to 2E Menzo/Underdark expansions. They thrived all across 3E and got another boost of mania from each bestseller Drizzt novel release. Drow popularity still simmers and flares but it's mostly subsided because RAS slowed down and 4E offered so many other overpowered playable race choices.

[/Ayrik]
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  04:27:18  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmar

So, in game terms, Drow are significantly more powerful than their elven cousins, at least in 3.X (I can't remember/never learned their stats from 2E or 4E+).

3.X, they get spell resistance, several very useful spell-like abilities, darkvision, and bonuses to Dex, Int, and Cha.

They still get Con penalty like most elves, and the Darkvision makes sense because of living underground so long. But why are they so much more dexterous, charismatic and intelligent compared to many other elves, and why the SLA's and spell resistance? Are they Lolth's blessings, or were they natural evolutions? Does it have something to do with being exposed to faerzress for so long?

And if it's Lolth's blessing, why wouldn't Corellon have blessed other elves in similar fashion?



I think it's an evolutionary thing -- an unnatural selection, if you will; a survival of the fittest driven purely by their society. The more dexterous, charismatic, and intelligent drow are those able to survive the power struggles of drow society and thus pass on their traits.

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Gary Dallison
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United Kingdom
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  08:19:39  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
If you read arcane age empire of elves, there is mention of elves being able to see magic, however elves today only have infra vision or dark vision.
Older elves used to live a lot longer and seem more powerful than today's elves.

Black staff the novel mentioned elves mingling with humans since the crown wars, there are no pure blooded elves left.

So given that drow split from elves during the crown wars and base drow are more powerful than base elves, I'm suggesting that perhaps the drow are more representative of pure blood elves.
Also since noble drow are even more powerful than base drow, this suggests the nobility breeding with more powerful stock (like demons and devils) which we know they did (gargauth was part of one breeding program).


Just a thought or two and it's what I'm intending in my FR at some point.

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Diffan
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  09:52:05  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

Drow popularity still simmers and flares but it's mostly subsided because RAS slowed down and 4E offered so many other overpowered playable race choices.



Like humans and half-elves? Actually Drow got a bit of a Nerf in 4e as they had to choose between darkness and faerie fire (core 4e says they get both, oh well). Honestly half-elves are one of the best races in 4e, a significant change from their mediocre 3.5 counterpart.

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Diffan
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  09:57:37  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmar


3.X, they get spell resistance, several very useful spell-like abilities, darkvision, and bonuses to Dex, Int, and Cha.

They still get Con penalty like most elves, and the Darkvision makes sense because of living underground so long. But why are they so much more dexterous, charismatic and intelligent compared to many other elves, and why the SLA's and spell resistance? Are they Lolth's blessings, or were they natural evolutions? Does it have something to do with being exposed to faerzress for so long?

And if it's Lolth's blessing, why wouldn't Corellon have blessed other elves in similar fashion?



Keep in mind their +2 Level Adjustment and the fact that base Drow in 3.5 are simply warriors (NPC class) so they're not that powerful. Their scariest aspect is Drow poison because Fort DC 13 isn't easy to combat at low-level. Assume a PC Fighter gets Con 14, that's still only a 55% chance you succeed in making that save.

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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1901 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  16:39:53  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmar

So, in game terms, Drow are significantly more powerful than their elven cousins, at least in 3.X (I can't remember/never learned their stats from 2E or 4E+).

It came from before, so we have to look at earlier versions.
AD&D2 stats:
Aquatic Elf: +1 Dex -1 Int
Drow: +2 Dex +1 Int -2 Cha -1 Con, XP cost +20%
Grey Elf: +2 Int +1 Dex -2 Con -1 Str, XP cost +15%
High Elf: +1 Dex -1 Con
Sylvan Elf: +1 Str +1 Dex -1 Con -1 Cha
quote:
3.X, they get spell resistance, several very useful spell-like abilities, darkvision, and bonuses to Dex, Int, and Cha.
They still get Con penalty like most elves, and the Darkvision makes sense because of living underground so long. But why are they so much more dexterous, charismatic and intelligent compared to many other elves, and why the SLA's and spell resistance?

SLA and resistance are supposedly Lolth's blessings, but practically, it's how their radiation magic system works after being changed and given access to a new source of sustenance (thus gradually losing it on surface, etc).
quote:
Are they Lolth's blessings, or were they natural evolutions?

Well, their next door neighbours usually are illithids, beholders and/or duergar, and their roommates are other drow, so...

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch

Edited by - TBeholder on 12 Jun 2019 16:48:40
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
32521 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  18:15:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

If you read arcane age empire of elves, there is mention of elves being able to see magic, however elves today only have infra vision or dark vision.
Older elves used to live a lot longer and seem more powerful than today's elves.

Black staff the novel mentioned elves mingling with humans since the crown wars, there are no pure blooded elves left.

So given that drow split from elves during the crown wars and base drow are more powerful than base elves, I'm suggesting that perhaps the drow are more representative of pure blood elves.
Also since noble drow are even more powerful than base drow, this suggests the nobility breeding with more powerful stock (like demons and devils) which we know they did (gargauth was part of one breeding program).


Just a thought or two and it's what I'm intending in my FR at some point.



I don't recall that quote, but I'm thinking it's an exaggeration. There would have to be large-scale, frequent, continuous breeding with humans, all over the planet, to have an overall diluting effect. A few half-elves here and there are not going to impact the entire race -- it's a drop of water in the ocean.

Even if there had been large-scale interbreeding in the past, thousands of years of racial isolation since then would see the human blood bred back out.

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Zeromaru X
Master of Realmslore

Colombia
1395 Posts

Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  19:57:51  Show Profile Send Zeromaru X a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I guess it's because they are "evil", and in D&D "evil is cool" and evil characters tend to be more powerful by plot (ie. Cyric, Tiamat, etc.)

Also, they were as powerful as any other race in 4e, thanks to the game balance of that edition. There were not overpowered races or clases in 4e.

Long ago, in the distant past, they fell into decay. The philosopher’s path... The river of glory... Even the saints resting in the darkness rise up without response and block the way...

Edited by - Zeromaru X on 12 Jun 2019 19:59:18
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sleyvas
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Posted - 12 Jun 2019 :  21:56:42  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Because Lolth and her followers destroy those who don't stand out. She's even got a test that if they fail to shine, she turns them into a bloated half-spider/half-drow centaur known as a drider. Those who don't stand out prior to that are probably used for sacrifice or die in training.

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Diffan
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3693 Posts

Posted - 13 Jun 2019 :  07:13:52  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X


Also, they were as powerful as any other race in 4e, thanks to the game balance of that edition. There were not overpowered races or clases in 4e.



But dude, there are Dragonborn and Tieflings! Like Soo powerful! And then you got Genasi....[/sarcasm]

Classes tho, I gotta disagree with you on. There are good classes (PHB ones like Ranger, Fighter, Warlord, Wizard) and bad ones (vampire, Bladesinger, Seeker, Binder). While the disparity isn't nearly as great as it is in 3.x/PF, it is noticable. My buddy has an elf thief (essentials class) and another is a Drow (haha, funny enough) Assassin|Rogue and the Drow is just amazing by comparison.

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LordofBones
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977 Posts

Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  07:29:27  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Zeromaru X

I guess it's because they are "evil", and in D&D "evil is cool" and evil characters tend to be more powerful by plot (ie. Cyric, Tiamat, etc.)



It's not so much evil characters as dev pet characters. There are at least two other evil dragon deities, but all we get is Tiamat. Bane, Loviatar, Talos, Malar, Velsharoon all exist but with Shar around you'd think that there's only one evil deity in the Faerunian pantheon.

At least 5e brings us a new...haha no, we still get Tiamat.
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Ayrik
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Canada
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Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  08:07:12  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
But there's more to life than raw stats. Evil can be stronger, faster, harder, better ... and it's also nasty business.

The "Good", weaker, slower, softer, dumber elves can lead fulfilling and wholesome lives filled with frolicking in the sunshine instead of constantly keeping their blades sharp for opportunity and betrayal. There's also something to be said about having a higher purpose to your existence than dark servitude to demonic powers.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 16 Jun 2019 08:20:02
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Storyteller Hero
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Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  12:17:49  Show Profile  Visit Storyteller Hero's Homepage Send Storyteller Hero a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The training culture of the Drow is also harsh. They either learn to be awesome warriors, clerics, mages, etc. or risk being fodder in some kind of conflict, whether it be from outsiders or from their own kin.



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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  13:08:04  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Sparta was a suitably harsh parallel, but their ascendancy was short lived, and by the time of the romans their power was spent.
Therefore the drows strength should come from more than just their culture to explain their dominance in large parts of the underdark for so long

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Irennan
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Italy
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Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  21:01:28  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gary Dallison

Sparta was a suitably harsh parallel, but their ascendancy was short lived, and by the time of the romans their power was spent.
Therefore the drows strength should come from more than just their culture to explain their dominance in large parts of the underdark for so long



Indeed. It comes from plot armor--the very same plot that makes the majority of a race of "highly-intelligent" beings still follow a deity that does nothing but make them miserable and limit their growth :P

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Gary Dallison
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Posted - 16 Jun 2019 :  21:33:27  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Very true, but as realms fanatics we will have to explain the plot armour with something that is not plot armour, and thus provide further depth to the wondrous setting.

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LordofBones
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Posted - 17 Jun 2019 :  06:48:53  Show Profile Send LordofBones a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

But there's more to life than raw stats. Evil can be stronger, faster, harder, better ... and it's also nasty business.

The "Good", weaker, slower, softer, dumber elves can lead fulfilling and wholesome lives filled with frolicking in the sunshine instead of constantly keeping their blades sharp for opportunity and betrayal. There's also something to be said about having a higher purpose to your existence than dark servitude to demonic powers.



To be fair, that applies only to the priesthoods. That one drow city run by wizards generally doesn't put up with that kind of thinking.
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TBeholder
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Posted - 18 Jun 2019 :  02:22:14  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan


Indeed. It comes from plot armor--the very same plot that makes the majority of a race of "highly-intelligent" beings still follow a deity that does nothing but make them miserable and limit their growth :P

What growth?
They survive in Underdark and keep as much of population as their caves can support (excess is expended in tests and raids).

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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Irennan
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Posted - 18 Jun 2019 :  02:45:45  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Growth as in pooling their brains and coming up with stuff to improve their quality of life, getting out of underground holes, etc...

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Gyor
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Posted - 18 Jun 2019 :  23:30:10  Show Profile Send Gyor a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In 5e Drow are one of the most powerful races, with all kinds of great goodies, but at the cost of also being one of the most vulnerable ones, sunlight is blinding for them some what. This is much less of a disadvantage in Dungeon Delves like Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage, then say wondering across a desert at midnoon.
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TBeholder
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Posted - 19 Jun 2019 :  06:24:13  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

Growth as in
Aside of a strange redefinition, these things simply aren't applicable.
quote:
pooling their brains

No, that's what illithids do.
quote:
and coming up with stuff to improve their quality of life,

They do this, routinely.
quote:
getting out of underground holes,

Do you really think they want to?
Remember, they commonly get tempted by Vhaerun or Eilistraee via dream visions.
Those who want, respond and/or join merchants or mercenaries if they can.
Most don't want to live in daylight any more than humans want to live underground.
quote:
etc...

There's a lot of etc going on, too.
Lolth as a rule does not bother with trivialities until something jeopardises her plans or theocracy (and occasionally even then). Because hey, maybe it can be useful for a later plan. Thus: chaos!

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Cosmar
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Posted - 21 Jun 2019 :  20:01:22  Show Profile Send Cosmar a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Awesome, thanks for all the answers and insights!

So it's mostly Faerzress exposure / brutal cultural practices, less than Lolth's direct blessing. She wasn't like "here, Drow, I bestow upon thee these mighty powers!" That makes me feel better. And the breeding for excellence/culling the weak explains the better stats.
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The Masked Mage
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Posted - 26 Jun 2019 :  13:04:05  Show Profile  Send The Masked Mage an AOL message  Click to see The Masked Mage's MSN Messenger address Send The Masked Mage a Private Message  Reply with Quote
There is a chapter about this in Drow of the Underdark. Goes into great depth about the origin / nature of drow natural powers and their martial/technical expertise.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 26 Jun 2019 :  21:24:22  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by The Masked Mage

There is a chapter about this in Drow of the Underdark. Goes into great depth about the origin / nature of drow natural powers and their martial/technical expertise.



Which one? There's been like 3 books by that name....

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