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 Why are the Drow so powerful?
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WalkerNinja
Senior Scribe

USA
569 Posts

Posted - 02 Jul 2019 :  23:47:42  Show Profile Send WalkerNinja a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

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.



I'd make the inverse observation, Drow are weaker now than they have ever been because they are popular.

In Vault of the Drow it is clearly stated that "all male drow are second level fighters." That's the only race I know of that gets bonus class levels. They also got a bunch of default magical gear. Magic Resistance was set at 50% as a base and increased by 2% per level, and they were all given two-weapon fighting with no off-hand penalty as a racial characteristic.

Drow started getting nerfed after the Drizzt books when people were lobbying to be able to play them, and DMs were resisting because Drow PC's upset the game balance. 3E tried to reflect this by giving them an effective level adjustment, but they took away a fair amount of their original features to even get it within the ballpark of playability.

Why were they so powerful? Gygax needed a new and unique threat for characters 10-14th level. Drow were designed to generate TPKs.

*** A Forgotten Realms Addict since 1990 ***
Treasures of the Past, a Second Edition Play-by-Post game for and by Candlekeep Sages--http://www.rpol.net/game.cgi?gi=52011
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Diffan
Great Reader

USA
3670 Posts

Posted - 03 Jul 2019 :  04:44:29  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Gyor

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.



Eh, you really think they're powerful? +1 Charisma, darkvision, and some spell-like abilities for basically never functioning in the daylight all the time? I think they should've received the Lizardfolk treatment from Volo's Guide and got Advantage on all Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws against magic. That would explain a lot more IMO.

4E Realms = Great Taste, Less Filling.

"If WotC were to put out a box of free money, people would still complain how it was folded."
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wmaster
Acolyte

3 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2019 :  18:06:13  Show Profile Send wmaster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't their entire distinct ethic group imbued with the blood of a demon that granted them their enhancements that owe to their feared and legendary status?
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Irennan
Great Reader

Italy
3078 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2019 :  18:41:21  Show Profile Send Irennan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by wmaster

Wasn't their entire distinct ethic group imbued with the blood of a demon that granted them their enhancements that owe to their feared and legendary status?



No, the demon only mated with some noble families; it somehow spread to the rest of the drow through interbreeding over the millennia, after they were exiled underground. However, the demon blood never did anything in the whole history of the Realms, neither when it came to power, nor to morality (Drizzt and most followers of Eilistraee were, and still are, after Eilistraee re-emerged during the Sundering, demon-"tainted"), except making the Seldarine dislike the drow even more.

And I mean, why should demonic powers from a balor (which is fire-themed) manifest as the ability to make lights appear, levitate, create globes of darkness etc... seems just thematically weird. Look tieflings and the fire+darkness stuff they get.

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Edited by - Irennan on 06 Jul 2019 18:45:07
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TBeholder
Master of Realmslore

1874 Posts

Posted - 06 Jul 2019 :  23:18:27  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Cosmar

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

Likely common elven version: elves are already perfect. Now let's drink and dance with pixies some more.
Likely priest "official" version: elves are all around awesome, but also are very much corruptible (remember Ilythiir and Aryvandaar), so easy power would lead to bad things, and to stop thinking about such sad matters why won't we go drink and dance with pixies for a while.

quote:
Originally posted by Irennan

except making the Seldarine dislike the drow even more.
Or at least the mortal barbarian elves. After all, they buried fey'ri alive all on their own, not even with "guidance" (like the Descent). While up in Arvandor - Moonsilver (Px (Sehanine)/n tiefling/R10/CG).

quote:
And I mean, why should demonic powers from a balor (which is fire-themed) manifest as the ability to make lights appear, levitate, create globes of darkness etc... seems just thematically weird. Look tieflings and the fire+darkness stuff they get.

Indeed. It was sort of confirmed that in part that's side effects of radiation magic system working not like that of other elves, or dark elves before Descent. And its state has readily observable effects, too.
Of course, this may cover radiance effects, but levitation is oddball.

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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