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D&D General Drow in early D&D

The plot Point behind them is less hiding out from the apocalypse and more along the lines of living in fear based on lies. The surface world doesn't hate despite what their leadership says. Hell most of the surface world doesn't even know they exist. They stay underground because their King won't accept any compromise that doesn't give him exactly what he wants. The shadow elves can return to the surface at any time but their leadership needs them to stay afraid to maintain power
I know the storyline, and it's interesting-ish, but they don't really offer much to games, IMO, especially if you're familiar with the 1960s/1970s apocalyptic sci-fi riffs it's spinning out of. A toxic leader lying to his followers about what the surface is like is pretty standard stuff for that era of sci-fi. You can see a modern spin on it in the superb 10 Cloverfield Lane.
 

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Sithlord

Adventurer
I really think the problem is that instead of focusing on how this group of drow is really good and nice people they should be focusing on drow as villains that strike terror in players and villages. Next we are going to be focusing on that mindflayers are really misunderstood and don’t really want to eat your brains and if we are really nice to them they would really want to be our friend. And beholders are great allies with really good observations. And devils and demons aren’t really evil they just have a different religion and we should be more tolerant of their faith. And vampire just have strict dietary needs.
 

I really think the problem is that instead of focusing on how this group of drow is really good and nice people they should be focusing on drow as villains that strike terror in players and villages. Next we are going to be focusing on that mindflayers are really misunderstood and don’t really want to eat your brains and if we are really nice to them they would really want to be our friend. And beholders are great allies with really good observations. And devils and demons aren’t really evil they just have a different religion and we should be more tolerant of their faith.
that is a slippery slope flacy.
the reason people see drow a people is because fundamentally drow are elves and we all agree (aside from the dwarves) that the elves are people.
 


I really think the problem is that instead of focusing on how this group of drow is really good and nice people they should be focusing on drow as villains that strike terror in players and villages. Next we are going to be focusing on that mindflayers are really misunderstood and don’t really want to eat your brains and if we are really nice to them they would really want to be our friend. And beholders are great allies with really good observations. And devils and demons aren’t really evil they just have a different religion and we should be more tolerant of their faith. And vampire just have strict dietary needs.
Only one of those are humanoids who have been historically depicted as being black skinned, which is sometimes described as a curse for their genetic-level wickedness.

That is, incidentally, identical to arguments made about Black people in the 1800s.

So it's a different case for the drow.
 


Sithlord

Adventurer
Only one of those are humanoids who have been historically depicted as being black skinned, which is sometimes described as a curse for their genetic-level wickedness.

That is, incidentally, identical to arguments made about Black people in the 1800s.

So it's a different case for the drow.
Of course it is. Real world race has to be made an issue in everything. And incidentally it doesn’t matter if they aren’t humanoids. That makes sense. Oh god not another racism discussion is about to start better leave this thread and logoff for a few days since that was not at all
What I was intending to discuss
 









Faolyn

Hero
I really think the problem is that instead of focusing on how this group of drow is really good and nice people they should be focusing on drow as villains that strike terror in players and villages. Next we are going to be focusing on that mindflayers are really misunderstood and don’t really want to eat your brains and if we are really nice to them they would really want to be our friend. And beholders are great allies with really good observations. And devils and demons aren’t really evil they just have a different religion and we should be more tolerant of their faith. And vampire just have strict dietary needs.
As Mind of Tempest, this is a slippery slope. Also, just a bad comparison. Drow are conceived and born like we humans are (K-strategists: few offspring, lots of parental care needed to ensure maturation). They have the same sort of diet that we do. They learn in the same way we do. They have the same sort of basic needs that we do. There's very little about the drow that makes them something other than basic humanoids with a terrible religion.

Mind flayers are more like r-strategies: they're spawned as larvae in the thousands and most are devoured by other larvae or by the elder brain. The few that survive then take over a humanoid body, like a parasite. They don't learn things like we do, by being taught. Instead, they receive information, directly from the elder brain through psychic means. They don't have the same sort of diet we do; they don't choose to eat brains; they have to.

Beholders, in this edition, are spawned from the dreams of other beholders; they literally are not "real" beings. In earlier editions, they were regurgitated by their "parent" or produced by "unknown means." However they are produced left them with severe innate paranoia and xenophobia. And they have numerous special abilities that are extremely deadly.


Demons and devils are also generally not born the way humans are. Instead, they are constructed out of literal, distilled evil (D&D doesn't have a "race" of fallen angel fiends; each fallen angel has so far been a unique individual). It may be possible for a fiend to stop being evil, but that's a bit like a human stopping being made of flesh (In a magical or high-tech world, it's possible, but also very, very rare). And since fiends are literally made of tangible evil, then changing them on such a dramatic level would also change who and what they literally are.

Vampires, by their nature, are both predatory and parasitical. They don't reproduce the way they do; they reproduce by spreading vampirism like a disease. They may have to consume the blood of sentient beings to survive, with the blood of animals not being enough (it might also be a choice; that's up to the DM). So even if a vampire who had to drink the blood of sentients limited themselves to willing donors, they are still putting other people at risk of death or disease just to continue living. That may not be evil, per se, but it's morally quite gray. The fact that they are undead automatically separates them from other humanoids, and the fact that they are unaging and very, very powerful means that it's very easy for them to start looking down on weaker beings.

None of these creatures--fiends, mind flayers, beholders--are at all like drow.

Unless, in your world, drow are actually not humanoids like humans and elves, but something extremely different, with obvious inherent differences that make them auto-villains.
 


lall

Explorer
In defense of the grey elves and drow...

The 2e Book of Elves has a very pro-elf creation story. One group of gods took a very long time to create the elves. As they were getting close to putting the finishing touches on them, another set of gods got jealous and frantically tried their own creations, spending very little time on them. The latter set of gods produced everything non-elf such as humans, dwarves, etc.

So many elves may believe this creation story to be true and have genuine, non-racist sympathy for the “lesser” races, e.g. not as beautiful, not as graceful, has to sleep, not as long-lived, etc. Moreover, in 5e (not sure how it worked in previous editions), Reincarnate exists, so every non-elf humanoid has the opportunity to be an elf. (And non-humanoids and humanoids both could possibly use Wish to achieve the same result.) So the “they have no control of their race” argument goes away.

So if an elf is walking down the street and sees a non-elf they may: 1. Feel sorry for them as the non-elf is missing out on all things elf, 2. Feel sorry for themselves as they have to interract with them (perhaps causing them to give more thought to moving to an elf-only community), and/or 3. Be disappointed that the non-elf and/or their ancestors haven’t remedied the situation yet.
 



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