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General Justify A Level 1 Drow On the Surface?

Zardnaar

Legend
In 25 years of D&D I have made one Drow PC and never played it back in the late 90s.

I normally don't allow them but recently noticed that people don't chose them anyway.

Now assuming I did play one I think I would play a Rogue either CN or N. More Han Solo in the cantina than Drizzt. If the DM says no or no evil races I wouldn't bother.

Drizzt was around level 15 when he got to the surface. However his reception in Sojourn is basically the struggles of his heros journey.

So how about level 1? Note I'll make the following assumptions.

1. It's ye olde Lolthites Drow a'la Greyhawk/FR.

2. You were raised in that culture is not adopted as a baby by adventurer's.

The obvious one is you have a crappy background and you were sold as a slave (probably male) or otherwise got taken to the surface by someone else.

Survivor of a raid doesn't really cut it when you look at the average CR 5 Drow warrior. Being banished by an older sibling via teleport is another option or perhaps been seen as disposable spy.

Being a spy whether willing or unwilling however doesn't exactly help out the kill on sight thing Drow tend to have.

Luck sacking your way through the underdark is a bit of a cop out as well espicially if you know common.

FR you have the option of raised by Elistraee but your knowledge of the Drow us second hand.

So if I were to play one I would make sure you would have diplomat type skills.

Reason is I have found a very narrow build that only a Drow qualifies for. It's hypothetical and it's not good as such but Dex based melee sorcerer/cleric in a domain without martial weapons.

Any other Dex and charisma races with rapiers as a racial weapon?
 

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Is there a reason you chose to cite the Drow Elite Warrior over the regular CR 1/4 Drow?
It's worth noting that in the Drizzt books even very young drow join surface raids. They believe in survival of the fittest, so if a few weak children don't make it back that's a win. The Monster Manual tends to focus on enemies who can challenge the party. It doesn't mean enemies who die if the PCs sneeze on them don't exist.
 

Hussar

Legend
Speaking for Greyhawk, it's going to depend rather when you are setting your campaign. If you're going back to the 1983 boxed set year -576 CY - then, well, Drow are pretty much unknown in most of Greyhawk at that point. No one has descended into the Vault of the Drow at that point and, outside of a couple of sages perhaps, no one has ever seen or heard of a drow.

Other than maybe getting some weird looks for being a funny looking elf, there's no reason a Drow in that year of Greyhawk would have any problems walking around openly.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
My main Drow PC predates Drizz’t by a couple years. His initial “reason” for being on the surface resulted from his interests: he was a Druid/Ranger/MU, drawn upwards to unders the origins of the water and nutrients that supplied the Underdark food chain.

While surface dwelling Drow are rare, it could be that they network with each other in order to help each other survive. Some may even feel the need to “deprogram” some of those they left behind, or other promising youths there spotted. Then, they’d conduct raids on Drow settlements to get them, or risk kidnapping them during Drow raids on the surface.

A young Drow captured in such a way might not know for some time WHY they were targeted, or who among the other surface Drow was their benefactor.

Think...Speed Racer and Racer X.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
I run eberron games with eberron style drow who would be horrified by the drow on settings like fr deacon the OP, of not allow any of those drow but fitting in the setting's drow is no big deal
 






vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
My favorite one so far is for my next character (in maybe about 10 years or so) is a male drow but with the Blessing of Corellon, meaning they can change their sex after a long rest. Its considered a curse in ye ol' Drow mentality because it upset the precarious stratification of their society. So they flee the underdark by presenting as a drow noblewoman seeking aid in a drow outpost to gather a troop to go on a raid to the surface, where they fled as soon a possible. Now they are a cleric of Shar, probably a Arcane, Twilight or Trickery Cleric.

Can also go on the full evil side: a Drow Inquisitor (Vengeance or Conquest Pal or Divine Soul sorc) of Lolth, going to the surface to fetch back all those softies who fled because they cant understand the glory of Drow society.
 


Zardnaar

Legend
Speaking for Greyhawk, it's going to depend rather when you are setting your campaign. If you're going back to the 1983 boxed set year -576 CY - then, well, Drow are pretty much unknown in most of Greyhawk at that point. No one has descended into the Vault of the Drow at that point and, outside of a couple of sages perhaps, no one has ever seen or heard of a drow.

Other than maybe getting some weird looks for being a funny looking elf, there's no reason a Drow in that year of Greyhawk would have any problems walking around openly.
I've had two thoughts. The Dark Elves are so rare and mysterious no one knows enough to care. Elves will, have fun dealing with them.

Or I sometimes have Elves as Melinbonians. The Drow there could be very different to Lolthites.

Drow in Eberron no big deal.

It's more surviving the underdark, hence why I thought someone else would be involved.

Even an unusual punishment. You did something that would get you killed normally but for some reason you get dumped on the surface. Or a bribe gets you exiled instead of death so a merchant group dumps you somewhere.
 



RogueJK

It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
Drizzt was around level 15 when he got to the surface.
That's debatable. In 2E, he was a straight 16th level Ranger, due to multiclassing restrictions, so it's not easy to pinpoint what exactly his level was when he made it to the surface. But it's safe to say that he had been on the surface for more than one effective level.

In 3E, his official stats were Fighter 10/Barbarian 1/Ranger 5. That'd be something like 10 (or fewer) levels of Fighter training in Menzoberranzan, 1 level of Barbarian for his animalistic rage that developed while surviving on his own in the Underdark, and 5 levels of Ranger from his training on the surface with Montolio and subsequent further development as a Ranger. So in 3E terms, he would have been around Level 11 at the most when he made it to the surface.

In 5E, there haven't been official stats published in a sourcebook, but semi-official stats were offered by WotC through D&D Beyond. It put him as a Fighter 11/Ranger 8. So again, he would have been around Level 11 at the most when he made it to the surface and started his Ranger training with Montolio.

Reason is I have found a very narrow build that only a Drow qualifies for. It's hypothetical and it's not good as such but Dex based melee sorcerer/cleric in a domain without martial weapons.

Any other Dex and charisma races with rapiers as a racial weapon?
A Variant Human taking the Weapon Master feat at Level 1 gets you +2 DEX, +1 CHA, and proficiency with Rapiers and 3 other Martial weapons of your choice.

So no need to go with a Drow and all its associated baggage.
 
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