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General Justify A Level 1 Drow On the Surface?

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
In FR there also the fact that during the Spellplague, the earth split at many place, revealing some drow cities which were now of cliffside of gigantic canyons. There was also Earth Mote risen by the wild magic that send huge chunk of underdark in the skies, so you even had ''flying'' drow cities.
 

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TiwazTyrsfist

Adventurer
B'ahb D'yngal was playing a side cavern as a child, and fell into a hot spring. This hot spring fed a Geyser on the surface. Young B'ahb was fired in a column of Scalding Hot Water to the surface. Found near death by a kindly priest, B'ahb was nursed back to health and raised by the priests order as an acolyte.
 

GameOgre

Adventurer
A Drow Priestess of Loth fell in love with a male Drow adventurer deep in the underdark. Love blossomed and the hero melted her dark heart until they both fled the underdark and into the embrace of Eilistraee. After many trials and adventures ther ended up as heroes in a surface city and settled down. Now many decades later a growing family of Drow can be found walking the streets of INSERT CITY HERE.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
A Drow Priestess of Loth fell in love with a male Drow adventurer deep in the underdark. Love blossomed and the hero melted her dark heart until they both fled the underdark and into the embrace of Eilistraee. After many trials and adventures ther ended up as heroes in a surface city and settled down. Now many decades later a growing family of Drow can be found walking the streets of INSERT CITY HERE.
I did say from a lolthite place. Elistraee isn't an option on GH for example.
 

In Faerun there are also canonically populations of "drow exiles" living in places like deep forests on or near the surface. One example: the Forest of Mir. Frequently these are composed of drow who ran afoul of internecine politics or who disdain the primacy of Lolth; and tend to have much higher rates of non-evilness. Presumably this would include children and other less skillful family.
 

Ogre Mage

Adventurer
A drow with the guild merchant background. He or she is looking to open up trade relations with the surface world. Due to the guild merchant background the PC already has a small number of merchant contacts on the surface to help ease the path. There are merchants on the surface most eager to get a hold of rare underdark goods. It also gives an obvious reason why the PC would have solid diplomatic skills. This could work for a wide variety of classes.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
A drow with the guild merchant background. He or she is looking to open up trade relations with the surface world. Due to the guild merchant background the PC already has a small number of merchant contacts on the surface to help ease the path. There are merchants on the surface most eager to get a hold of rare underdark goods. It also gives an obvious reason why the PC would have solid diplomatic skills. This could work for a wide variety of classes.
Yeah this is the best idea I've managed to come up with.

1. Has reason to travel.
2. Has security while traveling.
3. Reason to speak common.

A charismatic one could have convinced a relationship to add a +1 and it doesn't matter to much if they get ganked.
 

GameOgre

Adventurer
I did say from a lolthite place. Elistraee isn't an option on GH for example.
Only if you make it so. but even then...replace Elistraee with any good deity and continue.Shrug, im just saying there are ten thousand easy ways that make sense for Drow low level pc's just like what I describe. It's as easy or difficult as the DM wants.

If you dislike the idea of Drow PC's starting on the surface no amount of story is going to make you love it. If you don't mind low level Drow on the surface, any of those ten thousand will work.

Same can be said with any race or class.

It irks me to heck and back for players to play Lizard Men characters, I don't allow them. I just don't act like it's because it is impossible for there to be a good reason for a Lizard Man pc, I just don't like them to the point of it ruining my fun,so nope, can't be one. Though I did cave in once for a Lizardman Druid..........
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Only if you make it so. but even then...replace Elistraee with any good deity and continue.Shrug, im just saying there are ten thousand easy ways that make sense for Drow low level pc's just like what I describe. It's as easy or difficult as the DM wants.

If you dislike the idea of Drow PC's starting on the surface no amount of story is going to make you love it. If you don't mind low level Drow on the surface, any of those ten thousand will work.

Same can be said with any race or class.

It irks me to heck and back for players to play Lizard Men characters, I don't allow them. I just don't act like it's because it is impossible for there to be a good reason for a Lizard Man pc, I just don't like them to the point of it ruining my fun,so nope, can't be one. Though I did cave in once for a Lizardman Druid..........
I don't like the idea of surface Drow in viable populations for a source of a player PC.

A Drow renegade or what have you going to the surface is a bit different.

Drow dark, mysterious Fey. PC Drow.

"Hi guys".

Surface Drow to me are a cop out.
 

Iry

Hero
An arrogant nobleman wants one of those "Drow" to serve as his X at court. Mostly as a showpiece and exotic trophy. This could be a servant, security guard, advisor, or anything else an absurdly rich person might want a bizarre elf for. A drow trading organization, possibly even Bregan D'aerthe, arrange for your transportation.
 


Hussar

Legend
I don't like the idea of surface Drow in viable populations for a source of a player PC.

A Drow renegade or what have you going to the surface is a bit different.

Drow dark, mysterious Fey. PC Drow.

"Hi guys".

Surface Drow to me are a cop out.
Why? Think about what you gain by this. Note, "viable population" here means 2 - mom and dad. So, we're not talking about huge communities here. But, now, the PC actually has a background and a FAMILY. Ties to the setting. How was he treated in the community - an exotic curiousity or a monstrocity? How did he act within that community? How about his parents, and, even better, a couple of siblings and maybe a grandmother too. Fantastic background tied immediately into the setting without disturbing the setting at all.
 


MarkB

Legend
True meant surviving the underdark. If it was easy to get to the surface it easy for the Drow to raid or someone to invade.
Being 1st level doesn't necessarily mean having absolutely no experience of fighting. Maybe your drow was a mighty warrior who fought his way through many terrible beasts on his way up to the surface - but between injuries and illness and venom, those encounters took their toll, leaving him weakened and in poor health by the time he made it to the surface. Regaining his former strength will take time and practice - coincidentally, the same amount of time and practice that it will take for your character to level up a few times as he adventures.
 

Ashrym

Hero
The character could simply be born on the surface. Why that happened relates to his or her parents instead of the PC. The PC doesn't even need to be aware of why his or her parents were on the surface.
 

ccs

40th lv DM
Well, see, it was the night of the Summer Solstice (2019) and there was this really crazy party at the Wildwood Inn & (among other things, some of wich cannot be shared on these boards).....

Some unlucky bastard got themselves Pollymorphed into a Drow.

How/why this happened is up for some debate.
* Some claim the fool got caught in the middle when a pair of drunken/stoned casters decided to throw spells at each other. Spell casting under the influence is just begging for trouble you know.
Maybe it was a miscast. Maybe a Wild Magic surge. Maybe one caster couldn't see straight & targeted the wrong person. Who can say.
Afterall, that one chick turned into a purple skinned winged tiefling. Maybe others were also affected.
* Maybe it's the result of a drunken dare/bet. Some say they overheard an exchange that went sorta like this: "You wouldn't last a week as a ~?~" {idiot egged on by the crowd} "I would too! Infact, double or nothing, I'll do a whole YEAR!" "OK....."
And then "POOF!" one dude became a Drow! A Drow!
$ changed hands & some new bets concerning his survival were made.

* Possibly it was a prank. "Hey guys! What if we completely Sharpie the High Elf? (but with magic) With his white hair he'll look just like one of them Drow!"
Warning: Do NOT pass out at parties!
* Of course there's a few witnesses who'll swear to Pelor that this guy really IS a Drow. That when that idiot bard Simon Keene sounded that Horn of Valhalla{?} at midnight & started that brawl, that this guy also came out of the portal right behind the bezerkers. No explanation why he didn't unsummon when the barbarians did.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Well, see, it was the night of the Summer Solstice (2019) and there was this really crazy party at the Wildwood Inn & (among other things, some of wich cannot be shared on these boards).....

Some unlucky bastard got themselves Pollymorphed into a Drow.

How/why this happened is up for some debate.
* Some claim the fool got caught in the middle when a pair of drunken/stoned casters decided to throw spells at each other. Spell casting under the influence is just begging for trouble you know.
Maybe it was a miscast. Maybe a Wild Magic surge. Maybe one caster couldn't see straight & targeted the wrong person. Who can say.
Afterall, that one chick turned into a purple skinned winged tiefling. Maybe others were also affected.
* Maybe it's the result of a drunken dare/bet. Some say they overheard an exchange that went sorta like this: "You wouldn't last a week as a ~?~" {idiot egged on by the crowd} "I would too! Infact, double or nothing, I'll do a whole YEAR!" "OK....."
And then "POOF!" one dude became a Drow! A Drow!
$ changed hands & some new bets concerning his survival were made.

* Possibly it was a prank. "Hey guys! What if we completely Sharpie the High Elf? (but with magic) With his white hair he'll look just like one of them Drow!"
Warning: Do NOT pass out at parties!
* Of course there's a few witnesses who'll swear to Pelor that this guy really IS a Drow. That when that idiot bard Simon Keene sounded that Horn of Valhalla{?} at midnight & started that brawl, that this guy also came out of the portal right behind the bezerkers. No explanation why he didn't unsummon when the barbarians did.
Drunken bet and an F U from a wizard could work.
 



Laurefindel

Adventurer
I feel @Zardnaar wants to reinforce that getting out of the Underdark is not a walk in the park. Like Boromir DoUrden once said: “one does not simply walk out of the Underdark”.

The Underdark is vast, unbelievably labyrinthine, full of monsters that want to eat you, full of plants that want to eat you, full of creatures that want to eat you, or at least eat your brain...That is without all the people who would take a shot at a lone drow, either by hatred, revenge, or just opportunity (including other drow). Not to mention the natural traps, chasm, treacherous terrain, etc. The Underdark wouldn’t supposed to be a super scary place otherwise. It may be beyond the abilities of a 1st level character without making it a campaign in itself.

Then, this implies that the drow character was either guided and escorted to the surface, or brought against their will. Magic shenanigans are also possible, as well as the “catastrophic results of a travel incident. Mercantile and surface raider background are the most obvious.

knowledge of the common tongue doesn’t have to be a result of the trip to the surface, it could also be the cause (character was sent along not because of their experience, but because their mastery of common, as an interpreter). Then there are 1001 ways of losing the PC along or abandoning them on the surface and as far as the PC is concerned, that is just fine.

there would also be 1001 reason for the PC to end up there against their knowledge or will, but then you need to account for the common language (assuming that the language is not relatively , well, common)
 

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