D&D 5E Orcs and Drow in YOUR game (poll */comments +)

How is the portrayal of orcs and/or drow changing in your game? Check ALL that apply. (Anonymous)

  • Not applicable (both orcs and drow are absent from our game setting)

    Votes: 13 5.9%
  • Not relevant (both orcs and drow are there but very peripheral in our game setting)

    Votes: 14 6.3%
  • Currently, orcs and drow are Any Alignment in our game

    Votes: 64 29.0%
  • Currently, orcs OR drow are Typically Evil in our game

    Votes: 95 43.0%
  • Currently, orcs OR drow are Always Evil in our game

    Votes: 15 6.8%
  • In our game setting, orcs and drow will continue to be Any Alignment

    Votes: 59 26.7%
  • In our game setting, orcs and drow might change from Evil to Any Alignment

    Votes: 10 4.5%
  • In our game setting, orcs and drow will definitely change from Evil to Any Alignment

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • But we want (more) help or guidance from official published WoTC material

    Votes: 9 4.1%
  • But we want (more) help or guidance from 3rd party publishers

    Votes: 6 2.7%
  • But we want (more) help or guidance from online forums/groups

    Votes: 7 3.2%
  • And we don't need any help to make these changes; we've already got it covered

    Votes: 80 36.2%
  • I don't know / not sure

    Votes: 1 0.5%
  • Added: In our game setting, orcs and drow will continue to be Typically Evil Alignment

    Votes: 76 34.4%

  • Poll closed .

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Lyxen

Great Old One
I think the concept of "evil gods" is stupid and sooner we get rid of it the better. Cruel gods? Sure. Destructive gods? Absolutely! But people tend not to think gods they worship as evil.

It's just a reference for us DMs. I agree that people worshipping them will not label them evil, after all, apart from a few psychopaths, no-one will admit to being evil. That being said, using the definitions of good and evil of the game, we can, as DMs, label some gods as good and others as evil. It's a convenient shortcut label just a kind of tag, but at least it helps us categorise.
 

It's just a reference for us DMs. I agree that people worshipping them will not label them evil, after all, apart from a few psychopaths, no-one will admit to being evil. That being said, using the definitions of good and evil of the game, we can, as DMs, label some gods as good and others as evil. It's a convenient shortcut label just a kind of tag, but at least it helps us categorise.
It is unnecessarily dumbing things down and disincentivices assigning these creatures proper motives and trying to understand their point of view.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
It is unnecessarily dumbing things down and disincentivices assigning these creatures proper motives and trying to understand their point of view.

First, it depends on your type of game. Some games are meant to be simple and that is a valid way to play the game. Second, there is not such thing as "desincentivacation" here, once more, it's not because I give an alignement to something that it prevents me from also defining a complex personality and history. But I do it on purpose, when I find it cool, and when it makes sense to spend time and effort on it. It's a leisure activity, done for pleasure, and no-one has the right to tell me that it's bad and/or insufficient to have simple villains with simple motivations for what is after all just a bit of fun. And it does not prevent me from going into deep roleplaying with complex personalities also when I want it.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
It's only an internet post, but considering the depth of analysis, I would consider it truthful, see here. I found it very interesting.
Thank you. Interesting.
Well, this might be news for you, but everything here is not about your little squabbles,
It helps if you take my arguments with Helldritch in context.

I only came in when you started posting outrageous and easy to prove false claims, here. If you want to have a private argument, just don't do it on the forums.
The bit about the cleric being a supplentary class was an (clerical) error from going off memory (of the "core four", it was the thief that was supplentary). I should have looked at the OD&D books before posting. The history of the cleric class is interesting. Another interesting note of clerical history is that the gods for clerics were originally left nebulous during Gygax's playtesting of OD&D, though—it was only after some bugging from Gygax's players for something more than "the gods" that he introduced St. Cuthbert and Pholtus and any hint of organized religion.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Thank you. Interesting.

You're welcome, there are nice gems here and there on the internet, not always easy to find. As you could see, the picture is far from being clear (at least for that edition). :)

It helps if you take my arguments with Helldritch in context.

As mentioned, my point was lateral to this discussion, it was really more about the importance of gods in the settings and their meddling, as the source for some of the difficulties about drows and orcs, not really clerics. Although it's interesting when you look at GDQ to see that, actually, the mess on the surface is not due to Lolth but to the worship of the Elder Elemental Eye by a "dissident" drow house, and that Lolth is almost a collateral damage in the campaign...

The bit about the cleric being a supplentary class was an (clerical) error from going off memory (of the "core four", it was the thief that was supplentary). I should have looked at the OD&D books before posting. The history of the cleric class is interesting. Another interesting note of clerical history is that the gods for clerics were originally left nebulous during Gygax's playtesting of OD&D, though—it was only after some bugging from Gygax's players for something more than "the gods" that he introduced St. Cuthbert and Pholtus and any hint of organized religion.

And I did not discuss this as I agreed with you about this point. But I also agree with Gygax' players, religions, good and bad, are inextricably tied to a large part of the genre, and they fit D&D so well that, since then, it's been the major tendency of all editions, settings and publications. And yes, there have been exceptions. :)
 

I think the concept of "evil gods" is stupid and sooner we get rid of it the better. Cruel gods? Sure. Destructive gods? Absolutely! But people tend not to think gods they worship as evil.
I think that entirely depends on how you have your cosmology set up. If good and evil are fundamental forces, then it doesn't matter what people's opinions of them are. And in my opinion, alignment makes way more sense when there's something to be aligned with. Also, "evil doesn't exist" sounds very much like the kind of thing an evil god would try to convince a potential follower of. It would be very The Devil's Advocate for an evil god to sway someone with convincing, possibly even truthful arguments of how they're being unjustly excluded from the prosperity of more established gods and their followers, pushing them to claim power by degrees, all the while swaying them deeper and deeper into the god's way of thinking.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Jeebus, you're just tripping over yourself to be wrong, aren't you?

Mod Note:
And you seem to be tripping over yourself to make it personal and kind of insulting.

You'll need to start treating folks with rather more respect now if you want to continue in this discussion.
 

After thinking about this a bit, this poll needs a lot more clarity. Personally, I would like to see a poll with just orcs (which really seems to be the impetus). You can ask about the drow later. But there should only be three options, this way it is clear on where people's opinions rest.
  • In our D&D campaign, orcs are always evil.
  • In our D&D campaign, orcs are evil, but can become good.
  • In our D&D campaign, orcs can be of any alignment.
I mean, to be honest, that is what people want to see. And then, at least from this small sample size, you can infer how EnWorld feels about the subject of inherent evil.
 

briggart

Explorer
In 35+ years of D&D I've DMed or played in campaigns with always evil orcs, typically evil orcs, any alignment orcs, extremely xenophobic but not necessarily evil orcs, and even an always good orcs campaign. Our portrayal of orcs has alway been changing, so I'm not particularly interested in a guidance from WotC, but I'm glad to have them exploring new avenues. If I like what they are doing, I can use it directly or as a source of inspiration, otherwise I'll pass. So I guess I'm in the "already covered camp".

Drows on the other hand are typically more one-dimensional, but they don't figure much in our campaigns. I think we are still scarred by memories of a bunch of high-school Drizzt-clone DMPCs.
 

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