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 .

Lyxen

Great Old One
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.

I think drow memories really depend when you created them. I have very good memories of GDQ1 and subsequent encounters of drows and only very bad ones about everything drow in the FR and in particular Driz'zt.
 

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I think drow memories really depend when you created them. I have very good memories of GDQ1 and subsequent encounters of drows and only very bad ones about everything drow in the FR and in particular Driz'zt.
Hey, we had our Drow ranger way before Drizzt.... But I do agree that from mysterious dangerous and lethal vilains, they became almost a farcical race now doing a lot of thing either good or bad. By making them so readily available, they have lost their appeal, at least for me and quite a few of other DMs in my area.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
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.
Lol, never had to deal with the Dritzz clones in my neck of the woods. Heck, the first drow character we had came after the DM asked me to play one (N cleric/magic-user, IIRC)
 

Lol, never had to deal with the Dritzz clones in my neck of the woods. Heck, the first drow character we had came after the DM asked me to play one (N cleric/magic-user, IIRC)
You are a very, but very lucky person indeed for not having these clones. I personally saw more than a dozen of them over the years, especially in the 2ed era. Today, most DM in my area just say to someone trying to make one: "Been there done that. Care to try something new as a knight in shinny plate armor on a proud noble steed?"
 

briggart

Explorer
I think drow memories really depend when you created them. I have very good memories of GDQ1 and subsequent encounters of drows and only very bad ones about everything drow in the FR and in particular Driz'zt.
Oh, no doubt about that. Back then 4-5 of us would take turn to DM depending on who had time to prepare. Two of the other DM's simultaneously started reading Drizz't stories and taking Muay Thai lessons, so they had these superduper DMPCs that could basically one-shot kill anything with a punch. I still play with some other friends from that gaming group and to this day we keep making fun of those characters.
 

Hussar

Legend
For 1e: given that UA was basically a compilation of slightly-modified Dragon articles from prior years, despite EGG's published urgings to the contrary we always gave it the same weight we gave anything in Dragon: it's all optional. We looked at DSG and WSG much the same way, though by the time those came out we'd done so much kitbashing that they were of at best very limited use in any case. And as OA was somewhat intended to be a replacement system, we almost completely ignored it other than a tiny bit of idea-poaching.

For 2e: even at the time very little of what we now consider splat was seen as anything but optional.

Oh. I agree. I approached it the same way.

But that’s not the way it was intended. UA for example was just as core as any other book. The notion of core vs splat is a much later addition.

—-
Edit to add since waving our geek credit card is apparently needed. In The Purple Dragon game club at UWO in London Ontario, the UA was always used in tournaments. Granted my experience in tournaments was limited to only that one gaming club, but it was certainly a thing.

Again there’s no reason to rewrite history here. Core Rules was a 3e and onwards thing. TSR certainly never promoted that. Fiend Folio was just as core as the Monster Manual.

Heck rules used to appear in modules that would later be added to the game.

Playing the “it wasn’t core” card for pre-3e DnD is not accurate.
 
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Lyxen

Great Old One
Again there’s no reason to rewrite history here. Core Rules was a 3e and onwards thing. TSR certainly never promoted that. Fiend Folio was just as core as the Monster Manual.

I don't really agree there. Monster books and modules are supplements for sure. But I would argue that in 1e, for example, UA was certainly not core, I remember as many groups using it fully as I remember groups totally rejecting it, and therefore remaining "core". As for 2e, the (in)famous black books starting with Combat & Tactics, which is clearly labelled "Player's Options", indicating extremely clearly that these are non-core options. And as they completely changed the game, once more, some groups jumped upon it and others totally rejected them.

So no, for me, the notion of core (PH+DMG) has always existed, although not by the name of "core".
 

So no, for me, the notion of core (PH+DMG) has always existed, although not by the name of "core".
At the very least, WotC didn't come up with the concept nor the terminology of "core rules." After all, that was literally the name TSR gave to their digital tool in 1996 (which included digital copies of the PHB/DMG/MM). I don't know if that's the first instance of them using it or if they used the term internally prior, but it definitely didn't start with 3E.
 

The idea of core was starting to show its head around 1995. It was not for D&D at first but for other games that were already at their 3rd edition (or more). People at that time were seeing new editions and the proliferation of splat book for what it was, an attempt to grab their wallet. It was thus retroactively applied to any edition of any games.

Core just mean the bare minimum required to play the game as it is.
In D&D it means PHB, DMG and MM (the 1st one). In RIFTS it would mean the 1st book RIFTS. All others are simply splat book that are not really needed to play the game itself. In Role Master, It would be Arm, Claw, Character, Spell and Campaign Laws book (and god we know there were more than that...)

In further discussion around that period, it was commonly agreed that anything beyond the bare minimum to play a game was what should be considered core for any game at all. At least, this is what was going on in my area. The main goal was to provide a "common" ground for rule discussions and to avoid the famous:"I have that book, you don't. So you have to believe me on my word because you do not have it!" This could get very frustrating.

Remember that the internet was in its infancy and a lot of what we consider easy to get today was quite hard. Books were not always ordered in sufficient quantity to answer all demands and second and third orders might let the owner of the store with unsold copies of which he would not get a refund... So store owners were particularly wary about ordering too much stuff. This was the case of our hobby store with 4ed product. It took me quite a lengthy discussion to convince him to give 5ed a chance. He would have stayed with PF at the time simply because he had so many books of 4ed lying in his shop, unsold even at 75% rebate. Even in the first year, it took our Friday Night D&D to jump start the 5ed in our little corner.

So yeah, even if at the time of 1ed everything was considered cored by TSR it is not true any more. And even then, it was a very contested notion simply because not everyone had these books. I personally bought the WSG from a used store, last year...
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
At the very least, WotC didn't come up with the concept nor the terminology of "core rules." After all, that was literally the name TSR gave to their digital tool in 1996 (which included digital copies of the PHB/DMG/MM).
It also included a whole lot more than the PHB/DMG/MM, though, so it shows that "core rules" had a different meaning than 3e's (thankfully) curtailed core three.
 

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