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 .
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.
Tome of Magic and the Arms and Equipment Guide, specifically. The DM and Player Option books weren't included until the 2.0 release.
 

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Micah Sweet

Level Up & OSR Enthusiast
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".
I think the point being made is that while the concept of core de facto existed, in that many players made these distinctions for their games, officially it did not (until 3e). How relevant that is depends on the individual, but it is true.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Helldritch said that meddling gods were the "basic premise of D&D" in response to me saying that not all settings have meddling or existing gods (). I responded to him that that that's not the basic premise (or even a premise) of D&D.

You can have all the meddling gods you want (Forgotten Realms does so in double time), but.... Gods in D&D run a spectrum from Forgotten Realms (gods are ubiquitous and meddling with everything) to Dragonlance and Greyhawk (only certain gods get to meddle) to Eberron (the gods may be real... or not, you'll never know) to Mystara (no gods, but instead immortals—but clerics don't need to worship them anyway)
to Dark Sun (no gods). D&D has even supported clerics without gods (B/X, BECMI, and 2e The Complete Priest's Handbook, 3.x, onwards). I think it's safe to say that gods—existing or not and meddling or not—is a setting-level dial, do a game-level one.
I think @Helldritch is correct. The 1e DMG mentions divine intervention on behalf of PCs more than once. The Deities & Demigods gave the chances of it and spoke in my greater detail on it. Perhaps it's not the "Basic Premise," but it's the default position for gods. Specific settings like Eberron that change that default for the setting, but not for D&D as a whole.

You mention a bunch of settings.

1. Forgotten Realms. In that setting gods meddle.
2. Dragonlance. In that setting gods meddle.
3. Greyhawk. In that setting gods meddle.
4. Mystara. In that setting gods meddle. Calling them immortals is a distinction without a difference. They're still the gods.
5. Eberron. Gods don't meddle, mainly because even if they exist they can't reach the world.
6. Dark Sun. Has no gods to meddle, but if it did, they would probably meddle. ;)

Pretty much every setting that actually has gods that can affect the world, has gods that meddle. Gods meddle.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Are you even familiar with the word "premise"?


View attachment 151342
Nary an Immortal in sight.
Have you read the Immortals set? The immortals are gods to various groups and have clerics.

Valerias - Hierarch - interests(Portfolio) romance and passion - Followers' Alignment: Any. Clerics may be of any alignment, but most are neutral or chaotic. - Special Clerical Powers: Starting at 1st level, Valerias' clerics can cast each of the following spells once per day: Locate, remove fear, and ventriloquism. These spells are supposed to aid them in the promotion of romance but are also useful elsewhere; they are special powers rather than true spells.

Thor - Eternal - Interests Warrior's Codes of Honor - Followers' Alignment: Any. Clerics must be lawful or neutral. - Special Clerical Powers: Clerics of Thor roll their hit poins on a 1d8 instead of 1d6 and receive a permanent +1 bonus to their strength ability scores(up to a maximum of 18)

And so on.
 

I think @Helldritch is correct. The 1e DMG mentions divine intervention on behalf of PCs more than once. The Deities & Demigods gave the chances of it and spoke in my greater detail on it. Perhaps it's not the "Basic Premise," but it's the default position for gods. Specific settings like Eberron that change that default for the setting, but not for D&D as a whole.

You mention a bunch of settings.

1. Forgotten Realms. In that setting gods meddle.
2. Dragonlance. In that setting gods meddle.
3. Greyhawk. In that setting gods meddle.
4. Mystara. In that setting gods meddle. Calling them immortals is a distinction without a difference. They're still the gods.
5. Eberron. Gods don't meddle, mainly because even if they exist they can't reach the world.
6. Dark Sun. Has no gods to meddle, but if it did, they would probably meddle. ;)

Pretty much every setting that actually has gods that can affect the world, has gods that meddle. Gods meddle.
Thank you.
And it is exactly because of these meddlings that some races are pigeonholed on alignment as the gods will make sure that all members of their favored race stay in line. Exceptional individuals will sometimes arise. But they will be exceptional and not the norm.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
I think the point being made is that while the concept of core de facto existed, in that many players made these distinctions for their games, officially it did not (until 3e). How relevant that is depends on the individual, but it is true.

That was actually the point that I made, to reinforce the thing that, just because something was in a supplement somewhere did not make it really part of the game, especially in 2e where there were so many splay books of honestly extremely variable interest (I'm looking at you, Complete XXX Handbooks). :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Thank you.
And it is exactly because of these meddlings that some races are pigeonholed on alignment as the gods will make sure that all members of their favored race stay in line. Exceptional individuals will sometimes arise. But they will be exceptional and not the norm.
I don't think they can meddle to that degree. Even in Menzobaranababaabzan(not looking up the spelling), not all drow were CE. There were NE and LE drow as well. And as a race, there were non-evil drow that followed what's her name.

That's why I favored 3e's alignment system. Orcs were usually LE, which only meant that at least a simple majority were of that alignment. It left room open for many other alignments for individuals and even villages or nations.

Usually, even though gods meddle, there are rules that limit the degree of that meddling. They aren't free to use their entire power on the prime plane to do things and push the direction of mortals. Demigods often were the only exception, since the prime was often their home plane.
 


I don't think they can meddle to that degree. Even in Menzobaranababaabzan(not looking up the spelling), not all drow were CE. There were NE and LE drow as well. And as a race, there were non-evil drow that followed what's her name.

That's why I favored 3e's alignment system. Orcs were usually LE, which only meant that at least a simple majority were of that alignment. It left room open for many other alignments for individuals and even villages or nations.

Usually, even though gods meddle, there are rules that limit the degree of that meddling. They aren't free to use their entire power on the prime plane to do things and push the direction of mortals. Demigods often were the only exception, since the prime was often their home plane.
Yes and no...
They will meddle with their clerics, priests and shamans! Of course some will pass through the net by acting on their "best" behaviours when looked upon. But away from prying eyes? All bets are "good".
 

Yora

Legend
I've started working on a new setting from scratch two months ago, and it never really occurred to me to include any of the usual villain humanoids in the worldbuilding. I was a bit on the fence for a few days about gnolls, but then also decided against it, because they wouldn't really be adding anything narratively interesting.

Currently the lineup for humanoids is humans, high elves, goliaths, and tabaxi for PCs, and for wilderness/underworld NPCs it's chitines, derro, grimlocks, kuo-toa, quaggoths, ogre mages, and stone giants. None of which are inherently evil, though peaceful communication and interaction with chitines and kuo-toa is often difficult, and there's a number of really nasty bastards among the derro and quaggoths who are as bad as the worst humans, which requires always approaching unfamiliar ones with extreme caution. (The grimlocks, ogre mages, and stone giants are no better or worse than any human villages.)
 

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