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 .

Azzy

KMF DM
Currently DMing an Eberron campaign, so any alignment is the order of the day. In my homebrew setting, hardcoded aliglignment got kicked to the curb, too. My drow (or "not-drow") have a morally ambiguous, isolationist natition and run the gamut of alignments on the individual level. I haven't done much with orcs yet.
 

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Laurefindel

Legend
I answered « remain typically evil », but what I mean is « remain typical enemies of the alliance of human, dwarves and elves ».

I play very loosely with alignment; I usually see it as blue team/red team and little more, but the orcs of the sword coast and savage frontiers will remain the enemies of the dwarves, eleven, and human nations, from whose perspective they game is played. Their respective civilisations have been at war since their founding, and it will remain so in my games.

Ditto with drow; hunting parties out of Menzoberranzan are there to cause harm. They did so for so long that this is all of what people know of drows.

And then I play in another setting (mainly Eberron) and it’s all different, and would likely deserve another answer in the poll.
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
I’m my homebrew world, Orcs can be any alignment and have societies that are viewed with the same respect, legitimacy, and caution as the other Demi-human societies (Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, and Orcs are the big five races on the main continent of my world) though they are a bit more fierce and intimidating then the rest. They have even integrated many goblinoids into their society as equal members, calling them Orc-Kin (the goblinoids can also be of any alignment).

Drow meanwhile are “basically” evil. They are a race of demon worshipping cultists that mimic the current interpretation of gnolls as irredeemable defilers who love carnage and destruction. While it is occasionally possible for a Drow be born without the overwhelming taint of demonic influence and be anything other then evil, if their society and the demons they worship don’t corrupt them they are killed. And even if they somehow escape, they tend to integrate into either the Shadar-Kai or Twilight Elf societies and cease to be a Drow (these two plus the current Drow used to make up of the original Drow race, but spilt off shortly after the end of the creator Wars when Lolth and the other gods abandoned the world).

Admittedly I’m not entirely sure how I would answer this poll with the above text.
 

Oofta

Legend
In my campaign orcs are not a natural race, much like the LOTR movies they come into the world full grown. Drow that are not evil leave the underdark become gray elves; the underdark in my campaign effectively radiates evil which is what causes their skin coloration.

I guess there's a bit of a gray area with the transition of drow to gray elf, but the influence of the underdark is pernicious.
 

DarkMantle

Explorer
I’m my homebrew world, Orcs can be any alignment and have societies that are viewed with the same respect, legitimacy, and caution as the other Demi-human societies (Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Halflings, and Orcs are the big five races on the main continent of my world) though they are a bit more fierce and intimidating then the rest. They have even integrated many goblinoids into their society as equal members, calling them Orc-Kin (the goblinoids can also be of any alignment).

Drow meanwhile are “basically” evil. They are a race of demon worshipping cultists that mimic the current interpretation of gnolls as irredeemable defilers who love carnage and destruction. While it is occasionally possible for a Drow be born without the overwhelming taint of demonic influence and be anything other then evil, if their society and the demons they worship don’t corrupt them they are killed. And even if they somehow escape, they tend to integrate into either the Shadar-Kai or Twilight Elf societies and cease to be a Drow (these two plus the current Drow used to make up of the original Drow race, but spilt off shortly after the end of the creator Wars when Lolth and the other gods abandoned the world).

Admittedly I’m not entirely sure how I would answer this poll with the above text.
If Orcs OR Drow are evil, and that sounds like what you've got going there with Typically Evil?

(Since there's no separate orc vs drow evil surveying)
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Would that just mean voting that they are currently either always evil or typically evil and then not voting for any other options?
That's what I did at first (typically evil, not always). Now the "will remain" option's been added I ticked that one too.
 


Galandris

Foggy Bottom Campaign Setting Fan
Outside of Eberron, my drows and orcs are always evil -- they are effectively built that way by their respective creator gods. If one renounces their god, he would no longer be a drow or an orc, much like a druid who wear metal armour is not a druid, so I didn't vote "typically evil", but I'd understand if it was the expected vote in this case and ready to change it. I don't need help from WotC to err... change nothing.
 

DarkMantle

Explorer
Thanks, that was what I was having issue with figuring out.
Ya, I did foresee that being an issue

If there was a separate questions for Orcs and separate questions for Drow, it would've been crazy long.

Plus it didn't feel right to make it an orc vs drow thing IMO. It's more a question of: Typically Evil humanoid races or not, with orcs and drow being the prime ones that WoTC was focusing on in the press release.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I don’t think many people run natural races as always evil. There are almost always individual exceptions. I think at the heart of the alignment debate is a disagreement over the utility of the “typically” label.
And-or whether "typically" means 99.99+% of the species, or a simple majority of the species, or just a general slight trend.

Orcs in my games typically trend evil as a society, though there's certianly individual exceptions; and otherwise-evil Orc captives can often be made at least somewhat friendly (though maybe not always trustworthy) by kind treatment, food, healing, and-or payment.

Drow - well, that one's complicated. In my old games where Drow were a common enemy they were generally evil to the core, and exceptions to this (which, though rare, did exist) stood out like sore thumbs. In my current setting the Drow are almost extinct, wiped out by a Mind-Flayer-backed invasion that's swept through the Underdark and is now starting to bubble up to the surface; and those very few who remain have largely abandoned evilness etc. in favour of sheer survival, which tends to mean co-operating with the surface folk whether they like it or not. It's led to some interesting RP now and then.
 

Technically I don't even use alignment, but I voted "any alignment" and "will remain any alignment" as that seems to be closest in the spirit; one's species has no bearing on their 'evilness'.

Though my current setting doesn't have the drow. There are underdark elflings though, so they're somewhat analogous and are not particularly evil either, or at least not more than anyone else. Orcs are somewhat aggressive perhaps, but not really evil. They're honourable warrior people, rather like the klingons.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
They're usually evil if I'm going default but it's nurture not nature

Usually they're not that prominent. If I've built my world from the ground up they might be whatever. Normal elves more likely than be evil/imperialist.

Barely use the Drow outside of themed games once a decade or so.
 

Divine1943

Explorer
The attempt to “humanize” Orcs and Drow is just a type of imperialism that refuses to accept difference in a froth of revolutionary universalism. Embrace difference, think different. Let Orcs be Orcs. Let Drow be Drow.

edit I can’t keep a straight face, this is patently ridiculous.
 


The results make sense in the context of the wording of the poll, however, I would wonder if there's really a big difference between "any Alignment" and "typically Evil", and indeed, what people meant by that. It also excludes "always Evil". My experience is that some people will say "any Alignment" when 90% of a race in their game is one moral alignment, and others will say "typically Evil" when actually a large faction of the beings who are non-Evil play a huge role in the campaign.

Personally I barely use Orcs, because they've always had issues in D&D and aren't interesting to me, but I've always made heavy use of Drow and they've pretty much always been of all alignments. Even if the bulk of the society was "Evil" I wouldn't think of the race as "typically Evil".

So I think any awful lot of this is perspective.
 


When I run Eberron, Orcs run the gamut of moral and ethical stances. I tend to concentrate on Khorvaire, so Drow haven't come up.

In my homebrew world, there are no Drow. Their is only one type of Elf, wood elemental-kin with green skin.

My world's Orcs are strait up pig Orcs. Naturally inclined toward being gluttonous, lusty and violent. This often leads down a dark path, but a few have channelled their passions toward the good. Think Zhu Bajie from Journey to the West.
 

overgeeked

B/X Known World
I handle orcs and drow the same way I handle all races. Any race can be any alignment. Lawful good orcs. Lawful good drow. Chaotic evil drow. Lawful evil orcs. Doesn’t matter. I tend to have lots of factions so there’s plenty of examples of different races from most every alignment.
 

My orcs come in the full gammut of alignments and always will. Plus, most of the people I play with have a Warcraft background so, the idea of orcs being always evil is just completely foreign to us

My drow are just an excuse to put on my maximum Australian accent and, honestly, I'd just make them any alignment because I don't like how flanderised official ones are
 

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