• Welcome to this new upgrade of the site. We are now on a totally different software platform. Many things will be different, and bugs are expected. Certain areas (like downloads and reviews) will take longer to import. As always, please use the Meta Forum for site queries or bug reports. Note that we (the mods and admins) are also learning the new software.
  • The RSS feed for the news page has changed. Use this link. The old one displays the forums, not the news.

5E Out of the Abyss - No Drizzt afterall?

Green1

Villager
This. Players who don't want the GM to curate a world that interests them within reason really need to go the way of typewriters and VHS tapes.
True. But a Minotaur can be dealt with and adjusted to the power level of the game.

But, a sentient ooze dual wielding rocket launchers riding a celestial force dragon mount would kind of be out there. But, that is more because of power level and tech level in the world than any attempt at controlling player creativity. But, this is, like you say, subjective. If you are running some kind of Planescape/ Gamma World/ He-Man Eternia cross campaign a sentient rocket launcher ooze hero might have a place. In fact, it would be cool. But a strict Dark Sun, FR, or Eberron deal would break genre. But we are not talking that. We are talking outright banning from games what, for better or worse, are CLASSIC templates that a good player could do well and actually spice up a campaign. I also do not buy the "my world curated" deal. Planar portals and accidents happen. Even if your world had no Drow or Minotaur, think of the epic quest and hooks to figure out what happened or possibly a way back home. Or the RP as a minotauar with the PCs tries to enter a very xenophobic prime world city in that those things are monsters. Some backwater, low magic village on a prime world would not be like Sigil, Union, or even Waterdeep where such sights may be a bit more common.

I think instead of the "my world" stuff, I would be more about turning down a concept due to relative power level. Yes, I am open to letting folks play dragons. But, it is no fun to the other players if everyone else is playing the level 1 apprentice rogue or wizard and one person has an ancient red dragon with class levels!

I also have a sneaking suspicion the whole DM "my world, my rules" thing helped contribute to the decline of pnp RPGs at a lot of public venues when the players just wanted something reasonably cool.

Let's shun the problem primadonna campaign destroying players, not the template.

Hell yeah. I get a good player out of the deal that just happens to want a Minotaur and I can give him what he wants within the power level of the story, I give it to them. Fun> anal settings. Plus, it keeps me on my toes and makes me a better DM. I am NOT a leader or curator or whatever. The players are there to help me create the story. I am merely a MMO server that creates bad guys, keeps things moving, and tries to create a sandbox with cool things and characters to interact with. That way, they come back.
 

Evandis

Registered User
Let's shun the problem primadonna campaign destroying players, not the template.
Let's not ignore something very important here, there is a lot of truth to it being the player not the template, of course that is neglecting the other side of the same coin, a certain type of player is attracted to this template. That speaks volumes for the template and explains without a doubt why a lot of DMs don't want another Drizzt clone in the campaign. Not to mention it gets boring for us when we see no variation, and we are just as important as the player, our fun matters and the players tell the half of the story for us to discover and get excited about.

Now I never said I banned the template, as some people here seem to assume was part of the initial comment I made. I said I was sick of it, can't get sick of something you never see due to you not allowing it.
 

Green1

Villager
Now I never said I banned the template, as some people here seem to assume was part of the initial comment I made. I said I was sick of it, can't get sick of something you never see due to you not allowing it.
Point taken. Plus a lot of it is probably a bit of fatigue I had from long ago as there were a lot of DMs back in the day who were overly anal. The player base of that time hated them, but since no one DMed they bounced from one anal DM to the other.Of course irrelevent now. And, in a way I may need to thank them. Because they were the way they were back in the day, their games fell apart until I was nominated to DM even though I did not know jack. Fast forward 20 years, I guess I should thank them - the anal DMs. Made great friends I would have never met up until this very day. And you know what? When I was teaching my daughter DnD, she wanted to play a solo as an ancient amethyst dragon. I let her. And spread the love for pnps to the next generation now that she is a teenager.

But, from hearing around, I still hear those DMs still gather along with the primadonna players in some kind of abyss world of campaigns that fall apart weekly because no one else will take them. A match made in heaven, don't you think?
 

Evandis

Registered User
But, from hearing around, I still hear those DMs still gather along with the primadonna players in some kind of abyss world of campaigns that fall apart weekly because no one else will take them. A match made in heaven, don't you think?
The problem, more so in the past, is finding 4-6 people who can meet up once a week regularly AND enjoy role-playing limits your options. The pool to pick from players is very small and sometimes you are willing to just deal with that which annoys you because some gaming is better than none. I can recall one specific player, who is still my friend today but will not be asked back to my table. He was a special snowflake Drizzt clone to a T, I mean every single game, there was zero variation, his background was most likely a xerox copy which he had 100s of to hand in every new adventure. Eventually I just started calling him Drizzt. As in "okay Drizzt it is your turn" and "What do you do Drizzt?"

He never got the point.
 

Evandis

Registered User
I take that back, he did ad variation once, when he asked me if he could give up his pet panther so he could become a werepanther.

I let him. Sort of. I adjusted all his rolls and damage he gave me when he was a werepanther to that of when he was not. Then I let him discover he never was a werepanther, just susceptible to deep psychosis.
 

Green1

Villager
I take that back, he did ad variation once, when he asked me if he could give up his pet panther so he could become a werepanther.

I let him. Sort of. I adjusted all his rolls and damage he gave me when he was a werepanther to that of when he was not. Then I let him discover he never was a werepanther, just susceptible to deep psychosis.
That is just... wrong. But, I kind of like it. I do not blame you.

You have been horribly mind raped by special Dritzz wannabee attention hoarders for the mere love of the game and small pool of available, reliable players back then. Since there are no medals for the anguish issued by the DnD gods, I am glad you got just a small measure of therapy in return to an iconic badass warped into a Jar Jar Binks forever imprinted in your soul.
 

jrowland

Villager
First, I have never made my peace with it. Nope. Not going to, either.
I think what I finally "succumbed" to was the growing lack of new-blood/growth of the game and the increase in grognardism (I use that lightly, I am one). If I have to accept drow PCs for the growth and continuation of the game, so be it. My skin still crawls a little, but I can live with it...but like any evil DM, that's only until the player base is huge and strong and then...."DROW! KILL IT!"

As an aside, I was steeped in the culture of "DROW! KILL IT!", and it's hard for me not to shout that when I am a player and a drow PC shows up, lol!
 

Nebulous

Explorer
Haha. Part of this makes me laugh. Ok, so I've had a player since 2e, he LOVES a character named Elgweth. He is an elf, a thief mage, dark and gritty and he actually personifies many aspects of the actual guy who plays him. This player has brought the same character and name and build into 2nd and 3rd and 4th and 5th edition. Not exclusively. He has played lots of other characters, but Elgweth always comes back. Elgweth dies sometimes. OR, he gets retired BEFORE he dies, because the player loves him, and...it is an extension of his own alter ego.

Killing that aspect of him would be...painful.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
I think instead of the "my world" stuff, I would be more about turning down a concept due to relative power level. Yes, I am open to letting folks play dragons. But, it is no fun to the other players if everyone else is playing the level 1 apprentice rogue or wizard and one person has an ancient red dragon with class levels!

I also have a sneaking suspicion the whole DM "my world, my rules" thing helped contribute to the decline of pnp RPGs at a lot of public venues when the players just wanted something reasonably cool.

Let's shun the problem primadonna campaign destroying players, not the template.

Hell yeah. I get a good player out of the deal that just happens to want a Minotaur and I can give him what he wants within the power level of the story, I give it to them. Fun> anal settings. Plus, it keeps me on my toes and makes me a better DM. I am NOT a leader or curator or whatever. The players are there to help me create the story. I am merely a MMO server that creates bad guys, keeps things moving, and tries to create a sandbox with cool things and characters to interact with. That way, they come back.
There's a balance. I've had plenty of players show up and say (implicitly) "Entertain us." I can do that, but there's a flip side: I expect to be entertained, as well. The whole group should be having fun.

I would (and have) run different settings. Even radically different settings. There are boundaries. I'm going to pick on Drizz't and PC drow, in general. My experience with them is that they just annoy me. Someone might sell me on an awesome concept, but it's going to have to be pretty fantastic before I'm going to consider it. If a "good DM" should be able to roll with it, then a "good player" should be have more than one concept.

And maybe that word "concept" is key. If I ask what your character is like, I'd expect a bit more than "a drow ranger with scimitars" or "kinda like Drizz't, but with whips" if you want me to tweak a setting for it. If "race+class" is the depth of your concept, I'm fine with that. Just do it within the established parameters.

Additionally, for a GM who does enjoy building a setting, asking to add in something incongruous is equivalent to asking that drow PC to deal with having tentacles instead of ears. Unless he's some sort of primadona, it really isn't all about him. Right?

I'm glad that you enjoy being a meatspace MMO. I genuinely think it's great you and your group like to play that way. That would drive me nuts and make me feel like GMing was a second job -- though I might play in that sort of game. I've always had a group, when I've wanted one, for 30+ years, so I don't think I'm doing anything wrong. Most of the time, I've had a hard time stepping down to be a player because people want me to GM. That doesn't make you wrong, either. It's just different styles and different social contracts for different groups.

I actually see more similarity between the player who feels like the GM should allow any concept (that isn't grossly overpowered for the system) just because he asked and the GM who makes the players watch her narrate conversations between two NPCs or tells the player "your character wouldn't do that, he'd do this". Either extreme is pretty selfish. There's a middle ground where both sides get something that falls within their definition of "fun", even if it isn't exactly their ideal; the social aspect makes up the difference.

FWIW, I actually really enjoy running small group or solo games (though I rarely get to). I enjoy it specifically because it gives me a chance to form a world around well-defined and interesting characters. Play what you want, and I'll make it work. But... the more people are mixed in, and the more the concepts = race + class, the harder that gets. Most often the unintentional compromise is that there are a couple strong roleplayers in the group and the world is built around them, with the other players being supporting cast or one-trick ponies. In this case, being a good GM means telling a good enough story for the observers and giving enough spotlight to the flat characters that neither group either notices or cares.

But... this could be a totally separate thread. The point is that it doesn't make someone a bad GM or player just because they don't want to see Drizz't in a module.
 

Green1

Villager
Well, if he was in a module, he would be a DMPC. Either that or a WoW style quest giver. Might as well put an exclamation mark over his head.

But, I wonder. If a Dwizzt DMPC and a Dwizzt special snowflake ever met, would this cause paradoxes of some sort?
 

Irennan

Explorer
A drow (or any rare race) PC can be a good addition to a group and make for some interesting RP, but it heavily depends on the setting and story. In a world where the drow are supposed to be a rather nuanced race, like the Realms (they have different deities and factions there, even if the majority--but more like 70-80% majority than 99%--still falls into stupid evil category), if the group agreed on a campaign that will somehow involve dark elves (therefore making the PC's role in the group meaningful), I would have little problem allowing a drow PC.
 
Last edited:

Henry

Autoexreginated
Looks like I stand corrected about the Drizzt clones, though it does seem the majority of stories are from 20 years ago. For those facing an abnormal number of Drizzt clones, I want to thank you for taking away all of mine in order to keep the average higher. :) The only drow dual-wielder was, I kid you not, a player who played a female drow cleric/ranger, with a male name, before any of our group had ever heard of Drizzt. The player did it because Unearthed Arcana had just come out a couple of years before, and he chose it strictly for the power gaming inherent in the gender and race choice in that book. We used to like to joke that TSR stole the idea from us. :)

I've seen the occasional dual wielder, but never the full angsty Drizzt package.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
Looks like I stand corrected about the Drizzt clones, though it does seem the majority of stories are from 20 years ago. For those facing an abnormal number of Drizzt clones, I want to thank you for taking away all of mine in order to keep the average higher. :) The only drow dual-wielder was, I kid you not, a player who played a female drow cleric/ranger, with a male name, before any of our group had ever heard of Drizzt. The player did it because Unearthed Arcana had just come out a couple of years before, and he chose it strictly for the power gaming inherent in the gender and race choice in that book. We used to like to joke that TSR stole the idea from us. :)

I've seen the occasional dual wielder, but never the full angsty Drizzt package.
I've got one in my CURRENT game.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
I love the fact that many who don't like Driz'zt don't like him because he is the prime example of the drow becoming a player racial option rather then kept as a villain.

It's like they're upset that the players want to have Mary Sue types instead of just the DMs.

Drow...super powerful sleep poison and weapons that are magical by default and perfectly stealthy and all other kinds of contrived nonsense. All Drow were Mary Sues....it's just that now players get to use them too.
 

pukunui

Adventurer
I don't think I've ever had a drow PC in any of the games I've played in or DMed for, let alone a Drizzt clone.
 

Green1

Villager
I love the fact that many who don't like Driz'zt don't like him because he is the prime example of the drow becoming a player racial option rather then kept as a villain.

It's like they're upset that the players want to have Mary Sue types instead of just the DMs.

Drow...super powerful sleep poison and weapons that are magical by default and perfectly stealthy and all other kinds of contrived nonsense. All Drow were Mary Sues....it's just that now players get to use them too.
Well, if it is any consequence, I think the Drow has been massively dailed down from 2E and 3E. The Drow was just the right OP combo for some or the best they could come up with. And, you are right. I think it was a 90s to late 00s thing. It was like unlocking a hidden character gen choice you had to read splats to know about and you used a RA Salvatore shaped trojan horse to sneak in your madness and troll poor DMs I gather from stories here. I never experienced it. Nor did I ever really do an underdark heavy campaign, either.

Oddly, I heard a few, outside those with Planescape experience, hinting the same with Tiefling Warlocks since Tiefling at one time was not an "accepted" choice back in the days right before 4e. But, tiefling did not really have the press of Drizzt clones and the legions of would be "misunderstood devil" types never materialized in my neck of the woods.

That said, Drizzt could not have been the worst thing to become a stigma. Think if you had folks begging to be a werewolf or vampire due to Twilight and such. But, I think we were spared because DnD never had the social system of something like White Wolf stuff that was going into decline by then and Twilight teenie bobbers were more into writing bad erotic fan fiction than rolling dice and drinking soda with the crew.
 

hawkeyefan

Explorer
I was mostly kidding. I personally don't mind Driz'zt. I've read my fair share of the books, and they can be fun entertainment. I don't really consider him a Mary Sue so much as just the main character of the series.

I've never had anyone try to mimic him with a PC, though, so I can see how that would be annoying. But I'd blame the player for that, not the fictional character. I've had two drow PCs in my game over the years, both by the same player, one was a wizard and the other was a fighter. Only resemblance between either of them and Driz'zt was that the fighter fled the underdark to live on the surface.

Drow overall can still be perfectly fun as villains because the main society that has been depicted for them is just so twisted and cruel. My PCs just had a visit to the Vaukt of the Drow and it was a fun part of the adventure.

You're right that they've scaled it back a bit with how overpowered they are, and I think that's good. There was just no need for some of that stuff.
 

Majoru Oakheart

Adventurer
I was mostly kidding. I personally don't mind Driz'zt. I've read my fair share of the books, and they can be fun entertainment. I don't really consider him a Mary Sue so much as just the main character of the series.
The Drow, in general, have been kind of Mary Sue. Salvatore likes to write them as way more powerful than everyone else. It's not just the things they accomplish but the opinions written into the thoughts of every character he writes. I posted this in another thread, but basically there is a bunch of narration that points out how much better Drow and especially Drizzt is than everyone else. Things like "He moved quietly, but the Drow could hear him because although he was a heavily trained assassin, he was no Drow." or "He fought fiercely, with great skill, but his opponent was a Drow and he had no chance." or "The wizard was powerful. But the Drow had trained at the great Sorcere in Menzoberranzan where he learned secrets that surface wizards could only dream of."

Some of that came from the game stats. Drow were resistant to magic, but naturally powerful as spellcasters, while being great fighters. Plus the have the ability to create darkness, high dex, black skin and live in the dark. Which makes them naturally suited to stealth. All of them had magic items, and so on.

And Salvatore makes sure we understand that although ALL Drow are super awesome and better than everyone else, they are also all in awe of the stealth, skill, and cunning of Drizzt who is by far the best of their race. Which is why the entire race except for the absolutely most insane among them is willing to fight him or even go near him.

Let's just say he is written as a wish fulfillment character. He is awesome and you get to see the world through his eyes. I love the books, but this is fairly clear to me. I love wish fulfillment though and think Drizzt is pretty cool. But I have to moderate that with the understanding that the books, from beginning to end, basically repeat "Drizzt is cool. Drizzt is awesome. Look how awesome he is!". I believe this is why a lot of people don't like Drizzt. It can get a bit tiring to be told how awesome someone is repeatedly.

I've never had anyone try to mimic him with a PC, though, so I can see how that would be annoying. But I'd blame the player for that, not the fictional character. I've had two drow PCs in my game over the years, both by the same player, one was a wizard and the other was a fighter. Only resemblance between either of them and Driz'zt was that the fighter fled the underdark to live on the surface.
I don't think I've had anyone emulate him...DIRECTLY. But there have been dual sword wielding Drow in my games. Everyone insists it's because dual swords is something Drow have been known to use and the books claim it's a fairly common Drow fighting style. But it certainly could just be that people really liked Drizzt enough that they just wanted to BE Drizzt. Not that I cared that much.

I think the real problem is that, as a race, the Drow are described as being horribly Evil. They are trained from birth to be the ultimate fighting machines who hate everyone and everything. Anyone who shows a bit of compassion or weakness is killed off by fellow Drow or turned into Driders. Except there is a story about the ONE Drow who was awesome enough that even though they TRIED to kill him, he escaped.

So, when anyone plays a Drow at all, people think "Let me guess, you are a good Drow, but torn by the Evil inside of you. You escaped from Menzoberranzan and now are cursed to live on the surface, hated by those around you. But only because they don't understand that you are Good, unlike the rest of the Drow. You are to be eternally misunderstood. But you are a complete badass since you are a Drow and you were powerful enough to escape."

And that's enough for most people to think "Drizzt clone"! Even if the character is a Wizard.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I love the fact that many who don't like Driz'zt don't like him because he is the prime example of the drow becoming a player racial option rather then kept as a villain.
.
No, I don't think that's the reason most people don't like him. Drizzt is like Kanye West. At first, kinda cool. But now he's shoved down your throat every time you turn around with "look at how uber awesome I am!", interrupting a lot of other good storylines with his unwanted cameos. "I'm gonna let you finish PCs, but first let me tell you how I fought demons like this before..." Kanye just announced his bid for 2020 presidential race. I'm waiting for the book where Drizzt becomes leader of the Menzo and a demigod above all men.
 

Advertisement

Top