D&D General RA Salvatore Wants To Correct Drizzt’s Racist Tropes

Not open for further replies.
In an interview with Polygon, the author talks about how the drow are currently being redefined in D&D, and how he wants to be part of that process.
”But on the other hand, if the drow are being portrayed as evil, that’s a trope that has to go away, be buried under the deepest pit, and never brought out again. I was unaware of that. I admit it. I was oblivious.

Drow are now split into (at least) three types — the familiar Udadrow of Menzoberranzan, the arctic-themed Aevendrow, and the jungle-themed Lorendrow. Salvatore's new novel, Starlight Enclave, helps to expand the drows' role in the narrative.
In 2020 WotC made a public statement about how they would be treating drow and orcs going forward -- "Throughout the 50-year history of D&D, some of the peoples in the game—orcs and drow being two of the prime examples—have been characterized as monstrous and evil, using descriptions that are painfully reminiscent of how real-world ethnic groups have been and continue to be denigrated. That’s just not right, and it’s not something we believe in. "

Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad

log in or register to remove this ad


Mod Squad
Staff member
I'll admit I'm at least a bit curious why discussions about colonialism and such almost never mention how most of these colonizers were Christians...

Mod Note:
Allow me to satisfy your curiosity, by referring you to the Terms and rules which mentions our "no politics, no religion" policy.

There's a bunch of folks who refer to issues of racism as politics. We work under the operating assumption that treating all people with equity and respect is not a matter of politics - it is a matter of being a good human. We'll be updating the rules to better state this.


5e Freelancer
Seriously people, if we can't have entirely evil races in our games because it's socially unacceptable, we should also make an argument about how it's bad to go around murdering people for gold and power. I honestly believe we as a community should turn it down a notch on the self censorship. It's almost impossible to write anything at all without offending someone's sensibilities.
A few rebuttals:
  1. Violence in the media doesn't make people more violent. It can desensitize you to violence, but it doesn't cause you to be more violent. Violent video games won't turn you into a school shooter, but they can make you less likely to react as severely as you should to certain types of violence and injuries. The same thing applies to depictions of racism. Racist depictions in the media (which includes D&D) won't make you racist, but it can desensitize you to similar racist depictions and some types of racism (especially racial dog-whistles), and thus do harm.
  2. The only campaign that I have played in where we were "going around murdering people for gold and power" as a player was also the only campaign where we were very explicitly listed as not being good guys. It is bad to do those things. It's not inherently bad to play that way, as it's make-believe, but it is bad to label doing that as "good" (like how it was lawful good in the old days to kill a surrendered goblin that was begging for its life).
  3. "People are just too sensitive/easily-offended nowadays" is an incorrect sentiment and can be used to excuse any sort of bigoted content. You could use it to support white people using the N-word whenever they want, saying, "Black people shouldn't be so sensitive to that word! I should be able to say whatever I want without being criticized! Anyone that's offended is too sensitive/a snowflake!", when it was white people in the first place that made that be a bad word, and it was for the exact purpose of harming black people. If you write/say something that offends someone, apologize and promise to stop doing that thing. It's not that hard. It's not "self-censorship" to try to avoid offending your audience.
Last edited:


Imagine a fantasy world that is made up entirely of female people of color except for one race of white people led by males, who enslave, kill without remorse, and worship an evil god. Lots of white people would freak out. Some of them can't even handle a handicapped-accessible dungeon BUILT for someone who's handicapped!

Come on! It's just fantasy. Don't be so sensitive. If we can't have a race of evil white people who worship an evil god, then maybe we should ban everything.
Look at the reaction of some circles of gaming when Blue Rose came out. Or when any inclusive content is included in a game. Christ, we have an entire old school gaming forum talking about trying to find a safe space in the OSR from liberals, because apparently the OSR is being taken over by socialist, communist, progressive, authoritarian, fascist, leftists, atheist, Muslim, gay, woke leftists. No, I'm not joking.

From my seat, it sure looks like the people saying, "It's just a game of pretend, you can play whatever you want" are the same ones gnashing teeth any time the game changes in a way that doesn't cater to their preferences only. The cognitive dissonance is strong, that's for certain.

Whizbang Dustyboots

Gnometown Hero
It's ironic to pair that with the latest news from the DnD team, that says nothing Salvatore does in canon
He can't fix the tropes because his Drizzt is less official than the one in the RPG books
Did you miss all the posts on the D&D website about the new groups of drow? We didn't know where they were going to show up, since they created a bunch of lore and art for them -- people speculated they might be in the Forgotten Realms Magic: The Gathering cards -- but now we know where they appear first.

Salvatore is explicitly working with the team in concert on this.


Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
See, the problem is when you mix fantasy with reality...
You heard it, here, last, folks!

Fantasy and Media NEVER have -ANY- effect on Reality. Shows over. Go home. No don't sing songs that helped inspire revolutions! Don't portray Kings as dolts and ineffectual inbred garbage! Don't produce Artwork which challenges authority!

No fantasy ,no art, nothing has ANY effect on Reality whatsoever.

Don't try.

Don't consider it.

Don't debate the possibility of it.

Reality and Fantasy are totally and irreconcilably separate and you're childish and foolish for not seeing the clear divide.

Not open for further replies.
Remove ads

Latest threads

Remove ads


Remove ads

Upcoming Releases