D&D 5E Thoughts on playing Elf in Out of the Abyss [SPOILERS]

CapnZapp

Legend
Sorry about the vague thread title.

The real title is "Ten reasons my Elf PC isn't murdered yet" ;)

That is, the module doesn't adress the fact that Drow usually kill surface elves on sight, rather than bothering to take them prisoners or as slaves. I can't very well rule out elves as a racial choice, or I'll ruin the surprise.

And no, I don't want any "let's not argue about who enslaves who" and handwave away millenia of intense racial hatred.

So... what do you say?

Let me start you off:

1) "I had time to cut off the tips of my ears, and have kept a low profile ever since"
 

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Lidgar

Legend
2) "I am from a powerful noble family and worth much more alive. Plus I have these crazy good dance moves for those Drow Matriarchs."
 

Agamon

Adventurer
I can't very well rule out elves as a racial choice, or I'll ruin the surprise.

The surprise? The game starts with the PCs as prisoners of drow. If you don't tell them that, it's less surprise and more of a "gotcha".

Besides, how does the elf player come up with these reasons if he doesn't know?

I'd tell the players how the game begins and let them come up with a reason if they want to play an elf.
 

Remathilis

Legend
Our group is screwed; we're importing our 3rd level PCs and among our group is a wood elf ranger, a gold elf rogue and a renegade drow paladin of Lathander. (We also have a gold dwarf cleric of Moradin, a half-orc barbarian, and a human diviner, I don't wager any of them are going to fair that well either).
 

Corpsetaker

First Post
Our group is screwed; we're importing our 3rd level PCs and among our group is a wood elf ranger, a gold elf rogue and a renegade drow paladin of Lathander. (We also have a gold dwarf cleric of Moradin, a half-orc barbarian, and a human diviner, I don't wager any of them are going to fair that well either).

This is something I couldn't ignore if I was DMing. The drow would just slaughter all of you and take anything of value. I never handwave things like this because my group would become disinterested in the campaign.
 

Remathilis

Legend
This is something I couldn't ignore if I was DMing. The drow would just slaughter all of you and take anything of value. I never handwave things like this because my group would become disinterested in the campaign.

Just as a thought, what races (from either the PH or EE) WOULDN'T the drow slaughter on sight?
 



Arial Black

Adventurer
Oh, the drow have plans for them...

...best hope you can escape before those plans are *ahem* executed...

Have the drow taunt the captive PCs, without going into specifics.
 

thalmin

Retired game store owner
Why kill on sight when the elf is already helpless. Better to kill in the sight of many and make it a superbowl party!
 



jrowland

First Post
At the time of the module, The Matron Mother of House Do'Urden is a surface Elf. Drow do not always kill on sight. If they can use the surface elf in a way to gain advantage (whatever that means), they will.
 

Here's the best I can do on short notice:

4.) I'm so short the drow mistook me for a gnome.
5.) I'm so ugly the drow figured killing me would be a mercy.
6.) My Siamese twin is drow and they haven't figured out how to separate us yet.
7.) I am a druid and the drow think I'm another PC's dog. (Doesn't work for level 1 PCs.)
8.) I have a useful skill (e.g. Healer).
 

Tanaka Chris

First Post
For females:
1) The Drow have been having their way with me. I wonder when they will tire and slay me. However, every day I live is a chance to escape.

For Males:
2) I'm not sure how much longer I can hold on, The Drow Priestess' "games" are wearing me down. I've lost track of how many times I've been healed after each ordeal. Why? Why me and not the rest?
 

Dausuul

Legend
These are slavers, are they not? Surface elves probably bring a hell of a price in the slave markets of Menzoberranzan. Priestesses of Lolth want them for sacrifice. Others might want them as exotic pets to torture and degrade, or as status symbols.
 

This is actually given in the Adventure. They keep surface elves as Slave Labor in the camp but when they get to Menzobarranzan they are going to be sacrificed to Lolth (Same as Sarith.)
 

CapnZapp

Legend
The surprise? The game starts with the PCs as prisoners of drow. If you don't tell them that, it's less surprise and more of a "gotcha".

Besides, how does the elf player come up with these reasons if he doesn't know?

I'd tell the players how the game begins and let them come up with a reason if they want to play an elf.
And I want to give my players free choice of race and only then tell them they've been captured by drow. (They do know they're headed for an "Underdark-themed campaign")

Given this, I don't want to allow Elf as a choice if I can't justify giving that character a fair chance at surviving the first chapter. So I'm asking enworld for reasonable justifications.
 

CapnZapp

Legend
This is something I couldn't ignore if I was DMing. The drow would just slaughter all of you and take anything of value. I never handwave things like this because my group would become disinterested in the campaign.
On the other hand, getting your character killed off without a fair chance at retreat/surrender/negotiation is a sure-fire way to get your group disinterested in playing with you as DM ever again.

I agree Rem's group is an ill-fit for Out of the Abyss, half of it at least. The dwarf, half-orc and human on the other hand are the perfect OotA player characters: they have a clear motivation to not only escape out in the general Underdark but specificially back to the surface.

But I'd much rather choose another module for that party or ask the elf-playing players to put those characters on hold and generate new ones ("they were out hunting when the drow struck; now you get to play drow slaves while your former characters fruitlessly search for them on the surface; you might meet them later but no promises").
 

CapnZapp

Legend
Just as a thought, what races (from either the PH or EE) WOULDN'T the drow slaughter on sight?
The Drow are known to take surface-dwellers as slaves.

Sure, a gnome or halfling doesn't do hard physical labour well, but they can be sold as "pets" in Drow cities. Dwarfs and humans have lots of uses. Orcs are perfect: strong enough for the hardest tasks but stupid enough not to plot against his masters (or so the Drow thought).

There's a huge difference between Elfs and other PHB races.

Among the EE races, the only concern I have is with the Aaracokra. By the description they should be all but useless for everything deep underground, so I have a hard time imagining Drow to bother keeping any birdman alive without a particular reason. The rest are unproblematic: they're either exotic (and therefore valuable) or they're Svirfneblin (and therefore a pretty common slave).
 

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