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#718430 27/10/20 07:52 AM
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So, I'm going to start by saying this, and I'm probably going to say it many more times later on as well... but let's tee this one up first:

Drow. Are. Elves.

Drow are elves, Larian. That's a thing that they are. They're elves. They are not, in fact, their own independent species of being; they're actually elves. It's kind of an important thing to them, in fact.

Drow is not a separate race from elf, any more than deep gnome is a separate race from rock gnome. What they are is a subrace of elf.

It's right there in the hand book, and further confirmed by all recent material as well: Drow are one of the subraces of the elven people. They are not some complete and entire “other” that needs to be treated like an alien genus – They're elves.

Larian have enough work ahead of them supplying all of the core handbook races to us without dissembling in this way without any true justification or cause.

It goes deeper: Being a drow elf is tough, especially if you are going to the surface to live apart from your own traditional society. It's difficult because of the way in which your people are perceived by others, especially surface-dwellers.

There are no sub-races of 'nice drow' and 'nasty drow' – they're all just drow. A difference of political opinion, religion or lifestyle choice does not make you a separate type of entity, and that's kind of the whole POINT of adventuring drow. It's the whole point of what makes someone like Drizzt admirable and heroic. It's hard to break the shackles of your society's roles to begin with, as a drow, and it's hard twice over when you get to the surface, and all anyone can tell of you when they look at you, is that you are a drow – who traditionally, by their rigid social structure, have only ever been bad news for surfacers. That's the point. And you missed it. You missed it so hard that the barn doesn't even know it was shot at.

Rejecting Lolth and her teachings is a choice – a difficult choice – that a drow must make for themselves. It's not a thing they're born to, and it's not a trait of their subrace; it's a choice.

In making separate subraces of drow, and in making drow themselves a separate race from other elves, you've discarded an important part of what it means to be a surface drow in a world that is predisposed to be wary and mistrustful of your intentions and your very presence. Worse than that, however – rather than provide an alternative, you've effectively doubled down on and *justified* the fantasy racism normally levied against drow, because you've said that, in fact, there IS a physical, tangible difference between the “bad, evil drow” and the “good drow who aren't like those other bad evil drow”... and that that difference exists at a racial level.

Drow are elves. A subrace of elves, in fact, very much like deep gnomes are a subrace of gnomes, and the different bloodlines of tiefling are all still tiefling. Beyond that, what sort of a drow you are – whether you follow Lolth, or seek to reject her, that's a choice to make, not a thing of race. Let us make that choice for ourselves, as characters and as players both. Let us define ourselves as we make that choice, and uphold it day to day – or don't, as the case may well be.

Mechanically, there's no reason for drow to be a separate race from elves, and no reason for there to exist any further subdivisions of drow; doing so actually removes agency, rather than supporting it.

Make drow a subrace of elf, like the forgotten realms lore says. They can get the 'drow' tag as well as the 'elf' tag easily enough, just like halflings can get 'halfling' and 'lightfoot halfling' tags. If it feels really important, you could even have the drow subrace have a selection box, not unlike cleric selecting a deity, or a high elf selecting their cantrip choice, to say whether they follow Lolth or don't.

What was the reason for deviating from the lore in this way? What justification?

In the game currently, there's not a mechanical difference between your subraces of drow; neverwinter online tried this as well, as nothing more than a cash grab, and it was hated almost universally there; do not doubt that it will fail to find good favour here.

Let's do a quick comparison:

[Linked Image]

We can note several things here, such as the fact that high elves lose out on a bonus which no longer applies, but don't get anything back in return for it, unlike wood elves, who do. Drow, meanwhile, are missing their keen senses trait (I saw someone comment that they get perception proficiency anyway; this is not true.)

Most importantly, however, is that there's no mechanical reason why drow should not be a normal subrace of Elf, like they're meant to be. It all fits perfectly well, and aside from the expression of physically externalised fantasy racism, drow 1 and drow 2 are mechanically identical.

In fact, when you line it all up, the design choice that Larian has made here makes it seem like they've made more work for themselves than just sticking with the handbook ordering of things, for ultimately no difference or benefit...

So I have to ask, why? Why would you choose to implement things in a way that takes more work than less, when the only functional difference for doing so is to amplify and reinforce the sense of racial segregation and fantasy racism to a greater extent than it will already occur?

Please redo this to be more in line with the existing books; Drow as one of the subraces of elves, possibly with a selection box to say whether you follow Lolth or not.

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It's just because Drows have tons of unique interactions.
For the game, this change makes sense. There is no reason to change it.
As for the drow "subraces", both choices have quite a few unique options.

I'm sure when they bring more races from underdark they will also be separated from the surface races.

Duergars are confirmed

Last edited by Rhobar121; 27/10/20 08:19 AM.
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I think it more has to do with the tag option then lore? It MIGHT cause issues and more bugs to fix if drow are underneath elf due to how many dialogue changes there are.

Also bc of how different they are, a lot of ppl might skip bc they didn't bother cycling through different elf options to see drow. Its also for clarity bc again, a much difference experience as a drow then an elf.

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Drow also gets special options related to the Underdark.
Throughout EA, I found maybe one option that could be common to the elves.

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There is probably a good story reason for this that has not been revealed yet. Also dialogue options, there are many unique ones for Lolth Sworn.

Also not all Drow are going to even want to be on the surface or wish to break stereotypes. By lumping them into only one type, it becomes assumed that they all want to be surface adventurers and "redeem" themselves. This unfortunately seems to be something many people try to force into DnD campaigns because they feel playing anything other than a Drizzt knockoff would be too "disruptive" or "negative" or whatever.

Would it be better for you if they added both types as two Elf subraces instead of a separate category? There could then still be the dialogue differences and possible story deviations.

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I'm fine with dividing drow, but I really don't like the way they went about it. Like I wrote elsewhere - something like "surface drow" and "Underdark drow" would be better. Now we only have two very specific options conflated with worship of certain gods. Plenty of drow characters wouldn't fit well with either.

And generally I don't mind separating drow from other elves - they are more distinct than most other subraces. I'd do the same for duergar (maybe not subraces), but not for svirfneblin, who are more like their surface cousins. There's also the matter of dialogue options, like Zarna said; a surface drow ("Seldarine") and a "drow society" drow ("Lolth-sworn") will have different knowledge etc.

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100%

I was confused why Drow wasn't under Elf. Your proposed solutions make sense too. Give them keen and make it so that the selection for Lloth-sword and seldarine are where select cantrip would be on highelf.

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The opening post already listed most of my issues with BG3's Drows.

Still, I feel it's worth insisting on the fact that Larian's new categorisation of Drows, and creation of new Drow groups, is just extremely confusing in my opinion. And with no apparent good reason.

For people who know the lore, it's jarring to not see Drows as a type of Elves. Personally, I fail to understand what the newly created lore is supposed to mean. The Seldarine Drows are most unclear to me : are they surfacers, followers of Vhaeraun, followers of Eilistraae ? I don't get the Lolth-sworn Drows either : are they all from Menzoberranzan ? But I'm can't help being curious about them. If a standard Lolth-sworn Drows turns away from Lolth, do they instantly become of another sub-race ?

For people who don't know any DnD lore, it's probably equally confusing. Mechanically, Drows have all the features of a sub-race of Elves. Worse, the two Drow sub-races are mechanically similar in every aspect, or at least in every clearly communicated aspect. So if I choose to create a "Drow 1" over a "Drow 2" ... what am I signing up for exactly ? I have no idea.

I fear this is just needlessly creating confusion for everyone.


If Larian is somehow trying to get some sort of alignment tag for Drows, I feel that encoding this through the race is a poor choice. I was under the impression that WotC is precisely trying to move away from "your race and your alignment are tied", so this feels like going in the opposite direction.

I'd rather just be given good dialogue options, so that I can roleplay a Drow through my words and actions, rather than be treated as a walking stereotype. And if they really need an alignment tag, Larian could do this through a special option, like for the deities, as was suggested. (Or just allow anyone to have a deity, but that's another topic.)


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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DOS2 and the DOS4 Engine BG3 runs off of, uses a TAG system... the race stuff is specifically set up for the TAG system.
Selecting the race selects the tags.

It's not intended to be an advertisement that tells us they aren't Elves. They just need to make it easier to access the TAGS so they can streamline niche replies or quirks attached to each subtype.

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Apparently Niara is always right. (and I kinda wish Niara would make list of all her feedback like Drath has done).

At the same time I get why they did this. WotC is (once again) moving away from alignment and Seldarine / Lolth-Sworn is plaster and paper for the hole left by the lack of alignment. If they correct this and put drow under elf they also need to include drop down menus for alignment and deity on the same page. (with notes that elves who worship human gods exile themselves from the elven reincarnation cycle)

A bit of tanget here but I'm so annoyed that WotC is doing this.

Racism -- scientific racism -- is the belief that the human species is divided into different species, sub-species or breeds. In the real world race is fiction, in Faerun race is real. Elves and dwarves are different species that can't interbreed. Fantasy /= reality.

So if you replace the idea that there are species that have been enslaved by evil gods and made evil -- that the drow are like Tolkein's orcs -- what do you replace it with? The idea that culture that practices slavery and human sacrifice is culturally evil? Congrats, you've jumped out the frying pan of racism into the fire of colonialism. So now it's not okay to kill monsters because their soul is corrupt, it's okay to kill them because they come from an evil culture. This is the essence of colonial thinking -- the savages will convert or die.

This 'solution' to perceptions of racism actually makes things worse -- colonial thinking is no worse an evil in the modern world than is scientific racism. Before one could say "well biological race is fantasy, fire breathing dragons are a fantasy, it's a fantasy setting" but now WotC has blurred the line between fantasy and reality. This is a bad development. Full stop.

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Originally Posted by Lethan
DOS2 and the DOS4 Engine BG3 runs off of, uses a TAG system... the race stuff is specifically set up for the TAG system.
Selecting the race selects the tags.

It's not intended to be an advertisement that tells us they aren't Elves. They just need to make it easier to access the TAGS so they can streamline niche replies or quirks attached to each subtype.

This! Pure engine thing, to simplify the already herculean work they had to do by adding DnD rules to the DOS mechanic.

I am personally more curious why my Half-Drow (that is listed as a sub-race for Half-Elves) is recognized everywhere as a pure drow without an option to correct anyone once "HALF-drow!". Shadowheart does get to say "HALF-elf".

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It doesn't bother me too much. Its a shame that they don't get all of the elf stuff like they're suppose to. I hope they fix that. Plus, if it really is about tags, then that excludes drow from taking elf specific dialogue options, or so I imagine. Am i wrong here?

I have a theory. Some times you get background specific dialogue options. For a lot of races, it assumes your baldurian. Drow get there own, depending on which subrace they choose. Maybe this is a placeholder until they flesh out backgrounds? That as assuming they add more backgrounds other than baldurian/bad drow/good drow/ githyanki.

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Originally Posted by Amirit
Originally Posted by Lethan
DOS2 and the DOS4 Engine BG3 runs off of, uses a TAG system... the race stuff is specifically set up for the TAG system.
Selecting the race selects the tags.

It's not intended to be an advertisement that tells us they aren't Elves. They just need to make it easier to access the TAGS so they can streamline niche replies or quirks attached to each subtype.

This! Pure engine thing, to simplify the already herculean work they had to do by adding DnD rules to the DOS mechanic.

I am personally more curious why my Half-Drow (that is listed as a sub-race for Half-Elves) is recognized everywhere as a pure drow without an option to correct anyone once "HALF-drow!". Shadowheart does get to say "HALF-elf".

It's not true, Minthara tells you that you're a half-breed or something like that.


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One time, may be, but the rest labels you "drow" and you can not say anything in response.

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I should probably pull up all of my focus threads at some point, and cross-link them. I was a lot more aggressive in these earlier ones... I've tried to keep my tone more even-handed in more recent threads.

But I will say that while this might have been done for the tag system, it's placing counter-intuitive design and confusion on the player side of the picture, to make it simpler for the tagging system that was lazily transposed wholesale from a previous game; that's not good practice. The player side should be simple, consistent and intuitive, and the tag system should be robust enough in its back end to actually do the job that it's intended to do, which is primarily to handle branching dialogue options, and the results thereof. There is no reason for a system that has that as its main purpose to trip and stumble over the 'level' of the tag regarding race or subrace. If the tag system cannot currently handle giving the correct dialogue line options or reactions from NPCs if Drow are a subrace of elves in the game, that's a problem for the tag system to overcome, not something that should be left to create inconsistent dissonance on the player side of the screen.

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Personally I feel the tag system and the current way the races are presented are correct. With exception to Half-Drow, which should be placed under Drow with yet another specification.

You may feel that Drow and Elf are the exact same thing, but the NPC's in the game world do not. Drow and the other underdark races are generally feared by the overworlders and have entirely separate ways of dealing with things. With that in mind, placing the odd/unique/quirky races in their own category is a direct indicator that you're in for a different experience than if you chose a more normal option.

For example, playing a Dwarf/Human/High+Wood Elf gave very few lines; very little shock and awe and very rarely touched on their race. Naturally there's exceptions.

Playing a Half-Elf gave a few lines towards Shadowheart and some sass from 1 or 2 other NPC's.

But playing a Drow or Duergar (mods) opens up entirely new lines, reactions from the offset. I was honestly thrown back when I first created a Drow and found entire ways of getting around were opened; and some of the lines given were bluntly put, rude. Until you do something "normal" and you get minor shocked praise for it.


The current splitting up makes sense. Playing basic and playing quirky are different games. They need to be outlined as such.

-- Edit : The chart in the OP, Drow have Superior Darkvision which is double basic.

Last edited by Lethan; 14/04/21 06:41 AM. Reason: Darkvision note
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Originally Posted by Lethan
Personally I feel the tag system and the current way the races are presented are correct. With exception to Half-Drow, which should be placed under Drow with yet another specification.

You may feel that Drow and Elf are the exact same thing, but the NPC's in the game world do not. Drow and the other underdark races are generally feared by the overworlders and have entirely separate ways of dealing with things. With that in mind, placing the odd/unique/quirky races in their own category is a direct indicator that you're in for a different experience than if you chose a more normal option.

For example, playing a Dwarf/Human/High+Wood Elf gave very few lines; very little shock and awe and very rarely touched on their race. Naturally there's exceptions.

Playing a Half-Elf gave a few lines towards Shadowheart and some sass from 1 or 2 other NPC's.

But playing a Drow or Duergar (mods) opens up entirely new lines, reactions from the offset. I was honestly thrown back when I first created a Drow and found entire ways of getting around were opened; and some of the lines given were bluntly put, rude. Until you do something "normal" and you get minor shocked praise for it.


The current splitting up makes sense. Playing basic and playing quirky are different games. They need to be outlined as such.

-- Edit : The chart in the OP, Drow have Superior Darkvision which is double basic.

I believe this is because drow and gits were added primarily for evil roleplaying, because they are usually positioned as "evil" races. So they have more options in different situations. I've never played as 'good' drow, and I don't know how many lines they have. But drow Lolth has lines like "drow" and "drow lolth", which I personally like.

Also drow lose most of the interaction in goblin camp. I literally didn't have some cut scenes and didn't know they existed until I tried talking to goblins as a companion. If you are a drow, goblins will let you pass and not cross you, and if you are playing with another race, then you can have an interesting dialogue. So I think it's fair.


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Originally Posted by Niara
Let's do a quick comparison:

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

We can note several things here, such as the fact that high elves lose out on a bonus which no longer applies, but don't get anything back in return for it, unlike wood elves, who do. Drow, meanwhile, are missing their keen senses trait (I saw someone comment that they get perception proficiency anyway; this is not true.)

Most importantly, however, is that there's no mechanical reason why drow should not be a normal subrace of Elf, like they're meant to be. It all fits perfectly well, and aside from the expression of physically externalised fantasy racism, drow 1 and drow 2 are mechanically identical.

In fact, when you line it all up, the design choice that Larian has made here makes it seem like they've made more work for themselves than just sticking with the handbook ordering of things, for ultimately no difference or benefit...

So I have to ask, why? Why would you choose to implement things in a way that takes more work than less, when the only functional difference for doing so is to amplify and reinforce the sense of racial segregation and fantasy racism to a greater extent than it will already occur?

Please redo this to be more in line with the existing books; Drow as one of the subraces of elves, possibly with a selection box to say whether you follow Lolth or not.

Larian took out features for other races also and didn't replace them, leaving some races feeling weaker than others (halfling). The only gripe I have about Drow would be height, they're suppose to be shorter.

Height/Weight Thread

Elves are not Elven (Semi Related Topic)

Last edited by fallenj; 14/04/21 01:32 PM.
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Originally Posted by Nyloth
Originally Posted by Amirit
I am personally more curious why my Half-Drow (that is listed as a sub-race for Half-Elves) is recognized everywhere as a pure drow without an option to correct anyone once "HALF-drow!". Shadowheart does get to say "HALF-elf".
It's not true, Minthara tells you that you're a half-breed or something like that.
I believe that is just the way Larian show us that Half-Drow dont have any people of their own ...
Just as when Garona (warcraft) explained to Khadgar that she is halfbreed ... Khadgar sees her as too harsh for human, too big, bulky and strong ... Orcs on the other hand seen her as small, thin and weak.
She, simmilar to your half-drow simply dont quite fit anywhere. smile

I presume it could be nice to have option to tell people that you are "HALF-Drow" ... if you want to be dramaqueen as Shadow ...
But the question there is what does it exactly mean to be half-drow. laugh
/edit:
I mean, if you look at that part, where Shadow points out her halfness ... nobody was reacting on it.
That is luxury that player dont have, and unless you want to have "uh-huh" in every second conversation when you corect your race ... it simply dont add anything. laugh

I believe its the same reason you dont get many [Human] options in game. Yes i know there is some, but much less compared to other races.
The reason is simple, they are so variant and spreaded across the world, there is so many options for Humans, that there is simply not enough simmilarities between them to tell "yes, this is exactly pure human option" ... smile

Last edited by RagnarokCzD; 14/04/21 01:32 PM.

I liked original spellcasting system more ... frown

Anyway ... i cast Eldritch Blast!
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I like elves more as taller. It makes Drow more menacing. 4-5ft. tall elves always seemed too close to gnomes and halflings to me.

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