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Originally Posted by Lethan
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.

Just two points on these tags (and one on exclusivity of Drow 1 and Drow 2 tags).

Firstly, I'm not really convinced that the technical aspect of how to get tags is part of the explanation. (I mean, it could be, but that would mean bad programming and bad reasons.)

In Patch 2, when creating a Cleric and selecting Tyr as deity, the PC would get the tags "Cleric", "Cleric of Tyr" and "Good Cleric". Leaving aside that this is ridiculously redundant, this has two implications. The tag "Cleric of Tyr" shows that the game is perfectly capable of creating a tag that is not just a function of the Race or Class variables. The tag "Good Cleric" shows that the code is perfectly capable of running a function on the character sheet and combine various character attributes as well as preset information (the god-to-alignment matchings) to compute and assign tags.

So from a code point of view, there really would be no need to make Drows a separate race, just so that 2 Drow sub-races can be created (there isn't a sub-sub-race level), and this just so that a certain tag can be attributed to the PC.


Secondly, a good User Interface provides a comfortable and intuitive experience to the ... users. Its goal is not to allow devs to code using the fastest solutions.

Also, if the game really needed to communicate "ah ha, the alignment that you choose for a Drow will be pretty consequential in terms of dialogue options", this could be done very simply by writing in the Drow description what to expect. This space is pretty much made for this kind of information. Trying to convey this "ah ha, you're in for a different experience" through making different races and sub-races, that have no established lore and show no mechanical difference, would be a really bad UI idea ("would", because I'm far from convinced this is what Larian is trying to do).


Lastly, regardless of the purely UI aspects, if Larian is trying to go for "these are Very Evil Drows" and "these Drows are not like the other ones", it would be a lot more interesting to give both types of dialogue options to both Drows. So that we have agency in how we roleplay our Drow, instead of just following the script.

I mean, imagine I play a Very Evil Drow, who worships Lolth and all. I walk in the Grove, I'm desperate for a healer. I'd certainly tell people "I saved your skin" and "I'm not your typical Drow, I'm not a danger to you", if those options are available to me. Of course, after finding out that there's no cure in the Grove, if my Drow joins with Minthara, well, I will have lied. I'm Very Evil after all. My Very Evil Drow might find it quite advantageous to have access to both dialogues options.


Hoping we'll be able to create great assumptions-free Custom Characters and be given great roleplay options.
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The way they are implemented is certainly a bit odd. I appreciate the flavor the extra dialogue options bring I'm not expecting Duergar to be split into 'good duergar' and 'evil duergar' options, and Githyanki certainly weren't implemented with the same design philosophy. There are some weird situations in game because of how good/evil, religion, and race are handled. Like having a High Elf Cleric of Lolth invoke Corellon's name, or Githyanki cleric of Yondalla praising Vlaakith.

I guess it 'works' but it's clunky, and I don't particularly care for the lore-breaking part about drow eye color being a signifier for followers of Lolth to justify the subrace distinction-the in-game drow you meet like minthara don't even follow that rule, so why is it even a thing?

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+1 to the OP

Race and tags are different things.
It should be possible to make drow a sub race of elf, add a text in character creation "Drow are from the underdark and people will react very different to them than to other elves." and use whatever tags you like.
Also, there should not be two drow races.

One addition from my side.
You write that it is a choice of a char to turn away from the typical drow society. This is true. But drow is a race, not a religion.
There can be drow who were never part of the usual drow society to begin with. There could be drow who were born on the surface. Or some people of another race attacked some drow and those drow had a baby. The attackers did not want to kill the baby and took it with them.
Most drow live in underdark cities and most non drow do not like them. But not every drow started his/her life as lolth worshipper.
There is still no need for different drow races. Other people see that you are a drow, they cannot see your background.


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Originally Posted by Drath Malorn
I mean, imagine I play a Very Evil Drow, who worships Lolth and all. I walk in the Grove, I'm desperate for a healer. I'd certainly tell people "I saved your skin" and "I'm not your typical Drow, I'm not a danger to you", if those options are available to me. Of course, after finding out that there's no cure in the Grove, if my Drow joins with Minthara, well, I will have lied. I'm Very Evil after all. My Very Evil Drow might find it quite advantageous to have access to both dialogues options.

If they were to open all tags in this way I would like if the game acknowledged the change in motivation. Like in Planescape: Torment. You could choose the same dialogue option but a truth or lie tag. If you went around lying most of the time your alignment shifted towards Chaotic if you always told the truth towards Law.

So

[truth] I'm here to help the grove
[lie] I'm here to help the grove

Perhaps come up with better tags than [lie] like subterfuge or some such.

To @Leurotta's point I do think the Seldarine / Lolth is division in the lore but, so far, the Duegar pantheon doesn't include a good god like Drow pantheon does. So this is case where Larian got the lore (mostly) correct. There are Elistraee worshiping drow living in the high forest and silver marches. But for some reason the game doesn't treat Seldarine drow as surface dwellers, instead they are assumed to have come from the underdark.

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Well, there is one "problem" with:
[truth] I'm here to help the grove
[lie] I'm here to help the grove

What happens if you choose the first option and betray them later or you choose the second option and help them.
BG3 has no alignment and NPC should react the same way to both answers, so the only result may be strange approval ratings from you companions, but you can get this already.
So adding both options would not really change anything.

Not sure if PST ever forced you to do what you said earlier.


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Originally Posted by Leucrotta
The way they are implemented is certainly a bit odd.
It is until you think of the GUI from a coders/presentation perspective.

If you do it 'properly' then for elves (and *only* elves) you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
-Sub-Subrace

Alternatively, you have:
-Race
-Drow 1, Drow 2.

ALTERNATIVELY STILL you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
and then somewhere else "Not evil drow" because you need the code flags to be seen for dialogue options. It can't be the relegion flag, because that doesn't exist for anyone but clerics Unless you remove the different flags, and allow you to be an evil drow pretending to be a good drow or vice versa, but that in turn can potentially put strain on writing, especially if you keep doing 'opposite choices' repeatedly.

All of this is more 'unique' coding, more chance for bugs, which means more testing and more potential code-goblins.

----
*Or* you make drow a 'seperate' race (feeding into one of the creation myths of Drow, and how they've become very different to other elves thematically) and make the different 'types' subraces, allowing a quick, clear display that also follows the structure of other race choices, avoiding potential confusion.

edit: as an aside, I honestly think this is why female characters can have beards when their male counterparts can. It's one less bit of code to put in and bug, and who cares if you want a bearded lady anyway?

Last edited by Some_Twerp753; 15/04/21 11:08 PM.
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Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
Originally Posted by Leucrotta
The way they are implemented is certainly a bit odd.
It is until you think of the GUI from a coders/presentation perspective.

If you do it 'properly' then for elves (and *only* elves) you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
-Sub-Subrace

Alternatively, you have:
-Race
-Drow 1, Drow 2.

ALTERNATIVELY STILL you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
and then somewhere else "Not evil drow" because you need the code flags to be seen for dialogue options. It can't be the relegion flag, because that doesn't exist for anyone but clerics Unless you remove the different flags, and allow you to be an evil drow pretending to be a good drow or vice versa, but that in turn can potentially put strain on writing, especially if you keep doing 'opposite choices' repeatedly.

All of this is more 'unique' coding, more chance for bugs, which means more testing and more potential code-goblins.

----
*Or* you make drow a 'seperate' race (feeding into one of the creation myths of Drow, and how they've become very different to other elves thematically) and make the different 'types' subraces, allowing a quick, clear display that also follows the structure of other race choices, avoiding potential confusion.

This

Not only that, but the lolth sworn dialogue I've gotten seems to reference her background, leading me to believe this is a place holder until they impliment backgrounds. If I'm wrong, and it stays this way in the final release, oh well

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Originally Posted by footface
Originally Posted by Some_Twerp753
Originally Posted by Leucrotta
The way they are implemented is certainly a bit odd.
It is until you think of the GUI from a coders/presentation perspective.

If you do it 'properly' then for elves (and *only* elves) you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
-Sub-Subrace

Alternatively, you have:
-Race
-Drow 1, Drow 2.

ALTERNATIVELY STILL you would have:
-Race
-Subrace
and then somewhere else "Not evil drow" because you need the code flags to be seen for dialogue options. It can't be the relegion flag, because that doesn't exist for anyone but clerics Unless you remove the different flags, and allow you to be an evil drow pretending to be a good drow or vice versa, but that in turn can potentially put strain on writing, especially if you keep doing 'opposite choices' repeatedly.

All of this is more 'unique' coding, more chance for bugs, which means more testing and more potential code-goblins.

----
*Or* you make drow a 'seperate' race (feeding into one of the creation myths of Drow, and how they've become very different to other elves thematically) and make the different 'types' subraces, allowing a quick, clear display that also follows the structure of other race choices, avoiding potential confusion.

This

Not only that, but the lolth sworn dialogue I've gotten seems to reference her background, leading me to believe this is a place holder until they impliment backgrounds. If I'm wrong, and it stays this way in the final release, oh well

Swen announced long ago that the background would not matter in the dialogues. At some point you have to say stop.
Include backgrounds in the dialogue would be just too much and as you know neither the budget nor the timetable is not made of rubber.

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When Swen said that, was he talking about the backgrounds that provide proficiencies? Because that's not what I'm talking about. Maybe background is the wrong word. Place of origin? Because that already does affect the dialogue. For most races it assumes you're baldurian. Seems like an odd thing to force on players.

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I'm yet to see any place it locks you into picking a Baldarian dialogue option, and it does make sense; you were 'recruited' in the streets of Baldur's Gate after all, so you're either a traveller in the wrong place at the wrong time... or you live there.

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It's sprinkled here and there. If you're looking for an early example, there's a Baldurian option when you first encounter Astarion. If I remember correctly, the dialogue implies that you have some lingering history in Baldurs Gate.

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Drath said much of what I had started saying before, but didn't post because I felt I was writing too abrasively at the time...

Onward from that,

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
To @Leurotta's point I do think the Seldarine / Lolth is division in the lore but, so far, the Duegar pantheon doesn't include a good god like Drow pantheon does. So this is case where Larian got the lore (mostly) correct. There are Elistraee worshiping drow living in the high forest and silver marches. But for some reason the game doesn't treat Seldarine drow as surface dwellers, instead they are assumed to have come from the underdark.


There are drow that have abandoned Lolth and chosen to follow Eilistraee instead, definitely... but that's a personal, moral, social and/or religious choice... is should not, under any circumstance ever imply that it is something irreversibly determined by your race - which is what the game currently does.

It's a choice, not a thing of race or subrace, and part of the entire difficulty that surface drow face is *Precisely* that surface-dwellers have no real way of distinguishing them from the kinds of drow that would enslave and torture them... because they're All Just Drow. They don't HAVE a neat little get out of gaol free card that lets people identify on sight the fact that they're the "nice good safe drow, and not those nasty bad evil drow", because there is no such identifier; they are just people making a personal choice.

This is a large part of the whole point of what it is to be a surface drow trying to be good, and BG3's racial distinction here is completely obliterating it like a tactless, ignorant wrecking ball, as well as reinforcing and making tangible the concept of racially distinct "good drow" and "evil drow", which is, frankly, absolutely disgusting. Remember: where video games and source books contradict, the source books are considered to be the correct and factual canon. The source books are clear enough on this matter: all drow express eyes of varying pale shades, with red being the most common (the red hues are also more visible in the dark), but with a range that includes blues, purples, lavenders, lilacs and silvers.

This applies to all drow, though drow with mixed blood from other races more commonly trend towards the blue end of the spectrum, and BG3 is pulling this line about Lolth "marking her followers with red eyes" entirely out of its own orifices. At least it gives you the option of unlocking the full colour chart. The whole "Evil Drow Have Red Eyes" thing is absolutely and entirely non-canon. It's false writing, and is attempting to create a narrative of physical racial distinction between "good" drow and "evil" drow which doesn't exist and is really very gross. Othering by eye colour is one of the most common racial slurs that exist at cultural levels, and generally the derogatory comes from an existing trend, however in cases like this, that racist epithet is just that - it's not real or accurate, and while that kind of language, judgement and behaviour may (and does) exist in the world space between characters, it should absolutely not be enforced as a legitimate racial difference when creating characters.

Yes; As a surface drow, unless you're dealing with people who already know you, it would be common for people to be extremely cautious of you, and to perhaps assume before they learn otherwise that you have come from the underdark... that is what you must expect as a surface drow; it's part of your struggle.


I really don't care about what's "easier for coders", overly much. To address some other posters here; that's entirely irrelevant. What matters is the presentation to the players; the job of the designers and coders is to make it work.

You would not, ever, need any mysterious "sub-sub-race" distinction, because Drow are Drow, full stop. There is no racial distinction. That is the point, which BG3 has missed entirely with this implementation.

The game's tag system is already set up to support the only implementation that you would need for this: It can already read and deliver a tag for being the follower of a specific deity. That is all that is needed. Everyone should be able to elect a deity (or choose none specific or some other neutral option if they want, etc., that's a different discussion). A drow that picks Lolth would have both the [Drow] and [Lolth] tags, and that is ALL the game needs to support everything that it currently offers and does for drow. Drow that choose a different deity would not HAVE that [Lolth] tag, so the Lolth-drow options would not appear. Lolth followers who weren't drow (if you're still allowed to pick such a thing...), wouldn't have the [Drow] tag, and so the lolth-sworn options would not appear for them either. And yes, there are places in the game already that present options responding to a double tag read - that's already a thing that we've seen the game can handle. A Non-lolth-following drow would be a default setting, and it would provide Lolth-following drow the option to 'pretend' to be 'good drow' if they want to. Certain dialogue situations could present Non-lolth-following drow the opportunity to pretend to be lolth-sworn drow as a deception check, such as in the shattered sanctum or in any future dealings with absolutists.

There is no strange or unique or weird coding needed to do this properly, and in fact, doing it the way that BG3 does it currently is actually more code complex, more 'exception to standard' in places and overall more work for Larian than it needs to be if they didn't make multiple distinct drow sub races, or drow as a distinct race from elves.

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Originally Posted by Niara
There are drow that have abandoned Lolth and chosen to follow Eilistraee instead, definitely... but that's a personal, moral, social and/or religious choice... is should not, under any circumstance ever imply that it is something irreversibly determined by your race - which is what the game currently does.

No worries on abrasiveness here -- unless you are finalist for a job at Larian in which case good luck, they need you smile

I don't have a problem with saying 99 percent of race (species) X is evil. Orcs are evil. Goblins are evil. And every so often a Drizzit or Liriel Baenre breaks the mold. I want there to be a mold in place and for players to have the ability to break it.

Originally Posted by Niara
It's a choice, not a thing of race or subrace, and part of the entire difficulty that surface drow face is *Precisely* that surface-dwellers have no real way of distinguishing them from the kinds of drow that would enslave and torture them... because they're All Just Drow.

Yes, mostly. But I still like the the 1st through 3rd edition way of dealing with this. Good gods made servants, evil gods made slaves. Drow are born with evil entwined in their very souls. If you are lucky to grow up in the high forest the slave's collar is broken -- if you are born in the underdark you are taught to forge the links of the chain that binds you to Lolth.

Originally Posted by Niara
They don't HAVE a neat little get out of gaol free card that lets people identify on sight the fact that they're the "nice good safe drow, and not those nasty bad evil drow", because there is no such identifier; they are just people making a personal choice.

Well said. People can't see your soul. Perhaps they can see a holy symbol you are wearing -- in which case it would be nice to have holy / unholy symbols in the game and to have NPCs react to them.

Originally Posted by Niara
This is a large part of the whole point of what it is to be a surface drow trying to be good, and BG3's racial distinction here is completely obliterating it like a tactless, ignorant wrecking ball, as well as reinforcing and making tangible the concept of racially distinct "good drow" and "evil drow", which is, frankly, absolutely disgusting.

Larian needs to put alignment in the game. WotC is letting them get away with everything else, they can get away with this as well. I don't have have a problem with fantasy races being inherently evil. What I do dislike is when fantasy races are used as stand-ins for real world peoples. (looking at you Tracy Hickman) And I don't think the drow -- sophisticated, effete, intelligent, charcoal skinned, treacherous and cruel -- fit the stereotype for any single real-world culture and so the "inherently good" / "inherently evil" is not something that bothers me.

Originally Posted by Niara
Othering by eye colour is one of the most common racial slurs that exist at cultural levels, and generally the derogatory comes from an existing trend, however in cases like this, that racist epithet is just that - it's not real or accurate, and while that kind of language, judgement and behaviour may (and does) exist in the world space between characters, it should absolutely not be enforced as a legitimate racial difference when creating characters.

Race doesn't mean the same thing in the Forgotten Realms that it does in our world. Or rather what is fantasy in our world is real in this fantasy world. Dwarves and gnomes are different races. Americans, Swedes and Koreans are all the same 'race', all members of the same species.

Originally Posted by Niara
Yes; As a surface drow, unless you're dealing with people who already know you, it would be common for people to be extremely cautious of you, and to perhaps assume before they learn otherwise that you have come from the underdark... that is what you must expect as a surface drow; it's part of your struggle.

Well said.

Originally Posted by Niara
I really don't care about what's "easier for coders", overly much. To address some other posters here; that's entirely irrelevant. What matters is the presentation to the players; the job of the designers and coders is to make it work.

Agreed. At the same time I think Larian struggling to figure out what do now that WotC has made the bonehead-stupid move of confusing fantasy race with real world racism. Were I at WotC I would have dealt with the crisis by putting someone with an understanding of real world racism in charge of approving art. In the past, there has been art of drow that almost certainly used black models as templates -- that was a stupid move. There is one book cover that looks like it was taken from a Tarzan novel and the leapard print swimsuits replaced with spider web themed swimwear. Dumb move. Worst move since inventing Matizca (which will be a dissertation one day)

Larian needs to remove the Seldarine / Lolth-sworn distinction and replace with deity and alignment.

Now the art in Mordenkainen and Tasha's is great. It's perfect. Stick to that and

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
To @Leurotta's point I do think the Seldarine / Lolth is division in the lore but, so far, the Duegar pantheon doesn't include a good god like Drow pantheon does. So this is case where Larian got the lore (mostly) correct. There are Elistraee worshiping drow living in the high forest and silver marches. But for some reason the game doesn't treat Seldarine drow as surface dwellers, instead they are assumed to have come from the underdark.
I think the Duergar equivalent would be if Larian split Duergar into ''Laduguer-Sworn Duergar' and 'Morndinsamman Duergar'. Nevermind that there isn't a good deity in the Duergar Pantheon, because 'Seldarine Drow' doesn't restrict clerics to Eilistraee in game.

Ideally stuff like the [underdark] tag would be a toggle where appropriate. I guess it's sorta a freebie atm because otherwise you probably wouldn't get a tag, kinda like how gale doesn't get the [Baldurian] tag, but also doesn't get a [Waterdhavian] tag in exchange. Now I'm thinking about it, it is pretty weird that when you roll a non-drow cleric of Lolth, you still get the [Baldurian] tag (or presumably access to the [planar] tag if you choose the profoundly odd choice of a githyanki cleric of lolth) There's actually a book you can find in the underdark Wizard's tower that seems to justify the non-drow clerics of Lolth as indoctrinated slaves. You'd think they'd have the [Underdark] tag if anything, but the Baldurian one seems out of place either way.


Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Well said. People can't see your soul. Perhaps they can see a holy symbol you are wearing -- in which case it would be nice to have holy / unholy symbols in the game and to have NPCs react to them.

Clerics could definitely use some more love. For such a roleplay-heavy class in tabletop terms (big part of the appeal, IMO) they don't get a lot of god-specific responses and reactions, even when talking to other clerics/druids, etc. Dialogue options for displaying your holy symbol & appropriate npc reactions would be pretty great. I'd love to get some dialogue's going about my character's religion in much the same way you can get characters like Shadowheart or Abdirak proselytizing at you, because those were great-but that seems like a long shot.

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
There are drow that have abandoned Lolth and chosen to follow Eilistraee instead, definitely... but that's a personal, moral, social and/or religious choice... is should not, under any circumstance ever imply that it is something irreversibly determined by your race - which is what the game currently does.

I agree 100%. But WotC has had a profoundly bad track record in this regard both historically and within recent memory. The 3rd edition thing where Eilistraee died to 'redeem' her drow followers by lightening their skin color springs to mind. Speaking of which...
Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
Now the art in Mordenkainen and Tasha's is great. It's perfect. Stick to that and
I read a thread on another board earlier today analyzing an art shift in how Drow were portrayed in Tashas. Specifically, they are *significantly* lighter-skinned than even prior 5e material. Across the board-In some cases basically Asterion-levels of pale, and he's a vampire-spawn moon elf! It seems like part of WoTC's strategy towards combating allegations of bigotry over the evil elves being black-skinned....is to remove the black skin of said elves. Yikes.

I don't know what it is with this obsession with changing drow's physical appearance, because it inevitably ends up making things incredibly uncomfortable because nobody seemingly thought about it for more than 5 minutes. Drow redemption being signified by changes in physical appearance is something I hope doesn't make the final cut. Like if we reach Baldur's Gate and run into some Eilistraeens and they're all violet-eyed I'll be cross.

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Originally Posted by Leucrotta
WotC has had a profoundly bad track record in this regard both historically and within recent memory. The 3rd edition thing where Eilistraee died to 'redeem' her drow followers by lightening their skin color springs to mind.

To be fair to Wizards, I'm fairly confident that that whole thing wasn't actually within the source book lore of any edition at all - quite the opposite, in that Eilistraee is all about drow acceptance and empowering drow as they are, and encouraging them to forge a true identity that brings together and promotes unity, *As Drow*; that there is nothing wrong with looking the way they do, and would generally find the idea of forcefully changing them into something else, under the idea that somehow what they are is 'bad' to be an abhorrent concept.

The whole deal with drow 'redemption', and with drow being 'purified' of their dark skin by Eilistraee's salvation, was solely the province of the War of the Spider Queen books, which is a series that Wizards likes to try and pretend was never published - especially since it specifically disregards and flies in the face of so much of the other surrounding and related lore both past, present and future of it, and instead shoe-horned entities (such as Eilistraee) into complete nonsense that ran against their established descriptions and character, just to fit their rather gross and disgusting narrative in regards to race. No 2e, 3e 4e or 5e source book makes any mention of this kind of 'redemption' or 'purification', nor of 'evil-red-eyed-drow' Vs. 'good-blue-eyed-drow', at all, and the book series in question has, for all lore purposes, been entirely overridden and disowned by Wizards.


Quote
I don't know what it is with this obsession with changing drow's physical appearance, because it inevitably ends up making things incredibly uncomfortable because nobody seemingly thought about it for more than 5 minutes. Drow redemption being signified by changes in physical appearance is something I hope doesn't make the final cut. Like if we reach Baldur's Gate and run into some Eilistraeens and they're all violet-eyed I'll be cross.

Unfortunately, the way that Larian handles race, racism and differences between peoples, in their other games, leaves me with the distinct icky impression that they follow the same kinds of gross mentalities that the authors of WotSQ did, and worse in some cases... so there is a strong possibility that that is exactly what we can all expect to find, and there is very likely to be nothing we can do about it. If the race-related tone and language continues to be handled this way, as it already IS in BG3 so far, it may even lead me to give up on the game as a whole, just for being too unpleasant to sit through (Mechanically, I Wanted, very much, to play through D:OS2 a second time, to do other things... but I simply couldn't bear the background radiation of extreme racism that pervaded every story element, and, more importantly, being forced as a character to go along with it, accept it and treat it as normal and okay, without objection; I couldn't stomach a second play through, for that reason).

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There are some weird stuff about tags already as well concerning drow.

When you play a half drow, sometimes it works, like in the grove where Zorru mentions usually your race is not a welcomed one on the surface. But then later, in the village, the line from the goblin on the roof when he lets you pass because he assumes you are with Minthara doesn't show up.

Does it mean goblins are more accurate in discerning you are not exactly a drow than druids or tieflings? Or is it some unintended inconsistency?

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Originally Posted by Niara
Drath said much of what I had started saying before, but didn't post because I felt I was writing too abrasively at the time...

Onward from that,

Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
To @Leurotta's point I do think the Seldarine / Lolth is division in the lore but, so far, the Duegar pantheon doesn't include a good god like Drow pantheon does. So this is case where Larian got the lore (mostly) correct. There are Elistraee worshiping drow living in the high forest and silver marches. But for some reason the game doesn't treat Seldarine drow as surface dwellers, instead they are assumed to have come from the underdark.


There are drow that have abandoned Lolth and chosen to follow Eilistraee instead, definitely... but that's a personal, moral, social and/or religious choice... is should not, under any circumstance ever imply that it is something irreversibly determined by your race - which is what the game currently does.

It's a choice, not a thing of race or subrace, and part of the entire difficulty that surface drow face is *Precisely* that surface-dwellers have no real way of distinguishing them from the kinds of drow that would enslave and torture them... because they're All Just Drow. They don't HAVE a neat little get out of gaol free card that lets people identify on sight the fact that they're the "nice good safe drow, and not those nasty bad evil drow", because there is no such identifier; they are just people making a personal choice.

This is a large part of the whole point of what it is to be a surface drow trying to be good, and BG3's racial distinction here is completely obliterating it like a tactless, ignorant wrecking ball, as well as reinforcing and making tangible the concept of racially distinct "good drow" and "evil drow", which is, frankly, absolutely disgusting. Remember: where video games and source books contradict, the source books are considered to be the correct and factual canon. The source books are clear enough on this matter: all drow express eyes of varying pale shades, with red being the most common (the red hues are also more visible in the dark), but with a range that includes blues, purples, lavenders, lilacs and silvers.

This applies to all drow, though drow with mixed blood from other races more commonly trend towards the blue end of the spectrum, and BG3 is pulling this line about Lolth "marking her followers with red eyes" entirely out of its own orifices. At least it gives you the option of unlocking the full colour chart. The whole "Evil Drow Have Red Eyes" thing is absolutely and entirely non-canon. It's false writing, and is attempting to create a narrative of physical racial distinction between "good" drow and "evil" drow which doesn't exist and is really very gross. Othering by eye colour is one of the most common racial slurs that exist at cultural levels, and generally the derogatory comes from an existing trend, however in cases like this, that racist epithet is just that - it's not real or accurate, and while that kind of language, judgement and behaviour may (and does) exist in the world space between characters, it should absolutely not be enforced as a legitimate racial difference when creating characters.

Yes; As a surface drow, unless you're dealing with people who already know you, it would be common for people to be extremely cautious of you, and to perhaps assume before they learn otherwise that you have come from the underdark... that is what you must expect as a surface drow; it's part of your struggle.


I really don't care about what's "easier for coders", overly much. To address some other posters here; that's entirely irrelevant. What matters is the presentation to the players; the job of the designers and coders is to make it work.

You would not, ever, need any mysterious "sub-sub-race" distinction, because Drow are Drow, full stop. There is no racial distinction. That is the point, which BG3 has missed entirely with this implementation.

The game's tag system is already set up to support the only implementation that you would need for this: It can already read and deliver a tag for being the follower of a specific deity. That is all that is needed. Everyone should be able to elect a deity (or choose none specific or some other neutral option if they want, etc., that's a different discussion). A drow that picks Lolth would have both the [Drow] and [Lolth] tags, and that is ALL the game needs to support everything that it currently offers and does for drow. Drow that choose a different deity would not HAVE that [Lolth] tag, so the Lolth-drow options would not appear. Lolth followers who weren't drow (if you're still allowed to pick such a thing...), wouldn't have the [Drow] tag, and so the lolth-sworn options would not appear for them either. And yes, there are places in the game already that present options responding to a double tag read - that's already a thing that we've seen the game can handle. A Non-lolth-following drow would be a default setting, and it would provide Lolth-following drow the option to 'pretend' to be 'good drow' if they want to. Certain dialogue situations could present Non-lolth-following drow the opportunity to pretend to be lolth-sworn drow as a deception check, such as in the shattered sanctum or in any future dealings with absolutists.

There is no strange or unique or weird coding needed to do this properly, and in fact, doing it the way that BG3 does it currently is actually more code complex, more 'exception to standard' in places and overall more work for Larian than it needs to be if they didn't make multiple distinct drow sub races, or drow as a distinct race from elves.

I don't really know about this, Drow are subterranean race that live in the underdark. There was some kind of war that Drow fought Feywild lost and followed Lolith their, supposedly it was a big shocker cause Lolith doesn't have ties to whatever creature that made the underdark.

From what I understood you don't just leave underdark or abandon Lolith, you live underground dominated by a evil deity that rules that place with a iron fist. It's a cut throat society, where no other deity or anyone is going to save you. You don't get to just walk out and say F this.

Now if there is a group of surface drow that follows Eilstraee, there is probably a story behind it, hence why its separate, because of story. This is Forgotten Realms and it has lore from a lot of different media. Just like how you don't get to pick your origin which is only Baldur's gate.

*edit
After some digging and oh buddy there is a lot of lore to dig through with Lolith, Eilstraee, Darkelves, and Drow. So basically Drow are decendants of Dark Elves, supposedly look diffrent and there was a spell that was cast on Eilstraee followers. With this, yes the drow "dark elves" are going to look way different than the current drow we know (possibly having brown hair).

Last edited by fallenj; 16/04/21 12:33 PM.
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This seems like a very minor thing. Can you play a drow? Yes. So why is it a big deal that they are listed as their own race?

As for the two types of Drow they went with, they did this for story element purposes. Certain dialogues are triggered based on whether you are Llothsworn or Seldarine. It's a video game. Like the druid wild shape choices, they can only allow for so much freedom. The idea is, are you basically a good Drow or evil Drow?

As for religion, only if you are a cleric do you truly pick what god you serve, so whether you are Seldarine or Llothsworn, it makes little difference. Even when given a choice as a Llothsworn to mention Lloth, it is just an option. You can ignore it and choose to even forget Lloth and serve the Absolute or not. It's still all up to you who you serve.

I'd rather have Larian focus on more important things than taking the Drow race and throw it in as a subrace and rework that whole thing when the end result is still going to be roughly the same as what we have now.

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Originally Posted by Leucrotta
I read a thread on another board earlier today analyzing an art shift in how Drow were portrayed in Tashas. Specifically, they are *significantly* lighter-skinned than even prior 5e material. Across the board-In some cases basically Asterion-levels of pale, and he's a vampire-spawn moon elf! It seems like part of WoTC's strategy towards combating allegations of bigotry over the evil elves being black-skinned....is to remove the black skin of said elves. Yikes.

I don't know what it is with this obsession with changing drow's physical appearance, because it inevitably ends up making things incredibly uncomfortable because nobody seemingly thought about it for more than 5 minutes. Drow redemption being signified by changes in physical appearance is something I hope doesn't make the final cut. Like if we reach Baldur's Gate and run into some Eilistraeens and they're all violet-eyed I'll be cross.

Tasha's was great for its illustrations of wood elves, but not so much for its illustrations of drow, i'm not sure how WoTC managed to drop the ball so badly for one, but not the other.

But on that note, drow themselves have had their skin change colour from edition to edition, they have been black, grey, charcoal, eggplant purple (the less said about that the better imo), and were even depicted as brown at one point around the 2e years, but everyone likes to forget that happened because it was widely considered to have been an error of judgement on the part of the illustrators. Look up the original cover for the crystal shard novel and see Drizzt in all his bad-idea-brown glory.

I'm also not a fan of separating drow into racial factions like this, I wasn't a fan when they did it in neverwinter online, and that was an obvious and unashamed cash grab, and I'm not a fan of it now.

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Originally Posted by GM4Him
The idea is, are you basically a good Drow or evil Drow?

Honnestly this is nearly my only problem related to this thread. Should our races and subraces choice influence our "alignement" and how the world react ? According to me : no. A drow is a drow and good actions should lead to good reactions.

I don't really care but I don't understand this choice about drow as a race with subraces. This is even not really subraces...

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