Storm of the Dead review

This forum is for general discussion and open to all. If there is anything you wish to talk about with the Chosen then this is the place to do it. Please limit the use of this forum to out of character discussions. For in character roleplaying please use the Free Form Roleplaying forum.

Moderators: Shir'le E. Illios, Bhaern Quel

User avatar
Shir'le E. Illios
High Priestess
High Priestess
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Eilistraee.com
Contact:

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Thu Jan 10, 2008 11:24 am

[quote="Sancha":1wh92t7o][quote="Alak Xiltyn":1wh92t7o]Personally I like having the Drow as the archetypal evil Elves but when you REALLY look at it even in 3/3.5 the Drow aren't really elves.[/quote:1wh92t7o]

Yes we are. We are elves. And we have far more in common with the Ar-Tel-Quessir than most elves are willing to admit.

Would you say that the people of Zhentil Keep or Amn are 'not really human'? ;)[/quote:1wh92t7o]
I agree that drow are definitely elves in 3E. However, it's also true that most people have been treating them pretty much as a separate race (including them having a separate pantheon and everything). It seems that them being elves is more a technicality than anything else.

As such I also agree with Silke: ability wise they're far enough removed from elves that they could be considered a separate race. Heck, they're more different from elves than any of the other base races (stat/ability-wise).

The question would be, of course, what would truly separating them as a race do to the background? One of the fun things with drow has always been the various different approaches to them being elves (and, originally, not really any different from the other elven subraces). If drow become a separate race it's not going to make it easier for Eilistraeens to convince others to return to the surface (as they've been a bit 'return to the way things were' with regards to their racial heritage). Not saying that that's a bad thing (from a player's perspective), just that it changes things.



[quote="silke_rahn":1wh92t7o]btw would I find the 4E rules out yet or are they still in print? Also with regards to the book this post originally covered is it at B & N?[/quote:1wh92t7o]
4E is still being developed. As I understand it the Player Handbook just went to be typeset or something. If you want to know more about 4E then [url=http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e:1wh92t7o]this is a good source[/url:1wh92t7o]. Also got a section dedicated to the Forgotten Realms.


Love -x-x-x-

Shir'le
F'sarn natha tithaur wun l'su'aco.

-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
Chosen of Eilistraee

User avatar
silke_rahn
Regular
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:51 pm

Post by silke_rahn » Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:13 pm

As to Silke's background story, I have decided that since her life at the Silver Marches trading town of Morn's Forge (my DnD campaign's main community) is long over I would either using DnD set in a modern setting or D20 Modern with Urban Arcana do a Fantasy campaign in the Modern setting.

I have set it in Topeka, Kansas. One because that is where I live, and two I know the locales that can give the setting life. The Pub mentioned in the first chapter of the story I posted actually exist in the location mentioned. In fact the Federal Court House is just across Kansas Avenue from the building in which 5th Street Pub sits in the basement. I occasionally go to the Pub for a few quarts of Amberboc or Boulevard Wheat both brews that Silke enjoys. Another Topeka hangout she goes to just because it is across 17th Street from Washburn University, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Sociology and Anthropology when not on duty with the Kansas National Guard, is Varsity Blues (a sports bar and grill). VB has good hamburgers and serves Guiness on tab and by the bottle. Silke likes a Guiness every now and then with her burger.

Any way in the setting the non-human survivors of her community from the Realms make up the non-human population of Topeka. The Drow, mostly followers of Eilistraee live in Topeka's College Hill neighborhood, the few Sylvan Elves live in neighborhoods that bound on the Shunganunga Creek so they can commune with the woodlands along its length. Topeka has lots of green spaces. The Moon Elves settled most in and around the Potwin Neighborhood, a region of Victorian and Queen Ann houses north and west of Topeka's downtown. The half-Elves just found homes any place, most living in the various appartment complexes around town. The humans of Morn's Forge just try as best the can to meld with the existing human population. The hand full of Dwarves live in North Topeka and work in gravel pits and quarries outside Topeka's city limits or for either the BNSF railroad or the Union Pacific Railroad as civil engineers or maintenance of way specialists. Of the non-humans only Elves, Drow, and Half-Elves have tried to enter into the United States' military, height restrictions affect the Halflings and Dwarves. The Drow sometimes face more the same biases that the African Americans do because of their skin tone, not any reputation that may have followed them.

Anyway that is in brief the environment of the Topeka base mod-fantasy campaign. If 4E takes D20 and make it more universal then it may be the system I use to do this campaign with. Because I would like to occasional have adventures where the survivors of Morn's Forge go back home from time to time either because of a quest or just to visit the homeworld. It would be easier to do so without having to make two versions of the charactor just to fit each game's mechanics. Would have done this in GURPS, but the Drow were never developed out for that system due to copyright issues.

Again I would like to find a copy of the book that started this whole thread rolling. Would I find a copy at either Barnes and Noble or Hastings?
Drow on the Surface face as many dangers as those in the Underdark. Just because the Rivvil is friendly does not mean he wishes to help you, he may just want to get you off guard before knifing you.

User avatar
Arathen
Traveler
Posts: 174
Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:23 pm

Post by Arathen » Thu Jan 10, 2008 8:11 pm

likely at Barnes and Noble. I've never been to Hastings. Find both Sacrifice of the Widow and Storm of the Dead. Both books are very, very good, in my opinion.
"Courage lies not in the lack of fear...but in doing something you are afraid to."

Check out the progress on my book at http://kaavelbaelithar.deviantart.com/

User avatar
Sancha
Traveler
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:56 pm

Post by Sancha » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:30 am

[quote="Shir'le E. Illios":1vmtba78][quote="Sancha":1vmtba78][quote="Alak Xiltyn":1vmtba78]Personally I like having the Drow as the archetypal evil Elves but when you REALLY look at it even in 3/3.5 the Drow aren't really elves.[/quote:1vmtba78]

Yes we are. We are elves. And we have far more in common with the Ar-Tel-Quessir than most elves are willing to admit.

Would you say that the people of Zhentil Keep or Amn are 'not really human'? ;)[/quote:1vmtba78]
I agree that drow are definitely elves in 3E. However, it's also true that most people have been treating them pretty much as a separate race (including them having a separate pantheon and everything). It seems that them being elves is more a technicality than anything else.
[/quote:1vmtba78]


I understand when characters in the Realms treat Drow as a separate race rather than a different type of elf (and even totally expect them to believe we are a seperate race) -- in character, it totally makes sense. But as a DM and player, I know the only reason they even do have a seperate pantheon in Aber-Toril is because Correllon banished his consort and their two children from the elven pantheon. That's not really a sign that they're worshippers are a separate race.

[quote="Shir'le E. Illios":1vmtba78]
As such I also agree with Silke: ability wise they're far enough removed from elves that they could be considered a separate race. Heck, they're more different from elves than any of the other base races (stat/ability-wise).
[/quote:1vmtba78]

A seperate subrace is all I consider them. They're not that unlike other elven subraces. Drow aren't any further removed from the base PHB elf than Lythari Elves, Sea Elves or Avariel Elves are, for example. All four of the 'exotic' elven subraces get everything the base Elf gets, with a few extra abilities on top of that to set them apart as a Subrace. Their Ability adjustments aren't all identical, but they're similar to those the base elf and the other four FR subraces get (usually a bonus to two stats and a penalty to one)
In fact, that difference is what makes it clearly and truly elven-- all 8 of the elven subraces in the FR setting have different Ability Score adjustments from each other. But they are similar. Base elf is +2 Dex, -2 Con. The FR subraces almost ALL have -2 Con and +2 to Dex or another stat (though one or two of the stronger, wilder subraces get -2 to Wis or Int and Cha instead) and most of the FR subraces have one or two other abilities with an adjustment.

Silver elves get the standard PHB elf's +2 Dex, -2 Con. Gold elves get +2 Int, -2 Con. Green Elves get +2 Dex, -2 Int. Copper Elves get +2 Str, +2 Dex, -2 Con, -2 Int, -2 Cha.
Sea Elves get +2 Dex, -2 Int.

Dark elves get +2 to Dex, -2 to Con, +2 Int, +2 Cha. Same as the Base elf and Moon elf, with two extra ability bonuses.

Winged elves get +4 Dex, -2 Con, +2 Int, +2 Wis.

The secretive and exotic 8th FR subrace gets similar bonuses to the Drow (Dark elves) and Avariel (Winged elves), with 3 stats getting a bonus, but like the Avariel, some get more than just +2.

There's 4 'exotic' subraces in the FR, but they all get a level adjustment for having better ability scores and a couple extra bonuses. But none are really a completely separate race. They get all the base racial traits of the standard elf, and a couple Extrodianary Abilities. Some of them get different racial weapon proficiencies, sure, but all elves get some basic weapon proficiencies (ie swapping base elf's longsword for scimitar or trident, or longbows and shortbows for crossbows or harpoons or spears.) That's a minor difference.

The biggest differences aren't necessarily in the Drow. Sea Elves have gills. Avariel have hollow bones and wings, and superior senses. Lythari can shapeshift. If none of them are a separate race, why could Drow be condsidered so? 3 lame spell like abilities and decent spell resistance aren't as far a stretch from the main trunk of the Elf-tree as having gills or wings or alternate forms is.



[quote="Shir'le E. Illios":1vmtba78]
The question would be, of course, what would truly separating them as a race do to the background? One of the fun things with drow has always been the various different approaches to them being elves (and, originally, not really any different from the other elven subraces). If drow become a separate race it's not going to make it easier for Eilistraeens to convince others to return to the surface (as they've been a bit 'return to the way things were' with regards to their racial heritage). Not saying that that's a bad thing (from a player's perspective), just that it changes things.

Love -x-x-x-

Shir'le[/quote:1vmtba78]

That is a VERY good question, Shir'le. Personally, I'm not sure I could buy into it if all that wonderful background was removed without a really good explanation. But even if they do come up with some way to reconcile such a change and departure from the rich background, I'll be missing out on a lot of the things I enjoy most about playing surface drow. And yeah, it's definitely going to be harder to convince other drow to return to the Night Above without being able to play on the racial heritage. Even with it, it's usually a difficult task! :)

Sancha's having a heck of a time in my current campaign with exactly that right now, and she's playing the 'reclaiming our racial heritage and ancestral rights' card for all it's worth-- it's practically the only ammo she's got! lol Trying to convince underdark drow from a comfortable, wealthy city to settle on the harsh, miserable surface is a pretty hard and daunting task already-- but it's one of the challenges I enjoy about playing a surface drow. :)

What I'd miss far more would be the hope of redemption from the Seldarine that removing the background would take away. If drow are no longer a type of elf, there's definitely not going to be any remote hope of earning your way into Aryvandor... whether personal or racial redemption, it's one of the cool things I really like, and it's only because the drow are cursed, exiled elves that it exists.

[Edit: fixed a spelling error]
Last edited by Sancha on Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
First Shadow Incantrix of the Shadow''s Church
Specialist in Necromancy and Abjuration
Master of Sargh''elgg and Kyorlin Plynn -The Watch & Take -
Fighter 4/ Wizard 10/ Incantrix 6

User avatar
silke_rahn
Regular
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:51 pm

Post by silke_rahn » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:58 am

There is one thing that the Drow seem to do better than the other Elves, that is in the D20 Modern Urban Arcana setting they seem to adapt to technology better. Could it be that the other Elves are more attuned to Nature and thus have a hard time conceptualizing the principles behind much of today's techhnology?
Drow on the Surface face as many dangers as those in the Underdark. Just because the Rivvil is friendly does not mean he wishes to help you, he may just want to get you off guard before knifing you.

User avatar
Sancha
Traveler
Posts: 81
Joined: Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:56 pm

Post by Sancha » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:44 am

That's pretty cool, Silke. Thanks.

I was thinking of suggesting GURPS while reading your explanation of it, and the desire for a more universally adaptable system for your campaign. Heh.

While there's no official 'drow racial package' in a published GURPS book, it's really easy to make one up, even using just the good ol' Basic set and the Compendiums (Or the basic set and Fantasy Folk, which has most of it's stuff reprinted in the Compendium). I've done up Forgotten Realms Drow in GURPS for both 2nd ed and 3rd ed Drow. You can even just use the basic GURPS elf (Dark Elf) package as a starting point to make the conversion quicker and easier, and mod it up from there. I've played in a couple FR campaigns using the GURPS system instead of the official D&D D20 and they were all very fun, even the ones where I played a human instead of a drow or elf. :P
First Shadow Incantrix of the Shadow''s Church
Specialist in Necromancy and Abjuration
Master of Sargh''elgg and Kyorlin Plynn -The Watch & Take -
Fighter 4/ Wizard 10/ Incantrix 6

User avatar
silke_rahn
Regular
Posts: 225
Joined: Sat May 26, 2007 5:51 pm

Post by silke_rahn » Fri Jan 11, 2008 7:14 am

Before 3.5 DnD came out my friends and I when I lived in Wichita, KS had a GURPS Fantasy campaign where one of the players used the regular Elf and just had him be dark of skin with white hair, but a modificaton to include light sensitivity, the GURPS version of Dark Vision, and other ads and disads would work.

GURPS 4E is my current guidline for my GURPS campaign and I think an in-house version of the Drow for my campaign could be done easily.
Drow on the Surface face as many dangers as those in the Underdark. Just because the Rivvil is friendly does not mean he wishes to help you, he may just want to get you off guard before knifing you.

User avatar
Shir'le E. Illios
High Priestess
High Priestess
Posts: 2337
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Eilistraee.com
Contact:

Post by Shir'le E. Illios » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:13 am

[quote="Sancha":2m16zfvh]I understand when characters in the Realms treat Drow as a separate race rather than a different type of elf (and even totally expect them to believe we are a seperate race) -- in character, it totally makes sense. But as a DM and player, I know the only reason they even do have a seperate pantheon in Aber-Toril is because Correllon banished his consort and their two children from the elven pantheon. That's not really a sign that they're worshippers are a separate race.[/quote:2m16zfvh]
To be clear, I totally realize this. I'm just saying what direction I think they're going in 4E.

[quote="Sancha":2m16zfvh]Drow aren't any further removed from the base PHB elf than Lythari Elves, Sea Elves or Avariel Elves are, for example. All four of the 'exotic' elven subraces get everything the base Elf gets, with a few extra abilities on top of that to set them apart as a Subrace.[/quote:2m16zfvh]
As I understand it they're not handling lythari, sea elves or avariel elves right away. But when they do it wouldn't surprise me in the least if they're each a separate race as well; technically at least. In the background they might still be considered elves (where, perhaps, the drow no longer are; I'm sure many elves would be quite happy at the thought).

[quote="Sancha":2m16zfvh]In fact, that difference is what makes it clearly and truly elven-- all 8 of the elven subraces in the FR setting have different Ability Score adjustments from each other. But they are similar.[/quote:2m16zfvh]
And as I understand it in 4E subraces will no longer have different ability score adjustments (or different abilities). In 4E a sun elf and a moon elf have the exact same scores; the differences are cultural only. But considering how they've already talked about how their new cool race system might work to give drow their abilities it's quite likely that drow, who then clearly [i:2m16zfvh]do[/i:2m16zfvh] have different abilities, are a separate race.

In fact, there's likely going to be racial separation between even the 'normal' elves (technically at least; I fully expect the 'normal' elves to be considered all the same race):

[quote="Rich Baker":2m16zfvh]Actually, I expect that sun elves, moon elves, and star elves would all fall into the description of "eladrin" for game stats, while wood elves and green elves would be "elves." But we're still going to call them sun elves, star elves, etc., for the most part. Nobody in Faerun would call those folks eladrins, they'd call them ar-tel-quessir, sun elves, or gold elves.

([url=http://forums.gleemax.com/showpost.php? ... 8:2m16zfvh]source[/url:2m16zfvh])[/quote:2m16zfvh]
Once again, I know that drow are a subrace of elves both in-character and out-of-character. I'm just saying that that's likely to change.

To cite some of my references for thinking so, first there's the [url=http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dn ... a:2m16zfvh]Design & Development article on Races[/url:2m16zfvh] (might need to be logged in to D&D Insider to be able to read it) and then there's statements made by the developers as summarized on the [url=http://www.enworld.org/index.php?page=4e:2m16zfvh]unofficial 4th edition news page[/url:2m16zfvh]. To highlight a few:

[quote:2m16zfvh]All races can select racial feats that allow racial traits to develop and expand as the character rises in level. Level adjustments are gone, with all the new races largely equal in power. It is also mentioned that when drow finally appear in some future text, many of their powerful racial abilities (levitation, darkness, etc.) will be relegated to feats to balance them out.[/quote:2m16zfvh][quote:2m16zfvh]Will we be doing ECL? "That’s a good example of something applied to the game to help make somethings work easier. We don’t want to recreate this. ..."[/quote:2m16zfvh][quote:2m16zfvh]One key advantage we saw to this system was that it made it much easier to find room for new races without resorting to the kludgy and awkward mechanic of level adjustments. If we spread the tasty magical abilities of drow out through their levels, they could start at 1st level on a par with other character races.[/quote:2m16zfvh][quote:2m16zfvh]n the final version of 4th Edition, most of your racial traits come into play right out of the gate at 1st level—dwarven resilience, elven evasion, a half-elf’s inspiring presence, and so on. As you go up levels, you can take racial feats to make those abilities even more exciting and gain new capabilities tied to your race. You can also take race-specific powers built into your class, which accomplish a lot of what racial substitution levels used to do: a dwarf fighter with the friend of earth power can do something that other 10th-level fighters just can’t do.[/quote:2m16zfvh]
And it seems that this discussion of Storm of the Dead has turned into a discussion of 4E. Not that surprising though since I think they're linked; The Lady Penitent series is likely paving the way to change from 3rd edition to 4th edition (for the drow at least).


Love -x-x-x-

Shir'le
F'sarn natha tithaur wun l'su'aco.

-= Shir'le E. Illios =-
Chosen of Eilistraee

User avatar
Alak Xiltyn
Regular
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:32 am
Location: Nebraska
Contact:

Post by Alak Xiltyn » Fri Jan 11, 2008 11:48 am

From what I understand Wizards is narrowing down Elves to the two classic archetypes, the wizardly High Elves and the Bow crazy wood elves.

The fact that they discussed the drow in the elven section says that they are planning on having they still be associated with elves but without being elves mechanically as they seem to be drawing the lines based as much on culture as on much as on bloodline, which means that since the drow don't fit into either of the two Elf stereotypes they aren't elves in the strictest sense of the word.

Oh and Silke, I've actually been working on a home brew set of rules that work well for me and my group, I'd say sit down with the people you game with most, find out some common grips of different systems and hash one out on your own.
"Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world." - Voltaire

Post Reply