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    submitted 12 November 2008 @ 15:01
    edited 21 November 2008 @ 19:48

Guidelines for Running Drow Characters

Article written by Parthenos
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(Note: These rules apply best to drow characters hailing from Lolthian societies. It may take some tweaking if your drow is from a community loyal to Vhaeraun or Kiaransalee. These guidelines are taken directly from Drow of the Underdark.)

React to others based primarily on their perceived value to you. Your adventuring companions are vital to your survival, so you won't want to alienate them. In other cases, though, react with anger when someone you perceive as inferior disagrees with or disobeys you. Judge all individuals by how much power they wield, and offer them respect accordingly. You do not revere life for its own sake, and are puzzled by those beings who speak about the inherent value or dignity of living beings. It doesn't make you a wanton murderer; it simply means that you have no compunctions about killing if doing so is the most expedient or convenient means of handling a situation (and you feel you can get away with it with minimal repercussions).

You find the notion of a community-wide police force or city guard a foreign one, as well as the notion that certain activities are “illegal”. You think in terms of whether a particular individual has the power to seek vengeance if you wrong him, and you often forget (at least at first) that a community might seek to punish you for transgressions against a specific person.

You assume that, with the exception of military rank, females hold all true positions of authority. When addressing a mixed group of nobles, priests, or similar powerful individuals, you instinctively direct your words and attention to any females present, and you are always startled when a social or political leader turns out to be male. You normally assume that any military force is, if not independent, loyal to a church or bloodline; you're certainly aware that other cultures have armies devoted to cities or nations, but it still strikes you as odd when you encounter it.

Consider every quest or endeavor you undertake not merely in terms of how it benefits you, but how it advances the house. This attitude doesn't stem from feelings of loyalty—that term is practically meaningless to drow—but because you understand that the stronger your house grows, the stronger you grow, and that the more you provide for it, the more you can ask of it in exchange. You think in terms of houses and families when considering even non-drow politics and are often surprised at the relatively small sizes of other races' noble families. You think less of those who would claim authority without a house or similar institution to back them up, and you might even fail to recognize their authority at all until forced.

Moderate how you dress based on your physical abilities—or at least your perception of them. This attitude doesn't in any way make you foolish. You dress functionally, first and foremost, protecting yourself as needed against weather, the environment, or injuries in combat. When no such defenses are necessary, however, your sense of fashion might well shock your companions, and might even stir social trouble in other communities until you learn local mores and customs of modesty.

Whether or not you hold the racial attitudes common to your people is a major aspect of your personality. If you do, these beliefs certainly drive your behavior when dealing with members of other races. If you do not, why? Have you seen or experienced something that convinced you of the error of drow racial opinions? And if so, do you hide your beliefs from other drow, or have you taken the (dangerous) step of trying to convince others of their mistakes?

You're not much interested in what's gone before, unless you can learn or somehow benefit from it. When you feel you can gain an advantage by studying the past, you do so fervently, determined to unearth details missed by others. You scoff at the elves' myths and tales, for you know the “truth” about such matters.

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