A New Elven subrace

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Boneguard
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A New Elven subrace

Post by Boneguard » Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 pm

This is something that came out in part in trying to create an alternative to the "Good Drow" which for some, is a problematic and/or overused trope with way to many Drizzt clones. So I started working on a "what-if" scenario: "What if Good Drow were not Drow at all? What if they were a distinct but related elven subrace?". Pondering this idea and daring to slip into the Heresy, I came up with this:

Deep underground, hidden in the uppermost cave of the Darkland, there reside a virtually unknown even race. Seen fairly regularly in the Darkland, and impose rarely aboveground, they can easily pass for a drow at first glance and only closer scrutiny would allow to see the telltale of a different subrace.

Descendant of elven and drow scholars, merchants, explorers, rogues and other malcontents who found a deeper kinship with each other than with their own people, these elves and drows created small communities where they could met, exchange and spend time together. Over the slow course of decades and centuries, this kinship lead to the stronger bond of blood-kinship; creating a race that held to ideas and belief of both parents but with a more balance view.

Built with the idea of Balance between Light and Darkness, Surface and Darkland. They mix and match elements of both culture and have a few cities (mainly on the upper level of the Darkland) as well as several small semi-permanent settlement both above and underground.

Society-wise, they are divided in Houses, which are matrilineal clans, in which male and female are equal and the House is usually run by the oldest member (either female or Unmarried male). Slavery is non-existant and they tend to rule their settlement through a council (usually) composed of the oldest Houses of that settlement. Houses are, in theory, on equal footing, however some may be deemed more or less prestigious based on their deeds. Being a member of the "noble bloodline" is not indicative of higher social status, it is only indicative who were their foremothers.

Penumbra Elf (Better name pending)
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, -2 Constitution: As all elves, they are nimble but frail. They tend also to be more even tempered.
Medium: Elves are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
Normal Speed: Elves have a base speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: like their drow foremother, they can see in the dark however only up to 60 feet.
Low-Light Vision: like their elven foremother, they can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light.
Elven Immunities: Elves are immune to magic sleep effects and get a +2 racial saving throw bonus against enchantment spells and effects.
Keen Senses: Elves receive a +2 racial bonus on Perception skill checks.
Light Sensitive: They are dazzled as long as they remain in an area of bright light
Spell-Like Abilities: They can cast Dancing Lights and Faerie Fire, once each per day, using her total character level as her caster level.
Weapon Familiarity: Elves are proficient with hand crosbows, longswords, shortbows (including composite shortbows) and shortspears
Languages: Elves begin play speaking Common, Undercommon and Elven. Elves with high Intelligence scores can choose
from the following: Aklo, Drow Sign language, Dwarven, Gnome, Goblin, Orc, Sylvan.

The Noble bloodline differ from the base thusly:
+2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom, +2 Charisma,-2 Constitution: As all elves, they are nimble but frail. They tend also to be more even tempered and quite charismatic.
Spell Resistance: They possess spell resistance equal to 6 plus their caster level.
Spell-Like Abilities: They can cast Dancing Lights, Detect Magic and Faerie Fire at will, and Feather Fall and Levitate once each per day, using her total character level as her caster level.

Note: The base Bloodline is on par with surface elves and the Noble bloodline is on par with Svirfneblin.

It's an interesting concept (but obviously I am biais) which could offer something nice for someone who is looking for a drow alternate, an elf-drow hybrid, a new elf option or a new type of opponent for their player to name but a few of the possible reasons to introduce it in your game.

Thoughts and comment are welcome.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Angel Tarragon » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:51 am

How about 'Adumbral Elves'?
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Big Mac » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am

Boneguard wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 pm
This is something that came out in part in trying to create an alternative to the "Good Drow" which for some, is a problematic and/or overused trope with way to many Drizzt clones. So I started working on a "what-if" scenario: "What if Good Drow were not Drow at all? What if they were a distinct but related elven subrace?".
This is kind of what has been done with Forgotten Realms lore.

I can't remember the name of the race that they said turned into the Drow, but I think they had some Drow turn back into that race during the 4th Edition Era.

Forgotten Realms also has an extra deity (Eilestree) and she is a good Drow deity. They killed her off at some point. I'm not sure when, because I only heard it second-hand, but I think she got brought back to life for 5e.

I don't know about the deities in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but you could probably create something parallel to this backstory in Golorian.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Tim Baker » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:04 am

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am
This is kind of what has been done with Forgotten Realms lore.

I can't remember the name of the race that they said turned into the Drow, but I think they had some Drow turn back into that race during the 4th Edition Era.
I don't recall this, but my knowledge of the Realms is far from comprehensive. I'll ping Zeromaru X to see if he recalls more details.

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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Boneguard » Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:42 am

Angel Tarragon wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:51 am
How about 'Adumbral Elves'?
That could be a possibility. Similar meaning but more poetic.
Big Mac wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am
Boneguard wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 5:57 pm
This is something that came out in part in trying to create an alternative to the "Good Drow" which for some, is a problematic and/or overused trope with way to many Drizzt clones. So I started working on a "what-if" scenario: "What if Good Drow were not Drow at all? What if they were a distinct but related elven subrace?".
This is kind of what has been done with Forgotten Realms lore.

I can't remember the name of the race that they said turned into the Drow, but I think they had some Drow turn back into that race during the 4th Edition Era.
I remember that sixtet, it wasn't bad and indeed at the end, that group of Drow turned Back the clock, so to speak, and reverted to their old pre-drow form (so dark skin but more inline with African skin tones). I'm pretty sure I saw a 5th ed work up for them at one point too.

So yes, similar aim, slightly different approch/lore.
Big Mac wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am
Forgotten Realms also has an extra deity (Eilestree) and she is a good Drow deity. They killed her off at some point. I'm not sure when, because I only heard it second-hand, but I think she got brought back to life for 5e.

I don't know about the deities in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but you could probably create something parallel to this backstory in Golorian.
Golarion's Deities are quite different and several cross racial lines. I do have an idea for an extra Goddess, but she would be specific to this subrace and came afterward. But revisiting Eilistraee's history might help.

EDIT: Actually I Don't recall seeing any 3rd or 3.5 Edition workout for them, and I looked for it as I Don't do 5th Edition. If anyone know of one and could point me that way, that be great.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Big Mac » Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 am

Boneguard wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 11:42 am
Big Mac wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am
Forgotten Realms also has an extra deity (Eilestree) and she is a good Drow deity. They killed her off at some point. I'm not sure when, because I only heard it second-hand, but I think she got brought back to life for 5e.

I don't know about the deities in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but you could probably create something parallel to this backstory in Golorian.
Golarion's Deities are quite different and several cross racial lines. I do have an idea for an extra Goddess, but she would be specific to this subrace and came afterward. But revisiting Eilistraee's history might help.

EDIT: Actually I Don't recall seeing any 3rd or 3.5 Edition workout for them, and I looked for it as I Don't do 5th Edition. If anyone know of one and could point me that way, that be great.
I think that Eilistraee got killed off for the 4th Edition Sundering thing. So the "other type of drow that get rescued" thing might be new to 4th or 5th Edition.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Cthulhudrew » Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 am
I think that Eilistraee got killed off for the 4th Edition Sundering thing. So the "other type of drow that get rescued" thing might be new to 4th or 5th Edition.
She did, but as I understand it, she has been revived since then (along with several other gods of the Dark Seldarine).
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Angel Tarragon » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:00 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:13 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 am
I think that Eilistraee got killed off for the 4th Edition Sundering thing. So the "other type of drow that get rescued" thing might be new to 4th or 5th Edition.
She did, but as I understand it, she has been revived since then (along with several other gods of the Dark Seldarine).
You could pull a Moander, and have the new elven sub-race come from a different plane of existence.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Boneguard » Sat Oct 13, 2018 8:24 pm

I did a bit more work, reworked them a little. The Noble bloodline is out, but I'm trying to figure a feat for a bloodline that we the descendants of their Demigoddess...more of a social perm than anything else really.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Big Mac » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:01 pm

Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:13 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 am
I think that Eilistraee got killed off for the 4th Edition Sundering thing. So the "other type of drow that get rescued" thing might be new to 4th or 5th Edition.
She did, but as I understand it, she has been revived since then (along with several other gods of the Dark Seldarine).
Yep. The Sundering was mostly a reversal of the Spellplague...although they claimed it was a move forwards. There are some things that have moved forwards (rather than backwards) but I've lost track of them.

Pathfinder has it's own path, which is hopefully going to be less confusing. :)
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by Boneguard » Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:14 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 3:01 pm
Cthulhudrew wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 7:13 pm
Big Mac wrote:
Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 am
I think that Eilistraee got killed off for the 4th Edition Sundering thing. So the "other type of drow that get rescued" thing might be new to 4th or 5th Edition.
She did, but as I understand it, she has been revived since then (along with several other gods of the Dark Seldarine).
Yep. The Sundering was mostly a reversal of the Spellplague...although they claimed it was a move forwards. There are some things that have moved forwards (rather than backwards) but I've lost track of them.

Pathfinder has it's own path, which is hopefully going to be less confusing. :)
Indeed.

Everyone tends to worship the same gods, granted some cultures and the demihuman/humanoids have racial specific gods, but still the bulk of people worships gods that goes beyond racial lines. So does make life easier.

And in the case of this subrace, it is planned for Aventyr, a different setting with 3 Elven gods (and a drow demigoddess/ascended mortal) with its own origin Mythos, so it will be even easier as elves are very isolationist and doesn't interact with others.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by dulsi » Tue May 28, 2019 8:07 pm

I created a group of good elves worshiping the Spider Queen for an expert DM competition. This was inspired by an article on the kiplingi, a mostly plant eating spider. But I suppose spiders are more of a D&D drow thing over Pathfinder.

Pathfinder drow tend to deal with demons don't they. Maybe these elves have a strong hatred of those outsiders believing they continue to corrupt the drow. Looking at wikis, drow were created by the brief awakening of the god of destruction. The awakening being caused by the Aboleth smashing a meteor into the planet. I could see non-evil drow or new subspecies like this having a hatred of Aboleths for what they did.
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Re: A New Elven subrace

Post by timemrick » Thu May 30, 2019 3:26 pm

Big Mac wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:13 am
I don't know about the deities in the Pathfinder Campaign Setting, but you could probably create something parallel to this backstory in Golorian.
According to the Pathfinder Wiki, drow were elves who refused to leave Golarion before Earthfall, when a meteor struck the planet. They had instead taken refuge in the Darklands [Underdark], but when Earthfall briefly awakened Rovagug, the imprisoned god of destruction, they were tainted by his evil and transformed into the first drow.

This means that in Pathfinder canon, Golaron's drow are all pretty much all irredeemably evil, and most are demon-worshipers. This was a deliberate choice by the designers to make their drow more like Gygax's classic villains, rather than embracing the "good guy drow" paradigm that Salvatore made popular--Golarion is decidedly NOT Forgotten Realms. (Playing a drow or part-drow is absolutely verboten in organized play, and AFAIK, they appear in only one or two PFS scenarios over all 11 seasons. They're supposed to be Bad Guys[tm] and terribly, terribly mysterious.)
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