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Bravesteel
Acolyte

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  03:33:09  Show Profile Send Bravesteel a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Hi all,

As I've said in my introductory thread I'm reading the first threee Drizzt Do'Urden books right now (currently on Sojourn in Dead Orc Pass). My question is about Drow and how they have certain innate magical abilities. Is Drizzt able to levitate due to him being of noble blood or is it something that all Drow can have/learn?

Bravesteel

I loved to read and to write, but then something happened. As I made my way through school, I kept getting handed books to read that didn't excite me and didn't even remotely connect to the realities of my life.- R. A. Salvatore

Artemas Entreri
Great Reader

USA
3131 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  03:41:53  Show Profile Send Artemas Entreri a Private Message  Reply with Quote
IIRC all drow can levitate, use faerie fire, and globe of darkness

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Kentinal
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4684 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  04:45:19  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Bravesteel, Well it kinda works like this , over the 4 Editions, the abilities of any Drow to have certain innate powers. To the best I recall RAS still has material closer to 2nd Edition rules. Some house (or DM home) rules might have been used as well.

The direct answer to your question, at one time all Drow had innate magical ability to levitate, a latter edition only allowed noble Drow the innate ability to levitate.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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Fellfire
Master of Realmslore

1965 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  05:08:23  Show Profile Send Fellfire a Private Message  Reply with Quote
They seemingly lose their power after a time away from the Underdark except for Drizzt who only lost his ability to levitate.

Misanthorpe

Love is a lie. Only hate endures. Light is blinding. Only in darkness do we see clearly.

"Oh, you think darkness is your ally? You merely adopted the dark. I was born in it, molded by it. I didn't see the light until I was already a man, by then it was nothing to me but.. blinding. The shadows betray you because they belong to me." - Bane The Dark Knight Rises

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jornan
Learned Scribe

Canada
256 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  18:38:52  Show Profile Send jornan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't the ability to levitate correlated to the house insignia or piwafwi and when those deteriorated from the surface sun...then that ability was lost. Globe of Darkness and Faeire fire are innate however. That is how I recall it at least.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3736 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  19:39:22  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by jornan

Wasn't the ability to levitate correlated to the house insignia or piwafwi...


-House Insignia.

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
Vol I- The Elves of Faerūn
Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 14 Apr 2012 :  20:08:41  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
These are details that WotC in its wisdom has seen fit to fiddle with over the years. When I started writing Dissolution, the sourcebooks said levitation and faerie fire were innate drow powers, period, and they were all over the first draft of my novel. Every lowly dark-elf schlemiel on the streets of Menzo had them and used them. I was mildly vexed to be told that I had to change what I'd written because the game designers were changing those bits of the drow concept.
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Lord Karsus
Great Reader

USA
3736 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2012 :  00:40:54  Show Profile Send Lord Karsus a Private Message  Reply with Quote
-Personally, I don't see why these details needed to change. Can any authors/designers who are/were privy to the inner workings of WotC explain the rationale why it was changed?

(A Tri-Partite Arcanist Who Has Forgotten More Than Most Will Ever Know)

Elves of Faerūn
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Vol. III- Spells of the Elves
Vol. VI- Mechanical Compendium
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Dalor Darden
Great Reader

USA
4211 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2012 :  02:43:16  Show Profile Send Dalor Darden a Private Message  Reply with Quote
All I can say is that I have all Drow being able to levitate...

otherwise, my 5 Drow Wizards couldn't have been levitating in that cave and unleased a regular and a quickened Magic Missile spell each at King Mort of Tethyamar when he sought to "teach the drow a lesson!"

His Brooch of Shielding was smoking, and he still felt like a pin cushion!

Yes, the stumpy son of an axe was still alive after that.

The Old Grey Box and AD&D for me!
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2012 :  02:52:42  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I don't believe that these powers (and specifically the power to levitate) were ever truly innate--I think they were ingested. I think these powers are derived from an Underdark diet laced with radioactive minerals from magical faezress stone deposits. Perhaps the concentration of these minerals in one's diet varies with economic class: the wealthier you are, the more stuff you spice up; while the poorer you are, the less you can stomach.

[EDIT] In 1E & 2E, all drow[/EDIT] of a certain level were said to be able to levitate an average of once per day.

Nobles could do it more often.

And some house emblems would allow some nobles to do it at will, as often as they liked. The House Do'Urden emblem was such an insignia.

But Drizzt lost his house insignia to the Zaknafein Zin-Carla in Exile, and at the beginning of Sojourn he spent months on the surface during which his insignia-less levitation ability progressively diminished. Methinks he stopped eating radioactive 'shrooms and developed a taste for meat and taters!

EDIT: On second thought, it might be like with--pardon the crassness of the analogy--crack babies. The mothers pass on chemicals through their blood to their in utero offspring, who are eventually born with some measure of faezress radioactive minerals in their own blood, and maybe even a bit of dependency.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">

Edited by - BEAST on 16 Apr 2012 21:31:05
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Bravesteel
Acolyte

USA
23 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2012 :  20:54:19  Show Profile Send Bravesteel a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Lots of information, thanks! It can be confusing when novels are written to fit a specific edition instead of just fitting the setting itself.

I loved to read and to write, but then something happened. As I made my way through school, I kept getting handed books to read that didn't excite me and didn't even remotely connect to the realities of my life.- R. A. Salvatore

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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 15 Apr 2012 :  22:40:19  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It's confusing to the novelists, too, Bravesteel, and I suspect that's why many of us start out trying to stay VERY true to the minutiae of the rulebooks and sourcebooks but then become somewhat looser in our approach. It's tremendously important to stay true to the essential nature of the setting. But why obsess over fiddly little details in something like the magic system if the next edition is just going to come along in a couple years, change the spell descriptions, and put your book out of synch with current information anyway? You might as well have the lightning bolt your villain tosses behave as you would like for it to behave.
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2360 Posts

Posted - 16 Apr 2012 :  14:59:40  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

The direct answer to your question, at one time all Drow had innate magical ability to levitate, a latter edition only allowed noble Drow the innate ability to levitate.
That depends on the interpretation -- is it a bloodline trait or simply extra training usually conducted by nobles because most folk can't afford to waste time on it? In "Underdark" feat Highborn Drow more suggests the former, though not decisively. Then again, "Underdark" has some plainly weird stuff, like Drowcraft item property...
quote:
Originally posted by jornan

Wasn't the ability to levitate correlated to the house insignia or piwafwi and when those deteriorated from the surface sun...then that ability was lost. Globe of Darkness and Faeire fire are innate however. That is how I recall it at least.
Levitation was innate, but limited - but obviously too useful to miss, thus frequently doubled by items.
Otherwise much the same: levitation, detect magic and know alignment available at 5 level. "Underdark" did pretty much the same via Highborn Drow feat, only replacing know alignment with detect good (why? the token piece of disney stupidity?).
Spell-like abilities did deteriorate on surface, though not nearly as fast as radiation quasimagic items get destroyed. Hence "Starlight and Shadows".

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
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phranctoast
Learned Scribe

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2012 :  18:05:15  Show Profile Send phranctoast a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will. Will/should Liriel be mentioned at all in the Demon Weave coming out later this year? What she did was a big deal and shouldn't simply be glossed over.

Currently reading: Spider and Stone by Jaleigh Johnson: Sequel to Mistshore
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Kentinal
Great Reader

4684 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2012 :  18:17:06  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will. Will/should Liriel be mentioned at all in the Demon Weave coming out later this year? What she did was a big deal and shouldn't simply be glossed over.



In some prior editions loss of power because visit to surface did not exist. TSR and/or WotC game designers or authors changed things. Play the edition or canon you want.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2012 :  21:04:21  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will. Will/should Liriel be mentioned at all in the Demon Weave coming out later this year? What she did was a big deal and shouldn't simply be glossed over.

I never read "Starlight & Shadows". (I know; I know--bad BEAST! )

But could someone explain how the Windwalker took Liriel's temporary personal Menzo place magic, and applied it to all drow on the surface of Toril? I thought it only brought temporary magic along with her, alone; and carving a rune on the Yggdrasil's Child tree would make that personal magic permanent--but it would still only be a personal, individual effect. What else extra did she do to cause it to benefit all drow?

Has anyone ever analyzed and researched this particular subject, tracking all the official lore that confirmed and expanded upon this, after the publication of Windwalker? It's very confusing to me. It sounds like people treat the magical item as a sort of deus ex machina, attributing to it whatever power they see fit.

I know that Underdark (3.5E) said that drow began to use less drowcraft in the forging/enchanting of their weapons, around the time that they began venturing to the surface in larger numbers. I don't think it discussed their racial spell-like abilities ("innate magic"), and whether they had recently been modified.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36773 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2012 :  21:16:38  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by BEAST

quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will. Will/should Liriel be mentioned at all in the Demon Weave coming out later this year? What she did was a big deal and shouldn't simply be glossed over.

I never read "Starlight & Shadows". (I know; I know--bad BEAST! )

But could someone explain how the Windwalker took Liriel's temporary personal Menzo place magic, and applied it to all drow on the surface of Toril? I thought it only brought temporary magic along with her, alone; and carving a rune on the Yggdrasil's Child tree would make that personal magic permanent--but it would still only be a personal, individual effect. What else extra did she do to cause it to benefit all drow?

Has anyone ever analyzed and researched this particular subject, tracking all the official lore that confirmed and expanded upon this, after the publication of Windwalker? It's very confusing to me. It sounds like people treat the magical item as a sort of deus ex machina, attributing to it whatever power they see fit.

I know that Underdark (3.5E) said that drow began to use less drowcraft in the forging/enchanting of their weapons, around the time that they began venturing to the surface in larger numbers. I don't think it discussed their racial spell-like abilities ("innate magic"), and whether they had recently been modified.



The idea was that Liriel only intended to retain her innate abilities, not provide for every drow... But while the book was being written, 3E came out and said drow didn't lose their abilities on the surface, even though 2E said they did. So Elaine tweaked her idea so that Liriel's quest had a more far-reaching effect than what was intended.

The novel version was adapting to and trying to explain a rules change.

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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 17 Apr 2012 :  21:33:54  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

[quote]Originally posted by BEAST

The idea was that Liriel only intended to retain her innate abilities, not provide for every drow... But while the book was being written, 3E came out and said drow didn't lose their abilities on the surface, even though 2E said they did. So Elaine tweaked her idea so that Liriel's quest had a more far-reaching effect than what was intended.

The novel version was adapting to and trying to explain a rules change.

So Elaine espoused this idea herself, in the novel? Cool.

I was just trying to determine if it was ever actually said in writing, and not just an interweb meme.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2360 Posts

Posted - 30 May 2012 :  14:00:54  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will.
Given how long he retained darkness...

quote:
Originally posted by Kentinal

In some prior editions loss of power because visit to surface did not exist.
Or was gradual.

quote:
Originally posted by BEAST

But could someone explain how the Windwalker took Liriel's temporary personal Menzo place magic, and applied it to all drow on the surface of Toril? I thought it only brought temporary magic along with her, alone; and carving a rune on the Yggdrasil's Child tree would make that personal magic permanent--but it would still only be a personal, individual effect.
[...] It sounds like people treat the magical item as a sort of deus ex machina, attributing to it whatever power they see fit.
It was poking a tweaked part of the Weave with one artefact (which was spent in process - also not the normal outcome) into another, slightly interplanar artefact.
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

The novel version was adapting to and trying to explain a rules change.

And very fitting in-universe.
She also thought it would only be a personal effect. And ooops, three different goddesses, for different reasons, didn't.
I mean, it was attached badly enough that working across the edge counted as wild magic unless precautions were taken, and Mystra uses any opportunity to repair the Weave, whether the particular piece was broken by hubris of Karsus or hissyfits of elves, right?..

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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ElaineCunningham
Forgotten Realms Author

2391 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2012 :  18:38:11  Show Profile  Visit ElaineCunningham's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by BEAST

quote:
Originally posted by phranctoast

Since Liriel brought drow magic to the surface will Drizzt regain his ability to levitate at will. Will/should Liriel be mentioned at all in the Demon Weave coming out later this year? What she did was a big deal and shouldn't simply be glossed over.

I never read "Starlight & Shadows". (I know; I know--bad BEAST! )

But could someone explain how the Windwalker took Liriel's temporary personal Menzo place magic, and applied it to all drow on the surface of Toril? I thought it only brought temporary magic along with her, alone; and carving a rune on the Yggdrasil's Child tree would make that personal magic permanent--but it would still only be a personal, individual effect. What else extra did she do to cause it to benefit all drow?

Has anyone ever analyzed and researched this particular subject, tracking all the official lore that confirmed and expanded upon this, after the publication of Windwalker? It's very confusing to me. It sounds like people treat the magical item as a sort of deus ex machina, attributing to it whatever power they see fit.

I know that Underdark (3.5E) said that drow began to use less drowcraft in the forging/enchanting of their weapons, around the time that they began venturing to the surface in larger numbers. I don't think it discussed their racial spell-like abilities ("innate magic"), and whether they had recently been modified.



The idea was that Liriel only intended to retain her innate abilities, not provide for every drow... But while the book was being written, 3E came out and said drow didn't lose their abilities on the surface, even though 2E said they did. So Elaine tweaked her idea so that Liriel's quest had a more far-reaching effect than what was intended.

The novel version was adapting to and trying to explain a rules change.



When I wrote the first two books in the Starlight & Shadows trilogy, drow magic DID NOT WORK ON THE SURRFACE. Period. So the central plot point of these two books was Liriel's attempt to explore the surface on her own terms, with her innate drow abilities and learned spells intact. When I was writing the third book, I found out that the rules had changed, effectively cutting the legs out from under the first two books.

So I had three choices: 1) Ignore the new rules and make the trilogy internally consistent, 2) ignore the first two books and write the third according to the new rules, or 3) write a explanation for the new rules into book 3. I chose the third option because it was the only one that made sense to me.

If I were following my own inclinations, I would never had written such a sweeping change into a novel. But since the change had already happened, I had to find a way to deal with it.

Edited by - ElaineCunningham on 02 Jun 2012 00:32:58
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Richard Lee Byers
Forgotten Realms Author

USA
1814 Posts

Posted - 31 May 2012 :  19:38:39  Show Profile  Visit Richard Lee Byers's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It all makes you wonder how drow magic will work in the brave new world of D&D Next.
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Brian R. James
Forgotten Realms Game Designer

USA
1098 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  02:38:06  Show Profile  Visit Brian R. James's Homepage Send Brian R. James a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

It all makes you wonder how drow magic will work in the brave new world of D&D Next.
I hear that drow now sparkle when they use their innate magic.

Brian R. James - Freelance Game Designer

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Dennis
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9933 Posts

Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  04:56:14  Show Profile Send Dennis a Private Message  Reply with Quote

Inspired by Meyer's vampires?

Every beginning has an end.
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
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Posted - 01 Jun 2012 :  05:36:50  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

It all makes you wonder how drow magic will work in the brave new world of D&D Next.
I hear that drow now sparkle when they use their innate magic.




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Kentinal
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4684 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  00:54:28  Show Profile Send Kentinal a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Well there was always core D&D Drow and FR Drow so indeed as to When/if Drow innate powers worked on the surface. I do know "fair" (surface based) elves innate powers worked in the underdaerk.

"Small beings can have small wisdom," the dragon said. "And small wise beings are better than small fools. Listen: Wisdom is caring for afterwards."
"Caring for afterwards ...? Ker repeated this without understanding.
"After action, afterwards," the dragon said. "Choose the afterwards first, then the action. Fools choose action first."
"Judgement" copyright 2003 by Elizabeth Moon
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BEAST
Master of Realmslore

USA
1714 Posts

Posted - 02 Jun 2012 :  04:44:45  Show Profile  Visit BEAST's Homepage Send BEAST a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Brian R. James

quote:
Originally posted by Richard Lee Byers

It all makes you wonder how drow magic will work in the brave new world of D&D Next.
I hear that drow now sparkle when they use their innate magic.

Why not? They carry swords with names like "Twinkle" when they engage in melee.

"'You don't know my history,' he said dryly."
--Drizzt Do'Urden (The Pirate King, Part 1: Chapter 2)

<"Comprehensive Chronology of R.A. Salvatore Forgotten Realms Works">
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TBeholder
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2360 Posts

Posted - 11 Mar 2013 :  16:29:57  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Indeed... Oh, and another one.
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

levitation, detect magic and know alignment available at 5 level.
"Underdark" did pretty much the same via Highborn Drow feat, only replacing know alignment with detect good (why? the token piece of disney stupidity?).
...of course, detect poison would make far more sense than either anyway. Yes, 1/day (3/day for Magic In the Blood).

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Shere Khan
Acolyte

36 Posts

Posted - 26 Mar 2013 :  17:27:50  Show Profile  Visit Shere Khan's Homepage Send Shere Khan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

Indeed... Oh, and another one.
quote:
Originally posted by TBeholder

levitation, detect magic and know alignment available at 5 level.
"Underdark" did pretty much the same via Highborn Drow feat, only replacing know alignment with detect good (why? the token piece of disney stupidity?).
...of course, detect poison would make far more sense than either anyway. Yes, 1/day (3/day for Magic In the Blood).



Agreed. Nevertheless at the time the Drow were originally created by Gygax for 1e in his GDQ series, the detect poison spell had yet to be added to the game. Had it existed at the time, it might well have been added to the Drow repertoire.

Regarding the levitation power mentioned earlier in the thread, originally innate Drow powers were classified into three categories, powers possessed by all Drow, powers possessed by all female Drow, and powers possessed by all Drow of 4th level and above. The ability to levitate 1/day fell into the last category. In 1e AD&D, Drow did not lose these innate magical abilities during extended stays on the surface, only their weapons, armor, cloaks and sleep poison decayed/rotted upon exposure to -direct- sunlight.

The female-only powers were converted to priest/priestess-only powers in the more politically correct 2e. The greater height and physical strength of female drow was reduced to fluff, and slowly de-emphasized to the point where they were increasingly, but not always, ignored. Female warriors, formerly more prominent than male warriors, became less prominent in 2e and later, particularly in the Realms where Menzoberranzan was the example Drow city, Melee Magthere was a male-only institution with no female-equivalent, and all of the most renowned and highest level warriors in the city were male. Contrast that with the original Drow city of Erelhei Cinlu of Gygax's Vault of the Drow where the highest level warriors were female and the female fighting society was stronger and better equipped than the male fighting society.

Greenwood and Salvatore greatly expanded the use of levitation and other powers, at least in the Underdark, by Drow Nobles in 2e to virtually unlimited use. Greenwood's description of this expanded usage was somewhat vague in the 2e version of Drow of the Underdark, and if I recall correctly, Salvatore explained this nearly unlimited usage of the innate powers in Homeland by tying it in with the enchanted House Insignias all nobles wore. As a game balancing mechanism, innate Drow powers in 2e were said to slowly fade during an extended stay on the surface, ie. player characters were no longer allowed to have them.

What happened in 3e and later has already been ably covered by people better connected to events than I, so I will stop here. Finally I'd like to add that I can readily understand how authors might care less and less about rules details as those rules continually shift, first in one direction, than another, for what often appear to be rather arbitrary reasons, creating inconsistencies with previous novels.

Edited by - Shere Khan on 26 Mar 2013 17:33:22
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Athreeren
Learned Scribe

128 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2023 :  10:33:38  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This seems like a good place to post this.

Regarding levitation, my understanding is that this one use per day was one of the most common powers a house emblem could have. So in Sojourn, Drizzt loses that power progressively as his emblem weakens due to the light of the sun and lack of faezress. However, I’ve just finished Daughter of the Drow, and I was surprised by the other powers. Long after he’s lost all of his drow weapons, Drizzt is still using his faerie fire and sphere of darkness. But as soon as Liriel loses the Windwalker amulet that was maintaining her innate drow powers, the days of sunlight catch up with her, and she loses all of her drow powers, including faerie fire and sphere of darkness. The novel even insists on her getting them back when she retrieves the amulet. So what was the status of these powers in second edition? Could drow use them on the surface or not?
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
948 Posts

Posted - 25 Apr 2023 :  21:56:46  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
In 1st and 2nd edition it was not from any emblem or insignia, all these powers were innate and weakened over time once you got to the surface. Third kept some innate, but made levitation come from their house insignia. As noted by authors Byers and Cunningham, these changes caused some havoc with their writing. By fifth edition, drow have some innate abilities that no longer fade on the surface, but as in 3rd, levitation isn't among them.
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Athreeren
Learned Scribe

128 Posts

Posted - 26 Apr 2023 :  04:21:58  Show Profile Send Athreeren a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I understand that the status of levitation is weird, due to some seemingly random changes between editions. But my question is specifically about faerie fire and darkness in second edition, as Salvatore's and Cunningham's novels, both published in that era, seem to disagree on these. It seems particularly strange, since in Sojourn, Salvatore insists on Drizzt progressively losing his levitation, so he was aware that the rules stated that drow powers faded on the surface. But for some reason, he didn't make it be the case for faerie fire and darkness. On the other hand, Liriel loses all of her powers at once when she loses the Windwalker amulet, including darkness and faerie fire. That's why I would like to know what second edition rules stated, so I have a better idea on how the difference of effect can be explained. If both powers are supposed to survive the lack of faezress on the surface, it's easy to say that Liriel's rune did something that changed the status of those two powers for herself. But if it's Salvatore's book that is in disagreement with 2E rules, and all other drows living on the surface lose their powers, it's harder to justify why that would not be the case for Drizzt. So has anyone put forth a theory that would explain the apparent discrepancy, where faerie fire and darkness are maintained for Drizzt, but lost to Liriel?
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