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So, let's talk about the new Drow...


Starfinder General Discussion

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So, to start off...

I'm not happy that they're still matriarchal. With the new setting, with them getting rid of the sex based traits of the Lashunta and what not I kind of thought that they were moving away from this. Especially since there is often a double standard that is a bit weird in fantasy regarding it.

They didn't, and that is okay, it is just a minor peeve.

They make decent Solarians, especially darkness themed, so that is an added bonus. One of only 2 races in Alien Archives that can pull off a decent melee Solarian at that (the other are Skittermanders) and I like the update of them being economically now dependent on locating, reverse engineering weapons, and then selling them as arms merchants. That is pretty cool and a nice original take on the classic drow.

Overall I dig them. What about you all?


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

I'd rather have seen them as another wildcard element in the Diaspora, truth be told.


The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?


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Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Yup, that is why I called them out as making decent Solarians.

I dunno, I guess I just get a little frustrated with fiction at times, and I don't want this taken the wrong way, but it seems that it is okay to have matriarchal societies, but you really aren't allowed to have patriarchal societies. I wouldn't mind seeing the other side get some representation, but I guess it can be a hot button issue.

As it stands though I like the drow as they are, the art looks really cool for them.

Dark Archive

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Oddly in starfinder bonuses and penalties don't make good characters only less than optimized ones. That is to say as long as you want Dex and int a ysoki make just as strong str based solder as a Korasha lashuntas.


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Reptoids make good solarians as well.


HWalsh wrote:
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Yup, that is why I called them out as making decent Solarians.

but not good melee Solarians, because those need Str and Con.

HWalsh wrote:
I dunno, I guess I just get a little frustrated with fiction at times, and I don't want this taken the wrong way, but it seems that it is okay to have matriarchal societies, but you really aren't allowed to have patriarchal societies. I wouldn't mind seeing the other side get some representation, but I guess it can be a hot button issue.

That's quite simple. We all live in still patriarchal societies, even if we try to change this. Matriarchal societies are seen as something exotic, while patriarchal societies are seen as backwards and evil. And we should not forget that the original Drow society was some kind of mirror image that patriarchal society in which Gygax and all the other creaters of the original D&D (and the original Drow) grew up.

It is interesting that many RPGs created in the 1970s and 1980s do have patriarchal cultures (mostly based on oriental cultures or trying to simulate mediveal cultures), but that was also a time in which most players and most player characters were male. Modern RPGs however are very big on gender equality, allowing maximal freedom at character creation so that no character is too exotic for the game.

HWalsh wrote:
As it stands though I like the drow as they are, the art looks really cool for them.

Yes, the art is great. I like the female noble. That's how my Solarian will look.


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Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:


but not good melee Solarians, because those need Str and Con.

A common misconception actually.

Con doesn't affect HP only SP, and that means that small SP gains which are far less important than HP was in Pathfinder.

Example:
A 10 Con Lashunta Korasha Solarian - Which I am running right now to great effect - at level 5 - Has 39/35 HP/SP - If I had a Con of 14, I'd only have 39/45 which literally is 1, maybe 2, extra hits. With how damage scales it isn't nearly as important. So Con is actually one of our more ancillary ability scores.

We typically aim for an array of:
01: 16/13/10/10/10/14 (human) or 16/13/10/10/08/16 (lashunta)
05: 18/15/10/12/10/16 (human) or 18/15/10/10/10/18 (lashunta)
10: 19/17/12/12/12/16 (human) or 19/17/12/10/12/18 (lashunta)
15: 20/17/14/12/14/18 (human) or 20/17/14/12/14/18 (lashunta)
20: 20/18/16/14/16/18 (human) or 20/18/16/14/16/18 (lashunta)

Or some variation therein. I actually tend to switch the Con/Int for more skills on Lashunta, this results in lower saves but higher skills...

20/18/14/18/14/18 is one of my personal favorite 20 arrays.

Anyway, regardless, Con is far less important in Starfinder than it was in Pathfinder.

Dark Archive

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I don't know one to two more blows to the face sounds good to me


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mike roper wrote:
I don't know one to two more blows to the face sounds good to me

Agreed, 10 easilly-recoverable effective hit points isn't bad. Spread out over the day that can easilly turn out to be 30 ish points of damage extra you can take without eating dirt. Not saying it's required per se, but that doesn't seem meaningless to me.


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I agree with OP, I assumed Drow would have moved past the Matriarchy as well and even had this be the case in the game I'm running. Considering their Golarion backstory it only made sense to me.

Oh well, in my Starfinder universe the matriarchy is finished!


The funny thing is, that the ability adjustments lost their importance, because you cannot use them to reach ability scores above 18 and higher ability scores are not so expensive as in Pathfinder. So only the racial traits are really important.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Arguably their matriarchy got WORSE now that the matriarchs are...CORPORATE CEOS!!!


As if women are bad CEOs...

Grand Lodge

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The only thing (and to be honest, it might show up in the pact worlds guide) that I miss is the fleshcrafting concepts. This however might still be part of them being weapons merchants. I like that being part of their MO and think it could lead to interesting story lines. (Cybernetic Drider anyone?)

I would also like to see a group of Drow that seems to be bucking the system, not necessarily good guys, just disaffected members trying to make their way in the multiverse without their typical societal backing.

Drow Punks just seems like a thing to me. Kinda like Downer, but less comic book-y.


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Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
Arguably their matriarchy got WORSE now that the matriarchs are...CORPORATE CEOS!!!

I was thinking more from the point of view of the setting and less "How would Drow be in space?"

Granted, my view is based on the few limited pages of information so maybe something more detailed will be released. But the Pact World agreement turns the idea of "Races" into a more holistic society of peoples. Things from Pathfinder like Alignment and Race as overarching themes seem to take a backseat in Starfinder. They go out of their way to tell you "The average pact world citizen doesn't care about this stuff!"

If it was simply "Let's throw Drow on a spooky scary dark planet and be done with it" then yeah, that would make sense they just kept going as usual with the matriarchy. But this seems like an attempt to shovel them into a role following D&D and less the Pathfinder/Starfinder narrative. In D&D you have a spider god forcing the state. In pathfinder is was an opportunistic situation created by their trek underground. Since the matriarchy evolved from that opportunistic situation, it seems like it would reverse given another opportunity for the males... an opportunity presented very clearly in the Pact!

The Pact World status talks about interplanetary law enforcement, and basic universal rights that are granted to everyone under the pact. I believe I even red Eox people are protected from Pharasma church wiping them all out because of the Pact status.

What this means is all these disgruntled males who don't like the "I'm a woman so I'm better than you" status can do something they couldn't do in Pathfinder setting, which is form alliances with outsiders or just leave. Money is more important in a capitalistic universe, which Pathfinder presents itself as, than all these old traditions. And with people who were never part of Golarion, Drow are nothing more than Elves with dark skin and chips on their shoulders.

So while a male going "I'm gonna make my own corporation" might have their female overlords laughing on Apostae, they can easily get a bunch of themselves together and just deal with anyone but the females, garnering power and support from outside and becoming equal if not greater in power.

When you read the section on Page 430 of the Core Rulebook, it seems clear that being part of the Pact has already influenced Drow. Things like their inability to have "Slaves" (although they have people in statuses close to that) and their trading with all the other worlds (which is even presented in the drow entry for the Alien Archive) means that people are far more open to interacting with Drow in Starfinder than they were in Pathfinder.

To summarize, their isolation is gone, so it's easier for a male to go "I'm oppressed here, let me go move to a different planet" or "Let me go make allies and come back stronger to deal with this matriarchy". Even if the Males look down on their allies, I don't see why it would be beneath them to use these allies to bring their status higher.

Now, I can be utterly wrong in my viewpoint, but the Matriarchy just feels artificial at this point.

Edit:

Then again, maybe their society is still in transition to this lack of Matriarchy. Could make for interesting plots.

Scarab Sages

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Cole Deschain wrote:
I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

Remember, Drow are very self-centered and really concerned with making themselves strong and ensuring their survival. They have a lot of other stuff too, but push comes to shove, for them survival is number one. And there is no way the Drow could stand up to the Vesk or the swarm on their own, so having a defense pact makes sense. I'm sure none of them LIKE it, but like the Eoxians, politics makes strange bedfellows.

As for open trade? Well again, they gotta keep the drow empire strong. And as I understand it, Apostate has few natural resources. So if you need thruster fuel, or drift fuel, or natural resources for manufacturing UPBs you are going to have to trade for that stuff. I am sure they don't like it, but what is more drow, grudgingly working with your enemies, or cutting yourself off from the outside universe and letting everyone pass you by recourse-wise and technology wise?


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The Drow society being in a state of transition or social tension makes for more story possibilities so I prefer that to a post-matriarchal state.

By human standards it's been a long time since the Gap, enough for many revolutions or major upheavals judging by Earth history. For many of the Drow, it's still the same people in power, the same laws on the books, the same willingness to undercut & backstab male upstarts.
Odds are, any Drow male wanting to succeed without female support would have to leave Drow society because they'd be seen as acceptable victims to CE predation. Assuming they're still innately CE, Drow females are not going to be swayed by empathy or reason (the main driving forces of Earth's cultural progress), but only by power, fear, or self-interest. Being cunning & cruel, the females should ruthlessly rule for centuries to come barring outside interference or fiddling with Drowish nature. Any sparks of cultural enlightenment would be quashed with zero remorse short of the monetary loss.

As for being dimorphic, they were less so than Lashunta, but there were marked differences in stature. The original Drow women had higher strength & equal or better mental stats. That faded into the background in 3.x & PF, but the high level Drow remained mostly women. If only women are groomed to become high level, that's a difficult hurdle for male equality. Numbers mean less than on Earth.

What twists the situation about is the technology. With the easy ability to alter one's gender, the Drow would have to enact laws to prevent that (likely w/ death sentences). So there'd be a blackmarket for that tech, with males who change to female having to relocate to avoid suspicion. Except with computers, registering citizens would be a thing, i.e. Big Sister is watching you, so relocation may not be allowed or easy. And if the males (still) enjoy watching other males suffer, there'd be no way to organize safely. They're hosed.

The Drow would likely ban transmissions which spoke against their norms, akin to some of Earth's countries banning "blasphemous" content which only expresses a different opinion about women or the world.
Which brings us to religion. What's the state of religion in Drow circles now?


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Cole Deschain wrote:

I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

I'd rather have seen them as another wildcard element in the Diaspora, truth be told.

True, I;d much much prefer the Ilee ruling Aposte. Drow feel like a sell out popularity bid. Especially as how the Ilee were fascinating and unique.

Their are many places where adding the drow could have helped the blander worlds. Not just the minor moons. Picture them on Triaxis as a wildcard element between the dragons and native humanoids, using their ability to disrupt the balance as a bargaining chip to gain influence. Or forgetting the past due to the gap and living among the elves of Castrovel only for the two sides to slowly relearn why they were enemies and be forced to choose to continue unity or split again.

Silver Crusade

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Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:
As if women are bad CEOs...

You misunderstand! It’s not that they’re bad CEOs! It’s that CEOs themselves are bad regardless of gender identity!

Now they don’t have to worry about the galaxy sanctioning them for slavery when they can just trap their workers in unfair employment contracts! The evils of demon worship are small potatoes compared to the evils of CAPITALISM!!


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When I first read about the Gap and how it effected a lot of cultures and societies I figured Drow would have been perfect to undergo some re-imagining. So much of their society is essentially just millennia of tradition and circumstance compounding each other that it actually strikes me as bizarre that the Gap seems to have had such a negligible effect on them.

The slight inversion with elves shutting themselves out from society and drow becoming a major economic power was a nice touch but I still feel like they could have done more.


Remember that the Gap happen only one Elven or Drow generation ago. That's not so long ago. So both cultures did not change much. For most Elves the Gap led to isolationism, for the Drow males nothing changed, they forgot the reasons for their low status, but that's all. For the Drow matriarchs hoewever it was an opportunity...

And we should also not forget that most Golarian cultures had already achieved gender equality long before the Gap.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

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HWalsh wrote:

So, to start off...

I'm not happy that they're still matriarchal. With the new setting, with them getting rid of the sex based traits of the Lashunta and what not I kind of thought that they were moving away from this. Especially since there is often a double standard that is a bit weird in fantasy regarding it.

The Drow are Evil. The Drow are bad guys. Gender-based oppression is the kind of thing bad people do.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Dof


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FirstChAoS wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:
I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae...
True, I;d much much prefer the Ilee ruling Aposte. Drow feel like a sell out popularity bid. Especially as how the Ilee were fascinating and unique.

Oh, they're still around.

Patiently waiting. Many of them hiding in plain sight.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Not as extremeley dimorphic but Drow females were about a foot taller than males, werent they? Or was that not brought over from Forgotten Realms?

And at even greater risk of starting a fire, how would the gap not result in a re-setting of gender power dynamics in a society that forgot its entire history?


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I wonder what would happen if I show up to a game with a Drow Solarian named Drizz't Du'Skywalker.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

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Cole Deschain wrote:

I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

I'd rather have seen them as another wildcard element in the Diaspora, truth be told.

Totally agreed. Ilee were a really fascinating race that would have been perfect for Starfinder. Seeing them extinct was immensely disappointing.

Drow are a race I really want to love as they look cool and their genesis in Pathfinder makes them somewhat sympathetic (they refused to abandon Golarion during Earthfall). But they're just so boring. They're not much more than a matriarchal society of jerks. Hopefully they'll play up the commerce thing as making them akin to private military contractors.


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Torbyne wrote:
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Not as extremeley dimorphic but Drow females were about a foot taller than males, werent they? Or was that not brought over from Forgotten Realms?

And at even greater risk of starting a fire, how would the gap not result in a re-setting of gender power dynamics in a society that forgot its entire history?

ARG Table 5-8 wrote:

Drow, Male Base Height 5'4", modifier 2d6

Drow Female Base Height 5'4" modifier 2d8
Weight mod for both x3 amount rolled on height modifier

On average a drow woman would be 2 inches taller than a male drow and 6 pounds heavier. A bit of a physical advantage, but not much.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I wonder what would happen if I show up to a game with a Drow Solarian named Drizz't Du'Skywalker.

a quick chuckle and quicker push out of an airlock?


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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Malefactor wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Not as extremeley dimorphic but Drow females were about a foot taller than males, werent they? Or was that not brought over from Forgotten Realms?

And at even greater risk of starting a fire, how would the gap not result in a re-setting of gender power dynamics in a society that forgot its entire history?

ARG Table 5-8 wrote:

Drow, Male Base Height 5'4", modifier 2d6

Drow Female Base Height 5'4" modifier 2d8
Wight mod for both x3 amount rolled on height modifier
On average a drow woman would be 2 inches taller than a male drow and 6 pounds heavier. A bit of a physical advantage, but not much.

Well dang. i have this weird notion that females were supposed to be noticeably taller and thought it came from a stat block somewhere, but there are the Pathfinder entries and i actually have contradictory wiki entries saying, "while there was no average height difference between male and female drow, males were on average a bit heavier." and this entry of "Females tend to be bigger and stronger than males". Memory is weird...


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Yes, my assumption is I would be the first to die.

But, that's why you bring a backup.

Pulls out his Contemplative Technomancer named Orko.


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Torbyne wrote:
Malefactor wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:

The huge difference is that the Drow were never gender dimorphic as the pre-Gap Lashuntas were. And you should not forget, that most Golarian cultures had gender euqality, something that did not change during the Gap. So it is only natural that the Drow in the Pact Worlds are still matriarchal (but there could be a patriarchal Drow society outside the Pact Worlds).

Wouldn't the boni on Dex and Cha make them good ranged Solarians?

Not as extremeley dimorphic but Drow females were about a foot taller than males, werent they? Or was that not brought over from Forgotten Realms?

And at even greater risk of starting a fire, how would the gap not result in a re-setting of gender power dynamics in a society that forgot its entire history?

ARG Table 5-8 wrote:

Drow, Male Base Height 5'4", modifier 2d6

Drow Female Base Height 5'4" modifier 2d8
Wight mod for both x3 amount rolled on height modifier
On average a drow woman would be 2 inches taller than a male drow and 6 pounds heavier. A bit of a physical advantage, but not much.
Well dang. i have this weird notion that females were supposed to be noticeably taller and thought it came from a stat block somewhere, but there are the Pathfinder entries and i actually have contradictory wiki entries saying, "while there was no average height difference between male and female drow, males were on average a bit heavier." and this entry of "Females tend to be bigger and stronger than males". Memory is weird...

Well, maybe drow nobles tend to be taller than regular drow, and seeing how most drow nobles are female that is where you get the picture of drows women towering over the men. That or they just wear heels all the time

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Cyrad wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

I'd rather have seen them as another wildcard element in the Diaspora, truth be told.

Totally agreed. Ilee were a really fascinating race that would have been perfect for Starfinder. Seeing them extinct was immensely disappointing.

Drow are a race I really want to love as they look cool and their genesis in Pathfinder makes them somewhat sympathetic (they refused to abandon Golarion during Earthfall). But they're just so boring. They're not much more than a matriarchal society of jerks. Hopefully they'll play up the commerce thing as making them akin to private military contractors.

As earlier stated, they aren't dead just hiding in plain sight.

Dark Archive

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Given that dimorphic species are quite common and Starfinder is all about reveling in the wacky and crazy it would seem strange to deliberately exclude that biology from the spectrum of acceptable. If you link equality to not having dimorphism it is impossible to hope for better out of actual people.


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Herald wrote:
Cyrad wrote:
Cole Deschain wrote:

I kinda preferred the former inhabitants of Apostae, and their status as members of the Pact Worlds kinda makes for a head-scratcher, but if the elves are going to be isolationist jerkwads, having the drow as accepted commerce partners is kind of fun.

I'd rather have seen them as another wildcard element in the Diaspora, truth be told.

Totally agreed. Ilee were a really fascinating race that would have been perfect for Starfinder. Seeing them extinct was immensely disappointing.

Drow are a race I really want to love as they look cool and their genesis in Pathfinder makes them somewhat sympathetic (they refused to abandon Golarion during Earthfall). But they're just so boring. They're not much more than a matriarchal society of jerks. Hopefully they'll play up the commerce thing as making them akin to private military contractors.

As earlier stated, they aren't dead just hiding in plain sight.

Yep.


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captain yesterday wrote:

Yes, my assumption is I would be the first to die.

But, that's why you bring a backup.

Pulls out his Contemplative Technomancer named Orko.

What a curious game you are playing at Captain Yesterday, the only winning move is not to play.


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captain yesterday wrote:
I wonder what would happen if I show up to a game with a Drow Solarian named Drizz't Du'Skywalker.

{next in line for airlock} GENIUS!


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Ross Byers wrote:
The Drow are Evil. The Drow are bad guys. Gender-based oppression is the kind of thing bad people do.

That's actually part of why I don't like it. It just comes across as a cheap, easy checkbox to fill on a list of evil things. It doesn't really serve to make them more interesting, nor is it used to drive any narratives, nor does it factor particularly strongly into their history. It's just a thing they do that's evil because they're evil and because it was like that in D&D.

The only real saving grace here is that it's so superficial and so unnecessary that removing it doesn't really require any effort, though that in and of itself is pretty telling.

You might as well just have an excerpt about ritualistic drow puppy kicking for all that it really adds.


Squiggit wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
The Drow are Evil. The Drow are bad guys. Gender-based oppression is the kind of thing bad people do.

That's actually part of why I don't like it. It just comes across as a cheap, easy checkbox to fill on a list of evil things. It doesn't really serve to make them more interesting, nor is it used to drive any narratives, nor does it factor particularly strongly into their history. It's just a thing they do that's evil because they're evil and because it was like that in D&D.

The only real saving grace here is that it's so superficial and so unnecessary that removing it doesn't really require any effort, though that in and of itself is pretty telling.

You might as well just have an excerpt about ritualistic drow puppy kicking for all that it really adds.

I think you're being reductionist.

"Evil culture oppresses, how droll."
"SF Drow culture resembles PF Drow culture. Where's the originality?"
I find it telling that such standards would reduce most any RPG culture to mere (digital) ink.

The oppressive matriarchy is only the base, not the totality, so of course you can alter that to little effect. But most stories set in the USA would work equally well under a different country's economic or political system. Does that make a capitalist constitutional democratic republic uninspiring? Maybe, but there has to be some system to begin with.

I agree narrative is key, but I don't think that's the job of Alien Archive. Give Paizo some time to flesh out the Drow's ongoing history because it's only one of dozens they're working on.

I already have story seeds just from thinking about how gunrunning Space Drow would execute their plans to wreak havoc in a universe so imbalanced against them they have to play sociable while fomenting chaos & evil. Or how exposure to outside cultures might cause turmoil in their system.
Put them together: Would the PCs be able to stop the Drow from inciting a war among two rivals by appealing to the desire for freedom among the oppressed males in on the scheme? What role do demons play in these machinations and are the Drow matriarchs playing to the PCs' reformist tendencies by offering up a double-agent male who's happily subservient?

Anyway, toss Drow aside if you want, but recognize your comments have no objective backing that I can detect.
Cheers


Castilliano wrote:
Squiggit wrote:
Ross Byers wrote:
The Drow are Evil. The Drow are bad guys. Gender-based oppression is the kind of thing bad people do.

That's actually part of why I don't like it. It just comes across as a cheap, easy checkbox to fill on a list of evil things. It doesn't really serve to make them more interesting, nor is it used to drive any narratives, nor does it factor particularly strongly into their history. It's just a thing they do that's evil because they're evil and because it was like that in D&D.

The only real saving grace here is that it's so superficial and so unnecessary that removing it doesn't really require any effort, though that in and of itself is pretty telling.

You might as well just have an excerpt about ritualistic drow puppy kicking for all that it really adds.

I think you're being reductionist.

"Evil culture oppresses, how droll."
"SF Drow culture resembles PF Drow culture. Where's the originality?"
I find it telling that such standards would reduce most any RPG culture to mere (digital) ink.

The oppressive matriarchy is only the base, not the totality, so of course you can alter that to little effect. But most stories set in the USA would work equally well under a different country's economic or political system. Does that make a capitalist constitutional democratic republic uninspiring? Maybe, but there has to be some system to begin with.

I agree narrative is key, but I don't think that's the job of Alien Archive. Give Paizo some time to flesh out the Drow's ongoing history because it's only one of dozens they're working on.

I already have story seeds just from thinking about how gunrunning Space Drow would execute their plans to wreak havoc in a universe so imbalanced against them they have to play sociable while fomenting chaos & evil. Or how exposure to outside cultures might cause turmoil in their system.
Put them together: Would the PCs be able to stop the Drow from inciting a war among two rivals...

For my home game all I did was bring back the Drugar (the Dwarven version of the Drow) but I made them a male dominated version of the Drow because I felt the game needed a mirror of the same.


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HWalsh wrote:
For my home game all I did was bring back the Drugar (the Dwarven version of the Drow) but I made them a male dominated version of the Drow because I felt the game needed a mirror of the same. ]

Eh, I always felt that the "evil patriarchy" counterpart to the drows "evil matriarchy" was the orcs. I mean, if you look at the orc pantheon, only one of their 10 gods is a woman, and that's Dretha, who's pretty much the goddess of being "barefoot and pregnant" (or whatever you call the more barbaric orcish equivalent to that idea). Sure, she doesn't seem happy about it, but she still is. I doubt many drow men like being treated as second class either


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Castilliano wrote:

I think you're being reductionist.

"Evil culture oppresses, how droll."

Yeah, I probably am. I'll fully admit that it basically boils down to me really not liking certain portrayals and just harping on it for that purpose.

But it's still something I tend to notice from time to time in fantasy writing, where an evil society (or sometimes person) will have some extra evil trait layered on top at the end that doesn't always seem like it fits very well but helps to make them all the more bad.

Quote:
"SF Drow culture resembles PF Drow culture. Where's the originality?"
Quote:
I agree narrative is key, but I don't think that's the job of Alien Archive. Give Paizo some time to flesh out the Drow's ongoing history because it's only one of dozens they're working on.

I do want to clarify though that I'm lumping pre-gap/PF Drow into this complaint as well. I don't think the story worked very well in Pathfinder either for pretty much the same reasons and a lot of it felt like kind of a holdover from D&D (where I also think it didn't work very well).

Quote:
The oppressive matriarchy is only the base, not the totality, so of course you can alter that to little effect. But most stories set in the USA would work equally well under a different country's economic or political system. Does that make a capitalist constitutional democratic republic uninspiring? Maybe, but there has to be some system to begin with.

Well that's the thing, is it really part of the base? I'd argue the base here is the system of competing noble houses that blur the line between corporation, kingdom and crime syndicate ruling over an underclass. That also happens to be an oppressive matriarchy too. It'd be like taking that republic you describe and adding a note that left handed people couldn't run for office in it. At least how I see it.

Quote:

Anyway, toss Drow aside if you want, but recognize your comments have no objective backing that I can detect.

That's fair, but I never really intended to have one either. It's just me griping. Though I'm not going to toss them aside either. They're interesting enough otherwise to still be worth using. As I said earlier, the way they've partially opened up in Starfinder over PF is interesting and Apostae is an interesting world, so there's no need for that.

Hell, the same story you've proposed could play just as easily along socio-economic lines rather than sexual ones.

Silver Crusade

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Given a technologically advanced, industrialized society, can the drow ignore their light blindness racial quality with a 5-credit pair of Ray-Bans?


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Sober Caydenite wrote:
Given a technologically advanced, industrialized society, can the drow ignore their light blindness racial quality with a 5-credit pair of Ray-Bans?

seems fairly reasonable to me


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Malefactor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
For my home game all I did was bring back the Drugar (the Dwarven version of the Drow) but I made them a male dominated version of the Drow because I felt the game needed a mirror of the same. ]
Eh, I always felt that the "evil patriarchy" counterpart to the drows "evil matriarchy" was the orcs. I mean, if you look at the orc pantheon, only one of their 10 gods is a woman, and that's Dretha, who's pretty much the goddess of being "barefoot and pregnant" (or whatever you call the more barbaric orcish equivalent to that idea). Sure, she doesn't seem happy about it, but she still is. I doubt many drow men like being treated as second class either

And if you think that this is not patriarchalic enough:

In the German RPG "The Dark Eye" orcs do not recognize their female brethen as orcs but as animals bearing orcs...

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Sober Caydenite wrote:
Given a technologically advanced, industrialized society, can the drow ignore their light blindness racial quality with a 5-credit pair of Ray-Bans?

Now I’m imagining people giving traveling drow crap for their shades thinking they’re attempting to capitalize on “the cool factor.”

“LOL, look at the drow edgelord trying so hard to look badass and mysterious with their “cool” sunglasses!”

“I HAVE LIGHT BLINDNESS, YOU ASS! THESE ARE PRESCRIPTION!”


Barbarossa Rotbart wrote:
Malefactor wrote:
HWalsh wrote:
For my home game all I did was bring back the Drugar (the Dwarven version of the Drow) but I made them a male dominated version of the Drow because I felt the game needed a mirror of the same. ]
Eh, I always felt that the "evil patriarchy" counterpart to the drows "evil matriarchy" was the orcs. I mean, if you look at the orc pantheon, only one of their 10 gods is a woman, and that's Dretha, who's pretty much the goddess of being "barefoot and pregnant" (or whatever you call the more barbaric orcish equivalent to that idea). Sure, she doesn't seem happy about it, but she still is. I doubt many drow men like being treated as second class either

And if you think that this is not patriarchalic enough:

In the German RPG "The Dark Eye" orcs do not recognize their female brethen as orcs but as animals bearing orcs...

I always saw the drugar as the logical cynical opposite of the drow the drugar are LE well how do you get from lawful to chaotic remove logical thought and structure and boom CE elves whos society makes no sense


Archpaladin Zousha wrote:
The evils of demon worship are small potatoes compared to the evils of CAPITALISM!!

Not that Communism is any better. Everybody is equal. except managers, party officials, "elected" leaders, etc.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The way I have always imagined Drow society working (and this is in the Pathfinder/D&D sort of way) is there are cults of personalities that lead the Drow houses. The Drow Nobles are attractive, charismatic and clever if not out right intelligent. The rank and file of drow society live in a dangerous environment and are forced to work together to survive. They build a society that tells them that they are better than all the rest which is why they can survive in such are desolate place. The rank and file want to learn and emulate those with power because it takes that to thrive in their environment and society. Their religions (filled with Demons) pretty much back that up.

Why do I need my neighbor, because I might need them to keep out the outsider with me, but if I have too, I'll sacrifice him to keep myself alive.

Drows IMHO are like demented objectivists. Think Bioshock and then turn it up to 10.

The Drow of Starfinder however could still be matriarchal, but I hope they drop the house idea as whole corporations. I could still see the houses existing, as sort of a legacy family line that one could be born from like the Vanderbilts or the Hiltons, but I'd rather see whole new corporations built where Drow use cloak and dagger secrecy to elevate themselves to the board room rather than just killing of their relatives.

And now that they are no longer in their Dark underworld, it would be fun to see issues where younger Drow just aren't feeling the whole finger steepled, evil chuckling manipulators and want to expand out into something different. I'm sure that plenty of them are traveling the stars, dropping off guns somewhere and thinking, maybe I won't go home...

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