Drow Nobles as PCs?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Erm......

I was playing a game today and a character showed up with a drow noble PC.

I can only ask what the hell Paizo was thinking.

How can this race have no disadvantages.

As a DM I would never ever ever allow this, why would anyone ever allow it. And why would Paizo have included it as a PC option.

If these were allowed why would any [non-drow hater] ever not play one????

Contributor

Well, if they don't have any disadvantages, I'd say we need to invent some.

I suggest Paparazzi Gremlins. Tiny gremlins who've invented flash photography and love to use their flashbulbs on photo-sensitive drow noble eyes. And they're absolutely mad to know everything there is to know about drow nobles, chronicling their every move, even and especially their most intimate moments.

As for why they're doing this, gremlins are fey, and all of them have hobbies. Some like breaking stuff, some like causing discord, these like finding out scandalous gossip about the rich and famous, and since they're mostly in the Darklands, there's nobody more rich and famous than drow nobles. They even write up little scandal sheets and leave these about the Darklands for free.

I'm not certain whether they should have flashbulb eyes like the old 1st ed Blindheim or maybe they just have old fashioned cameras with trays of flash powder they hold up on a stick and torch off. In any case, they'd be a wonderful thing to plague drow nobles with, especially ones who get extra famous for venturing into the surface lands.

Sovereign Court

Where did you get the idea that Drow Nobles are automatically considered allowed for play? They're in the Bestiary, not the Core Rulebook, for a reason. They're only allowed with DM approval.

Shadow Lodge

The drow noble has a higher CR than usual for a standard PC race.
In the bestiary, the drow noble (Cleric 3) is a CR 3. If it were a 3rd level cleric of a standard PC race it would be CR 2. That's why it looks so good.

If you wanted to, you could slap on a +1 level adjustment to account for this. But in my eyes, it's grounds to disallow the race entirely anyway.


I'd allow it

but it is core, being in the one of the core books, being the beastiary

that said, like said above, like the others, ad a DM's whim only.

also, if its a renegade drow noble, then the character should loose the racial powers accompaning the race, but keep the stats bonus

The Exchange

I tried slipping this past our DM and it basically got about as far as Levitate at will and he denied...lol


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

It's not a PC option, so there's no problem. The only races that are automatically allowed for PC creation are in the Core Rulebook. Those in the Bestiary are only by GM approval.


We have a side campaign where the entire party is comprised of evil aligned Drow Nobles, although this is a Menzoberranzan Underdark campaign, complete with scheming, intrigue, and a whole lot of roleplaying. It works because everyone has the same power level so the DM can set the challenges accordingly. Trying to play one in a normal campaign with Humans, Dwarves, Gnomes, etc..yeah not so much.


I personally hate drow and if someone at my table wanted to play one they would out of luck. At least for me, they have never come across as anything more than cheesy munchkinized creatures with a fluffy back story to make them sound like nothing more than a mere variant of elves. It's no one thing that makes them that bad, it just that they have way to many goodies, and next to no weaknesses.


I have a drow PC in my campaign and have so far found her to be no better than her core race companions. A drow noble however would likely get a 1 or 2 level adjustment penalty if I allowed her at all.


This maybe wrong, but if I read them correctly, they gain an ADDITIONAL +1 CR for EVERY class level they gain. So using the level loss rules, they get very costly level wise and not really worth it.


Didn't they create the Drow Noble so that there could exist a (non-Noble) player-appropriate drow class?

Sorry, OP, but you oughtn't to blame Paizo for this one. They have gone out of their way to give veto power and rationales to GMs who want to say no. Nobody can play a Drow serf, let alone a Drow noble, without explicit GM approval.

If you're upset about this, you're gonna have to take it to the GM, it's his doing.


What was Paizo thinking?
Maybe that there are different groups out there. So it's a possibility.

If you care so much about balance, don't use it.

If you have a group who is together to play and don't care about a player playing a Drow, awesome.

If, yet, you have a group that will not care as long as they have compensations (say, magic items), awesome.

It's all good. No point trying to keep the game pinned to YOUR (or mine) point of view, different options for different groups.

That said, I'd only allow it in a group I knew, not in a random group from a store.

Have fun man, and let everybody else in it too.

Cheers!


Hello,

I honestly believe that Paizo took great efforts to make Drow a playable race. Drow are not bad, they are a little tougher than standard races, but they are within a reasonable margin of the other races. Then right opposite the standard drow they put Drow Nobles, they add 6 points of stats, double the SR and a huge bunch more spell like abilities like Dispel Magic and Suggestion.

In 3.X Drow had a +2 level adjustment. That was fine at low levels but level adjustments became annoying and not worth it at higher levels.

Some Monster types are more suited for PC play than others, level adjustment was a mechanic for this which didn't work well. but it worked better than having no mechanic as well.

I love Paizo's products but I honestly feel that a note to the effect of Drow Nobles are not suitable for combination with core races, while Drow are more suitable for such a game. That way for open groups they can remain an option, but they

To Captain, I understand your thoughts on this, but the Level3 Drow Noble Cleric is presented as level 3, not level 6 as you suggest.

Thanks guys. I am not saying that my way of play is RIGHT or BETTER, but the poor DM of this game had to spend ages explaining why it wasn't allowed. I think some information like that for beginners who didn't see a problem with a race that gets +10 points of stats, SR, and magical abilities at Level 1 for no weakness.

Sorry if this post isn't particularly coherant.


Talynonyx wrote:
It's not a PC option, so there's no problem. The only races that are automatically allowed for PC creation are in the Core Rulebook. Those in the Bestiary are only by GM approval.

Even then, nothing is 'automatically allowed' if the DM says no. The campaign setting might not even have elves, period.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

Evil Lincoln wrote:

Didn't they create the Drow Noble so that there could exist a (non-Noble) player-appropriate drow class?

Sorry, OP, but you oughtn't to blame Paizo for this one. They have gone out of their way to give veto power and rationales to GMs who want to say no. Nobody can play a Drow serf, let alone a Drow noble, without explicit GM approval.

If you're upset about this, you're gonna have to take it to the GM, it's his doing.

This. This isn't "what was Paizo thinking," it's "what was your GM thinking?" (Clarification: "you" is addressing the OP, not Evil Lincoln)

As noted, there is even a "non-noble" drow that is more "PC-grade" but Paizo has also been clear that nothing in the Bestiary is to be considered a player race (even favorite races that many gamers like to use as player races as tieflings and aasimars still are not, technically, player races---unless of course the GM says otherwise). James Jacobs particularly has had a lot to say on the subject, making a distinction between player races and "0 HD creatures" that appear in the Bestiary and Bestiary II.

I'd suggest talking to your GM, alerting to him the fact that the drow noble is +1 higher CR than everyone else.

The easy fix, since the characters have been created, would be to allow any non-noble characters to take another character level, so that the drow noble is effectively treated as a Level Adjustment +1 race, to borrow a term from D&D 3.5.

Scarab Sages

I think the important part you are missing is:
Paizo did not include the noble drow as a PC option. If a GM allows them in his game, then he probably has to tweak either the noble drow character or the other characters, but other than not including any monster in the PC options, how could it take this into account?
So, no poor GM here.
Aaand more or less ninjad by Deathquaker.


PRD wrote:
Using one of the monsters presented in this book as a character can be very rewarding, but weighing such a character against others is challenging. Monsters are not designed with the rules for players in mind, and as such can be very unbalancing if not handled carefully.

Bestiary Races are not designed to be PC Races. Because a thing exists does not make it a 'core' choice. However, the Core Rules (Bestiary) does go on to give some suggestions for how to balance a "Monster PC".

Is this offensive because one player gets all the perks of being a Drow Noble and everyone else is in the gutter? Legitimate gripe, but not w/ Paizo. Your DM may need a talking to...

Worst case of this type of DM playing "favorites" was when one player was made into a Vampire and had an IMMENSE power discrepancy. He could cake walk EVERY encounter to such an extent that he, on multiple occasions, solo'd the group adventure. While the rest of the group was at the table. How cool is that? "Sit and watch while I win!" *vomit*

GNOME

Sovereign Court

Tarrasques are completely unbalanced for play. My GM let my buddy play one and he stomps all over the CR1 encounters. I blame Paizo.


"Thanks guys. I am not saying that my way of play is RIGHT or BETTER, but the poor DM of this game had to spend ages explaining why it wasn't allowed. I think some information like that for beginners who didn't see a problem with a race that gets +10 points of stats, SR, and magical abilities at Level 1 for no weakness."

I don't think that is too much to ask.

While not allowing drow noble (or any other monster race) may seem obvious to experienced GM's, it would be nice to see a little more guidance then what they have:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/monsters/monstersAsPCs.html

With that said, "the poor DM of this game had to spend ages explaining why it wasn't allowed." - That is a problem with the player being a douche, not the rule system. GM's shouldn't have to spend ages explaining ANYTHING. This player needs to wake up and read the rules* before demanding anything, ever.

No Drow for YOU!

* He can start here:
http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/gettingStarted.html


Drow Nobles are fine. If you decide to be "that guy", just keep in mind you are not Drizzt and you should expect a short painful hate filled life of being chased down like the evil little dog you are with a bitter painful death shortly thereafter.

Then you can build a character that might live for more than 1/2 a game session. ;)

Contributor

Alexander Kilcoyne wrote:
Tarrasques are completely unbalanced for play. My GM let my buddy play one and he stomps all over the CR1 encounters. I blame Paizo.

You forgot the business where the goddess Pharasma, tired of the sudden gluts of paperwork the tarrasque creates when he awakes, declared that every century, for a year and a day, the tarrasque must incarnate as the last creature he ate. Shelyn thinks this is so that Rovagug's rough beast will learn to understand kindness and mercy, or at least some appreciation for the beauty of the lives he takes, but it's really just something Pharasma invented to let herself catch up on the paperwork.

In any case, any player who wants to play the tarrasque gets a normal character of the appropriate level who's plagued by nightmares and phantom memories of rampaging across the countryside as a giant engine of death and carnage.

(Note: This is so not canon, but it's what I'd offer if any player asked to play the tarrasque.)


Fergie wrote:


With that said, "the poor DM of this game had to spend ages explaining why it wasn't allowed." - That is a problem with the player being a douche, not the rule system. GM's shouldn't have to spend ages explaining ANYTHING. This player needs to wake up and read the rules* before demanding anything, ever.

Yes! QFT

The DM/GM is in charge of this stuff. It's good form to give a simple, short, polite reply when denying a player's request.
Something like: 'Sorry, but drow nobles are not balanced against the core races/wouldn't fit in the setting/wouldn't work with this party/etc.' That's all he needs to say.

I've said it before, but the old wargamers' adage bears repeating:

You play in the man's game, you play by his rules.


I honestly wish they would have put the stat adjustment for ALL the monsters, not just the player races

It allows for higher power campaigns to have higher power monsters
But that is PURELY on the moronic player, who thought he'd power play his way in and not care about the rp
But almost all the other player races (excluding svrfneblin and drow noble) are almost perfectly balanced

And i want the player write up for a gorilla, an awakened gorilla wizard


Rapthorn2ndform wrote:
And i want the player write up for a gorilla, an awakened gorilla wizard

I'd allow a gorilla long before I'd allow a drow noble.

:)

Gorillas rule! Drow drool. ;)


Be careful of that. We had an awakened squirrel ninja for a while. That ended really badly...


As other people said, the bestiary is the bestiary and some races in there CAN be used as player races (I usually have tiefling and Aasimir added in and maybe Tengu if I end up doing a homebrewed Golarian) but they're usually quite balanced. Drow Commoner is also balanced in this way, but a Drow Noble is not. Drow noble is powerful enough to be pathfider class level = CR whilst normal core characters (and Tiefling, Aasimar, Tengu and Drow commoner to name a few) are class level = CR -1.

I wouldn't blame Paizo, I'd blame the DM for not noticing this and dissallowing it. DMs have done the same thing with 3.5. I heard of a DM who let his player play a Darkmantle as a character because he was a soft touch. Then there are those who have all kinds of other beasties. I'm not one to gudge on using other creatures from the bestiary as long as they are all balanced, fine. Minator fighter, fine. Vampire Wizard, fine. Skeletal Champion Inquisitor, fine.

As long as whatever race and character class is balanced it's fine as I can attest to what it's like when you're a player a someone else in the group gets access to feats from alternate source books other players can't, DM had to re-write the rules for language based skills because this character wanted to keep stuff secret and he was speaking "ancient Elven" whilst commiting evil acts, as the DM later got the 3.5 book for Faerun and found what deities to use his character remained with Nerull and it was seen as "an obscure Elven Deity", He killed one of my characters with NO CONSIQUENCES, he aquired magic items from an unknown source whilst we cannot buy magical items, he had time to brew a made up poison even though the brewing time was too short and crafting for anyone else takes atleast double the time and finally, if we start a new character we are not allowed wealth per character level.

These are things that the DM is guilty of, sorry for the rant there but what I meant to say is just because something exists in another book it is not the publisher's fault for allowing it to a single person, but the DM's for being so unbalanced that he would allow the guy joining your group to be a Drow Noble and yet from the way you have phrased it everyone else is just a core race? Sure if you look at is in a CR way 1 extra CR might not seem much, but it can be and it is very unfair to have everyone else playing a race weaker than this one. It's almost as bad as everyone being minators but you only being able to play a Goblin. It's overpower and makes you feel small (pun unintended) and unimportant in the group.

I suggest you bring your concerns to the DM and if he doesn't reconsider. He's the DM afterall and you can't force him to reconsider anymore I can force mine.


While it is up to the DM to allow anything in his or her campaign, I do not find the drow noble to be that bad of a PC race. The drow noble does gain a wide range of stat bonus’ but no class will get a great benefit from having all four. Probably the most worrisome thing about the drow noble is the constant detect magic which can be annoying for the DM but there are countermeasures to it. A drow noble does get a sizable spell resistance however depending on the type of campaign heavy spell casting monsters is not something that is encountered until early teens at which point PCs of other races can also get spells or items that can grant spell resistance.

People should also note that the premade drow noble has: a masterwork breastplate, masterwork rapier, four vials of drow poison, a potion of invisibility, a scroll of dispel magic, and a wand of cure light wounds. This adds another +1 CR to the monster because of the substantial amount of loot it has. There is not a hidden +1 ECL with the monster.


I'd just like to remind everyone not to pile on. It's not the OP's fault, it is his GM's and the Drow Noble's player.

Anyway, OP, if you're looking for the rule in writing to demonstrate that the Drow Noble is not a PC class, point to page 405-406 of the Core Rulebook. Note that it has two short lists of PC appropriate races: the (non-noble) drow appears on the second list, which is the list of more powerful races that the GM should be extra careful with. The Drow Noble appears on no list, because it is intended for NPCs only.

It's worth pointing out that just because there is a "Characters" sidebar for statting up races in the bestiary does not mean it is a player race. That is as much for GMs statting NPCs.

Now, Paizo doesn't want to tell people how to play their game, so their attitude has been "permissive". Basically, all the rulebooks say "sure a GM can allow this, and here's how he might make it fair, but if you do this, you void your warranty on things like XP, CR, and other balancing factors." I happen to think this is a good approach.

Call me old fashioned, but it gets me a little bit riled up that a player would be reading the Bestiary in enough detail to get the impression he can pick races from there. It's GM book, end of story. Unless this guy is running a game of his own, he oughtn't to be reading it at all.


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Call me old fashioned, but it gets me a little bit riled up that a player would be reading the Bestiary in enough detail to get the impression he can pick races from there. It's GM book, end of story. Unless this guy is running a game of his own, he oughtn't to be reading it at all.

You are forgetting, perhaps, that people playing wizards with specialization in conjuring and other assorted classes may NEED to be familiar with the beastiary so that they can summon their monsters? Of course they should only be looking at the monsters in their spell lists...


It has come to my attention there is a dislike of drow and our esteemed drow noble overlords. Perhaps people are not looking at the issue in the right shadow? Maybe it is not the drow’s fault for not being sniveling cowards who abandon this world every time an asteroid drops from the sky? It is no wonder that what is commonly called an elf is a pathetic inbred creature that tries to ride the coattails of the real “elves” id est the drow. Years of elf gate travel from the aforementioned cowardice have left the surface elves laughable sterile. Just standing here I have given birth three times and the eldest has already tried to assassinate for my position.

Back on topic though, trying to contrast such a majestic race like the drow against the weak and pathetic elves is an insult to drow-kind. It is like comparing a human to a halfling. There is almost 64% less surface area to whip and beat on a halfling that makes them a much more inferior stock of slav—servant than the sturdy human. The reason that drow do appear to be a more attractive race for adventuring is because we are. Drow are better than you in every conceivable way you mud apes.

Anyway if you live in a remote or isolated community please leave your doors unlocked, your possessions gathered in a central location, and a drink a warm glass of milk tonight! You never know when one of our drow prize parties may show up in your village to whisk you away to your new home full of adventure!


Rapthorn2ndform wrote:

I honestly wish they would have put the stat adjustment for ALL the monsters, not just the player races

To get the stat adjustments of any monster, subtract 10 from the even scores and 11 from the odd scores.


Are wrote:
Rapthorn2ndform wrote:

I honestly wish they would have put the stat adjustment for ALL the monsters, not just the player races

To get the stat adjustments of any monster, subtract 10 from the even scores and 11 from the odd scores.

Also, they are not "player races". The sidebars are presented as "<race> Characters" and are intended to make statting NPCs easier for races that typically have class levels. NPCs are Characters too!

Strictly speaking, the only player races in the game are the ones at the beginning of the core book. The Character sidebars in the bestiary have nothing to do with Player Characters, and should not be mistaken for some kind of permission to play monstrous PCs. Only the GM can make that call.


Hi guys (and girls),

I'd just add a class level for other races in the core rulebook to balance like said in the bestiary.

example : human sorcerer 2 vs noble drow wizard 1

But to be honnest, my main problem would be the social life of drows in the surface, not only noble drows.
It's already a challenge to be accepted by non-drows, I can't imagine in the surface.

By the way, in high levels is it so unbalanced ?


Evil Lincoln wrote:
Are wrote:
Rapthorn2ndform wrote:

I honestly wish they would have put the stat adjustment for ALL the monsters, not just the player races

To get the stat adjustments of any monster, subtract 10 from the even scores and 11 from the odd scores.

Also, they are not "player races". The sidebars are presented as "<race> Characters" and are intended to make statting NPCs easier for races that typically have class levels. NPCs are Characters too!

Strictly speaking, the only player races in the game are the ones at the beginning of the core book. The Character sidebars in the bestiary have nothing to do with Player Characters, and should not be mistaken for some kind of permission to play monstrous PCs. Only the GM can make that call.

CORE RULEBOOK

the beastiary books are part of the CORE rules.

the side bars that say characters such as TeNgU

are both for the players and GMs alike to make characters with(PCs and NPCs).

you are right though on one thing, a player has to have permission for usage of any creature in the beastiary 1 or 2 that has a character stat block. ( or that matter from a third publisher party). those that don't have a character stat block such as the red dragon, are not intended for usage as a player character or used as a npc that joins up in a party....... or in a bizzare usage of the reincarnate spell....

you know, I think this whole thread is going in circles so I think I will go read another thread and try to ignore this one, either that or watch tv....


ummm thats not including the say the red dragon's stats used as a beast used in an encounter.


Steelfiredragon wrote:

CORE RULEBOOK

the beastiary books are CORE rules.

That does not mean what you think it means.


Umbral Reaver wrote:
Steelfiredragon wrote:

CORE RULEBOOK

the beastiary books are CORE rules.

That does not mean what you think it means.

no.. left out part of the.

sure, its not all there for a player( saved for those who like to go around summoning what not as a caster) and more for the DM.....


Please try working on your spelling and grammar. It will help you communicate your point and make it less likely that people will assume your posts aren't worth reading.

Paizo Employee Creative Director

There are only seven core races. Human, elf, dwarf, gnome, half-elf, half-orc, and halfling. Those are the ONLY races the Pathfinder RPG assumes are always available for PCs.

Other zero-HD races from the Bestiary or other books may well serve as PC races, but whether or not they're allowed at all is up to the GM. Some GMs won't have a problem with powerful races like drow nobles, but others will.

For the Pathfinder Society, only the seven races from the start of the Core Rulebook are options at all.


Exactly. I'm not seeing the problem. The core races are listed in the core book. Monsters are listed in the Bestiary. If a DM lets you play a monster, great for you...but it's up to the DM. Paizo had nothing to do with this problem.

The DM didn't have to have a long hard road explaining this to the player. He chose to. The DM makes the decisions as to what you can and can't play. If the DM tells you, hey, this time you can only play one legged halfling barbarians...that's the option. If you don't like it, don't play. If you play, don't complain afterward.


Fraust wrote:

Exactly. I'm not seeing the problem. The core races are listed in the core book. Monsters are listed in the Bestiary. If a DM lets you play a monster, great for you...but it's up to the DM. Paizo had nothing to do with this problem.

The DM didn't have to have a long hard road explaining this to the player. He chose to. The DM makes the decisions as to what you can and can't play. If the DM tells you, hey, this time you can only play one legged halfling barbarians...that's the option. If you don't like it, don't play. If you play, don't complain afterward.

+1

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

All this discussion of play balance misses another important point.

Drow "do not exist" on the surface of Golarion, and there is a powerful faction of surface elves working to keep it that way.

In any other setting, Drow are HATED!

So the real question is, what keeps this drow noble character from being killed by the rest of the party?


Lord Frye,
Too true. However, too many players are trapped by "it's my character, so you have to accept it!"

Nevermind the setting, background of the other PCs or any other factor. "I want what I want."

GNOME


Lord Fyre wrote:

All this discussion of play balance misses another important point.

Drow "do not exist" on the surface of Golarion, and there is a powerful faction of surface elves working to keep it that way.

In any other setting, Drow are HATED!

So the real question is, what keeps this drow noble character from being killed by the rest of the party?

This... ;)

I usually allow monster as PC but most of the time my players choose core race... 'cause they know I will force them to play them as "monster" and they will have to face the consequences of their choice... A drow noble would have to face the elf lantern bearer faction...


you sound like a cold GM.....

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Evil Lincoln wrote:

Didn't they create the Drow Noble so that there could exist a (non-Noble) player-appropriate drow class?

No, they created the Drow Noble as a more powerful antagonist than the standard drow. A chassi to build a Bigger Bad with.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Frank James wrote:
you sound like a cold GM.....

As long as he made this clear to the player in question, he is being absolutely right.

... Assuming the "monster" character survives the initial encounter with the other PCs. Not a given if people actually role-play their characters.


Frank James wrote:
you sound like a cold GM.....

My players knows how I DM, I'm ready to give them what they want, but as Uncle Ben used to say "the bigger the power, the bigger the responsability" ;)

You can play a noble drow, but if they show themself in, let's say Magnimar I think they're asking for trouble... :p


Are wrote:
Rapthorn2ndform wrote:

I honestly wish they would have put the stat adjustment for ALL the monsters, not just the player races

To get the stat adjustments of any monster, subtract 10 from the even scores and 11 from the odd scores.

doesnt quite work

and if i bring it up to a GM i'd like to be sure of the scaling

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