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    Firbolg in the Playground
     
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    Default Drow the original Elves?

    Dwarves, Elves, Gnomes, Half Orcs, and Orcs all have Darkvision. Thematically this makes sense due to underground homes (burrows, caves, and mines) except for Elves! While they are underground Elf hills in folklore, in a typical D&D setting Elves live in trees not underground, so why Darkvision? But Drow Elves do live underground! Darkvision for surface Elves makes sense if they are descended from underground dwelling ancestors like the Drow! Wolves are known to kill domestic dogs, could the Drow be to surface Elves as wolves are to dogs? Are Elves domesticated Drow? Usually it is represented as the Drow being exiled and forced underground, how would it affect a campaign setting if the reverse was true?

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Which game system are you referring to? In 3.0/3.5 elves do not have Darkvision.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Longarrow View Post
    Which game system are you referring to? In 3.0/3.5 elves do not have Darkvision.
    That is such a minor detail that it should not be allowed to derail some cool worldbuilding. Drow as the ur-elves, with the surface elves as the deviationist running dogs, possibly conflicted over their rejection of true elvishness, possibly self-righteous about their ascendance.

    The next step is declaring what event or series of events led to the secession and transformation of the surface elves.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    That is such a minor detail that it should not be allowed to derail some cool worldbuilding. Drow as the ur-elves, with the surface elves as the deviationist running dogs, possibly conflicted over their rejection of true elvishness, possibly self-righteous about their ascendance.

    The next step is declaring what event or series of events led to the secession and transformation of the surface elves.
    Elves were slaves of orcs? Or maybe humanity chased all the races underground, and the elves somehow forgot about it?
    Last edited by LnGrrrR; 2016-01-20 at 06:23 PM.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by LnGrrrR View Post
    Elves were slaves of orcs? Or maybe humanity chased all the races underground, and the elves somehow forgot about it?
    Elves don't forget anything.

    I thought though it was because the other races were around before the sun was in the sky, and men came later.
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    Elves don't forget anything.

    I thought though it was because the other races were around before the sun was in the sky, and men came later.
    Well yeah, elves don't NORMALLY forget anything... except in this campaign, where for some reason elves have crystal memories up until whenever BC, and all memory before that doesn't exist...

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by nedz View Post
    I thought though it was because the other races were around before the sun was in the sky, and men came later.
    When man stole fire from the gods, he escaped in a chariot flying across the heavens, and set fire to the very sky itself!

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Living in forests could explain dark vision to some extent - real, old growth forests can blot out the sun quite well. With that said, surface elves as an offshoot could be a lot of fun. You could also tie things yet further together - all of the walking humanoids are children of the earth, and all of them originated deep within the bowels of the earth and started spreading out towards the surface. Humans got there fairly quickly, and with a short generational span dark vision was quickly lost, but resilience to unfamiliar surface conditions (temperature extremes, winds, the ocean) were gained. Elves and dwarves reached the surface as well, but the elves kept to their dark old growth forests, and dwarven settlements are still usually at least partly underground. Neither are particularly impressive mariners, neither took to the plains, neither domesticated anything of note. Beyond the elves and dwarves are the ones left down below, still there, with a stronger connection to the primordial earth, awesome and terrible*.

    *In the original senses of the words. They inspire awe and terror, they aren't necessarily really cool or pretty bad.
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Beyond the elves and dwarves...
    awesome and terrible...
    Clearly, you must be referring to gnomes!

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    You can do that if you want.... In Warcraft, Night Elves take inspiration from Drow (besides being good guy tree people), and the white High Elves (later Blood Elves) were an offshoot from them, caused by using arcane magic.


    Anyway, darkvision doesn't just mean you live in a cave. Owls have darkvision (I dunno about in game, but IRL) so do cats. They're using it to hunt at night time. Who's to say what time of day a wood elf hunts? Maybe they evolved to have it because they're nocturnal hunters.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Darkvision? Or Nightvision? Wait, is Nightvision a thing in DnD?

    I thought Darkvision is seeing without light, while Nightvision is seeing in low light.
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-21 at 08:34 AM.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    The reason elves have Darkvision (from a rules perspective) is because they had low-light vision in 3.x. 5e did away with low-light vision, so races were granted either Darkvision (sixty feet or 120 feet) or no special senses at all. Hence, the elves got Darkvision.

    From an in-universe perspective, though, this is all very interesting and I'll probably nab some of it for my campaign. ;)

    Edit: I was under the impression that this was a 5e thread, so I responded as such. Apparently it isn't, though I think OP is probably a 5e player? I'll leave my post as-is, but it may be phrased a little strangely in this context. My bad!
    Last edited by Rusvul; 2016-01-21 at 09:02 AM.

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    d20 Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Back when I tried making my own campaign setting I had contemplated making drow come from the "moon" — effectively ripping off Anemos from Golden Sun: The Lost Age, the progenitors of the drow tried their best to better the world with their knowledge and magic, but the world kept %&#$ing up as usual, so they eventually pulled a, "screw you guys, we're going home!", lifting their capital city and surrounding lands up into the heavens… so far high up that their lands look to a ground-dweller as our moon looks to us.

    As generations pass the drow secluded themselves completely, focusing inward on their own abilities and, combined with the unnatural environment, led to the modern drow's appearance and special abilities.
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Douche View Post
    You can do that if you want.... In Warcraft, Night Elves take inspiration from Drow (besides being good guy tree people), and the white High Elves (later Blood Elves) were an offshoot from them, caused by using arcane magic.
    More interestingly, Warcraft Night Elves descend from forest trolls who lived near the Well.
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Komatik View Post
    More interestingly, Warcraft Night Elves descend from forest trolls who lived near the Well.
    That's up for debate. I thought that was the case as well, but then I actually read the Warcraft wiki entry and there are multiple origin stories for the elves.

    So it's not actually a definite. They do look really similar though

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusvul View Post
    The reason elves have Darkvision (from a rules perspective) is because they had low-light vision in 3.x. 5e did away with low-light vision, so races were granted either Darkvision (sixty feet or 120 feet) or no special senses at all. Hence, the elves got Darkvision.

    From an in-universe perspective, though, this is all very interesting and I'll probably nab some of it for my campaign. ;)

    Edit: I was under the impression that this was a 5e thread, so I responded as such. Apparently it isn't, though I think OP is probably a 5e player? I'll leave my post as-is, but it may be phrased a little strangely in this context. My bad!
    I"m pretty sure they had darkvision in 1e and 2e. That became low-light vision in 3e, and now apparently darkvision in 5e. It's in the general RPG forum, so this is edition-neutral ground. Technically, World of Warcraft elves, Rifts elves, Warhammer 40K elves, etc are all fair game.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Here's a myth that might explain it:

    When the Drow first reached the surface, they beheld a strange and terrible thing: a great sphere, shining in the night. Some of their number forsook the ancient mother Lolth, and began worshiping the cold, far-off rock. In punishment, the Spider-mother cursed the apostates who had chosen another over their own mother. From now on, their skin would be as pale as their false goddess, the moon.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    I'm pretty sure they had darkvision in 1e and 2e.
    At least in 2e, elves had infravision (they were able to see in the infrared spectrum, e..g body heat).

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusvul View Post
    I was under the impression that this was a 5e thread, so I responded as such. Apparently it isn't, though I think OP is probably a 5e player?
    O.P. is/was a 0e and 1e player/DM who has bought and read a lot of 3e material and now 5e material and thinks 5e looks like fun. Also I don't see a significant difference between earlier editions "infravision" that dwarves and elves shared and 5e's "darkvision" anyway.
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Here's a myth that might explain it:

    When the Drow first reached the surface, they beheld a strange and terrible thing: a great sphere, shining in the night. Some of their number forsook the ancient mother Lolth, and began worshiping the cold, far-off rock. In punishment, the Spider-mother cursed the apostates who had chosen another over their own mother. From now on, their skin would be as pale as their false goddess, the moon.
    Awesome!
    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rusvul View Post
    The reason elves have Darkvision (from a rules perspective) is because they had low-light vision in 3.x. 5e did away with low-light vision, so races were granted either Darkvision (sixty feet or 120 feet) or no special senses at all. Hence, the elves got Darkvision.

    From an in-universe perspective, though, this is all very interesting and I'll probably nab some of it for my campaign. ;)

    Edit: I was under the impression that this was a 5e thread, so I responded as such. Apparently it isn't, though I think OP is probably a 5e player? I'll leave my post as-is, but it may be phrased a little strangely in this context. My bad!
    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    I"m pretty sure they had darkvision in 1e and 2e. That became low-light vision in 3e, and now apparently darkvision in 5e. It's in the general RPG forum, so this is edition-neutral ground. Technically, World of Warcraft elves, Rifts elves, Warhammer 40K elves, etc are all fair game.
    It was actually 4th Edition that changed elves back to having darkvision, but I guess a lot of people have suppressed their memories of that.
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
    That is such a minor detail that it should not be allowed to derail some cool worldbuilding. Drow as the ur-elves, with the surface elves as the deviationist running dogs, possibly conflicted over their rejection of true elvishness, possibly self-righteous about their ascendance.

    The next step is declaring what event or series of events led to the secession and transformation of the surface elves.
    ...Does that make Drizzt the Elvish Abraham? By Corellon's flowing locks!
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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Telonius View Post
    Here's a myth that might explain it:

    When the Drow first reached the surface, they beheld a strange and terrible thing: a great sphere, shining in the night. Some of their number forsook the ancient mother Lolth, and began worshiping the cold, far-off rock. In punishment, the Spider-mother cursed the apostates who had chosen another over their own mother. From now on, their skin would be as pale as their false goddess, the moon.
    I've read how drow were cursed to have dark skin, but this is the first time I see pale skin be the curse! Neat.

    Then again, in the former some other god cursed the drow, while in your case it's LOLth herself who did the cursing.
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-21 at 09:10 PM.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by goto124 View Post
    I've read how drow were cursed to have dark skin, but this is the first time I see pale skin be the curse! Neat.

    Then again, in the former some other god cursed the drow, while in your case it's LOLth herself who did the cursing.
    Fluff: In the elves' mythology, it's the drow who were cursed with dark skin by somebody. In the drow's mythology, it's the elves who were cursed with light skin by Lolth.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Just to clarify that, that's not from any official source, I just made it up as a suggestion.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlumphPaladin View Post
    In the elves' mythology, it's the drow who were cursed with dark skin by somebody. In the drow's mythology, it's the elves who were cursed with light skin by Lolth.
    I like this. It showcases the differences these two groups of elves have on their ideas of 'prettiness or 'ugliness'.

    Probably works best when the gods are largely non-interventionist. Then again, may work even if they're quite active - not much stops mortals from believing what they want to believe.
    Last edited by goto124; 2016-01-22 at 10:48 AM.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by Firest Kathon View Post
    At least in 2e, elves had infravision (they were able to see in the infrared spectrum, e..g body heat).
    Ah. My mistake, you are absolutely correct.

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    Default Re: Drow the original Elves?

    Quote Originally Posted by KillianHawkeye View Post
    It was actually 4th Edition that changed elves back to having darkvision, but I guess a lot of people have suppressed their memories of that.
    Wrong - they had low-light vision, although the definition is different from 3.x. Research more, edition-war less


    Quote Originally Posted by AD&D (1e)
    Elves have the ability to see into the infra-red spectrum, so they are able to see up to 60' in darkness, noting varying degrees of heat radiation.
    Quote Originally Posted by AD&D 2e
    Elven infravision allows them to see up to 60 feet in darkness.
    Quote Originally Posted by D&D 3.x
    Low-light Vision: Elves can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination. They [she in 3.5] retain their [her] ability to distinguish color and detail under these conditions.

    Spoiler: 3.0 Light Sources
    Show
    Code:
    Table9-7: Light Sources
    Object                Light
    Candle                5 ft.
    Lamp, common          15 ft.
    Lantern, bullseye     60-ft. cone*
    Lantern, hooded       30 ft.
    Sunrod                30 ft.
    Torch                 20 ft.
    
    Spell                        Light
    Continual flame              20 ft.
    Dancing lights (torches)     20 ft. (each)
    Daylight                     60 ft.
    Light                        20 ft.
    
    *A cone 60 feet long and 20 feet wide at the far end.


    Spoiler: 3.5 Light Sources (SRD)
    Show
    Code:
    Table: Light Sources and Illumination
    Object                   Bright          Shadowy
    Candle                   n/a[1]          5 ft.
    Everburning torch        20 ft.          40 ft.
    Lamp, common             15 ft.          30 ft.
    Lantern, bullseye[2]     60-ft. cone     120-ft. cone
    Lantern, hooded          30 ft.          60 ft.
    Sunrod                   30 ft.          60 ft.
    Torch                    20 ft.          40 ft.
    
    Spell                        Bright            Shadowy
    Continual flame              20 ft.            40 ft.
    Dancing lights (torches)     20 ft. (each)     40 ft. (each)
    Daylight                     60 ft.            120 ft.
    Light                        20 ft.            40 ft.
    
    [1] A candle does not provide bright illumination, only shadowy illumination.
    [2] A bullseye lantern illuminates a cone, not a radius.
    Quote Originally Posted by D&D 4e
    Vision: low-light
    Spoiler: PH Definition
    Show
    The gist of p. 262 is: Characters who have low-light vision normally in dim light, but can't see in darkness. [The only sources of dim light given are candle - 2 (5 ft.) squares - and phosphorescent fungi - 10 squares).]


    Spoiler: Essentials Definition (RC)
    Show
    Low-Light Vision: A creature that has low-light vision can see normally in areas of bright light and dim light, but areas of darkness are totally obscured to it. The creature ignores concealment that is a result of dim light. [The only sources of dim light given are candle - 2 (5 ft.) squares - and phosphorescent fungi - 10 squares).]
    Quote Originally Posted by D&D 5e Basic
    Under Elf Traits: Darkvision. Accustomed to twilit forests and the night sky, you have superior vision in dark and dim conditions. You can see in dim light within 60 feet of you as if it were bright light, and in darkness as if it were dim light. You can’t discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

    Spoiler: Light sources
    Show
    [Extracted from the Player's Basic (it's all I have) Adventuring Gear list.]
    Code:
    Object                Bright          Dim
    Candle                5 ft.           additional 5 ft.
    Lamp, common          15 ft.          additional 30 ft.
    Lantern, bullseye     60-ft. cone     additional 60 ft.
    Lantern, hooded*      30 ft.          additional 30 ft.
    Torch                 20 ft.          additional 20 ft.
    
    *Lowering the hood reduces illumination to 5 ft. of dim light.
    Last edited by GnollOfErathis; 2016-01-22 at 06:31 PM.

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