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Thread: Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (The Dark Elf Race)

  1. #1

    Are You Afraid Of The Dark? (The Dark Elf Race)

    This is the faction that I would have bet money on for being people's #1 pick for the fifth faction. Now, it's obvious from the forum chatter we've had so far that this is not the case with you guys. Still, I thought it deserved a bit of debate. We have new people coming in day by day and I don't want anyone thinking that Dark Elves didn't even make the roster.

    The suggestion has already been made that if we offered Dark Elves we might add a bit of flavor to them by tying their culture to spiders. This is a well established idea in the Forgotten Realms D&D setting and so would be a familiar concept for many players. Plus, of course, spiders are creepy and dark elves should be a little creepy as well. Well, that and Driders are one of the coolest D20 monsters ever.

    I want ideas on adding more flavor to them. If we added them to the game what would we need to do to make them really unique, to make them a faction you want to play with?

    Now, I want to let you guys know that I've gotten the green light on a sixth faction. (Don't consider it official yet. This isn't an announcement, it's me slipping you information under the table. Although I admit I'm streaming video from under the table to the Internet with this post. Anyways, I can always say: “I said it wasn't official!”, lol.) I'm working hard to get more and more factions as we progress. Dark Elves may make the list even if they don't get slot five or six.

    So, throw your ideas in the hat. Do you like Dark Elves? Could you? Should they be saved for DLC?

    As always, we're listening

  2. #2
    Moderator Asmodai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Fredericksburg, VA (USA)
    I love Dark Elves, they were in MoM, they are pretty popular in D&D, heck the idea of Dark Elves has been around since ancient Scandinavian mythology with the D÷kkßlfar. I personally prefer them to Draconians but it appears I'm in the minority here on that.

    I think they add a lot of flavor. From little things like using hand crossbows and rapiers instead of traditional bows and swords. To moderate things like the heavy use of poison and the spider theme. They are also matriarchal so could possibly have more female units than other factions, especially the clerics which are all female (while the wizards are male). I also like them as an avenue to introduce more demonic forces. If you're going to have D20 Demons then it makes more sense to me that Dark Elves would be summoning them then the undead. I don't think they need a radically different mechanic (like undead and goblins) for them to add their flavor. They still pay taxes, require food, etc. but they are still quite different from the other races.

    Unit ideas:
    Swordsman use rapiers instead of longswords
    Hand Crossbows with poison replace archers/bowmen
    Monstrous spiders replace cavalry (climb, poison, web) - possibly not a unit at all, but created via Monster Summoning spells by spell casters (Clerics, Wizards, and Driders)
    Drider (spells, climb, poison)
    Female Clerics
    Male Wizards

    The fact that Monstrous Spiders and Driders can climb allows them to go over walls and replaces having a siege engine unit (still have engineers though)
    To push the spider/demon theme the Driders, Clerics, and Wizards could all have monster summoning spells tied to spiders or demons.
    Monster Summoning I - Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Small
    Monster Summoning II - Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Medium
    Monster Summoning III - Dretch (demon)
    Monster Summoning IV - Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Large
    Monster Summoning V - ??? (not sure here)
    Monster Summoning VI - Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Huge
    Monster Summoning VII - Babau (demon)
    Monster Summoning VIII - Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Gargantuan
    Monster Summoning IX - Any of the three CE summons fits here: Bebilith (demon); Fiendish Monstrous Spider, Gargantuan; Hezrou (demon)

    The spiders could all even use the same 3D model, just increase the size and maybe change the texture here and there.
    They could even have a shorter army list and instead depend on summons as a magic heavy summoning faction as a "flavor" idea.

  3. #3
    Mage’s Assistant
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    I too would go more with demon summoning and religion in general. So far no faction is particularly religious, so it'd be a good thing to focus on it with the Dark Elves.(Although I'd rather have another unique race, they don't really bring that much to the mix(then again, I don't think regular elves or dwarves do either, so... ))
    Spidery things for the base units would be a good way to make them more unique, even the weakest of units would use poisons, climb or use webs or such.
    On the other hand, you could ignore the more obvious Forgotten Realms drow things and focus on the underworld/darkness aspect. Better at mining deep metals, domesticating bizarre abominations from the depths and such.
    So, ultimately, I think that adding a fourth more or less human race would be the wrong thing to do, and it'd be better to use more bizarre and weird factions. You can always stray from the basic D&D tropes and incorporate dark elves with the dwarves(actually making the faction Underworld rather than dwarves or elves) and focus on those things. Same could be done with elves and something else(like lizardmen, both are druidic and naturalistic). That really depends on if you're doing the factions as, well, factions or rather as races.

  4. #4
    Abecedarian Mage Trudd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Bordeaux (France)
    IMHO, I prefer the dark Elf of Warhammer (instead of the drow of D&D).
    They are a sailor people of pirates, living in the cold place of North.
    Murder, cruelty and betrayal are the daily concern of the powerful people.
    Their special units are
    - heavy armored halbardier
    - repetitive crossbow unit (infantry or light cavalry)
    - assassin : master of disguising, poisonous weapon (could be a powerful unit which can take the look of any other unit until they attack)
    - fury : priestess of the god of death, beserk unit with two poisonous sword and no armor
    - cold one knight : heavy cavalry riding a aggressive reptile mount
    - hydra trainer
    and of course all basic unit (swordman, magician,...)

    Maybe a mix of the two can be very flavourful

  5. #5
    Interesting ideas. This actually reminds me of another topic I want to discuss later. That is: Should we work on offering factions based on culture rather than race? I'll try to start that as a separate topic soon. Obviously we want to wait for DLC, but it's an interesting idea. I like both those concepts on dark elf culture. Why not have both? Anyway, we can talk about that later.

    Anyone else want to jump up and say "Hey, I want dark elves!"?

  6. #6
    Moderator Aldaron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    I like drows, but I would rather have some more exotic race like draconians or insects.

  7. #7
    I second Aldaron's post. Reading some of the replies in this thread has definitely convinced me that dark elves would be a really neat faction, but there are still a lot of other races that I think would be even better. Oh, and if you do get dark elves in, I'd call them Drows or something unique. "Dark Elves" as a name sounds derivative.

  8. #8
    Yea, we may want to cool-up their name a bit. I don't think they're going to end up in slot five or six, but we plan to open it to a vote a little further down the road. They might make a late race come back

  9. #9
    Arcane Candidate
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Drow would be really a cool evil faction.
    I also would love to see Sahuagins, Kuo-Toa, Tritons, Grindylows and other water based races. (maybe as an DLC focused on underwater races)

  10. #10
    I do want us to do an underwater expansion in time.

    All good suggestions IMO

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