A drow ranger: in need of backround

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Ok, first off, I don't want to get bashed for copy-catting Drizzt, (I like Tos'un better anyways) but the new fluff over the ranger says they are all about quick guerrilla warfare and hit and run tactics (ambushes etc.) and for as long as I've played (and read) I've liked the way that the drow handle these kind of things. Hence the reason for my character.

I need a good reason for him to come to the surface, though. He's going to be unaligned as of date, and I really hope we can put our minds together.

Here's Hoping!
He's running for his life and has no where else to go?

Not original by any means, but it would work.
Meh. I don't blame you for making your drow a ranger. It's entirely possible that ranger will be the only class that's able to wield two weapons effectively.
Ask your DM for setting ideas actually. If you like playing Evil: You're displaced and trying to find your way home. Allies are only important to you because you need their assistance.

If you like Neutral: Some sort of selfish, but noble goal. Trying to impress a lady with the lofty promise of bringing back the dismembered head of the Elven King.

There's a wide number of reasons for a Drow to come to the surface. But without an idea of how -you- wish to play your character, our help is limited.
He's sick of being bossed around in a matriarchal society, and decided to flee to the surface figuring that it'll be different.

This is of course assuming that the drow are the same as in FR, and that your character is male. You mentioned 'he' so I think that is a given.
Minor variation; House/employer felt down in flammes, things hit the crapsack, he ran away to safety, and well... the less dangerous path was up. Way up. Life planning would wait.
I need a good reason for him to come to the surface ...

The matriarch of his family is slowly dying, and none of the heirs apparent are yet old enough, crafty enough or strong enough to keep the clan alive in the face of its many enemies.

He has been sent to the surface by the matriarch herself, on a secret mission to acquire an alliance with a somewhat renegade tribe of elves who find themselves similarly in need of allies.

The matriarch knows -- she has seen to it -- that the next leader of the elven tribe is going to be a clever, deadly young warrior maiden. Your drow's task is to keep her alive long enough for her to become chief of her tribe, and then make sure she focuses her military might on your clan's enemies.
Three words.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

People have a tendency to get caught in complicated backstories, emotions and motivations, full of angst and painful memories. I find, the simpler the concept, the easier he becomes to role-play. If you can find a single word to base this drow around, I think you'll be fine.

Drow ranger says hunter to me. Enjoys the stalking of his prey, enjoys the waiting, the patience required. He likes a good challenge. Comes to the surface in search of bigger game to hunt.

Simple, effective and lends itself to an easy-to-portray, yet still memorable personality.
You are part of a slaver's ring based near the surface, which organises transfer of slaves from surface raids into the underdark. This is somewhere with more freedom than in an underdark city. How you feel about being a slaver is something to develop in play. You may eventually decide you hate it and want to strike out on your own.

Even if you are non-evil, this is a good way to emphasize your Not Nice background.

You probably think of yourself as a warrior, a lightly armoured two-weapon warrior skilled in ambush and surprise. Leave the clunking around in full plate to those silly dwarves and humans (yes, I know that plate armoured knights were very mobile and skilled, but your character can believe elven propaganda).
1) After failing to live up to the moral "high" ground of his society, he was sold to a surface tyrant as a pleasure slave?

2) One word: Orphen. How DID a baby drow end up on the surface? Snag the DM's imagination and let him do all the work for you, complete with character-driven quest to unlock the mysteries of his past.

3) Sent as a scout for an invasion army, but liked butterflies and decided to desert to spend his days frolicking in the meadow instead of laying the groundwork for an assault.

4) A wizard did it.
He's running for his life and has no where else to go?

Not original by any means, but it would work.

The best option so far, imo. If a drow wants to hide as far as possible from one of their typical enemies - i.e. other drow - the surface is a good choice. It's simple and effective.

Wanderlust could also work - given the chaotic nature of drow society, there are probably some who just say to hell with it and leave. Some try their luck in other cities - and a few find it, some become dedicated hobos. Not all who try either make it, but if your character is tough and resourceful enough to survive in the Underdark (which, basically, is what rangers are best at), s/he may even learn to like it and their travels may take them as far as the surface. To a drow, that is practically another world, and to a drow who might like traveling and exploring, its siren call might overweigh their cultural bias and all fear of the light.

Will it be typical? Heck no. Then again, typical drow don't become rangers, much less surface ones. Also, don't forget that characters need not be one-dimensional - your ranger may well have other reasons for exploring as well, such as those listed above or something much more mundane (i.e. a contract with a merchant guild to look for possible buyers of drow/svirf/duergar goods)
Three words.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

People have a tendency to get caught in complicated backstories, emotions and motivations, full of angst and painful memories. I find, the simpler the concept, the easier he becomes to role-play. If you can find a single word to base this drow around, I think you'll be fine.

Drow ranger says hunter to me. Enjoys the stalking of his prey, enjoys the waiting, the patience required. He likes a good challenge. Comes to the surface in search of bigger game to hunt.

Simple, effective and lends itself to an easy-to-portray, yet still memorable personality.

i think this is the best for unaligned char,he has hunted down every creature in underworld,and now he goes to surface to find new challenges to hunt,he is like headhunter/big game hunter
Three words.

Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

People have a tendency to get caught in complicated backstories, emotions and motivations, full of angst and painful memories. I find, the simpler the concept, the easier he becomes to role-play. If you can find a single word to base this drow around, I think you'll be fine.

Great advice. Your character setup (background/personality/hook/etc) should be one sentence long:

"He's like a blade runner for his drow city, but he works abroad."
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He took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

Sorry, thats all I got.
Thank you very much!
I really appreciate the help.
i think this is the best for unaligned char,he has hunted down every creature in underworld,and now he goes to surface to find new challenges to hunt,he is like headhunter/big game hunter

You ninja'd me, had the same idea.
Perhaps something along the lines of 'rebellious youth' here. It has parallel in the real world and would be fairly easy to play.

Growing up, your character always was mixing up with the other misfits his own age - where your classmates played sports (or whatever Drow students do for fun) you and your friends delved into the drow counter-culture. You studied books of the surface, read of the great deeds of the heroes and nobles of the kingdoms of man, and, as most counter-culture kids are want to do, longed to go to the surface to see it for yourself for years.

The rest of your classmates grew up, got older, more "mature" you're told, and largely fell in line with the rest of Drow society. You on the other hand were always the dreamer. You did what was asked of you in your station (frontier patroller, guard, anything military you like the sound of) but you never stopped fantasizing about the stories of this other world you've never seen.

Eventually it came to pass that your youngers, jealous of your station and sensing what they thought of as soft-hearted weakness, plotted against you. You were forced to fight your way out of an ambush, and narrowly escaped being poisoned at a highly public function.

Some of the conspirators were naturally caught and punished, but not before the rumor was out for all to hear that you were weak and easily disposed of. This of course was untrue - you're certainly very handy in a fight - but all those things you despised about drow society now seemed pronounced,and in comparison all the wonderful tales of the surface seemed so much more seductive.

At last you set out to see it for yourself. Climbing for several days, you finally saw sunlight for the first time. It was searingly painful, but wholly liberating at the same time. Now, without a care in the world, you walk the surface, eager to make your own story one even those closed-minded fools of the underdark will hear of. If your own people could not accept you, maybe these surface-dwellers can see you for who you really are.
Your elder sister went to the surface on a raid and never returned. your family essentially forces you to go hunting her (she's worth much more than you). You aren't all that intrested in finding her for any reason other than it's your ticket home but as you get used to the ways of the surface you wonder if going home is really the best choice
Dependign a lot of how you want to go:

1. You were the target of a priestesses great anger, but a college-wizard owed you a favour, and teleported you to a random location on the surface. Now you are hated among your siblings and hated on the surface. Tough luck.

2. You are sent as a scout to the surface, only to realice the surface elves launched a large attack on your city and won. You are now a lucky freerunner.

3. You ran from your community because of moral conflict (Drizzt-ish).

4. You have an unusual eye-disease that effectively lowers your darkvision to low light vision (that should go as a flaw I guess). You found the underdark a difficult place to live, and scrambled to the surface.

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I think that the reasons you became a ranger would have a major impact on why you came to the surface, assuming that it was intentional and you weren't just separated from your patrol or hunting something that led you to the surface or something...


Wanderlust, love of solitude, desire to see new things, general dislike of people....etc.

Show

I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Drow ranger says hunter to me. Enjoys the stalking of his prey, enjoys the waiting, the patience required. He likes a good challenge. Comes to the surface in search of bigger game to hunt.

Thats basically what I was going to say. He's outgrown the cramped caverns he lives in, and wants to hunt something REALLY big (elephants, dinosaurs, dragons, etc)
as a child, he was fascinated by tales of mountains, rivers, woods, etc that his elders read to scare him but of course it did not scare him
Maybe he is sent to kill Drizzt, but in the end he doesn't really wanna kill is own kin, and travels the surface in search of....I dunno how to finish this.
After killing a pair of lost halfling adventurers, he found a few crumbling pieces of elvish waybread in their packs. Never before had he tasted such wondrous food. He must have more.
After visiting every bakery and confectionary in the Underdark he came to the realization that if he were to taste this golden manna again, he must travel to the surface and seek out those who hold the secret of it's manufacture. :P
All Drow are, without exception, good-aligned renegades rebelling againt their evil heritage.
Just remember to keep it real so to speak.

You been brought up in a deeply racist and female donamated society where assassination and backstabing are considered cultural norms.

Remember these for culture clash fun :D


"What you mean you thought poisoning the tyrants queen was a bad idea? shes so clearly the power behind the throne"

...

"Oh she was a prety face and the fact she was poisoned made it easier for the tyrant to make us look like the villains..."
After killing a pair of lost halfling adventurers, he found a few crumbling pieces of elvish waybread in their packs. Never before had he tasted such wondrous food. He must have more.
After visiting every bakery and confectionary in the Underdark he came to the realization that if he were to taste this golden manna again, he must travel to the surface and seek out those who hold the secret of it's manufacture. :P

I find this a highly plausible story. Drow bread probably would taste like evil.
SylfaEverhate
I realy like the idea of a Drow that leave because he just wants to be like non-drow heros
kudos
Perhaps something along the lines of 'rebellious youth' here. It has parallel in the real world and would be fairly easy to play.

And it has an honered history

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0093.html
Drow bread probably would taste like evil.

Stealing this for my sig. So much win.
As a ranger he might well be assigned to track down escaped slaves or the like. If he was part of a larger force looking for some slaves that escaped to the surface he could have gotten separated from the group. Maybe he doesn't like the surface yet, but he has just enough doubts about the way his people do things that he can start to act in a contrary way, perhaps even ultimately coming to defend the escaped slaves against the rest of the hunting party.
Here's a thought:
You're a surface-born Drow. Your mother was a cleric Eilistraee, and nobody cares who your father is (some things never change), but hey, matriarchal isn't the same thing as evil. You've never even been to the underdark. You are surprisingly well-adjusted, and although people are often suspicious of you, nobody has ever given you any real trouble for being Drow.

Lacking options for serious advancement even within surface Drow society (though not actively discriminated against - think of it as being comparable to the 'glass ceiling' that career women come up against in modern society), your attention turned to the natural world around you. You began to go on increasingly long journeys, learning what you could. Most of your male friends were being taught as either Wizards or Fighters (tradition dies hard: remember, a Matriarchal society can be good-aligned as well as evil), and you trained with them off and on, mostly to have something in common with them once you'd decided you were too old for make-believe.

The Mayor's daughter is courting you, and she's interested enough that she's tried to seduce you, but you weren't ready for a physical relationship. After all, your virginity is important - especially if you're a male. If a female sleeps around, nobody says a word. But if a male does it, well, it's hard.

Your mother saw your interest in the natural world, and asked you if you would like to be apprenticed to a Ranger. You said 'yes,' and she arranged for an Elf Ranger to come and teach you the ways of the wild, and of combat. To your great surprise, the Mayor's daughter also leaped at the chance to leave and see the world under the tutelage of an elven ranger, and the two of you have been together ever since (isolation from societal pressures made it easier, though there is the issue of what people will say if you ever return home). The Elf you're apprenticed to (a woman, naturally - your mother tries very hard not to be preferential, but when you're planning for your child's future, you're going to look for the best) thinks that the two of you are, and I quote, "So cute."

That was twenty years ago. Not a very long time for a Drow, but long enough. The two of you have completed your apprenticeships and made places for yourselves in the world as fledgling adventurers.

Good luck.

(And I even threw in a plot-hook NPC who could easily become another PC if someone wanted to play her.)
All Drow are, without exception, good-aligned renegades rebelling againt their evil heritage.

*chuckle*

Strangely enough, I have decided that the most interesting way to roleplay a Drow would be to choose neither good nor evil.

Let's say we have a character who chafes against the rigid caste structure of Drow society. He's not "good," he just wants to go his own way and be left alone. And since every Drow lives in a rigid society and all drow kinda tend towards tyrrany, our rebellious drow just wants to get out. So he goes to the surface.

Once there, he becomes a mercenary or tracker. To choose the description from the recent alignment article, he's "benign," but he doesn't like risking his neck without some possibility of reward.

Essentially, you're playing a very mercenary kind of character who just wants to go his own way. He has no grand crusade and no horrid secret. Now you just need to flesh out what he's really after. What motivates him? Is it:

- riches: a chance to live the good life?
- exploring new horizons?
- the hunter thing of matching wits with his quarry?
- uncovering magical secrets?
- proving his worth? (either to someone back home or a surface-dweller)

Just a few ideas.