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Drizzt Do'Urden is the
Drow Elf Drow protagonist of several of R.A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realms novels. He is well known - and well-hated - on /tg/ for being the origin of the "Good Drow Ranger Fighting To Prove Him/Herself Worthy Despite The Sins Of His/Her Kin While Dual-Wielding Scimitars" stereotype used as a template to create characters by hundreds upon thousands of pathetically unoriginal idiots the world over. While Drizzt really isn't a terrible character in and of himself (especially in light of shit like Pinelight), the sheer volume of Drizzt-clones he's spawned are capable of inducing burning fury in even the most mild and even-tempered of dudes.
He is also commonly described as a Mary Sue, although whether this is really a property of the character himself or if he's simply tainted by association with the thousands of knock-off characters he spawned is open to debate. Some bet on the latter, having moved into "sick of people who are sick of the original subject matter". Other point out that, all copycats aside, Drizzt has stupid amounts of plot armor in the books and is able to carve his way through armies and Epic-level encounters such as Balors without sweating despite only being lvl16 pure-class ranger. Given past experience by players being inspired by stupid shit, there is every reason to take a lot of problems with the guy with a grain of salt. However, keep in mind that Drizzt's author Mr. Salvatore had given him a thoroughly well-planned plotline to at least justify to kill the Balor, such as an extremely powerful frost weapon scores of pages and chapters ago, so under such circumstances killing a Balor with a well-planned ambush as a level 16 ranger can be tolerated to a degree, and character-wise, Drizzt is a pretty mellow, morally consistent, and reasonable individual without going into needless heroism and Kaldor Draigo level of challenges. It's the cargo cult-grade fanboyism that made the fucker be hated by the rest of the world's Neckbeards, and even inspire a seriously fucked-up webcomi- OK I'LL STOP ADVERTISING.
No matter what your verdict, keep in mind he is an elf and thus automatically 5 billion times less manly than even the dreaded Space Communists.
Doubly fun fact: He was planned as a SECONDARY character in support of a human Barbarian called Wulfgar, a total Beowulf rip-off long time ago, in a crusty old book named Crystal Shard.
Ok, so why is this son of a bitch so popular?
- Drizzt is a unique and beautiful snowflake.
- To his credit however, even Drizzt himself is facepalming at the above line. Jesus.
- He has lavender eyes, making him popular among the ladies.
- Drow are hot, and Drizzt is a drow. Therefore we can safely conclude that Drizzt is hot. (Confirmed by our on-staff homosexual.)
- He occasionally hangs out with dorfs, which basically means he cannot completely suck.
- I think Drizzt is a pretty cool gal, seh kills demons and doesn't afraid of anything.
- His name sounds exactly like the Russian word for "diarrhea" (was even renamed into Dzzirt in the official Russian translation, go figure).
- Because he's a male drow that doesn't get slapped for not GB2Kitchen. Indeed, he slaughtered his way across his Stupid Evil members to his well-earned freedom.
- Has a badass black panther animal companion.
- Drizzt isn't a fan of his clones either. And to his credit, he gets shit done better than them.
- Though Chaotic Good, he isn't Chaotic Stupid. Uses chaotic things like lies, deceit and lawful things like principles and plain self-sacrifice to ensure his friends, and good is preserved without resorting to Mary Sue killings like Kaldor Draigo did. At one tale, he uses a sack of flour to drown Crenshinibon, a world-threatening sentient crystal, in another he willingly takes blows from the now-grown hateful elf girl he once saved from death, who thought he was going to kill her. So he is a bro, bro'est of all Drow.
- We're reasonably sure he didn't cause 4e.
He's part of the elf master-race.WHO LET THE ELVES IN HERE???
- He's a ranger and a bad motherfucker, two things that, in D&D, have rarely blent well.
- Did we mention he dual-wields scimitars like threshers?
...On a serious note, it's because people have always liked the idea of playing "monster" races. From goblins to orcs to minotaurs, it's as old as D&D. Literally; Gygax included notes expressing different opinions on the idea in different supplements over the years and reportedly once let someone bring a balrog to the table. Evil races are often kinda sweet. Why else would Chaos have as many fans as it does? But bringing a monster attitude to a normal gaming table is often disruptive. Gygax pointed out that having a balrog in the party made it hard to adventure, since it kept trying to dominate or abuse the other party members into line.
So, to the kind of mind that likes coming up with "unconventional" PC choices, playing a non-evil version of a traditionally-evil race is a good way to try to create a character with an adventuring-party-friendly personality without fully sacrificing the cool-factor that made the traditionally-evil race popular in the first place. And it was pretty good roleplay fodder too before it got run into the ground: the player in question got to have angst while the party got to show how cool and not-racist they were for looking past the monster PC's race to see them for the good person they were inside.
Drizzt, bless his heart, was merely the first example of what people have always been doing to get lots of spotlight. He starts rather well in the Crystal Shard of the Icewind Dale trilogy complete with severe weakness to sun that nearly gets him killed at the beginning of the book, but goes increasingly batshit Mary Sue by the time his Stupid Evil kin decide to attack the surface to enslave and murder, complete with magically adjusted time bombs (Yes, magic C-4) to blow up Drow cathedrals and fight dozens of Drow at once. Seriously Salvatore, you done fucked up.
One noteworthy detail. I this editor am a huge Drizzt fanboy. Not even gonna bother denying it. I have never played a drow. I think the amount of Drizzt clones is angering beyond belief and I actually read every single book in that series.
- See also here.