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 Whilst Dual-Wielding Scimitars" stereotype used as a template to create characters by hundreds upon thousands of pathetically unoriginal idiots the world over. Whilst 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, although many are betting on the latter. 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.
Even then, he is an elf and thus automatically 5 billion times less manly than even the dreaded Space Communists.
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.
- 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.
- We're reasonably sure he didn't cause 4e.
- He's part of the elf master-race.
- He's a ranger and a bad motherfucker, two things that, in D&D, have rarely blent well.
...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.
- See also here.