Dark Elf (Drow) Subrace 5E

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the first episode of our elven subraces. Today we’re going to be going over the drak elf also known as the drow. This particular subrace has been an interesting topic of conversation in recent memory but throughout the publication history of dungeons and dragons they have always been an incredibly interesting race to play.

Providing tons of interesting role play opportunities in conjuction with however they’re viewed in the land. In addition to just kind of being the default edgelord subrace they’re kind of rivaled by the shidakai now although not a lot of people know about the shidakai at least certainly not relative to the drow themselves.

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So i think they still hold that title relatively securely. In any case before we dive into their traits here. I humbly request that you will check the full category this article in isolation won’t really make a lot of sense because you still do get traits from the elf class primary and it would be a great idea to evaluate all of the elven sub-races.

Just to make sure you’re making the the decision that’s not just best for you mechanically but also fits the thematic elements you’re going for. With that out of the way let’s take a quick look at their traits here.


So you gain a +1 to your charisma as the drows have been known for being quite charismatic honestly to a threatening level in most cases. You also gain a superior darkvision which is out to 120 feet this is the first race we’re covering with this particular trait. If memory serves it’s only the drow and the duraguard that gain access to superior darkvision. I remember there was a conversation amongst a lot of dungeon masters as to whether or not they’d give it to kobolds as well.

But by raw kobolds only get regular darkvision whereas the superior lies squarely on the shoulders of the drow as well as the duragar so well. Until they add in more races in which case i’m sure that’s only likely to change but for the present time being those are the only two as far as memory serves.

In any case you also gain access to a drow weapon training which gives you proficiency with rapiers, short swords and hand crossbows. So if you don’t have access to those proficiencies already. Now you do super helpful for those heavy magic user classes to kind of give you something to fall back on if you really need to especially that hang crossbow.

Although crossbow is in 5E are kind of unusable without the corresponding feat. At least most consider them to be who knows you might be the odd one out. But now let’s move on to some of their other characteristics here.

Other Traits

So the first of their other traits is drow magic: You know the dancing lights cantrip, when you reach 3rd level you can cast the faerie fire spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. When you reach 5th level, you can cast the darkness spell once with this trait and regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest. Charisma is your spellcasting ability for these spells.

This is pretty strong overall. Dancing lights is one of my more favorite utility cantrips i think its really nice and i think there’s a lot you can do with it if you’re playing creatively. We have a whole article on dancing lights if you want to check it out feel free to. We actually have articles on all of these spells…faerie fire hugely important spell especially early on it’s one of the better support spells in the game in general and it’s a very low level in this case you get it essentially for free which is really nice.

I understand it comes at the cost of once per long rest but you know what you’re probably only gonna have one major combat for session anyhow unless you’re doing more of a dungeon crawl style in which case. Usefulness may vary but regardless when you do cast it people are certainly going to be quite grateful to you.

And darkness is one of those hit or miss spells. If it’s used properly it can be amazing and make for some really cool memories and stories. However if used incorrectly it’ll make for some cool memories and stories just not portraying you as a gallant or even competent adventurer.

However overall this is a very strong addition to whatever your current abilities might be and it’s a great way to give your character some magic flare without necessarily needing to invest in a magic initiate feat for example or multi-class. So it’s really nice for that regard. And much like the duergar they have sunlight sensitivity.

sunlight sensitivity: So disadvantage on attack rolls and on perception checks that rely on sight whenever direct sunlight is involved so like if the light’s on you, if it’s on an enemy sadly disadvantage. It sucks there are kind of ways around it, there’s like magical sunglasses you can put on more or less and that’s kind of the way most players get around it.

However you know it’s upto the dungeon master to be honest. I’ve met a handful of dm’s that are okay with you just kind of like wearing a hood and keeping your head down in public and if you do that then that’s enough to at least remove the disadvantage.

But by raw..i don’t know it’s always an interesting conversation to have however the sunglasses are by far the most useful exploit. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts.


I think the drow are one of the most iconic just races and i know tecnically there are sub-race but in general i think they’re one of the most iconic races in dnd as a whole. And i don’t think they’ve been accurately represented in any other medium other than dnd.

However to anyone who has played dungeons and dragons or any games heavily inspired by dungeons and dragons like the baldur’s gate series for example. You’re gonna be really aware and really familiar of the drow and how they’re most commonly perceived by outsiders and because of that there’s a lot your dungeon master can do with them in the grand scope of your world and how it relates to your particular character.

Outside of that not all drow or evil there are some drives that are actually really good. I forget off the top of my head the kind of god that represents the good drow. He represents like the masculine aspect of them. Really interesting stuff their pantheons really complicated and the history behind the drow and loth is really weird and changes seemingly from addition to addition mordenkainen’s tome of foes is the way that most people view it in 5e check out that book.


That being said however, let me know what you think of the drow down beneath in the comment section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, concerns as well as any ideas or stories of your own down there as well. Of course i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring.

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