Most Valuable Dark Elf

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Most Valuable Dark Elf

The most popular Dungeons & Dragons' character isn't your average knight or wizard.

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instead, he's your average dark elf character.

nah, I'm kidding, I love these books, it's just a shame how many dark elf characters I come across mimic his origin story.
then again, he probably isn't the worst offender.

I once played a dark elf in a D&D game.
I betrayed the whole party and played the villain to them though.

Leading to our group saying "You done got Drizzted son!".
It was hilarious seeing everyone groan at me playing "A drizzt clone" than back stabbing the entire party and playing the guy who set them up.

IRL I had to move so I sent my guy out with a bang oh and I almost killed off the parties Cleric and oh boy did that make them spaz.

Ah good times.

"I'm surprised that anyone reads my books. I've been surprised by that since the first one came out."

Funny, I was kind of thinking the same thing. The Icewind Dale books were decent escapism and when the characters were fresh the clichés didn't matter but now the formula is creaking at the seams with the glut of low-quality writing.

Honestly, since The Halfling's Gem I haven't read a single R A Salvatore book that hasn't evoked an apathetic "meh" for it's samey-ness. Although - I've yet to try the Drizzt origin stories; if anyone would recommend them please let me know.

It's no surprise to me that his attachment to the Kingdoms of Amalur project has resulted in a cripplingly generic fantasy stew with little character to speak of. Hopefully this doesn't damage the game too much, I would really like to see that company succeed.

UnderGlass:
"I'm surprised that anyone reads my books. I've been surprised by that since the first one came out."

Funny, I was kind of thinking the same thing. The Icewind Dale books were decent escapism and when the characters were fresh the clichés didn't matter but now the formula is creaking at the seams with the glut of low-quality writing.

Honestly, since The Halfling's Gem I haven't read a single R A Salvatore book that hasn't evoked an apathetic "meh" for it's samey-ness. Although - I've yet to try the Drizzt origin stories; if anyone would recommend them please let me know.

It's no surprise to me that his attachment to the Kingdoms of Amalur project has resulted in a cripplingly generic fantasy stew with little character to speak of. Hopefully this doesn't damage the game too much, I would really like to see that company succeed.

Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn (the prequels to Icewind dale) were fantastic. It took fantasy storytelling into a non traditional setting. The post Icewind books, Legacy forward, were where the story started losing its tighter focus and feel. I have read up through the orc trilogy a few years back and none of the arcs have been as great as the first two trilogies. I can't hate on Legacy too much, that is the only one I have that I got autographed by Salvatore.

Got to say I agree with the author. I'm very surprised anyone reads his books myself. I tried and I just couldn't like them. Then again I'm not a fan of the setting at all.

I liked Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn. It was refreshing to see how a race known for being murderous, backstabbing, and all around evil could actually form a society. It was a different and interesting approach compared to the generic, the bad guys are evil because I say so that most fantasy writers go for.

Its a shame then that everything else about the Drizzit series is so cliche.

I'll echo the sentiments about anyone reading Salvatore's books. When I was a kid of course I thought they were great, but as I read more and more books in both the fantasy genre and others, and gained a greater appreciation for quality writing it became more and more apparent that Salvatore was simply an average author who had the good fortune to stumble upon a character that people fell in love with.

The fact that he's written 20 books on Drizzt is a testament to his shameless milking of the character. I haven't read any of his non-Drizzt books, but I bet you could plug him in to the storyline in place of a similar character without ever knowing that the books wasn't meant to be a Drizzt book to begin with. The guy has definitely got the formula nailed down, which is probably the biggest detriment to his books. They're probably formulaic, predictable and riddled with tropes and cliches.

The Dark Elf trilogy (Drizzt's origin story in Homeland, Exile, and Sojourn), as others have mentioned, is pretty good. I find it rather interesting that Salvatore wrote them, they're so much better than his other works.

I've read quite a few of his other books; the other Drizzt works were just meh at best, and the book I read where he launched a new IP (new setting, new characters) was downright terrible (I've heard the sequels weren't quite as bad, but I didn't read them).

So, here's a theory: Maybe his standard way of writing is a huge mistake for him. With the Dark Elf trilogy, as it was a prequel, it had to go somewhere in particular. Perhaps with such constraint, he writes better?

Not great, but not too bad across the board, I've read (chronological order, the first 13 or something like that, and own the first six) Though I've found that most of the time I'm reading for Bruenor, Pwent, and/or Jarlaxle.

The only one I haven't read was Spune of the World, didn't really care about a Wulfgar centered story.
Oh, and I haven't picked up Neverwinter yet, but probably will.

On a side note my wife pissed him off, only kinda, at MegaCon a number of years ago while he was promoting the comics of his Deamon-what's-it books. (oh gods do i feel old now) We went to get stuff signed that had nothing to do with what was being promoted, so the promoter got blown off but kept trying to bring up the subject. She told Salvatore that he needed to kill of Drizzt. You know, since the stories were getting all samey. He immediately stood up and declared her a "Blasphemer!!". Then we showed him what was brought to be signed; her copies of the Spearweilder Trilogy and the Crimson Shadow trilogy. He settled down and seemedvery happy to see some older work of his that was loved by a reader. Plus we got a few of the Drizzt books signed as well.

Zom-B:
The fact that he's written 20 books on Drizzt is a testament to his shameless milking of the character.

I know for a fact that he has tried to end the books but was told, by WotC at the time, if he did then they would give it over to another writer. Salvatore does not own Drizzt, Hasbro owns Drizzt. (As stated in the article.) So ripping on the guy for trying to hang on to his character is rather unfair.

Besides, he has stated how Drizzt dies (in response to being told keep writing or it goes to someone else); Drizzt trips on his boot laces, falls down a ravine, breaks his legs, and dies of exposure.

Roganzar:

Zom-B:
The fact that he's written 20 books on Drizzt is a testament to his shameless milking of the character.

I know for a fact that he has tried to end the books but was told, by WotC at the time, if he did then they would give it over to another writer. Salvatore does not own Drizzt, Hasbro owns Drizzt. (As stated in the article.) So ripping on the guy for trying to hang on to his character is rather unfair.

Besides, he has stated how Drizzt dies (in response to being told keep writing or it goes to someone else); Drizzt trips on his boot laces, falls down a ravine, breaks his legs, and dies of exposure.

Okay, perhaps my judgement is a bit harsh, but as long as Hasbro owns the character he's not going to have any say in it's future. So Salvatore had a choice: he could have written a handful of strong novels and left a legacy behind and then distanced himself from whatever Hasbro did to the character afterwards, or he could continue to "protect" the character, write as many novels as Hasbro requires and keep cashing cheques. Clearly he chose the latter path.

Drizzt is an abomination who should be smeared out of existence. He is a traitor, and spits in the face of the worthy people from whom he was spawned. He represents everything that can go wrong with Drow. It causes nothing but shame to have any sort of connection to the dark elves, when mention of Drizzt comes up.

I came here to say that I was also surprised Drizzt books were still selling, but it seems that just about everyone beat me to it.

I also think that the Icewind Dale and Dark Elf trilogies were pleasant to read but that the series has gone downhill since then. I tried reading the next 2 trilogies (Legacy and Paths of Darkness as I recall) but could only finish the novel that featured Wulfgar and his thief friend instead of Drizzt, because it actually felt different from the rest.

My personal guess is that the character is still going strong only because there doesn't seem to be anything better set in the Forgotten Realms nowadays.

viranimus:
Drizzt is an abomination who should be smeared out of existence. He is a traitor, and spits in the face of the worthy people from whom he was spawned. He represents everything that can go wrong with Drow. It causes nothing but shame to have any sort of connection to the dark elves, when mention of Drizzt comes up.

Apparently you didn't notice that his sister and father had at various points actually questioned the logic behind their lifestyles...

Great point though, betraying a people whose entire view of the world is to betray people is completely out of character, as well as his different coloured eyes (which didn't change colour in infravision) and the Drow that saw it wondered how Drizzt would perceive the world around him.

I used to love the Drizzt books as a kid. I haven't bought the last few though, kind of sad really, they were a big part of my life.

Where is my Drizzt film?

Huh, seems to be a fair bit of dislike for Salvatore's work around here. I've always thought his writing was excellent, I find most other fantasy rather boring after having read all of the novels involving Drizzt and his fighting style...

I REALLY hated this character. I thought he was boring and vastly overpowered, but apparently I'm in the minority.

I love the books but I always liked Jarlaxle more than Drizzt. Drizzt is just too goody goody, I don't hate him like some people in this thread, I'm just not a huge fanboy. Jarlaxle is a more interesting character, walking the line between Drizzt's morality and that of his race. He won't hesitate to kill you twelve times before you hit the ground but he can also have loyalty to those that earn it.

That and he is, to me, a better fighter. One on one Drizzt would beat him but Jarlaxle has more tricks than God and Houdini combined.

Zom-B:

Okay, perhaps my judgement is a bit harsh, but as long as Hasbro owns the character he's not going to have any say in it's future. So Salvatore had a choice: he could have written a handful of strong novels and left a legacy behind and then distanced himself from whatever Hasbro did to the character afterwards

Why would that be any better?

If you don't like the later novels (as I don't) then just ignore them. It doesn't make the earlier ones any worse.

I like Drizzt's stories, they're rarely a dissapointing read. However for dark elves, in terms of how interesting they are and how much I like them, I'd put jarlaxle above drizzt, kimmuriel above jarlaxle, gromph above kimmuriel, and Valas Hune above them all.

I haven't even seen much with Valas, just the war of the spider queen and the ghost king if I remember right, but he's my fav dark elf no doubt.

Although for Salvatore as a whole, my favorite series of his don't directly involve the drizzt gang/storyline. My favs are demonwars, cleric quintet, and the saga of the first king.

So I'm the only one more interested in Artemis? Really?

If you think he's yours than you must pick him, if you think you own him then you must create him good and from nothing otherwise you are simply picking up the dropped papers of a much large entity. Make him strong enough to only authorize those who can fight him in RPG combat like me.

flamingjimmy:

Zom-B:

Okay, perhaps my judgement is a bit harsh, but as long as Hasbro owns the character he's not going to have any say in it's future. So Salvatore had a choice: he could have written a handful of strong novels and left a legacy behind and then distanced himself from whatever Hasbro did to the character afterwards

Why would that be any better?

If you don't like the later novels (as I don't) then just ignore them. It doesn't make the earlier ones any worse.

It's true, it doesn't. However, from an artistic integrity standpoint, sometimes it's better to go out on top, rather than holding on to something that is past it's prime. TV shows like the Simpsons prove that point. It speaks more to Salvatore's motivations than it does to the character he writes. Is he still writing the character to keep it falling into someone else's hands? Is he doing it to make money? Is he that attached to the character?

The cynic in me makes it hard to believe that he wasn't somewhat swayed by the cheques Hasbro writes him and the royalties he brings in for selling books.

Personally I think that any artist or writer that hangs on to a character or franchise or anything that long is probably out of ideas and taking the easy way out. Terry Pratchett is another guy. How many Discworld novels are there now? 30? It's great he found something that resonates so strongly with people, but when you keep going back to the well time after time after time...

Whatever. I guess they're appeasing die hard fans and who am I to argue with that?

Jodah:
I love the books but I always liked Jarlaxle more than Drizzt. Drizzt is just too goody goody, I don't hate him like some people in this thread, I'm just not a huge fanboy. Jarlaxle is a more interesting character, walking the line between Drizzt's morality and that of his race. He won't hesitate to kill you twelve times before you hit the ground but he can also have loyalty to those that earn it.

That and he is, to me, a better fighter. One on one Drizzt would beat him but Jarlaxle has more tricks than God and Houdini combined.

Oh yeah, I loved Jarlaxle, as I mentioned above, he just seemed so awesome. He rejected the drow norms, but instead of out right leaving and becoming a soldier of good, he carved his path to fortune by taking advantage of any situation he could.

viranimus:
Drizzt is an abomination who should be smeared out of existence. He is a traitor, and spits in the face of the worthy people from whom he was spawned. He represents everything that can go wrong with Drow. It causes nothing but shame to have any sort of connection to the dark elves, when mention of Drizzt comes up.

He's chaotic-aligned, of course he's a traitor.

But then, our entire pantheon is chaotic. Where do you think that leaves me? I'm neither chaotic nor evil, I spit in the faces of everyone! How did that attention whore get so much focus?

Honestly, I do agree that none of the later books that I've read measured up to the Icewind Dale trilogy...and even that wasn't nearly as good as the prequels, which are still three of my favorite fantasy books.

Still, the Hunter's Blades trilogy did pick up after the awful Paths of Darkness, so I just recently started reading the books after that. I do like Drizzt's character, after all, and I'm glad to hear Salvatore still does, too. Gives me hope, you see.

Buchholz101:
So I'm the only one more interested in Artemis? Really?

Entreri is all right, though I was more impressed with him in Servant of the Shard than the other two Sellswords books, and I still like Drizzt more.

I'm willing to admit that Jarlaxle blows both out of the water for sheer entertainment value, though.

Buchholz101:
So I'm the only one more interested in Artemis? Really?

Jodah:
I love the books but I always liked Jarlaxle more than Drizzt. Drizzt is just too goody goody, I don't hate him like some people in this thread, I'm just not a huge fanboy. Jarlaxle is a more interesting character, walking the line between Drizzt's morality and that of his race. He won't hesitate to kill you twelve times before you hit the ground but he can also have loyalty to those that earn it.

That and he is, to me, a better fighter. One on one Drizzt would beat him but Jarlaxle has more tricks than God and Houdini combined.

I'm with both of you. I was really glad when I found the Sellsword trilogy, because I thought that he was finally leaving Drizzt and starting with two 'new' characters to explore: A man who is watching himself deteriorate and slide from his pinnacle, and a smart, politically savvy mercenary who doesn't seems to plan so much as spin everything that happens so that he comes out on top. But then he returned to the old elf (although it appears that Hasbro has him over a barrel there).

I like Drizzt as a character, and I think Salvatore is probably one of the best writers of fight scenes; I just wish that he would have told Hasbro to suck it so he could embark on new adventures.

It's hilarious to me reading all the criticism on here from a bunch of people who would give up a finger to have written anything 1/10th as successful as even the worst Drizzt novel.

Buchholz101:
So I'm the only one more interested in Artemis? Really?

Artemis is a dull boring character, they have his background in one of the anthologies that are out there, Realms of Infamy I think. He could not carry a story on his own he is just not that interesting. However as a straight man for Jarlaxle he's perfect. A humorless character who, more often the not, is the butt of one of Jalaxle's joke/pranks/schemes.
Additionally, Jarlaxle wouldn't be as funny without a straight man, be it Artemis or Drizzt or some drow priestess.

Thunderous Cacophony:

Buchholz101:
So I'm the only one more interested in Artemis? Really?

Jodah:
I love the books but I always liked Jarlaxle more than Drizzt. Drizzt is just too goody goody, I don't hate him like some people in this thread, I'm just not a huge fanboy. Jarlaxle is a more interesting character, walking the line between Drizzt's morality and that of his race. He won't hesitate to kill you twelve times before you hit the ground but he can also have loyalty to those that earn it.

That and he is, to me, a better fighter. One on one Drizzt would beat him but Jarlaxle has more tricks than God and Houdini combined.

I'm with both of you. I was really glad when I found the Sellsword trilogy, because I thought that he was finally leaving Drizzt and starting with two 'new' characters to explore: A man who is watching himself deteriorate and slide from his pinnacle, and a smart, politically savvy mercenary who doesn't seems to plan so much as spin everything that happens so that he comes out on top. But then he returned to the old elf (although it appears that Hasbro has him over a barrel there).

I like Drizzt as a character, and I think Salvatore is probably one of the best writers of fight scenes; I just wish that he would have told Hasbro to suck it so he could embark on new adventures.

SPOILERS FROM THE NEVERWINTER SAGA! Don't read if you are afraid of them!

The main thing I hate about Drizzt is that every moron tries to emulate him.

But make him Chaotic-Evil or Chaotic-Neutral.

So they like Drizzt's appearance, but wanna be a tool that wrecks the game for the rest of the players and forces the DM to employ the oft spoken of and rightly feared 'strategically placed boulder' DM countermove.

I loved the Icewind Dale books, and the Homelands books, but you are right that the series after that goes kind of "Meh!". I just hated what happened to Cattie-Brie and how supposedly she and Regis were supposed to never see Drizzt or Bruenor again. It was sad, and I hated it, and I hated what happened to Cadderly and the Edificant Library, too. In short, 4th edition sort of crapped all over the Realms I loved, and had loved since 2e. :P

And I haven't been a fan of the new books that much, either. I know Drizzt is an elf, and has to move on from loving and losing Cattie-Brie, but that female killer elf just annoys the stuffing out of me. Heck, I know that part of it is that 4e annoys the stuffing out of me, too, but I just find myself caring less and less. And sadly, this is happening with the 4e Elminster books, too. The last books I really enjoyed were the ones set earlier in the Realms, starring the Knights of Myth Drannor.

And yeah, I fell into the whole "Dark Elf Character" thing, but mine were female and worshipped Elistraee. (Drow Goddess of Combat and Dance). And I have had fighters who did the double-wield Scimitars, but they were female and human, and now I like to play Archers who double-wield scimitars in hand to hand.

PPB:
I came here to say that I was also surprised Drizzt books were still selling, but it seems that just about everyone beat me to it.

I'm surprised that people are surprised. Have a look at the best selling books, series and authors of all time. Among the best selling series, with hundreds of millions of copies sold, are such greats as Sweet Valley High, The Babysitters Club and, of course, Twilight. The 9th best selling novel of all time (so not including religious and political stuff like the Bible and Mein Kampf) - The Da Vinci Code. The 3rd best selling author of all time - Barbara Cartland with her "romance" books. Sorry, "books". OK, "book". Changing the title and the characters' names doesn't make it a new book. Coming in close after her is Danielle Steel, essentially just the US version of Cartland. She's actually the best-selling living author.

So yeah. It is literally impossible to write anything so bad that people won't buy it. As proven by those last two examples, you don't even need to write something new and terrible. Just write something that makes a drunk gorilla mashing a keyboard look like Shakespeare, copy it out 700 times, and people will still buy it every single time. Salvatore may not be the best author ever, but next to this kind of crap he really doesn't look all that bad.

uzo:
The main thing I hate about Drizzt is that every moron tries to emulate him.

But make him Chaotic-Evil or Chaotic-Neutral.

So they like Drizzt's appearance, but wanna be a tool that wrecks the game for the rest of the players and forces the DM to employ the oft spoken of and rightly feared 'strategically placed boulder' DM countermove.

I think you may have rather missed the point there. Dark elves are supposed to be Drizzt, only evil. By playing an evil Drizzt, people are playing exactly how dark elves are supposed to be according to the lore. It's Salvatore that has done the switch by making Drizzt a dark elf, but good. Complaining about people who want to play a dark elf as an actual dark elf is like complaining about people wanting to play a good paladin, because obviously they're just trying to copy a blackguard but make him good.

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