How to roleplay a draenei
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This article is designed to give some basic concepts on the Draenei which a player may want to consider when creating a Draenei character. It has links to other relevant articles, and should not be considered a definite or complete overview of available Draenei lore. Given the scarcity of confirmed Draenei lore, some of the article is presented as speculation based on what is available, and may be in some areas open to interpretation. As such it's recommended that you review the other articles on the Draenei and key lore events and people in conjunction with this article.
- Main article: Draenei#History
The Draenei are a race that was formerly a part of the Eredar. Fleeing their home on Argus after a large portion of their race were corrupted by , they have spent a great period of time on the run from agents of the Burning Legion. Guided by the Prophet Velen and with the help of the Naaru, they settled on a planet which they later named Draenor and began a reserved relationship with the native Orcs. The Draenei were discovered by the Burning Legion, and used the Orcs against the Draenei. The corruption that turned the Orcs against the Draenei affected some of them deeply as they were mutated into the Broken or Lost Ones. Velen and a number of the Draenei, along with a few of the broken shaman, retook one of the Tempest Keep wings and escaped. This wing, the Exodar, was sabotaged by blood elves, and crash-landed on Azuremyst Isle in Azeroth. There, they encountered the night elves and humans, and pledged themselves to the Alliance.
Culture and Considerations
- Main article: Draenei#Culture
The Draenei have a great reverence for, and connection to, the Light. This is strengthened by their close relationship to the Naaru, whose power the uncorrupted Draenei channel for healing, despite the path that they follow. (See ). The fashion in which the Light was so integrated into Draenei society means they have great distrust for races and beings that cannot, or will not, share in the worship of the Light. This is evidence by how they treat the 'broken' Draenei with a mixture of fear, distrust and pity because their corruption at the hands of the Orcs disconnected them from the power of the Light.
In contrast to this, the Eredar are masters of the arcane, and this tradition has continued with the Draenei. Magic plays an important role in Draenei society, and mages are as revered and wanted as the priests and paladins. It's important to note that this reverence for magic does not extend to shadow magic, and warlocks are not permitted within Draenei society. Further to this point, it is worth remembering that the Draenei do not work with the demons. If you decide to roleplay a Draenei openly aligned with the Burning Legion, or as an Eredar in general, keep in mind that you would not be welcome within Alliance cities, and most likely would be killed on sight. Also worth bearing in mind is how your character would react to a warlock of another race, and any demon familiars the warlock had with him/her.
The broken and lost ones are corrupted Draenei. They would be viewed with mistrust and pity by their peers, though some of the initial fear and hatred may have ebbed away given the length of time between the exodus from Draenor and arrival on Azeroth. Also, the firm trust that Velen places in Farseer Nobundo may help bring the two together. Your character may have accepted the broken without reservation, could feel sorry for their condition, or believe that their disconnection from the Light makes them untrustworthy, along with every possible combination in between.
Age ranges and lifespans of the Draenei are not currently confirmed, and speculation rages based on conflicting information. Everything from 5,000 years to 25,000 years has been suggested. The Draenei do not seem to age at a fast rate, and it is very possible that their long life span makes them effectively immortal. This does not necessarily mean that a Draenei of 300 years old would be a child, or that a Draenei of 10,000 years of age be middle aged. Maturity of character and personality may differ from the physical age that the Draenei are pegged at. Given their long life spans time would most likely mean a lot less to them than other races of limited years.
The following are suggested traits that may go along with each class and should be taken as suggestions or starting ideas for your character only.This section concerns content exclusive to The Burning Crusade.
- Hunter: As for most other races, hunters would have been responsible for gathering food and supplies for the Draenei people. This would have been especially important when they first arrived on Draenor, and after the Orcs forced the Draenei into seclusion. A Draenei hunter might be more practical and pragmatic than his contemporaries, perhaps preferring solitude and seclusion for hunting and tracking beasts in the wild. They would also have a deep respect for wildlife and would never allow anyone to treat the wilds in a bad manner.
- Mage: As they were before the Eredar became the Draenei, mages are masters of the arcane and are well respected among the Draenei people. The race has an affinity for magic, and make natural spell-casters. A Draenei Mage would be knowledgeable and curious about the magical world around him or her. Many draenei were mages during their Argus years but over time, many of them either embraced the dark power of Sargeras and the fel or they embraced the light, causing the number of mages to lower drastically.
- Paladin: Examples including Vindicators and Exarchs, many paladins served the Hand of Argus as soldiers and peacekeepers. Plated wielders of the Light, they are fervent in their beliefs, and willing to fight courageously for them. A Draenei paladin would most likely be strong of faith, and less likely to shy away from confrontation than his contemporaries. They would have a strong sense of justice and respect, making them great friends and wonderful battle partners.
- Priest: Anchorites and spiritual healers of the Draenei, they would have a faith as strong as the paladins, but are less likely to be up front taking the hits, and more likely to be using holy magic to damage enemies or heal allies from afar. Shadow priests are not very likely to be seen in Draenei society, and could be compared to the Deathspeakers of Auchindoun. Certain draenei priest are too devoted to the light and may prefer to be alone but others enjoy the company of people.
- Shaman: Previously the realm of Nobundo and his band of broken, some of the Draenei are beginning to learn their shamanistic ways for themselves. Walking with the spirits of the world, they would not necessarily work with the elements to the exclusion of the Light, but are more likely to see the spirits as another path through which the Light can speak to them. The shaman would be world wanderers, and healers of the ground around them. They might be less trusted than their contemporaries, given their affinity for what many of the draenei see as the religion of the primitive Orcs. That comparison would be damning for any Draenei who fell victim to the Orcs' corruption.
- Warrior: A proud defender of the Draenei, warriors would also be a part of the Hand of Argus, as well as taking on other peacekeeping roles through the Exodar. Preferring physical force to magic, the Draenei warrior may be more blunt than his allies and, like the hunter, more practical and pragmatic in his approach to life.
- Death Knight: A Draenei who survived all the trials of Argus and Draenor, only to succumb to the Lich King, might keenly feel the loss of his own life, and connection to the Light. You should consider how your character was put into a situation that allowed the Scourge to kill and raise him/her, and how they would react. Consider, also, the reactions of the Draenei towards the broken, and how that might shape how they react to a death knight, or even how you react to yourself. It is also important to note that they may be angry at the light for having "forsaken" them to the Lich King.
- Monk: Monks were found among the Auchenai priests in Auchindoun and were responsible for handling the bodies and interring the souls of the dead. Since the Exodar's arrival on Azeroth, the Auchenai monks who fled with the other draenei aboard the ship as well as other draenei who had not taken a class, were introduced to the pandaren style by . You should consider whether your character was already a monk prior to their arrival on Azeroth and how the introduction of the pandaren combat style has influenced them. You may also wish to consider how should also consider how the influence of alcohol affects your character, given the more reserved attitude draenei have towards intoxication compared to other races.
NOTE: Bear in mind that worship and reverence of the Light is a strong theme for them, and while your character may have conflicting views on the Light or the Naaru, it might be completely out of that races' character to deny its existence completely, or to spit directly in the face of the Naaru who, to the Draenei, are their saviors.
As mentioned above, Draenei on the whole have a deep connection to the Light, and this is likely to shape how they see the world and how they react. Anything that could be considered directly against the Light (warlocks and shadow magic, for example) could be an affront to a Draenei's sensibilities.
A Draenei on Azeroth has most likely experienced a great many tragedies, whether they were alive on Argus and witnessed their ancestors' corruption, or whether they just experienced the last few years on Draenor before their escape. A Draenei may have experienced loss of family, seen loved ones killed, witnessed atrocities committed by the Orcs or the Burning Legion directly, and so on. This may have a direct impact on how they behave to situations.
They are a resilient race, however, and continue to strive towards living a good life. Consider the quotes of Draenei NPCs: "seek the path of the Light," "be kind to those less fortunate," and so on. Velen is an example to the Draenei race, and your Draenei may want to work towards that.
This does not mean that every Draenei has to be perfect. More to the point, this allows a Draenei characters many opportunities to fail at what its own race demands of its people, and in doing so create character conflict that can drive roleplay. Playing around with each of these ideas, and manipulating them, can lead to interesting scenarios for your characters.
Roleplaying ideas and class choices
NOTE: These are merely ideas, and none are obligatory. Do not feel that you have to conform to one of these archetypes. Feel free to create your own!
- Army leader: A Draenei may have a lot of experience in war and strategic planning. Perfect guild opportunity there! Paladins and warriors may be perfect for this role.
- Repair man: The Exodar needs Artificers! Any class could conceivably perform this role, but you may want to consider coupling the character with Engineering.
- Explorer: The Draenei are on a new world and may wish to explode. Hunters and shaman would be perfectly suited to this, given the class desire for interaction with nature and the world around them.
- Medic: As witnessed among the injuries from the Exodar crash, medics are helpful amongst the Draenei. Any healing class is applicable to this role, such as priest, paladin or shaman. Consider supplementing with first aid.
- Missionary: As the Draenei spend a lot of time worshiping the light and exulting in the Naaru, some may take it upon themselves to spread the word. Classes with a background in the Holy Light, such as priests and paladins, may be most applicable.
- Soldier: While the Draenei are primarily a peaceful race, they may need physical prowess to withstand attacks from their foe. Martial classes, such as the warrior and paladin, may be best suitable.
- Exorcist: Being a race so interested in upholding the light, there may be some who wish to spend their time and effort deliberately hunting demons and expunging them from places where they do not belong. This may be most suitable for holy classes, such as priests and paladins. In addition, you could try out being a Draenei Death Knight killing demons and Scourge in an attempt to redeem themselves to the Light, or maybe just prove themselves to be a real person and not a mere demon to their fellows. You could try to accomplish this by slaying demons and dark creatures. The Anti-Hero would work quite well with this combo.
- Scholar: Magic is something which can be researched and developed over time, and those who dedicate themselves to researching magic and unraveling further secrets may be among the first to make new discoveries. Classes with an intellectual or studious disposition may be most interested in this role, such as mages and priests.
- Trapper: Draenei require nourishment, like all races, and it stands to reason that their tradition of hunting on Draenor would continue on Azeroth. Recommended classes include hunter and warrior, especially if supplemented with a high level of fishing or cooking.
- Self-Standing: This personality involves being grateful for the Nauru, but realizing that they really cannot do much without them. They also know that there will come a time when they no longer need to constantly flee and fight for survival. Has a result, they look to make themselves more then just servants to the light, though they still hold it in high regard. A Draenei of this type may find themselves approaching Shamanism has a way to seek out a real identity for their people. After all, nothing is more permanent then nature. They may also work to make the world a safer place through the ways of the Paladin or Warrior so their children can one day lead a peaceful life and be spared their hardships. Death Knights would work for this as well, perhaps feeling empty without access to the light, they seek to ensure even Draenei like them and the Broken can find a place in the world without relying entirely on the light.
- Preacher: Due to the strong faith the draenei have to the Light, at least a few of them would wish to spread the Light to all. However, this could also work the other way. They could be trying to spread the Shadow to others. Would work best with a priest but it could work with a paladin, specifically a Holy paladin.
NOTE: Please feel free to add any more good ideas to this list.