DMs Guild Review – Secrets of the Drowgar

New hybrid race of Drow and Duergar, with backgrounds, subclasses, and statblocks.

A review copy of “Secrets of the Drowgar” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Designed by: Jimmy FlowersSplinterverse

Secrets of the Drowgar explores the fruitful offspring of two unlikely lovers, Drow and Duergar. The new Drowgar race includes three backgrounds, two subclasses, and several adventure hooks and NPC statblocks.

The Drow and Duergar are brutal, almost entirely evil races (which is problematic, but I digress), who dwell in the Underdark, worship dark gods, and enslave or kill outsiders.

But, love is the most powerful force of all, and sometimes love finds a way.

When Drow and Duergar unite, they create a new Drowgar culture that inherits abilities from both cultures, but none of the animosity. In stark contrast to their more familiar neighbors, Drowgar culture is one of tolerance and acceptance, and a hidden Drowgar village could provide a much-needed safe haven in an Underdark where everything is trying to kill you.

Secrets of the Drowgar is over 20 pages long and jam-packed with detailed lore, history, and extra goodies like subclasses and backgrounds. The design and layout look professional, with big art pieces and the familiar D&D 5e tables and subheadings.

drowgar pic

My two favorite features are the Drowgar religion and backgrounds. The Drowgar worship neutral sibling gods of life and death, represented by a raven and an owl. They can read the future via a detailed ritual involving dropping feathers in a circle. Multiple tables allow DMs to use the ritual in their own games, though I would’ve loved a proper narrative encounter to expand this unique event even more.

The backgrounds are also a big thumbs up. I normally find backgrounds a bit boring in 5E, but the Drowgar backgrounds reflect the vastly different ways in which an individual can experience either the trauma of their more violent neighbors (Survivor), the troubled existence of not fitting in anywhere (Loner) or the more positive up-bringing of a tight-knit, supportive community (Exemplar). Wonderful!

The subclasses aren’t quite as exciting, however. The Harmony Domain grants Charm Person as a Channel Divinity, and some nice but boring features, like regaining 1d12 hit points when healing others, or adding 1d8 radiant damage to attacks.

The Circle of the Feather is all about the worship of the bird-like gods (are there really birds in the Underdark??). Druids can transform into a bird (weirdly, not using Wild Shape), gain flight, or surround themselves with sharp feathers. The feather-ability is neat, but it doesn’t come online until 10th level.

The supplement also includes a few sample NPC statblocks, mostly taking existing NPCs from the Monster Manual such as the Mage and Commoner, and adding Duergar Resilience and Sunlight Sensitivity. But hey – statblocks are appreciated!

The Adventure Hooks are little more than bullet points, and most of the ideas could be replaced by any kind of misunderstood sentient humanoid, like goblins. A better angle would be to flesh out a hidden Drowgar village and build off events and NPCs from there. But I appreciate the addition of DM content, even if it’s only surface level.

Secrets of the Drowgar includes an impressive amount of content and lore, wrapped within a professional package. An easy supplement to recommend if you’re looking for a twist on classic Underdark races.

Pros:

  • Detailed history, culture, and religion for Drowgar.
  • Three new Drowgar-appropriate backgrounds, with tables for Traits, Ideals, Bonds, and Flaws.
  • Drowgar statblocks, naming tables, and location settings.
  • Professional layout and design.

Cons:

  • Subclasses are thematically appropriate but mechanically boring.

The Verdict: When a Drow and a Duergar love each other very much, the result is a surprisingly empathetic hybrid, with a rich culture of perseverance detailed in Secrets of the DRowgar.

A review copy of “Secrets of the Drowgar” was provided by the publisher. Find more DMs Guild Reviews on my website and YouTube channel.

Support my work by using my affiliate links and pledging via Patreon.

Author: roguewatson

Freelance Writer

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