[RPG] How to handle Sunlight Sensitivity (of Drow, etc.), especially for casters


Sunlight Sensitivity looks pretty bad — Disadvantage to attack rolls and Perception checks whenever you, your target, or what you're trying to perceive are in direct sunlight. I hope I'm missing something, since no other PC race has a comparable hindrance.

Are there any ways you have used to mitigate this flaw to make players of this race not at a severe disadvantage (or, if it doesn't need mitigation, explain why it's already balanced without any action required)?

Best Answer

The easiest way to avoid the penalty of the Drow on prime material plane campaigns, is to only play Drow in campaigns which take place indoors, underground, or mostly at night.

The second easiest way is to gain advantage. A Drow at 3rd level gains the spell "Faerie Fire" which grants advantage to anyone attacking the victim of the spell. If you are willing to multiclass, you can contemplate taking a level of Barbarian which will allow you to rage and get advantage on attacks, but it won't help you with perception, or 2 levels of Rogue to gain the cunning action ability to hide to gain advantage more easily. You can also try to work with spells that don't rely on attack rolls, but rather use saving throws to avoid the penalty all together.

The traditional techniques of wearing a hooded cloak, or only attacking from the shadows will not work in this edition as the text specifies that if either you or your target is in sunlight you have disadvantage.

You have disadvantage on attack rolls and on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on sight when you, the target of your attack, or whatever you are trying to perceive is in direct sunlight. (Page 24 of the Players Handbook)

There are two possible reasons for why only Drow get such a handicap.

  1. No other race gains so many spells, and weapon proficiencies as a racial feature, and perhaps this is intended to counteract that.It's possible that without a handicap Drow would become the most common player chosen race for spells casters, rogues, and rangers.
  2. They wished to make it clear that Drow is not a normal race to pick, since most of them are the "bad guys", but the character is so popular they needed to make an option for those who really want to.