As I wander in the Underdark for the first time, I've come across a number of Drow war parties. None of them were particularly powerful, but they were all armed to the teeth, including +5 (!?) Full Plates with -4 AC basic and Chainmail + 3 that's perfect for my Fighter/Mage Charname. Of course I've read the description and I guess these items will probably be destroyed the moment I leave the Underdark, and thus they are also not worth much for sale.
Outta curiosity, does this reflect D&D lore, where the Drow somehow craft incredibly powerful weapons and armour in great quantities, but cannot figure out a way to prevent it disintegrating in sunlight. In which case I imagine it'd be pretty difficult for Drow to invade the surface, and vice versa for 'surfacers' to invade their Underdark realm, since their standard warriors seemed to be equipped as well as the greatest heroes on the surface.
Or is this just the result of game design and balance? I've had a think about it... I guess the devs might've wanted to make it viable for players to rush off to save Imoen asap, or delay doing so until they've done all the surface sidequests. Drow equipment gives those who rushed Chapter 2 a fighting chance in the Underdark by giving them a temporary equipment boost whilst they are trapped in the Underdark?
Either way, I'm not complaing, Minsc/Anomen are much better protected (for) now, and Charname can finally wear great armour that doesn't prevent spellcasting