Achaekek, The Mantis God

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GameDesignerDM wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
"GameDesignerDM wrote:
I seriously doubt it's all going to be the exact same shade of lavender or blue, in every art piece ever produced for Drow for inclusion in Paizo products from here until the end of time.

I should hope so, and part of the reason for creation of this thread to advocate for variation (which should be built into the description of the Species/Variety in its first introduction. They aren't described as being of various shades of Lavender or Blue, they are just Lavender in the Bestiary.

"The hues of their eyes became sinister red or bleached white, and their flesh adopted an unearthly lavender sheen that made the drow instantly recognizable."

And both depictions are the same flesh tone. Although I think it's too close to how an Arctic Elf could be perceived, so not so instantly recognizable but we don't have any art for Arctic elves.

We do, actually. Here.

Then we do have art for Lilac and Light Blue (doesn't quite seem dark enough for Lavender but that's a matter of perception so I can be wrong on that point). I'm still not a fan but variety is what I desire.

Edit: It might be constructive of me to provide examples of the Pathfinder Drow Art that I do like, so I will do so at next opportunity. Maybe also an album of drow art in general as well.


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"GameDesignerDM wrote:
I seriously doubt it's all going to be the exact same shade of lavender or blue, in every art piece ever produced for Drow for inclusion in Paizo products from here until the end of time.

I should hope so, and part of the reason for creation of this thread to advocate for variation (which should be built into the description of the Species/Variety in its first introduction. They aren't described as being of various shades of Lavender or Blue, they are just Lavender in the Bestiary.

"The hues of their eyes became sinister red or bleached white, and their flesh adopted an unearthly lavender sheen that made the drow instantly recognizable."

And both depictions are the same flesh tone. Although I think it's too close to how an Arctic Elf could be perceived, so not so instantly recognizable but we don't have any art for Arctic elves.


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Takamorisan wrote:
Thats why I rather have a revamp on the alignment system in general. Basically pick traits that form your personality and roleplay around it. Instead of Evil or Good. Would solve several problems and add more options for both NPCs and PCs.

It is, unfortunately, built into the system. Alignment is Energy. Evil isn't just relative, it is absolute. Not for free-willed races, but for Outsiders that are literally made from that energy, and planes which are likewise made from that energy, it can't quite work. If your character is powerful enough and performs enough Objectively evil acts, they will give off evil that can be detected using spells unmistakably.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
GameDesignerDM wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Rysky wrote:

To certain groups black humans are indeed perceived as evil.

As for Duergar, that’s a valid concern. I’d like to see more non-evil examples form them.

But to my understanding their skin tone didn’t change due to their alignment.

With populations of good varieties, dark no longer = evil. In Drow case, it would be because of history and specific elves that may have performed evil acts. It's a corruption of them, in that case. It goes back to the case, why even have them change skin tone at all? Changing skin tone at all because evil is just as bad as changing to a specific skin tone because evil by the same logic.

Probably because there aren't any actual people in real life with blue or purple skin. Pure black doesn't really exist, either, but that color has been used to mock people and so it carries connotations - blue and purple don't.

It's similar to why any changes to orcs to make them farther away from Tolkien's original depiction is a good thing - because that was hella racist.

Where has it come from in this thread that Drow have to be Elven Blackface and be pure black? Where have I said they absolutely can't be dark-blue or dark-purple tones and that they -must- go to pure black depictions in art?
They still can be dark blue or dark purple, go nuts. The connotations come from a long history of it with the drow, and thus Paizo (rightfully) moved away from it - it always comes up in this conversation, eventually, that's why it's being discussed.

Not canonically. The Bestiary says -only- Lavender. The art that will be used for the direction going forward is -only- Baby Blue.


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GameDesignerDM wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Rysky wrote:

To certain groups black humans are indeed perceived as evil.

As for Duergar, that’s a valid concern. I’d like to see more non-evil examples form them.

But to my understanding their skin tone didn’t change due to their alignment.

With populations of good varieties, dark no longer = evil. In Drow case, it would be because of history and specific elves that may have performed evil acts. It's a corruption of them, in that case. It goes back to the case, why even have them change skin tone at all? Changing skin tone at all because evil is just as bad as changing to a specific skin tone because evil by the same logic.

Probably because there aren't any actual people in real life with blue or purple skin. Pure black doesn't really exist, either, but that color has been used to mock people and so it carries connotations - blue and purple don't.

It's similar to why any changes to orcs to make them farther away from Tolkien's original depiction is a good thing - because that was hella racist.

Where has it come from in this thread that Drow have to be Elven Blackface and be pure black? Where have I said they absolutely can't be dark-blue or dark-purple tones and that they -must- go to pure black depictions in art?


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Thebazilly wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Thebazilly wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Besides, half the people on here are screaming dark is not evil, but I don't see them having a problem with how demons and drow have darkness as a spell like ability, amongst other evil races. Should we replace it with Daylight?

Darkness being evil is not the problem. Black skin being evil is a problem.

That is why Paizo changed it, because the concept of black skin being evil is tied to a lot of real-world racial history that is deeply offensive.

If you and your players do not find that offensive, go ahead and play whatever color drow you want. Nobody else cares. Paizo as a company cannot publish something as offensive as elven blackface in an official book. If you don't understand that, I can't help you.

Except it's not for the Duergar who are all black/ashen, and all evil. Drow didn't even have real-life skin tones previously. It's not tied to melanin levels as it is in real life. Black humans aren't inherently or perceived as evil. And there are other problematic areas that aren't touched, so it's a shallow change.

You've been missing the point and continuing to argue with every single post anyone else makes for 5 pages now, so I don't expect that anything I say will get through to you.

Duergar are depicted as gray in the Bestiary, and have always been gray in Paizo products as far as I am aware.

Pure black is not a real life skin tone but it was used in blackface depictions - literally white people painting themselves pure black to mock black slaves. I shouldn't have to explain why this should be avoided.

The presence or absence of other problematic elements in the setting has no bearing on this singular change. Paizo chose to remove this problematic element. Perhaps they will remove others later on.

You're the one that's missing the point. Nobody is even arguing that they need to be pure black or only black.

If Duergar aren't a problem then Drow weren't a problem, as thus far they have never been portrayed (in Pathfinder) as being pure black, or even using a realistic black skin-tone. You're making a point that nobody is arguing.

Existing problematic components can't be addressed anymore. They are on paper in 2e. It would have to be a new edition to address such things.


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Rysky wrote:

To certain groups black humans are indeed perceived as evil.

As for Duergar, that’s a valid concern. I’d like to see more non-evil examples form them.

But to my understanding their skin tone didn’t change due to their alignment.

With populations of good varieties, dark no longer = evil. In Drow case, it would be because of history and specific elves that may have performed evil acts. It's a corruption of them, in that case. It goes back to the case, why even have them change skin tone at all? Changing skin tone at all because evil is just as bad as changing to a specific skin tone because evil by the same logic.


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Thebazilly wrote:
Val'bryn2 wrote:
Besides, half the people on here are screaming dark is not evil, but I don't see them having a problem with how demons and drow have darkness as a spell like ability, amongst other evil races. Should we replace it with Daylight?

Darkness being evil is not the problem. Black skin being evil is a problem.

That is why Paizo changed it, because the concept of black skin being evil is tied to a lot of real-world racial history that is deeply offensive.

If you and your players do not find that offensive, go ahead and play whatever color drow you want. Nobody else cares. Paizo as a company cannot publish something as offensive as elven blackface in an official book. If you don't understand that, I can't help you.

Except it's not for the Duergar who are all black/ashen, and all evil. Drow didn't even have real-life skin tones previously. It's not tied to melanin levels as it is in real life. Black humans aren't inherently or perceived as evil. And there are other problematic areas that aren't touched, so it's a shallow change.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

I can understand the sentiment, and being unable to just accept "you can do it differently " as an answer, because everything Paizo puts out for the race in question, official art, face cards, miniatures, and pawns, all will look that one specific way. Yes, I can get a miniature and paint it any way I like, but I also like using the paizo miniatures because they are usually beautifully done.

The other reason is, as has been said, conformity of experience.

Besides, half the people on here are screaming dark is not evil, but I don't see them having a problem with how demons and drow have darkness as a spell like ability, amongst other evil races. Should we replace it with Daylight?

Another point, maybe Drow shouldn't be impacted by Light Blindness. Light is inherently bad to them.


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Rysky wrote:
Takamorisan wrote:
Thats my point, for all we know they could had turned black to adapt to Underdark so they can survive easily at hostile place.
That isn't true though, as Second Darkness makes this explicit, they were evil then became Drow.

Yet some elves did not abandon Golarion. According to some elves, these were political dissidents who saw the elven nations’ response to encroaching humanity as too kind and soft, while according to others, these elves were abandoned by the nations due to other reasons. Some even hold that these elves chose to remain behind simply out of loyalty to the world itself. Whatever the reasons, these elves fled Avistan for the remote places of the world: the polar ice caps, the deep jungles, and in the case of those who became trapped in the city of Celwynvian in the Mierani Forest—underground.

The Celwynvian elves knew for sometime of the network of caverns that existed under the nearby Calphiak Mountains—regular battles with the troglodytes that dwelt there taught them that much. Yet as the elves fled, desperate to escape the coming doom, they found that the caverns themselves were far deeper than they had imagined. And as they reached what they believed to be the deepest point, a nameless vault infested with horrific monsters far below the surface, a final tragedy struck, for this is when the Earthfall occurred. As this cosmic event unfolded on the surface above, great tremors shook the Darklands. And at the deepest points, these tremors touched upon the presence of a slumbering god Rovagug, the Rough Beast, god of wrath and destruction. As his presence brushed outward into the Darklands, infusing the vault within which the elves cowered, it mixed with strange radiations and the elves’ own bitterness and anger. They were transformed by this event, their hair bleaching white, their skin flushing dark, the cruelty and anger in their souls blossoming and crushing the traditional values of their kind. Thus, steeped in the evil of Rovagug and the dark radiations and sunken magic of the world’s deepest pits, were born the first of the drow.


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TwilightKnight wrote:
I never understand these types of arguments. If you dislike drow having black skin and prefer shades of purple, its your campaign so do that. If you prefer drow (and other evils) having black (or dark) color schemes, its your campaign so do that. I honestly don't care what someone else thinks about the validity of a drow's skin color in my campaign, because...its my campaign. YMMV

I can never understand your type of argument, because I like being in line with the source material. It's the argument of the Rules Lawyer vs the Freeform play. If you don't care, then allowing for variability in the source material is the best way to go.


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Saedar wrote:
Rysky wrote:
What's there to project? "they're evil so their skin turned black" is flat out racist.

There's been a lot of dogpile on your, but I'm 100% on board with (I think) everything you've said in this thread.

Dark=Evil should die in a fire.

Black = Evil isn't even the bulk of the argument in this thread. They're being argued with more because they're making false statements unsupported by previous lore and hyper-focusing on one issue with a no compromise attitude.


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Rysky wrote:

We're not ignoring the lore.

They were evil and so their skin changed color, and now they breed true. They didn't turn into Drow and then happen to become mostly evil after.

Having Good Drow doesn't dissipate the first part.

"When racism is not just skin color"

That doesn't make "black skin = evil" not be racist though.

For original source, it's indeterminable whether the skin changed first or they were evil first as the original group were influenced by Rovagug and Darklands Radiation (if we're considering Second Darkness canon) as well as their Anger and feelings of betrayal.

Then they seem to be Evil after that.


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Takamorisan wrote:

This thread is damn silly, does it matter what skin color? If it makes so much difference either side you are on this, just give your own description. Hell say they have green sparkle glitter skin for all I care.

Its not like JJ will show up in your Game session and say: I DISAPPROVE.
Also if you are so insecure about skin color in a fantasy game and you see racism, you must take a deep breath and wonder if you are not projecting it.

A rather unhelpful post. So it doesn't matter then and they can be described as numerous tones? Elves change according to certain conditions. Unless that's removed, the conditions and what changes occur matter. Not to mention being non-canon has significance in Pathfinder Society play and generally feeling. "You can't be that way because it's not in the book" is a thing.

Perceived racism is the reason for removal, not the reason I prefer the darker aesthetic.


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
The further we can get from the concept that dark=evil and light=good the better IMO.
Not in my opinion. Hideous and dark things being evil and bright beautiful things being good is a long standing staple of fantasy. Sure there should be exceptions (otherwise the storytelling aspects of roleplay would get really boring after a time), but to throw it all out seems to me like it wouldn't even be fantasy anymore.

I guess the thing is that there's a disconnect between "dark places" (which may be scary) and "things that live in dark places" which often pallid with translucent skin and some of them glow.

That expectation of "light = good" and "dark = bad" is only really interesting to me if I'm going to subvert it.

How can you subvert it if it's not a thing?


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Rysky wrote:
Bandw2 wrote:
they darkened due to the spider or whatever. I mean, this isn't a part of golarion lore, but they didn't darken because evil, they darkened because spiders are spooky and generally very dark.
Which is irrelevent since back in DnD they were presented as all Evil so it's still a case of they were all evil and their skin turned black.
Quote:
why they're dark in golarion, is basically the same but they're just copy pasted and can't actually do anything related to spiders with drow.
No, evilness is explicitly required for the change.
Quote:

REGARDLESS, the better way to handle "dark skin is evil should be less of a thing", they should have made more good drow and not just spray painted all their drow. to actually fix problems and not just create new ones requires work.

They haven't made new problems.
Quote:
write an AP where a group of Drow succeed in starting a slave rebellion and escaping to make a new town with protection status with some dwarves.
Cool!
Quote:
spray painting drow white only band-aides the issue and pisses everyone off who wanted dark elves anyway.

They're not spray painted white, they're blue and purple.

People who want "dark elves" will have to deal. you're not getting a separate race of elves that are evil and black, you're not getting Dunmer (lawsuits). Elves have human skin tone ranges (so you can play a black elf) and Drow are blue and purple.

Everything you say is so inaccurate. In forgotten realms Drow also had Eilistraee in their pantheon. There was a larger population of Good Drow than Golarion has ever had.

The changing skin tone seems to be a later addition to 1e than their proposed origin from Second Darkness.

Also the coloration setting the precedent is closer to white than blue (so it's alright if skin tone gets darker as long as it's only a little bit darker).


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Rysky wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Blue and Purple are dark tones. Text descriptions have allowed for Black tones as well.
They can be, they can also be light tones. And Paizo have never made black drow.
Quote:
Neither do the commoners that were living under the House of Thrune but they're still Evil cities.
A lot more of the of populace are okay with House Thrune, hence the alignment. It's for the average, the general populace, not just the people in charge.

"A dark elf's skin is either a cold blue-black, lusterless like a starless night or with a sheen akin to volcanic glass, or a deep purple, like the diluted violet of a dawn sky. Drow eyes are milky white with no pupils, adapted to an existence with little or no light. A dark elf's hair is typically white and fine." - Monster Codex

They're called 'Dark Elves' (they're not called this in the new Bestiary so there is that). Their skin is described to be in several shades, one of which is 'deep' purple which implies dark, and blue-black which has black in it.

1e Bestiary (3rd Printing) -
"This dark-skinned elf stands in a battle-ready pose, her hair silver
and eyes white and pupilless."
"Drow have dark skin, ranging from black to a hazy purple hue."

They have never -portrayed- black Drow in art, which is fine (if lame because they look cooler).


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Rysky wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Except in your commentary about 'After twelve years instead of...' when this is a new change within the last year. In fact, many people had and have issue with it as it exists right now. A pale elf is -still- becoming darker when they change, they're just not becoming darker in the same shade. They're still tying Evil to Color-Change. It's still as shallow as it was.

Paizo Drow have always been blue and purple, there's no change at all there. And a dark skinned Ekujae elf would turn into a blue or purple Drow under the right scenarios of evil. They're not becoming dark skinned, they're turning blue and/or purple.

Quote:

The city was founded on drugs. Filled with Gangs and addicts. Until the following event as described in LOWG:

The Pactmasters changed that. Seven feet tall, robed and masked to hide their forms, the Pactmasters arrived from parts unknown and took control of the city of Katapesh—and by extension the nation—in a bloodless coup that no records can explain. Though they didn’t end the city’s freewheeling approach to trade, they stabilized and formalized it. Under their guidance, usually fltered through humanoid mouthpieces like Pactbroker Hashim ibn Sayyid, the nation has become perhaps the largest black market in the world, its independence maintained by economic ties and a constabulary of metal constructs known as aluums.

So it's Neutral...but also 'perhaps the largest black market in the world.' Described as having a 'bustling slave trade'.

And again, the commonfolk who have the fault to be born there, and the slaves brought there, have no control over the laws of the land.

Blue and Purple are dark tones. Text descriptions have allowed for Black tones as well.

Rysky wrote:
And again, the commonfolk who have the fault to be born there, and the slaves brought there, have no control over the laws of the land.

Neither do the commoners that were living under the House of Thrune but they're still Evil cities.


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Rysky wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Rysky wrote:

“After twelve years instead of blue I want this race’s skin to turn black to show how evil they are like how it used to be” is a stance deserving of every bit of condescension it generates. Adding “politically correct” was just the cherry there.

The difference between duergar and drow is that dwaves don’t turn into duergar for being evil.

And Katapesh is Neutral because it takes into account the entire population, not just the slave owners.

Then it's on you for being hostile and that's not even what anyone is saying. It used to be acceptable in canon, as has been cited so your point is wrong.
My point isn't wrong in the slightest, that that's how "it used to be" is irrelevant. And yes I am hostile to equating evilness with dark skin.
Quote:
It's a society that allows and thrives on Slavery, but somehow it isn't a problem that it isn't Evil? It actually even beats out every single population center in Into the Darklands for slave population.

Yes slavery is evil, no question.

But commonfolk and the slaves compromising the majority of the population don't really get a say in things.

Except in your commentary about 'After twelve years instead of...' when this is a new change within the last year. In fact, many people had and have issue with it as it exists right now. A pale elf is -still- becoming darker when they change, they're just not becoming darker in the same shade. They're still tying Evil to Color-Change. It's still as shallow as it was.

The city was founded on drugs. Filled with Gangs and addicts. Until the following event as described in LOWG:

The Pactmasters changed that. Seven feet tall, robed and masked to hide their forms, the Pactmasters arrived from parts unknown and took control of the city of Katapesh—and by extension the nation—in a bloodless coup that no records can explain. Though they didn’t end the city’s freewheeling approach to trade, they stabilized and formalized it. Under their guidance, usually fltered through humanoid mouthpieces like Pactbroker Hashim ibn Sayyid, the nation has become perhaps the largest black market in the world, its independence maintained by economic ties and a constabulary of metal constructs known as aluums.

So it's Neutral...but also 'perhaps the largest black market in the world.' Described as having a 'bustling slave trade'.


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Rysky wrote:

“After twelve years instead of blue I want this race’s skin to turn black to show how evil they are like how it used to be” is a stance deserving of every bit of condescension it generates. Adding “politically correct” was just the cherry there.

The difference between duergar and drow is that dwaves don’t turn into duergar for being evil.

And Katapesh is Neutral because it takes into account the entire population, not just the slave owners.

Then it's on you for being hostile and that's not even what anyone is saying. It used to be acceptable in canon, as has been cited so your point is wrong.

It's a society that allows and thrives on Slavery, but somehow it isn't a problem that it isn't Evil? It actually even beats out every single population center in Into the Darklands for slave population.


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Midnightoker wrote:
PossibleCabbage wrote:

On one hand- Centaurs.

On the other hand- Octopus Centaurs: you have twice as many legs and they are technically arms!

This could easily double as the Abberative touched race.

I kinda dig it. Ursula was a Witch. Witch's are likely to use the Occult spell list. Abberations are occult...

Did Cabbage just blow this case wide open???!?

vulgtmah gn'thornythh! mgn'ghftephai uh'eog!

Cecaelia already exist, they'd just need to be ported over.


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John Lynch 106 wrote:
Ckorik wrote:

That is not true now - nor was it true in PF1. I've quoted this before in this thread - "Drow skin ranges from coal black to a dusky purple." - PF Advanced Race Guide pg. 102.

Going to the pantone color guide - black to purple includes alot of grey, blue, pink, etc.

Elves are: "The coloration of elves as a whole varies wildly, and is much more diverse than that of human populations. However, as their coloration often matches their surroundings," - PF Advanced Race Guide pg. 20

The bold is my own - and gives weight to the consideration that the environment colored the drow and not the 'transformation'.

Here's the thing: this is Paizo's game. You can whine and moan as much as you want about how they're retconning half the bestiary or half the CRB if you think that's what they've done. What you don't get to do is say "Drow are not X". You can say "Drow were not X" and that could be a correct statement. You could even say "In my game Drow are not X" and that would also be true. But Paizo, and only Paizo, has control over what the official lore says at any given moment. And they do not have to explain themselves if they want to change it tomorrow.

Now Paizo has explained the change. They didn't like the way Drow looked in 1st edition and have used the edition change to change that. Now they're trying to appease everyone by being all wishy washy about it and saying "Oh there's a range. Drow can be dark purple, but we're not using that as the default colour anymore" but ultimately it doesn't matter what they claim is theoretically true. All that seems to matter to people in this thread is:
1) How are drow portrayed in future artwork; and
2) What does the official lore in the official Pathfinder 2e books say.

Until we get lots of artwork about drow we have no way of knowing whether Paizo really is committed to portraying the full spectrum of drow colour ranges, or if they've thrown that out there in an attempt to pacify people in an uproar over the change....

Your post is incredibly unhelpful and downright condescending. I have been upfront since the beginning that I don't even expect there to be any change, simply providing feedback as to remain silent would seem to me an unsatisfying prospect. I can at least sleep content in having expressed myself on the point.

The main fact of the matter is, Drow were put into PF1e because it is a selling point. The Underdark and Drow have been popular additions since the beginning, hence why Drow/Dark Elves are basically in every WotC and PF and even other settings (Elder Scrolls) since their conception (and even present in Norse Mythology), in various forms (most with a cohesive appearance). I feel like the change is a feel-good motion, as there are other races/places/etc that didn't change to be more Politically Correct (Duergar, Katapesh is a Neutral city despite 25% of the population being slaves, complete with drug [opium] dens). I would like to see compromise in the form of wider range of acceptable, canon coloration and considering a lot of them are Chaotic and perhaps that Chaotic nature can manifest in variable appearance I don't feel that it's unreasonable. Do I expect to change opinions? Not really. The decision has already been made.

But if you take Dragons, make them smaller, feathered, take away their breath weapons, etc...at what point are they no longer dragons and instead are Cockatrice or Wyverns (an extreme point, to be sure, but still valid I feel). If Drow are problematic, remove them entirely or completely revise the lore to remove the portions that are unpalatable or give better explanation.

John Lynch 2016 wrote:
Until we get lots of artwork about drow we have no way of knowing whether Paizo really is committed to portraying the full spectrum of drow colour ranges, or if they've thrown that out there in an attempt to pacify people in an uproar over the change....

This is absolutely true. Hence why a lot of people in this thread are trying to come to positions of agreement and proposing compromise in the form of wider range of coloration, and why I even created it in the first place in the hopes that future works can take it into consideration. I've bought every Drow specific fantasy book I can get my hands on, from Forgotten Realms' Underdark, Drow of the Underdark, Heroes of the Darklands, Into the Darklands, Monster Codex, etc because I like them.

Oh, and looking into it a bit more it appears that, at least mentioned in Second Darkness which is probably more non-canon at this point, the original origin of Drow was that the Elves who took shelter in the Darklands during Earthfall were affected by a combination of Rovagug briefly awakening and Darklands Radiation so it was originally more environmental than Alignment based.


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Kelseus wrote:
Ckorik wrote:


Providing that feedback - is literally the entire point of this thread.

I think the point was for someone to complain that Paizo changed something despite the other 20 posters in the thread all saying some combination of A) it's to avoid the inherent racism in the original design and/or B) why does it matter, just pretend they're black at your table.

This is not a constructive post, nor accurate.


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Cthulhusquatch wrote:
I'm still not sure of one thing. If you want your drow to be darker-of-skin can't you just handwave it? If you wanted pink drow.. handwave it. If you wanted green drow.. handwave it. If the drow is pictured differently in the books and descriptions in a way you don't like... that you can ignore.. what does it matter?

I like being within Canon. I can also advocate without harming anyone?

The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:

Again, I would prefer that there not be any major physical differences between drow and other elves at all, because I don't like the idea that evil people can be distinguished from good ones at a glance.

More important is the idea that when drow had darker skin they were "recognizably evil," and now that they have lighter skin they aren't. What makes that different from real-world racism? Do you assume that Black human characters are villainous because they're "recognizably evil?"

I think you're trying to paint me as racist but that's not really the case. Even if they were a unique variety of elves born that way, I'd still favor having them be charcoal/obsidian because I like that aesthetic on elves. I liked Deep Imaskari from Forgotten Realms too and they weren't even evil. I like Duergar. I don't think black humans are inherently more threatening or evil. Pale skin with black hair also typical denotes evil and untrustworthy (Grima Wormtongue, Count Dracula). Even if they were Good aligned, and if elves had a variety that became charcoal/obsidian skinned for Good deeds, I would still like that because I like the aesthetic of those sort of elves. Mordant Spire elves are pretty neat, I like wood elves. I've always favored Arctic and Aquatic elves over traditional human-looking elves. Hell, I don't terribly mind baby blue elves if they were anything other than Drow or if I had an alternative, but now I have no option for Charcoal/Obsidian elves except to handwave it and that feels dissatisfying.

I know I probably seem all over the place, but simply there is no longer an option for the type of Ancestry I liked to play without being non-canon.


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:

I'm not arguing that all color choices for monsters must be made with the intention of subverting tropes. That would be just as ridiculous as the opposite. What I do mean is that there are all kinds of different ways of making a creature or character seem threatening, and for me at least color is not a particularly effective one.

I would also question why it is necessary to make an entire species of sentient beings look evil in the first place. I mean, there are plenty of stories with human villains who manage to be effectively menacing without relying on the color of their skin to do it. Imagine if someone came out of a movie and said, "You know, the antagonist was pretty good, but he just wasn't very scary with that light skin of his. After all, everyone knows that white is traditionally associated with purity and innocence. They really should have cast someone with darker skin, so he would be really scary."

That's why it's a good idea to change drow specifically. They were literally a group of people who had lighter skin, became evil, and then got darker skin. This reinforces the dark=evil idea that has contributed to so much real-world discrimination and makes the above example so uncomfortable.

As for duergar and hobgoblins, they both have relatively light-gray skin that isn't much darker than the new drow, and as far as I'm aware they don't have the problematic history of the drow.

If it's not necessary then don't include it, but the decision has been made that being evil changes elves. Why would it change them so they don't look evil? What is the point of marking them out at all if it's not impactful? They can pass off as Arctic or Cavern elves. Hell, seems even easier for them to spy and raid.
You're still relying on the idea that darkness is inherently evil, and therefore the new drow "don't look evil." Why is it important for the moral position of a person to be easily distinguishable by the color of their skin? To me that...

So then why have Evil be the trigger that changes them? I just prefer the aesthetic of darker skinned drow of more charcoal/obsidian varieties or even from PF1e (most of the choose-able Avatars for the messageboard are pretty good). It's not a personal moral position, but it's made in the setting that evil elves change, thus what they change into is likely to be recognizably evil, any assertions to the opposite are my opinion. The core is Drow were put into the game because they're popular, and now it's problematic. They're -still- changing because they're evil, and they can still theoretically be marked out because of it so I'm not sure what you're getting at.

And again, I've proposed alternatives that are more palatable. Marked by their demon-lords or deities, alternate colors, being fashionable to flesh-warp your skin, darklands emanations changing them, etc.


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Thebazilly wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Color theory is a generalization that has been pounded into our heads so much that some people are fool enough to take it as unilateral fact

For example, yellow is supposed to represent positivity and joy, but too much yellow makes me want to kill people.

So you posit that color theory is pounded into us, and not culturally or psychologically relevant?
I posit that that pounding informs the culture and psychology. You are not immune to propaganda
And yet the perceptions are largely the same across worldwide cultures. Blue is comforting because the sky is blue and we are diurnal animals. The Dark is frightening because we cannot see in it. Certainly it's not locked in stone, but to say it isn't impactful itself is ignorant.

The concept of "blue" doesn't even exist in some worldwide cultures. Some African languages call the sky white and the rivers black. The Ancient Greeks referred to the sea as wine colored.

Color based symbolism is not as objective as you think it is.

That's a separation of language and vision. Orange existed as a color before it was called orange. The sky is visible light in the 400-500nm range regardless of whether we call it 'White' or 'Blue' (depending on if it's too bright to look up and actually see visible color).


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Cthulhusquatch wrote:

I'd say blue being a less threatening color than black being more sociology. How we view that sort of thing is caused by social interactions with others. I don't view black as threatening.. because I wasn't taught that it was. In some societies.. other colors are more threatening. Say green.. for being associated with mold or mildew.

And interestingly.. purple.. including lilac.. is often seen as being about Ambition, Power, Nobility.. which fits Drow fine.

The thing about Purple is that its origin as a color of Nobility comes from the exclusivity of Indigo in dye, and in either case I don't believe Lilac was as much nobility as the darker shades of purple which are stronger.

Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:

I'm not arguing that all color choices for monsters must be made with the intention of subverting tropes. That would be just as ridiculous as the opposite. What I do mean is that there are all kinds of different ways of making a creature or character seem threatening, and for me at least color is not a particularly effective one.

I would also question why it is necessary to make an entire species of sentient beings look evil in the first place. I mean, there are plenty of stories with human villains who manage to be effectively menacing without relying on the color of their skin to do it. Imagine if someone came out of a movie and said, "You know, the antagonist was pretty good, but he just wasn't very scary with that light skin of his. After all, everyone knows that white is traditionally associated with purity and innocence. They really should have cast someone with darker skin, so he would be really scary."

That's why it's a good idea to change drow specifically. They were literally a group of people who had lighter skin, became evil, and then got darker skin. This reinforces the dark=evil idea that has contributed to so much real-world discrimination and makes the above example so uncomfortable.

As for duergar and hobgoblins, they both have relatively light-gray skin that isn't much darker than the new drow, and as far as I'm aware they don't have the problematic history of the drow.

If it's not necessary then don't include it, but the decision has been made that being evil changes elves. Why would it change them so they don't look evil? What is the point of marking them out at all if it's not impactful? They can pass off as Arctic or Cavern elves. Hell, seems even easier for them to spy and raid.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Arachnofiend wrote:

Color theory is a generalization that has been pounded into our heads so much that some people are fool enough to take it as unilateral fact

For example, yellow is supposed to represent positivity and joy, but too much yellow makes me want to kill people.

So you posit that color theory is pounded into us, and not culturally or psychologically relevant?
I posit that that pounding informs the culture and psychology. You are not immune to propaganda

And yet the perceptions are largely the same across worldwide cultures. Blue is comforting because the sky is blue and we are diurnal animals. The Dark is frightening because we cannot see in it. Certainly it's not locked in stone, but to say it isn't impactful itself is ignorant.


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LizardMage wrote:

Because Gelugons are blue does not make them calm and inviting...they are literally giant ice mantises with magic, strong allies, and big spear and as an infernal creature probably enjoy torturing mortals. Nothing about any of that is calming. My point is you shouldn't be hyper focused on this one characteristic that you ignore the whole thing. A Gelugon could be a rainbow of pastels, that doesn't change it from being a demon mantis with a spear.

Color theory shouldn't be being applied to these things.

Again, if you don't like the color change to Drow, don't run them that way. No one is at your table telling you how to describe things.

You're viewing in absolutes. No, being ice blue does not completely negate their demeanor, but it does impact it. Seeing Dwayne Johnson in a pink t-shirt would make him more approachable. It's subconscious. Also, Gelugon is a Devil, not a Demon. If Iomedae was represented as being a giant shadow of darkness, how would that impact the perception of her? Why did Nocticula change appearance if appearance doesn't matter?


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PossibleCabbage wrote:
Drow should be the color of blind cave salamanders and I will GM fiat whatever the books say anyway.

That would be Cavern Elves.


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Arachnofiend wrote:

Color theory is a generalization that has been pounded into our heads so much that some people are fool enough to take it as unilateral fact

For example, yellow is supposed to represent positivity and joy, but too much yellow makes me want to kill people.

So you posit that color theory is pounded into us, and not culturally or psychologically relevant?


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The Sesquipedalian Thaumaturge wrote:

I honestly don't understand the "color theory" argument. Do we really want a world where you can just tell how scary something is supposed to be by its skin color? Are blue dragons somehow automatically less scary than black dragons? Are gelugon devils somehow "calming" because they happen to be blue?

Even if we're operating under the assumption that black is automatically scary (which is problematic in itself), uncertainty and subversion of expectations are big parts of what creates fear. If everything is color-coded then all this uncertainty and dissonance is removed (not to mention the damage that would be done to suspension of disbelief by such an obviously contrived world).

Color theory is basic psychology. Humanity has expectations and emotions based on sight. And yes, by appearance Gelugons are more -calming- and less sinister because they are a pleasant ice blue compared to a Bearded Devils hellish red skin. It diminishes the effect their presence has, even if it doesn't completely negate it. Even so, you can ignore the 'Black is scary' part and look toward the 'black is regal, powerful, authoritative, and mysterious'.

Black appearances for denoting frightening or evil doesn't need to be changed elsewhere, so why were Drow chosen? Duergar are still evil and dark-skinned.

Wraiths are depicted as being shadowy, black smoke. Why not white smoke? White is equally ghostly. Stone Giants are grey-skinned, why aren't they subverting the trope? It's not like there aren't stones that are light-colored.

Huh...Look at that...Hobgoblins also have Gray, Ashen-colored skin.


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Midnightoker wrote:
MaxAstro wrote:
Midnightoker wrote:

"Some monsters are always evil and some are always good."

Until that concept gets thrown in the trash, it will always require tweaking down the line. But given how many people are up in arms about Drows changing colors or Goblins being included in Core, that's probably a long way off.

I have good news for you - Paizo does in fact appear to be throwing that concept in the trash

While they have certainly taken steps in that direction, it is certainly not entirely in the trash. Golarion is stacked with defined stereotypes for these previously "evil" creatures.

And while the "I'm not evil, I'm just drawn that way!" argument might apply to some extent, hatred for these races based on preconceived notions of them in the world itself already exist.

And maybe they should, because racism is real, so reflecting that realness in a world is fine. What's not fine to me, is that it's somehow acceptable to murder Hobgoblins because they come from some "military society".

Johnny Hobgoblin only enlisted to support his family and because of social pressure. He doesn't want to kill anyone or die, it's just the way things are. However, you still get the NE next to your name, because your only reasonable choice to be good is to basically say "No!" which isn't really an option.

Entirely in the trash would mean Red Dragons aren't default evil, demons aren't default evil, and angels aren't default good.

Don't get me wrong, what they are doing with the playable Ancestries is great, and they're definitely moving closer.

And I don't expect many to share the sentiment, but:

It won't be truly abolished until Alignment the system is gone.

Some people prefer a fantasy game where Good and Evil is obvious. And that's fine. I just feel like I have to be "fair" to even the "Evil" ones.

The types of gray morality I talk about are pretty much incompatible with PFS, since "turning evil" means handing over your character sheet.

And I am super off-topic...

Your point is made best with Dragons rather than Extraplanars, as extraplanars are -made- from planar material which is strongly aligned. The only way Outsiders change alignment seems to be divine intervention.


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Ckorik wrote:
FrostFox wrote:


If their coloring overlaps with non-evil/surface elves then why even have Drow at all? Just make them Cavern variety elves.

For many reasons:


  • Because then it automatically means 'non-elves' can't look at skin color and assume something
  • Because it means that drow coloring is influenced by the underdark but not because they are 'evil'
  • Because we could not have drow as a race (and instead just be a type of elf) but we don't - because lore reasons. Honestly the way Pathfinder made elves space aliens I'd have been happier if drow were just another type of space alien instead of 'sworn to demonlords and turned to evil' - but that ship sailed long ago (alas).
  • Because Cave Elf isn't a race - it's a heritage (see pervious point).

I dunno - if it's hard to tell 'drow' apart to the surface world then it makes it easier to integrate them into the game. But this thread was about discussing the rebranding of the drow - I didn't come in here for 'DEFEND YOUR OPINION 101' - I mean you are welcome to your own and all that but even without all the above I don't expect any race to be a single mono color - ever.

As an aside - I didn't see JJ say they would be shades - I saw him say 'lavendar over lilac they can't be both' - and I think.. why not both?

I would favor using correct terminology in this discussion. They are from the Darklands, and at least the Darklands influencing their coloration would be a more favorable explanation but it's not as lore establishes they are different colored because they are evil.

I also make effort not to use the word 'Race' as that's no longer a thing so I don't know what you're bringing it up. The only difference between Cavern Elves and Drow now is the source of their change (Cavern Elves changing due to environment and Drow changing due to Alignment). The fact that there are lots of Drow in the Darklands is simply due to the fact that they remained there during Earthfall, their history and culture relates to that fact more than being 'Drow'.


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Corrik wrote:
John Lynch 106 wrote:
Corrik wrote:
I'm probably thinking of Forgotten Realms, but isn't the onyx/purple skin a symbol of an evil curse? Drow which have the curse removed have different skin tones.
That is Forgotten Realms. It was a plot pont in 3.5 if I remember rightly. They’ve mostly ignored it in recent years (albeit because they ignore most lore for 5th edition).
Yeah looks like that was a plot in the War of the Spider-Queen and/or it's follow-up.

The Lady Penitent Trilogy Spoilers:
In The Lady Penitent, the brother of that Hallistra Melarn from War of the Spider Queen (Q'arlynd Melarn) works with one of the head mages from Sshamth and together they work an Elven High Magic ritual to return a small number of Drow to being 'Dark Elves' as they originally were (tan-skinned with black hair).

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Thebazilly wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
There is no mistaking Drow complexion for real life complexion or their bone-structure/figures.

I find that argument awfully disingenuous, because the obvious real-life parallel is blackface, which did involve people literally painted pure black.

I'm all for avoiding the unfortunate implications of dark skin = bad and light skin = good. Cave dwelling creatures should be sickly pale anyway. And as noted, Drow likely come in a variety of blue or purple shades.

As has been mentioned before, cave dwelling elves are already sickly pale. They're cavern elves. Drow are separate and are marked by their evil acts. And again, it's still acceptable for Duergar to be ashen-skinned.

MaxAstro wrote:
In the gnoll thread, JJ confirmed that drow skin tone is not universal; the artwork in the Bestiary is simply the most common/iconic skin tone.

"With each new drow we illustrate, I absolutely DO expect the shades to vary. But with one illustration, or even two (as you get in this book), when they're intended to serve as baselines and references four our artists as well as the first impression for tens of thousands if not more newcomers to the game... we only get that one chance."

So the baby blue elves are going to be the Drow baseline going forward.

Rysky wrote:
Corrik wrote:
I'm probably thinking of Forgotten Realms, but isn't the onyx/purple skin a symbol of an evil curse? Drow which have the curse removed have different skin tones.
That's just a Realms thing (if it is), Drow don't change their skin tone in Pathfinder.

Drow in Forgotten Realms could be born as Szarkai (Albino Drow) believed to be favored by Lolth. Not quite changed skin tone but alternate.


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LizardMage wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
Ckorik wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:


To be fair, artist are notorious in terms of not sticking to bestiary designs. I mean thats how catfolk went from catgirls to "catgirls and khajit". And why Barbatos doesn't anymore have seven fingers specifically.

Like I'm sure there is gonna be arts of drow with multiple shades of blue

I'm more talking about JJ saying they would be lilac - I don't mind if that's the 'norm' I just hope that the ancestry or heritage lets them overlap with surface elf coloring a bit - perhaps that wasn't intended in PF1 - but it made sense to me. Frankly I'd be ok with surface elves changing to have lilac colors available also if that's the hangup - as 'space aliens' they shouldn't really need to conform to standard human hues.
If their coloring overlaps with non-evil/surface elves then why even have Drow at all? Just make them Cavern variety elves.
Because the whole point of the Drow is to have a race that was corrupted by outside forces of chaos and evil. It's not their skin tone that makes them Drow, it's their entire history and culture. This changes via settings of course, but according to the lore presented here, they are fundamentally different from their surface cousins, not just skin tone.

Except normal elves that become evil have a chance (not sure on probability) that they become 'Drow' so their history and culture doesn't factor. Ignoring the subterranean elves, there would still be 'Drow' which would know nothing of that history or culture.


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Ckorik wrote:
CorvusMask wrote:


To be fair, artist are notorious in terms of not sticking to bestiary designs. I mean thats how catfolk went from catgirls to "catgirls and khajit". And why Barbatos doesn't anymore have seven fingers specifically.

Like I'm sure there is gonna be arts of drow with multiple shades of blue

I'm more talking about JJ saying they would be lilac - I don't mind if that's the 'norm' I just hope that the ancestry or heritage lets them overlap with surface elf coloring a bit - perhaps that wasn't intended in PF1 - but it made sense to me. Frankly I'd be ok with surface elves changing to have lilac colors available also if that's the hangup - as 'space aliens' they shouldn't really need to conform to standard human hues.

If their coloring overlaps with non-evil/surface elves then why even have Drow at all? Just make them Cavern variety elves.


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Ckorik wrote:

Well surface elves can be black - it makes being a drow easier to disguise on the surface honestly.

I don't really care that they are changing - however that they are I guess I would hope for:


  • That there is some overlap between surface and drow coloration - making it much harder for 'non elves' to even know for sure
  • That they aren't all a single color - that's just ... wrong to me on so many levels - they weren't a single color in PF1 ("Drow skin ranges
    from coal black to a dusky purple." - Advance Race Guide) and honestly I'd be very dissappointed if they are monocolor.

That's about all I can say about it.

I agree with you on the point that it would be ideal if they weren't monocolor, but indications appear to be that the bestiaries colors are being used as the base for artists going forward.


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Val'bryn2 wrote:

One nitpick about Dark Elves in Dragonlance, it's not just turning to Evil. Neutral wizards or clerics were also branded dark elves.

I don't know about the baby blue, but allowing a range of vibrant colors could work, like on snakes and certain fish, it's a warning, "I'm deadly and I will end you, just try me". I figured the ebon skin, and I'm talking real ebon skin, not anything on humans, was a mark of their demonic patroness from the beginning. Lolth was generally presented as a black widow spider, and her chosen took her coloration, black skin and red eyes.

"In some countries, blue symbolizes healing and evil repellence. Blue eye-shaped amulets, believed to protect against the evil eye, are common sights in Turkey, Greece, Iran, Afghanistan, and Albania. In Eastern cultures, blue symbolizes immortality, while in Ukraine it denotes good health. In Hinduism blue is strongly associated with Krishna, who embodies love and divine joy."

"In many cultures black symbolizes sophistication and formality, but it also represents death, evil, mourning, magic, fierceness, illness, bad luck, and mystery. In the Middle East black can represent both rebirth and mourning. In Africa it symbolizes age, maturity, and masculinity."

Western:
power, control, intimidation
funerals, death, mourning
rebellion
Eastern:
wealth, health and prosperity
China:
color for young boys
India:
evil, negativity, darkness
lack of appeal
anger and apathy
used to ward off evil
Japan:
color of mystery and the night
may be associated with feminine energy - either evil and a threat or provocative and alluring
Thailand:
unhappiness,
bad luck, evil
Judaism:
unhappiness,
bad luck, evil
Middle East:
evil
mystery
Africa:
Age and wisdom
Australian Aborigines:
ceremonial color
commonly used in their artworks

Apologies for crappy copy/pasta.


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LizardMage wrote:

What exactly is nonthreatening about that Drow? Is it simply his color, because the color is not detracting from the cold demeanor of that particular character. The artist has drawn a very self assured and calculating character, and that is intimidating. Is it a physical intimidation, no...it's a force of personality.

I don't have a copy of the bestiary yet, and that picture from the book you posted looks like a Drow to me. First impression was "yep, drow swashbuckler." There is nothing about that art that is detracting from the Drow as a whole.

If anything, opens up more color options for miniature painting and artwork for future books. Which, is awesome.

In color theory, light blues and purples are comforting colors, and also the fact that his hair and skin are nearly the same shade.

"Blue is considered beneficial to the mind and body. It slows human metabolism and produces a calming effect. Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness. In heraldry, blue is used to symbolize piety and sincerity.

You can use blue to promote products and services related to cleanliness (water purification filters, cleaning liquids, vodka), air and sky (airlines, airports, air conditioners), water and sea (sea voyages, mineral water). As opposed to emotionally warm colors like red, orange, and yellow; blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products. "

"Black is associated with power, elegance, formality, death, evil, and mystery.

Black is a mysterious color associated with fear and the unknown (black holes). It usually has a negative connotation (blacklist, black humor, 'black death'). Black denotes strength and authority; it is considered to be a very formal, elegant, and prestigious color (black tie, black Mercedes). In heraldry, black is the symbol of grief.

Black gives the feeling of perspective and depth, but a black background diminishes readability. A black suit or dress can make you look thinner. When designing for a gallery of art or photography, you can use a black or gray background to make the other colors stand out. Black contrasts well with bright colors. Combined with red or orange – other very powerful colors – black gives a very aggressive color scheme."


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WatersLethe wrote:
FrostFox wrote:


As I expressed in that thread, I feel that the decision to make Drow Lilac in color (having looked at the Bestiary since they're more of a Baby Blue or at best Periwinkle - see below) is a poor one. It makes them non-threatening and even though the drow in the Bestiary front and center has an eye-patch he's downright -cute- (see picture: Bestiary Image of Drow ).

I have some bad news about Drow for you... they've always been downright cute.

Like... every single drow has been dangerously boyfriend material this whole time.

Also, not to put too fine a point on it, but maybe the color of a creature shouldn't have too much of an impact on how threatening it appears to you.

The appearance of a creature directly impacts how threatening it appears. A grizzled, scarred human by default appears more threatening even if they're a cuddly bear. If trolls looked like gnomes they'd appear less threatening, or even if they were bubblegum pink but largely looked the same.

Quite simply, the Drow don't look -badass- anymore. I'll stop using threatening as it doesn't quite get the point across.


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CorvusMask wrote:
krazmuze wrote:
Although that does not explain the Duergar still being ashen.

Duergar being ashen comes from the whole "Droskas sprinkled ash on them" aka its straight up "god did it". So just as supernatural as drow being blue. I think part of the reason why they didn't change it was that dwarves can't spontaneously transform into duergar? Well, that and while duergar in 2e bestiary are darker shade of grey, in 1e duergar art their skin color includes pretty much all shades of grey and ash.

...I don't mean to make a pun, but duergar are in gray area regarding this topic.

Dark Folk are also ashen-skinned, and if I recall correctly are actually descended from Azlanti who took refuge underground during the Earthfall event. Although they aren't largely evil aligned it seems.


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krazmuze wrote:
Donovan Du Bois wrote:
I would have preferred going to something like the Dunmer from the Elder Scrolls Series. That's how I always view my elves anyway.

Which ones? Morrowind where elves look like aliens, or ESO where they look like humans of gold or ashen skin? Art direction specifically moved away from the more alien designs of Morrowind because people complained they did not look like themselves.

I always liked the Elves are aliens. Spock is an elf.

I believe they probably mean more like these:

Dunmer
Dunmer2


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LizardMage wrote:

I'm not seeing the problem here at all, sorry.

Dark elves change from setting to setting.
Forgotten Realms has Drow as either pure evil or CG trying to overthrow the stereotypes of their race.
Eberron they are pretty standard elves mostly.
Dragonlance, Drow are literally just regular elves that turned to evil gods or magic or are just evil aligned. Zero change in skin tone.
Dark Sun they were exterminated.
Ravnica they are natural skin tones, maybe occasionally a greenish tinge.
Pathfinder has slightly purple to blue tint. Nothing changes that they make deals with demons and live the evil life.

If skin tone is bugging you, I mean it's your table they can still be deep purple and ebony.

Forgotten Realms has Eilistraeean Drow who are good-aligned and even Vhaeraunites are trying to reclaim the surface, all while still looking like dark elves. Eberron Dark Elves still look like Dark Elves. I don't know anything about Dragonlance.

krazmuze wrote:

Since skin color is nothing more than ancestral evolution protection from the sun (polar white, equatorial black) - a light blue for an underground ancestry makes much more sense than the black of prior editions - it avoids the historical coding of fiction that black skin means evil.

Although that does not explain the Duergar still being ashen.

But then this is a fantasy world where people are created rather than evolved. So their creator wanted them to look like Sparkly Vampires.

And for the real world explanation watch the gencon panels with the artists where they talk about how their art direction for this edition was to make things familiar but recognizably different for pathfinder 2e. They did not want anyone to confuse the art as coming from other PF or D&D editions. It is why gnomes are anime characters, and elves have straight long ears. Halflings do not look like Tolkien nor D&D. etc.

Their environment isn't a factor in their coloration, as it is a reflection of their evil. How are they set apart from Cavern Elves? There are a number of options to take, but I feel Baby Blue was the wrong direction and the least aesthetically pleasing (I think the change to Hobgoblins is almost as much of an aesthetically displeasing direction).

Paradozen" wrote:
The further we can get from the concept that dark=evil and light=good the better IMO. The scary part of drow is that they are fleshwarping mad scientists devoted to demon lords, not that they have dark skin.

If they're all fleshwarpers, then make it a fashion statement among them to fleshwarp their skin to various complexions and colors. That would've been a more satisfying aesthetic decision that allows for flexibility. They simply don't appear intimidating in this edition.

I absolutely 100% don't expect to have any impact whatsoever, but as long as the discourse is reasonable I can at least express my opinion and represent those that may feel the same way.


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thenobledrake wrote:

I fail to see how a fantasy creature's threat level is so thoroughly affected by its skin tone.

That said, I have always had a preference for cave-dwelling but otherwise still "normal" creatures to have believable traits assigned to them - such as lacking melanin so their hair and skin are quite pale or "strange looking" in comparison to creatures that dwell in sunlight, or the coloration that they take being a kind of camouflage.

Except the source of their complexion isn't adaptation to underground life, it is explicitly from their evil nature (at least originally, as it seems likely two Drow or even one Drow and a surface elf could have Drow offspring). Cavern Elves are pale skinned as elves over centuries adapt to their environment.

And it's not that threat level is tied to their appearance, but their appearance is tied to perception. It's like if Dragons looked like Puff the Magic Dragon, they're still the same threat they'd just look ridiculous.

CorvusMask wrote:

That is the second thing yeah. Cave creatures are way more likely to be pale, so the "demons and evil turned elves into black skinned elves" again sounds really unfortunate. At least with blue its not comparable to anything from real life(besides silver poisoning)

To avoid that particular thing, drow should always have had that charcoal colored skin and not have their skin color change as result of demonic/darklands radiation/eeeeevil, but both in D&D and Pathfinder that would involve heavily retconning drow's origins

There is no mistaking Drow complexion for real life complexion or their bone-structure/figures. Real people don't have pointy ears and single-color eyes. This apparently isn't an issue with Duergar?

Kelseus wrote:

The idea that the "black" elves are evil and the not black ones are good has lots of not great implications. So changing it makes 100% sense. Paizo has been using different colors for Drow for about 12 years now, just do an image search of Pathfinder Drow if you don't believe me.

Drow are scary because they are evil, not because of their coloration.

Except when it comes to black dwarves, and that's not even the case as Drow can be good, and non-Drow can be evil. It's just that they are marked by their evil as non-Drow are marked by the environment they live in.


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I'm creating this thread to be a better location for the discussion of the decision to recolor the Drow as the other thread is an improper location for such discourse considering its origin as a Gnoll discussion.

See here: Niche-Request Gnoll Ancestry Thread

As I expressed in that thread, I feel that the decision to make Drow Lilac in color (having looked at the Bestiary since they're more of a Baby Blue or at best Periwinkle - see below) is a poor one. It makes them non-threatening and even though the drow in the Bestiary front and center has an eye-patch he's downright -cute- (see picture: Bestiary Image of Drow ).

Color Comparison: Color Comparison Image
Color 1 = Baby Blue
Color 2 = Lilac
Color 3 = Periwinkle

Duergar get to keep their complexion, however: Duergar from Bestiary

In any number of directions to take the Drow, making them Baby Blue is not a direction I anticipated and have difficulty accepting them. I don't think anyone in the history of the existence of Drow, since their mention in 1977, has ever equated them with real life skin-tones or people.

I'm struggling to be open-minded about it, but in comparison with something like this?
Demonic Looking Drow - SFW

Ignoring the fact that said art has fiendish features (just horns really, the colored schlera are quite fitting).

As a fan of Drow, I can only advocate for at least having variety that allows for Drow to be of multitudinous shades as the baby blue representation has already had its first impression in the Bestiary.

I hope I'm not alone, but should any agree I would at least hope for civil discourse rather than spewing mindless vitriol.


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I favor seeing ancestries for Planar species, now rebranded as Planar Scions. So Tiefling, Aasimar and all their subflavors, Fetchlings, Sylph, Oreads, Ifrit, and Undines. More mixed ancestry options would be nice as well. Descended from Dragons or other mystical creatures. I think Half-Breeds would need to be kept aside for something more like templates as they should be a little more powerful than your more watered down breeds.


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James Jacobs wrote:
scary harpy wrote:
James Jacobs wrote:


1) ... Furthermore, as you'll see in the Bestiary, drow have lilac flesh tones now, for reasons I hope are obvious, but I won't get into them here so I can try to return the thread to the original poster's request...

This begs the question:

Why lilac and not lavender?

Because both isn't a good choice, and we had to pick one.

If humans can run the gamut from bronze to black to white, etc and elves literally change according to the environment they live in over the centuries of their lives, how is both not an acceptable choice?


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Hello,

In a recent order I received the exterior was quite heavily damaged, and the books inside have creasing and tears. See pictures below.

https://i.imgur.com/bwIaHogh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/96hUaDbh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/dmRZpenh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/5NArkJJh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/c3JBF3Oh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/WMLCnwxh.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/6SoIGT4h.jpg

Could I get replacement copies? Let me know if further information is required.

Thanks,
FrostFox

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