Discussion - Rebranding of Drow


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

1 to 50 of 240 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>

5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

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.

Dark Archive

9 people marked this as a favorite.

I think the issue with obsidian black drow in Pathfinder is that evil elfs have small chance of spontaneously transforming into drow :p It would kinda create lots of unfortunate implications.

On shade of blue that is threatening, no real strong opinion there, I think bestiary drow are threatening enough. But then again I have habit of calling drow smurfs anyway :P


14 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

Dark Archive

9 people marked this as a favorite.

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


18 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber

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.

So know that they did not just change the Drow from being black, they changed everything simply so that PF2e would have its own identity.

I personally hate that goblins and kobolds look very different than D&D, but I understand why they did it. More money to be made from buying new minis.


14 people marked this as a favorite.

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.

FrostFox wrote:
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.

This is, sadly, not true from my experience.


5 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

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


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Pathfinder Accessories, Pawns Subscriber
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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.

Spock is an elf.

I liked the Skyrim designs, but you could go more 'fey' inspired with larger ears and I think that would be pinnacle elf.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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


5 people marked this as a favorite.
FrostFox wrote:
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

Now those my friends, are dark elves. 10/10, best elf design in show

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.
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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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.

I don't think I have seen any depiction of a drow as black in pathfinder in ages. They have been various shades of purple for a long time darker or lighter depending on the artist but from pathfinder to starfinder they have been pretty purply for a long time now.


17 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


9 people marked this as a favorite.

I think this is more of a problem that the assumption as that an Ancestry is "evil".

Now I'm one of those GMs that plays every creature as a person. Good, Evil, Chaotic, Lawful, whatever. Goblin, Giant, Dragon, Demon, Angel, whatever. And in some contexts, they might reflect what is "traditional" or they might be drawn to something else. It depends on the creature/NPC, and it should.

Personally, I think creating a "baseline" color for any Ancestry on the premise of "it looks too much like X" is silly, especially when that color is, well, not a color real people actually are.

But then again I don't really have a problem one way or the other. Drow I run are going to vary in color, and they're not always going to be Evil.

I do think it's a bit weird to consider them in any way as a reflection of real life people, because for starters, they've always come off to me as closer to albino persons than a race of people.

Then again I hate alignment in general, the system doesn't really work at any table that plays with themes of morality.

It's hard to avoid racist connotations when the game assumes racist connotations out of the gate:

"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.

Dark Archive

FrostFox wrote:
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.

Aren't caligni/dark folk really pale? Though I guess it depends on artist, I can remember some art that is straight up gray yeah

(I have no clue if caligni/dark folk's pact with Forsaken came with skin color changes, so I assume in their case its evolution in darklands just like how munavris are albinos)


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


12 people marked this as a favorite.

So I want to be clear, I'm not calling anyone racist only that we have grown up in a society in which we pick up certain messages. One of those messages is that dark skinned people are inherently more aggressive and dangerous. Wanting drow to be darker purple or whatever I don't have an issue with, or wanting them to have multiple shades or whatever.

But the line of thinking of dark skinned people look more dangerous and evil, and light skinned ple are beautiful and harmless I feel is a poor one to base your argument for it if you don't want to come off looking like you have consciouss or subconsciouss internal biases.

And before people say "making them ligjt skinned is reverse racism." It is not, one could could even aegue the "typically evil" Duergar still retaining their ahhen skin to suggest that theme here, is " tends to be more evil then their ancestral kin" doesn't have to be tied to light or dark. And we may see varation on both drow and duergar in the future.

I like both the purpley drow the lilac drow and will probably continue to use both and let pc's choose from that range of color.

Also idk that dudes stance still makes him seen prety dangerous to me.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
FrostFox wrote:
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.

I think they've always looked badass in Pathfinder, and they've had blue/purple skin color for a long time, too.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

In this case, this seems to be about tastes? Like to my tastes, light blue color doesn't make something seem less cool. (though those dunmer pictures ARE really cool)

I have bit hard time commenting on anything though since I have super duper wide tastes in general. Like so far all drow/dark elf/dunmer pictures posted in this thread have been cool looking to me.

Liberty's Edge

9 people marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, I'm just not seeing an actual problem here. The Drow look fine and making their skin tone slightly lighter is just not something I care about except inasmuch as it removes some unfortunate implications.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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."

Silver Crusade

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
GameDesignerDM wrote:
FrostFox wrote:
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.

I think they've always looked badass in Pathfinder, and they've had blue/purple skin color for a long time, too.

Yep Da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa, da ba dee da ba daa


9 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
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, outsiders aside. Ironically, if you check out the gnoll thread, you'll find a few people complaining about always-evil monsters not being a thing anymore.

And to repeat the minor Age of Ashes spoiler I posted in that thread:

Spoiler:
Wargs, of all things, are confirmed to not be always evil.

So yeah - Paizo seems pretty committed to losing that baggage.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
FrostFox wrote:
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...

I'd note a lot of this is a very western interpretation of the color black, which is fine, as it's where most of us live presumably.

But, it's sort of also the reason moving away from black skin color is a good thing, because it's not exactly unknown that a lot of older fantasy has connotations with monstrous races and the like.

Silver Crusade

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

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.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

"Blue is strongly associated with tranquility and calmness."

blue is linked to consciousness and intellect. Use blue to suggest precision when promoting high-tech products. "

So, we have a centuries old fencer, who has had long periods of time training, coming from a group of people that utilizes high powered demonic magics on the regular to increase their abilities and weapons, and has the calm of a person that has seen more fights real and training than the average human will see in close to two lifetimes? Who has probably trained in extreme conditions to enhance their fighting prowess.

Seems like by those two color theory lines he should be blue.

Again, what's the issue? The Drow rep here is a force of personality. They are clearly a killer.


6 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Isn't the whole point of Elves (and by extension, Drow) that they don't look that threatening? They're attractive maybe-aliens. That's their whole schtick. Their beauty (or sometimes cuteness) belies their deadliness.

Silver Crusade

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
FrostFox wrote:
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. "

Also big zappy dragons.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

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.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Brew Bird wrote:
Isn't the whole point of Elves (and by extension, Drow) that they don't look that threatening? They're attractive maybe-aliens. That's their whole schtick. Their beauty (or sometimes cuteness) belies their deadliness.

Very much so, yes. At least, for me that's true. Drizzt, Jarlaxle, and basically every drow artwork I've ever seen has been heart throb material.

Their horror lies only in their behavior to other races and one another.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

At this point, I’ve seen a lot more parody drow than earnest depictions. They’re like beholders; the effort required to make me take them seriously is usually sufficient to be off-putting in and of itself. Even apart from other good reasons, the blue skin at least set them apart from D&D’s drow.


7 people marked this as a favorite.

There's always been something interesting with drow being beautiful in roleplay - "How can something so beautiful be so cruel?"

I've played with a lot of people who roleplay as good drow or half-drow and a lot of them play on the idea that they feel they're hideous - when they likely aren't - as an extension of everyone's first assumption about their ancestry.

It's a neat thing to explore in RP.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I finally checked the drow entry in my bestiary. So THAT is what the bruhaha is all about. This is a non issue for me. I’ll be sticking with traditional D&D drow in appearance to be honest. Hopefully people don’t think I’m a racist for it.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
FrostFox wrote:
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.

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


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens Subscriber

i'm just going to leave my opinion here that they'd look better as dumner looking elves, but i don't use drow in my games, because evil versions of races are boring unless the script calls for it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
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.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
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.


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.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
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.


I like it.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

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.

1 to 50 of 240 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / General Discussion / Discussion - Rebranding of Drow All Messageboards