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D&D 5E Blacks in 5E Art

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Dausuul

Legend
This is a pitch for 10% of the humans in the art of 5E D&D to be black.

Please keep the discussion relevant to this issue.

Well, if the alternative is "less than 10% are black and everything else is the same," I endorse this pitch.

I do feel it's a bit overly limited, though. I mean, if you look at the art for the iconic characters in the 3.5E Player's Handbook, it more than fulfills this requirement. There are four human characters in the list: Jozan the cleric, Alhandra the paladin, Hennet the sorceror, and Ember the monk. Ember is clearly black. That's 25% of the human characters. Problem solved!

...Except, not really, since the nonhuman characters all have Caucasian skin tones. (Admittedly, Krusk has the coloring of a Caucasian who's been dead for three days.) No Asian coloring or features. No Native American. Alhandra might be considered Hispanic. It's better than nothing, but 5E can and should improve on it.

I would like to see a guideline that no more than 50% of creatures/characters who resemble a real-world ethnicity should look Caucasian. So a hezrou demon wouldn't count either way, but a succubus likely would. (I'm pretty sure that's still skewing white, considering how the population of the world breaks down, but it's hard to get exact numbers.)
 
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dkyle

First Post
I think matching the racial proportions of the DnD player-base would be a reasonable goal. Match the world-wide ratios, and it ends up looking bizarre to the majority of customers, as the vast plurality of illustrations would be Asian or Indian (as in India). It would end up looking like a mockery of diversity.
 

Incenjucar

Legend
I think matching the racial proportions of the DnD player-base would be a reasonable goal. Match the world-wide ratios, and it ends up looking bizarre to the majority of customers, as the vast plurality of illustrations would be Asian or Indian (as in India). It would end up looking like a mockery of diversity.

The real-world ratios differ by country, and making it match the player-base is counter-productive to growing the product.

Instead, make it roughly equal, allowing for exceptions based on story content. There's no more reason for Sigil to have more of one skin tone than another aside from the lack of decent sunlight.

--

Edit: Also, don't limit physical appearance to generic real world groups. Someone with dark skin, red hair, blue eyes, and Malaysian bone structure could be an interesting character.
 


I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
Incenjucar said:
Instead, make it roughly equal, allowing for exceptions based on story content. There's no more reason for Sigil to have more of one skin tone than another aside from the lack of decent sunlight.

--

Edit: Also, don't limit physical appearance to generic real world groups. Someone with dark skin, red hair, blue eyes, and Malaysian bone structure could be an interesting character.

I'm on board with it! We should see a huge diversity of skin colors, hair types, cultural dress, ages, genders, body types, facial structures, and other things. Not just in the humans, either -- I'd like to see diversity in my dwarves and elves and halflings and gnomes and whatnot, too.

I know D&D is vaguely pseudomedieval, and that plus the target audience might skew the odds a little "caucasian male ages 18-25"-y, but I would be super-stoked if, being aware of this tendency, the art team made a concerted effort to inject significant diversity into its depictions of heroes and villagefolk.
 

Dausuul

Legend
The real-world ratios differ by country, and making it match the player-base is counter-productive to growing the product.

Instead, make it roughly equal, allowing for exceptions based on story content. There's no more reason for Sigil to have more of one skin tone than another aside from the lack of decent sunlight.

Edit: Also, don't limit physical appearance to generic real world groups. Someone with dark skin, red hair, blue eyes, and Malaysian bone structure could be an interesting character.

I must spread some XP around, but all this sounds good to me.


Some of us do. If you don't, why are you posting in this thread?
 

Mattachine

Adventurer
Also, it's possible to use some of the ethnicities described in various gameworlds, such as people from Calimshan, or the Suloise, and so on.

I think simply not making every PC look like a northern European is good enough. I liked the artwork in the 1e books, but I could see it being offputting to many of my students (who are non-white).
 

El Mahdi

Muad'Dib of the Anauroch
I'd even like to see it go further and show different cultural representations. Like Moorish Warriors, Asian Magic Users, Mongol Archers, etc.

Like this:

 

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