log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D General Do Your Human Characters Match Your Ethnicity (etc)?

I've never chosen an ethnicity for my character. I've never felt the need to specify. I don't think in images; I think in words - so it's never come up.

When I play (and don't DM), I've played both male and female characters. I think males suit me better. But I don't really think about the gender of my character. Whether a dude or a lady, they lacerate goblins and climb walls all the same.

As for sexuality, my character would best be described as "disinterested."
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
I guess I’m biased then, because I think that what your character look like is part of their identity. Same goes with NPCs; I like when they have more than a name.

At a minimum, as soon as I put a label like human, elf, dwarf, or halfling, I give a (physical) description. Giving physical details does not equal posing a jugement on the said physical traits, or for that matter, weighing any importance to those traits beyond conjuring an image of your character/NPC.
I'd like to do this, but oftentimes - more so for my PCs than NPCs, for some reason - I just can't get a handle on what the character would look like.

Sure, I've rolled (or chosen) the height and weight, but saying someone's 5'6" 155 lbs still leaves a huge amount of variance in appearance, body shape, etc., etc. Sometimes I get an image of the character in my mind right away, other times it takes ages.
 

Hussar

Legend
Heck, a very, VERY large amount of my prep is finding images for NPC's and monsters. That "troll" statblock doesn't necessarily look like a monster manual troll.

In fact, most of the time, the statblock of the monster and what that monster is don't match at all.
 

Laurefindel

Legend
I'd like to do this, but oftentimes - more so for my PCs than NPCs, for some reason - I just can't get a handle on what the character would look like (...)
Which is cool, appearance is far from being the only defining characteristics of a character

The point was that ethnicity = physical description with no mechanical advantage or disadvantage whatsoever, but it can still contribute to a character's description and identity. In that regard, it is like gender, the way the character dresses, the length of their hair, or any other distinctive feature such as a tattoo or a scar. It doesn't need to be evacuated.
 

Mercule

Adventurer
All of the above. I'm a white guy. I've played white, black, Asian, "Middle Eastern" (Greyhawk Baklunish, for example). There were several that were of unspecified ethnicity, as well, and I wouldn't have objected to them being drawn as whatever. I've also played a couple of female characters.

I've had a few issues with folks doing gender-bending (which is probably an outdated term, but I don't have a better one) coming off... misogynistic, so it got banned and no one has asked for close to 20 years. Playing cross-ethnicity has never been an issue and always done with respect.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
I'd like to do this, but oftentimes - more so for my PCs than NPCs, for some reason - I just can't get a handle on what the character would look like.

One DM I played with would give out small, but not quite inconsequential XP bonuses for bringing things about the character's background: picture, information on their family background, their goals, etc... We were allowed to bring one new thing per session.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
One DM I played with would give out small, but not quite inconsequential XP bonuses for bringing things about the character's background: picture, information on their family background, their goals, etc... We were allowed to bring one new thing per session.
While I get the rationale why your DM did this, I would never do any such thing as I see xp exclusively as a reward for things done by the PC in the fiction and never as a metagame reward.
 

Mad_Jack

Adventurer
I'm one of those been-playing-longer-than-you've-been-alive guys with six or seven thick notebooks of characters they've written up (not all of them actually played, but all fully fleshed out), so trying to figure out who or what I generally play most often would take some research...
I generally choose details such as gender, race, ethnicity, whatever, etc., based entirely on what would make the character's story more interesting... Both for myself to play, and for the others at the table to interact with. Sometimes those details form during character creation, but sometimes they end up remaining undefined until they actually come up in-game if that particular aspect isn't particularly central to the character.
 

erc1971

Explorer
Sometimes.

I don't worry too much about ethnicity when designing characters. I look for memorable characters that fit well in the setting and with the other characters in the group.

Now I do avoid accents. My ability to do them is rather poor and I think they would come off as insulting to anyone who actually spoke with them.

Eric
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Usually same gender and preference. Sometimes the opposite gender or implied bi.

Usually same as the surrounding area so usually fake European.

Sometimes African/Egyptian or near eastern.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
This, for me.

In terms of gender and sexuality - I about 50% play women (I am cis-male) but don't actually explore what that means. In the one game of D&D that I am a player, sexuality and gender almost never come up. In fact I have never defined my sexuality in any D&D type game.

I DM/GM most games though, and of course have to play all sorts of characters.
No. I am an Irish-American male. I haven't played any "Irish" characters in d&d because I don't know where Ireland is on Ferun. :p

Honesty, I have played "light skin", "olive skin" and "dark skinned" humans, probably more white than oany other, but not by a lot. In terms of humans, all humans I have played have been women and well over half the characters total I play have been women, probably about 70%.

I also generally go against the gender stereotypes in this regard too. All of my "heavy fighters" are women and most of my martial characters in general have been women. All of my wizards have been women too. Rogues, bards, druids, warlocks and monks it is close to 50-50 man-woman.

Clerics are the only class where more than 50% were men. I really don't like playing clerics though and am not overly fond of those characters.

Our campaigns are PG when it comes to sex and there is very little of it, on the rare occasions it is there at all it is something like "everyone goes to bed for the night, Jack and Jill get a private room in the inn". I think that kind of "sex" has happend 2 or 3 times in 30 years of gaming. As such most of my characters don't really have a defined "sexual preference". I never thought about it, if something came up I would probably make it up on the fly.
 
Last edited:

Vael

Hero
I rarely play human PCs, but my preferred pick is Half-Elf, and I am of mixed ethnicity, so I do like playing PCs that have that similar nature. My current PC is a Changeling, who's been switching up everything as frequently as possible (which hasn't been much, because I'm currently hiding my nature from my party, they see me as a male (white) human). But my last Half-Elf was a Sorcerer, and the human half was definitely Middle-eastern/Arabic in appearance.
 

MGibster

Legend
As I self-identify as an American, and you won't find many of those in the Forgotten Realms, Domains of Dread, or Rokugan (maybe in Planescape or Spelljammer though), the answer is no. I tend to play characters who share the same phenotype as I do in real life in relation to skin tone, the shape of my eyes, teeth, etc., etc. unless the setting doesn't have a whole lot of people whose genetics manifests quite the same way as mine.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top