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D&D General So what colour are your dwarfs and elfs?


41st lv DM
common PC races:
Halflings, Goliaths & Humans come in all the complexions, hair & eye colors we humans exhibit here in RL. Often specific regions will have a dominant complexions/hair/eyes.

Dwarves are generally earth tones, though many surface dwarves might more closely resemble some shade of Caucasian. Hair & eyes are usually dark. Sometimes red hair. Hair turns shades of grey/white. I don't think I've ever described a blonde dwarf before.
Duragar are the typical description in the MM.

Elves are almost universally pale - a Caucasian/whitish/super light grey (think GW Witch elves) - though it's not uncommon for them to have a slight hint of green, blue, etc based upon where they live. There is one group of elves known as "White Elves" - who're well, white. White skin, white hair, but dark eyes. Otherwise hair & eyes vary - mostly whatever you think would look good on an elf if you were painting the mini....
And then there's the Drow. 1st, let me say that there are no Drow PCs - I actively discourage you from wasting time making Drow in my games. But for the record, all Drow are the classic unnatural photo-negative obsidian skinned Drow of previous editions. They have silvery white hair & eyes of red or shades of purple/lavender. Drow do not come in any shades of grey, purple, browns, etc. They don't even come in Albino.

Forest/Rock Gnomes - I borrowed the PF gnomes who're prone to being a wild assortment of colors long ago. Gnomes who're cut off from magic too long, or who're depressed, tend to bleach out to a dull grey.
Deep Gnomes - see MM.

1/2elves - favor their human parent more often than not.
1/2orcs - almost universally favor their Orc parent. Orcs are generally some shade of green with course black hair & dark/red eyes.

Tieflings - Npc teiflings are commonly a reddish hue, often with dark hair/eyes. But in truth they could range considerably I guess. In our Thur. game we have a winged teifling who's purple.

- the color of various dragons. Most have a breath weapon that also corosponds with their draconic color.
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Elves are bright and beautiful. (Pick a runway model) Elves have three ancient "clan" groups Light Grey and Dark. Light elves worship the stars they first saw when awakening in the world. Grey elves worship nature spirits. Dark elves worship whoever gives them power.

Dwarves are beings of earth and stone and are named for minerals and metals they resemble in part or whole. A dwarf is named Silverhair for having hair of silver.

Gnomes appear similar to dwarves though not as apparent and incorporate characteristics of plants. Burls and leaf patterns.

Humans anything you want.

Goblins follow ROY G BIV and can switch from one colour to the other.

Halflings look like humans though of a more rural life in outlook of attire, habits and dining.

Faeries everything from a pixie to Maleficent; a brownie to an Ent. Chargen choices are player driven,

Giants appear as giant humans GoT with Cyclops and Fomorians as alternate paths a player can take.

Ogres between Humans and Giants

Bugbears follow mythology

Orcs, Hobgoblins and Trolls appear very much as they do in various animations and films.

Regarding reallife complexions − all humans are shades of orange.


Regarding reallife complexions − all humans are shades of orange.


I always thought of my skin as reddish. But it really is quite yellowish.

Heh, I guess it depends on the interior lighting. In sunlight, it is reddish. I did a selfie in direct sunlight, then a super closeup, so there was moreorless just a field of color, and then compared it to the wheel. Then it is very reddish.
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I go with the setting lore generally.

Yeah in Faerun and Greyhawk this means that Sun/ High/ Moon/ Wood elves are generally fair skinned (to copper). Dwarves are the same.

Unless they're the evil ones (Duergar and Drow). In those cases they live underground and have dusky to black skin.

Yes I know. The implication is awful.

Im not sure how they fix it without having dark skinned sun elves, and fair skinned Drow being a thing.
I thought the evil dwarves were blue

I have no idea what the skin color of player characters is IMC because A) that's a player choice what their PC looks like, and B) it's irrelevant to how I run the game or how they play the game. For NPC's... I assume them to have a variety of skin tones either consistent with lore for a particular game world or PH or MM descriptions - and again, that color is irrelevant to game play, at least for me, and I would hope VERY much that it is as irrelevant to the players within the context of the game world as it is in real life. 999 times out of 1000 it is a question that goes unasked and/or a part of description that goes entirely unstated. MORE so nowadays because to even bring it up at all seems only to invite accusation, recrimination, and a pointless pall of, "Do you still beat your wife?" over playing f'ing D&D.


I remember a while back they kept on insisting that Goblins in D&D were definitely not green-skinned, despite almost everyone picturing that they are.
1e to 3e the descriptions in the MM were yellow, red, and orange skin for goblins. 4e had green skin art, 5e MM and Volo's has orange/yellow art. Is there 5e green skin goblin art?

Pathfinder has green goblins.

I always thought of it as more shades of yellow rather than orange, although the English seem to have strong pink undertones
It is definitely orange. Take any clear image of a human. Increase the color saturation, and the orange is brilliant.

Surprisingly, many people dont realize this, but the color socalled "brown" is simply "blackish orange".

"Gold" is grayish yellow-orange.

"Pink" is actually whitish purple-red. Without the purple, the pink becomes an orange "salmon" color.

Anyway, humans are orange. Humans cover the entire range of orange from yellow-orange to orange to red-orange. Just add white, black, or gray to this orange, and you get any human skin color in existence.

From the campaign notes for my Forgotten Realms games.

Gold Dwarf [Hill]
Skin: Deep brown to pale brown, sometimes red-tinged.
Eyes: Blue, grey.
Hair: Black, grey, brown, (rare) red. Men and women are bearded.
Looks: Round faces with large features.

Shield Dwarf [Mountain]
Skin: Pale white to pale red.
Eyes: Grey. uncommonly blue.
Hair: White, grey, light brown. Men and women are bearded.
Looks: Long, narrow faces.

Moon / Silver Elf [High]
Skin: Pale white, sometimes blue-tinged.
Eyes: Blue or green with gold flecks.
Hair: Silver-white, black, blue. Long, straight. No facial hair.
Looks: Narrow triangular faces, large pointed ears.

Sun / Gold Elf [High]
Skin: Bronze.
Eyes: Green, gold.
Hair: Golden blond, copper, black. Long, straight. No facial hair.
Looks: Narrow triangular faces, large pointed ears.

Wood / Copper Elf
Skin: Coppery, tinged with green.
Eyes: Brown, green, hazel.
Brown, black, (rare) blond, (rare) copper-red. Long, straight. No facial hair.
Looks: Narrow triangular faces, large pointed ears.

With no particular context, they all tend to be white (as in white people). Because that's where I grew up. I am aware of what that implies about me, but it's present and so that's what I (still) default to.

Except for dragonborn.

For actual characters I get a little more creative, but if it isn't important it feels weird to bring it up during the game.

As a dm, I allow dang near anything unless it's part of a worrying pattern of character choices.

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