It's not like this is a completely new design, the Drow in the 2nd ed. monster manual has light gray skin.
So my first thought is a big one:So, let's discuss. Do you think that this is likely to be a change that we'll see in the future, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
Sooner rather than later, I hope. Shadow Elves rocked.
At least they aren't foot-long spikes sticking out sideways.I kind of hate the giant dog ears, but that's a different issue.
I just made basic elves dark skinned because unlike drow, they actually do spend time in the sunlight and aren't a clumsy reskin of the Mark of Hamm.Now if only there was an actual dark skinned subrace of elves... or better yet take a page out of the Earthdawn book and give elves the full gamut of skin colors.
Okay, I'm sorry if the name is a bit vague. In case you hadn't noticed, the art for depicting drow in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything is very different in a significant way from all other 5e art of Drow. Take a look and see if you can spot the difference. For reference, I will start with some Drow art from the PHB, MM, and Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes.
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(Yes, I know this is a Drider, but it is still a drow.)
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(Drider on the left, Drow on the top center and in the bottom right corner.)
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(Two Drow on the far left, and one on the far right.)
Now, let's look at the art from Tasha's that depicts drow (which there are actually a surprising amount of). You should be able to easily spot the difference (and keep in mind, this is all of the Drow art in Tasha's. I'm not hiding any outliers of this example. The fact that it's so prevalent leads me to believe that this was a coordinated decision instead of just artists doing their own take on the race.)
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Drow on the left, running towards Vi (the gnome).
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Drow on the left (though I think that's pretty obvious).
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Drow on the left.
So, in case you need me to spell it out for you, the skin color appears to have changed. The clearest depictions of this are the 1st, 3rd, and 4th images here, where their skin is a silvery-gray color (the fourth one looks white from the lighting). The 2nd image has poor lighting that makes the drow (the figure on the left running towards Vi) look blue, along with part of Vi's (the gnome) face and body. The 5th image has a shiny light gray skin tone that is noticeably darker than most of the other depictions in TCoE, but is still much lighter in skin tone than any official 5e pre-Tasha's depiction of Drow.
And before people say it, yes, I know that Drow had varieties of skin tones in previous editions. However, this is new to 5e. The 5e PHB even describes drow as having "skin that resembles charcoal or obsidian". I don't know about you, but none of these Tasha's Drow have a skin tone anywhere near charcoal or obsidian. Drizzt does have charcoal-colored skin, as do the other Drow from the MM and MToF. The last 5 Drow don't.
So, this has led me to believe that the Drow from Tasha's Cauldron of Everything are likely the way we will see Drow depicted in official 5e art in the future. Silvery-Gray skin. And I'm not complaining. I think that this art looks quite cool, and silvery-gray races are easier to draw than charcoal/obsidian-black ones. I know that a lot of people will complain about this change, but I think that this is overall a positive change to the hobby, detaching the previous connection of "dark skin" with "inherently evil" (also, I am not saying if this connection was intended and am not accusing anyone of racism. Whether or not it is intentional, it is negative to have the perception of having dark skinned races be the bad ones).
So, let's discuss. Do you think that this is likely to be a change that we'll see in the future, and if so, what are your thoughts on it?
IMPORTANT: I will also point you to the site rules in order for you to refresh what is and what isn't proper behavior on this site. This is a sensitive topic, and I want this thread to be as constructive and inclusive as possible. No whining about the direction of D&D, "cancel culture", or the like. It will not be tolerated and will be reported as off topic, as such posting is non-constructive and bait. You have been warned.
I hope to see lots of cosplay of that and hopefullly never a cosplay of Drizzt do Urden from the cover of Drizzt do Urdens Guide to the Underdark shudders. Or every single person on the NPC cards in the Menzoberranzan Boxed set. shudders even moreAnother reason for the change: Potential for cosplay.
I’m pretty sure D&D elves do canonically range the full gamut of human skin colors. It’s just that, when you only say that, you still end up with a bunch of art of super white elves and not much else. If you want diverse skin tones, you need to be specific in your art direction.Now if only there was an actual dark skinned subrace of elves... or better yet take a page out of the Earthdawn book and give elves the full gamut of skin colors.