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alright, who bleached the drendali?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by haaz View Post
    I woudln't be so sure that it is accidental. The new setting makes some effort to present good or evil being independent on the actual race or tribe, so I wouldn't be surprised that it is done on purpose.

    Anyway, I find it funny because I'm running a subterrean campaign in the Scarred Lands and I have placed a race of lizardmen who, after having lived down here for millenia, also have pale scales instead of green (or whatever color lizardmen typically have) ^^
    ​*nods* I do like that, it is a nice break away, allows for more nuanced canon. I just like my drendali dark skinned. I like the image.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by The_Livewire View Post
      I just like my drendali dark skinned. I like the image.
      That's the best thing about fictional races used in role-playing games; they look however the GM describes them as looking when the player characters sight them.

      The various subterranean "dark elves" I've used have been pale-skinned for the entirety of my gaming career because Final Fantasy IV (back when it was labelled as II here in the states) and biology as I had learned it up to that point immediately outweighed what the D&D books I picked up had to say (well, except for the D&D products about the Shadow Elves of Mystara, since they were pale-skinned in every appearance other than the arcade beat-em-up games that Capcom made).


      Not so noble anymore.

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      • #18
        Originally posted by The_Livewire View Post

        ​Are you speaking from a writer/developer/official capacity?
        No, just seems like a logical assumption.


        Onyx Path Forum Moderator

        My mod voice is red. I use it so you know when I'm speaking in an official capacity, not as an indication of tone.

        Going by Willow now, or Wil for short. She/Her/Hers.

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        • #19
          It was me! I bleached the drendali.

          As a couple folks have mentioned, it always made sense to me that a subterranean race would gradually become more pale, not darker-skinned. And since the drendali aren't supposed to be drow, whose skin color (at least in typical D&D settings like the Forgotten Realms) is the result of a curse, I decided to revise their appearance. Dar'Tan is now the exception, his skin stained black by the shadow magic he practices.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Scott Holden View Post
            It was me! I bleached the drendali.

            As a couple folks have mentioned, it always made sense to me that a subterranean race would gradually become more pale, not darker-skinned. And since the drendali aren't supposed to be drow, whose skin color (at least in typical D&D settings like the Forgotten Realms) is the result of a curse, I decided to revise their appearance. Dar'Tan is now the exception, his skin stained black by the shadow magic he practices.
            ​Thanks for the explanation Scott. That's what I was looking for. I disagree (after all, this is a game that breaks the laws of biology all the time) but I understand your reasoning. I just think jet black skinned elves look cool. :-)

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            • #21
              No worries: In your game, you are the final arbiter. Your drendali can still be the old dark-skinned version!

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              • #22
                No prob at all with them being pale honestly, but as an aside keeping Dar'tan dark-skinned and connecting it to his being Scarn's ultimate penumbral lord was a fun touch.
                Last edited by Baaldam; 01-03-2018, 12:51 PM.

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                • #23
                  It's amusing to me that some elves seem to follow earth-human guidelines involving melanin, while the original Greyhawk elves were super-pale with light-colored hair and eyes, if they were gray elves, living high on mountain peaks, under constant sunlight, to middle-ranged Caucasian, for the high elves living in more or less normal human ranges of sunlight, to 'nut-brown' with darker hair and eyes, if living in the darkest depths of the forest, where sunlight rarely reached the ground, like the Grugach/'wild' elves, to dark greens and blues, for aquatic elves, living under the ocean, to pitch black, for dark elves, living in the sunless underground. Instead of getting darker in sunlight, and paler in shadows, elves went the exact opposite way, and got paler in sunlight, and darker in shadow (or bluer and greener if surrounded by water...).

                  If there was an elven subrace in the plane of elemental fire (from Greyhawk, anyway, and perhaps Golarion, which seems to follow a similar paradigm), I imagine they'd eventually turn reddish in color, to match their surroundings.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ian Turner View Post
                    It's amusing to me that some elves seem to follow earth-human guidelines involving melanin, while the original Greyhawk elves were super-pale with light-colored hair and eyes, if they were gray elves, living high on mountain peaks, under constant sunlight, to middle-ranged Caucasian, for the high elves living in more or less normal human ranges of sunlight, to 'nut-brown' with darker hair and eyes, if living in the darkest depths of the forest, where sunlight rarely reached the ground, like the Grugach/'wild' elves, to dark greens and blues, for aquatic elves, living under the ocean, to pitch black, for dark elves, living in the sunless underground. Instead of getting darker in sunlight, and paler in shadows, elves went the exact opposite way, and got paler in sunlight, and darker in shadow (or bluer and greener if surrounded by water...).
                    Being far more familiar with old Mystara and later Kara-Tur, Dragonlance, Spelljammer, Forgotten and other settings, can't say i remember ever seing such a bit of setting/lore-building. Shadow Elves from Mystara were very much pale subterranean people (though the arcade games would give them a sort of violet skin tone that might or not have inspired the Drow, who knows).

                    Originally posted by Ian Turner View Post
                    If there was an elven subrace in the plane of elemental fire (from Greyhawk, anyway, and perhaps Golarion, which seems to follow a similar paradigm), I imagine they'd eventually turn reddish in color, to match their surroundings.
                    Golarion playing with such a conceit i most certainly haven't heard about. Where does one find that, Elves of Golarion or some other book?

                    Anyway, the reskining of the Drendali in the 2nd edition always sounded a move to take them away from the shadow of Drow pastiches with a partial homage to the Shadow Elves, D&D's first subterranean elven antagonistic civilization, if memory tricks me not (and certainly might). I also find entertaining how this change makes Dar'Tan, who does have the look usually associated with Drow, into some sort of sorcerous freak, changed on a physical level by how long and deeply he has delved in his weird brand of shadow magics. Though i did say that before.

                    Anyway, it's good business if you're making a published setting to try to make your creations distinct from already classic/cliche/iconic takes of some sort of critter or gimmick, so no prob with that. One can always come up with cooky ideas involving shadow magic, developing ties to Dendrali (always thought it funny none were ever brought up considering how close their names and imagery can run) or other stuff of one's own to bring up a group of elven Ororo clones & such if the urge comes up.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 02-01-2018, 02:43 PM.

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                    • #25


                      As an aside, nothing against elves, halflings, dwarves, humans, lizardfolk, ponypeople or whatever with unusual color arrangements from the primaries to outlandish combinations to drive birds-of-paradise into fits of envy. Fantasy settings should play with the fantastic, but exactly because of that i'm very much in favor of coming up with reasons - mythology is a thing and it is about crazy explanation for why the world and the beings upon it are or work in a certain way.

                      For example, in a Pathfinder game i recently joined with some friends i introduced a group of people with the drow look - dark-blue to ebon-black skin, resplendent white hair, the whole nine yards. But they are not subterranean or even elven for that matter, coming from the dark side of the moon during certain astronomical alignements to explore, frolic, hunt or plunder according to the occasion and their fancy, their skin changes hues to make them more or less visible under the night sky and their manes will sometimes shimmer like ghostly flames the color of moonlight to confuse or scare the people of the land. when sunlight comes they either return though magic to their home or go to temporay hideouts in dungeons, mausoleums, ruins or subterraneans forts and manses captured from the Fallen World's true natives.

                      Anyway, my point is - if you want color, add color, make something out of one's visual and conceptual choices.

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