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Originally Posted by deadsanta
Historically, elves look like all sorts of variations of the human form, mixed with human features. Tolkien's elves were just stretched out a bit but folks who saw the early Hobbit and LOTR animated films in the 70's recall how different they looked from modern super-aryan elves of film. From the early 20th and late 19th centuries they looked more like what we think of as goblins, or tiny children with odd animal features. Basically, an elf can look like whatever you want it to look like, it's all fair game, since it's all folktales, and the DnD art I've seen runs the gamut from traditional folk art to just people with pointy ears. This is a pointless thread IMO. [url=https://nt.global.ssl.fastly.net/images/1431823201067-rackhamheaderimage.jpg?width=1920&auto=webp&crop=16:7]rackham elf[/url


Also, true, but these are Realms (D&D) elves we are talking about, and they have been very thoroughly described and illustrated for abour 30 years now, and one of the biggest reasons why they don't just look "like beautiful humans" is, that they are literally alien to Abeir Toril... like dwarves, they have no genetic ancestry with the planet's native humans, hence why they only vaguely resemble them, at most.

Contrary to, for instance, LotR, where the ancient Elves basically originated all intelligent live... even Orks and Goblins.

Last edited by WarBaby2; 13/10/20 06:32 PM.
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I do like "traditional" FR looking elves - shorter, leaner, alien eyes, longer slimmer faces etc, but lets be honest - FR elven designs used to be transformed caucasian features. There is no reason why you could not take asian features and transform them the same way as you did caucasian, it will just add more variety. Use asian features and make the face longer and eyes larger and more slanted towards the nose and you have an elf that is asian-looking. Also as someone said earlier here, Wood Elves do have wider features in general and are stockier.

Last edited by Arideya; 13/10/20 06:31 PM.

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Originally Posted by WarBaby2
Also, true, but these are Realms (D&D) elves we are talking about, and they have been very thoroughly described and illustrated for abour 30 years now, and one of the biggest reasons why they don't just look "like beautiful humans" is, that they are literally alien to Abeir Toril... like dwarves, they have no genetic ancestry with the planet's native humans, hence why they only vaguely resemble them, at most.


...Right? I don't know why some people act like the manuals have not gone in depth about this kind of things.

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Bump just to announce that I've updated the main post with more information! I might still update now and then, for those interested smile

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Originally Posted by Goldberry
Bump just to announce that I've updated the main post with more information! I might still update now and then, for those interested smile


I'm definitely interested! And I really hope that the artists in Larian will take into account the number of people who want a change in the elves to a more classic style.

Last edited by Anung un Rama; 14/10/20 02:28 PM.
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Originally Posted by Arideya
I do like "traditional" FR looking elves - shorter, leaner, alien eyes, longer slimmer faces etc, but lets be honest - FR elven designs used to be transformed caucasian features. There is no reason why you could not take asian features and transform them the same way as you did caucasian, it will just add more variety. Use asian features and make the face longer and eyes larger and more slanted towards the nose and you have an elf that is asian-looking. Also as someone said earlier here, Wood Elves do have wider features in general and are stockier.

+1


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I for giving the option to do either -- keep the existing head but include some heads with the more angular looks and otherworldly feel.

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Even if the more elvish look isn't doable for facial animation reasons, etc., I don't think elves and and humans should share the face presets. It's even more funny when you notice that while elves and humans have identical faces, the half-elves don't share the presets. I think Astarion is an ok compromise in that his face is more slender than that of an average adult man, if we could at least get the same slenderness and grace on the elf presets, I'd be content.

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I think if you're going to include real world ethnicitites with elves, logically they should be tied to specific subraces. And to cloud the water a bit, High Elves cover Sun, Moon and Star Elves, whilst Wood Elves cover Wood Elves and Wild/Green Elves, Drow are drow, the seldarine drow (if basing them on the description found in the follow on series from war of the spider queen should indeed be distinct too.

High Elves should be more delicate features, more slender based on Moon and Star Elves, Sun Elves can reasonably fall into that category too. Skin colours for these would range from very pale to "bronzed". Hair colours would be pretty diverse with Blue being a thing for moon elves, Sun Elves tend toward blond, red or brown hair. Star Elves share most of their colouration with Moon Elves iirc.

Wood Elves should be a bit stockier and generally a bit more rugged looking, their skin tones would tend toward ruddier tones or browns, their hair toward darker colours as well. Eyes are still reasonably varied.

Drow should be more delicate looking than Wood Elves, but probably have a hardness to them that most High Elves do not. Their skin tones are supposed to purplish black/blueish black/brownish black/grey-blacks. their eyes are more limited in colour with almost all of them having red eyes, some rare few have unusual colours like violet or amber, but its rare, the red eyes are part of the curse Corellon put on them to make them into drow. Their hair would be varied shades of white naturally, but i guess they could dye it as dye would take well to naturally white hair.

Seldarine Drow (which should really be "Dark Elves" would be similar in colouration to Wild Elves, tending toward brown skin and darker hair, but physically resumble Drow in terms of build.

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Originally Posted by KillerRabbit
I for giving the option to do either -- keep the existing head but include some heads with the more angular looks and otherworldly feel.


This seems like the best compromise and the one I see the most. Keep some of the heads for the people that like them, which I personally don't understand but hey, and some closer to the material models for others.

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I agree that Larian should keep the current heads but add some new ones that look like proper, otherworldly elves (and half-elves). That way they don't have to scrap any of the currently advertised companion designs like Astarion and Shadowheart. At the same time, they'll also please more discerning fans. The more human-like heads I can just pretend are elves with a bit of human ancestry or something.

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Your friendly reminder that the yoked AF, 7 foot tall druid Halsin is a "wood elf".

Dude looks like a cream-colored orc.

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I'd very much like elves to look like elves.

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Originally Posted by Sechrima
I agree that Larian should keep the current heads but add some new ones that look like proper, otherworldly elves (and half-elves). That way they don't have to scrap any of the currently advertised companion designs like Astarion and Shadowheart. At the same time, they'll also please more discerning fans. The more human-like heads I can just pretend are elves with a bit of human ancestry or something.

Shadowheart wouldn't need to change, half elves will have as much from their human side as their elven, often more. Means Half Elves can be super diverse, getting features from both ancestries. Asterion wouldn't need a massive change, he's already more slender and angular in features than almost all the currently available elf heads. minor tweaks to perhaps his eye shape and jawline would probably have him sorted.

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All of these problems are solved with sliders.

I actually agree with the OP, but i feel this is western developer-itis that larian caught from hirign too many people from the anglo sphere.
Trying to make the humanoid NPCs look too "realistic" and kind of forsaking fantasy aesthetics as a result, it doesnt usually work.
THo i gotta say BG3 NPCs at least can be attractive and ofthen do work, especialy the githyanki and tieflings, but i admit elves are a strange case.

Another can of worms is the question of ethnicity. Ive said it in another thread , i think larian spent too much time trying to get a diverse cast of actors and thus ended up with very few different actual faces per ethnicity.
Thats fine with Humans, but Elves are ultimatley based on a mixture of norse and celtic mythology and its perfectly fine to have them have caucasian features because ultimatley thats what everyone imagiens them like anyway and thus allowing for more variation within that. . I dont think youll find a lot of people that find the dryads from the withcer series fitting for the role they occupy in the setting.
its patronizing more so than anything else.
This whole thing results in people just picking one and the same face per race, this is most obvious in elves if you ask me.
I know that this particular topic is not to be blamed on Larian but on WOTC who think that having 90s style Tokenism will get them the elusive "minority target demographic", which of course it wont, becuase people buy according to their tastes and not according to their skin colour, but good luck telling that to a corporate suit whose had an overdose of california.

That beeing said, the problem with that is easily fixed if you actually allow people to edit those faces. If youve only got one asian face, thats fine if you can edit said face and end up with, gasp, more variation on it. Which is what most tripple A developers do anyway.

TL;DR: Sliders do the trick, add sliders.

Last edited by Sordak; 15/10/20 11:06 AM.
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First of all...
It needs to be said just how astounding the gameplay has been so far. Breathtaking graphics where detail in texture has no limit, and captivating character depth where I am certain to replay the game several times just to explore the many, many options! I was skeptical at first, as I always am, but Larian’s artists and development team have done an amazing job yet, and waiting a year to see the rest will be guaranteed torture.
However, it also brings excitement in knowing that we will be seeing more content, and hope that there will be improvements to fully utilize the game’s potential.
As there is the one thing I have been missing, which is what brought me to this thread...

Elves

Naturally, I know they exist in-game. Though in all its stunning beauty, Baldurs Gate 3 Early Access doesn’t yet have the alien features of the so lore-rich world of elves. It sounds shallow, but to me appearance is important— and with what I’ve seen thus far with the graphics, I know it must be important to other players too! Although we enjoy our eye-candy, it’s not just the exotic and odd beauty itself that compelled me to love the elven races, but rather their infinite lore. Elves are more than just humans with pointy ears and keen abilities, and it needs to show. Players need to be able to look at the elves and immediately tell that they are otherwordly beings with magical tales to tell, inviting them to explore.

The OP, Goldberry, and other members of the community have brought up many good examples on how this can be achieved! With BG3’s potential, I pray and roll with glee in hope that we will be seeing more of what makes elves the alien and captivating beings they have been and deserve to be forever more.

Thank you for bringing up this important topic, and thank you to Larian’s crew for the many enjoyable hours spent in BG3 so far.



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Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Completely agree. I should be able to say "that's an elf!" even without seeing a characters ears. Their facial features should imo be a bit outside of the human spectrum. For half-elves, one should take a look and think "hmm... either a fine-featured human or a heavy-featured elf?". Same for (half-)drow, of course.

As it is currently, the male elf head makes me think of a particularly sturdy-looking human peasant. Really, the jaw is huge! The eyes slant the opposite way, so to speak, which makes the character look somewhat... spaced out rather than keenly intelligent/of alien beauty as would be expected of an elf. (I wanted to say I was reminded of Oblivion faces, but this would be going too far...)

I would also add that I wish halflings had better proportions. They are said to be more or less like scaled-down humans in their lore, but in BG3 they are more reminiscent of real-life humans with dwarfism.


Well I was confused about Shadowheart being a human or elf had to examine her to tell for sure. Tieflings are what bought me in this game, I have never seen such a terrifying looking Tiefling (In a very, very good way) in a game before. My first Act 1 was for Tiefling warlock.
I have to agree Elves do not really look like Elves but my guess that is because 5th Editon say so, unfortunately.


Additionally I doubt we will receive any change in the way they look, we might get some new faces but that is it.

Last edited by Zarangek; 15/10/20 11:44 AM.
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Originally Posted by Maxximenez
Your friendly reminder that the yoked AF, 7 foot tall druid Halsin is a "wood elf".

Dude looks like a cream-colored orc.


He looks like a jacked up half elf to me, and even then his masculine as hell, Chad-like features shatter that. Take the point off his ears and the character is just a large human.

Whoops, I accidentally outlined the problem with BG3's elves.

Originally Posted by Zarangek

Well I was confused about Shadowheart being a human or elf had to examine her to tell for sure. Tieflings are what bought me in this game, I have never seen such a terrifying looking Tiefling (In a very, very good way) in a game before. My first Act 1 was for Tiefling warlock.
I have to agree Elves do not really look like Elves but my guess that is because 5th Editon say so, unfortunately.


5e kept Elves very elfy, excusing the changes made to Arvandor and all that business. OP put some art up on Page 1 that's all 5e material.
The Tieflings are amazingly done, seriously impressed by Larian here.

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Not only this but the female faces in general are very masculine...

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Originally Posted by Maxximenez
Your friendly reminder that the yoked AF, 7 foot tall druid Halsin is a "wood elf". Dude looks like a cream-colored orc.


Lol. Right? I must say that after finding half the grove were elves worshipping Silvanus (a human deity) and one wood elf showing admiration towards my drow character it was a relief to see that Halsin at least leaned towards neutral good, and that's all I looked at, I wanted to take the win.

Originally Posted by blindhamster
I think if you're going to include real world ethnicitites with elves, logically they should be tied to specific subraces.


I suppose that's one way to do it!

Originally Posted by Fira

Thank you for bringing up this important topic, and thank you to Larian’s crew for the many enjoyable hours spent in BG3 so far.


No, thank you. I find your post very touching. The reason I enjoy fantasy so much, is because it is an escape from reality. The least I want to encounter in a fantasy setting is anything that resembles our world, when it is supposed to be alien and magical.

Originally Posted by Zarangek
Additionally I doubt we will receive any change in the way they look, we might get some new faces but that is it.


Well that's cool! If we can get a couple of 'classic' elven looking heads, I'll take that as a win too. We can all be happy smile

Last edited by Goldberry; 15/10/20 11:50 AM.
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