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Originally Posted by pinklily
Just gonna drop in again to say:

Elves are fictional creatures. They don't have to adhere to a rigid standard based on tradition. New traditions get created all the time. D&D is flexible when it comes to ensuring the best player experience. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be able to identify with the character you play by having it resemble you--that's why we have character creators.

Having greater diversity that reflects real world diversity hurts no-one and can dramatically improve the experience of people who have long been told they don't look like the "standard."

If you break the fantasy world lore it does hurt the quality of the storytelling, thus, hurts every person with intelligence. This is one of the reason, for example, of Star Wars universe's free fall into the nonsensical garbage and your attitude supports this garbage storytelling.

Originally Posted by pinklily

This is fantasy--logic need not apply.

This is the common misconception. For fantasy to be coherent you need to apply logic all the time within the rules of the universe. If you don't apply logic you'll have a stinking pile of poo instead of fantasy.

Originally Posted by A Clown

We can all argue about the traditional appearance of elves! Everyones opinion is valid and great!

But one thing I want to say is why do we have to constantly go with the "traditional" elves? If it's all gonna look the same as every other fantasy game and movie what's the point of having creativity? It's kinda boring no?


Lol no, not everyone's opinion is valid and great. There's a reason there are so few great games, movies, books, etc. Because most of the people are not great at creating something good, therefore, let's stick to the good lore. If you want new lore then go ahead and make a new setting, we'll then judge how good it is, but leave the good old settings alone.

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Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
I feel like most of the posters in this thread didn't even READ the original post. Not all of it. I think a lot of them just saw the topic and immediately started reacting based on their pre-conceived ideas. Or if they did read it, they did so with a profound lack of empathy.

Go back and read what Saturdiva actually wrote. Do you really have no sympathy for her, or the other people in her shoes?

This isn't about "outrage", "cancel culture", "being woke", "politics", or anything like that. OTHER people make it about those things. This is a plea on behalf of a real group of people (represented by Saturdiva) to have their personal feelings and desires recognized. And you all just want to attack it, thoughtlessly. You just don't get it, or you don't WANT to get it, and it makes me sad.

And I think it's likely that there's more going on in your subconscious motives for doing so than just pure concern for the inviolability of The Lore™.


I don't understand why around here people being straight and/or crass gets mods all involved, but passive aggressiveness is seen as fine. Can't think of one post of yours where you don't allude to people being either bigots, stupid, intellectually dishonest or just plain horrible because they don't share your views. Maybe the ones where you don't contribute to anything and just come in to mock the OP with a one-liner, like that other poster does.

This is being straight, by the way, so i know what to expect.



I'm not saying I'm never passive aggressive, but I'm not sure how I am in that post you quoted. It seems pretty straightforward to me. And the mods get on me plenty. I've had Sadurian call me out multiple times, both in thread and in PMs. I will probably get punished at some point, because sometimes I do ride the line. Mostly because I'm not sure where the line is, sometimes. And because I see the opposite of what you see, which is people occasionally posting things which are practically tantamount to hate speech (in my opinion) and the mods do nothing about it, so I get a bit pointed with my remarks because I think that someone else has crossed the line. I'm trying to keep it within the bounds of civility, though.


I guess you're not reading a lot of my posts, then. Just looking at my last 10 posts, let's see what we've got:

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742620#Post742620 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742619#Post742619 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742605#Post742605 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742578#Post742578 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742575#Post742575 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742572#Post742572 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742568#Post742568 - okay, maybe a little bit like you described (I mean, there is sarcasm at least)

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742559#Post742559 - not like you described (I am being sincere in everything there, not sarcastic)

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742503#Post742503 - not like you described

https://forums.larian.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=742502#Post742502 - not like you described


So, I'd say 0.5 out of the last 10 posts are as you described. I think that's pretty decent.

There's nothing wrong with speaking plainly and stating your opinion straight. But sometimes people aren't just doing that, they're being combative, hostile, or otherwise actively unpleasant. And that's what the mods don't like. Especially personal attacks, they really dislike those. I think your post is fine, and you don't need to expect any reprisals for it.

Last edited by Firesnakearies; 06/12/20 08:53 PM.
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Originally Posted by A Clown
Originally Posted by pinklily
Just gonna drop in again to say:

Elves are fictional creatures. They don't have to adhere to a rigid standard based on tradition. New traditions get created all the time. D&D is flexible when it comes to ensuring the best player experience. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be able to identify with the character you play by having it resemble you--that's why we have character creators.

Having greater diversity that reflects real world diversity hurts no-one and can dramatically improve the experience of people who have long been told they don't look like the "standard."

This is fantasy--logic need not apply.


THIS!!!! THIS IS EXCELLENT!

it's a dnd FANTASY game! And the dnd universe its constantly changing and evolving as we progress through time!

We can all argue about the traditional appearance of elves! Everyones opinion is valid and great!

But one thing I want to say is why do we have to constantly go with the "traditional" elves? If it's all gonna look the same as every other fantasy game and movie what's the point of having creativity? It's kinda boring no?

I feel like we have this mindset of sticking to this "tradition" because we are too used to it, and with this we should be encouraging change and breaking boundaries because that is what the Dnd universe is constantly doing! And it's great!

It's nice to see changes when it comes to something like this because it just means its thinking outside of the box and exploring more! And we need that! Like I said we cant keep sticking to the same old thing because it just to me at least gets boring!

I'm not going to lie I am super tired of seeing the same old elves must have x and y features because of x and y and such!
I completely understand it when it comes to the science and history of the specific campaign setting but like I said in an earlier post there are many different races of elves so why do they all have to look the same?

I understand there are colour variations but that just feels like a slap in the face! Like "here you go heres a sun elf with the exact same features as a high elf except you can give them more darker skin tones" like what? No show me different features! Show me more of a regional difference!

A good example I can think of (though the races are limited so far) is the dragon prince on netflix and their distinction between the moon elves and the sun elves! You can definitely tell the difference and that's not just because of colour variations!

(Apologies if I went off I had no intention of offending anyone if I did I just simply wish to express my frustration, English is not my first language so i understand of there might be a miscommunication, sorry if it felt like an attack on anyone specifically it really wasnt I promise you, just let me know and I can explain further smile )




I absolutely love the number of exclamation points you use. I tend to read posts to myself with like, a voice in my head, if that makes any sense. And the voice for yours is so energetic, in a good-natured way. You also make good points!

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I absolutely love the number of exclamation points you use. I tend to read posts to myself with like, a voice in my head, if that makes any sense. And the voice for yours is so energetic, in a good-natured way. You also make good points!


laugh ahhh thank you so muchhhh!!!!!! I do go overboard with them but I just like to be super expressive! So you did hit the nail on the head with being energetic! And yup the voice reading I get completely! Its interesting as well since you kind of give a voice a personality as well! smile

Thank youuuuuuu! Just trying to articulate myself clearly and I really appreciate someone acknowledging my points! smile

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Originally Posted by A Clown
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I absolutely love the number of exclamation points you use. I tend to read posts to myself with like, a voice in my head, if that makes any sense. And the voice for yours is so energetic, in a good-natured way. You also make good points!


laugh ahhh thank you so muchhhh!!!!!! I do go overboard with them but I just like to be super expressive! So you did hit the nail on the head with being energetic! And yup the voice reading I get completely! Its interesting as well since you kind of give a voice a personality as well! smile

Thank youuuuuuu! Just trying to articulate myself clearly and I really appreciate someone acknowledging my points! smile



I just think that you, and the OP, are not asking for anything unreasonable. In fact, you're asking for something very reasonable. And doing it in a nice, non-demanding way. And then I see so many people coming in here and just being like "NO. YOU CANNOT HAVE THAT." It's a shame.

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I'd like to point out at this stage that the art in the new book, Tasha's, is really on point for having wood Elves without anglo/caucasian features. At lot of people will pooh-pooh the book because it's essentially a "wizard is best class!" book and it contains the disappointment that is the custom race builder (I wanted the advanced race guide, but d&d edition), but the arts are really good.

I've had an issue with the art in a lot of the official books for a while specifically in regard to elves. The first point, they look too human, we've already had that discussion. But, I feel like the art never properly represented the actual diversity of the different elves that already existed in the writing. I always liked the different comparison pictures for the races that had a lot of variety in older editions and felt that wizards had done their books a slight disservice by not doing it for 4e/5e. I know art is expensive and this is supposed to be a game about imagination, but plenty of people use the official art as their base for what certain races look like.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies
Originally Posted by A Clown
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I absolutely love the number of exclamation points you use. I tend to read posts to myself with like, a voice in my head, if that makes any sense. And the voice for yours is so energetic, in a good-natured way. You also make good points!


laugh ahhh thank you so muchhhh!!!!!! I do go overboard with them but I just like to be super expressive! So you did hit the nail on the head with being energetic! And yup the voice reading I get completely! Its interesting as well since you kind of give a voice a personality as well! smile

Thank youuuuuuu! Just trying to articulate myself clearly and I really appreciate someone acknowledging my points! smile



I just think that you, and the OP, are not asking for anything unreasonable. In fact, you're asking for something very reasonable. And doing it in a nice, non-demanding way. And then I see so many people coming in here and just being like "NO. YOU CANNOT HAVE THAT." It's a shame.


You again seem to miss the point. What the OP wants is actually possible in Forgotten Realms if larian followerd how the elves appear there. Wood Elves WIld elves have the things she is looking for.

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Originally Posted by Rieline
Elves may be fictional creatures but the setting forgotten Realms describes pretty well how elves should look like. Disregard a whole setting because "Oh hey its fictional everything goes" actually don't give the setting proper respect.

Well, I don't think this setting deserves much respect. The D&D creators had no problems "borrowing" from Tolkien (and other authors) in the first place, and had no problems changing this lore once they got faced with a lawsuit.

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Originally Posted by ash elemental
Originally Posted by Rieline
Elves may be fictional creatures but the setting forgotten Realms describes pretty well how elves should look like. Disregard a whole setting because "Oh hey its fictional everything goes" actually don't give the setting proper respect.

Well, I don't think this setting deserves much respect. The D&D creators had no problems "borrowing" from Tolkien (and other authors) in the first place, and had no problems changing this lore once they got faced with a lawsuit.


Then why you are even here?.... If you dislike this setting so much why playing a game in this setting?.. If i dislike soup i don't eat soup. Also keep in mind there are people that may love the setting.

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Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I just think that you, and the OP, are not asking for anything unreasonable. In fact, you're asking for something very reasonable. And doing it in a nice, non-demanding way. And then I see so many people coming in here and just being like "NO. YOU CANNOT HAVE THAT." It's a shame.


My sentiments exactly thank you!!! And thank you so much for understanding fellow friend laugh

Originally Posted by Rieline

You again seem to miss the point. What the OP wants is actually possible in Forgotten Realms if larian followerd how the elves appear there. Wood Elves WIld elves have the things she is looking for.


No I get it and it's exactly what we are asking for! To bring the diversity in the forgotten realms into the game for the elves! Since all of the options for each elf head looks the same for all of the elf races! smile
Since from what I have seen some elves dont look too human but also resemble different human ethnicities and that's what at least I want and I'm sure op is the same!

Since a lot of fantasy race inspiration stems from taking parts of our own different races and culture but altering it slightly and making it more exaggerated and artistic! That's how you write and create fantasy you use elements of the real world but exaggerate! You can definitely see a resemblance in eurocentric features but you can also see some afro-centric? (Is that the correct term and spelling?) Features too! And even some hooked noses and thick lips etc! In the illustrations! And they still look almost alien like but still have the diversity we ask for!

It's just a request of adding more diversity to the elves to 1 make it obvious there is a difference in the elf sub races etc and 2 be inclusive because we all deserve it!

Whether they look too human etc is a completely different argument! smile

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Originally Posted by Rieline
Originally Posted by ash elemental
Originally Posted by Rieline
Elves may be fictional creatures but the setting forgotten Realms describes pretty well how elves should look like. Disregard a whole setting because "Oh hey its fictional everything goes" actually don't give the setting proper respect.

Well, I don't think this setting deserves much respect. The D&D creators had no problems "borrowing" from Tolkien (and other authors) in the first place, and had no problems changing this lore once they got faced with a lawsuit.


Then why you are even here?.... If you dislike this setting so much why playing a game in this setting?.. If i dislike soup i don't eat soup. Also keep in mind there are people that may love the setting.

I like the BG game series just fine. This doesn't mean I'll believe the soup is cooked from an original recipe. D&D creators had a loose approach to the works of others, and only got careful about it because they got threatened with legal action, so I'd say they weren't giving other creators proper respect either.

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Honestly, I feel like there's a dangerous level of gatekeeping going on here. Saying people should just not play a race or engage with a property just because they disagree with certain elements/would like those elements changed to incorporate more people is cruel. It is essentially saying, on some level, that they don't belong--which is the harmful psychological impact to which OP referred to in the initial post. Again, properties evolve. D&D was created in the 70s for a predominantly Caucasian demographic and its art reflected that. As the audience grows, there's nothing wrong with the content adapting to be more inclusive. The arguments and reference images I see for "elves should be angular and look different from humans" still look human with Caucasian features. I'm sure we've all seen people who are more angular than average. Even with this angular aesthetic preserved, there's no reason the finer features cannot reflect a greater variety of human ethnicities. (Of course, I think players should have as much freedom as they want with a character creator and should not be locked into a particular aesthetic.)

Also, design fidelity should not be conflated with narrative fidelity. Artwork and creature design for franchises can vary greatly with different iterations. Take Klingons from Star Trek, for example. Their appearance has changed in every new series they have been featured in. Iconic features like their forehead ridges were not introduced until the movies, their commonly recognized look was not formed until Next Generation and they even got a redesign for Discovery. These changes had no impact on narrative and did not have much of an impact on the franchise on a whole other than making Klingons look more iconic and less like a harmful stereotype.

Lore is not incontrovertible truth. It can and does evolve over time.

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Originally Posted by A Clown
Originally Posted by Firesnakearies

I just think that you, and the OP, are not asking for anything unreasonable. In fact, you're asking for something very reasonable. And doing it in a nice, non-demanding way. And then I see so many people coming in here and just being like "NO. YOU CANNOT HAVE THAT." It's a shame.


My sentiments exactly thank you!!! And thank you so much for understanding fellow friend laugh

Originally Posted by Rieline

You again seem to miss the point. What the OP wants is actually possible in Forgotten Realms if larian followerd how the elves appear there. Wood Elves WIld elves have the things she is looking for.


No I get it and it's exactly what we are asking for! To bring the diversity in the forgotten realms into the game for the elves! Since all of the options for each elf head looks the same for all of the elf races! smile
Since from what I have seen some elves dont look too human but also resemble different human ethnicities and that's what at least I want and I'm sure op is the same!

Since a lot of fantasy race inspiration stems from taking parts of our own different races and culture but altering it slightly and making it more exaggerated and artistic! That's how you write and create fantasy you use elements of the real world but exaggerate! You can definitely see a resemblance in eurocentric features but you can also see some afro-centric? (Is that the correct term and spelling?) Features too! And even some hooked noses and thick lips etc! In the illustrations! And they still look almost alien like but still have the diversity we ask for!

It's just a request of adding more diversity to the elves to 1 make it obvious there is a difference in the elf sub races etc and 2 be inclusive because we all deserve it!

Whether they look too human etc is a completely different argument! smile


You know, i hope higher powers are listening. They just need to not chicken out and do it right. We do deserve drows, the one evil race, becoming african look-alikes, bonus points if the duergar do too. The backlash would be incredibly amusing.

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Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P

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Originally Posted by Sharp
Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P


While I agree with part of your argument I don't necessarily think it applies to making elves more inclusive. This is a minor aesthetic change--not an alteration to their core concepts. Allowing them to have a greater range of features does not take anything away from people who view them as predominantly Caucasian. If elves belonged to one group, expanding it to others just means they have to share, as opposed to having it taken away from them entirely. No one is asking for more diversity to the exclusion of Caucasian features.

And D&D changes its existing, established identities with every new version of the game and updated source book. Just look at the tieflings. This isn't a inflexible franchise to begin with.

I also don't think creating new media is the answer to this problem, given how huge a property D&D is. Larian's answer to D&D is DOS and, personally, I couldn't really get into that world. I enjoy the world of D&D and in actual table top games we have the freedom to make our characters however we want. The line of thinking "If you don't like this one thing then maybe you should go elsewhere" is the exact kind of gatekeeping that I find so insidious, because it invalidates the feelings of people who otherwise DO love the world. (Btw, I don't think that's your intention--I'm referring to other posts and how others may use this logic to disregard the feelings of marginalized people.) Given that D&D IS a franchise that changes over time, clinging to certain aesthetic values while going along with other changes points to peoples' anxieties outside the game rather than a devotion to the immutability of the lore.

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Originally Posted by Sharp
Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P


Very well said, i wholly agree with the second paragraph most especially. I'm black too, and in the Elder Scrolls my favorite race (okay, second favorite, after Khajiit) are Redguards, and that's because they're not just some cringeworthy tribute to african people who dropped from the sky with their darker-skin and clothing choices built in. They come from a place that affected their looks and their culture. Again, they're not just Nords who happen to have brown skin 'cause diversity. Pillars of Eternity has a similar thing too, they're called Ocean Folk there i believe, and i love that just the same way.

But going back to the main topic, taking the Thalmor race, i think it's high elves, and making them look like Redguards, so african, for no other reason than 'diversity' would make no sense and only serve to take out from the lore and experience. And it's the exact same thing here, whether the lore is as detailed or not, and whether elves look too human or not.

Now, wanna 'diversificate' half-elves? Great, do it. I actually think there already are some more varied looking face templates there. Wanna make a whole new race that looks a certain way, and possibly give them reason to? Sure. Hell, to be honest i'd love it if humans had sub-races too, with just two stupid lines of text to explain why a character looks swedish or arabic, because that'd be hype and diversity done right too.

Having high elves look asian or african because they popped out that way? No, i don't like that.

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Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Sharp
Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P


Very well said, i wholly agree with the second paragraph most especially. I'm black too, and in the Elder Scrolls my favorite race (okay, second favorite, after Khajiit) are Redguards, and that's because they're not just some cringeworthy tribute to african people who dropped from the sky with their darker-skin and clothing choices built in. They come from a place that affected their looks and their culture. Again, they're not just Nords who happen to have brown skin 'cause diversity. Pillars of Eternity has a similar thing too, they're called Ocean Folk there i believe, and i love that just the same way.

But going back to the main topic, taking the Thalmor race, i think it's high elves, and making them look like Redguards, so african, for no other reason than 'diversity' would make no sense and only serve to take out from the lore and experience. And it's the exact same thing here, whether the lore is as detailed or not, and whether elves look too human or not.

Now, wanna do 'diversificate' half-elves? Great, do it. I actually think there already are some more varied looking face templates there. Wanna make a whole new race that looks a certain way, and possibly give them reason to? Sure. Hell, to be honest i'd love it if humans had sub-races too, with just two stupid lines of text to explain why a character looks swedish or arabic, because that'd hype and diversity done right too.

Having high elves look asian or african because they popped out that way? No, i don't like that.


Both of these posts, exactly. I'd be A-okay with a new setting that features only, say, African-looking humans and humanoids whose human features are taken from those. Could be an amazing IP. But it would be quite silly if an Asian person came and claimed "hey! change some of the faces because there's no Asian representation".

I'm against "diversity" if it's introduced for no reason other than diversity quota and political correctness. Especially if it's shoehorned to an existing setting.

And I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that "it's fantasy, it doesn't matter". Internal consistency is MASSIVELY important for a fictional setting, the only exception I can think of being certain types of comedic settings.

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Originally Posted by Uncle Lester
Originally Posted by Innateagle
Originally Posted by Sharp
Ergh, why is it that people who argue against the changing of existing media to better represent underrepresented individuals almost always do such a poor job of doing so.

First off, some context about me, because I feel that in this case it is relevant to the discussion. I am South African. I can assure you, 90% or more of the things you may have assumed about me prior to reading this post are probably incorrect and I can also assure you that I am not well represented in online media at all and it would be nice if that was at some point changed. With that being said, there are 2 ways to improve representation. The first is to take an existing piece of media and change it to represent a different group of people and the second is to create new media to represent those groups.

Now, when it comes to D&D, I personally do not care if the entirety of the lore was thrown out and rewritten, I do not think it is particularly good to begin with and I do believe it could be much better than it currently is. I will still however defend the people who want to preserve the lore as is, even if I do not care about it myself. Why is that? Because when the integrity of a piece is important to someone, by changing it you are "killing" a part of that world to them. It is the same as when an adaptation of a book into film is done poorly, it takes the image of the universe that individuals who care about that universe see in their head, throws it out and replaces it with something inferior. In the case of iconic figures being changed, it is taking away a "hero" from one group and giving it to another, which is essentially taking away representation from one group to give it to someone else. I think its pretty obvious there why people are upset, because icons they relate to are having that relation removed. When it comes to changing the appearance of a fantasy race to be more representative, the same thing is happening. The very identity of the race is being eroded.

Does this mean I am against better representing people in media? No! Absolutely not. But I am against the changing of existing established identities to do so. There is the alternative, creating new media to represent people. Not only does this have the advantage of not eroding existing identities, but it also creates a richer universe, featuring more than the universe that came before. New races can be created, new heroes can be added, new cultures can be inserted and the fictional universe would be better off with all of that. So with all of that being said, I will defend maintaining the lore appearance of elves in the Forgotten Realms, even if I think the lore is bad, because if you aren't willing to defend the settings other people care about when people try to change them, then you cannot expect other people to come and defend the fictional universes you do care about if the same thing happens :P

With all of that being said, the elves in BG 3 are decidedly not elven enough and should be further modified to better represent their in lore appearance :P


Very well said, i wholly agree with the second paragraph most especially. I'm black too, and in the Elder Scrolls my favorite race (okay, second favorite, after Khajiit) are Redguards, and that's because they're not just some cringeworthy tribute to african people who dropped from the sky with their darker-skin and clothing choices built in. They come from a place that affected their looks and their culture. Again, they're not just Nords who happen to have brown skin 'cause diversity. Pillars of Eternity has a similar thing too, they're called Ocean Folk there i believe, and i love that just the same way.

But going back to the main topic, taking the Thalmor race, i think it's high elves, and making them look like Redguards, so african, for no other reason than 'diversity' would make no sense and only serve to take out from the lore and experience. And it's the exact same thing here, whether the lore is as detailed or not, and whether elves look too human or not.

Now, wanna do 'diversificate' half-elves? Great, do it. I actually think there already are some more varied looking face templates there. Wanna make a whole new race that looks a certain way, and possibly give them reason to? Sure. Hell, to be honest i'd love it if humans had sub-races too, with just two stupid lines of text to explain why a character looks swedish or arabic, because that'd hype and diversity done right too.

Having high elves look asian or african because they popped out that way? No, i don't like that.


Both of these posts, exactly. I'd be A-okay with a new setting that features only, say, African-looking humans and humanoids whose human features are taken from those. Could be an amazing IP. But it would be quite silly if an Asian person came and claimed "hey! change some of the faces because there's no Asian representation".

I'm against "diversity" if it's introduced for no reason other than diversity quota and political correctness. Especially if it's shoehorned to an existing setting.

And I wholeheartedly disagree with the notion that "it's fantasy, it doesn't matter". Internal consistency is MASSIVELY important for a fictional setting, the only exception I can think of being certain types of comedic settings.


Yeah pretty much... I would enjoy play a setting like that. But shoehorn diversity for the sake of diversity means trow artistic integrity down to the toilet.

In shadowrun i player a Troll character that were black and a lovely elf that has asian tracts. But there fantasty creatures share human ethnicy as well because by the lore magic caused mutation in some individuals turning them in Elves,Troll and so on so human ethnicy tracts on those races are part of the Lore as well.

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Originally Posted by pinklily
Just gonna drop in again to say:

Elves are fictional creatures. They don't have to adhere to a rigid standard based on tradition. New traditions get created all the time. D&D is flexible when it comes to ensuring the best player experience. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be able to identify with the character you play by having it resemble you--that's why we have character creators.

Having greater diversity that reflects real world diversity hurts no-one and can dramatically improve the experience of people who have long been told they don't look like the "standard."



I don't get this. Why would I want to create an elf that looks like me? If I would be able to make an elf that looked like me it would not only be ugly, it woudl also no longer be an elf. It would be a human.
I can get behind implementing more diverse faces and ethnicities for the human race in BG3 for those that want to create a character that looks more like they do irl. But please don't make elves, dwarves etc just look like other humans with different stats.

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My two cents: You should be able to create a player character who looks like absolutely anything. I don't understand people who just want to play a character who looks like them, but that might be because I'm a white guy. I play women around half the time (usually if a game has third-person cutscenes I prefer playing a woman, if strictly first person I prefer playing a guy). When it comes to race...it depends upon context. When I play fantasy games I typically play "white" character, because the settings are based upon European folklore, more or less. But when I play something like Mass Effect, my characters are always multiracial, because I feel like there would be very few people who aren't multiracial in the far future.

I will admit however that I have not liked the trend in modern fantasy (both games and movies/TV) to just pepper people of color around without really any context/explanation. The modern era - with people of very different looks all jumbled together - is a historical aberration. Traditionally speaking if a society is not racist, people intermix freely with one another, and in a few generations everybody looks pretty much the same again. I do think there needs to be more diversity in fantasy, but I'd rather this happen through say settings where the majority of characters are black, or big cosmopolitan cities. Going to random small villages and just finding a black dude or an Asian lady there with no explanation just...destroys immersion for me. It makes me realize I'm consuming media instead of being swept up in a story.

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