[RPG] Do we know what skin tones humans can have in D&D lore


This question is inspired by What different skin colour can a tiefling officially have?

From the 5e Tiefling player race description, Infernal Bloodline section (PHB, p. 42):

Their skin tones cover the full range of human coloration, but also include various shades of red.

Emphasis mine.

It occurred to me, I don't think we have the full range of human skin colours described anywhere. D&D Beyond says:

humans of the Silver Marches have every possible variation of coloration and features.

But is it every possible variation from real life? If so, does it include blue, for example? Or is it every possible from existing lore?

Fifth edition rules and lore would be preferred, but given that data on this topic seems scarce, older editions or lore not tied to specific edition would be OK, too.

If rules or lore are world-specific, please specify what world is it. I'm mostly interested in most popular worlds, like Forgotten Realms, to keep answers useful for most "regular players".

Best Answer

Most of the same skin tones of real life modern humans appear in major D&D settings.

D&D 5e Player's Handbook p.29 says:

Human skin shades range from nearly black to very pale ...

Pages 30-31 describes nine ethnic groups of the Forgotten Realms, whose skin tones are variously described as dusky brown, tawny, fair, amber, yellowish-bronze, and dark mahogany.

The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, p.110-112, adds descriptors of tan, dark, olive, pale, tanned, bronze, and golden. This seems to cover most of the possible values of real-world modern humans.

The peoples of the World of Greyhawk are described in the D&D 3e Living Greyhawk Gazetteer as variously having golden, bronze, tan to olive, rich red-brown or dark brown, and fair. The Suel in particular have a higher than average rate of albino people.

I faintly recall Eberron's creator suggesting that humans born in unusual circumstances, such as during a planar confluence, might be born with rare skin tones, such as green or blue. However, I don't believe this was a canon article, and the official Eberron books tend to gloss over details of human skin tone.