One design choice in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves allowed the movie to restore a classic race from the tabletop game. Played by Sophia Lillis, Doric was introduced as the tiefling of the party. In Dungeons & Dragons, tieflings are otherworldly beings who possess a combination of human and demonic characteristics.
For the most part, Honor Among Thieves has been met with praise for the ways in which it respected the Dungeons & Dragons world. But unsurprisingly, adapting the game to live-action came with some changes. In the movie, not everything borrowed from D&D appeared exactly as they’ve been imagined. One aspect of the film that’s received some degree of criticism is its interpretation of tieflings. Through Doric, Honor Among Thieves revealed that apart from their tails and horns, tieflings closely resemble humans. However, that’s in stark contrast to the expectations set by the game, particularly its fifth (and current) edition.
Honor Among Thieves Honored Dungeons & Dragons’ Original Tieflings
The complaints about Honor Among Thieves making tieflings look entirely too human ignores how the race was originally characterized. Debuting in the second edition of the game, tieflings were described as people with the blood of creatures of other planes, whereas modern tieflings were born from a specific event that resulted in a human civilization having their bloodline tainted by demons. It’s for this reason that tieflings have distinct and unnatural skin colors, as well as pupilless eyes and more defined horns. Doric doesn’t share these traits, but that’s not really a change to the lore, especially since tieflings didn’t always have this demonic backstory.
Doric may not look anything like a fourth or fifth edition tiefling, but her appearance is in line with the original version of her Dungeons & Dragons race. Before the retcon, it was understood that tieflings could pass for humans if they tried. One prominent example of an original tiefling can be found in Baldur’s Gate II: Shadows of Amn, a game based on the second edition rules. One of its playable characters, Haer’Dalis, had small horns and blue hair, but also boasted human skin and eyes. That’s quite similar to the direction taken by Honor Among Thieves with Doric’s look.
Honor Among Thieves Is A Homage To Dungeons & Dragons’ Oldest Rules
The movie’s approach to Doric’s design highlights a noteworthy trend in Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. While the movie incorporates elements from the more recent editions (such as the Dragonborn race), it seems to have even stronger connections to the older Dungeons & Dragons rulesets. Xenk exists as a callback to a time when all paladins had to be of the “lawful good” alignment, and Edgin’s inability to fight serves as a reminder that bards weren’t always reliable powerhouses on the battlefield. Doric’s design is another instance where the film pays tribute to abandoned D&D rules and concepts.