I'm currently running a 3.5e campaign set in Greyhawk and one of my players, a half-orc fighter, has begun a romantic relationship with one of the NPC's.

During some down time, she decided to visit a tattoo shop and get a tattoo of her and the NPC's initials.

After getting the tattoo she's worried it might be bad luck for the relationship, similar to what people believe in real life.

I couldn't find any lore about this in any of the d&d realms. Has anyone read anything about this, or will it just be up to DM discretion?


2 Answers 2


Tattoos are reasonably common in Greyhawk. Their usage varies from culture to culture. They are mostly found as symbols of religious devotion (public or secret - tattoos of Wee Jas, Nerull, etc. are used to identify other cultists), but they are also found as "recreational use" - here's the description of a Greyhawk City Marine captain...

His forearms look like hams, and are covered in tattoos of females in various stages of undress together with brief expressions of undying love for each of them. He is always accompanied by his savage parrot Albrecht. - From the Ashes p.86

The Rovers of the Barrens are heavily tattooed, as are the Olman.

There's not a lot of detail on "civilized" use of this sort - romantic tattoos, tramp stamps, etc. - so that'd be up to you and your players to make up as you go!


There is no lore about this in D&D. (Granted that proving a negative is impossible, I will confidently make that claim, to my knowledge.) In general, lore from the D&D rules themselves is limited to spells, monsters, races, and classes, and everything else is left more-or-less undefined, so that it can be up to the designer of a particular campaign world or setting.

As for the setting of Greyhawk, again no, to my knowledge there is no existing lore on such a superstition either.

If you're not playing in a particular world, or if the particular world you're playing in doesn't say either way on a detail like the superstitions around tattoos, these details are always up to you, the DM — because you're the setting's designer or co-designer in that case.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The querent has specified Greyhawk. \$\endgroup\$
    – BESW
    Commented Dec 30, 2016 at 9:46

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