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Realms of Despair is home to 14 playable races, and many more non-playable races which players will encounter in the world.
Your race determines which classes are available to you, and each race has unique bonuses, skills and weaknesses.
An EXP modifier greater than 1 means a bonus is applied to experience gained, while an EXP modifier less than 1 means a penalty is incurred.
In the beginning the gods created Humans, Elves, and Ogres. Among them, Humans thrived and became the most prolific, and they remain the most numerous and varied race in the Realms.
Humans have no inborn predisposition to any alignment or class path. As a highly adaptable race with no inherent strengths or weaknesses, they are able to assume the role of virtually any class.
The Gith are a race descended from Humans. Once long ago, they were a peaceful civilization of Humans that were captured by Mind Flayers and tormented for centuries. Eventually, a Gith savior led them to freedom, yet their bodies had been flayed by the mental powers of the Illithids. The Gith found themselves stronger, quicker, luckier and smarter than average Humans, yet they had lost much of their wisdom, stamina and charisma.
Gith are yellow-skinned and very long of limb. Sunken eyes peer from yellowed sockets, now strangely capable of naturally detecting the invisible. The Gith race has split into three distinct groups: the good (Githzerai), the selfish neutral (Pirates of Gith), and the evil (the Githyanki).
Also known as aquatic Elves, these creatures are akin to mermen as land elves are akin to men. Found almost exclusively among heavy weed beds in quiet, sheltered, salty waters, they are great friends of the dolphins. The race historically prefers to fashion caverns in lagoon bottoms and reefs in which to live and work, but circumstances within the Realms have forced them into the general populace.
The race is humanoid in appearance, with gill slits on the throat and greenish-silver skin with white-blonde or silver hair. Sea-Elves have an innate ability to find magical auras as well as the inherent capacity to breathe underwater and are somewhat resistant to cold.
These beautiful creatures are the result of the mixing of Human and Elven blood in ages past, and have so freely intermingled in the open societies of the Realms since their inception that their mixed heritage is of no consequence.
Though the Half-Elf is not as intelligent as the pure-blooded Elf, nor as hardy as the full-blooded Human, this mix serves quite well in a variety of classes which require the standards of both mental and physical prowess. The beautiful almond-shaped eyes of the Half-Elf enable them to discern objects in the darkness and they possess some resistance to cold.
The Half-Ogre is a result of forced breeding in the dark time with Humans, when pure-blooded Ogres were known for raping and looting Human villages. Like many half-breeds, the Half-Ogre was shunned by their full-blooded Ogre race and eventually began to loosely assimilate with Human civilizations in the lands surrounding New Darkhaven.
As a result of their Ogre heritage, Half-Ogres possess great physical abilities, including a good aptitude for aggression, inherent infravision to assist in travel through darkness, and awesome strength. They also hold some resistance to piercing attacks. All in all, the race is best suited for the role of pure fighter.
As darker races have encroached further upon the remaining settled areas, a recent mingling of Orcish and Human blood has been detected. Most members of this half-blooded race are distinctly more Orcish than Human in both appearance and behavior.
Large and dull of wit, with broad bodies, their poor mental and physical dexterity is offset by an iron constitution. Though some have dabbled in the sorcerous arts due to their Human influence, brute combat is still the natural call, which stirs in the soul of the Half-Orc. All Half-Orcs have infravision, and most stand from six and a half to eight feet tall and average two hundred pounds. They are an altogether fearsome race.
An intermingling (carried out in the darker lands of the Realms) of Troll blood with that of Humans, the Half-Troll is as deadly as it is hideous. Though considerably smaller than full-blood Trolls, the Half-Troll often stands well over eight feet in height and carries over three hundred pounds on its heavily-muscled frame.
Though naturally of low wisdom, the race was sorcerously imbued with a wicked intelligence and the ability to see naturally in the darkness. Half-Trolls usually make poor pure magic users, and suffer from an unusually low dexterity. Yet their boundless energy and high intellect create one of the most cunning physical beasts of the Realms. Half-Trolls are immune to some poisons.
Pixies are small Elven creatures with gossamer wings. They are much more intelligent than most other races, but their strength and constitution suffers from their small size. Because of this, the Pixie often choose the calling of magic and excels especially in the arts of the Mage as the mind of the Pixie knows no equal.
Pixies possess the obvious ability of flight and heightened ability in dodge. Pixies are susceptible to blunt damage.
Stout, round, open-minded and very elusive the Hobbit has a level of dexterity which is only equal to his wit. Many enjoy the thrill of reading a good book, or telling stories by the fire. Because of this, most Halflings tend to avoid adventuring, though some rare Hobbits choose the path of the bard, or storyteller, for their keen intellect serves them well. This intelligence, coupled with a surprising determination makes them a curious (though somewhat underpowered) ally.
Halflings have an innate ability to detect evil around them, as well as uncanny ability to sneak unseen. Halflings are also known to work best when fighting in groups, and thus receive a bonus when fighting with others of their kind.
Tall, slender creatures with an affinity for the woods and nature, Elves were one of the First Three - the three original races fashioned and scattered across the Realms.
Elves are lighter-framed than Humans, but what they lack in strength and stamina is made up for with their superior agility - both in thought and movement. They are capable in most classes, though they function poorest in the role of pure fighter. Most will prefer to stay close to nature, and many become Druids. All Elves have the inherent ability to detect magic in the world around them, and have some resistance to cold.
Drow are the darker, more evil cousins of Elves. They were once part of the happier community of Elves which roam the forests today, but have long since moved under the ground, building vast subterranean cities and complex networks of caves.
Members of this race specialize in spell casting, and have thus developed a very high intelligence. Being creatures of darkness, the Drow tend to fight more proficiently in the darkness and have innate infravision with which to discern objects and living things in the absence of light. They also possess inherent scry and are resistant to some poisons.
The Dwarven race was the fourth of the Realms, fashioned from earth and stone by the gods and melded by fire. They are long-lived, fiercely loyal, and are known equally for their hardiness and cantankerous personalities. Dwarves are miners by tradition, working with and building within the dirt of the earth and stone of the mountains.
Still, their thick and stout frames lend them an uncommon constitution and strength, and the race has produced some of the most famed and feared warriors in the Realms. Dwarves may become accomplished magic users, but they are more suited to physical roles. They have some resistance to flame and generations of working with and within the earth has fostered their infravision.
Gnomes are a quirky demi-Human race. Though not the mightiest of races, Gnomes are well versed in the studies of knowledges, magicks, and religions. Most Gnomes often prefer an evening at home with a magical tome, a loaf of pipeweed bread, and a mug of ale over venturing out to battle.
Gnomes have innate infravision, and due to their familiarity with magical and religious lore they are able to detect magic in the environment around them. They are somewhat resistant to energy based magic, but also somewhat susceptible to fire.
Lizardmen are semi-aquatic, breathing air but often dwelling totally underwater. They are often noted to use underwater caves as their lair, and are typically found in swamps, marshes, and similar places.
Lizardmen, of course, possess the innate ability to breathe under water and are additionally resistant to some slashing attacks.
Before the Shattering the race began to slowly die. Some say there was a new darkness in the marsh lands, other say that inbreeding was the cause, but whatever the reason, all of the Lizardmen progeny were stillborn. It now states in the lore of the Lizardmen shaman that the black magicks of the Tower of Despair poisoned the marsh. The survival of the race is still uncertain.