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The Forgotten Realms

Races of Faerun

Races of Faerun


The banshee is a deadly beast capable of causing death by the power of its voice. In combat it emits a high pitched screech which shatters the eardrums and destroys the brain. The banshee itself is practically deaf and therefore immune to these effects. Banshees look like bedraggled witches with long stringy hair and tatty robes. Their deafness makes them easy to surprise and apart from their screech they have no effective attacks.


Mistaking this deadly creature for a large lizard is the often last mistake of foolhardy adventurers. The basilisk is about nine feet long with a scaly hide, six short legs, a tail, a large mouth full of very sharp pointy teeth and a look which can kill. Anyone unfortunate enough to meet the gaze of an angry basilisk will be turned instantly to stone. Fortunately the basilisk is quite rare and only ever found underground.


Dwarves are known throughout the world for their love of gold and their tough, no-nonsense approach to life. As a general rule, poor Dwarfs want to get rich and rich Dwarfs want to get richer. Anything else, even a good brawl, has to take second place. Dwarves are determined, stubborn, and argumentative but prepared to work very hard for good money. They feel most at home in hilly or mountainous terrain but can be found all over the world. Most Dwarfs worship the Gods of war and good. Their weapon and armour smiths are amongst the best in the Realms.

Drow (Dark Elves)

Drow Elves differ in appearance from their Gray Elf cousins mainly only in skin and hair color. The Drow have evolved a rich black skin color with purely white hair. They are tall and slender of build, with sharply defined features and pointed ears. Drow are known to be breathtakingly graceful, and exhibit tremendous physical dexterity. The Drow like their Gray Elf cousins have a normal life expectancy of nearly 1200 human years, though due to the hardship of their lives, few ever die of 'natural' causes.
The Dark Elves are naturally fantastic hunters, having lived in darkness for so long they can see heat in complete darkness and lie hidden in the shadows waiting for their prey. Also the Drow are very well suited to defending their warrens, knowing all the traps and tricks to be found there, and how to employ the aid of many of the UnderDarks creatures. Drow Elves are also highly resistant to most magics due to their extremely magical nature. Most Drow worship the spider Goddess Lolth, with a few exceptions of course.

Duergar (Grey Dwarf)

Duergar live in the Underdark and like their surface cousins they are strong, though their evil ways have changed them in other areas. Unlike their cousins, they are not known for working stone and metal, something which has made them less hearty over time. They have become more dexterous through centuries of thievery and deceit. All Duergar are evil.


Elves have the longest lifespan of the humanoid races and this makes them feel superior to other races, whom they tend to look down upon. Apart from this they are usually decent, honest folk. Although jewellery or valuable gems are precious to them most also enjoy the simple things in life and are content to live in peace and harmony. Despite this they are ready to fight if necessary and do so with devastating effect especially in all kinds of woodland terrain where they are able to move virtually undetected. Although most elves worship the gods of peace or good a few have turned to evil.


Air Elemental

The air elementals are powerful spirits with power over the wind. They can cause storms, whirlwinds or total calm depending upon their mood. Certain spells can summon and control them but this makes them very angry and they will break free and attack their summoner if at all possible. They have no physical body and can not be harmed by ordinary means.

Water Elemental

Water elementals aree the spirits of the ocean. They can control the waves to cause calm oceans or gigantic tidal waves, capable of smashing ships or demolishing coastal buildings. Like other elementals they are not intelligent but they can be summoned and controlled by powerful magic. Water elementals have no power on dry land.

Fire Elemental

Fire elementals are powerful and destructive spirits with the ability to control and direct fire of all kinds. Although they can be summoned by powerful magic this activity is outlawed in most towns because of the dreadful consequences should the elemental break free. The elementals resent being enslaved and on breaking free they burn anything and everything in their path.

Earth Elemental

Earth elementals live deep within the earth. No-one knows their purpose but they can be summoned and directed by powerful magic. They have control over the earth and rock of which the world is composed and amongst other things can cause earthquakes and volcanoes. They have no physical body and can not be harmed by any ordinary means but certain kinds of magic can hold them at bay.


Goblins are a primitive humanoid race found throughout the wilderness of the Forgotten Realms. They have dark skin, and sharp claws and teeth. By human reckoning they are extremely ugly. Goblins are cruel, greedy and usually evil but seldom stupid. All but a few worship the evil gods, mainly Maglubiyet. Goblins are nocturnal creatures and are seldom seen during the daylight.


Gnolls are a race of dog faced humanoids. Their hands are paw-like but can hold weapons effectively. They are a short-lived and morbid race and most tribes worship Ythcal, Lord of Death. Gnolls tend to be quite small and scrawny and are not known for their great courage. They will not normally initiate combat without good reason.




Gnomes are related to dwarves but are of lighter build and generally more pleasant to get on with. They are less stubborn and opinionated and have an active sense of humour. Like dwarves, gnomes are highly skilled smiths but they specialise in jewellery and clever mechanical devices (locks for example), rather than in armour and weaponry. They can be found all over the Realms but usually make their homes in hilly or mountainous terrain.


Golems are an artificial life form constructed from dismembered bodies and animated by an evil spirit or wizard. They are belived to have been created by the sect of Ythcal many centuries ago but knowledge of the secrets involved has now been lost. Golems are of about human size but immensely strong and they must be literally hacked to pieces before they will stop fighting. They have no mind and only act to obey the instructions given to them by their creator.


Sometimes known as the slaves of Mellifluer, ghouls are humanoid creatures which feed upon the bodies of the dead. Graveyards all over the Realms have to be protected to prevent ghouls from digging up the buried coffins and breaking them open to feast upon the rotting corpses within. The filth upon a ghouls teeth and claws acts as a paralysing poison making them deadly foes in combat. They are of low intelligence but have an animal cunning.


Hill Giant

Giants are probably the stupidest of the humanoid races and the hill giants are no exception. They are weak willed, slow witted and extremely childish. They enjoy nothing more than eating and if food is readily available they will eat until they can not move. The only accomplishment ever made by this race was learning how to make beer. Since their attitude towards drinking is the same as it is towards eating, things have gone downhill ever since.

Stone Giant
Stone giants earn the name from their battle tactics. Hurling huge boulders of stone at their victims. They rarely miss either. Stone giants are just as stupid as all giants and only excel in stone throwing and of course, eating.

Mountain Giant
Bigger, uglier, meaner, and stupider than just about anything you have ever met before is the hideous mountain giant. This is the largest of the giants and like its fellows enjoys food, drink, and fighting, not necessarily in that order. They are extremely primitive and most live in squalid caves in mountainous terrain. They smell really bad, half body odour and half from the uncured animal skins they use for clothing and armour.


The largest of the goblin races are known as Hobgoblins. Like their smaller brethren they are dark skinned, ugly and savage. They are less well equipped than most goblins and even more primitive but their size and strength make them dangerous in combat. They are not very intelligent and have no formal religious beliefs.


Half-Elves are the offspring of a Human and an Elf. Most are born from Human raids into Elven lands -- Humans sometimes can be despicable -- but some are the result of an Elf and Human partnership. This is a rare occasion, for though Elves are very beautiful compared to most Humans, they are aloof, and rarely mix with others. This dubious background makes most Half-Elves bitter and so they remain loners, not wanting to be part of any culture (and in their minds, not welcome). These are usually ferocious and un- trusting, and make good allies if you can gain their respect. They look much like humans, except they are slimmer and more comely, with slightly Elven features. They mix the good qualities of both races, and are very versatile.


These fuzzy-toed folk average around three feet high, about half the height of a human (hence the name) and are therefore quite weak. They are surprisingly tough and incredibly agile -- halflings quickness is deceptive, and some adventurers get more than they bargain for when they tangle with a Halfling. They are fond of good company and good drink, and are very soft-hearted over-all. But when a Halfling is cornered, or his home (or food and drink!) is threatened, they will fight with a ferocity that would startle any but the most seasoned of adventurers. Halflings do not take too well to magic, and seldom is a Halfling seen who can demonstrate magical powers of any sort. Show a Halfling a good beer, a comfortable seat, and pleasant company, and you will have a friend for life. Halflings make excellent Thieves, due to their innate agility and stealth.


Imps are small demonic creatures who serve the evil gods. They have ugly little faces with pointed fangs, bat wings and long tails with a pointed tip. They usually act as messengers between the gods and mortals but are sometimes given other tasks to perform. As they are only about two feet tall they will always try to avoid combat.


Kobolds are small goblin like creatures. They are primitive and brutal and not particularly intelligent. They live by raiding farms and small groups of travellers for food and equipment. They are nocturnal and are rarely seen during the day. They usually live in caves or underground lairs close to centres of population. Without the presence of farms nearby they would soon starve as they are poor hunters. Most kobold tribes worship Kurtlmak and they will treat other followers of Kurtlmak with respect.


For centuries man has sought for ways to cheat death and the lich is the result of one of the avenues of research. With demonic assistance, a powerful mage can retain a form of life after death. Unfortunately the influence of the demon always comes to dominate the mage’s spirit and lich’s are invariably evil, twisted beings with a hatred for the life they have lost. A lich is a deadly foe for in addition to special powers acquired with their undead status they retain the full intelligence of their former life and a full knowledge of the spells learned as a mage during that life.


Orcs are the commonest of the goblin races. They are about five feet tall and recognisable by their sharp teeth and claws, swarthy complexion pug noses and scraggy ears. Orcs are arrogant, vicious, mean, greedy, violent, stupid, smelly, lazy, cowardly, etc, etc. Their only good feature is the eagerness with which they kill each other when no-one else is handy. If it were not for a total lack of organisation and their inability to co-operate orcs would be a very serious threat to civilisation. Most orc tribes worship Gruumsh.


Ogres are large humaniod creatures with ugly features, swarthy skin and big muscles. Although fearsome to look upon they are generally good natured. Unfortunately they enjoy a ‘friendly’ punch up from time to time, and being a bit dim witted they tend to forget their own strength. The end result is often a bloody mess on one side and an embarrassed ogre on the other. Ogres can usually be found in hilly or mountainous terrain, or underground.

Svirfnebli (Deep Gnomes)

Svirfnebli, also know as Deep gnomes are slighty larger than their surface cousins, these gnomes are also stronger and a little more hearty from centuries of working stone. The dedication to stone has made them not quite as adept mentally as their cousins, but yet they are still regarded as very wise. With their singular dedication to the stone, svirfnebli must be neutral in all aspects of their lives. They have the same ability in learning the powers of items as their surface cousins.


Trolls are ghastly carnivores of humanoid form. They are tall and scrawny but immensely powerful, capable of tearing small trees from the ground to use as a club. They can also attack with their sharp teeth and claws. Trolls are almost impossible to kill as they can regenerate damaged flesh with incredible speed. Even severed limbs can be regrown in a matter of minutes. Only fire or acid can slow this healing.


Once the most feared predator of the open plains the wolves now reside in forest or jungle terrain where they have been driven by more deadly competition. Although a fairly weak creature if met individually, wolves work together well and a small pack of wolves will often defeat larger and more powerful creatures. There also many different species of Wolf, including Dread wolf and Winter wolf.


Wraiths are immaterial beings formed from the spirits of the restless dead. They are bound to the mortal world by strong emotional ties of hatred or remorse which prevents them from passing onto the afterlife. Although they have no bodies they still need to feed and the only sustenance available is the life force of the living creatures around them. They drain this with their chilling touch. Wraiths appear only at night and look like a ghostly corpse with claws and eyes which look like black pits.