Races of Norrath
All of the 5E PHB races are mechanically compatible with the Norrath campaign setting. However, there are some significant variances between the reputations, appearance, and tendencies presented in the core rules and Norrathian lore.
This page provides a brief summary of those differences. It is meant to offer a quick way to select a race and get role playing within the setting. Thorough entries of Norrath-racial lore will be incorporated into the wiki at a future time.
PHB; very rare
Properly know as the Drakkin, Veeshan’s children are a scattered race. They are more human in appearance than the PHB’s description.
Touched by the blood of dragons, this heritage is evident in their appearance, with markings and horns that mirror the dragon who “gifted” them. They appear slightly smaller and more refined than Humans, with a look that may be compared to that of the beautiful and timeless Elves
Although possessing of no inherent morality, their worship of Veeshan often has a polarizing effect with other races.
Dwarves hail from the Butcherblock Mountains and frequently travel throughout the realms. Fine craftsmen and warriors, their skills are welcome in most cities. Their PHB description is a good match to their Norrathian equivalent.
Norrathian elves are largely consistent with the PHB lore. Scholars and gentry may refer to each sub-race by proper name:
- wood elves: the Feir’Dal uncommon
- high elves: the Koada`Dal rare
- drow: the Teir`Dal rare – the name ‘drow’ is unknown to the world, so they are casually referred to as dark elves. Dark elves maintain their traditional antagonist role in Norrath, but have deep alliances with the trolls and ogres of Grobb and Ogguk to bolster their oppression over lesser races.
Most gnomes are born in or near the splendorous city of Akannon. While they are welcome in most parts of the world, they travel less commonly than their Dwarvish cousins.
Elemental Evil Player’s Guide ; uncommon
While commonly (and confusingly) referred to as ‘barbarians’ by the many peoples of Norrath, the folk of Everfrost are properly called Goliaths.
With most of their civilization centered around the tribal hub-city of Halas, Goliaths are hunters, farmers, and great warriors. They are more human-like in Norrath than described in the 5E supplement, but otherwise well represented by the description.
Elvish blood is more likely to claim dominance in Norrath than typical fantasy settings. For that reason, half-elves are a common site in major cities.
Note: Teri’Dal blood is not compatible with human or any other blood. Thus is the gift and price of Innoruuk’s favor.
PHB; very rare
While Rallos Zek may never have imagined his children seeking to mate with humans, it is an occasional outcome of raids and boarder skirmishes. Males orcs sometimes claim hapless human females as horrific trophies. They normally don’t come to term and, if they do, birthing these half breeds is a fatal process.
Very rarely, female orcs may claim exceptional male warriors as victory spoils. Willing or not, they will sire offspring. Birthing a half-orc in this way is relatively easy to the sturdy mother, and the child grows up a novelty within the clan.
Norrathian orc skin varies greatly in hue. Most are earthen colors of different shade and brightness. Some older clans, such as those of Crushbone Citadel, have a odd, dark bluish tints to their skin.
Their are no appreciable differences between typical halfling described in the PHB and those of Norrath.
PHB; very common
The most prolific race in Norrath (except perhaps gnolls), humans are everywhere. They control the major trade routes through the large continent of Antonica.
Humans of Norrath are well represented by their description in the PHB. Most originate from one of three major locations: Freeport, Qeynos, and Erudin. Other large settlements, such as Highkeep, and most cities also contain several generations of humans.
Humans of Erudinite descent have access to the Variant Human Traits rules in the PHB. However, one of the “Two different ability scores” must be selected from Wisdom, Intelligence or Charisma. The second can be any ability score. (I.e.: you can take +1 to CHR & CON, or CHR & INT, but not CON & STR.)
Tieflings are not without precedent in the lore of Norrath but they are legendary in nature. Playing such a creature means living a truly unique life, filled with awe, suspicion, and uncertainty.