Every being has a race. It represents a being's ancestry and heritage. Each race confers innate positive and negative effects that represent the physical capabilities of the race, and the cultural upbringing that you have experienced.
Please bear in mind that all of these descriptions are very generalised, and offer an averaged view of each race's culture. Individuals need not conform to these descriptions, though they are likely at least semi-representative of the environment in which they grew up.
The Civilised Races
Main article: Human
Humans are the most versatile of the races. While they may not excel at any particular field, they can become proficient in almost any discipline. They are relatively short lived, and tend to be rather populous. Humans can be found in most areas of the world. Unlike the kinfolk, they have made a name for themselves as being able to turn their hand to any job they need to.
Main article: Elf
Elves tend to stay close to nature. Their major population centers focus around wooded areas, or areas of particular natural beauty. Their culture puts great stock in finesse and art; skills that they must be quick to learn, as they have abnormally short life expectancies. They also have an affinity for the arcane arts, drawn by their beauty and the care needed to properly practice them.
Main article: Dwarf
Dwarves are a stout race of stubborn and industrious workers. They can be found wherever manual labour is needed; not due to any servitude, they merely prefer to see the work done by those who are most proficient in it. They are longer lived than all races but the Treants, and prefer to identify one area of work and truly master it, than to generalise. Their society is relatively divinely focused, though many lack the openness to receive significant power, and prefer to stick to more martial endeavours.
Main article: Halfling
Halflings are a lucky people. With an agrarian society, their communities tend to be sparsely populated, but far reaching, with networks of messenger birds flitting between the various homesteads. Like the Dwarves, their homes tend to be primarily underground. However, rather than hew the bedrock and scar the land, country Halflings prefer to create burrows, protected by packed topsoil. These dwellings can house dozens of family members, and are surprisingly deep. In the city, it is not uncommon for large buildings to be rented to groups of over 20 halflings at any one time. These houses can be something of a nuisance, as they tend to create quite a lot of noise and refuse. Halflings are most at home when sticking to the shadows, where their innate good fortune allows them to tip the balance further in their favor.
Main article: Gnome
The Gnomes are an interesting people. They simultaneously put great stock in tradition and in innovation. They were amongst the first to develop meaningful settlements, with their ingenuity allowing them to transport and store large amounts of water and food. They rely greatly on automated defences and traps to protect themselves, preferring not to fight themselves.
Main article: Orc
Orcs are a generally tribal people. They work and live in the wilderness, in small nomadic communities. While their sustenance is primary derived from hunter-gatherer practices, they have a rich and storied culture, and often have great respect for the lands they inhabit. Other cultures, especially gnomish and dwarvern communities, may shun an overly emotional lifestyle, but this is not the case with the orcs. They believe that their visceral response to the world is the true judgement of character, rather than ones control over it. As such, they are a passionate people. Orcs are found in minority in multiracial/permanent settlements, often acting as security or law enforcement, though a surprising number work in more artistic environments.
Main article: Goblin
If any civilised race can be said to obey hive or swarm activity, it is the goblins. Sensitive to sunlight, they life in massive underground warrens, each of which can house thousands of individuals from perhaps only a few dozen families. Similarly to the gnomes, they rely on traps and more underhand tactics to get what they need. However, they take a more straight forward tactic to battle, preferring instead to simply outnumber the opponents. Their culture is primarily family-focused, with the loose governments favouring an very socialist outlook towards goods and services. Mob justice is common, and for all that family matters, individual sentiment isn't the highest priority; if you are not acting in the common good, you're getting out.
Main article: Kinfolk
The Kinfolk are an aberrant race. Which every other race seems to have their speciality and purpose (even the humans, whose seems to be filling the gaps), the Kinfolk simply.. are. Whether by creation of the ancient gods, alteration experiments gone wrong, or nature's will itself, no one is quite sure, but the Kinfolk seem to be a descended from unions of awakened animals and humanoids. Each of them carries within them an aspect, which becomes more prominent as they develop. Something of an outsider race, without a defining culture, they aren't shunned, but they certainly have to work a little harder to prove their worth at any individual task; one cannot assume that they are as dependable as a dwarf, as passionate as an orc, or as wise as a treant.
One of the theories behind the lack of consistency within perception of the Kinfolk is that, due to their internally fragmented culture, they do not have a unified identity. Indeed, no race has as much infighting as the kinfolk, as family groups from different aspects often find themselves at odds with each other.
Main article: Treant
Treants are unusual amongst the civilised races, in that it is hard to believe that treants have a unified civilisation. Unlike the other races, they are not animals, but are more closely akin to awakened, animated trees. Their life cycle is also a little different, as they do not gain sentience until they could be considered adult; indeed, they only awaken after they have first released seeds. Such events are annual, and are cause for sedate celebration within each copse, as one awakening often triggers many. They are exceedingly long lived, seemingly immortal barring outside influence, and as such, are very wise. However, as vulnerable as they are when they are growing, very few of the seeds released in a season ever reach maturity. This is no tragedy amongst them; such saplings were never awakened, and had no opportunity to suffer.
Treants meet on a superlunar calendar; every 144 lunar months, one of the two wardens from each copse travels to the consular clearing for the region, to exchange news and events. From here, ambassadors of the council, often smaller, younger treants, travel to each of the other councils, to disseminate the information further. This process, including the return journey, takes roughly 12 months to complete, and is a once- or twice-in-a-lifetime event amongst the shorter-lived races.
Main article: Mer
The Mer are an almost entirely aquatic race. Primarily subsisting on cultivated kelp and farmed fish, they prefer practical solutions to the problems that they face. While one may be mistaken for thinking that their natural environment may isolate them from much of society, this is not the case. It is extremely common for fishing boats to hire a Mer as a navigator or advisor as to where the best fishing locations are, and their knowledge of their environment is rivalled only be the orc's knowledge of theirs. Their tails are able to support them on land almost indefinitely, though not without possible complications. The risk of ulceration and scale dessication is sufficient that most do not stray far from the water. Mer are a common sight in coastal land towns, which often extend into the water and grow to include Mer populations. Those who deal with land-dwellers frequently often choose to built split-level homes in deep tidal pools or against cliff faces, such that they can entertain their friends while still living in their natural habitat. The Mer tend towards Mercantile roles, their ease in the water giving them confidence amongst the rivers and coastal paths that help facilitate long-distance trade.
The Intelligent Savages
The races in this category are intelligent races that have either neglected or are unsuitable for forming a meaningful and lasting community. They are not unintelligent, but their lack of a tendancy to cooperation leaves them without a place in society. They tend to be individually more powerful than the other races. Because of these, it is suggested that they not be used for heroes.
Main article: Giant
Giants, as their name would suggest, are large beings. Standing at between 12' and 18', they are thickly built and very territorial. The majority of their territories are deep within the Crest, though occasionally one will stumble into a Dwarvern mineshaft and become problematic.
Main article: Giant
Trolls are immensely strong and known for their regenerative capabilities. They live individual lives, but occasionally form hunting packs to take down large prey. These temporary unions almost inevitably end in conflict and possible dismemberment of one of the parties.
Main article: Integrated Construct
Integrated Constructs, or ICs are magimechanical beings, whose bodies were devised by dwarvern and gnomish engineers. There are 4 general classes of ICs, determined based on the availability of free will, and whether or not the consciousness housed within the mechanical body is artificial or natural.
Civilised Stat Summary
|Race||Major Bonus||Minor Bonus||Minor Malus||Major Malus||Offensive Bonus||Defensive Bonus||Skill Bonus|
|Human||--||Any 2||Any 2||--||Bonus feat||Bonus feat||1 bonus skill point/level|
|Elf||Dexterity||Intelligence||Wisdom||Strength||Advantage to confirm crits||Opponents have disadvantage to confirm crits against||Automatic check to find hidden stuff|
|Dwarf||Constitution||Wisdom||Charisma||Dexterity||-/day advantage on damage rolls||Never suffer encumbrance penalty, treat armour as one size smaller for proficiencies and penalties||Bonuses to any skill checks involving stone, earth, gems, etc.|
|Halfling||Wisdom||Dexterity||Strength||Intelligence||-/day advantage on attack rolls||-/day give enemy disadvantage on damage rolls||Advantage on hero die|
|Gnome||Intelligence||Constitution||Strength||Wisdom||-/day, free effect improvement on selected effect||+1 to defence if attacked the same way more than once in an encounter||Bonus to craft|
|Orc||Strength||Charisma||Luck||Intelligence||Increase critical range||Quicker healing during extended rest||Bonus to perform|
|Goblin||Dexterity||Intelligence||Strength||Charisma||Increase flanking bonus||Free 5ft step if attack against misses||Bonus to disarming traps|
|Kinfolk||Any 1||--||--||Any 1||Natural weapons||Camouflage in their aspect habitat||Bonus to social skills|
|Treant||Wisdom||Strength||Charisma||Dexterity||Count as a size larger, when useful||Immune to natural fatigue and exhaustion, and most poisons||Bonus to skill checks in natural areas|
|Mer||Charisma||Strength||Intelligence||Constitution||Grapple/trip with tail as AoO||Can breath and work underwater without penalty||Bonus to proficient Crafts and Professions|