Races

Dark Elves

Background

Long ago, the Dark Elves were members of one of the elven houses, Ta'Faendryl. During an ancient war, the Dark Elves called upon forbidden magic to summon ancient demons to their aid. The battle was won, but Ta'Faendryl was removed from the other elven houses for using such terrible methods. The dark magic that these elves called upon (and continued to call upon), along with their new home, turned their skin dark and changed their personalities.

Appearance

Dark Elves look like standard elves, but with dark brown to black skin and black, grey, or white hair.

Personality and Lifestyle

Dark Elves have a very harsh, political lifestyle. Very few non-Dark Elven people inhabit their cities; many of those who do are slaves or indentured servants. Station means everything, and many Dark Elves resort to less than friendly means of advancement. Dark Elven culture is patriarchal; houses and cities are always led by men, though aside from that restriction female Dark Elves can rise to any other station. Many higher ranking Dark Elves take multiple wives (typically no more than 3 or 4) and appoint them to important positions.

Magic is valued much more than physical prowess. Unlike most societies, a majority of Dark Elves are taught basic wizardry; failing to grasp this usually relegates that particular Dark Elf to the lower classes. Dark Elven society has no organized religion, and very, very few Dark Elves ever become Clerics.

Dark Elves, being even more haughty and arrogant than normal elves, look down on other races even more. High (regular) elves and Sylvankind are on something of a second tier, inferior to Dark Elves but superior to all other races. Dark Elves have a particular dislike for halflings and gnomes.

Relationships with Other Races

Dark Elves aren't especially liked by other races, but they tend to stay out of their affairs, so no one particularly hates them besides the Elves that cast them out so long ago. Still, they are typically not very welcome in most places, and many ignorant commoners may be too scared to ask a Dark Elf to leave.

Dark Elven Racial Traits

1. +2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence
2. Base land speed of 30 feet (6 squares).
3. Low-light Vision.
4. Dark Elves are automatically proficient with the short sword, a weapon that serves them well in the caverns where they make their homes.
5. Dark Elves get a +2 bonus to Arcana and Diplomacy. However, they suffer a -2 penalty to Athletics and Endurance — Dark Elves are not especially hardy, nor do they like to "rough it.".
6. Automatic Languages: Common and Dark Elven. Many Dark Elves also learn Elven and Sylvankind.
7. Bonus Cantrips: All Dark Elves may choose two wizard cantrips that they may use At Will. Almost all Dark Elves learn Light to help navigate their underground home, but it is not required. Prestidigitation is another popular choice.
8. Magic Repellant: Once per encounter, a Dark Elf may reroll a saving throw to shrug off a magical effect. The new result must be taken, even if it is worse.
9. Magic Resistance: Dark Elves resist one point of damage that originates from a magical (Divine or Arcane) source.
10. Magical Training: Dark Elves receive the Ritual Caster feat as a bonus feat.

Giantmen

Background

The background of Giantmen (who frequently call themselves other names; Giantman is a slang term used by civilized races) is largely unknown. Their creation stories range from mere humans who grew more physically powerful from hard lifestyles to a select few who were blessed by Kai, growing more fit for war. A common theme of these stories is that the Giantmen were once human, and this is assumed to be the case by most scholars. As their history tends to be largely told through stories rather than verifiable documents, it's thought that the truth may never be known.

Appearance

Giantmen physically appear to be large humans, with the typical specimen being anywhere from 6.5 to 8 feet tall. Most Giantmen dress in furs, hides, and other primitive clothing, as very few Giantmen live in civilized lands (though the ones that do wear clothing similar to most normal humans). Most Giantmen are quite muscular, and their barbaric lifestyle often decorates their bodies with many scars.

Personality and Lifestyle

Giantmen run the gamut from "gentle giants" to savage, bloodthirsty berserkers. Like humans, their attitudes towards others vary considerably, though their lifestyle is almost universally primitive. Leadership and "government" vary considerably from tribe to tribe, though most tribes value strength and toughness. The more civilized ones also value wisdom, which frequently means that their leaders tend to be older and not simply young upstarts.

While Giantmen each have their own shamans or holy men/women (Kai and Charl are commonly worshiped), arcane magic is almost unheard of among them. They seem to have difficulty learning magical patterns and formulae. Most Giantmen who use magic are clerics, though there are a small number of them that seem to have been born with a tie to one of the moons.

Relationship with Other Races

Most Giantmen tribes are wary of outsiders, though not all are hostile and a few even engage in trade with other races. Giantmen who live in civilized lands most often find work as bouncers, bodyguards, or laborers. A few break this mold and find more white collar work, but this is unusual. As a whole, most others assume that any given Giantman is a primitive (though maybe not necessarily violent) savage unless they have reason to believe otherwise.

Giantmen Racial Traits

1. +2 Strength, +2 Constitution or Wisdom
2. Base land speed of 30 feet (6 squares).
3. Combat Training: Giantmen gain a bonus proficiency with any one melee weapon. Typically, this weapon is a large, brutal two-handed weapon.
4. Giantmen gain a +2 bonus to Athletics, Endurance and Intimidate, but take a -2 penalty to Arcana.
5. Automatic languages: Common (though it is often poorly spoken and heavy with local dialect). A few of the Giantmen near Gardenbur have learn Sylvan; most do not learn other languages unless they maintain regular contact with other races, a situation that tends to be uncommon.
6. Furious Tenacity (Daily): When a Giantman is dealt damage and brought to zero or fewer hit points, he may immediately spend two healing surges (gaining the benefits of only one) and continue fighting. However, from that point until the next short rest, all of the Giantman's saving throws, skill checks, and damage rolls are made with a -2 penalty.
7. Poorly Educated: Giantmen may not start with any Intelligence-based skill as part of their class training unless that skill is automatically granted. A giantman can train these skills with feats normally.

Half Elves

Background

As one might assume, half-elves are created when a human and some sort of elf creates offspring. Half elves tend to be rare in Teras, as all types of elves in general don't normally care for humans.

Half Elven Racial Traits

As per the PHB, with a few exceptions. At creation, you must decide which race of elf is paired with your human half (high elf, sylvankind, or dark elf). The PHB half elf is considered a human/high elf hybrid. Human/sylvankind hybrids have +2 Nature instead of Diplomacy, and human/dark elf hybrids discard Diplomacy in favor of +2 Arcana.

Your choice of heritage also affects which feats you can take. As per the Dual Heritage feature in the PHB, half elves can take feats that have both human and high elf/sylvankind/dark elf as pre-requisites.

High Elves (Eladrin)

Background

The eladrin are the elves of the Elven Nations – the term “Eladrin” is unknown to the elves of Teras.

Long ago, the Sylvankind were the only elves on Teras. One faction became increasingly restless, however, and left the forests to build cities like those of the humans. These were the ancestors of all of the High Elves alive today; as time passed, the noise of the elven cities drowned out the whispers of Imaera, and eventually it ceased. For better or worse, the High Elves were on their own.

More information on their lifestyle can be found in the Elven Nations section in the Countries and Territories section.

High Elven Racial Traits

High Elves are identical to Eladrin from the Player's Handbook, although very few of them ever manifest the Fey Step power due to the training it requires. Essentially, this means that only PCs and other “important” elves can use this power.

Muls

Background

Originally born and bred humans that were used as slave workers in ancient times, Muls have since separated off and developed to become their own subspecies. Although the majority of them have been free for many years, some Muls still remain guarded around civilized races, cultivating a culture of their own in their own communities — most of which consist of tribal groups living out in the eastern deserts of Isis or the wastelands of Sharrath. Most Muls are nomadic, preferring the wilderness to the general big cities, but a sharp eye can tell from time to time a Mul worker.

Appearance

Muls generally appear human but are usually stockier, shorter, and more muscular. Culturally (in areas where there are enough Muls to have a Mul culture), many Muls prefer to shave their heads and/or other body hair in order to distinguish themselves from others and, due to this, many Muls are in the habit of tattooing their body, and scalp, with various markings. While these tattoos vary from Mul to Mul, they almost always have some deeper meaning to the individual on some level (their ancestors, where they came from, their capabilities, etc).

Personality and Lifestyle

Many Muls are very practical and stoic, becoming focused on a particular task and seeing it out through to the end. Muls (particularly tribal ones) tend to be very insular and prefer to keep to themselves rather than socialize, only really trusting other Muls. In the wilderness, Muls either tend to be nomadic travelers, going from city to city in caravans of multiple family groups if in civilized areas or hunter-gatherers if not. Some are lone travelers that simply go from one city to another, but many live out in the wild, finding the occasional odd job to do if they must.
Overall, Muls (especially tribal ones) are touchy about their ancestry as practically bred slaves, and often take pride in being descended from an ancestor who fought back (the more violent the better) from their oppressors to try and free their people, recording the valiant tales from oral tradition into books to share proudly with their own children. This has lead Muls to often favor the physical world over the magical, and the majority of them are distrustful of anything overtly magical or technological. In the end, they prefer to rely on their physical attributes and/or the world itself and nature to sustain them, mistrusting many magics and modern technology.

Relationship to Other Races

A Mul's attitude towards other races largely depends on where they were raised. Some Muls, particularly ones that live in cities, have little understanding of the fact that they are no longer quite like most humans. As prejudice is taught rather than ingrained, those Muls have attitudes appropriate to their upbringing. A Mul that lives in a Guardian city is unlikely to bear other races any ill will and probably believes that they are simply a powerfully built human.
On the other hand, tribal Muls who have maintained oral or written traditions still remember centuries ago when they were the unwilling workforce of others. These Muls tend to be very insular and distrusting of outsiders.

Racial Traits

1.+2 Constitution, +2 Dexterity or Strength
2. Base land speed of 30 feet (6 squares)
3. Combat Training: In addition to their class proficiencies, Muls have proficiency with the Xen'drik (Sharrath) Boomerang and Drow (Mul) Long Knife.
4. Human Ancestry: Muls are considered human for all applicable effects (feat pre-requisites, paragon paths, etc)
5. Never to Yield: Muls get the Guts feat at level 1, even if they don’t meet the requirements for it.
6. Muls get a +2 to Athletics and Endurance, but take a -2 to Arcana and Tinkering.
7. Automatic Languages: Common.
8. Quick Recovery: Whenever a Mul spends a healing surge, they recover their Constitution modifier in extra hit points. This increases to Constitution modifier + 3 and Constitution modifier + 6 hit points at Paragon and Epic tiers.
9. Earth-Blessed: A Mul may choose up to one feat per tier and/or a paragon path that has the pre-requisite of "dwarf."

Sylvan Elves

Background

Sylvan elves are an offshoot of normal elves. Long ago, back when the elven houses were forming, the sylvan elves left the towns and cities to live in the wilderness, most heading north to what is now Gardenbur. For a while, they lived a nomadic lifestyle, but after suffering significant casualties from various wilderness monsters most decided to build settlements in the trees. These treehouse cities are quite elaborate, and the few visitors that are allowed in often stand slack-jawed for a few moments as they first catch sight of them.

Appearance

Most Sylvans look much like normal elves, though they have slightly hardier figures, very light skin (lily white or alabaster are common), and light hair (Sylvans rarely have darker than light brown hair). Those who don't meet many elves sometimes confuse Sylvankind and normal elves, but any sort of elf (Sylvan, standard, or Dark) can easily tell the difference. Almost all Sylvans have very athletic body types.

Personality and Lifestyle

The vast majority of sylvan elves live in sylvan-only treehouse cities in the forests of Gardenbur, though small pockets of them exist on virtually every continent. They tend to be fairly reclusive, and not many sylvankind leave home. Sylvans generally prefer to stay among their own kind, and the ones that chose to travel or adventure are usually exceptions to that rule, though they are not looked down upon. Other races, except for some elves (and in Gardenbur, Dwarves), are usually not welcome in Sylvan communities and asked to leave as quickly as possible, though most Sylvan communities will not turn away those who are hungry, injured, or otherwise in trouble. Sylvankind are particularly wary of humans (particularly humans from Seriade), as they have repeatedly shown a lack of foresight and often defile the land that they settle.

Sylvankind typically fight with bows and spears. Most Sylvan communities don't have a large supply of metal, and it is not all that uncommon for arrow and spearheads to be made of stone (though implements of war are almost always metal). Devices created with the art of Tinkering are extremely rare in most Sylvan communities.

Sylvans, unlike many high and dark elves, tend to be fairly humble. Sylvankind are rarely haughty or arrogant, and usually speak softly and respectfully. Members of sylvan communities also tend to enjoy levels of liberty and freedom that those from other lands could only dream of — free speech and tolerance abound, and bigotry is in extremely short supply.

Relationships with Other Races

Provided that their desire for seclusion is appeased, Sylvankind tend to get along just fine with other races, though elves tend to look down on them as primitive. Strangely, Sylvankind get along just fine with Dwarves, who historically have had strained relationships with other elves. The two races have something of symbiotic relationship, trading rare woods and herbs for metals and vice versa. Of all races, Sylvans are the most skeptical of humans, who have frequently shown a disrespect for the land and a general lack of foresight.

Sylvan Racial Traits

1. +2 Dexterity, +2 Wisdom
2. Base land speed of 35 feet (7 squares).
3. Low-light vision.
4. Sylvankind are automatically proficient with shortbows, longbows, and spears (standard and longspear). Sylvankind use bows to hunt food, and spears are much more practical in forests where metal is not plentiful.
5. Sylvankind get a +2 bonus to Acrobatics, Athletics, Nature, and Perception. However, they suffer a -2 penalty to Streetwise and Thievery.
6. Automatic languages: Common and Sylvankind. Many also learn Gnomish and Dwarven, as these races are common trading partners.
7. Wildstep: Sylvans can ignore difficult terrain when shifting.
8. Group Awareness: All allies within 10 squares (50 feet) gain a +1 racial bonus to Perception checks.

Note: Sylvan elves are identical to the elves in the 4th edition players handbook, except that they are proficient with standard spears and longspears and have the following additional skill modifiers: +2 Acrobatics, +2 Athletics, -2 Streetwise, -2 Thievery.

Tieflings

Background

Tieflings originate from the island of Nodus. Information about this can be found elsewhere in this guide.

Tiefling Racial Traits

Tieflings have Poison Resistance equal to 5 + one half their level instead of a life amount of Fire Resistance. This is due to their origin on the deeply tainted island of Nodus, rather than the demonic story present in the PHB.

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