Posts Tagged ‘Forgotten Realms’

To role-play a character properly you should know how those you meet might react to you. And it can also be helpful, when putting together a character in a fleshed out setting like Forgotten Realms, to know where you’re from. I’m hoping the post below can help you do both things. What will follow will be, for each race, a brief description description of where you can be from and how others will react to you. At the end I’ll post a current map of Faerun which should help give you a sense of scale. Finally, a list of languages should help you round out your character sheets and will end out the post.

Hope you find this stuff useful!


Deva, or aasimars as they were once known, came to Faerun as angelic servants to ancient deities. Just as deities must send avatars into the world, so the Deva needed to incorporate themselves in mortal flesh. The price for their corporal immortality was perpetual reincarnation. Deva don’t have a homeland as do other races. But they are more likely to be found in the east than anywhere else.

Deva are very rare. When unmasked most will react to a Deva with outright fear or open hostility.


Dragonborn in Faerun basically hail from one of two places: Abeir and Tymanther. Those Dragonborn in Abeir, a small continent found west across the Trackless Sea, toil as slaves for cruel Dragon-kind masters. To both break free of this slavery and arrive safely in the main continent of Faerun would make for an amazing character indeed. The free nation of Tymanther, in the east, is your other option for an origin location. Tymanther is a recently independent nation, and struggles to make lasting, peaceful relationships with the lands around them.

Dragonborn are seen as peculiar and are often kept at a distance by most people in Faerun. Their customs are seen as strange and their uncertain origins make establishing trust a difficult proposition. Don’t expect to make fast friends with anyone. Your race’s natural sense of duty and honor is your greatest asset in this case.


The Drow are a cruel and wicked elven race that inhabit the Underdark, a vast network of caves under the surface of Faerun. Beautiful and decadent, these dark elves favor strength and shun weakness. From birth drow are taught that they are superior to all other races, and that those who lack strength to defend themselves are to be used as the drow see fit. You can see then how they can seem a bit arrogant and condescending to others.

A few Drow escape the Underdark and make a new life on the surface. It goes without saying that trust and friendship are hard to come by, and outright hostility will often be a given – especially from Eladrin and Elves.


As is a staple in fantasy settings, the glory of the old Dwarven kingdoms has faded. Many of their strongholds are long in ruin, but they hold on stoutly to what remains. There are two varieties of Dwarves to be found in Faerun. The arrogant Gold Dwarves hold fast to their kingdom of East Rift, set against east wall of the vast Underchasm in the south. Shield Dwarves, found almost anywhere else in Faerun, are far more open and amicable than their Gold Dwarf cousins. Gold Dwarves are known for their stylized goods made in expensive and beautiful metals and stone. Shield Dwarves work in far more practical elements, but their craftsmanship is just as expert.

Dwarves are accepted nearly everywhere in Faerun and will be shunned or turned away by only the most prejudiced. Gold Dwarves might face a cold shoulder due to their people’s reputation for arrogance, but for the most part they are accepted on a Dwarf-by-Dwarf basis.


The Eladrin are the second of the elven races races in Faerun. They are often known collectively as “High Elves” or “Light Elves” amongst other races, but they are called Eladrin amongst themselves. As with Dwarves, there are two varieties of Eladrin to be found in Faerun, Moon Elves and Sun Elves. The pale Moon Elves are more likely to appreciate the companionship of other races, and they are by far the most numerous. Some make their lives in the great cosmopolitan cities of Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep on the west coast of Toril. Their Eladrin brothers, the lightly bronzed Sun Elves, are far more cautious and insular. They make their homes within the safe confines of the elven cities of Myth Drannor and Everska, where you can also find Moon Elves. Both varieties can be found on the Elven home island of Evermeet, west across the sea.

With the exception of those lucky residents of Baldur’s Gate and Waterdeep, the mysterious Eladrin are not often seen by other races in Faerun. When encountered they are treated with suspicion and often fear. Rarely, if ever, are they treated with disrespect.


The third and final of the Elven races, Elves are often considered the standard; say “Elf” in Faerun and this race will come to mind. As with the Dwarves and Eladrin, our Elves are divided into two groups. Collectively known as “Green Elves” they are the Wood Elves and the Wild Elves. Wood Elves are the most numerous of the two. They make their homes in the arbors of the High Forest and the Lethyr, Wealdath, Chondalwood, and Cormanthor woods. Though it’s not out of the question to find them wherever there are woodlands. Their cousins, the Wild Elves, are xenophobic, and even distrust other elves. They make their homes far from others and have settled in bleak places such as Elfharrow and the deeper portions of the Chondalwood. Wherever you find an untamed woodland you may just find a Wild Elf.

Like Dwarves, Elves are accepted in most parts of Faerun and only those with a natural prejudice will reject them. Wild Elves will often be treated with curiosity more than anything.


Gnomes, known as the Forgotten Folk, are rare in Faerun. Small communities exist in the Western Heartlands, Elturgard, along the coast of the Shining Sea, and usually anywhere you can find Dwarves. Some Gnomes have even settled in the Underdark.

Most view Gnomes with curiosity or dismissive humor.


Goliaths are virtual unknowns in Faerun and have only recently started to descend from the hills and mountains. Goliaths live mostly in the little-known ranges of eastern Faerun – the Thesk Mountains, the Mountains of Copper, the Sunrise Mountains, and even the bitterly cold Icerim Mountains. The lands around these mountains are largely desolate and few people venture into their lands.

Goliaths who venture away from home soon find that their great size and talent for combat opens up a world of possibilities. Though many should prepare themselves for the prejudice of others and the assumption that their pastoral and uncivilized history means they as a race are stupid and easily fooled.


Half-Elves appear throughout Faerun wherever elves and humans dwell near one another. Half-Elf settlements exist, but they are unusual. The largest populations of half-elves are found in Aglarond, Gulthandor, the Dales, and Luruar. Many of the half-elves formerly occupying Cormyr have moved north over the past decade, finding the north a bit more welcoming.

Travelers, traders, and adventurers half-elves are born diplomats whose glib tongues invite friendly smiles and inspire welcoming-arms. Even so, not all half-elves are born of a loving relationship. And many have a troubled past that can be the consequence of prejudice directed at one parent or the other.


While some half-elves have a checkered past, nearly all half-orcs are certain to. In human communities half-orcs surface in Vaasa or lands to the northwest of Cormyr. Though they can be found anywhere nomadic orc raiders have assaulted an unsuspecting human community.

Due to their ill heritage, half-orcs are treated with disdain and disrespect all over Faerun.


Former halfling homelands in the Chondalwood, Arnrock, and Lurien are today uninhabitable. Halflings have migrated to other regions and intermittent halfling communities can be found at crossroads and along major highways. For the most part, nations have tolerated these communities and allowed them to develop and prosper. Amn, for instance, has a population of halflings larger than the population of most countries. Halflings in the eastern part of this nation outnumber humans. You can usually find halflings in large human cities, or wherever there is room for a farming community to grow.

There is a general prejudice against halflings as short, soft, and cowardly. The rarer a halfling is in a locality the more likely a negative prejudice is to exist.


Humans exist all over Faeurn and it would take far too much time to introduce all their types here. If you’re looking for a certain kind of fantasy, ethnic, or historical type just let me know and I’ll give you an good choice of locations.

Lycanthropes and Shifters

These races have always dwelled in the shadow of the human and elven realms of Faerun. A small number intermarry with humans and over generations the trait of shapeshifting diminishes. Tribes and small communities of shifters and lycanthropes dot Faerun, though there are a few larger groups that need mention. In the Werewoods outside Baldur’s Gate and the Glimmerwood near Silverymoon exist large bands of lycanthropes that have evil designs on the local inhabitants. Dambrath, The Great Dale and the Forest of Lethyr are home to small nomadic bands of shifters who just want to be left alone.

Most people consider lycanthropy an inherently evil curse or disease, so shifters and lycanthropes are feared and treated violently when known.


Tieflings are scattered throughout Faerun, though most originate from areas along the eastern coast of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Those who remain in the east are more likely to continue the evil practices of their forebears.

Tieflings are plagued by a sinister heritage, and face a deep prejudice and the assumption that they are all evil in nature.


Here’s a 4e map of Faerun. If you need help finding a location, or would like more specific information, please let me know!


Finally, here are a list of languages common to Faerun. All languages from your PHB are standard, with these additions:

Chondathan – This is our equivalent of Common. You can call it whatever you wish; Common works fine with me.

Damaran – This language is commonly spoken from the Moonsea, east along the Sea of Fallen Stars, to Thesk.

Deep Speech – I include this only to note that it is the major language spoken in the Underdark.

Netherese – Netheril

Primordial – I include this only to note that it is the major language of the Genasi in Akanul, Calimshan, and the Lake of Steam.

Shou – Nathlan

Thayan – Thay

Tuigan – The Hordelands and areas east.

Untheric – This language is spoken in the Beastlands, Chessentia, Chult, Durpar, Estagund, Turmish, and the Shaar.

Well, that’s it for now. Anything else you want to know, just ask!


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Hello all!

Let’s play Dungeons and Dragons.

Not much to see here yet. I’m planning on making a few design changes so the site looks a little more appropriate. Any recommendations of tools or widgets are most welcome!

As you may or may not know, we will be in the Forgotten Realms for this campaign. I hemmed and hawed about it and decided that I needed to try something new. This will be relevant to character creation. Basic information is available in the DDI Character Builder, under Backgrounds, for character origin locations. I want to encourage you to find a location that fits the design ideas you have for each of your characters. I will answer any questions you have, of course.

In addition, I want to encourage you to pick a favorite character and then build other characters to fit that role. So if your favorite character is a striker then try to ensure your alternate characters are strikers, too. I anticipate being short a full four players, so the Controller is the role a group of three will need least. Keep that in mind. Also, I will have no race or class restrictions. Everything is allowed. Be prepared for the role-playing situations that certain choices might present you.

Now, a basic player questionnaire for you. A character questionnaire will follow on Friday. Feel free to answer via email or in the comments section. Feel free to leave an answer blank, if you prefer. It should take you five minimum!

1. Rate your enjoyment of each of the following environments from 1-10, 10 being best: a) wilderness encounters, b) city encounters, c) dungeons, d) unusual locations like cloud homes or underwater

2. Rate your enjoyment of the following types of adventures from 1-10, 10 being best: a) long adventures, b) short adventures, c) linear adventures, and d) open play with no prepared plot

3. Rate your enjoyment of each of the following types of play from 1-10, 10 being best: a) combat, b) interaction with NPCs, c) puzzles, d) investigation and exploration, e) mystery

4. What monsters do you like most?

5. Do you have any session location requests or preferences?

6. What times can you play each week? What day(s) is(are) best for you each week? Could you make a two-a-month session under any circumstance?

7. How do you prefer I contact you about game details?

8. How do you prefer we handle characters of absent players?

9. What three gaming moments would you like to recreate in this campaign?

There, that wasn’t so bad. 🙂

For myself, I alluded to what I want at our last meeting. Video and board games come and go, but I always miss D&D. I want to make D&D a staple of my social life. And I want those two nights a month to always be known as “D&D Night.” It’s a great excuse to have some fun and see old friends.

As for the game itself, I’ve been trying to think of ways to better myself as a DM. I’ve really come to agree with the notion that adventures and campaigns are a group effort at storytelling. My instinct is to direct and that’s wrong. Expect me to be a little less planned and a little more ready and eager for improvisation. The 4e DMGs have been a huge help.

Also, my goal for this blog is to use it as a campaign recording. This will be where the wrap-up goes after each session and where the story get a little bit of extra meat. It’s not the best place for a Q&A and for a regular discussion. I’d love to set up a forum somewhere for this express purpose. Any ideas?

Finally, get full use out of that DDI subscription. There’s some great stuff in there.

In addition, I’ve found some excellent podcasts and recordings that you might enjoy. WotC has some great D&D playthroughs which feature the guys from Penny Arcade and PvP as players, and a playthrough featuring the guys behind Robot Chicken as players. In addition, there are plenty of recorded campaigns out there; http://thursdayknights.com/#episodes is a great example.

Oh, and then there’s the brief Dark Sun preview: http://tinyurl.com/y72bqrl

That’s all for now, guys. Looking forward to our next meeting.


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