Seven Realms: Races 101
Every fantasy game, even a human focused one such as the Seven Realms, tends to have nonhuman races. This allows for variety as well as diversity at a game table without getting into the full social connotations of physical diversity and potential prejudice within a single species. The predominant races for heroes to play in the Seven Realms are humans, with 5 general subtypes, dunfolk, with 3 general subtypes, moonfolk, and ogren.That said there are statistics to play other humanoid races including: ogres, goblins, fetches, ape-men, jackalmen, gargoyles, dewfolk, and multiple daemonic humanoids. The idea is that if a race in the bestiary would make an acceptable player character, the shorthand entry for their template will be provided there. I’ve never liked game worlds which introduce you to incredibly interesting adversaries but refuse to contemplate the idea you might want to run a game from their point of view.
The other theme behind these races is one of branching evolution. Even in the cases of extremely long-lived races such as the ogren and moonfolk, their descendents who have lived in the mortal realm for thousands of years barely resemble them and in some cases have become wholly different races in terms of looks, behaviors and traditions. Thus dunfolk are descended from moonfolk, goblins are descended from ogren, and fetches are descended from ogres. The other half of this theme is that where a race originally comes from is important. Many of these races come from one of the other planes originally. Jackalmen originated in the Verdant Haven, which they abandoned millennia ago during the Great Purge.
Humans are the dominant sentient race in all of the Mortal Realm. They exist in various shades and heights, and they share a similar lifespan of 60-80 years of age. Because of their relatively short lifespans, humans are driven to accomplish much when inflamed with passion. The five subraces of humans in Arn are the Andrals, Akennites, Dainish, Manish and Westerfolk.
Andrals settled Arn in waves from across the seas. In general these people have come to Arn and developed cultures based on their surroundings. This is most true about the people of Andramaar, and their cultural offshoots the inhabitants of Kammur and An-Teriga who settled the area in the distant past and bear very little in common with the Seborians of the far south, or the Lyra Morcha who arrived between these two great peoples.
The arkennites are a native people of Arn, and one which has the longest recorded history on the continent. They exist throughout the East and the Midlands as ancient populations. In fact, arkennites as a wide spectrum of humanity are the most numerous race. The native peoples of Kaspia, Arkenna, Thelos, Vardany and the various city-states of Veralon are all arkennites.
The dainish people are one of the other original human races of Arn. They originate, as far as recorded history tells, from the Rosenmark, and are the predominant people of that region. Dainish traditions are fairly common among the peoples of the Rosenmark, and it is possible to eat the same dishes, with regional variations, in all three major countries of the area. There are similar songs, although the words are different, and traditional dainish decorative clothing is noticeable among all the nations of the Rosenmark as well.
Manish people are the least populous race of humans in Arn. This may be because they have melded with other races more than most, or because they are more recent settlers to these shores and arrived in much smaller numbers. The only pure manish people seem to be the Manuwn tribes of the Midlands, but the Rheev tribes appear to be manish people as well.
The westerfolk are natives to the Western shores of Arn and the islands of that region. Westerfolk developed their own history undisturbed for thousands of years. However, even their legends cross over to talk about strangers from other realms, and the descriptions match the known races of the Opal and Unbound realms. Because of this, there is a sense of cultural similarity between the islanders and the landed Westerfolk.
The races of people who remain generally friendly to the humans are often called Dunfolk because of the tone of their skin. They exist in three major variants, and in some cases can only be differentiated in appearance by their fashion sense, or their actions. They are universally shorter than humans, generally stocky of build, dark of skin, and tend to live for hundreds of years unless killed in battle or by sickness.
Brownies are considered flighty and passionate by most other dunfolk, but this does not seem apparent to most humans. It is a brownie custom to never cut your beard off, although they do keep them trimmed, thus males are easily identifiable by their facial hair. Other brownie customs are not very transparent, even to their longtime neighbors, but seem to revolve around gifts. The term brownie comes from their habit of favoring earth tones and specializing in agriculture, the production of goods and domestic duties.
Gnomes tend to accept life, although they will fiercely protect themselves and their loved ones. Few gnomes fight against inevitable change, although they do seek to introduce positive outcomes for themselves and their families. It is not a right of passage for gnome men to grow a full beard, but many gnomes cultivate short and finely groomed facial hair, the majority being beards. By turns, gnomes at work often sport bright colored clothing, while gnomes at war tend to wear green cloth over their armor to blend in with the natural foliage of their typically forested homes. Gnomes are kind to most travelers, because this reputation gives them some protection when they themselves are traveling, but they tend to dislike when humans settle too closely to their own homes.
Kobolds are a serious people, but the reasons for this are obvious to those who spend any time among them. They tend to live on mountainsides, or underground in caves and mines. Their lives are often constant struggles to raise food, harness resources, and maintain sovereignty over their chosen space. Kobolds tend to be skeptical and wary of strangers, but they are not unnecessarily surly towards them as a rule. Self-reliance is a major theme of their upbringings, and kobolds tend to spend most of their adolescence gaining survival training and combat skills. Kobolds tend to wear somber colors, although they do favor hues other than gray, brown and black these colors make up a large segment of their fashion. Kobolds also tend to wear hats. Most kobolds males sport beards, but there is no strong cultural tradition to it. They do not braid intricate patterns into them as a matter of course, but neither do they favor unkempt facial hair.