Lor is a human-dominated world. Human nations cover most of the land, and the few non-human realms are small (and shrinking). Non-human characters, particularly those of a race other than one of the main races, may face challenges due to racism, such as penalties applied to diplomacy and some bluff checks (-2 or -4, depending on the degree of racism and the player’s own race).
THE COMMON RACES
Three races and three cross-races make up the vast majority of the citizens of the countries that cover Lor’s surface.
Comprising about three-quarters of the overall populace and an even higher percentage of the typical ruling class, humans are by far the most common surface race in Lor. Most ruling classes will be entirely populated by humans alone; while other races may have ancient lineages, it is only human noble houses that usually hold power.
Since the decline of the elven population, half-elves are usually just called ‘elves’, and are usually born of two half-elven parents. (3%)
Half-orcs are quite often viewed as unintelligent brutes, but they are common enough in human lands that they are granted acceptance, unlike their full orc kin. (3%)
Halflings are the second most common surface race, making up about a tenth of the population in the average human nation. They often live in small villages, or in ‘Small Districts’ within larger human cities, as halflings have never been empire-builders and they don’t have any racial home.
Outside of Small Districts, many human lands (including Maraan) have the unfortunate habit of regarding Halflings as more like children than adults. They may have difficulty finding work, or properly-sized chairs in the average tavern.
About a third of the population of the average Small District tends to be gnomes, who enjoy living in the bustle and excitement of a larger city. All-gnome settlements are rare, although more quietly inclined gnomes do sometimes settle in halfling communities outside of human metropolises.
Like halflings, gnomes face the prejudice of humans viewing them more like children, and their fey heritage leads some humans to distrust them all, thinking them tricksters. However, in a world that loves its clever magical devices, there are many gnome craftspeople whose goods are in high demand.
As a half-halfling, half-gnome mix, gnomelings are commonly found among populations of either parent race. They are about as populous as half-elves or half-orcs.
Most ‘races’ in Lor are actually off-shoots of the human race, modified by non-human heritage or the magic that saturates the world. Because they are usually magical ‘accidents’, members of these races are rare. They may face more or less prejudice based on their ancestry and general appearance.
GENASI (FORGOTTEN REALMS)
As the descendents of an elemental/human mix, Genasi are uncommon, but not so much that most common folk wouldn’t know what they are (although they would remark loudly upon what an unusual sight a Genasi is). In particular, Fire and Earth Genasi are unremarkable sights in Imperial Cortel, which has long had close alliances with fire- and earth-based elementals.
Changelings are born to humanoid mothers who have been caught in some sort of magical catastrophe. They are unrelated to dopplegangers (which are usually evil creatures). Usually they blend in well, due to their shape-changing abilities.
Like changelings, Kalashtar are born to human mothers caught in some magical catastrophe. They can mostly pass for humans except for their milky white eyes, which most cover with veils or lenses in some way.
Devas are born to human mothers, but they have been marked from birth for a graced spirit. Unusually for a non-human race, they are often highly regarded in human civilizations, and may actually be better-received than humans would be.
Wilden are a strange off-shoot of later-generation Genasi. They are found more often in areas with high populations of Genasi, and are often mistaken for members of that race.
Shifters are looked down upon as primitive savages by humans, bastard offspring of the human race who have been tainted by too-long exposure to lycanthropy. They are extremely uncommon sights in core human lands, and may face extreme prejudice.
The descendents of demons, Tieflings are rare because they tend to be the target of mobs and witch-hunts; most children born of demon-rapes are killed at birth. They are feared and hated.
Dragon-born are the rare near descendents of half-dragons and full-blooded humans. They may be treated as monsters, or as exotic and interesting foreigners (even when they’re not), but either way the reaction to a scaly dragon-born is likely to be rather extreme.
None of the non-human surface races have any kingdoms or much in the way of territorial homeland remaining, although some do keep their own villages or encampments, where outsiders are rarely found. They are usually strange sights in human lands.
Haven, the last great eladrin nation in the Overworld, was wiped out three and a half centuries ago when Harana the Gibbering loosed a horde of demons upon it. Most eladrin were slain when they returned to defend their homeland, and now only a few eladrin survive, raised on their grandparents’ stories of Haven.
Of all the non-human races, only eladrin and devas are viewed by the human majority with possibly more respect than that afforded to other humans. The loss of Haven has left all Eladrin bitter toward the kingdom of Corath, and therefore toward Imperial Cortel, although what role Corath played in the tragedy is known only to sages. Some stories say that Harana grew to power in Corath, which is and was known for both its archmages and demon-hunters; others say that Corath refused to send aid to Haven in its hour of need.
Full-blooded elves tend to be regarded as throwbacks to an unenlightened and primitive time, but they are viewed with less suspicion than orcs or shifters thanks to their fey heritage. Many were wiped out when they went to the aid of the eladrin centuries ago, and there are few enough left that their race is almost extinct, only continued on by the more populous half-elves.
Goliaths tend to keep to themselves, living in small tribes that roam the untamed edges of larger nations. They often face more prejudice than half-elves or half-orcs due to their increased rarity within human lands, and further-from-human appearance.
Invented relatively recently by the Archmage Amress Falen, most Warforged are under contract to Imperial Cortel. Free Warforged are extremely rare, and are likely to be mistaken for imperial soldiers or mindless golems. Because of the current makeup of the PC group, and the immanent invasion by Cortel, Warforged are not an allowed PC race at this time.
Beneath the surface world (or the Overworld as it is sometimes called), lightless caverns and twisted tunnels provide a home for a great many stranger things that prefer the darkness. While there is a small amount of exotic goods trade between the two, it is a rare sight indeed to see Overworld races below, or Underworld races above. The Underworld is far less populous than the Overworld, and even the largest cavern cities would be considered only small towns by Overworld standards. All Underworld races gain darkvision.
DROW (FORGOTTEN REALMS)
Primarily dwelling in the upper crust of the Underworld, Drow are hardly ever seen in the Overworld except in a raiding party. Nonetheless, a great many stories tell of the monstrous dark elves, and so any drow is likely to be attacked on sight.
Primarily dwelling in the middle-upper crust of the Underworld, Dwarves are hardly ever seen in the Overworld. They may be seen as monstrous, or mistaken for a mutation of another, more common race.
Often mistaken for Dwarves, Muls tend to live closer to the surface than their deeper-dwelling cousins. They may occasionally come to Overworld cities to trade, and while they may be looked down upon for not fitting in, they are usually mistaken as some other, more common race.
Cousins of the Dwarves, Duegar dwell even deeper in the Underworld than they, and are seen in the upper Underworld, let alone the Overworld. Both Muls and Dwarves tend to consider them, as they do all other deep-dwelling races, very strange indeed.
GITHYANKI and GITHZERAI
The Githyanki and the Githzerai dwell in the middle portions of the Underworld, with the Githyanki living primarily in the east and the Githzerai in the west. Both races bitterly hate the other and will attack each other on sight. They are equally content to ignore the Overworld, however, and would likely be considered monstrous by the races above.
Shardminds dwell in the deepest regions of the Underworld, and rarely venture above those caverns. On the surface world, they are likely to be regarded as some sort of monster, or something sub-sentient.