Races

The core races of the Player’s Handbook are all present in Tarab, though in varying demographics. The one exception to this is the Half-Orc; Orcs and Humans cannot interbreed due to the asexual reproductive cycle of the Orc race. They are replaced by a new PC race, Goblin-Men.

Humans: The dominant species of Tarab and most of the known world, humans are marked by their propensity for expansion, innovation, and conquest. The average Tarabic human male is around 5’6” and has bronzed skin and brown to black hair. Females are on average 5’. Rumi have slightly lighter skin and hair, while Iroseans tend to be taller (on average about 5’8” for males, 5’2” for females) and have fair skin and light brown to reddish hair. Phygyptians have a lighter complexion than most Tarabans, with straight dark hair, and little facial hair. Yoro peoples have dark skin and tend to be around the same height as Iroseans.

Halflings: Natural sailors and traders, Halflings live close to the Middle Sea and other major bodies of water. They tend to assimilate easily into the dominant human culture, though nomadic seafaring clans have gained a reputation for thievery and piracy. Men average around 3’8”, with females being only slightly smaller at 3’6”. They often have straight, honey colored hair, and an olive complexion.

Gnomes: The other “Small Race”, the gnomes of Tarab are rare indeed, and tend to make small insular communities on the outskirts of human cities, if not completely removed from human civilization altogether. Gnomes have a natural aptitude for scholarship, which makes them highly sought out as scribes, record-keepers, and tutors in the dominant human communities. Many also find employ as bards and entertainers in the slightly less civilized regions of Tarab. Gnomes have a dark complexion, and silvery hair. They stand almost uniformly at 3’6” tall, but tend to be a bit stockier than Halflings.

Dwarves: The most reclusive of the common peoples of Tarab, the Dwarves have not fared well since the arrival of the True Prophet and the aggressive expansion of humanity. Where they once held a place as valued partners of the Rumi, the decline of Rume and developments in human metallurgy, mining, and engineering have lead to the Dwarves secluding themselves more and more in their own settlements in and around the mountains of Tarab. Tarabic Dwarves are taller than their kin to the north, and less stout. Men can stand almost 5’ in height, whilst dwarven women are almost identical in proportion to human women, standing around 4’8” and being only slightly stockier on average.

Elves: Almost all Elves are desert nomads, living in oases far removed from even the most remote border settlement. Few if any living men can claim to have seen an elf, much less talked to one. They are rumored to be consummate in the arts of husbandry, pottery, and astrology.

Half-Elves: It is uncertain if elves and humans can interbreed; whilst legends are rife with stories of half-elven heroes, the extreme rarity of elves would make it a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. Players wishing to play a half-elf should consult the DM first.

Goblin-Men: All who would brave the deserts know of the fearsome tribes of hobgoblins the haunt the wastes. While not overtly malicious, these humanoids are fiercely territorial and prone to attack on sight. However, from time to time intermarriage between hobgoblin tribes and nomadic Bedouin has been used as a method to maintain peace, and the children that result are often known as Goblin-Men. Taller and hardier than humans, they tend to make excellent warriors, and the likelihood that they are raised amongst the desert tribes of either parent almost ensure that they are trained as such. Goblin-Men are on average 5’10” and usually weigh in the vicinity of 170 lbs., and Goblin-Women are taller and slighter, averaging 6’ and weighing on average 15-20 lbs. less than their male counterparts. They have a high forehead, slightly orange-tinged complexion, inherited from their hobgoblin parent, along with pointed ears and pronounced canine teeth. Their hair color tends to be inherited from their human parent, and is almost always straight and long. Goblin-Men racial bonuses and penalities: +2 Dex, +2 Con, -2 Wisdom. Goblin-Men inherit the agility and durability of their hobgoblin parents, but the interbreeding of human and hobgoblin results in their progeny having less acute senses; Goblin-Men tend to be near sighted and slightly hard of hearing, and this leads them to often be quick to overact to perceived changes in their environment, resulting in sometimes impetuous behavior. +4 Racial Bonus to Move Silently checks. The natural stealth of the hobgoblin is not lost on the Goblin-Men. Heat Endurance: Goblin-Men are naturally adapted to the desert, and receive a +4 bonus on all saving throws and checks made to resist the effects of hot weather. Low-Light Vision: Goblin-Men can see twice as far as a normal human can in low light, and four times as far in moonlight. Weapons Proficiency: Goblin-Men are trained in the use of the Shortbow and the Scimitar by their tribes.

A Note on Orcs, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Elves: In the world of Tarab, most of the common races have at least a distant relation to one another. Likewise, Elves, Orcs, Goblins, and Hobgoblins are all part of the same family tree. The connection is most obvious between Elves and Hobgoblins- Hobgoblins in Tarab appear very similar to Elves, but with Orange skin, high foreheads, green hair, and sharp canine teeth. Orcs meanwhile share almost nothing in common with their distant cousins: they are hunched, bent, wretched creatures with wrinkly gray to greenish skin, and appear more similar to those of the Tolkien tradition than the porcine orcs of the monster manual. The average Orc is only about 5’ tall, due to its bent, deformed frame, but is nonetheless extremely strong, agile, and cunning, if not particularly intelligent. Statistically, however, the orcs of Tarab are identical to those found in the MM, except they have the Goblinoid subtype instead of the Orc subtype (the Orc subtype ceases to exist). Goblins are a particular breed of Orc adapted to living underground- they are smaller and weaker, but cleverer and stealthy. Just what the connection exists between these radically divergent races may be, scholars can only speculate. Some speak of an ancient war and schism, leading to a gradual decline and degeneration; others claim a curse from the One created the Orcs and Goblins; and madmen occasionally whisper feverishly of the elves once consorting with dark and uncouth powers that twisted them to foul ends. As for the elves, they aren’t talking; the hobgoblins seem to hate and despise the elves too much to be bothered dealing with them; and those that find themselves in contact with Orcs or Goblins have better things to worry about than scholarly curiosity- namely, not getting eaten.

Races

Tarab Ammar