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There are so many choices in races on the Realms of Despair that it's difficult to know where to start.

What are the main differences between the races? Is there any major advantage to choosing a particular one over the others?

2 Answers 2

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It is indeed difficult to go through all the information. If you're really planning out your character, I recommend picking a class you'd like to play and then choosing a race to complement it as that will narrow down your choice some. If that's not enough, try looking at the bonuses from the different deities and try to pick one of those to narrow down your race selection, but with 24 deities to pick from, it's no less information to sift through.

Race Differences

From the game's web site:

Your race determines which classes are available to you, and each race has unique bonuses, skills and weaknesses.

An EXP modifier greater than 1 means a bonus is applied to experience gained, while an EXP modifier less than 1 means a penalty is incurred.

They also have different home towns and there is a lot of race-specific equipment.

EXP, Class, Skills

Lizardmen information is not well documented. I read that they have been removed, but on the main site, they still have a listing among the other player races, yet are nowhere to be found on the various class pages. They were given a race-specific skill in 2012.

Classes: A:Augurer B:Barbarian S:Bladesinger C:Cleric D:Druid F:Fathomer M:Mage N:Nephandi P:Paladin R:Ranger T:Thief V:Vampire W:Warrior

*indicates a race-specific skill. Special books must be found to learn these.

Race        EXP   Classes        Skills/Attributes

Drow        1.08  A SC  MN  TVW  Infravision
                                 Scry
                                 Resist Poison
                                 *Web of the Ilythiiri
---------------------------------------------------------
Dwarf       0.97  ABSCD   PRTVW  Infravision
                                 Resist Fire
                                 *Patch
---------------------------------------------------------
Elf         1.10  A SCD M PRTVW  Detect Magic
                                 Resist Cold
                                 *Guardianship of Irrybis
---------------------------------------------------------
Gith        1.06  A SC FMN  TVW  Detect Invisible
                                 *Psionic Shield
---------------------------------------------------------
Gnome       1.20  A  CD M   T    Infravision
                                 Detect Magic
                                 *Tinker
---------------------------------------------------------
Half-Elf    1.04   BSCDFM PRTVW  Infravision
                                 Resist Cold
                                 *Chance
---------------------------------------------------------
Half-Ogre   0.92   BS       TVW  Infravision
                                 Resist Pierce
                                 *Bloodlust
---------------------------------------------------------
Half-Orc    0.94   BS       TVW  Infravision
                                 *Brawl
---------------------------------------------------------
Half-Troll  0.90  ABS       TVW  Resist Poison
                                 *Treat Battle Wounds
---------------------------------------------------------
Halfling    1.02           RTVW  Detect Evil
                                 Sneak
                                 *Distract
---------------------------------------------------------
Human       1.00  ABSCDFMNPRTVW  *Blindfighting
---------------------------------------------------------
Lizardmen   0.91                 Aqua Breath
                                 Resist Slash
                                 *Blend
---------------------------------------------------------
Pixie       1.08     CD MN RT    Fly
                                 *Produce Pixie Dust
                                 *Aerial Mobility
---------------------------------------------------------
Sea-Elf     1.12  A  CDFM   T W  Aqua Breath
                                 Detect Magic
                                 Resist Cold
                                 *Siphon

Deities

From my reading, Race also affects which deities you can worship, although race, class, alignment, and gender all seem to play a role there. The table below is based on Deity information from the wiki and may be inaccurate.

Deities: A:A'enari B:Adendra C:Bael D:Bron'trel E:Cawyn F:Estathius G:Ghordohl H:Gre'Vos I:Grishnakh J:Kalerd K:Kardis L:Keltas M:LaChte N:Mak'kor O:Masefi P:Sarane Q:Sh'Vath R:Shivvan S:Sil-Galith T:Tempus U:Tirebaen V:Vl'aresch W:Wirawyth Z:Z'hyal

Race        Can Worship

Drow          CD FGH J LMNOP R  UV  
------------------------------------
Dwarf       AB D FGH J L  OPQRSTUVWZ
------------------------------------
Elf         AB DEFGH J LM OP R  UVWZ
------------------------------------
Gith        A CD FGH J LMNOP R  UVWZ
------------------------------------
Gnome       A  D FGH J LM OPQR  UV Z
------------------------------------
Half-Elf    AB DEFGH J LM OP R TUVWZ
------------------------------------
Half-Ogre   A  D FGH JKLM OP RSTUVWZ
------------------------------------
Half-Orc    A  D F HIJKLM OP R TUVWZ
------------------------------------
Half-Troll  A    FGH JKLMN P RSTUVWZ
------------------------------------
Halfling    A  D FGH J LM OP R  UVWZ
------------------------------------
Human       A  D FG  J LM OP R TUVWZ
------------------------------------
Lizardmen   A CD FGH J LM OP R  UVWZ
------------------------------------
Pixie       A  D FGH J LM OPQR  U WZ
------------------------------------
Sea-Elf     A  DEFGH J LM OP R  UVWZ

Stats (Not current)

Values listed are those in the downloadable SMAUG 1.8's files. They are dated 2006 and the stats in use have changed slightly since then, but no current documentation on exact values is available. They are fairly representative of in-game behavior, but it should also be noted that most of these numbers are used as modifiers in calculations and are not used as fixed value additions or subtractions to given stats, meaning that they affect your likelihood to roll high values for given stats.

Race        HP  MP  STR DEX WIS INT CON CHA LCK Hunger   Thirst

Drow        +1  +12 -1  +2      +1  -1  -4  +1           -1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dwarf       +6  -6  +1      +1      +2  -1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Elf         -2  +10 -1  +2      +1  -1  +1  +1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gith        +4  +20     +2  -1  +1  -2  -5  +1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gnome       -3  +18 -2      +1  +2  -1  -1  +1  -1       -1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Half-Elf    +3  +3  -1  +1      +1  -1  +1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Half-Ogre   +5  -8  +2  -3  -1  -2  +3  -4
---------------------------------------------------------------
Half-Orc    +6  -9  +1  -2  -2  -1  +2  -4
---------------------------------------------------------------
Half-Troll  +7  -9  +3  -2  -2  +1  +2  -5
---------------------------------------------------------------
Halfling    -3  +10 -2  +1          +1
---------------------------------------------------------------
Human       
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lizardmen   +2      +2  -3  -6  -6  +2  -2  -4
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pixie       -5  +16 -4  +3      +1  -2  +3
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sea-Elf     -2  +10 -1  +2      +1  -1  +1  +1  -1       -3

Also note that Drow can only be evil.

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  • The ability to create new lizardman characters was removed a long time ago. Existing characters can still be played though they are becoming quite rare.
    – Tharius
    Aug 11, 2013 at 14:02
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For new players the choice of race can be utterly overwhelming :)

The suggestion to choose a class first is a very astute one. This will narrow down the choices to a much more manageable level. Personally I don't worry about the experience modifiers associated with the races, while it can make leveling a little easier or harder, ultimately leveling is not terribly difficult and once you reach level 50 the related bonus becomes irrelevant.

From a new player's point of view, the bonuses bestowed by particular deities can be largely ignored. All of the bonuses can be found elsewhere and while often handy they represent optimizations that can improve particular defenses but won't cripple your character if you choose something else (the difference between 0 and 10% resistance is far larger than the difference between 10% and 20% due to diminishing returns).

The only real consideration is how the races affect your stats. New players rarely pay attention to stats and can have characters that have challenges but this should not stop someone from playing a particular race if they really desire it. For example if someone desires a Pixie character they will have to deal with potentially having strength deficiencies. These can be annoying but can be overcome.

For an experienced player skovacs1's answer provides a great amount of relevant detail, though I'll add that there are many pieces of equipment that are racially restricted. Half-orcs are presently favoured for good-aligned warriors for particular easy to buy equipment, half-ogres and half-trolls have long been favoured for waist wear that gives resist poison, which is generally hard to find otherwise. The problem with building a character around particular equipment is that if new pieces are introduced these builds can become irrelevant.

It is impossible to know which builds are popular without some research.

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  • 1
    Using Deities to further narrow race selection down is an idea because many tend to be quite race, class, and alignment restrictive and I was thinking more in terms of abilities granted and core stat boosts as opposed to resistances or other benefits - most Deities offer like 3 benefits whereas races offer much more. Personally, I wouldn't use Deity as a deciding factor, but some might. Also, I did mention the abundance of racially restricted equipment at the end of the Race Differences section.
    – skovacs1
    Aug 11, 2013 at 18:31

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