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FOR12 Demihumans of the Realms (2e)

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Is your Forgotten Realms character an elf? A dwarf? Maybe a gnome?

Perhaps, yet that doesn't really say much, does it? One might just as easily say there's now difference between a Calishite and a Thayan because they're both humans! No one is just a demihuman in the Realms—there are acrobats, barbarians, giant killers, manhunters, pestkillers, prospectors, and even tunnelrats, but they're all demihumans and they all walk the face of Faerûn.

Within these pages are dozens of kits designed to help layers in a Forgotten Realms campaign enrich their characters and make them truly native to the Realms. Special benefits and disadvantages for each kit enhance the roleplaying experience while allowing characters to reflect their social roots and racial heritages. This companion to Wizards and Rogues of the Realms and Warriors and Priests of the Realms completes the series of kit-based sourcebooks for the Forgotten Realms campaign.


Product History

FOR12: Demihumans of the Realms (1998), by Roger E. Moore, is a prestige-format Forgotten Realms sourcebook. It was released in January 1999.

The Return of the Demihuman King. Roger E. Moore is probably best known as the editor of Dragon magazine in the 80s, the creator of Dungeon magazine, and the author of some notable Greyhawk books in the 90s. However, he also wrote a ground-breaking series of articles on demihumans (and humanoids) from Dragon #58 (February 1982) to Dragon #63 (July 1982). These articles covered the "point of view" of dwarves, elves, half-elves, gnomes, halflings, and orcs, and also introduced many of their gods.

Thus, when Roger E. Moore was selected to write Demihumans of the Realms, it was a notable return for a master of the field.

The Return of the Demihumans. Demihumans of the Realms was also a pretty nice companion for Demihuman Deities (1998), published just a month earlier (but not written by Roger E. Moore).

Continuing the FORs (Sort of). Officially, Demihumans of the Realms is the twelfth book in the long series of prestige format FOR-series sourcebooks that began with FOR1: Draconomicon (1990), although it doesn’t actually carry the “FOR” code (since module codes had been eliminated in 1994).

More specifically, Demihumans of the Realms is the third and final book in a trilogy of sourcebooks filled with character class kits for the Realms; it followed on from two earlier FOR releases—FOR9: Wizards and Rogues of the Realms (1995) and FOR10: Warriors and Priests of the Realms (1996)—both of which had been produced prior to TSR’s demise.

Following the publication of Demihumans of the Realms, there was just one more FOR book to come: FOR13: Secrets of the Magister (2000), which more closely followed the trade dress and format that was used in most of the early FOR books, beginning with Draconomicon.

Expanding the Realms. Though the Realms focuses on the traditional fantasy races of dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings, it makes them its own through multiple subraces—a practice which largely originated for D&D in Unearthed Arcana (1985) and the original Dragonlance series (1984-86). Demihumans of the Realms does a great job of cataloguing these many subraces of the Realms.

Most of the races in Demihumans of the Realms originated with Ed Greenwood’s own Realms campaign. However, you can find the influence of numerous other authors within these pages. It was certainly R.A. Salvatore who popularized the drow in the Realms, thanks to his long series of novels that began with The Crystal Shard (1988), while he similarly featured the gray dwarves (or duergar) in Streams of Silver (1989). The lythari (or werewolf elves) and the avariel (or winged elves) both originated in the Realms with Anthony Pryor’s FOR5: Elves of Evermeet (1994); while the arctic dwarves first appeared in FR14: “The Great Glacier” (1992), by Rick Swan. Finally, tinker gnomes were created by the Dragonlance team for the world of Krynn, and only appeared in the Realms following the Time of Troubles.

As has been the case since its earliest days at TSR, the Forgotten Realms was the creation of many hands, and Demihumans of the Realms highlights that.

Future History. Races of Faerûn (2003) similarly does a masterful job of detailing the many races of the Realms for 3e.

About the Creators. Demihumans of the Realms was Moore’s last major work for TSR or Wizards of the Coast. He was laid off from Hasbro in 2000 and afterward decided to “let role-playing games go from [his] life.”

About the Product Historian

The history of this product was researched and written by Shannon Appelcline, the editor-in-chief of RPGnet and the author of Designers & Dragons - a history of the roleplaying industry told one company at a time. Please feel free to mail corrections, comments, and additions to

We (Wizards) recognize that some of the legacy content available on this website does not reflect the values of the Dungeons & Dragons franchise today. Some older content may reflect ethnic, racial, and gender prejudice that were commonplace in American society at that time. These depictions were wrong then and are wrong today. This content is presented as it was originally created, because to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed. Dungeons & Dragons teaches that diversity is a strength, and we strive to make our D&D products as welcoming and inclusive as possible. This part of our work will never end.

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Nathan F July 17, 2022 11:33 pm UTC
I noticed that the preview looked better than before so I double-check and this HAS BEEN updated. The new scan is terrific quality! Thanks to whoever rescanned this!
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Nathan F April 06, 2022 12:31 am UTC
Someone please update this scan...
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Barry B July 17, 2022 12:01 am UTC
Has drivethrurpg ever sent you and updated and readable scan yet?
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Nathan F July 17, 2022 11:20 pm UTC
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Kevin L January 22, 2022 12:57 am UTC
This product needs to be rescanned. Pages are split and scrunched up together, making it impossible to actually read.
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