Peoples of the world
The only races that are distinct in the way the PHB names them are humans, goliaths, half-orcs, shifters, and halflings. Mechanically, the last are identical to their PHB description, though their cultural aspects differ as defined below. The human race comprises several distinct genetic heritages, each of which is mechanically identical to a PHB race (noted in parentheses). While people of different heritages may breed, one background will always prove dominant, in both appearance and mechanics. Such intermingling is rare, given the degree of xenophobia that pervades the world. In most cases, the best one can hope for is for socializing and trade to be tolerated.
Most halflings are members of nomadic tribes. While these tribes are generally congenial to each other, they tend to be very mistrustful of humans of any background, expecting to be ridiculed or persecuted. (The pejorative term for any non-halfling is “gadje.”) This often creates a self-fulfilling prophecy, as halflings act aggressively and defensively towards humans and their settlements. A few halflings, drawn to the advantages of a more stable civilization, have started to live among humans and are generally welcomed, though these “blood traitors” are considered lower than gadje by other halflings and may experience guilt or persecution as a result.
Physical appearance: light eyes (green, hazel), hair (blond, red, very light brown), and complexions (sometimes freckled). Very little body hair.
Dominant personality traits: Impulsive, impetuous.
Physical appearance: darker eyes, hair, and complexions—generally swarthy.
Dominant personality traits: Passionate, quick to anger, intense and open in their emotions. Often very serious.
Derogatory terms: Dum (“duhm”)
Derogatory terms: Patesi (“pah-téh-see”)
Derogatory terms: Íllväte