The first step to creating a character is to determine your race and gender. Neverwinter Nights 2 has eight base races and 16 sub-races from which you can choose. For example, if you select the Planetouched race you will be prompted to select between the aasimar and tiefling sub-races. See Race on page 45 of the NWN2 manual for more information. The genders are equally powerful – your choice will not affect what you can achieve within the game. For roleplaying reasons, some characters within the game will interact with you differently depending upon your gender. Scroll down or click on the highlighted race to jump to it.
Dwarves are known for their skill in warfare, their ability to withstand physical and magical punishment, their hard work, and their capacity for drinking ale. Dwarves are slow to jest and suspicious of strangers, but they are generous to those who earn their trust. They stand just 4 to 4 1/2 feet tall, but are broad and compactly built, almost as wide as they are tall. Dwarven skin varies from deep tan to light brown, and dwarven hair is black, gray or brown. Dwarven men value their beards highly.
All dwarves possess the following traits:
Favored Class: Fighter. Special Abilities (all sub-races): Stonecunning, Darkvision, Hardiness vs. Poisons, Hardiness vs. Spells, Offensive Training vs. Orcs, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinity (Lore), Weapon Familiarity (Dwarven Waraxe).
Who should be a dwarf? Dwarves are excellent fighters, especially due to their great health. They are a good choice for most classes and an excellent selection for beginners.
The shield dwarves are the survivors of the remnants of many great dwarven empires that were crushed in long conflicts against goblin-kind.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, -2 Cha.
Unlike the shield dwarves, the gold dwarves maintained their kingdom in the Great Rift and did not decline in terrible wars against evil humanoids. While they practiced some magic, they never acquired the hubris that caused the downfall of some human nations. Confident and secure in their remote home, the gold dwarves gained a reputation for haughtiness and pride. Since the Thunder Blessing, many young gold dwarves have left the Great Rift and are exploring the rest of Faerûn. The folk of other lands have learned that while some gold dwarves are aloof and suspicious, for the most part they are forthright warriors and shrewd traders.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, -2 Dex.
Dwarf, Gray (Duergar)
After generations of enslavement and cruel experimentation at the hands of horrid monsters called mind-flayers, the duergar rose against their masters and regained their freedom. They emerged as a new subrace of dwarf with limited mental powers. Duergar on the whole are evil, but some turn their backs on their fellows and seek a different sort of life.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, -2 Cha. Special Abilities: Greater Skill Affinity (Move Silently), Skill Affinity (Lore), Lesser Skill Affinity (Listen), Lesser Skill Affinity (Spot), Weapon Familiarity (Dwarven Waraxe), Racial Spell (Enlarge), Racial Spell (Invisibility), Light Sensitivity. These abilities are in addition to those possessed by all dwarves. Level Adjustment: +1. Duergar advance slowly.
Elves are known for their poetry, song, and magical arts, but when danger threatens they show great skill with weapons and strategy. Elves can live to be over 700 years old and, by human standards, are slow to make friends and enemies, and even slower to forget them. Elves are slim and stand 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 feet tall. They have no facial or body hair, prefer comfortable clothes, and possess unearthly grace. Many other races find them hauntingly beautiful.
Who should be an elf? Most of the elf races make excellent Wizards and Sorcerers. Their ability to use some swords and bows allow even elven spellcasters to deal damage during combat. Wood elves are excellent fighters, rangers, and barbarians.
Moon Elves are the most common sort of elves in the Sword Coast. They tend to be pale-skinned and dark-haired with deep green eyes. They are the elven subrace most tolerant of humankind, and most half-elves are descended from moon elves.
Descended from the original dark-skinned elven subrace called the Illythiiri, the drow were cursed into their present appearance by the good elven deities for following the goddess Lolth down the path to evil and corruption. Also called dark elves, the drow have black skin that resembles polished obsidian and stark white or pale yellow hair.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Int, +2 Cha, -2 Con. Favored Class: Wizard. Special Abilities: Racial Spell (Darkness), Racial Spell (See Invisibility), Light Sensitivity, Darkvision, Spell Resistance. These abilities are in addition to those possessed by all elves. Level Adjustment: +2. Drow advance quite slowly.
Sun elves are less common across Faerûn than moon elves, because most live on Evermeet, where non-elves are not allowed. Also called gold elves, they have bronze skin, golden blond, copper, or black hair, and green or gold eyes. These are seen as the most civilized and haughty elves, preferring to remain separate from non-elven races.
Wood elves are reclusive, but less so than the almost feral wild elves. They are much stronger than most other types of elves and make excellent warriors, but worse wizards. They are most comfortable in wilderness areas.
Gnomes are in wide demand as alchemists, inventors, and technicians, though most prefer to remain among their own kind in simple comfort. Gnomes adore animals, gems, and jokes, especially pranks. They love to learn by personal experience, and are always trying new ways to build things. Gnomes stand 3 to 3 1/2 feet tall and live about 350 to 500 years.
All gnomes possess the following traits: Special Abilities (all sub-races): Small Stature, Hardiness vs. Illusions, Offensive Training vs. Reptilians, Offensive Training vs. Goblinoids, Defensive Training vs. Giants, Skill Affinity (Listen), Skill Affinity (Craft Alchemy), Spell Focus (Illusion), Darkvision.
Who should be a gnome? With their small size, gnomes tend to inflict less damage, making them better suited as spellcasters or support characters. They aren’t recommended for beginning players.
Rock gnomes are by far the most frequently encountered variety and are often just referred to as “gnomes.” Their skin ranges from dark tan to woody brown, their hair is fair, and their eyes are often some shade of blue. Gnomes generally wear earth tones, but decorate their clothes intricately. Males favor carefully trimmed beards.
Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, -2 Str.
Favored Class: Bard
Gnome, Deep (Svirfneblin)
Hidden in the depths of the Underdark live the svirfneblin, or deep gnomes. Reclusive, suspicious, and resentful of intrusion into their cavern homes, the deep gnomes share little of the humor or openness of their surface cousins. The deep gnomes may be the world’s stealthiest and most elusive folk. Centuries upon centuries of surviving the deadly perils of the Underdark have bred in this race an amazing gift for avoiding attention.
Favored Class: Rogue
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Str, -4 Cha. Special Abilities: Skill Affinity (Hide), Skill Affinity (Spellcraft), Racial Spell (Blindness), Racial Spell (Entropic Shield), Racial Spell (Invisibility), See Invisible, +2 to all Saves, Slippery Defense (+4 Dodge AC vs. all creatures), Spell Resistance. Level Adjustment: +3. Deep gnomes advance very slowly.
Halflings are clever, capable and resourceful survivors. They are notoriously curious and show a daring that many larger people can’t match. They can be lured by wealth but tend to spend rather than hoard. Halflings have ruddy skin, hair that is black and straight, and brown or black eyes. Halfling men often grow long sideburns but rarely beards or mustaches. They prefer practical clothing and would rather wear a comfortable shirt than jewelry. Halflings stand about 3 feet tall, and commonly live to see 150.
All halfings possess the following traits:
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, -2 Str. Favored Class: Rogue. Special Abilities: Small Stature, Skill Affinity (Move Silently), Skill Affinity (Listen), Fearless, Good Aim.
Who should be a halfling? With their small size, halflings tend to inflict less damage, making them better suited as spellcasters or support characters. Halflings make excellent rogues. They aren’t recommended for beginning players.
The most common type of halflings seen in the world, the lightfoots are the most likely to give in to their desire to wander. They are at home living side by side with folk of many different races and cultures.
Special Ability: Lucky (+1 to all Saving Throws). This ability is in addition to those possessed by all halflings.
While the lightfoot halflings value the experience of travel and the sight of new lands and peoples, the stronghearts are a more organized, orderly, and industrious race. They build to last and fiercely defend their homelands against threats.
Special Ability: Quick to Master (one extra feat). This ability is in addition to those possessed by all halflings.
Half-elves have the curiosity and ambition of their human parent, and the refined senses and love of nature of their elven parent, although they are outsiders among both cultures. To humans, half-elves look like elves. To elves, they look like humans. Half-elves are paler, fairer and smoother-skinned than their human parents, but their actual skin tones and other details vary just as human features do. Half-elves tend to have green, elven eyes. They live to about 180.
Favored Class: Any. Half-elves can pursue multiple classes easily.
Special Abilities: Immunity to Sleep, Hardiness vs. Enchantments, Lesser Skill Affinity (Listen), Lesser Skill Affinity (Search), Lesser Skill Affinity (Spot), Skill Affinity (Diplomacy), Skill Affinity (Bluff), Low-light Vision.
Who should be a half-elf? Half-elves are very well-rounded and suited for all classes.They are an excellent choice for beginners.
Half-orcs are the short-tempered and sullen result of human and orc pairings. They would rather act than ponder and would rather fight than argue. They love simple pleasures, such as feasting, boasting, and wild dancing. They are an asset at the right sort of party, but not at the duchess’s grand ball. Half-orcs are as tall as humans but their brutish features betray their lineage. They regard scars as tokens of pride and things of beauty. They rarely reach 75 years in age.
Who should be a half-orc? Half-orcs make perhaps the best fighters, barbarians, and monks. They are a great race for beginners.
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them very physically diverse as well. Skin shades range from nearly black to very pale, hair from black to blond, and facial hair (for men) from sparse to thick. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like. There are no human sub-races.
Favored Class: Any. Humans can pursue multiple classes easily. Special Abilities: Quick to Master (one extra feat), Skilled (extra skill points).
Who should be a human? Humans have no particular weaknesses and their bonus feat and skills points will give you more options. Humans are an excellent choice for new players.
Of human stock mingled with the blood of outsiders (angels and demons), planetouched are often ostracized for their strange appearance and stranger behavior. Who should be a planetouched? Aasimar, with their celestial virtue, make excellent clerics and paladins. The infernal-blooded tieflings are tailor-made to be rogues and warlocks.
A human carrying the blood of a celestial, an aasimar is usually goodaligned and fights against evil in the world. Some have a minor physical trait suggesting their heritage, such as silver hair, golden eyes, or an unnaturally intense stare. Those descended from a celestial minion of a Faerûnian deity often carry a birthmark in the shape of the deity’s holy symbol or some other mark significant to that faith.
Who should be a planetouched? Aasimar, with their celestial virtue, make excellent clerics and paladins.
Like aasimar, tieflings are part human, but they are infused with fiendish, not celestial, blood. Because they are descended from evil outsiders, those who know their ancestry immediately consider most tieflings evil and untrustworthy. Some tieflings have a minor physical trait suggesting their heritage, such as pointed teeth, red eyes, small horns, the odor of brimstone, clover feet, or just an unnatural aura of wrongness. Those descended from an infernal minion often carry a birthmark of the deity’s holy symbol or another trait related to that evil faith.