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"For playable races, see Character Creation"
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"On the Races of Arcanum" by John Beddoes
-Arcanum Users Manual


Within the world of Arcanum, there are three groups of races. First, the Minute Races which is comprised of the dwarves, gnomes, and halflings. Next come the Median Races, which are the humans, elves, half-elves, orcs, and half-orcs. Finally, there are the Gigantic Races, the ogres and the half-ogres.

The Minute Races[]

The first grouping of Arcanum's intelligent peoples are the three which I have come to call the Minute Races, these being the dwarves and their cousins, the halflings and gnomes. The Minute Races are easily recognized by their stature, which never admits of a height greater than some 50 inches or 130 centimeters, even in the largest representatives of their race. They are also recognizable by the proportions of the body, which are somewhat different than those exhibited by humans and their kin. Minute peoples tend to have heads which are larger in proportion to the torso and limbs than one would see in a human subject. The limbs, especially the legs, are also shorter and thicker.

The Gigantic Races[]

True giants are no longer among us. We know that they existed; we can still see the cyclopean stones which they arranged in the Dark Fens, if we care to travel there, and visitors still come yearly to the Giant's Dance of Morbihan to see the pillars they erected to mark the dawning of the Midsummer sun. We have also found their fossilized remains, and one or two impressive skeletons have been assembled at Tarant's Museum of Natural History. But the giants of Arcanum left behind more than their bones; they still walk among us, in the form of their living descendants, the ogres and half-ogres.

The Median Races[]

All the median races, including the orcs and elves, are descended directly from human beings, by a process of Supernatural Selection. The evidence which has accumulated in recent years, through the science of Paleontology and the art of Forensic Alchemy, leaves this matter in no longer in any doubt. It is nearly impossible to make the average elf, orc or human accept the truth: the very fact that half-elves and half-orcs exist at all must mean that we are cousins to one another. Further more, the fact that both half-elves and half-orcs are fertile, viable hybrids, rather than sterile sports, means that the relationship between the parent species is very close indeed!

Out of classification[]