Forgotten Realms Wiki
Forgotten Realms Wiki

Humanoid was a general term for the enormous variety of sentient species that made up the world's primary inhabitants, both savage and civilized. Capable of language, culture, and, in many cases, of learning magic.[1]


Humanoids were typically biped.[1][2][3] Having two arms, two legs, and walking upright.[3][4][5] But they varied widely in terms of size and features.[4] Most did not have innate spellcasting abilities (notable exceptions included the drow).[1][2] And they generally were capable of using tools and weapons.[3]


This was the term used to collectively refer to dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings.[6][7][8] What some humans viewed as being the "civilized",[9] generally benevolent non-humans.[10] The term "demihuman" was rooted in a humanocentric perspective, as some humans considered humans to be wholly distinct from other humanoids,[4] some even going so far as to claim that humans predated most humanoid races.[11] A few of the Nubari tribes of the Malatran Plateau considered anything not human to be an animal and thus allowable to be hunted down and eaten.[12]
Otherwise known as "goblinkin," was a term used to collectively refer to goblins and the humanoid races believed to be related to them, such as hobgoblins and orcs.[13]
The term humanoids was also frequently used in a narrower sense, which excluded humans as well as demihumans and giants.[4][14][15][16]


The most numerous humanoid societies were composed of dwarves, elves, halflings, and humans.[1]

A few other humanoid races were far more primitive, generally evil[1] or hostile,[6] such as gnolls, goblinoids, kobolds, lizardfolk, and orcs.[1] These species not considered demihumans often lived within clans or tribes.[17]

Sometimes these humanoids would go against the norms of their societies and take up the life of an adventurer, often facing prejudice along the way.[14] With inns having rules against serving them, shops refusing to do business with them, authorities watching them closely for signs of trouble,[18][19] as well as unscrupulous humans and demihumans fearing them or wishing to exploit them.[19] Some humanoids faced physical limitations, running into communities were built with smaller or larger humanoids in mind or those of a different body type.[18][19] And could require weapons specially designed for someone of their size.[20]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 7. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford (2014). Player's Handbook 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast). ISBN 978-0-7869-6560-1.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Richard Baker, Skip Williams (1995). Player's Option: Combat & Tactics. (TSR, Inc), p. 181. ISBN 0-7869-0096-2.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 4. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  5. David Cook (April 1995). Dungeon Master Guide 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), p. 24. ISBN 978-0786903283.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gary Gygax (1979). Dungeon Masters Guide 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 228. ISBN 0-9356-9602-4.
  7. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 11. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  8. Eric L. Boyd (November 1998). Demihuman Deities. Edited by Julia Martin. (TSR, Inc.), p. 1. ISBN 0-7869-1239-1.
  9. Ed Greenwood, The Hooded One (2010-12-08). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2010). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2021-08-10.
  10. Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 6. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
  11. Ed Greenwood (May 1993). “The Everwinking Eye: Something Is Rotten At The Citadel Of The Raven”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #83 (TSR, Inc.), p. 29.
  12. Uncredited (December 1994). “Tribes of the Nubari”. In Jean Rabe ed. Polyhedron #102 (TSR, Inc.), p. 8.
  13. Ed Greenwood (November 2000). “The New Adventures of Volo: Dragonwing Stew”. In Dave Gross ed. Dragon #277 (Wizards of the Coast), p. 94.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 5. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  15. Ed Greenwood (1987). Waterdeep and the North. (TSR, Inc), p. 36. ISBN 0-88038-490-5.
  16. Roger E. Moore (January 1999). Demihumans of the Realms. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-1316-9.
  17. Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 100. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), p. 103. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), pp. 105–106. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.
  20. Bill Slavicsek (1993). The Complete Book of Humanoids. (TSR, Inc), pp. 112–113. ISBN 1-5607-6611-5.