There are many playable races in Tome; as such, there are many playable races in the Empire of the Rising Sun. Most of the standard races have been fully integrated into the originally goblinoid-centric society. Some races are not allowed, or should probably not be allowed, but we'll deal with those issues as we come to them.
Major Races[edit | edit source]
The goblinoids started out as the main major race of the Empire, but time has allowed many of the other races to find their place in the world. Most clans contain one race only, but there are some with more than one. Some races can only be found in certain clans.
Aasimar[edit | edit source]
The aasimar are the descendants of the offspring of the kami. In fact, most aasimar can trace their lineage back to exactly which kami they share blood with, which is no easy feat. They are seen as a rank above all the other races simply because of their godly heritage, which makes most of them stuck up, spoiled little brats. Those aasimar who aren't incredibly arrogant are the epitome of what it means to be a samurai.
Long ago, aasimar were born to several different members of the humanoid races, but over time they sought each other out and formed their own clan. Nowadays, aasimar are their own race, and they breed true. The aasimar lead their own great clan: the Yokokiyo.
Bugbears[edit | edit source]
The bugbears have always been a bit of a contradiction: they're very big, and yet incredibly stealthy. This combination has made them an asset of the samurai and the ninja clans since the beginning of the Empire. Being higher-ranking goblinoids, there are no bugbear heimin. The bugbears do not have their own great clan, but many vassal families of several different lords are made up of bugbear bushi. They are feared and respected throughout the land.
Elves[edit | edit source]
The elves resisted until the very end. But their forests were razed, their women were raped, and their men were used as slave labor. It took several elf generations to secure the little bit of power and autonomy that they have now. While the other races may have forgotten what the goblins did to them in the past, the elves have not forgotten. But, for now, they watch and wait for the right time. The time when they can repay their forests with the blood of their enemies.
Elves aren't exactly nice. They only deal with the other races and with society in general because they have to to survive. Many of them delight in the pain of others, and they certainly have learned a thing or two about being aggressive. Most elves today are filled with so much emotion, you'd swear they were pale drow. That said, they behave themselves in public, while they enact their century-spanning plans behind closed doors. The elves have their own clan, Sugiyama, though they are small and have no vassal families.
Feytouched[edit | edit source]
The feytouched are similar to the aasimar in that they can trace their lineage back to something greater. In the aasimar's case, it is one of the great Kami. In the case of feytouched, it is often a minor kami or an animal spirit. Like the aasimar, feytouched are now their own race. They are often looked down upon by their aasimar cousins; as such, they are far more convicted as a whole. The feytouched make up the Ozawa family of the Yokokiyo clan.
Halflings[edit | edit source]
Halfings have always been oppurtunists; as such, there are still a fairly sizeable part of the Empire. Halflings are often members of a ninja clan, due to their small size, or simply serve their lord in the capacity of spies. Halflings don't really care too much about honor, which makes most samurai look down on them. Haflings make up several of the clan vassal families, and many of them are also part of the political underworld. Because of their similar size and tendency, halflings and goblins are usually good friends.
Goblins[edit | edit source]
Goblins are everywhere. Literally. Much of the gobin population are farmers, buisy tilling the land for the samurai. That said, most of them are also members of the political underworld as well, stealing whatever they cannot gain through "good" means. They lack the inner discipline to truly appreciate honor, but that doesn't stop them from becoming samurai. There is no goblin daimyo of any great clain, but they do make up several vassal families of several different lords, where they are reknowned for their skill as sneaky spies and also as mounted warriors.
Gnolls[edit | edit source]
Back during the Great War, Katzu made an alliance with the normally lazy gnolls. For the first time in history, all the hyena men got together and actually did something of importance. And in return for their help, they were granted their own land very early on. Having land and their own servants to pretty much do whatever they want has made the gnolls lazier than ever. The only politics they worry about is making sure their servants are happy and that they are able to pay the shogun's taxes.
The Nishihara clan is made up of exclusively gnoll kuge and buke, but it is does not have any vassal families. Most of the other clans barely acknowledge them, since they are content with not getting involved. If a daimyo was able to spur them to action, however, they would be a force to be reckoned with.
Gnomes[edit | edit source]
The gnomes have always been good at making items and traps. They serve as the great castlebuilders for the Empire, and also make many of the weapons and armor used by the samurai. Because of their connection to nature, many gnomes become spirit shamans and join the clergy. Gnomes make up the Hashimoto family of the Ota clan, but there are many gnome artisans that travel throughout the Empire.
Hobgoblins[edit | edit source]
The hobgoblins used to be the rulers of the entire Empire, and it stayed like that for several generations. That is, of course, until they started incorporating the other races into their social structure. Their influence has not diminished with time, and many of the great clans are made up of hobgoblins, as are several vassal families. They used to be in control of the system, and they know it, and they know that they could easily regain control if they wanted. Hobgoblins only slightly less common than the most prolific race: humans.
Humans[edit | edit source]
Humans started off as slaves to the hobgoblin daimyo, but their resourcefulness was recognized and they were upgraded to being part of the clans. Humans are the most common race, closely followed the hobgoblins. Most humans are still heimin, however, while the hobgoblins make up the samurai of many different clans. There are some human clans, most notably the Ota, which is run by a human daimyo and has several human vassal families.
Other Playable Races[edit | edit source]
These are the races that are still seen, but not nearly as often as the ones above. Whether it is because they are outsiders or simply outcasts, it matters little. Here's how they fit in.
Drow[edit | edit source]
The drow have their own culture and empire of their own in the Underdark beneath the Empire. While they are certainly rare, they send "good faith" parties of drow rogues or wizards to the surface to serve different daimyo. While they have no clans of their own, the drow are often accepted and integrated into the other clans. Several drow are also part of the enigmatic ninja clans. They are often looked at with wonder and contempt, but few drow care. They have little use for honor, which often makes them looked down upon by the samurai.
Half-Elves[edit | edit source]
Seeing as the elves are more stuck up and haughty then they were before, few ever experience love for a human. Humans are beneath them, and a half-elf child born could have just as easily been a full elf child, had the elf knocked up one of its own species. This is very important, since the elves want to take over. Half-elves are even more outcast then they are in other settings, and are often forced to become ronin even if both their parents are samurai. They are more eager to prove themselves to their parents' races more than ever before.
Half-Orcs[edit | edit source]
If half-elves are rare, half-orcs are anomallys. Since the orcs were cast out into the Reito-butsu long ago, any half-orc is a yobanjin made from the orc barbarians and the primitive human tribes that roam the frozen wastes. They are always looked down upon for their primitive, dishonorable ways, their looks, and their culture. Most half-orcs stay out of the Empire.
Orcs[edit | edit source]
Orcs are outcasts here more than ever. After they helped Katzu defeat the allied races in the Great War, they were banished to the reito-butsu for their cruel, primitive, dishonorable ways. The orcs would have a deep-seated hatred of the Empire, if their species remembered what happened in the past. Which they don't. Orcs are hated and despised, whether they turn out useful or not. Any orc is a primitive visitor from the north, but they offer no new technology, and are seen as useless. There are little to no orcs in the Empire.
Ogres[edit | edit source]
Ogres are valued for their size, strength, and stupidity. Often used as kamikaze troops during wars, they are also used as workers to carry heavy loads from place to place. Ogres are not part of the clan structure, and do not rank anywhere on the social pyramid at all. Ogres who become warriors are seen as expendable, powerful troops, and little more than that.
Tieflings[edit | edit source]
To be a tiefling means that there is a stain in your family line, that somewhere back someone got too involved with a resident of Jigoku. Tieflings are despised, often seen as servants of the demons that they are related to, whether they are or not. Most tieflings are ronin and/or members of the political underworld. Some want to prove themselves by vanquishing evil—indeed, many of the souls who have ventured to the Steep Slope of Shadow were tieflings—while others seek to live up to their terrible reputation, becoming servants of shadow.
Unplayable Races[edit | edit source]
These are the races that exist, but can't be chosen by characters at all. They make good NPC enemies, though.
Dwarves[edit | edit source]
The dwarves have long been though to be extinct, but they live on. They stay hidden for now, waiting for the day when they shall rise to conquer the Empire and repay the debts of their ancestors. They aren't exactly the nicest people, and hate everyone in the Empire. They make good NPCs for strange encounters, and could be the lynch-pin of an adventure.
Giants[edit | edit source]
Giants, while occassionally made playable, are viewed as beings from Ashura-do that have crossed over into Ningen-do. As such, they are revered and feared, but they don't bother with mortal affairs much. Most giants are far more content with being in Ashura-do.