Versatile and popular, children of all people and of none
Game mechanics for the realm are identical to the half-elf race detailed in the D&D 4e official rulebooks, except as noted below. For all other mechanical purposes (including feats, paragon paths, etc.), realm is simply an alternative name for half-elf.
Cosmopolitan: Choose a species other than realm. For all race-based effects and requirements, you are considered to be of the chosen species, as well as being realm. This benefit replaces Dual Heritage.
Although some are loathe to admit it, all humanoids of Alm have most of their basic biology in common. Indeed, while they are sometimes regarded as distinct species, study suggests it might be more accurate to describe them as distinct forks of what is ultimately just one. This commonality is the subject of much scientific enquiry in Alm, even thought to hint at some deeper secret about the origins of life itself.
While distinct racial groups do persist, romance between them is so common that most Almish folk think nothing of meeting a person of mixed heritage. Such folk are known by many names, depending on how much of their heritage is known or divulged; for example, an elhan has some amount of mixed sylvan heritage, while thull indicates gnollish ancestry. However, the neutral term for all such people is realm; an ancient sylvan word simply meaning “person”, derived from the name of Alm itself.
Play a realm if you want to…
- Not know (or not care) about your ancestry
- Be seen as a neutral party, whether or not you are
- Dabble in mechanics that wouldn’t normally mix well
The physical traits of realm are as variable as their heritage. A realm might be dozens of generations from any distinct species, or they might be only a few; which traits come to the fore depends entirely on individual genetics. Sometimes realm even express traits not common to any of their known ancestors, hinting at the more basal connection somewhere in their past.
It’s important to remember that the mechanical “races” (or in our case, background traits) are a description of your character, not a scientific definition. Use the realm traits if you think they fit your particular character—if not, there’s no problem with using another set of traits that fits the bill.
Playing a Realm
Since they come from all people and from none, there’s no unique culture associated with realm. However, being a realm is rarely any kind of social stigma. With the exception of cultures that preach racial purity, like Aurion and Sorairo, most Almish societies are perfectly happy to count realm amongst their populace.
Realm are well suited to the adventuring life, with a tendency to acquire unusual combinations of skills and talents. They are especially popular in positions of authority, where their lack of clear racial heritage means they are perceived as impartial and open-minded. This gives them an edge in most any dispute, whether or not it is true in practice.
Realm are perceived as…Adaptable, impartial, intriguing, brave, inspiring, egalitarian, worldly, sensible, friendly.