Dragon Empire Races

Including various groups of humans and other common humanoid races, there are some additional races which help define the themes and style of Tian Xia, the so-called ‘Dragon Empires’ – any new races from Vudra will also be included here, as they become defined or published.


  • Tian-Dan (Xa Hoi): Slender, lean, dark tan skin, and straight black hair (often with other colors, some of which signify possible draconic lineage in one’s ancestry; blue, green, red, white, and yellow), and dark brown eyes or colored (esp. those with colored hair streaks; yellow hair with gold eyes, and white hair with silvery eyes). They often have a talent for sorcery. Languages: Draconic, Tien.
  • Tian-Dtang (Dtang Ma): Slender, tan skin, with black or dark brown hair, with exotic top-knot hairstyles being common, and they commonly have black or brown eyes, with some having green or gold eyes. They are often easy-going, and have a very open lifestyle, and wise proverbs to share (often filled with humor). Languages: Dtang, Tien.
  • Tian-Hwan (Hwanggot): Slender, built thin, tan skin, shorter than others, with black or dark brown hair and eyes, and some having blue, violet, or silvery eyes. Males and females have very different roles in society, and do not perform the same duties as the other gender. Different colors have very different meanings for them, and they are fiercely proud and patriotic. Languages: Hwan, Tien.
  • Tian-La (Hongal and Shaguang): Strong, stocky, and resilient, with lighter skin, and coarse, curly hair, with brown eyes. They are a nomadic people, proud and stubborn, and they are expert riders, and often considered rough and uncivilized. They are fierce and capable warriors, quick to anger, and slow to forgive. Languages: Hon-la, Tien.
  • Tian-Min (Minkai): Varying body shapes, with lighter skin tones, and many – especially women – powder their skin to be lighter, which is said to be more beautiful. They have straight black hair, which women wear long, and men wear shorter, with higher stature men wearing it longer as a status symbol. They have a wide range of eye colors, including black, brown, green, violet, amber, orange, red-orange, and gold; eye color is said among some to determine one’s personality, talents, and place in life. Tattoos, cosmetics, jewelry, perfumes, and other appealing and aesthetic things are common and sought-after by Minkai natives, and both honor and ancestry factor heavily into their personality and lifestyle.
  • Tian-Shu (Mainland Tian Xia): Slender, thin, with straight, brown or black hair and the same colored, almond-shaped eyes. They are the most populous of the Tien races, and they value order in society, where everything is in its proper place, and disharmony is strongly avoided. They have a wide range of dress and aesthetic appeal. Languages: Tien.
  • Tian-Sing (Minata): Wide range of body shapes, with round races and sharp noses and chins, and dark colored hair with some waviness, and the darkest skin tones on the continent. They often wear their hair short or completely shaved, and prefer to dress to accommodate the extreme heat of southern Tian Xia. They enjoy jewelry, varied geometric tattoos, and brightly colored clothing, although some prefer no clothing at all. Languages: Minatan, Tien.

Common Races

  • Dwarves: Dwarves are uncommon in the Dragon Empires, although the Darklands often produces some various dwarf-kin, such as derro, duergar, and other dwarves. They are not a ‘common’ race, however. Duergars tend toward psionic abilities, instead of magic. Most dwarves are native to Avistan, and travel here from the Inner Sea region.
  • Elves: Elves are common in the Dragon Empires, especially in the nation of Jinin, which they rule. Many human races, especially natives of Minkai, respect and appreciate what they see as the elegant peacefulness of the elven races, and many half-elves are also common.
  • Gnomes: Gnomes are not native to the Dragon Empires, but they do often find their way here from the Inner Sea, guided by their everlasting curiosity. They are treated as a curiosity by many natives, thought to be spirit beings like kami and oni. They do not get along with wayangs, with insults and even violence resulting from their meetings, and they are not necessarily a ‘common’ race of the continent.
  • Halflings: Like other Inner Sea ‘common’ races, halflings tend to emigrate to the Dragon Empires from Avistan and Garund, with most of them being in the metropolitan regions of Goka and Ordu-Aganhei (Hongal). They are a bit more common than gnomes and dwarves, but they are often still left in the shadows of human cultures.
  • Half-elves: Out of their appreciation for elvenkind, many humans fall under the potent romanticism of the race – many humans and elves enjoy these unique relationships, and children of these unions are more common than the others presented here.
  • Half-orcs: Of the ‘common’ races of the Inner Sea region, half-orcs are among the least populated in the Dragon Empires, mostly out of a disrespect for their perceived ‘ugliness, crudeness, and barbarism.’

Exotic/Tien Races

  • Kitsune: Magical fox-like humanoids with the ability to assume a single human form, as well as other possible shape-shifting abilities. They are found in many lands, and rule in none specifically; Minkai and the Forest of Spirits may hold the highest population of them.
  • Nagaji: Scaly, reptilian humanoids who were created and bred to serve their powerful naga rulers. They are the most populace race in Nagajor, but not its rulers, which are the nagas themselves. See also, Nagas.
  • Samsarans: These blue-skinned humanoids are born to other humans, but retain information from their past life incarnations. They are the ruling race of Zi Ha.
  • Tengus: These black-feathered, crow-like humanoids are known for being mischievous and sneaky. They are the ruling and most populous race of Kwanlai.
  • Wayangs: These creepy-looking, emaciated humanoids hail from the Plane of Shadows, long ago thrust into the Material Plane during a major volcanic eruption in northern Minata. They are most often found in Minata.

Exotic/Vudrani Races

  • Vanara: This simian humanoid race is from Vudra, and shares a very interesting love-hate relationship with humanity.
  • Vishkanya: Scaly-skinned, and fork-tongued, these strange humanoids do not have the reptilian subtype, but many believe they are somehow related to other snake-like beings, and the nagas of Vudra claim they created this race for their own purposes. See also, Nagas.

Other Races

  • Aasimars: While tieflings are not said to be common enough to be mentioned in related publications, aasimars are not only more common, but they are the ruling race of the nation of Tianjing.
  • Catfolk: While they are not incredibly populated in the Dragon Empires, they do hold a substantial population in the outskirts of the wilderness regions of the Valashmai Expanse.
  • Grippli: Also common in the hot wilds of the Valashmai and Nagajor, this frog-like humanoid race often remains out of the notice of the other races.
  • Hobgoblins: This barbaric race rules the nation of Kaoling with the same ferocity and brutality as that of their Inner Sea cousins.
  • Lizardfolk: Not a heavily populated race of the Dragon Empires, these reptilian humanoids are occasionally found on the continent, mostly in wild regions such as the Valashmai and similarly wild parts of Nagajor.
  • Ophiduan: This psionic race is reptilian and snake-like, mostly found in the Valashmai and other portions of southern Tian Xia. See also, Serpentfolk.
  • Ratfolk: Found primarily in the Darklands below the rest of the Dragon Empires, this rat-like humanoid race is often encountered while participating in criminal or other unruly activities.

Character Traits

The following traits were developed with use for this adventure arc. Both of the following traits count as both Campaign and Racial Traits, which means that PCs may not choose other traits from these two categories if they select one of the following.

Annunaki Blooded: You share the potent blood of the Serpent Overlords in your ancestry, giving you special access to their devices and technology. You are able to use Annunaki items and technology that are limited to only those creatures which have the specific Annunaki gene in their blood needed for the item to be activated. You gain a +1 trait bonus to any Use Magic Device checks to use or activate any item which is Annunaki in origin, and +1 trait bonus to Knowledge checks made to identify the characteristics of any other Annunaki-blooded creature.

Liberator Blooded: Your ancestors were involved in the uprising against the Great Serpents and their minions, and liberated many people from the oppressive tyranny of their reign. You gain a +1 trait bonus to Knowledge checks made to identify the characteristics of any Annunaki-blooded creature, and a +1 trait bonus to Will saves against mind-affecting [compulsion] magic or psionic effects.

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Dragon Empire Races

Return of the Annunaki xidoraven