Races for RuneScape

August 31, 2008 at 16:20 | Posted in RuneScape | 2 Comments
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Races is the term for the ability for players to be a variety of species in-game. There are advantages and disadvantages to this concept. For example, it adds a huge amount of potential to RuneScape while complicating future updates.

Races are a popular idea that could add great value to RuneScape. Correctly implemented, it could be one of the greatest updates since RuneScape 2. Bear in mind that no implementation will be perfect for everyone, but it could get somewhere close to that.

For example, a player could choose to be human, dwarf, elf, or several other species, though they would still be basically humanoid.

The Model

When a new player is created, they get to choose from a limited selection of species to start life as. Every species in the game has equal bonuses, so on average, each species should be equally good. (Race which have to be unlocked in-game are stronger.) Some races have “specials” which give them an advantage, but I have tried to counterbalance these. They also have special items and places only available to that race.

Although on average each race is equal, they are skilled in different areas. For example, humans might have a high prayer bonus while dwarves might have a high strength bonus. Others may be good with animals or appalling cooks.

But what if you change your mind later? Then what? Simply go to the Makeover Mage and ask him to change you. Be warned, though – this isn’t as easy as just changing your gender. You’ll need to pay 21,000 coins and bring him some special (consumable) items. You can also only change your race once a fortnight (this would be reset when you unlock a new race).

The first time you become a new race, you get presented with a screen to choose what you look like. this is similar to the one that appears when creating a new character.

Because many species are different shapes, they will need different armour. There is a simple solution – the same one used for prince/princess outfits.

Each race may also have a special weapon class (e.g. swords, axes, staves) – one that does more damage than the others. This would usually be related to the race’s principal non-combat skill.

Speciesism is not common in RuneScape – the various services (such as banking) are shared between all species.

Sometimes, you may actually need to change race for purposes of, say, a quest, however, this should be kept to an absolute minimum because it is so annoying, and expensive for newer players.

Every race may have:

  • Skill bonuses
  • Special items
  • Special abilities
  • Special places

Each race also has a skill linked to it – a Master skill. The race has a +2 level bonus in that skill – e.g. level 24/22. Achieving level 99 (i.e. 101/99) in that skill gives you an extra ability related to that race and/or skill, and you also no longer have to bring special items when you want to change into it – you’re enough like that race already. If a race has more than one Master skill, both of them must be mastered to stop bringing items to the Makeover Mage.

Just as humans respawn in Lumbridge, other races could have their own respawn points – although F2P races are severely limited in this aspect.

Races must exist in free-to-play for the concept to work properly, although some races could be members-only.

The Races

This section will look at each of the Races in detail. Skills with a star next to them are Master skills. This is the least complete section.


Humans are the most common species in RuneScape, with the possible exception of grass. They have control over one of the most important aspects of RuneScape: the Grand Exchange. They also created the current banking service, although it is now held by multiple species.
They will believe anything they can’t immediately prove wrong (“People will believe you if you say that there are 4 billion stars, but will check to see if the paint is wet.” ). For this reason, faith in a god is easy for them, and Prayer is their Master skill.

  • Attack
    • Stab +3
    • Slash +4
    • Crush +5
  • Defence
    • Stab +1
    • Slash -2 – Humans’ vital organs are in a nice diagonal line, excellent for slashing
    • Crush +3 – Humans have nice strong bones to help defend against crushing
    • Magic +1
    • Ranged -2 The eyes, ribs etc. have plenty of holes to let arrows in.
    • Summoning -1 – Most humans panic in extreme danger and are no longer any good with animals
  • Ranged -2
  • ★Prayer +10
  • Magic +0
  • Runecrafting -3 – When given a power with combat abilities, humans inevitably fail to do anything useful with it.
  • Crafting +4 – Humans are naturally quite dextrous
  • Mining -1 – A little clumsy with the pickaxe
  • Smithing +3 – They enjoy brute force quite a lot.
  • Fishing +5 – Humans are quite innovative here.
  • Cooking +0
  • Firemaking -5“It only takes one match to start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire.”
  • Woodcutting +3 – Humans have some quite innovative ways to cut wood, although RuneScape has yet to implement them.
  • Agility +2 – Humans have good balance
  • Herblore +0
  • Thieving +4 – Humans are natural criminals
  • Fletching +2
  • Slayer +3 – The hope of glory drives them on
  • Farming +4 – A relaxing agricultural life appeals to them
  • Construction +2 – There’s no place like home
  • Hunter +4 – Humans are truly mad on hunting
  • Summoning +1 – They like pets.


Special Abilities:
Open to suggestion

Special Items:

  • Sacred Symbol – an extreme form of Holy Symbol, made of platinum and blessed by the highest servant of the relevant god. Available for all three gods. Requires 50 prayer to use. 
  • Amulet of Memorial – Gives 2.5x xp when burying bones, although it takes 1/4 second longer. 40 charges, recharge by using with an altar. Tradable only when uncharged. Crafted out of gold with a bone instead of a gem.

Special Area:

Available at start.

Level 99 Rewards:

  • Ability to bless Sacred Symbols at a cost of 21 prayer points.
  • Wrath of Zamorak: Increases ranged, magic, attack and strength by 35% and six levels (25% and two levels when wearing a Sacred Symbol). Drains five points every second.


Items required to change:

  • 4 bones
  • 2 cabbages
  • 2 big bones
  • 1 ashes

F2P: Yes.


Dwarves are “short creatures with a short temper to match”. They are stockily built and are very strong. They are expert miners and spend most of their life underground, which may be why they’re so short.
Dwarves do not really bother with different types of clothing, as they wear chain mail and a med helm most of the time. They instead notice mainly what is visible and variable on all of them: skin colour, and the colour and length of the beard.

  • Attack
    • Stab +4
    • Slash +0
    • Crush +5
  • Defence
    • Stab +4 – So short.
    • Slash +3
    • Crush +5 – They have VERY strong bones
    • Magic -2
    • Ranged +6 – They’re easy to miss and have tough skin.
    • Summoning +2
  • Ranged -2
  • Prayer +3 – Dwarves have gods too.
  • Magic -3
  • Runecrafting -3
  • Crafting +6
  • ★Mining +10
  • ★Smithing +10
  • Fishing -3
  • Cooking -2
  • Firemaking +4 – They’re used to lighting furnaces which burn for a long time.
  • Woodcutting +0
  • Agility +1
  • Herblore -3
  • Thieving +3
  • Fletching -4
  • Slayer +0
  • Farming +2
  • Construction +4
  • Hunter +3
  • Summoning +1

Dwarven Mine

Special Abilities:

  • 75% success rate when smelting iron
  • (mining level ÷ 5)% chance of obtaining two ores while mining.

Special Items:
Open to suggestion

Special Area:

Available at start.

Level 99 Rewards:

  • 100% success rate when smelting iron
  • Free rides on coal trucks

Hammers, axes

Items required to change:

  • 2 bones
  • 4 iron ore
  • 2 clay
  • 2 gold bars

F2P: Yes.


Gnomes are magical creatures who are shorter than humans. They are excellent archers, and appreciate and respect nature. They are excellent cooks and value agility as a skill for life, much as swimming is valued in the real world. They like green.
It makes sense for gnomes to be the last F2P race, so a new gnome village/town would need to be created.

  • Attack
    • Stab -2
    • Slash -1
    • Crush -3
  • Defence
    • Stab +2
    • Slash +1
    • Crush -2 – They have relatively weak bones
    • Magic +5
    • Ranged +2
    • Summoning -2 – What could resist attacking such a helpless-looking creature?
  • ★Ranged +10
  • Prayer +0
  • Magic +4
  • Runecrafting +1
  • Crafting +2
  • Mining -3
  • Smithing -2
  • Fishing +4
  • Cooking +5
  • Firemaking +2
  • Woodcutting +2
  • Agility +5
  • Herblore +4
  • Thieving -1
  • Fletching +4
  • Slayer -2
  • Farming +3
  • Construction +3
  • Hunter +1
  • Summoning -3

A new F2P place.

Special Abilities:

  • Can use Gnome Gliders before completing the Grand Tree.
  • Mount Terrorbird – Provides considerable attack bonuses, but weakens defence. Can run at 110% speed for 120% of the time.

Special Items:
Open to suggestion

Special Area:

Available at start.

Level 99 Rewards:
Open to Suggestion

Bows, throwing knives

Items required to change:
Open to Suggestion

F2P: Yes.


The best friend – the worst enemy. They are not at all undead. Just good at healing.
Werewolves are a well known fantastic race, although there are many variations. Described here is a fairly plain variation, altered to fit in with the RuneScape setting.
Werewolves are usually humanoid, indistinguishable from actual humans. They can also transform into wolf form – distinguishable only by smell. For about nine hours around the full moon, they are forced to become wolf-shaped; for about nine hours around the new moon, they are forced to become humanoid. Time of day and weather are completely irrelevant.
It is important to get the transition between wolf and human exactly right: it must flow, and not look like there are two creatures.
Werewolves can eat all the things humans can eat, plus raw meat. As a wolf, non-meats damage their stats, and increases hitpoints by a maximum of one point. As a human, raw meats may poison them. Wolves can eat cooked meats, although their bonus is not as high as raw. (Note: Raw meat includes fish, chicken, etc.)
As a wolf, they can run at 110% speed for the 110% the time.
They are good with animals.
They have a very fast hitpoint restore rate – one point every four seconds. However, if they get burnt or attacked with silver, their rate will drop to one point every two minutes until they have full hitpoints again. If they’re wearing silver, they will have a normal restore rate, and if they also get burned or attacked with silver at the same time, they will have a restore rate of one point every ten minutes.
As a wolf, they have the following armour/weapons:

  • Metal claws
  • Wolf Helmets
  • Backplates – A coat that covers their back, available only in soft leather, bronze and steel.

Werewolves are naturally very magical, although they are not able to use all spells in wolf form. They also have the natural ability to teleport to memorable places (they must have been there before). They do not use runes, but can only be cast once every seven minutes. In RuneScape:

  • White Wolf Mountain
  • Pyramid in the Kharadian Desert
  • West Ardougne
  • Lighthouse (near Barbarian Outpost)
  • Canifis
  • The Pyramid in the Kharadian Desert
  • Karamja Volcano
  • Ice Path
  • Lava Maze
  • Iceberg

When they are a wolf, they can cast from the relevant spellbooks (with runes):

  • Varrock Teleport
  • Lumbridge Teleport
  • Falador Teleport
  • Ardougne Teleport
  • Watchtower Teleport
  • Trollheim Teleport
  • Bind
  • Snare
  • Entangle
  • Padewwa Teleport
  • Senntisten Teleport
  • Kharyll Teleport
  • Lassar Teleport
  • Dareeyak Teleport
  • Carrallangar Teleport
  • Annakarl Teleport
  • Ghorrock Teleport
  • Monster Examine
  • Cure Other
  • Moonclan Teleport
  • Cure Me
  • Ourania Teleport
  • Waterbirth Teleport
  • Barbarian Teleport
  • Stat Spy
  • Khazard Teleport
  • Dream
  • Fishing Guild Teleport
  • Catherby Teleport
  • Ice Plateau Teleport
  • Vengance
  • Spellbook Swap

As a human:

  • Attack
    • Stab +6
    • Slash +7
    • Crush +5
  • Defence
    • Stab +0
    • Slash -1
    • Crush +4
    • Magic +3
    • Ranged -5
    • Summoning +5
  • Ranged -3 – Does not come at all naturally to them.
  • Prayer +3
  • Magic +8
  • Runecrafting +6
  • Crafting +4
  • Mining -1
  • Smithing -2
  • Fishing -2
  • Cooking -4
  • Firemaking -9
  • Woodcutting +5 – They know how to treat the trees.
  • Agility +4
  • Herblore +3
  • Thieving -4
  • Fletching +1
  • Slayer +5
  • Farming -2
  • Construction +1
  • ★Hunter +10
  • Summoning +6

As a wolf:

  • Attack
    • Bite (Stab) +6
    • Slash +5
    • Crush +3
  • Defence
    • Stab +3 – Short, less to stab.
    • Slash -2 – Lots of exposed area behind the head.
    • Crush -5 – Backbreaking potential.
    • Magic +4
    • Ranged -4 – Lots of exposed flesh
    • Summoning +4
  • Ranged Unavailable
  • Prayer +3
  • Magic +4
  • Runecrafting Unavailable
  • Crafting Unavailable
  • Mining Unavailable
  • Smithing Unavailable
  • Fishing -8 – Not built for it, although it is possible.
  • Cooking Unavailable
  • Firemaking Unavailable
  • Woodcutting Unavailable
  • Agility +6
  • Herblore Unavailable
  • Thieving +4 – No-one will come after a wolf, but they can only steal from stalls.
  • Fletching Unavailable
  • Slayer Unavailable
  • Farming Unavailable
  • Construction Unavailable
  • ★Hunter +10
  • Summoning +5

White Wolf Mountain

Special Abilities:

  • Transform – Switches between human and wolf form. Uses between 5 and 15% of energy at random. If not enough energy is available, it will simply fail, draining energy to 0%.
  • Special Attack: Werewolf Rage – Increases meleé stats by 50% and 24 levels and turns into “werewolf” form for seven seconds. Takes 12 minutes to recharge.

Special Items:
Open to suggestion

Special Area:
Open to suggestion.

A quest. It should be very long, and include various styles:

  • Hidden objects (like Black Knights’ Fortress)
  • Run for your life (like the Knight’s Sword)
  • Trek across RuneScape (like Rune Mysteries)
  • Cryptic clues (like Dragon Slayer)
  • Search (like Demon Slayer or Dragon Slayer)

Approximate requirements (may vary significantly):

  • Rune Mysteries
  • Wolf Whistle
  • 25 Hunter
  • 21 Magic
  • 18 Attack
  • 15 Defence
  • 15 Strength
  • 12 Agility

There should be several advantages that could be gained from higher levels in certain skills.

Level 99 Rewards:
Open to suggestion

Open to suggestion

Items required to change:

  • 4 wolf bones
  • 2 grey wolf fur
  • 2 raw beef
  • 1 bucket of water

F2P: No.


Elves are a mysterious race, and good all-rounders. They are highly magical and skilled in crafts. They are almost identical to humans, but slightly taller and with pointed ears. They are good craftsmen, but are quiet and generally keep to themselves.
They also have some natural healing abilities, and restore one hitpoint every twenty seconds.
I think there should be more elves in RuneScape – they are a core fantasy race and appear surprisingly little.

  • Attack
    • Stab +2
    • Slash +3
    • Crush +1
  • Defence
    • Stab +3
    • Slash +2
    • Crush +1
    • Magic +4
    • Ranged +3
    • Summoning -1
  • Ranged +4
  • Prayer -2
  • ★Magic +10
  • Runecrafting +7
  • Crafting +5
  • Mining -3
  • Smithing -1
  • Fishing +2
  • Cooking +3
  • Firemaking +4
  • Woodcutting -1
  • Agility +5
  • Herblore +4
  • Thieving +0
  • Fletching +2
  • Slayer +4
  • Farming -3
  • Construction +2
  • Hunter +3
  • Summoning +3


Special Abilities:

  • 30% discount on crystal items.
  • Ability to recharge crystal items after completing a quest (requirements include at least 75 Magic and 60 Crafting)

Special Items:
Open to suggestion

Special Area:
Open to suggestion

Open to suggestion

Level 99 Rewards:

  • Access to pray at the Tower of Seren (allows unlimited charges to crystal items for 5 minutes).

Mystic staves

Items required to change:
Open to Suggestion; something non-tradable

F2P: No.


Note: This is not one of my original ideas and is in need of serious improvements!

  • ★Attack
    • Stab +10
    • Slash +12
    • Crush +14
  • ★Strength +12
  • Defence
    • Stab +9
    • Slash +9
    • Crush +11
    • Magic -3
    • Ranged +7
    • Summoning +3
  • Ranged +7
  • Prayer +0
  • Magic +7 – May need a new spellbook
  • Runecrafting -3
  • Crafting -2
  • Mining +8
  • Smithing +7
  • Fishing -4
  • Cooking +0
  • Firemaking +6
  • Woodcutting +6
  • Agility -3
  • Herblore -4
  • Thieving 22
  • Fletching -3
  • Slayer +9
  • Farming -4
  • Construction +7
  • Hunter +7
  • Summoning +0

TzHaar City

Special Abilities:
Open to suggestion

Special Items:
Open to suggestion

Special Area:
Open to Suggestion

Something (a quest?) requiring a combat level of 85-100.

Level 99 Rewards:
Open to Suggestion

Open to Suggestion

Items required to change:
Open to Suggestion; something non-tradable

F2P: No.


There’s just about enough room for one more race between elves and TzHaar. What will it be? Feedback is much appreciated!

Advantages and Disadvantages


  1. Awesome potential added to RuneScape – a foundation for wherever your mind takes you.
  2. Fun – more interesting to play.
  3. Lots of potential for surprise – someone you thought was human suddenly turning into a werewolf, or someone who looks human in PvP suddenly hitting hard with Magic.


  1. A long time to program – less frequent updates for a while.
  2. Lots of code added to the foundation of the game – longer initial download time.

Technical Hurdles

  1. Bug testing – this will be quite difficult.
  2. Very large update – RuneScape could be down for quite a while. This could be overcome by adding parts of the update before it is completely finished, while keeping them invisible to players.

Posted here on the Official Forums. Update: The updated Suggestions forum no longer allows this topic.



RSS feed for comments on this post.

  1. Races would be awesome inrs

  2. Yeah races within runescape would be sick human race is getting boring over there….:(
    If they want to earn more money they have to make races i think.

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