One of the most obscure Dungeons & Dragons races in the history of the game, the N'djatwa (pronounced "un DJA twa") are a race of elf-ogre crossbreeds hailing from the world of Mystara. They were released in Dragon Magazine #158 in the 6th part of The Voyage of the Princess Ark for the "Basic D&D" ruleset in June 1990.
Resembling red-skinned, black-haired elves with an athletic build and the stature of ogres, the N'djatwa descend from two tribes of humanoid who once inhabited a now-lost landscape of mountains in some unidentified mountainous region. The first tribe were the Nunjar - fierce and rugged ogres, whilst the second tribe were mountain elves named the Hatwa. Originally, these two tribes warred incessantly, fighting for survival and over the limited resources of their homeland. Neither would back down, for these were their ancestral territories, home of sacred places that both would defend to the death. Eventually, a visionary ogre shaman named Utaba arose amongst the Nunjar; he claimed that the Mystaran Immortals had spoken to him, and called for Nunjarese and Hatwa to become as one blood. As proof of this claim, he presented a magical relic, the Altar of the Stars, that he asserted was a gift from the Immortals to help the tribes unite.
Although he found some converts, Utaba's claims were heresy to both tribes, and ultimately he was slain by wrathful puritans from both tribes. Soon after, pestilence and famine swept the land, and the tribes began to die so readily that it was obvious that even the ogres were doomed. Desperate to find a way to alleviate this apparent curse upon their people, at the eager behest of a great elven hero, the two tribes swore ultimate allegiance to each other. Rituals of blood-bonding and brotherhood were made upon the Altar of the Stars, and the two tribes began to intermingle. Aided, perhaps by magic, generations of interbreeding eventually saw the end of Nujar and Hatwa, and the beginning of a new people: the N'djatwa.
Possessing the superior physical prowess of ogres and the mental prowess of elves, the N'djatwa thrived. They expanded well beyond the limits of their ancestral homeland, stretching into lush, virgin new territories. Thus was born the incredibly unimaginatively named N'djatwaland, with the capital of M'banyika rising around the Altar of the Stars where their race was born.
Unfortunately for other peoples, the addition of the ruthlessly pragmatic elven culture did nothing to dilute the savage cultural aspects inherited from their ogre progenitors. The N'djatwa are avid practitioners of both slavery and cannibalism, harvesting humanoids, most prominently humans and gnomes, from lands beyond their territory as both a work-force and as a significant portion of their diet.
The only statistics for N'djatwa player characters exist under the rules for Basic D&D.
- Minimum Strength 12, Minimum Intelligence 12
- Hit Dice: D8
- Save as Elves of same level (Youths and Teens save as 1st level Elves).
- Infravision and Detect Secret Passages as per Elves.
- Alignment Restriction: Neutral or Chaotic.
- Can cast Magic-User spells as indicated by the Advancement Table below.
- A Neutral N'djatwa with Wisdom 13+ can choose to cast Druid spells instead of Magic-User spells, but can only cast 1st level spells.
- N'djatwa strength and size means they can do 1d6 damage when attacking with their fists.
N'djatwa Advancement: In the article, the levels are numbered Youth, Teen, Adult, 2-10, but 1d4chan has made a slightly more comprehensible list.
|N'djatwa Level||d8 Hit Dice||Experience||1st level Spells||2nd Level Spells||3rd Level Spells||4th Level Spells|
|Subsequent||+2 hit points (no Constitution bonus)||1,200,000||-||-||-||-|
|Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Races|
|Basic Set:||Dwarf - Elf - Hobbit - Human|
|Creature Catalog 1:|| Brownie - Centaur - Dryad - Faun - Hsiao |
Leprechaun - Pixie - Pooka - Redcap - Sidhe
Sprite - Treant - Wood Imp - Wooddrake
|Creature Catalog 2:|| Faenare - Gnome - Gremlin - Harpy |
Nagpa - Pegataur - Sphinx - Tabi
|Creature Catalog 3:||Kna - Kopru - Merrow - Nixie - Triton|
|Dragon Magazine:|| Cayma - Gatorman - Lupin - N'djatwa |
Phanaton - Rakasta - Shazak - Wallara
|Hollow World:|| Beastman - Brute-Man - Hutaakan |
Krugel Orc - Kubbit - Malpheggi Lizard Man
|Known World:|| Bugbear - Goblin - Gnoll |
Hobgoblin - Kobold - Ogre - Troll