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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 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 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.

PC Stats[edit]

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:

Young N'djatwa: 1 Hit Dice, Experience -4,800
Teen N'djatwa: 2 Hit Dice, Experience -2,400
Adult N'djatwa: 3 Hit Dice, Experience 0, 1 First Level Spell
2nd Level: 4 Hit Dice, Experience 4,800, 2 First Level Spells
3rd Level: 5 Hit Dice, Experience 14,400, 2 First Level Spells, 1 Second Level Spell
4th Level: 6 Hit Dice, Experience 33,600, 2 First Level Spells, 2 Second Level Spells
5th Level: 7 Hit Dice, Experience 72,000, 2 First Level Spells, 2 Second Level Spells, 1 Third Level Spell
6th Level: 8 Hit Dice, Experience 148,000, 3 First Level Spells, 2 Second Level Spells, 2 Third Level Spells
7th Level: 9 Hit Dice, Experience 300,000, 3 First Level Spells, 3 Second Level Spells, 2 Third Level Spells
8th Level: 10 Hit Dice, Experience 600,000, 3 First Level Spells, 3 Second Level Spells, 2 Third Level Spells, 1 Fourth Level Spell
9th Level: 11 Hit Dice, Experience 900,000, 3 First Level Spells, 3 Second Level Spells, 3 Third Level Spells, 1 Fourth Level Spell
10th Level: 11+2 Hit Dice, Experience 1,200,000, 3 First Level Spells, 3 Second Level Spells, 3 Third Level Spells, 2 Fourth Level Spells
Further Advancement: +2 hit points per level, no bonus hit points from Constitution, 1,200,000 Experience, no new spells
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