In Nethack 3.3.0 and 3.3.1, the race of your character is distinguished from his or her role in life. The races available are human, elf, dwarf, gnome, and orc. Your character's race does not have as much effect on the game as their role or "class", but there are a few differences between the races. For example, your race determines the maximum levels your statistics (strength, constitution et al) can reach

Humans can be any role and alignment, and their stats all max out at 18 except for Strength which maxes out at 18/**, but unlike the other races they have no infravision. Dwarves and gnomes will find that other dwarves and gnomes are peaceful, which makes the Gnomish Mines easier. (Some people like this, but I prefer to be able to kill the Mines inhabitants - they are a useful source of food, experience and equipment, and mostly not tough enough to pose a threat.) Dwarves can have constitution and dexterity up to 20.

Orcs start with inferior orcish weapons and armour, but to make up for this they get extra food, and they are poison resistant from the start. Elves are a difficult race: their strength and constitution max out at 18 and 16 respectively, which IMHO is not adequately compensated for by their intelligence and wisdom both maxing out at 20 or by their sleep resistance.

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