Layonara is home to dozens of sentient creatures, humans being the most proliferate. However, several other species rival humans in numbers and dominance. Those species are dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings. Like humans, each of the other dominant sentient species have racial divisions. Unlike humans, dwarven, elvish, gnomish, and halfling races are different from their cousins in more than just looks and personality. Because of these differences, the four dominant species other than humans are identified by two major divisions: the Base Races and the Subraces.
The Base Races are essentially the most dominant race within each of the four non-human dominant species. The rest of the races fall under the heading of Subraces, though sometimes a Base Race will be referred to as a Subrace in the sense that it is just another race within the species. Also, Humans are sometimes referred to as a Base Race, but not because there are human races more prone to having some natural ability than some other human race, which is the case with dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halfings. Rather, it's because humans have this strange adaptive ability that allows them to reproduce with a wide variety of other sentient species, monstrous and otherwise. This adaptation, as it is more amiably considered, results in the "Half" races, or Subraces that are a mix of human blood and the blood of some other species. Planetouched (the aasimar and the tiefling) also fall under the banner of the "half" races, though somewhat tentatively. Currently, All "half" races, must have been born before 1420, due to in-game events. In addition, all half races are unable bear children of their own.
Aside from the Base Races and their Subraces, there are a few other species that are common enough among the ranks of those who would call themselves adventurers to be noted. These are the goblin, orc, and wemic species.
Everything else falls under the Subraces category, each of which is detailed here: Races of Layonara
Mechanically, it should be noted that Neverwinter Nights only has seven races to choose between upon character creation and are labeled as follows: dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling, human, half elf, and half orc. In Layonara, the standard NWN "dwarf" corresponds to a Shield Dwarf, the "elf" to a Moon Elf, and so forth, with human, half elf, and half orc corresponding directly.
Every other playable race found on Layonara is created by adding a "skin" or template to one of the standard NWN races. For instance, a half giant is created by adding a template to a half orc. What this means is that when a player is approved to play a half giant, that player actually creates a half orc using the NWN character creation system, and what makes them a half giant is applied in-game.
Each race description contains the details concerning the applicable standard NWN race and what changes to the race the template will make. Everything from spell-like abilities to ability score adjustments are noted.
Starting ability score adjustments are listed in two ways. First, they show the actual adjustment as compared with the base "human" starting ability scores. Then, in parentheses, the ESA, or Effective Stat Adjustment, is listed, showing the actual changes the skin makes on top of whatever ability score modifiers the standard race already comes with. For instance, the half giant race, as compared to a human (which starts with no ability score adjustments) starts out with a +5 Strength, +4 Constitution, -6 Intelligence, -6 Charisma. However, the standard race used to create a half giant is the half orc, not a human. Half orcs, as compared with humans, start off with a +2 Strength, -2 Intelligence, and -2 Charisma. So, the ESA listed in the Half giant description states that the in-game template (skin) actually applies a +3 Strength, +4 Constitution, -4 Intelligence, and -4 Charisma. Add the ESA to the starting adjustments of the half orc and it's obvious that together they match the starting ability score adjustments for a half giant.
In order for NWN to recognize the standard race as having a subrace template, so that it knows to apply a skin in-game, the player must insert a syntax in the "Subrace Field" during character creation. The syntax here is basically a code name for the subrace skin that NWN recognizes. What constitutes as acceptable syntax for each subrace template is listed under the racial descriptions. In the case of the half giant, the acceptable syntax is either halfgiant, Halfgiant, or HalfGiant.
The subrace skin is applied to the character when the character is logged into the game world. However, due to lag and/or other minor glitches, sometimes the skin will not be immediately applied to the character. The easiest "fix" for this is to have the character rest. If this doesn't work, the next thing to do is re-log. If the skin still isn't being applied after some attempts at logging off and back on, go to the forums and Ask A Gamemaster for help.