View Full Version : Fantasy Races

03-12-2011, 02:45 PM
Regardless of system, what are some races other than the usual (human, elf, dwarf, etc.) that have a fantasy feel?

03-12-2011, 08:57 PM
Dralasites (amoeboid creatures), Vrusk (insect-like), and Yazirian (gliding apes) from Star Frontiers (and many later games) all had the feel. In fact, some of the art dealing with the female Yazirians gave rise to many of my own fantasies. I suppose that is probably better left not discussed on this forum.

The Gadorian Race (Lizard-like) from Rifts had a fantasy feel. There are probably others that I am not remembering off the top of my head...

The Vargr (canines) , Aslan (Felines), and Droyne (winged reptiles) from Traveler jump to mind.

I am not sure what exactly you are looking for here. There are tons from the Star Trek and Star Wars galaxies. I will leave those to others with a better memory.

03-13-2011, 03:15 PM
I'm actually thinking more along the fantasy lines like D&D and Pathfinder.

03-13-2011, 04:02 PM
pixies, races from the final fantasy series, dragonborn

03-13-2011, 10:27 PM
If anyone's translated Vogons into D&D terms, let me know.

03-14-2011, 08:49 AM
Some sources to raid:

Earthdawn: Obsidimen, T'Skrang, Windlings

GURPS Banestorm: Lizard Men, Insect Men, Centaurs

GURPS Dungeon Fantasy: Cat-Folk, Coleopterans, Fauns, Gargoyles, Leprechauns, Nymphs, Pixies, lots more

Myth and Folklore: Cyclopes (Greek), Djinn (Arabia), Golems (Jewish/European), Hengeyokai (Japan), Menehune (Oceania), Tengu (Japan), Vila (Russia), Yakshas/Yakshinis (India)

Also check out Glorantha (RuneQuest/HeroQuest), which puts its own spin on the standards --Elves, Dwarfs, Trolls -- and adds weirder ones like Morokanths (intelligent tapirs that herd non-sapient men), Timinits (several species of insect folk), Dragonewts (reincarnating proto-dragons), and variations on mermen.

03-16-2011, 12:40 AM
yea, starfrontiers! (ever notice how the artwork strikingly resembles certain old battle star galactica artwork by frazetta?)

most fantasy races came from mythology of somewhere or another, anyhow.

03-16-2011, 09:25 PM
It is amazing how much the 'superfluous' artwork can impact a product and how we relate to it! I was a huge fan of the original BattleStar art!

Don't mean to jack the thread, just an observation...

05-06-2011, 01:21 AM
Elves and Dwarves are always a given as fantasy tropes. Various types of animal-men. Lizard men, cat men, dog men are good choices. The Goblinoids of course. You need your nasties.

A whiole back there as a suggestion of a "just folks" game were all the races were simply long isolated populations of Humans.

05-09-2011, 10:17 PM
in my unique campaign world, i have tracked out the genetic drift and descendancy of all the various races i've come up with.

05-10-2011, 12:00 AM
in my unique campaign world, i have tracked out the genetic drift and descendancy of all the various races i've come up with.

I've done that with two of my swords & sorcery worlds, only one of which I partially run (so far). Both start with a "proto-human" species.

In the new one, "Erebus", Protohumans begat Humans, Giants, Vanir, the mysterious "Un-men", and Halflings. Giants and Humans interbred to create the fabled Aesir, now thought extinct. The Vanir bred Elves and Dwarfs as servants; one camp believes Elves and Dwarves descended directly from the Vanir, another believes they molded Elves from Wild Fae and Dwarfs from the ancestors of Halflings. Supposedly the Vanir are extinct, although travelers have reported tall, angular humanoids roaming the Endless Desert and on the slopes of the Iron Mountains. (And then there's the Serpent-folk, who are all dead anyway. Really.)

The descent of humanoids in "Telluria (http://www.frank-mitchell.com/games/tellurian-primer.html)" is shallower but broader: Humans emerged from Proto-Human forebears, and chased their parent species west, north, and southeast. The northern branch became Elves and formed their own island nation, and the westward group became Dwarfs. The southeast group reached their own island continent and split into two peoples, the Rakshasa and Yaksha; the Yaksha dwindled in a gnomic forest folk, and one cataclysm later the Rakshasa devolved into the Orcs of what's now called Orcland (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/blog.php/222-fmitchell?blogcategoryid=1). Outside the tree are Goblins (supposedly the children of a wounded goddess), the Orks of the central plains (believed to be murderous Goblins by humans, and psychotic Humans by goblins), and Reptile-men of the southern Jungles.

05-10-2011, 12:07 AM
I think any race can have a fantasy feel to them, if you take away the technology and give them archaic equipment and magic. For my Audor campaign, I've felt free to raid the Star Trek and Star Wars universes. I might want to change the names to protect the guilty.

Wookies, I think, could be a great addition to a D&D world. I haven't used them yet, but I can see tribes of wookies living in the mountains, growling at invaders.

One very interesting source for monsters that I will have to mine, is the three DVD set The Future is Wild, which has speculations about the kinds of life forms that might evolve over the next 500,000,000 years.

05-10-2011, 08:13 AM
RPG.net had a thread on using aliens in fantasy games (http://forum.rpg.net/showthread.php?570958-Best-Aliens-For-Use-in-Fantasy-Games), which is worth a read. For the impatient, here's most of them:

Daleks (Doctor Who)
Goa'uld (Stargate SG-1)
Greys (UFO mythology)
Hivers (Traveller Universe)
Kafer (Traveller 2300 AD)
Kaiju (Godzilla, etc.)
Lovecraftian aliens, e.g. Mi-Go, Elder Things, Yithians
Oankali (Octavia Butler's Xenogenesis series)
Predators (from the movie series)
Reptoids (UFO mythology)
Tall Nordics (UFO mythology)
Retu (Stargate SG-1)
Thranx (Alan Dean Foster)
Traders (hyper-dimensional sales-beings from GURPS Aliens)
Xenomorphs (Alien and sequels)
Vorlons (Babylon 5)
Wraith (Stargate Atlantis)

05-11-2011, 12:21 AM
Wookies, I think, could be a great addition to a D&D world. I haven't used them yet, but I can see tribes of wookies living in the mountains, growling at invaders.

forested mountains? considering that wookies are arboreal, iirc. ^^

no ewoks?

come to think of it, i've worked ursinoids into a fantasy setting before (aka gummi bears)...

dilbians would be fun too. (gordon r. dickson's books)