Original fantasy races vs classics


The classic fantasy races can get a little stale and sometimes doesn’t make sense, but the good part about them is that everyone who reads fantasy (which they are likely to do if they buy a GOG or Hosted with elves) can picture them.

Original races are awesome, but you have to inform much more to get the player into it and that can easily turn into infodump which is not so awesome.

Also fantasy readers can be some of the most obnoxious purist about stuff.

btw, @poison_mara did I ever get around to answer your soulmate question?


I don’t understand your question. Who soul mate?


I think it was you who asked me a question, but if you don’t remember it I am properly wrong. I am a bit stressed at the moment and have trouble remembering who I talked to what about.:sweat:

A different question. How much do people like to play as an original race. It is after all one thing if it exist and another to play as it (when it is one option amongst many) and yet another to be forced to play as it.


The company with the strongest claim on the word is Wizard of the Coast, but they themselves said that the word Drow is OGC (open game content), which means you can use the word freely. This should be international so where you are shouldn’t matter. It’s only a problem when you lift their idea of Drow wholesale and slap that into your game. So in the future, if you want to use the word Drow just go ahead. It’s practically public domain

I think my favorite is when an author took a familiar race and put a sort of twist on them, making those races feel fresh and exciting again


Going by Dragon Age: Inquisition, my very first character was a Qunari. But my next 7 characters were elves, so… I guess I like the novelty of new races in fantasy games, but not as much as I do in science fiction. If it were possible, I’d play a Quarian, an Asari and a Drell character in Mass Effect, in that order. (I have to admit, I tend to prefer humanoid characters over distinctly alien ones like Krogans and Turians. Probably socialization.)

Still, I did love my Qunari. She was just not impressed by anyone, and she’d completely mastered the side-eye.


For some reason, this sentence nags me this curiosity that I’ve long forgotten :triumph:

So, it’s about halfling. You know? Human x other humanoid races (mostly elves and dwarves though. Probably elves)
Well, to be frank, does these races (especially the elves) have the… capacity to… umm… bear the child of halfling?
Unless ofc, if my understanding of halflings are actually different of the actual definition, then my question’s not relatable :confused:

Either way, I know some games that told me if the elves are born of either the Tree of Life or Tree of World. What do you think?


Personally depends on how you do them since the classic we know all while new races tend to confuse [some not all] since they are difficult to imagine or do not put enough information


I have to say Bioware is a great example of new species done right. Whether its the Qunari or Mass Effect aliens they give you the basics of each species and then sprinkle more throughout the series as well as giving more in depth details in codex entries or wikis for those who want that.
I also like how they explore the relationships between different species or different factions of the species. It doesn’t just boil down to “everyone in this species hates every other species”. It asks why is this so, is it religious differences? Was there a mass genocide? Government propaganda? Are there particular species they hate more than others, or some they don’t hate? Maybe there’s a species they hate but also respect for their strength.


One failing of bioware were painfully skinny elves of the Inquisition… but beyond that they tend to make their races interesting and with a convincing amount of depth.


I love both. I also really like well known races thrown into new settings to mix them up a bit into something a bit new (Like the shadowrun series does.) I think in COG games, having radically different species to what people are used to can be more challenging to write though which is maybe why we don’t see it as often. In a normal book it’s far more easy to spend time setting up the world and the characters in it, where as in choice games you’ve got to be careful if you don’t keep the MC at the centre of the story or if you jump perspectives/characters too often to explore different areas of an original world.


I am late to the thread but my position doesn’t seem to be stated yet: It depends on the writing ability of the author. I believe Snoe does a wonderful job in building believable characters. Siliac, a silicon based character is turning into one of my favorite newly-crafted character both as a character and as a new “race”. The way their body acts and reacts, the ability to shift forms and the properties of the character all flow together to form a believable “Freak.”

On the other hand, most of the new introduced characters in Hero Project Redemption Series, failed to create a believable “race” of the mutants. The author is fully capable of doing so as shown in his first hero series but somehow he missed the mark completely with his second series.

Also, different takes on classics can be very believable and push the evolving of that classic forward. The elves in the Infinity series by Cataphrak is an example where his interpretation of a classic evolves that classic into something new.

Another interesting WiP is the Wight King by bl00dragon. The world building is key to the success of re-imaging all the various races in it; so far so good - it looks very promising but it is attempting to re-imaging quite a few classics, so the task-at-hand is a big one. Bl00dragon has been up to the challenge so far, I hope he continues to be for the whole story.


Superfluous Elves!

And ha! I read a tumblr post that said, amongst other stuff

Tolkien would get super pissed off when Legolas was shown in illustrations as “pretty or lady-like” and insisted that he was the biggest, roughest, toughest of the elves and the most hardcore of the Fellowship. Legolas is like the freaking Schwarzenegger of the elves, nbd.

I’m fighting through a migraine though so I can’t seem to find a reference for that. Anyone else want to give it a go?

Heh this amused me about dwarves too


The Wikipedia definition of halfling includes mixed-race humans as well as humanoids that are very short of stature, so YMMV.

As for capacity of bearing children, I think it depends on how fast and loose the world plays biological rules. In nature, often times animals lack the capacity to make offspring with other species due to extreme genetic differences / incapatible reproductive capabilities. You could have 2 species make offspring if they’re closely related enough (i.e. lion x tiger= liger), but even then they’re considered an entirely new species altogether.

I believe that elves and humans would be compatible enough to have offspring (my logic being that it’s hard to tell between a slender human and an elf just at a glance), but the child would probably be smaller than other children due to mixing of genetic traits.

Hopefully I remember enough from biology for any of that to make sense. :kissing_smiling_eyes:

I believe that it’s all part of the elven religious dogma, though if Secret of Mana taught me anything, is that it’s possible. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

As for my feelings with regards to the OP, I like the classic fantasy races as much as the other persons, but one of the things that’s hard to do is write a custom race and make them feel believable (or, failing that, at least try and make them redeeming in some way, whether it be charm or some other trait).

People have already talked about Bioware’s races, but there are also races such as those in Master’s of Orion. They’re not very realistic (unless you count sentient rocks as “realistic”), but they more than make up for it in charm and memorability.


I know in the game Arcanum, they had a ‘magically evolved’ and ‘naturally evolved’ species…those which were magically made (elves, orcs) would have fertile offspring, while those who ‘naturally evolved’ (dwarves) could mate with humans, but any children would be sterile.


classic J.R. Tolkien races (spelt his name right?) like elegant Elves, Hiding Hobbits, Terrible Trolls, Offish Orcs and Ogres, Wise Wizards, Negative Necromancers and Dim-witted Dwarfs (round of applause please people :smirk:) they have always been my favourite since I red the books. So classics have my vote.


Ginormous Giants, Benighted Balrogs, and Wild Were-worms, to continue the Tolkien creatures game.


Dark Elf(ves) should be fine if you differentiate them enough from D&D fare, likewise Blue/Gray skinned humanoid space hunks who just so happen to have pointy ears. Judges here are required to examine the entire context, so Blue or Gray skinned evil elves in and of themselves are unlikely to cause much trouble. Giving them a spider obsessed matriarchal society would be a bit iffier, but a crafty storyteller could differentiate even that enough.
Unfortunately in many cases it is not so much that what would be legally permissible that is the problem it is the threat and chilling effect of big, predatory corporations starting frivolous yet expensive litigation that is a big problem with much of current copyright law and how it is enforced.

Oh, as always the standard disclaimer applies, this is not intended to be taken as legal advice and any and all things expressed in this post are the sole opinion of its author.

That’s one way to put it, another is that I have a strong preference for playing hot guys in my vicarious lives.
Loved Qunari Inky by the way. :kissing_heart: Also did you really complete Inquisition 7 times, 2 eighty hours or so playthroughs, second one was male human noble mage, were all I could manage.


Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition has different races of Dwarf. There’s Hill Dwarves and Mountain Dwarves


Okay, let me preface this by saying that I loved Dragon Age: Inquisition–I luuuurved it–and my partner and I don’t have a lot of money, so when we buy a game we play the hell out of it. That said, I have 697 hours logged, and I feel pretty confident that I’ll play it several more times before I uninstall it (if I ever uninstall it). I love how big it is, I love the characters, I loved the romance with Sera (and I got to marry her in the DLC!), I just generally love the heck out of it.


There’s also the Derro for dwarven races. I’ve used them before mainly because I don’t think the insane sadistic little bastards get enough attention.

I usually stick with the traditional races, but I still tend to change them up a bit.

Like I called dark elves, the “Svelk” in one story. They didn’t live underground and they were the “original” elves. The dark elves mostly hired themselves out as mercenaries or as advisors and spies for other nations. They tended to be more nomadic (though at one time had a great civilization) and were still pretty ruthless and scheming.

The “traditional” elves (or sveld) were the ones who were rebellious offshoots. They didn’t really have an easy time of it though.

Depending on what I’m doing with the setting, I may or may not have the races able to breed each other.

In some settings, elves and humans can do whatever they like with one another, but there are no offspring that’s going to occur because the races just can’t mix like that. While in another setting, one of the characters is the product of a loving ogre and halfling marriage.

I like to have a reptilian race of some sort if possible.

I do find that I tend to keep demons evil. Or at the very least they’re always trying to figure out a way to screw you (or someone else) over somehow.