This outline was a one of my first attempts to quantify the traditional fantasy races into something that seemed (in my eyes) to make sense and had a logical progression. This was the start of my idea to make the various races interrelated and give a common origin to certain racial groups (such as the Fae.) While an obviously generic list it does feature the start of my idea that dwarves and gnomes are another type of elf, since all of them are part of of faerie.
One thing this outline doesn’t address is how the different groups relate among themselves (for example, can lizardmen and snakemen interbreed?) or how they came to be (this applies mainly to Chimera.) It also doesn’t cross link (much) between between categories.
- Humans—The bulk of most fantasy world populations. Humanity is the people we see everyday in the real world. They come in a wide variety of ethnicities with accompanying variations in hair, skin, and eye color (and so on.)
- Faerie—The “Fair Folk.” A much larger category than most people think, since it not only includes the benevolent (or, at least, non-hostile) house spirits, but also darker and far more dangerous beings. The noted capriciousness of the Faerie doesn’t help either.
- Elves—these are magical beings related to the natural world. Depending on the setting, you can have forest/wood, sea, mountain (a.k.a. dwarves and gnomes), night, dark, gray and so on. Traditionally, gray elves are the lords of elven kind and might also be known as “silver” or “sun” elves.
- Goblins—these are magical beings corrupted by magic. Examples include goblins, hobgoblins, orcs, hags, and so on.
- Giants—these immense magical beings of great strength but often low intelligence. They include ogres, trolls, ettins, true giants (stone, forest, hill, storm, water, fire, frost), and so on.
- Chimera—Chimera can include animal/animal hybrids as well as human/animal hybrids. For our purposes, I’m only considering the latter.
- Typical Chimera include centaurs, minotaurs, mermen (includes “fish” men and “dolphin” men), and satyrs (and the numerous variants there of). Certain forms of snakemen (see below) qualify as Chimera, as they consist of human torsos with the lower bodies of snakes.
- Cold-Blooded Animal People—This includes amphibians, fish, reptiles, and the like. You could also include dragonmen and dinosaur people, even though these two examples are probably warm-blooded. Most Cold-Blooded Animal People look like humanoid lizards (or fish, or frogs), while snakemen normally look like snakes with humanoid arms.
- Fishmen, frogmen, lizardmen, snakemen, and so on.
- Warm-Blooded Animal People—In other words, humanoid animals. These people can easily be identified due to having soft fur all over the body, claws, vertical pupils, tails, and cat/dog-like ears. These are not “catgirls” (such as Final Fantasy’s Mithra), which are humans with minor animal characteristics.
- Catmen, deermen, dogmen, foxmen, and so on.
- Winged People—Normally this means humans with wings, but can also include humanoid birds (which would also fall under Warm-Blooded Animal People.)
- Harpies (a type of Chimera), bird-winged people, bat-winged people, insect-winged people (who might be a type of Faerie.)