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Questions tagged [fantasy-races]

For questions relating to races that are often found in the fantasy subgenre of fiction, such as elves, dwarves, etc. This can be about their physical characteristics, their societies, or something completely different.

18
votes
4answers
3k views
+50

Finding real world historic examples of cultures/organizations/tribes to represent Orcs

I plan to make this a series of questions to avoid being overly broad. Each question will address a particular fantasy species ("race" in RPG terms). The traits will be based on the content included ...
7
votes
9answers
823 views

Finding real world historic examples of cultures/organizations/tribes to represent Elves

I plan to make this a series of questions to avoid being overly broad. Each question will address a particular fantasy species ("race" in RPG terms). The "racial" traits will be based on the content ...
4
votes
3answers
161 views

How would a unguligrade human (similar to a satyr/faun) ride a horse?

I am working on creating a fantasy race called the Aemani. As they are part deer they are unguligrade bipeds (like a faun or satyr). I am in the midst of creating their culture however I don't know ...
33
votes
20answers
8k views

What projectile weapon can replace a bow under the following circumstances?

I have a race of elf-like humanoids that live in a forest. One of their best methods of travel is what you may call "forest running". They are attuned to the harmonic movement of the forest from a ...
7
votes
6answers
842 views

Getting Past Phonetic Limitations [closed]

For the sake of making things much, much simpler, most worlds I'm familiar with have a defining feature of language: there is a common language. This allows for universal communication and overcomes ...
2
votes
1answer
142 views

What would humanoid hermaphrodite family units look like? [closed]

My elves are hermaphrodites, but they need another partner to actually reproduce. Their pregnancies last for about two years, and pregnancy is very physically tolling. They usually give birth to one ...
5
votes
4answers
257 views

What would a city that houses humanoids, centaurs, and merfolk look like?

In the world I'm currently working on, there are several species of sentient creatures: humans, elves, dwarves, merfolk, centaurs, and avians (winged humanoids). I need to figure out how I could have ...
2
votes
3answers
117 views

How would a species in one dimension with its own properties go to another dimension with slightly different properties?

In my world, I have three dimensions, each of which have their own special properties. From each of these three dimensions come a master race of said dimension: From the first, the master race is a ...
0
votes
4answers
215 views

How to slaughter the Pixies in medieval pixie war?

In my world there are pixies/fairy's, little humanoids no taller than a standing squirrel, with 4 bug like wings yet intelligent as a human. Unlike traditional lore they have no magic. They do however ...
11
votes
5answers
300 views

What would a medieval war against a subterranean race look like?

To round off the little series started by this and this, I figured that I should add this question. The setting: there is a race of underground people living beneath a human kingdom. To avoid the ...
11
votes
9answers
3k views

What would a medieval war against an air-borne race look like?

So I've been inspired by this question to ask what would a medieval war against an airborne hominid (let's call them harpies) be like? Basically most of the assumptions about the meerfolk of the ...
6
votes
2answers
149 views

Tusks of a Cyclops

It has been said that one of the inspirations of the Cyclops of Greek mythology was from a skull of a dwarf elephant. Being twice the size of a human, people interpreted the nasal cavity (for the ...
57
votes
13answers
7k views

What would a medieval war against an aquatic race look like?

The setting; there’s a large population of merfolk living in the ocean, and a developing seafaring human nation on the neighbouring coastline. These merfolk are entirely aquatic. They have gills and ...
2
votes
3answers
237 views

Why would dwarves ride griffins? [closed]

Something I noticed is that a fair amount of famous fantasy fiction depicts dwarves riding griffins (e.g. Warhammer, Warcraft). Ignoring for a moment why dwarves seem to have little difficulty ...
57
votes
12answers
7k views

Justifying why a troll's skin would turn to stone in sunlight

It's a fairly common legend that trolls turn to stone when exposed to daylight, and I was thinking about using such a creature in a story. I'm searching for a plausible way of justifying such a ...
3
votes
4answers
172 views

Human-fungus symbiotic species

Researching a lot about fantasy, I've always had interest of mushroom humanoids, but I wanted to put my own twist on them. Instead of sentient mushrooms, I wanted to have a humanoid species infected ...
4
votes
3answers
121 views

Most useful multi tools for dwarves

I have spent some time designing a dwarven civilisation. They don’t live below ground all the time. In fact I heavily draw upon the actual culture of mountain tribes, such as The Lisu for inspiration....
2
votes
5answers
644 views

Is the Concept of Multiple Fantasy Races Scientifically Flawed? [closed]

Many fantasy worlds have multiple humanoid species (elves, orcs, humans, etc) living in the same world, in addition to that, they often have the ability to interbreed. And I can't help but question ...
4
votes
7answers
446 views

How could a medieval army defeat Sauron's army?

For context : I would like to know if it is plausible to build a realistic european medieval world where Sauron appears at some point Sauron's army was one of the most powerful in Middle Earth in the ...
4
votes
4answers
424 views

How plausible is molecular disequilibrium from Ant-Man and the Wasp?

So if you haven't watched the film, basically there's this one character who suffers from a (fictional) condition referred to as “molecular disequilibrium.” As described by the character, it's a ...
5
votes
9answers
343 views

What reasons would you have to reclaim your spot if the current rulers aren't evil?

Let's say a strict monarch who ruled a kingdom of "hunters" was overthrown by a race/group of "witches" in a way that wasn't proportionate to any crime the recent ruler may have committed, but instead ...
8
votes
4answers
363 views

Is a mainly kicking combat style like Muay Thai, or Taekwondo realistic for a giant humanoid of around 15 feet?

I'm working on creating a realistic species of giant humans. I've changed the proportions, such as creating elephant like feet and muscular pillar-like legs to support the weight. They also possess a ...
3
votes
7answers
319 views

Realistic Design For Orcish Swords [closed]

What kind of sword/s might orcs use? Specifically what kind of sword/s might they use that also fits their characterization as brutal, somewhat savage, warriors. While still being practical, realistic ...
6
votes
2answers
205 views

Anatomically correct kemonomimis

Fantasy worlds from Asian novels (and related media) have lots of kemonomimis. They are human-ish species that have animal ears and tails. Of the fox, wolf, cat, bear, raccoon, dog, lizard, and so on....
8
votes
5answers
270 views

How would dwarves tell time (calendar)

Information I am developing the culture of the dwarves in my fantasy world, and I am interested in a calendar system for my dwarves. Yes, I am aware of the question How would my dwarves tell time ...
1
vote
2answers
69 views

What would be a successful ad campaign to change the general negative opinion of Djinni in popular culture? [closed]

There's been any number of stories about genies, or djinni. Aladdin notwithstanding, the vast majority of those stories have painted the beings are at the very least mischievous, and at worst actively ...
4
votes
2answers
115 views

Is there a biological way for a shroom to control its gnome host?

I know "Zombie Mushrooms" exist, but what is the feasibility of a shroom that is able to somehow control its host by a preferably physical way? Ex: I had the idea of it jabbing into the spinal cord. ...
4
votes
2answers
272 views

Is an organism that is a collection of worms inhabiting a bare skeleton possible?

The skeleton hoard (How would this creature keep its skeleton "host" in one piece?) outlined in this post is actually a sentient worm colony ruled by a "Queen" affectionally called a head ...
5
votes
4answers
211 views

How would this creature keep its skeleton “host” in one piece?

In my fantasy world, which lacks a name currently, there is a race of what looks like a series of interconnected worms or maggots that is known for growing in and around skeletons using its own body ...
-2
votes
1answer
94 views

Eusocial Humanoids?

How could a humanoid race and/or a human subspecies develop eusocial behavior? It's more common in insects like bees, but the naked mole rat is a eusocial mammal, so it's possible, any thoughts on the ...
10
votes
5answers
599 views

Would the collapse of civilization make turning into a vampire and colonizing the ocean floor a sane idea?

One idea I've always wanted to try writing is the concept of vampires exploiting their lack of a need to breathe and generally low-maintenance biology to escape the brunt of the sun's rays by living ...
-3
votes
1answer
159 views

Evolutionary advantage of a sex ratio skewed towards the female end in humanoids? [closed]

I had an idea for a humanoid species that has a significant number more female births than male births, how would this trait have provided enough of an advantage to allow the species to survive to ...
28
votes
9answers
4k views

Biologically sound reason why underground dwelling Drow have dark skin? [duplicate]

The Drow from Dungeons and Dragons are a race of elves with dark skin and pale hair that live mainly underground. How could these elves develop such a coloration when they live underground, away from ...
25
votes
4answers
2k views

What is the ecological role of the common fantasy monster, the slime? [closed]

This was a sudden thought during the world build I'm currently doing. What is the ecological purpose of a slime? Most monsters in a fantasy universe can be put into a food chain without much thought....
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Evolutionary Advantage to An All-Female Race? [closed]

In some fantasy works there are races, like some interpretations of harpies and mermaids, among others, that are all female, and need to seek out other races, like humans, to reproduce, the daughters ...
7
votes
6answers
638 views

Why wouldn't elves be the dominant species?

One of the commonest depictions of elves are as incredibly long-lived humanoids, sometimes utterly immune from death of natural causes. They are also more graceful and more coordinated than humans, ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

How might lions and orcs engage in warfare with one another? [closed]

There are two populations of beings in a world akin to prehistoric subsaharan Africa: lions and orcs. The orcs have essentially the same intelligence and physical capabilities as humans, but they are ...
38
votes
23answers
10k views

What's a possible justification for orcs not taking over the world?

So I'm making a story with the standard Tolkien races. Not terribly original, I know, but it makes for good practice fantasy writing. While I was planning out the history, I realized that orcs ...
6
votes
3answers
275 views

How much of an advantage in medieval-style combat would it be to have four arms with pivoting shoulders?

So I'm writing a story about humans of the modern world being given various superhuman powers by an unknown entity, which eventually causes society to partially collapse and turn into a bizarre mash-...
16
votes
6answers
465 views

Sapient species that is immune to damage from heat. What are the ramifications?

So I'm writing a story that has a species that's immune to being burned or suffering any kind of ill effect from being heated, functionally regardless of the temperature (I'm not planning on tossing ...
2
votes
5answers
401 views

What MATH could I use to conclude my World's Elf prime pregnancy years?

So, let's be real ... I totally suck at math. If a Human female can live to be 100 and her prime pregnancy years are from 20 years old to 40 years old AND assuming that Elves in this world have the ...
4
votes
1answer
204 views

How would I make a fantasy race have attractive men? [closed]

So, one of the constraints I have on designing my world's fantasy races is that all of them used to be human, because these creatures only came about through humans getting access to supernatural ...
28
votes
25answers
5k views

Aerial combat: winged humans

I shall present myself: I am Alfara Gal Strid, proud leader of a clan of Arat'nie - what you would simply call "winged humans". I come to you with a troublesome question. You see, for a long time we ...
2
votes
0answers
253 views

Rules to follow when creating a Fantasy world [closed]

My question is « kinda » basic : Which are, for you, the points and basic rules when creating a credible and coherent FANTASY world ? By this I mean what’s for you the most important things to think ...
13
votes
2answers
182 views

Would a long-nosed species have a different voice tune?

I have a race of humanoid species, who, like elves, have better senses than humans. They live in mountains and hills. They look like humans but have longer faces, smaller eyes and are most famous for ...
17
votes
6answers
3k views

How quickly could the fashion industry react to new humanoid fantasy races?

So in my urban fantasy story, among other things, new fantasy races suddenly start appearing in the modern world via the system I outlined in this thread: Reasons to voluntarily change into a ...
1
vote
0answers
156 views

Anatomically Correct Orcs [closed]

Orcs have been a staple fantasy enemy race for decades, but what could cause such a species to exist in real life? What would cause them to develop green skin like they're often depicted as having? ...
13
votes
11answers
1k views

Reasons to voluntarily change into a fantasy race?

So one of the biggest quirks of the world I'm building is that, along with supernatural powers suddenly becoming real in modern day, the human race is granted multiple separate opportunities to ...
32
votes
17answers
5k views

Subverting 'evil humanoid' (orcs, goblins, etc.) tropes

TLDR: What believable real-world consequences can there be for killing orcs, goblins, etc. when such acts are not illegal nor necessarily frowned upon by one's society? I am preparing a Dungeons and ...
16
votes
3answers
895 views

Realistic fantasy Orcs [closed]

I want to figure out what kind of effects following physical attributes and in-universe conditions would have on Orc populations, society and warfare in a realistic low-fantasy setting: Physical ...