Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?

What's some races in popular (or unpopular) fantasy stories that you really like or were surprised by, that don't fit into the Tolkien or D&D archetypes? Races that you just don't see very commonly, especially if they're in important roles? Races that got their due in one cool place, but also ones that still haven't gotten their due anywhere?

For example, I think a lot of Greek mythological creatures really have gotten saturated in fantasy fiction as minor races or just monsters, but a lot of them still don't get much spotlight. Like, I can't think of a single example of a Siren being used prominently in a fantasy world story, even though I think they'd be such an interesting and different POV to explore a world through. That kind of thing.

What out there fantasy races can you think of?

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?


This story has Wolves as one of the major races. They're not humanoid at all, but beasts, but also perfectly sentient and intelligent, and can talk. I think they're somewhere between cats and dogs, not literal wolves, but a different, new "animal". Another one featured here are Saurians, giant lizard-people that can, if they manage to live hundreds or thousands of years, eventually evolve into full-blown dragons. And there's Nightgales, which are basically people that can all fly naturally. Humans seems pretty lame, next to all of these...

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?

I mean, the only race that actually impressed me were the Raskura in Martha Wells series. Granted this was a race that she created and ever race that made an appearance in the fantasy series she wrote. It isn't common to see a flying race in a story that aren't dragonkin/dragon blood/whatever they call half-dragons and angels. And ones that are...unique. I'm not sure how to describe them. I imagined shapeshifing gargoyles with feathering placed on their wings and bodies living in a matriarch society for the purposes of simplifcation. It's quite the unique series and I'm slightly disappointed that I can't find another novels series like it. She almost didn't get the novel published beacue the publisher thought readers would have issues with the names she used.  I mean names like Moon, Stone, Blossom, and Jade are such hard names to remember. *eyeroll* 

Reading that series really, really makes me want to create my own race when I finally get to the point when I can write something other than my current project and not really base it on anything else. Probably the only regret I have for what I'm currently work one is that I wish I would've just wrote it all a little more unrestrained and wrote a more unique race.

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?

I'm always weak to 'popular' fantasy races whenever they get folklorically/culturally accurate representation, when that image is completely different from what modern fantasy has popularized. 

Take kobolds for example. I kind of like fantasy kobolds, anything vaguely but mostly-not-humanoid is interesting to me, but it'll be hard to convince me that they're cooler than a surreal kind of shadow/light spirit that lives in solid stone and appears as spectres to possibly mad miners. 

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?

Check out Hindu Mythology for some really 'Out There' races. Also, I have a SciFi Romance where the world divides itself up into five competing sectors who each create a colony of several hundred people to live on the planet Mars. Things go a little south for the team from India, where something about the conditions of their settlement starts turning them into monsters.

It is a heartfelt story. A vassal from the American Team falls in love with the Queen of the Sinhalese team and, despite the fact that the Sinhalese are experiencing this horrible transformation, he joins their team to serve her.

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?


Tynian Wrote: Insectoides parasites have almost no room. I don't understand why? Giant ticks wanting to befriend you is fine in fantasy. ^^

One of the thing I'd like to see is a lizard race/reptilian with the need to manage body heat without endothermia and explore how this shapes a society.

You have to remember that one of the most valued traits of a fantasy race is its fuckability. If you can't nut to it, it ain't a good race. Ticks are just way too much of a niche in the nutting community to warrant a widespread addition. Though they would be fun to befriend. You could simply overthrow a dynasty by planting giant tick eggs underneath the castle and watch it unfold as they all come out.

They might probably reside near volcanic areas. Hot packets would be very profitable too. High level ice mages could kill those fucks gradually if he tampered with the weather settings with a mod menu.

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?

I was more interested in the devellopment of hothouses, people selling hotwater bags to other going further outside, maybe a whole city implanting around hot springs etc...

There is enough to do some quality worldbuiling just with that characteristic. 

and as you said, their ennemies would focus on using ice, maybe sprinkling them with cold water etc... 

This is what "other race" is supposed to be about IMO. Elves, dwarves or beastkins are just too "humans" and require little worldbuiling (I picked some of them for my story by laziness). The real interesting ones are the ones bringing some unique flavour with them. 

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?


Thedude3445 Wrote:
Ariana Wrote: I would really like to see a bit more representation from the Slavic mythology (maybe my next work would be on that).

What fantasy races could be made from Slavic mythology? I know almost nothing about Eastern European fantasy stuff.

There is a lot of cool stuff. Many different types of blood-suckers (I mean, vampires come from that corner); shape-shifting dragon-like beings that protect humanity, command clouds, and fight evil multi-headed serpents; phoenix-like birds guarding the Golden Apple - a magical cure-it-all fruit giving eternal life and beauty.

Here is a pilot animation for an animated series with heavy inspiration from Slavic mythology (unfortunately I have not heard anything about it being completed soon)

Re: Really "out there" fantasy races?


Ariana Wrote: I would really like to see a bit more representation from the Slavic mythology (maybe my next work would be on that).

True that. Fantasy has an odd fixation on Germanic folklore. 

Intrestingly enough, even Germanic mythology have a really uneven representation. You'd think all of it would've been done to death but nope. Ever seen a vittra or a mara or a huldra or even a rå appear in a fantasy? It's all just elves and dwarves these days. *shakes walking staff at the kids*