D&D General Are the Races of D&D races of Human or seperate Species according to lore?

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
From a mythic perspective, the various races are separate peoples and the idea of interbreeding doesn't come into the genre until Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories (I'm fairly certain).

Nope. The Norse have Skuld, who is the daughter of Helgi (or Halga, if you are reading Beowulf), and a dark elf woman. Also, there is Hagen/Högni, who is the son of Queen Ute, sired by an elf while her husband was away...

Much later, in 1924, there is The King of Elfland's Daughter, by Lord Dunsany. In it, the prince Erl goes into Faerie, and brings back Lirazel, the daughter of the king of Elfland, as his bride. They have a son, who is therefore half-elf. This is probably the earliest "modern" fantasy piece with the concept.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
In my buddy’s setting, dwarves and Goliaths are the results of giants breeding human slaves to create specialized classes of workers. They’re related to giants and to humans, as a result.

Meanwhile, humans and elves are related, possibly coming from the same missing link in the time of the Fey Kingdoms.

Orcs, meanwhile, are the result of wizards experimenting with goblinoids and humans.

Gnomes are mostly just an independent race, born from the Fey who once rules much of the world. Svirfneblin are the result of gnomes and shadar-kai breeding.
 


Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
So the concept of half-elfs and half-orcs seems to imply that Orcs and Elves are actually human off shoots but I am not aware of any lore as to why or how this happened.

In general - it is a fantasy world. It does not strongly hold to real-world genetics. Trying to describe fantasy creatures using real-world science will ruin your fantasy.
 

Mercurius

Legend
Elves and Men are the Children of Iluvatar, Elves the Firstborn and Men the Followers. Dwarves were created by Aule playing with clay or somesuch, Orcs were Melkor messing around with Elves he captured, and Hobbits are the result of Radagast the Brown and Gandalf playing a drinking game that got out of hand.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
In general - it is a fantasy world. It does not strongly hold to real-world genetics. Trying to describe fantasy creatures using real-world science will ruin your fantasy.
Oh, Great another person who thinks only they understand this is a fantasy game and thinks the rules of the world don't matter.... Let me guess your a story GM how hand waves inventory management? Look, I am not saying your wrong but forget genetics (Not once did I mention genetics, so your the only one talking about that), you don't expect a human to sleep with a horse and create a Centaur. If that happens one time and never before or again it makes since their is an in world reason for it. The same is true with all the other races. I am not saying the should follow genetics but that they should have a consistent world. If all races can inter breed where are the half-Gnome half-orcs? They introduce that some races can hybridize so they should state why, when, and which ones. …. Nothing about that requires real-world genetics and your condescending implication that this is a pointless exercise is a meaningless post attacking people for talking about D&D and providing nothing tangible or constructive to the conversation. If your here to imply that people are stupid for talking about D&D rules and mechanics of world building … please start your own thread. This thread is about which races can mix with which other races and why. If you don't want to talk about he topic other then to say the topic is stupid, don't post on a thread. If you actually have something constructive to say on the subject, the please post that with out the dismissive comments about the subject of the thread.
 

MarkB

Legend
Elves and Men are the Children of Iluvatar, Elves the Firstborn and Men the Followers. Dwarves were created by Aule playing with clay or somesuch, Orcs were Melkor messing around with Elves he captured, and Hobbits are the result of Radagast the Brown and Gandalf playing a drinking game that got out of hand.
There's a little-known goblinoid race called the Lingob. Close relatives of hobgoblins, they're taller, slimmer and more willowy, a nomadic race who peddle their talents and fighting skills across the lands.

They're little known these days because their numbers have greatly diminished. Not through persecution, or war, or plague, but because of the strong mutual attraction that exists between them and humans. Anywhere that humans and lingobs live in close proximity, the population inevitably skews away from purebreds of either species and towards their hybrid offspring.

Nobody knows quite why these offspring seem to bear so little in common with either parent, though their tiny stature is often attributed to old goblin heritage, while their more human-like skin tones and features are the main sign of that side of their heritage.

Unfortunately, due to this lack of resemblance, combined with the fact that they breed true with each other but not with either humans or goblinoids, these hybrids are often shunned and ostracised, eventually banding together to form their own communities. So prevalent are these new societies that many have forgotten that these people - known by humanoids as half-lings, and by goblinoids as the rather derogatory term "hob bits" - were ever of mixed heritage, mistaking them for a new race in their own right.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
A friend of mine and a GM I play under chimed in on this conversation and sent me this link. Which is a good Forgotten Realms Lore layout of the Races of DnD.
 

Oh, Great another person who thinks only they understand this is a fantasy game and thinks the rules of the world don't matter....
Perhaps you should pay a bit more attention to who Umbran his and the views he has posted on these forums before making such claims
...they should have a consistent world. If all races can inter breed where are the half-Gnome half-orcs?
Why? And more importantly, which world are you talking about? Others have tried to point out to you from the beginning of this thread that their is no one answer to these questions. D&D is NOT a single mythology. It is not a single world, it has no unified answer to history or why's.

Do you want to know about half-orc in the Forgotten Realms? Greyhawk, Dark Sun, Birthright?... Their are dozens of official D&D settings that have been published, each with its own legends and history and mythology. Each one has its own take on the questions you are asking. Why do you continue to assume their is only one answer?

They introduce that some races can hybridize so they should state why, when, and which ones.
Who is "they"? And why should they explain anything to you?

Do you know that their are hundreds if not thousands of people who have authored official content for D&D? That their is no single source of truth, no sage or authority who can say "This is how it always is". Numerous people have defined, officially, the origins of the different species in D&D. Each has done it with their own views, and often in different ways for different settings.

And, why should any of them have taken the time to answer these questions? Because you find them valuable? The lore is what it is. IT is often incomplete, jumbled, contradictory and nonsensical. Discuss your views, but demand some sort of official answer for something like this? That's, well, I won't say what I think that is other than useless.

If your here to imply that people are stupid for talking about D&D rules and mechanics of world building … please start your own thread. This thread is about which races can mix with which other races and why. If you don't want to talk about he topic other then to say the topic is stupid, don't post on a thread. If you actually have something constructive to say on the subject, the please post that with out the dismissive comments about the subject of the thread.
Yea, that's probably not the right attitude to address one of the forum moderators, even when they are posting as just member. Heck, it's certainly not a productive attitude to address anyone on the forums with.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
they should have a consistent world. If all races can inter breed where are the half-Gnome half-orcs? They introduce that some races can hybridize so they should state why, when, and which ones.


I don't think think it should be this way. It can. It certainly wouldn't be wrong to. But when I think about it, how does having a more consistent world in this sense make the game more enjoyable for the people at the table unless certain people at the table are having their characters try to breed with other PCs and NPCs.

I've yet to run a game like that. I've got to use too much of my brain power to figure out if my players stupid ideas succeed or fail, or what how to map their insane idea onto a die roll to worry about the metaphysical like this.

Actually not knowing these answers could possibly lead to more interesting scenarios. Perhaps it's some researcher's quest to discover these mysteries. Perhaps he's doomed to never know.

Still it could just be that humans and dragons can interbreed with most humanoids, and most humanoids can breed with humans and dragons, but apart from that species are not compatible? Because human gods are freaky and dragons don't give flying flumph for conventions, even divine ones?
 

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