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What do other games use in place of 'race'?

Voadam

Adventurer
Peoples. Carnival Row, based on the TV series, using the Cypher system.
I like the feel of that one a lot. Sort of like Tuatha de Danann meaning People of the Dawn.

Folk also works well, from Shanara and the 3e+ versions of [X]men becoming gender neutral folk so lizardfolk and such.
 

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BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I was thinking earlier that stat bonuses should be tied to classes. I mean what are the odds that a player who selects a wizard is NOT looking for an INT boost?
Me too. Powerful Build already does a better job of representing a big and Strong genetic inclination than a +2 to Strength.

I'd love to see more active racial(?) abilities too. A Goliath's Stones Endurance is a great way to represent being naturally tough and is useful to Wizards and Barbarian's alike.
 

Grazzt

Demon Lord
I think some games don't even use a term. It has been a long time since I had my 2e Gamma World set, but in offering a choice between pure strain human, mutant, and mutated animal, I don't know if there was a set term to describe th choice. And FASERIP Marvel Superheroes just had "origin", which might include things like alien or high tech wonder.
There was. It was called "Character Type" but worked exactly how you described.
 






FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
Alternity, like many sci-fi games, uses Species. This sounds weird in pre-industrial fantasy settings, and.... is even less accurate than "race" in most of them. Someone already mentioned "metatype" in Shadowrun, which is worth noting because Shadowrun is based on a modern Earth setting and the various metatypes are neither separate races nor separate species; Shadowrun tries to use metatype discrimnation as a clumsy allegory for contemporary racial politics and it just doesn't land because of this.

It's largely irrelevant to my game design because I was a partisan for race-as-class before the movement to replace the word "race" really picked up steam... in my setting design, I usually use "kith" or "clade" or "folk" or "kind", leaning toward the former in more formal (or mechanical) use and the latter in more colloquial use.
 



Ath-kethin

Adventurer
I use Ancestry in my Rules Cyclopedia retrofit.

And I ditched ability score modifiers based on race/ancestry/species ages ago. Largely because they are absent in the RC and I've found even 5e can comfortably live without them.
 

FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
And I ditched ability score modifiers based on race/ancestry/species ages ago. Largely because they are absent in the RC and I've found even 5e can comfortably live without them.
I really feel like there should be ability score adjustments for nonhumans-- but given how much damage they've wrought on nonhuman archetypes in the WotC era, I'm inclined to agree with you that they should become a relic of the past. Of course, you and I are both working in a Classic environment where we don't have to worry about ability score adjustments pushing nonhumans into the wrong classes-- by design and by definition, every nonhuman class is a good fit for that kind of nonhuman.
 

Raduin711

Adventurer
Alternity, like many sci-fi games, uses Species. This sounds weird in pre-industrial fantasy settings, and.... is even less accurate than "race" in most of them. Someone already mentioned "metatype" in Shadowrun, which is worth noting because Shadowrun is based on a modern Earth setting and the various metatypes are neither separate races nor separate species; Shadowrun tries to use metatype discrimnation as a clumsy allegory for contemporary racial politics and it just doesn't land because of this.
Some editions of Shadowrun give scientific nomenclature to the various metatypes: Elves are Homo Sapiens Nobilis, Orks are Homo Sapiens Robustus, Humans are (re?)classified as Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Wouldn't this make the various metatypes different species of Homo?
 


Raduin711

Adventurer
I was thinking earlier that stat bonuses should be tied to classes. I mean what are the odds that a player who selects a wizard is NOT looking for an INT boost?
Maybe instead of tying it to class, tie it to background?

For instance, one wizard player might pick something more to type like a Sage or a Noble, that offers a chance at a good education for a +2 bonus to INT. Another player might play against type and pick Urchin, who gets a bonus to DEX, the lack of educational opportunities reflected in his stats...
 

Derren

Hero
Shadowrun uses Metatype. There elves and orcs are explicitly humans who have goblinized.
Its actually a bit more complicated than that.
You have metatype/metahuman for the different variations of homo sapiens
Metavariant for variations withing a metavariant (i.e. common orks vs Oni orcs)
Non-metahuman sapients for sapient creatures not related to humans
Infected for HMHVV infected (vampire & co)
SURGEd for victims of SURGE (randomly scrambles genetics, might also include undiscovered metatypes in this category)
Drakes and Dracoforms for everything related to dragons

But such granularity would not be accepted for D&D as it depends on a modern scientific view on evolution, even when affected by magic, and clear knowledge about who is related to whom.
 
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FaerieGodfather

Aberrant Druid
Supporter
Some editions of Shadowrun give scientific nomenclature to the various metatypes: Elves are Homo Sapiens Nobilis, Orks are Homo Sapiens Robustus, Humans are (re?)classified as Homo Sapiens Sapiens. Wouldn't this make the various metatypes different species of Homo?
Not really, no. FASA just thought they were being clever and made a silly mistake.

If the different metatypes were different species under the same genus, but interfertile-- as many real-world species are-- then the offspring of different metatypes would show a mixture of metatype features with some possible, specific exceptions. In Shadowrun, there's no admixture: the offspring of parents of the same metatype is >90% the same metatype (10% any other) while the offspring of different metatypes is ~40% chance of being a typical example of either metatype, with a greater chance of being a random different metatype.

Biology doesn't work that way, but luckily in Shadowrun it's explicitly stated that metahuman metatype isn't a purely biological function. Just like it should be recognized that it isn't purely biological in Dungeons & Dragons, given that multiple exclusive Creation Myths are all held to be simultaneously objectively true.
 

schneeland

Explorer
Just a few that came to my mind:
  • in Forbidden Lands you pick your kin
  • in Conan, you pick your homeland (alternatively: the land you were raised in)
  • in HARP, you pick both race and culture
  • in Mythras - Classic Fantasy, you also pick both race and culture
  • in Symbaroum, Fantasy AGE, Warhammer Fantasy, Savage Worlds and Dungeon World you pick a race
 

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