Thursday, December 30, 2010

Races systemetized

Some time ago I had considered what basic classes might have looked like if they had received the same Gygaxian systematization that much of the other elements of OD&D had gotten. I was a little surprised at the positive response to that post and thought I'd try my hand at doing the same thing to races.

Well, I don't think the races map nearly as well, or maybe I'm just not doing it right. Here is a diagram to illustrate a first pass at the idea. Maybe you have suggestions to improve this or think it is too ridiculous an idea to even attempt.
There is definitely some wonkiness with mapping the six attributes to the basic races.


  1. Humans would be central, no?

    With the Humanoid/Fey/Monsterous as the second ring and the attributes as the third?

    Not an easy concept to diagram, IMHO.

    Hope others chime in!

  2. While it may not be as cool as your systematization of classes, I think this might be more intuitive. This is a taxonomy of species, which is common in real life.

  3. I think the outer ring should be better than human, worse than human, and nearly human, with the latter including humans and those that are basically humans in disguise (forehead aliens, green people, and so on.)

    The ring of six attributes doesn't quite work, but if you reduce them to physical/tangible vs. mental/intangible, and arrange them as a bull's eye, with pure mental in the center and pure physical in the outer ring, that might work. Dwarfs are mostly physical, somewhat less than human; elves are mostly mental, somewhat more than human.

    You *could* do the mental/physical as a ring, but then you need to switch the more/nearly/less than human scale to the bull's eye. I think it's trying to force two different things into rings that's causing the systemization problems.

  4. yeah, it needs work. It should probably be diagrammed differently, like a radial tree or something. I'll have to think about it more.

  5. I'm loving the simplicity of this chart. It drives back at the core of fantasy concepts - the effete but smart and the brutish but enduring (although aligning the attributes with the races reminds me very much of Victorian class divisions!) :)