22 January 2021

Ennead Games

Helping you make your stories and games legendary

Something that has been bothering me about the fantasy genre for a long time is the nature of the hybrid “Half-” races, Half-Elf, Half-Orc etc. My issue is this: Why only those two? Why are there not more half races? So it got me thinking, what possible combinations could there be?

To determine this, we need to decide what races can interbreed, either, ahem, naturally, or through some spell or technology has gone wrong. So let’s, for now, assume that the races/species listed below are in some way compatible:

  • Humans
  • Elves
  • Dwarves
  • Gnomes
  • Halflings
  • Orc
  • Giants

There are obviously going to be more that could go on this list, but to make things easier have just picked the 7 listed above for now.  Now to start with there are 7 x 7 possible combinations, assuming each has two “parents”.  But we need to take away 7 from that total. Why? Well, we are talking about hybrids here and the same species/race are to be ignored for now. So that gives a possible 42 possible combinations. 42 possible hybrid races/species out of 7 possible parent species. Yet we typically only see the two mentioned at the start. The number of possible combinations increases as possible options are included. If your world has magical fusion, you could add in other species/races such as:

  • Dragons
  • Minotaurs
  • Aquatic creatures
  • Insects, like spiders and beetles

Now, granted, there may be social or political reasons why certain combinations have yet to occur, but time and time again we see , both in games and literature the same ones. I know that there must be a few games and stories out there that feature these rare hybrids, but dang it, I want to see more, especially in war-torn areas or places with high magic/mutagenic ratings.

Some examples:

  • Giant/Halfling – Could either be a smallish creature with immense strength, or a larger than average humanoid with an appropriately sized appetite
  • Gnome/Orc – Smallish, green with the strength of the orc with the cunning of the gnome
  • Elf/Dwarf – A stocky looking elf, with or without beard, a dwarf-looking character that can move in ways their other slower companions can’t
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