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Sometimes, a Tabletop Game or Video Game setting just has a metric boatload of playable races -- even more than the standard Five Races. Other times, a setting just adds in races, for reasons gone into below.

Happens in three ways:

  1. You have a set of factions in your strategy game (this version of the trope being confined mainly to strategy games), and you're now doing a sequel (or, in a tabletop game, a new edition). What's the simplest way to bring something new to the sequel or new edition? Add in more races! Alternately, you wish to have a subfaction which specializes in one aspect of your Planet of Hats; this leads to speciation of the main faction into two or more subfactions. Editing Lore is always easier than editing Canon.
  2. You're designing an RPG. You want more customization options. Your classes are pretty much restricted to the standard bunch, so you allow a bunch of races to be selected too.
  3. You've got a setting, and you decide to add some races besides the basic human. Given that you're going for a Mythic Fable-style setting, you decide to add as many as possible, since that allows each to wear a different Hat.


The cutoff point for the purposes of examples for both types 1 and 2 is set somewhat arbitrarily at 8 races; the cutoff point for type 3 is set at the somewhat lower 4 NPC [1] races.

These races will generally be further subdivided into every possible variation.

Examples of Loads and Loads of Races include:


Anime and Manga

  • Bleach features, in addition to normal humans, the human-variant Shinigami, normal spirits, Hollows, and Quincies, in addition to the synthetic Modsouls and artificial human Nemu. Arrancar are Hollow-Shinigami hybrids, Visoreds are Shinigami-Hollow hybrids. Fulbringers are spiritually-aware humans that were 'infected' with Hollow spirit energy, but have their own abilities added to the mix. Sajin Komamura falls under Petting Zoo People, although it's not clear if this counts as a race or a curse. The anime adds in the Bounts and later on introduces the Tojo, prisoners of Hell, for a movie tie-in.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has 4 basic races: Humans, Youkai, Hellas race(dark skinned) and Animal People from the Magic World. The human races are then subdivided in many different kinds and varying in all points of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism.
  • Dragon Ball: Frieza's army is made up of members of countless different intergalactic races, the Other World is populated by the deceased members of even more races, and then there's all the different races introduced in GT. Finally there's the races the series focuses on the most: humans, Saiyans, Namekians, Frieza's unnamed race, Majins, Kais, Ogres, and the humanoid animals that live on Earth alongside humans.

Comic Books

  • The DCU has Humans, Coluans, Kryptonians, New Gods, Oans, Daxamites, Khunds, Gordanians, Thanagarians and god knows how many Green Lanterns exist.
  • The Marvel Universe has Human, Inhumans, Mutants, Eternals, Deviants, Atlantians, Vampires, and Lemurians. Moving off Earth, there's the Chiaturi, the Kree, the Skrulls, the Xandarians, the Titans, the Celestials, the Shi'ar, and more.
  • Valerian features an insane amount of alien species, a lot of them created just for one appearance.

Film

Literature

  • The Lord of the Rings is a good example of type 1. Every time a new ally or opponent needed to be added, JRR would come up with a new race (and possibly a thousand years of history, mythology, and linguistic development) to drive the story. Sure, the protagonists were the big five (dwarves, elves, men, wizards (Istari), and hobbits), but that didn't count the various subdivisions of elves, men, and hobbits, nor the orcs, goblins, elite orcs, undead, daemons, spiders, spider gods, scary things that used to be men, bad-ass wolves, eagles, sentient trees, giant tree-men (but no more tree-women), dragons, and whatever Tom Bombadil, Old Man Willow, and Beorn are.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia sort of falls under type 3. Besides the managerie of beings in Narnia: Dwarfs, Fauns, Dryads(tree nymphs/gods/spirits), Centaurs, Stayrs, Naiads(water nymphs/gods/spirits), Giants, Unicorns, Winged Horses, and Talking Beasts, Other various beings are mentioned in certain books: The monsters and demons in the White Witch's Army(Evil Dwarfs, Evil Giants, Werewolves, Evil trees and plants, Ghouls, Boggles, Ogres, Minotaurs, Cruels, Hags, Spectres, People of the Toadstools, Incubuses, Wraiths, Horrors, Efreets, Sprites, Orknies, Wooses, and Ettins), The humans from Calormen, Archenland, Telmar, and the Islands, Stars, Merpeople(traditional half human-half fish hybrid), Sea People(basically aquatic humans with purple hair and go around naked), Duffers/Monopods/Dufflepuds(one-legged dwarfs), Dragons, Sea Serpents, Giant Squids, Krackens, Birds from the Sun, Marshwiggles, Gnomes(who look a little more like devils with pitchforks than whimsical, diminuitive cousins to dwarfs), and Salamanders.
  • All the characters in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt are human, but the humans are split into an enormous number of "kinden" -- tribes who take on characteristics of a particular type of animal, usually an insect or other arthropod. Who can tell me which group of creatures has the greatest number of species...?
  • The Cthulhu Mythos has a head-spinning number of types of aliens and other unpleasant things that want to drive you insane, then eat you.
  • Carna, the world of the Codex Alera, used to have these, until most were wiped out (some by the Alerans/humans, the main protagonist race, but probably others that we don't know about that were destroyed by other races). As of the timeline of the novels, there are only five sentient races left (Alerans, Marat, Canim, Vord, and Icemen), though ironically they don't fit into the Five Races categorization.
  • The Malazan Book of the Fallen has dozens of races, each with multiple named characters.
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' John Carter/Barsoom series has a lot of races. John himself is human, but Mars has the Green Martians, Red Martians, Yellow Martians (Okarians), White Martians, Black Martians, Kaldanes, Rykors, and Hornads.
  • Larry Niven's Known Space series has Humans, Kzinti, Puppeteers, Outsiders, Pierin, Kdatlyno, Trinocs, Bandersnatchi, Grogs and more. Those are only the contemporary races, the Thrint, Tnuctipun, Pak, Martians and others have gone (mostly) extinct. And then there are all the myriad humanoid subspecies on Ringworld...
  • Discworld started with humans, trolls, and elves -- although even this was explained in the context of Rincewind trying to work out why there were still dryads. Then gnomes and dwarfs got added in The Light Fantastic, and gnolls in Equal Rites. Then Reaper Man added zombies, vampires, werewolves, weremen, bogeymen and banshees. Then Lords and Ladies introduced The Fair Folk, so the elves that had been vaguely mentioned previously had to be explained as Half Human Hybrids. Feet of Clay added golems, and Carpe Jugulum added the Nac Mac Feegle (and the Igors, if they count as a race). Thief of Time included yeti. Unseen Academicals introduced orcs and featured the first mention of goblins, who would go on to play a major role in Snuff (as well as a throwaway reference to a "Medusa" in the Watch). (And Night Watch had a brief mention of kvetches, but never really explained what they were beyond being covered in hair).
    • In the same vein as the Golems we get Gargoyles. On a stranger front, we get Demons, Things from the Dungeon Dimension, and certain Anthropomorphic Personifications (Time specifically, but maybe each one can be seen as a separate race). Also gods, genies (Sourcery), Auditors of Reality, occasional sentient dragons (The Colour of Magic and Guards Guards), "Stupid Lizard Men" (presumed extinct as of The Last Hero) and Furies (Unseen Academicals)
  • In Lacuna, Saara implies this about the universe.
  • The likely world record for Loads and Loads of Races almost certainly belongs to Alan Dean Foster's Spellsinger series, in which literally every species of mammal, bird, amphibian, or turtle on Earth has an equivalent intelligent race. An unspecified number of insect (Plated Folk) and spider (Weaver) species likewise come in sentient as well as mundane varieties. Humans are also present, as are numerous other intelligent races, some with a mythological basis (dragons, fairies, unicorns) and others made up from scratch. All told, that's got to be tens of thousands of races at a minimum, possibly over a million.

Live Action TV

  • Star Trek. The humans, the Vulcans (space elves), the Romulans (the Vulcans' Evil Counterpart Race), the Klingons (Proud Warrior Race Guys), the Borg (Bee People), the Cardassians (spies and assassins), and the Ferengi (interstellar merchants) are the most prominent ones. However there are a lot more that turn up only in individual episodes or plot arcs, and unimportant ones represented by a main character (Betazoids, Trill, Denobulans, Tholians...)
  • Where does one begin with Doctor Who, world's longest running sci-fi television series? Time Lords, Daleks, Cybermen, Sontarans and their enemies the Rutan Host, Ice Warriors, Zygons, Tereleptils, Silurians and Sea Devils, the Nestene Consciousness, Zarbi, Menoptera, Eternals, Osirans, Usurians, Monoids, Alpha Centaurians, Axons, Argolin, Foamasi, intelligent cacti from Zolfa Thura, Tractators, the Cheetah People, Haemovores and their giant cousins the Great Vampires, Tharils, Macra, Krynoids, and even humans. Then the new series introduced Raxicoricofallapatorians (often mistakenly called the Slitheen), Ood, Judoon, Sycorax, Adipose, Pyrovillians, Saturnynians, Crafayis, Malmooth, Weeping Angels, the Silence, and many other background races and individuals. Don't even get started on the Doctor Who Expanded Universe of which one race, Chelonians, have been mentioned in the new series...
  • Babylon 5 has five major powers: Humans, Centauri, Narn, Minbari, and Vorlons. Then there's the League of Non-aligned Worlds, a collection of at least a dozen minor powers, including the Drazi, the Markabs, the Vree, and the Pak'ma'ra. And then the Shadows turn up and there are an assortment of species that only turn up once or twice like the Dilgar, the Streib, and the Soul Hunters.
  • Supergirl has, obviously, the Kryptonians but also has Martians (Green and White), Daxamites, Metahumans, Naltorians, Dominators, Imps, Durlans, Dryads, and tons of one-off races created just for an episode.

Mythology

  • Greek Mythology has more non-human races than any other mythology. There's the cyclopes, centaurs, lamias, fauns/satyrs, gorgons, harpies, nymphs, titans, and gods. Plus a lot of one of a kind monsters such as the minotaur, Cerberus, Pegasus, etc.
    • Includes the old mortals, who came before humans were created, and are never adequately explained.
  • The Hindu canon rivals that of the Greeks, as one would expect of the world's oldest religion that is still practiced today. The list includes the vanara, garuda, naga, rakshasa, the saptas, pitrs, the gods themselves and their avatars. And those are just the most popular ones - there are literally hundreds of different beings in the Ramayana alone.
  • Norse Mythology is another one. The list includes the aesir and vanir, the norns, jotnar (fire and ice versions), ljosalfar, svaltalfar, and dokkalfar, dvergar, vaettir, troll, nisse, valkyries, einherjar, mortal men and the dead.
  • Japanese Mythology has dozens of races, most of them spirits, animal people, and sentient objects.

Toys

  • Bionicle has the Matoran- Toa - Turaga, Makuta, Skakdi, Zyglak, Rahkshi, Visorak, Glatorian, Agori, Vorox, Vortixx, Skrall, Bone Hunters, Element Lords, Baterra, Frosteleus, and the Great Beings, just to name a few.

Tabletop Games

  • Twilight Imperium started out with six "great races" (including humans) scrambling to rebuild the long extinct Lazax Imperium they were once part of; expansions for the game's 1st edition added four more races that had risen to a similar level of power in the interim. The current 3rd edition included all ten races from the get-go, then a new expansion was published which introduced four brand-new races, for a total of fourteen; probably the largest number of playable races in a tabletop strategy game, with the possible exception of Star Fleet Battles.
  • Speaking of which, Star Fleet Battles features a bunch of distinct fleets, including, in the basic edition, ships for The Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans [2], the Kzinti, the Tolians, and Orion Pirates; expansions include Andorians, Lyrans, Hydrans, WYNs, and the ISC. And all that is for the "Alpha Sector" setting. There are also "Omega Sector" (20 new factions), "Magellanic Cloud" (5 new factions) and "the Early Years" (5 new factions) settings.
  • The board game Small World started with an already-respectable 14 races in the core set, and the first three official expansions have added another 10 in total. Some of the 'races' would normally count as humans, however; for example, Amazons, Barbarians, Gypsies and Sorcerers are all separate races. In addition, there are special abilities which are independent of races, so during a game you'll actually be looking at things like Merchant Halflings or Cursed Goblins. Or Peace-Loving Orcs, for that matter. There are 20 abilities in the core game, with 12 more from expansions, meaning you're looking at 24 * 32 = 768 race/ability combinations just from official sources. Fans have added more, obviously.
  • The board game Cosmic Encounter is all about this, with each alien race breaking the rules in a different way. The original game had 15 races, and nine(!) expansion sets bringing the total eventually up to a whopping 75(!). One of the later publishers was planning an expansion with yet another 35(!) but went out of business before the release.
    • The current edition from Fantasy Flight has released two expansions so far, bring the grand total to a staggering 90 alien races.
  • Warhammer and Warhammer 40000:
    • 40K only has about seven main races (Humans, Space Elves, Space Orks, Killer Undead Cyborgs, Hive Mind Bug Aliens, The Greys, and crazy daemons) but each has a ton of sub-organizations, groups, and factions. For example, "humans" alone covers the Imperial Guard, the Space Marines, the Inquisition (itself divided into Ordos Malleus, Hereticus and Xenos to deal with daemons, witches and aliens respectively), the Sisters of Battle and the Chaos Space Marines. The fluff also mentions a lot of other races, many of whom have been wiped out by the good guys.
    • Warhammer Fantasy has no less than 14 (German Humans, French/British Humans, High Elves, Dwarves, Chaos Humans, Dark Elves, chaos dwarves, wood elves, lizardmen, ratmen, ogres, mummies, vampires, goblins, orcs).
    • Blood Bowl has 21 different types of team, inlcuding 3 kinds of human (standard, Norse, and Amazon), 4 kinds of elf (dark, wood, wealthy high and poor high), 3 kinds of chaos (standard, dwarf, and Nurgle), and 4 kinds of undead (standard, necromancer, vampire, and mummy).
  • Xevoz starts out with six races (humans, bugs, robots, the undead, Beast Men and Energy Beings) and adds two more (Living Gods and Dragons) with the release of Wave 4, its last wave.
  • Some settings of Dungeons and Dragons. Also, mainline Dungeons and Dragons, if you add enough Splatbooks. Or your DM allows the use of intelligent races found in the Monster Manuals. In 3.5 alone, there were 135 official races - but many of them were repeats or overlapping each other (probably a third of those were elves).
    • For sheer diversity, Forgotten Realms stands out, with dozens of races and subraces scattered across the setting. Then there's Planescape and Spelljammer, which by their very nature as bridges between settings allow for practically any race or subrace to be played and then some (Planescape had such options as intelligent squirrels native to Yggdrasil), more to emphasize the dazzling effect, that is Type 3.
    • Eberron, too, has a lot of races. Plus the setting literally says that everything that has a place in Dungeons and Dragons has a place in Eberron, which at least theoretically means every splatbook is valid.
    • In D&D 4th Edition, with the release of the Second Player Handbook, plus other official material (in Dragon magazine and other sourcebooks) there are nearly 20 playable player-character races! And more coming! This doesn't include the 'monsters as PCs' option, which adds even more. Most of the races are revisions of races from 3.5. As of summer 2010, the list of published (in an actual book that can be bought) and supported (race specific options are provided for character customization) PC races is: Human, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Eladrin, Elf, Half-Elf, Halfling, Tiefling, Deva, Gnome, Goliath, Half-Orc, Shifter (which come in Longtooth and Razorclaw varieties), Githzerai, Minotaur, Shardmind, Wilden, Changeling, Drow, Genasi, Kalashtar, Warforged, Mul, and Thri-Kreen. Shadar-Kai, Revenants, and Gnolls have received support in online publications. Bladelings have appeared in a published book but received no support. Several monster races have published stats, but aren't supported or intended for PC use.
    • The Basic/Expert/etc D&D system practically lived off of this trope, offering supplements and gazetteers for PC savage humanoids, fairy creatures, undersea races, aerial beings, lycanthrope strains, ancient species from the Hollow World, furries from Red Steel, and weird exotic critters from the Princess Ark saga. And that's before you crack open the Immortals boxed set.
  • GURPS: Dungeon Fantasy has... Cat-folk, Coleopterans, Corpse-Eaters, Dark Ones, Dwarves, Seven Kinds of Elf, Fauns, Leprechauns, Nymphs, Pixies, Gargoyles, Gnomes, Goblins, Half-Orcs, Hobgoblins, Orcs, Seven Half-Spirit Races, Halflings, Humans, Minotaurs, Ogres, Half Ogres, Dragon-Blooded, Lizard Men, Trolls and Wildmen. A total of 40 racial templates introduced in one supplement. However, none of them are fleshed out races due to the "blank slate" nature of GURPS in general.
  • Shadowrun has 5 metatypes: Human, Orks, Trolls, Elves and Dwarves. But each race has around 6 meta-variants, who can look nothing like the base race. Then there's the Synthetic Intelligences, the Drakes, the Changelings, the Ghouls, Vampires and other infected critters... There's the Non-human sentients too like Nagas, Centaurs, wendigos....
  • In Old World of Darkness, we have playable vampires, werewolves (plus 11 other shapeshifter races), mages, changelings, wraiths, demons, mummies, kuei-jin, sorcerers (weaker than mages), mediums, ghouls, kinfolk, hsien, fomori (and drones, gorgons, and kami), zombies, Imbued hunters, shih... oh, and regular humans.
    • Within just Vampire: The Masquerade, there are 13 playable "races" of vampires (they're called clans, but they play the same role): Brujah, Gangrel, Malkavian, Noesferatu, Toreador, Tremere, Ventrue, Tzimisce, Lasombra, Setite, Ravnos, Giovanni, and Assamite. Even if you're restricted to playing just the "lawful" Camarilla races/clans, there are still 7 playable races.
    • Werewolf: The Apocalypse lets you play not just werewolves, but also werehyenas, werespiders, wereravens, werebears, werefoxes, werecrocodiles, weresnakes, werecoyotes, wererats, weresharks, and nine tribes of werecats (tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, cougars, lynxes, jaguars, fae cats, and shadowcats). And the werewolves come in nearly any combination of 13 tribes, 3 breeds, and 5 auspices. Most other shapeshifters also have their own breeds, auspices, and sometimes tribes.
    • All the other "splats" have their own subdivisions into playable types: mage and sorcerer traditions, conventions, and crafts; demon houses; kuei-jin dharmas; fomori breeds; hsien kwannon-jin; wraith legions and guilds; medium laments; changeling and merfolk kiths and houses; hunter creeds; and so on.
  • The New World of Darkness has, thus far, humans, vampires, werewolves, mages, Prometheans, changelings, Sin-Eaters and their associated Giests, Immortals, Psychics, Thaumaturges (essentially weak mages), various Changing-Breeds, and (if you take fan-line games) Geniuses, Princesses and Leviathans.
  • Rifts can't even bother to count them all. A good half-dozen or so are released per Sourcebook (on average), which range from Standard Fantasy Races (Elves, Dwarves, Dragons etc...), to a good score of Beast Man-types, living robots, aliens, and more. The game even allows you to play as a Humpback Whale, if you desire. And that's the ones the game deigns to point out. Nearly every book will also note that many other races exist in such tiny numbers (usually less than a percent of any given state) that they don't necessarily count as a demographic, and lumped under the general term "D-Bees" (from "Dimensional Beings").
    • Just as an example, they recently came out with a book called D-Bees of North America, a book specifically designed to be nothing but playable alien races. Out of the 86 races in this book, 50 of them are expanded versions of popular races from other books. Yeah, 50 races from various books are considered a random sampling for this game.
  • Every role-playing game set in the Star Wars universe has ended up allowing players access to dozens if not hundreds (literally) of races.
  • Talislanta has several dozen bizarre species to choose from, and even its "human"-analogs aren't necessarily what you'd call normal. Plus, no elves.
  • Magic: The Gathering is very much this. Aside from humans there are: Orcs, Goblins, Minotaurs, Elves, Dwarves, Faeries, Merfolk, Treefolk, Mistfolk, Centaurs, Golems, Thrulls, Leonin, Giants, Aven, Nantuko, Cephalids, Vedalken, Loxodon, Viashino, Kithkin, Kitsune, Nezumi, Orochi, Soratami, Saprolings, Thallids, Myr, Phyrexians, Changelings, Slivers, Demons, Angels, Spirits, Dragons, Noggles, Elementals, Hags, Sphinxes, Devils, Werewolves, Vampires... since the game pulls creatures from about 50 DIFFERENT UNIVERSES, it's kind of justified.
  • Duel Masters too. This is an unquestionably long list, and still growing. A few (like Starnoid and Pegasus) are exclusive to only one creature.

Video Games

  • Warcraft I and II had humans, orcs, elves, dwarves, gnomes, goblins, trolls, ogres and dragons... and the occasional demon and undead. Warcraft III added tauren, naga, draenei and nerubians, split the elves into two subraces (night elves and high/blood elves) and greatly fleshed out the demons (Burning Legion) and undead (Scourge/Forsaken). Warcraft III also introduced a bunch of NPC races such as furbolgs, murlocs, quilboars, and centaur. With World of Warcraft, the list just keeps growing.
  • Age of Wonders. 15 as of the last expansion, not counting a race that was present in the first game and didn't return for the sequel.
  • Star Control, given that each race was allowed only one ship, had to fall into this to have more than a small number of ships.
  • The Master of Orion series started with ten races, and added several more in the second game. In the third game, a boatload more were added and several existing races were downgraded to non-playable.
    • Sister game Master of Magic (seeing a pattern?) also has lots of races, but no sequels
  • Final Fantasy Tactics Advance had Five Races, but Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 added two more. One of the new ones replaced one of the old ones, and Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy XII Revenant Wings added in more, with some Underground Monkey on the side.
  • The Galactic Civilizations series. In the original version of Galactic Civilizations 2, the races were pretty similar, only differentiated by hardcoded reactions (the Drengin and the Torians hate each other, for example) and racial bonuses. However, in the newer expansions, races got Super Abilities and, in the Twilight of the Arnor expansion, unique tech trees. Yes, a game with ~14 separate races which includes unique tech trees.
  • The Warlords series, and its spinoff Warlords Battlecry. WBC1 had nine races (Human, Dwarf, Undead, Barbarian, Minotaur, Orc, High Elf, Wood Elf, Dark Elf), arranged on a chart whose columns were "civilized", "barbaric", and "magical" and whose rows were "good", "neutral", and "evil". WBC2 added three new races, which can be unofficially sorted into a new "chaotic" column: Fey, Dark Dwarves, and Daemons. WBC3 almost completely abandoned the theme, splitting Humans into Empire and Knights and adding Ssrathi (Mayincatec Snake People), Swarm, and Plaguelords. By the end of the series, that's a grand total of 16 almost completely unique factions drawn from 11 races (of which there are three kinds of human, three kinds of elf, and two kinds of dwarf), with hardly a shared unit or building to be found.
  • Ascendancy boasts an impressive 21 races.
  • Depending on which "era" a game of Dominions 3 takes place in, it can come with up to 24 nations almost all of which represent different races ranging from stereotypical merfolk to Lovecraftian fish-men to Rakshasa or Naga rulers of intelligent primates. Factions that are alliances of multiple races, such as Pangea's medley of Greek mythology expand the actual count even further. A great number of patches were made after its release that added even more material.
  • Battle for Wesnoth has humans, elves, dwarves, orcs, trolls, drakes (dragon people), saurians, merfolk, and naga, in addition to things which aren't really a "race" as such, like undead. User-made content adds dozens more, and various subdivisions.
  • Many MMORPGs:
    • World of Warcraft, as mentioned above. Increased the playable race count from eight on its initial release to twelve as of Cataclysm.
    • Ever Quest had 12, and Everquest II had 16, both before expansions.
    • Honorable mention goes to Earth Eternal, which started beta with 22 races, and ahalf dozen or so mentioned in the lore but not given form yet. Though it should be noted that the differences are cosmetic only; all 22 races play identically with nary a stat or ability difference.
  • The Elder Scrolls. Justified, since Tamriel is an ethnically diverse empire, which means you have High Elves, the Dunmer (Dark Elves), Wood Elves, Argonians (Lizardmen), Khajiit (Catmen), Nords (Vikings), Bretons (French and British), Redguards (Arabs and Africans), Orcs, and Imperial Men (Greeks, Romans and sometimes Asians).
    • And that's just the playable races. Factor in NPC races and those mentioned in the backstory, and you also have Dwemer (Mesopotamians), Imga (Intelligent Apes), Daedra (Demigods), Almderi (Precursors), Sloads (Slugmen), Nedes (Barbarians), Alpine Elves, Akaviri (Chinese and Japanese), Hist (Ancient Sentient Trees)...
    • Some of the NPC races have been turned into playable races by intrepid modders.
  • Wizardry's later SirTech-developed installments. Not as bad as some examples on this page, though: Ten playable races (of which you only meet two as NPCs), and about eight NPC races in the second and third games. Justified in that the player characters are from a different planet from the locations of the second and third games (which themselves are on different planets, and the only NPC races they share are the ones with interstellar travel).
  • Some Roguelike games get into this:
    • Dungeon Crawl has 24 races at the moment, with great variation. In addition to the common humans, elves and dwarves, Crawl has a few quite exotic ones, such as spriggans, centaurs, mummies, merfolk, demonspawn and demigods.
    • Many Angband variants, including Z Angband.
  • Final Fantasy IX features loads and loads of one-off NPCs with animal or other demihuman features, along with a few named (or not-quite-named) major races. It almost gives Animal Crossing a run for its money. Only two major PCs are unequivocally normal humans.
  • Final Fantasy XI has the Five Races as playable characters, but NPCs? Hoo, boy. There are at least a dozen NPC and enemy races, most of them added in the original game, Rise of The Zilart, and Treasures of Aht Urghan.
  • The newer Ivalice games (Final Fantasy XII, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics a 2 seem to be going in having a race for each of the 12 zodiac signs. Final Fantasy XII alone has Humes, Viera, Bangaa, Moogles, Seeqs, Nu Mou, Baknamy, Garif, Helgas, Rebe, Urutan-Yensa and the god-like Occuria. Revenant Wings adds the Aegyl and Feol Viera offshoot, while Tactics A2 includes the winged Gria.
  • The Legend of Zelda, when considered as a whole. Any given game has no more than five races, but consider the range, from human-like Hylians (the PC race, distinct from humans in some games but not others), Kokiri and Gerudo to less human-like Gorons, Zora, Deku, Rito (confirmed decedents of the Zora), Korok (evolved Kokiri), Minish, Twili, Subrosians, Tokay, and a few others. Also, there are myriad monstrous races including: Lizalfos, Skull Kids, Armos, the undead Stalfos, Redead, Gidbo, Poe, and Garo, Moblin... The list goes on.
  • Suikoden does this (usually using some kind of animal as a basis) on account of having 108 characters in EVERY game. To ensure variety, the series has Kobolds (dog people), Nei-Kobolds (cat people), Lizard people, duck people, wingers, a race of beavers, mermaids, purpoises. Some argue if the Cyndar/Sindar people are a separate race or a lost civilization. Other characters such as Jeane, Zerase etc have also been argued if they are entirely human. Every game seems to add at least one more race to the count.
  • Mass Effect has around a dozen, and more depending on what you count as a race. Besides humans, there are asari, turians, salarians, quarians, krogans, hanar, volus, elcor, drell, geth, rachni, vorcha, the Yahg, the Reapers, and the Collectors (arguably) for sentient species. And there's even more mentioned in the Cerberus Daily News, such as a recently discovered race of alien bees, the lone survivor of his planet, a race of AI's living in what is basically The Matrix, A new race that was subsequently offended by the Krogans, and more.
  • The Mario series has at least two dozen sentient races at this point, many of them originated as supposedly non-sentient mooks. And yes, you'll be torching, freezing, crushing and star-powering plenty of those acknowledgedly sentient races in each new 2D outing. (No, you don't get to kill any Piantas, stop asking._
    • Hell, even the original Super Mario Bros starts off with humans, Toads, Bowser's race, Koopa Troopers, Goombas, Lakitu, Spinies, Buzzy Beetles, Hammer Bros, Cheep Cheeps, Bloopers and (arguably living) Podoboos. Whoa.
  • Touhou not only has Loads and Loads of Characters but Loads And Loads Of Races as well, with at least one representative from any Youkai ZUN wants to add. The first Windows era game alone contains humans, vampires, fairies, a Witch Species, and what is heavily suspected to be a Chinese dragon. Other games introduce animals-turned-youkai, humans-turned-youkai, ghosts, demons, celestials, gods, Lunarians, a Shinigami, kappa, tengu, whatever the hell Yukari is, and the list goes on.
  • OtherSpace features two dozen playable races, ranging from different Human Subspecies all the way to Starfish Aliens.
  • Legend of Mana boasts sprites, humans, the jewel-hearted Jumi, dragoons, faeries, flowerlings, dudbears, sirens, mermaids, sproutlings, elves, succubi, chobin hoods, tomato men, sahagin, goblins, narcissos, mad mallards, the enchanted golems, several sapient animals including rabbits, cats, penguins, monkeys, as well as a sprawling assortment of bizarre anthropomorphic objects and mythic beings such as a vampire, basilisk, and a centaur.
  • Star Ocean is another solid example of a Type 3 here, owing to its influence from Star Trek--most admittedly human-looking enough, but: Humans, Fellpool, Featherfolk, Expelian, Tetrageniot, Nedian, Klausian, Velbaysian, Elicoorian, and Menodix (though some are simply Human Aliens, others have differences that are noted either in the story, in gameplay, or in the plot). And that's just sampling from the PC rosters of the first three--there's far more of them represented among the NPCs and discussed in the Encyclopedia in later games. (to name a few, Felinefolk, Ur-Felinefolk, Vanguardian, Rezerbian, Vendeeni, and so on...)
  • Space Empires offers around a dozen (or more) races as standard options, each with their hat. It's fairly simple to create and fine-tune your own, particularly to anything prior to the fifth game.
  • Knights of the Old Republic carries on the Star Wars tradition by featuring pretty much every notable race that appeared in the films including humans, Wookiees, Twileks, Hutts, Jawas, Rodarians, Tusken Raiders, etc. as well as introducing several new ones such as the Cathar (feline bipeds) and the Selkath (an aquatic race of bipeds with long, fish-like faces).
  • In Lusternia there are twenty playable races, ranging from tiny, airborne fair folk to hulking, nine foot tall yeti-men. There are many more mortal races that are unplayable due to logistical issues, such as the centaur (Dummied Out due to the challenge of handling a six-limbed race) and gnomes (scrapped for being too similar to dwarves).

Web Comics

  • Last Res0rt, like most Furry Comics, revels in this. Justified in being an interplanetary event set on supposedly neutral ground, but with the sheer number of characters as is...
  • Although Dominic Deegan started off with mainly human characters, in the recent "vacation arc" they started adding a crapload more.
  • In Rice Boy's world, there tend to be well-defined civilisation-races like the frog-men of Spatch, the fish-men of Tenshells, the machine-men of the Iron Teeth, the Horned of the Stone Palm... and then there are people like Arctaur, with four closely-packed legs and a head like a cross between a broken donut and a power adapter. Many oneshot body types seem to once have been part of their own race, but estranged in space or the Last of His Kind.
  • Harkovast features the Darsai, the Tsung-Dao, the Nymus, the Ano-Chee, the Junlocks, the Golta and a whole host of others who have been named but have yet to appear.
  • The Mansion of E has numerous species living in the vast underground complex beneath the titular structure; their ancestors were gathered there as exhibits in a zoo by another now-vanished species.
  • There's quite a few in Schlock Mercenary, at least 18 named ones apart from humans, and that's before you add in the uplifts (at least 3 so far) and the unnamed species.
  • In the El Goonish Shive storyline "Dan in the MUD" this is lampshaded when the jinn lists countless races to choose from to play as.
  • Order of the Stick has plenty, based as it is on D&D, but it also has a surprisingly broad distribution among the actual characters. Even discounting random monsters, there have been at least three named characters for each of the following: human (Roy, Haley, Elan), elf/dark elf (Vaarsuvius, Lirian, Zz'dtri), dwarf (Durkon, Hilgya, Kraagor), halfling (Belkar, Serini, Hank), half-orc (Thog, Therkla, Bozzok), kobold (Yikyik, Kilkil, the Oracle), lizardfolk (Gannji, Enor, Malack), goblinoid (Redcloak, Jirix, Right-Eye)—plus the occasional sylph (Celia), gnome (Leeky), catfolk, weird frog person, ogre, etc.

Web Original

  • Orions Arm features an immense number of sentient races. Most of these are terragen (descended from Earth life) and include genetically modified humans and animals, A Is, cyborgs, robots and sentient vehicles. There are also a few races of Starfish Aliens.
  • Most species of animal exist as humanoid beings in Nexus Gate. Most cultures we have in real life are represented with fictional counterparts as well.
  • Any given forum RP with fantasy aspects. Typical inclusions appear to be vampire, werewolf, shapechanger, elemental, fairy, demon, elf, along with one or more of the following: mermaid, selkie, phoenix, or any other magical creature common to preteen fantasy novels. Also typically includes the disclaimer "If you want to add another just ask."

Western Animation

  • According to one episode of South Park, every planet in the universe is inhabited by one species each. Some alien TV execs thought it'd be a hoot to put all the species together on one planet, and broadcast it as intergalactic reality TV.
  • In Ugly Americans, New York alone seems to be home to hundreds, if not thousands, of races. Many are introduced for a quick gag, only to be fleshed out with their own histories and customs later on.
  • The original My Little Pony cartoon. Earth Ponies, Pegasus Ponies, Unicorn Ponies, Sea Ponies, Flutter Ponies, Bushwoolies, Grundles, Furbobs, Stonebacks, Flories, Crab Nasties, and more.
    • The G4 My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic seems to trim the pony populace to just the first three (Celestia and Luna are unique as they are technically goddesses), but there are also appearances of other talking and civilized animals such as zebras, griffons, donkeys, mules, cows and buffalo. Applejack's family keeps sheep that need to be herded despite being fully capable of speech, and even the nontalking animals show considerable sapience. Also dragons.
    • Sea ponies and Flutter Ponies were eventually added to G4 (as alternate forms of the Hippogriffs and Breezies respectively)
  • Thundercats, in both incarnations, has more races than you'd think would fit on one planet. Various animal-people are only the beginning.
  • According to Ben 10: Alien Force, the Omnitrix contains 1,000,903 distinct genetic samples, one for each race in the Milky Way.
  • Transformers seems to subscribe to the pattern that there were Loads and Loads of Races before the Great War spreading to other planets wiped them all out.
  • A new alien race seems to pop up in every other episode of Voltron: Legendary Defender.

Notes

  1. For the purposes of non-game settings, an NPC race is defined as a civilized race who has no characters above the level of a mentor in importance.
  2. Who have the distinction of having three completely distinct Tournament ships, whereas almost all the other races have just one, to reflect the fact that there they had/have three completely different fleets
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