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Learn now the lore of Living Creatures!
First name the five, the free peoples:
Eldest of all, the elf-children;
Dwarf the delver, dark are his houses;
Ent the earthborn, old as mountains;
Man the mortal, master of horses;
And half-grown hobbits, the hole-dwellers.
Many fantastic settings attempting a universe will end up using 'races' of people. This is less in the spirit of being different species (indeed, in many cases the groups can interbreed) and more an easy way to soapbox or describe different points of views
and aspects of normal people; or, in a game world, simply to give the player a wider range of choices. At least one has a good chance of being from a One-Gender Race
. These usually include:
- Stout (Dwarf): Gruff, usually associated with hard physical work and masculinity. The typical Stout is the dwarf. Often has a counterpart in Speculative Fiction settings, in the guise of humans genetically or cybernetically enhanced for heavy labour or life on high-gravity planets, or possibly actual robots. The Proud Warrior Race, if they aren't one of the evil races, may also fill this role.
- Fairy (Elf/Fairy/Angel): The most magical race, relatively speaking. Can include angelic types or even gods. The typical Fairy is an elf who doesn't get along with Stouts, and is correspondingly more "feminine" to counter "masculine" Stouts (longer hair, greater delicacy, and likely to be the archer). Recently, having this be a Cute Monster Girl is more and more common. In Speculative Fiction, substitute humans with psionic abilities, or advanced but not quite Sufficiently Advanced Aliens. See also Space Elves.
- Mundane (Human): What the modern reader most identifies with. The least magical race, usually enjoys simple pleasures instead of adventuring, a la Tolkien's Hobbits. Usually the Jack-of-All-Trades of the races. This is usually the role cast for humans, unless you have...
- High Men (Taller Elf/Human/God): Usually a historical or fantastic interpretation of what humans are or want to be, at least in character. A setting that doesn't have elves as Fairy or High Men simply doesn't have elves. If the Precursors still exist in a Speculative Fiction setting, they might fill this role if The Federation isn't heavily idealized.
- Cute (Hobbit or Gnome): The fifth, increasingly common group, and becoming more popular in modern gaming. They may seem weak, but have a sort of closer-to-Earth spiritual purity and inner strength that allow them to succeed in the face of adversity. Tends to either overlap with Mundane (to produce Hobbits) or Fairy (to produce gnomes), but usually designed with a larger dose than usual of Fun Personified.
This doesn't include the various "evil races
" that crop up, though some of those can fit into the above categories as well as their own
If the heroes in this setting form a Five-Man Band
, there will typically be one of each race represented, since each race can usually "map" to one of the five slots better than any of the others.
(Humorously enough, this often means that the Dwarf in the party fills the role of The Big Guy
.) In the role of a Sixth Ranger
, the 'sixth species' may be a lost or hidden race, namely there's always a Last of His Kind
or some ancient ruins of the once great species. This set up usually enforces Hybrid Overkill Avoidance
to keep the balance.
Not to be confused, of course, with the "five races" of our own world: European, African, Asian, Amerindian and mestizo (usually just called "Hispanic")
See Square Race, Round Class
for the deliberate subversion. The Fantasy Axis of Evil
is the Evil Counterpart
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- While it is not emphasized all too much, Soul Eater has the Stout Meisters, or fighters, Fairies/Witches, the highly magical species, the Mundane/Humans, whom the meisters and weapons protect, the Shinigami are the High Men(although we only know two) and the Weapons would be the Cute, as over half of them are incapable of self-defense and are always told to stay with their meister, in weapon form while in combat.
- Heroic Age has the Golden Tribe as the Fair Folk, the Silver Tribe as the High Men, the Bronze Tribe as the Cute (being the weakest), the Heroic Tribe as the Stouts, and the Iron Tribe (Humans) as the mundanes. It should be noted that all the races have psychic potential.
- Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch has humans (mundane) mermaids (fairy), and Ancients (high men) in the categories. Panthalassa and Suiyou don't seem to fit anywhere, except maybe as another mixture of fairy and high men.
- One Piece: Mundane Humans, Stout Giants, Cute Merfolk, which are distinct from the Fish Men, who could be considered Stout or High Men, and the Fairies are of course the Drag Queens.
- However, the people who eat a Devil Fruit could also fit Fairy. Each devil fruit has a distinct, never to be repeated power (or at least, no more than one person at a time can have a particular fruit's power). Some change your body composition (such as becoming made of rubber in the case of the main character) or give you a unique ability (like Mr. 2's ability to shapeshift into anybody he has touched). Other powers include turning into animals (and shapeshifting into different body structures of them, as demonstrated by Chopper). Or being made of an element (light, sand, smoke, fire etc).
- There are also the Long-Arm Tribe and the winged peoples like the Skypieans, Shandians, and Bilkans (who hail from the moon, how's that for a precursor/lost race?)
- And now we have the Dwarves, which should qualify as cute
- Petite Princess Yucie has each race is a different world, of Humans, Demons (Stout), Angels (Fairy), Ghost (High-Men) and ironically, Fairies (Cute). The final episodes showed that there was a sixth world, the Magic World.
- Star Wars:
- Stout: Wookies, though Gungans can also fulfill this trope
- Fairy: Twi'leks (though they aren't as magical as they are "fair")
- Mundane: Humans, especially if on Naboo or with the Rebellion
- High Men: Jedi
- Cute: Ewoks (was there any doubt?)
- In the original film, the pre-Jedi Luke Skywalker best fills the Mundane role.
- Subverted in With Strings Attached, despite it having roots in Dungeons & Dragons. There is only one type of humanoid on C'hou: humans (elves are just a different kind of human with pointed ears), broken into six races, plus a whole lot of mixed-race individuals. None of these are “special” in any way, though elves are second-class citizens in Ketafa.
- When one looks only at the magical beings in Harry Potter, giants are Stout, goblins are Fairies, Wizards are Mundane, centaurs are High Men, and House Elves are Cute/Hobbits.
- Taken to a bigger perspective, muggles are mundane and wizards are Fairies. Goblins, although they are businessmen rather manual workers, are somewhere between Stout and Fairies.
- Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn has four (or five depending on how you count) heroic races that more or less fill these roles. Humans are of course Mundanes, the Sithi occupy both the Fairies and High Men role, Trolls are Cutes, Niskies are both Fairies and Cutes, and Dwarrows (the underground cousins of the Niskies) are both Stouts and Cutes. And of course there's a corresponding Fantasy Axis of Evil for the Big Bad's allies.
- The Lord of the Rings may be the Trope Maker here, with Elves (High Men), Dwarves (Stout), Ents (Fairy), Men (Mundane/High), and Hobbits (Cute/Mundane). However, the situation gets a bit murkier once you look deeper into the mythology, with several alternative arrangements and even subsets of the races themselves.
- Alternatively, the Elves are the fairies and the role of High Men is filled by the Númenóreans.
- The Elves themselves are subdivided, with the Vanyarnote who stay in the Undying Lands once there and play little role in the books as the Fairies, Noldornote as the High Men, the Teleri (including the Falmarinote , Sindarnote , Laiquendinote , and Silvan Elves) as the Mundane (relatively speaking), and the Avari who also play little role in the books as the Cute.
- The Dragonlance novels, and the associated Dungeons & Dragons game setting, have a large number of races, but the ones who get the lion's share of the spotlight are Dwarves (stout), Elves (fairy), Humans (mundane, especially the Barbarians), and Kender (cute). The High Men role is filled by two nations of the other races, namely the Solamnians (humans) and the Silvanesti (elves).
- An exception is Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels, which have many different races, but only three are especially defined: Humans, Dwarfs (note the plural spelling) and Trolls (and although very different, Dwarfs and Trolls are both Stout by the trope's definitions). Elves appear in only three novels, Lords and Ladies, The Wee Free Men and The Science of Discworld II: The Globe, and are sociopathic extradimensional pillagers instead of the usual Tolkien-esque isolated sages. Gnomes, Vampires and Werewolves are increasingly used, but tend to be more focused on the individuals rather than well-culturally defined races.
- Gnomes (and pictsie) are kind of like the "cute" race, but more violent. They are tiny and hard-headed in every sense of the word. Vampires and Werewolves
tend to be bastardsvary considerably, with one known group of organized bastards in each race contrasting sharply with characters like Angua and Maladicta.
- Actually, the humans are nearly every race depending on who we're talking about: Witches = Fairy, Wizards = High Men, Watchmen = Stout, Twoflower (early on) or Moist (a late addition) = Cute, and the Mundane are the other characters who tend to get seen only once or twice.
- David Weber specifically invokes the trope name in his Bahzell series. Aligning the five races with the trope isn't all that straightforward though
- Dwarves are Stout Short, physically strong and industrious. Also in the process of kicking off their world's version of the Industrial Revolution. The old empire ran on Magitek powered by Wizards, and there's not enough to power anything so they've had to invent new ways to do what they know are possible.
- Elves are Fairy Mystical, immortal and rarely found outside their one city state. They suffer a species wide form of Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder from the fall of the empire. Most were once human warlocks who gave up their powers in exchange for immortality, although some new ones have been born from time to time.
- Humans are generally Mundane but with elements of High Men as in this setting only humans can become wizards or the psionic Magi. Humans can breed with all the other races, and their hybrids can also be Magi or Wizards. All half humans except for half-elves are sterile. Word of God suggests half-human hybrids may have a high chance to be Magi or Wizards than normal.
- The hradani and halflings don't fit well into either the Cute or High Men.
- The hradani can fit in Cute for certain values of cute with their fox-like ears though it conflicts with their current Proud Warrior Race Guy image. They used to be High Men but lost their status after being enslaved and used as shock troops by dark wizards in the back story and only one Wild Wizard and maybe a handful of elves even remember the fact. In many respects they qualify as Orcs.
- The halflings would fit the more traditional Cute role but are generally described as sneaking, lying cowards that no one has any use for. The only exception are the Marfang Islander Halflings who are considered brave to the point of insanity. They are descended from servants and slaves of dark wizards exposed to too much magic.
- Also of note in the series are the Half-Elves. They would consider themselves the High Men of the setting but no one else does because they only maintain their uniqueness when breeding with full Elves or other Half-Elves. If they interbred with the far more numerous humans their Elf traits would be swamped by the far more numerous humans and as such they aren't considered a proper race.
- Terry Brooks's Shannara has these as well, though the origins are different for most. Except Elves, which are the Fairies, and seperate from humans though inter-breedable, Dwarves, Trolls, Gnomes and others are all off shoots of humans. Dwarves and Trolls share Stout, Gnomes and most humans are Mundane. Elves are literal fairies, as well as being the High Men, the latter shared with the Druids. He seems only to lack the Cute, though the Gnomes of Storlock might count, as might the Elves.
- In Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Randy Waterhouse divides humans into groups based on the races from The Lord of the Rings. Hands-on geeks (including Randy himself) are Dwarves, ivory-tower academics are Hobbits, brilliant Bunny Ears Lawyers are Elves, normal people are Men, the enigmatic, immortal mentor Enoch Root is a Wizard, Crazy Survivalist Andrew Loeb is Gollum, etc.
- The Bas-Lag Cycle, which includes Perdido Street Station and its sequels are a notable aversion, with more bizarre fantasy races than you shake a stick + 1 at.
- Nonetheless, it's not hard to make those races with a prominent role in the first novel fit this trope, with cactacae (gruff and hard to hurt) as the Stout, vodyanoi (watercraeft powers) as the Fairy, Garuda as High Men (note that they're socialists like the author), and khepri as the Cute (very Woobie-ish despite the bug heads).
- Averted in Codex Alera, which does feature five sentient races, two of which fit into the categorization (Alerans/humans are High Men, and Marat, as basically neolithic elves, are Fairy with a Proud Warrior Race flavor of Stout mixed in). The other three races, however (Canim, Icemen, and Vord) don't fit in remotely.
- The Canim are the Stout, as only the smallest of the castes can use magic. The Icemen are another flavor of Fairy. The Vord would fit somewhere in the Fantasy Axis of Evil, except that they ate everyone that came within arms' reach.note
- Strangely, The Dresden Files comes closer if wizards are a race apart from ordinary humans (they do live much longer and have scientifically observable, heritable biological differences from non-wizards). So High Men would be wizards, Mundanes would be humans. The High Fae are Fairies (and sometimes the White Court), while the little faeries like Toot-toot are the Cute. Strangely, the closest to Stout are the Knights of the Cross; they're buff, no-nonsense warriors, some of them have craftsman-type skills, and they don't get on with Fairy-types at all. But there are only three of them, and they're Badass Normal humans.
- In the His Dark Materials trilogy, we have:
- The panserbjørne (intelligent, armour-clad bears) as the stouts, right down to the hard physical work (they're expert smiths) and masculinity (female bears were seen once, briefly, and males seem to be the only ones who do anything)
- The angels as the fairies
- Humans as the mundanes, obviously
- Witches (and, to a lesser extent, shamans) as the high men; they seem to have initially started out as humans (women only; male offspring of a witch will be a regular human) but have now advanced far beyond them and are able to perform magic, experience stimuli that humans cannot (such as feeling starlight and seeing dæmons from worlds where they would usually be hidden) and, importantly, be long distances from their dæmons without suffering
- The cute race is difficult, but the Gallivespians or, more likely, the mulefa would probably fit the bill.
- Vurt uses robots for stout, humans for mundane, and dogs for cute. (Not talking dogs or anything, but they're an honorary race because they can interbreed with some of the others.) Depending on how you look at it, "vurts" (beings that were created in virtual reality but escaped into the real world) occupy either fairy or high men, and shadows (never explained except that they're humanoid and telepathic) take whatever's left over. However, unlike most of the above settings the boundaries between the groups are relatively fluid, with five common two-way hybrids (counting cyborgs), five three-way hybrids, and five four-way hybrids, plus a theoretical fiver that has yet to come into existence.
- Pollen, another novel by Jeff Noon in the same Verse goes into a little more detail, explaining the origins of beings like the Shadows who would clearly fill the Fairy role given their psychic powers. Intelligences from Vurt tend to be more like demigods and so fall outside of the normal 5-race categorisation.
- Animorphs examples: Humans are Mundane. Andalites are High Men. Hork-Bajir are Stouts. Chee, the Pemalites, and the Ellimist are the science-fiction equivalent of The Fair Folk. As for the "Cute," comic-relief role, all of the races can be humbled into playing this role at any time, so there is no need for a separate race to be the "Cute" one.
- Cute but Cacophonic, sure. Plus they want to conquer the universe despite being less than an inch tall. They are hilarious though also not that harmless.
- The Death Gate Cycle has Humans as mundanes and Dwarves as stout while the Elves are mostly just a more civilised form of mundanes. The Patryns and Sartan are both fairies, being in some way descended from humans but possessing much more magical aptitude to the point of being considered demigods; they both look down on the other three races equally.
- Trapped on Draconica: Discussed early on by Ben, who asks about them. Although Erowin shoots down most of them, they are actually represented. Elves are present but they function more or less like the mundane humans, a breed of intelligent tigers are created to be pets (check for closer to earth sensibility and innter strength traits) Dragokin for High Men, Erowin herself becomes an angel and clearly more powerful then anyone else.
- David Eddings' The Belgariad has a double example, first, the Alorn kingdoms divide up into these (although they're all human): the Chereks are Stout, the Algars are High Men, the Drasnians are Mundane, the Rivans are Cute, and the Brotherhood of Sorcerers (not actually an Alorn kingdom, but it's the Alorns they work closest with) are Fairy.
- Meanwhile, among the other Kingdoms of the West: the Arends are Stout, the Sendars are Mundane, the Ulgos are Fairy, the Tolnedrans and Nyissans are more difficult to categorise, but the Tolnedrans could be considered High Men as the first people to develop the trappings of civilisation, and the Nyissans do fit the Cute model to an extent- they're militarily weak but their skills with poisons and drugs make them more dangerous than they initially appear.
Live Action TV
- Babylon 5: Though many races feature in the show, six races in particular play a significant impact in the events. The five main ones — Human, Minbari, Narn, Centauri, and Vorlon — make up the five races of the Babylon Project, as they represent the most influential governments in the galaxy. The sixth, Shadows, also fit into an aspect of the Five Races trope.
- Human: Mundane — Basically as described, with a small amount of Humans Are Special thrown in as well, in the form of "humans build communities" and have a sense of altruism that other races lack.
- Minbari: Fairy — of the Space Elves type. They are stated to be the oldest of the younger races, and have the most advanced technology among them, as well as a closer connection to the godlike Vorlons. Hence, "most magical" among the races. They are more spiritual than other races, and have a more feminine visual aesthetic. They do invert the "long, flowing hair" trait, since (barring Half-Human Hybrids) Minbari are bald.
- Narn: Stout — Perhaps not as obvious of a connection since most of the Narns are fairly tall, but the other traits line up. They are a Proud Warrior Race, perpetually angry and put-upon, physically strong and bulky and used for labor when they were enslaved, and lacking in telepathic "magic" that the other races possess.
- Centauri: arguable — Besides a few similarities with stereotypically gnomish traits like the fact that they like to trick and manipulate people, they don't line up with the Cute traits at all. A better case might be made that they are a second Mundane species, especially given their emotional and political similarity to humans. They are what humans could have been if they were more bitter and less cooperative with other races.
- Vorlons: High Men — of the God/Angels variety. They are the most powerful of the five races. Their status as First Ones and the fact that their level of advancement is apparently what the younger races are supposed to strive towards pushes them into the High Men category.
- The Shadows, being the villainous analogues to the Vorlons, are also High Men, but exist alongside the Five Races rather than as a component of them.
- Interestingly, though the central races do line up with the traditional Five Races in many respects, some of the standard tropes associated with the Five Races are very clearly averted or played with differently. In particular, the Elves Versus Dwarves trope is averted, since the Elf-like Minbari and Stout Narns have no particularly unusual relationship. Instead, a similar relationship occurs between the Narn and Centauri, while the Minbari and Humans have their own complicated, intertwined fate — so two pairs of linked races among the central four.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, Klingons serve as Stouts, humans are High Men, and Vulcans are Fairies.
- Compare this to Deep Space Nine where humans drop down to highish Mundanes, Romulans serve as rarely seen High Men (if not especially admirable ones), and the Ferengi are a kind of Grotesque Cute.
- The Dominion, as a kind of Evil Counterpart to the Federation, has Jem Hadar Stouts, Vorta Fairies, and Changeling (self-proclaimed) High Men.
- Star Trek: Enterprise would later play this trope even further with the Xindi, a race of five technologically advanced species who all evolved on the same homeworld. There's a species that's clearly their equivalent of humans; a warlike, reptilian-humanoid species; an insectoid species that's very alien and inscrutable; a fairly pacifistic simian species, and a relatively peaceful, meditative species of manatee-like aquatic aliens. There was also a sixth race of avians who died out when their homeworld was destroyed.
- The Federation's four founding races map to three of the roles with elements of four: humans are Mundanes, Vulcans are Fairy-ish (as the only one of the four with developed telepathic abilities) High Men, Tellarites are Stout and Andorians (as a Proud Warrior Race) would probably fall under Stout if the Tellarites didn't fit so much better.
- Would you believe the children's video Wee Sing in Sillyville? (Purple) Pasha is Mundane, the (yellow) Spurtlegurgles are Fairy, the (blue) Twirlypops are High Men, the (red) Bittybooties are Stout, and the (green) Jingleheimers are Cute. Technically, they're all humans, but this is a Planetof Hats where the most important distinction between people is their favorite colors.
- Some of Moya's crew in Farscape almost fits. D'Argo as Stout, Zhaan as Fairy, Rygel as Cute, Aeryn as High Men, John as Mundane. On the other hand, the show plays with these roles/assumptions often: Rygel has some disgusting attributes (and special mental skills like hard-nosed negotiation), Zhaan performs some scientific duties in addition to the mystical/telepathic, Aeryn's race has attained great power but tends to use it for tyranny, and John's sharp mind and all-around competence belie his mundane status.
- Early in Stargate SG-1, O'Neill is told that humans have taken the first step towards becoming "the fifth race"; and in the finale, Carter is told we've earned the role as any hope of saving the Milkyway would rest on us from then on. The closest fit to this trope would probably be:
- Ancients as "High Men" since they are the Precursors and are generally idealized (except when they're called out for being neglectful).
- Nox as "Fairy" due to their invisible floating cities and ability to bring back the dead. None of this is magical, of course, but it's still far more impressive (and mystical-seeming) than the other advanced technologies in the verse.
- Asgard as "Stout" of the Proud Warrior Race variety, even though they are very technologically advanced and have shades of "High Men" or even "Fairy" at times
- Furlings as "Cute"; we know nothing about them, not even what they look like ("200" notwithstanding) but they sound adorable
- Humans as "Mundane", of course.
- There were hundreds of species in the Systems Commonwealth of Andromeda, but the most influential races could be almost be categorized as such. Humans are naturally mundanes, though some of the genetically modified subspecies might qualify for other roles; the insectoid Than-thre-kull stouts; the inventive but not too cautious Perseids arguably cute; and the Vedrans who founded the Commonwealth in the first place were high men, though after they disappeared they gained a legendary reputation more along the lines of fairies. Meanwhile the Nietzschean subspecies of human consider themselves to be high men, but their Social Darwinism and betrayal of the Commonwealth make them closer to the fallen.
- Several of the Votan species in Defiance have been noted to resemble fantasy races:
- Castithans have an entry on the Space Elves page, but they act a bit more like High Men, or Fallen in the case of the Machiavellian Tarrs.
- Irathient are a bit of a blend, they're strong, proud warriors (or at least the Spirit Riders are, we saw some peaceful homesteaders in a flashback) like the Stout. They are deeply spiritual, some even have clairvoyant abilities, and have a connection to nature like Fairies. Possibly even some shades of the Savage. But they also seem the most human-like of the Votan.
- Indogenes are highly intelligent and responsible for most Votan tech like the Arks, force-blades (intended as surgical tools, converted into weapons by the Castithans), and their own cybernetic implants. Kind of Fairy or competing with Castis for High Men.
- Liberata actually resemble dwarves physically and were once an economically powerful and war mongering race. But were conquered by the Castithans long ago and have turned towards generosity and servitude since then.
- Sensoth are hard to categorize, a big hairy and peaceful servant race. The Gulanee aren't even humanoid and have yet to appear in the series. And the Volge would belong fully on the Fantasy Axis of Evil.
- In the Planetary Romance, high-fantasy influenced William Hartnell-era Doctor Who serial "The Web Planet", the different species on Vortis fit the bill:
- The human time travellers are the Mundanes. As ever.
- The Menoptera are the Fairy race, beautiful and gentle-voiced creatures with the ability to fly. Wings play a significant part in their species's symbolism (losing the ability to fly is a mark of great shame, and the slave Menoptera have their wings pulled off), they eat glowing crystals, and create technology with a rather magical bent. They overlap somewhat with the High Men as the Optera, upon first seeing a Menoptera, regard them as gods (although the Menoptera aren't thrilled by this and spend most of their time trying to persuade them that they really aren't), and in that they 'uplift' the Optera over the course of the story.
- The Optera are the Stout race - short, plump, flightless, troglodytic, with sharp grunty voices. They have a tribalistic society greatly suspicious of outsiders, and while they are terrified of the sky, regard wings as a symbol of divinity. Played with in that the Menoptera know that they are the same species as the Optera, and their current state and behaviour is a result of living underground - after the Menoptera leader drags the Optera chief up onto the planet surface to live, she tells him that although he will never be able to fly, his children will be.
- The Zarbi are a weird example of the Cute race, on account of being antagonistic, and giant ants. Shorter than the other races and rather clumsy and gregarious, it soon becomes apparent that they aren't actually evil creatures, but non-sapient creatures of a similar intelligence to pigs, subverted by the Eldritch Abomination the Animus. They communicate with each other with a mixture of strange beeping noises (apparently made by scraping a modified pair of legs on their bodies similar to crickets), and dancing, and their primary weapon is a larval stage of the species that has a gun-like appendage on its snout for defence. Once the time travellers work out how to break the control the Animus has on them, Vicki even takes one as a pet for a couple of episodes, naming it Zombo and talking about how cute he is to the Doctor.
- It should be noted that while the Menoptera represent the High Men to the Optera, the High Man to the human travellers is the Doctor, a member of a mysterious otherworldly civilisation who possesses seemingly impossible knowledge and abilities, yet still appears basically human. In "The Web Planet", this is demonstrated by his unique ability to communicate with the Animus using his psychic abilities, as well as his ability to control the Zarbi with some help from his Ring of Power.
- The Ur Example—that also influenced Tolkien's work—is Norse Mythology.
- Stout: Jotnar (Giants) - The most gruff of all the races.
- Fairy: Alfar (Elves) and Dvergar (Dwarves) - The most magical of the races (Norse dwarves are craftsmen and magicians more often than warriors).
- High Men: Aesir and Vanir - The Aesir are the mightiest of the races and the Vanir are the most knowledgeable.
- Mundane: Humans
- Cute: Landvaettir and House Vaettir (Spirits) - They may appear weak, but they are incredibly powerful and magical.
- Alternatively the Gods are Fairy, being the most innately supernatural and magically powerful race, Álfar are High Men, being smack between gods and humans in almost every way and being essentially "humans, but better", and Dvergar are Cute, as in Norse mythology they are characterized by their craftiness (particularly with ironworks) rather than their stoutness and was often used for comic-relief.
- Dungeons & Dragons is the Trope Maker, more or less (after shamelessly rewriting LotR, which in turn plundered the common domain to shamelessly rewrite mythology and folklore.)
- From the 3.5e PHB races, we get:
- Dwarves are Stout, because they're all the same. Also Half-Orcs, though they're human-sized.
- Elves as High Men.
- Humans as Mundane.
- Halflings as Cute, as well as being roguish sorts.
- Gnomes as Fairy, being the only race that gets the natural ability to cast spells.
- The 4th Edition PHB races follow a similar pattern:
- Stout - Dwarf, Dragonborn: Dwarves are the classic Stout race. The proud warrior race of the Dragonborn also qualifies, though they're multiclassed with High Men. Goliaths and Half-Orcs from the PHB 2 also fit here, and one can also make an argument for the Shifters. Minotaurs, from the PHB 3, sit firmly on here. The Warforged also fit neatly into this category, as well.
- Fairy - Eladrin, Tiefling: Eladrin are the magicial elves, so they fit Fairy to a T. Tieflings are a darker example, being humans with diabolic traits resulting from a Deal with the Devil. Forgotten Realms gives us Genasi, elemental blooded beings, and the PHB 2 also gives us Devas, reincarnated divine beings, while the PHB 3 adds the Wilden who are guardians of nature and Shardminds who are crystals held together by pure thought.
- Mundane - Human: Naturally.
- High Men - Elf, Half-Elf: The forest-loving elves and the Half-Human Hybrid half-elves can easily be placed here. The PHB 3 adds the Githzerai, mosaic folk from the Elemental Chaos (but oddly enough, not the Githyanki).
- Cute - Halfling: The short, sneaky guys. Gnomes from the PHB 2 also qualify, with some multiclass with Fairy. Heroes of the Feywild gives us Pixies, which are Cute Fairies.
- As for the original game, we had:
- Stout: Dwarves again.
- Fairy: Elves, with elements of High Men, and could wield both steel and magic depending on which "mode" they were in.
- Mundane: Humans again.
- Cute: Hobbits/Halflings.
- Almost every New World of Darkness Tabletop Games has exactly five clans/auspices/paths/etc. of the species under discussion; the sole exception is Changeling: The Lost, with six seemings (and only four Courts (the Seasonal Courts), or two courts (the Sun and Moon Courts), or a different four courts (the Directional Courts). In the core-book Promethean: The Created was like this too, but supplements added the Zeka (radioactive Prometheans) and the Unfleshed (artificial, instead of made from human corpses), as well as more Refinements than the 5 in the core. There are usually five political factions, as well, with the "black hat" (evil) group usually being an evil faction as opposed to a race.
- Hunter: The Vigil is an exception. Hunters have no 'inherent' groups, and have twelve political factions presented in the corebook alone (plus at least twenty professions).
- Geist The Sin Eaters seems to attest to the end of the five-by-five system. There are five Thresholds Sin-Eaters can be linked to once they return from the dead... and eight Archetypes they can follow to determine their role as one of the Bound.
- Similarly, the Old World of Darkness was built around five different races of supernatural beings, each of which had their own game — Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Wraith The Oblivion, Mage: The Ascension, and Changeling The Dreaming. After Changeling and Wraith were discontinued, White Wolf tried to fill the gap (maintaining the "five races" structure) with Hunter The Reckoning and Demon The Fallen. It should be noted that, although they maintain 5 as the magic number, none of the races fall distinctly into any of the five categories; in fact, any race can fill any of the categories to some extent (with the exception of Cute, which seems to be the sole province of the Changelings...this is not true of the new incarnation of Changeling, Changeling: The Lost, in which Changelings are mentally damaged trauma survivors.).
- The five Auspices in Werewolf: The Apocalypse fit very well into this: Ahroun is Stout, Theurge is Fairy, Philodox is Mundane, Galliard is High Men and Ragabash is Cute.
- Exalted features seven kinds of playable Exalted. Of the five main types, Solar Exalted are the High Men, Lunar Exalted the Stout, Sidereal Exalted the Fairy, and the Dragon Blooded the most Mundane ones. The fifth kind, however, breaks the pattern, as the Abyssal Exalted are more interested in causing the end of the world than in being Cute. Most of them, anyway... Of the two optional types, Alchemical Exalted are Stout, while Infernal Exalted don't appear to fit the pattern.
- Infernal and Abyssal exaltations are corrupted Solar ones, so they're "fallen" High Men. The game mechanics reflect this by having the castes and abilities very close in effect to those of Solars.
- In Alternity (a short-lived TSR project whose material was recycled into d20 Modern/Future), there were a number of races, including one clear stout (primitive, clawed brutes) and one clear fairy (light-weight psions). Humans were mundanes, while the other races didn't fit the standard categories: techies with scaly armor, agile fliers, and Neuromancer style cyborgs.
- To Specify, they are:
- Stout - A race that bears a strong resemblance to Wookies called Weren, and another race of agile fliers called Sesheyan.
- Fairy - The psychic race of the setting, bearing a strong resemblance to Grays, called Fraal
- Mundane - Humans, duh.
- The High Men - the race of Neuromancer cyborgs listed above, called Mechalus by the setting.
- The Cute - Possibly a subversion, they're a race of lizard people called T'sa.
- Subsequent games based off of the system - Gamma World and Dark•Matter - follow a similar pattern, which is usually just the races mentioned above mechanically with different fluff.
- Magic The Gathering's different settings often drift towards this.
- As a good example, Kamigawa block:
- Mundane: Humans, as they often are.
- Stout: the snakefolk, or Orochi-bito, consists of snake warriors and shamans. They tend toward being proud warrior race people.
- High Men: the soratami, or cloudfolk. Besides generally being quite good at everything they do, and literally living high in the clouds, they think they're better than everybody else.
- Fairies: the foxfolk, or kitsune-bito. They have a lot of clerics and archers. They're physically smaller than humans.
- Cute: here's the main subversion: Akki (goblins) and nezumi-bito (ratfolk) both share the ground between cute and Always Chaotic Evil. Akki also have a little stout thrown in, whereas nezumi show minor tendencies towards fairy or mundane.
- Of course, Magic generally tends toward having six races in any given setting, one for each colour plus humans (who appear in all colours).
- The Lorwyn/Shadowmooor double-block—particularly the Lorwyn part—was fairly explicitly this, with:
- Mundane: Kithkin (basically short humans)
- Stout: Giants, although they were more of a secondary race. Among the five primary tribes, the Merfolk (Merrow) were a sort of intellectual variation on the Stout archetype.
- High Men: Elves. Full stop.
- Fairies: Fae, singular "Faerie". Also pretty damn evil.
- Cute: Goblins (or Boggarts, as the local variety were called) are probably the closest thing, being silly comic relief-types, as goblins often are in Magic.
- XEVOZ is both a line of action-figures AND a tabletop game, utilising six races rather than five and averting many of the usual associations by way of its sci-fi setting, apart from a Mundane race and a robotic race representing the Stouts. Until you learn that the robotic race is really Mundanes in cybernetic bodies, making it Five Races after all.
Two new races were introduced towards the end of Xevoz, to reinforce the fantasy element; one of them is very similar to the Mundanes but magically empowered, making them something between High Men and Fair Folk.
- Shadowrun also has five races, though they break down a bit differently: Stout (dwarfs), High Men (elves), Mundane (humans), Low Men (orks), and Big Mean Fraggers (trolls). Fairy is reserved for somewhat further-out races, and anything Cute was either killed off a while ago or is now starring in some twisted simsense flick.
- The Talislanta game system averted this trope so hard, they even used it in their advertising ("No Elves"). Granted, some of their races do fall into one of the five categories above (for example, Muses are Fairies and Yassan are Stouts) but with several dozen species of humanoids available as PCs, that was bound to happen to some of them.
- Warhammer has these, more or less.
- The Empire - Mundane
- Bretonnia - Mundane
- High Elves - Fairy (with a touch of High Men)
- Wood Elves - Fairy & High Men (The Elves themselves/Fairy & Stout (Forest Spirits)
- Dark Elves- Fairy & High Men
- Orcs - Stout for Orcs and Wild Orcs, Stout/Highmen for Black Orcs (a smarter more disciplined subspecies)and Mundane for Goblins, with maybe some cute if you can stomach their dark humor in a couple units designs.
- Dwarfs - Stout
- Warriors of Chaos - High Men (the evil version) with a bit of the Stout, as the army has a very Germanic/Norse Barbarian feel to it. Followers of Khorne in particular carry a lot of the Stout combined with being High Men, as they're frenzied, unstoppable warriors with a fondness for axes.
- Beasts of Chaos - Mundane/Fairy with Stout Minotaurs and Fairy/Stout Dragon Ogres (but once again, evil)
- Daemons of Chaos - Fairy, some High Men (the evil version)
- Ogre Kingdoms - Stout for the Ogres, Mundane for the Gnoblers
- Lizardmen - Mundane/Stout for the Saurus, Stout for Kroxigor and other large beasts, Fairy for the Skinks and Slann
- Tomb Kings & Vampire Counts - these don't really follow the standard Race issues, as some of them are highly magical but not particularly Fairy-like, while others are tough and capable warriors but don't resemble Mundane or High Men in any other way, and most of the Stouts are special units and not part of the standard army.
- Skaven - The ratmen are also hard to define. They have a lot of magitek like a variation of Fairy, but are evil plague bringers. They have large numbers for melee but each is rather weak, but they are expendable so feel free to shoot into melee. All in all they are Mundane with some hints of the others. They might even be Cute if you have dark humor as they blow themselves up or 'accidentally' kill each other with such alarming frequency (and then blame it on their enemies rather than any fault on their own part) that their sourcebook itself advises you to laugh it off and move on. It's notable that Fantasy, being what it is, has absolutely no Cute races. The closest they get are the Halflings, who aren't a playable race (anymore thank Sigmar), and are more fat and lazy than Cute.
- Warhammer 40,000 has its own, equally twisted version:
- Imperial Guard- Mundane
- Space Marines- High Men in general, though now subsets exist with the Chapter Codexes, the first real variation being the Space Wolves and Grey Knights (see below). It is unknown if future Chapters will produce more variants.
- Space Wolves - Stouts with some Highmen, but when you ride into melee on the back of giant wolves howling for glory in battle, you are definitely more Stout than Highman. Especially in a space game.
- Chaos Space Marines- High Men, with spiky bits (and very evil). Followers of Khorne and Nurgle combine this seamlessly with the Stout. Especially Khornates, who are One-Man Army Proud Warrior Race Guys who are arguably the greatest warriors in the canon.
- Eldar- Fairy/High Men
- Dark Eldar- Fairy/High Men with even more spiky bits, and even eviler
- Orks- Stout
- Daemons of Chaos- Fairy/High Men
- Tyranids- Mundane/Stout depending on which part of the army you're looking at
- Necrons- Stout, with a subversion of High Men thrown in for good measure
- Witch Hunters- Mundane with a dash of Fairy and High Women in the form of the Sisters of Battle
- Daemon Hunters- High Men turned up to 11 with the Grey Knights, and then you look at their elite units which are psychic for some Fairy action.
- Tau- Mundane but with big, big guns and mechs up the wazoo.
- Not anymore, but earlier editions had the Squats, which were a copy of the dwarfs in the fantasy editions- Stouts
- Traveller: Traveller has numerous sapient species, but one can make an effort
- Mundane=Solomani and Vilani
- High Men=Zhodani
- Stout=Aslan, Vargr
- Fairy=Ancients and Hivers. The Ancients are closer to Eldritch Abominations.
- Cute=Maybe Droyne, despite being descended from the Ancients
- On the planet of New Horizon, there are actually six races, but they generally follow this trope. Jotun Wafans are Stout, Aesir Wafans are cute, Vanir Wafans are high, Medeans are fairy, and Olympians are mundane. Prometheans might be either high or mundane, depending on how you look at it; they're cyborgs.
- In the "Dungeons & Toons" setting for Toon there are four races: Dogs are Mundane, Badgers are Stout, Squirrels are Fairies and Mice are Cute. High Men just aren't wacky enough.
- Final Fantasy IX has this, if done often unusally:
- Stout: Burmecians are a mix of this, with a bit of High Men, breaking the stereotypes associated with Rats.They like very much war and fights, with the exception of the the much more peaceful Cleyran offshoot of them. But the Cleyrans still produce a lot of powerfull warriors, despite being relatively pacifistic, and living in seclusion. The High Men traits come from their sophistication, and the fact they're one of the more ancient civilisations on Gaia. The Dwarves also fit this archetype, at least visualy, being powerfully built(they look quite like the ogre enemies in game, but less monstrous and ferocious). But it's subverted by them living in sunlight and close to forests, and considering both to be sacred. They seem also to be pretty peacefull.
- Fairy: Qu are a strange, highly magical species, who follow a philosophy and way of life concentrated on discovering and eating new foods. It's not to be laught at, as they can eat their enemies and absorb their abilities. The Black Mages can also fit this archetype, although the fact many of them work, albeit unwiligly for Kuja and Brahne, makes them a bit the Eldritch .
- Mundane: The Humans of course, although many of them have unusual visual traits, like Brahne's and Amarant's blue skin, or Marcus' pointy ears, and tusks. Most of the Beast-Folk, aside from the mentioned above Burmecians, also fit this archetype, being completely integrated into human society.
- High Men: The Summoners, a species very proficient in magic, that was close to nature, and the planet Gaia itself, capable of summoning powerful, god-like beings into battle, and were very similar in looks to Humans, aside from the horn on their forehead. They were very peaceful despite their great power, living in their Hidden Elf Village, Madain Sari, bringing them pretty close to the Elf-Archetype. Somewhat subverted, as all of them are extinct exacly because Garland feared their great power, aside from Eiko and Garnet.
- Cute: Moogles, are as usually the series recurring version of this. Black Mages also count partialy, aside from what was written above.
- Final Fantasy X has this: Humans as the Mundane, Ronso as the Stout, Guado as the Fairy, Al Bhed as the High Men (they represent what Humans really are, when the roots of the Yevon religion are revealed), and the Hypello fill the role of the Cute.
- The five races of Final Fantasy XI — Hume, Elvaan, Tarutaru, Galka and Mithra — vary somewhat from the established roles, but they do reinforce the five-as-magic-number nature of the trope:
- Stout: Galka (Proud Warrior Race Guys who are renowned for strength and are essential to the mining side of Bastok's economic success)
- Fairy: Tarutaru (Highly magically inclined, depicted as close to nature, though not to the extent Mithra are)
- Mundane: Hume (While depicted as the driving intellectual force behind industrial development, this race is typically self-absorbed and prone to putting personal ambition over other concerns)
- High Men: Elvaan (a less pure representation: While having an arrogant and warlike attitude, they place value on honor and are less individualistic than the Humes)
- Cute: This one is split between Tarutaru (overlapping with Fairy) and Mithra (a more Fanservice-y portrayal). The former is a pretty straight portrayal, incorporating a sense of spiritual purity with wildly varying levels of childishness; the writers seem to like to combine reasons to take them seriously with comments and behavior meant to make them hard to take seriously. As for the latter, these Cat Girls tend to be varied in personality, but are in-touch-with-nature, hunter, Fragile Speedster types originating from a somewhat xenophobic culture.
- Final Fantasy XIV's races are all analogues of the ones from FFXI listed above, in addition to being further divided into two subraces.
- Mundane: Hyur, analogous to humans and FFXI's Hume race. Non-native to Eorzea, but still it's largest race. Can be divided into Midlanders (lowland-living, slighter builds, fairer skin) and Highlanders (from the mountains, huskier builds and complexions).
- High Men: Elezen, tall pointy-eared folk that have lived the longest on Eorzea. Can be devided into Wildwood (lives in the forests, have human-like skin tone) and Duskwight (lives in the caves, have skin tones ranging from pale grey to obsidian black).
- Stout: Roegadyne, large and muscular people with a maritime tradition. Can be divided into Sea Wolves (from the northern islands, have blue and green skin tones) and Lohengard (lives around volcanoes, have redish skin tones)
- Fairy: Miqo'te, a race with distinct feline tails and ears that arrived on Eorzea during an ice age. Can be divided into Seekers of the Sun (diurnal, slitted pupils, human-like skin tones) and Keepers of the Moon (nocturnal, rounded pupils, skin tones more similar to Duskwight Elezens).
- Cute: Lalafell, small-statured people with a history in trade and possessed of high intelligence. Can be divided into Plainsfolk (fairer skin, history in agriculture) and Dunesfolk (darker skin, history in nomadic tribes and trade).
- Final Fantasy's Ivalice setting fits this trope: Hume are Mundane, Bangaa are lizardmen that mix stout (they're strong) and mundane (they're almost as adaptable as humans), Moogles are Cute (though have the technological advancements usually found in Stout races), Nu Mou (dog/donkey/camel-mixed people with tons of magical prowess but not much else) are Fairy, and Viera (One-Gender Race of bunny women) are High Men - being a combination of naturalist magic users and elf-like Proud Warrior Race Guy archers. Later games added the Gria, a Cute/Stout hybrid, the Aegyl - angelic High Men (although unlike most their lifespan is shorter than humans), and Seeq - stout boar people.
- World of Warcraft tries to give each side one of each category.
- The Alliance has Dwarves for Stout, Night Elves for Fairy, Humans for Mundane, Draenei for High Men, and Gnomes for Cute. Worgen overlap with both Stout and Mundane, but they don't fit the scheme well because, as werewolves, they more resemble a traditionally evil race — the creators of the game have noted that they break the usual Alliance/Horde pattern in this regard.
- The Horde, meanwhile, does play around with the concept a bit (being generally comprised of races that are usually portrayed as Always Chaotic Evil). The template does still apply, though, and roughly speaking it runs Orcs as Mundane (for obvious reasons), Tauren as the High Men (being the most spiritual of the peoples and the example the Orcs and Trolls look up to), Blood Elves as Fairy (tee hee), Trolls as Stout (note how often trolls have their backs against the wall and get out of it), and Goblins as a sort of Ugly Cute. This still gets mixed up a bit, though, and the Horde is generally allowed to play around with their "roles" more than the Alliance is.
- The only ones who really can't be pidgeonholed like this at all are the undead humans of the Forsaken - they have inverted, played-with elements of the Mundane, Fairy and Stout all at once.
- And now we have the neutral race, Pandaren. They're mostly Stout, but have elements of High Men (The Wandering Isle and the Mists of Pandaria) and Cute (because they're anthropomorphized pandas!) Pandaria also introduces several NPC races, such as the Grummles (Stout), Jinyu (Fairy), and Hozen (Cute).
- Starbound, at present, has six races, with a seventh on the way:
- Humans are the obligatory Mundanes.
- Florans and Glitches are Stouts: Florans are warlike in nature, while Glitches are robots that originate from medieval societies.
- Apexes and Avians are the High Men: Apexes are genetically engineered to be more intelligent (at the cost of their bodies reverting to ape-like forms) and Avians are a highly pious race.
- Hylotls are Fairies, being a race dedicated to peace and enlightenment.
- Novakids are the Cute ones: what they lack in tact and long-term memory, they make up for in a sense of adventure.
- The Legend of Zelda series typically has about 5 (occasionally 6) races that occasionally change from game to game starting with Ocarina of Time: Hylians (Mundane), Sheikah (High Men), Gorons (Stout), Zora (Fairy), and Kokiri (Cute with Fairy traits). In Majora's Mask the Dekus replace the Kokiri. In Wind Waker the Zora get replaced with the Rito, and the Deku/Kokiri are replaced by the Koroks.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess really screwed with this, retaining the Zora, Goron, and Hylians, but giving no mention of the Kokiri or Sheikah (unless certain decals are to be taken into account...), while the only remnant of the Gerudo is the desert and Ganondorf. To balance the scale, we are introduced to the Twili (banished to another dimension, resemble both Sheikah and Gerudo), the Yeti (of whom only two are known), and, most disturbingly of all, the Oocca, who occupy the line somewhere between Fairy and pleasantly innocuous horror.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword has the Hylians (Mundane), Mogmas (Stout), Kikwi (Cute), Sheikah (High Men), and Ancient Robots (Fairy). Oddly enough, Gorons are still present, but don't play as big a role.
- The Phantasy Star Universe has this in the most obvious ways
- CASTs are Stout (actual robots)
- Newmans are Fairy (bio-engineered race for psychic magic)
- Humans are... humans
- Beasts are cute for most of their time, but warp into Stout as a super power.
- Dewmans are High Men, due to them being Humans mutated by the SEED virus.
- Phantasy Star Online 2 carried over the original three races of Humans (Mundane), Newmans (Fairy), and CASTs (Stout). Episode 2 added Dewmans (High Men).
- Believe it or not, fits quite well on the “races” of Tellius, the Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance (and Radiant Dawn) setting:
- Gallians/beast tribe laguz are the Stout being Proud Warrior Race Guy (tigers and lions are Mighty Glacier whereas cats and wolfs are Fragile Speedster.
- Serenes/heron laguz are the Fairy, being angelic, very magically inclined and also very fragile.
- Humans/beorc are obviously Mundane (duh).
- Phoenicis/hawk laguz and Kilvas/raven laguz are a combination of Mundane (being the Jack of All Stats among the laguz) and High Men (compared to the beorc).
- Goldoans/dragon tribe laguz are the High Men, living isolated from everyone else and declaring themselves as neutral regardless of whatever happens to the outside world. They also have some elements of Stout (mainly on their dragon forms, which tend to be huge).
- Finally, while no race in particular could be considered Cute by itself alone, plenty of laguz could qualify thanks to being Petting Zoo People, and some of the beorc characters among both games, being children, also easily qualify.
- The Elder Scrolls has Redguards, Orcs and Nords as Stout, Breton as Fairy, Dunmer and Imperial as Mundane, Altmer as High Men, Wood Elves as Cute, and in addition, Argonians and Khajiits as Beasts.
- Earthbound, despite ostensibly being set in modern-day Eagle Land, manages to pull this off, mostly.
- The Humans are, of course, the Humans. (Captain Obvious to the rescue!) However, due to their mundanity, and the way some of them value hard work, they may well also fill the Stout role.
- The Mr. Saturns are the Fairies. They're weird and quirky, and they may have magical powers. Maybe. They're an entire race of Cloud Cuckoolanders, so it's hard to tell.
- The Starmen are the High Men. They have advanced psionic powers, and they come from another realm. While their powers are incredible, they're also Giygas' troopers, and therefore kind of, uh, evil.
- The Tenda are the Cute. And, as they will frequently tell you, they're shy.
- Mass Effect: Some are a bit of a stretch, but the playable races fall into these types.
- Stout - Krogan are burly brawlers with Spare Body Parts galore (including multiple hearts, gonads, and nervous systems) who communicate through headbutts.
- Fairy - Asari are elegant, long-lived, "squishy," and often capable of throwing people around with their minds.
- Hanar also fit into this category, as they're deeply spiritual and enigmatic.
- Mundane - Humans are human. But...
- The drell might also be mundane. We don't see enough of them to know for sure. Their place in this scheme is problematic since, in multiplayer, they are quintessential squishy wizards with low health and potentially monstrous DPS, while the lore in general depicts them as being spiritually elevated and philosophical (and as such closer to "high men").
- The batarians are also shown to be rather mundane. They start out as an Always Chaotic Evil sterotype, but evolve into a more nuanced race in the second and third games.
- High Men - Turians are honorable, steadfast types who are entrusted with keeping the peace.
- Cute - Quarians. While not exactly small, they're the least warlike race and are perceived as harmless. Also, Tali's accent.
- Vorcha, yagh, and other Always Chaotic Evil races have their own places on the Fantasy Axis of Evil.
- NetHack doesn't follow the standard exactly:
- Humans are more High Men than Mundane: strong and balanced, can be any role (class), and are the only race than can choose their alignment. Their only major disadvantage is that without infravision, they are blind in the dark.
- Dwarves are Stout to a tee: strong and tough, but lacking in mental faculties and poor at spellcasting.
- Elves are the archetypical Faeries: very intelligent and wise, but physically frail. Elven weapons and armor are made of wood and leather instead of iron, and future versions may penalize elven characters who wield iron weapons.
- Gnomes are basically Elves Lite: not as smart, but fairly bright and reasonably sturdy, with an affinity for gems.
- Orcs are as stupid as dwarves and no stronger than gnomes, and hated by most other sentient races. Their only saving graces are their innate poison resistance and that cannibalism is natural to them.
- Even in Cthulhu Mythos-inspired "Cthulhu MUD", you have mundane Humans, cute Zoogs, stout Deep Ones, high Yithians, and fairy Mi-Go. Keeping in mind, of course, that Yithians (despite being benevolent and intellectual) are body-jumping cone-slugs, the Zoogs are furry blue primates with tentacle-faces, Deep-Ones are fish-frog people, and Mi-Go (flying shrimp-fungus) are as evil, ugly and technologically-advanced as normal Fairies are good, pretty and, magical.
- City of Heroes attempst this with the Origins - almost purely aesthetic descriptions of how your Super Hero got their powers:
- Stout: Technology- In the style of Iron Man or Astro Boy, these heroes were built to be, either using technology or being it (as in, being a robot). Thus, they often relate to engineers and computer scientists, and a long history of weapons technology.
- Fairy: Magic- Most associated with otherworldly forces such as demons or fey, magic is famously ill-defined but much like Technology, can come down to those who use magic itself (a la Doctor Strange) or those who are merely empowered by it (see: Wonder Woman).
- Mundane: Natural- Characters of this origin are usually normal humans, keeping up with superfolks through sheer skill. Alternatively, they can be non-human but using powers that are natural for their species. Two examples that exemplify each type: Batman and Superman.
- High Men: Science- You could say that the liberal and very self-aware abuse of Hollywood Science is the attempts to become better than what humans can achieve.
- Cute: Mutation- Essentially, an rip-off of the entire X-Men concept, but with less Fantastic Racism. Mutation can make one an Ugly Cute monster to a Cat Girl.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Have the Lilties be (Stout), with their warriors ways even though they are Cute Bruisers, they even went to war with the (Fairie), the Yulks, who are intelligent creatures who study magic. The (Humans) can be both Clavats and Selkies since they both appear most human, and one is a farmer and the other is a thief. (High Men) can be the Carbuncle, since they live long time and know secrets of the past, and of course, Moogles are (Cute).
- Guild Wars 2:
- Stout: Charr - physically strong and industrious warriors, engineers, and inventors.
- High Men: Humans - elegant, magical, and proudly hold their dying civilization above the barbaric Norn, Charr, and Sylvari.
- Mundane: Norns, overlapping with Stout - a race of Viking-inspired giants fond of simple pleasures and as a race unambitious (personal quests for glory are another story).
- Fairie: Sylvari - enigmatic and empathic plants newly awakened in the world, gifted with strange magics and a mysterious sense of purpose.
- Cute: Asura, overlapping with High Men - magically powerful and condescending to other races, but increasingly played for comedy rather than seriously.
- The Spanish role playing game Anima subvert this: Instead of actual Races, they are the Souls of a long gone races which born in a Human Body. They, technically, are humans, but, their soul is un-human. They give a little benefit for have that soul in exchange of Experience points.
- Legend of Mana has five races, but only four of them really fit one. Luckily, one of them can be split into two distinct groups:
- Mundane: More or less normal Humans.
- Fairy: Fairies. The Sproutlings/Flowerlings are a mix of this and Cute, maybe with a little High Men thrown in.
- Stout: Humans with animal characteristics (made up of both Petting Zoo People and Funny Animals).
- High Men: It's a bit of a stretch, but this can be seen in the Jumi.
- Cute: Lillipeas
- In Halo the various client races of the Covenant can be fit into these groups.
- Grunts - the cute race
- Jackals - the mundane race
- Brutes - the stout race
- Elites - the High Men
- Engineers - the fairy race (on account of their almost magical skill in repairing almost anything)
- Drones are arguably stout given their mechanical skill and propensity to solve non-mechanical problems with violence
- Depending on one's point of view Prophets can be either fairies for their highly spiritual rhetoric and technological outlook or mundane people for their politics and variety of occupations.
- Hunters also fit the stout category.
- Dragon Age: Origins has humans for mundane and dwarves for stout. In the backstory elves were fairy, but by the time of the game city elves are mundane and the Dalish elves, while they would like to think of themselves as fairy, are at best mundane with fairy qualities. The qunari fit into the high men role, at least in terms of philosophy, and certainly consider themselves "higher" than all other bas.
- Appearance-wise the redesign in Dragon Age II put the Dalish into the role of the Cute, but in keeping with the themes they are also elf-supremacists with a tendency towards violence against outsiders.
- There actually are at least five confirmed races in the setting:
- Stout: Dwarves
- Mundane: Humans, city elves.
- Fairy: Dalish elves have some elements of this.
- High Men: Qunari
- Cute: Elves have some elements of this. Also possibly the Fex, a sentient race native to Par Vollen, though they haven't appeared in any Dragon age media so far. Their existence was confirmed by Word of God in an interview.
- Most of the Breath of Fire games, with the exception of Dragon Quarter, actually have this trope going as well combined with more than a bit of Petting Zoo People action.
- Age of Wonders: shadow magic kind of has these archetypes for its "good", "neutral", and "evil" races.
- Stout=Dwarves (good), Tigrans (Neutral), Orcs (Evil)
- High men=Archons (good), Humans (neutral), Dark Elves or Undead (Evil)
- Cute=Halflings (good), Frostling (neutral), Goblins (Evil, or as close to "cute" as evil can get)
- Fairy=Syrons, possibly elves (good), Draconians or Frostlings (Neutral), Dark eves or undead (Evil)
- Mundane=possibly elves (good), Nomads (neutral), Shadow Demons (evil)
- Dwarf Fortress: Any citizen of any race could be considered Mundane, but as for the characters of whole civilizations:
- Dwarf = Anyone who can swing a granite throne as a weapon would naturally be a Stout. They're also the most advanced, with technology that canonically reaches into the High Middle Ages and, with player influence, goes even further.
- Human = High Men — Though they're only in the Bronze Age, and are far shorter lived than any other sentient save kobolds, they're physically the biggest, they own all the land and currency, and they have the largest armies.
- Elves = Fairy — distant, worship 'forces' of nature, and their druids have more leadership role than priests of other races.
- Goblins = Low Men — could have the potential to catch up with Dwarves and/or Humans, if murderous treachery wasn't their Hat. Can also be interpreted as Humanoid on the Fantasy Axis of Evil, as one of the two civilizations always hostile to dwarves.
- Kobolds = Cute — scrawny and sneaky, hardly have a civilization or warriors to take seriously, but they're favorites with some. Can also be interpreted as Crafty on the Fantasy Axis of Evil, as one of the two civilizations always hostile to dwarves.
- The Legend of Dragoon has this too.
- Human = Mundane — Their main ability is to swing a weapon. Other than that they have no outstanding capabilities, and are what you find populating most of the world.
- Winglies = High Men / Fairy hybrid — At least formerly. They ruled the world 11,000 years before the start of the game. They're also the only sentient race who can fly or use magic naturally. Their technology is far advanced and are really what the humans strive toward, in only in actions.
- Gigantos = Stout — Given their strength (Kongol stopped a pillar from landing on the party.) it's not a surprise that they're the stout.
- Minintos = Cute — You only see a few of them, but their appearance says it all. Short in stature, bright clothing, shocking pink hair.
- Dragons = Low Men — They're always being enslaved, if they're not being killed off. The Dragoons used them to defeat the Winglies, then the whole first half of the game is finding out random people are Dragoons, some with dragons. Greham and Lenus come to mind. You fight three in the course of the game, solely to kill them.
- Rift plays with the trope: There are arguably only four playable races, total (bahmi and dwarves—the respective Stouts of their factions—are distinct races, but Mathosians and Eth are human nationalities and high elves and Kelari are elves), most of them overlap more than one category, and it'd be a stretch to call any of them Cute.
- Opoona pulls this off, thanks to the co-existence in the game of both science fiction (alien) and fantasy aspects.
- The Tizians, the game's focal race, are the Stout. They're an incredibly powerful Proud Warrior Race and the galaxy's police force, but, since they can use magical Force and are really adorable, they have Cute sub-traits.
- The game features fairies as the game's Fairy race. Fairly straightforward. This also includes the Elemental Aura spirits, which are somewhat fairy-like in nature.
- Humans are the game's Mundane race. Unusually, they're not the one's we're supposed to identify with, as most of the game's humans take a background role.
- There are two candidates for High Men. The first are the Sages: Humans (or Tizians) born with overflowing amounts of Holy Force, giving them divine powers of healing and other things. They use their powers to essentially (benevolently, for the most part) rule the planet. Another might be Giants—incredibly ancient, have been on the planet much longer than humans, connected to nature, and implied to be very wise.
- The Nikoniko people are the more definite Cute. They're adorable meter-high, brightly-colored aliens who love artwork and have slightly-snobbish but well-meaning attitudes. They are also implied to have Verbal Tics, though it's not present in the English version.
- Game Mod Red Alert 3: Paradox:
- Cute: Design-wise, Empire of the Rising Sun, who overlap with Fairy by having Psychic Powers.
- Fairy: Allied Nations, with their almost magical technology.
- High Men: Order of the Talon fit this the most, when they are not scheming nations against each other.
- Mundane: Allied Reservists, International Inc.
- Stout: Confederate Revolutionairies, but they also subvert it by using dirty tactics and stealth.
- Dragon Quest X: Waking of the Five Tribes features six races:
- Ogres = Stout - Exceptionally tall and muscled Proud Warrior Race of red-skinned oni. Females definitely have Boobs of Steel and Amazonian Beauty in effect.
- Wedi = High Men - Look like androgynous humans, but with the additions of blue skin and fins.
- Elves = Fairy - Short little Fair Folk with pointy ears, pixie wings, and an apparent propensity for magic.
- Dwarves = Mundane - Having the height of Fairies, the adorableness of Cute, and the technological prowess of High Men makes them even out to an all-around Mundane.
- Pukuripos = Cute - Tiny little rabbits decked in jester attire. Always smiling.
- Mundane: Homs — The local stand-ins for humans. Most don't have any sort of special powers, but they make-do by refining the local ether to create some nifty technology like Mini Mechas and ether rifles.
- Cute: Nopon — The Ridiculously Cute Critters. Small balls of grammar-breaking fur that are shown as both Intrepid Merchants and rather cowardly. Don't let that fool you, some are surprisingly capable.
- Fairy: High Entia — Elves with Mercury's Wings. A technologically advanced and long-lived race capable of manipulating ether by themselves. Formely thought just a myth by many Homs of the lower lands.
- Stout: Giants — A long extinct race of... giants. Not much is known about them except that one is still alive... technically.
- High Men: Machina — The Mechanical Lifeforms. Very long-lived and technologically advanced, they were formely a prosper race. Most that remain went on to live in peace, hidden from the rest of the world, while one of them went on to become a Well-Intentioned Extremist.
- Twice Blessed, being based on D&D, plays this pretty straight. So far, it has humans as as Mundanes, dwarves as the Stout, pixies as the Fairies, elves as the High Men, and gnomes as the Cute.
- In Triquetra Cats, humans having colonized the solar system have come to develop into this: Earthlings = mundane/human; Martians = Stout/dwarf; Venutians = High Men/elf; Stationborn = Fairy/gnome; Outer System = Cute/Hobbit; Antreyki = Proud Warrior Race/animal people
- Lampshaded somewhat in Our Little Adventure when Carissa touched on a theory where the human girl used the Magicant to create the first of four other races. These other four people were visibly unhappy about this in this comic here.
- The premise of Carpe Chaos about 5 intelligent Aliens races and how they interact with each other.
- The comic Quest of Camelittle has this: Humans are Mundane, Elves are Fairy, Dwarves are Stout, Hippies (the comical replacement of Druids) are Cute, and Ninjurai (a proud race of Human ninjas and samurai) are High Men.
- Fraggle Rock has a glancing acquaintance with this Trope, as the series centers around a fantasy ecosystem that intertwines four different races (often without any of them being aware of it). Arguably, the Silly Creatures (i.e. us) are Mundanes, the Doozers are Stouts, the Gorgs are parodies of High Men, and the Fraggles themselves are Cute with Fairy tendencies.
- Fairly Oddparents actually fits this if you include the alien races. Granted, some are more important than others, but...
- Mundane: Humans, of course.
- Fairy: The magical races (Fairies, Anti-Fairies, Pixies, Genies, etc.)
- High Men: The denizens of Wonder World, Turbo Thunder's world, who all had superpowers.
- Stout: Boudacians, Princess Mandie's race. If Mandie (and the arranged military alliance with Yugopotamia)is any indication, they seem to be a Proud Warrior Race.
- Cute: The Gigglepies. Sickeningly so, intentionally.
- Always Chaotic Evil: Though this can also apply to the Gigglepies, this is the Yugopotamian's hat.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Earth Kingdom as Stout, though they could easily count as Mundane due to their diversity and larger population.
- Spirit World as Fairy.
- Fire Nation as Mundane. The Legend of Korra also adds Republic City.
- Air Nomads as High Men, particularly because they're all Airbenders. Bonus points for being nearly extinct at the time of the series.
- Water Tribe as Cute, for the underestimated (at least at the beginning of Book One) and Closer to Earth parts.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic refuses to fit into this well. All of the pony types would be considered Cute/fairies, but show traits of the other typings, while at the same time, non-pony races would be a better fit for the other 4 archetypes. This section will list which races could fit where.
- Stout: Pegasus used to be a Proud Warrior Race before the founding of Equestria and are now doing jobs such as weather managing while Earth ponies develop great physical strength, and their magic makes them superior farmers.
- Fairy: Unicorns are a Witch Species and each one can use magic associated with his/her special skill. They also have hints of Proud Scholar Race. All of the pony types would be considered this relative to non-ponies.
- Mundane: Earth ponies lack the overt magic and flight that the other races have, but they can grow crops better than the others, and some develop vast physical strength. Pegasus and Unicorns may also fulfill these roles as well.
- High Men: Alicorns have both flight and magic; the more powerful ones are Physical Gods able to move the sun and moon, though their rareness might preclude them from being considered an actual race in and of themselves.note
- The Cute: All of the ponies are really, really, cute.
- Teen Titans fits the five regular cast members:
- Stout: Cyborg, not exactly a dwarf, but cybernetically enhanced
- Fairy/Elf: Raven, in a dark-elf way.
- Mundane: Robin, the non-powered member.
- High Men: Starfire, human-like, but much more powerful.
- The Cute: Beast Boy, for certain definitions of "cute".