- You're designing an RPG (either a Video Game or Tabletop). You want more customization options. Your classes are pretty much the standard bunch, so you allow a bunch of races to be selected too. Now player options for creating a character aren't just limited to Human, Elf, Dwarf, Hobbit, and Orc. You can also play a Werewolf, a Cat Person, a Giant Monkey, a Robot, a Giant Robot Monkey, a Dwarf Giant Robot Were-Monkey, etc. These races may be further subdivided into every possible variation.
- You're designing a Strategy Game, and you want to give your player tons of faction and customization options. Throw in a bunch of sub-factions, and you have a real menagerie.
- You have a set of factions in your Strategy Game or MMORPG, and you're now doing a sequel (or, in a Tabletop Game, a new edition). What's a simple 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 a main faction into two or more subfactions. Editing Lore is always easier than editing canon.
open/close all foldersTabletop Games
- 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 Fantasy Flight edition released two expansions, bringing the grand total to a staggering 90 alien races.
- Small World started with an already-respectable 14 races in the core set, the first three official expansions have added another 10 in total, the Underground game added another 15, and the Ghosts from a promo expansion bring the total up to 40. 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 and 21 from Underground, meaning you're looking at 39 * 53 = 2067 race/ability combinations just from official sources. Not counting Ghosts, because they work differently. Fans have added more, obviously.
- In Summoner Wars, you control a summoner and his group of minions as they try to crush their opponents force of the same. So what makes this game special? Try 16 different factions to choose from, including multiple sub-races of elves, orcs, dwarves and goblins, human knights, thieves and mercenaries; not to mention goatmen, the undead, and demon worshiping cultists.
Miniatures War Games
- Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000:
- 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, several different kinds of Space Marine, 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 has no less than 14 (German Humans, French/British Humans, Chaos Humans, Dwarves, Chaos dwarves, High Elves, Dark Elves, Wood Elves, ratmen, lizardmen (available in newt, monitor lizard, frog, and crocodile), goatmen, ogres, vampires, mummies, goblins and orcs).
- Blood Bowl has 23 different types of team, including 3 kinds of human (standard, Norse, and Amazon), 4 kinds of elf (dark, wood, wealthy high and poor high), 4 kinds of chaos (standard, dwarf, Chaos pact and Nurgle), 4 kinds of undead (standard, necromancer, vampire, and mummy), 2 kinds of lizardmen (slann and saurus/skink teams), plus regular dwarfs, halflings, orks, goblins, ogres, skaven, and the "mixed bag" underworld team (skaven and goblins). This makes for about 11 distinct species that form their own teams. The video game adaptation went on to add the Khorne team, for a total of 5 kinds of Chaos.
Tabletop Roleplaying Games
- Some settings of Dungeons & Dragons. Also, mainline Dungeons & 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. Planescape also has Planetouched, which are hybrids between any playable regular species and nearly any kind of planar creature (elementals, demons, devils, angels, slaadi, etc.), allowing basically infinite variety.
- 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, various types of animal-folk from Red Steel, and weird exotic critters from the Princess Ark saga. And that's before you crack open the Immortals boxed set.
- D&D Next (which evolved into 5.0) has only the basic races thus far, plus some others in development- it is fairly new, after all.
- The PC races of 5e are as followed: Dwarf(Mountain and Hill), Elf(High, Wood, Drow and Eladrin), Halfling(Lightfoot, Stout, Ghostwise), Human, Dragonborn, Gnome(Forest, Deep, Rock), Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Tiefling, Aarockara, Goliaths, Gensai(Air, Earth, Water, Fire), Shifter(Beasthide, Cliffwalker, Longstride, Longtooth, Razorclaw, Wildhunt), Warforged, Minotaur, Aasimar(Base DMG, Protector, Scourge, Fallen), Firblog, Kenku, Lizardfolk, Tarbaxi, Triton, Pure Blooded Yuan-Ti, Bugbear, Goblin, Orc, Hobgoblin, and Kobold.
- Pathfinder (unsurprisingly, being based on D&D) has about 30 playable races, starting with the core 7 races and moving on to more exotic races like Tengu and Grippli, who are amazonian frog people. The Advanced Race Guide details a total of 37 races, starting with the "core" races: dwarves, elves, gnomes, half-elves, half-orcs, halflings, and humans. It then continues on to the "featured" races: aasimars, catfolk, dhampirs, drow, fetchlings, goblins, hobgoblins, ifrits, kobolds, orcs, oreads, ratfolk, sylphs, tengus, tieflings, and undines. Finally, it details the "uncommon" races, who receive the least support: the changelings, duergar, gillmen, gripplis, kitsune, merfolk, nagaji, samsarans, strix, sulis, svirfneblin, vanaras, vishkanyas, and waylangs. In addition, the Inner Sea Bestiary introduces five more races: the android, ghoran, lashunta, monkey goblin, and syrinx. The fourth bestiary further includes the gathlain, kasatha, trox, wyrood, and wyvaran, bringing the grand total up to 47.
- Exalted has, at the most basic, six playable species: humans, ghosts, Dragon Kings, Alchemicals (robo-golem Exalted with human souls), The Fair Folk, and Jadeborn (underground dwarf-elf-rock dudes). But "humans" come in a huge variety, including entire populations of Beastmen (Petting Zoo People and Funny Animals), God-Bloods (various Half Human Hybrids), mutants, and ordinary mortals, plus the Exalted themselves. Exalted include the Dragon-Blooded (a subrace that try not to breed with mortals when they can get each other), while the other Exalted (Solars, Lunars, Sidereals, Abyssals, Green Sun Princes) are born mortal but become demigods when they're Blessed with Suck/Cursed with Awesome, and gradually stop associating with mere mortals. All of the above have separate game mechanics, and all but the mutants, God-Bloods, Beastmen, and squishy mortals have their own proprietary type of magic. There're also oodles of not-intended-to-be-playable species of demons, elementals, spirits, Akuma, and other guys (that some people play anyway).
- Third Edition adds the Liminals, who are Exalts created from human corpses.
- 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.
- GURPS: Space has an entire chapter devoted to helping the GM create alien species across a broad range of environments, body types, and other features, meaning that the possibilities are limited only by the fall of the dice or the GM's imagination.
- 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, the book D-Bees of North America is 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 literally hundreds 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.
- In the Old World of Darkness, we have playable vampires, werewolves (plus 11 other shapeshifter races), humans with magic powers (mages, sorcerers, mediums, shih, Imbued, etc.), changelings (faeries trapped in human bodies), wraiths, demons, mummies, kuei-jin (vampire-zombie-ghosts), ghouls, dhampirs (humans with vampire parents), dhampyr (humans with kuei-jin parents), kinfolk (humans with shapeshifter ancestry), kinain (humans with changeling ancestry), inanimae (faeries bound to the elements), adhene (faeries who'd been exiled from the physical world), hsien (small gods trapped in human bodies), fomori (and drones, gorgons, and kami) (people possessed by spirits), revenants, spectres... oh, and regular humans, if you're feeling squishy.
All of these "splats" have their own subdivisions into playable types, though in most cases those are factions or cultures rather than races. But Werewolf: The Apocalypse lets you play not just werewolves, but also werehyenas, werespiders, wereravens, werebears, werefoxes, werecrocodiles, weresnakes, werecoyotes, wererats, weresharks, and nine types of werecats (tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, cougars, lynxes, jaguars, fae cats, and shadowcats). If you're playing a historical or AU game, you can add wereaurochs, werebats, wereboars, were-sabretooth tigers as another type of werecat, and werethylacines as another type of werewolf. And if you're up for a challenge, you can try your hand at adapting one of the corruption-spawned shapeshifters for playable use - the werefrogs are probably the easiest, with the werecockroaches having multiple mental illnesses, the wererhinos being unable to take fully human form, and the wereapes being motivated by overwhelming greed. Each of these Changing Breeds is a separate "species," with separate stats and magical Gifts.
- The New World of Darkness has, thus far, humans, vampires, werewolves, mages, Prometheans (Frankenstein's monsters), changelings, Sin-Eaters and their associated Geists, mummies, demons, Beasts, ghouls, dampyr (humans with vampire parents), Wolf-Blooded (humans with werewolf ancestry), Sleepwalkers (humans able to see mages' magic without problems), Scions (children of Prometheans who are immune to their "hated by reality" effect), stigmatics (humans able to see the God-Machine's workings), demon-blooded (humans with demon ancestry), Immortals, Psychics, Thaumaturges (essentially weak mages), and various Changing Breeds and shapeshifters, with Deviants soon coming and (if you take fan-line games) Geniuses, Princesses and Leviathans.
- 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, Sasquatches....
- Changelings especially exist to facilitate this trope. They're metahumans who express strange mutations, both functional and cosmetic, that can give the a wide variety of appearances to facilitate a player making virtually any fantasy or sci-fi race without the developers having to create specific entries for them or violating copyright laws.
- Ironclaw has 39 base races of anthropomorphic animals. In fact to save space they're relegated to half a page each and a couple paragraphs of description followed by a list of skills they have bonuses to and traits they get for free.
- Rocket Age currently has 16 intelligent playable species, called sophonts. These are the Earthlings, Europans, Ganymedians, Iotes, Jovians, Venusians, Lizard Monkeys, the 7 Major Martian Castes and the Courtesan sub-caste. Rounding the list out are the Robo-men.
- Star Trek The Roleplaying Game not only offers humans, Vulcans, Klingons, Trill, Bajorans, Ocampans & Talaxians among others in its base game, but also has an entire splat book dedicated to listing the history and rules of just about every single one-off or recurring race from the Alpha Quadrant not already represented.
- Hc Svnt Dracones offers in the base book alone 24 species of Vector divided into five families (Canidae, Felidae, Aviae, Retiliae, and Mustelidae) and nine "Morphisms" that can be taken in almost any combination. The Core: Extended rulebook adds another five families (Ursidae, Delphinidae, Selachii, Rodentia, and Ungulatae) and two additional canid and felid species with six more Morphisms. Even rules for creating unique Vectors known as "Blips". As well as Cogs that have their own set of rules and "Frame" selection. Cogsune are all the same but can swap out their modular limbs for different abilities. And then there's Exonymphs.
- Bleak World has 10 base races to start as, and 10 classifications for each race (10 different kinds of vampire, 10 kinds of witch, 10 kinds of werebeast, etc. With the promise of 20 new base races coming out, it stands that there are roughly 300 races to choose from.
Tabletop Strategy Games
- Star Fleet Battles features a bunch of distinct fleets, including, in the basic edition, ships for The Federation, the Klingons, the Romulans* , the Kzinti, the Tholians, 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.
- 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.
- As of the end of third and the beginning of fourth edition, the game now has seventeen playable races. If you want to see every race in TI4 in action, you'll need to play at least three games, assuming you're playing with the maximum player count of six. Bear in mind that a six-player game of Twilight Imperium frequently takes eight hours.
Other Tabletop Games
- 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.
- Munchkin has loads of races by now, due to its many expansions and editions which can all be combined:
- The original had humans (the standard-race for every player), dwarfs, elves and halflings
- The expansion packs gave orcs, lizard guys, centaurs and gnomes.
- Munchkin Bites added changelings, vampires, werewolves and, with the Pants Macabre expansion, mummies
- Munchkin Conan added Cimmerians, Stygians, Kushite and Zamorians
- Munchkin Legends had the standard dwarfes, elves and halflings and added fauns
- Star Munchkin added cyborgs, felines, mutants and, with the The Clown Wars expansion, bugs
- And all of those races can be combined with the Half Breed card, so a character can easily be half-dwarf, half-cyborg or half-Cimmerian, half-Faun.
Multi-type Video Game Franchises
- Final Fantasy series:
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance had Five Races, but Final Fantasy Tactics A2 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 later Ivalice games (Final Fantasy Tactics Advance and Final Fantasy Tactics A2 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 - though, only the first two were playable. Revenant Wings adds the Aegyl and Feol Viera offshoot, while Tactics A2 includes the winged Gria.
- Warcraft: Orcs and Humans started with playable human and orc civilizations. Warcraft III added undead and night elves. World of Warcraft has 13 playable races as of the Warlords of Draenor expansion: the four already mentioned, plus playable tauren, dwarves, gnomes, trolls, draenei, blood elves, worgen, goblins, and pandaren. The world also has a great number of non-playable species as well (gods, various demons races, ogres, dragons, dryads, keepers of the grove, ancients, gnolls, murlocs, etc.) As of Battle for Azeroth, this is expanded to 21 playable races, with void elves, Lightfored draenei, Dark Iron dwarves, Kul Tiran humans, nightborne, Highmountain tauren, Mag'har, and Zandalari trolls joining the roster. These last 8 are allied races, which basically means a reskinned existing model, but they all have their own starting zones and racial abilities.
- 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.
4 X Games
- Master of Magic has 14 playable races, ranging from Dwarves and High Elves to Snake People and Lizard Folk.
- The Fall from Heaven mod for Civ IV has over a dozen civilizations, each with its own unique gameplay mechanics, units, mana and buildings.
- Galactic Civilizations 2: you've got your humans, Altarians, Drath, Torians, Thalans, Krynn, Arceans, Korx, Yor, Drengin, Korath (technically a Drengin splinter faction), and Iconians, plus any player-created races. This is to say nothing of minor races like the Snathi, or the Dread Lords, who are essentially a random extinction event in the making.
- The Endless series (split between Endless Space and Endless Legend) have many. Endless Space has 7 playable alien races (two Robot Republics, a Rock Monster race, Starfish Aliens, Bird People, Bee People and Humanoid Aliens) and 5 human empires. Endless Legend has 5 non-human (Elves, malfunctioning religious robots, post-human knights, diplomatic dragons, cannibal insects) races and 4 human empires. Endless Legend also features numerous alien and human minor races that one can integrate into an empire for minor buffs and new combat units, such as the Rock Monster Silics.
- There are thirteenish playable races in the Master of Orion series, with the second game and the series reboot allowing players to build their own (though it will require taking one of the existing race's slots and cosmetics, meaning custom Psilons will never encounter default Psilons in the same galaxy). The "ish" comes from some races being split up or made non-playable across games (for example, the reboot has the "humans" and "terrans," who are both homo sapiens, just different cultures).
Action Adventure Games
- 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 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 first game had Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, Umgah, Ilwrath, Spathi, Chenjesu, Mmrnmhrm, Humans, Arilou Lalee'lay, Androsynth, VUX, Yehat, Shofixti, Mycon, and Syreen . The second game introduced the Melnorme, Pkunk, Chmmr, Zoq-Fot-Pik, Orz, Druuge, Utwig, Supox, Thraddash, Slylandro, and Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah. And then their are the non-playable species and those that never even appear, which include the Precursors, Keel-Verezy, Dramya, Algolites, Gg, Burvixese, Drall, Yuli, Yuptar, Mael-Num, Faz, Taalo, and Dnyarri. And THAT's still not counting all the non-sapient life-forms running around on random planets.
- Lightning Legend: Daigo no Daibouken, taking place in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of Japan, holds several races represented by several player characters and NPCs: Humans (Daigo, Mayu, Forelock, Adolf, Mirona); Monsters, with at least two sub-categories: Junma / Pure-Monster ( The father of Daigo's mother), and Seima / Holy-Monster (Rankerk); Fairies, with at least one sub-category, the Yukijin / Snow People (Yuki and her father Hiroo); the elf-like Reijin / Beauty Ones (Misa, Risa, and Guren); the big furball rabbit-like Mukumuku (Mokomoko and his family); the Henshin / Transformation race (Disguiser); and the Puppeteer Parasite Hat race (the hat monster controlling Naughty Nou).
- Everquest has Barbarians, Dark Elves, Dwarves, Erudites (high-men), Gnomes, Half Elves, Halflings, High Elves, Humans, Ogres, Trolls, and Wood Elves when it was originally released. Iksar (lizardpeople), Vah Shir (catpeople), Frogloks (Battletoads) and Drakkin (dragonpeople) were released in various expansions.
- EverQuest II had for the original release, Barbarians, Dark Elves, Dwarves, Erudites, Frogloks, Gnomes, Half Elves, Halflings, High Elves, Humans, Iksar, Kerran (catpeople like EQ1's Vah Shir), Ogres, Trolls, Ratonga (ratpeople), and Wood Elves. As the expansions piled up it added Fae, Arasai (evil fae), Sarnak (dragonpeople but not like the drakkin), and Freeblood Vampires.
- Star Trek Online has a total of 21 playable canonical races, 22 if you count regular Trill and Joined Trill (who have different traits) separately. But the total number is literally infinite, as players can create their own alien races.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic isn't as diverse as the universe it's based on, but still has a healthy selection; humans (with a cyborg varient), Twi'lek, Zabrak, Cathar and Togruta are open to both Imperial and Republic factions. The Imperial players have Chiss, Sith species (technically a human ethnicity thanks to centuries of interbreeding), and Rattataki as playable species while the Republic get Mirialans and Miraluka. (Imperial players choosing a something other than Sith species or human will get copious amount of disdain from Imperial NPCs, because of the Empire's Fantastic Racism). You can play a species locked to one faction on the other faction if you've leveled to 50 with a particular species, so it's not uncommon to see a Chiss Republic Trooper or a Miraluka Sith. One of the main hinderances to more diversity in player species is that the developers want to stick to species who can speak Galactic Basic, feeling more exotic choices would break immersion. However once the game went Free to Play, any options other than Human, Cyborg and Zabrak are only available for subscribers or for those willing to fork over the cash.
- Star Wars: Galaxies launched with eight playable species: Humans, Wookiees, Zabrak, Twi'leks, Rodians, Bothans, Trandoshans, and Mon Calamari. Sullustans and Ithorians were added later. While each species did have a few advantages, in practice Wookiee entertainers and Bothan bounty hunters were equally feasible (if not equally common); the diversity was intended to satisfy Star Wars fans as much as possible, rather than to fill a requisite number of archetypes. Humans, Zabrak, and Twi'leks — the least 'alien' of all the species — were by far the most popular.
- Chronicles Of Elyria will allow the player to select from twelve Tribes: the Neran, Hrothi, Brudvir, Kypiq, Janoa, Dras, The Waerd, To'resk, Mydarri, Owem, Erishé, and Yoru, with the caveat that the last four will not be playable at launch and will have to be discovered by the other eight races once deep-sea sailing has been discovered.
- 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).
- Otherspace features two dozen playable races, ranging from different Human Subspecies all the way to Starfish Aliens.
- Retro Mud featured eighty-three playable races at last count, including thumb-sized faeries, whale-men, beholders and a variety of dragons.
- Dungeon Crawl has 26 races as of version 0.16, 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.
- The original Angband has six basic playable races (Human, Elf, Hobbit, Gnome, Dwarf and Kobold), as well as several half-breeds and variants (Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Half-Troll, Dunedan, High-Elf).
The variant Z Angband lets you play as an Amberite, Barbarian, Beastman, Cyclops, Dark-Elf, Draconian, Dwarf, Elf, Ghoul, Gnome, Golem, High-Elf, Hobbit, Human, Imp, Klackon, Kobold, Mindflayer, Nibelung, Skeleton, Spectre, Sprite, Vampire, Yeek, or Zombie, or as one of about a half-a-dozen Half-breed types.
The variant Entroband has thirty-seven playable races and twenty-seven classes.
- Slash EM, a variant of NetHack, doubles the original's number of playable races to ten, adding Doppelganger, Drow, Hobbit, Lycanthrope, and Vampire to the original set of Human, Elf, Dwarf, Gnome and Orc.
- The Elder Scrolls
- The first two games in the series (Arena and Daggerfall offer eight playable races - three Races of Men (Bretons, Nords, and Redguards), three Races of Mer (Elves) (Altmer/High Elves, Dunmer/Dark Elves, and Bosmer/Wood Elves), and two Beast Races (Argonians and Khajiit).
- Starting with Morrowind, the series adds two more to reach its well-known 10 total races. Added are the Orcs (a sub-race of Mer known as the "Orsimer") who previously appeared in the series and were integrated into Imperial society (and thus made playable) as a result of the ending of Daggerfall, and the Imperials (created by Retconning previous lore to add them).
- In addition to the playable races, some two dozen non-playable races are seen or mentioned in the series' lore.
- Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel promised eight different "races" you can hire from. Three of those turned out to be just different groups of humans, even without significant differences. Other than that there were: ghouls (former humans, strictly speaking), super mutants (ditto), dogs, deathclaws (mutant lizards) and a robot.
- In contrast to its predecessor which, unmodded, only allowed you to choose among the seven core D&D races, Neverwinter Nights 2 took its race selection straight out of the 3E Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (and Storm of Zehir added a couple splat races). With both expansions, there's humans, three types of dwarves, five types of elves and two of half-elves, two types of halflings, three types of gnomes, six types of planetouched, gray orcs, and yuan-ti purebloods.
- Paladin's Quest for the SNES, aka Lennus, has a dozen different races in its world, with some outlandish designs. The main two characters are both part of the race most similar to human, but the other party slots can be filled with mercenaries from the various races.
- Star Ocean is a solid example 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...)
- 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 might or might not be entirely human. Every game seems to add at least one more race to the count.
- Thunderscape allows to choose team members out of 8 civilized races: pretty standard humans, elves and dwarves; dwarfish faerkin and goreaux (the former magical, the latter technological); juraks — sort of fur-covered orcs; reptilian rapacians; and ferrans — humanoids created by uplifting various vertebrates and giving them traits of the former 5 races (in other words, furries). Additionally, a troll and a steam-powered golem NPCs may join you. Tabletop spinoff further expanded the selection.
- Wizardry's later SirTech-developed installments. Not as massive 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).
RPG/Third Person Shooters
- The Age of Empires series did this with the first two games of the series - the first started with 12 civilizations and the expansion brought it to 16, while the second game began with 13 civilizations and was later expanded to 18. All the races share the same basic look and technologies, but have bonuses to certain types of units and access different parts of the game's technology tree.
- Age of Wonders has 15 as of the last expansion, not counting a race that was present in the first game and didn't return for the sequel.
- Ascendancy boasts an impressive 21 races.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- Agarest Senki features humans, syriums, high elves, dark elves, common elves, onerthes', neocolloms (which come in several subspecies), ryulents, larvas, greers, nelths, harpuias and yulishees, and that's only the first game!
- The fictional MMORPG Magience has many Character Customization options of every sort, including races:
Cas: There are 7 races for you to choose from. Each of these can procreate with any other to create a hybrid, for a total of 28 options.
- And each race has several subraces...
- In the fictional MUD Dan plays in El Goonish Shive, at least thirty playable races are listed before Dan relents and goes with the original recommendation.
- Overlord: The MMORPG Yggdrassil had over 700 races, ranging from the standard human-elf-dwarf-etc. to beastmen to basically playable monsters. The Ainz Ooal Gown guild had "play a heteromorphic race" as a requirement, which is why their members included a Draconic Humanoid, a walking skeleton, a sentient pile of Hollywood Acid...