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Encyclopedia > Fantasy race

Many fantasy stories and worlds call their main sapient humanoid species "races" rather than species. In most such worlds, these races are related, typically having evolved from one root species (most often either elves or humans) by magical or divine influence. The usage of the term in this context was popularized by J. R. R. Tolkien and was further adapted and spread by the Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game. Nowadays, many imaginary universes use the terms "race" and "species" interchangeably.

In role-playing games, "race" typically refers to any species that can be played as a player character. In older editions of Dungeons & Dragons, the primary non-human player races (dwarf, elf, gnome, halfling and half-elf) were called "demihumans".

See list of species in fantasy fiction for a listing of fictional fantastic races and species.

See also



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