In order to avoid having loads and loads of races in the Into the Wonder series, I’ve devised the following system to evaluate and categorize the entities found in various world mythologies. Mind you, this system won’t work in every fictional universe, so caveat lector!
Contrasted with a run-of-the-mill, plain vanilla human…
- Does this humanoid display vast magical powers?
It’s probably a fae (sídhe, elf, jinni, nunnehi, etc.)
Is it unusually good-looking?
Definitely a fae!
- Is this humanoid secretive and crafty?
It’s probably a dwarf (dvergr, dactyl, etc.).
Does it live underground?
Definitely a dwarf!
- Is this humanoid unusually short?
It’s probably one of the little people (brownie, kobold, yunwi tsunsdi, etc.).
Does it try to play tricks on you?
Could be a little person if the tricks aren’t too mean.
Does it try to clean your house or do your chores?
Definitely a little person!
- Is this humanoid unusually tall?
It’s probably a giant (slant-eye, stonecoat, ispolini, etc.).
No other distinctive features like powerful magic or a taste for human flesh?
Definitely a giant!
- Does this humanoid want to eat you?
It’s probably an ogre (Laestrygonian, zimwi, water cannibal, etc.).
But it’s no bigger than an ordinary human!
Doesn’t matter, it’s probably an ogre!
- Does this humanoid want to scare you?
It’s probably a bogeyman (boggart, hey-hey man, nalusa falaya, etc.).
There’s no such thing as a bogeyman.
Tell that to him!
- Is this humanoid just plain weird?
It’s probably a troll (jaettertroll, fomor, stallos, etc).
But I thought trolls were…
You thought wrong. Trolls are just plain weird.