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Kobolds and Goblins and Bugbears, Oh My!

I created a crazy kind of family tree for the races I want to put in my first book — which is mainly based around dwarves and gnomes. Dwarves are one of the progenitor races, from which sprang the gnomes, and later trolls — halflings are a hybrid of dwarves and gnomes, and gnolls are a hybrid of gnomes and trolls.

They’re all “earthy” races, which is kind of the point of the exercise.

I started wondering about how “robust” character creation would feel with only five races — especially considering that I didn’t include pretty much any of the other standard fantasy races. Also, I wondered where continued application of the weird logic I was using to generate races could take me.

I like monsters, and I like monstrous races. Two races that I’m rather fond of are goblins and kobolds, and they’re both “earthy”-type creatures.

Since I’m going to have some more time to codify things in my system before publication, I started looking seriously at incorporating a couple additional races — likely three, giving me a total of eight — namely goblins and kobolds.

I determined that dwarves gave rise to gnomes and trolls via a form of cultural parthenogenesis, and I started thinking about how often that sort of thing might occur, how radical the changes would be, and so forth.

I settled on a kind of “rule of three” for parthenogenesis — a given race couldn’t spin off more than three original races in a given era. So with the dwarves giving rise to gnomes and trolls, they were limited to one more.

Gnomes seem like a shoe-in for the progenitors of goblins and kobolds, what with the simplified lore I’ve attributed to each. That sort of leaves me with one more race to choose, and I’ll admit I have my eye on bugbears.

Not sure exactly how I’m going to determine their ancestry though — probably some mixture of troll? I don’t know.