I read an article last week which reminded me that Godzilla was, at one point or another, a metaphor for nuclear warfare — any warfare that involves weapons of mass destruction. I thought about other catastrophe-themed monsters.

It occurred to me today, while browsing through a zillion different monsters in the 3e manuals — actually, when I noticed the “half-janni” creature in Sandstorm — that certain monsters are simply “too big” for standard use. Djinn, for example.

Now, there certainly are lesser genies — I mean, as far as I know — but efreeti? You don’t send them your wishes. No, that’s like wishing on Cthulhu. I think dragons should be the same way. Hydra, Cerberus, and others — yeah, those should be big, named baddies. They cross the Godzilla Threshold.

Some things are just too bad, they can’t have PC races. Not at first. Today I was struck with several bolts of inspiration for how to organize the remainder of the fantasy races I’ve been holding back out of need for inspiration.

A bunch of races got “the boot” since they’re effectively subcategories for races that must be established before subcategories can be made. “Dark elves” for example, require that “elves” exist. Or dwarves, depending on the mythology.

I broke several rules I originally set for myself — actually, these ones were more guidelines than actual rules — but they weren’t guidelines I thought I’d cross.

First, I created “four fantasy races.” After playing Warcraft 3, I swore I wouldn’t do this. Then I came upon a good reason for it — plus, it helped me avoid another trope, which is Five Fantasy Races. I might change my mind about humans.

Several were much smaller — such as not using/ripping offer certain fantasy races that seemed totally unnecessary. I not only changed my mind, I came up with a completely practical use for them. I might even change my mind about humans.

When all is said and done, I not only have all the fantasy races I could want — up to and including humans, which I never thought I’d use — but they will all lay the groundwork for more fantasy races than you can shake a stick at, falling into neatly organized groups. I’m still working out some bugs but I may share.

Half-dragons and half-genies won’t be among the earliest playable races, but they might quickly join the ranks once I figure out how “subraces” will ultimately work. It will work kind of like the class archetypes, but different too.