Your character class helps determine how you solve problems and interact with others in the workplace. It really focuses on identifying what you do and how you react when facing encounters.
This lens can be further refined by considering how you view the world. For instance, are you eager to explore and discover new things? Are you mainly concerned with profiting from every exchange? Are you primarily interested in building a great legacy, or do you just want to have the most fun while you are here?
All these things are designated by a person’s fantasy “race.”
Sometimes a person’s race helps to compliment his or her class by providing focus and opportunity, while at other times, it can hinder otherwise seemingly perfect circumstances. RPG gamers are well aware of this, as power-gamers love to create synergies with their class and race combinations.
In life, however, we are often not that lucky. We cannot choose how we initially perceive the world, but by being aware of our predispositions, we can leverage our unique talents and worldview to their greatest and most optimal effect.
Most RPG races fall along a combination of axes: Reason vs. Emotion, which runs perpendicular to a maturity scale of Innocent vs. Experienced.
These two axes can then combine to create the fantasy archetypes with which we are most familiar. Most other races are a created by mixing the base attributes generally associated with each and by changing the “skin” (bestial, fey, reptilian, etc…) Here is a list of archetypes that represent the most common combinations and the attributes generally ascribed to each:
Gnomes are inquisitive creatures who enjoy playing with gadgets and getting their hands dirty. Gnomes want to know how everything works, and they are not afraid to take things apart in order to find out. Once their curiosity has been satisfied, however, they usually forget to put whatever they’ve dissected back together again.
Halflings are curious, playful creatures who enjoy exploring all that the world has to offer. They climb through holes, lift rocks, and dig in the dirt entirely out of the simple joy of discovering new things. This childlike temperament can get the halfling into sticky situations; however, they are also lucky, a quality which averts disaster often without the halfling being aware anything was amiss.
Goblins trade in whatever happens to be available- information, commodities, favors… whatever. Pragmatic, intelligent, and resourceful, goblins are born traders. They excel at seeking out things that other people desire and then creating a market for it. Their entrepreneurial talents help them support their quickly growing numbers and ever growing need for resources.
Elves are the ancient and wise race of the deep forests. They are extremely long-lived and spend centuries pondering the most minute mysteries of life. Steeped in their studies, elves have forgotten more knowledge than other races have ever learned, and they strive for perfection, in both thought and craft.
Humans are quick to learn, versatile, and adaptable. They know how to spot the weaknesses in an organization and quickly move in to fill in the gap. Because of this, they are highly sought after as allies for any undertaking.
Orcs thrive in harsh, hostile landscapes. They enjoy carving out their place in the world through action and hard work, and they view the wilderness as a testing ground to keep themselves sharp and ready for action. Their stout build and constitution allows them to tear through barricades with ease and cover great distances without tiring.
Steadfast, far-sighted, and unstoppable, Giants build huge structures and great empires well beyond the prying eyes of the other races. Their goals and motivations are incomprehensible to many other races, who see giants as out of touch with reality. Giants are often seen as aloof, disinterested observers of the world, neither contributing nor reacting to current events.
Dwarves are the strong and stout people of the mountain. They are by far the sturdiest of the races and capable of enduring extreme pressure and adversity. They are driven and resolute in all things, and they know that they can overcome any obstacle if given enough time.
Trolls are sly and sinuous creatures who have both the power and grace to effectively navigate conflict. Their powers of regeneration and wickedly sharp claws make them quite formidable opponents, which is only matched by their sharp intellectual prowess. The troll combines the fury of orcs with the careful planning of dwarves… truly a dangerous combination.