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Basic Information

Beastmen (or, more properly BeastMen since they're not usually a single gender species) are a staple fantasy "race" or perhaps several "races" that fits various animal features onto a basically human body. Generally, and as a minimum the head should be that of the 'donor animal' species, whilst the rest of the body may be more or less bestial.

Some examples would include:

  • Goatmen - such as RuneQuest Broo or Warhammer Fantasy's beastment.
  • Dog/wolfmen - such as Palladium Fantasy's coyles and wulfen or the Vargyr from Traveller.
  • Cat/lionmen - like the Kzin or Traveller''s aslan or the various Khajitt races from the Elder Scrolls series.
  • Ratmen - such as Warhammer Fantasy's skaven or the Slitherin from the D20 Shattered Lands setting.
  • Hyenamen - the Gnolls of Dungeons and Dragons
  • Minotaurs - and other humanoid shaped bovines.
  • Any other basically human shaped "anthro-furries", possibly including non-flying human-bird mixups.

Reptilian Humanoids get their own page apparently. Amphibian and arthropod based hybrids probably belong somewhere else as well. Various composite animal hybrids are also popular twenty minutes into the future as gengineered warbeasts.

This category doesn't seem to include 'tauric' (i.e. centaur-like1) species, or things that are meant to be primitive or degenerate humans with animal like characteristics.

A related concept is the moreau (named after the fictional mad scientist Dr. Moreau) where an animal has been surgically modified to make it humanoid. If the distinction matters (either between genetics vs. surgery or transfiguration magic vs. biothaumaturgy) then the beastmen are born/untanked as they are whereas the moreau was born a normal animal (…or human …) and interfered with later.

Arcanawiki Tool

Our Random Animal Hybrid page has random generator options to help you whip up a new Beastman variants. Click on that link, and it will provide you with a random animal species to blend into your new Beastman.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • All too often used as shorthand for cutting and pasting traditional traits of the animal onto a pseudo-human society: i.e. the lionmen are a proud warrior race, the wolfmen are less noble but still warrior like and the ratmen are thieves who crap in your larder.
    • Can be subverted however - the Broo have nothing in common with goats except possibly the smell…
  • Can lead to race inflation and are often best avoided unless you have a clear reason for adding them. When this does occur, sarcastic references to "petting zoo people" may be expected.
  • Beware of players with otherkin delusions playing beastmen … things can get sordid very quickly.
  • Remember that a trope is not always a bad thing - beastmen are perfectly viable in some contexts (such as the examples given).
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