I'm creating a historically inspired campaign where the standard fantasy races are extremely intermingled, and conflict is usually based on politics or religion, rather than species divisions. I can't, however, think of a good word to separate the PC races (Elves, dwarves, humans, halflings... you guys know.) from the monsters and creatures who live outside society. Basically, if in the real world someone would say: "I refuse to kill another human." in this setting I need a catch-all word to replace human.

Sentient sounds too sci-fi. Kindred sounds too... Vampire-y. Any suggestions?

  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is a question about English vocabulary and belongs on English.SE.
    – Miniman
    Apr 18, 2015 at 1:33
  • Welcome to rpg.se! Please take a look at the tour, it's a useful introduction to the site. It's hard for the Stack to handle questions without clear criteria for answers; "not too sci-fi and not too vampire-y" is broad enough that answers will just be guesses. That'd be great for a traditional forum but SE uses a Q&A format. Another Stack like Writing, English Language & Usage, or Worldbuilding might be able to help, but this doesn't seem to be a problem that RPG-specific experience can help solve.
    – BESW
    Apr 18, 2015 at 2:08
  • So, make it clear: Would one be allowed to kill a porpoise?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 18, 2015 at 3:16
  • 3
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic; It belongs in Science Fiction and Fantasy SE. As it's about fiction writing, new coinage is welcome, which makes it POB. Apr 18, 2015 at 7:55
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    Is that the full list of races? With that list, 'humanoid' works, since they're all two-armed bipeds with one head. Should the word cover sentient insects and speaking rocks as well?
    – DCShannon
    Apr 20, 2015 at 2:25

4 Answers 4


People usually:

I refuse to kill another person.


"Sentients" works.

By the way, you might want to look up the "Cambridge Declaration on Consciousness".

  • 1
    Though there are a sizable number of people who will argue that cows are sentient (and by one established definition of the word, they possibly are) so unless you want to indicate that the person is a vegan, "sapients" might be a less ambiguous term.
    – herisson
    Apr 18, 2015 at 4:24

A "being" also works. It's defined as a conscious, mortal life form.


Species-centric as it sounds, I think the most common term is "humanoid".

  • That's based on physical form.
    – CPerkins
    Jul 14, 2015 at 18:25

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