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Illustration showing a Parrot-Folk character, a Dragon-Folk character, and an Elephant-Folk character. All three were illustrated by Jessica Kuczynski.


Overview: Animal-Folk are human-animal hybrids. Most Animal-Folk look like humanoid versions of animals or magical creatures.

Physical Description: As human-animal hybrids, each type of Animal-Folk, such as Otter-Folk or Phoenix-Folk, is composed of parts from humans and parts from a specific kind of animal or magical creature. There are three common body plans for how these parts are combined.

  • Evenly Blended: This body plan is a mostly even mixing of animal and human, though the head is usually more animal-like. It is most common when the animal being mixed is capable of standing upright, like bears and kangaroos, or has hand-like front paws, such as raccoons and beavers. The Dragon-Folk character illustrated above is an example of this type.
  • Mixed Parts: This body plan has some parts that are more human-like and others that are more animal-like. The most common version of mixed parts is a human body with an animal head, feet, tail, and skin. Two examples of this are minotaurs and the Elephant-Folk character in the illustration above. Another common version of mixed parts is a human torso with an animal lower body. Centaurs are a prominent example of this. Mixed parts is most common when the animal or mythical creature being mixed with a human has nothing that can be used as a hand.
  • Mostly Animal: This body plan is quite animal-like, but it has one or more human traits. Common human traits are having hands, being human sized, and having human senses. Being mostly animal is common for animals with bodies that can already do most the things humans can, like squirrels, and flying animals that need to maintain their ability to fly, like birds and bats. An example is the Parrot-Folk character shown above.

Senses: The senses each type of Animal-Folk has are usually those of the animal.

Diet: Evenly blended Animal-Folk usually have the same diet as the animal, but broadened out by the human contribution. For example, Beaver-Folk primarily eat leaves, woody stems, and aquatic plants, but can also eat fish and fruit. Mixed parts Animal-Folk have human, animal, or combined digestion, based on whether their digestive system is human, animal, or a combination of the two. Mostly animal Animal-Folk typically have the same diet as the animal.

Common Mental Characteristics: Animal-Folk have mostly human minds, including the broad range of mental diversity that humans have, but their minds are influenced by the animal’s mental traits. This results in an overall human mind with common mental traits that reflect those of the animal. For example, rabbits are sensitive and nervous animals, so Rabbit-Folk are generally inclined to be sensitive and nervous, but they have a broad range of temperaments, and a few Rabbit-Folk are calm and laid-back.

Magical Affinities:

  • Animal Magic
  • Air Magic: For flying Animal-Folk
  • Water Magic: For aquatic and semiaquatic Animal-Folk
  • Earth Magic: For burrowing Animal-Folk
  • Plant Magic: For Animal-Folk that have close associations with plants
  • Animal-Folk can also have affinities special to their animal or magic creature, such as Fire Magic for Dragon-Folk, Attention Magic for Peacock-Folk, and Communication Magic for Parrot-Folk

Common Species Traits: Species traits vary based on the animal. Species traits that some Animal-Folk have are a Skill Aptitude for Climbing, Swimming, or Flying (based on their physical traits), Heightened Senses, Additional Sense, Amphibious, Unhurt by Falls, Permanent Defense, Flight, Additional Limbs, Built-in Tool, and Poisonous Skin.

Common Vulnerabilities: Vulnerabilities are also based on the animal and include Intense Curiosity, Noisy Form, Moist Skin, Cold Sensitivity, Heat Sensitivity, Specific Damage Vulnerability, Dietary Restriction, Poisonous Skin, Intense Sleepiness, Sensory Sensitivity, and Light Sensitive Eyes.

Prominent Cultures: Most types of Animal-Folk have human-like cultures that are influenced by the social behaviors of the animal.

Respectful Portrayal Note: There is a long history of marginalized groups being compared to animals, especially people of color and disabled people. This means that respectful representations of part-animal people should be done with special care. Be sure to check the physical, mental, and cultural traits you give any Animal-Folk character to see if they match stereotypes about a marginalized group. In addition, if you are creating an Animal-Folk character with marginalized identities that you do not share, it will be easier than usual to misstep, so take extra care.


Animal-Folk are part of the Crossroads Setting for the tabletop role-playing game, Magic Goes Awry. Click here to go to the list of vibrant and unique magical people from the Land of Crossroads.


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