Not sure where I am at on this as I do not have my notes in front of me, however, (so with complete train of consciousness) I was thinking about fantasy elements in sword and sorcery themed games this morning. Now, S&S settings all seem to have a particular feel. And that feel does not include orcs, elves, gnomes, halflings etc. Thinking of halflings in this regard, in a typical S&S setting or themed book, halflings would just die.
They would die because they are weak.
Nothing is weak like that or should be. On the other hand, the world is not overrun with super natural super powered elf type creatures as well. (I know there is some width and breadth to the setting and at its edges the genre begins to break with these rules.) In any respect, the question is, can one have n S&S setting with all the monstrous, demi-human and humanoid baggage from a traditional game setting.
Well, my thinking is that a lot of it would have to be retooled. Retooled in a dramatic manner. I would start by making some races off limits (halfling and gnomes) or very rare (elven type creatures). This keeps the game human centric. I don't know what I would do about dwarves. I would probably keep them.
I would make clear boundaries between populations (physical, emotional and racial). Orcs would live in an orc world for example (I might even nix orcs). In any respect, the creatures would be separated. Interbreeding would not be allowed. Its just not something that could happen. Racial hatreds or antipathies would exists (thats the way of the world). It would be unfair world.
Think of trolls, in The Game they are fairly regularly encountered, they are part of the xp up, standard monster a character encounters on the way to the top. That would no longer be the case. Trolls would be rare indeed. They would be powerful, they would be tough hombres to fight. Think Grendal.
Most adventures, at least in the forefront, would be with or against other humans, the ground work so to speak. The wrap up and end would be with the fantastical. Always the fantastic at the end.
Which brings me to NPCs. Muh more depth would have to be added to most NPCs. Meaning to keep the juices of plot development flowing, the NPCs would have to have more development vis a vis their goals, desires, fears etc. This makes the NPCs more real and thus more capable of engendering action.
Anyone, I free formed some thoughts.