Tolkien Not Spoken Here

I’ve just decided that in my new setting, the Haunted Realm, I’m not going to have either Orcs or Hobbits (or even “Halflings”). Probably no great surprise to my players, but I had mentioned Orcs as being one of the Invader races and I’ve thought the better of it.  The grunts of the invading army will now be Trolls, Kobolds, and possibly Red Caps (which were native to Faery but threw their lot in with the invaders).

It’s already been established that Elves are more like those of fairy tales, native to Faery and not to the Bright Kingdoms themselves, though they mingled freely with them before the Plague.  Dwarves, well Dwarves are Dwarves the world around…  No, really, I’ve tried running settings without Dwarves before and my players just took the race that was most similar to Dwarves and turned them into Dwarves, albeit ones with darker complexions and a propensity for living above-ground.

Is there are reason for this de-Tolkienization?  Not a strong one.  Unlike some of my prior settings, I’m not trying to make it feel really exotic or subvert the fantasy cliches.  In this case I want it to seem familiar, if somewhat spooky.  And Orcs just somehow don’t have quite the right vibe.  Or maybe it’s that the LEGO minifigs I have are of Trolls…