I've had this post in the works for a while, but never finished it. Aaron from Allgeektout is doing a series of posts updating the old 3.x book 'Savage Species' to 4e, and that has inspired me to finish this post and make plans to convert some of them into playable races. So, here it is: Monster manual races that should have been.
Races they should have had playable in the MM2
Archon- Different options, possibly overpowered, but I think its doable.
Azer- Dwarves, on fire. 'Nuff said.
Banshrae- Buglike fey. Fast, but would totally work. (look for my version of them soon)
Cambion- Even more badass versions of tieflings.
Dryad- I really don't see why these plant people would not be playable.
Harpies- They gave these grumpy bird women arms and clothes in this edition, why not a race?
Kuo-Toa- Frog (or in this editon, fish) people.
Lizardfolk- Just as the name implies, these are lizard people.
Sahuagin- Shark-like fish people, Go into a frenzy when they smell blood. >: D
Satyr- I think these guys really should have been a race, they must have lost a bet with the gnomes...
Troglodyte- Cave dwellers, other than being evil I see no reason to not make them into a race.
Races they could have had playable in the MM2
Choker- The natural weapons of their 'tentacle claw' probably scared away WotC from making this a race.
Chuul- I'm not even sure that these are intelligent, but they'd be fun to play!
Galeb duhr- Living rocks, probably not playable because of their burrow speed.
Gargoyle- Made of stone, and they fly. Riiiiiiiight.
Grimlock- They are blind... just a challenge to a good roleplayer.
Mindflayers- Brain-eating, squid faced 'humanoids,' if one swore to never eat a brain again, I don't see why they can't be a race.
Rakshasa- Backwards handed, immortal, cat people. Notoriously evil.
Slaad- Creatures of Pure chaos. Has a lot of potential as a very veritable race.
Sorrowsworn- Monstrous shadow humanoids tasked with hunting down powerful mortals that escaped death.
Swordwing- armored, armed, and winged, what more could you want? Obsessive collecting? Got that too!
Yuan-ti- Snake people, could be a race, but I think that their cultists would be more interesting.
Races I would have liked in the MM2, but I'll let slide this time...
Angel- Too overpowered...
Beholder- Floating eyeball of death, too overpowered...
Berbalang- Kinda creepy... and the duplicates thing makes it over powered.
Gibbering beasts- He he he...
Lycanthropes- Too overpowered.
Marut- Flying, teleporting immortals, Yeah, I can see why they didn't make these into a race. But it would still be cool.
Medusa- The females are too over powered with their petrification, but the males would be perfectly playable.
Owlbear- Not intelligent creatures, but would be fun to play as anyway.
Quickling- With a speed 12, its way too fast for a PC, would be very fun though. Like a halfling on crack.
Did I get everything? Do you disagree with my opinion? Post a comment!