In order to distinguish between the different magical beings as well as to group them by similar characteristics, a series of classifications has been established and agreed upon by the Magimundi Council of Five. These categories are very important as magical laws, policies, and regulations are created to support them. Restrictions on what may be harvested, when, by whom, and how often are formed as a result of the research and recommendations of cryptozoologists, there are four official designations and rulings set down by the Council: Latin, Sapience, Manifestation, and Family.
The Latin classification describes the properties of a creature and helps connect similar species. Latin classifications are included to further foster study of the subject and to align with Mundane taxonomy practices. Latin has a long history of being used in the sciences as a lingua franca, and these classifications help Wizards and magi from around the world compare and categorize creatures.
Sapience is the most complicated classification and includes four designations:
- A creature that is capable of self-reflection and is capable of understanding moral and ethical reasoning.
- Any creature that does not possess the qualities needed to be considered sapient. Non-sapient creatures can sometimes behave like sapient creatures, but since they are governed by instincts and cannot reflect on their actions, they are not sapient.
- Creatures that exhibit sapience in some scenarios, but not always are considered semi-sapient. This category may also be used if the status of the creature is in dispute in magi-academic circles.
- Creatures with a non-human or otherworldly understanding of morals and ethics are called para-sapient and appear to be capable of a sort of self-reflection, though any system of morals and values that they may possess does not correlate with that of human beings. This classification is of much debate in the field of cryptozoology and Magical Jurisprudence.
Manifestation is used to classify how a creature presents itself in and interacts with the physical world.
- A creature that possesses mass, can touch, and be touched, and that directly interacts with the physical world.
- A creature that exist as an apparition that can be perceived using one or more of the senses, but do not have mass and cannot directly interact with the physical world.
- A creature that that may change between corporeal and spectral in accordance with their own will or circumstances.
Families allow for a basic grouping of creatures by traits or habitat. A listing of the families of magical creatures follows.
- These creatures tend to be non-sapient constructs created by magi or by natural magic. It is possible for some animata creatures to gain para-sapience through magical means. Both homunculi and golems are examples of creatures from the animata family.
- Creatures in the arboreal family look and behave like plants, but many are sapient or para-sapient. There is considerable debate between cryptozoologists and cryptobotanists as to the true category of arboreal beins as both sides would like to lay claim. Cactus cats are an example of an arboreal creature.
- The averine family is defined by their birdlike characteristics. An averine creature has feathered wings but does not need the ability to fly in order to qualify. Nesting and roosting are also common denominators for all averine creatures, all of which lay eggs with hard shells and care for their young.
- Chimeras are creatures that are seemingly comprised of parts of other creatures. Sometimes these creatures seem to be from different families; in which case, they are listed with the complete familial classification.
- The humanoid family includes all human-like creatures that are neither nemort (undead) nor spirit. They are either completely human in appearance or share the most notable human traits such as an upright posture and human head, hands, and feet. Most humanoids are sapient or para-sapient but exceptions exist. Many humanoids are also mammalian, but not always.
- Members of the ichthyolios family have piscine (fishlike) qualities and live in bodies of fresh or salt water. Ichthyoids tend to be cold-blooded, with the noticeable exception of the Mermaid.
- The family of insectoids are cold-blooded creatures with more than four legs and compound eyes. Insectoids lay eggs with a soft shell. This family includes arachnid (spider-like) creatures, as well as coleoptera (beetle), and muscidae (fly-like) ones.
- This family contains a large number of varied species. These creatures are warm-blooded, covered in hair, and nurse their young.
- The nemort family is comprised both of undead and reanimated creatures, few of which display typical signs of life such as a heartbeat, breathing, and electrical or magical currents in the body (vampires are a notable exception). Nemorts are created or born from the body and/or soul of a creature previously alive. The vast majority of undead creatures are non-sapient; however, some such as vampires and liches (see revenant) are para-sapient.
- Members of the reptilian family are usually covered in scales of some sort. They are cold-blooded creatures who often prefer to settle in dark, damp places. Reptiles lay eggs and then usually leave the young to fend for themselves, with the exception of dragons who care for their young.
- Spirit creatures can be recognized by their connection to the spirit realm. They differ from the undead in that the undead have a physical body, while the spirit creatures tend to be spectral or, in rare cases, phasic.