A foundation race, within the context of Tinrisian legislation and cultural norms, is any race present and represented by a Patron deity during the Era of Dawntime. Those commonly accepted as foundation races are: Elves, Dwarves, Halflings, and Orcs.

It may be argued that Gnomes should be included in the list of foundation races, though there appears to be no record of a Gnomish Patron during the Era of Dawntime.