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46181249 No.46181249 [Reply] [Original] [4plebs] [archived.moe]

How do you guys create original races for your settings?

No matter how much I try, every time I try to create an original race to my setting I end stuck with "not elves" "not dwarves" etc, I don't seem to be able to come with something actually original.

And its not that I try to copy them, is that I have what I think is an interesting idea and when I finish I look at them and think "damn it! this is just elves with horns".

May be its just I lack imagination but would like if you gave me some tips or explain me the process you guys use to create original races.

Some examples if you will to share would be nice too.

>> No.46182316
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46182316

Kind of? I made these guys as a mascot race for a lighthearted adventure game and my players fell in love with them.

They have no depth, backstory, or real purpose but they're cute and keep the atmosphere pretty cheery. I have a bad habit of coming up with ideas for races and never bothering to fluff them out. Might share more if the thread survives.

Also I like these threads so here's a resurrection.

>> No.46183270

>>46182316
>They have no depth, backstory, or real purpose but they're cute and keep the atmosphere pretty cheery

Sometimes thats the best things, some things are better without background or a deep lore, just are they way it are

>> No.46183322

>>46182316
Those are pretty cute.
Are they some sort of plant people? If so, is that a helmet or a pot?

>>46181249
sometimes simple is better. I pretty much take elves, dwarves and stuff and add a couple of interesting twists and quirks.

>> No.46183443

>>46181249
Take some aspect of human society that's associated with neither elves nor dwarves and crank it up to the extreme.

Then give it a randomly determined number of limbs and sensory organs and call it something with too many consonants.

>> No.46183652

>>46181249
If you're designing for a game. there are certain archetypes of characters you need to meet so your players can play something they can identify with, or something totally not like them at all.

Then you need to keep in mind that too much choice is worse than not enough choice. Restriction breeds creativity. Talislanta is a good example of what not to do. It has some interesting ideas, but then it also has not-elves and not-fairies and not-orcs and it all becomes incredibly redundant.

Keep in mind a race is not a culture. People with masks aren't a race, that is a culture of a race.

It's easier if you have some sort of cosmology or mythological framework to build your races off of, if your world is designed in that way. If the origins of races aren't entirely certain that you have full range, usually this is more difficult to work with.

>> No.46184410

I don't know, I think there's something fun in taking existing races and giving them a complete overhaul (while still trying to make them recognizable as what they started as).

For example, in my setting there are goblins that are bat fuck crazy with machinery and technology (with a diesel punk spin on things), and go into combat hopped up on stimulant fungi. However, they're still small frail green dudes with large pointy ears that aren't really that smart or brave, and everyone hates them.

>> No.46184569
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46184569

oops sorry. Wasted a few hours of my life playing lol. Still here.

>>46183270
I sorta figure the same. At least in some cases. For a cute little side race that's only there to add flavor to the world, dish out "Hey I lost my pig. Can you go catch my pig?" type quests, and sit on your shoulders holding the map while you ride to the next city- deepest lore need not apply.

I'm also helping GM (I come up with lore and world stuff, the real GM takes care of story and actual gameplay) a more serious space adventure, and it doesn't pay to go light on the fluff when it comes to that sort of thing. People expect to learn what they can from the other cultures and worlds in universes where the story would have that sort of thing. Mass Effect being a big influence. So sitting on a dozen neat races without any flavor for them besides "A talking octopus walks up to you brandishing a gun" is pretty unsatisfying. What if your players want to visit the talking octopus' homeworld? What parts do other talking octopuses play in the galactic society? Are they all wiggly muggers? Etc.

>>46183322
Both? I'd rather leave that up to the imagination. Maybe it's a mask, maybe it's got soil in it to grow their plants, or maybe that's just how their heads look. My players once spent nearly an entire session trying to sneak it off the party mascot (far left there) via shenanigans. Every time i just applied an act of god and have something happen to distract them. Some things are not meant to be known.

I hope this doesn't come off as me jerking off over my own stuff. I'm trying to legitimately talk about world building and need some help with it myself.

>> No.46185021
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46185021

>>46181249
I think of humans, dwarfs and elfs as the most universal choices, and any other races are going to be filling a kind of specific niche in play and flavor.

Like, say, the bestial race which may fight without much weapons or armor. That would fit with using a culture which lacked medieval european technology. That worked for warhammer lizardmen, and may work for, say, maori cacawmen (bite damage and feathers adapted for swimming), siberian bugs (insulating armored shell and crunching upper arms housed in pykrete forts), australian komodomen (rot bite and heat resistance).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgB8G5oafIE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2IcNQktHIs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-YqK3s7ivM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3oypQkMsFE

>> No.46186822

Don't die, i like these threads.

That said if it drops again i'll just let it go. No sense keeping a thread alive no one wants.

>> No.46188631

>>46181249
I'll just do a brainstorm of some concepts that I think are interesting and mash em together so they fit with the tone of whatever the setting is.

Just weird stuff like
Icarus rebels, divine background, third eye.

From there I try to figure out what I was thinking later and peice it together. So, winged humanoids who are rebelling against the gods who made them, whose society relies on their psychic abilities. They use psychic projections to fight their battles because they are too frail to fight up close (they have hollow bones to be able to fly).

And then from there I'll come back to it in a few weeks with a fresh view and switch it around. Like now I realize that I took the most shallow element of Icarus. Instead of just wings I should have made it about a race that built their own, and values ingenuity; or maybe about a race that fell from their once great status due to their hubris.

And then the cycle just repeats. I worldbuild far more than I actually write or play RPGs.

>> No.46188759

>>46181249
Oh, and about the not!elves problem: keep in mind that the word "elf" is now pretty much completely meaningless because it's been stretched to fit so many different concepts.
I've seen white supremacist imperial elves, backwoods tree hugging drug addicts, cannibalist cave dwellers, and whatever else you can think of referred to as "elves". Sometimes they're taller and stronger than humans, sometimes they're short and weak, other times they're beautiful, sometimes they're weird alien-looking things.

Sooner or later you're going to make a race that share some elements with someone's idea of an elf, an orc, or a dwarf. Just don't worry about it and make good worlds.

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