View Full Version : Race Creation

11-05-2010, 12:34 PM
Is there a possibility to make a race? I would love making one :) It would be a problem if everyone suddenly decided to make their own race and populate their land with it tho...

11-05-2010, 10:55 PM
What did you have in mind?

01-11-2011, 04:49 PM
Hallo Marken4,

hvurden ga°r det med deg?

If I get you right you want to create a race? So what do you need - some sugestions for that or what?

01-13-2011, 12:43 AM
What did you have in mind?

Of course he means a race, like elves, dwarves, halflings - but something new.

I am building player character races right now for my Kaidan setting, so I know exactly what he is talking about. However I am too busy on the publication to help here, but when I have some time, I'll give my thoughts.


02-26-2011, 05:22 PM
Start with an adjective or a profession to base the race off of, such as:

Elf - Graceful
Dwarf - Miner
Goblin - Greedy
Gnome - Craftsman

02-26-2011, 11:47 PM
or look at what inspires you....

02-27-2011, 12:06 AM
10k - now that's a good race....

sorry, bad joke, hehe, or is it?

We could call them "Tinkay". A race of small stature, capable of incredible endurance due to their greater lung capacity compared to body size. They are renown messengers as they are small enough to elude patrols and their endurance enables them to keep moving for long periods of time. Why nearly everyone has heard of the human saying "On account of a horseshoe nail the battle was lost"? It would not have been so was there a Tinkay runner nearby. ROFL

Well, anyway...I always find a little humor helps to blow out the cobwebs :)

03-01-2011, 12:16 PM

you got me thinking there Jax....

like a quickling but not really......

ooo I like :)

03-01-2011, 12:39 PM
See what I mean? hehe, hope you come up with something excellent.

03-08-2011, 05:29 PM
For the non-human races of Kaidan I am creating Kappa, Hengeyokai and Tengu.

Kappa - the turtle shelled diminuitive goblin of Japanese folklore, the main aspects I touched upon in the creation of my version are: small stature (2 to 2.5 feet tall), natural armor due to shell on back, 2 claw attacks, free unarmed combat feat (despite the claws to comply to feat prerequisites), some Ki powers, weakness in the hollow spot on the top of their heads for sacred water, a special attack maneuver required to spill that water, no combat maneuverability penalty due to size, and a special skill at breaking bones in combat. The Kappa's main feature is a diminuitive monster race that is actually good at physical combat. They are slow on foot (20' speed) but fast in water, Swim (40', but increases with level).

Hengeyokai - animal shapechangers with an especially sylvan affinity, they make good rangers, druids and barbarians. Without Wildshape powers they can shapechange to a specific animal and human form, both considered their other true forms as they cannot disguise themselves to look like a different human. Species including: Badger, Cat, Dog, Hare, Monkey, Raccoon Dog, and Rat forms. They feature a trickster paragon class.

Tengu - bird (crow or owl) forms, not a shapechanger, includes sorcerers, fighters and paladins, with a not-yet-determined paragon class. We're using the basic racial stats for Tengu from Pathfinder Bestiary 1, but changing the subtype from Oni to Yokai (oni are only demons in Kaidan).

While there will be other monster races, the above three are the only ones available to player characters. Each will be published as its own PDF book, and In the Company of Kappa has already been released - available at RPGNow, DriveThruRPG and the Paizo Store.

Humans still comprise the bulk of character races and several classes are exclusive to humans, including Inquisitor (metsuki) as they are members of the Shogunate Secret Police (and thoroughly evil), while most of the animal yokai races above are neutrally aligned (some good, some evil). The empire and shogunate are rather ethnocentric in their beliefs and tolerations.

Its very cool working on new racial traits, optional racial traits, class archetypes, yokai paragon classes, yokai specific religion, feats and weapons, as well as backstory, origin mythos, and each one's view of society and the world.


03-21-2011, 08:12 PM
I could create a race....

Full Name: maioribus rutilus muris (greater red mouse)
Name: also called the Amaphus
General Description:
the Amaphus are a race of humanoid/rat-like people with a sleek coat of red fur they have two arms that reach about two feet length each when full grown. The Amaphus stand at about four feet tall. They stand on legs of a length of about two feet each. They have a body length (head to butt) of about two feet. They have blu eyes although a rare chance there may be a green eyed Amaphus born the green will fade into blue by the age of 3. They have 3 claws on each hand and 2 toes on each foot. They have a rat-like snout but it curves upward slightly.

Average lifetime - 32 years
World Record Maximum - 55 years
Age of adulthood - 9 years
(i am using 365 days as a year)

IQ - An Amaphus has the technology of humans in the time of about http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/8th_millennium_BC they do have written language though. It looks similar to Egyptian Heiroglyphics.

Population - the Amaphus a pretty far spread and live in tribes of 15-50. They are nomadic in a way, They do not travel with the animals but migrate with the weather. Amaphus like medium-cool weather and will move north in the summer and return south in the winter.

Amaphus Religion - Amaphus may have many religions we do not know about but the main religion of the Amaphus is the belief that all the world was created by hundreds of gods, gods of tree, gods of grass, gods of water, gods of arrowheads, gods of sticks. Really everything... The main gods are Apa the god of sky, Dalla the god of meat, Arg the god of tools, and Cagra the god of Fruit. They believe fruit to be the greatest of all the gods gifts and offer meat of the animals they kill to the flames before eating fruit. Fruit, in a way, is as holy as the cross is to a christian. Cagra is obviously the main overuling god of the rest.

ask me if you want more added or even more races... i hope you like it and have a way to use it.


Cagra - In looks it could be compared to a pear but with the color of a banana. It does not need a stem because it grows from other Cagra a little like a potato.

Afflama - Inside of an Afflama a large seed can be found. They are about one foot in diameter but the seed takes up about 10 inches of the inside this fruit grows slowly. They look like apples with a rough brown outside and a creamy red inside.

some fruits i thought up... they are probably useless to a world you guys will probably just use ordinary apples and bananas

04-07-2011, 09:57 PM
Wouldn't it be better to have a template for race creation?

05-18-2011, 04:49 PM
I think it is a great idea to start with an adverb to create a race. If you want warlike creatures, they're going to be very different from a fragile race. But I'm also a very visual person. For my last D & D race I decided to make a crystalline race. I was stuck on ideas, so I headed over to my local gaming shop and started digging through the custom mini's to get ideas. After I actually created my own race using a sla prototype (http://www.realizeinc.com/) at a local design company.

03-05-2012, 12:43 AM
I tend to start with a setting or purpose myself, then go logically from one function to another until I have a basic outline of a race and society. Like so;

Start: I need a sapient race that's physically larger than humans and inhabits tropical islands.

-Large animals tend not to be native to tropical islands, so they have to be from somewhere else...

-but they can't arrive there by ship or anything, because they're too large to transport...

-and whales in tropical waters tend to be intelligent, large, and capable of travelling through water, making them perfect, but they're a bit too big...

-but isolation on islands sometimes leads to physical shrinkage to adapt to less resources...

-which means that they couldn't be able swim huge distances if I wanted them to be a reasonable size...

-so maybe they cannot stay underwater for too long (way smaller lungs) but still do work underwater...

-which means that they might build coastal traps for fish and crabs for food...

-which implies that their fins became crude manipulators as they adapted to living on land, though that says nothing about their flukes...

-which in turn implies that they still have them, making them more comfortable moving in water than on land...

-so their buildings probably would be simply adorned but perhaps complexly engineered, with a balance water to move in and air to breathe...

-and having precisely balance water and air in your building would be a great status symbol...

-which means that engineering, and in turn math and physics, are highly valued in their culture...

-which ultimately means that the race would favor both intelligence and practicality in individuals...

-so that hints at a somewhat meritocratic approach to governance...

-and when factored together with how whales form extended family groups in their pods in real life, you might get competing clans, based on a core family group but adopting promising individuals as full members, and on top having a clan where each member is another clan (a government) that works on similar methods.

I could go on forever, but so far we have a race that probably look like a cross between a whale and a mermaid, live on the coasts of tropical lands, practice aquaculture of various forms, tend towards practicality and judging others based on their merits, and rule themselves through an aristocratic council of some sort; a good outline for a civilization to write about or have others encounter.

The logic in these leaps doesn't have to be especially coherent, direct, or, well, logical (you can always plug the holes later, and the plugging, at least for me, is my favorite part), but they should make a little sense at least. Also, if you happen to like obscure trivia, here's where it shines; being able to link two ideas that do not belong together in nature is the best way to start an in-story conflict.

So, basically extend this for several pages, come up with reasons for anything I missed earlier, and that's how I create races.

06-06-2012, 11:01 AM
Wow, nice derivation.

06-06-2012, 11:02 AM
Nice derivation, Falconer

06-07-2012, 01:35 PM
once again plugging for my 'dorcs' - i'm shocked and kind of upset that the entire gaming community hasn't risen up en masse to champion them.

overall similar to orcs, with a few characterisms.. they tend to gravitate towards mechanical aptitudes and wide screen tv. they are entrenched in lassitude and a need for heirarchy and say things like "get 'er done". would've fit in foglio's strip in dragon magazine..

06-17-2012, 08:18 PM
Damn Falconer, that's some really awesome work there

I have a list of unique races for my world of Soni of (not even the human-like species is actually human) of hopefully unique design and what not. Don't want to detail too much. But I don't mind sharing some details of one with you all. (yeah, so please don't use this, I just like to share, sorry.)

Name: Hakoro (Ha-core-oh)
Height: 5-6 feet tall
Age: They descend from the Hrickten Val whom are known to have the longest life-span in Soni, they can live at an average of 370 years.
Appearance: Humanoid in basic structure, they have a large pair of wings on their back reminiscent of bats, 4-toe clawed feet and arms, white fur, a short tail, a head like resembles a cross between a wolf and a kangaroo, but more of a wolf. They also have large ears that allow them to detect out-of-place sounds in the thickest of snow flurries, to counterbalance the negatives of how cold large ears can get.

History: Hakoro are descendants of a race known as the Hrickten Val (also known as the Black Wingen). They left had come to a land thousands of years ago called Naus that is filled with many dangers. Besides it's all-year-round snow-covering that spans the middle of the landmass known as "The Arctic Strip", the Hakoro face a local threat of hive minded creatures known as the Inaby (In-nah-bee). Using magicka techniques in the arts of alteration, over generations, changes by this alteration magic slowly affected them to be more well suited for their new home, literally speeding up the processes of adaptation. Eventually, they have come to resemble nothing like their ancestral race, which is still very active at this time.

Culture/Attitude: Hakoro are under a constant state of war, whether it's against the Inaby, or countries to the north aiming to invade them. As such, they make sure to stay on their A-game at all times, stealing technological advances from their enemies (as well as their "friends") and devised a system of government reminiscent of Sparta's.

This is probably pretty obvious but don't feel restricted that you have to follow fantasy-standards and make elves, dwarves, or orcs. The unique races in fantasy worlds are always the coolest - like the Argonians in Elder Scrolls. They don't need to have hands if you don't want to them. Hell, they could do all of their everyday tasks using magicka.

06-19-2012, 11:57 PM
Interesting ideas above. Love the 10ks, Jax =)

I usually start with a drawing. Sometimes on purpose (the bug). Sometimes they just appear while I'm doing something else and it throws me off on a tangent for a bit (like the map guy). I have no clue where the bird came from. I was just warming up for a map design style. You're welcome to use these guys, just know that I'll be doing my own things with them too, so if you want something truly unique, go with something else. Or commission me to draw something. ;)

45836 45834 45837

09-06-2012, 08:57 PM
I have created races for my group's games and RPG settings for near on a decade!
How I created initially was "I want desert humans" so I would plonk down humans on a desert region and give them 'deserty stuff'. Which is alright if that is how you wish to go but these days I base it off evolution and/or magic if they are a magical race.
A species or race borne from the desert will be taller and have flatter noses because it irradiates heat more efficiently. They may have thicker eye lashes and beards to protect them from the windshear and sandstorms.
Deep jungle races would be(at least in my view) a little shorter and wiry from the lack of larger nutritional beasts that you might find in open areas.

typically I settle on geographical situation, resources and wildlife. they usually determine (for me) the customs, temperament and appearances of races.

06-02-2013, 02:00 PM
I also tried to create a few races... somebody here suggested to use a basic stereotype for the race first (Like noble elves, greedy goblins) and to work from that. The problem is that this quickly becomes a cliche and makes it impossible for the race to have any depth.
I'd recommend to approach it differently. First, start with the races biology. Let's take a classical race: The Dwarves. They are small and heavy. The average dwarf is stronger then the average human. They have a similar metabolism to humans though they reproduce slower and live longer. Actually, they're VERY similar to humans.
Because they reproduce slower, it means that they will be much more defensive. They will also watch out for the single child more and put more... efford into it. They'll isolate themselves, be less trusting. Their size would make it easier for them to live in plains because small size, combined with more weight doesn't just make swimming harder but climbing as well. I personally think that they would survive best in plains and hill-lands, would dig themselves tunnels and live more underground. They would be more peaceful - they can't just waste children in a war like humans. Also, they'll be more educated.
So, I imagine MY dwarves to be more peaceful... they live in plains and hilllands. They will build more machinery like mills and dams but also be common woodcutters and farmers. They'll also be more artistic, blacksmithes, painters... a small, peaceful community. They will have an army but try not to get involved in wars. But if they should get attacked, they will stay loyal and sacrifice much to protect themselves. They'll also trust outsiders less.

08-24-2013, 12:45 AM
Hi everyone,

I am new to the forum and find this thread really interesting. IŽd noticed that there are different ideas on how to create a race, which is good since this is purely a fantasy/imagination exercise and we should let our minds dwell freely to be creative.

I will like to add to the discussion that there is one single concept that should drive the whole creation process, specially if you are looking for a meaningful result. This one concept is: purpose. Clearly the best examples of creatures on any mythos that you can think of, are the ones that have a clear goal within the whole structure of the world/setting/story. By goal, I do not want to mean "save the princess", by goal we should answer ourself "What is the role/goal of this creature in my world?".

A few examples about how you can approach this question:

Horror Creature. The goal of this creature in my world is to terrorize people.
Examples, Alien and the H.P. Lovecraft Mythos.

These kind of creatures were created with a specific goal: terror. Their biology (Alien) or their backstories (HPL Mythos) make humans feel small, helpless and scared, their blood is acid, they exist long before humanity, there almost immortals or at least they are extremely difficult to kill and finally humans are just tiny preys for them.

Godly Creatures of good and beauty. The goal of this creature is to represent all that is "good" and "magical/divine".
Example: Tolkien Elves.

Clearly the goal of Tolkien was not only to portrait the folkloric elves (which are not as tall and handsome as the Noldor for example). Tolkien wants to make a point, these are good, magical, quasi-divine creatures. Therefore his "elves" are ageless, extremely beautiful, always with an "aura of light". Compare this to the orcs that fit perfectly with the idea of "evil creature and extremely ugly". Clearly both have a purpose within the world/story.

I hope this information turns up useful. Feel free to contact me to share your ideas.


08-28-2013, 03:27 AM
That's actually pretty good. I have not used this approach before, but i think it will help me with some of the races i'm creating.... thanks for sharing.

09-14-2013, 09:23 AM
I'd be interested in giving my opinions and ideas if you'd like, but a simple base or idea to go off of would be nice c:

Lol Rob
09-23-2013, 10:33 PM
I love this topic and would like to thank everyone for there ideas and opinions on the subject. i would like to make a special note of the race created by cypress11 and of the creative style suggested by falconer111