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Design your own race

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There has been a lot of arguing about the races in roleplaying games. In nearly all roleplaying games with a fantasy setting, there is a orcs, elves, dwarves, goblins and humans, who usually are the dominant race. I am one of those who is getting utterly bored by these stereotypical races. I would like to know what kind of creatures people would like to play as. I bet some opinions and ideas would be appriciated by many game designers/writers. You don't have to have a name for your creature, just some kind of description and also what influenced, for example folklores, movies or such. I tried searching for a similar topic, but didn't find anything.

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You do have a point their.


To me, I would like to play as Knights. I don't know why really, but I just do...lol. I am right now creating a RPG, where the main character starts off as a squire and then later turn into a knight.



Chad.

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I haven't seen enough demons and creepy stuff like that in RPGs.

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I've designed 4 races so far, and I usually like to make them a bit animalistic - like using scent to mark their territory, or living in packs rather than nuclear families, or laying eggs in nests rather than giving live birth. I once read a book about the fascinating problems of a parasitic race where any individual who wanted to have a child had to locate a host of a different species to carry the child.

I like to play with gender - I have one race with 4 genders, and one with only one gender because everyone is a hermaphrodite.

I also like to categorize them by personality. For example, my Hedonya have the color of their fur determined by the brain/hormonal chemistry corresponding to their emotional state over a long period of time: the ones who are often angry turn red, and the ones who are often smug and proud turn yellow, and the ones who are often depressed turn black, etc., such that you can tell what each individual's personality is just by looking at them. Or my dragon-aliens have totems, and each individual chooses as their totem animal the one which matches their personality: dogges are loyal, tygers are lone hunters, llyons are leaders, foxxes are cunning, coons are playful, etc. And for the visual recognition angle, they wear their hair (well, feathers) in a style that matches their totem.

Another fun thing is a race which thinks it is acceptable to own other sentient creatures as slaves or pets. Master-slave roleplay is very popular online, and I imagine a lot of people would like an MMORPG where they could experience that.

And shapeshifters, were-creatures, races which can fly, and races where each individual psionically bonds with an animal are always popular.

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Look into different cultural mythologies and find creatures no one has used before.

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I have a couple of races that I would like to see in an rpg:

This race have four arms, I think I've seen something similar to what I'm imagining in myth 2. They are really tall and expert pilots (for a space rpg), mechanics, tool makers. They use nunchaku type failing weapons or plenty of little daggers.

From dofus this race are sort of like zombies, they can take a lot of punishment and run kamikaze into a battle. They attract everyone to hit them while other people in their party attack the occupied enemy. I'm thinking something like the pheonix where they burst into flames and rise again from the ashes.

In fact, check out the characters from dofus, they are quite original.

Edit: The game dofus is ho-hum, I'm not adversiting it or anything, the characters are cool though.

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Races that change somehow. Werewolves are always fun. Also, think of common NPC races (dragons, demons, angels, kobolds, spiders, etc.) and possibly allow the player to choose those.

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I would like to play as a super-intelligent colour of blue, isn't their a Douglas Adams type MUD floating around somewhere?

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I think animal "races" -- actual animals, not furries -- might make for an interesting game.

I think hive species are neat, but nobody seems to realize that the "drones" should be the intelligent ones -- the "queens" are egg factories, not rulers.

Anything that takes an existing stereotype and twists it is usually cooler than the original. Of course, the new version can easily become a stereotype of its own ("dark" elves, "good" vampires.)

A throw-away line in Neil Gaiman's Sandman series referred to an intelligent, peaceful species of giant spiders (in a fantasy setting). Those are definitely going in one of my games.

Creatures with both human and animal traits are fairly common, though not as over-used as the Tolkien races... but what about a creature with human and plant traits?

I can't recall the name of the book, but it had a species in which each individual had two telepathically-linked bodies.

For a less extreme version of the above, a species that has a (literal or metaphorical) symbiotic relationship with a different species might be interesting.

My theoretical online game has disembodied spirits as its only "race." Although they had no true physical form, they could manifest physical objects and manipulate them in a limited area around their point of presence... leading to characters composed of flowing robes with nothing under them and animated masks with nothing behind them.

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People must relate to something when they choose to play a game. Orcs, Elves, Dwarves are already well known and it's easier for the player to relate to them or at least place them in a fantasy world. Immagine playing the Slippery LandSharking Octopus race of Mark'ogg.. any relation ? doubt that. One of the things that can make or break the game is exactly this: relating or placing the characters into the world. Therefore developers that actually want to sell something (yea, I know) choose the easy way of picking elves. Look at Asheron's Call vs Everquest. Play a chinese,arabic or caucasian vs an elf. Fight against Bats, spiders, dragons or Sreth, Drudges or Olthoi ? Get a few hundred thousands customers or barely break 80k ? It's all about the money (sadly).

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