forum Original Races?
Started by @maglo-the-stressed-person language

people_alt 86 followers

@maglo-the-stressed-person language

A thread was talking about fantasy cliches, and it was mentioned multiple times about how people just reuse the general fantasy races of Elf Fairy, ect. So I was wondering if anyone on here has actually made an original race?

Mt. G router

There are a few famous quotes about how nothing is original anymore, but I think that's what makes the creative process so exciting! We may draw inspiration from existing ideas, but the way we blend, adapt, and reinterpret them is what sets our work apart. The art of creation is not always about inventing something entirely new, but often about finding new and imaginative ways to bring old concepts to life.

The two races I'm probably most proud of aren't necessarily new (they're trees and plants, lol), but I think they remix the ideas enough to stand on their own:

  • The Arboreans: A race of sentient trees who communicate telepathically and have the ability to control the growth and shape of plants around them. They are fiercely protective of their forest homes, and they have a deep reverence for all living things. They believe that all creatures and plants have a role to play in the balance of the natural world, and they work to preserve this delicate balance. Although they're generally peaceful creatures, they also recognize an importance and necessity to necessary violence, and blend a deep-set cognitive dissonance about a constantly waged war against humans and other races into their otherwise peaceful societies.

  • The Nivrai: a race of sentient plants that have evolved to move and communicate like animals, and have an innate ability to enter a deep hibernation state in which they become immobile and their minds retreat into a dream-like hyperreality. During this time, they can use their powers to control the growth of other plants nearby, causing them to bloom or wilt as needed to shape their environments into their best chance to survive as a species.

I'm still workshopping a few stories using these races, but I like them so far… and I think they stand out as "original" enough to make sense here!

Lisandre Premium Supporter

I mean, we all reuse stuff. It's the basis of human creativity. The idea that someone come up with a brand new subcategory of race is pretentious. However, the way that you can formate your race to be a clearly from your universe and defined by your world is what count the most. Doesn't matter if the basis is an elf, fairy, vampire or speaking rock. The way that they live and breath with their universe, their specific and what is distinguishable characteristics of your universe do. Many people will be driven to read a story because they like vampire stories for exemple, and or the old gold fantasy with the holly trinity of dwarves, elves and humans.
Use the stereotype and push it.
Let's say some elvish civilisation living all accross the planet. Typicly we see Elves as only some forest civilization and vegetarian or vegans, but what about polar or nordic Elves that lives in the snow seven months years. They will have that amazing connection with nature and maybe sing for some elk to come and give up it's life for them. Maybe they are scavengers and team up with polar bear, or just pescatarians…. In the absence of trees, they have developped a foundness for smaller plants and lichens. In the rest of the world, the Silvian and tropical Elves find them utlerly premitive and ridicule. Tropical elves have the higher moral ground on vegetarism and nature communion with their fresh fruits all year long, and live in modest bamboo or woven house while temperate rainforest elves have athe hability to create their home in magestic sequoia like trees and live in highly structured sociaty, the higher you are in hieracchie, the hight you live and the more carefree you are. The lower cast are in charge of food and ressouces. and live between the root of the trees. Yet, all colonies agree that deserts are evil places. They need the connection with vegetation and cannot wouldn't stray far away from it. But one Nordic Elf, base on old scripture, wants to find the oasis of something, suppose to bring ancestral knowledge and team up with some desert nomad humans that can trace routes trough the sand dune and a dwarf glass blower that will discover is hability to turn sand into living glowing particules that once would have heard the song of the newly savant elf would then become the stars in sky.
Or you can go with Vampires fearing both the sunlight and the moonlight, as the moon only reflects the sun. That would give another edges and justify a higher amount of vampire in cloudy region. What if they have melanistic vampire, that can withstand the sun\moonlight. So they can only move by covered night and covered space, romaing the big cities where there is ample places to hide from the rays ( underground subways and tunnels, big skyscrapper with parking garages) But also, what if they have some sort of glidding, not flying hability. Human stands no chances walking home by a dark night, in a dark alley as the night creature flies down form the nearest 40 story high scrapper. And of course their enemy are werewolves that can trive in both condition, but are dependend on the moonlight ( not just full moon) to transform because of some mirroring effect. However by absence of both sun and moon they are powerless and as week as meer human. They wouldn't enter windowless buildings or spaces. They wouldn't be found of the city life. But they do need to hunt humans for fresh flesh. It's not a rivalty of i don't like you and you me. It's for the human hunting ground.
Those are quick exemples, but i hope you can see that it's not truely about the «race» but what you make them do. Blocking your story by fear that people will say: oh it's just elves\vampires\witches again is the absolute worst thing you can do. They are templates just as real nation or basic story archs. Use it. The readers will know if they are elves, they are suppose to be the most evolved and sofisticated race, but why. Human are the coackroaches and pigeons of most fantasy, good use it. Witches good or bad, were is the line, what defines the line for them and for the others.
I personnaly like to base my races on real nation and real dilemas that they would have to face. Then one day as I write and read some of my previous description, i realised that one of my race was somesort of prehistoric elvish civilisation that have some strong ressemblance to the Avatar Na'vis… I had to tweek stuff to make it less apparent to outsider readers. I keep seeing ressemblance…. but i base i lot on native american, mesoamerican, paleo and prehistoric people… so did the Avatar team… that's why we see Pocahontas mentionned a lot. But it's my job as the writter to reconnize and adress that, and if something that i do truely like… well so be it… it's a new twist on a previous twist….

Jack Offv

The Thalos, which are basically every halloween monster ever into a subterranean fish cannibal, Peri, bird people that have wide diverse body plans based on their jobs in a colony, and Anesha, tribal raptor people that was an attempt to make Lizardmen more then Lizardmen.

@TouchOfColor group

I have made lots of races that are just slightly tweaked humans. Everything is derivative of something, so I'm sure I'm not the only person with ideas like these, but things like a race of beach-dwellers with webbed fingers and toes to help them swim are common in my fantasy world.