So your world has Dwarves and Humans, Elves and Half-lings, Goblins and Gnolls. But what does your world have that others might not? What other races or even variants of races have you included in your world?

Perhaps your elves are the high and mighty pristine rulers of Dragons or perhaps they are wild in the forests with spears and bows.

The most important part of worldbuilding is to fill it with life, but you get to add your own touch.

15 thoughts on “#WorldBuildingWednesday”

  1. In our game, orcs are corrupted elves, goblins are corrupted dwarves… We have yet to discover what corrupted humans and halflings are.

    Props to anyone who has made a coherent race with rich culture and key distinctions for hobgoblins, gnolls, bugbears, lizardmen and other monstrous humanoids (that aren’t kobolds/orcs/goblins.)


  2. A world I’m building has race called the Sheth, humanoid with grey leathery skin and a boney crest. The males are life bound to another male in sometimes homosexual couplings, represented by an identical brass and obsidian arm manacle both members of a pair wear. The women are kept locked away in hidden holdfasts and used as breeding stock. Sheth pairs who kidnap females of other races and mate with them are honored and usually become jointchiefs.

  3. well, in our last campaign, elves once were immortal entities of the wild, who all (except for one, our ranger, being the outcast she was) were twisted and enslaved by their mad king; he stole magics from a necromantic coven of the past and used spells to create undead on souls who could not die, creating an entire population of necrotic-empowered warriors and wizards at his command. The ranger was actually killed by a necro-witch (maybe the very same fabled elven queen) who tainted her forest; avenged for one part by the rest of the party (they slayed the witch just moments before she could cast her spell on the human kingdom), and for the other by her wolf companion and two unknown adventurers who killed the mad king. Luckily for the ranger, the hermit of the forest (who’s so old he forgot not only his name, but also what race he belongs to) preserved her soul in his dominion and resurrected her as soon as the evil enchantment abandoned her body.

  4. We decided to swap the Elf and Dwarf stereotypes round. Mountain Elves made for scaling mountains. Tribal as ever, but on mountain tops. Sniping becomes part of every elf’s life if they want to hunt well. Exploring caves and the like.

    Dwarves however didn’t like the heights, they stuck to the ground. Attuning themselves to trees and spirits. Runes still very much a part of their culture but added to wildlife. Runes to help growth and so forth. 

  5. In my game our Gnolls are a spiritual tribal & primal people that formed a city with the Halflings for mutual benefit.

    The Gnolls help protect the Halfling lands from monsters and invading armies while also providing security to travelling Halfling merchants or diplomats and Meat.

    The Halflings provide the Gnolls with Diplomacy, fisheries and trade with other peoples who wouldn’t enter the Gnoll tribal lands (hella dangerous).

  6. My lizardmen live in deserts, not swamps. They burrow under the sand and pop up to ambush people that their elders say will bring darkness to the world.

    Also people who are tasty. 

  7. During the last great war, a nation of wicked mages created a race of servitors. These beings appeared as dogs, but walked upright and possessed an opposable digit on the forepaws and the capacity for thought and speech, but were absolutely cut off from ever using magic themselves.

    Fast forward a few decades, the war is ended, the evil mages utterly wiped out under suspicious circumstances, and the Canae are integrating into society. Naturally gifted as tinkerers, artificers, and alchemists.

    The new ‘Techanics’ movement, a trend toward inventing non-magical items and machines, is made up primarily of Canae.

    Tldr: imagine if chewbacca was a walking, talking pitbull.

  8. Giants come from an ancient culture.

    In the distant past they were enslaved, taken from their paradise-like homeland. And brought to the world of men. Made to work and fight on pain of death until the year the Prophet Moishe foresaw the return of the giant tribes to their ‘promised land’

    They escaped captivity and wandered, they wander in caravans and tribes to this day. Some steal to survive, other scraping by as labor. But they always seek the promised land.

    This one was an attempt at blending Jewish folklore with the modern day Roma peoples (gypsies).

  9. In mine dwarves are a corrupted demonic race that duel in dark deep caves. White eyes, claws, mouth filled with fangs and fanged poisonous tongue. The are moved by instinct only and have

    an hive mind. They are all males but a gargantuan obscene qween.

  10. In one of my games we play in Tyria which is from Guild Wars. The races you can be are

    Humans- Pretty Normal

    Charr- Think of a lion with a semi dog like face and horns on its head.These creatures are highly militant, and instead of families they have warbands that all report to a tribunal. Charr don’t pray to gods due to the fact that a long time ago they were enslaved by their own kind due to religious reasons. Once they were freed they vowed to never pray to gods again. They are kind of a dwarvish and orcish in attitudes.

    Sylvari- Plants that look humanoid. These creatures are “born” as fully formed adults from the Pale Tree. They usually grow all their weapons and armor, but they can use leather and metal if they want. There is a semi hive mind within the race as they were all linked to the “Dream” when they were a part of the Pale Tree. Closest race they resemble would be the wood elves.

    Asura- A race of genius. These small creatures look like a cross between goblin and halfling (in the best possible way). They are the most technologically advanced race in the world and have perfected the art of Golemancy. They are the tinkers and inventors of the world. I play them like sci fi gnomes.

    Norn- A race of shape changing viking giants. These guys look just like humans but are much bigger, usually standing between 8-10 feet tall. They all have the ability to change into an anthropomorphic creature, sort of like a werewolf. These guys live for the hunt and hold individual achievements above all else.

    As for normal races, there is only one dwarf left, and elves and the other races never existed.

  11. Halflings are Dwarves, forced out of the Mountainhomes hundreds of years ago for an attempted coup.  They figured out how to smoke before they relearned how to brew with surface crops, and since they finally got the depression-abating sunlight their subterranean kindred rarely see they lost their standoffish pride and became the happy halflings we all know and love.

    Dwarves live in the Mountainhomes, but between 20 and 25 they’re sent out into the world to prove their value by acquiring needed supplies and accomplishing noble goals.  This decides what job they are permitted to perform on returning, and is likely the only time they’ll spend amongst the other races.

    Elves were created by the humans of the old world out of human stock, modified to adapt to almost any given circumstance.  With the exception of the saltwater oceans they occupy every piece of land and water within the realms.

    Humans crashed in Captire ages ago in a ‘great far-faring boat’ that was abandoned in the sickening forbidden lands.  All explorers who have sought it out have died the death of exceedingly old age, regardless of their actual age.  (The area around the ship is extremely radioactive) 

    Goblins are born in pairs.  One lives underground in the secret goblin city of the Underdark.  The other goes above-ground and wages war against the other races – his success determines the social status of his twin.

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