In this guide, we’ll take look at creating intelligent species. You can use these to fill up your planet and spice up your worldbuilding! Here are some tips on creating races!
First things first, let’s create the species itself, we can focus on the culture in another article (there’s a LOT to cover there). I would advise you to read my article about Creating Animals first, for creating species is a pretty similar process.
When creating races, consider the fact that these races are usually superior to animals – they can build settlements, communicate more clearly, they can very effectively conquer the food chain, etc. You should think about why this is true for your species. Is it solely their intelligence, or are they also physically stronger than everything around them?
A good way of thinking about the design of the species is evolution. Consider the habitat, the environment where the species live and think about what would they need in order to survive. I touch more on this in the animal creation article.
It’s also good to think about the sounds they make. Through this, you can later develop whole languages (which I intend to cover in another article).
Remember that it’s not bad to take inspiration from other worlds. Look to popular fiction, like Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, or Warcraft. Take one of the races you like, and try changing them to your liking – add some features, remove other, change as much as you like, in order to create your own, original species.
A good source of inspiration may also be mythology. Look to the folklore of different countries. For example, there’s a monster living in lakes, drowning people, in the Czech folklore. Why not make a society of them, living in underwater cities?
Not everyone can imagine their original species clearly. Try to draw them. Even if you lack the artistic skill, try as hard as you can. Show the most important feature of your race.
The next step in the process of creating races is the culture itself, which may be the most complex area in worldbuilding. I cover the basics of that in the Creating Cultures article, linking into a bunch of related articles, focusing on one topic (for example, clothing, or architecture).
If you’ve enjoyed this little article, it would be my honor to invite you to the Eledris Blog Discord Server! It’s a growing community of worldbuilders and other artists and we would be more than happy to welcome you there.
Feel free to post your races to the comments!