How to Create a New Race for Your D&D World

If you are a budding DM or even an experienced one, you may have run into the roadblock of new races. Let's say your party just explored a new part of the world. Your players won't want to see a race they already know about! If you've run into the problem of needing a new race but don't know where to start, this article can help.

Steps

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    Choose a person, place, thing, or already known race to base your new one off of. Decide if you will make a sub-category of a race (Snow Elf, Fire Dwarf, Storm Giant...) or an entirely new one. You may want to base your race off of the area you'll be encountering them in. If you are in a dry desert, it's not practical to make a Sea-dwelling creature live there. Some things to base your new race off of include animals, countries, even bands!
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    Create their appearance. What is their height range, typical build, hair color, etc.? This is related to what they are based off of. For example, if you're making a kind of Cat-People called Felinese who live in jungles, give them a cat-like appearance. If you are basing it off of a place, such as the desert, give them feet that can grip in the sand or skin that doesn't absorb light as much.
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    Decide what their terrain will be. This can be based off of their appearance in some cases. If they are scaly snake people, fish people, etc.) than it would be wise to place them in a jungle or ocean setting so as to put those scales to use.
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    Decide on their subsistence or trade. What do they do to make a living? This can be based off of their terrain in most cases. If they live in the mountains, maybe they trade furs of mountain animals or if they live in the ocean, perhaps shells and scales. Make sure it is something that is valuable someplace in your world to give your race a steady income.
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    Give them a government. This can be as simple as a village led by an elder, or a complete system of royalty. Decide on the average population of their villages and towns here.
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    Give them abilities. Almost every D&D creature, character, or monster has abilities. This race should be no exception. Make sure they are realistic. Desert dwellers would not be amazing swimmers and cold mountain dwellers would not have heat resistance abilities.
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    Write down any NPC or PCs that are of this race.

Tips

  • Don't be afraid to expand past these instructions and write more about your race!
  • Writing or typing what you know about your race helps you remember and keep it organized.

Things You'll Need

  • The three D&D core books: Monster Manual, Player's Handbook, and DM's Guide.
  • An imagination
  • Computer/Pen and paper
  • Some previous knowledge of D&D

Article Info

Categories: Role Playing Games