View Full Version : Homebrew Race Design/Brainstorming Suggestion Thread: Weird Edition! (That'sAllFolks)

2014-11-20, 12:09 AM
Edit: Contest is over! Winners have been chosen, post-script has been written. Scroll down to post #24 to find out what happened!

This is an ideas thread! I give you the parameters, you give me ideas, and if I like them they might end up in the world I'm building.

So, I need races for a campaign setting. I don't want to use the usual human/elf/dwarf/gnome/blahblahblah bull**** I always see, and I'm (mostly) trying to avoid basic anthro-animals. The concept is, in a world built out of scraps of the old one, without any of those common races, what might've evolved to compete for dominance after thousands and thousands of years?

Parameters are: Need to be no larger than upper-Medium size. Need to be at least vaguely humanoid-shaped. (Enough to sit in a human-sized throne.) Need to be capable of living on land. Need to be capable of living/playing nice with other races; no hyper-predatory man-eaters (though if you have ideas for those, feel free to mention them and they might be wild non-playable races.) Preferably, should have at least 1 or 2 interesting traits/abilities.

Any races I end up using will be built as LA0-1 races in the Pathfinder Advanced Races builder, but don't feel too concerned with game rules. Anything I end up using, whether as presented or with some modification, will be mentioned here along with the user who contributed it. Think of this like a contest: I need about 10 races total, though I don't 100% guarantee there'll be that many 'winners'. Still, I have faith in you, GitP! Help me make this game interesting.

(Bonus points: at least 1 or 2 of these races should have some form of elemental origin/traits. But don't feel obligated to add these; better no suggestions with these traits than all of them.)

Admiral Squish
2014-11-20, 02:26 AM
Oh, man... you... you've opened the pandora's box in my brain. So much for sleeping at a reasonable hour tonight...

Hive-minded hives of ant/termite things that build walking hives, constructs of glittering, semitransparent amber, allowing one to see the armies of tiny creatures running through the structure. Technically they can come in any shape and design, but most opt for a humanoid form as it allows them the most options for interacting with the civilized races. The construct body is not alive, and does not respond to healing magic, but the hive can be repaired by the swarm within it, and repair magic. They have no mouths, instead creating sound by carefully making the amber structures resonate to imitate speech. Give them feats that allow them to specially train or redeploy their internal armies to rapidly repair damage, take an extra swift action in a round. Maybe feats to allow them to build additions to the construct form, such as built-in weapons.

Slick-skinned, boneless beings, arising from a mangrove forest. Their flesh is soft to the touch but rubbery and tough under pressure, and stony-hard when tensed. They are actually boneless, having no internal skeleton or even comprehensive cartilaginous structures to support their weight. Laying down, they would resemble a six-pointed star, six to eight feet in diameter, all their limbs of equal length and ending in very similar manipulating appendages. Each limb bears a central column, composed of rings of stacked muscle that can be tensed to support weight or relaxed to let it sway. By tensing these pillars, they can support their weight on land, often walking on four or six to rise to two when they need to manipulate objects or fight. Their head is in the center of their body, with a large, featureless eye on one side and a mouth on the other. While they may look short and awkward on land (think dwarflike proportions, but no head and four swaying arms, walking with a slight waddle), they are frighteningly strong creatures, and capable of using as many as four arms in combat at a time. They can slither through the tiniest gaps, and while underwater they are exceptionally mobile, moving like octopuses. Wrestling is their racial sport, and a hopeless, overwhelming, or unmanageable endeavor is often compared to wrestling one of these beings. Despite their alien appearance, they are a very friendly people, if simple-minded. If hugged, do not squeeze, or they will take it as a challenge of strength. They prefer to stay moist, as drying out can be uncomfortable, even painful, but is not lethal.

'Cruncher' is a slang term for these creatures, which, while they have the look of an earth-elemental being, are actually more closely related to dragons, and are perfectly fleshy once you penetrate their stony outer coverings. They are hunch-backed creatures, heads stooped forward with jutting lower jaws, atop barrel-like torsos with strong arms and short legs. While they bear wicked teeth and claws infused with adamantium, they are shy and passive beings. It's believed that at some point they were created to serve as a race of slave miners by some long-forgotten masters. Crunchers use their metallic claws and fangs to tear apart and consume solid rock, with a particular preference for the taste of metallic ores. Their guts are cauldrons of molten stone and metal, and the material is meted down and metabolized. Stone is processed for nutrition and the excess is used to produce their stony shell. Some ores, particularly adamantine, are deposited to form their teeth and claws. Other ores are indigestible, and once it passes through the digestive tract is is extruded in pellets of alloyed metals. The processing of these pellets allows them to be separated into their base metals and then forged into various metallic tools. Crunchers don't see a problem with it, but are considerate enough not to remind other races of how their ores are obtained. Crunchers must chew at stone or metal to keep their teeth from growing too long, and those away from the mines often snack upon sacks of gravel almost constantly, the sound of their grinding, crunching jaws earning them their nickname.

Those-who-soar is the literal translation of the self-name of these small creatures. Standing slightly more than three feet, they are bony and lightly-build, apart from their most obvious feature, their wings. These beings are mammalian in nature, much of their body covered in short, dense, stiff fur over a downy undercoat, but their wings are wide and leathery. Similar in design to bat wings, their wings are not as integrated into the structure of the forelimbs. What would be the fourth digit is telescoped outward dramatically, forming the leading edge of the wing, while the fifth digit supports the interior surface and provides greater control over the tilt and shape. The remainder of the hand consists of two fingers and an opposable thumb. These creatures are nomadic, and fly great distances in search of prey. Once they locate the large herbivores they prefer to feast upon, they dive at them, if possible killing with a well-placed strike to the vitals, but they may be forced into a chase, driving the animals over a cliff or into a pit to let the fall kill them, and then feast upon their remains. These creatures spend their nights and rainy days on the ground, each creating a tiny tent with their wings for shelter. Flying is the focus of many religious rituals among them.

Haruuq are massive humanoids, up to seven feet in height. They hail from arctic regions, and they have a number of adaptations to that way of life.for one, they are covered in thick, white, shaggy hair. They are generally streamlined in shape, with no visible ears or nose, short, wide necks and a barrel-like chest. They look almost comical until one notes their long, saberlike tusks and sharp teeth. While their hands possess only two physical digits, the larger one actually contains the structures for three digits, making them about as dexterous as a human wearing mittens. The hands also possess retractable claws. Haruuq rarely put them to use when out of the water, favoring Qli, a hooked, pointed weapon similar to a pick, often wielded in pairs. Haruuq are powerful swimmers, though not always the swiftest, their noses actually opening atop their heads. When hunting on land or on the ice, haruuq favor ambush tactics, often burying themselves in snow to burst out when prey comes close enough, sinking their Qli into their prey and pulling it into position to deliver the finishing blow with their long tusks. They believe that this fatal bite is the only honorable way to kill a prey animal, or an honorable opponent, and their term for it translates to 'Last Kiss', indicating just how intimate the act is to them.

Cloudkin are elemental creatures of air, bound into a semisolid form. There are two types, those who endure their state as a punishment from the Loudest Thunder, and those who took the form willingly to experience the world among the humans. Their bodies are composed of mist and vapor, mystically condensed until it can touch and interact with the physical. Their bodies are still almost weightless, their feet barely touching the ground. Some can even regain some of their elemental lift and float off the ground entirely, hovering effortlessly, though they may be unable to float too high in this way. Cloudkin's forms are only mostly solid, making them difficult to injure, and their fickle nature allows them to change their cloudy aspect with a thought. They can turn wispy and swift, fluff themselves into looming towers of cloud, take on a dark and foreboding appearance, make their strikes flash with lightning, shed an aura of fog, or work themselves into raging twisters.

...You may have some trouble making most of these guys with the race builder alone.

2014-11-20, 05:21 AM
....oh man. Well that's one hell of a start. A concept sketch for that 2nd one would help me wrap my head around it a lot better. :eek:

But seriously. Can we just take a second to talk about how you just invented a race that vomits lava?

Admiral Squish
2014-11-20, 07:55 AM
....oh man. Well that's one hell of a start. A concept sketch for that 2nd one would help me wrap my head around it a lot better. :eek:

But seriously. Can we just take a second to talk about how you just invented a race that vomits lava?

Hmm... It would help make up for my slacking on the daily drawing front. I'll see what I can put up by the end of the day.

I know! Give me that much slack and things can get weird. Or awesome. Or both.
I'm gonna hafta make these guys, even if you don't use them.

Admiral Squish
2014-11-20, 06:26 PM
I got a little further into the thinking about how they work in my brain while drawing.
I opted for a semitransparent view to show how the 'pillars' fit in rather than surface detail, but they would look like something between a starfish and an octupus on the skin.

At the center, you see one laid out, with the six limbs spread all around. The central part contains all their organs, the rest of the body being composed almost entirely of muscle.
There's a segment of the pillar structure there on the side. Basically, a thick, muscular donut surrounds a cylindrical chamber filled with fluid. By varying the pressure on the various chambers, they can make the chambers act like solid structures.
At the top center, you see what they look like standing on two limbs, and to the right, their quadrupedal stance. They're not fast movers, honestly. I decide that standing is anaerobic exertion for them, so, much like humans will shift and shuffle their feet, these guys will rotate to put a different set of limbs down to spell the other ones.
Down below, there's detail on the HANDFEETS, because I find that word to be funny for some reason. When being used to manipulate, the wrist-chamber is relaxed, and the six six-suckered manipulating tentacles fall forward in a cone shape. When used to support the weight, the wrist chamber is tense, pushing out the center and making the manipulating tentacles go out to the side, creating a heel-like solid place to stand. The tendrils are usually curled and stiffened to protect the suckers and function as toes, but they can be uncurled and used to hold onto an unsteady surface, such as a branch.
Oh, also, they don't have lungs or gills, they absorb oxygen from the water or the air through the skin.
Didn't actually figure out what they eat or how they eat it, but I gotta leave something for you to do, eh? :P

2014-11-20, 07:22 PM
Well mentioning weird races here are the first ones to come to mind.

I made these up all on the spot, especially the names. Feel free to do anything with these ideas.

Goo. The goo are a race of sient goo, related to the gelatinous cube. They are generally human shaped bu are see through, mono-colour. Able to fit in small spaces and squish and strech, but always eventually get back into humanoid form. They eat by absorbing food.

Hybs. no two hybs look the same and no two hybs can breed. They can mate with literally anything besides themselves, including all the sentient races and flowers. There children look like a hybrid between the parents. So you could have a Hyb that looked like a halfling sized minotaur made of flowers with mind flayer tentacles. They are also all communists, all of them.

Gole. The Gole live to serve, literally. There is no history of a Gole not liveing in slavery or servitude. Because they can only gain subsistence through servitude, they can not eat food. Recently they have discovered that they can serve gods instead of people and that has made a major shift in Gole culture. Not sure what they look like, maby some kind of robbot, golem, or rabbit.

Flobs and florbs. Flobs are around the size of an orc yet even more ferocius, being almost demonic looking made of mucle teeth and claws, yet they have no brain. Florbs are nothing but a sentienet flower, and they are nothing but intellegence. Every flob has a florb on it's head that acts as it's brain, if the flower is cut they don't have a brain till it is regrown, and if the florb is dug out of the head, they can plant another florb in that body. And florbs can be repotted in a new body. Florbs are immortal, flobs live 20 years.

Gobledygooks are sentient house cats. They are lazy

Blorbies. Blorbies are born no where near another blorbie. They always are born as a part of another beings soul. They are born with a full grown brain but have to teach the other creature in charge of the body how to live.

And finnaly best of all

drum roll please

I am serius

Brain slugs from futerama.

on a side note, I AM SPELLING MISTAKES

2014-11-20, 08:58 PM
A floating stomach with a humanoid body composed of force.

2014-11-20, 09:17 PM
The *! (pronounced 'bzz'-'click') are sentient groupings of probabilities; or, rather, the probabilities that a humanoid of vaguely human size and shape could perform a given action. Or, to be even more agonizingly specific, a single humanoid being named *!, who they are the myriad alternate lives of. They tend to cluster in groups of similar alternate lives. Appearance-wise, they all look like variations on a single theme, and are inherently invisible and intangible; however, due to how the probability of light and matter passing through a humanoid is vanishingly small, they simulate solidity, and they cast a shadow as if they were material. Racially, they revere *! as their "most perfect rendition", and seek to discover it so they can "collapse the waveform".

[As a side note, they do take damage; their HP simulates the probability that a humanoid would be able to survive the harm that the attack dealt to them.]

The Arsha are a parasitic lifeform with a three stage development cycle. Arsha eggs laid in temperate waters hatch into tiny semi-transparent headless prawn-like mollusks, who feed off small fish and water plants using the orifice set between their pincers, which is used for both feeding and excretion. During this stage, they are both non-sentient and fully aquatic, with two pairs of pincers, 3 pairs of walking legs, and 5 pairs of swimmerets on their tail.

At some point, an Arsha larva will attach itself to a large mammal, either inside the mammal (due to being drunk in with water; Arsha larva are highly resistant to acid and heat, and so can survive passing through the digestive tracts of anything short of a 'Cruncher'), or by attaching to the outside of the creature. A creature with an attached Arsha larva generally feels wonderful and healthy as the Arsha fuses with their circulatory system and serves as a second liver.

This mutualist lifestyle ends if the Arsha is exposed to a substance called gura; this substance is toxic to species other than Arsha, and exposure to it is a sign for the larva to begin their own production. Within a few hours, the host dies due to elevated levels of gura in their bloodstream - given that gura is also a powerful euphoric, this is generally considered a pretty good way to go. After their host dies, the Arsha consumes their body and goes through a series of growth spurts; their pincers fuse into 4-fingered grasping claws (which are generally rather clumsy), while their tail curls over their heads and their legs strengthen.

A set of eyes develops, both at the end of their tail and between their pincers, while ear-holes and feathered smell antenna sprout on the sides of their body; their spiracles develop into a set of primitive distributed lungs, which slowly strengthen as they age. Ganglia sprout throughout their body, serving as a powerful distributed brain, leaving the Arsha both intelligent and mildly psionic - they are all natural telepaths (helpful, given how they don't have traditional mouths.)

An adult Arsha is approximately 10' long, though curvature of their tail means that the tip hangs about 5 feet in the air; they are generally considered intimidating, given their matte-black carapace and ability to eject gura from both ends of their body. Some specimens even develop stingers carrying the deadly substance.

However, as anyone familiar with the Arsha will tell you, there's really nothing to be worried about. The Arsha are intensely theocratic and mercantile, whose 'native' faith emphasizes both pacifism and cooperation with other cultures. However, Arsha who pick up other faiths tend to follow them zealously; enclaves of fanatical Arsha tend to be at war with everyone.

Once an Arsha has been an adult for at least 10 years, they become fertile and their gura production begins to (slowly) decrease. Over the next 100 years, their gura production decreases until their bodies no longer produce the substance. At this point, they transition to the next portion of their lifespan.

The adult finds a pool of water and submerges themselves, and then begins to atrophy; their limbs all wither and fall off, followed by their eyespots. At the same time, their ganglia experience a growth spurt, growing cancerously throughout their bodies. Once their "brains" reach a critical mass, they telekinetically lift their bodies out of the pool, solely using their potent psychic powers to interact with the world around them; the strain of doing so means that they only live for about 40 years after this point.

I have some more, but those should be good for now.

2014-11-21, 05:21 AM
Going pretty well so far. I'll probably keep this pseudo-contest thing going for about a week, so if anything new pops into your head leave a post! Invite your friends! The more suggestions I get, the better. I'll be checking back at least once a day, and I am definitely reading and reviewing every last entry.

I can also, if anyone's curious, write a post about the setting this is for. Let me know if that interests you when you leave your suggestions, and if I do write it up I'll link to that thread in my first post here.

2014-11-22, 11:10 AM
The Eradrin.
Appearance: The Eradrin resemble tall, bony humans, with bluish-white skin. Their eyes are large and often grey. A signature feature is their long, slender hands, almost double the length of human hands, yet around the same breadth. They use these hands with extreme dexterity and grace.
They live in giant domes of crystal and glass, which they have created using arcane secrets to cause high pressure and temperature in inanimate objects.
The Eradrin have secluded themselves far away from other civilizations, for an ancient prophecy has foretold that the race(s) of [insert race(s) in campaign here] will bring the End of All Time.

This is all I have for now, hope its not too bad.

2014-11-22, 02:07 PM
Oh, not at all. I'm taking all the suggestions I can get. The more the better!

2014-11-22, 03:01 PM

Standing little over three feet tall, Starflesh look more like crude figurines than living creatures. However each one of these wee folk weighs several tons. Their oral history speaks of their creation at the hand of an ancient mage from the bones of a dead star.

Gameplay-wise, Starflesh receive bonuses to STR and a penalty to DEX, with a base speed of 20. They are also capable of a "reverse bull rush". By concentrating the matter in their body, they can pull other creatures closer to them using gravity (it's magic gravity, roll with it). Said creature must be within 60 feet of them, and upon completing a ranged touch attack, a bull rush sans AoO is initiated. Double the distance pulled for airborne creatures.

Beyond their interesting physiology, Starflesh are also notable for having a population of exactly 7. When one dies, a brand new Starflesh springs fully formed from the head of one of remaining members. This is believed to be connected to the mage who created them, although how is anyone's guess.

2014-11-22, 09:31 PM
I like the concept, and I like the fluff (although it would have to undergo changes to fit the background.)

Perhaps a bit of clarifying! Any race I use as one of the 10 player races is going to have a sizable population, though their society will most likely be highly intermixed with other dominant races. As for the setting itself, it has no 'space', and it has no other planes/dimensions. That's not to say things like angels/demons/elementals/etc don't exist, but if they do it'll be somewhere in the setting world.

2014-11-23, 08:59 PM
Sap Creepers consist of a small, green, coconut-like shell from which emerge five flexible vines that can be used as hands or feet. While sapient, they can speak only telepathically and rarely emerge from the jungles in which they dwell. Each sap creeper is actually a specialized and physically independent growth of the Brood Tree*. Young sap creepers stay near the tree and protect it from voracious herbivores, until they grow large and intelligent enough to become hunters that tithe most of their kills to the carnivorous Brood Tree and its protectors. More advanced colonies may have specialized roles such as druid-priests, traders, diplomats, farmers, psychics, etc.

Though rarely more than three feet in diameter, a sap creeper can be a formidable opponent. Its vines are tipped with venomous barbs and can be retracted into its shell, making it hard to tell from a large but immobile exotic fruit. In addition to housing its mouth and all its organs, a sap creeper's shell contains plenty of extra space for carrying weapons and other items that it might prefer to keep concealed.

Culturally, sap creeper colonies are tightly bonded through their devotion to the Brood Tree that grew them, revering it as a god and willing to defend it with their lives. Though the Brood Tree itself is not sentient, each sap creeper has a psychic link to it (and to other sap creepers in its colony) that works from up to a mile away; sap creepers that stray farther than this risk physical and mental illness if not supplemented with a steady diet of sap from their tree**. Even adventurers who have not seen their tree in decades retain their connection to it through their sap diet. Only the rare survivor of psychic tree withdrawal has no connection to their Brood Tree; such abominations and the colonies of "normal" sap creepers tend to bear a mutual hatred of each other.

When a Brood Tree reaches 300 or so years of age, it begins to plant seeds in its eldest and most dedicated servants. These servants then roam far and wide, burying themselves wherever they determine a new Brood Tree would best flourish. Other sap creepers do not feel any special connection to relatives of their own Brood Tree; to them, all other colonies are essentially rival nations.

*This is the name of the species in Common (or its closest equivalent.) The "name" given by sap creepers can roughly be translated to "Mother Tree," though sap creepers have no concept of gender and are not "born" in the usual sense.

**Though I would suggest adding some feat or spell or situation that allows a sap creeper to link to, or at least be sustained by sap from, another colony's Brood Tree.

That's all I have so far, I may think of some more later . . .

2014-11-23, 10:22 PM
I am going to sit down 3 muinits and see what I can come up witih

A race of humanoid plants that live for 6 years.

A race of water. Just water. Sentient water

A parasite that takes over a host and turns it into a humanoid potato

reincarnates. They reincarnate and always remember there last life, but only the one right before their current one.

Sentient fire that needs to eat coal to live.

pixies that can change there size at will.


A race that can not speak and look like pale men in hoods, yes that includes women looking like pale men in hoods

Telepathic 3 eyed ogres that live 1000 years, make things out of coral and live in underwater caves

Communist cats

A race where every male looks like will smith and every female looks like david bowie.

A race of people that are born undead and can't feel pain/hunger/or sadness

So humans built robots, than the robots made flesh things. These are the flesh things

And that is all I could think of in 3 muinits, I timed it.

2014-11-24, 04:36 AM
- Bruinadh -

"Your home is where my heart is"

The world is filled with stories of "house elves": fey spirits who assist with chores and bring good luck to home and family. Bruinadh invert this common trope, for they are the dwelling which requires a helper.

Each Bruinadh is made of two parts: the dwelling and the being. The being walks and talks like any other humanoid. Indeed, only their pointed ears and wild eye colour sets them apart as fey rather than human. The dwelling is, for most Bruinadh, an unremarkable cottage or single-family home. It's easy to see the humanoid part as the "real" creature and the dwelling as An add on, somewhat like a lich and phylactery, but nothing could be further from the truth. The being is the dwelling as much as the dwelling is the being.

Bruinadh have no need to eat or drink, nor can their being contract disease. However, should the dwelling fall into disrepair, or even uncleanliness (dirty dishes left out too long, dust on everything, etc) they fall into sickness and fatigue. As such, most Bruinadh invite families of other races to live within them and maintain their self. This is purely a "quid pro quo" arrangement. For a Bruinadh to accept "rent", or a family to demand "payment", is considered nothing short of a scandal.

Although their being does sleep, Bruinadh are always aware of everything that happens within their dwelling and have a hazy perception of a few dozen feet beyond it. You might think that no family would risk their privacy like that, but for Bruinadh to reveal their tenant's secrets goes beyond taboo. Breaking this oath results in the Bruinadh, sans tenants, being swept alway to the Feywild where their mouths are sewn shut and doors nailed closed.

A clan of Bruinadh usually gathers together as a settlement or district of a city. The "flavour" of said place often influences their careers. A bohemian quarter producing numerous Bruinadh bards for example, while a quite forest hamlet fosters druids and rangers instead.

- Game Information -

Bruinadh are medium fey. Base speed 30ft.

They gain no bonuses or penalties to abilities.

Regardless of class, they gain Craft(carpentry) or Craft(masonry), depending on the composition of their dwelling, as a class skill. When working on their own dwelling, this roll reflects work done in gold pieces, rather than silver.

Bruinadh do not increase ability scores, gain feats, or use magic items like other creatures. When they would increase an ability score or gain a feat, they must spend (level * 10gp) in materials modifying their dwelling in a relevant way. For example, an increase to CON may involve replacing a wooden door with a re-enforced one. The feat Weapon Focus may be as simple as adding a weapon rack to a room.
This is not required for feats or scores gained at 1st level.
Similarly, any worn magic item may be replaced by a modification to the dwelling. The cost of said modification and progress made per day is the same as with "Craft Wonderous Item". The Bruinadh does not need to know the spell in question, however, if they don't, a spellcaster who does, and is of the required level, must assist them in construction.
Bruinadh can, as a swift action, switch between the effects of any items that have been added in this fashion. They may not stack the effects from two items which occupy the same slot.
Weapons and Armor must still be worn by Bruinadh to gain their effect. Weapon and Armor enchantments may not be added to the dwelling.

Optional: I was thinking of saying that Bruinadh may add a feat they do not qualify for by upping the price to (1000gp/level) but this seems ripe for abuse and heavy DM-fiat reliance.

2014-11-24, 04:40 PM
So I can't make the slivers from MtG? Damn....how about.......Sin-Ji, a psionic race of plant based creatures. They can be humanoid in appearance, and most often times are, but can grow other limbs in the form of vines or plant fibers, that can fuse to surfaces. This is their main method of transportation, whether or not they appear to have legs (players choice) they can sprout leg like limbs or such, but their body fibers continuously spread out as they move, giving them the illusion of walking, or running. This also gives them a bonus to climbing (+2 or +4). Their "face" is the center of their being , even when it is at normal height. If the Sin-Ji needs to stretch across a chasm, or pit, their head may lower into a central position, and their plant fibers stretch around that center to grab and pull themselves across, like a wheel rotating on an axle.

Given that they are plant based, they are weaker than other races that may be flesh or rock based, I could see a hit to con there. Although plants are always growing, so maybe a healing factor of 1 (up to you). Aversion to fire obviously, thrive in the light and areas near shallow water.

Culturally speaking, they wouldn't exactly replace the elves, but I could definitely see them being a society that lives with nature. Even in cities, they would feel fine so long as natural development isn't hindered (probably having their own sections of cities where infrastructure is built around the natural world).

Mechanically speaking, I could see a +2 Int, +2 Dex, -2 Con, regeneration of 1, +2 or +4 to acrobatics. Double damage taken from fire, that's just for starters. Of course feel free to alter this in ANY way. If you need any other info let me know and I can put together some background for you. Also, if you do decide to go with this for your setting, and it gets played, do tell me how the players enjoy it ^_^

2014-11-25, 02:13 PM
Alright folks! I said I'd keep this 'contest' running for about 10 days, and we're 6 days in! That means there's 4 more days (after today) to offer your race ideas before I start the selection process. We've gotten some pretty cool stuff so far... so who thinks they can top it?

2014-11-27, 01:27 AM
The first thing one notices about the Ishkai is that they have no skin. There is nothing to cover the otherwise humanoid beings' densely packed masses of unrecognizable reddish-purple organs, all fitting together in a manner akin to a jigsaw puzzle. The Ishkai refer to these organs as hraka and claim that each one houses a piece of their soul. Most Ishkai believe that every aspect of their life revolves around the proper arrangement of their hraka, and they may spend hours at a time rearranging their bodies in an effort to become more "complete."

Though not particularly talkative, Ishkai are notoriously open about their lives and have only the vaguest concepts of privacy and personal space. Social structure is determined almost solely by hraka arrangement, though the only view all Ishkai share on the topic is that the organs should fit together reasonably well. Despite this, or perhaps because of this, Ishkai tend to be very respectful and almost never insult or ostracize each other for anything short of completely denying hraka's importance. Theft or forcible rearrangement of hraka is unheard of, but occasionally two Ishkai will see in each other a hraka that they each believe belongs to themselves. They will then exchange these hraka in an intimate ritual that forges a deep psychological bond between the two.

Despite their physical vulnerability, the Ishkai are well protected by the innate magic of their hraka. Those with well-fitting arrangements have been known to regenerate lost or injured organs, and subtler effects have been found to result from many other idiosyncrasies of hraka arrangement. The Ishkai have still one more combat advantage over other races: no one knows what any of their organs actually do, making any attempt to hit them in a vital spot useless.

Neither does anyone know exactly where the Ishkai come from, least of all the Ishkai themselves. Some believe that they were reincarnated from a being at a lower stage of life, and will achieve a higher one if they become "complete." Others believe that all living beings undergo a similar trial internally, and the Ishkai are simply those who have shed their outer selves to focus entirely on their ascension.

Secret Wizard
2014-11-27, 04:29 PM
What about Ouphes? (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1kyePAc-EqiSvlD0as-KG9slqt_fQNGHNqScEhgXWj2M/edit?usp=sharing)

2014-11-28, 01:34 PM
Only 2 days left! Hope you converted all that turkey into Int. :smallbiggrin: This is the final stretch; once the clock strikes 12 on Sunday morning, the 'contest' will be over!

2014-11-28, 02:08 PM
Out of the Sightless Dark

For eons, the marshlands, the deep, secluded caverns, the sunken, deep remains of That Which Was Once were home to great, pale swimming creatures, smooth and slimy of skin, many limbed, with flowery gills and dark, sightless eyes. There in the dark, damp places of the world they simply abided, they ate and slept and mated and lived and died, their kind continuing on and on as if there would be no deviation. And then, change. Temperatures rose or fell, rendering once tepid marshlands freezing or humid and untenable. Lakes and rivers dried or changed their course. Death came, as it does for all living things, sometimes as sun, sometimes as salt, often as frost. Somewhere in the deepest parts of otherwise cold blood there was instinct. Change. Live. Survive. Thrive. In the depths of the otherwise cold blood, something ran hot. Something remembered. Sometimes, it survivied.
The pale swimming creatures are seldom seen now, instead the dry marshes, the dead, dank caverns, the once hidden ruins of That Which Was Once are inhabited by strange things, hunch-backed, with slit eyes, mouths of sharp teeth and pelts of hard scales. They are not many, but with each generation that grows, they change a little more, moving further inland and surfaceward into the dry places of the world and remembering that their kind once walked these places as well. Their blood remembers. And it has a long, terrible memory of the dark, and what drove it there. It will not go back.

Each subsequent generation of the Blooded are less adapted to living as salamanders or olms might, and more adapted to living in hot, dry places. Their skin grows thicker scales, fins to disapate heat. Teeth and claws to hunt with. Their blood remembers things like tools and buildings and with each subsequent generation it remembers more as it pieces together from parents to children.

Mechanically: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Dex. The blooded are transitional, unused to their return to land yet, but difficult to kill or master and with a strong will to survive. Their limbs haven't lost adaptations for swimming, and they can be clumsy working with their hands and prefer to move slowly. +1 Nat Armor, Natural Claw or Bite.
The Blood Remembers: A Blooded can draw on their fragmentary ancestral memories to try and make a knowledge check, as though using bardic knowledge, though the result may be out of date or piecemeal.

2014-11-28, 05:49 PM
Interestingly enough... your suggestion, Aergoth, fits surprisingly well with one of the races I was already planning on incorporating. I think it likely that I'll adapt this into their concept.

2014-12-01, 08:20 PM
Alright! Having had a chance to evaluate the submissions against each other and the setting, I've established the winners of this little 'contest'!

Admiral Squish:
With a grand total of 4 winning suggestions, as well as being the first to post, this contributor merits special mention and applause.
Cloudkin, Crunchers, Star-people, and Haruuq are all making it in with a minimal amount of changes to their nature.

Starflesh will have aspects of their concept incorporated into the Cloudkin, primarily the 'gravity' effect which I thought was cool as hell.
Bruinadh will make it in largely intact, combined with an 'animated dolls' idea an IRL friend of mine came up with for their secondary body.

Sin-Ji are, with moderate changes, becoming a player race.

Ishkai are sort of making it; their mechanics are largely intact, but rather than physical organs they'll be internally comprised largely of arcana in its 9 schools. Think patches of color. This will likely also lead to other abilities.

While not a race in its own right, several elements from this suggestion will be adapted for a race I was already planning.

Honorable mention for Amechra:
While I couldn't fit the Arsha into one of the 10 player race slots, I like their concept enough that they'll most likely be a form of non-player race/monster/plot element in the world.

And of course, I'm grateful to everyone who contributed, regardless of the 'contest' results. Feel free to keep posting suggestions if you like; I can always use more non-player races to populate the world with. To the winners, feel free to PM me if you'd like to know exactly how I intend to use your suggestions, know more about the world, etc.

Admiral Squish
2014-12-02, 03:55 PM
Well, I'm certainly impressed! I was not expecting most of those guys to make the cut, honestly. I'm glad to see they did, though!
I'd love to hear more about your world! And if you'd like to see some of my more detailed thoughts about the starfish dudes, you can check out the version I drew up here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?385402-Thirtysixes-AKA-Swamp-Stars-Mudhuggers-Weird-Race). Of course, don't feel obligated to make them exactly as I did, they're your race now, this is just my version of the idea.
I may or may not end up making my own versions of my other submissions, too, because I'm kinda obsessive like that.

2014-12-03, 12:35 PM
Looking forward to seeing which elements of the Blooded wind up where! It was an interesting exercise and I'm going to be borrowing some bits for the homebrew setting I've been tweaking.

2014-12-03, 12:49 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with the Arsha... I'll probably take a crack at them independently.

2014-12-22, 07:24 AM
This thread now has a successor: Homebrew Races 2: The Refinening! (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?389328-Homebrew-Races-2-The-Refinening!-%285e-experts-help-me-balance-these-races-%29) It shows a decent glimpse at what I've been working on with the ideas gained in this thread and elsewhere, though it's mostly mechanically focused and not so much about lore. Check it out if you're curious, and/or if you're well versed in 5e.