I watch youtube game videos for ideas and sometimes make comments but as the point of getting the ideas is to jot them down for future reference it makes sense to put it here as well so here’s another sparked by:
I think a useful first step with fantasy races is why?
The why could be evolution if the races were all on isolated continents for a long time and / or their evolution artificially manipulated through magical forces but in a fantasy setting I prefer races to be the expression of particular gods / magical forces.
For example say the creation myth of your fantasy setting is that when the world was first created it was so full of magic races spawned out of principles and elements e.g.
– Dwarfs spawned out of the mountains
– Wood Elves from light woodland
– Satyrs and Dryads from darker woods
– High Elves from sea cliffs and tall peaks in rolling plains
– Orcs from shadows and darkness
– creatures/races could be spawned from any principle/element you could think of: greed, lust, love, hate, fear, kindness etc
basically animism made flesh.
The traits of the race could then follow their spawning e.g. High Elves, tall and far-seeing, not just in terms of physical distance but seeing into the future, perception of what lies inside a person etc. Dwarfs would be solid, unbending, obstinate, majestic.
And a race might change accordingly
– Wood Elves pushed deeper into a forest away from the light might get wilder the deeper they go
-Dwarfs looking for gold who dig too deep into the dark places under the mountains might become as shadowed as the creatures that dwell there
Animism made flesh.