Experimental: OC characters and worldbuilding prototype thread



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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    You know, its not said much, but it’s totally fine and healthy not to see every idea you have to completion.

    I have no intention of actually making that Castlevania-like idea into anything, it was just a fun brain exercise. We’re all entitled to imagine things without turning it into a product.

    For a long, long time (years) I‘ve been daydreaming about ‘the Dog Star Immigrants’. An underclass of post-humans that live on a failing orbital habitat after their own was brutally torn apart in unclear circumstances.

    Everyone onboard is descended from humanity, but they’re so far removed that some are blue-skinned giants, others are long limbed, large eyed creatures that can survive space for limited periods, while others still are tough, squat people that can survive the radiation the generators produce.

    It’s all punk and rave inspired in my head, with glow in the dark clothing, everyone has tats and piercings, and gender and looks are completely fluid.

    I haven’t written any of it down.

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    PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    Thanks for the contribution folks, we made it to page 3 lol

    Thoughts wise I am thinking of a plain character with "motherly" aura, I stole the clothes online as a placeholder, the apron probably doesn't make any sense for a guild receptionist I suppose

    Oh yeah! I always forget about that concept. It’d be funny if he was a jr. manager at someplace boring.

    One way to create a cast might be to have roles that need filling in the guild, so the story is a classic ‘get the gang together’ situation. I mean, if you ever want to tell one in that setting.

    I’m imagining guilds being such a big deal whole cities are affiliated to them, and have strong themes each. Like the Smithing Guild of Smith City, the city full of forges built onto a lava lake.

    Thanks mate! That got me started in a way

    Settlements 12:19

    Peas on
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    EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    So next week is a bit of a mixed bag for me, emotionally. On one hand, I'm being furloughed for a week at work, which is bad financially. I think I can apply for unemployment that week, but we'll see.

    The good news is including the enveloping weekend, I've got a good 9 day stretch with almost no responsibilities, give or take a D&D session to plan and run. Some of that time will be towards looking for a new job, for whatever good that will do right now. But I also hope to revise a chapter a day of my central book. If I factor in the work I did earlier and hypothetically getting another chapter or so done this week, I could theoretically be halfway through the revision!

    The problem is fighting off my normal procrastinating tendencies. What goblins due all of you have to deal with? For me, it's usually a combination of sleep and the youtube "just one more video" trap.

    You know what? Nanowrimo's cancelled on account of the world is stupid.
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    PeasPeas Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    I think most of my issues come from not having the technical ability to execute or realize my ideas

    I was listening to Master exploder and thought it would be really cool to have my idol angel character like fight an army on a concert stage
    But yea execution lol

    Peas on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    That’s righteous! @Peas

    For me it’s simply that it’s the most fun to come up with an idea, followed by beginning to make it, then it nosedives when I get to what I consider to be the boring bits.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    I only had this thought a second ago, but where else am I gonna put it?

    So, picture a distant future of flying cars and massive skyscrapers, but there are also flowers and trees everywhere. In these cities the Neotopians live, which are regular humans mixed with every race going so they’re all one tanned healthy looking type.

    Elsewhere the evil Sludgens prepare to attack with toxic waste! They’re faceless goons in hazmat suits.

    So pilots from the cities suit up in bright, rounded giant robots to defeat them. The giant robots fire jets of water, fire fast growing seeds and generally defeat them by building beautiful gardens.

    The story would be very Power Ranger-esque, with a new crack team of pilots being selected from several cities into a new group designed to protect them all as Sludgen attacks have increased in power and number over the previous month, resulting in the loss of a city.

    I’m thinking a classic ‘red ranger’ leader, the son of a famous robot pilot, right to a vengeful ‘green ranger’ from the conquered city, and your smart nerd, big guy etc. in between.

    This would probably be a game? It’d be more compelling to do it than read or watch it happening.

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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Okay, get this: Dragonball Races for D&D (with power levels normalized, of course)

    - Humans - you know the drill. Tenshinhan is a subrace.
    - Saiyans - Orc-like, but has a built in one/day rage that should be double edged that turns them Large. Super-Saiyan not yet available
    - Nameks - Single-gendered, Taciturn folk. Crazy regenerative, has unarmed reach for a limited number of times per day
    - Frost Race - Not sure how "Plain Better Than You At Everything" can be turned into features... But they are better than you at everything
    - Henge - Small-sized Shapeshifters
    - Majin - Dunno, what can we give Majin Buu type characters that isn't "this hot mama won't die, ever"
    - Half-forged, aka Android's - get the physical characteristics of a base race, subtract the more unique bits, then slap on "near-infinite enhanced stamina"
    - Whatever Chiaotzu is, he's a whole race now - psychically inclined, can float, small sized
    - Half-Saiyan - basically Half-Elves
    - Truefolk - The Kai's... similar to Aasimars maybe? Watered down Celestials
    - Oni - from the Home For Infinite Losers, semi-large horned beings
    - Beerusites - Tabaxi, but... Purple sphynxes
    - Chimera Mutant - What Cell could be if he's a whole race unto himself

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    I don’t really have knowledge of that series but I don’t think that D&D is a good fit.

    I almost feel like the most fun way to invoke the feeling of it would be to start characters off with 10 points with which to buy abilities, and you can just do it on the fly during combat, but once you’ve got all 10 you’re set in stone as that character.

    The characters species seems secondary to whatever random bunch of powers they have in particular.

    Being able to introduce yourself as the latest threat, an unknown alien or machine or multiverse thing should be a part of a Dragon Ball game.

    Anyways, since I don’t have much time to write, or do much of anything but work, I’ve decided to create tiny pieces about the Dog Star Immigrants (a concept I’ve mentioned here).

    My rules are simple:
    1. Write once per day right before bed.
    2. No more than three paragraphs.
    3. Change the point of view character every time.
    4. Every character writes differently.
    5. It’s okay if it sucks.

    Here goes:

    Darling, this is what I saw:
    The sky bursting into emeralds and a hundred hands clambered over me. The world was tearing apart above and below, twisting like foil, blowing away like ribbon. Inky black speckled with pinpricks of light blinking like the eyes of sea creatures. I knew I’d been screaming only when I was silenced. A damp grip across my mouth, I drank in the scent of sweat and blood with every sudden gasp for breath. Then I was gone. Just gone. Weeping and shuddering, us and the escape pod cocooning us. I had no concept of elsewhere, you see? The world was dead and I was gone away.

    That moment defines me in a way I’m assured it should not. Yet sensing your own animal fear does little to abate its presence. Run, it calls, run, now! The lizard doesn’t stop to consider if there is anywhere left to run. But I am not an animal, so I turn to it, return to it, over and over, because I need to understand. Deeper than a file on an illuminated screen can tell.

    I am an artist, they tell me. So I paint in the greens of destruction. That is my great work. To detail ruin. To run and circle back. Circle back and run. By this certain orbit is my life defined. Are you having a drink while you’re here? Yeah, no, just hand me the bottle. I’m an artist, darling, and this daylight is artificial.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    I know, I'm terrible at explaining, but what I was going for is the world of Dragonball, but subjected to a D&D funhouse lens: power levels are shrunk down to normal D&D power levels (arguably one of the draws of DBZ, but whatevs), races get differentiated, lore gets tweaked-and-or expanded, outer space merely gets traded for faraway land or another plane of existence, focus shifted more to adventuring the D&D way.

    I think it'll look a bit like Eberron - the Red Ribbon Empire employs Artificers, the Capsule Corporation makes Instant Fortresses, and Chimeras and Half-forged were products of extensive weapons development. Saiyans are (still) a nomadic warrior race with a tendency for mercenary work. The otherworld is a different kind of bureaucracy. Warlocks have Kai/Angel patrons. Karin's Tower is no longer just a simple but hilariously high climb, but an actual tower of adventure, Collecting seven specific artifacts allow anyone to cast a Wish spell, etc. Art style is still Toriyama, but of the Dragon Quest/Chrono Trigger type. The downside is there's a lack of mappable concepts in DBZ to D&D's spellcasting system.

    Barring that, you can just use em in a Homebrew world but instead of elves and dwarves you got namekians with the serial numbers files off.

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    miscellaneousinsanitymiscellaneousinsanity grass grows, birds fly, sun shines, and brother, i hurt peopleRegistered User regular
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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Meandering train of thought regarding world building:

    Cataclysms are one of the common world events that set up an adventure world, since it can easily set up several things:

    - A precursor race/country with powerful magic/tech lost to time (and destruction, mostly that)
    - Ancient ruins made by said precursors, so that's dungeons for you
    - Old forgotten magics and artifacts of power from said precursor race
    - A central mystery of what the Cataclysm was, if you're in need of a campaign-wide hook
    - Forgotten pantheons and demigods, if needed, fulfilling roles of Big Bads and Mentors
    - It can cater for regular adventure worlds (by adding a Buffer period of rebuilding), or a Mad Max type world

    Eberron did it, Mad Max did it, Magic: the Gathering's Time Spiral block did it, Wheel of Time did it, plenty of other things have done it. It's not inherently bad, but I was thinking - without resorting to a Cataclysm, what's the quickest way of worldbuilding your homebrew adventure world to have the above?

    Possibly a different question to be answered is - does it really matter? Is it worthwhile to try building a world without resorting to a Cataclysm, or is someone trying to do so just handicapping themselves needlessly?

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    EmperorSethEmperorSeth Registered User regular
    Good news! I actually put some work into my book revision tonight! Not much, at least not yet, but at least I'm through Chapter 3. The next few chapters are where previous revisions have stalled out a bit, though, so I have to stay diligent.

    I do have a problem that I didn't think about when I wrote the first draft back in 2010, though. What's the right way to gender aliens or monsters when the point of view character doesn't have any obvious context clues on the subject? There are three main races I'm thinking about right now on the subject: a lizard-like alien who the POV character uses "they" pronouns for until he introduces himself as Thadius, a possibly asexual race of insect humanoids that later can get gender identities but have no obvious outward way to demonstrate it, and a genderless race of more monstrous aliens that serve as the "baddies" of the book.

    You know what? Nanowrimo's cancelled on account of the world is stupid.
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    In regards to cataclysmic events, I think our own history is made up of many. Meteor strikes, plagues, wars. It’s just that we move on, and move on again.

    I think a slight alternative would be to come up with three cataclysms, with vaguer details going backwards. The Machine War has just ended, the Great Heat lowered the sea level 200 years ago, the Necroplague created an army of dead that are still around, some say, in the darkest corners of the world.

    People are immediately coping with the end of the war, there are still texts on the old shape of the world, and on a grand scale people are still disputing who owns the new land and remaining water, and the Necroplague is just an in-universe myth.

    My second thought is go the Indiana Jones route. The world is normal, to an in-universe value of normal, but if you dig deep you can find out all sorts is real. Kali, a god, is real, but so is the Christian god, so obviously the people have the shape and the way the universe works wrong on some level. Ghosts are real, but maybe werewolves aren’t? Turns out a lot of ancient civilisations were influenced by aliens, but maybe aliens are the gods? Who can say? Magic doesn’t really effect the world at large, you’ve got to look for it, and it’s no real match for numbers and guns or a guy with a whip. To the average person the untold history the world means nothing to them, and even those pursuing it don’t have good detail, and the audience is never shown more than them.

    That world could be built on an event, but we don’t get told that, and it isn’t worse for it. Instead when you want one of your things (ruin, dark god etc.) you just put it in there and then, allowing the world to grow naturally as required, with no prior backstory in place.

    The next option is building a world around the world... if that makes sense.

    Right, so I made up this intentionally vague place to play Dungeon World in called Storm March.

    In Storm March the world is made up of an infinite sky with floating islands. People ride flying animals and go on expeditions to new islands just for the sake of exploration.

    I’ve got a couple ideas in my head for it, but mostly that’s it. I don’t need a history, it’s the shape of the universe that makes it worthwhile to play in.

    - Big Hero 6. Technology is advancing rapidly, and can be used by heroes and villains alike. We study intent in this world, and marvel at gadgets.
    - Watchmen. What if superheroes, but America is shitty? Interestingly the cataclysmic event is the ending.
    - Super Mario. Everything is weird, Alice in Wonderland inspired nonsense. All the major players are introduced in the first scene and from there is about traversing such an odd place.
    - Batman. Escalation from both sides leads to crime and justice intertwining to an exaggerated degree. You could argue the cataclysmic event was simply a child’s parents being murdered—an apocalypse writ small.
    - Avatar: The Last Airbender. It introduces the concept of people being able to bend the elements to their will, and runs with it. Civilisations are built around it, and is the crux of the story.

    So instead of just having a ruin, if it doesn’t make sense, what would this world have?

    Storm March might have a whole floating island turned into an upside-down temple, or one riddled with holes from a giant worm, or maybe even the floating corpse of a god!

    Endless_Serpents on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited May 2020
    Enough time has passed so I’m going to risk a double post.
    Good news! I actually put some work into my book revision tonight! Not much, at least not yet, but at least I'm through Chapter 3. The next few chapters are where previous revisions have stalled out a bit, though, so I have to stay diligent.

    I do have a problem that I didn't think about when I wrote the first draft back in 2010, though. What's the right way to gender aliens or monsters when the point of view character doesn't have any obvious context clues on the subject? There are three main races I'm thinking about right now on the subject: a lizard-like alien who the POV character uses "they" pronouns for until he introduces himself as Thadius, a possibly asexual race of insect humanoids that later can get gender identities but have no obvious outward way to demonstrate it, and a genderless race of more monstrous aliens that serve as the "baddies" of the book.

    I don’t have a wider understanding of gender, but you could do a bit of world building. Say it’s standard protocol to refer to someone as ze/zer/zis (like he/him/his) until you know what they are if they are a species with genders. But if they’re genderless they’re always a they/them/their’s. For species that can take on genders, you switch to the traditional terms once you know.

    For a better understanding of pronouns if look for folks online that are such a ways inclined; see how they handle it.

    For the monsters in particular you could have the protagonists treat them more like weapons, or tools. They don’t really use pronouns, the same way you have ‘a car’, ‘three knives’, ‘some bullets’ or ‘John’s gun’.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    300 years I have waited to post in this thread again.

    A concept:


    Hospital lights; vague.
    “You’re lucky. No one has ever survived an attack by—“

    [muffled cheesy J-pop tune. A teenager, Juno, is walking on a busy street. Its cut off and is replaced with a piano J-Hip-Hop track when Juno presses her earphones.]

    Japanese girl with facial scars and one across her left hand looks forlorn at a poster of models. She has a heavy school bag. A breeze blows.

    As she walks through the streets distant noise of alarm builds. She looks at her hand, it’s shaking. The scar glows.

    The camera pans back as she quickly turns towards it, looking towards the commotion. Her facial scars glow too, as well as her eyes.

    She runs (left to right now) as frightened civilians run the other way.

    She slams her bag down and pulls out a make-shift mech-suit, helmet, jet pack and gadgets. She has to bang it a couple times to get it going. A bit springs off.

    She faces down a kaiju! It sniffs the air, then hones in on her glowing scars, which now leave trails in the air. The fight begins.

    Every kaiju is effectively a teen problem. Being called fat = gross glutton monster. Self starving = skeletal famine monster. Peer pressure = gooey brain mind controller.

    The final kaiju is evil Godzilla, and being the one that gave her scars is basically the oppression of society to look and be normal.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 2020
    Well I think this thread is a good idea.

    This is now the thread where we ask @Peas things.

    How are you @Peas ?

    Endless_Serpents on
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    PeasPeas Registered User regular
    Hey mate! @Endless_Serpents

    Been into 3d recently
    Hopefully I will be able to toss in some stuff in here later on


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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    So Primal Rage was a fighting game back in the days featuring giant sized animals that are, according to the game lore, deities fighting for supremacy. And it reminded me of King of Tokyo, which has kaiju battles in it, and I mashed it together. Probably needs a lot more stirring:

    So in LowFantasia, most Gods rely on belief to sustain them, and while they are powerful compared to mortals, the people worshipping them have a sort of power over them as well - the culture of the worshippers shapes them and adjusts their personality, somehow. There are exceptions to the belief requirement: Primal Forces, old, old beings who are personifications of forces of nature even before sentient mortals came to be in the land, unbeholden to their whims. So there's a fight among the Gods, and there's also fights between the Gods and the Primal Forces. Cue Fighting Game featuring 50-foot monsters.

    Primal Forces, who aren't really named, but since we can't really talk about them as is some cultures assign a name to them:
    - Primus, the Wilds. A red King Kong with some Saiyan elements.
    - Terrorex, the Fear of Prey. A T-Rex with beefy claws. If there's anything scary about a predator, Terrorex also has it.
    - Kraken, the Unknown. Cthulhu-esque squid monster, with darkness powers.
    - Al Raune, the Rampanth Growth. Venus-flytrap and tendrils up all ins. The plants to Primus's animals. If this was really a fighting game they'd put a female face into Al Raune regardless.
    - Change. An amorphous gelatinous being, with two lobes acting like butterfly "wings". Probably the instigator of the events of the eventual Fighting Game.

    Some of the Gods:
    - Sunbird: The God of the Mayincaztecs. Firebringer. A large raptor shaped bird with fire-gold and red plumage. Like the Sun, they believe It to be the cyclic Creator and Destroyer, and so It was.
    - "Tiamat": The self-named Creator Serpent. A two-headed dragon, their believers both fear and love them, for they are also a God of deceit, secrets, and the greatest secret of all: Magic.
    - "Raksasha": The four armed Tiger God of the Zarathusters. As proficient with the quill as with the sword, she has taken interest in crafting the laws of her people alongside their leaders. She is ruthless both as a lawyer and an executioner. The ultimate Judge.
    - "Baphomet": Uhh... a Goat god.
    - The Colossus: An enlightened group of city-states do not believe in gods, but in the strength of their civilization. This, incidentally, gave birth to their magical guardian, The Colossus. A 20-foot Spartan-looking fighter of white marble and bronze. He appears in their greatest hour of need. Primus loathes this the most.

    - Fathom: A bootleg Ultraman! Where is this so-called Defender from? What is he defending LowFantasia from???

    If we can go by Magic: the Gathering colors:

    - Primus is Red, Terrorex is Black, Kraken is Blue, Al Raune is Green, Change is colourless. No one is White, because White ultimately describes Civilization.
    - "Raksasha" is Green/White, Sunbird is Red/Green, Baphomet is Black/Red, "Timat" is Blue/Black, and the Colossus is White/Blue.
    - Fathom is White.
    - Baphomet is only Black/Red because there's no other color combination in the regular cycle. Maybe an update will give birth to five more Things that can shake things up.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    Yes, good. Always have a dinosaur called Terrorex.

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    Endless_SerpentsEndless_Serpents Registered User regular
    edited July 2020
    For a more useful post, maybe all the fighters have a military backup you can call on once a fight. Like whole nations support these gods.

    Though perhaps the primals have smaller monsters on their side. I’m thinking raptors and allosaurus’ bursting in for Terrorex.

    Endless_Serpents on
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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    Yeah you could have them fighting in the background with the other army brought by the other dude. When a god/primal is losing you can see the armies at the background being driven back, as if their defeat is what's causing the Big Guy to actually lose.

    Terrorex has all manners of apex predators bumrushing his enemy, and fear makes his side grow stronger.
    Primus has... all the other animals, I guess.
    Al Raune has slow treants for military support but excellent area control with vines and tendrils coming out from almost anywhere.
    The Collosus is practically a pro-wrestler super robot, cheered on by the people he's protecting. He can be supported by archer fire and artillery.
    I am drawing a blank for Kraken.
    "Change" (can't think of a cool name) has a lot of leeway on how his support can go. He can also likely go T-1000 and copy the other Kaiju.
    "Raksasha" and "Tiamat" has similar army support as the Colossus, but Raksasha can do weird-ass Rules-Lawyering that establishes rules on the battlefield a la any of the weirder shit in Hunter x Hunter. Tiamat, being kinda cult-y in worship, thrives in sacrifice.

    In maybe an RPG setting you can have your Gods as a patron, maybe? They can even be the head of a whole pantheon you and your countrymen worship. You can either undermine the beliefs in other countries or even team up to defeat a wandering Primal, who has some sort of aura that stirs up trouble wherever they appear.

    Other deity/primal force ideas:

    - A Minotaur-like creature instead of Baphomet, representing industry as central to a country's cultural belief system (farmwork, husbandry, hard work.... communism(???) etc). Also hated by Primus and Al Raune, but Al Raune seems to consider this deity's core being a terrible affront.
    - A summoning gone wrong, resulting in an insane Aberration arriving into our world, hostile to both Deity and Primal Force.
    - A geometric shape a la one of the Evangelion's enemy Angels, representing Absolute Order and Entropy: End-State, Change's ultimate enemy.
    - Fathom's dreaded enemy, coming by way of a huge extinction event meteor. If it ever touches down uncontested, shit goes down Hard. "Tiamat" may need to get involved to defend against it.

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    WearingglassesWearingglasses Of the friendly neighborhood variety Registered User regular
    So, thinking of races again and a probably world generation mythos:

    So there's seven reality-bending powerful entities.... let's call them gods. One of them says "Oh hey, let's make mortals for shiggles!" And the others were like sure.

    One wanted small peoples, one wanted them BIG, and one wanted them Goldilocks levels - just right.

    One wanted Fey, one wanted Goblinoids, and one wanted Reptilians.

    So they did a Mortal-maker Hackathon, and collaborated.

    The results:

    Biggy-Fey - Ent-firbolgs, or entirbolg firent Woodies
    Goldilocks-Fey - Elves
    Mini-Fey - Hobbinomes, or gnomlings
    Biggy-Gobs - Trollogres, or troggres
    Gold-Gobs - Orks, with a K
    Mini-Gobs - Goblins
    Big-Reps - Dragonborn
    Gold-Reps - Lizardfolk
    Mini-Reps - Murlocks

    The dude who started the whole shebang was left out, unable to make up their mind, turned to the super-secret eighth entity, and asked, "Whatcha think I should do?" And they picked up the leftovers of the six and experimented.

    They ended up with Fey-Goblins (Faerie), Lizard-goblins (Dog kobolds), and Lizard-fey (Naga/Yuan-Ti). Because these people are made by Eight, they're super special... somehow.

    Then they left, but Eight forgot some bits of magic, and combined with what was left over from Seven and Eight's sesh and self-actualized, becoming a poor, ordinary specie, with no remarkable ability save its desire to prove itself - the Human.

    So the races all have one agreed upon pantheon, but each race saved for the last has two doting parent patrons.

    And they all lived happily ever after.

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