D&D General trying to make a more alien arcane race.

I hate normal demi-human races with a passion as aside from being kinda pretty they lose all the insane factors that a race should have.

so anyway my brain has made an insane arcane caster frog people.

first, the basic point is what about an arcane race that is not naturally a society building species so you only have to worry about a single city of them in your world?
first, my inspirations were the gravediggers of Serina Serina: A Natural History of the World of Birds - Unassumingly Brilliant: Meet the Gravedigger
and this: Lone trappers in the wilderness

so what are these guys imaging a massive frogman and you are seeing them 5-7 feet tall frog people who are naturally sorcerers or wizards who make a trap in the wilderness and do not normally form social groups instead past childhood they are normally solitary using great skill at traps, animal training and arcane magic to hunt prey.

they are oddly charismatic as they evolved social graces for better relationships with pets and negotiating deals with things willing to give them a warlock pact
highly intelligent the ones who live in cities often work as scholars, wizards bankers and executioners as their different type of empathy make them solid in occupations were caring about people is a detriment so they also make great lawers.
their empath has trouble with seeing others as equals as they are used to serving power or being the master in charge of a pack of animals
famously individualistic they care about little other than their own freedom but as able to work with others as long as it seems logical or they "care" about them in their own way.


their technological timeline was less, form group, make spears work together to hunt and more along the lines of making traps for hunting, form pacts with otherworldly things and fireball everything that tries to hunt them.

recently a whole bunch of them have decided to copy civilization out of curiosity and have built a city for themselves and given almost everyone is magic it is firmly mageocratic

so as far as a more alien take for an arcane dominant race?

images to help make sense of them
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1646681749530.png
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1646681803071.png


any thoughts, opinions or ideas or is this just another of my bad ideas?
 
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Bayushi_seikuro

Adventurer
One piece of advice that might help - Tom Baker had said his ambition playing the Doctor was to play up the alien nature. I could see an alien race in a game being like that - in fact, they may even look and Seem humanoid, but there should always be something UNDERNEATH.

I guess the section about playing lizard folk in whichever book talked about that for roleplaying. That's how my friend ended up - he just took the lizard folk and any time an interaction was happening, he took the OPPOSITE of the 'proper' response by default. the whole key was that they were just pretending.

Another thing to think about with alien/Other creatures and magic... they don't have to be wizards. They may have the mechanics of a wizard, but it's entirely possible that, like elves as beings of magic, this race doesn't understand what magic is. The effects they create just Are. They don't see it as an effect even, it's just what they do. Makes me think of the boy from the Twilight Zone who sends people to the Cornfield - I don't think it's ever explained HOW he does it, it's just accepted that he can AND DOES>
 


One piece of advice that might help - Tom Baker had said his ambition playing the Doctor was to play up the alien nature. I could see an alien race in a game being like that - in fact, they may even look and Seem humanoid, but there should always be something UNDERNEATH.

I guess the section about playing lizard folk in whichever book talked about that for roleplaying. That's how my friend ended up - he just took the lizard folk and any time an interaction was happening, he took the OPPOSITE of the 'proper' response by default. the whole key was that they were just pretending.

Another thing to think about with alien/Other creatures and magic... they don't have to be wizards. They may have the mechanics of a wizard, but it's entirely possible that, like elves as beings of magic, this race doesn't understand what magic is. The effects they create just Are. They don't see it as an effect even, it's just what they do. Makes me think of the boy from the Twilight Zone who sends people to the Cornfield - I don't think it's ever explained HOW he does it, it's just accepted that he can AND DOES>
I wanted to make an alien wizard did I succeed?
also, they are not all casters by trade just all can cast magic, I wanted to take the deeply magical race and see what you can push it to.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
I wanted to make an alien wizard did I succeed?
also, they are not all casters by trade just all can cast magic, I wanted to take the deeply magical race and see what you can push it to.
If the goal is the popularity of the race among gamers, maybe create a poll and let forumers vote for each racial feature, item by item. The list can be highly detailed, including options for what the hands should look like, and also add options for how their way of thinking is alien. Then see what kind of creature emerges from the upvotes.
 


If the goal is the popularity of the race among gamers, maybe create a poll and let forumers vote for each racial feature, item by item. The list can be highly detailed, including options for what the hands should look like, and also add options for how their way of thinking is alien. Then see what kind of creature emerges from the upvotes.
that would take a lot of brainstorming?
Any reason not to just use a PC version of slaad, bullywugs or grung?
thematic and explanation I do not have any mechanics down yet but I will when I think of some.
slaad are too insane, grung to poisons and evil and bullywugs just lack something to make them more than swamp goblins but I might start with them for stats.
 

Cruentus

Adventurer
One of your pictures is of a Slann from Warhammer, whose lore is almost exactly what you’re talking about:

From Warhammer Wiki: The Slann form one of the core species of the Lizardmen race, created by the Old Ones to be the leaders, organisers, architects, and techno-mages of their society and the backbone of their culture.[4a]Being one of the most magically powerful races on the face of the Warhammer World, these favoured servants of the Old Ones have considerable intellect and magical abilities beyond the minds of most mortal races, and rule the Lizardmen as a venerated caste of semi-religious magic-users.

It would be fairly easy to build out from there re: an alien Magic using race of considerable power. You could also re-skin any powerful alien creature from DnD: Phaerimm come to mind, for example, if coming up with abilities whole cloth is challenging. Also, looking at older editions of DnD might also provide some ideas.
 

One of your pictures is of a Slann from Warhammer, whose lore is almost exactly what you’re talking about:

From Warhammer Wiki: The Slann form one of the core species of the Lizardmen race, created by the Old Ones to be the leaders, organisers, architects, and techno-mages of their society and the backbone of their culture.[4a]Being one of the most magically powerful races on the face of the Warhammer World, these favoured servants of the Old Ones have considerable intellect and magical abilities beyond the minds of most mortal races, and rule the Lizardmen as a venerated caste of semi-religious magic-users.

It would be fairly easy to build out from there re: an alien Magic using race of considerable power. You could also re-skin any powerful alien creature from DnD: Phaerimm come to mind, for example, if coming up with abilities whole cloth is challenging. Also, looking at older editions of DnD might also provide some ideas.
those rule a society based on your description mine are more just pure loners or work with groups for their own reasons, but I might do that second thing.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
so what are these guys imaging a massive frogman and you are seeing them 5-7 feet tall frog people who are naturally sorcerers or wizards who make a trap in the wilderness and do not normally form social groups instead past childhood they are normally solitary using great skill at traps, animal training and arcane magic to hunt prey.

they are oddly charismatic as they evolved social graces for better relationships with pets and negotiating deals with things willing to give them a warlock pact
highly intelligent the ones who live in cities often work as scholars, wizards bankers and executioners as their different type of empathy make them solid in occupations were caring about people is a detriment so they also make great lawers.
their empath has trouble with seeing others as equals as they are used to serving power or being the master in charge of a pack of animals
famously individualistic they care about little other than their own freedom but as able to work with others as long as it seems logical or they "care" about them in their own way.

So WHFB Slann who don't sleep all day and trap their own food?
 

So WHFB Slann who don't sleep all day and trap their own food?
I do not know much about the slann, but I know these guys are not the biorobots the lizard men of wfb are.
I was going for something that can at once be a wandering monster but also a party member without it being inherently evil.
 

HammerMan

Legend
where I am not a fan of the frog person, I did make an alien arcane race back in 3e. (I don't remember all the stats) but it looked 99% human but was an aberration. It took inspiration from the Time Lords (redundant organs) and the DC comics Homo Maji, but the rules came about when the psionic handbook introduced the Elan.

Flavor text they looked like humans but with solid color eyes and hair that had bone 'antlers' growing in it. They COULD live forever. They were hatched (yes they leg eggs) as fully formed adults that resembled elderly humans, then aged backwards for 10 years until they reached maturity looking like a 'silver fox' then ever 50 years they aged backwards 1 human year... until they looked like a 15-20 year old... then they stopped ageing (unless they made the choice to start ageing forward in witch case they could CHOOSE to age 1:1 or 1:2 or any other variable up to 1:50 up to a max of that silver fox look again... then they would automatically start ageing back wards again) they would never die of old age.
The eggs they lay ALSO made them odd (odder) because to lay an egg required 3-13 members of the race at least 1 of each of the 2 genders to spend a month together, and who would lay the egg was random with the group but it had to be TRYING to procreate it could not be an accident but they still had sexual organs. However they COULD have sex with any humanoid race. In doing so (regardless or male or female of this aberrant race) if it was with a person capable of having a child they could produce an offspring.
They sleep like the dead (you could mistake them for dead they do not breath and there hearts don't pump when they sleep) and they can not eat meat at all (I mean they can but it would be like you or me eating dirt), but they CAN eat some minerals like stone. Mithril was a special rare treat that they loved to eat.

they were an old rare race, but one most people knew of. They acted as shepherds (sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes looking like 1 but being the other) to the other races... but they did not originally come to this world by gods... infact in there own ways they were gods themselves.

millennia ago, when the elves were a young race 13 outsider/aberration Cthulhu like energy beings took mortal form. they tried to help the dragons and the elves, but found there were too few of them. So they created a ritual to have 'offspring'. every member of the race can trace themselves back to those 13... even though long ago (about the time humans started to show up) the original 13 went 'home'
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It is a tough call. The advantage of being able to pass as human is, it can sometimes slip past gamers who are Tolkeinesque and avoid monstrous races. But if the point is to play a monstrous character, it is a formidable challenge. It has taken over 30 years to get even two monstrous characters into the Players Handbook, the dragonborn and tiefling, and at least visually the tiefling isnt even all that monstrous.
 
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where I am not a fan of the frog person, I did make an alien arcane race back in 3e. (I don't remember all the stats) but it looked 99% human but was an aberration. It took inspiration from the Time Lords (redundant organs) and the DC comics Homo Maji, but the rules came about when the psionic handbook introduced the Elan.

Flavor text they looked like humans but with solid color eyes and hair that had bone 'antlers' growing in it. They COULD live forever. They were hatched (yes they leg eggs) as fully formed adults that resembled elderly humans, then aged backwards for 10 years until they reached maturity looking like a 'silver fox' then ever 50 years they aged backwards 1 human year... until they looked like a 15-20 year old... then they stopped ageing (unless they made the choice to start ageing forward in witch case they could CHOOSE to age 1:1 or 1:2 or any other variable up to 1:50 up to a max of that silver fox look again... then they would automatically start ageing back wards again) they would never die of old age.
The eggs they lay ALSO made them odd (odder) because to lay an egg required 3-13 members of the race at least 1 of each of the 2 genders to spend a month together, and who would lay the egg was random with the group but it had to be TRYING to procreate it could not be an accident but they still had sexual organs. However they COULD have sex with any humanoid race. In doing so (regardless or male or female of this aberrant race) if it was with a person capable of having a child they could produce an offspring.
They sleep like the dead (you could mistake them for dead they do not breath and there hearts don't pump when they sleep) and they can not eat meat at all (I mean they can but it would be like you or me eating dirt), but they CAN eat some minerals like stone. Mithril was a special rare treat that they loved to eat.

they were an old rare race, but one most people knew of. They acted as shepherds (sometimes good, sometimes bad, sometimes looking like 1 but being the other) to the other races... but they did not originally come to this world by gods... infact in there own ways they were gods themselves.

millennia ago, when the elves were a young race 13 outsider/aberration Cthulhu like energy beings took mortal form. they tried to help the dragons and the elves, but found there were too few of them. So they created a ritual to have 'offspring'. every member of the race can trace themselves back to those 13... even though long ago (about the time humans started to show up) the original 13 went 'home'
I am not making an aberration just a more psychological and technologically different species that can be both wondering encounters and playable race but more emotive than say lizardfolk.
 

steeldragons

Steeliest of the dragons
Epic
As soon as you say "Frog People" in D&D, my mind goes to "Bullywug." When you say "but MAGIC Frog People who are bigger," my mind says "Slaadi."

That is not to say this is a bad idea. It's your race. If you like/want frog guys, make frog guys.

Their "differing" psychology doesn't really scan as "alien" to me either...they sound at once "Vulcan"...but still have pets? They gravitate toward jobs of emotional detachment...but are alleged to have "empathy?" They are "loners/wandering" but a great many of them have decided to "copy" civilization and give it a go?

The dichotomous nature of what you describe makes them sound all the more Slaadish, if you ask me.

NOW, that could be precisely the sort of feel you want/are going for when using "alien" as an adjective. And that's fine, if that's the case.

Again, not "bad ideas," per se. They're your homebrew race. Knock yourself out!

But these "frog guys" you describe do not translate as, "Ooooo, alien species..." To me... In/for D&D.
 

As soon as you say "Frog People" in D&D, my mind goes to "Bullywug." When you say "but MAGIC Frog People who are bigger," my mind says "Slaadi."

That is not to say this is a bad idea. It's your race. If you like/want frog guys, make frog guys.

Their "differing" psychology doesn't really scan as "alien" to me either...they sound at once "Vulcan"...but still have pets? They gravitate toward jobs of emotional detachment...but are alleged to have "empathy?" They are "loners/wandering" but a great many of them have decided to "copy" civilization and give it a go?

The dichotomous nature of what you describe makes them sound all the more Slaadish, if you ask me.

NOW, that could be precisely the sort of feel you want/are going for when using "alien" as an adjective. And that's fine, if that's the case.

Again, not "bad ideas," per se. They're your homebrew race. Knock yourself out!

But these "frog guys" you describe do not translate as, "Ooooo, alien species..." To me... In/for D&D.
well it is more who those parts are each designed was to be just stutterly off so it is both playable as a PC but still clearly not a human, was not detailed sufficiently in those areas? could I do it better somehow I want to know?
 

Stormonu

Legend
Playing something alien is difficult. Most people I suspect instead reach for playing something that is familiar to them in some fashion and somehow strikes a chord that they can associate with in some fashion. Trying to play something you are not is increasingly difficult and runs the risk of just becoming contraryism.

Not that it should stop you from attempting to come up with something unique, just be aware that if it doesn’t somehow appeal to someone, it’s less likely to be used.
 



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