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  1. - Top - End - #31
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    Max_Killjoy's Avatar

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Xania View Post
    Can be natural or under any other form, like a curse, being laboratory creations or anything else.
    I would like to know about how some creatures appeared, who were their ancestors, if they are now extinct and if they still have related creatures around.

    In one of my settings, the creation cosmology is an implication of or metaphor for the big bang, the old gods are the "mad souls" of the universe who long for the dreamlike state of the singularity, and it's implied but never stated that the world is the first world with life or intelligent life anywhere in the universe. Life may have evolved, there's a reference to the old gods wandering bored for countless ages until coming across intelligent life for the first time, thinking "Oh, someone to talk to!" and then accidentally annihilating the mortal because the mortal couldn't handle the full directed attention of such an entity. Some of the intelligent species on this little spec came into being on their own, and some are the result of morbid curiosity and meddling on the part of the old gods... the days of dark whimsy are over, though, as the old gods were usurped by post-apotheosis mortals-become-gods.

    ~~~

    In another setting, twin solar creator deities interloped in the infinite timeless dark, and brought a world into existence. They made more deities, and with their children, they populated the world with all manner of life, culminating in the various Peoples -- the Sun People, the Earth People, the Moon People, the Storm People, the Fire People, etc. The Dark was curious what they were up to, and learned how they created life, and made its own children... Night, Twilight, Shadow, Underworld*, etc. Twilight, Night, and Shadow in turn created the Twilight People, with a mote of darkness for a soul instead of a spark of light. From Dark's attempts also came things like dragons, and monsters that turn to stone or ash in the full light of day, and other creatures. The solar deities could not stand to see their Creation stained by darkness, and so directed their favored children, the Sun People, to wipe the Twilight People and all their "cousins" of the night from the world... but in the final battle of the Bright Age, when the twin solar gods and the dark deities (Twilight, Night, and Shadow) did battle in the ruins of the Twilight People's lands, the dark gods sacrificed themselves to save their creations and obliterate the twin solar deities. The dark deities are now specters wandering the fringes of creation, while the solar deities were shattered into countless pieces, resulting in a myriad of petty local gods rising up, and dormant fragments in the hidden places of the world. One of the solar deities' children took their place, and so now there is only one sun in the sky instead of two.

    * Underworld, the goddess of hidden places, the deceased, and fire, is the result of arch subterfuge on the part of the dark, for while she was born of the creator deities, she is as much the dark's child as she is theirs... and so she is also the deity of duplicity and duality, holding fire in one hand and darkness in the other.
    Last edited by Max_Killjoy; 2019-05-16 at 09:12 AM. Reason: finding either typos or autocorrect problems
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

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  2. - Top - End - #32
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    I had an idea where gnomes, goblins, etc. evolved from creatures more similar to monkeys than human ancestors.

    When in doubt, Hail Dread Cthulhu.

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  3. - Top - End - #33
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    In one of my settings, the creation cosmology is an implication of or metaphor for the big bang, the old gods are the "mad souls" of the universe who long for the dreamlike state of the singularity, and it's implied but never stated that the world is the first world with life or intelligent life anywhere in the universe. Life may have evolved, there's a reference to the old gods wandering bored for countless ages until coming across intelligent life for the first time, thinking "Oh, someone to talk to!" and then accidentally annihilating the mortal because the mortal couldn't handle the full directed attention of such an entity. Some of the intelligent species on this little spec came into being on their own, and some are the result of morbid curiosity and meddling on the part of the old gods... the days of dark whimsy are over, though, as the old gods were usurped by post-apotheosis mortals-become-gods.

    ~~~

    In another setting, twin solar creator deities interloped in the infinite timeless dark, and brought a world into existence. They made more deities, and with their children, they populated the world with all manner of life, culminating in the various Peoples -- the Sun People, the Earth People, the Moon People, the Storm People, the Fire People, etc. The Dark was curious what they were up to, and learned how they created life, and made its own children... Night, Twilight, Shadow, Underworld*, etc. Twilight, Night, and Shadow in turn created the Twilight People, with a more of darkness for a soul instead of a spark of light. From Dark's attempts also came things like dragons, and monsters that turn to stone or ash in the full light of day, and other creatures. The solar deities could not stand to see their Creation stained by darkness, and so directed their favored children, the Sun People, to wipe the Twilight People and all their "cousins" of the night from the world... but in the final battle of the Bright Age, when the twin solar gods and the dark deities (Twilight, Night, and Shadow) did battle in the ruins of the Twilight People's lands, the dark gods sacrificed themselves to save their creations and obliterate the twin solar deities. The dark deities are now specters wandering the fringes of creation, the solar deities were shattered into countless pieces, resulting in a myriad of petty local gods rising up, and dormant fragments in the hidden places of the world. One of the solar deities' children took their place, and so now there is only one sun in the sky instead of two.

    * Underworld, the goddess of hidden places, the deceased, and fire, is the result of arch subterfuge on the part of the dark, for while is was born of the creator deities, she is as much the dark's child as she is theirs... and so she is also the deity of duplicity and duality, holding fire in one hand and darkness in the other.

    I specially like the second setting, are those petty gods a little more like angels or they still count as fully funtional gods?

  4. - Top - End - #34
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    I had an idea where gnomes, goblins, etc. evolved from creatures more similar to monkeys than human ancestors.
    Now i want to make capuchin monkey-based halflings

  5. - Top - End - #35
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    I always like to create an ecology of monsters that fit into an ecosystem, and was particularly happy when i designed this one:

    The Torsos, Hollows, Doublestuffs, Dour Wood, and Night Men

    Torsos are small Shadow Fiends from the Shadow Realm, the place where everyone goes when they die. Their purpose, as designed by the god of death and reincarnation, was to weaken unworthy mortals to allow other Shadow Fiends to drag them towards Reincarnation. They would do this by sucking the flesh from their skin, leaving them as a more vulnerable ghost. With their shadow body now filled with the mortal's flesh, they rush off to a nearby perch to shuffle off the flesh, which takes about 24 hours. If the mortal can find them and kill them before this, they can take their flesh back.
    This is only really interesting when brought out of the Shadow Realm, either through a portal or a crack between realms, as they will continue to do their job in the mortal realm. They will find people, take their flesh, shuffle it off, and repeat, until they are killed and thereby returned to the realm of the dead.

    This process creates Ghosts. Unlike typical spirits, these were not returned from the realm of the dead for some great business or vengeance, and instead are simply made hollow by the Torsos. The Hollows are extremely confused, with a tremendous feeling of emptiness which they can directly attribute to their loss of body. Seeking to rectify this, the Hollows will rush to attack anyone nearby, and once they have been subdued, they will enter into their body, placing two souls in one mortal vessel.
    If the Hollows are instead defeated, their soul is stripped of power, transforms into a snowflake, and floats off in the wind until it can reconstitute. Once they have regained their strength, these Hollows become normal ghosts and lose the thirst for a body. They will seek help to enter into the Shadow Realm.

    Two souls are not supposed to be in one mortal body. When a Hollow enters into a mortal, it creates what is colloquially called a "Double Stuff." One spirit will attach itself to the skeleton, while the other to the flesh, and the creatures will partially separate. Doublestuffs often have a shared lower half, while the upper half includes crouching pile of flesh, and a standing skeleton. They will scream in constant pain and confusion, with two voices, in an unearthly scream and a fleshy, gurgling groan. The confusion quickly turns to anger, and these Doublestuffs, drenched with the necrotic energy of two souls kneading together, will begin attacking anything that is nearby. The necrotic energy that fuels them makes them especially deadly, and they are able to take a serious amount of damage before dying.
    Unlike the Hollows, once the body is destroyed, the souls are released to the shadow realm, allowing them to reincarnate.

    Meanwhile, after sucking the flesh off of a creature, the torsos will rush off to find a perch in which to shuffle off their flesh. This is, most often, a tree that is secluded in a nearby forest. They will often choose the same tree, and after enough attempts, the tree will become soaked in necrotic energy. It will become fleshy inside, and will bleed when the bark is cut. It will begin to move, and will grow a face with a gnarling jaw. It will sink its roots into the flesh of the nearby dead, and transform them into Night Men. These Night Men have the purpose, given to them by the Dourwood Tree, to return corpses to it to feed the roots of the necrotic tree and further sustain it. Once the graveyards have been emptied, these Night Men always begin capturing the living, often alive, and burying them underneath the necrotic tree.

    I DM'd a story with these guys as the antagonists for about two games, and was super fun. I'm writing a horror campaign that uses them, but its hard to get everything into one conducive campaign story.

  6. - Top - End - #36
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Xania View Post
    I specially like the second setting, are those petty gods a little more like angels or they still count as fully functional gods?
    Demi-gods, local gods and powerful spirits, "angels", etc. Leaves room for a lot of little local cults and strangeness while also having the "big gods" be universal across the setting.

    It would take one of them somehow gathering up a lot of those shards (subsuming or consuming other "petty gods", or finding lost shards across the world, or something) to rise in power to the status of full world-spanning deity.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

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  7. - Top - End - #37
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
    It would take one of them somehow gathering up a lot of those shards (subsuming or consuming other "petty gods", or finding lost shards across the world, or something) to rise in power to the status of full world-spanning deity.
    And saying that much implies that it is possible, which means it is probably inevitable.
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  8. - Top - End - #38
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by jqavins View Post
    And saying that much implies that it is possible, which means it is probably inevitable.
    And thus in what I'm writing, one of the characters specifically takes it upon herself to prevent an instance of this from happening.
    It is one thing to suspend your disbelief. It is another thing entirely to hang it by the neck until dead.

    Verisimilitude -- n, the appearance or semblance of truth, likelihood, or probability.

    The concern is not realism in speculative fiction, but rather the sense that a setting or story could be real, fostered by internal consistency and coherence.

    The Worldbuilding Forum -- where realities are born.

  9. - Top - End - #39
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    My currently preferred creature evolution is a merger of Zelazny, Pratchett and Darwin.

    First, here's my Zelazny-inspired part:
    The Real World is where the game (mostly) takes place. The Real World is a cosmopolitan fantasy setting, with many humanoid species, magical creatures, and so on, in a reasonably Earth-like planet. It even has similar continental forms to our familiar mundane Earth.
    However, there are many shadows of the Real World - slightly different alternate versions of the Real World, where at least one event (possibly even as small as a molecular event) has happened differently. Over the aeons since the start of this multiverse, these alternate worlds can be subtly or radically different to the Real World.
    It's possible to travel to the other worlds deliberately with magic, and in some cases there are accidental leaks between worlds.
    As the Real World is cosmologically central to these alternate worlds, the leaking of other worlds impinges on it the most - there are denizens of the many other worlds here in the Real World: from the strange things that are hard to begin to understand, to the familiar-yet-different things that folk of the Real World take for granted.

    Darwinian evolution:
    All these alternate worlds have more or less normal Darwinian evolution - there might be some esoteric evolutionary pressure in an alternate world that doesn't make much sense in the Real World, but now that the creature is here instead of there, it has fantastic and strange abilities.
    This accounts for multiple species that fit into the same ecosystem niches - they haven't had evolutionary time to wipe each other out. It also allows for the dynamic conflict setting that's typical of a fantasy setting: the various different sentient species are all competing for the same resources, and the clear "otherness" of the other species explains the heightened xenophobia.

    Pratchett's collaborative reality:
    The Real World is at the heart of a confluence of magical flux from the other worlds - and so the strong thoughts and emotions of thinking beings are sometimes made real. The angels, demons, fey and other exemplar creatures - creatures whose purpose for existence is to embody and exemplify a thought, ideal, hope or fear - they are created by the subconscious of the many folk of the Real World.

    ---

    This setting lets me mess with reality in-game if need be - we can do in-character ret-con, by moving from one world to another. It lets me have creatures that are utterly fantastic (i.e. unrealistic!) along side more normal creatures, without breaking my desire for consistency. It allows for new species to arrive in the game from time to time.

    Now to keep it under some sort of control, and not just have an mess of jarring different styles, I keep it fixed on a set of things that are common and consistent - Humans, Halflings, Dwarves, Elves, Goblins, Dragons, and so on. But it's good to know that there's the option to bring in something else, or drop in a new PC who doesn't necessarily fit in...

  10. - Top - End - #40
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by John Out West View Post
    The Torsos, Hollows, Doublestuffs, Dour Wood, and Night Men...
    Are there soulless bodies, zombies for lack of a better name? The crossing of a zombie and a hollow, whether violent or not, could potentially let the hollow take the uninhabited body as its own, becoming a person again, a version of the torso's original victim, a sort of "re-occupied zombie". The same could happen with a zombie and a doublestuff, leaving the hollow's original victim and the same sort of re-occupied zombie (both likely driven insane by the experience of existing as a doublestuff for a time).

    This whole process could be conducted by a good aligned necromancer, reanimating the recently dead to make zombie raw material and "curing" hollows and doublestuffs. Or rather, curing hollows then discovering the hard way that, in the case of doublestuffs, both parties are better off dead.
    -- Joe
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    Always remember that anything posted on the internet is, in a practical if not a legal sense, in the public domain.
    You are completely welcome to use anything I post here, or I wouldn't post it.

  11. - Top - End - #41
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    Draconi Redfir's Avatar

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    I had an idea where gnomes, goblins, etc. evolved from creatures more similar to monkeys than human ancestors.
    I've got something similar myself. though only with Goblins. Gnomes in this setting evolved from halflings who moved into a valley that was slowly flooding with raw primal magic, slow enough that they could adapt to live in it years down the line when the magic is strong enough to tear anyone else apart without protection.
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Daemon

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Draconi Redfir View Post
    I've got something similar myself. though only with Goblins. Gnomes in this setting evolved from halflings who moved into a valley that was slowly flooding with raw primal magic, slow enough that they could adapt to live in it years down the line when the magic is strong enough to tear anyone else apart without protection.
    Mine is in reverse.

    Goblins came first. Some of them evolved into halflings due to random magic surges during a magical nuclear war. Gnomes are the result of fey or elemental influences on goblins (sorta goblin versions of genasi/aasimar).
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  13. - Top - End - #43
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    The MM goblins were gremlins to me, since everybody i know seems to think in them like the gremlins from the movies, they would be related to gibberlings.

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzlefoot View Post
    I had an idea where gnomes, goblins, etc. evolved from creatures more similar to monkeys than human ancestors.
    I actually had this idea in the taxonomy thread in the main RP section that goblinoids and humanoids are both mammals, but fall into different families, but the same order. So we have hominids and then cobalidids (its Latin for "goblin", and the root for a bunch of words like kobold).

  15. - Top - End - #45
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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Gnomes are in some way related to Xorns. Xorns seem to be related to fire salamanders in D&D in the same way that gnomes are related to fire salamanders in paraclesian alchemy

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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    Now i think about it those gremlins were able to mutate to cover lots of reskinned beings, so in a way they were the ancestors of my current gnomes.

  17. - Top - End - #47
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    OrcBarbarianGirl

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    Default Re: Evolution of your creatures

    @Beleriphon

    That means kobolds are goblins in that world?


    @Bohandas

    Are gnomes different from the standard ones because of that relation?

  18. - Top - End - #48
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    I don't know, I just realized that recently and I'm not currently in an active game where I can do domething with it

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