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Do you use your original creature or creatures from existing mythology?

I use either, neither, or both at once, depending on what I feel.
It can be fun to explore, refine, and reinvent the standard fantasy stock of races, to put new twists on what is commonly depicted or to deconstruct it. It's also fun to invent things from scratch. To make a people from nothing, wind them up, see where they go. "I made that." You can go somewhere in between, using motifs of an old idea but needing to use a new name when your changes deviate so far as to render them a new species. Or you can invent something new and give them the same name as an old idea, to save a reader time. This is helpful when a shape evolves independently of what you expected, and you end up with an old idea with a wholly new origin.

I mean, what are you going to do when you only use humans but you need a group of big, ugly warriors? Is there a not-racist way to go about this?

I should certainly hope so. There's no necessary reason to invent a race for the sake of a group for the sake of a behavior. Within a single larger ethnicity you can have subgroups: Let's imagine two stereotypical depictions of English people: Posh Oxfordians and Cockney Soccer Hooligans. Neither of those two things are (necessarily) what any single member of them might choose to associate with, but each has a grouping and a subculture within that larger group, and a set of behaviors you might expect to see from either. Of course, each member is absolutely free to subvert your expectations, and there's nothing to say that any given member is likewise definitely going to follow your expectations. But, as a whole, you might notice a trend of behaviors in them due to their subcultural influences.


Take something known and make it yours. (deja-vu) Go deeper, figure out why they are the way they are in the world.
Why are they in the world? Why are they not in power? Make sure they aren't world dominance powerful. Make them believable, make them your flavor of the mythos.


New Member
As my story is weaved heavily with Celt mythology, I use existing creatures not only from Celt mythology but other mythologies as well. For example I use a group of Talos, giant men of bronze, which derives from Greek mythology in the climax. Hey it's fantasy and there are very few rules regarding creatures and besides the Greeks encountered the Keltoi (their name for the Celts) in 6th century BC.
For me it depends on which of my stories it is. In my current one, I have some known mythological creatures, but also create my own. It all depends on the story really. If I come up with a really cool original creature or humanoid species, I will see if it works for something that I wanna write. Although if I do use known mythological beings, I definitely try to put my own spin on them just so that I can make it new and interesting for the reader.


All my current WIPs are placed on earth so I use mythological creatures, though I usually try to go deep cut. In works I've done in original worlds I've used my own creations. The old fantasy standbys are wonderful, but if you're trying to set up a world that feels unknown and mysterious you could potentially hamstring yourself with races people already bear expectations for.


I use several publications including the Manga 500 series and another book with fantasy clip art as a starting point, then start modifying it with Adobe Photoshop CS5 extended. The personality of the character kind of just comes into your head as you are working on it.
Personally, I have a mixture of both. Three major races reside within the world openly, and trade among one another, all of which are common within fantasy: Elves, Dwarves, and Men. However, each of these three races has separate sub-races, each of which is set apart by either geography, cultural divides, or both. For example: there are three major kinds of men, the Sounthrons, the Westerners, and the Easterners, all of which live far apart from one another (on entirely different continents) and speak entirely different languages and practice entirely different customs. However, the Easterners are fully divided into two major cultural groups by the culture of the individuals, the south-easterners being nomadic while the north-easterners settlers, each of these groups is even more divided, and so on. Other races are divided by war, such as the two major empires of the elves, which were seperate so long they grew physically and culturally different. So I guess that I can say that among my species taken from typical fantasy I have that which is my own.
More so, I have created my own races, namely the tree spirits and many different kinds of set-alone creatures, such as Maerinthar (moss giants, essentially) and Rugoraks (Psuedodrakes, small, slimy, bulbous eyed, winged, lizard like things that served as spies for yet another characteral race, the orcs).
About the orcs --> They are technically taken from other fantasies, yet unlike the usual view of them even they have their own cultures and beliefs that I've fully made up, attempting to channel the Urgals of Paolini yet keeping them my own.
So yeah, there's that
A bit of both really. Original creatures, and creatures partially based on real world animals. That also includes Dragons, Goblins (though they don't appear too often), the undead, giant spiders even. All kinds of sea creatures too. Taking inspiration from real world animals and adding a twist to them can create all new kinds of creatures. :D


I get ideas and inspiration from mythical creatures. I like to use the familiar nature of the mythology as a foundation, and develop the creatures from there in my own way.

The Stranger

me personally, i like to use both my originally conceived races and a few i have appropriated from mythology. the key with using races from other mythologies is to give them your own spin and style them in a way that you find interesting. for instance, while i left some races, particularly the Dwarves, fairly unchanged from their original forms, i decided to go a different direction with my orcs, giving them a more Chinese look and culture, still keeping their warlike tendencies, but putting them more in the way of Sun Tzu rather than their more traditional barbarianism.


Seeing as my WIP is mostly an homage/affectionate parody of RPGs, both tabletop and videogames, the creatures in it are stuff that has been seen before, Wyverns, Dragons, Zombies, living trees, chimeras, suped-up versions of Real World animals, ect.

Some subspecies will have original names, and what they do and look like will not necessarily all come out of a D&D bestiary, but it'll deffinitely feel familiar and/or seen-before if you've played any number of fantasy RPGs. That's what I want, anyway.