World Building: Animal Species

The hardest part of world building, at least for me, was always the animals. Intelligent species can be modified to look different with a few tweaks but I have a hard time thinking of other types of possible animals, all bear some similarity to the ones we have in real life. I tried my hand at it nonetheless.

Photo by julie aagaard on

  • Animals:
    • Catfl: a feline like creature that is all green fur and brown underbelly. Feathers adorn their ears in iridescent green colors. It lives in the jungles of the Sunu and are sometimes tamed as pets and guardians. Males compete to impress females. The Ctafl lives in large family groups led by the males, and young females normally leave their families and live in massive groups when they are mature. It has a potent venom which can easily kill a person with a single drop. They communicate through ultra sound.
    • Pavid: a bird like creature whose chest, face, lower legs and wings are black and mottled grey, while the rest of its body is white and mottled black. Feathers cover the entire body even legs. They have complicated mating displays. The Pavid is left to fend for itself at birth. Many are captured for use in Pangol while some of the nobles keep the most beautiful birds as pets. They have high endurance and are made to race each other.
    • Mitaa: are bulbous completely grey leathery herding animals with short snouts and stocky legs. They are raised for meat and other uses of their bones and sinews. The delicate grey hair they grow on their backs are generally used for bowstrings as they look delicate but are super strong. Whenever it’s ready to mate, the Mitaa finds as many new partners as it can. The young Mitaa males normally leave their families and live alone when they are mature.
    • Veu: are a snakelike creature that walks on 4 legs with a long tail that drags behind it. It moves slowly but when its tail wraps around prey there are tiny bristles on the bottom that exude a paralytic so it can devour its prey slow and while it’s alive. The Synethryn use them as sacrifices or general purpose animals. They breed in droves and are the source of much environmental destruction.

I came up with a few different ones using a generator and taking out or filling in information to make them more my own. Catfl are really just cats with feathers, Pavids are the birds for this world, Mitaa are the cows of this planet that look a bit like elephants, and Veu are the snake like creatures of the world although they have legs to walk upon the ground with.

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As you can see, most if not all of these different species are just variations of our own animals on Earth. Maybe I’m just not that creative but I found it really hard to think of animals that weren’t just different versions of our own. Adding limbs or other characteristics just made them slightly different. After a while I decided it would probably be best if I kept animals the way we know them.

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I have a few reasons for this. It makes it easier on me as a writer not to have to generate so many new things. It also makes it easier for people to accept a new world with new things to learn about it without also making them learn all new species for the animals of the world. It also made it easier to tailor the story for D&D if the animals matched up better. At this point I was a little tired of all the changes I would have to make to make it playable for D&D. Otherwise I might have had to take on the work of a GM and make up rules and everything for the new world.

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I eventually put Ouros on the back burner and began searching my mind for the next world I could conjure. The next come came in a dream. I wonder how many authors write from dreams they have. For my next attempt I focused on a world where I was an explorer/anthropologist of sorts searching for answers as to why the human population was so low on our planet, especially with the amount of technology some of the few cities possessed.

Have any questions or comments? Message below or find me on Twitter @DnDWifeStories and on Instagram @dndwife. I would love to hear from you!

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Published by dndwife

My husband and I run a dungeons and dragons table together and I write about our crazy adventures both in and out of the story. My husband DM's and I am the table artist. I paint minis for everyone at the table and provide crafted gifts like dice boxes, bags, and artwork.

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