Now that I've decided on what I want to do about magic (and therefore classes) in my new campaign world, it's time to decide on races. (For the record, I'm going with INT-based wizards with a modified spell-list and learn system, WIS-based binders with plenty of custom vestiges, and CHA-based bards with probably a modified spell-list and probably a roll-to-cast system to allow for even more flexibility).
In any case, here are my current thoughts about PC races. The world is intended to be a mostly naval campaign, with options for aerial and underwater adventures.
* First of all, humans are definately going to be the primary race. I plan to use the race as written, though perhaps create some regional feats once I get a better sense of the world map.
* I'm sick of elves and all that goes with them. So I want to replace them with another race. My current thought for the game is to have a race of creatures that live on floating islands that move about the world. These creatures are highly advanced (in terms of magic), and exert a lot of control over the happenings on the world's surface (something like the Guild from the anime Last Exile). These guys would not be a PC race primarily, having maybe a +3 or +4 LA and perhaps a couple of racial hit dice. What will be a PC race is a group that was kicked out of this advanced society, stripped of their powers, and forced to live on the surface--I'm currently refering to them as The Fallen.
The Fallen will be medium-sized creatures who are skilled wizards, as wizard magic "comes" from this advanced society. Now, I'm not sure what else to do with this race. My current thought is to make them draconic--using pictures of the Spellscales from RotD as inspiration (so generally human with some scaly growths). Then the advanced race could be a kind of non-template, modified half-dragon. But I'm not sure how I could work the different types of dragons into this set-up: does the advanced race have a number of subtypes for different kinds of dragons (say, the 10 defaults)? I'm pretty sure I don't want the Fallen to have color loyalties. What do you think? Stat-wise, I'm thinking the fallen are +2 INT -2 CHA (very smart/magical, but not very social--though it does seem that most my races have a CHA penalty, so I may need to change that), with some kind of special ability or skill bonus. Any suggestions?
* Dwarves will be in this world--I picture dwarven ships which are basically small floating mountains. Pretty much the standard race otherwise.
* Halflings will be replaced by Hadozee (the "winged deck apes" from Stormwrack), except small sized. I like the idea and ability of the race (it's different from a lot of the standards), and I think small-sized monkey characters won't be any more comical than characters straight out of Planet of the Apes.
* No more half-breeds--I never understood why you can have half-elves and half-orc but not half-dwarves, or a half-elf/half-orc. But I still want Orcs in the world, so I was originally planning to just make all Orcs use half-orc stats. However, I've since thought that I don't necessarily want the "stupid Orc" type, so don't really like the INT penalty. And since every other race seems to have a CHA penalty, I'm not sure I like that either. I see Orcs as a race of warriors, and so there is no reason they can't be as good leaders as a human. So I think I'm going to change the Orc stats to a +2 STR -2 DEX (strong but slow). Also, they are no longer an underground race, so dark-vision doesn't necessarily seem to fit. Any ideas for good abilities for the Orcs? Would the powerful build trait be too much for them?
* That leaves Gnomes. I don't have any plans for this race, so I'm not even sure I want it in the world. Do I need another small-sized race? Or another underground-dwelling race? And as I'm changing magic around, the gnome's innate spell abilities may seem out of place. What do you think, should I get rid of them? Keep them? Change them? I've always had a fondness for the tinker gnome type, maybe I could use that...
* I also would like aquatic adventuring to be part of the world. As such, I think I need an aquatic race to act as the main civilization under the sea. I'm thinking maybe something with a +1 LA to keep it primarily a NPC race. Perhaps merfolk? They don't seem to necessarily get a lot of play in D&D. Or perhaps some variant on the sea-elf (at least for style and appearance, since there are no elves in the world). This is less important, but any suggestions would be good.
* Other NPC races with societies which could in theory be used as PCs--sanguine (the aquatic badguy), Kobolds (perhaps another offshoot from the advanced draconic race?) and maybe Gnolls (though I'm not sure what to do with them). I think I'm going to get rid of most goblinoids (the Orcs take care of most of that flavor).
Is there anything that I'm missing? I've got a default race (human), fighter races (dwarves and orcs), a wizard race (The Fallen things), and a rogue race (the Hadozee). Any other neat race ideas I could maybe try to work in?
Also, back to magic real fast--any suggestions for flavor changes that get rid of the "wizard-scholar" type? I still want them to prepare spells, but I'm curious about maybe doing away with the bookworm stereotype.