I'm currently building a world for a D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) set in the far future, where humans have escaped from a nuclear war roughly 100 years from 2020. Humans have started coming back 200 years before the setting time, about 1,800 years from 2020, or 1,700 years after the nuclear war. The technological level is somewhat 19th century. Solar panels exist (From the humans), as with some measure of frozen food. However, gunpowder is almost exclusively used for cannons, with the smallest being a hand cannon, or a big gun to the biggest race.

Trains are mostly electrical (By Solar Power). However, I also have 18 races (Including the humans), which are mostly big, but many have tails and wings, and 4 are basically centaur races (I have a smaller version of a centaur, actually), plus basically a feathered raptor. All races are described below:

Pterians This race actually evolved from bats in this world. They have big wings (18-foot wingspan, or 9-foot wings, for specifics), and tails with 2 more sets of wings. They are 6 to 7 1/2 feet tall, with tails as long as they are.

Kannter This race has pale white horns and a spined tail (The spines are a support for a fan-like skin flap series, used by their ancestors for intimidation). They are mildly taller than humans.

Gern This race is an 8-foot tall orc race. Not much to say here.

Phanerae This race is from 6 feet to almost 8 feet, with women being shorter but heavier than men, due to their, for lack of a better word, thiccness.

Leonar This race, one of the centaur races, is half lion, half black man. It is the same way as the normal centaur way. They are roughly 6 to 7 feet tall.

Ashara This race, the second centaur race, is half Latino/a, half winged dragon with tail spikes. Roughly 7 feet tall.

Centaur Centaur Race Number 3. Exactly as the mythological version, but only 6 feet tall.

Zavran Centaur Race Four, Half anthropomorhpic scorpion, half giant scorpion. Only 5 to 6 feet tall.

Ceana Essentially humanoids with a mildly scaly human body and a big snake tail instead of legs. 13 to 16 feet long, but 6 to almost 7 feet tall when torso is raised.

Neirn This race has a 20-year-long larval stage, which is 2 feet tall. Its adult stage is a wolfish form, 5 feet-ish tall. The Larval stage is basically a Lalafell (From Final Fantasy XIV).

Maer This race is as tall as humans, but has a 3 foot mermaid tail.

Miqo'te Basically the Miqo'te race from Final Fantasy XIV. Males a tad shorter than humans, females significantly shorter than humans.

Drava This race is basically a dragon satyr race. They have draconic lower quarters (With a flexible tail usable as a weapon), and human upper quarters (With Draconic Wings). They pioneered the rail tech and solar panels.

Na'vi The alien race from James Cameron's Avatar, 10 foot tall blue humanoids without hair (Except on the end of their tail and eyelashes). Also the race I mentioned above (The part about the cannons).

Mitarn The raptor race I mentioned. They can sit two ways: Chicken (Body is perpendicular to seat, head is only as high above the body as the neck), or Owl (Body is at an angle to seat, head is higher than rest of body). They are 4 feet tall and 8 feet long. They have pretty flexible tails. They also have feathers.

Vaeran An insectoid race, 4 to 5 feet tall. They have 4 arms.

Avandra This rave is an ooze race, 2 to 3 feet tall.

Humans Basically us, but developed for living on Mars (Where the humans who escaped Earth went to after the war, but adapting for the low-gravity of Mars, but still able to live on Earth. How this is possible is irrelevant for the question).

Inktolings: The fictional race of a Inkling-Octoling hybrid, but can breed. Are usually 5 to almost 6 feet tall.

Alternians: The alien race of Homestuck. Evolved from bugs, have grubs as offspring, and have different blood, from red, and going up to violet with purple before that, and also fuschia. Tend to be around 6 feet tall.

Foodimals: The food creatures from Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. Can range from 1 foot tall to dinosaur size (30 feet long max). The larger ones simply request a box car for themselves.

Major Problems Okay, now that you read the races, I have the main problem. I know how a tail hole could work (Simply have a gap between the seat and wall, or simply have bus-like seats, but have tail holes), children (And the shorter races) can sit just fine in adult seats, and the seats are made to be for bigger races, possibly with steps on one side for smaller ones. However, I'd like the races to be able to be close together (For example, friends of several races), and having sections for the Mitarn and centaur races seems somewhat rude for people with those races for friends. Here are some basic facts:

  1. Most races have some body part that would get in the way (Wings, tails, bodies) of a "Normal" human seat. (Back connected to seat).
  2. The Centaur races (And the Mitarn) can sit fairly well with a human seat (The Centaur races can lie down on their animal sides, and the Mitarn can sit Chicken Style).
  3. The Avandra are particularly worrying, as they are both 3 feet tall and have no feet (They have a 2 inch thick layer of ooze where feet would be).

Here's the question: How in the world will the train seating be for a world with a lot of tails, 4 races that are centaurs, a raptor species, and 3 feet tall ooze people?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Hi, @The Darke Lorde, welcome to Worldbuilding! Because you listed a number of non-anthropomorphic species, we first need to decide how each of them would be able to sit (in general). $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 18:48

2 Answers 2


So the seats should be perpendicular to the train's forward motion (aligned to the car's walls that would be against the station platform). This is used in real life commuter rail services to allow for maximum space (the same amount of seats can be used in the car AND it maximizes standing room during rushhour and leg room off peak hours. This is common in many high density cities and the Tokyo Metro system uses them for most of their trains, which can be quite tightly packed in a busy rush hour period). Next, the seat bottom should be able to fold up against the wall for our four legged races to fold it against and come to a comfortable "lying" seat (look at how these animals sleep). This is similar to many trains and buses with handicapped seats that fold up for wheel chair confined patrons. Finally, the seats should have gaps between the back and the seat bottom to allow for tails to slide through (though it may be prudent to have train curtosies such as placing your tail around your waist and holding it in your lap, similar to how metros will often have passengers with bags place there bags in their laps.).

For winged species, consider a wing design similar to those seen in the animated series "Gargoyles" where the titular winged humanoid creatures often have wings that could be folded around their shoulders or chest in a manner similar to capes, cloaks, or shaws (It helped that they were basically second arms that had evolved to a bat like wing structure, so they could be articulated like human hands). In addition, Bat wings generally evolved from an extended finger to support a skin membrane and could also fold upward for a four legged walk similar to an ape's knuckle walk (Take a look at Pterasaurs and Bats that are moving on surfaces as opposed to flying.).

Trains probably need to be built to double decker heights but accomodate one deck so taller humanoids can have head room. Additionally, rails should be an extremely wide gage so the car's floor can be widened both for seating leg room AND better mobility of your taurs (A centaur may need to swing his hind quarters out while adjusting his seat area up, blocking traffic as it tries to move down the aisle not to mention he'll take up space in the length of the car if it's standing room only. For long haul trains (think intercity routes, the wider asile space can not only accomadate larger sleeping quarters but also allow train employees to move around people making accomodating adjustments.).

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! I never even thought about the seats folding up for the taurs! It can even make for an exciting scene where a pregnant woman gives birth while the seat is down. I also didn't think of a double decker train. Na'vi and the taller races on the bottom, everyone else up top, with the lower deck being taller, I presume? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 22:54
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDarkeLorde: It was more that the double decker in size. Inside their's only one floor but it's got clearance for those that need the head room. Same idea with the wider gage... you're increasing interior volume to accomodate more non-standard shapes. I did forget the ooze people but to my mind, I'd need to know how they can move... if they can stretch around, then your only trouble is the "Please Mind The Gap" warning, which just means instead of oozing through the door, they would need to do a Slinky jump over the gap and up the stairs. $\endgroup$
    – hszmv
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 13:03
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDarkeLorde: I would look at the train designs at the beginning of Zootopia as well as some of the other urban designs they featured, as they do have public accomondations for both very large and very small animals. $\endgroup$
    – hszmv
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 13:05
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, the ooze people CAN Slinky jump. Funny enough, I watched Zootopia last weekend, before I signed up! $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 13:34
  • $\begingroup$ @TheDarkLorde: I went on the strength of the Sloths in the previews... and was dying with laughter in the theater. That said, if you can find a behind the scenes look at it, try to find segments about how they engineered the world as they were accomadating a lot more needs in the city than humans think of. $\endgroup$
    – hszmv
    Commented Dec 2, 2020 at 14:42

Ad hoc all the way.

The cars are usually for cargo. By special arrangement some carry passengers. People ride as they would in a cargo space.

These passengers know what the deal will be, or most do. The centaurs bring ropes and lash them to high spaces so they can brace themselves against lateral movement as they ride. Small creatures will bring a basket or box and set it up somewhere out of the way so they are not trampled. Those snaky individuals are ok with riding in stacks or piles, possibly passing a pipe to stay peacheful. I would probably bring a sleeping bag and use a pack for my pillow and camp on the floor off to the side, hopefully shielded from large bodies by a bale or two of something.

A party of Gern frequent riders shows up with durable hammocks - your protagonist had never seen a hammock before and is impressed, resolving to build one. One of the Gerns in her hammock scoops up a little person from the floor where she is in harms way and sets it on her comfy chest - "you can ride with me this time, little one".

Train accomodations are all ad hoc. They will be fun to write.

  • $\begingroup$ This is a funny scenario! This is for a D&D game, however, so maybe an NPC hasn't seen a hammock? $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 22:58
  • $\begingroup$ Also, what if said little person is an Avandra? You know, my sapient oozes? That Gern would get an acid bath! ;P $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 23:27

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