For my fantasy world I thought it would be kind of cool if my humans live in the night instead of during the day. But now I’m facing several problems and I’m not really sure how to solve them. Firstly, during nighttime, it is colder, thus, from a cultural standpoint, if I had an Maasai equivalent then they wouldn’t develop that way since it’s not so warm that they’d need their light clothing. Same for, let’s say, Persians.
Their distinct weapons, culture and clothing is a result of the climate, among other things. It would be, in my opinion, weird to say they have light clothing because of the heat when it is barely 20°C during the night. Similarly, I worry about the skin tone aspect, since there’d be no need for dark skin to protect oneself from the sun, but I’m aiming for diversity since I’m working on a whole world. The one solution I thought about was make the day even hotter so the night is warmer.
So during the day you’d have, maybe, 50°C and during the night 30°C to be true-er to the climate of the real world equivalents. Or, I stop thinking in equivalents and accept the cooler temperatures, but then lots of elements would be lost, for example desert tribes or the “Persians’ ” light clothing as opposed to the “Norses’ ” heavier armour. Do you have any ideas? I could explain most with magic, since the world was created, but, you know, saying “it’s magic” is a comfortable, easy excuse.
You’ve got several topics, so I’m going to try and tackle one at a time.
Decide exactly the type of climate you want your people to live in during their awake time. If you want it to be warm, then place the planet in a place close enough to its sun where such a climate makes sense. I feel it would be completely natural to have a species who lives in the temperate night because daytime is unbearably hot.
You’d want a planet with a humid enough atmosphere to hold in the warmth of the day. What I mean by that is, if you create a desert biome, then the dry air will not help disperse the heat between day and night, and the nights will be freezing even if the days are too hot.
Science is pretty awesome in that you can use it to explain pretty much any type of climate you want, you just might have to think out of the “Terrestrian atmosphere” box.
If you’re looking to create a race of people who are nocturnal, then I’d say the first step you should take is look at the biology of nocturnal creatures here on Earth.
Human’s skin is colored by the presence or absence of melanin. But your alien race doesn’t have to be. If you look at a cast of nocturnal animals, you’ll see a variety of textures and colors. If the sun isn’t playing a role in the lives of these people, then it wouldn’t make sense for their coloring to be dependent upon the strength of the sun. Rather, they could be colored to camouflage, attract mates, intimidate enemies, or any other number of reasons.
Weapons, Clothing, Etc.
So if you’re working on a different scale of existence, then try not to limit yourself to the reasons why the Persians did it, or the reasons why the Romans did it or anything like that. If you have a nocturnal race who is light skinned because the trees have pale bark and they have evolved to hunt in the forest, therefore blend in with the pale trees, then you want to craft their weapons and clothing in a way that would follow that logic. They might not want to wear excessive clothing (if the climate didn’t call for it) because they want to be able to continue to blend in with their surroundings as they evolved to do. Their weapons might need to be long distance so they could shoot without moving from their “tree-like” hiding places. OR they might have close-range weapons that are aesthetically designed to look like a tree branch or leaves.
A darker-skinned people who evolved to camouflage with the dark sand of the beaches have little cover to hide behind. They might have light weapons that are fast and easy to melee with. The design might be inspired by the sea or the creatures therein.
Basically, when you’re playing on a different battlefield, you have the freedom to think outside the box. Earth and humans and our biology is normal to us, but it isn’t the only choice. If you want your races to look and act a certain way, think about other factors that could create that need, other explanations that could make that aesthetic not only plausible but sensible.