Any tips you can give me on how to best avoid minidumps and errors, like start with player.entity or tot he contrary go through all files in alphabetical order and in each one that has a link with Nephil, change it's name ...or something like that!
Pull out all the files that are specific to your race and put them in a separate folder. This way you'll avoid all the junk from vanilla and have a much smaller set of files to get lost in. Then start from the player entity and work backwards. Look at the frigate ship list and make sure you have all those entity files. Look into each of those entity files and make sure you have entities for all those abilities, so on so forth. Do not use anything from the vanilla. You're making a new race, which I assume won't be using the same ships and abilities (at least in name) than any of the existing races so there's no reason to keep anything existing in the files to mess you up. It's better for most stuff to be blank (like a completely blank frigate list if you don't have any frigates for building) than to confuse yourself between what's in your race and what's in the vanilla game.
If you're spawning ships, make their entities unique to your race, too. Don't spawn FrigatePhaseHeavy, spawn FrigateNephilHeavy, etc. This makes your own race clean and prevents you from messing up anything that already exists because you never have to worry about modifying it since you're always making copies first.
That's about all the advice I can give