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Old 10-23-2019, 08:13 PM   #11
Anthony
 
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Those are some interesting presumptions, now try it with only biotech.
Why? I wasn't making a statement about how the rules are, I was making a statement about how I'd apply them.
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Old 10-23-2019, 10:32 PM   #12
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Why? I wasn't making a statement about how the rules are, I was making a statement about how I'd apply them.
Sure... I guess. Except this is a thread about biotech, so weird that you'd immediately be talking about limiting the possibilities of biotech in favor of computer implantation tech...
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

My first gurps space setting had aliens who made artificial life shaped like themselves as servants to colonize planets hostile to them. The originals think Venus is the most pleasant planet in the solar system, so that included earth and earth-like planets.

Those aliens never appeared on screen in any of the games I've run in that setting, but they wouldn't have been a big deal. The emphasis was on pantropism, and those aliens mostly have decreased time rate, so they're not terribly threatening. And that clade of aliens is the least threatening set in that universe. The scary ones are the xenocidal genegeneered cybernetic mad scientist squid, followed by the mix and match aliens who are actually four different organisms combined together and figured out how to breed different strains of the base organisms about the same time they figured out agriculture.

None of the above were made using the rules in biotech, because I didn't have it at the time. When I wanted to make the aliens overwhelming, I used spaceship tech and computer-granted targeting bonuses.
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Old 10-23-2019, 11:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

Depending on their temperament, an IQ 17 species would be terrifying (especially since IQ 21, above human maximum, would be not rare). Even without cinematic gadgeteering, their scientists could make rapid technological progress and would likely have an understanding of science beyond human capabilities. While humans might be limited to TL12, they might be able to go beyond (maybe maximum TL for sapient creatures is equal to average IQ, meaning that unmodified human civilizations are limited to TL10 while IQ 17 civilizations are capable of reaching TL17).
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Old 10-24-2019, 12:20 AM   #15
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
Sure... I guess. Except this is a thread about biotech, so weird that you'd immediately be talking about limiting the possibilities of biotech in favor of computer implantation tech...
I wasn't. A brain is a very specialized biocomputer, and the way you add IQ is by restructuring or by upgrading the hardware (okay, you can probably get more IQ without a hardware upgrade by radical adjustments in thinking, but you'd be able to do the same thing to humans unless it has unacceptable side effects).

In general, there's nothing possible with alien biology that can't be copied by around TL 10, so the only way one biotech-enhanced race can be different from another is by making different tradeoffs.
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Old 10-24-2019, 05:49 AM   #16
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

I disagree. Biocomputers are not brains and brains are not biocomputers. Biocomputers use single celled organisms to do complex computation through biochemical, bioelectrical, and biomechanical processes. Brains use highly complex neurons that forecast the future through biochemical, bioelectrical, and biomechanical processes.

Biocomputers use computation to analyze problems while brains use forecasting to interact with their environment. While computation can be used for environmental interaction and forecasting can be used for computation, computation requires much less processing power than forecasting.

Now, by TL10, biocomputers can approximate the functions of average unaugmented humans. By TL12, they even catch up with average augmented humans, but the processes are still fundamentally different, even if they are equivalent. Even with unaugmented bumans, there is a vast range of intelligence in GURPS, from IQ 0 to IQ 20, and augmented humans will range from IQ 0 to IQ 28 by TL12 (racial maximums are +100% of the average racial characteristic). Individual variation is partially genetic and partially environmental, with genetic engineering only allowing for relatively unsophisticated changes.
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Old 10-24-2019, 07:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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TL 12 is plenty unfair with or without genetic engineering, but I would not assume high racial averages stack with genetic engineering (i.e. TL 12 doesn't actually allow IQ+4, it allows racial IQ 14).
This is also my approach, for reasons very similar to Anthony's.

In general, there comes a point where really extreme game statistics should just be treated as "here be dragons." That is, a species with base IQ 19, Per and Will 21, is so radically different from the characters the game was designed to represent that you may as well not try to keep track. The interactions with normal-range characters would come down to automatic successes and critical failures, neither of which is intended to be routine in play.

The Orion's Arm setting does a pretty good job of expressing this, with multiple levels of transcended beings, each (by definition) incomprehensible to the previous level.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:07 AM   #18
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
I disagree. Biocomputers are not brains and brains are not biocomputers. Biocomputers use single celled organisms to do complex computation through biochemical, bioelectrical, and biomechanical processes. Brains use highly complex neurons that forecast the future through biochemical, bioelectrical, and biomechanical processes.
Biocomputers use whatever type of cell does the work. Neurons are cells.
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Biocomputers use computation to analyze problems while brains use forecasting to interact with their environment.
That's just a software issue. A biocomputer running an AI does the same thing as a sapient brain.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:27 AM   #19
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
Even with unaugmented bumans, there is a vast range of intelligence in GURPS, from IQ 0 to IQ 20
There really isn't though. Humans of below IQ8 are extremely rare, and humans of above IQ 14 or so are essentially nonexistent. The highest "realistic human" to ever appear in GURPS is around 1Q 16.
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Old 10-24-2019, 11:39 AM   #20
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Default Re: Alien Genetic Engineering [Biotech/Space]

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Eh, I'd be perfectly willing to let TL 10 genetic engineering give a horse IQ 12. A horse brain is slightly smaller than human and is controlling a larger body, so you'd need to do a bit of skull restructuring, but putting human-level intelligence in just about any SM-1 or larger animal is plausibly TL 10.
While I can't tell you how TL12 would really work, or how alien brains would really function, according to the game rules in Bio-Tech at TL12 you can add a maximum of +4 to the horse's racial IQ of 3 giving an IQ of 7.

It would be nice to still be alive when we hit TL12 to reality check GURPS rules then, and maybe by then we'll have encountered alien life so we can ask them about their genetic engineering...
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