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Old 05-28-2012, 09:37 AM   #1
Dangerious P. Cats
 
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Default Typical races IN SPACE

Myself and some fellows want to build a sci fi setting that encompasses most of the tropes and clichés of your typical space type sci fi (things like Star Trek, Mass Effect, Babylon 5, etc). We're trying to work out what your typical races (outside of humans) for a such a thing are and I was hoping that the wisdom of the forum's hive-mind might be able to shed light on such matters.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dangerious P. Cats View Post
Myself and some fellows want to build a sci fi setting that encompasses most of the tropes and clichés of your typical space type sci fi (things like Star Trek, Mass Effect, Babylon 5, etc). We're trying to work out what your typical races (outside of humans) for a such a thing are and I was hoping that the wisdom of the forum's hive-mind might be able to shed light on such matters.
I don't think there really are 'typical' races in science fiction. Some cultural tropes repeat themselves a bit -- wise and kind mentor cultures, aggressive and domineering warrior cultures, clownish cultures, weak and pathetic victim cultures, machine cultures, money-driven cultures, dystopian and utopian cultures.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

At a minimum:
A Proud Warrior Race (Klingon, Wookie, Narn)
A Proud Scholar Race (Vulcan, ??, Minbari)
A Proud Merchant Race (Ferengi, Jawas, Centauri)
A truly alien race (background color) (The manatee-thing, every race in the cantina, Pak'mar'a)
A mostly alien race (Bajorans/Cardassians/ Jem Hadar, Mon Calamari, Drazi)
A really, really powerful race (Q, Witches, Lorien)
An outside threat (Borg, Sii-Ruik, Drakh)

And some kind of altered humans (Espers/cyborgs, Force adepts/cyborgs, Technomages/Espers/Touched by Vorlons)
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:50 AM   #4
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

Some frequently encountered types of aliens races include:
  • Superior life forms: aliens who are smart and may have powers or superior technology, but may be deficient in some way (for example, physically weak, vulnerable to disease, difficulty understanding lower life forms like us).
  • Space barbarians: Badass, but rough around the edges and somewhat tribal. Think Klingons (particularly Next Generation and later) or Jaffa from Stargate.
  • (Animal)-people: Bird-descended aliens with functional wings, dinosaur-like lizard men, cat-girls, etc. There are occasionally (substance) people, like rock-based aliens.
  • Bug-eyed monsters: Large heads, pointy teeth, often have tentacle-like manipulators. Bad news.
A number of aliens are (profession) or (attitude) people. Take humans, change their color or put bumps on their heads, and make them all engineers or pirates or angry or merchants or something.
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Old 05-28-2012, 09:56 AM   #5
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

TV shows are obviously heavily limited by budget and having to use humans in make-up.
Books and RPGs can have all sorts of off the wall aliens.
I always wanted an otherwise boring species that needs to wear a space suit because their biology/atmosphere would be explosive/toxic in human comfortable environments.
Star Trek had Benzites that constantly spewed benzene to breathe... with no mention of how horrendously carcinogenic that gas is.

I like the few members of a primitive not yet officially contacted species.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

One of the oddest aiens I recall was from a book I read as a kid. There was this kind of derelict starship/space station humans discovered and there were wheel aliens there.
I do not really recall anything about the book but those aliens stood out. They rolled rather then walked or floated.
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:12 AM   #7
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

They might not be typical, but Dralasites are by far the coolest science fictional race yet produced.

Luke
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Old 05-28-2012, 11:32 AM   #8
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

Space Pirate Amazon Ninja Cat-Girls?
And TV Tropes has a good entry.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

Aliens on life support. the entire race is.

octopi with a different number of eyes.

precursors who mysteriously disappeared.
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
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Default Re: Typical races IN SPACE

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AlienTropes

TV Tropes to the rescue!
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