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Old 01-02-2012, 06:40 AM   #41
Faolyn
 
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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Originally Posted by Daigoro View Post
The reptilians are a type of eusocial draconic race (like ants or bees), with a number of castes ranging from atavistic giant salamanders, used as riding animals, as guard beasts and for labour, to the queen, a full-blown fantasy dragon. The queen is the only egg-layer in the race and generates all the lower castes herself.

There are many reptilian towns and cities across the day-side, but each one is a single hive-clan with its own queen. To outsiders, these settlements appear to be inhabitated solely by reptilians, while the queen and more draconic castes remain a protected secret.
Mmm... I'm not sure that a reptile is capable of generating the sheer number of offspring needed for this. I think that there are probably several several queens, each probably fed specialized diets or kept in specialized conditions so that she will produce one type of offspring.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #42
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

The plant-analogues of the nightside are chemosynthetic organisms. Most of the oddly colorful organisms that form the base of the nightside food chain are subterranean, with fine filaments spreading into the rock around the many mineral springs. The portion of the organism that is above ground is primarily the reproductive organs, including flowers, fruit, and spore releasing mechanisms. Some of the visible flowers and fruit are iridescent, some are bio-luminescent, and some have structures that produce a distinct noise as the powerful wind blows through them.

As plant life on Earth proliferates where there is water, this life is richest where minerals circulate, whether by water or at the edges of tectonic plates. Volcanoes on nightside are peppered by life. Forests are always associated with earthquakes.

For the animal life of the nightside, all of which is metallic like the ursines, eating the fruit of these plants has many dangers. The plants themselves have their own defenses, but in addition, the richest sources of nutrition are in places where hot sulphurous water might erupt from the ground, where a sudden lava flow might well from below, or an earthquake might suddenly strike.

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Screaming Melons! Dart Morellheads, firing a spray of sharp, fingerlong spores into any animals feeding nearby! A bumper harvest that portends the mountain will erupt! The gratitude of an ursine to whom a PC provides a meal!

Last edited by Dammann; 01-02-2012 at 07:02 AM.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:48 AM   #43
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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Topping these walls are sails and masts of more light-weight construction which provide further shade, but which are easily damaged by severe weather. The shade provided by these is for the industrial and agricultural fringe of the settlements, but may also be occupied by the dregs and lower classes of society.
As a remnant of original slaver magitech, some of these sails are actually solar collectors, providing power for the upper classes who are also lucky enough to own other magitech devices. These sails are tougher than the more common cloth shades, but have to be treated with care because they can still be damaged by storms.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:53 AM   #44
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

A good reason for the ursines to avoid the dayside: photosynthetic plants are deadly to nightside flora. They produce poison that prevents the filamentary root structure from branching. While there are some Screaming Melons on the dayside, they are more like a stunted Whistling Melon. Ursines and other fauna from nightside go hungry on dayside.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:55 AM   #45
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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Right, so most people are stuck with parchment, and books are expensive?
Probably slates are more common, especially for the lower classes. While most people are at least a little literate, permanent writings are uncommon.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #46
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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This doesn't need to be how it works but the sun facing side could be summer equivlent, and the side facing away could be winter equivlent. Getting more extreme as you near the poles.

EDIT: How about the areas ~45 degrees both ways scale with what we have on earth, at 45 degrees from each pole would be either the abolute hottest or coldest it is here on earth.
Axial tilt might provide for some variance within the twilight area.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #47
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

Daysider reptiles are themselves an artificial species developed as servants by ancient sky-god-beings. They 'escaped' when the sky-gods anhiliated themselves in a fearsome conflict that defines a narrative ontology for this world's universe. As refugees, the reptilians used skygod technology to tidelock the world for their needs in the forgotten past. The native nightsiders were victimized by this action and have hated the daysiders ever since. The daysiders imported and enslaved the human soldiers to form a buffer against nightsiders in the twilight zone. The specifics of these events are mostly forgotten now.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:38 AM   #48
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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The native race of the dark side lives off specific minerals, and are biologically completely alien. Because they've eaten all the surface food, the live off industrial-scale mining now, which has made the operators of the food mines into dictators.
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The 'cave bears' aren't really bears at all, their looks simply reminded the first human slaves of bears. The darksiders are massive, furrry (fiber glass? some sort of asbestos?), creatures. They walk about on all fours, but can stand on their rear limbs in order to manipulate objects, push things around, fight, etc. Their 'hands' are not as nimble as human hands. Darkside tools and machines tend to be large and crude-looking, but darkside technology is actually more advanced than that of the humans.
Darksiders need to eat certain mineral compounds, but they also include the weird flora and fauna of the darkside in their diets.
A well-fed darksider extrudes mineral deposits/nodules/plates on his back, which help protect him from the violent weather when he is on the surface.
Let's tinker with the nightsiders a bit.

Their metabolisms systems emulate lichens, but are operate much more rapidly because they are powered by the frequent lightninglike discharges that are normal for the night side. (They have Resistant to electrical shock and several levels of TempTol (cold).)

As mentioned, they have massive bodies to retain heat, fur, and extrude metalic scales. Add then: The scales are grown from their vertebrae and protest their back shoulders and hips. Instead of paws, they have hooves to better protect against extreme ground temperatures. Below/forming their lower jaw/jowls they have twin trunk-like organs, fur-covered and retractable, that they can also use as manipulators.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:42 AM   #49
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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Axial tilt might provide for some variance within the twilight area.
We established negligible tilt already; there is no visible movement of the sun across the sky without instruments, and very little with them.

It's possible the magnetic field can have eddies that influence weather indirectly by an effect on lightning and ionized particles, so that the weather isn't totally determined by circulation within static atmospheric cells. This would allow changes over months or years.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:15 AM   #50
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Default Re: New Year/New Setting: GURPS world design 'game'

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Mmm... I'm not sure that a reptile is capable of generating the sheer number of offspring needed for this. I think that there are probably several several queens, each probably fed specialized diets or kept in specialized conditions so that she will produce one type of offspring.
A monitor lizard can lay up to 37 eggs in a clutch.
A queen bee can lay 2000 eggs a day, more than her own body weight.
As the dragon queens are magical, choose a number somewhere in between those two. Keep in mind what kind of population is needed for a reptilian settlement, and what kind of mortality rate they'd face.

And the queen could go through reproductive phases at will, but might need lots of feeding before and during one.

If the reptilians are human descended, as Maz suggested, then perhaps male humans will have to be regularly acquired from the twilight cities, whereas the lower castes could be the result of unfertilised eggs, equivalent to drone bees.

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There where no other sub-reptilian creatures at the time. The queens are immortal and saw no reason for spawns.
I'd have reservations about them being immortal, but certainly long-lived.

How about this: There is one male dragon, the king, essentially, who stirs but rarely. His nest is at the world's hottest point, the day-pole, and is lined with reflective crystals that keep him bathed in solar radiation.

The queen dragons can mate with him to produce real dragon eggs, but this doesn't happen often. They can also work great magics with him, perhaps in concert with other queens, for such things as opening wormholes to other worlds (e.g. for importing humans) or rearranging the planet's orbital mechanics (as suggested by Figleaf). Again, this happens rarely.

Mostly, he spends his time basking and sleeping, building up a humungous magic reserve.

To tie this to the history, the war with the nightside may have occurred when they managed to kidnap him, to bring light to their side of the planet, or to respin it.

ETA: The king's activity could be linked to calendar, astrological, spiritual or mystical cycles, to keep his involvement in worldly affairs limited.
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Last edited by Daigoro; 01-02-2012 at 09:23 AM.
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