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Old 10-06-2019, 05:18 PM   #11
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: GURPS books that are good for biotech/biomagic/biopunk?

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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
What I'm trying to get at is...

If you're using GURPS as a way to simulate a setting, or at least describe average entities within a setting, what would it look like?

Like, what abilities would the 'civilian/industrial' side of an aggressive biological hegemonizing swarm? How would they mine minerals, to obtain what they need? Process them? Take over a biosphere? Build buildings? Maintain group cohesion and control? Take over a planet? Launch to the next one? Integrate useful genetics via some sort of lego genetics? How would they specifically get and keep hegemony, and usefully have the means to expand and exploit everything they come in contact with? What powers or abilities would HAVE to be in the worker and overseer castes?
You won't get much about that, but both GURPS Space and GURPS Template Toolkit 2: Races have discussions of the social patterns that go with various psychological traits. That might be some help, at a more basic level.

There isn't any GURPS book for alien tech that I know of.
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Old 10-06-2019, 11:07 PM   #12
Varyon
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Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: GURPS books that are good for biotech/biomagic/biopunk?

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Originally Posted by Gavinfoxx View Post
Where do I find bits and pieces of how to make a race of telepathic (or radiotelepathy, whatever) bug bio-monsters, with a bunch of inherent biological powers, and how they can function with a full mobilization command economy, (how do you get the worker castes to be able to do what they have to be able to do without making them intelligent?) and how they actually go about functioning in a way that doesn't completely break verisimilitude?
Truly mindless creatures are just puppets waiting for possession. What you'd have with things like the Zerg would basically be something akin to a Dedicated AI, or maybe even a Non-Volitional AI (in either case, see UT25). That is, the Zerg hatch "programmed" for certain activities - namely, gathering resources for and protecting their hive. Particularly dangerous ones will be programmed to expand. A powerful psi, like the Overmind, Queen of Blades, or a Hybrid, can reprogram them to issue more direct orders, but without such they'll still do what their base programming - call it "instincts" - tell them. Such races are usually designed such that they can consume various resources to influence their growth, allowing them to grow into more powerful forms, bioships, etc. There can be a nascent hive mind linking them together, to sort of instruct them on how to properly divide labor, but this isn't strictly necessary. A hive mind or greater controlling intelligence is probably necessary if they actually build technological things, rather than just transforming themselves into biobuildings or whatever.

Most of the above isn't going to be in the form of actual abilities, but rather the fact that, say, a zerg hydralisk can morph into a lurker by consuming sufficient quantities of reprogrammable matter is a Feature (or maybe a Perk, if the GM feels it represents an exception to Cannot Learn and the hydralisk has said trait). If the hydralisk were a player character, the player would need to pay the difference in cost between the hydralisk and lurker templates. Much of the rest is going to be in the form of Cannot Learn, Reprogrammable, Slave Mentality, Susceptible (Psionics), etc. Hive minds (note the Overmind and his Cerebrate lieutenants were singular entities with powerful psionics to control large numbers of zerg) are, as previously mentioned, covered in Zombies. They basically work out to having an IQ bonus with a sufficiently-large swarm.

As for gene-theft, this typically takes the form of "Mega Man"-ing (kill something, get its special power; zerg, particularly the primordials, often take this up a notch by eating what they kill). I think a decent basis for that is actually Reawakened, which lets you readily learn skills, advantages, etc with the justification they're things you knew in a past life. This variant would let you do the same thing, but limit it to the abilities of those you've "Mega Man"-ed, which may be worth a discount. Note you still have to pay for the abilities with character points! In many settings, the effects of gene-thievery don't come into play for the actual thieves, but rather allow the next generation to have new abilities - this doesn't really need any trait, just a note that later generations can have additional abilities as part of their templates.
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