Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > GURPS

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2017, 07:14 PM   #1
awarnock
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Creating aliens for a space campaign.

So, I've got a couple of ideas for alien races, but I need some help designing them.

The first one is probably the simplest (and the one I've had in my head the longest at 15 years.) Basically space elves (keen eyes and ears, which are sharp and pointy; graceful; slender; etc.) They evolved on a cooler planet than earth, so they have a greater tolerance for lower temperatures. The problem is I wanted them to have serious issues when they got too hot, so is there a temperature intolerance or something for decreasing the intervals between levels of heat for a race?

The second and third races are more because the idea amuses me far too much than anything else. The idea is that both races are small, cute, cuddly, and certifiably insane/xenophobic. They both also evolved in a system that has two formerly habitable planets. It's only through sheer dumb luck they didn't do themselves in before joining galactic society at large. The problem is, I don't have any ideas for distinguishing features beyond the purely cosmetic ones. (As for why they are tolerated at all, well, a hot/cold war is good business for weapons merchants, and the live footage of the carnage from boarding actions gets surprisingly good ratings. That and I would like for the PCs to run across them without getting into a warzone.)

Thanks in advance.
awarnock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 07:25 PM   #2
Fred Brackin
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
They evolved on a cooler planet than earth, so they have a greater tolerance for lower temperatures. The problem is I wanted them to have serious issues when they got too hot, so is there a temperature intolerance or something for decreasing the intervals between levels of heat for a race?

.
The normal range for humansd is beteween 35 F and 90 F. You can simpoley set the normal range for your Space elves wherever you want as long as you keep its' span at 55F and its'a 0 pt Feature. Say 15 F to 70 F and they start overheating at 70.
__________________
Fred Brackin
Fred Brackin is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 07:55 PM   #3
Kelly Pedersen
 
Kelly Pedersen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
The idea is that both races are small, cute, cuddly, and certifiably insane/xenophobic. [...] The problem is, I don't have any ideas for distinguishing features beyond the purely cosmetic ones.
"Certifiably insane" covers a lot of ground. Maybe narrow down that a bit? Are they psychotically violent? Unable to make logical decisions? Prone to delusions? Xenophobic is pretty easy, though, it's just "Total Intolerance", for -10.
Kelly Pedersen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 08:05 PM   #4
ericthered
Hero of Democracy
 
ericthered's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: far from the ocean
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post

The second and third races are more because the idea amuses me far too much than anything else. The idea is that both races are small, cute, cuddly, and certifiably insane/xenophobic. They both also evolved in a system that has two formerly habitable planets. It's only through sheer dumb luck they didn't do themselves in before joining galactic society at large. The problem is, I don't have any ideas for distinguishing features beyond the purely cosmetic ones. (As for why they are tolerated at all, well, a hot/cold war is good business for weapons merchants, and the live footage of the carnage from boarding actions gets surprisingly good ratings. That and I would like for the PCs to run across them without getting into a warzone.)

Thanks in advance.
The second race is called the Ob'enn, from schlock mercenary. The only missing detail is that the other race in the system would be happy enough to live and let live. They look like humanoid koalas. I don't know of a place where all the Ob'enn stuff is collected together. There is a section of good stuff during schlocktoberfest 2001, and lots of other stuff scattered around the comic. I hesitate to send you on an archive binge, as its an absolutely massive comic.
__________________
Worlds Beyond Earth -- my blog
ericthered is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 08:47 PM   #5
jason taylor
 
jason taylor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Portland, Oregon
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
So, I've got a couple of ideas for alien races, but I need some help designing them.

The first one is probably the simplest (and the one I've had in my head the longest at 15 years.) Basically space elves (keen eyes and ears, which are sharp and pointy; graceful; slender; etc.) They evolved on a cooler planet than earth, so they have a greater tolerance for lower temperatures. The problem is I wanted them to have serious issues when they got too hot, so is there a temperature intolerance or something for decreasing the intervals between levels of heat for a race?

The second and third races are more because the idea amuses me far too much than anything else. The idea is that both races are small, cute, cuddly, and certifiably insane/xenophobic. They both also evolved in a system that has two formerly habitable planets. It's only through sheer dumb luck they didn't do themselves in before joining galactic society at large. The problem is, I don't have any ideas for distinguishing features beyond the purely cosmetic ones. (As for why they are tolerated at all, well, a hot/cold war is good business for weapons merchants, and the live footage of the carnage from boarding actions gets surprisingly good ratings. That and I would like for the PCs to run across them without getting into a warzone.)

Thanks in advance.
A whole species cannot by definition be insane as any collective "insanity" which is compatible with group survival is meaningless as a word(it is a useful enough term for individuals simply because we have the resources to care for the mentally disabled). It can be xenophobic but xenophobia is a specific quality which has useful(if limited)aspects to it and thus could be imagined in an alien race.
__________________
"The navy could probably win a war without coffee but would prefer not to try"-Samuel Eliot Morrison
jason taylor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 08:55 PM   #6
awarnock
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

@Jason Taylor: Given that I'm trying to flesh out a pair of templates for 3 foot tall murder-plushies, I think it's safe to say that medical definitions are being subverted for colloquially ones. That said, while they are not insane when compared to others of their race, they are most definitely insane when compared to the other races in the galaxy.

Of course, as Kelly said, insane is pretty broad. Something more precise might be psychotically violent and delusional.

@ericthered: Actually, the Obenn was part of the inspiration for that. The other bit was the Chua from Wildstar. The third race was a what-if instead of peace-loving velociraptoids, it was a second psychotically violent race. Them also being cute and fluffy was just for amusement. (Off topic, I really need to catch back up. I've binged the Schlock Mercenary archives a few times, but not in a few years.)

@Kelly Pedersen: Psychotically violent and prone to delusions sounds about right. So, Total Intolerance [-10], Bad Temper [-10], Bully [-10], Delusions(Major, "We are the masters of the universe! It is only a matter of time before all bow before us!") [-10], and Sadism [-15] would probably be a part of both races. I'm not sure if Social Stigma would be, though. Maybe reputation would be better?

The main problem is thinking of something to differentiate the two races. Then again, maybe just the features will be enough.

@Fred Brackin: Thanks for pointing that out. It wasn't quite what I meant, but it did get me on the right path I think.
awarnock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 09:50 PM   #7
awarnock
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

First attempt at this, so yeah, probably needs some work.

Syren
13 Points (-36 Disadvantages)
You a member of a humanoid race with an astonishingly similar appearance to the human race of the Sol system, and an even more astonishing resemblance to one of their fictional creations, elves. Having evolved on a planet a good bit cooler than earth, you take cold temperatures fairly well. Hot temperatures, not so much.

Attributes:
DX+1 [20]
HT-1[-10]

Secondary Traits:
Basic Speed+1.00 [20]

Advantages:
Acute Hearing 2 [4]
Acute Vision 2 [4]

Perks:
+2 on all Reaction rolls against fans of Terran fantasy literature and d20 table-top RPGs. [1]

Disadvantages:
Skinny [-5]
Vulnerability (2x, Very Common: Heat, Fatigue Only) [-20]

Quirks:
Distinctive Features (long, pointy ears; large, black eyes; dark-gray sclera; silver to blue or violet hair) [-1]

Features:
Modified Temperature Range (20F - 75F)


The race is supposed to be remarkably similar to humans in setting, so to us, they look like elves. They are supposed to have some of the hallmark traits of elves. They aren't any longer lived compared to humans, though, nor are they any smarter or wiser. I think I managed to nail them down, but I might not have the concept firmly grasped either.

Probably rambling now, so I guess I might need to go to bed.
awarnock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 09:58 PM   #8
Kelly Pedersen
 
Kelly Pedersen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Saskatoon, SK, Canada
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
Delusions(Major, "We are the masters of the universe! It is only a matter of time before all bow before us!") [-10],
This is almost literally the description of Megalomania, so I'd just use that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock
I'm not sure if Social Stigma would be, though. Maybe reputation would be better?
The key difference between Social Stigma and Reputation on the racial level, I think, is that Social Stigma typically includes some level of legal or social limitations that aren't encapsulated in reaction modifiers. Social Stigma (Minority Group), for example, includes the fact that the race is a visible minority, and will find it tricky to conceal their status, and probably includes some significant stereotypes that could be both positive and negative. Whereas Racial Reputation is pretty much just "people don't like these folks".

The other disadvantage that would seem appropriate for these things would be Odious Racial Habit, the racial version of Odious Personal Habit. Odious Racial Habit (Eats sentient beings) is canonically the -3 level, so anything significantly less than that should be lower, but they do sound like they could qualify for at least a couple levels of this.
Kelly Pedersen is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 10:39 PM   #9
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
The normal range for humansd is beteween 35 F and 90 F. You can simpoley set the normal range for your Space elves wherever you want as long as you keep its' span at 55F and its'a 0 pt Feature. Say 15 F to 70 F and they start overheating at 70.
That works for races whose solvent is water. For other races you will want to convert the temperature range to kelvin (275 K to 305 K, approximately) and divide (or multiply) the upper and lower limits by a number that places both within the range of temperatures where the solvent is liquid. For example, hydrogen melts at 14 K and boils at 20 K; if you divide by 16 you get 17 K and 19 K, which fits in between those limits. That also works as a zero point feature.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2017, 10:45 PM   #10
whswhs
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Default Re: Creating aliens for a space campaign.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
@Kelly Pedersen: Psychotically violent and prone to delusions sounds about right. So, Total Intolerance [-10], Bad Temper [-10], Bully [-10], Delusions(Major, "We are the masters of the universe! It is only a matter of time before all bow before us!") [-10], and Sadism [-15] would probably be a part of both races. I'm not sure if Social Stigma would be, though. Maybe reputation would be better?
I don't think that's a Delusion. I think it's Megalomania.

For Social Stigma, which society's viewpoint are you adopting? A bunch of murderous xenophobes probably aren't stigmatized in their own society and culture; it doesn't matter to them what the people over the mountains or in a different solar system say about them. And if they aren't going to try to live among their enemies and deal with them peacefully, Social Stigma is probably irrelevant. Reputation might make more sense.
__________________
Bill Stoddard

A human being should know how to live fast, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse. Specialization is for insects.
whswhs is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:28 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.