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Old 09-21-2017, 11:51 PM   #1
awarnock
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Need some help with an alien race

I'm working on building things out for a game I'm planning on running, and I'm having some issues figuring out some things for one of my alien races. They look like eight-legged otters with broad tails and prehensile toes on all their paws. I want them to be quick while scurrying on all, or most of their limbs, but slower while walking on just their rearmost limbs.

I was thinking that they'd have semi-upright and extra-arms, but I'm not sure how to do the arms. Do I have the foot manipulators on the rearmost set of arms/legs, or do I have it for all eight sets. Also, what other traits would logically be included?
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Old 09-22-2017, 01:44 AM   #2
mr beer
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

They move faster if they use all their limbs, as a limitation that's a Feature or -1 Quirk IMO.

You decide how many extra Legs and how many extra Arms they have.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:08 AM   #3
ericthered
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

From the most read article of my blog:

Quote:
Don't Just Count the Arms!

One of the most expensive builds known to gurps is the tentacle build. You know, building an octopus with 8 arms. It costs a whopping 100 points to by 6 arms and then upgrade all 8 to extra flexible! But is that really what an octupus should buy? With gurps its important to buy the effects rather than the name. What does extra arm actually buy you?

Well, it gets you a 'hand' and a +2 to grappling. 'Hands' are measured comparative to human hands. So ask yourself, can an octopus use all eight arms as effectively as an human with eight arms? can it play two key boards at once while pulling organ stops, turning the page, drinking coffee, and waving hello? No. And its not just the effects of ham fisted. Its the fact that humans have fingers and opposable thumbs. To some aliens, we have 10 'arms' very short ones on the end of a stump. a LOT of multi-limbed aliens can't use one limb for each hand -- to do what a human does, they need to double up or use some other leverage trick.

Its worth noting extra flexible is often paired with short. Realistic hydrostatic limbs don't have the leverage that a human arm does. Take an elephant for example. Yes, the trunk is huge and fairly long, but so is the animal, and the trunk is used fairly close to the body, especially when its full strength is used. It doesn't have much swinging strength either. Octopi are the same way.

So our the 100 points we spent for 6 extra arms (flexible) and 2 flexible arms don't describe an octopus. They describe a grappling demon with intricate control and digits on the tentacles and immense arm strength. Our actual octopus as two extra arms (flexible, short) and two flexible, short arms for a total of 20 points. And that's just one way to do it. A case can be made for a single arm. Remember, you get what you pay for...
Let their capabilities guide the stats. Can they play the piano while drinking coffee and waving hello? How good are they are grappling?

I would guess all of the limbs have foot manipulators. They're also likely to be short limbs as well. But they probably do actually have a lot of "arms". At least four in total, and perhaps more ... but I don't think I'd do all eight.

for moving faster or slower, remember temporary disadvantage, and remember negated advantages as well.
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Old 09-22-2017, 07:12 AM   #4
malloyd
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

Quote:
Originally Posted by awarnock View Post
I was thinking that they'd have semi-upright and extra-arms, but I'm not sure how to do the arms. Do I have the foot manipulators on the rearmost set of arms/legs, or do I have it for all eight sets. Also, what other traits would logically be included?
I think I'd buy Extra Legs up to however many they can never use as manipulators (if that's none, then they need foot manipulators for their default pair of legs too), and the rest as Extra Arms. Then buy whatever extra Move they have with limitations (temporary disadvantage: No Extra Arms and eventually No Fine Manipulators) in levels as you use more and more of your limbs. I suppose technically you should also take Extra Legs with the same temporary disadvantages.
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Old 09-22-2017, 02:17 PM   #5
jason taylor
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

They sound like creatures who would hunt or forage near shores close to the surface of the water.

They would likely have a sense of how to manipulate water currents. I remember watching Blue Planet how dolphin packs corral shoals of fish by swishing the water upon them.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:19 PM   #6
awarnock
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

They are supposed to be short, like maybe the length of someone's upper arm. They can play the piano, drink a cup of coffee, and wave hello while fixing something with the other four limbs, assuming that they have the piece memorized and it doesn't require a lot of concentration, and that the piano is made for children.

Maybe it might help if I gave a drawing in comparison to a human? Maybe this one's too ambitious for a relatively new player to do? I dunno, that's why I was asking for help.

So, this was my first idea.

Short Arms [-5]
Extra Arms 4 (Short) [20]
Prehensile Toes [4]
Semi-Upright [-5]

Which works out to 14 points for the physical build, but the last sentence in Semi-Upright makes me think that this isn't right. They can carry stuff, it's just that they can't move fast.

Okay, so let' go with malloyd's suggestion.

While walking upright, they are on two short legs. So let's say that they have Basic Move 2 [-15].

They can get +1 to Basic Move per pair of limbs they now walk on.

+2 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Extra Arms, -20%) [+8]
+1 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Fine Manipulators, -30%) [+3]

So now things look like:

Short Arms [-5]
Extra Arms 4 (Short) [20]
Prehensile Toes [4]
Basic Move 2 [-15]
+2 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Extra Arms, -20%) [+8]
+1 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Fine Manipulators, -30%) [+3]

So the build is now 15 points, which makes the ability to walk and carry stuff a perk apparently. :P

Given that I'm shooting to be 50 points or less with the racial templates, this is fine with me. If anyone's curious, Prehensile Toes are the same thing as Foot Manipulators. Bio-Tech uses the Prehensile Toes and I just happen to prefer that to Foot Manipulators.

I pictured them as pretty good climbers, so in their stone ages they probably mostly hunted by ambushing prey from above when not fishing or diving for clams and other shellfish. I'm thinking Catfall might not be a bad idea for these guys either.

Hmm, just reread the description I wrote for them and they are supposed to be astonishingly fast when on all eight legs. Looks like I need one last edit.

Short Arms [-5]
Extra Arms 4 (Short) [20]
Prehensile Toes [4]
Basic Move 2 [-15]
+4 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Extra Arms, -20%) [+16]
+4 Basic Move (Temporary Disadvantage: No Fine Manipulators, -30%) [+12]

So, they get a pretty speedy Basic Speed 10 when going "full eights" and it bumps the cost for this up to 31 points. Not too bad for a four foot tall otter. :)

Thanks for all your help. I think I would have been in Analysis Paralysis without your input.

Now, I just have to figure out if making snarky comments about stupid policies is a Quirk or an Odious Racial Habit.

Last edited by awarnock; 09-22-2017 at 11:24 PM.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:35 PM   #7
John_A_Tallon
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

You might consider giving them Enhanced Move (Water) too, if they're of aquatic origin.
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Old 09-22-2017, 11:45 PM   #8
awarnock
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

Part of the plan. I was just stumped on how to stat out the arms.
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Old 09-23-2017, 08:23 AM   #9
ericthered
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

If both of the default arms are short, short arms is worth [-10], not [-5]. Its [-5] per arm.

I don't think you need the full eight arms to do them justice: extra arm does a lot. But if you really want to buy all of them, I suppose you can.

snarky comments are almost certainly a quirk.
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Old 09-23-2017, 12:42 PM   #10
awarnock
 
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Default Re: Need some help with an alien race

Quote:
Originally Posted by ericthered View Post
If both of the default arms are short, short arms is worth [-10], not [-5]. Its [-5] per arm.

I don't think you need the full eight arms to do them justice: extra arm does a lot. But if you really want to buy all of them, I suppose you can.

snarky comments are almost certainly a quirk.
D'oh! Thanks for pointing that out.

I may not, but considering that there's going to be other disadvantages and quirks, I think that the cost isn't too unreasonable.
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