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Old 05-20-2011, 06:12 PM   #51
Pragmatic
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

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Originally Posted by Magehound View Post
When you say "completely produce" do you mean that as in only make a single individual, or to store all the appropriate base-pair information for the whole breed?
I mean "baseline DNA sequence, plus 1000 variations." As long as the variations are effectively diverse (i.e., "yeah, we pulled all our samples from a five square mile area, that'll do, right?" is a bad idea), that should allow random mutation to fill in the blanks. Just make sure to edit out known genetic defects.

If the samples are effectively diverse enough, 150 samples should be all we need, if we allow free breeding. Or if a strict breeding regimen is instituted (which, in humans, would require a significant social change...), as little as 50 samples should be enough.

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Since "breeds" of cattle only differ by a minimal amount relative to each other, only the specific markers to make any particular sample of a basic Bos taurus template into a Ankole-Watusi or Swedish Hornless would be important once the basic format was made.
Yup, that was my basic idea. No need to store 1000 (or 150, or 50, for the minimums) fully-sequenced DNA chains, when you can just store the locations at which it differs. (Or even where it repeats patterns, where it inserts duplicates in new areas, and where it deletes patterns.)

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Cut and paste and apply to other species, and then the only large stock animals you'd really have to bring are females large enough to be able to bring the largest varieties to term.
It'd have to be within each species, I think. The hormone releases are pretty species-specific. So, for instance, I don't see an elephant being able to bring a cow to full term.

But you can transport embryos of each species, and bring them to term in an artificial womb, and release them with the gamete computers. (You may have to implant bio-tech computers with "ghosts" of the species, for those species which don't have instinct. Otherwise, a monkey won't know how to be a monkey, for instance.)

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Or at least that's how I wrote mine up. However, I don't think space to save the information is a problem, since we're already capable of a "regular" person being able to obtain terabytes of data storage space now and that space is being made smaller every year.
Yup. But think of how many species that a colony ship would have to bring. Even if we limit the space this way, we're still talking about full storage bays.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:18 PM   #52
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

I was very happy to discover a Designer's Notes for Bestiary 3E, which included fleshed-out templates (i.e., included the "concentration, imagination, suspicion, etc." stats) for the following animals, from the combat stats in Bestiary 3E:

Diatryma (a type of Terror Bird), Eagle, Ferret, Gibbon, Orangutan, Raccoon, Velociraptor, Wild Boar (Site)

Since I'm an Uplift fan, I was VERY happy to find the Orangutan stats, even if they need to be converted to 4E. I now have most of the species I'd want to include in an Uplift-type setting (or, for instance, a Transhuman Stars, or whatever).

Now just have to figure out how to convert the Uplift process to 4E (and generalize it). What with the new stats and loss of some disadvantages (e.g., no more Presentient, now it's a bundle of taboo traits; so now I guess we buy out Wild Animal or something...).

Last edited by Pragmatic; 05-20-2011 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:03 PM   #53
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

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Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
I was reading the Designer's Article for GURPS Uplift [snip] it doesn't include the Acceptors (which I've been curious about since reading Startide Rising). [snip] I'm wondering if the Acceptors template/notes are hanging out in your files somewhere...?
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Originally Posted by stefanj View Post
I don't remember ANYTHING about the stuff on the FTP site. Lord, has it really been 20 years? Oye, gevault.

The Acceptors might have been written up by someone else and put in an early version that article. [snip]
I'm re-reading Startide Rising right now, partly inspired by this thread and the specific question above. Unless there's better material elsewhere that I'm not aware of, it is my conclusion that we don't really have enough information on the Acceptors to do a fully-detailed writeup. Here's what we do have:

Physiology:

(Fact) They derive physical pleasure from powerful sensory stimuli. Game effects discussed under Psychology, except:

(Fact): They feel pain, but enjoy it the same as other stimuli, definitely possessing High Pain Threshold (at least). The means of "punishment" employed by the Tandu that the point-of-view Acceptor alludes to does not include mention of torture. (Speculation) This could involve sensory deprivation; it may be impossible to cause them physical discomfort in a manner that will affect behavior.

(Implied): They probably have extraordinarily refined and acute normal senses, not just psi, and relied on it as their primary survival mechanism in their wild state. This would help to explain why they were chosen for this project.

(Fact) They have "spindly legs." (Implied) Probably more than two. (Speculation) They may have a spider-like morphology, like their Patron, but could also be as divergent as the Humans are from their clients.

Psychology:

(Fact) The Acceptors live to experience novelty, becoming excited almost to the point of euphoria when exposed to strong and different stimuli. They are as Curious as the game rules can make them, and possibly even Obsessed. Even exposure to the thoughts of a being that wants to brutally murder the Acceptor is taken in cheerful stride. I'd give them Unfazeable and high Willpower - Impossible to frighten, difficult to persuade.

(Fact) The Tandu have some way to punish them (Implied) besides inflicting pain. (Speculation) This may involve Sensory Deprivation, possibly a full-blown Phobia of it.

Culture:

(Fact) The Acceptors are currently 40% of the way through their 100,000 years of indentured servitude to the Tandu, and have whatever social disadvantages are in use for that. They are freakishly over-modified, possibly to the point that they would not be able to survive independently, and may suffer a Social Stigma from that (in addition to whatever damage it does to the Reputation of the Tandu). (Implied) They have been allowed to develop very little culture of their own, existing only to serve. While not fully slavish in thought toward their masters, they seem to be relatively complacent with their position and disinclined to rebel, at least so long as they are given tasks that interest them.

Psi:

(Fact): They have Mind Shields (though it took a while to convince them of the need).

(Fact) They have one honey of a long-range Detect (Sapient Minds) power (w/ Analyze), plus Sense-Based Mind Reading that functions through it, but (Implied) require very powerful and probably expensive ultra-tech psi amplification to use it on a solar system scale (the same equipment vacated by the Episiarch after it pulls the entire squadron through a hole in reality). (Speculation) They may also be able to Detect and Analyze physical objects psionically, but the line is blurred - They may only be experiencing that data through tech-amplified physical senses and/or links to other sapient minds.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #54
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
I mean "baseline DNA sequence, plus 1000 variations." As long as the variations are effectively diverse (i.e., "yeah, we pulled all our samples from a five square mile area, that'll do, right?" is a bad idea), that should allow random mutation to fill in the blanks. Just make sure to edit out known genetic defects.

If the samples are effectively diverse enough, 150 samples should be all we need, if we allow free breeding. Or if a strict breeding regimen is instituted (which, in humans, would require a significant social change...), as little as 50 samples should be enough.
Ah, but there's a problem with that plan (at least in how my RP developed), most of the tech was lost within a 50 year period, partially because the plan was for those colonists to become Space Amish anyway and Threadfall protection took up most of the resources they had well before they were ready, with proper housing (I still say the first thing they should've done was printed out their library). Admittedly, it's something that probably would've happened anyway, lowest contractor bidding and wishful thinking being what they are.

Quote:
It'd have to be within each species, I think. The hormone releases are pretty species-specific. So, for instance, I don't see an elephant being able to bring a cow to full term.

But you can transport embryos of each species, and bring them to term in an artificial womb, and release them with the gamete computers. (You may have to implant bio-tech computers with "ghosts" of the species, for those species which don't have instinct. Otherwise, a monkey won't know how to be a monkey, for instance.)
I meant it as specific for livestock species. So you'd use Chianina cattle to breed out your yak, zebu, water buffalo, bison, musk oxen, ect. You'd use a Bactrian camel to breed out the dromedary, llama and alpaca. Clydesdale or Shire horses to breed out the other horse breeds and donkeys.

The real hard ones would be birds, because their shells have different coded proteins for development. I don't think they'd be able to get away with the gamete computer trick on too many bird species, only by breed, so they'd need founding chickens, ducks, geese and whatever else they'd need to bring for ecological balance. (As it was, by canon the turkey didn't survive the trip.)

Unless embryo transfer gets much better, I don't think a cache of embryos would be all that good, because too many factors have to align right, not least of which is making sure the female is in the right condition to accept a transfer. When they were cloning guar, they used up 692 cloned eggs to get one live clone to term, which died a few days later. Those are about the typical stats for that type of procedure. That's a lot of waste.

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Yup. But think of how many species that a colony ship would have to bring. Even if we limit the space this way, we're still talking about full storage bays.
Yep, so if they could double-up and be use one animal to breed three or more different species that would cut down on just how much they would have to bring. Which would take care of most "instinct" problems, as there would be a live, theoretically naturally raised mother to raise it, it would know how to behave and raise their own offspring.

I know without a doubt that the dolphins that were brought, all 25 had to have had some kind of gamete computer implant even if each were only programmed with 100 different individuals each (once they were out at sea working, it'd be a right pain to get them back in for reprogramming), because 25 individuals does not a viable population make, no matter where the variation is from.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:57 PM   #55
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

Re: Embryos:

I meant "bring embryos of females to be fast-grown to serve as wombs."

Or something like that...
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:04 PM   #56
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
I was very happy to discover a Designer's Notes for Bestiary 3E, which included fleshed-out templates (i.e., included the "concentration, imagination, suspicion, etc." stats) for the following animals, from the combat stats in Bestiary 3E:

Diatryma (a type of Terror Bird), Eagle, Ferret, Gibbon, Orangutan, Raccoon, Velociraptor, Wild Boar (Site)
If it's anything like my GURPS Bestiary, the theropods will need a full revamp, given new data on them, and any ornithischians too.

You might like this guy's take on sapient raptors though.

Last edited by Magehound; 05-20-2011 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 05-20-2011, 08:47 PM   #57
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

Just out of curiosity, are there any full-template (including psychology) beasts in any 4E product? (Not including Dragons...)
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Old 05-20-2011, 09:48 PM   #58
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

I'm going through GURPS Uplift's ur-species creation system, and comparing it to the system in GURPS Space, and it appears that Space is living up to its "toolbox" reputation. There's a lot of steps that are simply not included.

For instance, I can't find anything on what might modify Health (HT) (or fatigue points; or hit points, from ST). Likewise, I can't find anything on metabolism, posture (e.g., no "Semi-Upright;" there's text on Horizontal and upright, but Semi-Upright isn't listed). Nor effect of the food chain on suspicion. Nor weapons...

I think we may have to keep Uplift. I kind of like the system there better, though we could probably adapt between the two.

************

There's only a little on uplifting in Bio-Tech. I think it'll have to be heavily adapted, to generalize it to 4E...
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Old 05-20-2011, 11:03 PM   #59
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

I still think any ur-species creator, if it offers more than than a tetrapod body plan, should probably include rules to customize the additional limbs. I've been playing with it off an on, but it's uphill going, since there are no live analogues to base from. Even the real talented critter-makers on Deviantart seem stuck between the hands/feet perspectives.

It's not hard to roll them out as something different, that's just as many extra limb rolls as you're willing to do. It's how you integrate them with the rest of the body that's hard.
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Old 05-22-2011, 12:22 AM   #60
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Default Re: GURPS Uplift

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gold & Appel Inc View Post
I'm re-reading Startide Rising right now, partly inspired by this thread and the specific question above. Unless there's better material elsewhere that I'm not aware of, it is my conclusion that we don't really have enough information on the Acceptors to do a fully-detailed writeup. Here's what we do have:

Physiology:

(Fact) They derive physical pleasure from powerful sensory stimuli. Game effects discussed under Psychology, except:

(Fact): They feel pain, but enjoy it the same as other stimuli, definitely possessing High Pain Threshold (at least). The means of "punishment" employed by the Tandu that the point-of-view Acceptor alludes to does not include mention of torture. (Speculation) This could involve sensory deprivation; it may be impossible to cause them physical discomfort in a manner that will affect behavior.
Not quite. At one point in Startide Rising, the Tandu use a nerve whip to try to force an Acceptor to change behavior. The Acceptor itself muses about 'punishment' that can cause them to change their actions, they don't enjoy pain...exactly. The Acceptor specifically muses that 'punishment' can alter their behavior, but at the same time it finds wonder in it.

Presumably the ancestral form didn't enjoy pain, but as they get more and more modified to be accepting, they're changing into something that is less and less responsive to most forms of discipline, since they're wired to accept it rather than dislike it.

At one point, an Acceptor muses that it seems insane to it to think that something that actually happened could be a bad thing.

In short, the Acceptors, like the Episiarchs, are insane. Galactic custom disapproves of this sort of thing, but the wheels of Galactic justice grind exceedingly slow (like on the order of geological ages). Maybe they'll get around to doing something about it in another 50,000 years...
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