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Old 06-22-2012, 06:32 AM   #21
ericthered
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

I'm trying to think of ways to get around the forging problem. If they have strong source of electricity they might be able to do something with electroplating.

Another trick might be taking objects and putting them over vents so that minerals get deposited on them, but that requires using vents, and you don't want to tie your aliens to a rather rare habitat.

Now, as they are in caves, you might be able to do something with natural air bubbles trapped under non-porous rock. its likely got oxygen in it, and perhaps some other fuel
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Old 06-22-2012, 07:16 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

I'd suggest a rubber/plastic analogue as extracted from a cavern-native autotroph and then treated (by various means) for varying properties such as hardness or rigidity.
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Old 06-23-2012, 04:41 AM   #23
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I'd suggest a rubber/plastic analogue as extracted from a cavern-native autotroph and then treated (by various means) for varying properties such as hardness or rigidity.
You could go with a spider silk/mucus glue analogue, saying that that their species evolved it to string things together and glue them in place. It could explain how they made tools and other artifacts before they developed more advanced materials technologies.
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Old 06-23-2012, 06:26 AM   #24
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The caves range in size from labyrinthine crevasses to so enormous that it takes days to cross from wall to wall.
How did the caves come to exist? Most caves on Earth are formed by rocks slowly dissolving in water, plus various other mechanisms. But those seem quite unlikely to form systems as huge as you describe.

You may not need to make the natural cave system planet-wide; an area the size of, say Italy or New England that had a lot of good caves with the right mixture of natural resources would probably be enough to get civilisation started. If they were practical geologists and chemists, making more caves through long-term chemical projects could be practical. A species that is used to building, rather than conquering, living space, could have some interestingly non-human cultural ideas.
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Old 06-23-2012, 10:56 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

There is a Traveller race of sentient squids that is almost like humans in psychology. Except where it touches environment; for instance they are more likely to have paronoia about pressure then heights.

Other environment-specific qualities can be thought. Language and Mythopoeia can be adjusted. What if their metaphor for thinking is "feeling the currents?" Or what if their idea of domesticity is a rock upcurrent and their idea of terror is a rock downcurrent? What if they have customs and linguistics related to salinity?
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Old 06-23-2012, 11:53 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

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There is a Traveller race of sentient squids that is almost like humans in psychology. Except where it touches environment; for instance they are more likely to have paronoia about pressure then heights.

Other environment-specific qualities can be thought. Language and Mythopoeia can be adjusted. What if their metaphor for thinking is "feeling the currents?" Or what if their idea of domesticity is a rock upcurrent and their idea of terror is a rock downcurrent? What if they have customs and linguistics related to salinity?
My anxiety kicks in when I feel the atmospheric pressure increase during hot and humid weather. So it's perfectly reasonable for them, I agree.

As to salinity, there are underwater "lakes" of wildly different salinity and/or oxygen levels. It's very weird looking if you can find videos.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:10 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

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How did the caves come to exist? Most caves on Earth are formed by rocks slowly dissolving in water, plus various other mechanisms. But those seem quite unlikely to form systems as huge as you describe.

You may not need to make the natural cave system planet-wide; an area the size of, say Italy or New England that had a lot of good caves with the right mixture of natural resources would probably be enough to get civilisation started. If they were practical geologists and chemists, making more caves through long-term chemical projects could be practical. A species that is used to building, rather than conquering, living space, could have some interestingly non-human cultural ideas.
For the purposes of this setting, how the habitat and its inhabitants came to exist doesn't really matter ("God did it" is perfectly acceptable). I would like to have a fairly believable history and society for these things, though, assuming their civilization began in a similar position to human civilization (intelligent tool-using apex predators).

That said, if I had to make default Geology roll to explain it away I'd say that the planet had violently unstable volcanic activity that created jagged mountains and fissures, and that there is/was some kind of coral that grows outward from coastlines and forms roofs between the island peaks.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:12 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Befuddled View Post
You could go with a spider silk/mucus glue analogue, saying that that their species evolved it to string things together and glue them in place. It could explain how they made tools and other artifacts before they developed more advanced materials technologies.
I wouldn't give it to the species itself, but there could certainly be something similar available in huntable or domesticable wildlife.
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Old 06-24-2012, 11:16 AM   #29
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Other environment-specific qualities can be thought. Language and Mythopoeia can be adjusted. What if their metaphor for thinking is "feeling the currents?" Or what if their idea of domesticity is a rock upcurrent and their idea of terror is a rock downcurrent? What if they have customs and linguistics related to salinity?
I will definitely use these suggestions, thanks!
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Old 06-25-2012, 12:49 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Alien Race] Fish Out Of Water?

There's no need for forging or for metal. Did anyone see the part in one of the pyramids about biotech power suits and mechs? You don't really need to worry about the material much either. What was the name given to the organic armor available for spaceships in the spaceships series? It was available in the 1st book if I remember correctly, you didn't have to get the divergent tech book to have access to the stuff. You have to come up with an idea for how they grow and shape that extra cool extra strong biotech organic building material / armor. But forging isn't necessary. Maybe it's something vaguely similar to coral, but that is soft and maleable at first, and later hardens. The basis of many forms of production for these people could be artisans who shape the soft coral before it hardens.

The questions in my mind are more like, okay, that's a way to have something that works generally like metal. But what about turning that into a full fledged power suit to go onto land with? Now we have to get it to move in a pretty fluid way. And do we want the power suit to be the equivalent of an ultra tech suit with a computer in it, by having some kind of sentience? If we want those things though, they're easily done simply by adding other little living things in. They can be symbiotic with the original coral and serve whatever purpose you might ask of them. That's my take on it all anyways, if that makes any sense.
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