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Old 05-08-2021, 10:27 AM   #1
jason taylor
 
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Default Ice Age For Treecat Adventures

The book Ice Age seems primarily a generic book for hunter-gatherer adventures. Could it be adapted for an adventure involving Treecat PCs?

There will be differences. Instead of magic there will be psionics. Instead of shamans, memory-singers. The Bestiary will be different (though several of the animals on Sphinx fit roles similar to those of Earth). The presence of humans and the possibility of interspecies bonding are intriguing complications.
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Old 05-08-2021, 02:56 PM   #2
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Ice Age is 3rd Ed so if you are using 4th it would require some conversion. But I think that it would give good starting points for lots of stuff. Bio-Tech or Uplift might be useful also, they both have good ideas on making aliens and alien animals. Bio-Tech has both 3rd and 4th edition versions.
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Old 05-08-2021, 05:27 PM   #3
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Bio-Tech or Uplift might be useful also, they both have good ideas on making aliens and alien animals. Bio-Tech has both 3rd and 4th edition versions.
I'm pretty sure that GURPS Space (for GURPS 4e) has a whole section of creating aliens and otherworld animals. Kind of like a revision of GURPS Uplift's rules for generating ur-species.
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Old 05-09-2021, 07:59 AM   #4
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Honorverse treecats?

(I read a bunch of those, but I guess they hadn't gotten around to treecat society yet.)
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ice Age For Treecat Adventures

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Originally Posted by dcarson View Post
Ice Age is 3rd Ed so if you are using 4th it would require some conversion.
Agreed. Bunnies & Burrows is another 3e book that would be useful, for its guidance on rescaling GURPS.
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Old 05-09-2021, 08:37 AM   #6
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There will be differences. Instead of magic there will be psionics. Instead of shamans, memory-singers. The Bestiary will be different
That's already most of the book. The sections on technology are mostly already in the fourth-edition Basic Set, and if you've got Low-Tech you've got more than Ice Age ever had. The entire chapter on hominid races won't have any value. One page on character types might be inspirational, but the rest of the characters chapter is all stuff that's already in the fourth-edition Basic Set. Except shamanism, but you're changing that. Some of the bestiary chapter will still be useful, but a lot of it is already in the Basic Set. The chapter on campaigns might be useful to decide on a type of campaign, but it sounds like you've pretty much already decided that.

I wonder if Lands Out of Time might be more useful. It's quite a bit like Ice Age, but it's for the fourth edition, and it even contains powers that work very much like psionics. It's less historically-based than Ice Age.

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I'm pretty sure that GURPS Space (for GURPS 4e) has a whole section of creating aliens and otherworld animals.
The alien-creation guide in GURPS Space is very good, but if you already know what treecat people are like, you don't really need it much to make what you want. The alien-creation guide shines when you regularly have to make new aliens.
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Old 05-09-2021, 11:45 PM   #7
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Ice Age is 3rd Ed so if you are using 4th it would require some conversion. But I think that it would give good starting points for lots of stuff. Bio-Tech or Uplift might be useful also, they both have good ideas on making aliens and alien animals. Bio-Tech has both 3rd and 4th edition versions.
While both are 3rd Editions, GURPS Dinosaurs included most of the Ice Age material also.
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Old 05-10-2021, 09:04 AM   #8
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Honorverse treecats?

(I read a bunch of those, but I guess they hadn't gotten around to treecat society yet.)
Yes, the Honorverse ones.

Treecats are six limbed (funny how sci fi writers obsess over six limbs) with the forward limbs doubling as feet and graspers. They are arboreal and bear to Terrans a resemblance both to cats and lemurs. They are hunter-gatherers mostly carnivorous but they do eat plants (one or two plants, including celery which is a running gag fuel their psionic ability). and have recently experimented with agriculture. When hunting they are mostly pouncers and thus usually hunt solitarily rather than in packs although the have the intelligence for coordination both in the tactical and strategic sense (relations with humans for instance are the most obvious example of the latter). They make stone age tools but have not discovered metalwork. They are noble savages of the sort that you can't write nowadays except by making them aliens. They are psionic and it is implied that they use that for tracking as well as communicating (at one time Climbs Quickly felt hostile "vibes" from an off-world speciman hunter several dozen feet away and thus was able to locate him). Their psionic ability also makes them incapable of lying to each other as such though tactical ruses (like such skills as needed to escape a predator or mask an approach on a prey animal) are used in games by Treekittens and in earnest on patrols in the wild. They are capable of forming mysterious bonds with mates and more surprising with humans although in that case it is simply emotional rather than xenosexual in the Star Trek manner. Traditionally members of the royal family of Manticore have been bonded for the past few generations before Honor Harrington, which seems to indicate that they have a pretty good grasp of the concept of political "sucking up". Another interesting aspect of the psionics. Because humans are not able to read each other but are technologically clever Treecats consider them all autistic savants. There would be no effective communication for generations between species, until someone came up with the idea of just using old-fashioned sign language. Until then they were restricted to nudging, pointing at things, and the like.

Treecats seem to be gerontocratic and mildly matriarchal. Memory-singers are the Treecat counterpart to shamans. They are always female. They are living DVDs of events from ages past and are so precious they seldom go on a hunting or war party. When Climb's Quickly's sister personally led a rescue band it was because he had gotten in trouble while making contact with a human and so a clan leader needed to be on hand to judge such an awkward violation of policy.

Treecats are basically peaceful among themselves and with nearby humans. But they do have vendettas over land or various quarrels and there was a record of their actually having been a treecat serial killer that was executed by the clans before First Contact.

They were discovered by the ancestress of Honor, Stephanie Harrington just after the Manticore planetary system was being repopulated (the cultural difference compared to latter timesis shown by having a baron pushing a plow on one occasion). Stephanie became bonded to Climbs Quickly who she called Lionheart. Later she had a brilliant career in the Sphinx Forestry Service and sponsored the treecats rights clause in the Manticoran Constitution. The first Manticoran royal to visit Sphinx saw a portrait of her and Climbs Quickly made by one of the most famous painters in the history of the Star Kingdom.

The reason I picked Ice Age is that it can in fact be adapted to generic hunter-gatherers, and thus to a similar alien race. At least some of the adventures presented would work with Treecat PCs.
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Old 05-10-2021, 02:50 PM   #9
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Yes, the Honorverse ones.

Traditionally members of the royal family of Manticore have been bonded for the past few generations before Honor Harrington, which seems to indicate that they have a pretty good grasp of the concept of political "sucking up".

I got the impression that is wasn't "sucking up" as it was "keep an eye on and ensure we have some influence".
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Old 05-10-2021, 10:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Ice Age For Treecat Adventures

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Originally Posted by jason taylor View Post
The book Ice Age seems primarily a generic book for hunter-gatherer adventures. Could it be adapted for an adventure involving Treecat PCs?
GURPS Ice Age is one of the weakest books in GURPS history and much/all of its content was recycled into GURPS 3e Dinosaurs. It's possible that GURPS 4E Lands Out of Time covers the same material in 4e format and is more suitable to the fantasy genre.

If you must adapt GURPS 3e Ice Age to 4e fantasy, the biggest change other than conversion of 3e templates to 4e will be adapting the magic system. I'd scrap it and just go for the Ritual/Path system in GURPS Thaumaturgy.

Edit: If you're doing a SF/space based campaign, skip Ice Age. There are far better supplements out there, mentioned by previous commenters. For psi, take a look at GURPS Powers. For low-tech hunter/gatherers, take a look at GURPS 4E Low Tech.

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