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Old 08-11-2022, 08:13 PM   #1
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

My previous thread on Really Alien Aliens got some great feedback on five races: the Trinoics, who invented FTL & conquered the galaxy in a fit of panic, and the Quartet, four cooperative species that rose to dominate the galaxy after the Trinoc Empire fell.

Now I'm starting this new thread for three new races, who together make up the "evil empire" of the setting -- thought they can be easily adapted for other space opera campaigns well: the warlike Fomori, merchantile Teceti, and disgusting Spitslugs. Once again, I'm eager for comments, suggestions, & critique.

I'll break this into three posts for length and keep the content in spoiler tags to avoid Wall of Text.

Fomori
Sadistic, skeletal conquerors with a twisted sense of honor

Description
Spoiler:  


[EDIT: the template below has been extensively revised — click here for the latest version]

Fomorian (121 points)
Spoiler:  

Last edited by SydneyFreedberg; 08-29-2022 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Added link to updated template
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:10 AM   #2
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Teceti
Small, skittish rodent-like beings with keen hearing and a nose for business

Description:
Spoiler:  


[EDIT: The template below has been extensively revised — click here to read the latest version.]

Teceti (16 points)
Spoiler:  

Last edited by SydneyFreedberg; 08-29-2022 at 01:37 PM.
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:11 AM   #3
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Spitslugs
Dull-witted, acid-spitting invertebrates with superb fine-motor skills

Description:
Spoiler:  


[EDIT: The template below has been extensively revised — click here for the latest version]
Spitslug (30 points)
Spoiler:  

Last edited by SydneyFreedberg; 08-29-2022 at 01:49 PM. Reason: Linked to revised version.
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Old 08-12-2022, 01:53 PM   #4
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
Fomori
Possible optional traits:

Indomitable (Limitation: Only vs. non-Fomori, -40% or Not Against Intimidation/Torture, -20%) - The racial psychology seems so different from the human norm that "typical" forms of social influence don't seem to be applicable. Fomori might be mentally incapable of being influenced by aliens.

Intolerance (Killers) - They might see people who kill rather than taking prisoners as both wasting resources (potential slaves) and as existential threats to the whole Fomori culture - which depends on submission rather than killing.

Overconfidence

Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) - Not because they are particularly worried about killing, but because they are instinctively driven to NOT kill.

Torture could be defined as a professional skill, or, in the case of the Fomori, as a practical substitute for most other social influence skills (e.g., Diplomacy, Leadership, Savoir-Faire, and Sex Appeal), possibly making it a Hard skill.

Psychology (Fomori) gives insights as to how to best torture an individual. Intimidation covers threats of torture and psychological torture, which is sometimes as good as the real thing. The Fomori equivalent of Administration or Leadership might be PS (Overseer) - the professional skill of extracting maximum effort from slaves.
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:13 PM   #5
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
Teceti
The racial Reputation seems a bit extreme for what is now a marginalized species. The bad reputation might be a function of racial greed.

Individual Teceti will need to develop positive Reputations to overcome their racial Reputation.

They might have a Racial Talent (Administration, Climbing, Merchant, Stealth, Survival (Arctic)).

Night Vision -9 seems a bit generous. Given their background, they might have a Racial Feature of Night Vision balanced by an equal penalty to deal with bright light.

Clinging would be a logical choice if they're still fully arboreal. Alternately, consider this house-rules version of Brachiator.

Phobia (Agorophobia) seems like a likely optional trait.

Mental disadvantages such as Compulsive Behavior (Hoarding), Obsession, or Paranoia seem like possible optional disadvantages. Likewise, advantages like Absolute Direction, Higher Purpose, Lightning Calculator/Intuitive Mathematician, and Single-Minded might work well as optional traits.

In an ultratech setting, Bad Sight might be correctable allowing a Mitigator limitation.
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Old 08-12-2022, 02:21 PM   #6
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
Spitslugs
If the species is described as being invertebrates, why don't they have the Invertebrate disadvantage? (Admittedly, GURPS misuses the term, but it might be appropriate.)

If they're slug-like, they might have the Cold-Blooded disadvantage.

If they've got slug-like feeding mechanisms, they might have the Slow Eater disadvantage, or a weaker version as a Quirk.

They might also have reduced Move or Basic Speed.

Racial Will and Per might be boosted to 10.

Their Innate Attack makes them extremely dangerous in melee combat. Putting the Limited Uses limitation on it makes them much less effective.
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:57 PM   #7
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Some really good suggestions from Pursuivant -- thanks!

My thoughts on his thoughts:

Fomori:

Lots of good ideas here on how to make their psychology truly alien. "Reluctant Killer" is probably too strong a penalty, but I really like optional Indomitable (Not against Torture, -20%) and Intolerance (people who inflict high collateral damage), as well as elaborating "Fomori Torture" and "Slave Overseer" as their primary social skills (eek).

As I conceive them, you can talk to the average Fomorian and use conventional means of persuasion such as rational argument, bribery, and charm... but it won't hit their instinctual buttons the same way as physically inflicting or receiving pain. Err, actually Torture for Fomori is kind of like Sex Appeal and Erotic Art for humans (double eek).

On a lighter note, since Fomori are denser than water (Quirk: cannot float), it makes sense for a Common Optional Trait to be a phobia of water....


Teceti

I'll definitely lower their Reputation to +2/-2 and tweak their vision from "Night Vision +9" (which is meant to cancel out the maximum darkness penalty" to "Feature: no darkness penalties to vision (short of absolute darkness) but takes penalties in daylight." I also like your suggestions for Common Optional Traits.

I've looked at Clinging and been tempted but as written it makes you Spider-Man -- you can basically climb up sheer walls and walk on ceilings -- which feels overdone for most real-world climbers bigger than a gecko.


Spitsplugs

They do have Invertebrate, actually (although the Invertebrate disadvantage in GURPS is kinda weird, as it mostly plays with Basic Lift). They're not cold-blooded or slimy, actually -- although people might assume they are! -- because I find it hard to imagine a truly cold-blooded animal having a high enough metabolism to sustain levels of intelligence and activity sufficient to compete on an interstellar scale.

And yeah, that acid-spitting thing is pretty nasty (and expensive points-wise). I might require a longer recharge, but I'm hesitant to limit uses per day, because I figure they produce acid continually and that's how they digest their food, kind of like flies... which is gross.

Poor guys, they're actually pretty nice as a species. They just have no bones and no luck.
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Old 08-13-2022, 04:25 AM   #8
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
And yeah, that acid-spitting thing is pretty nasty (and expensive points-wise). I might require a longer recharge, but I'm hesitant to limit uses per day, because I figure they produce acid continually and that's how they digest their food, kind of like flies... which is gross.
I'd go with a longer recharge period. Assume that each spitslug has one "shot" of acid readied, but that subsequent shots take 15+ seconds as they produce more digestive juices. That allows routine non-combat use while preventing them from being combat monsters (especially against ranged weapons and ultratech armor).

If you want to tone the acid attack down further, define it as being enzymes which only work against organic material. That keeps spitslug digestive juices from eating through rock or metal. That's the Contact Agent (-30%) limitation if their attack is blocked by any rigid non-porous material, or a -10% or -20% Accessibility limitation for slightly more effective enzymes).

Another way to tone down their attack would be to have lower base damage but add the Cyclic enhancement. That makes the Innate Attack much more complex, but models a slow-acting attack which can still be potentially nasty if the victim can't quickly neutralize or wash away the acid/enzymes.

For example:

Innate Attack (Acid Jet) Corrosive, 1 HP = base cost 2.5 points. Enhancements: Cyclic, 10 seconds, 7x cycles, +350%; Jet, +0%.) = total cost (11.25 points) = 12 points.

This inflicts a total of 7 HP over a period of 110 seconds. On average, that's the same damage as 2d HP delivered up front, but at a fraction of the cost.

A slow-acting enzyme attack might look like this:

Innate Attack: Enzyme Jet. Corrosion, 1 HP (Base cost 2.5 points) (Enhancements: Cyclic 7x, 10 second intervals, +350%; Jet, +0%; Low Signature, +10%. Limitations: Contact Agent, -30%; Takes Recharge: 15 seconds, -20%.) [10.25 = 11 points]

An actual acid jet drops the Contact Agent limitation and increases the cost to 11 points.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 08-13-2022 at 04:37 AM.
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Old 08-14-2022, 08:36 AM   #9
SydneyFreedberg
 
Join Date: May 2019
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

It makes sense that Spitslug digestive juices don’t eat through the floor like Xenomorph blood from Aliens. (How do Xenomorphs not dissolve themselves???)And I like your idea of it being slower-acting with cyclic. Just want to make it move a little faster, since that’s less complex to remember in play, and include Low Signature, since it’s much quieter than a gunshot. So maybe:

Innate Attack: digestive enzyme jet [15 points]
Corrosion 1D [10 points base]
Cyclic: 2 cycles, Interval = 1 second [200%]
Jet [0%]
Low Signature [10%]
Takes Extra Time: 2 seconds to Ready [-20%]
Takes Recharge: 15 seconds [-20%]
Special Limitation: affects organic material only [-20%?]

10 points x (210% - 60%) = 10 * 1.5 = 15 points
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Old 08-19-2022, 05:50 PM   #10
Pursuivant
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: [Space] [Templates] Really Alien Aliens II: Empire of Pain

Quote:
Originally Posted by SydneyFreedberg View Post
Innate Attack: digestive enzyme jet [15 points]
Corrosion 1D [10 points base]
Cyclic: 2 cycles, Interval = 1 second [200%]
Jet [0%]
Low Signature [10%]
Takes Extra Time: 2 seconds to Ready [-20%]
Takes Recharge: 15 seconds [-20%]
Special Limitation: affects organic material only [-20%?]

10 points x (210% - 60%) = 10 * 1.5 = 15 points
Looks good, but the pricing is wrong. It should be 10 points for the base attack + 1.5 x 10 for the modifiers, so 25 points.

It would be cheaper to just give them 2d corrosive without the Cyclic enhancement. That would give:

20 points, +10% (Low Signature), -60% (for limitations) = -50% = 20 points * 50% = 10 points.

The Special Limitation is just Accessibility (p. B110). -20% seems fair.

Cyclic is only cost effective for Innate Attacks with a low basic cost (e.g., Toxic damage).

You could also easily add the Biological, -10% power modifier to this attack. (From GURPS Powers.)

That means that defenses specifically designed to counter Spitslug enzyme attacks would negate or reduce damage and also means that biological conditions (e.g., age, illness, malnutrition, surgery) could deprive Spitslugs of their attack power. (E.g., Grandma Spitslug needs someone else to squirt enzymes on her food for her, since she can't do the job herself anymore.) It also allows for gear that's specifically designed for Spitslugs, like textiles made of enzyme-resistant plastics.

Last edited by Pursuivant; 08-19-2022 at 06:03 PM.
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