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Old 05-16-2012, 02:06 AM   #21
sir_pudding
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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Originally Posted by Sunrunners_Fire View Post
For example: How many points is the Mimic Octopus racial template?
It's probably still negative just from low ST and IQ alone.
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Old 05-16-2012, 02:10 AM   #22
ericthered
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

and if you split the aliens up into "races" and "monsters" then you actually get a decent spread, though there are some funny changes when you go from 3e to 4e (my favorite is the Pachekki go from negative to positive), but a lot of them are really close to 0. 15 points isn't all that much.

The real question then becomes "what do you want in an alien?" some people want alien physiology with a human mind set. This often makes for a high point cost because the goal is "I want something that does cool stuff". The other option is to have an alien mind set. This often lends itself to even points, but is much harder to do. Of course, the best aliens are both.

and with the bristling with arms case, is there a way that could be mitigated? I suppose you can lower its strength relative to the body

as written, as far as I can tell, a tentacle is treated as superior to an arm, despite the lack of fingers.

also, I think that people like to over stat things. There is an entry out there on how to do a puppeteer for 80 points (I think its 3e). A lot of the points came from IQ +4. you might argue a +1. you might also argue that you only see their special agents, who have a higher IQ (which I am not convinced of). They were also given common and danger sense. Much of this makes sense for a puppeteer, but I suspect it can be done on a 20 point budget.

Last edited by ericthered; 05-16-2012 at 02:25 AM.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:06 AM   #23
Peter Knutsen
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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Things that bristle with arms are a special case.
Maybe that's one problem with GURPS, that you have to pay for each extra arm, with no reduced cost for having an extreme number of arms.

IIRC in Hero System, Extra Legs is a binary advantage. It doesn't matter how many legs you have. You pay simply for the privilege of having more than two.

Clearly that can't quite work for Extra Arms in GURPS, but it might still make sense to introduce a diminishing cost effect, so that the first extra arm (3rd arm) has its normal cost, the next arm again (4th) costs less, and further arms after that cost nearly nothing.

After all, the real utility isn't in having a lot of arms but in having a lot of Extra Attacks.



But I still don't get smurf's problem, and I think this discussion would work much better if he'd post his alien species templates.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:06 AM   #24
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

There's also the issue that most settings with aliens are high tech. And high tech makes many expensive cool traits much less useful.

Hey you're an arthropoid with a natural DR 5 shell. That's nice, but I have much better armor for zero points.
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Old 05-16-2012, 04:58 AM   #25
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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I had an interesting experience when making "star fish" aliens. extra arms cost a lot of points. (these things had 5 arms, 5 legs, 360 degree vision).

However, I put them on a different time scale than humans (they're enchiderms, ok?) and found that you can get a lot of points with decreased time rate. There are other things you can do: mental disads, unusual biochemistry, ect.

However, I do find that its hard to make any race that turns up in a story with a negitive point value. elves: very expensive (though they should be). Orcs: depends on how you do it. What I thought was funny was when the 3e aliens went to 4e most of the aliens just under 0 went over.
Extra Arms are [10] each so that's [30], 5 Legs is a flat [10] and 360 Vision is [25];which is [65] Total (which isn't that bad).
If the Extra Arms can't attack, just manipulators, thats -50%, which brings the total to [50].
You can squeeze the arms limitations down to -80% quite easily, and if the Legs can't Kick (also -50%) you're down to [11] total, for the Arms and Legs.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #26
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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Extra Arms are [10] each so that's [30], 5 Legs is a flat [10] and 360 Vision is [25];which is [65] Total (which isn't that bad).
If the Extra Arms can't attack, just manipulators, thats -50%, which brings the total to [50].
You can squeeze the arms limitations down to -80% quite easily, and if the Legs can't Kick (also -50%) you're down to [11] total, for the Arms and Legs.
It can still be argued that beyond a fairly low number of Extra Arms, there should be a cost reduction. But it won't make a large difference, so we're still presumably all puzzled by exactly what is on the species templates that smurf wrote up, that made them so expensive.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:30 AM   #27
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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It can still be argued that beyond a fairly low number of Extra Arms, there should be a cost reduction. But it won't make a large difference, so we're still presumably all puzzled by exactly what is on the species templates that smurf wrote up, that made them so expensive.
Fully functional extra arms are probably worth the [10] points each, although as you said, without Extra Attacks it might be questionable - then again, if you're buying Extra Arms without extra Attacks, use the No Physical Attack Limitation for -50%, and they're only [5] each. (Note that that limitation does not prevent those extra arms from using firearms or range weapons, so not that limiting in a Space setting where firearms are probably the primary weapon of choice.)
Add Short or Weak and you can get to [2] per Arm, which doesn't seem unreasonable.
If it's a playable race, players will figure out how to use 27 such arms to their advantage in some way, so they should pay a few points!

As to your second point, the discussion doesn't seem like it really has anywhere to go without a specific high point cost example alien racial template to discuss.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:48 AM   #28
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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Fully functional extra arms are probably worth the [10] points each, although as you said, without Extra Attacks it might be questionable - then again, if you're buying Extra Arms without extra Attacks, use the No Physical Attack Limitation for -50%, and they're only [5] each. (Note that that limitation does not prevent those extra arms from using firearms or range weapons, so not that limiting in a Space setting where firearms are probably the primary weapon of choice.)
Add Short or Weak and you can get to [2] per Arm, which doesn't seem unreasonable.
If it's a playable race, players will figure out how to use 27 such arms to their advantage in some way, so they should pay a few points!
But GURPS doesn't make the player pay a few points. GURPS makes the player pay a lot of points. The cost is linear with with the number of arms.

I'm arguing that a non-linear cost would be much fairer.
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Old 05-16-2012, 09:16 AM   #29
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

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Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
But GURPS doesn't make the player pay a few points. GURPS makes the player pay a lot of points. The cost is linear with with the number of arms.

I'm arguing that a non-linear cost would be much fairer.
Only if linking to non-linear advantages. A +12 to your grappling skill is pretty impressive.
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:25 AM   #30
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Default Re: Hmm... Aliens?

I treat aliens as animal life. Then build from there. Name them George and give them a gray flannel suit to wear to work.

But in general, my aliens tend to be just giant insect bugs.
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