Citizens of the Imperium

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-   -   Creating ORIGINAL alien races, not borrowed ideas (http://www.travellerrpg.com/CotI/Discuss/showthread.php?t=5259)

Maladominus January 26th, 2006 01:42 AM

I was wondering if there is any kind of software or website that lets me create a detailed ORIGINAL alien race, along with traits, unique personality, anatomy, etc. Something like a "Random Alien Generator"

You know what everyone does? They just borrow ideas from Dungeons and Dragons and other games, and then translate those races into so-called "Traveller aliens". I've done that in the past myself... and I think it's time to do it differently.

Alien races need to be created uniquely. They need to be really alien, totally bizarre, and having almost nothing in common with Humanity. They need to be something that you've never seen on TV, something that you didn't borrow from Star Trek or D&D. This is the only way that they can truly be called alien.

But how do we go about designing these truly unique alien species? How do we do this so that the "design" of the species is sensible? Surely there is some kind of RPG utility that someone created for doing this....

Maladominus January 26th, 2006 01:48 AM

P.S. -- there is nothing wrong with borrowing ideas of alien races from other sources once in a while. I would just like to have a utility that lets me create my own original ones. [img]smile.gif[/img]

Whipsnade January 26th, 2006 01:53 AM

Mal,

T5 will have such a generator.

While you wait for T5, let me suggest GURPS:Uplift. It allows you to either 'raw roll' a sophont species straight from its evolutionary ancestors; getting humans from primates for exampls, or coming up with sophont species from scratch.

Again, you can either 'roll them up' and play with the delightful results or you can start with a concept in mind and use the tables to flesh the species out.


Have fun,
Bill

P.S. SJGames is having a sale of 3e products at their e23 on-line store.

Maladominus January 26th, 2006 02:22 AM

I'll take a look into that GURPS product, thanks Bill.

sid6.7 January 26th, 2006 03:03 AM

i have a RANDOM CT character maker i made
you could use that if you want...

here:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Gal24/...US%20stuff%20/

i suppose i could modify it to
make aliens but someone would
have to come up with the "Canon"
for making such...

so we would first need to make
a "canon" of what an alien could
be so i could get some kinda idea
of what info you want for the alien
keeping it simple yet descriptive
in like small 1 line sentence's would be good
or keywords in a format of some kind...

then i would print to file for your use
or screen(as the program does now)...

i have some dental surgury tomorrow
so it will be a few days till i can
respond to any input you put here...JSYN

Pickles January 26th, 2006 03:42 AM

Have you tried Marc's T5 alien generator in the Moot (membership required)?

Golan2072 January 26th, 2006 06:58 AM

First, generate a world using CT LBB3. CT LBB3 also has animal generation tables; generate an "ur-species" animal, then "evolve" it to a sentient race. Ecological role prior to sentience would probably have an effect on the sentient race, and their homeworld environment will also have. Build on that, and be creative.

And while my Precursors and Inheritors might be based on an established sci-fi idea, the Inheritors themselves are quite original - they were based on creatures generated using CT LBB3.

TheEngineer January 26th, 2006 09:47 AM

Hi !

This is just a list of aspects, which may influence the look and behaviour of a "being".
Guess its hardly possible to concentrate evolution on one page of paper, but perhaps a collection of influencing moments (which should be extended...) might help.

Original environment
- gasous
- liquid
- solid
- phase boundary -> x/y tendency

Metabolism
- C-based
- S-based
- mixed
- artificial
- other

Sensoring
- Gravitational
motivates symmetry reduction by top/down difference
- Radiation > energy source / interaction
- Magnetism > energy source / interaction
- Mechanical (Vibration etc...) > energy source / interaction
- Chemical > energy source / interaction
- static sensor motivations supports specilisation

Symmetry
- spherical
- polyedric reduction
- rotational x e.g. medusa
- rotational x - polygonic e.g. hiver
- mirrowed x e.g. worm, snake, human
- amorph

Preferred movement direction
- x
- x/y
- x/y/z
- dependencies: Sensoring

Manipulation
- Manipulation of location > movement
- none/static/passive
- unstructured/amorph > amoeba, fungus
- continuus following symetry lines (fish fins)
- multi-protosegments ()
- symetry proportional (e.g. 2*n for mirrowed x anatomy, n for n-polygonic shapes)
- reduced to symetry base

Movement
- Sophistication of movement motivates directional aspect to/from
- Sophistication of movement motivates segment count reduction

Energy source
- radiation, e.g. heat or photosynthesis
- mechanical, e.g. fluid or gas movement
- chemical > real "food" > breathing
- radioactivity
- energy source > motivation for sensoring, movement

Reproduction
- unisex
- splitting
- cloning
- multisexual
- up to your fantasy...

Social configuration
- one being
- individuals
- groups
- hive
- the larger the groups the larger the specilisation

Interaction/Communication
- strongly connected to sensoring
- visual > e.g. hivers
- (bio)chemical > e.g. pheromonic, memory transport
- mechanical > e.g. antennas, vibration
- audio /sound/speech
- electrical
- magnetical
- radiation (heat/light)

...to be continued

Fritz_Brown January 26th, 2006 09:51 AM

I'll be the third to mention the T5 race generation stuff. If you had a Moot subbie, I would send you my Excel file using MWM's data. (Don't want to break any rules, ya know.)

BTW, I used it to generate (partly randomly) a race around which i designed the Paper Airplane starship. Two sets of arms and different numbers of digits on each side make for a fun numbering system.

2-4601, MWM's race generation stuff is somewhat based on the LBB3 stuff.

Flynn January 26th, 2006 11:06 AM

Mal,

I have written the beginnings of a T20 system for Alien Race Generation, but it's not ready for prime time yet. By the time it's done, I imagine the PDF will be between 30-40 pages (it's currently at 25 pages, and is in need of examples and flavor text), far too big to put into a Stellar Reaches issue. While I was hoping to use it with the Limited License concept, seeing as how we haven't heard anything on that in almost a year, I'll probably finish it off in the next few months and post it somewhere.

That is, of course, unless QLI or MJD or someone is interested in seeing it for their own publishing efforts. ;)

Until Then, I Don't Have Much To Offer,
Flynn

BTW, if you have access to the Dragon Magazine Archive CD set, there's an old Traveller article that randomly generates alien races. I just don't remember which one it was in...


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