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Creating alien races


Super Moderator
I seem to recall references to some rules regarding creation of minor (or major) alien races in Traveller somewhere on these boards. Is there (in CT, preferably) a set of rules for this? I can't find anything in the Traveller bibliography specifically about it, and I don't yet have the alien module reprints.

What is the normal procedure for creating a new race for OTU milieu, minor or otherwise?

(And, my first "New Topic"!
Greetings and salutations,

I just downloaded Atomik Alienz from rpgnow.com and skimmed the data within. It seems to be a very comprehensive guide to creating alienz for d20 systems. I will try to create a race and see how it works. I am also going to try and convert several races from the Star Trek series (need a book that details the species), Star Wars (real easy since it is already d20), both Stargate series (should be easy since the game is d20), and Andromeda.

Man, what am I getting myself into?
Greetings and salutations,

Cannot get into the link you have supplied. It keeps asking for the information from an expired e-mail account.
The link needs a .net password to get in. Which makes it impossible to enter for those of us who don't have such things (or have no desire to get one). Guess that's a disadvantage of being on msn groups....
Tell it to Bill. If anyone wants it sent to them, just PM me with an email addy and I'll shoot it over no problem.

Or, you could get crazy and get a free hotmail account, or even , perish the thought, become a member of the Consortium.
Alternatively, if Baron S von G will zip it up and send it to the "submissions" address at Freelance Traveller (domain is the obvious "freelancetraveller.com"), I would be pleased to host it there...
Back to the original question :mad: :
Are there any rules for creating alien races in CT?

Or, can I just press forward on my own - alone, unarmed, and unafraid?
I'm not aware of any such rules in any version of Traveller though GT can just use Gurps and T20 can use stuff from d20 derived material. Kinda odd innit? You can build a starship, roll up a world, but nothing on alien species.

<shrugs> Adjust characteristics rolls, add/adjust in new careers, etc. following the format in the alien modules?
Thank you, Casey.
That is what I am doing, so far (though I don't yet have the Alien Module reprints).

My first one will need a more robust "Belter" generation, and restrictions on other careers. (employee 2-4601, you might be interested in this one - when it is done.)
While not rules for alien generation as such, you might look to the animal encounter development system to generate some possibilities. You can develop some of the physical and environmental characteristics with those, at least as a starting point.

That's a good idea, jappel. To augment the idea, the T5 chargen playtest has a few pages describing the different characteristics some aliens have (IE Grace instead of Dexterity for swimmers), and the skills section describes a few skills that are 'not normally human'.

Supplement 2 (Animal Encounters) has pre-generated encounter tables for the various world types, and one could certainly look there for inspiration. But I'm actually referring to the generation tables in Book 3, which let you build beasties from scratch. It's die-roll-driven, so you can get some very interesting results.

It's not really meant as an alien race generator, but one could certainly use it as a jumping-off point.

Thanks, jappel! I will give that a look.

It would probably help, too, if I could bring myself to get the Alien Module reprints.... At least, then I could see how they are laid out.
So, how do you handle something created from a book? How is the appropriate level of credit given? Is it OK if free, but I would have to get permission to use that limited license Hunter has mentioned?
I am not a lawyer, so take what I am about to say with the knowledge that it is a laymen's understanding and not actual legal advice.

Something that has already been created by someone else falls under their copyright and their product identity. In order to use it in any form, you really need their written permission, at the least, and most likely, you'd have to negotiate a contract for the right to use it in an official publication. Many authors don't mind fan-based works, but you could never get to take it to publication without violating copyright and intellectual property statutes, even with credit given.

Your safest bet is to take your creative process, let it be inspired by the material in question, make some changes that still logically give you the desired flavor and results, and rename the end product. Some would call this "filing off the serial numbers," but in the end, you come up with something that is yours (even if heavily influenced) to do with as you wish.

I am not sure of the degree of change required to make it legally unique and not a violation of copyright and product identity. I've heard some people say 20%, and some say 50%. I guess the best way to tell is if people look at your finished product and say "Hey, this is kinda like the XXX from book YYY, isn't it?" instead of "Isn't this just the XXX from book YYY?" (i.e. They can tell it's uniquely yours, even if inspired by another source, and not just a carbon copy of the original source.)

If you're really serious about it, though, for something more than just your own gaming sessions, you might consider talking to a lawyer.

My two little credits, anyway,
When it is actually released, you could use the following .pdf produced/sold by Bad Axe Games-"The Captain’s Guide to Aliens." The web site describes it as an “automated creature generator”. I believe it was made to support WoC d20 Future. The stats would then be in standard d20 format. Other threads have provides advice on converting d20 animal/creature stats to T20.
Snip from EN World product review:
Ø This download includes an automated creature generator (Excel format) to randomly generate millions of different creatures.
Ø Combining the name generator and the random stat block generator, this tool can generate millions and millions of unique creatures-- enough to fill a whole galaxy.
Ø In addition, this download includes a 10-page PDF explaining alien bimorphs, intelligence and aggression analogs, the accepted bounty rates on captured life forms, and a brief overview of the typical Terrain Vehicle, so your captains and crews can get up close and personal with your alien creations.