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Useful Alien Traits


Jkeown
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Hey, you! Are you writing an alien race, genetic tweak or radical splice? You need fresh genes! Try this handy work in progress of stuff lifted from better authors (plus my own fevered imagination). Some of the game mechanics are a bit spurious... especially on Desolidification. If Desol doesn't protect against damage, I don't make you buy Affects Physical World (APW) with your other attacks. Quite often in 2600CE, Desol is a mental power, so they aren't protected against Mental Powers, and do not have to buy APW with it. (That's still experimental, however, I've yet to see it in play.)

 

I plan on expanding it, adding more detail and eventually writing up all the critters mentioned in a Stellar Bestiary at some point.

Species Traits.pdf

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First off and most important is I do like what you have here.

 

All life is a product of it's environment. I feel that a recipe of races would work best if sorted by environment.

 "Tell us of your home world."

  1. How strong is your gravity?
    1. Zero G - up to 0.05g
    2. Low G - 0.05 to 0.75g
    3. Normal G - 0.75g to 1.5g
    4. High G - 1.5g to 2.5g
    5. Extreme G - Greater then 2.5g
  2. What is your Atmosphere like?
    1. None
    2. Thin
    3. Thick
    4. Dry
    5. Moist
    6. Volcanic
    7. Poisonous
    8. ...
  3. Abundance of water
  4. Vegetation
  5. Climent/Temperature
  6. ...

As you can see far to many factors could effect a race's physical form and may features could be from many factors to try and sort them in any logical way.  A Race with "Drifting Gasbag: Flight 12m (12 Active Points); No Conscious Control (-2) Real Cost: 4" Could be from a Low G worlds or a world with a Thick Atmosphere so would it go in the section on low G or the one on Thick Atmospheres.

 

So let us take a play from the magic system of our old friend DnD. There are many classes that can cast spells and some of them can cast the same spells. To save space in their books TSR defines the spells in an alphabetical list and for each class makes just a short list naming the spells available to them. So we detail the race features alphabetically and make a list of recommended features for each factor of a home world.

 

And then there are the Cultural Distinctions... This could turn into one hell of a project.

 

I find it hard to get new players for Hero Systems because they are so use to the restrictive nature of character generation of other systems that they get lost and overwhelmed by the freedom of Hero's. I would like to see a starting point book with pick one list for new players to cut their teeth on. There are many source books for genres but they just build up back stories and set stages. None of them have a building your very first character by selecting options. Even the playing champions with your kids genre book does not have a simply pick some options and start playing section. I think it would be easy to convert players to the Hero System if we just had a starting point that took some of the complexity out of character generation.

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John,

Thanks for the reply! At present, that's exactly what I'm trying to do. The project suffers from a decided lack of organization and my tendency to jump around like an exothermic Swamp Waddler of Sigma Ustafal. The 2600CE Player's Guide (of which that PDF is a small part) is at 233 pages.

 

The idea of arranging traits by world of origin is an interesting one, tackled by Jason Kemp in Flynn's Guide to Alien Creation. I have that book, but I admit to only being slightly influenced by it. Perhaps I should re-categorize and do this more in that style than the GURPS-like implementation I've used so far.

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First off and most important is I do like what you have here.

 

All life is a product of it's environment. I feel that a recipe of races would work best if sorted by environment.

"Tell us of your home world."

 

  • How strong is your gravity?

    • Zero G - up to 0.05g
    • Low G - 0.05 to 0.75g
    • Normal G - 0.75g to 1.5g
    • High G - 1.5g to 2.5g
    • Extreme G - Greater then 2.5g
  • What is your Atmosphere like?

    • None
    • Thin
    • Thick
    • Dry
    • Moist
    • Volcanic
    • Poisonous
    • ...
  • ...
4. How green is your valley?:)
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