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 Post subject: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:16 am 
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I have been playing around with this setting idea for a number of decades, ever since I read Jack L. Chalker's Watchers in the Well series.

General Idea:
Life is old and interstellar civilization has existed in one form or another for millions of years, maybe billions of years. Different regions of the galaxy have seen the ebb and flow of interstellar contact and worlds can go from the centers of an empire to being "lost" to the rest of the galaxy for thousands of years.

Intelligence:
There are only FIVE intelligent species that have ever been found in the galaxies. Each race can be found in every sector in the galaxy and have adapted to the various worlds in such a way that they MAY seem like separate species, but they can still interbreed. The adaptations made by each species have created sub-species that are of varying sizes and details; but all are still at least partially interfertile.

***

The five Races are:
Hominids
Hominids come in SMALL, MEDIUM and LARGE sizes. Small Hominids are commonly called "FEY", Medium Hominids are "HUMANS" and Large Hominids are "GIANTS". They can be found on a variety of worlds, but tend to prefer temperate climates and moderate gravity.

Centaurs
Centaurs are hexapods with the upper body similar to a Hominid and the lower body of an animal. They come in MEDIUM and LARGE sizes. The Medium Centaurs tend to have longer body hair and resemble a human upper body on a canine lower body. Large Centaurs look like a human upper body on a horse lower body. The analogy is imperfect as they are a unique species, not a hybrid of hominids and animals.

Winged
The Winged are also hexapods that have developed their middle limbs into functional wings. They come in Small and Medium sizes. They tend to have two major variations, the "bird" and the "bat". Bird Winged are often called "Angels" and the Bat Winged are often called "Daemons".

Dragonne
Dragonnes are the largest of the intelligent races and found in Large and Very Large sizes. Large Dragonne often develop their middle limbs into wings.

Myr
An aquatic race, the Myr can be Medium or Large. They are mammals but have both lungs and gills, so they can breathe water or air. Variations of the species include those who have fused lower limbs that function as tails and those that can still walk on land, although not well due to the shape of their feet.

***

Yes, the idea that most of the universal human myths of other creatures have a basis in the half-remembered legends of these other races. Games can be set on Earth as it emerges from it's many thousand-year-long isolation or anywhere else in the galaxy where the various races interact.

Too contrived?

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 Post subject: Re: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:20 pm 
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I would have thought that Fantasy and Sci-Fi should never meet ... until I saw the art for Dwarves in Space by Elmore

Image

... that image alone sold me on the idea.

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 Post subject: Re: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:17 am 
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I don't think it's too contrived, it depends on what you want from the setting.

It reads to me two ways: a mechanic to allow different kinds of characters and a method for linking in with memes that people know and understand.

Having different mental and physical attributes, backgrounds, ways of thinking gives variety to PCs. The trouble with coming up with new stuff is it takes time for the ideas to win people over.


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 Post subject: Re: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:40 pm 
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I think this is a reasonable idea. the races would have enough differences to be interesting, even amongst themselves but it still seems playable to me.
I remember the books and the idea worked well there.


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 Post subject: Re: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 10:41 am 
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Could be exceedingly fun. Intrepid Terran explorers finding the ruins of long-abandoned colonies of seemingly mythical creatures, then finding regressed colonies of them, then finding actual starfaring DRAGONS!

And maybe there are MEDIUM Dragonnes - Lizardmen/Drakes... Possibly genetically-engineered servitors made by the original LARGE/VERY LARGE Dragonnes.

What about "Magic"? Traveller Psionics? SWN Psychic Powers? TL15 tech?

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 Post subject: Re: Setting Idea
PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2015 9:13 pm 
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The idea is less "Dwarves in Space" than it is that our deepest, most wide-spread myths are based Ancient Aliens (who might be us..).

Yes, the mythological creature gives you some indication of what the alien is like, but not everything. Angels are not "good" and Daemons are not "evil" they are just in a war of extinction with each other (racism taken to its ultimate genocidal extreme).

Giants are not slow and dumb, but they are BIG (say 8-10 feet tall) and Fey are 3-4 feet tall; but still HUMAN and interfertile, so you get "halfings".

Magic is a NO, but Psionics and advanced technology are the inspirations for Magic and why magic is prevalent in every human culture, no matter how isolated - deep memories of a time past when Terra was part of an interstellar community (may Atlantis?).

Lots of ways to tie in mythology, or just ignore it all and use them as alien races and run your adventure. Rather than having to invent aliens with unique features and personalities, you can use the mythology as a START for your aliens. Cultures vary greatly, but you can get inspiration pretty easily and if nothing else, our understanding of how the mythological creature would act becomes a "stereotype" of that race.. true or not is up to the Referee.

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