Monday, January 28, 2013

Traveller Sandbox Game Mechanics: The Thulians, An Alien Species...

Good Afternoon, All:

In developing game mechanics for the Traveller Sandbox Experiment, we need to develop the appropriate statistics for the Thulians, a non-human alien race native to Amaterasu (Segin 3110 B688735-A). We've already defined them as being scholarly, and having enough interest in the human library known as the Ksitigarbha Institute that Thulians of sufficient social standing make at least one pilgrimage to the site during their lifetimes. With that in mind, exploring them should make for a very interesting opportunity.

Here's an Expanded Profile for their homeworld, which will be useful when using the rules found in Flynn's Guide to Alien Creation:
Amaterasu (Segin 3110 B688735-A): Starport Class B (Good); Medium (Low-G); Dense; Wet World; Mod Pop (90,000,000); Self-perpetuating Oligarchy; Mod Law; Early Stellar Tech. No Bases. Trade Codes: Garden World and Non-Industrial World. Koyane Shogunate.

After rolling some dice and playing with the results, I came up with the following:

The Thulians
Descended from Omnivore/Gatherer stock, the Thulians are an intelligent Lesser Race native to the world of Amaterasu (Segin 3110 B688735-A). This warm-blooded bipedal humanoid species is warm-blooded, exhibiting bilateral symmetry. Like most lifeforms on Amaterasu, Thulians are all of a single gender, and bear live young after exchanging genetic material with another of their species. By convention, all Thulians are considered females in the native tongue of the Koyane Shogunate.

As a species, Thulians are quite intelligent, despite their rather animalistic appearance, and possess a near-eidetic memory. They possess exceptional hearing, and still retain their ancestors' natural ability as climbers. As a species, they are naturally curious, and value the pursuit of knowledge. Thulians believe that their world is a living entity, and are taught that the Great Mother has sisters among the stars. Many, therefore, seek to explore the stars in search of the Mother's Sisters. Scouts, explorers and starfarers hold a sense of prestige among the Thulians. The great wealth of data available at the Ksitigarbha Institute on Jizo (Segin 2901 A7978AA-A Amber Zone) appeals to Thulians on many levels, from their curiosity to their desire to locate the Mother's Sisters. Many members of the species struggle to make at least one pilgrimage to the great repository of data during their lifetimes.

The Thulians have Notable Intelligence (2d6+1). Thulians also have the Low Gravity Adaptation, Natural Climber, Acute Hearing and Eidetic Memory alien traits. Thulians start aging at 30, stand 160+(2d6x5) centimeters tall and weigh 55+(2d6x4) kilograms.

Based on what we see in the details given above, Thulians will likely be found in many of the space-based careers within the Koyane Shogunate. I wanted to give the fascination that Thulians have of the Institute a near-religious fanaticism. That's what led me to create the detail that they believe their world is a living entity, and that they believe there are others. As to why this might be so, I leave that to the imagination of the Referee.

For me, I'd assume that the Thulians have passed down knowledge gained by ancient encounters with one of the Progenitor races about 70,000 years ago. Over many, many generations, these stories have morphed from tales of worlds where other people lived to legends about the worlds themselves being alive and sentient. Of course, building an adventure arc around an effort to find one of the Great Mother's Sisters might be a lot of fun, too. (Such an adventure arc could even bring the PCs to a dead or dying planet that was once the birthplace of a highly advanced civilization. Brought low by its enemies in the War of the Ancients, this world could possibly tie in with the goals of the Progenitor AI guiding the Factor of Malsumis.)


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