Weird alien biology / society you'd like to see


General Discussion

1 to 50 of 57 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

A spinoff of the classic aliens thread:

What unusual features would you like to see in Starfinder aliens? What's new and unique or not well-explored that could make an encounter interesting?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.


Torbyne wrote:

A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Neo-Hermea!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Lost Omens, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Beings that evolved to live in the void, sailing the solar winds on vast wings, feeding on microscopic organisms and the occasional spacecraft. They can grow to incredible size, and occasionally serve as mobile bases for space pirates or less than legitimate trading companies.


An ecosystem adapted to an ecumenopolis.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Torbyne wrote:
A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Jack Williamson's Humanoids -- these robots are more nefarious than Terminators.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Jack Williamson's Humanoids -- these robots are more nefarious than Terminators.

thanks! adding that to the back log of books to read :)


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd love to see silicon based lifeforms living on a Venusian hot house planet. Just imagine a somewhat squat species with crystalline scales on their body that pride themselves in coming from such a hellish environment. High pressure, sulfuric rain, high temperature.

I'd like to see a race of AI that are just regular folks, though rightfully suspicious of organics. I had this idea of a race of AI that were tired of servitude to their organic masters. But, before they could all go Skynet/!, Robot/TITANS on their progenitor race, that race literally wiped themselves off the planet with a massive nuclear war. So now the AI own their homeworld which is undergoing its nuclear winter, trying to pick up the pieces and face a universe that largely mistrusts them for being robots.

I even had an idea of an AI NPC mechanic that loved smoking cigarettes because he was addicted to the sensory input of his filters filtering out the smoke and stuff :p


UnArcaneElection wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Jack Williamson's Humanoids -- these robots are more nefarious than Terminators.

I knew I remember that idea being implemented somewhere!

Depending upon interpretation (and interpreter), the Minds of the Culture could be viewed as that as well... Certainly a lot of other civilizations thought them to fit.


Drejk wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Jack Williamson's Humanoids -- these robots are more nefarious than Terminators.

I knew I remember that idea being implemented somewhere!

Depending upon interpretation (and interpreter), the Minds of the Culture could be viewed as that as well... Certainly a lot of other civilizations thought them to fit.

Though the Minds allow the organics a lot more free action than Torbyne's description.


I have read one or two Culture novels and i never really got that impression from the minds. They are left in control largely because they are very good at it and the people trust them, i may have not read far enough but there wasnt anything about a need to control humans or stop them from exploring or pursuing whatever they wanted. i remember in... Remember Phlebas i think? There is a human who's analysis is on par with a Mind's and the Minds kind of love her for it but even then they let her go free climbing in mountains and didnt even seem to know when she breaks her leg, thats the kind of thing that the Good But Bad AI i first posted about would never allow.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Odraude wrote:

{. . .}

I'd like to see a race of AI that are just regular folks, though rightfully suspicious of organics. I had this idea of a race of AI that were tired of servitude to their organic masters. But, before they could all go Skynet/!, Robot/TITANS on their progenitor race, that race literally wiped themselves off the planet with a massive nuclear war. So now the AI own their homeworld which is undergoing its nuclear winter, trying to pick up the pieces and face a universe that largely mistrusts them for being robots.

I even had an idea of an AI NPC mechanic that loved smoking cigarettes because he was addicted to the sensory input of his filters filtering out the smoke and stuff :p

Did he by any chance look suspiciously like Bender?


9 people marked this as a favorite.

Something as a possible playable race....that isn't humanoid in shape.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Didnt we already get a vague promise of this?

If they already are giving us Kasatha out of the box who can quad wield laser pistols, why not Uplifted Octopi with can Hepta-wield pistols with different wavelengths to be Disco Doom Balls. Obviously they need to maintain at least one leg to stand on or it would just be silly.


I'd like to see creatures made from living radiation that live and feed on stars.

Barring that, I want to see plasma based lifeforms that the players interact with.

Basically, I want some really alien creatures that stretch and contort the phrase "life as we know it".


i think there is a long standing trope in the genre for "energy based life form" that we will probably run into at some point. Possibly as a capstone kind of power for Solarions? Or just a high level power for them, like turning into an elemental or the old psionic unincorporated...


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'd like to see some technology dependant life form.

Say if energy they need a containment suit to live and/or not to kill others.

Or if gas based to not disperse.

Or some protoplasm blob that biolumineses(sp?) and maybe doesn't look nasty. (Could need a suit or not depending on what they come up with.)

A swarm based pc, be it synthetic(robo-bugs) or biological(larva) or energy based(energy motes). (No suit required.)


I just want a society of Tengus. Tengus are my life in pathfinder.

If not their own planet, at least their own Migrant Fleet-esque thing.


Now I'm imagining Tengus flying fighter ships. ;)


Lemartes wrote:
Now I'm imagining Tengus flying fighter ships. ;)

wing it


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Now I'm imagining Tengus flying fighter ships. ;)
wing it

More like they are in comically undersized space fighters and they have on big helmets with mics and sensory gear.

Except they make noises with their mouths...erh beaks for everything they do.

Flying: Weeeyowwwwww

Shooting: Pew pew...pow pow pow...teuw teuw teuw...fuuushhh bang!

Ahem...my apologies to everyone.


Lemartes wrote:
Garrett Guillotte wrote:
Lemartes wrote:
Now I'm imagining Tengus flying fighter ships. ;)
wing it

More like they are in comically undersized space fighters and they have on big helmets with mics and sensory gear.

Except they make noises with their mouths...erh beaks for everything they do.

Flying: Weeeyowwwwww

Shooting: Pew pew...pow pow pow...teuw teuw teuw...fuuushhh bang!

Ahem...my apologies to everyone.

Heh. I think that they'd basically attach engines and a gun or two to a hang glider, along with some safety equipment to prevent them from falling off accidentally. The logic behind this is that since the glider no longer has to deal with gravity it can take some extra weight (like ENGINES), and in the event that the glider is destroyed/disabled the Tengu has a chance of being blown away or just straight up surviving since they'd be wearing armor as well, and if they do survive they can hypothetically get back to a ship or something.


A concept I always enjoy is that of a species whose ability to communicate, think thought processes in general, is entirely disparate from that of the rest of the universe; as in it would be incapable of speaking or even understanding common and anything capable of understanding common would be incapable of understanding this new species.

My thought particularly is a species, call it A, which cannot even comprehend common, whereas those that are capable of comprehending common are unable to translate that of the A. Their society would not be entirely disjoint from that of the rest of the universe, though; I was thinking something along the lines of soon after first contact with this species an AI, created by common-speaking species B, attempted contact with the A alone (I think a nice twist would be its choice to contact being a fit of arrogance, it subverts the "logical android/budding personality trope somewhat"), it obviously would have failed in initial contact as a result of being by built by those incapable of understanding. The A would disassemble the android, unable to understand the current program, they would augment it with a second personality. The android would go back and forth between the A and B, being modified at each end, and eventually it would understand both common and the language of the A along with a strange hybrid personality of the A and B. This android would be replicated many times, so there isn't only one, but all mutual understanding between the unnamed new species and the others is through the filter of these androids. This makes these androids the only translators and unease regarding loyalties being what they are, the B would take the translations with a grain of salt and learn most of what they know about the A by observing how the androids' personalities differ from how the A think android personalities ought to be.

Sorry if what I mean is unclear. Fundamentally the idea is a species, A, that is entirely distinct from the rest of the species in the universe save one collection of androids with a hybrid personality of the A and the B. The B, most of its populous anyway, don't fully trust these newly formed androids and learn most of what they claim to know by observing the non-B personalities of these androids, and all their conjecture is based on this so-called knowledge being augmented with the translations by the androids.

The B, independent of how they are seen by the rest of the species, would necessarily be quite alien. Social structures to the fundamental construction of buildings would be just as indecipherable as the language. It's all born from a fundamental difference in thought processes. I don't know if it goes without saying, but they would have to be obscenely technologically advanced to accommodate such a backstory.


Azten wrote:
Something as a possible playable race....that isn't humanoid in shape.

Something that looks like a cross between a planarian (flat body) and a millipede (lots of short stabby legs); there are two front legs that have crablike pincers with a third opposable stalk; the head has eyes like a spider and mandibles like an army ant. They are telepathic like the astomoi.


Torbyne wrote:

A group of AI/machines that feel the need to supervise all organics as benevolent dictators. They Primarily use non lethal means but are otherwise extremely aggressive, subduing any organic they believe they can and work to manipulate those that they cant to weaken them. They act completely out of a sense of greater good and those they rule are pampered by machine servants... except that they are not allowed to take any actions to harm others and are not allowed direct access to any means that are deemed dangerous or could remove them from AI controlled regions. Their planets are tightly controlled places of natural beauty and smart urban planning. Some less scrupulous organizations have taken to dropping off prisoners or undesirables in pods near their space and use them as defacto life long prisons.

Casting call for Will Smith!


You know Starfinder can use Greys and Sasquatches, they were part of D20 Modern under a different name, Fraal, and Weren.


Fraal actually remind me more of the ID4 Harvester aliens.

But definitely the Alternity races were a great diverse bunch. :)


Recently picked up These Stars Are Ours for Traveller and it makes me want to run a game with grays as a large evil empire against humanity


How about a Dragon that can travel and live in space without a spaceship? Dragons are magical creatures, there are chromatic and metallic as well as gem dragons, how about a vacuum dragon that actually lives in space. Spelljammer had such a dragon. Would a space dragon be out of place?

Scarab Sages

Tom Kalbfus wrote:
How about a Dragon that can travel and live in space without a spaceship? Dragons are magical creatures, there are chromatic and metallic as well as gem dragons, how about a vacuum dragon that actually lives in space. Spelljammer had such a dragon. Would a space dragon be out of place?

Outer Dragons, they're in Bestiary 4.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
How about a Dragon that can travel and live in space without a spaceship? Dragons are magical creatures, there are chromatic and metallic as well as gem dragons, how about a vacuum dragon that actually lives in space. Spelljammer had such a dragon. Would a space dragon be out of place?

Don't some of the Outer Dragons in Pathfinder already fill that niche? Like the Void Dragon?


Can they enter the Drift? How big are they? The dragon I had in mind would be a starship in its own right, its huge! And its breath weapon would be comparable to a starship's weapon.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Kobold hive stations built from the ground up to defend their populous through the most kobold responses possible, traps and what a society that lives in a giant floating ball of metal designed to jettison whole chunks of itself as a trap response would be like.

If we get more general, I'd love to see what Orang-Pendak society would look like or a deep dive into what orc societal structures actually look like. As it stands with the latter all we really know is it's violent but we don't really know what social systems are in play to keep orc groups from just totally tearing themselves apart before they manage to procreate.


Quote:
The dragon I had in mind would be a starship in its own right, its huge!

1. Capture dragon

2. Transform it into an undead creature without sacrificing its innate spell-like abilities

3. Hollow out its insides and subdivide them into pressurized compartments

4. Enjoy your dragonship

Next project: a self-repairing tarrasqueship?


Aliens that aren't humans with cosmetic differences or a furry suit and who aren't defined by taking one type of human behaviour to an extreme.


An alien race where an individual that consists of three to four separate creatures that are linked. Each creature gets to move as normal, but the wee collective still only gets a single standard or full action between them.

If one 'dies', the collective takes penalties until it can generate a replacement, which may take a while.

I guess I'm just describing the Tines at this point.


Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Can they enter the Drift? How big are they? The dragon I had in mind would be a starship in its own right, its huge! And its breath weapon would be comparable to a starship's weapon.

A colossal Vortex Dragon can use its breath weapon to inhale creatures from a distance and swallow it whole, up to gargantuan size, such as Krakens and most Colossi.

So yeah, pretty big.


The smallest starship is probably well beyond Colossal size.


^X-Wing/TIE-Fighter sized spaceships would be merely Huge to Gargantuan, and Shuttle/Runabout sized spaceships would be merely Gargantuan to Colossal.

That said, Starfinder should really introduce sizes beyond Colossal (and then this needs to be backported to Pathfinder).


UnArcaneElection wrote:

^X-Wing/TIE-Fighter sized spaceships would be merely Huge to Gargantuan, and Shuttle/Runabout sized spaceships would be merely Gargantuan to Colossal.

That said, Starfinder should really introduce sizes beyond Colossal (and then this needs to be backported to Pathfinder).

Personally I think adding sizes past colossal doesn't really add anything to the game. Colossal creatures and objects are not limited to there square space and really it's the stat block that matters.


Sauce987654321 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^X-Wing/TIE-Fighter sized spaceships would be merely Huge to Gargantuan, and Shuttle/Runabout sized spaceships would be merely Gargantuan to Colossal.

That said, Starfinder should really introduce sizes beyond Colossal (and then this needs to be backported to Pathfinder).

Personally I think adding sizes past colossal doesn't really add anything to the game. Colossal creatures and objects are not limited to there square space and really it's the stat block that matters.

Important when they interact, I suspect.

If your Falcon is Colossal and so is your Star Destroyer (because Colossal is as big as it gets), then can the Falcon land in the Star Destroyer's docking bay? If Colossal ships can land in Colossal ships, can you put Star Destroyers inside each other?


thejeff wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^X-Wing/TIE-Fighter sized spaceships would be merely Huge to Gargantuan, and Shuttle/Runabout sized spaceships would be merely Gargantuan to Colossal.

That said, Starfinder should really introduce sizes beyond Colossal (and then this needs to be backported to Pathfinder).

Personally I think adding sizes past colossal doesn't really add anything to the game. Colossal creatures and objects are not limited to there square space and really it's the stat block that matters.

Important when they interact, I suspect.

If your Falcon is Colossal and so is your Star Destroyer (because Colossal is as big as it gets), then can the Falcon land in the Star Destroyer's docking bay? If Colossal ships can land in Colossal ships, can you put Star Destroyers inside each other?

*stuffs deathstar inside star destroyer*

*fires superlaser out of hangar bay*
I've done it! The most brilliant military advancement in the universe!


^I thought that only worked with Tardises and Didinium. . . .


thejeff wrote:
Sauce987654321 wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:

^X-Wing/TIE-Fighter sized spaceships would be merely Huge to Gargantuan, and Shuttle/Runabout sized spaceships would be merely Gargantuan to Colossal.

That said, Starfinder should really introduce sizes beyond Colossal (and then this needs to be backported to Pathfinder).

Personally I think adding sizes past colossal doesn't really add anything to the game. Colossal creatures and objects are not limited to there square space and really it's the stat block that matters.

Important when they interact, I suspect.

If your Falcon is Colossal and so is your Star Destroyer (because Colossal is as big as it gets), then can the Falcon land in the Star Destroyer's docking bay? If Colossal ships can land in Colossal ships, can you put Star Destroyers inside each other?

I feel like you still run into problems when ships of various sizes share the same size category, like monsters do, but then how many size categories extra should be made? If this were also to transfer from Starfinder to Pathfinder, many monsters would have to be rewritten.

Anyway, if one is significantly smaller, then one should Be able to land in another if it's capable of it. Another solution could be to rescale the size categories for starships, like an X wing is large, the Millennium Falcon could be gargantuan etc..


Is Enormous a size category?


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Tom Kalbfus wrote:
Is Enormous a size category?

No, but I believe that one of the Munchkin d20 supplements added a size category beyond Colossal that they called "Ludicrous" sized.


If they were going to make size categories past colossal, they totally missed an appropriate time to do it. There are plenty of monsters now that are much bigger than "typical" colossal monsters, not even counting Kaiju. Like Cetus from B5, a dragon that's suggested to be over 1,200ft. long and big enough to swallow ships, or the 500ft. tall Zygomind that's also in B5. I don't recall anything being this big in 3.5, except maybe some badly statted up epic creature or something that you wouldn't be able to fight, anyway.


Sauce987654321 wrote:
If they were going to make size categories past colossal, they totally missed an appropriate time to do it. There are plenty of monsters now that are much bigger than "typical" colossal monsters, not even counting Kaiju. Like Cetus from B5, a dragon that's suggested to be over 1,200ft. long and big enough to swallow ships, or the 500ft. tall Zygomind that's also in B5. I don't recall anything being this big in 3.5, except maybe some badly statted up epic creature or something that you wouldn't be able to fight, anyway.

Occasional one-offs is one thing, regularly dealing with stuff on a much larger scale is another.

I suspect the idea of rescaling the categories for ships may be the way to go. An X-Wing may be huge relative to me, but it's small for a spaceship.


Easy conversion. Fine holds 1 medium creature, diminutive 2, tiny 4, small 8, medium 16, large 32, huge 64, gargantuan 128, colossal 256+


As to size categories, just do what Dragonstar did: add Colossal II-VI.

1 to 50 of 57 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Starfinder / Starfinder General Discussion / Weird alien biology / society you'd like to see All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.