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The Visit
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
valadaar's comment on 2011-02-15 02:12 PM


I like this one, and it feels like it could be a good star post for a 101 alien race codex :)

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The Visit
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
Silveressa's comment on 2011-02-15 02:14 AM


A nice galactic introduction, and provides a good backdrop of first contact history without niggling too much over the specific details.



It feels like the prelude to something more, that it stops just shy of the next chapter involving humanities first steps into the stars. (Similar to Star Trek Enterprise?) A creative Gm could easily use this as the spring board for a space faring campaign involving the crew of Earths first FTL capable starship.



Much enjoyed, and gave me lots of ideas, nicely done! 


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The Visit
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
MysticMoon's comment on 2011-02-20 06:48 PM


Excellent exposition. This is the kind of sub that gets my mind churning.



I agree with the others, this does feel like a prelude to much more.


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The Visit
Articles  (Fiction)   (Gaming - Genre)
Amberjack's comment on 2011-02-20 02:31 PM
The many ways to intelligence
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
manfred's comment on 2010-01-13 05:20 PM
Very relevant indeed! Go to Comment
The many ways to intelligence
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manfred's comment on 2010-01-13 05:32 PM
Good thoughts.

Thinking around the "there's gotta be agriculture" point, there may be sentient carnivores living mostly from meat, which would logically master herding first. The semi-nomadic herders would first get rid of competing predators, and as their numbers increased, would need more efficient ways to keep animals. By then would follow some agriculture (the plants useful for construction etc. and the few they would eat) which would force some to settle; along with the tool producers. With the majority roaming around and trading a little, the villages and towns placed around key resources would slowly attract more population and improve their animal-keeping technology; division of labor would be strongly rising at the point. Then comes writing and the rest of path, but the civilization could be quite different due to its roots. Go to Comment
The many ways to intelligence
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Siren no Orakio's comment on 2010-01-02 05:59 AM
Some thoughts.

The shift from quadruped to biped - The opposable thumb is a common feature throughout the ape lineages, however, a largely ground based ape rising up off the ground into an upright stance is critical, providing both extended vision range, allowing the shift to a primarily vision based sensory system, and thus our extensive color vision, it allows tool carrying. Once a tool can be kept from place to place, technology can begin. The opposable thumb alone is not enough - thank your choice of deities for this, or polydactyl cats would rule the world, with their double opposable thumbs. There are a LOT of species on Earth with opposable thumbs.

Once tool use has begun to supplant natural weapons and defenses, the grip can afford to become more precise, encouraging further tool use. This brings up the need to develop the ability to both create tools, reason out their usage, and predict the future need for tools. Logic, reason, and mysticism enter the mind at this step - mysticism is a useful 'short cut' in the reasoning process at this time.

Language comes from the need to communicate complex concepts, including tool usage to the progeny and to the pack at large. This is facilitated by the presence of weapons and cooking implements, which remove selection pressures that drive towards strong, muscular mouths. Coordinated activities throughout a pack can cause selection pressures that drive towards language use. The large, coordinated pack will likely outhunt and outfight the small, poorer coordinated packs - Witness our extinction of our cousins, the Neanderthal man. The Neanderthal was stronger and faster than we are. We had better tools and bigger packs. There is no more Neanderthal.

With the pack using tools for extended periods of time, there is now a place for 'ownership' in this proto-beings mind. There is also a much stronger need for the concepts of "I", "Us", and "Them".

With possession, self-and-group identity, language, cause-and-effect, 'Past-Present-Future' conceptualization, and complex tools, the stage for civilization is set. This, however, is still a 'feral' intelligence. To grip the stars, he must begin with the invention of two special tools.

He must first commit what can be argued to be the original eco-sin. He must tame the wild plant and beast, and divest his food source from the natural carrying capacity of his native ecosystem through agriculture. Agriculture permits specialized food producers, allowing others to become specialized tool-makers, warriors, and the distribution of the food and tools becomes trade. Trade leads to gatherings, which leads to cities. Once cities and specialists exist, extremely complex information must be stored and exchanged, leading to the next key invention: Writing. Writing and the complex symbolic thought that it encourages create an explosion of technology.

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The many ways to intelligence
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
The many ways to intelligence
Articles  (Resource)   (Gaming - In General)
Scrasamax's comment on 2010-01-01 05:53 PM
Blood Flow to the brain, thinking requires oxygen and fuel to go on, and without a suitable flow of blood to the brain, the level of though is limited. Humans have very large arteries (in comparison with other animals on a body size comparison) that feed blood to the brain. The apes and monkeys considered closest to us in genetic terms have much smaller arteries. Go to Comment
The many ways to intelligence
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valadaar's comment on 2016-07-25 08:46 AM
What an excellent discussion! Go to Comment
The many ways to intelligence
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Moonlake's comment on 2015-02-01 12:40 AM
Very informative for the purpose described by author Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2009-05-17 05:18 PM
Updated: Out with ya! This was inspired by, of all things, "The Mummy". I watched it for like five minutes and wondered, how on earth would a small secretive society survive for three thousand years with its agenda intact, when there is no pressure to follow their goal (and the world doesn't stop turning either).

This spirit is an answer to this question - if you need it. Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2009-05-17 07:15 PM
Thanks. Of course, it doesn't have to be an enemy - it may be your friendly supernatural sponsor you won't be aware of until it turns your life on its head. :) Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2009-05-19 03:45 PM
*pats head* Why did I get inspired by a cheap knockoff, when I could have been enlightened by the original!

Long live Indiana Jones! Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2009-05-19 03:48 PM
Most of the time, it wouldn't be really noticeable. It's the moments, when the mission is endangered, when things get weird.

(Now also linked to a few related submissions.) Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
manfred's comment on 2011-07-27 03:57 PM
Recheck the plot hooks and the comments. If you use some long-standing group in your campaign that your PCs will interact with, you may consider 'equipping' it with this spirit. Then, endanger the mission and let it either attempt to recruit them or work against them.

Why, if they destroy some opposition group, copycats arise again, and again? Or, if they got drawn into 'the mission', how can they get out of it? Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
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Scrasamax's comment on 2009-05-18 02:10 PM
THe Mummy is a good inspiration, but I also found myself thinking of the venerable crusader from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, his mission to defend the grail. While he wa a single man supported by the water of a divine cup, an order with a larger goal could endure, creating these spirits. I like this. Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
Cheka Man's comment on 2009-05-19 10:53 AM
A very hard kind of spirit to beat. Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
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valadaar's comment on 2009-05-21 11:14 AM
I get a feeling of the Force here as well. You could view both the good side of the force and the bad side of the force having such spirits available to them.

An excellent idea Manfred! Go to Comment
Spirits of Tradition
Lifeforms  (Ethereal)   (Any)
sverigesson's comment on 2009-05-19 10:49 AM
Good idea. I was a little confused at first regarding the method of how exactly this works, but a good post nonetheless. It could be tweaked a tiny bit, but over all, a good sub. Go to Comment
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