Necromancy in B5

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Necromancy in B5

Postby Yrtalien » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:18 pm

OK not quite Necromancy : )

I was reading the Drakh book the other day and came across an interesting idea presented therein (at least I think that's where I got it from...)

Basically the Drakh are considering cloning the Dilgar race (who would be a dead race as the the Drakh are a dead race) and teaching them, much as they were once taught by the Shadows. One could argue that the Drakh can't offer what the Shadows did ... that they simply don't have the God-likey-ness to garner the same level of loyalty.... one could argue many things against this idea... but something about it appeals to me.

No race wants to be alone... plain and simple... even the Drakh. Since the Drakh believe themselves to be a dead race I love the idea of them finding another dead race to share their particular hell with. Its all circle-of-abuse-ish. The Shadows abused the Drakh... told them they were dead and could never ascend to greatness. The Drakh recreate the Dilgar and tell them they have failed as a race but they can follow the path that the Drakh did before them... the cycle continues.

It also makes sense in that the Drakh have a limited abilty to conduct a war due to declining numbers. Yes, they plan from the background and any single battle lost means the loss of only a small number of Drakh but to be honest how many can they stand to lose? There are many fewer Drakh than humans and the Humans aren't there only enemies. Quite frankly after the B5 series and into Crusade most of the known races in the galaxy would probably shoot them on sight. With the entire ISA hunting them their numbers will decline sharply. The Dilgar could provide them with more expendable troops.

Since reading that little idea-seed I've been flooded with thought for a post B5 game. I always love springing unexpected things on my players and Im certain none of them expect the Dilgar to ever pop up again. I think I may have the Dilgar be the new Tarimatude (sp?) since the Drakh are having problems using the tech (it knows they aren't supposed to) strapping the tech onto soldiers you influence is the next best thing (until you can get past the bulit in flubs). It would give the recreated Dilgar great power but make them dependent on the the Drakh for continued supply of the Tech (much as the TechnoMages were).

Are there any other races in B5 cannon that face extinction or that are extinct that I could involve? Just thinking out loud here but an Armada made up of dead races would be an interesting sight. The races involved would have to be inclined towards chaos already and probably have died only recently to be viably clonable (have the Minbarri offed anyone they would be shocked to see suddenly back on their doorstep)? Ahh well back to my books to do research.

Did anyone else see this idea and like it? Or am I the only one? Anyone else find any tidbits equally as interesting? Does my idea sound like crap? Tell me now I won't take offense.... I've run some really good games and I've killed some games by running gung-ho forward with a bad idea... so I don't mind criticism.

P.S.: Cany anyone tell me if there are any printed stats on the Dilgar or their ships and tech?
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Postby Mongoose Gar » Mon Jan 15, 2007 2:29 pm

The Markab got wiped out by the Drafa plague, and the Hyach are in sharp decline due to the lack of Hyach-Doh to breed with. (Actually, with the Drakh's mastery of biotech, gaining leverage over the Hyach would be easy. "Serve us and we save your race by recreating the Hyach-Doh....")
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Postby frobisher » Mon Jan 15, 2007 3:24 pm

The Markab and Dilgar are not very compatible it should be remembered. The Markab, in effect, declared Jihad upon the Dilgar.

However, the Markab are a race with a grudge - effectively wiped out by the Drafa plague, and no sooner were their bodies cold then their former allies within the league started picking over their assets. A reconstituted Markab (puppeted by the Drakh and oblivious to any Dilgar on the go) might want this stuff back...

The Alacan and (and the other race effectively made extint by the Dilgar whose name I can't remember at the moment - but what was left of their populations now live together on Alca) wouldn't be viable Drakh pawns as it's not their nature.
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Postby Yrtalien » Mon Jan 15, 2007 4:39 pm

Gahh I can't find my Minbarri book. Wasn't there a race they wiped out once many moons ago or am I on crack again?
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Postby Neo » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:08 pm

This is just a personal opinion.. but I dont think the Drakh "would" clone a dead race for the simple fact that they follow so closely to thier now absent masters shcemes. And as we know the Shadows aim was to create conflict in order to ensure that the strong survived while the weak did not...and as the dilgar did not (for the most part) they wouldn't be viewed as "worthy" of survival, victims of the natural order as it were.

For the Drakh to revive a dead race like that would be quite a departure from thier own masters schemes that they have been propogating so diligently for so long.

I guess it is feasible they may clone a few as part of some other scheme, subterfuge or diversion. Not to mention without some major re-writing dilgar psychology I cant see them being willing servants of anyone...they were conquerers and very militant in nature...I cant see them reacting well to heavy handed tactis by the drakjh to keep them in order they'd be rebelling in a week heh
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Mon Jan 15, 2007 7:41 pm

I agree with Neo in that I have a hard time seeing the Drakh taking on a project like bringing back a whole race anytime soon.

However, there's no reason they couldn't rewrite anyone they do clone. I mean, if they raise a Dilgar in total isolation, who's to say how many racial traits he'd pick up? Or a Markab raised in absence of their religion? The Drakh don't have to instill any sense of who they are or where they came from while raising them as a clone. I think individuals as experiments are easily within the sort of thing certain Drakh might do, and given their personalities might be just about anything the Drakh tender wants them to be it could make for some surreal encounters for the PCs.
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Postby Neo » Mon Jan 15, 2007 8:13 pm

Gabriel_Luna wrote: However, there's no reason they couldn't rewrite anyone they do clone. I mean, if they raise a Dilgar in total isolation, who's to say how many racial traits he'd pick up? Or a Markab raised in absence of their religion? The Drakh don't have to instill any sense of who they are or where they came from while raising them as a clone. I think individuals as experiments are easily within the sort of thing certain Drakh might do, and given their personalities might be just about anything the Drakh tender wants them to be it could make for some surreal encounters for the PCs.
True, but then not everything a species does is due to upbringing and educational in origin, some things are instinctual and wirtten in our DNA. Someone brought up in a different environment may still find themselves more disposed towards certain actions or activities...the only difference being them no longer knowing or understanding why :)
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Tue Jan 16, 2007 2:02 am

Yeah, nature vs. nurture. But then with the Drakh's propensity toward manipulation...still, I think it'd make for a great scene if a Drakh commando team was led by, say, a Markab who ran into another survivor and was suddenly forced to question his upbringing.
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Postby ShadowScout » Wed Jan 17, 2007 12:06 pm

This is just a personal opinion.. but I dont think the Drakh "would" clone a dead race for the simple fact that they follow so closely to thier now absent masters shcemes. And as we know the Shadows aim was to create conflict in order to ensure that the strong survived while the weak did not...and as the dilgar did not (for the most part) they wouldn't be viewed as "worthy" of survival, victims of the natural order as it were.

For the Drakh to revive a dead race like that would be quite a departure from thier own masters schemes that they have been propogating so diligently for so long.
This is the most telling argument. Races unable to survive on their own are not worthy of survival, says the Shadow creed.

Besides, the Drakh must be smart enough to realize that any Dilgar raised with the culture that made them what they were would eventually "bite the hand that cloned them"... and any Dilgar raised without their culture would be useless (and the cloning tanks better used to make more Drakh!)

If the Drakh were to revive any dead race at all, it would be as a trap - "the last survivors of the -insert dead race name here-, needing help (and carrying a nasty surprise)". However they already did the plague thing, and all other things (espionage, sabotage, assassination) are not really that effective - especialyl when they can do it with established NPC's through their talent for "Keeping allies"... :wink:

As for alone... the Drakh wouldn't mind, as they still have themselves and noone can replace their gods (the Shadows) anyway.

And for another, if the Drakh really want some allies, they'd be far are more likely to seek them among races so far unknown to the established B5 races.
The Red Helmet Horde (could be the Wen'Dan) come to mind, as do completely unknown ones - limited only by GM imagination. Hell, in a campaign (where no licensing problems arise), the Drakh could bring in every race from other BG with the serial numbers filed off and a new coat of paint - from "Predators" hunting PC's for their skulls to Techno-Zombies wanting to make the PC's one of their own, from Xenomorphic "Aliens" controlled by Keepers and trying to use PC's as breeders to an civilization of sentient machines wanting to terminate all "meatbags" - as the GM wishes...
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Wed Jan 17, 2007 5:17 pm

I just had a thought. While I don't think the Drakh would bother with this, there is a reason that they SHOULD: innovation. We know the Drakh are stagnant and stuck in a rut, and it's one of their big failings.

Look at what we know of the one Dilgar we've met: Deathwalker engineered whole plagues, cybernetic research, mass genocide, military campaigns and eventually invented an effective immortality serum that also did exactly what she wanted (i.e. forced one individual to kill another to make it work).

I can't see the Drakh Entire caring, because the Entire thinks it is doing things exactly right. But I think it might be a workable plotline to have a small group of heretic Drakh say, effectively, "Um, guys? We could really learn a thing or two from species that, y'know, knows how to innovate? Don't you think?" Perhaps a small group, cut off from the Entire for heresy, is trying to push forward and makes use of Dilgar, and others (Humans spring to mind).

Just a thought...
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Postby thedarkelf007 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:48 pm

hmmm a thought, what about the Gaim?

Of all the species in the setting, the Gaim outstrip the lot of them in innovation and adaptability.

If the Drakh were able to Clone a hive mother, they would be able to create a limitless number of servants and combined with their own genetic knowledge, could be quite amazing.

This would bring the most advanced race (the Drakh are quite advanced) with the most innovative...

As a concept this would tip the balance of power right into the Drakh's lap... and the need to risk themselves would be gone.

As long as they could control the hive mother that is...
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Postby Shadow Queen » Thu Jan 18, 2007 9:56 pm

they are thinking of cloning valen
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:03 pm

thedarkelf007 wrote:hmmm a thought, what about the Gaim?

Of all the species in the setting, the Gaim outstrip the lot of them in innovation and adaptability.

If the Drakh were able to Clone a hive mother, they would be able to create a limitless number of servants and combined with their own genetic knowledge, could be quite amazing.
That's...a really terrifying thought. And if it scares me, it'd really scare my players... :twisted: Even a rumor of this could be a good way to raise the tension, even if it's not true.

The problem is exerting control over a Queen, as you said. If the Ragged Edge is canon, Gaim minds are nearly impossible for alien psychics to penetrate, and even harder to control. And even if not, the Queens (and all Gaim, really) have genetic memory, so it'd be tough to convince one that the Drakh were doing them a favor. Off the top of my head I can't think of a plausible way, short of Shadow ex machina technology, to circumvent the Gaim genetic memory while keeping the other Gaim traits intact.

Any ideas?
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Postby thedarkelf007 » Thu Jan 18, 2007 10:15 pm

Well genentic memeory is the key...

Drakh can use their advanced genetic knowledge to modify this memory... and it is not like that care if they fail on the first attempt...

also no gaim telepaths, at least in the general sense of the word, so they should be able to be adapted to suit the shadowtech...

Also by trial and error they could modify the Gaim enough to see the Drakh as their masters.

Now this is not an instant thing, but it gives you some flexibility on how it advances, with failures being left somewhere for the group to discover...

the failure could be destroyed, living on its own, or dying... basically they have been abandonend until they can prove worthy of serving the Drakh, as the Drakh was the shadows...

And I have thought a few things along this line before and was even thinking of a large scale campaign...

If you were interested, this can be discussed further ?
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Thu Jan 18, 2007 11:33 pm

I am interested, at least. I find brainstorming with someone else far more effective in developing plots when compared to working by myself. That and I've been looking for a way to get the Gaim involved in my game in an interesting way. New topic? PM?

On the subject of necromancy, though...given cloning, why would finding CPU for a Shadow vessel be a problem? I know the telepaths were an experiment to see if they could block the Vorlon telepath advantage, but it seems like they could have just bagged a DNA sample and killed the telepaths outright...and if the skill of the pilot is a factor, wouldn't they be better off bagging actual pilots instead of, say, Anna Sheridan? It's not like the Shadow ships need any help from a human, but it's something that makes me wonder.
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Postby James McMurray » Fri Jan 19, 2007 2:09 am

The thing is, Shadow vessels are made of Plot Devicium. Just random clones that don't help the plot wouldn't work. :)
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Postby Gabriel_Luna » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:06 am

Shadow ex machina, I forgot. That's always a consideration when dealing with something based on a tv show or movie: consistency is good, but plot development is better.

Plus I guess kidnapping and torture are more in line with the Shadow philosophy than cloning anyway. Ah well.
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Postby thedarkelf007 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 9:53 pm

I think they just used what they had on hand... I'm sure pilots are preferred, but any CPU would do over no CPU and no ship.

As for getting genetic material for making their own telepaths, I can't see the shadows being able to work with that.

The main reason is telepathy has been written up as a vorlon design in most cases, and telepathy can block the shadowtech...

So using shadowtech to grow something that can block it seems like it is doomed to failure...

Now taking existing telepaths and using trial and error to see what you can make work with the vorlon genetics, they would eventualy be able to clone them having learnt their mistakes at an easier stage of development.

Plus why spend time growing one, when if it does not work on an already grown one...
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Postby Shadow Queen » Mon Jan 22, 2007 10:29 pm

If the CPU dont go mad in the joining prosess
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