Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

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MonkeyX
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Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby MonkeyX » Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:52 pm

A discussion came up in my game today about the unpronounceable Aslan clan names. We have take to using shorthand such as the trader clan, the rival clan etc rather than having to go through hell each time a clan is mentioned. I’m assuming this goes back to Travellers early days? Does anyone else have this problem or a good solution?
Old School
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Old School » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:00 am

I blame paltrysum. Not because he had anything to do with it, but he loves those names.

We have nicknames for the major clans in my Drinax campaign. We had a chart of the relationships between various clans but its disappeared.

I thought about annotating my pdfs with the nicknames but I’m too lazy.
NOLATrav
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby NOLATrav » Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:53 am

Rarely see Aslan IMTU but when we did, same problem. One player got frustrated and decided to put a fat drinking straw loosely between her teeth and then proceeded to sound out the names. Try it, it works!

Doesn’t really solve the OP’s problem I guess - we devolved to nicknames, translations and Imperial “call signs” eventually :D
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:36 am

MonkeyX wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:52 pm
Why are they so complicated?
It depends on how you role-play Aslan.
Condottiere
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Condottiere » Thu Jan 30, 2020 8:53 am

Try pronouncing them while purring and/or hissing.
locarno24
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby locarno24 » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:42 am

ShawnDriscoll wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 6:36 am
MonkeyX wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 10:52 pm
Why are they so complicated?
It depends on how you role-play Aslan.
This. A big part of it is how ready you are to assign either shortened names or nicknames. The most prominent Aslan in Pirates of Drinax, for example, is just 'Kasiyl', and we've had an Aslan PC before referred to as 'Hobbes'.

One thing that I do like is that the longer the full legal name, the less important the Aslan.

It's the equivalent of the fact that there are relatively few humans who only need a single word to identify them. If you meet someone who in a formal context is introduced as HlyueawifiyAhroay’ifiyWahtoiLayeauiwahfeaktelihlalikhtyeiteyahahtateisiyu, your response is 'pleased to meet you'. If they're introduced as Hlyueawiko, you bow. A lot.




But...yeah. The actual words themselves are often a mouthful. Page 49 of the Trojan Reach does (fortunately) have a pronunciation guide, but there's often a degree of 'erm' if I've not had a chance to figure out in advance how to say something.
Understand that I'm not advocating violence.
I'm just saying that it's highly effective and I strongly recommend using it.
Reynard
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Reynard » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:12 pm

The old GDW Traveller Alien Module 1 has a comprehensive guide to the creation and pronunciation of aslan words as well as a section explaining language and naming conventions. It's what they do. The text does say shortening of names is quite common in circumstances. I saw no problem working in a game that my aslan character, Traikhetouh, used the nickname, Trai, around humans or aslans she wasn't fond of. If it was a more formal situation or she was mad at you for some reason, you used the full name and, if she could remember it herself, her full clan name if she was really mad about something. This is role playing and the color it adds but it should not become a game stopper.
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby paltrysum » Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:00 am

Old School wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:00 am
I blame paltrysum. Not because he had anything to do with it, but he loves those names.
I really do! And the reason why I like them? Because they're unpronounceable but give us an inkling of how Trokh might be spoken. The Aslan are supposed to be alien, and Dave Nilsen's "humans in furry suits" aside, I do like the aspects of them that are more exotic, more...alien. As a species that evolved on a far-away star system, mammalian-seeming or not, their speech organs should be different than ours. It should be impossible for a human to truly speak Trokh just as it should be impossible for an Aslan to truly speak Galanglic.

When J. Andrew Keith, John Harshman, and Marc W. Miller designed the original CT alien module for them, those funky random word-generation tables were ingeniously designed to create words that were marginally pronounceable to give us a sense of how the language is spoken, but not enough that we can actually do it.
My published Traveller adventures on DriveThruRPG:
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby GamingGlen » Fri Jan 31, 2020 12:32 pm

It's not Hawaiian? :wink:

I just translate into English as if Kzinti. Like...

She acts like bird-prey dancing in rainfall.
His enemies stabbed multiple times. (<--- once translated this warrior gets LOTS of respect) :)
Glen
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Old School » Fri Jan 31, 2020 6:59 pm

paltrysum wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 5:00 am
Old School wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 2:00 am
I blame paltrysum. Not because he had anything to do with it, but he loves those names.
I really do! And the reason why I like them? Because they're unpronounceable but give us an inkling of how Trokh might be spoken. The Aslan are supposed to be alien, and Dave Nilsen's "humans in furry suits" aside, I do like the aspects of them that are more exotic, more...alien. As a species that evolved on a far-away star system, mammalian-seeming or not, their speech organs should be different than ours. It should be impossible for a human to truly speak Trokh just as it should be impossible for an Aslan to truly speak Galanglic.

When J. Andrew Keith, John Harshman, and Marc W. Miller designed the original CT alien module for them, those funky random word-generation tables were ingeniously designed to create words that were marginally pronounceable to give us a sense of how the language is spoken, but not enough that we can actually do it.
That’s fair. There should be a canon list of ganglic translations for each clan name. My group’s lame nicknames are not worthy of being canon, however.
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Reynard » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:33 pm

I actually built a list of aslan words for a character I played. The character had Language(galanglic) 1 so a brilliant engineer but not the greatest communicator. Even carried an aslan-galanglic dictionary on her data pad when she would stumble. She tended to revert to mixing aslan words in a sentence when angry, flustered or absent-minded. As the situations came, I would use the aslan word generator, assign it a relevant description and put it on a list to use as needed. The referee and other players would become familiar with some such a ou-hrealr-yeh (common obscenity with much innuendo and downright nasty), hita! (equivalent of Oh!), his (negative comment) or AU-OEAHT--AAE-OI'A!!! (Remove your eyes with a dewclaw), one way to say "NO means no!". Just enough to give the game atmosphere and a touch of alien.
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Old School » Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:49 pm

Reynard wrote:
Fri Jan 31, 2020 8:33 pm
I actually built a list of aslan words for a character I played. The character had Language(galanglic) 1 so a brilliant engineer but not the greatest communicator. Even carried an aslan-galanglic dictionary on her data pad when she would stumble. She tended to revert to mixing aslan words in a sentence when angry, flustered or absent-minded. As the situations came, I would use the aslan word generator, assign it a relevant description and put it on a list to use as needed. The referee and other players would become familiar with some such a ou-hrealr-yeh (common obscenity with much innuendo and downright nasty), hita! (equivalent of Oh!), his (negative comment) or AU-OEAHT--AAE-OI'A!!! (Remove your eyes with a dewclaw), one way to say "NO means no!". Just enough to give the game atmosphere and a touch of alien.
Every referee should have players like you. The effort is appreciated.
ShawnDriscoll
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby ShawnDriscoll » Fri Jan 31, 2020 9:38 pm

The Aslan are alien. Not human-dressed furries with different colored lion heads snapped on.
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Re: Aslan names. Why are they so complicated?

Postby Reynard » Fri Jan 31, 2020 11:11 pm

"Every referee should have players like you. The effort is appreciated."

Every game, especially campaign games, should have teamwork from both referees and players. Don't rely on the ref to come up with everything. Player input expands the universe.

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