Is The K'kree Navy A Threat - I Think Not! / Virus

GypsyComet said:
Condottiere said:
Big Irritable Sapient Omnivorous Natives

So they're a trade organization? Some sort of secret lodge?
No, that's the similar sounding but totally unrelated Mildly Annoying Sapient Omnivorous Natives.

The bovine uprising is chronicled here. But their attempt at space travel was less successful, which is why you won't be seeing an Alien Module about the Vachians any time soon. :D
I'll take 20 of the spinal mount version, right away.

Three shall be the counting in the fire preparation phase. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two excepting that thou then proceed to three.

Then when thou firest the holy particle accellerator of Antioch thy foe, being naughty in my sight, shall snuff it.

Who says we have lost control. We are debating the fine points of high energy weaponry to deal with the various allied species that might join with the K'Kree to wage war on.....

Ah, who am I kidding.

Look I was just having some fun. I wasn't expecting....

Must be some variant of Godwin's Law that the likelihood of a Monty Python reference increases as a thread grows larger.

Or My Little Pony.

As for Alien races in Traveller, hard to really take them seriously.

You have Road Rovers to the North, Fakirs and Thundercats to the West, Nazis and Gumbies to the South, and centaurs and rust monsters to the East.
And strange dinosaurs (Droyne) from the land before time (Ancients).

It's so easy to forget them. They just vanish and your memory goes foggy.
I've found aliens can be as unique as a referee/GM want's to make them.

Vargr being like dogs, sure, because they were genetically engineered from dogs. But they are just as much like people. And partly whatever the Ancients added to make it all work together. They are inherrently unpredictable, with their weird thought processes held partly in check by a desire to fit in with the group. Of course charismatic leaders aren't being held in check by the group so...

Aslan - I think the writeup in Mongoose's alien mod comparing them to other sci-fi aliens caught the scope. When you say they are kind of like samurai cats, or is it like the Kzinti, or the Klingons (TNG version. The Solomani are like the original series Klingons).

The analogy works until it doesn't.

And players will generalize/stereotype based on who they encounter.

They can encounter a disgraced mentally ill Aslan who is adicted to drugs and has no sense of pride - suffering any degredation to get his next fix. Living in human society of course because he can't go home. So how much trouble do the PCs get into when they run into a normal Aslan and think they know how to behave around him.
Meanderer said:
Aslan - I think the writeup in Mongoose's alien mod comparing them to other sci-fi aliens caught the scope. When you say they are kind of like samurai cats, or is it like the Kzinti, or the Klingons (TNG version. The Solomani are like the original series Klingons).

The analogy works until it doesn't.

My suspicion is that the Aslan were intended to be patterned on a generic Samurai and/or modern Yakuza culture, but only up to a point. That point got surpassed, mostly by FASA and DGP succumbing to the Japanese aesthetic model as well, but it is possible to haul the Aslan back from that precipice.

Every Aslan male fancies himself a warrior, but how many actually are? That's a hard answer to drag out of any of the Aslan material, which presents males as "warriors and land owners" top to bottom. This creates questions:
Do the womenfolk really handle *all* of the rest of society?
What are low SOC males like? Criminals and scum, or just the low guys in the pecking order of warriors? Do even the trash collectors have their honor to keep up? Do the Aslan have criminals as we define the term?
Well, it is like every American male modelling himself after Brad Pitt, George Clooney or Kanye West, or after some billionaire entrepreneur or famous athlete.

These are people generally idolized by the media, showered in money, who end up with hot women. Obviously society rewards them.

But most do not get to be there. You get athletes struggling to be on the same teams as the big name stars, actors trying to make it into big movies, and executives working to rise in the companies of the billionaires and make a fortune on stock options. Rewards trickle down to those who don't make it to the top, while the majority don't acheive any success in any of these fields. Most of us take jobs doing something that pays the bills and allows us to support families while many wish they had tried to start their own business and invent something or had been more successful at sports.

Aslan society, because of their genetic imperitives, is prone to conflict because there is only so much land to go around. It is also prone to some amazing cohesion as those who are at the top - owning vast estates or entire worlds, have land they can provide to those who support them - conditional grants of land that stand as long as the recipient (and potentially his heirs) remains in loyal service. Those who receive these grants are bound in service to their lord because (1) they will lose the land if they fail in loyalty and (2) they lose the land if the lord's lands are conquered. An Aslan may acheive some success and position through skills other than those that are particularly prized, and will receive honor and recognition befitting his station, but would still carry some secret shame that he had not been a "true warrior".

There are differences between what a society most values and what everyone in that society does. An Aslan male that excells in diplomacy so much so that he is of great value to his lord would be at the mercy of being challenged by a male who is a skilled warrior. The difference in general value to society and value to his lord is important here. That potential challenger, who fits more with the Aslan ideal, may quickly realize that humiliating the diplomat means challenging his lord and the warrior the lord assigned to protect the diplomat.

Kind of thinking of the Rodney Dangerfield movie "Back to School". "Oh, no, no. I never get physical. I just get upset. And when I get upset..... HE gets physical"

And being dependent on the protection of his lord, that diplomat will do an exceptional job in serving his lord's interests.

Another male, with less skill may be just a farm worker - working hard to earn a plot of land the size of a small vegetable garden that he can work for himself. It is next to nothing to the warriors that the farm worker wishes he was one of, but for that farm worker it is everything that separates him from the slaves and he will fight to defend it and work hard in service to ensure it is not taken away.
As for criminals, there are those who can't function in society. They may be angry at society for making no place for one of their abilities, or be looking for opportunities to lie, cheat and murder their way back up to a higher level of society.

And where a criminal has gone too far beyond the bounds of acceptable behavior to ever come back there is still the opportunity to make a future somewhere else. There's land in the Imperium and people are willing to sell it, for money!
Is every other race incapable of breaking the stereotype mold other than the very diverse Imperial human? I know that's been a defining moment with every culture on Earth absolutely knowing every other culture behaves only one way and we have the stories, pictures and anecdotes to 'prove' it. Wait, I'm wrong, I forgot about player characters who tend to diverge from the... norm. No K'kree has ever been curious about humans to actually go off on their own if only a while to get to know a human? Aslans have never settled down in Imperial space so maybe their children have a different view of their world compared t their parents or grandparent?

And the Vargr.. oh yeah, they're the alien recommended for character because they can have personalities as a human.

Other than that it seems the other races, including non-imperial humans, are meant to have a one track mind often negative. Seems as silly as the guy in a rubber alien suit concept except that's been sci fi forever.
Hold it. There are cultural prejudices and attitudes that can drive how a given sophont will fit into his or her culture or other cultures as well as individual preferences

Maybe an Aslan may greatly enjoy using his claws to finish a hunt and also enjoy picking bits of flesh off those claws as it appeals to a primal warrior instinct. But after being subjected to how many cat jokes while growing up in the Imperium a different Aslan will be self-conscious about appearing to lick his paws - or make a point of it so that some insulting remark can be used as a pretext for a fight.

It is a general problem in sci-fi that alien species are presented as some monolithic group where everyone is pretty much the same. I prefer working within generalities but there are always exceptions. Always.

Their warriors always behave this way except when they behave that way, or that other way, or...
And he will do this, unless he is in a bad mood today, or busy, or....

Some of that low-social-standing block will be those incapable of fitting in. In North America we all get jobs and work and buy a house and settle down with a family except for those who never get stable enough to buy a property or just prefer to rent and then there are those divorced people who have lost their houses and then of course are the homeless who have just fallen through the pigeonholes of society and just don't fit in.

But the not fitting in might apply at any level, and the degree that others put up with it may depend on the standing of the individual and their clan.

Mad Bob the village idiot talks to himself all the time, he is so weird. Not like Lord Dingleberry who likes to converse with himself on the most eclectic of matters, he is so eccentric.

There are embarassments to any family who struggle with doing what the family expects of them - and some black sheep family members who just aren't spoken of in the presence of the clan leader. But rumors are spoken about the clan leader's brother who did __________, and how he was given a starship with a crew on the condition he never come home again.

There are those who follow the rules because they think everyone should follow the rules, those who follow the rules unless they are confident they won't get caught, and those who just can't follow the rules.

The bloodthirsty butchers, the philosophic warrior-poets, the ambitious, and the content, brave, the cowardly, the strong, the weak. Where do the weak fit in in Aslan society (you can roll double 1's when rolling strength, and even with a modifier that will still be very low). Where do the cowards fit in? Is this cowardly related to the Aslan ideal, or cowardly as humans understand it?

And do they even want to fit in?

Do Aslan nerds dream of being super-Aslan? Or building a big robot to beat up the warrior who bullied them?

Do they have transexuals? Aslan born male who just want to manage money and engage in exciting ventures in trade and accounting?
I know I'm preaching to the converted here. But maybe a referee/GM who makes it past the Monty Python jokes can get some ideas about how to present aliens.