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The Long Game

Discussion in 'Imperium OffTopicum' started by Daftpanzer, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Alguerath

    Alguerath Chieftain

    Sep 26, 2016
    +1 Complex Behaviour
    +1 Power Ability
    (can't go into specifics right now, somewhat busy :p)
  2. Immaculate

    Immaculate unerring

    Jan 22, 2003
    1) Numerous but smaller undersea geological rifts, gysers, small volcanoes.

    2) increased socialization in cephalopods characterized by increased communication, specialist and complentary roles within groups, and "micro body (and facial) language"
  3. erez87

    erez87 Lord of Random

    May 16, 2002
    Lod, Israel
    I’ll try
    1. Worms get bigger
    2. Worms get deeper.
  4. Daftpanzer

    Daftpanzer There may be more posts after this.

    Nov 27, 2002
    Portsmouth, England, UK

    Hello, since the Discord channel for this has been closed due to inactivity, I am posting here in the thread. Three months later I am afraid that I have to formally call an end to this game - I had started writing the next update several times, but have reached an impasse as to how to proceed...

    Basically, I started to realise how much of a challenge it was going to be to try to represent non-human sentient beings. How do you roleplay the evolution of their cultures without simply copying from human history? How do you imagine something truly different? It's possible for sure, but it would've taken a lot of effort from both myself and from players as well.

    Not only that, but there's a lot of complexity around the physical abilities of these beings. I decided that sentient pterosaur-descendents had now evolved, but they are barely able to stand upright, and their 'arms' are still primarily wings and upper body support while knuckle-walking - not suited to throwing and using weapons in the manner of human beings. It was a major headache trying to figure out what tools, technologies and strategies these cultures would have. I felt I was somewhat out of my depth at this point - especially for the somewhat casual nature of the game as it was originally imagined, it would have been a lot of work to figure out.

    There's always the option of getting all hand-wavey and drifting off into the realms of pure fantasy, but that didn't sit well with me either...

    I thought I would at least present to you the final world map at the close of the game, and the notes I had prepared on the various sentient species, starting with the pterosaurs:

    NOTE: a large asteroid had struck in the mid-centre of the largest continent, causing a tsunami of melted glaciers that almost wiped out the 'kangaroo-lizards' in particular. Following the devastation the world had become slightly warmer overall.

    Spoiler WORLD MAP :

    Spoiler Notes on the sentient pterosaurs, or 'Focipterans ' :

    Focipterans, meaning ‘hearth wing’ and referring to their mastery of fire.

    In some branches of the Pterosaur family, it seems their highly efficient lungs, high metabolisms, and the efficient arrangement of their neurons - saving space and weight - as well as the complexities of navigating in three dimensions through forests and canyons, have all repeatedly encouraged the growth of high intelligence. In the Focipterans, the development of tool use, learning, and complex sociability have taken this to a new level.

    Focipterans are highly social. They are builders, cultivators, and voyagers over land and sea; but they remain tied to nesting grounds during breeding season.

    Focipterans have more disadvantages besides; as knuckle-walkers, it is difficult for them to use larger tools on the move. Some species can sit upright, but none are bipedal - the physics of pterosaur locomotion, on land and in the air, have traditionally favoured having small rear limbs. The Focipteran wings/arms are stuck between the competing demands of flight, providing support while walking, and of manipulating objects - an uneasy comprise.

    For this reason, Focipterans are not good at throwing, swinging or thrusting with their tools, and have yet to develop bladed weapons that they can use effectively. For now, their main weapons are various kinds of traps, snares and nets - combined with weight of numbers, and maneuverability. Beaks remain their primary manipulator, though their grasping rear feet are also important for carrying objects while airborne.

    Fociptera Draconis
    This species are the bully boys of the Focipterans. Their skin is tough and scaly, their bodies are larger and stronger, and they are more powerful fliers as well as having the most powerful bite, with fairly short, wide, sharply-toothed beaks, and short, functional crests. They are mostly carnivorous, and hunt with physical strength and agility - using tools to aid in butchering their kills.

    This lifestyle means their social groups are somewhat smaller. Their social skills, vocabulary, and problem-solving intelligence are somewhat lessened, though their senses are somewhat sharper. They are limited to temperate and tropical climates, and their camps are most often found in cliffsides and rocky outcrops surrounded by plains in which they do their hunting. Draconians have no qualms in hunting other Pterosaurs, even their close relatives, wherever their ranges overlap.

    Fociptera Fallaris

    This species are furry, colourful, social, and somewhat parrot-like beings. They are primarily herbivores, and have well-developed colour vision to enable them to pick out the best fruit, leaves and buds to eat, though they will also eat insects and any small animals or eggs that present themselves. They have the most sophisticated social structures and vocabulary of the Focipterans, and have large colourful crests to signal individual health and fitness. Though they are physically smallest and weakest of the Focipterans, as well as the weakest fliers, they have the most dextrous fingers and beaks, are good climbers, and are perhaps the best at manipulating objects overall.

    Individual tribes often have constructed several elaborate tree-top villages which they cycle between throughout the year, and many tribes actively cultivate beneficial plants around these sites, as well as constructing elaborate food stores, and some have even stumbled upon how to ferment alcoholic beverages. However, these beings remain limited to tropical forest regions, which have the warm weather, fruits, leaves, nuts and insects they depend upon - though, living in regions laden with parasites has served to harden their immune systems.

    Fallarians have also domesticated several species of flying squid - somewhat owl or cat-like properties - which hunt pests and alert their masters to approaching danger, in exchange for shelter and food.

    Fociptera Tomaris
    This species are long-haired, oily, hardy, cold-weather specialists; stronger and rounder than Fallarians, but smaller and weaker than Draconians, they occupy middle ground in many regards, but have the greatest resistance to harsh weather. They have well-developed social structures, and complex problem-solving skills, though their tribes rarely reach the same size as those of the Fallarians. They have decent tool manipulation skills, and are true omnivores, using traps and elaborate tools to catch small-medium sized prey, in addition to foraging for fruit, seeds, nuts, buds, mushrooms as so forth. Being good swimmers, and weatherproof, some tomarians also fly far from shore in search of fish and small squid.

    Often living in caves during their travels inland, they have forged mutualism with some species of Velvet Worm - the worms provide protection, in exchange for feeding on scraps and waste left behind by the Tomarians. The Tomarians are also in the process of domesticating several mammal species - in particular, one species of hardy omnivorous mammal with both pig-like and wolf-like attributes, which can be used as an aid to hunting and foraging.

    Of all Focipterans, Tomaris has the closest association with the element of fire - vital to their survival in cold winter nights. It is perhaps no coincidence that Tomarians have the most imaginative and spiritual stirrings in their brains - often painting elaborate cave murals, or assembling elaborate ritual shrines from clusters of small rocks which may have been brought from many different places.

    Spoiler BONUS: potential sentient land squid, evolving through interactions with the Focipterans :

    Fidibratis Praeceptis
    Temperate range. Omnivorous. Social, great tool use - dextrous appendages. Moderately strong, great climbers but slow movers. Complex visual communication via chromatophores, secondary vocal communication. Good vision & hearing. Good problem-solving brain.

    Finally, I want to say a big thank you to all who contributed :salute:

    Thank you!
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2019
  5. Radagandruman

    Radagandruman Chieftain

    Sep 21, 2017
    Middle Earth
    Ah well, it was fun while it lasted. You did a great job with a game that was just ultimately too complex, and for that I thank you.

    Too bad about the land squid though.
  6. Angst

    Angst Rambling and inconsistent

    Mar 3, 2007
    A Silver Mt. Zion
    Ah just happy we got a fast last update to celebrate the glorious squid!
    Radagandruman likes this.

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