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How do you write believable aliens /tg/? I can’t break the mold of modeling them off human cultures with slightly different traits. I want to create something truly alien but not retarded and unrelateable for my players.

Mostly playing Traveler but also Star Trek and 40k and I’m getting sick of stock aliens



> something truly alien

> not unrelateable for my players

I have a problem with this idea, it seems mutually exclusive. Compare aliens form "The Thing" (especially the "prequel") and "Prometheus" movies. Both are alien, their goals, motivations impossible to understand pretty much.


Have the aliens lower themselves to the human level. A species beyond (whether it be evolutionary or culturally) verbal communication would need another basic way to speak to humans. Color codes, math, gestures....

In such species they usually lack features that would aid them, hands, mouths, noses, eyes can all be missing.

A lot of aliens encountered in professional settings are of higher status than their alien compadres. An alien diplomat on a diverse spacestation would act and be treated differently than a hobo of the same species in a local tavern. It's natural to take humans and add or snip things off to make them aliens, but if you want to go all out, work from animals other than humans, or flora if fauna isn't enough.

If the alien race knows of other alien races besides humans, what do they think of each other? Could there be anything another species does or has that they envy? That they despise? Do they have prejudices or hatred for another group? What about any history between the them that may have lead to or quelled such feelings?

What about an entire alien civilization, the size of microbes, that all inhabit a human-sized mucusy world? How would you talk to it or interact with it in the diplomatic scenario? How would you approach it in a bar?


Have a writhing mass of miscolored flesh that only communicates through signals only its race can understand.

You either go full alien or don't include them at all.



>I can’t break the mold of modeling them off human cultures with slightly different traits

There's absolutely nothing wrong with that, Humanity has had some surprisingly different ideas about how to do things in its short history. But, I can understand the desire to make something more memorable.


That's not necessarily true. The Breen in the OP are actually a fairly decent example of something alien but also somewhat recognizable to normal people. You don't always have to do liquid crystal butterflys who communicate through interpretive dance just to get something inhuman.


Commonwealth Saga does a good way of alien thinking. Humanity only ever converses with them over the few things that are common to both. For instance this one race of squid elephants, Ralei, are so far in tech and eugenics that it did away with emotions. None of them bother with us except their version of junkies, that pay to revue human life-recordings. Basically cyberized human experiences, from sight all the way to emotions. In the story the thing was asked by law enforcement to parse through a person's life to find a killer. Thing was balling its twelve eyes out at the end. Later married a hippy human woman and got a constant feed of her experience, a strange relationship.

Another race of that series are for all practical purposes ye olde pre-christian fey elves, Silfen. End of tech tree, immortal souls inhabiting uniform meat puppets, mostly humanoid but for a three part mouth, they speak in a poetic singsong that makes everything riddle-like. They have no material wants, and only care for amusement or new experience. Their planets shut down middling tech, meaning steam engine trains are needed to move around them. So far forward they swung back to noble savages, making hunts of megafauna. In the end it's revealed the weird ass elves are the children of the race, the adults being much more stoic and straightfoward, acting somewhat like the demons in Childhood's End. Also Scottish.

Another is the Mote in God's Eye and sequels. The Moties are very intelligent, but more or less incapable of breaking their own game-theory prisoner dilemma. Once they made contact with humanity they went full Japanese in copying the most successful individuals they saw through intense method acting, tried to negotiate with the humans by calling all of their allies good names, while naming all their rival factions stuff like the Tartars and Assyrians. As a rule they were inhumanly accommodating as long as you had something they wanted. A planet of libertarians basicly.

But really, a good rule is only relate to them where they can be related to, and have them attempt the same. Super Spock'y? Reason and math. Elves? Childlike interactions building into games and traditions. Multi-planal squid? Give him a paintbrush and canvas. Just make it obvious that they have mutually exclusive priorities in life that mean their relations to humanity is limited and awkward if not frustrating or violent. A hive race may not understand the concept of 'individual' except thinking each of us a queen. A hive race wouldn't feel too bad of killing another hive's workers to say hello in a terse 'off my property' way. Thank you Ender's Game.



Well, as far as behaviour is culture is concerned, an alien's culture is going to depend on their history, and their history is going to depend on their enviroment. Someone once said that intelligent life needs 2 things, 1. the eye of the hunter, since the hunter is smarter than the prey, 2. a hand or tentacle or some other means of manipulating the world around them.

So we've determined that your aliens are hunters with hands. Taking this into consideration, they would probably have some similarity to humans i.e. forming tribes in behaviour even if only minor ones


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As long as you avoid Star Trek syndrome, you'll be fine. make the aliens distinct and interesting by following proper worldbuilding procedures, and no one will care if their culture isn't super duper weird and incomprehensible. At the end of the day, they are living, physical beings, just like the player characters. They've probably got to eat, sleep, and feel feels like every other sapient and sentient being. That alone means they are going to have enough in common with humans to begin with. Making them inconceivable 4-dimensional beings who communicate through taste and violent outbursts of self mutilation and fluid spewing would be weird and alien but it would make them something the players would avoid at all costs.


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Attached a few bits that may help.

This video helps as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=isdaYjET9cg I like it for story analysis, haven't checked out the other videos on the channel outside of that series and heard some odd shit about them, but I got adblock so it doesn't matter

A general summery of advice would be:

- Consider how their home world was made up. With lots of metals they probably had an edge in technology and warfare- assuming they had no religious or other cultural things to prevent them developing science or warfare to it's fullest. In other words, consider why your race are hippies or warmongers or plutocrats or whatever. Not just how they started but their whole history- roughly.

- Remember it's rare to have an entire society agree on one thing. Having every single member of that race be merchants or money driven is ok, but having a some who don't have the same ideals and drives makes the race feel more realistic. If the only way to tell the individuals of a race apart is how they look, you're doing it wrong.

- Try to avoid just having one "gimmic" and being done with it. Instead, use that as your bones to build the culture around. "Warrior Race" is average. And just saying if they're honorable or fight dirty doesn't make it much better. What about those who can't fight well, or don't wish to? What is their art like? Their myths and religion like? What are their merchants, politicians, criminals, generals, doctors, and outcasts like?

Now how far you go depends on your players. And odds are you'll have to make up shit on the spot when they inevitably ask something you have no idea about. The more you do before hand, the easier it is to pull an answer out of your ass that fits.


I have an unused Idea of an alternative reality where Octopodes evolved to be the intelligent species having advanced cities underwater, and some of them capturing homo erectus and niggers as exotic "ground food"



While on the subject, what's the deal with the Duros in Star Wars?


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Going truly alien is dumb. Rather, I find the best way to go is to start worldbuilding around cultural differences based on some kind of stereotypes, which you use as an early framework to build off of.



In my setting the humans are highly nationalistic and isolationist. They fear any outside influence and genocide any alien that seems too alien. Any less alien aliens are either subjugated and quarantined to their homeworld or left alone. This gives me the predicament of having the aliens have some sort of human aspect to work with.



I tend to prefer my humans to be curious, nosy people, who like to butt in to other creature's affairs. If for no other reason than that everyone playing the game does that.

Might as well have humanity match the players, I say.


Just have every alien be a sapient biped because of spiral power and call it a day.


Just take a fun design and tweak it until it's something that just barely can't mesh with any kind of human society.

>crustaceans who perceive the world solely through echolocation who discriminate people based on the tone of their voice

>ancient hivemind that takes impractical amounts of time to make simple decisions

>pacifists who feel physical pain when they see other living things get hurt


Cloneing pods for reproduction, dead matter is returned to the pods for reconstitution.

Fast growth compresses childhood to a year or two, then "training" begins for all members, high death rate is meaningless due to sheer numbers and the cloning pods.

Biological modification of aesthetic and function is commonplace, allowing for wildly different phenotypes, with designated modifications for essential roles.

Read or listen to "Flagship Victory" by B. V. Larson and David VanDyke, the Opters are truly alien due to a completely different structure, yet comprehendable due to their own experimentations and specialists despite having human and wasp analogues as primary phenotypes.



I find it best to work off of their biology, and then build up to the culture, imagine how OUR culture would work if we didn't have hands, and instead had really long prehensile tongue that we used to manipulate our environment. Diseases would spread rapidly so everyone would be germaphobic, shunning people that looked even a little sick until they were back to normal.

What about sexual dimorphism? Make the males Very tall and intelligent, but the females short, stocky and strong, and stupid REALLY stupid. Females would be seen as the brawn but the men would be the brains of the operation, creating an odd symbiotic sexism where the females relied on the males for orders, but the males relied on the females for protection. So it would be easy for males to abuse their authority, but if the females ever catch on then the males would never stand a chance in a revolution.

How do they reproduce? Maybe make it so that the females lay eggs in the streets, then males jerk off onto the eggs and just hope that they manage to impregnate one of them. So children would be running around wild in the streets without parental supervision, but the whole of society would work to make sure they're fed and stuff because you never know, it COULD be your kid!



Other things to look at would be food sources. If the aliens need fresh fish in order to live, then most of them would be found around coastal regions, or if they were all vegan, then they would basically ALL have gardens and compost centers would be everywhere.

Are they nomads that value endurance and hunting skills because their diet requires them to chase moose-elephants around The Hills of Mannua,

Or do they live in giant forests because they require the seeds of the Ma tree or they go blind from lack of Vitamin W? So they hoard the seeds and are obsessive tree-huggers.

Maybe they're really good climbers because they eat the new leaves growing out of the top of the rapidly climbing Stra vines? So their society is very vertical, and they don't have stairs, just ladders, and they view the "walking species" as inferior.


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Tbh truly alien being should always feel unrelateable. If you want it to be relatable, then make more easily relatable humanoid type aliens and truly alien aliens.

If you want to make true aliens but don't want to think too hard about it, take any extremely deadly shit for humans and try to make something live inside it. Crushing depths, gas giants, space, etc. There's also the concept of living planets that you could play around with, especially in traveller.

For example, i have a species that essentially resembles a walking marshmallow/foam rubber cube biomass that constantly grows at an incredible rate because of being present on planets with extremely corrosive atmoshpere that need to be culled in outer space to not overgrow everything, but also at the same time have some of them overgrown by plot because as they grow, they get new neural systems and pathways built, so ambitious ones try to grow to achieve percieved godhood. You can up their size effectively to infinite as old parts just crumble and new foam replaces it.

Or my gargantuan leviathan species that is essentially a thousand tectaled octopus swimming deep down in gas giants turning gases into food packets to make trips across space that gets reduced to a spaceship size and forn in the void of space making it hard to differentiate it from a spaceship while in travel.

Or the species which is essentially a clump of repellent void (imagine floating vantablack) which are part of a hivemind, like an ant, originating from a supervoid (look that up) and sent out for to retrieve any and all technology related to gravity and or black holes to further increase it's size.

Conscious clouds of electric space dust that collect space junk to build itself up (by latching onto and taking control of the junk (if they can be electrically powered), with older ones reaching a large planet sized or larger.

Space hitchhikers that are fingernail sized flat beings that attach to everything, like some plants do that can survive extreme conditions, that does the tick things and latches onto humans and photosynthesizes, get genetic randomizer data from whatever if attaches to, organic or unorganic , then mutates itself a little. It only lets's go once it senses plants of it's own nearby that it can deposit the dna modifier into.

A fallen species made of pure electricity that built robotic suits for themselfes to occupy now reduced to looking for and inhabiting electrical wires and essentially animating it like a snake.


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>Maybe make it so that the females lay eggs in the streets, then males jerk off onto the eggs and just hope that they manage to impregnate one of them. So children would be running around wild in the streets without parental supervision, but the whole of society would work to make sure they're fed and stuff because you never know, it COULD be your kid!

I think I've been in this magical realm before.


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>How do they reproduce? Maybe make it so that the females lay eggs in the streets, then males jerk off onto the eggs and just hope that they manage to impregnate one of them. So children would be running around wild in the streets without parental supervision, but the whole of society would work to make sure they're fed and stuff because you never know, it COULD be your kid!

I don't want to enter your magical realm.


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Assuming selection pressures are similar for all life, large terrestrial animals will probably gravitate towards having 4 legs +/- a tail, any smart enough to use tools will most likely develop opposable digits on their forelimbs and, as they become less designed for walking, gravitate towards walking on their 2 hind legs. With the assumption that only highly social and fairly non-violent species could advance technologically towards space travel, Its perfectly reasonable to assume that if we encounter intelligent space faring lifeforms, that they would look, act and think at least vaguely similarly to humans.

As long as they aren't literally just humans in shitty star trek makeup then its fine, any effort to make them more believable than that will quickly see diminishing returns. To me Mass Effect aliens (minus Asari) are believable enough for most sci-fi RPG settings.

As a side not I would like to make the following point: STEREOTYPES ARE GREAT, BECAUSE RACIAL PROFILING IS FUN

Have a (((Ferengi))) type alien which players can easily persuade through greed or bribery.

Have a highly aggressive alien species which can be easily taunted/incited to violence

Have an alien with poor eyesight, which players can mislead by coordinating with visual signals

Have an alien with poor tactile senses that players can more easily pickpocket

Have different aliens smell or sound a certain way so players can easily identify them

Hint at these differences to players, and have NPCs of that species act within that range so they can pick up on these differences and use them to their advantage. NPCs should be designed like good monsters; with strengths and weaknesses that can be discovered and exploited to make them fun to interact with.

Or just make a race of octopus men who fly around in spaceships filled with water rather than air, and flood enemy ships before boarding them. That's cool too.



Aside from the magical realm shit, this is probably the best advice in the thread. Trying to pigeonhole yourself into something other than fulfilling a dominant role just isn't fun or interesting.




I was actually referring to how salmon and trout reproduce, but ok.

Also, if you think that's bad, look up the mating habits of the Cichlid Fish and the Red-Sided Garter Snake


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For alien yet relatable you can't beat the Stargate approach. Here's one I did earlier.

>Standard human diaspora, slow light colonization along racial lines

>By chance chinks and jungle niggers both colonize the same planet

>it's an ideal one, so aliens do to

>after thousands of years, the human societies have regressed to their pre-scientific era

>suddenly ayys turn up with godlike advanced technology, and they look suspiciously like gods and creatures of legend

>install themselves as rulers and manipulate the humans for their own inscrutable purposes

>players see the outward human face and occasional glimpses of their true nature

The Te'Shaktlani Tian'ti are a meld of Quetzalcoatl and other South American lizard gods and the Asian Dragons. Hatched on mountain-tops by elder forms, the young have an outwardly human aspect, two-legged and four armed and walk among humans as religious figureheads and manipulators. As their centuries-long life cycle matures, they grow larger and more inhuman, moulting limbs and gradually transforming into dragonlike forms. The eldest Tian'te are enormous spacefaring wyrms, powerful even in an age of science, yet senile and only occasionally lucid enough to dispense wisdom, should they deign to. In their dotage, they regress back to the mindset of the youngest spawn, gamboling and climbing around eggs on the mountaintops - except now the planets are their playground and they bask high in the sky, random movements of simple pleasure being interpreted as omens and dictats by humans below.

Humans here are regressed and form a dual society, the industrious and archivist chinese-descendants forming a bureaucratic class and a more professional relationship with their alien overlords, generally being more likely to be trusted with advanced technology like spaceships. Despite this, anti-tech reliance laws ensure they function in a manner similar to the ancient dynasties, massed courts of humans taking the place of computing machines, in a manner itself quite alien to modern humans.

The Mesoamericans, warlike and bloody, form a labourer and military class, overpopulation ensures a traditional culture of mass sacrifice and constant internecine warfare, giving the aliens an experienced and willing army to throw at the enemy's guns; the low tech fighting of Garland Wars and city-state politicking on the planet's surface translate into archaic yet advanced fighting forces in the wider galaxy; the Eagle Warrior is given space-capable raiment and soars through vacuum to penetrate the hulls of enemy ships, the Jaguar Warrior stealth fields and speed-boosting drug implants, macahuitls embedded with shield disruption technology. The average conscript slings bullets of high explosive and throws titanium spears at supersonic forces with grav-generator atlatls.

None of them have any higher concept, believing themselves blessed by gods that walk among them and fighting in mythic conflicts across the realm of heaven, rather than at the behest of manipulative lizard aliens.


I often like the idea that blue-forehead-people are the result of retroactive terraforming by futurians who struggled to face the realization that humanity was alone in the universe, so instead rewrote time to create a reality with extraterrestrial life.

Of course, they were wrong, and some highly advanced actual aliens took notice of humans' meddling with time and decided to investigate.

The local-cluster aliens would be subject to highly convergent evolution, because their origins are based directly on Earth's biology. Blue-forehead fuckers and whatnot. The truly alien aliens would be hardly recognizable as "life": composed of something other than cells, no recognizable organs, a lot of unrecognizable ones, different sensory systems and thus different communication forms, etc... However, because they discovered us as a result of our meddling with time, one thing that is clearly recognizable is their hostile intentions.


As for truly alien aliens becoming relatable, I'd say this can be achieved through their advanced communication tech. A big floating ball-of-fuck might have a way of generating a holographic proxy that appears humanlike to humans and ball-of-fuck to balls-of-fuck, creating a medium of communication between the two. Perhaps it does this by doing a complete systems scan of whatever form (life or otherwise) it is translating. That way humans (who speak with words) can communicate with balls-of-fuck (who communicate with rapid changes in electromagnetism).


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Muh bad screencap skills.

Got a good laugh from my Star Trek Adventures group.

Children of the trough reference anyone


don't forget to design alien buildings/tech/lifestyle that makes sense from their biology, cultural and environment point of view.



You need to have your printscreen key revoked.


And you need to go back.


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Scientists to the last—what had they done that we would not have done in their place? God, what intelligence and persistence! What a facing of the incredible, just as those carven kinsmen and forbears had faced things only a little less incredible! Radiates, vegetables, monstrosities, star-spawn—whatever they had been, they were men!

No sentience is truly impossible to relate to.



Im more inclined to believe in your lack of imagination then the universes undesirability.


Kill any aliens that are too alien, subjugate and conquer less alien aliens.



I was once a pozzed teen. I wrote a short story about a plagarised Morrowind Race Mod alien race that descended upon humanity and eliminated all military force within days, and all civilian resistance over the next decade or so. A few hundred years later, humans believed that they had it lucky, as they were uplifted into a spacefaring species, and the remaining humans had a much higher standard of living.

It was written from the alien point of view of a test pilot for a new type of warp drive, and there was a single human on board as a concession to humanity's ego as Earth was the launch point, and that human dies within the first few minutes of things going wrong.


Think of what made humans human. How we evolved to be bipedal endurance predators. Why we evolved in such a way. Any apex species is going to be the most efficient in sustaining itself while keeping threats away. Allowing for further development of the species.

So to break it down a bit more. Humans evolved the way they did.

>Because bipedal locomotion is more efficient at moving our weight over long distances.

>Standing upright allowed us to see over tall grass and extended our visible range to miles.

>Too much hair would overheat us during long chases, so only keep a bit of it compared to other mammals.

>A more efficient body can spare more energy to the brain, spurring further development.

>Left our arms free to begin using weapons during our hunts.

Now what you do is change the factors. And work from there. Why would your aliens be different? What environmental challenges made them the best on their planet? Being the most evolved and developed species on the planet doesn't mean they are at the top of the food chain. What kind of threats did they have to evolve to overcome? How did they overcome them? Maybe humans being Apex predators is a oddity in your setting. Hell, diet alone can lead to interesting aliens. Like a species having a gastrointestinal system that changes with the seasons on the planet to match what limited, and other wise poisonous, food is available. That type of society could be written any number of ways. From a violent warlord led culture of raiding, a noble and honorable trading culture, to dictators hording the resources to keep populations in line.

To avoid it feeling human, start playing with generally accepted human morals. Adjust as needed and throw paradoxical spins on it. Those noble traders are a lie away from enslaving an entire town in vengeance. The Warlords are keeping their own sizable populations alive during dire times, and are working hard to keep the populace safe. The dictator is keeping a violent and aggressive people in line and moving towards progress of all.

Explain why these aliens are off the planet or why the players are on theirs. Did they advance scientifically enough to do it themselves? Did they get uplifted by another alien species? If so, why?

Just some ideas for you to play with, and you can always ask your more lore driven players for help.


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Read some classic sci-fi books and short stories. They are full of interesting and ALIEN aliens that can give you a lot of ideas.



Stop thinking in categories of relatable/unrelatable, they are just shitty buzzwords that don't mean anything and are used by people that know jack shit about story writing.

The usefulness of the stuff you are writing up for your players is predominantly decided by logic and reason alone.

If your work follows logic and reason, then you will be able to create truly alien races with inhuman cultures, that at the same time can fit the role of characters in your universe and your players will be able to interact with these alien, because they can comprehend them.


All communication with aliens is solvable with math. Math is just abstract symbols to express phenomena and processes in the physical world. Any race smart enough to travel into space needs to have mastered math and physics, so they are able to understand math even if their symbols look different.

It doesn't matter if they communicate via sound, smell, body language, colors, electricity, light or magic bullshit like telepathy, they all need to have developed a concept of numbers before they can master space flight.


As others have stated, just alter one thing, and then extrapolate the logical AND illogical conclusions that come from it. The best way to make it thoroughly alien but still relatable IMO, is to make it human, but from the outlook of a complete orange-and-green morality system. In example:

"They're a hivemind". Cool. What kind of hivemind? The kind of linked-up psionics, or the kind where it's essentially one entity, or the kind that doesn't even realize that it is a hivemind? If you think about it, a human body is a hivemind. Each cell has a nucleus, a brain, and does what it can to keep The Body alive, but The Body doesn't care if it gets sucked off and sends a few squirts of cells into the digestive tract of another Body to be boiled alive in acid. In fact, it often likes having some of its Hivemind entities consumed by other Bodies, and sometimes seeks it out! The Hivemind simply makes more. And The Body assumes that most other Bodies also enjoy that activity to some extent, so consuming a couple million lifeforms is not an act of war, but one of affection. Some parts of The Body exist to kill other parts of The Body that begin to act erratic. But it's a hivemind! Yes, but mutations must be destroyed, or they risk killing The Body. There's constant unrest, and constant self-destruction as the cells, the entities, destroy themselves to keep themselves "pure", as close as possible to how The Body intended them to be.

Boom, instant incomprehensible alien that is some all-consuming threat... That is really just too massive to consider individuals in the same way that you don't consider the skin cells you kill when you scratch your dandruff, but is just a human, really.



>I want to create something truly alien but not retarded and unrelateable for my players.

These are mutually exclusive.



>thinks we discovered math instead of inventing it.



Math is a fundamental thing that isn't "invented" what is invented is what you call it and the symbols used for it and how those symbols are written.


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most fundemental things are you know, actual objects. So you're talking about a fundamental relationship at best, but if its a relationship its not really that fundamental is it.



First of all humanoid body plan is utterly retarded. There's a reason that despite of all the biodiversity there's only one humanoid creature on this planet.



>when you realize that tentacle monsters from HD 70642 IV are prudes and they make the best nannies



Math is just the observation of the movement of numbers, and numbers are merely a fundamental component of a universe in which discrete quantities can be measured. We invented numeral systems to communicate and record discrete quantities, and we invented symbols intended to explain how numbers can relate to one another.

We didn't invent math, we just observed it in reality and invented ways to communicate it clearly.



well you just downgraded yourself from fundemental object to fundemental relationship to fundemental observation.

And observations ain't fundemental to fuck. But go on please tell me how no one disagree over observed relationships.



Well if you're going to be like that then there's a distinct chance that they'll be as low as Niggers and Pablos in capability so they wouldn't space travel to begin with (only the White Man has ever achieved space travel)


The real shit is: Do not make them something within your human perceptions, do not make them even semi-related to anything on earth, don't make them "Birdpeople" or some other shit, make them some horrible unpronounceable word from some 5 G planet that's been molded by the gravity of their homeworld, wearing weighted suits to avoid death in lighter gravity from decompression.

Make their culture totally alien, not "Space Japan", try to make it something that only some totally foreign, non-human logic could comprehend. Their language should not be "vaguely human vocalizations", they should make horrible screachings and chitterings, or fuck, communicate through radio-waves if you want something really odd. Many things in the universe are fucking nuts, binary stars could be the eyes of god two some alien nation, black holes the sacrificial maw requiring more matter, ever growing, ever wanting.



Sounds like a bunch of horrid shits that should be avoided at all costs.



The problem is that the human brain is wired to only conceive of things in terms it already understands. For example: all you have are vague notions of what not to do, and examples that are, unsurprisingly, based on conceivable Earthly phenomenon and historical concepts, like religion based on the stars and sacrifice. They don't "speak" but they do vocalize in types of sounds or wavelengths that can be conceived of by human perception.



The goal of the thing is pretty fucking simple. Survive and consume.


Most mysterious alien activities would be incredibly boring to watch over the long term, even once you understand it. Although figuring out why they do it could be fun. It's the difference between having a fetish for something and understanding that the fetish exists. Most races probably just watch blobs of color squirm around to bubble noises for hours a day. You wouldn't hang out with m while they did it.



Yeah that is the truth about natural science, we don't invent nature, we just learn to better understand nature and use it to our advantage.

Still regardless of how you see it, my original point still stand. All space faring races need to master the physics of our universe and as such, we have common understanding of existence to use as a basis to exchange ideas.

Doesn't matter how many limbs you have, what the basic building block of your organism is or what the gravity, climate and makeup your homeworld has the physics remain the same for all.


>...don't make them "Birdpeople" or some other shit...

Hey old /tg/ did something good by inventing the Avnari.


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Animalistic characters are relatively easy, as you can simply follow the characteristics stereotypically associated with those creatures.

Crows are scheming liars, but they also happen to be very family oriented. They're mischievous, greedy, but also surprisingly loyal to people who've treated them right, for example.



Those aliens are boring and shitty, most every time I've seen them.

They've got no depth. Just nonsense added in to make it feel original.


Reality Check: There's not only no evidence of what you'd call aliens but there's no evidence that they'd be any more intelligent than Niggers. Indeed, examples from Earth suggest they'd be as low as most Mudskins in intellect.

So there's really no grounds to say one interpretation of aliens over another is more "realistic" or "warranted." Complaining about them being too human is just a sign you're trying to be a snowflake by hating/complaining about humans.



> Complaining about them being too human is just a sign you're trying to be a snowflake by hating/complaining about humans.

Are you fucking retarded? Wanting Aliens to behave unique to humanoid life does not mean you hate your own species.



>Wanting Aliens to behave unique to humanoid life

You haven't told what makes that so important.

>does not mean you hate your own species.

Making a big deal about how you don't want humans or anything human enough around sounds like a You Problem. Which bounces back to "ugh I hate humies that super speshul Race (which is some combination of my fetishes and my politics) is way better."



>You haven't told what makes that so important.

They are a different species that involved on a different planet, in a different system.

When Europeans started arriving in the Americas the Natives were pretty much as far from them as you can get while still being roughly the same species.

>Making a big deal about how you don't want humans or anything human enough around sounds like a You Problem. Which bounces back to "ugh I hate humies that super speshul Race (which is some combination of my fetishes and my politics) is way better."

I’m really not sure how someone asking for advice to write some weird Niven-esque aliens means they don’t like humans. Do you only play sci-fi and fantasy games with humans or something?



>They are a different species that involved on a different planet, in a different system.

Assuming how aliens capable of communicating with humans are is just guesswork. That's the point.

>When Europeans started arriving in the Americas the Natives were pretty much as far from them as you can get while still being roughly the same species.


>I’m really not sure how someone asking for advice to write some weird Niven-esque aliens means they don’t like humans. Do you only play sci-fi and fantasy games with humans or something?

No. Just calling it out how is. You need to go lurk more at 4cuck /tg/.



>You haven't told what makes that so important.

maybe because its science fiction nigger



Plenty of notable science-fi/fantasy/whatever have just humans the "colorful humans" that's getting complained about.



never mind I didn’t realize you were baiting him carry on



do you only play games with humans? why are you against non-humans in rpgs?



>Assuming how aliens capable of communicating with humans are is just guesswork. That's the point.

Guesswork is part of writing fiction. I’m not understanding why using something besides humans is bad.

>No. Just calling it out how is. You need to go lurk more at 4cuck /tg/.

Throwing random buzzwords around does not strengthen your argument using things besides humans in-game is bad.



Those are all well and good ideas if you’re writing for a pulp sci-fi magazine but I don’t think that’s very helpful for an RPG.


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How much, and in what manner would a sentient herbivore differ from, say, an obligate carnivore, or an omnivore like us?

Almost every example I've come across in fiction was the asinine "gentle innocent vegan leaf-eater" archetype made by hippie morons who've never lived with actual animals, and just want a soapbox for their dumb pseudo-religion.

The only example I know of to somewhat break the mold are the Pierson Puppeteers, and they were more like a caricature of the "prey species mentality" that turned into pathological risk-aversion. As a matter of fact, humans themselves were sort of a prey species until civilization arose, yet do not maintain a constant paranoia.


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Some people, like M. Kaku assert that sentience has to arose from predators, because they "have to be more clever to outsmart prey".

This is false. Outside dolphins, none of the most intelligent species are classic hunters, in fact opportunism and flexibility is more typical, like with corvids.

There were experiments that found out that sheep, of all creatures, are capable to recognize a human face from a picture, a trait very unlikely to come from their dietary habits, but obviously relevant to complex social behaviour.

And pigs were even observed to employ feints to deceive each other.

It is obvious that intelligence, on Earth at least, has more connection with gregariousness than with any other trait, a fact that further expands the hypothetical diversity of alien sentience.



>A fallen species made of pure electricity that built robotic suits for themselfes to occupy




Traveler had a pretty fun take on this.

One of the herbivore aliens doesn't understand the concept of submission the way predators do.

So they don't have a sense of mercy making them extremely brutal enemies.


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>submission the way predators do

Quite original, but also retarded. Submission/dominance is a feature of group behaviour, not feeding strategy.

In fact, grazers have rather pronounced pecking orders, that determine who stuffs his face where.


Take a race of people. Write them as the other side sees them. At least 20% of the population finds it a believable fiction.

Just change it up enough so that it comes across as satire.

Noble genius savages that are content to live in mud huts.

Or imbeciles with low cunning are still somehow outcompeting their superiors



>Maybe make it so that the females lay eggs in the streets, then males jerk off onto the eggs and just hope that they manage to impregnate one of them. So children would be running around wild in the streets without parental supervision, but the whole of society would work to make sure they're fed and stuff because you never know, it COULD be your kid!

This is sort of how matriarchal societies work for humanity, with high levels of female promiscuity due to lack of pateiarchy enforcing monogamy. The result is that men don't work hard as they have no guarantee that any child is theirs and no real drive to provide. So these societies remain very primitive and do not lead to civilization.



It was also the the concept of parenting in K-Pax, which was a shit film so I don't know why they decided to regurgitate it.



Systems like that actually select out men that work hard, and select for men that spend all day muhdicking



What I think could make interesting aliens is to take a human, but subtract an attribute that makes us who we are. For example imagine if humans could not feel pain, but all other life on earth could. We may take delight in tormenting animals to see them squirm for what we would perceive as no reason other than maybe feeling weird. Live experimentation, frequent vivisection without anaesthetic in the classroom, cockfights, and all sorts of cruelty because of our inability to sympathize with physical pain.




Go back to tumblr.



"You can't let men have power or they'll ruin everything"

>wears jewelry and relatively expensive clothes while living in a slowly collapsing mud hut



IDK, maybe

1. read good books (both fiction and history that is not retarded propaganda) from outside the Anglosphere to get something other than "anglosaxez in funny hatz".

2. Read good SF and "more alien" stuff, like Herbert or that webcomic about a spider for worldview. Things like Schlock Mercenary for ergonomics and more random traits.

3. Extrapolate from biology to economy and "everyday" life, and from that to macro-society/politics, then obstacles and solutions to these. Predators need meat either often or in large quantities (then they need rest to digest) and may be wired to catch moving prey (like some reptiles), which creates more logistical problems than omnivores have.

4. ???

5. Profit?


>Animalistic characters are relatively easy, as you can simply follow the characteristics stereotypically associated with those creatures.

This could be a start, but practically stops at one-note caricatures that bloat into retarded "planets of hats", Star Trek style.



The patriarchy is basically communism for beta males isn't it



with those specifications all you need to do is make the being alien but animal in nature, essentially just give it weird abilities and traits that it uses to obtain a goal which is usually survival. For example the alien from alien was just trying to further it's species existence it wasn't evil or anything it wanted to eat, breed, and facilitate the means to continue eating and breeding. If you're looking for an intelligent species then that mainly depends on what you the DM needs them to do. If it's just gonna be an enemy then you don't need to make a grand backstory and deep lore just determine what they want, their main goal and write explanations for the questions players might ask. "why was that alien able to throw things with it's mind?"

*one medicine check later*

"it has an organ in it's head that can manipulate gravity on smaller objects"

If you want like a planet with a society that the players frequent then you need to make that society, and their are some general concepts you can expand upon, the easy one being bizzaro world, just take society as we know it and but do it wrong. I would just take one concept like for example time and make the race operate under different rules for "time"

maybe a race of beings that are biologically attuned to a rigged schedule so much so that the birthing process needs to be done very precisely so most people just adopt babies because they can't handle the steps needed to create life. A plot line for that could be that the players discover they method their species believes to be the only way to create life is actually wrong and has been all along. Sorry if this answer is vague but your question is vague.


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The Turkroach who gave us All Tomorrows and rape turtles once made a series about "memetic lifeforms".


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I think the idea is that the creature is a thought or concept that came alive, or something.


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