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 Post subject: The People
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 9:07 pm 
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[edit] The history section has been updated so The People are now artificially modified to get round the fact that they were genetically implausible.

The People (I didn't feel comfortable with referencing Ghandi's name)

Pithy Summery: a race of large furry worms with many legs that behave like Ghandi.

Homeworld:
The People originate from an absolutely huge swamp world, below the swamp are flooded networks of natural caverns that can rival a small ocean for biodiversity, the swamp itself consists of massive massive trees, in fact the ground mostly consists of a huge floor of loose soil and rotting vegetation caught on the roots of those trees that forms a mostly solid ground above the waters, however its not hard to find clear areas of water. On the whole the biodiversity of this planet can rival pretty much any natural world.

Physical description
The People have two stages, an aquatic unintelligent larval stage and their final land dwelling phase.

In their aquatic stage The People resemble a giant tadpole, the size of a dolphin, with huge jaws and a poisonous stinger on their tail, along with a random number of unformed legs on their sides, more lumps of flesh than anything else. The People are vicious predators, not quite the top of the food chain but not far off either and live a simple brutal existence until they mate.

As lava The People are hermaphrodites and their mating ritual is a simple battle for dominance the winner being “the male”, after mating the “female” goes on a feeding frenzy that may last up to several months with the male assisting, this is an especially risky part of their lives as the female will use reckless hunting tactics and a berserker combat style that often moves her and her mate into more trouble than they're ready for. If they survive the female, now several times larger will lay a large pile of eggs resembling frog spawn, she will then swim to the surface and attempt to land on solid ground where it metamorphosis into its adult form* (assuming nothing eats it first). The male attempts to find another mate.

This whole system (along with their lifespan, see below) means that very few of The People ever make it to be adults, the entire population of a world will number in the low thousands.

* Yes that dose mean being the female is the better option since you get to become an intelligent being, but genetically this arrangement makes sense since the stronger individual is the one who can mate a second time.

The adult form of The People is a mammal that resembles a huge fatty worm with pink flesh covered by orange fur, except for their many legs. Each leg is equally fat and pink with a single knee half way down ending in a hand consisting of a palm and three useless lumps of flesh, except the first two pairs of legs witch end in proper hands with three fingers and a thumb, these legs are also longer than the others a result of witch is that The People hold their heads higher than the rest of their body.

The People's faces resemble a sponge: a simple webbing dotted with holes the exact pattern of witch is unique to every individual; the webbing is covered with irregular tiny eyes that are barely visible, The People can see but only just, they're also colour blind. The holes in the web are the first stage of the respiratory system joining up a little further down the throat into one long tube that runs down the entire length of the body, this tube is the equivalent of a lung in mammals with oxygen travelling through the walls and into the blood system.

The People's giant throat gives them tremendous flexibility in creating sounds, with practice they can reproduce most audio based languages, or rather they could if it wasn't for the fact their throat branches off at the end, however if they really want to make a point they can cut off their head so as to speak* in their audience's own language, when they do that one people Listen. (They use anaesthetic and while they don't lie they don't make a big point of mentioning that)

* I got this idea from the white formless in Rice Boy

The lack of a mouth was not an omission, nor is it elsewhere, the people are unable to eat (Oxytarian, Nullatarian? Nillatarian?) they rely entirely on their fat reserves from the larval stage, and when they've burnt them off they die, fortunately their biology dose so gracefully and quickly rather than painfully starving to death, once their reserves are terminally low a hormone is released, when they next sleep they never wake up. This leaves The People with an incredibly short lifespan for intelligent creatures their size if you don't count their larval stage, seven years is a long life.

Late in their metamorphosis The People also become extremely toxic, at least to the biology of other species on their own world, as a result their only natural predators are insects that don't do much damage anyway (think mosquitoes) and a few scavengers.

The People communicate by a sent based language with emitters and detectors running the length of the entire body, their sent is long lasting and long distance resulting in a slow biological internet (USENET is a better metaphor), The People's debates involve the entire planet weather they like it or not.

Culture
The People are total pacifists believing life is the most precious thing of all, possibly because they have so little of it, however they take it further than that believing that life is too precious for anything other than productive use, they are horrified by tales of other races dully doing a 9to5 job they dislike while the days of their life slowly pass by*. The fact that they need no food, shelter nor to defend themselves (at least historically) to survive is probably a large reason for The People developing this atypical viewpoint.

* Not that they make a big deal of it, there is more important stuff to worry about, like wars.

As a result of their unique language and low population The People tend to have a very communal outlook, they never really got the concept of “us and them” simply because they know everyone so well that everyone is us. While this cannot be said of today with many planets and other species the outlook remains part of their cultural legacy.

With their own infinitely precious short lives The People dedicate themselves to Philosophy (closer to Eastern than Western), spreading their wisdom to where it is needed or more rarely art (they're ok at it but nothing special). While The People are skilled philosophers where they truly shine is diplomacy, since their discovery by the outside galaxy The People's home has been considered the prime location for peace talks due to their amazing ability to mediate, the fact that they are respected by most races as the ideal to look up to helps ensure people pay attention rather than think what to say next. The fact that by the time they've finished training diplomats are dying means they get the respect given to the terminally ill, that really helps.

The people are not religious and believe in no gods, but they have a rich philosophy that resembles Ghandi's, save for anything said above that contradicts it.

History
(note, as with the Etty, I will eventually replace The Orions with another race, its just easier to write when you have a noun to use.

In prehistory The People existed only as their larval form, which apart from a lack of unformed legs and metamorphosis were much the same as today, until their discovery by the Orions. Genetic analysis revealed a dormant evolutionary dead-end witch possessed the potential for sapience; a sample of these prehistoric People were gathered, genetically modified to reawaken their alternative evolutionary path and raised in the laboratory. The results were satisfactory: the modified biology was stable and the resulting people were both sapient and agreeable, after living with eachother for a while the Orions and The People came to the mutual conclusion that the best course of action for their species would be to start life in isolation free to develop their own identities, the Orions made one last trip to The People's world then left forever.

Save for their beginnings The People don't really have much of a history, for most of it they sat around and debated philosophy, as one said of this time “It was as bad as any other time* but we were blissfully ignorant of it. I would not trade the good I do for that happiness but it would have been nice if I could have it, even if only for a day”

* Technically he's wrong, at least part of their history coincides with the Orions, who had a pretty good peaceful golden age going on for their part of the galaxy at least

The People were rediscovered after the Orions* vanished, first contact had little trouble discovering their love of philosophy and The People excitedly agreed to debate with philosophers from other species. It was through this that The People learnt the truth of life outside their sheltered homeworld, from that moment on doing what they could to change things for the better became a lifelong calling for many of The People.

[edit: I forgot to mention, this time I really do mean the Orions]

The People had one huge advantage over many other would be peacemakers, as a sovereign nation they were able to request to send representatives to various conferences, witch combined with elegant letters to various news sources impressed the galaxy with their diplomatic finesse, soon they were deliberately sought out for their ability to boost any talks they were present at, often by independent pro-peace groups who'd fly them to conferences safe in the knowledge that no one would turn one of The People away.

The last major event in The People's history was when another empire set them up with a fully automatic shipyard, along with automatic mining equipment to keep it fully stocked as an aultrisitc investment in galactic peace. By any measure it was very good value for money.

Gameplay effects
See this thread.

Can't mine, farm, produce, research or make money/whatever its called

espionage penalty and they only get a limited set of options, such as exposing illegal weapons plants.

Their homeworld starts with a special that produces production and minerals for them, this is their only source of either resource.

Tiny population growth

Massive morale bonus

Trivia
“The People” actually means any living thing, but this is usually lost in translation.

Ship Design
There are a few ways we could play it:
1) The donas are since long gone, conceivably any ship design imaginable would thus make sense.
2) Pick another race, they're the donas. The People use the same ship models
3) The donas custom designed it for The People, the ships thus look appropriate (perhaps because they had to work around biological diffrences and thought they'd throw in an appropriate look, could just be 1 + coincidence too)


Last edited by Tortanick on Tue Apr 06, 2010 8:32 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:25 am 
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It is good to see that people are showing interest in developing the storyline.

IMO this race would be make a better indigenous civilization, not a player race.

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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 7:07 am 
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Josh wrote:
IMO this race would be make a better indigenous civilization, not a player race.

That's what I thought too.


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 9:50 am 
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Goodmorning all,

Normally i keep myself out of the race discussions, but since this one is based upon my previous posts, i though i should give my two brass farthings.

I don't want to overly criticize, because most of my points are realism arguments, and therefore Mostly null and void, except that we're talking about back story not game mechanics, so...

Firstly, the race as proposed is genetically impossible. Assuming any form of Darwinian tendencies this race doesn't work, unfortunately.
the problem with the race is that there is no feedback between in the intelligence of the adult form and the bestial nature of the young form. In all 'real' animals which undergo metamorphosis it is always the adult form which breeds, this is simply because if the adult form isn't breeding, then they adult form ceases to exist. (carrying all the genetic(be it DNA or otherwise) information, and having to copy it from cell to cell, is an evolutionary dis-advantage for the tadpole creatures... meaning they will be more likely to breed if they don't have an adult form, so they wont. [even more so because of the brutal young life])

Secondly, even if the race was possible genetically, the tendencies of the peaceful nature of the adult form would have them nurce/care for/ and guide their un-metamorphosised young. When creating a race it's fine and danny to have them have a burtal and violent genetic history. . . but with space travel comes some min level of civilization. . . The race probably now has all it's larval form in artificial bogs. or bogs stripped of their predators.
The side effect of this would be that the population would be extremely high. If instead of a tiny fraction of a large brood making it to adulthood a large almost 100% fraction of a large brood makes it to adult hood.

I don't at all understand the reference to cutting off their own head. Is this fatal? How otherwise do they typically conduct inter species conversation? Also how do they learn to speak in the first place, if they can never hear their own voice? *learning a language is inherently a self referential process, one needs feedback on your ability to correctly recreate the required sounds to learn how to control the vocalization process.*

Lastly, And in fact my only important note, in my eyes.

The lifespan.

Why a short lifespan? Typically Long life spans are associated with wisdom, care, and the inevitable realization that in the end lies make tangled webs, and wars and bloody and pointless. Nothing's more traumatizing then loosing a member of a society when it's young. Consider an adult of 1 year. with a 7 year lifespan, it's already done 1/7th of it's life, far too young to die, but with a 7000 year lifespan, that death is an atrocity, SO much potential lost compared to the potential used. Also your race would, with it's short lifespan, would have to be SUPER SUPER intelligent. Considering that we humans take more then 6 years to achieve any sort of eloquent speech in even one language. 'The People' are expected to be eloquent in any language they may encounter. Also given that they've made it to the stars again they have a developed civilization. So either the race is highly segregated into learning streams, so that in the first 4 -5 year of their lives they learn everything they need to to function and contribute to society in one small field. then spend 2 years actually being productive*many of who that productivity will be put into teaching the new adults further limiting the population focusing on improving civilization*.

In place, I would suggest that after leaving their larval forms they become Photosynthetic, and subsequently live off a combination of mostly light energy + dipping slowly into their fat reserves. (although if they never eat that makes going on a hunger strike rather pointless no? go hide themselves in a cave for humanitarian reasons?? then they are out of sight out of mind. but . perhaps have them refuse to drink. . . .)

Then have the adults breed, but have them only do so at an extreme age. Spending hundreds of years(like 500 out of their 700 years) to pick the perfect mate (selecting for intelligence amongst other things).

Then since the race are plant like (ent from JRRT like) have them spend lots of their time just quietly soaking up sunlight and (thinking about stuff/learning/improving themselves to be worthy of breeding). functionally this means although the population is HUGE, only a tiny fraction of the populous are ever simultaneously active. (and only the active population is reported). The result being a race number consistent with the rest of the galaxy.



Anyway, all the above is simply my brass farthings. I gave the race to you to do with as you see fit for it's backstory, and I stick by that. I in no way expect you to change any of it on my account, in so far as the race PLAYS as I want it to I really am cool with whatever you decide to do. Backstory is well backstory. But I felt I should speak up.

Best wishes
Robbie Price.


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:20 am 
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Robbie.Price wrote:
Normally i keep myself out of the race discussions, but since this one is based upon my previous posts, i though i should give my two brass farthings.

Race discussions are fun, get involved.

Robbie.Price wrote:
I don't want to overly criticize, because most of my points are realism arguments, and therefore Mostly null and void, except that we're talking about back story not game mechanics, so...

Realism arguments are fine in the backstory.

Robbie.Price wrote:
the problem with the race is that there is no feedback between in the intelligence of the adult form and the bestial nature of the young form. In all 'real' animals which undergo metamorphosis it is always the adult form which breeds, this is simply because if the adult form isn't breeding, then they adult form ceases to exist. (carrying all the genetic(be it DNA or otherwise) information, and having to copy it from cell to cell, is an evolutionary dis-advantage for the tadpole creatures... meaning they will be more likely to breed if they don't have an adult form, so they wont. [even more so because of the brutal young life])

You're right but we could just say that its an entire genetic fluke (apparently you get a lot of them, where things created for one purpose eventually end up with another) and the genes that result in this metamorphosis have an affect on the larva that makes it more competitive.

Robbie.Price wrote:
Secondly, even if the race was possible genetically, the tendencies of the peaceful nature of the adult form would have them nurce/care for/ and guide their un-metamorphosised young. When creating a race it's fine and danny to have them have a burtal and violent genetic history. . . but with space travel comes some min level of civilization. . . The race probably now has all it's larval form in artificial bogs. or bogs stripped of their predators.

Generally The People assume that Mother Nature knows what she's doing, including with their own larval forms. Besides they like a low population, it fosters a strong community. There is more important things to do, like create peace.

Note that they don't actually have the technology to do this, ecological manipulation, especially way outside their normal habitat (underground and underwater) requires specialist tools, The People may be a spacefareing race but that's only because they got a free self-maintaining spaceyard. They can't invent new specialised tools if they want to.

Robbie.Price wrote:
I don't at all understand the reference to cutting off their own head. Is this fatal? How otherwise do they typically conduct inter species conversation? Also how do they learn to speak in the first place, if they can never hear their own voice? *learning a language is inherently a self referential process, one needs feedback on your ability to correctly recreate the required sounds to learn how to control the vocalization process.*

Generally they don't speak ever, they communicate with scents and if required an artificial translator. When they cut off their head that's literally sacrificing themselves just to make one last point, within half a day they'll be dead. Its really really really not done lightly given their value on life but since they can, and have, managed to stop entire wars by useing self decapitation they will occasionally do it.

As for how they learn to speak, basically by hard studying, and they can sort of practice with their head intact since they can still make the sounds in their throat, it just gets scrambled when their throats split up into multiple throats.


Robbie.Price wrote:
Why a short lifespan? Typically Long life spans are associated with wisdom, care, and the inevitable realization that in the end lies make tangled webs

That's why, I like trying to deliberately break stereotypes. That's why my plant race is a cyborg with no bio-tech, the demigod telekinetic I created looks like a giant 3d amoeba and this super wise race only live seven years.

Robbie.Price wrote:
Nothing's more traumatizing then loosing a member of a society when it's young. Consider an adult of 1 year. with a 7 year lifespan, it's already done 1/7th of it's life, far too young to die, but with a 7000 year lifespan, that death is an atrocity, SO much potential lost compared to the potential used.

A feel the opposite, I think that long lifespans would encourage a form of complacency, what dose it matter if I spend 50 years in a nap, I have 6950 more? With a mere 7 years every day is a precious irreplaceable thing leading to the high value on life this race requires. As well as the direct action required, if you have 7000 years a brutal hundred year war can waited out, if you have 7 years you should act today as you don't have a tomorrow.

Also if you have an old wise race (that is wise because they're old), won't the younger members of your species be unwise as every other race around? Even if you have the old guys in charge, I like the thought of all The People being like this.

As for loosing extra potential, I think that will be balanced out by the fact the short lived guys care more about life, so both would be extra angry at a death for different reasons.

Robbie.Price wrote:
Also your race would, with it's short lifespan, would have to be SUPER SUPER intelligent. Considering that we humans take more then 6 years to achieve any sort of eloquent speech in even one language.

They're not super intelligent (they're average for an intelligent race, but without very little varience, unlike most who have smart people that end up as scientists. They do have super wisdom though). They can think a lot faster and their language is a lot faster too so that pretty much makes up the gap. Being super specialised helps too.

Robbie.Price wrote:
'The People' are expected to be eloquent in any language they may encounter.

Nope, they use translators, just like everyone else. Except if they're going to remove their head, and even then one or two languages only and they practice a lot first.

Robbie.Price wrote:
Also given that they've made it to the stars again they have a developed civilization.

Reread the history bit, they just sat around discussing philosophy until being discovered by aliens, all their technology was given to them either as the standard for first contact (translators) or as an investment in galactic peace.

Robbie.Price wrote:
So either the race is highly segregated into learning streams, so that in the first 4 -5 year of their lives they learn everything they need to to function and contribute to society in one small field. then spend 2 years actually being productive*many of who that productivity will be put into teaching the new adults further limiting the population focusing on improving civilization*.

Not too far off. 6 months learning to speak with their own kind. 1 Year being taught in huge classes (one teacher for a continent if not more, love that language) the basics of their field. 3 Years as a productive apprentice. The rest as a productive master.

Robbie.Price wrote:
In place, I would suggest that after leaving their larval forms they become Photosynthetic, and subsequently live off a combination of mostly light energy + dipping slowly into their fat reserves. (although if they never eat that makes going on a hunger strike rather pointless no? go hide themselves in a cave for humanitarian reasons?? then they are out of sight out of mind. but . perhaps have them refuse to drink. . . .)

Ooh, forgot to mention that. They hunger strike by holding their breath down to about 20% to ensure a slow demise. They don't drink either but get moisture from the atmosphere (its Really humid) or elsewhere by just pouring lots on their skin.

Robbie.Price wrote:
Anyway, all the above is simply my brass farthings. I gave the race to you to do with as you see fit for it's backstory, and I stick by that. I in no way expect you to change any of it on my account, in so far as the race PLAYS as I want it to I really am cool with whatever you decide to do. Backstory is well backstory. But I felt I should speak up.

There is no reason not to get involved, and your points are good ones.


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 12:15 pm 
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Tortanick wrote:

Robbie.Price wrote:
the problem with the race is that there is no feedback between in the intelligence of the adult form and the bestial nature of the young form. In all 'real' animals which undergo metamorphosis it is always the adult form which breeds, this is simply because if the adult form isn't breeding, then they adult form ceases to exist. (carrying all the genetic(be it DNA or otherwise) information, and having to copy it from cell to cell, is an evolutionary dis-advantage for the tadpole creatures... meaning they will be more likely to breed if they don't have an adult form, so they wont. [even more so because of the brutal young life])

You're right but we could just say that its an entire genetic fluke (apparently you get a lot of them, where things created for one purpose eventually end up with another) and the genes that result in this metamorphosis have an affect on the larva that makes it more competitive.

While this is true, genetic flukes are either short lived or beneficial. I can't see how this fluke is benificial . . . that's the hard part for the biologist in me.

Tortanick wrote:

Generally The People assume that Mother Nature knows what she's doing, including with their own larval forms. Besides they like a low population, it fosters a strong community. There is more important things to do, like create peace.

Note that they don't actually have the technology to do this, ecological manipulation, especially way outside their normal habitat (underground and underwater) requires specialist tools, The People may be a spacefareing race but that's only because they got a free self-maintaining spaceyard. They can't invent new specialised tools if they want to.


To be honest I missed that part with the first reading, It does make the race un-user playable, which is highly unfortunate for me since the point of the race for me is that it IS a user playable alternative which injects significant variation. As a non user playable race yes this all works. My comments/ideas are mostly based on the assumption that i suggested the race because i want to play them. *save for the biology ones of course*
Tortanick wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
Nothing's more traumatizing then loosing a member of a society when it's young. Consider an adult of 1 year. with a 7 year lifespan, it's already done 1/7th of it's life, far too young to die, but with a 7000 year lifespan, that death is an atrocity, SO much potential lost compared to the potential used.

A feel the opposite, I think that long lifespans would encourage a form of complacency, what dose it matter if I spend 50 years in a nap, I have 6950 more? With a mere 7 years every day is a precious irreplaceable thing leading to the high value on life this race requires. As well as the direct action required, if you have 7000 years a brutal hundred year war can waited out, if you have 7 years you should act today as you don't have a tomorrow.


As for that it's easy enough to solve, have them only ABLE to be physically active when they have enough energy, which requires them to be immobile and intellectual most of the time, and time they have FREE To wander is therefore super precious.

Tortanick wrote:
Also if you have an old wise race (that is wise because they're old), won't the younger members of your species be unwise as every other race around? Even if you have the old guys in charge, I like the thought of all The People being like this.


Perhaps, perhaps not, they can be natively wise as well, they are genetically programmed to wait 500 years before breeding to choose a perfect mate after all.

Tortanick wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
Also given that they've made it to the stars again they have a developed civilization.

Reread the history bit, they just sat around discussing philosophy until being discovered by aliens, all their technology was given to them either as the standard for first contact (translators) or as an investment in galactic peace.

Granted i must have missed that section somehow.
Tortanick wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
Anyway, all the above is simply my brass farthings. I gave the race to you to do with as you see fit for it's backstory, and I stick by that. I in no way expect you to change any of it on my account, in so far as the race PLAYS as I want it to I really am cool with whatever you decide to do. Backstory is well backstory. But I felt I should speak up.

There is no reason not to get involved, and your points are good ones.


It might be simpler to split into two races, one which is and one which is not user playable. Considering the vast differences between a user playable race and one which is not. as so envisioned.


Anyway, best wishes, the race itself looks very good as you have it, *with the possible exception of the small genetic problem* it is just not very user playable, which for me is a crucial issue. It would make an excellent Non player race though without a doubt.

Robbie Price


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Robbie.Price wrote:
While this is true, genetic flukes are either short lived or beneficial. I can't see how this fluke is benificial . . . that's the hard part for the biologist in me.

Eeep, I didn't realise you were a biologist, I'm not...

Anyway what I meant is that this fluke has two separate effects, firstly it makes the larva stage stronger, and/or faster or something that makes them much much more successful at reproducing and secondly is makes them metamorphosis.

Robbie.Price wrote:
To be honest I missed that part with the first reading, It does make the race un-user playable, which is highly unfortunate for me since the point of the race for me is that it IS a user playable alternative which injects significant variation. As a non user playable race yes this all works. My comments/ideas are mostly based on the assumption that i suggested the race because i want to play them. *save for the biology ones of course*


And my design is based on the fact my gut tells me this wont be fun to play as. If it turns out that I am wrong then I'd be happy to try to modify the design or create a new one and repurpose these guys.

And of course I'd also make changes if it makes them more fun as an NPC, if for example they are more fun as a small empire change the history so The People and their sponsors worked together to spread them thought swamp planets on the nearby stars.

Robbie.Price wrote:
As for that it's easy enough to solve, have them only ABLE to be physically active when they have enough energy, which requires them to be immobile and intellectual most of the time, and time they have FREE To wander is therefore super precious.

Well that makes things slightly better, but it still doesn't strike me as quite so effective as actually having a very short life. Besides I want them to live for a little while just because its not usual for a wise species to be so young.

Robbie.Price wrote:
It might be simpler to split into two races, one which is and one which is not user playable. Considering the vast differences between a user playable race and one which is not. as so envisioned.

As I said above, we could use a different race, or modify this one if it dose turn out that I'm wrong and playing this race is fun.


Robbie.Price wrote:
Anyway, best wishes, the race itself looks very good as you have it, *with the possible exception of the small genetic problem* it is just not very user playable, which for me is a crucial issue. It would make an excellent Non player race though without a doubt.

Awww thank you :)


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 5:58 pm 
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OK given the situation
1. they can never colonize (would have to move larval forms, and they don't bother with that)
2. since they can't farm you should say they need 0 food

Essentially, they are a one world special that can give you a diplomacy bonus



One point on the genetic/evolution problem... it is said
"they don't have much history"
and
"the Orions left them alone"...
just strike the last bit
The Orions made them.. they Aren't evolutionarily possible.. the Orions made some genetic modification to the whole population of hermaphroditic dolphins to make them philosopher worms. (perhaps the "male" normally ate the fattened "female" after she laid the eggs)


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:21 pm 
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Krikkitone wrote:
The Orions made them.. they Aren't evolutionarily possible.. the Orions made some genetic modification to the whole population of hermaphroditic dolphins to make them philosopher worms. (perhaps the "male" normally ate the fattened "female" after she laid the eggs)


That makes them genetically possible. as long as they've not had time to evolve significantly since that change, or they have some minimal feedback to keep themselves intelligent. *for example if you want something far out in left field* When one of (or those who have achieved honor amongst The People) The People die, they are submerged back into the swamp, where their bodies are consumed by the next generations *they are not toxic to themselves*. In order to become fertile both of the mating creatures have to have eaten part of an adult. Some of the cells consumed eating the adult form get transported to the reproductive centers of the larva, becoming the basic cells from which 'eggs and sperm' (or whatever the race uses) are made from.

In effect its the genetic information of the adult form used for breeding, but only by dieing and being eaten by otherwise infertile larva that they can breed at all.

To Tortanick;

I'm actually a Physicist with a passion for evolutionary biology because it's just cool.

And your right, from a social point of view a super wise, super short lived race is more counter intuitive, therefore more interesting and fun. In it's own way.

As for it being fun, It would be a race for those who want to be forced to win by non military means(like me, and I'm not sure but i don't think I'm alone), but who don't want to be forced to remain 100% militarily competitive because if they fall behind they'll get crushed. Or those up for a super challenge, load up this race, with 4 supper military races who traditionally want nothing shy of total domination. . . and see if you can make it out alive >:- D (or even win good luck to you.)

Best wishes.

Robbie


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 12:17 pm 
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I try to minimise the involvement of the Orions, in my opinion the more they visibly do the more mysterious and interesting they are so unless its actually impossible rather than just very unlikely (lets face it, intelligence itself is unlikely but when you have billions of billions of worlds most unlikely evolutionary possibilities turn up somewhere) that The People could have naturally evolved I'll stick to natural evolution.

As for fun, I still think that there are games you could play like that but this isn't one of them. The only way to know is to give it a try so until then I'm not going to think to hard on it :)


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:55 pm 
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An interesting idea, but the thing that robbie is complaining about sticks out prominently to me to.

Tortanick wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
While this is true, genetic flukes are either short lived or beneficial. I can't see how this fluke is benificial . . . that's the hard part for the biologist in me.

Eeep, I didn't realise you were a biologist, I'm not...

Anyway what I meant is that this fluke has two separate effects, firstly it makes the larva stage stronger, and/or faster or something that makes them much much more successful at reproducing and secondly is makes them metamorphosis.


But the metamorphosis doesn't help them reproduce. It guarantees that they only do it once.

Just considering the broad strokes: if there every was a mutation that prevented the metamorphosis, (mutations that deactivate something are some of the more probable kind), that creature would have a huge advantage in passing on it's genes to the next generation.

1) metamorphosis takes a huge amount of resources. So does mass reproduction. If it didn't save resources for metamorphosis, it could produce significantly more eggs.

2) If it didn't metamorphosize it could probably reproduce again, maybe many more times.

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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:12 pm 
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eleazar wrote:
An interesting idea, but the thing that robbie is complaining about sticks out prominently to me to.

Tortanick wrote:
Robbie.Price wrote:
While this is true, genetic flukes are either short lived or beneficial. I can't see how this fluke is benificial . . . that's the hard part for the biologist in me.

Eeep, I didn't realise you were a biologist, I'm not...

Anyway what I meant is that this fluke has two separate effects, firstly it makes the larva stage stronger, and/or faster or something that makes them much much more successful at reproducing and secondly is makes them metamorphosis.


But the metamorphosis doesn't help them reproduce. It guarantees that they only do it once.

Just considering the broad strokes: if there every was a mutation that prevented the metamorphosis, (mutations that deactivate something are some of the more probable kind), that creature would have a huge advantage in passing on it's genes to the next generation.

1) metamorphosis takes a huge amount of resources. So does mass reproduction. If it didn't save resources for metamorphosis, it could produce significantly more eggs.

2) If it didn't metamorphosize it could probably reproduce again, maybe many more times.


perhaps "it" doesn't metamorphose... the male literally "poisons" the female so that female won't compete with him later. The metamorphosis is a side effect of the poisoning.


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:59 am 
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Krikkitone wrote:
perhaps "it" doesn't metamorphose... the male literally "poisons" the female so that female won't compete with him later. The metamorphosis is a side effect of the poisoning.


If that was the case the male would be harming himself too, since the "poison" requires the female to expend a lot of energy in transmogrification, which would be much more advantageously spent (from the "male's" perspective) in making more eggs and/or putting more nutrients into the eggs. Especially considering that the female puts her life in significant danger in order to gain that nutrient surplus:
Quote:
...“female” goes on a feeding frenzy that may last up to several months with the male assisting, this is an especially risky part of their lives as the female will use reckless hunting tactics and a berserker combat style...

She could either hunt much more carefully or get the ordeal over more quickly if she simply died after giving birth rather than storing up enough surplus to transmogrify & live for for the rest of her adult life.

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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:29 am 
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No one ever responded to my suggestion that if they lacked the genes for metamorphosis then they'd also lose out on its other effects and would be significantly slower, or weaker or just plain sterile to the point they'd probably get eaten rather than successfully breed. Would that be a satisfying explanation for why the metamorphosis gene.

If not than genetic modification is probably the best proposed alternate explanation, theoretically if the technology was advanced enough they wouldn't even need a feedback loop to make it permanent despite everything nature throws at it, if freeorion races end up with techs like pure energy metabolism this should be easy for an advanced one. I know I try to avoid overusing the Orions, or just "an alien did it" but if it can't be helped it can't be helped. As bad as I am at taking suggestions I do notice when everyone is pointing out the same flaw, eventually.


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 Post subject: Re: The People
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 7:44 am 
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Tortanick wrote:
No one ever responded to my suggestion that if they lacked the genes for metamorphosis then they'd also lose out on its other effects and would be significantly slower, or weaker or just plain sterile to the point they'd probably get eaten rather than successfully breed. Would that be a satisfying explanation for why the metamorphosis gene.

It's believed that some genes have multiple purposes, however the needing the genes for an entirely different body plan, massively improved brain, etc to accomplish a totally unrelated thing i.e. swimming fast or reproducing— is the sort of explanation which in my mind makes something less believable than if it simply wasn't explained.

Tortanick wrote:
If not than genetic modification is probably the best proposed alternate explanation...

Of course you could argue that life on other planets would operate by different rules. But on any world, such a creature would shout out to me that it was "unnatural" somehow. You simply don't find successful life forms (on earth, or i expect anywhere) that have a major complex feature which is an unambiguous hinderance to it's ability to reproduce.

If you don't want to say "the Orions did it!" (and if they did they seem rather twisted) the simplest way to make these guys more plausible is to:
1) involve the "adult" form in reproduction somehow. The Pequeninos are a good example of a very complex reproductive cycle which is plausible— at least in the sense that every stage has a function that contributes to the species.
or
2) make the adult for watch over or care for the immature ones in some way that needs greater intelligence

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