The Sslith

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Nightfish
FreeOrion Designer / Space Monster
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The Sslith

#1 Post by Nightfish » Sun Aug 24, 2003 6:25 am

The Sslith [Sss - lith] (by Moriarity)

Introduction
The Sslith are a race of aquatic, plyable creatures that were once proud members of the Orion Empire.

Homeworld
The Sslith homeworld is called Brinls. It is a planet sized moon orbiting a gas-giant named Branls in the Knolns system. The moon is primarily heated through tidal flexing, as it is pulled in different directions by the host, Branls and it's other moons.
The heat generated through from this flexing, allows liquid water to exist under the frozen surface of Brinls.
The gas-giant itself is in a eccentric orbit that brings it so close to the host star, that, for 1/15th of each year (a period the Sslith call Time of Sight), the frozen surface of Brinls melts at the equator.
It is during the Time of Sight that the Sslith are most active on their planet, and are able to rise to the surface and launch their ships to the stars.

Physical Description
In it's relaxed state, an individual Sslith is essentially a 2.15cm thick rectanglar sheet, that's _always_ 132cm long, and between 31 and 53cm wide. It's only appendages are is a single Detrinlo that it uses to sense it's way around the world (using a combination of sonar, and infra-red), and for communication with other Sslith via-pulses of ultrasound.
They are able to 'flex' their bodies into other shapes, (think origami) an ability originally evolved for the purpose of sliding into the shell's of Vreen (a 'entity' that recedes into it's shell when it detects danger) - and it's evolutionary companions - before slowly digesting the Vreen via membranes located around the 'front' of the Sslith's being.
Their flexibility also allows them to move astonishingly fast in the oceans, by way of a ripple effect, that to observers looks like they are 'folding' themselves throught the wayer.
There is no central brain, but instead a Sslith's mental capacity is drawn from a collection of high-density Cebran's that are linked together to form a distributed conciousness. Each of these Cebran's has a different purpose, allowing a Sslith to perform many tasks at once.
Their reproductive system consists solely of a small patch on their 'back' that is fertilised by being touched by the patch from another Sslith's back. Either none, one or both of the Sslith's then become pregnant with 3 baby Sslith's which have a gestation period of 1.5 years.

Social Structure
The Sslith are organised into groups called Pnacra. Each Pnacra has between 39 and 73273 Sslith in it, and serves as an independent governmental unit. Though there are a few global laws that all Sslith in all Pnacra obey, each Pnacra has it's own rules and laws as to conduct and actions.
The Pnacra move around of their own accord, and have no fixed geographic location. If two or more of them meet, then members who are discontented with their present Pnacra can move to another to try out it's ways and customs.
Upon the death of a Sslith, tradition used to dicate that a Sslith's remains simply be left where the death took place, to float with the currents.
Once every 29 years, the leaders of most of the Pnacra (not all of them have leaders) get together to try to resolve disputes and ensure society continues flowing.

History
They were peaceful members of the Orion Empire since time immemorial, the Orions protected from any and all agressors. It was the Sslith's belief that no harm could befall them, and so they simply lived contented lives, without expanding to other worlds.
But, with the destruction of the Empire, and the loss of their protection as well as the Orions advanced technology with it, the Sslith's have been reduced to a pre-warp state.
They believe they have been given a "second chance", and this time they plan on colonising other worlds, so as not to leave all of their eggs in one basket. They also realise they will have to defend themselves from the agressors they know lurk out there, and whom the Orions protected them from.

Race Attributes
Evolved in a 3d environment, so have superior space combat skills.
Excellent multi-tasking capabilities.
Limited manufacturing capabilities (due to their flimsy form).
Good initial diplomatic terms with any other orion-era empire.
Dismal ground attack (as they arn't land-lubbers )


Time taken to create: 2hrs
Inspirations: Europa, paper, dolphin schools.

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utilae
Cosmic Dragon
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#2 Post by utilae » Tue Aug 26, 2003 6:08 am

Ok, what is a Detrinlo?

Am I right in thinking that they look like flat sheets?
-Evolved in a 3d environment, so have superior space combat skills.
Didn't we humans and everyone who lives on Earth evolve in a 3d environment?
-Excellent multi-tasking capabilities
What does this do gameplay wise? Also there mental side may allow multitasking abilities, but there physical side is not multitasking (is that correct?), ie low production. So does this (quoted ability) have to do with research?

Moriarty
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#3 Post by Moriarty » Tue Aug 26, 2003 1:42 pm

I thought u'd take up my offer. ;)

ohh, a grammatical error in my race, near Detrinlo.
as explained (with a lack of clarity)

"It's only appendage is a single Detrinlo that it uses to sense it's way around the world (using a combination of sonar, and infra-red), and for communication with other Sslith via-pulses of ultrasound."
That explains what a Detrinlo is quite clear (something that sticks out of the creature and allows sensing and comms).


yes humans did evolve in 3d technically. But the human concept of 'up and down' is rather limited, because the only way humans could do it till 100 years ago, was by climbing tall things.
Aquatic, and avionic creatures have an advantage in that their gyroscopes are evolved for up and down as well as forward/backward and left/right (whcih humans and land based creatures have).


The multi-tasking is from the:
"There is no central brain, but instead a Sslith's mental capacity is drawn from a collection of high-density Cebran's that are linked together to form a distributed conciousness. Each of these Cebran's has a different purpose, allowing a Sslith to perform many tasks at once. "

...part of the description. It's something like distributed computing. Each part can do different things, and between them, they all make a whole. So they can mentally do different things at once... i didn't state a specific advantage relating to this because i don't know what future 'traits' will be evolved. I suppose research could be bonused like your Nocias have...

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Ouaz
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Re: The Sslith

#4 Post by Ouaz » Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:51 pm

SVN 7641 (4.4)
SP_SSLITH_GAMEPLAY_DESC
'''Flat, aquatic, pliable creatures.
Prefer Tundra planets.
Their flexibility allows them to move astonishingly fast in the oceans, by a ripple effect that looks like they are folding themselves through the water.
swamp: hostile
barren: poor
tundra: good
desert: poor
terran: hostile
ocean: hostile
As the Sslith are aquatic creatures, why they prefer Tundra planets? And as this species has a narrow planet tolerance, Ocean could be good, Swamp and Terran could be poor, and all the other planet types would be hostile, as they need water exclusively.
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Dilvish
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Re: The Sslith

#5 Post by Dilvish » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:18 pm

Ouaz wrote:As the Sslith are aquatic creatures, why they prefer Tundra planets?
Harp Seals, whose scientific name means "ice-lover from Greenland" are a very plausible predecessor for aquatic creatures who could be said to prefer "Tundra" planets (even if they do primarily live at the ocean/land interface), and it's not as if we actually need any plausible RL precedents for FO species. The FO planet Environments are by necessity rather broad categories and I think should only truly require loosely plausible matching to species descriptions, and I think it's a bit more interesting if the connections are sometimes a little counter-intuitive.

Any excessive mismatch would in general best be rectified by adjusting the species description, unless there is an actual game balance need to adjust the distribution of FO species preferred environments, in which case that should be the primary argument.

I can totally understand how the aquatic label does naturally suggest a preference centered on ocean, but I don't think that's necessary; in this case perhaps we should simply add a reference to a preference for cold coastal regions on which to rear young. The proximity of the FO Desert environment to Tundra may seem awkward at first glance, but cold coastal deserts are actually a known thing, so I think even that awkwardness disappears upon closer inspection.

Anyway, that's just my thoughts on it, and perhaps there is a balance argument to be made.
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Sloth
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Re: The Sslith

#6 Post by Sloth » Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:22 pm

Ouaz wrote:As the Sslith are aquatic creatures, why they prefer Tundra planets? And as this species has a narrow planet tolerance, Ocean could be good, Swamp and Terran could be poor, and all the other planet types would be hostile, as they need water exclusively.
Good catch. I think The Sslith can be safely changed to OCEAN_NARROW_EP, since it's a native species and we currently have 4 tundra and 3 ocean species.
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Sloth
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Re: The Sslith

#7 Post by Sloth » Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:31 am

I still think the best solution is to change Sslith to Ocean EP. I'm confident that thay were changed to Tundra EP, because there weren't enough tundra species until the Furthest were added.
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