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Archlyte

I have changed my mind about aliens

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I have made it a point to discourage players from making weird aliens and droids in my games, but I think that this was perhaps just too much restriction. My preference in the past has been based on the trend of characters that seem to be generated from non-human stock being comedy relief or mechanic-based game pieces rather than characters. But I think that it makes sense to allow people to have fun with this stuff and to overlook the deficiencies. I think there is definitely a Too-Far threshold still, but I feel like opening up the choices can give players the ability to look at different aspects. 

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Yeah I decided that in the end it wasn't a good trade off because people come into games with certain expectations. Also my former stance wasn't really congruent with this setting or rules, kind of only with the movies. There is only so far you can get with that. :) Also I think that input form this forum helped me come to that conclusion because a lot of people have great ways of making their points. 

 

Edited by Archlyte

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No doubt that in most Star Wars media, aliens are rubber-mask monsters that portray strange and exotic scenes for audiences to experience vicariously through (near-) human characters.

The RPG experience can be more like Shadowrun's "Hi, I'm Walt, the troll" abnormal normal, but I'd agree that your interpretation has basis.

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5 hours ago, Yaccarus said:

Another victory for the Diversity Alliance! The long-running institution of Human Supremacy shall fall!

Humans are still superior lol. I just don't block them from making weird stuff now :) I also think that the weird alien characters are less likely to be main viewpoint characters. They just have too much psychological separation from human characters that you can identify easily with. Droids are the same thing, they are good for what they are, but they can only be witnesses to a lot of arcs. 

 

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1 hour ago, Archlyte said:

Humans are still superior lol. I just don't block them from making weird stuff now :) I also think that the weird alien characters are less likely to be main viewpoint characters. They just have too much psychological separation from human characters that you can identify easily with. Droids are the same thing, they are good for what they are, but they can only be witnesses to a lot of arcs. 

 

I have a group of two humans (one Mandalorian, one Corellian, so no base-line though), one weird alien (Verpine) and a Droid (Combat Medic Unit designed by the player itself)

They are a pretty weird bunch all together, but it fits perfectly in the Star Wars theme. Chewbacca was also weird the first time we saw him on screen. He just grunts and growls, but Han does understand him? The same with R2, who was a big diversion of how robots have classically been portrayed on film. C-3PO was the classical one in that regard.

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In my latest group there is no-one playing a Human. I've got a Iakaru Modder, a LOM-droid Fringer, a Zabrak Marauder and a Rodian Pilot. 

I have no problems with them being Aliens, in fact, it gives me a perfect opportunity to highlight the Imperial pro-human doctrine and the Hutts usage of other species as tools. 

I think the animated series of both Clone Wars and Rebels did a great job with gender and species inclusion, especially if you compare to the films. The films continue the sad trend of human-washing the star wars universe. Chewie being the obvious exception. It almost makes me miss Jar-jar, he at least offered us a window into a non-human culture. I said Almost!

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Tales from the Mos Eisley Cantina was a great book, and most of that was because pretty much all of the main characters were nonhumans with radically different cultures. I don’t understand why different cultures aren’t included more in other things. Nonhuman leads are few and far between.

 

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13 hours ago, GM_loke said:

In my latest group there is no-one playing a Human. I've got a Iakaru Modder, a LOM-droid Fringer, a Zabrak Marauder and a Rodian Pilot. 

I have no problems with them being Aliens, in fact, it gives me a perfect opportunity to highlight the Imperial pro-human doctrine and the Hutts usage of other species as tools. 

I think the animated series of both Clone Wars and Rebels did a great job with gender and species inclusion, especially if you compare to the films. The films continue the sad trend of human-washing the star wars universe. Chewie being the obvious exception. It almost makes me miss Jar-jar, he at least offered us a window into a non-human culture. I said Almost!

Now see I can appreciate the dynamic in your all-alien/droid group though because it's just a game for one, and also it's fun. It's also a cool way for you to explore that other dynamic of being an alien in a universe dominated by humans hopefully without it getting bogged too far into that. 

As to the Movies: The fact is that we are all humans who are reading this, and so any of the aliens or droids are our creations and are being anthropomorphized psychologically. Stories have that amazing quality of allowing us to accept the absurd, and to attribute qualities to things that have no basis in reality. That process requires immersion and the ability to see the underlying story in the symbols. The Humans in Star Wars are us, they are the over-arching awareness that forms the basis of the setting whose central conflict is our tyranny over our desire for peace and freedom. The aliens are the embodiment of our interest in nature and the weirdness of reality. Anything as far as interactions you can do with an alien you can do with a human character, but Alien characters are good for being the voice of external concerns personified. Droids and Insect Aliens reflect back to us our emotional selves through the lens of a less emotive species or intelligence. Wookiees are the noble savage who embodies strength of body and natural purity and goodness--the thing we used to be in essence. The weird appearance of the rubber head aliens just serve to keep them somewhat apart from the rest of the characters, a little dab of superficial uniqueness because people often simply play them as humans anyway. 

In a real way the aliens are simply tools of the humans who wrote and play in this galaxy. They are used to highlight human behavior because without humans we have no context. If you removed humans from the setting, then some other race or races would be the same thing, the human stand-ins. 

Humans are ill-prepared to exist in a world of other species who may have better natural attributes to survive, but what we have demonstrated we are good at is getting to the top of the food chain. If your children were eaten by Barabels you may have a different approach to aliens. I think the Empire represents our dual-sided ability to overcome nature and to oppress while doing it. Humans are shown as the most aggressive species in the setting and I think that's a perfectly understandable assessment. We understand how capable of mayhem we are, and the faeries of the woodland know only too well that when the king and his army attack the ancient wood they will bring fire and steel. In a faerie tale the magical creatures would rise up and defeat the King's Army with the help of a Human who saw the value of the Faeries and their Magical Realm. In reality the humans would build a civilization and live in comfort. 

 

 

Edited by Archlyte

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On 5/18/2018 at 6:09 PM, Archlyte said:

In reality the humans would build a civilization and live in comfort. 

 

 

but not in peace, as we have demonstrated time and time again. 

You have great insight into storytelling, mythos and how Fantasy is constructed. Star Wars is in essence, a WW2/Fantasy Story that just happens to take place in something that looks like space but actually doesn't really work like space.

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11 hours ago, GM_loke said:

but not in peace, as we have demonstrated time and time again. 

You have great insight into storytelling, mythos and how Fantasy is constructed. Star Wars is in essence, a WW2/Fantasy Story that just happens to take place in something that looks like space but actually doesn't really work like space.

Thank you for your kind words. I agree with you about that summation. As a matter of fact I would say it's not possible for me to agree more. 

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On 5/18/2018 at 7:40 AM, TheMOELANDER said:

They are a pretty weird bunch all together, but it fits perfectly in the Star Wars theme. Chewbacca was also weird the first time we saw him on screen. He just grunts and growls, but Han does understand him? The same with R2, who was a big diversion of how robots have classically been portrayed on film. C-3PO was the classical one in that regard.

Concerning 3PO: How so? The classic robot portrayal seems far more emotionless than the neurotic wreck that is 3PO.

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20 hours ago, Desslok said:

What's your stance on Alien³? Killing Hicks and and the kid was unforgivable in my opinion. 

The people responsible for Alien³ should be waterboarded.........

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