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How common are non-Human PCs in your games?

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Just now, HappyDaze said:

I wonder how much the era of play impacts the decision to play non-humans. Do you think that in a twilight of the Republic game (set near Episode I) non-human characters are more likely to be selected?

I think that is a good question. I grew up with the OT and took a break from Star Wars for a long time until the Prequels came out. I didn't read much of the EU and did not like the Zahn novels so the images I had of the galaxy were mostly from the original movies where you don't have good guy aliens besides Yoda and Chewie until the third movie. The scenes of the rebel bases in the first two movies don't have any aliens in them at all that I can remember, it's just a bunch of humans. 

Along come the prequels and a bigger budget for practical effects and CGI and the galaxy looks much different. The automatic response is that the huge increase in aliens is a great thing but I don't feel that it is good or bad really. It certainly makes it look more like the comics than the old movies. In some situations where there is a very cosmopolitan environment, or something like the Mos Eisley cantina which is essentially a sailor's bar as the place is a port, I think it certainly adds to the sense of a fantastical world. 

But to people who either completely embraced the Prequels, prefer a lack of species tension as an environmental factor, or grew up with it as their first experience of Star Wars the idea of a human-centric story seems to be somehow offensive or at least dull. The EU/Prequel version of things has given rise to a different view of the Galaxy. There seems to be the idea of a perfectly functioning multicultural galactic society where all tensions are extraneous to species. This works great for the cartoon shows with their younger supposed target audience. But I prefer to have it be more like it seemed to me from the first two movies where the differences are things to still have to be overcome on an ongoing basis, which I feel provides more tension and realism to the setting as it gets inhabited close up and for long periods of time in TTRPG sessions. 

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21 hours ago, Archlyte said:

Well congrats on the long campaign :) I like the back story man it's simple but effective and I think interesting. Interesting characters are really the standard in my opinion and this character could have been a human whose younger sister was eaten alive by a group of alien hired guns in the employ of the Hutts. I think I said it in my other post but I will reiterate that I feel you can have an alien character that is interesting, and you can have human characters who are interesting. I disagree that human characters are by default boring. Also, that part about new players has been my experience across game systems, not just this one. Maybe among other factors it's that a human character is a choice that signals that they want to focus on learning the system without having to play something weird, and maybe those who go right to the weird are not that invested or are just going for the flash. Either way an interesting character is interesting is great regardless of whether or not they make for a weird pic.

Well that's just it really. To me the backstory is kind of something that identifies one clear goal for a character and one falsehood that the character (not the player) believes to be true. In the end the revenge story was his start on the heroes journey that I really should put down properly in a text format. But in a sense being a faceless alien made perfect sense; he was a nobody who wasn't meant to be anyone great or didn't seem to have a destiny. Thus it kinda had similar paraellels to Luke's heroes journey where no one cared about him until he joined the alliance and embraced his call; the only difference is Tobin aren't a face guy so his contributions are only really as big people can actually believe. XD

What being an non-human provided however was additional motivations.

- He's from the outer rim: Immediately that provides a distrust from the core worlders and inner rims, who's machinations have been nothing but trouble as far as the galaxy is concerned. "If ya want a rim job doin', you want a rimmer for that. Those core folks always hav' something else in mind, be it some delusion of grandeur or an imperial desire. It also made the formation of the Republic an interesting thing as it quickly became apparent "wait, most of the most influential persons are core worlders, I guess we just traded one ideal for another.

- Not Human: Immediately puts him on the second/third citizen pile that makes him disadvantaged. While revenge was his primary plot hook, his father's murder not being taken as a matter of importance and his families poverty made him a bitter activist. Thus joining the alliance and eventually becoming part of the wave that puts imperial humans in their place served as a fairly consistent motivation throughout that period. In the same light, being prejudiced against can be an appealing angle to explore; how far are you willing to play in a game stacked up against yourself?

- Provides some easy prejudices to either roll into or reject: "Oh, how observant, I'm a Rodian, but I'm from Ode Mantel. So no, I am not a bounty hunter by trade and NO, I am not a spice trader from Rodia, so kriff off." Most races have one or two racial stereotypes that serve as a easy plothook. Twilacks regularly deal with or are slaves. Wooks by large are wanted by the empire as slaves and/or criminals, all Bothan's are shifty horsefaced people who are trusted by practically no one e.c.t. In Tobin's case I found the easy prejudices as useful plot devices, as he regularly mascaraed as a bounty hunter called the Chameleon when laying low from his more wanted real identity, while at the same time complaining about those things. It's a fairly rich ground provided you are willing to buy into the racist and stereotypical plot angles that usually come with those. Don't indulge the steriotypes too much though, otherwise what is created isn't a character but rather a paraody.

So yeah, I find that playing as a non-human species does have some merits, whether either the stereotypical story of a character overcoming prejudice or whether they merely take advantage of that perception to subvert expectations. Just usually the race only makes as big a difference as people want it to; Chewie, 3P30 and R2D2 were entirely identified by their alien traits that required no real explaination (the droids are property and largely defenceless, chewie is a big strong guy who is wanted by the empire and gets easily frustrated), while Han, Leia, Luke and Lando were largely defined by their motivations and their respective backgrounds that required some explanation.

 

So yeah, alien species usually exist in my mind to either be a wallpaper or to tell a strong story hook in as few words as possible. Least, that's my experience.

 

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Across the 5 campaigns I have run my groups have been:

Bothan        1
Chiss        1
Devaronin    2
Drall         1
Droid        1
Gamorrean    1
Gank        1
Gigoran        1
Human        5
Nautolan    1
Selonian    1
Shistavanen    1
Sith        1
Togruta        1
Trandoshan    2
Twi'lek        1
Verpine        1
Wookiee        2
Yuzzem        1
Zabrak        1

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On 5/3/2019 at 4:07 PM, LordBritish said:

Well that's just it really. To me the backstory is kind of something that identifies one clear goal for a character and one falsehood that the character (not the player) believes to be true. In the end the revenge story was his start on the heroes journey that I really should put down properly in a text format. But in a sense being a faceless alien made perfect sense; he was a nobody who wasn't meant to be anyone great or didn't seem to have a destiny. Thus it kinda had similar paraellels to Luke's heroes journey where no one cared about him until he joined the alliance and embraced his call; the only difference is Tobin aren't a face guy so his contributions are only really as big people can actually believe. XD

What being an non-human provided however was additional motivations.

- He's from the outer rim: Immediately that provides a distrust from the core worlders and inner rims, who's machinations have been nothing but trouble as far as the galaxy is concerned. "If ya want a rim job doin', you want a rimmer for that. Those core folks always hav' something else in mind, be it some delusion of grandeur or an imperial desire. It also made the formation of the Republic an interesting thing as it quickly became apparent "wait, most of the most influential persons are core worlders, I guess we just traded one ideal for another.

- Not Human: Immediately puts him on the second/third citizen pile that makes him disadvantaged. While revenge was his primary plot hook, his father's murder not being taken as a matter of importance and his families poverty made him a bitter activist. Thus joining the alliance and eventually becoming part of the wave that puts imperial humans in their place served as a fairly consistent motivation throughout that period. In the same light, being prejudiced against can be an appealing angle to explore; how far are you willing to play in a game stacked up against yourself?

- Provides some easy prejudices to either roll into or reject: "Oh, how observant, I'm a Rodian, but I'm from Ode Mantel. So no, I am not a bounty hunter by trade and NO, I am not a spice trader from Rodia, so kriff off." Most races have one or two racial stereotypes that serve as a easy plothook. Twilacks regularly deal with or are slaves. Wooks by large are wanted by the empire as slaves and/or criminals, all Bothan's are shifty horsefaced people who are trusted by practically no one e.c.t. In Tobin's case I found the easy prejudices as useful plot devices, as he regularly mascaraed as a bounty hunter called the Chameleon when laying low from his more wanted real identity, while at the same time complaining about those things. It's a fairly rich ground provided you are willing to buy into the racist and stereotypical plot angles that usually come with those. Don't indulge the steriotypes too much though, otherwise what is created isn't a character but rather a paraody.

So yeah, I find that playing as a non-human species does have some merits, whether either the stereotypical story of a character overcoming prejudice or whether they merely take advantage of that perception to subvert expectations. Just usually the race only makes as big a difference as people want it to; Chewie, 3P30 and R2D2 were entirely identified by their alien traits that required no real explaination (the droids are property and largely defenceless, chewie is a big strong guy who is wanted by the empire and gets easily frustrated), while Han, Leia, Luke and Lando were largely defined by their motivations and their respective backgrounds that required some explanation.

 

So yeah, alien species usually exist in my mind to either be a wallpaper or to tell a strong story hook in as few words as possible. Least, that's my experience.

 

Yeah and all of those things are great and I appreciate what you are saying, but you could have done a great deal of that as a non-alien as well using other in-setting conventions such as

- Being from the Outer Rim doesn't have to be an alien social condition. Core Worlders would easily be able to distinguish where you are from. This is evidenced in the U.S in the perceived but not true identification with an American Southern accent with low IQ/Sophistication. 

- Being a human slave would have served the same purpose

- Yes I agree about the stereotypes and I would even say that I think this is the actual purpose of most non-human sentients in most settings. You win this one :)

But I also agree with you that done right the character can be great and have some unique things because they are an alien. I would also say though that they also miss out on some things that Human characters do best such as being movie-style protagonists, demonstrating relationships that make sense to human players, and having an efficient relatability to human players. So to me they are largely lateral decisions. 

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5 hours ago, Ogrebear said:

Across the 5 campaigns I have run my groups have been:

Bothan        1
Chiss        1
Devaronin    2
Drall         1
Droid        1
Gamorrean    1
Gank        1
Gigoran        1
Human        5
Nautolan    1
Selonian    1
Shistavanen    1
Sith        1
Togruta        1
Trandoshan    2
Twi'lek        1
Verpine        1
Wookiee        2
Yuzzem        1
Zabrak        1

So that's 18.5%. Interesting. A very Alien-centric group or groups. This is what I imagine to be about normal in the population of people who play this game. 

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Humans are rare in my games.

 

Current group is:

 

Zeltron

Nagai

Chiss

Cerean

Shistavanen

Zygerrian

 

Party is half male half female for both players and characters.

 

Even when I have had games where someone played a human they were a cyborg or were a clone or a force sensitive smuggler. It was never just a normal human.

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On 5/3/2019 at 10:00 AM, Archlyte said:

I think that is a good question. I grew up with the OT and took a break from Star Wars for a long time until the Prequels came out. I didn't read much of the EU and did not like the Zahn novels so the images I had of the galaxy were mostly from the original movies where you don't have good guy aliens besides Yoda and Chewie until the third movie. The scenes of the rebel bases in the first two movies don't have any aliens in them at all that I can remember, it's just a bunch of humans. 

Along come the prequels and a bigger budget for practical effects and CGI and the galaxy looks much different. The automatic response is that the huge increase in aliens is a great thing but I don't feel that it is good or bad really. It certainly makes it look more like the comics than the old movies. In some situations where there is a very cosmopolitan environment, or something like the Mos Eisley cantina which is essentially a sailor's bar as the place is a port, I think it certainly adds to the sense of a fantastical world. 

But to people who either completely embraced the Prequels, prefer a lack of species tension as an environmental factor, or grew up with it as their first experience of Star Wars the idea of a human-centric story seems to be somehow offensive or at least dull. The EU/Prequel version of things has given rise to a different view of the Galaxy. There seems to be the idea of a perfectly functioning multicultural galactic society where all tensions are extraneous to species. This works great for the cartoon shows with their younger supposed target audience. But I prefer to have it be more like it seemed to me from the first two movies where the differences are things to still have to be overcome on an ongoing basis, which I feel provides more tension and realism to the setting as it gets inhabited close up and for long periods of time in TTRPG sessions. 

Kid (31 lol) who grew up with the Prequels here. My first EU book was The Essential Guide to Characters followed by The Essential Guide to Species. The diversity of species in Star Wars each with its own culture and fleshed out history was literally my favorite thing about Star Wars as a kid. Prequels definitely brought me into Star Wars. My brother always tried to get me to watch Star Wars but I was a lot more interested in Indiana Jones at the time. I had to go back and watch the OT after seeing the prequels and then fell in love with them. My point is I think I may be the one whom you are referencing in your comment so I thought I'd shed some light on my perspective. 

I specifically LOVE the issues of the species of Star Wars and find them to be so much better fleshed out then the ones of the OT (ignoring the fact that every species is based on the one and only one we see on screen which thankfully the ST is pulling away from). My very first introduction to RPG was Star Wars and I wanted to play a Dug and my buddy wanted to play a Gran. I wanted to show a Dug that actively fought the prejudice of his species, while still being a criminal to make it in a galaxy that feared him. He was perceived with prejudice that he would be selfish but he was very giving to those who were underdogs of the galaxy. His first mate was a brilliant Gran, whose uncle was senator Baskol Yeesrim, and he hated that his family expected him to be involved in corrupt politics. He allowed a terrorist attack to occur on Malastare which caused him to experience the feared Gran exile to the Dug side of Malastare where he met my dug who ended up helping him through his depression and loneliness and they formed a Chewie/Han bond that was a love/hate relationship.

The species informed our characters even then when we were 13 for the better and made for story telling experiences that I still carry with me as an adult. The idea of a perfectly functioning multicultural galactic society where all tensions are extraneous to species is not even a thing for me and feels more like it lends itself to Star Trek then Star Wars. Gungans and Ewoks from two eras of movies prove that Star Wars has always embraced developed cultures with tensions and works great also for cartoon shows and even younger audiences. 

When players stick with Humans the tension will only be character driven and doesn't carry as much culture (which is fine) but  the potential for inter species conflict with a party really excites me.

TLDR: I grew up with the prequels and embrace them and I love species tension even when I was a kid. I want MOAR!

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55 minutes ago, Drig said:

Kid (31 lol) who grew up with the Prequels here. My first EU book was The Essential Guide to Characters followed by The Essential Guide to Species. The diversity of species in Star Wars each with its own culture and fleshed out history was literally my favorite thing about Star Wars as a kid. Prequels definitely brought me into Star Wars. My brother always tried to get me to watch Star Wars but I was a lot more interested in Indiana Jones at the time. I had to go back and watch the OT after seeing the prequels and then fell in love with them. My point is I think I may be the one whom you are referencing in your comment so I thought I'd shed some light on my perspective. 

I specifically LOVE the issues of the species of Star Wars and find them to be so much better fleshed out then the ones of the OT (ignoring the fact that every species is based on the one and only one we see on screen which thankfully the ST is pulling away from). My very first introduction to RPG was Star Wars and I wanted to play a Dug and my buddy wanted to play a Gran. I wanted to show a Dug that actively fought the prejudice of his species, while still being a criminal to make it in a galaxy that feared him. He was perceived with prejudice that he would be selfish but he was very giving to those who were underdogs of the galaxy. His first mate was a brilliant Gran, whose uncle was senator Baskol Yeesrim, and he hated that his family expected him to be involved in corrupt politics. He allowed a terrorist attack to occur on Malastare which caused him to experience the feared Gran exile to the Dug side of Malastare where he met my dug who ended up helping him through his depression and loneliness and they formed a Chewie/Han bond that was a love/hate relationship.

The species informed our characters even then when we were 13 for the better and made for story telling experiences that I still carry with me as an adult. The idea of a perfectly functioning multicultural galactic society where all tensions are extraneous to species is not even a thing for me and feels more like it lends itself to Star Trek then Star Wars. Gungans and Ewoks from two eras of movies prove that Star Wars has always embraced developed cultures with tensions and works great also for cartoon shows and even younger audiences. 

When players stick with Humans the tension will only be character driven and doesn't carry as much culture (which is fine) but  the potential for inter species conflict with a party really excites me.

TLDR: I grew up with the prequels and embrace them and I love species tension even when I was a kid. I want MOAR!

Hey thanks for your comments I enjoyed reading them. First off I would not ever call you a kid, and I don't think you were saying I was, but I detest when people are disrespectful and play the "I'm older so I can talk like a jerk" card. 

To some degree I would agree with you that you do fit the bill somewhat as your initial exposure to Star Wars was through something I feel has the propensity to be insidious to the OT feel, namely extraneous lore. I like those books too, and I won't deny that there is something very satisfying about reading up on those details whether they are species, creatures, or vehicles. The desire to answer those questions is real.

The original movies had an amazing sense of wonder that was in part accomplished by letting the audience have unanswered questions posed by images and sounds. In SciFi those questions are typically answered and there is no amount of detail that is unwelcome, but for me Star Wars is different. It didn't add anything good to the setting to know that the ugly guy at the bar is some sort of space vampire. A long list of what to me seem like unfortunate creative choices that seemed to be applied haphazardly without much thought as to how it would affect the overall setting. The result of this mindset resulted in a timeline where the paperback hacks brought in a giant outside alien threat cause the regular aliens and variety had become too pedestrian for them. 

Humans should probably have different cultures as well and don't need to be homogeneous human blanks as they seem to be regarded by many. The Dug/Gran situation you described could easily have been the result of human cultural history on the planet, and it wouldn't require a bunch of exposition so it's not really any different from doing it with aliens except that the visuals are not people. 

When you have humans and carnivorous lizards and cow people living together without tension it's perfectly multicultural. If it's talked about openly and at length by the characters then it's Star Trek. Also in your example there might be humans in the group, and if they have a culture then you still have the possibility for the differences whether interacting with aliens or humans. 

Characterization is not a trait restricted to Aliens and I feel that this is like saying Blue hair is always better than Blond hair. You may like blue hair and that is fine, but there is not proof that it's somehow better, especially when it can't do anything that you cannot duplicate with normal hair color. It's purely a cosmetic choice in the end, the quality of having an aesthetic the individual finds pleasing. A Dug is simply an ugly character who is short, walks awkwardly, and is brutish unless you have the image at hand. The character will behave a certain way and others will react to them according to those behaviors. Making a character an alien is designed to have others either react to the stereotype and/or wait and see if the character is ok and if so, then the alien thing was basically a non-issue. The character is then just a person with a different skin played by a person in a game. 

 

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4 hours ago, GroggyGolem said:

Humans are rare in my games.

 

Current group is:

 

Zeltron

Nagai

Chiss

Cerean

Shistavanen

Zygerrian

 

Party is half male half female for both players and characters.

 

Even when I have had games where someone played a human they were a cyborg or were a clone or a force sensitive smuggler. It was never just a normal human.

I think people just like to play dress-up lol. 

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5 hours ago, GroggyGolem said:

I'm not sure what you mean.

I'll hazard a guess that what Archlyte is referring to is that of the species you listed, most of them are "humans with different skin colors."  The Zeltron, Chiss, Nagai, and to some extent the Cerean are all fairly human looking, though Cereans much like Twi'leks have a notable physical feature that sets them apart from simply being "humans with minor variants."

Zygerrians (at least the version show in the Clone Wars) are different enough from the base human design to qualify as a "non-human," and Shistavanens definitely qualify as non-human.  So in a purely mechanical sense, your group doesn't have any Humans, but appearance-wise much of the group are generally human-looking in appearance.

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2 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

I'll hazard a guess that what Archlyte is referring to is that of the species you listed, most of them are "humans with different skin colors."  The Zeltron, Chiss, Nagai, and to some extent the Cerean are all fairly human looking, though Cereans much like Twi'leks have a notable physical feature that sets them apart from simply being "humans with minor variants."

Zygerrians (at least the version show in the Clone Wars) are different enough from the base human design to qualify as a "non-human," and Shistavanens definitely qualify as non-human.  So in a purely mechanical sense, your group doesn't have any Humans, but appearance-wise much of the group are generally human-looking in appearance.

I can see that, I guess. I think only the zeltron and shistavanen were chosen for the aesthetic. Chiss, zygerrian and cerean for the species lore and the nagai I think for the stats.

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On 5/5/2019 at 11:30 AM, Archlyte said:

So that's 18.5%. Interesting. A very Alien-centric group or groups. This is what I imagine to be about normal in the population of people who play this game. 

Actually I thought about this as being about 1 in 5 being human and decided I think that is actually probably above average. My guess would probably be more like 1 in 9 or something like that. 

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So far, the characters in the games I've played, GMed, or planned have been largely humans, but most of the time, not without good reason.

In one of them, the split was 1 Clone, 4 Humans, 1 Mon Cal. That was my first game, however, and I only had access to the CRB species, none of which interested me or facilitated interesting builds.

Then, however, I got FiB and really liked all of the species. In the second campaign, I built a Kyuzo dual-wielding Sharpshooter/Commando and an Elom with 5 Brawn and a T-21 that he isn't sure how to use, but somehow hasn't missed yet. The Kyuzo was largely because I really like Embo and thought that dual Model 434s (deathhammers) would look awesome. For the humans, one of them was a mando (actually the son of one of the characters in the below campaign) and the other was jsut a human, but the point was to have some characters that could easily blend in with Imperials when needed.

In the 3rd campaign, we're playing Mandos, all of which are human except for a Shistavanen, who was rescued and adopted into the clan.

In the 4th campaign, we'll be playing 1 Clone (actually a younger version of the clone from the 1st campaign) and 2 Humans, but the reason behind that is that they are pretty much on the run (a Jedi, a Clone and a Merc who was betrayed by her organization [the campaign is post Order 66]) and need to be able to blend in when possible.

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My players all prefer to play humans. As a result, I don't have any alien or droid PCs. Too quote one of them when I asked about it, "Nah, too weird."

I am always mixing in aliens as prominent non-player characters to keep that Galactic Cantina vibe strong. Though I admit, aside from Hutts, aliens with speaking parts who are moving the plot (as opposed to set dressing or mere combatants) are more human than not. I think this is because I have a harder time wrapping my head around what the more bizarre aliens behaviors, feelings, and motivations would be. As a result, most of the more active non-player characters have been Duros, Tortuga, Zabrak, Twi'leks, Chiss, Falleen, Cereans, etc.  There is a Selonian infochant and fixer who has become vital to the group, and I've put some work into fleshing them out more, but let's be honest, Selonians are basically anthropomorphic furries. I like Shistavan and Whipids. I should probably do something with them.

I'm sure others will disagree, but the more alien an alien is the harder I find it to tell relatable stories about, or with, them.

Edited by Vondy

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As the creator of the Complete Species Guide, I will always play one of the weirdest, most obscure species I can, generally a recent addition. I’ve been in lots of very brief groups, but as for all of the non-human PCs played by someone other than me that I remember:

Loads of Togrutas, Elomin, Chiss, Lannik, Mustafarian, Bothan, Skakoan, Nikto, Gotal, and Dug.

 

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22 hours ago, Vondy said:

My players all prefer to play humans. As a result, I don't have any alien or droid PCs. Too quote one of them when I asked about it, "Nah, too weird."

I am always mixing in aliens as prominent non-player characters to keep that Galactic Cantina vibe strong. Though I admit, aside from Hutts, aliens with speaking parts who are moving the plot (as opposed to set dressing or mere combatants) are more human than not. I think this is because I have a harder time wrapping my head around what the more bizarre aliens behaviors, feelings, and motivations would be. As a result, most of the more active non-player characters have been Duros, Tortuga, Zabrak, Twi'leks, Chiss, Falleen, Cereans, etc.  There is a Selonian infochant and fixer who has become vital to the group, and I've put some work into fleshing them out more, but let's be honest, Selonians are basically anthropomorphic furries. I like Shistavan and Whipids. I should probably do something with them.

I'm sure others will disagree, but the more alien an alien is the harder I find it to tell relatable stories about, or with, them.

I don't disagree. 

I love that there are all these weird aliens in Star Wars, but I feel what makes them cool is that they are aliens. In the cartoons it's portrayed as though everyone is human and there is 110% perfect multicultural harmony. I think if the SW galaxy were supposed to be a Utopian setting I would see that as correct, but it's not supposed to be a Utopia from what I can tell, even in the times of the Republic. I don't think the Empire came up with the idea of human supremacy out of whole cloth, it would have been a play on existing inter-species tensions and I am sure there was plenty of that to go around, unless humans are supposed to be the only species capable of that psychology. There is a more realistic bent to it in the original movies where people are the focus of the stories and the non-human cast are secondary and tertiary characters. But, If you've ever seen the infamous Star Wars Christmas Special you got to see scenes where non-humans take center stage in the wookiee household and it's not good imo.  

I think the reason you have a hard time wrapping your head around alien psychology is because you are not an alien. A Trandoshan might really care genuinely about eating the spleen of his hatchmate as it dies, a Twi'lek might see humans as being bland without that other form of body communication and not really enjoy them, and many aliens might find humans so physically repulsive as to not want to have anything to do with them. 

Getting into these details is not the answer though I think, because to me that is the realm of science fiction. Instead I feel like story should be the prime factor in all things Star Wars, and story is very often driven by human interests. When we most closely feel concerned with what is going on we are going to be involved. The more dimensions in which this is positively relate-able as far as between the audience and the characters the easier it is to have a story that engages. We have the ability to anthropomorphize any kind of character, as you can see in Pinocchio or the Lion King, but there are limits to this, and it seems to be based on individual taste from what I can tell. 

 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, DanteRotterdam said:

And, I am not judging, isn’t the whole point of roleplaying to step into someone/something else’s skin/frame?

It might just be comfort level.  Some players just aren't comfortable with stepping into a skin/frame of something that's so different than a base Human.  Not every player is into going for deep-immersion into their character.

Even in D&D, with its plethora of fantasy races, more often than not you see elves/dwarves/halflings/etc simply played as being "funny-looking humans" as opposed to the generally alien creatures that they are.  Elves with their centuries of lifespan would have a vastly different outlook than humans, while dwarves have a very tight and somewhat rigid view on family and community, and yet rarely does one see that at the gaming table.

Shadowrun is interesting in that while it does have the various fantasy races such as elves, trolls, orks, and dwarves, all of them are mentally and socially the same as regular humans, due to how they're still fairly new phenomena in the setting.  So at least there, the players have a built-in excuse/rationale for why their non-human PC pretty much acts and thinks like a human.

Of course, in a number of games published at about the time that 3rd edition D&D was, being a Human comes with more mechanical benefits than playing a different species, and this game is no exception.  While many species in this game will excel in certain roles or flourish if built with certain career & spec combos, Humans are going to be capable in any role you put them into, and the two bonus non-career skill ranks and bonus 10XP (on top of not having anything starting at a 1 for characteristics) can be very hard to pass up for some players.

To say nothing of how on the screen, it's the Humans who get the major roles in the films and majority of visual media.  Hera in Rebels was somewhat unusual in being a Twi'lek that was a main part of the principal cast, but then again she's a Twi'lek and is reasonably close to being Human as is regarding her general appearance and mannerisms.  It brings to my mind what Maelora used to say about the various "pretties" (i.e. those species that look the closest to Human and thus would be more likely to get major roles in a film/show) in the game seeing the most play in her games; then again the artwork of the characters in those games leaned very heavily on the fan-service side of things, so it's up for debate whether her group's leaning towards "pretties" for species was influenced by the notion of what the fan-art would look like, or if the notion of there's going to be fan-art influenced the group into playing the species that looked mostly Human.

Me personally, I've gamed with Star Wars groups from d6 up through now that went either side of things, from some where there was only a single token non-human-looking species (usually a Wookiee or a droid), to some where there wasn't a Human to be found in the roster, just species that would fall into the Near-Human category.  As long as the players are having fun and enjoying playing their characters at whatever level of immersion they've opted for, it's all good.

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