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Donovan Morningfire

The GSA Presents: The Unofficial Species Menagerie

45 posts in this topic

 

As for including the species, by all means go ahead.  As long as a note for the source of the unofficial species is included, I'm good.

 

 

A note on the intro page, the credits page, and a note + URL is on the species selection page.

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I've looked through these a lot, and over those times I've seen a few things that strike me wrong, and I'd like to bring those up for discussion.  Obviously these are all just suggestions :D.

1.  Why do the Chiss have 11+ for their wounds?  I wouldn't say that they were any more or less sturdy than a typical human.  I could see setting their Strain at 11, but I'm not sold on the Wounds at that.  Perhaps they could have some other minor bonus instead?  Or, they could have both at 10, but they could get a rank in BOTH of the skills, not just one or the other.

 

2.  Why do Cathar have an Intellect of 1?  They aren't geniuses, but I'm not sure that they deserve to have 1 Intellect, considering that's reserved for more primitive species, like Gammoreans and the like.  Was it simply because there was no other stat that made a lot of sense, since the other ones wouldn't make sense at 1 either?  Perhaps they should have all their stats at 2 still, then?

 

3.  Dashade are pretty sizeable. While I'm not saying they are slow, should they truly have 3 in Agility and 2 in Brawn?  I feel it should be the other way around.

 

4.  I'm not convinced that Duros are that much weaker than humans on average, and I'm also not convinced that they are that much smarter than them.  I wouldn't put them on Arkanian or Givin level intellect to start, and I would suggest that you possibly consider giving them 2s across the board and bumping their starting EXP up to Human levels.

 

5.  Aqualish are all about strength, and most people look down on them or push them out for being thuggish.  Should they have Human-like 2s across the board?  They are different enough where I could see them possibly having a 3 in Willpower or Brawn and a 1 in Presence.

 

6.  Should Gran have an Intellect of 1?  I don't really see them on Gammorean-level unintellect or primitiveness either, and I can't find anything that indicates that either.  Perhaps Willpower could go to 1, since they seem to be somewhat emotional, and they can't handle being alone for very long?

 

7.  I kinda would like to see the Selkath not have Human starting stats, since they are so different.  I could see them having a 3 in Intellect thanks to their advanced medical technology, but I could see a 1 in Willpower since they don't seem to be very committed towards anything but their own security, and they kinda go insane and reclusive from time to time.

 

8.  I'm not sure about 1 Brawn for Togruta, since they are natural predators.  However, I don't really know what else they would have 1 in off the top of my head D:.

 

 

I also agree with the previous statements that the Noghri should be Sillhouette 1, and that the Defel should get their goggles for free.

 

Again, these are all suggestions to be considered, if that.  I hope some of these might help!

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Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.

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Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.

 

Donovan, what formula did you use to calculate XP for all of the races?  I assume there were some sort of guidelines that you used to shape your race guidebook.  Would you mind horribly sharing that with us?

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Donovan, what formula did you use to calculate XP for all of the races?  I assume there were some sort of guidelines that you used to shape your race guidebook.  Would you mind horribly sharing that with us?

No real formula used at all.  It was simply a case of eyeballing what we had for Characteristics and other add-ons and comparing them to the 8 published species in the Beta rulebook.  There were some folks that got their knickers in a twist over the fact that, from their perspective, several of the species "didn't add up mathematically."  But at the end of the day, it was a lot of estimation on our part in terms of what looked balanced, suited the species as they've generally been seen in Star Wars lore, and what the prior RPGs had for those species.

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I've looked through these a lot, and over those times I've seen a few things that strike me wrong, and I'd like to bring those up for discussion.  Obviously these are all just suggestions :D.

1.  Why do the Chiss have 11+ for their wounds?  I wouldn't say that they were any more or less sturdy than a typical human.  I could see setting their Strain at 11, but I'm not sold on the Wounds at that.  Perhaps they could have some other minor bonus instead?  Or, they could have both at 10, but they could get a rank in BOTH of the skills, not just one or the other.

 

2.  Why do Cathar have an Intellect of 1?  They aren't geniuses, but I'm not sure that they deserve to have 1 Intellect, considering that's reserved for more primitive species, like Gammoreans and the like.  Was it simply because there was no other stat that made a lot of sense, since the other ones wouldn't make sense at 1 either?  Perhaps they should have all their stats at 2 still, then?

 

3.  Dashade are pretty sizeable. While I'm not saying they are slow, should they truly have 3 in Agility and 2 in Brawn?  I feel it should be the other way around.

 

5.  Aqualish are all about strength, and most people look down on them or push them out for being thuggish.  Should they have Human-like 2s across the board?  They are different enough where I could see them possibly having a 3 in Willpower or Brawn and a 1 in Presence.

 

6.  Should Gran have an Intellect of 1?  I don't really see them on Gammorean-level unintellect or primitiveness either, and I can't find anything that indicates that either.  Perhaps Willpower could go to 1, since they seem to be somewhat emotional, and they can't handle being alone for very long?

 

I also agree with the previous statements that the Noghri should be Sillhouette 1, and that the Defel should get their goggles for free.

 

Again, these are all suggestions to be considered, if that.  I hope some of these might help!

 

These are some good points, and I'd like to add in my two-cent's worth, if I may.

 

First off, I'd like to congratulate you guys on the great effort that has been put into this work so far.  I realize it is still a work in progress, and I look forward to seeing more from you.  Keep up the good work.

 

1.  I have also noticed some inconsistencies in the allocation of wounds and strain without any apparent formula.  In discussing this with my own group, we were also not able to come up with a mathematical formula for race building that fit all of the races.  Our answer was to just take each of these races on a case-by-case basis and come up with what we thought was fair.

 

2.  The low INT score for the Cathar should not be seen as them being brutish or stupid, but rather as having a lack of higher education or technical training.  INT only covers lore skills, computers, mechanics, and medicine.  The Cathar, according to the wiki, were almost wiped out by the Mandalorians, but were allowed to flourish under the boot of the Empire.  The low INT value is reflective of a race that has broken with its past and has not know much more than slavery for generations.  I am playing a Cathar character, and that's how I try and look at it.  I call it the Jayne Cobb effect (not great with technical skills).

 

3.  I completely agree.  The Dashade are very large and brutish reptilians, and as such should be given a Brawn of 3 rather than an Agility of 3.  I do notice, however, that the d20 listing for dashade (pg. 67 of the Alien Anthology) gives them a bonus to Dex rather than Str.  Perhaps my opinion to increase their Brawn comes from just having played SWTOR and assuming that they should be brutes.

 

5.  The Aqualish race stood out to myself and the other members of my gaming group right away - there was something not quite right about a race with 2s in all abilities having a 12+Brawn wound threshold, and that sparked a lot of discussion on the matter.  If the Aqualish are to have such a high wound threshold, it should also be given a higher Brawn to reflect this.  Otherwise, the race as written stands out with a glaring inconsistency.  As I mention below, this is a problem that will come up often when you try and transfer stats from a different system - they sometimes don't make as much sense with a verbatim copy.

 

6.  See 2 above (Cathar).

 

Again, I like the contents of this fan-produced product and I appreciate the effort that has gone into it.  It appears that the authors based the builds of these races almost verbatim from the d20 sourcebooks.  While the older books do provide a great source for material, I personally don't think that the d20 system does justice to the new system (not a fan of d20, if you couldn't tell), and when you try to copy stats over to a new system, it sometimes doesn't add up correctly.  It looks like what the authors did, was to transpose the stats almost directly over to their new game counterparts, and that they took Con and transfered it to wound threshold.  In most cases, this does not become much of an issue, other than the few hiccups that have previously been discussed.

Edited by solonar

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Again, I like the contents of this fan-produced product and I appreciate the effort that has gone into it.  It appears that the authors based the builds of these races almost verbatim from the d20 sourcebooks.  While the older books do provide a great source for material, I personally don't think that the d20 system does justice to the new system (not a fan of d20, if you couldn't tell), and when you try to copy stats over to a new system, it sometimes doesn't add up correctly.  It looks like what the authors did, was to transpose the stats almost directly over to their new game counterparts, and that they took Con and transfered it to wound threshold.  In most cases, this does not become much of an issue, other than the few hiccups that have previously been discussed.

Well, for quite a few cases, the only stats we had available to work from were the d20 stats, and as Ben and I are both d20 fans (particularly when it comes to Saga Edition), if we think it works, we'll go with that as our starting point.  You're right in that there is no mathematical formula used to determine Wound and Strain Thresholds; most times it simply came down to making the best guess we could.

 

For the Aqualish and any other species that has a base of 2 in all their Characteristics, the problem simply came down to "what Characteristic do I penalize to warrant giving them a 3 in something?"  Take for instance the Chiss.  In d20 (the only system to give the species a write-up), they had a +2 to Intelligence, but no corresponding penalty to a different ability score.  So rather than go with Intellect 3 and then try to force a 1 someplace else, I pretty much shrugged my shoulders and assigned them 2's across the board.  Same too with Aqualish, as nothing in their entry on Wookieepedia really shouted what should be dropped to a 1 in exchange for giving them a Brawn of 3, particularly since there's three separate breeds of Aqualish, not all of which are violent thugs.  So my compromise there was to give them a higher starting Wound Threshold to reflect their toughness.

 

With the Age of Rebellion Beta on the horizon and with it some new species (Duros, Gran, Ithorians, Mon Cal, and Sullustans), we'll have a broader sample of official FFG species to draw from.  So who knows, if FFG takes some major departures from the classic notions of what those species have been, maybe we'll do the same for the USM.

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I was just thinking that it will be an interesting exercise to compare the fan-generated versions of the new species with the FFG ones from the Beta. It certainly should help us refine species characteristics and how they derive from available source material.

I think it will also increase the value of feedback on the new species in the Beta, as we will have something to compare them to.

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Never properly gave thanks... this was a godsend during Beta since my campaign was converted from WEG d6 and my campaign has a Chiss and a Duros.

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I was just thinking that it will be an interesting exercise to compare the fan-generated versions of the new species with the FFG ones from the Beta. It certainly should help us refine species characteristics and how they derive from available source material.

I think it will also increase the value of feedback on the new species in the Beta, as we will have something to compare them to.

According to Fiddleback, it's not much of a spoiler to say that Ben and I were "close" on our write-ups, though it looks like FFG is going to give Ithorians the "four throats bellow attack" that they had in Saga Edition, something we deliberately avoided.

 

BrashFink,

Glad we could be of help.

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I noticed a few aliens missing from your work that are in the New Essential Guide to Alien Species, some of which could have a good place in the game. Perhaps you don't have the book? I have done work ups for some; the Balosar, the Chagrian, the Dressellian, the Kel Dor, and the Umbaran. I've also done some work tweeking some of the others but its for my tastes, you shouldn't change your own work becuse I think its not 100% "right," I'm glad you're sticking to your guns on not changing your work just cause others want you to. I'd be happy to share those you didn't have with you if you want.

Edited by TCBC Freak

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As I stated in the past, we're not going to try and cover every single species that's out there.  And in fact, this may well be the last update for the USM, so whatever we don't cover, others should feel free to do so, either in this thread or a separate thread.

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Endrik,

A lot of the choices that Cyril and I made were informed by prior RPG versions of those species, particularly the d20 write-ups.  if a species had a -2 in an ability score that mapped over to an EotE Characteristic, then the Characteristic got set to 1.  We have our reasons for our choices, and we're sticking to them.  Sorry, but your personal view on what a species should or should not be doesn't cut it in terms of making changes.  The Noghri size change I made because the current Wookieepedia information pegs them at being sufficiently taller than their size denomination of Small in prior RPGs indicated.

Well when you put it that way, you make it sound like I did no real research on it :I.

All of my suggestions weren't just based on my moods and whims.  I looked at the respective wookieepedia pages and characters that appeared in most media.  But, I mean, obviously they're just suggestions.  I didn't mean to come off as offensive or anything.  No, I didn't look at the saga stats or anything, but I don't think we NEED to use Saga edition as guard rails here.  I think it would be better if we distanced ourselves from that and instead started off fresh just by using what we have here ourselves.

But I guess that's just my opinion on it.

Regardless, this is a great tool that I intend on tapping in to.

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Sorry Endrik, but there's been cases in the past with people saying we screwed up on Species X and done this or that based on their own views and feeling that we just simply threw numbers together with zero consideration.  So it's a bit of a sore subject, to the point that at least one of the authors wants absolutely nothing to do with these forums.

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As I stated in the past, we're not going to try and cover every single species that's out there.  And in fact, this may well be the last update for the USM, so whatever we don't cover, others should feel free to do so, either in this thread or a separate thread.

 

Okay, well, I'll just drop them in here then:

 

Balosar ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Balosar_%28species%29 )

Brawn   Agility  Intellect  Cunning  Willpower  Presence

2             2          2             3                1               2

Wound Threshold: 9+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Starting Abilities: Balosar begin with one rank in Resilience, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Balosar also begin play with one free rank in the Blooded Talent.

 

Chagrian ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Chagrian )

Brawn   Agility  Intellect  Cunning  Willpower  Presence

2             2          2             1                3               2

Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Starting Abilities: Chagrian begin with one rank in Discipline, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Chagrian also begin play with the Trait - Amphibious (This character may breathe under water without penalty and never suffers movement penalties for traveling through water).

 

Dressellian ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dressellian )

Brawn   Agility  Intellect  Cunning  Willpower  Presence

2             2          2             2                3               1

Wound Threhold: 10+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 10+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Starting Abilities: Dressellian begin with one rank in any one non-career skill of their choice, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Dressellian also begin play with one free rank in the Second Wind Talent.

 

Kel Dor ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kel_Dor )

Brawn   Agility  Intellect  Cunning  Willpower  Presence

2             2          2             2                2               2

Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 11+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Starting Abilities: Kel Dor begin with one rank in any oneIntellect based skill of their choice, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Kel Dor also begin play with Trait - Helium Breather (This character starts the game with a breathing apparatus and goggles and treats other atmospheres as dangerous with a rating of 7).

 

Umbaran ( http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Umbaran )

Brawn   Agility  Intellect  Cunning  Willpower  Presence

2             2          2             3               2               1

Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 12+Willpower

Starting XP: 90

Starting Abilities:Umbaran begin with one rank in the Negotiation skill, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Umbaran also begin play with the Trait - Masters of Intrigue (This character treats all Negotiation skill tests as based on Cunning, not Presence).

 

 

So those are the ones I thought have a place in Edge of the Empire and so I wrote them up. I wont be changing them for my game groups use but you can feel free to tweak as you need or feel.

Edited by TCBC Freak
Ian2400 likes this

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I'm not sure I like the use of "is always a career skill". Its something that we haven't seen in any official writeups, and just seems like a SAGAism rather than really fitting into EotE species design.

I'm also kind of unsure of the Shistavaneen writeup. 1 Brawn on a species that is listed as being able to run at high speed for long periods of time seems weird, and I'm not sure where the 3 Cunning really came from.

Just my opinion, of course.

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1) Thank you for the species menagerie. It's an amazing document. 

 

2) In the game I'm GMing, we've got an Ithorian and a Duros--courtesy of your document.

 

Best,

Rev

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1) Thank you for the species menagerie. It's an amazing document. 

 

2) In the game I'm GMing, we've got an Ithorian and a Duros--courtesy of your document.

 

Best,

Rev

The AoR Beta threads have leaked the official (well, beta level official) info for those races. The info for the Duros is enough to play them fully, but the Ithorian bellow still has not been detailed.

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I was wondering if I could get some feed back on a race idea I had. The Miraluka from the Old Republic games, they are still out and a about in this time setting but are on the run cause the empire is hunting them, which made me think they might fit in the EotE game.

 

Miraluka (http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Miraluka)

Brawn   Agility   Intellect   Cunning   Willpower   Presence

2               1               3              2                 2                 2

Wound Threshold: 10+Brawn

Strain Threshold: 11+Willpower

Starting XP: 100

Starting Abilities: Miraluka begin with one rank in the Discipline Skill, they still may not train it above rank two at creation. Miraluka also begin play with the Trait – Force Sight (This character can “see” using the Force. They act normally without taking penalties for Blindness when in the presence of life of any kind [they produce their own ‘Force aura,” allowing them to “see” a short distance even when alone in ships devoid of life]. They may read and write as a sighted person. They ignore concealment when making Perception Skill checks against a living target).

 

This is what I have so far but any ideas or other help would be welcome.

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