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TeknoDragon
What started as an exercise in creative application of SURGE grew into a full-fledged racial concept. Obviously, as noted below, the original inspiration was a 'half-dragon.' I wanted to make this race their own, however, and have a different preference position in an SR team than trolls and orks. So... thoughts and opinions requested on the nature of this race, and whether it balances with regard to the original metatypes and Runner's Companion options.

Thanks for those on #Dumpshock for their help, especially Udoshi and Sturg.

Saurics: 30bp
Scaled with colors and head-frills that look to be the inspiration for various dragon races used in D&D, Saurics look to be 'half-dragons' but are most definitely not.
A Sauric stands about fifteen to forty centimeters taller than the average human, though the build is much lighter; compared to orks or trolls, Saurics are virtual beanpoles. Their body is covered in small, light scales, which provide no benefit or penalty. Also, Saurics are definitely mammals, with generally human-style primary and secondary sexual characteristics (barring hair). Their four eyes are arranged with two forward above their saurian snout, the other two slightly higher and to either side. This allows for focusing to one side or the other without turning their head, but does not confer any game benefit; rather, there are several drawbacks noted below.

The genetic ancestors of Saurics were nocturnal or twilight ambush-hunters, waiting patiently for prey (often from a high position such as a tree, bluff, or low cliff), then taking down the target in the first few blows. This tendancy follows them into the recent genetic expressions of this race, as the limits of their bodies both in defending from hurt and dealing it out cannot be pushed as far as humans; rather they wait and observe for the most opportune moment to strike both in a physical and metaphorical sense. When they do strike, it is swiftly and with overwhelming force; Saurics are beginning to gain a reputation of overkill, as well as mental slowness due to the time spent in focused study on the subject at hand.



Abilities: STR +2, Reaction +2
Agl -1, Body -1
Positive qualities:
Claws: 5bp
Uses Unarmed Combat, deals (str/2)P

Low-light vision: 5bp
Thermal Sensitivity: 5bp
See Thermosense Organ (Augmentation p70)

Shiva Arms: 15bp
Thagomizer: 10bp
+2 balance-related tests (gymnastics, climbing, being knocked down, etc.)
(STR/2)+2P damage, reach 1, due to sharp, bony arcing blades near the tip.
Uses Exotic Melee skill

Negative qualities:
Four eyes: 5bp
Used the 'third eye' negative quality and added an extra eye here.

Nocturnal: 10bp

The extra eyes require all four to be replaced with cyber- or bio-ware eyes to prevent unbalanced vision, else problems will arise similar to a metahuman with two eyes replacing only one of them; effectively, this doubles the cost of vision improvements. Further, penalties from eye irritants and the like (tear gas, flashbangs, dazzling lights) are increased by one point, so a -3 penalty becomes a -4.
Ol' Scratch
You might want to do some research into the T'skrang from Earthdawn. They would be more appropriate to base a full-fledged race on in the Sixth World than what you have here. Afterall, they were the Fourth World's "dragon men" race. Your creation is really out there in and of itself. Close to what a Class III Changeling that started off as a T'skrang might result in.
TeknoDragon
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Nov 11 2009, 10:00 PM) *
You might want to do some research into the T'skrang from Earthdawn. They would be more appropriate to base a full-fledged race on in the Sixth World than what you have here. Afterall, they were the Fourth World's "dragon men" race. Your creation is really out there in and of itself. Close to what a Class III Changeling that started off as a T'skrang might result in.


That would be nifty, however I unfortunately lack the Earthdawn books. Times have also changed... man has changed the world, the world has, and is still, changing man.
MJBurrage
Why describe something almost completely reptilian, and then specify that it is mammalian, simply a warm-blooded reptile would make much more sense ?

Personally, If you stick with the "Sauric", I would make them a subrace of Tískrang, in the same way that Giants are a subrace of Trolls etc..

As for the missing races from the Fourth World
  • Human, Dwarf, Elf, Ork, Troll
  • Windling Ė known as pixies in the Sixth World.
  • Obsidiman Ė Living rock, it is still too early in the Sixth World cycle for them.
  • Tískrang Ė Their absence in the Sixth World is still unexplained.
From the Earthdawn CD that was once givin out for free:
T'skrang

The name of our people? Well, my Theran friend, there are many stories that tell that tale. For the true one, you must listen very carefully to the sound inside your helmet. What? Oh, thatís just my tail. Listen carefully, for the truth will soon be revealed. ó From the transcript of the trial of the tískrang pirate Theormaz

Tískrang are reptilian beings with a flair for the dramatic. They average 5 feet 9 inches tall, and their tails add another 6 feet of length. Tískrang weigh an average of 200 pounds, of which nearly 40 is the tail. Tískrang skin color ranges from verdant green to green-yellow or green-blue, with aqua-blue and even sunset-red variants. Tískrang have cauliflower-shaped ears set into the sides of their heads. The tískrang mature physically by the age of 10, and often live 80 or more years. The tískrang talent for tale-telling casts doubt on their claims of a 181-year-old tískrang, particularly because careful dwarven observations place the oldest known tískrang at a mere 115. Tískrang scholars blame this variance on faulty dwarven calculations, which of course the dwarfs vigorously deny.

Tískrang give primary loyalty to their families, though like humans, they can transfer this loyalty to tribes and nations. Some individuals pledge their loyalty to other racesí societies, but pirate federations are the closest thing to a nation the tískrang have built for themselves. Females lead tískrang society, which is matriarchal in most aspects. Tískrang prefer to live in roofed dwellings along bodies of water, and submerge portions of their homes. Tískrang love to swim and immerse themselves in water, becoming sulky and irritable if unable to do so at least once a week.

T'skrang consider members of the other Name-giver races rather dull and boring. In turn, most other Name-giver races consider T'skrang overly flamboyant and somewhat frivolous. All races agree that each holds a unique and necessary place in the society of Barsaive, and so agree to disagree.

Tail Attack
The tískrang can attack opponents using their tails. The character uses either his Unarmed Combat talent (or skill) or his Dexterity step to make the Attack Test for using his tail. Make a Damage Test using the character's Strength step plus 3 steps. For example, a t'skrang character with Strength Step 5 has Damage Step 8 for a tail attack.

As for attributes, by looking at the Earthdawn table one notes that Tískrang have Dexterity & Charisma bonuses comparable to Elves & Pixies, and the same Toughness bonus as Orks.

So in SR4 terms, I would give the tískrang:
  • Body 4/9 (13)
  • Agility 2/7 (10)
  • Charisma 3/8 (12)
    Tískrang Metatype Abilitiy: Tail Attack (+1 Reach, (STR/2+3)S, uses Unarmed Combat)
(edited tail attack)
TeknoDragon
QUOTE (MJBurrage @ Nov 12 2009, 08:00 AM) *
Why describe something almost completely reptilian, and then specify that it is mammalian, simply a warm-blooded reptile would make much more sense ?

Personally, If you stick with the "Sauric", I would make them a subrace of Tískrang, in the same way that Giants are a subrace of Trolls etc..

As for the missing races from the Fourth World
  • Human, Dwarf, Elf, Ork, Troll
  • Windling Ė known as pixies in the Sixth World.
  • Obsidiman Ė Living rock, it is still too early in the Sixth World cycle for them.
  • Tískrang Ė Their absence in the Sixth World is still unexplained.
From the Earthdawn CD that was once givin out for free:
T'skrang

[snip]

As for attributes, by looking at the Earthdawn table one notes that Tískrang have Dexterity & Charisma bonuses comparable to Elves & Pixies, and the same Toughness bonus as Orks.

So in SR4 terms, I would give the tískrang:
  • Body 4/9 (13)
  • Agility 2/7 (10)
  • Charisma 3/8 (12)
    Tískrang Metatype Abilitiy: Tail Attack (uses Unarmed Combat, (STR/2+3)S, no reach bonus)


Main reason for using a mammal for the base, is that humans were the origin. Perhaps the Sauric could be an attempt to re-create the T'skrang with a few 'modern updates' along the way. Of course, nothing is perfect... and the law of unintended consequences would definitely apply here.

Heck, it bit me-- as I said, I used the old D$D half-dragon as a starting point, and took a few steps and a couple left turns to try to make them more unique and separate these guys from the metas available. T'skrang was not my intent-- Saurics are upright, happen to have scaly skin and a weapon-worthy tail-- those are the main points of similarity and coincidence.
Stahlseele
http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0676.html
Ol' Scratch
I know it's a little off-topic, but one fun thing you or anyone else can do by reintroducing the T'skrang is throw the whole "which came first?" question into upheaval. How? Have the first T'skrangs be UGE babies rather than goblins, and then make them reptilian egg-layers. Not only would that throw biological sciences into upheaval, it would add a certain level of Sixth World horror to their introduction. I mean, the idea of a reptilian "monster" emerging from your wife's/sister's/daughter's/etc. womb is way scarier a concept to me than some guy collapsing to his knees and exploding into a new race after a few days or weeks. The reaction to that news by the public alone would be fascinating.

Plus a sturdy, agile and charismatic racial option that wasn't a damn elf would certainly be welcome in my games.
Stahlseele
i like something charismatic and fast that's not an elf as good as any other troll, but i have to ask: where do reptiles get the boost to charisma and speed from?
strength and body i could see, because reptilian muscles are packed more dense than human muscles and they have tough leathery skin . .
Ol' Scratch
Well, why can you see it happening for a mammal but not a reptile? Mammals get speed and agility (elves) and strength/body options (the other metahumans), too.

"Reptile" doesn't translate to "crocodiles" or other big, slow beasts. There's tons of slender, fast-moving reptiles. And at least one entire group of them have a legendary status in myths as being masters of charisma -- snakes. You don't have to be physically beautiful to be charismatic. Charisma is about personality and presentation, and the t'skrang are known for both of those traits.
Stahlseele
*shrugs*
okay.
MJBurrage
Scaly mammalsóor "reptiles with boobs" as Order of the Stick put itóhave always bugged me little. If you want humanoid shaped reptiles, just go for that.

Regardless, given what we know of the Fourth World, any Sixth World humanoid reptiles that show up of their own accordóas opposed to being created like drakesówould be tískrang (or a subspecies).

As for their posture (commented on above) tískrang do walk upright despite still having a tail. I don't recall if Earthdawn addressed running posture, but I suspect that they would run like a raptor though.

P.S. I had forgotten that Earthdawn melee combat does not have "reach", so despite not being mentioned in ED, tískrang tails should actually get reach 1 by SR standards.

P.P.S. As for Charisma, Naga also have 2/7 (10); and with no limbs, they are even stranger than tískrang.
TeknoDragon
Hm, leastwise the OOC reaction has been appropriate to how the people of the Sixth World would react to Saurics.

Something new.

Something different.

Kill it/cage it/dissect it. Don't let it near me.

I bet there's a few older orks and trolls that'd sympathize, though most would likely be having the above reactions.

On the plus side, given that all the grumbles/comments I've heard are about the appearance only, I presume the mechanics/point cost to be sound.
Stahlseele
If it's surge, there should be enough smypathisants around.
But think of it this way. It looks like a small humanoid Dragon.
Draco18s
QUOTE (MJBurrage @ Nov 12 2009, 03:33 PM) *
Scaly mammalsóor "reptiles with boobs" as Order of the Stick put itóhave always bugged me little. If you want humanoid shaped reptiles, just go for that.


I've always used the "reptiles with boobs" phrase and I hate RWB (and as you get into the more explicit nature of things, male reptiles with nuts, like seriously they're reptiles! At least do a little biology homework).
TeknoDragon
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Nov 13 2009, 08:28 AM) *
I've always used the "reptiles with boobs" phrase and I hate RWB (and as you get into the more explicit nature of things, male reptiles with nuts, like seriously they're reptiles! At least do a little biology homework).


Heh. Gotta ask-- what if one already did the biology homework and made the changes deliberately?
Prime Mover
IRC T'Skrang were egg layers and the mana level had to be a certain level for the eggs to fertilize properly. The dragons help them "hibernate" through the scourge. Maybe they did the same during the down cycle, certainly could have an egg end up in a mana rich environment to explain there appearance.
MJBurrage
QUOTE (TeknoDragon @ Nov 13 2009, 09:19 AM) *
Heh. Gotta ask-- what if one already did the biology homework and made the changes deliberately?
From the previous replies in this thread, I would have to say that when it comes to humanoids with scales in Shadowrun it boils down to:
  • Humanoid Reptiles are preferred over Humans with scales.
  • Those who know of Shadowrun's link to Earthdawn, lean toward converting tískrang.
  • As always in your own games the GM is the final word.

Draco18s
QUOTE (MJBurrage @ Nov 13 2009, 10:17 AM) *
From the previous replies in this thread, I would have to say that when it comes to humanoids with scales in Shadowrun...


I think he was asking more generally.

QUOTE (TeknoDragon @ Nov 13 2009, 09:19 AM) *
Heh. Gotta ask-- what if one already did the biology homework and made the changes deliberately?


I know there are cases where it happens, though I've not gotten a strait answer as to why the choice is made; the one answer I got once was "they're part human, therefore, human parts." Which made me facepalm as it was the least thought out response possible (anthropomorphisized animals are part human visually, not genetically*).

*Albeit I know of a webcomic that does use a (somewhat) genetic reasoning as well, though it may be For the Plot to rationalize cross-breeds (namely so the rat main-cast character can get a dolphin pregnant--the comic is safe for work, although edgy). There was an entire panel devoted to explaining it.
There's also an RPG system out there called Blue Planet which might as well have part-human (genetically) animals. The books by RAW have genetically altered humans (giving you cat girls and 3 other "types") and genetically altered orca and dolphins (giving you sentient ceatceans).
Mikado
QUOTE (Draco18s @ Nov 13 2009, 08:53 PM) *
There's also an RPG system out there called Blue Planet which might as well have part-human (genetically) animals. The books by RAW have genetically altered humans (giving you cat girls and 3 other "types") and genetically altered orca and dolphins (giving you sentient ceatceans).

I thought that Dolphins where already the second smartest creature on the planet...
...
With humans being the third and all...
Draco18s
QUOTE (Mikado @ Nov 13 2009, 08:07 PM) *
I thought that Dolphins where already the second smartest creature on the planet...
...
With humans being the third and all...


Blue Planet doesn't recognize that well known fact.
Ol' Scratch
Sentience and intelligence are two completely separate beasts.
Draco18s
QUOTE (Dr. Funkenstein @ Nov 13 2009, 08:16 PM) *
Sentience and intelligence are two completely separate beasts.


While true, you missed the joke.

"Humans thought they were the most intelligent species on Earth, but they were in fact third, behind Dolphins and a pair of white lab mice, who were in fact two pandimensional beings from another planet."
Stahlseele
*sigh*
you know the state of affairs is really dire, when people don't get references to the hitchhiker . . or discworld . .
Ol' Scratch
No, I got it. (Why does everyone always assume I'm humorless or miss references?) I was just pointing out that dolphins can still be the second most intelligent creature on Earth, with mice being the first, but that doesn't necessarily make them sentient. Which is what the Blue Planet comment was saying, and to which Mikado was replying as part of his joke in order to correct the Blue Planet comment.

Bah. Nevermind. I'll just stick with people thinking I'm humorless and unable to get a reference.
Stahlseele
well, humorless is how you seem . . but i do think you get most of these. after all, you're old ^^
3278
QUOTE (MJBurrage @ Nov 12 2009, 02:00 PM) *
Why describe something almost completely reptilian, and then specify that it is mammalian, simply a warm-blooded reptile would make much more sense ?

If the desire is to have a scaled human - rather than a humanoid reptile - there is precedent within the mammals in the form of the pangolin, whose scales are made from the same material as human fingernails.
MJBurrage
QUOTE (3278 @ Nov 15 2009, 10:17 PM) *
If the desire is to have a scaled human - rather than a humanoid reptile - there is precedent within the mammals in the form of the pangolin, whose scales are made from the same material as human fingernails.

Very cool smile.gif
TeknoDragon
QUOTE (3278 @ Nov 15 2009, 10:17 PM) *
If the desire is to have a scaled human - rather than a humanoid reptile - there is precedent within the mammals in the form of the pangolin, whose scales are made from the same material as human fingernails.


Exactly. However, I am thinking part of the failure is a lack of general purpose 'oh, cool!' in my short notes on the sauric race. If, by and large, people are unable to accept something on the basis of its description, then I have failed in one or both of these ways: The quality of the description, or the physical design.

My purpose, after all, isn't just something for only me to play; rather, something for anyone to play. If it was just for me, I'd use a surge package and be done. Designing a race or any other major component of a game is just like writing any other fiction-- the piece has to stand on its own without defense from its writer.

So, to the group at large, then: if the body-shape were kept, but the scales changed for a slightly heavy skin (hide, that is), would that be more workable, in your imaginings?
Draco18s
1) The four eyes bugs me. There are no reptiles or mammals that have four eyes (I think its pretty much limited to spiders). I suspect this is weirding most people out.
2) You describe them as "half dragons" (or the inspiration four), but seem to be using the 4e body type (eg. no tail, no wings*), thus missing out on 90% of the fun of being a half dragon.**
3) Despite being described as reptiles, they're mammals with every mammal trait except hair. Even dolphins have hair (around their beak, though most species lose it shortly after birth).




*Admittedly 3.5 half dragons didn't have wings unless they were large size or larger, which bugs me from an aerodynamic standpoint, as you need wings that are twice as large relative to the body as the body size doubles in order to maintain flight (square-cube law).

**3.5 half dragons have their own issues, such as their breath weapon save DC being based on base creature HD, which does not include class hit die. I had Wizards confirm this, despite making no sense (sure, it makes half dragon T-rexes fucking scary, but your more common half-dragon half-humanoids with class levels pushovers at higher levels, not to mention being completely useless as a PC).
Ol' Scratch
QUOTE (TeknoDragon @ Nov 16 2009, 08:38 AM) *
Exactly. However, I am thinking part of the failure is a lack of general purpose 'oh, cool!' in my short notes on the sauric race.

I think it's more that they really just don't fit the setting at all. What you described is just a super freaky changeling that surpasses even a lot of Class III types. And it's very unlikely there'd be enough of them around to qualify as an entire race as written. Especially when the setting already has a potential draconic race available in the T'skrang who, aside from feeling right, also fill a much welcomed niche (by being another charismatic race to give Elves a run for their money).

I mean, it just comes from out of left-field with no support or logic behind it. They don't look right, they don't feel right, and they don't fit the setting very well if at all. All of which is why you're probably not receiving the kind of response you may have been hoping for.
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