Terran Empire (Humans)

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KimballJ
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Terran Empire (Humans)

#1 Post by KimballJ » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:24 pm

I really wasn't much for the other two Human factions I saw here: Human Republic was too cliché (IMHO) with democracy and free speech and other sweet, good things. Genus Hominum was slightly Eurocentric (it might have been the dark ages in Europe, but in China, Persia, Arabia, and others, culture was flourishing) and having a Roman backdrop seemed cliché to me as well (IMHO as well, and no offence to anyone).

So I decided to try my hand at making my own Humans, trying to be interesting and break the cliché.


Terran Empire (Humans)

Intro:
A barbaric and bloodthirsty species whose entire history consisted mainly of killing and enslaving each other and whose greatest technological achievements arose from finding new ways of doing such things.


Homeworld:
(Earth) A once lush ecological paradise, now a blasted wasteland due to planetary nuclear exchanges, a runaway greenhouse effect and environmental abuse.


Reason for leaving home planet:
Too inhospitable for comfortable survival.


Physical Description:
Having once called home a large, high gravity, rocky planet, humans are a predatorial race who are comparatively built sturdier and stronger than most species. Living on a world with even larger predators and tougher herd beasts, has given them hunter and killer instincts which gives them an edge in combat.

Two forward facing eyes gives these predatorial creatures superb depth perception and peripheral vision, allowing them great accuracy with ranged weapons, an advantage they exploit in space warfare. A bipedal frame allows for swift movement, whilst two dexterous arms allow for the manipulation of various forms of weaponry, all limbs, however, are weapons in their own right. Not known for their honour or valour in battle, but rather for their brutal and bloodthirsty efficiency when it gets down and dirty, this species is truly a terrifying sight to behold. Opposing fleets and regiments will often abandon their posts as they know their fate is either enslavement or death. Only sheer numbers or technological weight can offset what nature has given these natural killers.


History:
Dwindling oil supplies sometime in the 21st Century plunged the Nations of the Earth into conflict once again. Limited nuclear exchanges between nations competing for the last remaining oil reserves escalated into full blown nuclear wars as old alliances crumbled and the United Nations lost all power to keep the peace.

It was every country for itself, as unrest began to brew at home, the powerful Interventionist nations such as America couldn't afford to send their assets to far flung corners of the globe. Nations were on constant alert as enemy saboteurs and even entire armies were beginning to attack other countries to capture and steal supplies of vital Hydrocarbons.

Terran society is powered by oil, and without sufficient oil left for production and research, new scientific breakthroughs which could have halted the greenhouse effect never came into play, condemning the world to a slow death as civilization crumbled as technological advances dependant on oil no longer functioned.

As nations collapsed, no corner of the earth was untouched by conflict. Local militias and tribes began to form, mirroring the early, uncultured history of humankind once more. Incessant fighting continued for decades, under a dark and blackened nuclear winter sky.

Amidst the decaying ruins of the once prideful human civilizations, a new power began to stir. Ruling through fear and force of arms, a dictatorial warlord emerged from the ashes. With his makeshift palace built on one of the few reaming nuclear stockpiles he threatened the world into submission with promise of nuclear annihilation should any resist.

Crowning himself Emperor, he and his privileged noble class lived lavishly off the last gasps of a dying world whilst those under his iron heel subsisted in squalor. He began to rebuild his new Empire in a Tyrannical and Elitist fashion.

After some time, the remnants of an unknown alien refugee fleet, the final survivors of their species, arrived on the Terran's doorstep, begging for shelter. After communication links with Human scientists were established the Emperor, although fiercely disgusted at their appearance, allowed them refuge on his world. He had ulterior motives.

Once they had landed, the Emperor and his Terror Guard massacred the aliens, and, stealing away on the aliens' ships, left with the handful of their Upper Classes, leaving the commoners to rot on a dying world.

They settled and began anew on a world similar to their old Earth: an ecological paradise. Despite having back engineered the ships' technologies, they still needed quick a source of power, and old habits die hard. They once again turned to fossil fuels to power their industries and machines. The Emperor desired mass production for his expansionist ideals and for the Noble class to live a pampered lifestyle. For this, he envisioned vast armies of slaves, who would labour in industry and work the fields at the tip of a whip and the point of a gun and be ready to perform any service at the whim of the masters. He got his wish.

Social Structure:
The Emperor rules with an iron fist from a bloody throne. The society he oversees is cut-throat with sons murdering fathers for position of Duke or Noble and Imperial Princes committing fratricide to be the next in line for the throne. The Noble families jockey with each other for power, to see who can gain enough of it to usurp the Throne and crown their leader Emperor. However, any Emperor strong enough to survive in this society will have his Terror Guard breathing down everyone's necks so as to prevent any organised movement against him.

Barons, Dukes and other Nobles administer the provinces with equally iron-handed nature and the commoner, reduced to a Serf, is forced harsh working conditions upon him. Serfs are often whipped, beaten and killed by Nobles to work faster, or simply for the sadistic fun of it. In the early days of the Empire, these lower classes were fellow Humans, however as the Empire expanded and enslaved, human serfs have been gradually climbing the social ladder as they were replaced by Alien slaves.

All humans of Noble birth (now having met and enslaved large populations of aliens, almost all Humans are considered noble) go through a Spartan style militaristic educational system. They know that they cannot continue expanding and keeping the lower classes under their jackboot without martial prowess to back up their threats of force.

Humans are extremely xenophobic and view all other species as inferior. Nowadays, they see themselves as the blue blooded aristocrats of the Cosmos and if a human chooses to harm a non-human, they can do so with impunity. The Emperor and the Nobles frequently sabre rattle with neighbouring alien nations, and would gladly follow through on those threats given half the chance: they are always eager to expand their holdings and gain new slaves.



Racial Attributes:
All their technology has come from the back engineered spacecraft stolen from the Alien refugees to their home planet. As such, they have little technology of their own and scientific advancements are slower than normal.

Their brutal slaver nature increases production and their ability to control enslaved populations.

They are xenophobic, thus attempting to trade or conduct diplomacy with them will be difficult. They also have high loyalty to the Empire

They are racist/speciest – every enslaved world will boost morale. Exterminating entire planets gives a one time morale spike

Being a warlike species, they receive boosts to space and ground combat

Emperors and Nobles want to increase their own holdings, they are very expansionist

Due to their hatred of other species (and their reputation for this hatred), they do not spy much, and any spying attempts have little chance of success because a Human would need a very good excuse to be around 'filthy aliens'. Conversely, their anti-spy defence is high.


Back Engineered Tech – Slower research. Relies on stealing technological advancements from conquered worlds and captured ships
Xenophobic – Decreases diplomatic and trade ability. Increases Loyalty
Slavers – Increases production (everywhere, but most greatly on enslaved worlds) and control of enslaved populations
Racist – Enslaved worlds add to Human only, Empire wide morale. Exterminated worlds give one time morale spike and reduces dissent in slave worlds. Captured planets can never integrate, they are always held as slaves
Warlike – Moderate Space Combat boost with greater Ground Combat bonuses
Expansionist – Morale boost (only for Humans in the Empire) for every captured/colonised world
Population growth is slow. Despite wanting heirs, only one person can be a Duke or the Emperor at one time, and with more children to fight over inheritance, dissent is bound to occur
Spying ability greatly decreased, however spy defence is immensely increased
Terran society is powered by burning Hydrocarbons and Oil for fuel, an inefficient form of energy. Ship movement range is penalized.
Slight reduction in planet quality due to disregard for the environment and the burning of oil, creating greenhouse effects.

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Bigjoe5
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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#2 Post by Bigjoe5 » Thu Feb 19, 2009 8:36 pm

KimballJ wrote:Intro:
A barbaric and bloodthirsty species whose entire history consisted mainly of killing and enslaving each other and whose greatest technological achievements arose from finding new ways of doing such things.


Homeworld:
(Earth) A once lush ecological paradise, now a blasted wasteland due to planetary nuclear exchanges, a runaway greenhouse effect and environmental abuse.
Cause that's not cliche at all....

I actually can't fathom how you could believe that a band of Roman scientists hiding underground for 2000 years is cliche.
Having once called home a large, high gravity, rocky planet, humans are a predatorial race who are comparatively built sturdier and stronger than most species. Living on a world with even larger predators and tougher herd beasts, has given them hunter and killer instincts which gives them an edge in combat.
I agree that's not cliche, but it's not believable because Earth's gravity just isn't that high...or it's terrain that rocky.
Two forward facing eyes gives these predatorial creatures superb depth perception and peripheral vision, allowing them great accuracy with ranged weapons, an advantage they exploit in space warfare. A bipedal frame allows for swift movement, whilst two dexterous arms allow for the manipulation of various forms of weaponry, all limbs, however, are weapons in their own right. Not known for their honour or valour in battle, but rather for their brutal and bloodthirsty efficiency when it gets down and dirty, this species is truly a terrifying sight to behold. Opposing fleets and regiments will often abandon their posts as they know their fate is either enslavement or death. Only sheer numbers or technological weight can offset what nature has given these natural killers.
Compare.

Your race, while acceptable, seems more cliche than either of the forms you are trying to replace. If you're going to surprise the player with the attributes of the Humans, you need a legitimate excuse for it, as seen here.

Yes, I am saying mine's better.
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eleazar
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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#3 Post by eleazar » Thu Feb 19, 2009 10:03 pm

KimballJ wrote:Physical Description:
Having once called home a large, high gravity, rocky planet, humans are a predatorial race who are comparatively built sturdier and stronger than most species. Living on a world with even larger predators and tougher herd beasts, has given them hunter and killer instincts which gives them an edge in combat.

Two forward facing eyes gives these predatorial creatures superb depth perception and peripheral vision, allowing them great accuracy with ranged weapons, an advantage they exploit in space warfare. A bipedal frame allows for swift movement, whilst two dexterous arms allow for the manipulation of various forms of weaponry, all limbs, however, are weapons in their own right.
A lot of this isn't remotely true. Is this supposed to be some alternate reality?

There were/are lots of creatures much sturdier, stronger, and with better built-in weapons. A human kick or punch is meaningless compared to the kick or a horse the butt of an ox's head. Without some sort of artificial weapon a human is at a disadvantage to the vast majority of animals of equal size.

Our peripheral vision is lousy compared to most herbivores, since eye placement favors either depth perception or peripheral vision. I don't believe our depth perception is remarkable for a carnivore.

Bipedalism may have an incidental connection to speed, but if you consider how many 4-legged species are much faster, i don't think we have anything to brag about there.

The main reason human can kill at will and are seldom killed by other species is our brains, though our dexterous hands are important too. Brains and hands led to the huge accumulated advantage of technology, but is still the main advantages of humanity in pre-technological societies.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#4 Post by KimballJ » Thu Feb 19, 2009 11:34 pm

eleazar wrote:
There were/are lots of creatures much sturdier, stronger, and with better built-in weapons. A human kick or punch is meaningless compared to the kick or a horse the butt of an ox's head. Without some sort of artificial weapon a human is at a disadvantage to the vast majority of animals of equal size.

Yes, exactly, having to deal with these creatures gives humans an advantage. I'm not talking about a comparison of us with other earth species, I'm talking about a comparison of us with alien species. With Earth being the largest rocky planet in the system, it is assumable that compartively, it is also larger in terms of other solar systems, meaning that the creatures which live there are going to be stronger as a result of higher gravity than other creatures.

So for example, humans would be sturdier than something evolved on mars, for example which only has about a third of Earth gravity, however, humans having to deal with even sturdier predator and prey animals have made them comparitively robust

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#5 Post by eleazar » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:14 am

KimballJ wrote:Yes, exactly, having to deal with these creatures gives humans an advantage. I'm not talking about a comparison of us with other earth species, I'm talking about a comparison of us with alien species.
Ahh, that wasn't clear.
KimballJ wrote:With Earth being the largest rocky planet in the system, it is assumable that compartively, it is also larger in terms of other solar systems, meaning that the creatures which live there are going to be stronger as a result of higher gravity than other creatures.
We don't know anything about the distribution of earth-sized or smaller planets out there, since we can't currently detect them, but astronomers have in the last few years discovered quite a few "super-earths" i.e. terrestrial planets larger than Earth.
There's no know reason to make it less likely that a random planet shouldn't be any of the sizes between earth and the smallest gas giant.


But that's actual science and not extremely important to FO. More to the point, FO has 5 sizes of terrestrial (rocky) planets, tiny to huge, and the middle one is supposed to roughly correspond to Earth's size.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#6 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 12:54 am

eleazar wrote: There were/are lots of creatures much sturdier, stronger, and with better built-in weapons. A human kick or punch is meaningless compared to the kick or a horse the butt of an ox's head. Without some sort of artificial weapon a human is at a disadvantage to the vast majority of animals of equal size.
Clearly you've never studied karate. ;)

But in all honesty, if you're going to take the Humans in a totally different direction, you need a realistic reason to point them in that direction (since we're talking about backstories rather than actual gameplay, realism - or at the very least verisimilitude - is vital).
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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#7 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:17 am

Actually, I have to say I'm surprised.

The key thing in any description of "Humans" backstory, if they are going to be interesting at all, is that it sounds like it was done by a species that is not human... but a 'galactic average' ... which can be anywhere with repect to humans. Why are Humans particularly Democratic/Diplomatic in MOO2? because the 'galactic average' is less social/more dictatorial than humans are.

I think this is an excellent idea for a human empire, even if it does have a few too many "special" effects.

The only way to make a Human empire more "realistic" is to make it similar to the Human powers of today, as they compare to each other.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#8 Post by dissident » Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:55 am

ok, i like the general idea of us not being the star trek-style welldoers spreading the word of freedom. to add my 2 cent i think you overburden that species a little bit. beeing at constant war with each other and with exterior races is not a thing that works out well for an empire of that dimensions. take a look at what the thirty year's war or the hundred year's war have done to country and people and you get an idea of what it means to have such a situation on a cosmic scale with nuclear weaponry (or worse) at hand for nearly everybody: burnded planets inhabitted by starving people, which is no long term foundation for an empire.

look at human society in frank herbert's dune for example (one of those i like most): they are archaic and feudal and more than happy to cut each others throat when the chance arises, but there is a system of checks and balances to keep them from wiping each other out. there is a monopoly in space travel and use of nuclear weapons and thinking machines is forbidden, and if any faction should use them it would be under the threat of turning every other faction against itself. this keeps it somewhat stable but the overall flavour si close to your society.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#9 Post by Krikkitone » Fri Feb 20, 2009 4:39 pm

Well they're not at war with each other and not Constantly at war with the outside... It's just the outside is seen only as a source of slaves. Not the most efficient workforce, but not totally ineffective either.

in Frank herbert's dune there were no "outsiders"... add a massive alien slave class and that's what this society would "want" to end up as. (enslave all their neighbors.. and make all humans backstabing, scheming nobles)

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#10 Post by Tortanick » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:40 pm

Why do we have to have humans anyway? All the problems of avoiding bias because they're us, avoiding cliché because every sci-fi show has them and trying to fit many different intricate cultures into the simplistic limitations of a 4X game could be avoided nicely by just sticking to aliens. Plus we'd get more interesting biologies.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#11 Post by Bigjoe5 » Fri Feb 20, 2009 9:46 pm

Tortanick wrote:Why do we have to have humans anyway? All the problems of avoiding bias because they're us, avoiding cliché because every sci-fi show has them and trying to fit many different intricate cultures into the simplistic limitations of a 4X game could be avoided nicely by just sticking to aliens. Plus we'd get more interesting biologies.
Because if we do it right, we can earn a reputation for having interesting, creative, and non-cliche humans in our game. ;)
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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#12 Post by Krikkitone » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:17 am

Of course we could make it so that Humans are not a "stock" race instead they are a race that you can only pick if you are going to customize them. (and the computer, if using them could choose random picks)
[or you could pick them as a stock race but they would get AI or Random selected picks]


... backstory:
Stories about human history are more numerous than there are historians. All that is known for certain about this race is what has been learned recently.

Traits:
????
Last edited by Krikkitone on Sat Feb 21, 2009 8:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#13 Post by utilae » Sat Feb 21, 2009 5:30 am

I like it alot !
=)

Go the evil war mongering human race !!

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#14 Post by eleazar » Sat Feb 21, 2009 6:06 am

Tortanick wrote:Why do we have to have humans anyway?
Because many people perfer people.
Many people can't empathize with something that isn't very humanoid and/or humanoid with a head like their favorite pet. I don't know how big the group is, but the sort of aliens that make up most of sci-fi seem to indicate it's a large chunk. Sure that's sorta lame, but these problem you want to avoid aren't really a big deal.

Besides including humans in the mix adds context to the alienness of the aliens.

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Re: Terran Empire (Humans)

#15 Post by Tortanick » Sat Feb 21, 2009 9:19 am

Krikkitone wrote:Of course we could make it so that Humans are not a "stock" race instead they are a race that you can only pick if you are going to customize them. (and the computer, if using them could choose random picks)
[or you could pick them as a stock race but they would get AI or Random selected picks]
I actually like that quite a bit (just don't limit customized races to humans only), in sci-fi often each alien has a single culture for the entire species while humans are still as multicultural as today, the description could play on that:

Culture: reports are highly conflicting, we have herd of humans living in democratic sates where every person is given inalienable rights, we have reports of communist dictatorships where the state rules from the top and corupt military juntas where the government barely rules.

The belief's of humans are equally hard to determine, we have reports that dominant faith is monotheistic but the details vary widely in every report, then we have evidence of devout polytheism and others that claim humans have been atheist since before leaving their home planet.

From this we believe the most likely conclusion is that Humans are a skilled and secretive race of spies running an extremely effective disinformation campaign.

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