Organic ships or even space creatures

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 27, 2015 - 11:03am
I was thinking about the TNG episode Tin Man and Farescape and creatures that live in Space. Would their radar profile significantly difer from that of a std. Starship? Energy sensor detection- IR should turn up the ship but would such a ship/creature only read as a sensor ghost at med to long range?
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!
Comments:

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
February 27, 2015 - 8:41pm
For organic ships, just think of how the ships of the Minbari, Vorlons and Shadows shown up on sensors, for the most part they didn't because of the advance technology of those races. But I think in Crusade they came upon some alien space life and could detect it with the usual sensors. And then it tried to get fresh with Gideon's ship.
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

KRingway's picture
KRingway
February 28, 2015 - 11:44am
If they radiate any sort of heat they're going to be detected from a very long way away.

Jaxon's picture
Jaxon
February 28, 2015 - 3:48pm
How about growing a ship...like CrobraLa


RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
February 28, 2015 - 9:01pm
"Living" organisms (birds, people, etc) tend not to show up well on radar as they absorb rather than reflect the energy. Bigger mass' however are going to show and there will be a rather large thermal image even if they don't "register" that well on a normal sensor suite. In most cases any ship that is putting out a "power" signature is going to show up well. The more power the bigger the signature and spaceships are big emitters in what amounts to empty space. (Hence the nominal rule of "no stealth in space") With the right sensors (and they are not expensive or high-tech, you pretty much JUST have to be looking in the right direction) the Space Shuttles manuvering thrusters could be spotted out to around Jupiters orbit and the main engines out to pluto.

On the other hand an organic ship might not use a drive that it (at first) recognizable to sensors made to look for more "tech" signatures. My thinking currently, (and this as good a thread as any to solict opinions :) ) is that Zurraquor bio-ships actually use a form of telekenisis for propulsion that at first won't register on energy sensors but once they are adjusted they pick up just as well. (Really radar is obviously going to show a change in vector even if the ship doesn't have a "drive" signature and I'm going to assume even biological/psionic process produce some heat which will be clear)

Gives a good "reason" why Zurraquor ships are classed the way they are as well. Being organic they won't probably have the same "standardized" look as a tech ship so they are classed by mass more than hull size.

Randy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
February 28, 2015 - 10:39pm
I think any biological ships would have to have been the product of bio-engineering by advanced species like the tetrarchs, klikk or even the sathar.

If it was the sathar they would adapt the reflective skin of the quick death for the ship.

the ship might process water and separate it into oxygen and hydrogen (ice is actually readily available in space) - perhaps it might be possible for such a ship to use ion propulsion?

If I was to use this in SF I would go 1 of 2 ways: The ship is discovered and its old and a mystery with its makers unknown and a mystery or its a sathar weapon being actively used in a new plot.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
March 1, 2015 - 4:18pm
jedion357 wrote:
I think any biological ships would have to have been the product of bio-engineering by advanced species like the tetrarchs, klikk or even the sathar.

Any of the above though Klikk and Sathar haven't "evidenced" any such prior to this point. I chose the Zurraquor becasue they show no evidence of a space infrastructure and I an see them "shooting" a ship-seed kernal towards a likely looking asteroid, where it grows and assemblies itself. (Admititidly I'm using a specifically more fractus and "colony-insect" outlook to justify an already existing, but needs to be re-written, scenerio/adventure of a similar insectoid species used in another game system long-ago :) )

Quote:
If it was the sathar they would adapt the reflective skin of the quick death for the ship.

I was going with that as a given no matter the source. I was also having them produce "water" for masking screens and generate EM shields but biologically rather than mechanically.

Quote:
the ship might process water and separate it into oxygen and hydrogen (ice is actually readily available in space) - perhaps it might be possible for such a ship to use ion propulsion?

We already do a basic type of "bio-mining" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biomining) which with advanced bioengineering would make the process simpler. Ion even nuclear drives are possible given a sophisticated bioship that can produce and use processed metals and bio-chemical process' for other materials and combining them with a biological rather than technical basis. I was trying to avoid another similar drive system and was thinking that the TK propulsion along with the bio-ship basics would make them harder to "lock-onto" and hit. (In this case the "reflective" skin would be more akin to an absorbing skin to keep the energy rather than deflect it away. Reflec-hull in my SFU raises a ships "signature" level making it somewhat easier to hit but taking less damage from laser weapons)

Quote:
If I was to use this in SF I would go 1 of 2 ways: The ship is discovered and its old and a mystery with its makers unknown and a mystery or its a sathar weapon being actively used in a new plot.

Part of my reasoning is that I wanted to greatly differentiate between the Zurraquor and the Vrusk as insectiod aliens. Having them "cooperate" with the Sathar in building a new combat vehicle (possibly the same one that built Juggernaut) is certainly possible. Having it as a ancient, wandering super-weapon (ala-ST-TOS "World Eater") which threatens the Frontier or Rim (as it would "eat" asteroids, spaceships, what-ever to replenish biological supplies as well as energy) would be a great adventure seed as well.

Thought? The Sathar actively luring the "planet-eater" towards one of its enimies...

Randy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 1, 2015 - 4:58pm
@ RanulfC: The alternity module Klikk Klakk suggests (alittle) that the klikks are into bioengineering. Its not strictly cannon but sort of like a distant relative.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
March 1, 2015 - 5:54pm
jedion357 wrote:
@ RanulfC: The alternity module Klikk Klakk suggests (alittle) that the klikks are into bioengineering. Its not strictly cannon but sort of like a distant relative.

Hadn't actually seen that one.

Randy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 1, 2015 - 6:05pm
RanulfC wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
@ RanulfC: The alternity module Klikk Klakk suggests (alittle) that the klikks are into bioengineering. Its not strictly cannon but sort of like a distant relative.

Hadn't actually seen that one.

Randy


I think its worth picking up. Even if its only to see new artwork. They gave the klick an asteroid ship the map has numbered locations any you determine randomly with a deck of cards how these locations are connected with tunnels. IIRC the tunnels were sort of organic and open up and close off during the adventrue. This might be a good model for you to do a zuraquor bio/asteroid ship. The module also tries to go for a creepy factor too.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Sargonarhes's picture
Sargonarhes
March 1, 2015 - 8:04pm
RanulfC wrote:
I was going with that as a given no matter the source. I was also having them produce "water" for masking screens and generate EM shields but biologically rather than mechanically.

Randy


Wouldn't this have the effect of almost unlimited masking screens?
In every age, in every place, the deeds of men remain the same.

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
March 2, 2015 - 4:07pm
Sargonarhes wrote:
RanulfC wrote:
I was going with that as a given no matter the source. I was also having them produce "water" for masking screens and generate EM shields but biologically rather than mechanically.
 

Wouldn't this have the effect of almost unlimited masking screens?

Technically? :) Biological process tend to have "water" as a waste product yes but think about how useful water is for other process' and systems...

Randy

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
March 2, 2015 - 4:10pm
jedion357 wrote:
RanulfC wrote:
jedion357 wrote:
@ RanulfC: The alternity module Klikk Klakk suggests (alittle) that the klikks are into bioengineering. Its not strictly cannon but sort of like a distant relative.

Hadn't actually seen that one.

I think its worth picking up. Even if its only to see new artwork. They gave the klick an asteroid ship the map has numbered locations any you determine randomly with a deck of cards how these locations are connected with tunnels. IIRC the tunnels were sort of organic and open up and close off during the adventrue. This might be a good model for you to do a zuraquor bio/asteroid ship. The module also tries to go for a creepy factor too.

Where would I get it at? My google fu has failed me

RAndy

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 2, 2015 - 4:31pm
Its an out of print alternity module. You might get a peak at it on Scribd.com or another document/pdf sharing website. But best bet is ebay. I'll double check spelling when I get home.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 2, 2015 - 4:32pm
Its an out of print alternity module. You might get a peak at it on Scribd.com or another document/pdf sharing website. But best bet is ebay. I'll double check spelling when I get home.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

TerlObar's picture
TerlObar
March 3, 2015 - 5:05am
The module is called Klick Clack and it's from their Star Drive setting.
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jedion357's picture
jedion357
March 3, 2015 - 7:01am
Written by Steve Winter,
http://www.ebay.com/itm/KLICK-CLACK-11364-VF-STAR-DRIVE-TSR-Adventure-Module-Alternity-Stardrive-/191496753488?pt=LH_DefaultDoma...

The buy it now price on this listing is possibly not to your liking.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
March 3, 2015 - 6:02pm
$50.00 bucks with $4.00 S&H? I didn't even pay that much for my SF modules or game, or BR mods, old D&D stuff, etc...

That from an original $9.00 retail.

Randy

Rum Rogue's picture
Rum Rogue
March 4, 2015 - 7:39pm
TerlObar wrote:
The module is called Klick Clack and it's from their Star Drive setting.


Get it here free while is lasts. I bought it as a pdf years ago.  I choose to share it for a while.

http://www.starfrontiers.us/files/Alternity%20-%20Stardrive%20-%20Klick%20Clack.pdf
Time flies when your having rum.

Im a government employee, I dont goof-off. I constructively abuse my time.

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
April 5, 2015 - 5:23pm
Thank you sir I shall puruse it :)

Randy

SFAndroid's picture
SFAndroid
April 2, 2015 - 9:23am
Maybe something like the Acanti in the Marvel Universe?

Look on Wikipedia (can't make the link work). Can you imagine a jump capable space creature?
You can't argue with the invincibly ignorant. - William F. Buckley

RanulfC's picture
RanulfC
April 5, 2015 - 5:30pm
Creatures living in the "Void" were part of the background of my SFU as occasionally a ship would arrive back in the "real" universe missing some pieces and occasionaly having aquired "something" along the way :)

Like the "Nightflyers" (novella version, not the film http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nightflyers) I have the Zurraquor using telekinisis as a "drive" and no way of any other race being able to 'technically' adapt it for their ships.

Randy 

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 19, 2015 - 6:01am
I think it is completely viable for space critters & void beings to exist... small & large scale. 

I am thinking what if there is a critter like barnacles out there... that latch onto floating by space objects & build colonies in the past it would be some hunk of rock, but they could do ships. The question is what do they eat, how do they fit into the eco-system. They would be hard to get rid of critters I would think.

Seems to me in a novel there is a race of aliens that only travel STL because they have some sort of relationship with a huge space critter that is STL. 

Far Scape had a critter that attacked the living ship. It reminded me of a big fungi (not mushroom like, but the stringy sort)

Then there is also the possibility that Void Space is more complicated than just 1 Void space? What if a ship can get "stuck" between "levels" that no one knew existed, or enter a sort of different Void frequency with all sorts of weirdness, life forms etc. 

In the Marvel Movie Guardians of the Galaxy, they have a mining colony/illegal colony in the head of a giant dead being in space: Knowhere.

Living Space Hazards could be a real problem, rare but real.

Cybernetic or cyberbio engineered life could also be a problem.
 








 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 20, 2015 - 6:17am
Barnicles and fungi- not what I was thinking in the beginning but both are probably more viable than say a Farscape style ship.

I like the barnicle colony idea a lot. workin the iron shell of this creature:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaly-foot_gastropod
It comsumes metals from asteroids and will do the same on ships to make its shell.
It releases spores that float through space till they land on a suitable object. The barnicle can also go dormant if current metal supplies have been exhausted- it will remain in place on its host or "go spore" and drift. Its asexul in its reproduction.

Space fungi exists in dust cloads, ships pick it up from flying through a dust nebula.

EDIT: the barnicle could be an ancient bio weapon released in a system to devistate space infrastructure.

I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 20, 2015 - 9:52am
That would be perfect... oh and I think the bioweapon angle is good, but I would make it way older than the Sathar... one of those special toy surprises from some long forgotten war between long dead cultures.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 20, 2015 - 11:29am
Tchklinxa wrote:
That would be perfect... oh and I think the bioweapon angle is good, but I would make it way older than the Sathar... one of those special toy surprises from some long forgotten war between long dead cultures.


That was my feelings  on this as well, not sathar. Something ancient.

However, the klikks have been active in the Frontier for 700 ish years and the sathar for 900. What if this was a bio weapon deployed against the sathar? and now a whole sathar home system is quarrentined by the sathar meaning they wont go there?

Reguardless of who was the attacker and the attackee I see this playing out this way:

The barnacle lifefrom is well colonized in the asteroid belt and where there was heavy space infrastructure.

Other methods were employed against the planet but some survivors has persisted on the planet, though knocked back to stone age or barbarism.

EDIT: Building an adventure around this: PCs ship is exploring/scouting system and encounters the barnacle life form in the natural way that its encountered and the PCs must deal with the threat.

Latter they discover a husk of a sathar or other ship that is barnacle covered and almost completely eaten through. Can the PCs board it and recover useful information? Note the action of the barnacles will have undermined radiation shielding and atomic drive fuel and the drives themselves will pose a threat. bulkheads are buckling and giving way so this is a non standard ship boarding.

Later they must land and explore the planet, deal with surviving locals and hostile organisms and obtain objectives on the surface.

It looks like a Space fleet/Militia/ UPF scout service mition. though PCs could be mega corp mercenary team tasked with obtaining potential tech for the corporation's weapons developement program.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 20, 2015 - 5:45pm
That sounds like a great adventure scenerio. 

I was also thinking what about a critter that loves to yum up radiation... it would be attracted to ship exhaust & engines, could be big or small...

It would be a real downer to discover your fuel pellets are no longer radioactive cause something had a snack, could be bacteria or a blob creature or something else altogether.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."

jedion357's picture
jedion357
April 21, 2015 - 3:34am
Tchklinxa wrote:
That sounds like a great adventure scenerio. 

I was also thinking what about a critter that loves to yum up radiation... it would be attracted to ship exhaust & engines, could be big or small...

It would be a real downer to discover your fuel pellets are no longer radioactive cause something had a snack, could be bacteria or a blob creature or something else altogether.


Fighting it would be a pain as it would be radioactive.
I might not be a dralasite, vrusk or yazirian but I do play one in Star Frontiers!

Tchklinxa's picture
Tchklinxa
April 21, 2015 - 4:57am
Exactly what I was thinking... contaminating areas of the ship.

A creature like in Star Wars that sucks energy off of the cabling would seem like a nice pest compaired to a fuel pellet muncher. Though I think an electricity eater should be able to generate a good zap.

Or how about something like this from Niven's stuff: " very advanced, fragile aliens shaped like cats o' nine tails that, according to Ringworld, probably evolved on a cold, low gravity world resembling Nereid. Most of them live on big ships, crossing interstellar space at sublight velocities and trading in information and technology. According to A Gift From Earth, they find hyperspace vulgar. In the Fleet of Worlds books it is suggested that hyperspace might actually be lethal to them, as their body chemistry relies on real or artificial sunlight. Because of the nature of their 'ships' this light would be absorbed by the 'blind spot' that manifests in hyperspace. They possess inertial dampers and planetary drives.  The Outsider ships' follow starseeds. The starseeds are gigantic, non-sentient space-dwelling animals that travel from the galactic core to the rim by their solar sails. At the rim they lay their eggs, then travel the 50,000 light-years back to the core. In the Fleet of Worlds books it is suggested that the Starseeds might carry Outsider 'spores' on which the species relies to replenish its numbers."

Starseeds could be reworked to be a critter.
 "Never fire a laser at a mirror."