Life Type of Alien Race

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Life Type of Alien Race

Postby Mjorr on Thu 06 Jan 2022 16:56

In an alternate life-forms campaign, at what point does a race know what life type an alien race is, assuming that it dose not have a population of the alien race to observe.

I am thinking that it would occur at full communications established, that being the point at which government tendency is learned {T1.05.6], but does anyone else have a different idea?

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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby krenshala on Thu 06 Jan 2022 19:43

The combination of locations their populations are known to inhabit should provide the player/empire that finds them quite a bit of information on which life type they are. Population totals at those sites, combined with the type of world (barren, frozen, venusian, terrestrial, etc) is what you would need to know to make that determination. Basically, each different type of colony site you can confirm would allow you to eliminate some of the possible life types, since each one has different limits on where and how much they can colonize.

As for officially in the rules? That, unfortunately, I'm not sure. Others here, however, will more than likely be able to answer that.
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby Mjorr on Thu 06 Jan 2022 22:11

But what if you have no information about the populations of the alien race? Say, if a survey ship from that race has moved into one of your systems, is in the process of first contact/negotiations, and that is your only contact with that race?

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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby krenshala on Sat 08 Jan 2022 12:08

Thats where the SM comes in. :) As I've said, I'm not sure in the rules were it specifies it.
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby Cralis on Mon 10 Jan 2022 02:40

So I had to look into this a little bit, because one of the biggest blindspots in the intelligence system is that there isn't any way to get the kind of information that tells you about the race and/or empire. That's something we are going to be working on in the near future.

In the meantime, something of an answer to your question. One thing that we can improve on is some sort of easy-to-find-and-read listing of what you know and when in this process.

You've already found T1.06.7 for the government tendency.

T3.10.4.2, T3.10.5.1, and T3.10.6.1 says that each of the trade treaties require each empire to report it's total imperial GPV

T3.10.8 says that under a free trade treaty each empire gets a "general range" of each other's racial attributes (See the rule)

T3.13 under a partnership both sides receive full information "about the partner's economic, military, and political systems. Additionally information about warp points, NPRs, and technology may be exchanged." This basically means "you learn everything they are and know"

I thought there was a rule that said you actually learn their life type upon engaging in first contact, and I know that it's been discussed in the past that we might allow a race to choose to hide this until they enter into any kind of trade treaty. But that's not in the rules yet...

And this is also something that is missing from the intelligence rules btw. In the future you'll be able to determine the life type by examining any wreckage or surrendered ship or having a ship within medium sensor range of any population. But that's also not in the current rules yet...
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby misanthropope on Thu 13 Jan 2022 14:01

life support settings would give it away, so some suitable level of tac intel on any ship should suffice.
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby Cralis on Thu 13 Jan 2022 14:31

misanthropope wrote:life support settings would give it away, so some suitable level of tac intel on any ship should suffice.


You're assuming that you are meet face to face. If I was doing first contact, I wouldn't do a face-to-face meeting until I could speak to them AND trust them. I could see radio-only contacts until you trust them enough to negotiate some sort of video interface (protocols and data will be significantly different).

One of the things that has been discussed is the possibility (and capability within the rules) to do first-contact and negotiations "remotely" with no contact what-so-ever. It would take longer and have a greater chance of initial failure, but that is something that I think a paranoid race would desire...
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby krenshala on Sun 16 Jan 2022 17:22

Its not in the rules, but I agree that if you have captured a hull (whether from post battle, a surrender, or any other situation), then you should be able to determine their preferred environment (life type).
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby misanthropope on Mon 17 Jan 2022 20:14

what? no. i am definitely not assuming face to face i AM assuming that if you have scan data, you have far more than the kind of sensor data that will tell you whether ambient onboard the alien vessel is three degrees absolute, or whether it is somewhere around the melting point of aluminum. whether some lesser tac intel level would gain the same specific info i don't know, but i don't think it passes the giggle test to say scan doesn't get you what you need.

this is, imho, one of those things that there is just zero game-play value in making difficult. complicated != clever, as any microsoft sufferer can attest.
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Re: Life Type of Alien Race

Postby Cralis on Thu 20 Jan 2022 22:34

misanthropope wrote:what? no. i am definitely not assuming face to face i AM assuming that if you have scan data, you have far more than the kind of sensor data that will tell you whether ambient onboard the alien vessel is three degrees absolute, or whether it is somewhere around the melting point of aluminum. whether some lesser tac intel level would gain the same specific info i don't know, but i don't think it passes the giggle test to say scan doesn't get you what you need.


Looking at the scan rules at D5.02.5 it's pretty clear that scanning gives you information about the class, any active technology, hull improvements, and hull generation. Weapons if they are fired. The only rules for detecting atmosphere are D4.04.2 and streaming atmosphere from damage.

If I was the SM, I would say that you cannot "scan" and detect the internal atmosphere of a damaged ship.

That said, scanning is not automatic (D5.02.5.1), and must be declared and is detected (D5.02.5.2). T1.03.3.3 states that the Native Response includes stupid war tricks, getting caught trying to hide, cloaking, etc. and now that it's come to my attention; we should probably put "intentionally scanning NPR ships" as causing a war check. But that's not currently in the rules.

Either way, in real life you could potentially detect heat output or some fine details, but it's difficult enough and would probably take some time to analyze (especially if you aren't actively scanning) so the rules don't allow for it.

this is, imho, one of those things that there is just zero game-play value in making difficult. complicated != clever, as any microsoft sufferer can attest.


The rules aren't difficult, trying to determine what is possible without adding in capabilities that are unrealistic and/or too speculative; that is difficult.

Although it occurs to me that we could add a special ability for a diplomat to be able to determine some of these details. It would certainly be the kind of thing that an experienced diplomat might gain a sixth sense about.
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