Thursday, February 5, 2015

Paying the Noah Tax for Uramkup

OK, having read up on the 'Noah Tax'* I feel compelled to explain why I thought 'Uramkup' by Albert Bailey was so cool I could not resist publishing it. Uramkup is a 30+ page dissertation on an alien species, set nominally in the universe of the StarCluster game, but actually - as Albert uses real world terms, usable in any SF RPG. The last page of the work is a Uramkup species sheet for StarCluster 3, inserted by myself, the editor. This is useful as a comparison, for statting up Uramkup for other games, but it is the only game-specific thing in the paper.

Uramkup is a study. It goes deeply into what this species is, what it does, why it does it, and its relations to and with humanity. This species is not just some almost human with bumpy forehead. Uramkup are distinctly different from humanity in every way. Uramkups have four sexes, and Albert describes their genetics - basically, there are two male-female pairs, each of whom creates an egg, which eventually hatches into a larva. This larval form is intelligent, and persists for several years, but is limited. Eventually, it will fuse with another larva - from the other male-female pair - undergo a pupa transformation, and emerge as an adult Uramkup, far more intelligent and with much greater potential.

Once emerged, Uramkup do not grow. They have thick jointed and articulated shells which are renewed on the underside as they wear on the outside. They have two powerful and flexible legs with bird-like feet, a flexible trunk tipped with a pincer claw, and complex, insect-like mouthparts, all of which are used to manipulate objects - the feet for heavy, gross pulling and lifting, the trunk for moderate weight and control, and the mothpats for extremely fine, light-weight work.

The study covers everything about the Uramkup in detail, from sexual practices to how they organize themselves to religion to their art and architecture. Not all of this is necessary, but the sheer wealth of data allows the reader to see things from a Uramkup perspective. The big problem in playing a real alien is the fact that they are really alien. This paper tells everything about them in a clear and concise manner, so that you can, as it were, wrap yourself in the plates of a Uramkup and play one with confidence.

Man! It is so much easier to write about someone else's work than one's own! :D

*The Noah Tax - if you post about something all excited and fan-ish, you really should say *why* you are so excited, so that other folks will understand.

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