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Collaborative Xenos Creation Project

Liber Unity Project DIY Liber Xenos The Liber Xenos

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#1
Commissar Molotov

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As part of the Liber Unity Project, this thread exists for us to create and detail a new Xenos race that compliments and exists within the 40k universe. 

 

This image from a former 40k rulebook could perhaps provide us with some inspiration: 

 

IZFEOSG.jpg

 

The challenge here, I think, is in making an alien race that does not clash with the 40k universe - it's easy to be very sci-fi but we want to show the ways in which a new race can be created to enrich the 40k setting rather than detracting from it. 

 

I look forward to your ideas! 


Edited by Commissar Molotov, 15 October 2017 - 03:59 PM.

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#2
Kelborn

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The reptilian specimen in the top right corner somehow reminds me of these guys: the Yinchorri

http://starwars.wiki.../wiki/Yinchorri

 

The first question, which came up in my mind: what kind of xenos do we already have and thus, what is missing?

 

Warhammers' xenos are very rich in culture, past, themes and concepts. And they cover a very broad panoply.

The Tau empire alone consist of several species. Maybe on of their not so well known allies?


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#3
Conn Eremon

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The Tau empire alone consist of several species. Maybe on of their not so well known allies?

 

I think this is the safest and easiest path to take when it comes to creating a brand new xenos species.

 

It's certainly not the only way though. It's true that existing xenos already cover quite a bit for the galaxy at large, but then almost any other alien species wouldn't necessarily be galactic players. About the only one I can think of is that we don't really have an alien civilization that is born of Chaos itself. One that evolves from protoplasm while bathed in the warp, if you will. But that said, I'm in the process of trying to create a species that fills that niche, and I'd rather like to avoid the risk of cross-contamination. laugh.png

 

So with that bias in mind, I'm definitely in favor of a new Tau auxiliary race.

 

Another early-on question is, what general form of life do we make it? Insectoid and reptilian xenos are the most common aliens out there outside of humanoid, so what about either avian or aquatic?

 

Or perhaps both, an amphibious avian. And by amphibious, I don't mean frog-like. Just capable of transitioning from water to land.


Edited by Conn Eremon, 16 October 2017 - 01:13 AM.

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#4
Commissar Molotov

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To confirm to the later requirements of the LIP I would personally prefer we make this alien race a standalone one. For one reason, we aren't 100% sure geographically where these aliens are situated!

There are minor races in the 40k universe, and I think we have scope to create something interesting here.
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#5
Brother Cambrius

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Would it be worth touching on the Barghesi, the violent Xenos species that the Death Spectres keep at bay to prevent the Tyranids devouring their genome?

 

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#6
Commissar Molotov

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As I said in my last post, I don't want the participants of the LUP to be pinned down to one geographical area yet - I want a little bit of flexibility as the various participants move towards completion. That doesn't work with the Barghesi, as they're confined within the Grendl Stars (and then we have other Imperial forces, like the Death Spectres you've mentioned, that we have to work with.)
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#7
Cryptix

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Perhaps a union of interstellar mercenaries, working together to accomplish the goal of conquering their known arm of the Milky Way Galaxy in a twisted mockery of the Great Crusade?


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#8
Commissar Molotov

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It's always tricky when you come up with aliens in the 40k universe - trying to meld concepts that are very "high sci-fi" and placing them in the grim dark universe. 

 

I do like the idea of 'amphibian' aliens, as Conn mentioned. There is a frog-like fellow in a box on the picture who looks very regal, almost. It was making me think of a very hierarchical race with a complex, byzantine structure that governs all aspects of their lives. Clearly the Slaan occupy some of this niche, which is perhaps the only reason not to proceed with the idea. 

 

Are there other concepts or even other alien races we could try to 40kify? 


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#9
walter h

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Kroot, already cover the avian,species.Amphibian, might be possible. Reptilian,like the ,Slaan do offer possibilities, if Skaven were more convertible they would be unique.


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#10
Doctor Perils

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An alternative way to start thinking about this is to think about this alien's social structure - first of, have they even got one? Do they live in a single largeish empire, or on the contrary are they very much divided between many subrealms, or could they even only control one planet?
Do they seem to be of a more democratic or despotic bent? Do they seem mostly destructive (like the orks and tyranids), or are they rather beneficent (like the eldar - perhaps this beneficence hides some darker aspects that aren't obvious at first glance (like the tau); perhaps they are raiders (drukhari) or cuckoos who infest other empires (like the genestealers); perhaps they are completely different?
Do they have rebellious elements? If so, do these elements fall under the sway of other powers, like chaos or the tau empire? Perhaps it is the Base empire that is a vassal of this other power, and the rebels are an independent force, trying to liberate their cousins?


I must admit, I'd quite like to see some forms of fluid alien race, whether gaseous or liquid; or else a superintelligent shade of the colour blue...

Edited by Lord Thørn, 25 October 2017 - 04:51 PM.

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#11
Irbis

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To confirm to the later requirements of the LIP I would personally prefer we make this alien race a standalone one. For one reason, we aren't 100% sure geographically where these aliens are situated!

 

I agree with this. I don't like Tau idea because in the grand scheme of things, Tau are a flea attacking a dog. Their client race would be even more insignificant than this, and their scope would be really limited by what Tau themselves can/can't do and will/won't allow. Tau auxiliaries don't differ that much from Tau itself, being just a slight modifications of the prime concept.

 

Perhaps a union of interstellar mercenaries, working together to accomplish the goal of conquering their known arm of the Milky Way Galaxy in a twisted mockery of the Great Crusade?

 

Hmm. I like this, for one, because I really don't like aliens that feel like humans with some auxiliary rubber bits. Take a look at the page for one - most of these guys are human-slash-animal. What's so interesting in this? You might as well write about humans and be done with pretension.

 

Union of mercenaries reminds me of certain excellent series of books - what if a fleet of some alien empire was thrown through the warp into unknown space and/or time? Maybe they could wander the stars looking to return to base, hiring themselves in return of whatever they need, fuel, munitions, perhaps manpower, even. That would immediately be more original than stellar empire #837432.

 

You could tweak such concept, from being still a few decades from the accident it you wanted them to mostly retain their original looks and keep them mostly monolithic force, to a legendary fleet traveling space for hundreds if not thousands of years, only retaining small core of descendants of original crew if you wanted to make them more diverse. Maybe they even managed to salvage a few DAoT ships or STC designs, making them of immediate interest to a lot of Imperial factions?



#12
Trokair

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I have not participated in one of these before, so if I should not post just at random with my thoughts apologies.

Secondly I have to say I am biased towards reptilian style xenos. I like Lizardmen from old Fantasy, I have had a long time conversion project to bring them in to 40k as an army. I have considered both the Ork and the Demon army lists at various points. Late 5th or early 6th (I think, a while back anyway) I decided on the khornate demon version of the idea as it would involve less converting. I have since expanded that to all four flavours of demons, though a lot needs to be finished converting/painting. I am also still gathering bits for the ork army list conversion and expect I will do that in the next few years as I have gotten better at converting. In terms of fluff the demon lizards are just demons of a different shape but I have tried to make some fluff for the ork version and also designed some units for myself for a lizard army list. Bearing this bias in mind I though that I share some of my general thoughts about a reptilian xenos race I have had.

There are a lot of 40 background references to reptilian aliens, especially in connection to the old one. Same as in Fantasy. Reptilian fauna and megafauna is depicted as fairly common on imperial worlds as well. My reasoning is that after the fall of the old one what was left of their civilisation and their saurus servant race’s civilisation fell into decline and most of the suarus inhabited planned become isolated and regressed to a more primitive from. Hence why there are reptilian fauna all over the galaxy.

While over the ages those that clung on to intelligence and civilisation will have evolved into unique cultures they would have shared similar traits due to their shared origin. I imagine that these “Primal” saurus cultures would be similar to Lizardmen from fantasy in terms of technology, basic with a few relics. Planet bound (or solar system bound maybe but not interstellar). Many of these would have been whipped out during the elder dominance of the galaxy, and then later during the great crusade and imperial age. Some would have survived in the hinterland of planets and engaged in a constant low-level conflict with imperil inheritance.

My ork army conversion would be one of these; they have looted and imperfectly replicated some imperial tech (hence ork level of equipment) as well as their own and some relics. These are fighting for their homeworld with imperial who have settled and are mining for resources.

However I have always toyed with the idea that there is another group of suarus civilisations, the “Advancers”. They are the remnants of the civilisation from the War in Hevan, specifically the parts based in space. The idea is that having suffered the collapse of the Old Ones civilisation, and knowing the threat to planet based life that was the necrons/enslavers (depending on what the current fluff is, I keep on forgetting) they decided to remain in space and hide in the void between star systems. So they used what of left of the Old Ones tech to build giant generation ships/arks that travel at sublight speed. Hollow small moon signed things with the saurus living on the inside.

Over time individual groups become isolated and developed their own culture, but due to higher tech level they could remain in communication with each other and met other arks every few centuries. Because they spend most of their time between star systems and travel through space rather than the wrap they do not get encountered by other civilisations all that often.

Now these arks are nowhere near Craftworld sized, and move considerably quicker. From a more conventional Science fiction point of view imagine that these arks travel at .8 to .9 C and don’t really slow down for/or stop in stars systems unless they want something.

So even if they flew straight through a star system they would be long gone before any large scale response can be mounted. Imperial Authorities would likely dismiss it as a hulk.

I imagine that most of the time the general population would be of the ‘skink’ size. Smaller body size would mean they could have more living in the safe space then larger versions for long periods of time. Then if there was cause for war they would selectively grow into ‘saurus’ size with a few going on to ‘kroxigor’ size. So unlike fantasy where they are distinct species that span readymade this version would metamorphosis/grow larger when required. A bit like how orks grow larger the more/longer the fight/live but with more control when and how they change in size.

As for weapons tech. I think they would have laser based guns for the most part. So something better than lasguns for the basic infantry gun, scatter/multi laser style for the medium/special weapon and Lascannon/prism cannon/ bastiladon crystal for the heavy weapon. Flamers and a melta/plasma hybrid for other special weapons.

So that is a distillation of my general ideas on a reptilian xenos that could be anywhere in the 40k universe with a ready explanation why they are fairly unknown to the imperial authorities

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#13
Heru

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Would it be worth touching on the Barghesi, the violent Xenos species that the Death Spectres keep at bay to prevent the Tyranids devouring their genome?
 
Cambrius

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#14
walter h

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What about a sentient plant species,like the Rulers of the Kree,(marvel,ref.). Using,Trokairs,reptilian concept. Living ships transporting this race between galaxies the skinks doing maintenance, while Saurus warriors ,provide defense with laser weapons.I had an image of the ,Dryad's from the fantasy range guiding this species.


Edited by walter h, 27 October 2017 - 03:25 PM.

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#15
Doctor Perils

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I'd be quite partial to a plant form xenos, I think there are already quite a few reptilian kinds of species out there (including the ancient ones and the dark eldar bodyguards whose name I've forgotten)
Also, the triffids are just the kind of kitsch pulp fiction element that were of inspiration to the early designs of GW ^^

I'd be wary of how you say "living" ships, to avoid confusion with tyranid bioships, but perhaps some kind of vessel that grows naturally would be okay? Perhaps these could be interstellar seed pods?
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#16
Trokair

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Well if we are going plant intelligence let me introduce my Treeranids, which I built up an army of 1500 to 2000p when the Kurnoth Hunters came out. Unfortunately I then discover the that the brown spray paint was redish rather than more brown and tree/bark like so I have not yet got round to undercoating/painting them.

 

A group shot of models from a bunch of units followed by some close-ups.

Hidden Content

 

Any way if we are going with a plant theme how about a plant which evolved a Gaia intelligence (a single global mind) through a interconnect route system of the planets tree equivalents as well as a low level psychic connection. Once the mind had grown from a single starting forest to cover the entire planet it became self-aware. It’s thought process where very slow due to the individual trees acting as neurones in a giant brain. It began to adapt and nurture the rest of the native flora to better suits its purpose. As the mind was partially psychic and of such a large size and complexity it generated its own calm in the nearby wrap (small localised version of the Tyrannid effect). This did mean that it had a natural anti-chaos defense.

 

At some point many centuries/millennia later a more conventional civilization came along and settled on the planet. It took many many years or the Gaia mind to release what was going on and that these small fast things where sentient. So it grew Emissaries that could interact with them. Modeled on the foreign species in terms of body plan the end result was something akin to the Kurnoth Hunter from Fantasy. However before it could make contact another/or more of the same species arrived in the star system and there was a war. (so could be eldar v necrons or humans during the heresy or some other time frame)

 

Once the Gaia realised what was happening and why so much of it was damaged it used its Emissaries to kill the victor of the war that had been fought on its surface. Analysing the remains of machinery and so on the Gaia gained an understanding of the greater universe and how to make star ship engines.

 

Fearing that more foreign species might come and damage it the Gaia used its newfound technology to mine the asteroid belts and other planets for the resources to build Arkships, each of which was seeded with a splinter of its mind that became self-aware and is a daughter mini-Gaia within each Arkship. Each daughter became distinct with its Arkship being its body in the same way that the planet was the Gaia body.

 

Early warpdrive experiments failed. This is because the calming effect on the warp from the Gaia mind's size and psychic component only give a protective effect in real space. In the wrap the low-level psychic field instead becomes a beacon to a feast. As such this method of travel was not developed and instead Arkships would travel at subligth speed. Arkships are part grown, part built with machine based engines as Gaia never managed evolve efficient engines compared to machine built. Given the slower thought process of larger and larger minds slow travel between solar systems was not so much of a problem that it takes centuries to get to places.

 

When an Arkship reaches a new solar system it scouts it and if it deems it safe it gathers the resources to build more Arkships and repair itself/grow. Seeding any new build Arkship with fragments of its own mind new daughters are borne. Every once in a while they will also seed a planet.

 

The Emissaries in the mean time, due to their faster thought process, started to develop theire own culture. Upon recognising this Gaia granted them independence. So as to still communicate with them still Gaia developed the larger Translators (fantasy Treemen equivalent). These could merge into the thought process of Gaia and then separate again whereas before an Emissary would have to die and be absorbed for Gaia to learn what it had learned. Due to the usefulness of the merging in and separating of Translators Gaia and its daughter Arkship will have entire Forests of Translators as part of their thought process.

 

The Emissaries live in Arkships and help maintain and build the mechanical parts. They have develop their own culture which differs between Arkships/Arkfleets (groups of Arkships that have decided to travel together) but in general most revere the Arkship as living gods and tend to them.

 

There are some Emissaries that have split off and gone their own way, either on planets or on purely mechanical ships.

 

When Emissaries have to fight other species they use a combination of grown and shaped voidwood (really hard stuff that Arkships use as their hull) such as swords and so on (basically the Kurnoth weapons) as well as metal made weapons such as guns (starting heavy bolter equivalent for the basic gun and going up to Autocannon equivalent for special weapons). Occasionally Translators join them in battle using similar weapons or Psychics might.

 

I don’t see any need for there to be smaller dryad/tree revanant sised units, in part because dryads are not as detailed, and tree revenants have to humankind spirit parts.

 

So a playable army would have a low model count but each one would be quite large and individual strong.

So in summary, Arkships are grown and built and each is a giant plant/mind. Mechanical engines and similar are maintained by Emissaries, a plant based independent species, which live in the Arks ships due to a shared ancestry. Sound like a plan?

 

Edit: adding some spaces so this is less of a wall of text. 


Edited by Trokair, 27 October 2017 - 08:14 PM.

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#17
Doctor Perils

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I'd very much recommend keeping away from parallels that are too close to existing xenos species: in particular, collective or "hive" minds are very much associated with tyranids in 40k - alternatively, eldar exodites have something similar too, which is a kind of "world spirit", a natur-y version of the infinity circuit if you will.

However, your models look pretty good conversions to the 40k universe, I'm sure they'd be good inspiration if others like the idea of a plant-based faction
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#18
Trokair

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A hive mind is defiantly not what I intended to portray. To me a hive mind means a consciousness that is formed from many minds working together and becoming one. For the Arkship this would be the opposite, one mind splintering into many, and they in turn splintering into more.

 

The Emissaries would be a fully conscious independent species.   

 

You are right though that there should not be too many parallels with other factions. And the Exodied world spirit is a Gaiaform. So that might need some work.

 

What about instead of the Gaia splintering part of its mind to form daughter it instead died from the environmental damage during or after the war between the foreign species. The Emissaries then go to war and wipe out the victor of the war and capture the technology to get into space.

 

In an attempt to revive the Gaia conscious develop/engineer/breed a subspecies (the treemen) to interface with what is left of the Gaian forests and thought fragments. This however never works and over time the ecological infrastructure that hosted the Gaia mind dies out. The treeman species are found to be useful in running the biological side of the Arkships through the mind interface they were designed for. So each Arkship has at its helm a forest of these Treemen.

 

So when an Arkship/Arkfleet reaches a new system the Emissary gather the resources to repair/grow and build new ships to make more living space. They are still limited to sublight speeds due to not having developed any gellarfield (sp?) equivalent so still mostly lurk between the stars.


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#19
Kelborn

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Well...may I throw some bits and ideas, which popped up in my head after reading plant species, in?

 

https://wow.gamepedia.com/Primals

 

787lJuM.jpg

 

Insectoid space ship

 

40ef26e46158d923ada756d9753c1a8b.jpg

 

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#20
Commissar Molotov

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Trokair - your concepts are very detailed - perhaps a little too detailed for this sort of project! The idea is to conceptualise together, and if a concept is too detailed, it can be hard to chop or change. With that said, the Liber Xenos sub-forum would certainly benefit from your creativity and your alien concepts! 

 

I'm trying to think of unusual alien archetypes that we could explore. It's interesting to read posts regarding the social structure of the aliens. With the 40k universe we also have to consider how these creatures move from world-to-world, and how they wage war. We have to create an adversary capable of standing up to the might of the Imperial war machine! 

 

Some thoughts and potential ideas that I had: 

 

  • Some kind of ethereal creature
  • Aquatic creatures, or creatures that breathe a different atmosphere and must fight in sealed suits (some sort of xenos power armour?) 
  • Heavily psychic creatures (though I personally would like to avoid a chaos influence) 
  • A Feline or Canine-esque race (avoiding the Dog Soldiers that already exist in 40k) 
  • A race that inhibits or reanimates the corpses of other races (bringing the undead to 40k?) 
  • A race that doesn't use the warp, but rather cryo-sleep? Once they awake they are a much bigger threat, and retaliate? 
  • A race that heavily and aggressively augments itself with genetic engineering or technology (avoiding the Borg clichés) - they could heavily augment themselves after encountering the Astartes.

 

I do like the idea of a "two-stage" enemy - that is, an enemy that has changed or been altered because of their contact with the Space Marines. They come back different. 

 

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#21
Trokair

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Trokair - your concepts are very detailed - perhaps a little too detailed for this sort of project! The idea is to conceptualise together, and if a concept is too detailed, it can be hard to chop or change. With that said, the Liber Xenos sub-forum would certainly benefit from your creativity and your alien concepts!

Sorry Molotov, that’s the hobbyist science fiction writer in me.
 

Aquatic creatures, or creatures that breathe a different atmosphere and must fight in sealed suits (some sort of xenos power armour?)

Maybe, though it cannot be too far removed from a general norm. If their native environment is to different to what most of the playable races live in then that would reduces a lot of reasons for conflict. Sure there will be specialist equipment that would allow them to come into ‘our’ environment and vice versa. Both Marines and Imperial Guard have been depicted fighting in environments that are far from normal, but those are exceptions. After all what would an underwater based species be fighting on land for? Yes there is always Chaos, different ideologies and what not, but at its base most conflict is over a resource.
Something like this is probably easier to have to a minor degree and then use as justification for why they are always in armour/environmental suits.

 

A Feline or Canine-esque race (avoiding the Dog Soldiers that already exist in 40k)

As long as they are more than just humanoid with cat or dog heads.
 

A race that inhibits or reanimates the corpses of other races (bringing the undead to 40k?

I would suggest we avoid the undead flavour as Necrons, Nurgle plague zombies and Blood Angles already cover a lot of undead tropes.
 

A race that doesn't use the warp, but rather cryo-sleep? Once they awake they are a much bigger threat, and retaliate?

No-wrap travel is a good ploy as it radically changes how a space faring culture would work, hence my Arkship idea above. Talking of Ships and in reference to Kelbron’s post the Moya desing seem alright, while I am not too sure on scale I think it is way too small for interstellar travel at sub-light speed and actually be a threat when it arrived in system.
 

A race that heavily and aggressively augments itself with genetic engineering or technology (avoiding the Borg clichés) - they could heavily augment themselves after encountering the Astartes.

Both Tyranids and Kroot do the biological adaptation game, so if we go for something like this is would have be technological adaptation. Maybe an offshoot species of Jokaero.

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#22
Doctor Perils

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I agree that "undead" archetype already exists in the setting to some extent, as do beings that control humanoids (the enslavers).
Regarding an aquatic species, the easy reason is for acquisition of land and resources - of course, the main reason they attack the shrine world could be vengeance, and the main reason the marines attack them initially could just be for the reason they attack any other alien : "hate the xenos" and all... you don't need to remain too close to the norm, as this is essentially a fluff oriented project, not a modelling one, but of course with the addition of suits there's no problem either way.

I also agree with trokair that a simple cat-headed species would be a bit tame, and though I could also see the possibilities of werewolf trope aliens, the infection aspect can already be seen in genestealers.

I'd also be partial to another interstellar travel option : perhaps an empathic based technology like the Pharos?

With body augmentations, you might skirt either too close to nids and kroot (as trokair says) or to admech if you go with mechanical enhancements. However, if you stick with the aquatic species, you could have modular suits perhaps? Though that might go too close to tau...

I must admit, I'm thinking again of my earlier idea of a gaseous species: perhaps they decide after their initial quasi-destruction by the space marines to craft suits of atmospheric armour that protects them from the imperium's flamer based weaponry and gives them more physical control, and they could then have suits that aren't all humanoid: they'd have different shaped suits for different tasks.
And yes, for some reason I can imagine their basic infantry suit looking like robbie the robot...
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#23
Commissar Molotov

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I have to say that a gaseous creature is my least favourite concept - which perhaps in its own way is the best reason in which to do it. I'm put in the mind, somehow, of the Tholians from Star Trek, being characters in suits that do not operate in human-standard environments. 

 

I'm not sure... are there other alien archetypes we can explore? 


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#24
Conn Eremon

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If we like the idea of aquatic creatures, but don't want to have to deal with species needing entirely different environments than human-standard, there is the previously mentioned amphibious approach. As in a creature that can survive on land but spends the majority of its time in and around water, not an actual amphibian.

 

Which isn't to say we can't do a frog or toad xenos, just want to point out that the phrase 'amphibious' is not exclusive to just those creatures. A beaver is a good example.


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#25
Trokair

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What about crustaceans? Say crabs/spider crabs/sea spider/and similar. They live most of their life in water but can come on land for a time.

When they do have to go on land they use technology to amend their exoskeleton to better survive on land for long periods of time. Then they can augment their shells with other stuff when they need to fight. So for example heavy weapon would be mounted on the back shell rather than carried in their hands/claw/whatever manipulatory instrument they have.

They could also add power armour to their shell for battle or void proof armour for when they need to work in space.

Now with such aliens we would have to make sure that they are distinct in body plan/culture/behaviour from Tyranids as they do have insect vibes and to many people crustaceans are rather similar to insects.

Edited by Trokair, 02 November 2017 - 11:14 PM.

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Archeotech – Treasure Hunt, a Play by Post narrative adventure: Story, Setting and Characters, OOC Thread