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Offline GMLovlie

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Illustrations of the alien species
« on: June 11, 2013, 07:08:29 AM »
[Disclaimer: I mean no insult by the following post, I apologise in advance if anyone takes offence, it is not my intention!]

Howdy!

So, I've been re-reading the core book lately. I've been looking at illustrations of the various species and to my disappointment there are few, particularly of the Krakuren and the Runcori.

Now reading on the Runcori I thought they sounded pretty cool and fun to play, but ... I guess like with Ithorians in Star Wars, these guys look silly, honestly, I think so, I'm sorry, but the only illustrations give but a general idea of appreance, not how they would appear as spies, soldiers, pilots or entertainers. I'd like more of that, I know, I'm demanding and mean. Sorry, but I'd like their coolness portrayed.

The Ithorians have, through the comic books in particular, received a certain coolness factor (in my opinion at least) by being illustrated and portrayed as cool characters and stuff like that - my players still think they're too funny looking to play, but hey... A better comparison might be the Neti in SW. They are also plants, trees. Even these have received coolness by illustrations - particularly in the Legacy comic book series. I'd like some of this coolness for the Runcori, and for the Krakuren too. They are definitely usable and have cool abilities, but I know that for some players appearance goes a long way - more so than abilities - and I don't like human-only groups.

The illustrations of the Gorsiva and the Madji do their coolness justice and I see them as potential PCs, the Cerans too, but these should also have some more illustrations I think.

I know that I should probably try to do this myself, if my illustration skills were that good I'd love to, but alas my illustration skills usually meet their match at stick man level, or drawing maps on grid-paper.

Anyone know anyone that could draw these species for the various professions? It'd be lovely to show examples of this to (potential) players. I'd much rather have a Runcori soldier than a human soldier, just because it - in my mind - inspires more roleplaying and encourages more dispension of disbelief to play something alien.
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Offline Thom @ ICE

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2013, 11:01:48 AM »
Personally, I think the images drawn match well to the descriptions that they are based upon.  My issue goes more to the description itself, but I believe (Nicholas would need to confirm) that the races/species were heavily influenced by the original management team and while I know I proposed some changes it was decided to move forward with them as is rather than making massive changes so late in the game.

I'll take a look at the descriptions and see if I can come up with some alternate images/descriptions to be used for these same race concepts. 

The description currently reads as shown below, but only the undelined sections are critical for the race itself.  I'd rather see it described more like Swamp Thing personally.

The Runcori are intelligent motile plant-like beings. In height, an “adult” Runcori is about two meters tall from its crown to its walking tendrils. The central tree-like column is 50 cm in diameter and contains the Runcori’s equivalent of a brain. Dozens of walking tendrils, some up to a meter long, emerge from the base of the column. The tendrils serve a second purpose in that the Runcori can extract nutrients and water from soil by temporarily planting itself in suitable ground (or sourcing food from hydroponic tanks). From higher up on the column, dozens of larger thick green “leafy” vines up to half a meter in length spread out to shield and conceal the column in all directions in a mobile network of creepers. These vines photosynthesize light and absorb carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen. In addition, photoreceptors and chemoreceptors on the leaves provide the Runcori with its distributed senses of sight and smell. By reconfiguring the vines into groups, the Runcori can create temporary manipulator arms for itself. At the crown of the column, the hard “bark” gives way to flexible membranes enabling the Runcori to perceive sound and a set of pipelike organs give it a flute-like voice.
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #2 on: June 11, 2013, 01:11:52 PM »
Ah, my point is not the description, or that the art doesn't fit that description. I think the description is pretty cool.

My point is that I'd like to see some illustration of them in action, being soldiers, adepts, fusion pilots, rock stars, techies ... sure Swamp Thing is cool too, but I'd assume, that the Runcori has sub-species and such, probably more diverse than humans at least, so I guess you could have the sub-species Runcorthings that are more akin to swamp thing.. and others more humanoid, and others less humanoid and less mobile - think big Neti stuck in the ground sort of thing, big tree, big trunk, or just... one big piece of sentient log.

My point is that I'd like to see these with gear, handling spaceships (dogfights, starfighters, smuggling runs, blockade running), repair tools, weapons, brawling, dealing drugs, haggling over spare parts in a junk yard. That one image of them in the book doesn't really entice and invite players to coolness - and I think coolness (in as many shapes and colours as cosmically possible) is essential for rpgs and fun gaming. And, to be honest, the description is actually kind of cool, but the image is not - no offence to the artist, but I'm not seeing the coolness that I see, for instance in the Gorsiva. I can definitely see a Gorsiva ninja/assassin/insta'death-type-character in the Gorsiva. I can only imagine it in the Runcori depiction, even if the description and nature of the species is pure ninja-death-dealing-assassin-power-of-nature-gone-mad! The illustration, not so much, more like a disgruntled rucola. Add a bandana, minigun and bandoleer, or a tool set, harness with tools, blow torch, fixing a transport. In a spacesuit (whatever that would look like) outside the hull of a spacestation, suspended in low gravity trying to fix a leak, the space station in a decreasing orbit with more runcori fighting off zerglings (or silth-drones if such exists) attacking en mass -> in space! Or slicing/hacking a computer system while the Gorsiva ally is covering him with a big gun - or the other way around a Gorsiva or Ceran or Madji hacking or trying to disable a lock, while the big runcori (think chewbecca size) is standing guard, or even shooting at pursuing Silth troops.

Basically: more illustrations of the species, in action, with stuff, doing stuff, being mean, being kind, heroic, villainous etcetera ad nauseam.
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2013, 01:13:59 PM »
Same goes for the Krakuren.  :-X
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Offline Thom @ ICE

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2013, 07:06:13 PM »
I guess we have two different preferences... and since Nicholas stuck with the concepts that were originally crafted you won out.  Those are the two descriptions that I like the least.... but I don't mind the races if you modify the descriptions.  I tend to prefer more humanoid creatures.

I do agree with your comments regarding greater use of the new races in illustrations, and we can keep that in mind as we move forward with additional products. 
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2013, 03:50:52 AM »
Usually I prefer the more humanoid types too, but trying out new stuff can be fun, if more difficult to relate to as a player and GM. Which is why my focus is on more exposure of these species through illustrations - which of course could end up making them more humanoid, which I guess is natural. This is not something I would mind, as long as I got more illustrations to get a better grip on not just how they look, but how they look doing stuff, how they interact physically with the world around them. How they hold stuff, how they kick, punch and do their cool plant-kung-fu, how they look while jumping, aiming, hiding in an urban environment ...

If changes were made to make them more humanoid, I wouldn't mind, I'd just like to see illustrations of the Runcori, and the Krakuren, do cool stuff and going about their business. Not just standing/hanging there, context-less, straight up and down ...
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Offline Thom @ ICE

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #6 on: June 12, 2013, 07:17:56 AM »
The Runcori is actually able to transform their body into the humanoid shape, so an illustration depicting that, in addition to their standard forms in action would be good - I agree. 
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Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #7 on: June 12, 2013, 07:42:30 AM »
And I'd love a huge Krakuren crime-lord/evil genious type of illustration - a tentacled Jabba the Kraken...  ???
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Offline NicholasHMCaldwell

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #8 on: June 12, 2013, 01:55:55 PM »
Some of the races were forced into HARP SF by the previous management against my strenuous objections. Unfortunately by the time the license to HARP SF had been transferred to my company, it was essentially too late to rip them out as I would have had to rewrite the setting again (delaying the product even longer) and by that stage I had made lemonade from lemons and run an entire campaign in the Tintamar setting. (yes, I have a written up campaign for the Tintamar setting that would make a product with some expansion, proper maps (rather than the stuff I "draw") etc.).

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Offline Ironmaul

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2013, 06:47:48 AM »


...And, to be honest, the description is actually kind of cool, but the image is not - no offence to the artist, but I'm not seeing the coolness that I see,....
None taken :) I understand what you mean.
Honestly, I was dubious about the alien concepts myself when I read the descriptions (that's code for lame  ;) ), although I think the Silth became my favourite in the end.
At the time I produce about 50(98%) of the illos for HARP Sci-fi and dedicated a certain amount of time on each illo.
So, I could only do so much in the time frame I had to represent the overall book as best I could(I think I broke my artistic teeth on that one).

Cheers,
Rick.


Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #10 on: June 13, 2013, 07:39:57 AM »
The Silth are classic lizardmen-coolness, I really like the Gorsiva - Madji is cool, and the Cerans are pretty nice too. My personal favourite is the Gorsiva (the picture where you see one from below gliding on its wing down from a building is pretty awesome) - whereas the idea of the Runcori is really good too (I generally am ok with the idea of a plant-species in some way or another).

The Krakuren seems too much like these with less limitations on movement and environments certainly, but more of an "npc species" if you know what I mean than something I'd see make up a band of heroes in space.

I do think though, that even if the changes in description and such is difficult to do anything about, I do think that depictions of these species could be more freely inspired and creative. Like with Neti, Ithorians, Gand and other rather odd SW species, they can be made cool... just like very streamlined, "normal" and cool species can be made to look like crap. Both is needed ;)
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Offline area51games

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2013, 01:42:49 AM »
I like the races from space master and Privateer, also maybe it time to just get it over and have Elves and Dwarves in space - Warhammer 40,k , did fine with this and I want more of a consistence betweeen my two harp products. as well as a setting that allows me to run between the two, like is the world of Cyrodon in the Harp sf setting
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Offline joel.lovell

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2015, 06:17:42 PM »
How is this for a re-imaged Ceran Cyborg Soldier - by Marcus Gonzales

Offline GMLovlie

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2015, 03:20:24 AM »
Looks badass!  8)
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 07:47:25 PM »
I know this topic is old, but the personality description of the Runcori makes me think of them as "plant space kender". One major bug I have about SciFi, is the boring-/laziness of calling our own solar system the "Sol" system. While it's not creative either, to me it makes much more sense to call our system Rome, based on who our planets are named after.
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Offline Thom @ ICE

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2016, 07:34:52 PM »
Using that logic... I would call our sun - Sol - and the system would be called Olympos - where the gods lived....
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Offline Zhaleskra

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Re: Illustrations of the alien species
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2016, 09:21:11 PM »
You're right, that's actually better.
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