Alien Society

Alien society decides whether the species is local fauna or a galactic empire.

Alien society is something for the referee to consider and prepare for her campaign carefully. Alien societies can be the basis for an entire campaign. The differences in values, architecture, and social organization are beyond this game’s scope. This section outlines a light skeleton of an alien’s society.

The alien society has no impact on the player’s choices with her alien persona. Almost all player personas are rogues and outcasts cutting their paths in the dusty universe. Alien player personas should be the same.

The most pressing questions a player will ask are: Do I have language? Can I use tools? Player personas should have a language to communicate with their fellow expedition members. Purist use of aliens would leave this to chance. Referees tend to leave tool usage and vocations to chance. Just one gigantic alien anti-knite, and the referee will have to restructure her whole campaign.

Alien Society Build

  1. Language

    1. make Language Check

    2. make Tool Score Check

  2. Culture

    1. make Culture Check (requires Language)

    2. make Tool Score Check

    3. If cultured make Religion Check

  3. Education

    1. make Education Check (requires Culture)

    2. make Tool Score Check

    3. If educated make Politics check

  4. Vocation

    1. make Vocation Check (requires Education)

    2. make Tool Score Check

    3. if vocation make Philosophy check

  5. Alien Grouping

  6. Tool Usage

For an even more complicated flowchart jump to Flowchart.

Cute little bunny like alien crying.

The universal language of vulnerable.

Alien Language

This die roll determines if the alien species has a natural language or not. For the alien species to have language, the player must roll less than or equal to three times her persona’s intelligence score.

If there is no language, the alien species cannot have a culture, education or vocation. An alien species without language can only communicate in the most rudimentary manner amongst their kind. Their communications are not translatable and are meaningless to translators. An alien species with no language is flora or fauna and dependent on the biome to survive.

Alien species with language can communicate through translators and have concepts beyond eat, drink and love. An alien species with language can evolve to have a culture, education and vocations.

An alien species will only have a written language have a tool use score of at least one.

Most referees allow a player persona alien to have language for easier participation in the game.

Alien Language Check

Chance = 3 * INT score

An alien with a 12 INT has a 36% chance of having language.

Regardless of the alien language check result, the player makes a tool score check. This first tool score check depends on the persona’s dexterity score and not her intelligence score. All other tool score checks depend on the persona’s intelligence. To increase the alien species tool score, the player must roll less than or equal to two times her persona’s dexterity score.

Tool Score Check

Chance = 2 * DEX score

An alien with a 12 DEX has 24% chance to add +1 to the alien’s tool score.

If an alien species has no language and a tool score of one, the aliens can transiently use simple machines. They have no tool memory, and cannot use devices. No language tool use is a special case where curiosity and dexterity lead to random intermittent tool use.

Alien Culture

This die roll determines if the alien species has a cultural structure or not. An alien species will not evolve a culture without language. For the alien species to have culture, the player must roll less than or equal to three times her persona’s charisma score.

If the alien has no organized culture, it still has a hierarchy within its grouping. The alien group’s hierarchy may depend on size, speed, or charisma. This species does not have a consistent culture from grouping to grouping. If the alien species has no culture, it operates in isolation and cannot plan beyond the immediate family unit.

If the alien species has a culture, they can work together from grouping to grouping. Culture allows the aliens to band together and communicate.

Alien Culture Check

Chance = 3 * CHA score

An alien with a 12 CHA has a 36% chance of having a culture.

Regardless of the alien culture check result, the player makes a tool score check. To increase the alien species tool score, the player must roll less than or equal to two times her persona’s intelligence score. The higher the tool score, the more adept the species is with technology.

Tool Score Check

Chance = 2 * INT score

An alien with a 12 INT has 24% chance to add +1 to the alien’s tool score.

There is a chance that an alien species with language and culture will develop a religious persuasion. The religious persuasion’s flavour is determined on the table immediately following the religion check. A failed religion check has no impact on the alien species evolving education.

Religion Check

Chance = 2*INT score - MSTR score

An alien with a 12 INT and a 12 MSTR has 12% chance of having religion.

Referee Persona Religious Belief
This table lends a broad stroke to the Persona’s religious belief.

Die Roll (1d100)

Religious Belief

01-10

Anonymous writings.

11-20

Charismatic leader.

21-30

Icon object or creature.

31-40

Universal conjoining force.

41-50

Many creators.

51-60

Holy martyrs.

61-70

Messiah.

71-80

One creator.

81-90

One creator plus hierarchy.

91-00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Religious Belief

Alien Education

This die roll determines if the alien species has an educational system or not. An alien species will not evolve education without culture and language. For the alien species to have culture, the player must roll less than or equal to three times her persona’s awareness score.

If the alien species has no education system, they tend to learn by trial and error. While individual aliens may be bright, the culture will seem less so. This alien species will repeat its failures and forget its victories.

Education indicates that the alien species trains and teaches its members about the biome and beyond.

Alien Education Check

Chance = 3 * AWE score

An alien with a 12 AWE has a 36% chance of having an education system.

Regardless of the alien education check result, the player makes a tool score check. To increase the alien species tool score, the player must roll less than or equal to two times her persona’s intelligence score. The higher the tool score, the more adept the species is with technology.

Tool Score Check

Chance = 2 * INT score

An alien with a 12 INT has 24% chance to add +1 to the alien’s tool score.

There is a chance that an alien species with language, culture and education will develop a political system. The political system’s flavour is determined on the table immediately following the politics check. A failed politics check has no impact on the alien species evolving vocations.

Politics Check

Chance = INT score + CHA score

An alien with a 12 INT and a 12 CHA has 24% chance of having politics.

Referee Persona Political Belief
This table lends a broad stroke to the Persona’s political belief.

Die Roll (1d100)

Belief

Description

01-05

Anarchism

Organization is evil.

06-10

Aristocracy

Governed by the 'best' people. Small privileged class.

11-15

Bananarchy

Peaceful non-regulated existence amongst tropical fruits.

16-20

Bureaucracy

Administration by complexity. Efficiencies are condemned.

21-25

Capitalism

Money and biz is king. Laissez Faire.

26-30

Communism

Classless society. Common ownership.

31-35

Democracy

Random selection of most popular person.

36-40

Despotism

Rule and control by singular person.

41-45

Egalitarianism

Belief in equality of all.

46-50

Environmentalism

Protect environment above all.

51-55

Fascism

All power to one party and charismatic leader.

56-60

Feudalism

Numerous lords and indebted vassal.

61-65

Imperialism

Power through colonial acquisitions.

66-70

Ma/Pa triarchy

Inheritance of power via gender lines

71-75

Militarism

Exaltation of military virtues and ideals.

76-80

Monarchy

One person inherits throne of power for life.

81-85

Technocracy

Governed by technicians, scientists and computers.

86-90

Theocracy

Governed by immediate divine guidance.

91-95

Totalitarianism

State controls all activities of people.

96-00

Ismism

Ref’s own table.

Die Roll (1d100)

Political Belief

Description

Alien Vocations

This die roll determines if the alien species can pursue vocations or not. An alien species will not develop vocations with education, culture and language. For the alien species to have vocations, the player must roll less than or equal to the total of her persona’s awareness, dexterity and intelligence scores.

If the alien species do not have vocations, they lack specialization in their culture. There may be all kinds of Nothing jobs, but there will be no mercenaries, mechanics, or veterinarians. Their culture and society may still have healers and warriors, but they will not benefit from a vocation.

If the alien species can pursue vocations, the player can choose from any field available to her persona. EXP does not differentiate between anthros, aliens or robots pursuing vocations. Keeping in mind that alien persona vocations should be rare is not without hazard. The referee may invoke class restrictions she feels are necessary to ensure a game balance. An invisible, 900 kg, flying spie alien persona is a possibility.

Alien Vocation Check

Chance = AWE + DEX + INT score

An alien with a 10 AWE, a 12 DEX and a 14 INT has a 36% chance of having vocations.

Regardless of the alien vocation check result, the player makes a tool score check. To increase the alien species tool score, the player must roll less than or equal to two times her persona’s intelligence score. The higher the tool score, the more adept the species is with technology.

Tool Score Check

Chance = 2 * INT score

An alien with a 12 INT has 24% chance to add +1 to the alien’s tool score.

There is a chance that an alien species with language, culture, education, and vocation will develop a philosophical outlook. The philosophical outlook’s flavour is determined on the table immediately following the philosophy check. If the alien species has both religion and philosophy, the referee can decide if they contrast or complement each other.

Philosophy Check

Chance = INT + AWE score

An alien with a 12 INT and a 12 AWE has 24% chance of having philosophy.

Referee Persona Philosophical Belief
You think therefore you are. If you think too much…​

Die Roll (1d100)

Philosophy

01-05

Atomism

06-10

Cynicism

11-15

Deism

16-20

Enthalpism

21-25

Excessivism

26-30

Existentialism

31-35

Hedonism

36-40

Idealism

41-45

Ismism

46-50

Materialism

51-55

Mechanism

56-60

Metaphysicism

61-65

Monetarianism

66-70

Pantheism

71-75

Pragmatism

76-80

Rationalism

81-85

Realism

86-90

Stoicism

91-95

Technocracy

96-00

Ref’s Own Table

Die Roll (1d100)

Philosophy

Many gigantic spider crab monsters rushing the viewer.

They are probably coming to play with you.

Alien Grouping

The alien grouping indicates how the aliens organize themselves on a granular level. More simply put, how is the expedition most likely going to encounter this alien? The alien grouping applies to flora, fauna, and advanced civilizations. Alien species with religion, politics and philosophy may find reasons to break up this evolution grouping or adhere to it more stringently.

As for combat encounters in the dangerous wildlands, the referee will consider a fair balance between the expedition and aliens.

Alien Group Size

How aliens of a feather number together?
Minute aliens add 30 to their roll.

Die Roll (1d100)

Group Size

Description

01-20

Solo

Prodigy over progeny.

21-42

Family Unit

Caring for youth

43-80

Pack

Related group.

81-95

Herd

Safety in numbers.

96-99

Swarm

Progeny over prodigy.

00

Ref’s Own Table

Only if 100 rolled.

Tool Score

Tool Usage

Description

Tool Usage

The most critical evolutionary advance of any alien species is its relationship with technology. In EXP, the alien species tool score determines this relationship. The tool score may increase from zero to four as the player checks against her persona’s dexterity and intelligence scores. There is a slight chance that a fully developed alien civilization may have no use for tools at all. There is no chance that an undeveloped alien civilization will be technologically advanced. The player looks up her alien species' technological adeptness on the Alien Tool Score Table.

Alien Tool Score
Convert the tool score into technological adeptness.

Tool Score

Tool Usage

Description

0

None

No concept a tool. Will not use a tool.

1

Simple

Non-powered tools. Wind, gravity, water.

2

Tech

Electrics, springs, machines. Less physical effort.

3

Computer

Computerized machines. Remove physical effort.

4

Creator

Build anything. No limits.

Tool Score

Tool Usage

Description

None

The alien species has no concept of a tool. They would never consider an artifact as anything other than a rock or branch to step over. This tool ignorance transcends language, culture, and education.

Simple

Simple tool usage is limited to non-powered tools that require constant physical effort. These tools depend on the environment of the alien’s biome. If the alien species has no language, the tools are limited to the temporary use of sticks or rocks. If the alien species has language, they can have re-usable tools and employ wind, water and gravity to their advantage.

Tech

This alien species utilizes any device that reduces their physical workload. These devices can use electricity, steam, and springs. They have complicated clockwork machines but no computational devices.

Computers

This alien species can use electronic devices that can replace all physical work. These devices include computers, telecommunications, and encryption. There may be rudimentary robots and faux autonomous intelligence. As a species, homo sapiens of mundane terra is at this level.

Creators

There is no limit to what creators can make and create. Creator alien species have space travel, special drives, autonomous intelligence, robots, and more. Creativity is their only limit. An alien species can reach creator level tool use without evolving vocations.

Tortoise with a cybernetic eye and a machine gun on it’s shell.

Alien sporting powered armour.

TOYs as Alien Artifacts

The player can generate one artifact from TOYs if her species has a Tech or higher tool use score. The TOY will be a bespoke artifact tailored to the alien’s shape. If the alien persona has a vocation, the player generates artifacts from TOYs as per her vocation. All vocation based TOYs will be bespoke artifacts tailored to the alien’s shape.

Alien artifacts come unidentified, the same as anthro artifacts.

Blob of tentacles with boots and an helmet running.

The equipment will suit the alien.

Adapting Non-Alien Artifacts

Artifacts and equipment in EXP are anthrocentric. Alien tool users can implement these artifacts through adaptive use. Adaptive use is when the alien uses her tongue instead of a finger to manipulate equipment. The chance of successfully adapting to an artifact is equal to twice the alien’s combined dexterity and intelligence scores.

Adaptive Use Check

Chance = 2*DEX + 2*INT

An alien with a 12 DEX and a 12 INT has 48% chance of adapting a stinky anthro device.

If the player fails this roll, the alien cannot use the artifact. Biologists and veterinarians can assist the alien in adapting to a device allowing for another chance at adaptive use. Mechanics can assist the alien by altering the device, allowing for another adaptive use chance.

Non-Tool Users and Artifacts

Most aliens will be non-tool users. The referee may automatically allow alien personas to be tool users to increase their involvement in the game. The referee should not depend solely on the dice rolling of her players. If a player comes up with an ingenious idea about how her persona can manipulate an artifact, the persona should do so. Role-Playing should overcome dice rolling.

In past versions of EXP, non-tools users could overcome the technological deficit. This die roll exception is no longer the case, and for a player persona alien to use tools is up to the referee and players.

Alien Society Flowchart

The flowchart below may help navigate the complicated process of creating an alien society. Red arrows indicate the failure of the player’s die roll. Green arrows indicate the success of the player’s die roll. Black arrows indicate movement that is independent of any die rolls.

Flowchart laying out options for alien societies.

Misused flowchart for society

What are the chances?

A Python script using the flowchart above did some rudimentary modelling of alien society compositions. The image below shows the outcomes of 10000 iterations of the alien societies. Each iteration used randomly generated attributes. The term creator replaced AI for the tool user score of 4. Creators are rare indeed.

Rules maintain game balance and assist creativity.
Do not let rules get in the way of the story or the fun.

Screen capture showing chances of alien societies after 10000 iterations.

Safety in numbers.

Societal Compositions
  • Language 36%

  • Culture 11%

  • Education 4%

  • Vocation 1%

Tool Usage Frequencies
  • None 52%

  • Simple 38%

  • Tech 8%

  • Comp 1%

  • Creator 0.1%