StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

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StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Nuclear » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:22 am

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I've always found it fun to categorize things into D&D's Alignment system, however useful it may or may not be. Discuss.

Quick Comments --

Chmmr: Their ancestry derives from orderly robots and philosophical crystal people. Bastions of good, if not rendered somewhat temperamental as a result of their accelerated synthesis. In general, the white knights of the universe.

Syreen: Fought on the side of good despite the poor position they were left in after the destruction of their homeworld. They are not above unlawful acts such as mental domination or vengeance, but have good reasons to do so.

Melnorme: Provided the hero with what appears to be incredibly advanced technology for an absurdly low cost, and seems to have no interest in assisting evil. Though it is considered offensive to simply give things away for free in their culture, it would be wrong to call them profiteers.

Arilou: Mysterious, spontaneous, and ultimately unreliable. They seem to have nothing but good intentions however, and they may well be the only reason the hero isn't eaten by a trans-dimensional space grue.

Pkunk: Hippies.

Utwig: Sophisticated culture revolved around masks, and collective emotions; notably, guilt.

Yehat: Honor-bound warriors whose sense of duty seemingly overrides morality in all but the most dire cases.

Androsynth: For the most part, just want to be left alone, though they surely indulged in their thirst for revenge against the humans after their forced indoctrination into the Hierarchy.

ZFP: Morality moderated by the clashing personalities of each host race.

Supox: Vegetables not particularly interested in galactic politics outside of their relationship with the Utwig.

Slylandro: Morality doesn't play a large part in their vapid existences, though they are very friendly to strangers when they are not inadvertently annihilating them with glitchy space probes.

Orz: Incomprehensible and eldritch, though not immediately malevolent {thanks to the Arilou?}

Shofixti: Uplifted from a barbaric and warlike culture, and appear to have no qualms about committing mass suicide to protect their own freedoms/honors. Will attack friend or foe alike when agitated.

Spathi: The fundamental core of their existence is cowardice. Incredibly selfish and unreliable, and will break oaths and agreements on a whim if it suits their own goals, but are ultimately harmless if left alone.

Thraddash: Belligerent and bully like, but would sooner blast themselves back into the stone age rather than other races. They are respectful of those that demonstrate superior strength to themselves.

Kzer-Za: Xenophobic alien overloads seeking to unite the galaxy under their own iron-tentacled rule

Kohr-Ah: Xenophobic alien genociders that destroy others in an attempt to guarantee their own continued existence. They are too organized and methodical to be considered chaotic.

Vux: Complete narcissists that like to bite off more than they can chew.

Druuge: Greedy, slave-trading profiteers.

Dnyarri: Beige balls of pure-evil that will gladly exploit or genocide other races for personal gain. Also incredible cowards, and will happily cooperate with others if it means saving their own hides.

Umgah: Psychotic. Will torment, endanger, and genetically modify themselves and other races just to satiate their own boredom, consequences be damned. Tendency to mix humor with murder.

Ilwrath: Satanic, sociopathic posers that commit evil for evils sake whilst fully aware that what they are doing is evil, as demonstrated by the Hero's questions regarding morale relativism.

Mycon: Enigmatic and extremely dangerous. Will commit acts of violence and genocide with zero provocation and zero remorse.
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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Angelfish » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:48 am

Agreed with most, but the Melnorme never struck me as good. Personally I think they would assist the Ur-quan too if it gave them the financial benefits that the alliance of free stars provided.
Besides that, killing a ship full of people because you asked why their bridge turned purple..?

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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Death 999 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 11:53 am

Druuge are very lawful evil. Doesn't get more lawful evil than Druuge. You come with a ship full of empty high-capacity fuel tanks, and they WILL fill it.

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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Quasispatial » Fri Sep 02, 2016 4:29 pm

I saw another good one of these a few years back on the web. Regretfully, I can't seem to find it right now, but it still slotted nine races into this same sort of matrix.
Of course, we can't all agree on everything. Here's how I would have sorted the races:

Lawful Good
  • Chmmr, Yehat
Lawful Neutral
  • Melnorme, Androsynth, Utwig, Shofixti
Lawful Evil
  • Druuge, Ur-Quan Kzer-Za
Neutral Good
  • Supox, Syreen, Slylandro
True Neutral
  • ZoqFotPik, Thraddash, VUX
Neutral Evil
  • Dnyaari, Mycon, Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah
Chaotic Good
  • Arilou, Pkunk
Chaotic Neutral
  • Spathi, Umgah
Chaotic Evil
  • Ilwrath, Orz
Reasons for the changes:
Yehat - The Yehat are lawful, there is no doubt about that. However, they would be classified as lawful good if it were not for the actions of the last Veep-Neep Queen. From our perspective, their actions during that time were not great, balancing them out into Lawful Neutral, but that was the act of an individual, not the race as a whole. The Yehat are good, although it may not always seem like such from that perspective.

Druuge - Death999 outlines it pretty well in the previous post.

Melnorme - Again, Angelfish has a good point. The Melnorme are neither good nor evil, from what I know. They're just there to trade. However, trade doesn't work without a law system to prevent stealing. They're rock-hard in what applies during trading, which is another part of it. After all, you don't see very many Dramya around these days...

Thraddash - The Thraddash are not really chaotic. They are not lawful either, for if it were so they would not constantly revolt to form new cultures, but their society still has a sort of... structure which you do not find in chaotic races. The ideals that a culture upholds... following them is almost treated as though there was a law that required it. Not to mention, chaotic creatures are not as... predictable as the Thraddash. In the end, I would put them more at neutral, since they are neither good nor evil, and neither fully lawful nor fully chaotic.

Orz - As the Arilou said, the Orz are dangerous. They are certainly not predictable in any sense of the word, and given what one suspects that they did to the Androsynth (don't ask), they would not be neutral in that sense either.

Androsynth - The Androsynth were simply too... structured to fit into True Neutral territory. They were scientists, much more orderly. I do not know if they actually had any laws, but they sure acted as though they did.

Umgah - The Umgah are not evil. Sure, they have a tendency to pull quite... cruel pranks on other beings, but evil? Not really. Perhaps a bit of a borderline case, but in the end, they are just unpredictable pranksters out for a laugh.

Shofixti - The Shofixti are not chaotic. Their code of honour, their desire for glory, all that works very well as a substitute for a law system. Disobeying laws is a shameful act, and what Shofixti wishes to be shamed, truly?

VUX - This one was tricky. The VUX do not really... fit in anywhere. They are not good, that much is obvious, but neither do I really consider them as evil. They are not evil. They are just... disgusted. One could argue that the VUX could end up practically anywhere. In a way, they are lawful, but at the same time, some VUX (such as ZEX) can be quite chaotic. In the end, I just put them at True Neutral. They are too complex to go anywhere else.

Supox and Slylandro - These two ended up moving in the same way. The Slylandro are curious, but stranded on their world. Moving them was something that I based around their... reaction to their errors with the probes. The Supox, on the other hand, are symbionts who survive mainly through making friends. They may not be particularly involved, but at their core, they are still good beings. As such, they both had to go upwards.

Mycon - The Mycon are evil, no doubt. At least to our way of thinking. However, they are not chaotic, just difficult to understand. Their behavior is erratic enough to keep them from ending up in Lawful territory, but they are too predictable to be chaotic. They are simply too simple for that.
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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Nuclear » Fri Sep 02, 2016 6:58 pm

Angelfish wrote:Agreed with most, but the Melnorme never struck me as good. Personally I think they would assist the Ur-quan too if it gave them the financial benefits that the alliance of free stars provided.<br abp="920">Besides that, killing a ship full of people because you asked why their bridge turned purple..?
I've always found it odd that the Melnorme {from what we can tell, at least} would choose to exclusively assist the Hero and his single ship/fleet. Granted, it's a powerful ship, but it's still just one, as the Ur-Quan are quick to point out. One would think that it would be in the best interest of the Melnorme to request assistance from a populous alien race with enough resources and personnel to undertake massive expeditions to, say, search for rainbow worlds and study alien organisms. Hell, the Melnorme have a spookily large amount of knowledge on the Arilou, who would be perfect for such an undertaking. Why go to some lone-wolf freedom fighter who spends most of his time trying to avoid death when you can commission a more comfortably established alien race? I just think the Melnorme have a lot of good in their hearts. Or maybe they just have a desire to watch their former milieu partners get shit slapped and our hero is the perfect person to bring about that outcome.

The purple bridge conundrum honestly feels like a complete joke on the developers part. I VOTE NON-CANON LEL.

The Dramya is a good point though.
Death 999 wrote: You come with a ship full of empty high-capacity fuel tanks, and they WILL fill it.
This is true. However, the incident involving the Utwig bomb shows that they clearly can't be trusted. They are certainly not chaotic, but they are not above lying, cheating, and stealing. Also, given the potential value of slave labor, I'm sure that the hero is being ripped off no matter how much fuel he is requesting.
Quasispatial wrote:Yehat - The Yehat are lawful, there is no doubt about that. However, they would be classified as lawful good if it were not for the actions of the last Veep-Neep Queen. From our perspective, their actions during that time were not great, balancing them out into Lawful Neutral, but that was the act of an individual, not the race as a whole. The Yehat are good, although it may not always seem like such from that perspective.
It would be safe to assume that the majority of Yehat are generally good-aligned. However, even after the Veep-Neep dynasty is shown to be corrupt, a hefty contingent still choose to support her and fight against the rebels and the hero. It doesn't seem that the Yehat are guided by an actual sense of morality, but simply by a morally ambiguous sense of honor.
Quasispatial wrote:Androsynth - The Androsynth were simply too... structured to fit into True Neutral territory. They were scientists, much more orderly. I do not know if they actually had any laws, but they sure acted as though they did.
I'm sure they were relatively lawful, but they were also incredibly audacious with their research. They clearly lacked any concern for the consequences of their universe shattering actions. But then again, maybe they simply couldn't have predicted what was to come.
Quasispatial wrote:Umgah - The Umgah are not evil. Sure, they have a tendency to pull quite... cruel pranks on other beings, but evil? Not really. Perhaps a bit of a borderline case, but in the end, they are just unpredictable pranksters out for a laugh.
Chaotic Neutral usually implies a strong sense of libertarian individualism. Psychopathy that results in harm to others is usually a clear grounds for Chaotic Evil, regardless of the intent. Think The Joker. I do realize that this definition would probably categorize the Thraddash into Chaotic Evil as well. I'll give it some more thought.
Quasispatial wrote:Shofixti - The Shofixti are not chaotic. Their code of honour, their desire for glory, all that works very well as a substitute for a law system. Disobeying laws is a shameful act, and what Shofixti wishes to be shamed, truly?
I... have no argument against this lol. I stand corrected. Lawful-Neutral.
Quasispatial wrote:Supox and Slylandro - These two ended up moving in the same way. The Slylandro are curious, but stranded on their world. Moving them was something that I based around their... reaction to their errors with the probes. The Supox, on the other hand, are symbionts who survive mainly through making friends. They may not be particularly involved, but at their core, they are still good beings. As such, they both had to go upwards.
They are both relatively small civilizations, the Slylandro especially, so it is difficult to gauge their position in the galactic swing of things. They simply haven't committed themselves to enough good actions for me to consider them good. However, I will give credit to the symbiotic tendencies. Just remember that parasitism is a type of symbiosis as well.

And yes, the Vux are a tricky bunch, and mostly non-descript other than their vanity and their disgust for the appearance of other races. From what I can tell, they are just massive, self-interested narcissists that tend to view others as inferior based on appearance alone.
Quasispatial wrote: The Mycon are too predictable to be chaotic.
That is debatable
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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Quasispatial » Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:39 pm

Nuclear wrote:
Death 999 wrote: You come with a ship full of empty high-capacity fuel tanks, and they WILL fill it.
This is true. However, the incident involving the Utwig bomb shows that they clearly can't be trusted. They are certainly not chaotic, but they are not above lying, cheating, and stealing. Also, given the potential value of slave labor, I'm sure that the hero is being ripped off no matter how much fuel he is requesting.
Works for the artifacts as well, and there's only so much value they can get out of their old albeit mega-powerful hyperspace broadcaster. As you point out, they have a tendency to play unfairly, but their entire society is still founded on the principles of law. They do not break laws. They are lawful. However, they use... loopholes. There are always ways around the laws, which an evil character can exploit, without ever technically 'breaking' the laws. To take an example, a race which wasn't lawful would not write an actual contract with their chosen deity. One that was neutral or, worse, chaotic would simply not do it like that.
Nuclear wrote:
Quasispatial wrote:Yehat - The Yehat are lawful, there is no doubt about that. However, they would be classified as lawful good if it were not for the actions of the last Veep-Neep Queen. From our perspective, their actions during that time were not great, balancing them out into Lawful Neutral, but that was the act of an individual, not the race as a whole. The Yehat are good, although it may not always seem like such from that perspective.
It would be safe to assume that the majority of Yehat are generally good-aligned. However, even after the Veep-Neep dynasty is shown to be corrupt, a hefty contingent still choose to support her and fight against the rebels and the hero. It doesn't seem that the Yehat are guided by an actual sense of morality, but simply by a morally ambiguous sense of honor.
And so we reach the question of morality. The Yehat are guided by their honor, and from their eyes, honor would be morality. Our own sense of morality may disagree, but the Yehat seem to treat honor and morality as a single combined concept. Many fought with the Queen, yes, but given that the Veep-Neep dynasty had ruled for two millenia, it is remarkable that the rebellion was so large in the first place. It essentially came from nowhere - they didn't prepare it for twenty years, they simply started the rebellion then and there. It is worth noting that the morality of the Queen wasn't the point, but the fact that she was dishonorable, though they can often align pretty well. Many who fought for the dynasty may have felt similar things as the rebels did, but for them, the queen's actions was not enough to put what could potentially have been their species' only chance at remaining united. Thus, I remain firm in my opinion.
Nuclear wrote:
Quasispatial wrote:Androsynth - The Androsynth were simply too... structured to fit into True Neutral territory. They were scientists, much more orderly. I do not know if they actually had any laws, but they sure acted as though they did.
I'm sure they were relatively lawful, but they were also incredibly audacious with their research. They clearly lacked any concern for the consequences of their universe shattering actions. But then again, maybe they simply couldn't have predicted what was to come.
Remember, what the Androsynth were trying to do was attain the same method of travel that the Arilou wanted to use. If they'd known the results beforehand, they probably would have left it alone, or at the very least taken proper precautions. Thus, they probably didn't, and therefore, the incident should not be taken into account.
Nuclear wrote:
Quasispatial wrote:Umgah - The Umgah are not evil. Sure, they have a tendency to pull quite... cruel pranks on other beings, but evil? Not really. Perhaps a bit of a borderline case, but in the end, they are just unpredictable pranksters out for a laugh.
Chaotic Neutral usually implies a strong sense of libertarian individualism. Psychopathy that results in harm to others is usually a clear grounds for Chaotic Evil, regardless of the intent. Think The Joker. I do realize that this definition would probably categorize the Thraddash into Chaotic Evil as well. I'll give it some more thought.
As I said, a borderline case. The Umgah certainly do not perceive themselves to be evil. In the eyes of some others, they certainly are evil. In the end, this is but one of many truths that depend on our point of view.
Nuclear wrote:
Quasispatial wrote: The Mycon are too predictable to be chaotic.
That is debatable
It all depends on your perception of what chaos is, I suppose. However, the Mycon remain rather predictable. All they desire is to spread Juffo-Wup and Void the Non. They have a few methods for trying to get closer to this goal. It is quite simple, really. Get to know them well enough, and you'll know how they will react. That is not really chaos. I admit that they seem to have a total disregard for the laws of others, and they do not seem to have laws in the traditional sense of the word. However, Juffo-Wup is everything for them, and Juffo-Wup works in a certain way. In a sense, Juffo-Wup is their law. As I have said, they are certainly not lawful, but with Juffo-Wup at the wheel, true chaos cannot reign.
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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Draxas » Tue Sep 06, 2016 11:15 pm

Well, here's my take:

LG - Chmmr, Yehat
NG - Supox, ZoqFotPik, Slylandro
CG - Pkunk, Arilou
LN - Utwig, Melnorme, Shofixti
NN - Syreen, Orz, Androsynth?
CN - Spathi
LE - Kzer-Za, Druuge
NE - Kohr-Ah, VUX, Mycon
CE - Ilwrath, Umgah, Dnyarri, Thraddash

The Yehat really are lawful good, in my opinion, despite the actions of their queen. Their honor and loyalty are the glue that holds their society together, but when faced with the reality of what their queen's decisions meant to themselves and the Shofixti and forced to choose between the two, the entre race eventually comes around, chooses their honor, and refuses not only to continue aiding the Ur-Quan, but to grant queenship to a Pkunk.

The Supox are really too nice and friendly to be considered neutral. Their entire society revolves around the idea of getting on good terms with and imitating any outsiders they encounter, and there is really no evidence to support the idea that they are parasites.

The ZFP feel to me like they trend good rather than neutral, they are also all about being helpful and making friends, though granted it is out of a sense of self interest. The conflicting personalities definitely do balance between chaos and law, though, and who knows, maybe the silent guy in the middle is brazenly chaotic evil but nobody knows it.

The Slylandro are another bunch that trend more toward good than neutral, especially when confronted with the idea that their probes are doing horrible things to others without them realizing it. Their reaction to that revelation and willingness to destroy their only reliable link to outside to put a top to it speak for themselves.

The Melnorme are rigidly lawful, but definitely play the middle of the good/evil spectrum. There is plenty of evidence that they'll trade with anyone who is willing, Hierarchy races included. Granted, the seem to extend preferred trading partner status to Captain Zelnick, but this probably has more to do with ancient grudges and making more markets available than anything else. After all, with their information network and presence across the entire sector (and presumably the entire wider galaxy as well), they almost certainly have more biological samples than they would ever truly need, and have likely found and studied all of the rainbow worlds many times over. However, by ensuring Zelnick has ready access to a wealth of information and advanced technology, they are hedging their bets that the two Ur-Quan races will be ejected from their position of galactic dominance, thus removing the largest obstacle to their trade network and giving them some long overdue comeuppance. And all that without having to break their own trade laws.

The Shofixti are bound by their honor in all things, and so really can't be considered anything other than lawful. That said, their willingness to sacrifice not only themselves, but anyone else in the immediate vicinity to uphold that honor really sort of places them firmly in neutral territory.

The Syreen, especially in light of the information in the SC1 manual about them, are squarely dropped dead center neutral. Everything they do, they do for their own benefit, whether it be fighting against tyranny in the Alliance, abusing both prisoners and allies aboard their vessels, or upholding the Ur-Quan slave laws until a better deal (revenge) comes along. A lot of the things they do drag them down from being considered good, though not so much that they're really evil. Likewise, law and chaos take more of a backseat to survivial.

I see the Orz more as a force of nature than anything else. Regardless of the circumstances of their arrival in truespace (which we know scant few details about, so it's hard to judge them based on that), now that they are here, all they seem to be interested in is a good scrap with anyone who is willing. The inability to communicate with them effectively only compounds the problems in trying to get a handle on their mindset.

As stated above, the Druuge are practically the textbook definition of lawful evil. Everything the do is governed by corporate rules and contracts, and they stick to it, even when it doesn't benefit them or when they feel like they are being cheated. Of course, doing their best to game the system and put one over on the other guy is just part of the art of dealmaking.

The VUX are pretty well established as neutral evil, I think. actions like harassing their neighbors just because they can get away with it make it hard to argue for them being neutral, never mind the idea of "You are ugly, so we will now kill any member of your species on sight."

The Mycon are both predictable and unpredictable in equal measure, but their casual approach to concepts like genocide really plants them firmly in evil territory.

The Umgah really are pretty good fits for chaotic evil. The argument that they don't see themselves as evil is irrelevant, really; this chart from the Kzer-Za perspective would be very different, with themselves as LG and almost everyone else CE, but that doesn't make that perspective particularly useful for our purposes. The Umgah attempted genocide against both the Spathi and Pkunk for the lulz, after all, and most of their pranks seem to involve placing the victim in mortal danger at the very least.

The Thraddash are the prototypical thugs that form one of the two bases of the chaotic evil corner. While they can espouse the virtues of their "cultures" all they like, at the end of the day all it takes in a single personal slight to send their entire race spiraling back into the stone age and their culture number advancing by one. They think nothing of killing those they perceive as weak, and respect strength only as far as they feel like is necessary, and are essentially ruled by the biggest guns they can find until something sets them off and they go on a rampage.

The other base for chaotic evil is embodied by the Dnyarri. The race as a whole consisted of a bunch of bullies, using their psychic domination to perpetuate their petty and selfish interests. They enslave those they feel are their inferiors (which is everyone), and remorselessly genocide entire races that resist them, or even those that fail to perform as well as their other slaves. Even the lone Dnyarri we encounter in the game is a bully and overt manipulator, relentlessly twisting the truth or flat out lying to push its own agenda when its psychic domination fails.

So that's my take, a little different, and a little similar to others.

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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Angelfish » Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:12 am

What about the slylandro probes? I guess Lawful Evil would fit the bill.

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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Death 999 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:35 pm

Is there an alignment for 'too simple to have an alignment'?

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Re: StarControl 2 D&D Alignments

Post by Angelfish » Thu Sep 08, 2016 2:52 pm

Death 999 wrote:Is there an alignment for 'too simple to have an alignment'?
That one could fit the mycon as well.

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