Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Slp006

A Question about the Slith and Nephilim

Recommended Posts

Aren't Slith full reptilian creatures? If that's the case, then they shouldn't need to wear loincloths. However, the Nephilim are mammals, I believe, and therefore should wear loincloths as humans do. This has always confused me somewhat. Can anyone clarify?

 

Try to refrain from silly/borderline naughty answers, please. I'm trying to ask this as seriously as I possibly can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, in Exile, Slith graphics generally weren't depicted wearing anything. It's possible that they wear clothes mainly to keep warm -- they don't like the cold, and maybe some parts are more, er, sensitive to it than others.

 

As for Nephilim, maybe they keep their wedding tackle in a little pouch when it's not in use; many other mammals do this. Or maybe it's just that Nephil culture doesn't object to them prancing about naked.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wedding tackle... that's hilarious...

 

Well, I doubt a cloaca is very much more sensitive to cold then the rest of the body, and a loincloth only keeps a small area warm anyway.

 

Ok, that makes sense for a male nephil. However, females are a different story altogether... the top shelf doesn't retract, does it?

 

EDIT: Ah, ok, I saw the last bit of your post. You might be right about that. If I were a fur covered cat-creature, clothes would just seem pointless. :p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It may be that Slith clothing serves to denote occupation or social status in some way. Note the Slith character portraits in BoA, for example; each slith wears a different, distinctive set of clothes, most of which appear to serve no significant practical purpose but each of which is quite recognisable.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had given that some thought as well, but then they all look like rags to me. Oh well, who am I to claim to know the intricacies of Slith attire? For all I know there might be deep meaning to the shape and color and so on. The loincloth still bothers me, in any case. A cloaca would most certainly not be on their frontside, if they are like the lizardfolk I am used to seeing on Earth. Ah well. I suppose the real answer is only known by Jeff. Maybe I'll drop him a line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Slp006:
I had given that some thought as well, but then they all look like rags to me.
Although all of the Slith PC graphics wear the loincloths, some of them also wear bits of cloth on their shoulders or around their necks. They certainly don't look as if they serve any useful function, which is what suggests to me that they may be ornamental or serve some other social function.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also note that slith PCs are those accustomed to living with and dealing with humans. Maybe clothes make humans think of sliths as more human-like and likeable. Maybe the sliths thought it was a neat idea for body ornamentation. (Do scales take tattoos very well? How about paint? Do sliths practice ritual scarification?))

 

If sliths are fully reptilian and ectothermic, a loincloth wouldn't do anything to keep them warm. If they are weakly endothermic, as the E3/A3 sliths in Upper Exile/Avernum suggest, then it makes some sense, but not much. Still, clothing is protective even if it's not worn for warmth, and it can have pockets and suchlike. Maybe sliths like being able to stick their daggers in something other than their waists.

 

Nephilim have perfectly good fur. With a belt, bandoliers, pouches, and a pack, they're all set. They've got warmth, protection, and carrying capacity, and modesty if human society demands it.

 

—Alorael, who thinks the more urgent question has to be why furries don't seem to come up. Is it less fun with real cats around, or are the nephilim prone to violently protecting the species barrier?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think they have clothes because warmth or something like that. i think, because the sliths and Nephilim are mainly human like creatures, only they have other skins, like fur. maybe they are bigger or smaller, but actually they are just projections of humans in an other identity. because humans wear clothes, These human projections should have it to.

 

re Byte?: I think that that's indeed a part of the puzzle why they wear clothes, but that they just wear clothes because of the reason I stated above.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Um, I'm not sure what you mean. They're not "projections", whatever that means, they're a different species -- at least as far as the game world is concerned. If you want to speculate as to Jeff's personal psychological reasons for having them wear clothes, that's a separate question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That still doesn't explain why only PC sliths and nephilim seem to go clothed.

 

—Alorael, who brings up the vahnatai only to note that if he could wear vahnatai clothes he would. They're very stylish if you're a hundred pounds underweight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:
Um, I'm not sure what you mean. They're not "projections",
Just look at the similarities between the sliths, Nephilim and humans. They all look very the same. they walk on two legs,also eat mostly human food, they use Nephilim. So why can't they wear clothes. Its almost the same story as the aliens: How do we imagine aliens? We give them two legs, two arms an head and two huge eyes. they also have clothes. That's what I mean with projections. The human fantasy is not really developed, you know. it takes some time until you find a writer or director who doesn't see aliens like this. they are just a sort of projections of the human race, modified in some way. the other monsters, like rats and the like we know. Thet are just three times as big. this probably all sounds philosifical, but I think that's a reason which I would accept for this question.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By projections you mean that they're bipedal humanoids? Okay, I'll grant you that. They are. I can give you three explanations.

 

1: Humanoids are both a staple of fantasy and easier to deal with, and there's probably a causal link between these two facts. In A2 and A3, it's much easier to program races when they all use the same equipment, eat the same food, and otherwise behave interchangeably.

 

2: Humans evolved into humanoids for a reason. Lizards and cats could evolve analogously. Well, not really, for a variety of biological reasons, but if they could they would.

 

—Alorael, who can add one more reason. Humans tend to be more sympathetic to humanoids. Nobody feels any sympathy when slaughtering Gazers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Exterior Monologue:
By projections you mean that they're bipedal humanoids? Okay, I'll grant you that. They are. I can give you three explanations.
First off: were is the thirs reason? I most things i agree with you. I only find it very unimaginitive, all these humanoids.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni:
First off: were is the thirs reason?
In his signature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why put it in your signature? and why starting with Aloreal (or something)? Does it have some hidden message which a new comer like me doesn't understand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He has a different signature for every post. It's his trademark, as you'll notice if you hang around and read a few more of his posts. And it starts with Alorael because that is his name.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Humanoid" evolution is most often used for two reason, one, the anthropomorphic principle [the robotics one, not the physics one], which states that the more human like something appears, the less negative the reaction to it will be [except when something is perfectly human, then it illicits a sharply negative reaction, because it starts to unnerve people.], and because it makes sense, bipedal evolution has many advantages over most other paths when concerning sentient life.

 

1. Standing upright allows for a higher vantage point, and thus a longer viewing distance. Very helpful when other things are still trying to eat you.

 

2. A bipedal, upright stance frees up the forlimbs, making them into "arms" which are by far the MOST helpful thing which can be evolved, hands allow tool use, writen language, mathematic [it started on the fingers people], and more importantly, weapons. Weapons increase your chance of surviving immensely.

 

3. The upright stance also increases the range of movement, as well as the ammount of momentum one can gather with that range of movement, for the now upper extremeties, making them even more effective at tool use and weapon use.

 

Baring a strongly telekenetic presentient species, everything will evolve arms if possible.

 

And yes, I am a furry. O.o;

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ezrah, do you have to say that in every thread you post in? >_>

 

Quote:
(...) the more human like something appears, the less negative the reaction to it will be [except when something is perfectly human, then it illicits a sharply negative reaction, because it starts to unnerve people.]
Close, but not precisely accurate. The reaction to something which is perfectly human is positive. The sharp drop is before that point, when something looks quite human but is missing some of the minor features of a real person. (For a clear example of this, look at how ugly Poser models seem to be.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mind you, the evolutionary arguments for bipedalism only apply to a land-based environment. In a water-like environment (the ocean, inside a gas giant, etc.), where appendages don't have to support their own weight, grasping tentacles make at least as much sense as arms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Separate digit, especially opposable ones, still have benefits in aquatic environments.

 

—Alorael, who can't envision much fine manipulation with a single tentacle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No reason why tentacles can't fork into smaller processes at the ends. The issue at hand is one of basic body plan, not fine structure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thuryl:
Mind you, the evolutionary arguments for bipedalism only apply to a land-based environment. In a water-like environment (the ocean, inside a gas giant, etc.), where appendages don't have to support their own weight, grasping tentacles make at least as much sense as arms.
(I misunderstood the original problem, but hey, why ruin a good argument?)

A sufficiently muscular tentacle would probably work on land. Tongues do. I don't know much about skeletomuscular issues, but tentacles could plausibly work on land with sufficient support.

—Alorael, who can see more of an evolutionary problem there because arms evolve from quadripedal legs, which have to support a body's weight. Even the strongest tentacle might have trouble there. Wouldn't a sufficiently heavy non-swimming organism need skeletal support even underwater?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Alo,

 

Correct me if I'm wrong (I probably am), but isn't a skeletal frame easier to be crushed by the pressure underwater than something like a tentacle? So therefore a non-skeletal frame creature wouldn't evolve something underwater which can help it get crushed.

 

On why they wear clothes: Maybe it's to do with the ammount of children (I'm a teenager) that play these games. JV can't exactly portray your PCs walking around in the nude - it would give a bad example.

 

- Archmagus Micael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Too little, two late:
A sufficiently muscular tentacle would probably work on land. Tongues do. I don't know much about skeletomuscular issues, but tentacles could plausibly work on land with sufficient support.
Oh, no doubt about it. An elephant's trunk is an even better example. The problem, as you point out, is making tentacles that can support your weight. Octopuses can "walk" along surfaces using their tentacles (and even travel along dry land for short distances), but in general it's not as efficient as using legs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's why I pointed out the tentacled quadruped problem. We're discussing bipeds, though, so if a creature could start out on two legs (as a bird, say), then grow tentacles for forearms, they would be just fine. They would, in fact, be all the rage in Japan, I gather, and possibly in some areas of Finland.

 

—Alorael, who sees a new market for chimeras. Thuryl, your career is now set. Brush up on your genetics.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay. Its really nice that you have a higher vantage point and the like, but, well. You may say so if you do not agree, but I really think (and that's my own view on this) that it would be far nicer and more interesting if you have more difference between species. Do you really expect to find almost only humanoids, in a place were the sun never reaches, is it really necesarry to have real arms ad the like? I don't think so. being like a slime as in Av 3, is just enough to survive. Don't you agree?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni:
Okay. Its really nice that you have a higher vantage point and the like, but, well. You may say so if you do not agree, but I really think (and that's my own view on this)
How much of this do you suppose is superfluous?

But to address your point: yes, creature variety is good. But humanoids can also be interesting. So there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That was just to ensure, that nobody wouls, well. I don't know actually why. But well... after all my posts on this topic, I think you can say I don't like to have many humanoid species, but that I want a big variety. I'm going to enjoy the rest of my three week vacation now! laugh I'll maybe tell you all about it when I come back (I'm now in Ithaca, a town in the north of the US).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni:
Do you really expect to find almost only humanoids, in a place were the sun never reaches, is it really necesarry to have real arms ad the like? I don't think so. being like a slime as in Av 3, is just enough to survive. Don't you agree?
Of course, and that's why there are slimes, lizards, chitrachs, hydras, and other fauna in Avernum. Civilization, howerver, pretty much requires arms for tool use. Non-humanoid hunter-gatherers would be possible, but even that is greatly facilitated by the ability to make and use tools.

—Alorael, who will use this as his explanation for why there is no great civilization of Gazers. Eyeballs are simply no good with an axe or an adze.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now that's a pouint I actually do agree with. Very clever. i wish I thought of that... But: there remains one big thing, that everyone probably has its own view on. WHY do you have to have arms for civilisation? Think different than our "earth" style of living. Think of a totally different culture, way of living. would you really require limbs? I think not. For tool use, yes. But what if they don't have tool use? maybe they have a totally different way of builing huoses (if they have any). think in these terms, and you'll discover they really don't need it as bad as humans in general would think. That's only because two things:

 

1 humans are used to using arms and legs for these purpuses, which brings us at point two:

 

2 because we use them, we automayically think of ALL species that they need them. That's not true. The human imagintion is actually not as great as we think it is. We find it VERY hard to come up with a reasonable looking alien. EVERY alien in books, in movies in whatever, have arms, legs and the like. I say: that's unnecesary.

 

That was my last sermon for the day. I say: I'll see you in two weeks, when I'm back in Holland (I hope my flight back is again with the Boeing 777: its the most luxuary airplanes I ever flew in! I'll tell you all about it when I get back!).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni:
But what if they don't have tool use?
If they don't use tools, they don't have any technology. If they don't have any technology, I don't think they could have what we'd call a civilization. They could be intelligent and live in the wild, but that's not a civilization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They could, in theory, have limbs and bodies infinitely capable of rearranging themselves that they can personally function as everything from a mortal and pestle to a loom to a port crane capable of lifting several ton loads. I find that so hard to describe plausibly that I'd rather see yet another humanoid alien.

 

Let's go back to arms. Even if you have no tools, you really need limbs, preferably with opposable digits, to maneuver pieces of wood into the ground or blocks of sod out of the ground to make a house. If you want clothes, you need a way to weave them. If you want anything, you have to manufacture it, which requires progressively more complex tools. Unless all finished goods grow on trees in some bizarre hypothetical world, limbs are necessary and tools are too.

 

There is a tendency to assume a two arm, two leg model, which isn't really necessary, but in movies an extra limb means more trouble acting and in RPGs extra limbs mean someone wanting to wield that many weapons at once.

 

—Alorael, who will still admit that telekinesis would work just as well as limbs in most cases. It still wouldn't obviate the need for tools much of the time, though, unless it is capable of truly astounding micromanipulation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Droovlewizzs the Edgewise:
Civilization, howerver, pretty much requires arms for tool use.
Not necessarily. You can wield tools in your mouth (or any other orifice, given sufficient flexibility).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's still a large advantage to having your manipulative organs (he he!) on the ends of maneuverable poles. There's a distinct problem with, say, hammering with your face.

 

—Alorael, who will look for articles citing the fact that only humanoid bipeds are capable of telekinesis on a level sufficient to support civilization.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Gummy Wyrm:
—Alorael, who will look for articles citing the fact that only humanoid bipeds are capable of telekinesis on a level sufficient to support civilization.
Now this I've got to see...articles on humanoid telekinetics. By the way, your newest moniker is rather hilarious. Hats off to your creativity, Alo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK. I'm sorry to say people here limit their imagination very much. This tool use problem... it really isn't necesarry. Look, we are talking here about a not existing lifeform, so don't be so unoriginal. How do you know they need tool use. how do you know they manufacture things. Now think a bit before posting replies that just say what others already have said. You are in a cave. a lifeform living in a cave, actually doesn't need houses. maybe a fence or something. Its not that it is going to rain in a cave. the cave is, in fact, a shelter in itself.

 

Now the next point. Now we are talknig about houses and shelter, these are made with tool use. Agree? how do you know the lifeform needs it. WE need it. Maybe THEY don't. Everyone limits his imagination to what we are used to of ourselfs. WE make houses and use tooluse, so also THEY do.

 

Kelando said somewhere earlier, that civilization can only exist if you have limbs, so you can have tool use. How do you know that civilization is the same with this lifeform? we are now talking about how WE know it. maybe it isn't the same with them. Maybe they don't need shelter, maybe they don't have gods (the Vahnatai don't have gods as far as I know). does ANYBODY understand my point?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seeing as how this planet alone is gifted with millions of species, it isn't unreasonable to expect that given the constraints of this planet (ie. gravity, temp, humidity, radiation, atmosphere) and the time that "life" has existed here that pretty much every general form of life has been realized.

 

I agree that in a gaseous world (like the sun?) there would be little need for the corporeal, and in a aqueous world the limbs as propulsion could be replaced. The central theme in species is this: being able to stay alive long enough to mature to the age where reproduction is likely.

 

The key for RPG's is (don't shoot me TM) is familiarity, aka being able to identify with the character. That still leaves room for suspension of disbelief, but there is a rational limit there too. It may be difficult to play a slime (sorry ADoS) using the current BoX engine. Maybe someone can work on that, but I wouldn't.

 

As far as the civilization/tool use/limbs debate, it is extremely difficult to produce food without tool beyond immediate needs. Even then, most cultures in the hunter-gatherer phase were extremely protein deficient. That is why (a hypothesis) that intense use of tools began in the same historical period as the beginnings of civilization. I'm not talking about the fertile cresent, but earlier hominid societies where hunting tools were used. Despite lack of written language, there is evidence of oral history going back thousands of years, which points firmly at tribal culture having achieved some degree of civilization.

 

That long bit was to bring forth the theory that the increased use of tools led to better diet, which led to more powerful brains (culminating in Thuryl, so the rest of us can quit trying now,) and now bigger/better tools. The logical extension to that is that humans may be evolving further, and in the same direction, which would further augment brain capacity.

 

It is difficult to back this up, especially with the universal 18th century diagnosis of " she's a witch! Burn her! ," but the increase in abnormal brain function (specifically autism) may be an evolutionary advance in the human species. I have not read it, but an autistic chap in India managed to write a book on autism (the kid deserves a Nobel) called Beyond the Silence . I am in awe.

 

Anyhow, yeah, I want to see humanoids, cuz I can't imagine being anything but.

 

*this message sponsored by futurama - where heads order robots to do their bidding*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Okay, we have a lifeform that lives without tools. It finds its shelter, gathers or hunts its food... and you have, at best, a very primitive society. There is no reason to band together, and need for food dictates that the creatures should, in fact, disperse into smaller social units. Would such a race work? Yes. Would it be interesting? No more than a kind of alien caveman. If the species isn't humanoid, it's even more likely that it resembles an especially clever animal.

 

What definition of civilization are you using? I would say it requires large gatherings and specialization, neither of which are very possible without tools.

 

—Alorael, who suggests an illustrative example. Describe a race that meets your criteria.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Salmon:
Seeing as how this planet alone is gifted with millions of species, it isn't unreasonable to expect that [...] pretty much every general form of life has been realized.
On the contrary, it is unreasonable. Life forms are in competition with each other, and may inhibit or influence one another's development. For instance, in New Zealand where there used to be no mammals, unique forms of birdlife were developed - as soon as they came into contact with mammals they became extinct (or at least endangered).

The existence of one species may prevent another from being viable, and vice versa: it is a matter of luck which one comes first. There are not enough continents on this planet to argue that every possible species has been given the chance to develop on its own without interference. If one accepts that mutations are random, then another planet with the same starting conditions could end up with entirely different forms of life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can certainly appreciate that at the species level, there is change over time and space. But the genera, family, and order levels are pretty consistent across all continents. But that is why is said "general form." Birds, ants, mammals, and even marsupials have evolved separately across each continent. That is what this planet is capable of developing.

 

As far as the randomness issue, another planet with the same atmosphere as earth would not evolve large land mammals without hemoglobin (or a substitute) or birds that could fly. Other planets with our gravity system would not develop 100 foot tall mammals.

 

Of course a great role in the development of creatures is available food supply. After all, that is the factor that gave charles darwin his keynote speech for the royal society. You are absolutely correct about the isolation factor of NZ and Australia. The more I read about those countries, and the types of species that developed under those conditions, I am more amazed. Especially when faced with introduced species.

 

*this message sponsored by the national invasive species counsel*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of earth's continents used to be joined together, and only split apart very recently, around 180 million years ago. Those genera, family, and order levels were all developed before the continents split apart. Birds, ants, moths and flies all developed 225m years ago; mammals developed during the triassic period between 248m and 206m years ago. Our continents are hardly isolated (most of them have land contact with the others) and not enough time has passed for significant inconsistencies to develop.

 

Edit: not to mention, it is impossible to go right back to the drawing board once other species are already interfering with your development opportunities.

 

Edit 2: I still don't think I'm being clear enough. I'm saying that earth and a hypothetical planet X might start from similar conditions, but the minute the very first species evolves it will influence all the subsequent ones. The general forms of viable life on earth are not independent of each other, however the forms of life on earth are independent of those on planet X. It is fundamentally unsound to extrapolate from the variety of lifeforms on earth to predict the variety of lifeforms on planet X.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Thralni:
Kelando said somewhere earlier, that civilization can only exist if you have limbs, so you can have tool use.
That's not even remotely what I said. I said that civilization requires tool use. Intelligent life can exist without civilization, you know — humans did for hundreds of thousands of years.

I think Alorael sort of beat me to this point, but I can't stand being misquoted.

EDIT: Uh, Micawber, the mammals that developed a couple hundred million years ago don't much resemble the mammals today. From what I understand, planetary features do play a significant role in determining limits on size and other traits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Originally written by Micawber:
I'm saying that earth and a hypothetical planet X might start from similar conditions, but the minute the very first species evolves it will influence all the subsequent ones. The general forms of viable life on earth are not independent of each other, however the forms of life on earth are independent of those on planet X. It is fundamentally unsound to extrapolate from the variety of lifeforms on earth to predict the variety of lifeforms on planet X.
Now I'll echo Kel and point out that evolution tends towards fitness. While species might start out very different, in similar conditions animals will evolve analogously to fit the same niches. Planet X might have something that isn't a bird, but it'll be like a bird. And so on.

—Alorael, who of course assumes something of an infinite timeframe so that evolution reaches perfect fitness. There's no guarantee that the analogous evolution will have the same traits in the same order, or that it won't pick up side variations here and there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I may be going off topic of the current off topic, but I think I saw it mentioned a few times in this thread about the only civilised races in exile/avernum being humanoid bipeds? What about the Aranea, Naga and Eye Beasts? all of them appeared to have developed culture, languages, social structure and in some instinces even organized armies? I think both kinds of civilisation have been expiremented with in the series (though I admit the less humanoid bipedal races appear to have less ability to act in a non-evil way in the series, with the exception of possibly the GIFTS but I'm not sure how intelligent or civilised anyone would claim them to be).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wolves on our planet have a rudimentary societal structure as well. Most herd/pack animals do. It doesn't make them intelligent or civilized, just organized.

 

*this message funded by the WWF*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brought up the Gazers, actually (I can't really tell the difference!), and while they are intelligent and do show signs of cooperation, I haven't been able to find any sign that they have any civilization of their own. The same goes for the nagas.

 

The aranea do have a civilization. A primitive one, perhaps, but definitely civilized, complete with some degree of specialization.

 

—Alorael, who will point out that the problem has never been the bipedal part. It's the hands that matter, and nagas have them. aranea kind of do. Gazers and Eye Beasts probably don't, and I haven't seen any signs of civilization. (They're good candidates for magical tool manipulation, though.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never remember the Naga having hands, just a long snake body and a womans head? And what exactly is all that pink stuff holding Gazers and Eyebeasts together? apparently it burns you, acid goo? stinging tentacles? magical force fields?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×