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Life Forms Revisited or Into the Breach once more.


Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Okay, the information/ communication abilities is one of the tough sections. It has been reworked a number of time. Three approaches were tried tonight I found one that will fit the new style of BEs.

The best part, six pages will be condensed into three point five pages given the way the rewrite will go. It is worthy path. I just need the edit it once through and see what the final numbers will be.

I also originally had a mechanism called "emmitter". It would be a prerequisite for active senses, energy attacks, and projective communication. So if you were an electro emmitter, you could use get radar, an electro arc, and radio communication. By eliminating that BE, it does mean that a lifeform might not be as mechanically themeatic. So maybe increase the evolution cost, but eliminate the biologic points.

The Cost for abilities is based on their adventure gaming functionality. So certain things are cheaper or more expensive than they should be. This makes the costs based on active use. Evolution cost is tool for GMs to determine "effective cost" and how much a given Lifeset is adjusted from a true cost. Evolution Points is for section 41, advanced lifeform.

Yes, I am writing the advanced rules at the same time I am writing the basic rules. I am writing the basic rules with an eye to the advanced rules, so the advanced rules will not replace the basic rules... but augment it. It will add a few layers of complexity to the basic rules.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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The rewrite, making extra use of the side columns, has managed to get six pages of communication/ information abilities to 2.75 pages. Plus it has a number of grab and go examples for extra senses that are not already in the Lifeform Example section (which will need to be redone once I get this all the BEs redone.)

Still feeling good about the rewrite. My life is getting complicated, so I have not been able to dedicate as much time to this as I would like to doing this (sigh... Boyscouts... but Fate so good and bad). However, it is going though. It isn't torture to do the writing, it is just a problem to get to the computer and do the writing.


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Little progress was made. I did another edit pass through the section I am doing (6 pages to 2.75). I added some more variations (advantages per level taken), which means I will need to rework the examples. I also found a flaw in the pricing of these senses, so I am working through some pricing for these biologic elements.

I am behind schedule, but if I had just rushed through this... it would of been disastrous down the line.

I hope I can get back into rewriting, rather than fixing tomorrow.
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Okay, if I was a young gamer... I know this would of invalidated by gamer license.

I am a grey beard/ grognard now. So I opted to sleep over writing. (I mean I went to bed at 2045. I get up at 0430... and the dang rescue dog needs to go out every three and a half hours to four hours... every day for four weeks now. I so need extra sleep)

So my license isn't revoked... but not much progress made.

I do have a good number of blog posts done though.

I still have commitments to writing projects and the Blog is the only one getting any real love.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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I have reworked the Information section, after a problem with the writing structure and a problem with saving.

So Morphic section is done Six pages have been reduced to two and one third pages. W00t!

It is late and there is no blog post... so still... I finished a big section of my game (and resectioned a few things for advanced section.

Yes, I am writing the advanced rules when I am creating the basic lifeform.

Madness you say? Well yes... but I was writing a medium crunch universal game system with a meta-setting, so crazy is par for the course.

By creating pieces for both advanced and basic rules, I can keep things consistent. There will be no changes or loss or disconnects between the two sub systems.

The Advanced System will be more detailed, naturally

1) It will be advantageous for those people building whole world eco systems and building space animals (combined elements from the outline/ template)

2) The system will also address mystical creatures and entities.

3) 1) It will force the creator to address every aspect of the lifeform.... making sure they touch every aspect with some detail.
A checklist for each category. There will be multiple options in each one.

4) Fifteen different metabolisms, which will help addressing various kinds of lifeforms you encounter is action/pulp, fantasy, urban fantasy, science fiction, and science fantasy.

5) Expanded upon the basic set of biologic elements to a more complete set. (Part of the rewrite issue is determining what to keep... what is minimally needed, over what can be advanced.)

6) Blocks of BEs based on environment or purpose (Dire, Celestial).... so if you want a pack hunting swamp creatures... take a wolf template slap a swamp template on it... The Two lifesets combine to make a pack hunting swamp creature.


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Okay - so we are at the current totals

Movement 2.3 pages down from 4
Attack 1.5 down from 2
Defense 1.5 down from 2
Respiratory .66 down from 1.3
Consumption: 2 down from 4.3
System 2.5 down from 3.3
Information 2.75 from 6
Morphic 2.3, down from 5
Power 1 from 1.3
Social .7 from 1

I am at 21 pages of biologic elements so far. The original list was nearly 80 pages, which went down to 60 in the basic set. The butchered sections were cut to 40-45 pages in the basic rules (which did not build what I want to have), with the best version was sixty.

I have not done any of the reproduction (1.7), longevity (.6), recovery (1.5) and cognition (3.5). I have to use all the recovery pieces. I might be able to cherry pick these other sections.

I am going to hand wave the generic environment section and ignore the crafting section. Activity has been edited away. Sleep? Soo there are some other sections that are not making the basic cut (axis for the morphic for example).

I will pin this to the 25 page limit. That will give me 4 pages of explanation, and 10 pages of planned examples. That brings this to 39 pages... a bit more than I want. I might have to cut four pages of animals and creatures (leaving entities and sophonts alone... as they are short enough).

I am on track. I am making progress on the section that has stopped me for three rewrites and nearly 22 months.

My advanced rule set will be cut from 80 pages of biologic elements to 50ish.

Next stop is making all the write ups for animals, creatures, entities, and sophonts with the new list. These write ups might make me have to edit the list so I have the BEs needed for my generic list. The reason why I can't just jamm this, is that I want to show the ways you will write up lifeforms for your game and game notes. So many will be short form, a few will be full character mode, and a few are the abbreviated mode. (There are a lots of levels of detail you can use in my game.)

The stop after that will be cleaning up the character species listing to the new version of BEs... (Did you all miss these threads? (here or here) ). That should be done in a couple of hours.

** *** **​

Then I proceed to section 50.0 - this is the vehicles, building, computers, robot, organizations, territories, and possibly diseases/agents. Oh and the optional NPC rules.... making them as things, rather than characters. The core of these rules are already written. Vehicles subsection is done. Most of these are done, but need details.

60 and 70 is skipped in the core rules, as it would be for things like Space, Astreal, VR, Deep Water, and such. The spot rules in section in 8.0 will cover a lot of things in 60, but the 60 sections will be better organized and better to use. 70s is the very optional rule rules.

80.0 is the GMing section. I am actually afraid of this one. But my Blog was me working on that (when I was focused on scene and setting).

90.0 is the Game Setting section. I have a good 12 pages of that, and more on the way from my work on the 101s. I think that I will have to do an shorter and edited version of Waunderer's Way for the book and put out a net book with 64 or 96 pages of setting material.

100.0 is the appendix and sheets. I know what they are going to be, but I have yet to crank out the exact sheets.

Once I crank out 90.0, I have to do a full re-edit to remove camel cap words, make sure the capitalization is correct, and clean up the text in a few spots.

** *** **​

I have all this momentum, but life will be stealing the weekend from me. (See my blog for Adventures in Scouting The Adult Edition Still. I will try to get things in tomorrow if I can.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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I got a lot done today, but I didn't crack the new sections as deeply as I wanted. There were lots of edits of BEs, a shift of emphasis in a section improving things (but not changing page count... sigh).

Recovery 1 from 2.2
Lifespan 0 from .5
Development x from 1.3
Sleep x from .3
Reproduction X from 2
Cognition x from 4.3

This set has to be reduced to four pages.

So Recovery is done. Lifespan and Development should be dropped to zero. Reproduction should get down to 1. Sleep might actually stay the same and might get bigger, as there are some useful things that might be added back in to morphic and systems. (rewrite). So figure it will be 1 page. Cognition is left.

Oh crap.

See. A lot of the cognition functions are useful for sci-fi games and supers (often sci-fi). If I eliminated most of those and the things for synthetics (which includes golems, x-jacks, and so on) from the core rules, it fits. I like them and think they are good to have.

To be honest, I think there may have to be hand waving here... and more hand waving when we go back to the advanced section.

It might go to a page and a half... and really the numbers are still not bad.

36 pages (26 BEs and 4 pages explanation, and 6 pages of examples (which may increase back to the full 10). Going with full examples still brings me in to 40 pages. Higher than should be, but no need to be crazy about these things. (Wait, don't I have a thread about that somewhere around here? ;) ) 40 is not insane, but just excesive. Power is still 30 pages which might be 32 in the re-edit and improved examples. Tactical in definitely going up from 20 with the re-edit and improved examples.)

So things I need to keep in mind now.... that it is crunching against my self imposed limits and is no longer quite as out of bounds as 50 to 70 +pages was just too much.

I am still feeling good about this... comfortable even. Which as many long time readers have figured out... not something that has happened in the last two years.

There will be an advanced book for Lifeforms with a ton of BEs and Lifeform examples. (or two books... one the system and some examples and a book with a ton of example animals, creatures, entities, and sophonts.) . This will pick up the slack for everything I don't include. It is more about full development and ecologies/ worlds of lifeforms. (It might be a web release in one to five booklets... or could be a stage 2 hard book.) This alleviates some of the need to be perfect stress.

There is an idea. An idea I have been playing with is that different BE lists for different games. The setting in Confederation Space is Star Trek esk science fiction, with some actual science fiction elements rather than just science fiction set pieces. It has a strong emphasis on Adaption (how physically/ mentally adaptive a species is), species splitting, and the origin of lifeforms (sophonts mostly). The current biologic elements, being universally neutral, would ignore these key ideas. Originally I thought I could make that work, but really it is all too tailored to the setting. To explain, I wrote most of Confederation Space when I wrote Continuum (v1.0). There was a lot of vagueness in the lifeform section in the first rules.

To be honest, not including them would seriously take away from the setting.

The setting would have a large chunk of the advanced sophont rules anyways (duplicated in the Lifeform book). Well the framework for them anyways. So that is one of the factors that came into play. Actually the advanced sophont rules would work better being tailor to the CS setting... and then tailored not to fit it for the advanced rules. Adding in its own BEs help make the setting... the setting.

"This being the way it works in the part of the *verse." being the best explanation. I could reserve this option for other settings as well (I like being able to go with dimensional changes and any darn rules of physics I want).

All of these new systems would just be BE changes, they would use the same mechanics presented in the book. (ANd this has precedence as the Skill Category List could be changed by a GM to fit their style or their setting.)

So. In the next day or so I should manage to get a solid set of biologic elements in place. I will then edit out the animals, creatures, entities, and sophonts (and section 3.1 for character species). This is The Acid Test. If I can build what many games will need with the existing BEs then this is a gold set of BEs and I can move on.

I really want to move on.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Still working on 40.0. I am down to the Cognition section. I need to cut 4.3 pages into 1 page (maybe 2). I tried an approach just to see if it might work and it didn't. So I am going to try it again.

I will use the approach and design consideration I know will work, but will not be as useful in the future... (kinda the process I have been using all this rewrite). Then I will go to edit pass, then create 5-10 pages of lifeforms (figure 8 (6-10) Lforms per page). As stated before, this is The Acid Test. If I can build what many games will need with the existing BEs then this is a gold set of BEs and I can move on.

So actually there will be about 20 pages of Lifeforms, but only 10 will be for the game books. Those will include some interesting things from fiction (expys), because we all know that many gamers crib directly from fiction/ shows/ movies. So writing up a Dalek (which is silly easy actually.... writing up the vehicle they live in... that will be the challenge), Wookies, a couple flavors of Dragons, some D&D Monsters (which really are just magic spells)... So Rust Monster - L-POW+3 "Metal to Rust", with things like consumes rusted metal, and some armor. You see where I am going with this.

I might want to add a page for "synthetics" so metal armor, wheels, and so on... for "spirited robots" like B-9 or Robbie or Johnny 5, so that synthetic characters can be built on par with biologic characters. That one page will be dispersed among all the sections.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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Okay, I have been going through this again and again, in the little things driving me crazy thread.

It is done. All that drama, stress, and anxiety, and it is done.

It seems anticlimactic. Crickets even.

Now on to the using of this stuff. Acid Test/ Examples and Protagonist Lifesets. Polishing up the section that leads to it, as there are changes in things that need to be accomidated.

I might add some reproduction and development pieces, but that will push me a page over, if not two. So... here we go.
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Game Guru-Thread Shepherd
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There has been some interest in what Lifeforms are going to be present.

Alligator, Bear , Boar, Camel, Cats (small), Cats (Large), Chimpanzee, Cow , Deer , Dolphin, Elephant, Gorilla, Horses Average, Kangaroo, Komodo Dragon, Orca, Raptors (Birds of Prey), Rats/ Small Rodents, Snake-Rattler, Shark (Great White), Wolves/ Big Canines

Somupoppies (Sleep Dust (Agents rules)), Capture Vines, Giant Venus Beast traps, Evil Trees, Poison,Oak (agents rules) Nice Flowers,
X-ulips (Triffids),

Griffin, Monster Snake, Pegasi, Roc, Unicorn Full Version, Wyvern (Dragon, Lesser), Zombie.

Air Elemental, Minor, Electrical Vampire, Emotivore, Haunt (A spirit tied to one place)

Sophonts – non chartacter
Sasquatch (Non-character), Manticore (Non-character), Dolphin, Aurems (Para-Character), Warp Gargoyles/ Observers,

PC Race Examples in section 3.0
Androids, Atlantians, Cat Folk (new name), Low Dwarfs, High Dwarfs, Low Elves, High Elves, Goblinoids (new name for Orc/Hobgob/goblin), Solarians, Heavy Gravity Humans, Light Gravity Humans, Littlle Green Men, Super Gorillas, Greys (small ones), and Bark'vee (wookies).

High End Dwaves (stronger, tougher, resistant to magic, dark vision, uber base craft skills
High End Elves (magical augments, uv vision, superior abilities, uber longevity, moody mind set, superior artistic and archery skills).
High/low end lifeforms determine the number of special abilities, species abilities, and general impact to the number of experience points the species costs in the end. Some people like lower end species (about D&D) others like more powerful (more C&S 1st Ed). This gives you examples of how you can customize things to your liking.)

Then as I have space... in the order of going in...
Centaurs, Alien Shape Shifters (a globby race), Small (7-9 feet) Giants, Gargoyles (kinda sorta like the tv show... with another type of Gargoyle in Sophant Other Lifeform section. Those Gargoyles are NPCs in the default setting), Mermaids, and Satyrs.

The Gargoyles help reinforce the "more than one way to present something" meme that permeates the game. (Elves and Dwarves are the direct examples of this, as the actual listing has two ways to present them.)

The unpublished Creatures Things I am doing to test some things.
True Dragons , Pernesk Dragons, Rust Monster, Mind eaters, Daleks (but really, their vehicles will be the tough part), Giant Space Travelling Whale, Ant Folk, Ents, Spectres, Psionic Squid Aliens, A warrior Demon, A tempter Demon, maybe some of the ones from 101 demons thread. About half my Kaiju from the 101 Kaiju thead. Ideally it will include every alien/ thing from STOS and any Larry Niven Known Space book.

Given some boredom, I will do Lifesets for all my aliens in 101 aliens thread. They will be in character mode.

This is the plan, but we know how well plans survive contact with the word processor.

I am perfectly sure that the biologic element list, as it is now, will cover all the things I want to do. If it can't I will tweak it a bit. That is why this is the acid test.

Yes. Convergence Point has been designed to take on any genre. (If you want to see the poly dimensional setting and some spheres and realms for the game). There has been a lot of work on it so it can. As stated before, you will quickly and easily be able to create standard animals (for Earth or any biome), fantasy or science fiction creatures (those with exotic or exceptional abilities), entities (like the glowing uber powered entities, spectres, ghosts, some demons), sophonts of all kinds (fantasy, sci-fi aliens, mutants, constructs, etc). You encounter all these things in a comic style super hero game, and a bit more if you go transdimensional. The rules can handle them without handwaving.

The biologic element system is power modular, which is to say, there are a large number of options in a general class of ability (So, in Offense - you have natural weapon (claws, bites, doing serious damage), striking (hooves, tail swipes), ramming attack, electrical generation, chemical projection (skunk, to viper, to acid spitting monster), and so on. You spend some BE points on abilities attach the trait (and rulesbit) and there you have an ability for your lifeform.


So I ask, anything you people would like to see?
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