Phidi Council Victory

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nweismuller
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Phidi Council Victory

Postby nweismuller » Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:36 pm

I am still giggling over Magnate Arabo waxing eloquent over the council victory, heh. His(?) text for the council victory is just classic.

"Such felicity at being chosen by the galaxy to lead! I look forward to a bright future of happiness, brotherhood, and perpetual net positive economic growth. Oh joy, rapture!"

(What is Arabo's gender, anyhow?)

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Arioch
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby Arioch » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:36 pm

Most of the non-human species don't have different genders. For simplicity's sake.

DanTheTerrible
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby DanTheTerrible » Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:17 pm

Arioch wrote:Most of the non-human species don't have different genders. For simplicity's sake.

Oh, crud, another throwaway comment that activated my tangent-o-meter.

My first thought was that Phidi are a sort of fish people and a lot of Earthly fish have this habit of changing sex as part of their life cycle. So perhaps the Phidi have a so-far unexplored role as the galaxy's most flaming gender queers?

But my second thought was no, no, no, this is not Master of Orion, Arioch has sweated to present races that aren't just one-dimensional animal people and here I am characterizing Phidi as fish people. Unworthy, most unworthy!

So my third thought. Let us agree that Phidi are very private about gender matters, but the most painfully polite and understanding researchers have discovered they actually have three sexes. With no intended humor, the researchers have labelled them weird, weirder, and weirdest.

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Arioch
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby Arioch » Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:38 pm

Sex (that is, gene-swapping) is necessary for adaptation, so we can assume that it is more or less universal among aliens. Gender dimorphism, however, is only necessary when there are substantially differing sex roles, and whether this is the case will depend on the methods of reproduction used. We can suggest that the various races don't appear to have gender dimorphism either because the genders have similar enough roles that they aren't visibly different, or that they don't have different genders at all and are hermaphroditic.

Organisms that reproduce by fission or budding, or via the release of spores don't need genders at all; they can be hermaphroditic. The only race that would fit this model is the Gardeners, who are in the forthcoming DLC.

Egg-layers can benefit from sex specialization, as producing eggs requires more resources than producing male gametes, but there is often little dimorphism in Earth egg-laying species (in reptiles, fish, crustaceans and non-social insects, males and females can be hard to tell apart), and it's not strictly necessary; for example, each sex partner could contribute half of an egg instead of an egg and sperm.

Organisms that have the most use for sexual dimorphism are those that give live birth, as it is the most biologically expensive for the female. Because of the hostile environment of the Yoral homeworld, I think they will need to give live birth to have offspring that are well-developed enough to survive. There are some hermaphroditic Earth organisms where the sex partners fight to determine sex roles, and the winner impregnates the loser; this seems appropriate for the pugnacious Yoral.

The most extreme examples of sexual dimorphism are eusocial species that have dedicated "queens" that are responsible for all of the reproduction, but we don't currently have any representatives of this type in SIS. This is kind of the go-to cliche for SF writers looking for an "alien" reproductive system based on Earth examples.

It has already been established that the Gremak are egg-layers and that they abandon and occasionally eat their young, so they have no need for a specialized nurturing gender. The adversarial nature of their culture makes sex specialization and cooperation problematic, so they would be good candidates for being hermaphrodites, with each sex partner being able to go its own way after sex and and lay eggs, with neither being dependent upon or having an advantage over the other.

The Orthin have hard exoskeletons and so will probably need to be egg layers. The rational and egalitarian nature of their society does thematically lend itself to a system where each sex partner produces half of an egg, and they are joined in a completely non-sensual external process.

The Phidi are highly cooperative, and so some sexual specialization makes sense; that their society is also extremely hedonistic also lends itself to complex and changing gender roles. Phidi might start life as females, converting to males as they age (perhaps after giving birth or under special circumstances), and one could imagine multiple specialized intersex roles. (Fish people or not.)

Reptiles tend to be egg-layers with little sexual dimorphism, so we can imagine that the Asdhar have males and females but there there is little visual difference between them, and that they do not have different social roles, whether they lay eggs or give live birth.

The Tinkers, of course, have so radically departed from their natural reproductive cycle that the concept of gender no longer has any application to them.

nweismuller
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby nweismuller » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:56 am

OK, this stuff about the sexual biology of the different species? Pure gold. This is stuff I can definitely use when I get around to starting a Stars in Shadow Let's Play in the future.

nweismuller
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby nweismuller » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:36 am

Funny thing, though, I always thought I did see dimorphism in the Phidi- at least, there's a pretty striking contrast between the bright yellow markings on Arabo and Simli and the more subdued coloration of Anysus.

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Arioch
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Re: Phidi Council Victory

Postby Arioch » Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:54 pm

nweismuller wrote:Funny thing, though, I always thought I did see dimorphism in the Phidi- at least, there's a pretty striking contrast between the bright yellow markings on Arabo and Simli and the more subdued coloration of Anysus.

Coloration variations between individuals don't have to be sexual in nature. I suppose they could be in this case, if we wanted to get deep into the possibilities of Phidi sexuality.

For those interested in the subject of evolution of gender differences, alternate forms of sex determination and multiple additional and variable genders, you may enjoy this lecture video that I recently ran across on The Evolution of Males and Females:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En26p6GvtHw


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