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All canon Pern content copyright to Anne McCaffrey. All non-canon Pern content copyright Kestrana. All draconic sprites/button images copyright to various artists (many images from Pern book covers; dragon sprite from "Dragonlady" fantasy portrait of Anne McCaffrey). All original characters copyright of their gamers.

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1 Invent a Critter! on Sun Jul 15, 2012 8:45 am


Admin / Weyrlingmaster
So, I've been thinking (dangerous, I know). Anne really didn't spend much time on the indigenous species of Pern, outside of those that had immediate impact (namely, wherries, dragonets, trundlebugs, and a few other random species). Obviously, there'd be a lot more indigenous critters than those. And quite a few of the species the colonists brought with them would likely have adapted/mutated and maybe even crossbred with native species.

So, here's the contest: Invent a Pernese critter: either flora or fauna.

The Rules
  1. It can be either a native species or one that was brought by the colonists and has mutated (non-native).
  2. No stealing creatures from other sites or gamers. You can use another's work as inspiration for your own, but it must be unique to you.
  3. Entries must include the species common name (e.g., "trundlebug"), a description of what the creature looks like, (e.g., "12-legged beetle, come in all colors, including black, brown, sand, blue-green, and crystal clear."), the ecological niche it fills (e.g., "Eats parasites, carries pollen, and turns the soil, combining into one creature a Terran bee, earthworm, and ladybug."), and if it has any unique/peculiar behaviors (e.g., "Walks in a perfectly straight line unless disturbed by something; juveniles attach like a string of beads trailing behind an adult.").
  4. Any pictures must be original artwork.

How to Enter
Create a new thread in the "Invent a Critter" board describing your new creature. Others may ask questions about the creature within the thread and you should answer their questions.

Once a month (on or around the 15th of the month), the entries from the previous month will be put in a poll for the "Best Described" of the new creatures (unless there is only one new entry, in which case that entry wins by default).

When the poll is released, a Roleplay Contest will begin. Any gamer on the site can pick one of the new creatures from the previous month and roleplay out some interaction with the creature, based on what the inventing gamer posted. This is where your questions come in handy - no additions to the creature will be allowed in the post unless it is also included in the description thread. At the end of the month (just before the next critter poll is released), a poll will be posted so that gamers can vote on which thread they think best describes an interaction with the creature. Multiple characters are allowed to interact in the same thread; winning is based on the thread, not the gamers in the thread.

The winner(s) of the poll and the Roleplay Contest each receive a Special Mark. Note: there will be no tie-breakers, so if two creatures or Roleplay Contest entries tie, both win. If multiple characters are in the winning Roleplay Contest thread(s), they all receive the reward.

Rules for Native Species
  1. Must have a count of limbs that are a factor of six (6, 12, 18, 24, etc.).
  2. No Terran-type feathers. Protofeathers like the wherries have are acceptable.
  3. Eyes are multifaceted.
  4. Tridactyl claws for creatures with claws - two fixed-joint claws with a pincer-like third claw that locks between the fixed pair.
  5. Native plant species should be triangular in cross-section and/or have arrowhead or triangular leaves.

Rules for Non-Native Species
  1. See list below of (known) species to be brought by the colonists.
  2. No telekinetic powers. :-)
  3. Should be larger than the original species brought from Earth.
  4. If furred, should have longer fur than normal for Earth variant; if not furred, should have developed at least a short coat.
  5. May have bred with native species to develop unique traits - if so, explain how the otherwise-genetically-incompatible Terran creature and Pernese creature became genetically similar enough to breed and whether the offspring breed true.

Known Native Species
(According to the DLG, 2nd ed.)
  • Fungi (glows are the only known example)
  • Seaweeds
  • Trees
  • Grassoids
  • Beach-walking crustacepoids
  • Red and green algae
  • Ferns (tropical regions only)
  • Flying insectoid pollinators attracted by flame with double sets of wings
  • Reptiloids (up to 7 meters long and 10 centimeters thick) - jungle areas
  • Two identifiable types of wherries, both predatory
  • Numerous brilliantly-plumed smaller (than wherries) avians
  • "A thousand types" of insectoids (inland, shoregoing, and seagoing)
  • Nematodes, "earthworms," sandworms, and ground mites
  • Tunnel snakes (jungle, water, and desert varieties)
  • Fish and "larger creatures" that feed along the shores at dusk
  • Coral reefs
  • Mottled herpetoid 7cm wide and 5cm tall, with tentacles and claws, no discernible eyes or mouth; lures prey with stench and traps on its back (suggested that sticky back is an external digestive system)
  • Needlethorn
  • Numbweed
  • Fellis
  • Flax, sisals, and bamboos
  • Sungazers (flowers of a little plant that grows mostly underground, showing just the bloom in the grass, very much like an Earth strawflower or windflower)
  • Creepers (vine-like plants, think Virginia Creeper)
  • Flies, fireflies, VTOLs, bedbugs, rollers (wood louse), springs, millipedes, trundlebugs
  • Crawlies (six-legged geckos)
  • Fish/Crustaceans: packtail, fingertails, spiderclaws, orangegill, yellowfin

Known Non-Native Species
(According to the DLG, 2nd ed.)
  • Gingko, cottonwood, oak, pine, ash, rowan, scrub pine, willow, cherry, citrus, apple, and pear trees
  • Adapted Earth grasses to help imported herbivores adapt to boron-based Pernese grasses
  • Terran grains (corn and wheat) and legumes (fingerroots - carrots)
  • Mushrooms
  • Grapes
  • Herbs: tarragon, rosemary, lovage, borage, thyme, coriander, nutmegoid, hazel; onions, garlic, hops
  • Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and gooseberries
  • Cattle (herdbeasts): long-haired Scotch cattle was the base species
  • Horses: base were Connemara and Welsh for riding, Shire for drafts; NOTE: all true breeds died out during plague - runnerbeasts (all that's left) are cross breeds of these originals
  • Llamas
  • Goats and sheep (Kashmir goats all died out)
  • Pigs
  • Dogs: Jack Russell terrier and herding breed (presumed to be German Shepherd or Belgian Malinois)
  • Tabby cats and the large, dangerous felines produced by mentasynth tampering
  • Chickens, geese, quail/pheasant, and ducks
  • Spiders (now known as gossamer spinners)
  • Fish and "other marine life" (including dolphins)
  • Grubs (hint: these look a lot like furry trundlebugs, could maybe crossbreed)
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