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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
09-26-2010, 12:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrangian View Post
This is true of the Orion too.
The Orion rank customization has two very large obstacles preventing it from becoming a reality in STO ...

1- I always forget how many body piercings equate to the rank of Domnia/Lt. General

2- The body piercings, when placed "properly" ... aren't visible due to their location.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
09-26-2010, 12:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valias
I don't think we really need species-specific rank pins. Keep in mind that neither the Orions nor the Nausicaans have a real military. One is a mercenary force and the other is a band of pirates.
Mercenaries are part of a real military. And Nausicaan NPCs are certainly part of some military force, since they're classified as marines.

While I might agree that the Orion Syndicate is far more of an organized criminal enterprise (though those tend to have their own ranks and structure as well) ... the Nausicaans are military enough to have ranks.

Why heck, here's a relatively famous mercenary who held the rank of Major
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
09-26-2010, 09:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Varrangian View Post
Though I have to say having read them over again these past few days, the Klingons kind of come off as the heroes. and the federation comes off as sadly ill prepared and unwilling to take a stand.
Indeed, I actually thought this to be an interesting perspective. In TNG, the Federation way to solve things always worked out in the end - but only because circumstances favored it. DS9 was a little more "gritty" with Sisko seeing that "more" had to be done to prevent the Federation from loosing the war.

Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
I always forget how many body piercings equate to the rank of Domnia/Lt. General
Orion "ranks" are signified by body piercings? How cool is that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
Mercenaries are part of a real military. And Nausicaan NPCs are certainly part of some military force, since they're classified as marines.
Mercenaries can be part of a real military as some sort of auxiliaries, but the very point about being a mercenary is that they sell their services and do not permanently attach themselves to someone. Just look at how quickly the Nausicaans switched sides as the KDF whipped the Hegemony's scaly butt, for example.

As for marines - I would actually say any shipboard personnel specialized on ground combat and boarding actions would classify as a marine, although you have a point in highlighting the "military sound" of it. Could as well be to emphasize their role to the player, or because they actually belong to a Klingon crew now. I know other Nausicaans are called raiders, for example.

Mind you, I'm going solely from what I've seen on the show and read on MemAlpha: http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Nausicaan

Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
While I might agree that the Orion Syndicate is far more of an organized criminal enterprise (though those tend to have their own ranks and structure as well) ... the Nausicaans are military enough to have ranks.
Hmmh. Up to a certain point I might see this possibility, depending on how big Nausicaan mercenary groups tend to get. Mercenary groups usually do have some sort of rank hierarchy, it just isn't as diverse as in a real military. You have the common grunts, then maybe Corporals or Sergeant as squad leaders, then one or more Lieutenants, then a Captain as the boss.
But I doubt you'll have a General there. Their civilization in general seems rather splintered, sort of like the Hirogen.

In addition to the MemAlpha article, I've taken a look at the Alien Species guide of the Decipher Star Trek RPG and typed out a couple paragraphs. It's soft-canon, mind you, but I think it sounds rather fitting as an explanation for their behavior we've seen on-screen. At least it might be an inspiration/suggestion to players of Nausicaan characters:

->

Description
The Nausicaans earned their reputations as vicious, brutal thugs. Short-tempered, irritable and generally unpleasent, Nausicaans typically find themselves in the midst of fights, altercations and arguments. The Nausicaan tendency towards violence is so pronounced that it is galactic stereotype, and the mere mention of Nausicaans often brings knowing winces.

Even among their own kind, Nausicaans show little in the way of family or friendship ties. They do sometimes build bonds of loyalty to strong leaders or battlefield brothers. Their sense of kinship is weak at best, and nonexistent where other races are concerned. Nausicaans have no concept of cute or pitiable - anything that looks weak or harmless exists to be used or eaten.

A conversation between two friendly Nausicaans often begins with loud, over-enthusiastic greetings and quickly turns into a game of one-upmanship. They brag about recent deeds, their pack's success, their own strength, romantic conquests and the like, growing louder and louder the entire time. By the time they end these conversations, most leave determined to add even more exploits to their list of real and imaginary achievements, by whatever means necessary.

History and Culture
The Nausicaans never had much in the way of culture - instead, their evolution stressed tremendous strength and vitality, an ability to respond immediately to deadly force, not a lot of long-range thinking. While Nausicaan intelligence enabled them to develop some technology, they never proved very far-sighted in its use. As a result, the Nausicaans became sort of poor cousins to the galactic community - just clever and tough enough to work as thugs and mercenaries, while they squandered their own world's resources and lacked the ability to compete with more widespread or intelligent species.

Even when moving into space, the Nausicaans had little sense of self-development. Instead of colonizing new worlds or exploiting available resources, they took to simple banditry and thuggery. Nausicaan pirates became a common scourge of the spacelanes by the 22nd (Earth) century. These deep-space buccaneers proved a real bane to interstellar commerce until Starfleet and other organizations took control of the situation. For many Nausicaans, the age of piracy remains the race's golden age, and tales of ancient derring-do (grossly exaggerated) still stir the Nausicaan soul.

That the Nausicaans would so glorify such a violent era and hold up as heroes people they knew functioned as much through terror, backstabbing and treachery as anything else says much about their species. Their height and brute strength means they physically look down on most other races, adding to their cultural conceit.
The ability to look down on others means a lot to the average Nausicaan. Given the chance to interact with species that are markedly smaller and weaker than themselves, Nausicaans become very aggressive - a throwback to their evolution as a means of showing their dominance over environmental competitors. Though tall by most races standards, Nausicaans felt dwarfed by the massive beasts that once ruled their planet.
Intelligence developed as a survival mechanism, and the smartest and strongest bullied the others into taking all the risks for them. The Nausicaan ancestors stayed nomadic for thousands of years, fleeing foes who proved too tough and exploiting others who did not. Agriculture and permanent settlements only became common when some Nausicaans managed to dominate others into doing the work for them.

Society
Nausicaans still respect those who show strength, but that does not impress them nearly as much as do those who can use their strength effectively. Throughout history, many of their leaders lacked dominating physical strength but knew how to use theirs and their followers' to best effect. Nausicaans constantly seek any kind of edge they can use on their opponends, even if they already have the foes beaten.
This means cheating is not a cultural taboo but a cultural imperative. Most Nausicaan games and sports have very few rules, allowing players a great deal of leeway in how they act and how they win. Nausicaans take great pleasure in winning by hook or by crook, whether playing against their fellows or against aliens. Anyone who seeks to play a Nausicaan in damjat should keep an eye out for magnets and other deceptive stratagems - and physical sports will be very rough.

Of course, Nausicaans also respect such actions in their foes. Cheating them back might start a fight, but Nausicaans bear a great deal more respect for a fellow cheater than someone over whom they can ride roughshod. Even in a fight with someone they respect, Nausicaans still do whatever it takes to win. Cheap shots, hidden weapons, distractions... all of these find a place in every Nausicaan's arsenal. Thanks to the Nausicaan emphasis on strength and victory, the typical Nausicaan will appreciate an opponent who takes such opportunities, and follow the leadership of one who fights or plays well with such tactics. Those Nausicaans who leave their homeworld often do so in the employee of some of the most vicious people in the Alpha and Beta quadrants, and this has boosted their reputation as violent enforcers, happy to break legs for money.

What other races consider the Nausicaan's barbaric manners and violent ways, their own society praises as realistic and pragmatic behavior. Those who most effectively use threats, blandishments and violence raise to the top. More peaceful or meek ones need to leave or they become stepping stones for the strong. Once a Nausicaan rises to power, he does everything he can to hold on to it. Keeping other Nausicaans beneath him becomes and obsession, as does overthrowing the ones above him.

Social mobility requires all the dirtiest tricks Nausicaans learn growing up, and most find any movement at all impossible. Those at the top do their best to ensure that movement happens slowly, and those underneath know that moving too quickly makes them appear a threat needing elimination. The smartest find new and unique ways to seize power, preferably as far from established power structures as possible. For instance, during the golden age of piracy, many Nausicaans focused on alien races, establishing secret bases on distant asteroids from which to make their raids.

In their search for power and status, Nausicaans spread throughout Federation space and into frontier areas. Some ended up on stations like Deep Space Nine, and an ambitious few might even have made it through the wormhole. Wherever they go, they seem as likely to work for criminal and other unethical enterprises as they are to engage in legal work. Many employers use them as strong arms, bouncers, bodyguards and enforcers. In these jobs, their viciousness becomes an asset. Of course, not all Nausicaans follow an illegal path, but even those who stay on the straight and narrow often use their less-reputable traits in order to get ahead.

Favored Professions
Rogue and Soldier. While Nausicaans like to fight, they prefer to get their way with dirty tricks and nasty deeds. They don't fight if they don't have to, or if they don't want to, or if their opponents are bigger than they are. As Nausicaans move more and more into contact with outside species, they take up contracts with other violent races as muscle, and eventually some Nausicaans develop the discipline and training of soldiers, just by nature of their work.

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Originally Posted by superchum View Post
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