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Thread: Vulcan RP - The logic of your portrayal of this culture escapes me.

  1. #1
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    Vulcan RP - The logic of your portrayal of this culture escapes me.

    One of my players is having trouble portraying his Vulcan character.

    I must confess that he is not as familiar with Star Trek as you could hope.

    Anyway, I find he is confusing portraying someone living according to logic and someone arrogant /judging other cultures primitives.

    I leave him a bit of room since his character is still young especially for Vulcan standards (20 years old 1st year cadet).

    I must admit I find myself portraying Vulcans challenging. One Vulcan no problem but I have a handful of them in my Academy campaign. How to stress their differences while sticking to logic?

    Any advice, experience, anecdotes or source about Vulcans to share ?

    Live long and prosper
    Last edited by Kalum666; 03-15-2013 at 10:45 AM. Reason: Form of sentence

  2. #2
    hmmm. To be honest if he is playing such a young Vulcan I would suggest that you cut him some slack on this and let this be his portrayal. We had often seem Vulcan logic portrayed (or perceived by others) as arrocgance and superiority, even ewhen it wasn't meant to be...

    Why couldn't a Vulcan teenager be a touch confused too, perhaps if you want to bring him 'on message' give him a Vulcan mentor to gently guide and through this medium introduce other Vulcan elements into your series?

    But for the most part you could let this accidental slip guide the characterisation and work from this as a starting point.
    DanG/Darth Gurden
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  3. #3
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    What Dan said.
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  4. #4
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    Since Vulcans are often the most difficult characters to play, I'd say your player is pretty well within the pale, for a young and unexperienced Vulcan. Overweaning "superiority" is often a fault percieced among Vulcans by other species. Take, for instance, Sisko's rival Vulcan in the baseball episode, or, indeed, Spock at his worst. Let him have some fun with it and don't be too hard on him.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Gurden View Post
    Why couldn't a Vulcan teenager be a touch confused too, perhaps if you want to bring him 'on message' give him a Vulcan mentor to gently guide and through this medium introduce other Vulcan elements into your series?
    Or give him a foil who parrots back his Vulcocentrism, and he'll see how it sounds coming from someone else.
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  6. #6
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    Thanks for your feedback

    It is not that often that I hear other GM to tell me to go easy on players ^^

    Just kidding we all have the best intentions toward our players.

    The Vulcan mentor idea is really good. I have a couple character that should fit the task. Also the player is motivated to go look for them since he wants to improve some specifically Vulcan skills.

    Additionaly, I had an idea after viewing an old Kung-Fu episode. I could use some very short flashback scene (in the fashion of Young Caine with Master Po) with an old master the character had studied under. I might go as far as gathering actual scene transcript from Kung-Fu and adapt them just a bit.

    Since the character espaced the monastic life, of a VIM oriented group, before joining SFA, it is quite relevant to introduce.

    There's also another Vulcan cadet NPC that the group will often run into.

    Again, then the challenge is for me again to portray those Vulcans nicely but differently. I guess I'll try to mark the fact that one is an adult, another is an old monk and the last is a young girl.

    Sooo...

    I think I'm gonna gather Vulcan quotes.

    So far I have found " The logic of your action escapes me..." very useful but I should diversify.

    Very exciting to master Star Trek TNG. The two big challenges so far are Vulcans, Psionics and smartass (but motivated) players who try to find the flaw in the Star Trek economy/social system/philosophy. Thankfully I was born a smartass myself
    Last edited by Kalum666; 03-18-2013 at 02:54 PM. Reason: Mispelled "Caine"

  7. #7
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    Late to the party (as usual!), but you can also check the Bantam novel Dreadnought! It has an interesting Vulcanian character who is a weapons designer. He has severe angst over the thing that he is good at (weapons design) kills more efficiently. Might be worth checking out for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Kjeran View Post
    Late to the party (as usual!), but you can also check the Bantam novel Dreadnought! It has an interesting Vulcanian character who is a weapons designer. He has severe angst over the thing that he is good at (weapons design) kills more efficiently. Might be worth checking out for you.
    Or you could just watch Star Trek: Into Sickness.

    With the exception of interesting characters, plausible explanations, and believable dialogue, Abrams lifted the plot from the book wholesale in his latest bastardization of Trek.

    The follow-on novel, Battlestations! also goes out if it's way to explore the character. All snark aside, I think LK's suggestion is a good one.

    http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Sarda

  9. #9
    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the Vulcan sourcebook for Last Unicorn Games' version of Trek. It's one of my personal favorite Trek sources for any game or system. And I should note I've never been a fan of Vulcans, who always seemed to be too dull or difficult to role-play. After having read the sourcebook, I wanted to play one!

    Chase down a copy for your player. It'll be worth your time.

  10. #10
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    I've had some bad experiences with people role-playing (or failing to dismally) Vulcans, as well as a couple of adequate ones. One attempted to defend his egregious use of force as "logical" - after a few sessions, I had him roll up a non-Vulcan character and ruled that the Vulcan character had been institutionalised a dangerously insane (by Vulcan standard). I'd like to get a chance to play one myself, although in my campaigns I occasionally run one as an NPC - I never get a chance to develop a real personality for one. One of these days, I'll have a Vulcan transfer aboard the USS Rising Sun so I can develop one fully as a detailed NPC.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJBeiting View Post
    I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the Vulcan sourcebook for Last Unicorn Games' version of Trek. It's one of my personal favorite Trek sources for any game or system. And I should note I've never been a fan of Vulcans, who always seemed to be too dull or difficult to role-play. After having read the sourcebook, I wanted to play one!

    Chase down a copy for your player. It'll be worth your time.
    Got a copy and I did hand it to the player. I ended up with a former Voshanta monk apprentice (who can read body language at an insane level).

    He used the thing with the concept of: "I can read emotions very well but I do not understand emotions at all."
    Last edited by Kalum666; 09-28-2013 at 05:27 AM.

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