Roleplayer’s Guide to the Galaxy – The Andorians

Klingon Combat Log 203rd Day of the year of Kahless 2410

“These Kazon are worthless petaQ.  We expected more fight out of them, but no they are no more than parasites scrambling to survive.  They have no honor!  Our Federation and Romulan Republic allies ….  have much more honor.    Our battles against the Vaadwuar and the Kazon, and any other Delta Quadrant species that decides to try fight against us, have been quite glorious.  Our orders from the council were to set out and find if any of the Delta Quadrant species out first target was the Kazon.

Outside the glories of battle, we are still … adjusting … to the ceasefire.  We’re still resisting the urge to attack any Federation vessel or officer we come across.  However, in the battles we fought, with the Alpha Quadrant Alliance, they have fought honorably.  To my surprise…

We will have to see how long this lasts…”

Captain Kuras of the House of Den’Pa
I.K.S. Korval

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The Andorians  

The Andorians are a very similar race to Humans when it comes to the character’s attitude.  We really only get more of an in depth look at the Andorians in the Enterprise television show to know that they are a proud race with a military very similar to Earth’s at that time.  In comparison to Humans, they are more hostile and willing to jump to conflict, but can be reasoned with, which is how they differ from Klingons.  They had been in conflict with the Vulcans since before the Vulcans discovered Earth.

Andoria and Vulcan are neighbors to each other and they are are in the neighborhood of Earth’s solar system as well.  The planet of Andoria is actually a moon of a ringed gas giant.  Andoria is home to 2 races: the Andorians, and their sub species, the Aenar.  Andor is a frozen world.

The Aenar and Andorians used to be in contact but over the generations the communication was lost to the point that each race thought the other was a myth.  Until the incident with the Romulan probe that used an Aenar pilot.  The two species reconnected and under the flag of Andoria are strong members of the Federation.

One crucial aspect to know about roleplaying Andorians is their Ushaan. The Ushaan is a battle to the death using the Ushaan-tor, an ice mining axe.  Andorians are taught to fight with these weapons as children.  An Ushaan can be ended before death if one of the opponents is disabled to the point of not being able to continue.  For example the Ushaan between Captain Archer and Shran ended with Archer cutting off one of Shran’s antennae.

Andorians had two super-cranial antennae that aid in balance.  Loss of an antenna could damage their balance in the short term, but with most equilibrium issues some time can make it easier to adapt.

The Aenar are a white-skinned and blind subspecies of Andorian.  They have strong telepathic abilities.

In soft canon, it is suggested that Andorians have four genders, and it requires all four to procreate.  Two of the sexes, thaan and chan are approximately masculine, and the other two genders, zhen and shen, are approximately feminine. Andorians and Aenar accept the terms “male” and “female”, and the pronouns “she/her” and “he/him”, while dealing with binary-gendered species. (DS9novel: Avatar)

Interview with a Cosplayer

To delve into more detail I asked the question of roleplay to Priority One resident Andorian cosplayer/roleplayer, Ell.

As Andorian roleplayers/cosplayers what is important to know to actually be a member of the Andorian species?  To create a good illusion of being this race?  What’s important to know about their history, etc?

When I played my Andorian character online in a text-based RP ten years ago, I drew mostly from the DS9 relaunch novels, where Andorians have four genders and were undergoing a population crisis. I used Ian McLean’s indispensable fansite The Andor Files and Worlds of Deep Space Nine (“Andor: Paradigm”) by Heather Jarman as my main references.

At the time–and this still kind of applies today, though from what I understand STO has introduced a lot of content about Andorians–what’s “canon” was all over the place. I know Trek books aren’t ~canon~, but I loved them, and thought they fleshed out Andorians better than TOS or ENT ever did.

There are a few commonalities between the various interpretations: firstly, they are a people of warriors, albeit in a different way than, say, Klingons. The other constant is that they’re blue humanoids with antennae. After that, things are all over the place. Is it Andor, Andoria, Epsilon Indi, or Procyon? Is that the name of the star or the planet? Ice planet or no? Moving antennae from the forehead, or hard, insect-like antennae further back? Fans have devised explanations for these things over the years, which I find to be one of the most fascinating and endearing aspects of Trek fandom. I like how STO has (sort of) incorporated the four gender paradigm from the books and the varying antennae styles into character creation, especially since it’s not likely that we’ll see (primary universe) Trek on TV again.

When we do our Andorian makeup, we try and create the illusion that we actually have blue blood, so we make sure we get good coverage, shade and contour as well as time allows, paint our hands, and do our nails and lips blue. Details can make or break a costume, and this is especially true for alien characters. Our characters all have unique backgrounds, and as Andorian mercenaries for the Klingon empire, we keep it somewhere between placid and brooding.

Again, there isn’t a whole lot of canon as far as Andorian history goes. I’m not sure what has been revealed in STO, but on ENT we see the Andorians are at odds with Vulcans and Tellarites, have an Imperial Guard, and end up putting aside their differences with other species to help found the Federation. In the DS9 relaunch, we learn that Andorian culture is traditionally clan-based, has unique gender roles, and is rooted in ecology, myth, and spirituality–none of which is regularly discussed with outsiders.

~Ell

Delta Rising Review by a Roleplayer

Delta rising has been a top notch expansion for Star Trek Online.  It has added great story and new queued events to keep end gamers busy for a long time, as well as a new battlezone to go along with that great story.  The story brings with it new enemies with their own stories.  However, I feel that the expansion is socially lacking.  Yes, we got a beautiful new battle zone, but no social area in that zone, which maybe could’ve been easily resolved with a new fleet  holding or an small bar or park location in the Kobali capital.  Maybe make New Talax Colony a social zone.

Also, the newer PvE difficulty is also not very social, in fact in my experience in the PUG grouping is horrible.  No one listens, and they do not try to strategize to actually complete the additional required objectives.  They all got used to DPS being the main answer and no one is even trying the advanced or elite modes at this point, because they are “hard”.   I understand advanced and elite require the higher end gear, but social interaction even to plan strategy is can help anything work better.  Majority of the pugs I ener are silent, more interested in doing the work for themselves then the whole, which i might add is counter to the ideals of Star Trek.   You have to find your own groups to actually make proper attempts at those modes if you want to fully completely them.  For small fleets that can be almost impossible.

I am excited with the recent announcement of the voyager interiors.  Not a huge fan that I have to buy a ship pack to get them, but I’ll do it to have what I feel was the most modern interior given in the shows.  It comes with something we do not have in most of the current interiors, the conference room.   Closest we ever had was the observation lounge from the old First Contact missions, which were taken away with the exploration clusters.   Also, it has been recently announced the new Club 47 will released soon.  We have seen some impressive images and videos, and I hope it to become a social center for in and out of character chat..

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My hope is now that with the end game enhancements with Delta Rising, that the social aspect is able to be given a stronger look.  Enhancing the player housing aspect of the crew quarters, and even a re-pass on the ship interiors, would be great.

Ultimately my review is the expansion was great for game place, but outside of the story it was not very roleplay friendly.

 

2 Comments ON " Roleplayer’s Guide to the Galaxy – The Andorians... "
  • alt_example

    Marcase November 24, 2014 at 3:29 am - Reply

    Nice piece. My Fed main is an Andorian, and it’s nice to see that Andorians are well represented among the STO’s playerbase. I’m still hoping that with their in-game popularity, Andor will get a make-over like Risa; the hanging ice-cities from ENT would be a great addition.

    You also addressed the main gripe most players have with Delta; we don’t mind another grind, we just wished it would’ve been a joint grind. Everyone is off solo-ing maps and PVEs when STO should’ve focused more on its MMO part.

  • alt_example

    seannewboy November 24, 2014 at 7:24 am - Reply

    Wonderful article.


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