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Basic Information

Xenobiology is sometimes used as a synonym for astrobiology, but there is a distinction between the technical terms.

Further, xenobiology need not be entirely focused outward. See the concepts of Shadow Life and Shadow Biosphere for ideas on non-traditional life that may be right under our noses.

For more information, see Alien Biochemistry.



Game and Story Use

  • Aliens, Cryptids, and Monsters might all fall under this banner. In some cases, xenobiology may overlap with cryptozoology.
    • See Alien Biochemistry for ideas and details on how life might be different from our own.
    • In a science fiction or pulp genre game, you might combine xenobiology and cryptozoology, and give it all a touch of the Adventurer Archaeologist trope to make a really interesting character that runs around chasing after rare (and disputed) forms of life.
  • A game where life exists in more than just carbon-based forms might have Astrobiology and Xenobiology as seperate skills. One covers carbon-based life, and includes not just biology and botany but also medicine. The other is a broader skill that affects non-carbon life, but probably lacks the finer medicinal abilities.
    • Alternately, you might have various versions, such as carbo-biology and carbo-surgery for earth-life, silica-biology and silica-surgery for Silicon-based Life, nitro-phosphoro-biology etc. This would only be useful if your game had a lot of really exotic extraterrestrial life.
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