Hello everyone this is my first time posting on these forums. I'm a little nervous because my story isn't nearly finished and because it's unusual, but here it goes. It is long, because I've been through several ideas myself and I'm in desperate need of help because it's driving me crazy I'll start by linking a few pics of what the main species in the story look like: The Caprans (protagonist species): http://i.imgur.com/GeY7t7c.png http://i.imgur.com/XWubGGr.png https://www.dropbox.com/sh/2hnps8dbqo6komi/AADQpRljOHjou3Q-10hU2Hs_a/Gadget%20visit.psd And the Hethrell (villain species): http://i.imgur.com/BWCcyed.jpg http://i.imgur.com/gq3GQYD.jpg As you can imagine since they are quadrupeds and don't have fingers or toes, it would be difficult for them to manipulate objects, which is especially important since the story is intended to be an emotional steampunk fantasy war story between these two races. Most things in the story such as their weaponry, fuel sources, food production, government, etc. have been explained without getting in the way of the story, but the biggest issue so far is the explanation of how they can use tools without fingers. My first idea was that the Hethrell and Caprans both have devices that are implanted in their heads once they reach a certain age, and these allow them to use psychokinesis to levitate objects. It takes a few years to learn and the brainpower of an individual determines how much they can levitate at once, lifting too much weight and overexerting themselves will give the user a bad headache that can leave them disoriented. A few friends criticised this idea and said that in order for the story to be taken seriously I require a scientifically sound explanation of how these devices work. There were a few concepts I thought of next - one was instead of kinesis the devices worked by manipulating the magnetic fields around objects, the issue with this though is that too much use could give the user brain damage because the magnetic waves would interfere with their own brain waves. Another idea was that the device could manipulate gravitational fields around objects, but I can't think of a way to explain it and I imagine with that technology they could have easily gotten into space already. I tried to branch out into other ideas - one was the concept that on the bottom of the characters' front hooves there's a magnetic device that allows them to pick up objects. Only issue is that everything would then have to be made of metal to be picked up and how would it be possible to let go of an object without the character having to pull it off with their teeth? Perhaps the user could somehow pick up an object with this hoof-implanted device (even non magnetic ones) with their hoof by tensing up his or her arm muscles and release the tension to drop it? It would essentially be like the Sticky Hooves trope that is sometimes seen in cartoons. A friend suggested velcro-like strips, but that had even more issues and I got the most ridiculous image in my head, and somebody could be the world's best troll by removing the velcro strips off everything at the supermarket. An idea I had today was a three-fingered device that is worn like a boot and plugged into the user's musculature through a plug, as can be seen here: http://i.imgur.com/cLdcfeN.png but this also raises questions about if this is possible since they likely wouldn't have much control over their muscles to be able to use the device, and I'm unsure if it could work if I removed the cord (since it can make the design look messy). Finally I ask the question, am I overthinking this? Is anyone going to even care if the characters and writing is strong enough? I would immensely appreciate your input on what I should do (other than go to anthro characters or humans, I like anthros but I've never been able to get their designs right). Would people dislike the idea of psychokinesis devices or devices that allow every character to somehow levitate objects? Would it be better to instead give the characters horse-shoe like devices that allow them to pick up objects with their hooves through magnets or some other means? Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.