I have some aliens. They look a bit like giant land-squid, and they have two very interesting characteristics.
First off, their central nervous system never stops growing, so intelligence and age are well correlated, although in extreme old age when the brain has grown beyond the body's ability to support it dementia and death are inevitable.
Second is their reproductive cycle. Beneath their mantles they have three "bud sites". If left vacant a new bud containing the individual's haploid genetic material will form. A bud kept in a bud site will stay viable for years, but without a host they only survive a few hours. They swap buds with each other, and when they're ready they close up their mantles and the three buds, as well as the gestational parent's own contribution, merge together and a baby thing is formed. So there are no distinct sexes, and everyone has four parents.
As I imagine it, this makes reproduction like a gigantic trading card game. Individuals are constantly swapping buds (not necessarily even their own) to get desirable combinations of characteristics for their offspring. Offspring are raised by their gestational parent and may not even know who the other parents are.
As an extension of all this I've imagined that their culture is based primarily around games and strategy, and historically their societies tend to be gerontocracies (although the age-intelligence correlation makes the distinction between gerontocracy and meritocracy rather fuzzy).
My question is what happens to their society when their technology advances to provide for life-extension, intelligence augmentation, and the ability to store and preserve viable buds outside the body?
More specifically, I'm thinking that their biology has given them a fairly natural social setup, but what sort of society might they end up with once those biological factors are mitigated by technological progress. If they're anything like us different groups will seize the opportunity to push for greater rights and equality, but on the other hand even though any natural reasons have gone certain things will be deeply embedded in identity and culture. I have some ideas, for example that success in games will become a more important factor than age in power structures, but I'm going all over the place and struggling to get much that's coherent so I wanted some fresh perspectives.