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Races of "The Covenant Generation"

Copyright David Johansen ©2003

Edited by Lowell R. Matthews (lowell@sciperio.com) for The Guild Companion

Editor's Note: "The Covenant Generation" setting is described in the companion article to this one, which provides full race descriptions and Spacemaster statistics.

Author's Note: By way of example, here are some races from my own science-fiction campaign setting, which are suitable for player characters. Notice that while some of these races are exceptionally capable, they have distinct limitations. A referee who is creating races for player characters should keep game balance in mind and tie setting-oriented restrictions to their nonhuman races.

1. Dagonites

A. Summary

Nocturnal, finned, and amphibious predators, the Dagonites are a nightmare of jagged teeth, sharp claws, and slimy, mottled-black skin. Dagonites need a wet, warm, and dark environment to thrive. This is quite a technological limitation and it has taken them over a million years to advance as far as most other races do in tens of thousands. They specialize in robots and life-support systems and are the recognized leaders in these fields. Their history has included enslavement by other races that rose and fell while the Dagonites crept forward to the stars.

Dagonites are a sullen and silent race. They have an ancient hatred for the Gnar, who last held sway over them. They see Humanity as wild and dangerous upstarts, and distrust them even more, given the origins of the Inheritors of Gnar. Even so, the Dagonites have a stubborn sense of justice and a soft spot for less advanced species, the oppressed, and the exploited. Their allies, the Glimmers, were less advanced, less intelligent, and less suitable when contacted by the Dagonites, but no one would say they are treated as less than equals in interstellar society.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Mass Egg Laying
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: 4 Arms, 4 Legs, 4 Fins
  • Environment: High Pressure (+10 Endurance), Fluid, Night
  • Features:
  • Camouflage (Base Stealth +10)
  • Caustic Poison (+10 Damage, + Corrosion Injury)
  • Claws (Base Climbing +10, Damage = Strength - 80, Bleeding)
  • Complex Brain (Sentient Race)
  • Fins (1 Swimming Speed)
  • Low Frequency Hearing (+10 Perception)
  • Manipulative Limbs
  • Teeth (Damage = Strength - 50, Bleeding, Entangle)
  • Disadvantages:
  • Distasteful Characteristic: The Dagonites are hideous by most standards.
  • Extensive Life Support Requirements: 4
  • Racial Enmity: The Dagonites hate the Gnar and their Inheritors.
  • Toxic Life Support Requirements: Dagonites breathe carbon-saturated acidic fluids through their skin.

B. Physical Description

Dagonites (Figure 1) have four slender arms and legs, each of which terminates with four sharply clawed digits. They have slick grey skin, which continually darkens, lightens, and develops markings. Four small eyes are mounted on their heads above their set of four long, proboscis-like fangs. The posture of the Dagonites resembles that of Terran mosquitoes, with their four arms mounted towards the front of their torsos, slightly above their four legs. Single large fins grow out of their backs and short stiff tails protrude from their posteriors.

Figure 1: A Dagonite (Front View)

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: Dagonites developed on a world with a toxic and corrosive atmosphere as parasites that grew larger as they eventually came to cultivate and breed their hosts.
  • Build: Dagonites are spindly, like a cross between a mosquito and an eel; their average mass is 200 kilograms.
  • Coloring: Dagonites have constantly changing shades of grey, with darker and lighter markings.
  • Endurance: Dagonites have normal endurance, but they only need two hours of sleep every three days.
  • Height: The top of a Dagonite's back is usually 180 cm, with the fin rising an additional 60 cm.
  • Lifespan: The typical Dagonite lifespan is 501-800 years.
  • Resistance: Dagonites gain +30 vs. psychic powers due to the alien nature of their minds.
  • Special Abilities:
  • 2 Extra Arms
  • Medium Claws
  • Large Bite
  • Aquatic (move normally in fluids)
  • Dagonites cannot breathe normal atmospheres, but they can breathe atmospheres that would kill a Human in seconds.

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: The Dagonites cannot breathe normal atmospheres and so must wear bulky environment suits among other races. Like all Dagonite equipment, these suits are covered in a coral-like substance that serves to protect the suit from their atmosphere.
  • Fears & Inabilities: A Dagonite is insanely brave by Human standards. They seem to fear only failure and the presumably extinct Gnar.
  • Lifestyle: Dagonites are typically cosmopolitan spacefarers.
  • Marriage Pattern: A female Dagonite lays large clusters of eggs under a domestic host creature belonging to a male. While feeding, the males excrete a pollen-like dust that fertilizes the eggs. The male Dagonite raises the infants that are not eaten by the host creatures.
  • Religion: The Dagonites' war with the Gnar and their Inheritors is the closest thing they have to a religion. While donations are voluntary, most Dagonites give as much as fifty percent of their production capacity over to the war effort.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: Since Dagonites do not speak in the Human sense, their vocal translators are often incomprehensible, vague, or riddle-like. The Dagonites have been shown to have a deep sympathy for underdogs and victims, perhaps stemming from their long history as a conquered people.
  • Languages: Dagonites know their own language (10/10). Dagonite communication is accomplished through a complex visual language involving the markings on their bodies. Their computer screens use a "written" version of this, often using a diagram of a Dagonite's posture in conjunction with the "letters." It is impossible for a Human to "speak" the Dagonite language since a mark on the second left shoulder means something very different from an identical one on the first.
  • Prejudices: The Dagonites were enslaved by the Gnar for many centuries. The Dagonites hate the Gnar and their Inheritors with passion and a complete lack of foresight or self-preservation. Since Humanity provided the Gnar with the genetic stock for their Inheritors, the Dagonites are extremely suspicious of Humans. In contrast, the Glimmers, who were also enslaved by the Gnar, have been given full membership in Dagonite society.
  • Professions: Dagonite Psychics are rare, if any exist at all.
  • Training Packages: Generally, Human cultures are so dissimilar to Dagonite ones that Training Packages must simply be disallowed.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Swimming, Heavy Environment Suit
  • Restricted: Non-Dagonite languages
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Advanced Math, Animal Handling (hosts), Basic Math, Bite Attack, Biology, Claw Attack, Computer Technology, Contortions, Cryptography, Dancing, Data Processing, Diving, Electronic Technology, Flora Lore, Genetics, Heavy Environment Suit, Hiding, History(), Laser Pistol, Marine Pilot, Mechanical Technology, Observation, Riding (hosts), Stalking, Sense Awareness (Hearing), Sense Awareness (Smell), Swimming, Vehicle Lore, Xeno Lore

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: The ubiquitous heavy environment suit is equipped with the equivalent of +15 Large Claws. Dagonites always carry a small arm resembling a two handed pistol, in case they happen to meet a Gnar.
  • Armor: A Dagonite will generally have a heavy environment suit. Since they spend a lot of time in these suits, they will often have a high-quality one.
  • Money: Dagonites do not normally use money, but those who are involved with other races will quickly take up their currencies. Since they are technologically advanced beyond the other races, a Dagonite may also have a fair bit of information that is worth money.

G. Background Options

  • Dagonites have three Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Dagonites cannot learn extra languages as a Background Option.
  • Extra Money: Any extra money from Background Options must be in the form of valuable information.
  • Special Items: Dagonites are one technology level above all the other races. As such, they have access to any Dagonite technology. They have no distinction between military and civilian parts of society, so a Dagonite is likely to have restricted weapons. Because their life-support needs are extensive, the Dagonites use more robots than other races. For this reason, a Dagonite can buy robots at half price during character creation.

H. Statistics

Table 1: Dagonite Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

0

+2

+4

+4

0

-4

-4

0

+2

+4

Second Edition

0

+5

+10

+10

0

-10

-10

0

+5

+10

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: +10
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: +10
  • Psychic: +30
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*5*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*5*3*2*2
  • Soul Departure: 10 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 0.75
  • Race Type: 5

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

2

  • Kinetic Armor skill

2

Athletic*Brawn skill category

1

Athletic*Endurance skill category

2

  • Jumping skill

0

  • Sprinting skill

0

  • Swimming skill

4

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

0

  • Climbing skill

0

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

4

Awareness*Searching skill category

2

Awareness*Senses skill category

2

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

2

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

2

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

2

Communication skill category

2

  • Language skills*

4

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

0

  • Tackling skill

0

Outdoor*Animal skill category

2

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

2

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

2

Scientific/Analytic group*

10

  • Scientific skills*

10

Special Attacks skill category

2

  • Claw Attack skill

2

  • Bite Attack skill

2

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

2

  • Hiding skill

2

  • Stalking skill

2

Tech./Trade*General skill category

1

  • General skills*

5

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

0

  • Vocational skills*

5

Weapon skill categories*

3

  • Weapon skills*

3

Hobby Ranks

4

Background Options

  • Talent Points

3

35

 

2. Glimmers

A. Summary

On their homeworld, the color-changing, lightning-fast Glimmers were their world's dominant predators. Their smooth, scaly skin, covering a catlike body with a hooded head and clawed hands and feet - all vanishing in and out of the background - tends to leave Humans in their presence disconcerted and feeling hunted. The Glimmers were discovered by the Gnar before they even reached the Stone Age. Their intelligence seems to have developed in response to a now-extinct species of prey that also did so. Glimmer songs are full of references to the Great War-Hunts before the coming of the Gnar, whom they call "Sky Devils." To the Gnar, Glimmers were just a well-designed weapon. When the civilization of the Gnar crashed down as swiftly as it had risen, the Dagonites adopted the Glimmers and gave them a place among the stars.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Egg Laying
  • Dietary Strategy: Carnivore
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: 2
  • Environment: Marshy
  • Features:
  • Chameleon (Base Stealth +20)
  • Claws (Base Climbing +10, Damage = Strength - 60, Bleeding)
  • Complex Brain (Sentient)
  • Increased Reflexes (+10)
  • Increased Perception (+10)
  • Movement Rate: 2 (Running)
  • Size Modifiers: (-10 Endurance, +10 Reflexes, -10 Strength)
  • Teeth (Damage = Strength - 50, Bleeding, Grapple)

B. Physical Description

Glimmers are built for speed - much like Terran greyhounds would be if they were redesigned after wind-tunnel testing. They have long snouts full of sharp teeth. Sets of four large vents occupy the fronts of the Glimmers' torsos. These allow the Glimmers to take in the large amounts of oxygen they expend in the extended high-speed chases for which they are built. Glimmers have smooth, almost slick skin, which blends in and out of the scenery even as they run.

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: Glimmers are the ultimate chasing predator. Unthinkably fast and virtually invisible, on their homeworld they were such effective hunters that they almost became extinct as their prey became scarce. Then the Gnar came, and finding such a well-designed tool, chose to take the Glimmers and shape them, making them both smarter and more tractable.
  • Build: Glimmers roughly resemble a large, sleek racing dog; they weigh in at around 45 kilograms.
  • Coloring: Glimmers' smooth skin blends into the background, changing color as quickly as they run.
  • Endurance: Glimmers are hearty and fit so they get +10 exhaustion points. They need ten hours of sleep and can only go for one day without it.
  • Height: Glimmers average 150 cm from nose to tail and 60 cm at the shoulder.
  • Lifespan: The typical Glimmer lifespan is 40-80 years.
  • Resistance: Because their minds are so inhuman, Glimmers receive a +20 bonus when resisting Psychic abilities.
  • Special Abilities:
  • Quiet Stride (+20 to Stalking, +10 to Ambush)
  • Chameleon Skin (+20 to Hiding)
  • Fast as Lightning (+20 basic move)
  • Large Bite
  • Small Claws
  • No Hands (virtually incapable of fine manipulation and tool use)

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: Glimmers do not normally wear clothing, but special cold-weather gear has been devised for them. Many Glimmers are fascinated with body paints and tattoos and love to wear markings that will not change.
  • Fears & Inabilities: Glimmers are cautious creatures, which seems to be a survival trait that balances their amazing capacity for headlong rushes well.
  • Lifestyle: Glimmers are mostly solitary hunters, mainly coming together to breed. They have a great oral lore in the form of songs and sagas recording a complex blend of myth and history.
  • Marriage Pattern: Glimmers pair-bond, sometimes for a season, and at other times for life. The female Glimmer lays a clutch of two or three eggs in a nest in a marshy area. While she guards the nest, the male hunts for the pair. The family remains together until the infants are large enough to fend for themselves.
  • Religion: The Glimmers have a mythology full of mighty gods and heroes, mainly animistic gods of weather and places. They have no rituals or observances at all, however.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: The Glimmers are a naturally energetic, almost bubbly species. They are playful and easily delighted, but their slavery and alteration by the Gnar has left them with a tendency towards wild mood swings, depression, and suicide.
  • Languages: Glimmers' mouths are not connected to the breathing apparatuses in their chests. While they can produce sounds with a range and volume far beyond Human norms, they have a very difficult time producing the types of sounds used by Humans, Gryph, or Sheth. Their written language is traditionally scratched on trees and rocks with their claws. They have their own language at (8/4), and can "speak" and understand the Dagonite language as well (8/4).
  • Prejudices: The Glimmers are closely associated with the Dagonites, who have remained faithful to their fellow slaves under the Gnar. In fact, Glimmers are considered full members of Dagonite society. Human xenologists have determined that the Glimmers make up the only moderate faction in Dagonite society.
  • Professions: Glimmers are rarely Scientists or Technicians. Glimmer Psychics are completely unknown.
  • Training Packages: As befits their nature, the Glimmers tend towards outdoors- and combat-oriented Training Packages.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Stalking, Hiding, Hunting
  • Restricted: Languages, Technical Skills, Vehicle Piloting
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Alertness, Ambush, Basic Math, Bite Attack, Claw Attack, Contortions, Culture Lore(), Dancing, Diving, Distance Running, Duping, Fauna Lore, Flora Lore, Foraging, Hiding, Hunting, Jumping, Music, Music Technology, Poetry, Psychology, Sense Awareness, Seduction, Silent Attack, Singing, Sprinting, Surveillance, Survival(), Stalking, Swimming, Tackling, Tale Telling, Trading, Trading Lore, Trickery, Weather Watching

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: Glimmers are ill suited to use weapons at all, but some get cybernetic monoclaws installed.
  • Armor: The only armor routinely produced to fit a Glimmer is an environment suit. Glimmers dislike the encumbering nature of armor.
  • Money: Unlike the Dagonites, the Glimmers are involved in obtaining money from other races and nations. They have an interest in banking and law, though they tend to see them as imaginary constructs that are fun play; they are often accused of not taking such weighty matters seriously. In several cases, Glimmers convicted by Human courts simply disappeared, as did their accusers shortly thereafter.

G. Background Options

  • Glimmers only get three Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Glimmers may learn just about any other language; they just cannot really speak it.
  • Extra Money: Glimmers hoard money in electronic form; they seem to have a very limited interest in solid currency.
  • Special Items: Glimmers are much more likely to own property than other items. (They find the concept that property can be owned to be amusing.)

H. Statistics

Table 2: Glimmer Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

+6

+2

-1

-2

+3

+1

+3

+3

+6

0

Second Edition

+15

+5

-2

-5

+7

+2

+7

+7

+15

0

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: 0
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: +20
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*5*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*5*3*2*2
  • Soul Departure: 15 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 0.5
  • Race Type: 3

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

0

  • Kinetic Armor skill

0

Athletic*Brawn skill category

1

Athletic*Endurance skill category

2

  • Jumping skill

1

  • Sprinting skill

3

  • Swimming skill

1

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

1

  • Climbing skill

1

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

3

Awareness*Searching skill category

2

Awareness*Senses skill category

2

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

1

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

2

Communication skill category

1

  • Language skills*

0

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

1

  • Tackling skill

1

Outdoor*Animal skill category

0

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

0

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

3

Scientific/Analytic group*

0

  • Scientific skills*

0

Special Attacks skill category

x

  • Claw Attack skill

2

  • Bite Attack skill

2

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

3

  • Hiding skill

3

  • Stalking skill

3

Tech./Trade*General skill category

0

  • General skills*

0

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

0

  • Vocational skills*

0

Weapon skill categories*

0

  • Weapon skills*

0

Hobby Ranks

7

Background Options

  • Talent Points

3

35

 

3. Gryph

A. Summary

If the dinosaurs had had feathers in adulthood and Velociraptors had achieved interstellar civilization, they might have resembled the Gryph, a race of feathered, bipedal predators of the sort that chase prey in packs. They developed tool use, domestication, and villages in response to shrinking populations of prey small enough for them to hunt. The Gryph are warm-blooded and oviparous like birds and dinosaurs. Females have gray to reddish-brown plumage, while males have striking shades and combinations of reds, yellows, greens, and blues. The males also have long, extravagant tails. When hunting in a pack, the males would frighten the prey out of hiding into ambushes laid by the females. In modern society, the males tend to be commanders, diplomats, and politicians, while the females tend to be warriors, technicians, and workers. The Gryph form "packs" of an "alpha" male, three to five females, and their young. These packs are much looser than Human families.

A major feature of Gryph character is flight-longing. The fact that Gryph are flightless birds gives them an inferiority complex beyond Human understanding. Consequently, their technological mastery of fine aerodynamic systems and lightweight, high-strength plastics is unmatched. Male Gryph preen and fight amongst themselves almost constantly, while the females seem to be able to cooperate with any group to make things work.

The Gryph entered interstellar society five Earth-years before Humanity and were the first race it contacted. They were also Humanity's first interstellar war. The Gryph lost that one, and the four since, mainly because of their habit of keeping two or three wars going at a time. To the Gryph, diplomacy is much like chasing the prey out of the bushes.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Egg Laying
  • Dietary Strategy: Carnivore
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: Two
  • Environment: Plains
  • Features:
  • Complex Brain (Sentient)
  • Increased Discipline (+10 Females Only)
  • Manipulative Limbs
  • Movement Rate: 2 (Running)
  • Size Modifiers:
    • Female (None)
    • Male (+10 Endurance, -10 Reflexes, +10 Strength)

  • Teeth (Damage = Strength - 50, Bleeding, Grapple)
  • Telescopic Vision (500 Meter "Eyeball" Range)
  • Distasteful Characteristic: Male Gryph constantly pick fights with everyone and constantly preen their plumage. This makes every other race dislike them and makes the entire race unpopular in any other society than their own.
  • Skill Incapacity: Male Gryph are extremely limited in their ability to learn the Diplomacy and Embezzlement skills. Females are similarly limited in learning Leadership and Management skills. In either case, these skills suffer a -20 penalty.

B. Physical Description

Gryph (Figure 2) resemble feathered Velociraptors. Male Gryph have elaborate feathered tails and bright colors, while the females tend to have dull browns and grays.

Figure 2: Gryph (Side Views)

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: Being descended from pack-hunting flightless bipeds, the Gryph have many things in common with Humanity and there are numerous parallels in their cultures and history.
  • Build: Male Gryph are slightly larger than the Human norm, averaging 100 kg, while the females are smaller, averaging 75 kg.
  • Coloring: Male Gryph have brilliant red, green, and blue feathers that form exotic and beautiful patterns. Female Gryph are generally brown or grey.
  • Endurance: As a physically robust and active race, the Gryph have +10 to their Exhaustion Points. They only need to sleep for four hours each day.
  • Height: A Gryph male will generally be about 200 cm long, while a female will be around 150 cm. Their shoulders are 90 cm off the ground on average.
  • Lifespan: The Gryph can live for 60-80 years.
  • Resistance: No special Resistance.
  • Special Abilities:
  • Blazing Speed (+10 to Base Move)
  • High Jumper (+30 to Jumping skill)
  • Medium Bite
  • Medium Claws
  • Males Only: Bad Temper and Power Hungry - a male Gryph must roll over 120 on a percentile roll with a bonus equal to three times his Self-Discipline bonus to resist his naturally combative and dominant urges.

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: The Gryph love jewelry, precious stones, and metals. They rarely wear clothing over their feathers, but tool harnesses and armor are commonly used. Female Gryph occasionally dye their feathers bright colors when trying to attract a mate.
  • Fears & Inabilities: Male Gryph suffer from a narcissistic streak and megalomania, while the females tend to be brave, self-sacrificing, and easily ordered. The Gryph have been well aware, since ancient times, that they are flightless birds. All Gryph share a deep longing for flight. The history of Gryph hostility towards their neighbors is a direct result of a massive racial inferiority complex. Their personal flight devices are the most advanced in known space.
  • Lifestyle: The Gryph culture is directed largely by courtship and mating rituals. The males preen themselves to attract large harems of adoring females to support them. The birth ratio of male Gryph to female is lower than one in twenty. Female Gryph are largely seen as expendable nuisances by the males, as long as they have enough to support them in a style that impresses the other males.
  • Marriage Pattern: The polygamous females lay clutches of two to five eggs and the males occasionally get around to fertilizing them. In times of war, forced breeding programs can increase the birthrate to almost ten times normal.
  • Religion: Every male Gryph aspires to godhood. The greatest and most powerful males are still worshipped and revered for thousands of years after their deaths. Of course, being the high priest of a god is almost as impressive as being a king. While celibacy is unknown to the Gryph, many high-ranking males fail to produce offspring as they are too busy showing off to their peers.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: Gryph males are arrogant braggarts, while the females are quiet and unassuming.
  • Languages: The Gryph often learn to speak the languages of their neighbors, initially speaking two Gryph Dialects at (8/8), and American at (8/8).
  • Prejudices: The males are hostile and consider themselves superior to any individuals less brilliantly colorful than themselves. The females can work well with nearly anyone.
  • Professions: Male Gryph are usually Fighters. The females can be found in every profession.
  • Training Packages: Male Gryph are either military officers of some sort or nobles. Females are found in every lifestyle.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Distance Running, Jumping
  • Restricted: Males: Diplomacy
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Acrobatics, Atmospheric Pilot, Bite Attack, Claw Attack, Crafts(), Dancing, Distance Running, Data Processing, Diving, First Aid, Flight Harness, History(), Hunting, Jumping, Kinetic Vest, Leadership, Lie Perception, Music, Play Instrument(), Public Speaking, Seduction, Singing, Sprinting, Surveillance, Xeno Lore(), Walker Pilot

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: The Gryph rarely carry any sort of melee weapon, but the males and combat-trained females will often carry a highly decorative pistol wherever they go. Larger weapons will be more utilitarian and only carried when the situation warrants it. The Gryph prefer larger-caliber weapons instead of automatics.
  • Armor: Gryph generally prefer lighter, more mobile armor types.
  • Money: Gryph money is always made of precious metals; they have developed bills made out of thousands of threads of silver, gold, and bronze. The concept of electronic currency is quite offensive to them.

G. Background Options

  • All Gryph get five Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Human Dialects (8/8), Sheth (8/8), Gnar (8/8).
  • Extra Money: A Gryph's money will always be in the form of hard currency.
  • Special Items: These will be decorated with precious metals and gems. One common device is a flight harness, a lightweight set of ornithoptor wings that allows the Gryph to fly.

H. Statistics

Table 3: Male Gryph Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

+2

+2

+3

-1

-1

-2

+4

+2

+4

+4

Second Edition

+5

+5

+7

-2

-2

-5

+10

+5

+10

+10

 

Table 4: Female Gryph Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

+3

+2

+3

-1

-3

-2

+4

0

+4

+2

Second Edition

+7

+5

+7

-2

-7

-5

+10

0

+10

+5

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: 0
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: 0
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*4*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*6*5*4*3
  • Soul Departure: 12 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 1
  • Race Type: 3

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

0

  • Kinetic Armor skill

0

Athletic*Brawn skill category

1

Athletic*Endurance skill category

1

  • Jumping skill

2

  • Sprinting skill

2

  • Swimming skill

0

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

0

  • Climbing skill

0

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

3

Awareness*Searching skill category

1

Awareness*Senses skill category

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

0

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

0

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

2

Communication skill category

2

  • Language skills*

6

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

0

  • Tackling skill

0

Outdoor*Animal skill category

0

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

0

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

1

Scientific/Analytic group*

2

  • Scientific skills* Males

Females

0

6

Special Attacks skill category

x

  • Claw Attack skill

2

  • Bite Attack skill

2

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

1

  • Hiding skill

2

  • Stalking skill

1

Tech./Trade*General skill category

2

  • General skills*

2

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

x

  • Vocational skills* Males

Females

2

0

Weapon skill categories* Males

Females

4

0

  • Weapon skills* Males

Females

6

0

Hobby Ranks

12

Background Options

  • Talent Points

5

45

 

4. Humans

A. Summary

Where's that mirror? The role of Humanity in "The Covenant Generation" is described throughout the companion article.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Live Birth
  • Dietary Strategy: Omnivore
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: Two
  • Environment: Savanna Origin
  • Features: Standard
  • Distasteful Characteristic: None Standard
  • Skill Incapacity: None Standard

B. Physical Description

Humans are a race of vertical bipeds with bilateral symmetry.

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: While there is fossil evidence of Humanity's evolution on the African continent of Earth, there are persistent rumors of the race being created by an ancient alien race or a godlike being. Of all the known races, only the Gryph seem to have any similar beliefs.
  • Build: Human males are slightly taller and heavier than the females, though the females tend to have a stockier physique. The males average 90 kilograms, while the females average 75 kilograms.
  • Coloring: Human skin ranges from pale pink to extremely dark browns. In general, the dark skin is never matched with light hair, but dark hair is found with all skin colors. Some humans have a very red tint to their hair; these tend to have red-brown markings on their skin known as freckles.
  • Endurance: Normal; Humans need to sleep eight hours every day.
  • Height: Human males average 175 cm tall, while the females average 160 cm.
  • Lifespan: Humans live two hundred years.
  • Resistance: Normal.
  • Special Abilities: None.

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: Humans have very little body hair and make extensive use of clothing. Their fashion trends range from the sublime to the ridiculous.
  • Fears & Inabilities: Most Humans have a few personal prejudices and neuroses, but none is common to the race as a whole.
  • Lifestyle: Humans are highly adaptable and develop cultures around fulfilling their needs in their environment. The current Human culture grew out of the American and European media-market cultures at the end of the Twentieth Century, but has adapted to the needs of a spacefaring race.
  • Marriage Pattern: Humans pair-bond, often for life.
  • Religion: Humans have a broad variety of religions and philosophies. These often splinter and crumble under changes of leadership, but the oldest single religion is nearing three thousand years old.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: Humans are often self-absorbed, self-possessed, and in a terrible hurry. For this reason, the self-sacrificing Sheth feel that they have a lot to learn from Humanity.
  • Languages: There are many Human Dialects, but the most common one is American, which all humans speak (8/8).
  • Prejudices: Humans have few prejudices that are held by the race as a whole, yet various factions and even skin colors have been the cause of internal prejudices.
  • Professions: Humans can be of any profession except Psychics.
  • Training Packages: Humans can take any Training Package.
  • Special Skills: None.
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Human endeavors are so broad and open that literally any skill can be chosen as a hobby.

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: Humans have a visceral preference for projectile weapons that make loud noises and have moving parts. This leads them to use weapons that are not always quite as effective as they might otherwise be.
  • Armor: Humans are well designed to wear armor and the full range of armor types is available to them.
  • Money: Most Human financial transactions are managed electronically, but the needs of criminals and a general bias towards owning things that can be held, stacked, and rolled have kept physical currency in circulation.

G. Background Options

  • Humans receive six Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Human Dialects (8/8), Sheth Truth Speaker's Dialect (6/6).
  • Extra Money: Large sums of money will generally exist in the form of investments and negotiable certificates. Still, there is no rule saying a character cannot have a suitcase or pillowcase full of cold, hard, cash.
  • Special Items: Humans tend to associate quality with brand name. It is strongly suggested that any exceptional items be given a famous brand name associated with quality engineering.

H. Statistics

Table 5: Human Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

0

+2

0

0

+2

0

0

0

0

+2

Second Edition

0

+5

0

0

+5

0

0

0

0

+5

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: 0
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: 0
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*5*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*5*3*2*2
  • Soul Departure: 12 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 1
  • Race Type: 3

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

1

  • Kinetic Armor skill

1

Athletic*Brawn skill category

1

Athletic*Endurance skill category

1

  • Jumping skill

1

  • Sprinting skill

1

  • Swimming skill

1

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

1

  • Climbing skill

1

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

2

Awareness*Searching skill category

1

Awareness*Senses skill category

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

0

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

0

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

3

Communication skill category

2

  • Language skills*

6

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

1

  • Tackling skill

1

Outdoor*Animal skill category

1

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

1

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

1

Scientific/Analytic group*

4

  • Scientific skills*

6

Special Attacks skill category

0

  • Claw Attack skill

0

  • Bite Attack skill

0

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

1

  • Hiding skill

1

  • Stalking skill

1

Tech./Trade*General skill category

4

  • General skills*

4

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

2

  • Vocational skills*

2

Weapon skill categories*

2

  • Weapon skills*

2

Hobby Ranks

10

Background Options

  • Talent Points

6

55

 

5. Inheritors of Gnar

A. Summary

In Earth's late Twenty-Second Century, China, Western Europe, and North America were in a state of social and ecological collapse. The United Nations and Corporations (UN&C) was overwhelmed by the waves of refugees needing aid. It seemed that the excesses of the Twentieth Century might yet cause Humanity's extinction. At the same time, some two thousand light-years away, the last of the Gnar were dying. Their meteoric rise to interstellar dominance, mastery of bioscience, and racial megalomania had led to loss of vital sections of their genetic code. As their birthrate degenerated, new plagues spread through their arcane living cities and starships. Five hundred years of progress ended in under a hundred of decline. Their last agents looked to Humanity for help. The UN&C gave them millions of refugee children. Historical documents show that the UN&C Security Council had hoped to gain Gnar worlds when the last of their species died and the Human children matured. They had not counted on the Gnar capability for biomanipulation. Gnar and Human DNA was mingled in the children's living bodies; chemical therapies were applied. In the end, a race emerged that was neither Human nor Gnar. They were bitter, though.

The Inheritors of Gnar are essentially Human, but their altered genetic structure is very receptive to biotechnology transplants. They are also keyed to activate and operate Gnar biocomputers and constructs. Since the Ceramicoral used in most Gnar structures died with its masters, Inheritor technology is a mishmash of metal, ceramic, and biotechnology. Most of the Inheritors of Gnar have a number of biotechnology grafts to help them in their work. Inheritor characters can choose to spend money on racial abilities at a rate of 5000 mu per graft.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Live Bearing
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: Usually Two
  • Environment: Warm and Damp
  • Size Modifier: +0
  • Features: Any 1 for Free
  • Complex Brain
  • Manipulative Limb Set
  • Disadvantages:
  • Distasteful Characteristic: The Inheritors of Gnar are strange and frightening, especially to Humans. They look unhealthy and have obviously unnatural growths and grafts.
  • Racial Enmity: The Dagonites hate the Gnar and their Inheritors and are constantly working to wipe them out entirely.

B. Physical Description

Inheritors of Gnar (Figure 3) are genetically modified Humans - skinny, with translucent skin.

Figure 3: Inheritor of Gnar

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: The Inheritors of Gnar are descended from Human refugee children sold to the Gnar and subsequently modified to interface with Gnar biotechnology.
  • Build: Slightly built, the Inheritors of Gnar average 55 kg.
  • Coloring: Dark hair and blue eyes are prevalent; their veins and arteries are very visible through their translucent skin.
  • Endurance: Unremarkable; the Inheritors are not a very physically active people.
  • Height: Inheritors average 155 cm.
  • Lifespan: Inheritors can live 10-300 years.
  • Resistance: The Inheritors of Gnar, like their alien benefactors, are less interested in preventative measures than they should be and rarely have any special resistance.
  • Special Abilities: The Gnar were masters of biotechnology and modified their Inheritors to interface easily with a variety of bioconstructs. In practice, an Inheritor can literally change his Physical Talents. Each inheritor can "graft on" 30 Talent Points of Physical Talents and change them at any Gnar outpost. They can also command Gnar biomachinery with their pheromones. Talents purchased with normal Talent Points cannot be altered.

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: The Inheritors of Gnar take little interest in their own appearance. Dirty grey coveralls, often in poor condition are the most common attire.
  • Fears & Inabilities: Descended as they are from refugee children shipped off to insane alien masters, the Inheritors of Gnar are often a little psychologically unstable. They do not all have any one neurosis, but all tend to be neurotic, obsessive, and jumpy.
  • Lifestyle: The society of the Inheritors of Gnar is built around the concept that progress is the only virtue. Such courts and government as exist are almost completely given over to facilitating the continuation of the Gnar's biological research. There are no limits on police powers, nor any concept of individual rights. Punishments, when they are meted out, are strictly immediate, expedient, and painful ("Shoot him now!" said the judge to the bailiff).
  • Marriage Pattern: The Gnar implemented a breeding program to "improve" their Inheritors. For this reason, all breeding is arranged by a powerful scientific committee. Cohabitation is encouraged but there is really no concept of marriage.
  • Religion: The Inheritors revere and fear their dead masters, the Gnar. A great deal of the research done in their laboratories is dedicated to reviving the Gnar and curing the plague that destroyed them. Some scraps of earthly faiths are found among the Inheritors of Gnar. Generally, these amount to small secret cults, often led by Human missionaries. These almost universally generate and end in violent revolutions or attempts to escape.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: As a whole, there is a sense of sadness and fatalism among the Inheritors of Gnar. Their freedom and hope have been stripped from them. They are fighting a war against the Dagonites of unsurpassed brutality that they never chose and are not likely to win.
  • Languages: The Inheritors have been modified so they can speak the language of the dead Gnar at (10/10).
  • Prejudices: Dagonites are not well liked by the Inheritors of Gnar. This may be justified by the fact that Dagonites attack them on sight. The Inheritors also view themselves as superior to all other life forms.
  • Professions: Most Inheritors of Gnar are Fighters, Scientists, or Technicians. Psychics of any sort are virtually unknown.
  • Training Packages: An Academic Degree is the most common Training Package for an Inheritor of Gnar.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Biology, Diagnosis, and Genetics
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Alien Environment(), Animal Handling(), Animal Training(), Autopsy, Diagnostics, Drug Therapy, Contortions, Education, Fauna Lore, First Aid, Flora Lore, Genetics, Internal Medicine, Lie Perception, Locate Hidden, Medical Technology, Natural Attack, Poison Perception, Sanitation Engineering, Sense Awareness (smell), Substance Tolerance, Surveillance, Xeno Lore

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: Laser weapons manufactured in Human colonies are preferred by the Inheritors of Gnar. Laser bioimplants exist, but they have become very rare.
  • Armor: The best Gnar biological armor constructs are effectively Kinetic Armor. Other armor types are of Human manufacture.
  • Money: An Inheritor will often have some hard currency from other races available while traveling. Gnar "money" takes the form of dominant pheromone sequence grafts, and cannot be exchanged at Human banking institutions.

G. Background Options

  • Inheritors receive four Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Occasionally an Inheritor of Gnar will have learned a Human dialect or two from his parents or missionaries (6/6). The High Council of Progress does not discourage this, as it is occasionally useful to have citizens who can communicate with Humans or read their medical journals.
  • Extra Money: This may be in Gnar pheromone sequences or Human currency.
  • Special Items: The Gnar biotechnology infrastructure has been badly damaged by the plague they engineered that destroyed them. For this reason, the Inheritors will often possess Human weapons, vehicles, and armor.

H. Statistics

Table 6: Inheritor of Gnar Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

+1

-2

+3

+3

+2

-1

-1

+1

+1

+1

Second Edition

+2

-5

+7

+7

+5

-2

-2

+2

+2

+2

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: 0
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: 0
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*4*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*5*3*2*2
  • Soul Departure: 5 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 1.5
  • Race Type: 2

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

0

  • Kinetic Armor skill

0

Athletic*Brawn skill category

0

Athletic*Endurance skill category

0

  • Jumping skill

0

  • Sprinting skill

0

  • Swimming skill

0

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

0

  • Climbing skill

0

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

2

Awareness*Searching skill category

4

Awareness*Senses skill category

4

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

0

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

4

Body Development skill category

0

  • Body Development skill

2

Communication skill category

1

  • Language skills*

0

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

0

  • Tackling skill

0

Outdoor*Animal skill category

3

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

2

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

2

Scientific/Analytic group*

10

  • Scientific skills*

10

Special Attacks skill category

1

  • Claw Attack skill

0

  • Bite Attack skill

0

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

1

  • Hiding skill

1

  • Stalking skill

1

Tech./Trade*General skill category

1

  • General skills*

1

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

x

  • Vocational skills*

2

Weapon skill categories*

1

  • Weapon skills*

1

Hobby Ranks

4

Background Options

  • Talent Points

4

45

 

6. Ratz

A. Summary

For years, the debate over which of Humanity's animal cousins should or would be raised to sentience raged. Dogs, gorillas, chimpanzees, and dolphins were all commonly advocated candidates. Naturally, laboratory rats arrived first while the debate raged. The Ratz had been bred larger and smarter for use in medical and psychological research. They showed the world that they were people too when the terrorist group Rodents of Unusual Size held the General Assembly of the United Nations and Corporations (UN&C) hostage for two weeks in 2013 and nuked a major genetic-research facility in Scotland one year later. While they have never been recognized by the government of Earth, many of the Earth colonies have accepted them with open arms. Their small size gives the Ratz a certain advantage in space and technology since they can climb in places where Humans cannot easily reach.

With respect to personality, Ratz are a bit vain and argumentative and are given to acts of violent terrorism. They are a perfect match for the rebellious, breakaway colonial states.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Live Bearing
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: Two
  • Environment:
  • Human Cities
  • Twilight
  • Size Modifier: -10
  • Features:
  • Complex Brain
  • Increased Endurance (+10)
  • Increased Reflexes (+10)
  • Manipulative Limb Set
  • Prehensile Tail (as a Tentacle)
  • Size Modifiers: (-10 Endurance, +10 Reflexes, -10 Strength)
  • Disadvantages:
  • Skill Incapacity: The Ratz have a hard time understanding the need for rules. They have a -20 to any "Law" skills.

B. Physical Description

The Ratz are a race of twenty-kilogram Terran rats, originally genetically engineered to improve their usefulness in scientific research.

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: Rats are scavengers that originally evolved on the European continent on Earth. Their evolution has paralleled that of Humanity throughout the ages; wherever Humans have traveled, rats have also prospered. This close relationship eventually made rats a favorite subject for Human scientific experimentation. However, at some point on the road to creating the perfect genetically engineered test subject, the rats became too Human, too large, and too smart - Ratz.
  • Build: Ratz have partially upright bodies and long whip-like tails. On average, they weigh 20 kilograms.
  • Coloring: Ratz have a wide range of fur coloration, ranging from white, to grey, to brown, to black.
  • Endurance: Ratz only need four hours of sleep every two days.
  • Height: Standing on its haunches, a Ratz will be 120 cm tall on average.
  • Lifespan: A Ratz can live up to eighty years.
  • Resistance: Being descended from the Norway rat, Ratz have good resistance to disease and poisons, receiving a +10 bonus to Resistance Rolls.
  • Special Abilities: None.

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: Some Ratz, especially the varieties with less fur, adopt Human-style clothing, while others prefer a simple harness. (There is a lawyer joke in there somewhere.)
  • Fears & Inabilities: Ratz are curious and inquisitive by nature. Many fear doctors, due to their species' history as laboratory animals.
  • Lifestyle: Ratz are not recognized as intelligent beings by the UN&C. Where they are accepted by Humans, they are often relatively upstanding citizens. Nevertheless, there is a streak of terrorism in their veins, and many upstanding-citizens Ratz are engaged in funding the ominous R.U.S. terrorists.
  • Marriage Pattern: Ratz pair-bond, for at least the mating season and sometimes for life. The male helps to build a nest or furnish a home and brings food for the female while she is nursing the young. A litter of Ratz is generally only two or three kittens. They rarely bother with Human social conventions regarding mating and sexuality.
  • Religion: Ratz are fascinated by religious issues, but lack any deeply ingrained sense of respect for mysteries and sacred things. Most priests live in fear of being cornered by a Ratz with questions.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: Most Ratz have a cheerful, devil-may-care disposition. Absentmindedly gnawing on whatever comes to hand is a common habit that Humans find aggravating.
  • Languages: Ratz know both their own language and a Human dialect at (8/8).
  • Prejudices: While Ratz lack any deep racial hatred, they are well aware of the way Humans often feel about them. Individually, Ratz are unforgiving and given to holding grudges.
  • Professions: Most Ratz are Criminals or Rogues, but they are found in all walks of life. Psychics are completely unheard of, but more Ratz believe in such things than any other race.
  • Training Packages: It is not uncommon for Ratz to pursue many careers as they quickly lose interest once their initial curiosity is satisfied. Ratz have a real taste for Burglary because it satisfies their curiosity and every job is unique.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Scrounging, Stalking, Hiding
  • Restricted: Law, Accounting
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Acrobatics, Alertness, Ambush, Booking, Bribery, Climbing, Contacting, Contortions, Criminal Engineering(), Criminal Technology(), Disarming Traps, Demolitions, Detect Traps, Direction Sense, Duping, Foraging, Gambling, Hiding, Jumping, Location Hidden, Mimery, Mimicry, Mingling, Observation, Organized Crime, Picking Locks, Poison Perception, Quick Draw, Religion(), Scaling, Scrounging, Seduction, Sense Awareness(), Stalking, Streetwise, Substance Tolerance, Surveillance, Swimming, Tumbling, Trading, Trickery, Ventriloquism

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: Ratz rarely carry heavy weapons, preferring small, concealable ones.
  • Armor: It is illegal to produce body armor that will fit a Ratz anywhere outside of the Covenant. Ratz often manage to get a modified kinetic vest, but much heavier armor is uncommon.
  • Money: Ratz like shiny coins, but are not adverse to money in any form they can get it.

G. Background Options

  • Ratz get four Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: Ratz may learn any Human dialect (8/8), Sheth dialects (6/6).
  • Extra Money: Generally, this will be in cash, as many banking institutions do not recognize Ratz as having a right to own property.
  • Special Items: Ratz generally do not keep things up well. Decorative items will be tarnished and dirty, tools and devices will be mismatched but highly functional, and so on. This is not so much because the Ratz are careless, as that, they know they will be accused of stealing anything nice that they might possess.

H. Statistics

Table 7: Ratz Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

+5

+3

0

0

-3

+1

+4

0

+3

-2

Second Edition

+12

+7

0

0

-7

+2

+10

0

+7

-5

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: +10
  • Disease: +10
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: 0
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*6*3*2*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*5*3*2*2
  • Soul Departure: 12 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 0.75
  • Race Type: 2

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

1

  • Kinetic Armor skill

1

Athletic*Brawn skill category

1

Athletic*Endurance skill category

1

  • Jumping skill

1

  • Sprinting skill

1

  • Swimming skill

1

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

1

  • Climbing skill

1

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

3

Awareness*Searching skill category

2

Awareness*Senses skill category

2

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

1

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

2

Communication skill category

3

  • Language skills*

6

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

0

  • Tackling skill

0

Outdoor*Animal skill category

1

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

0

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

1

Scientific/Analytic group*

4

  • Scientific skills*

4

Special Attacks skill category

0

  • Claw Attack skill

0

  • Bite Attack skill

0

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

5

  • Hiding skill

5

  • Stalking skill

5

Tech./Trade*General skill category

4

  • General skills*

4

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

x

  • Vocational skills*

2

Weapon skill categories*

2

  • Weapon skills*

2

Hobby Ranks

8

Background Options

  • Talent Points

4

40

 

7. Sheth

A. Summary

One would expect a cute and shaggy race with big eyes to be good at being soft. On their native world, their preferred method of dealing with carnivores was building walls. Once the gentle Sheth reached the stars, they quickly found that other races had a tendency to be difficult - perhaps because their homeworld was located between the failing Gnar empire and the Dagonites. The Sheth managed to survive the Dagonite retribution crusades against the Gnar largely due to their diplomatic skills and live-and-let-live attitude, but with the passage of time, they have learned to defend themselves. The Sheth have always been herdsmen, and they excel in areas of zoology and animal breeding and training. While they are technologically behind the other starfaring races, the Sheth have formed close ties with Humanity, especially with colonies near their homeworld.

Sheth have about twice the mass of Humans and six stubby limbs that can serve as hands or feet. Their fur is a tawny brown that changes to white in cold weather. Humans find the smell of a wet Sheth highly offensive. Sheth shed fur heavily in warm weather. Their heads can rotate an amazing one hundred forty-five degrees, giving them a great deal of coordination with their rear hands. The Sheth are oviparous, but the clutch of three or four eggs is laid in a pouch on the back of the male where they eventually hatch and are carried while they mature for the first year.

  • Structure: Endoskeleton
  • Reproductive Strategy: Parental Live Bearing
  • Symmetry: Bilateral
  • Limb Sets: Three
  • Environment: Plains
  • Size Modifier: +20
  • Features:
  • Camouflage
  • Complex Brain (Sentient)
  • Increased Discipline (+10)
  • 3 Manipulative Limb Sets
  • Size Modifiers: (+20 Endurance, -20 Reflexes, +20 Strength)
  • Disadvantages
  • Extensive Life Support Requirements (2): The Sheth are large and eat a great deal compared to most races. They also eliminate larger volumes of waste as a result.
  • Skill Incapacity: The Sheth are badly designed to perform gymnastic and acrobatic feats like those in the Tumbling and Swinging skills, and so suffer a -20 penalty.

B. Physical Description

The Sheth (Figure 4) are a large shaggy race with six opposable limbs and large soulful eyes.

Figure 4: Sheth

C. Physical Characteristics

  • Evolution: The Sheth are, in fact, omnivorous hunter-gatherers. Indeed, they have an impressive set of teeth in their large mouths. Sheth history just fades into myth and legend as one traces back the years. Paleontology reveals that the ancestors of the Sheth were pure pack-hunting carnivores, whose prey grew larger as the millennia passed. Forced to become cleverer by their more dangerous prey, the Sheth eventually turned to a mixture of agriculture and herding, which led to their developing cities and walls.
  • Build: Sheth are bulky and weigh 250 kilograms on average.
  • Coloring: The Sheth's shaggy hair ranges from reddish brown to dark brown.
  • Endurance: Normal; the Sheth need ten hours of sleep each day.
  • Height: If a Sheth stands on its hind legs, it will be around 180 cm tall; in a more comfortable quadrupedal stance, it will be around 120 cm tall.
  • Lifespan: Sheth often live for two or three hundred years.
  • Resistance: The Sheth have no special resistances.
  • Special Abilities:
  • In practical terms, a Sheth can only use three of its limbs as hands at one time. Therefore, they essentially have one extra arm.
  • Tough Skin (AT 4)
  • Bad Odor
  • Passive (-15 to OB until a SD + roll over 100 can be made)

D. Culture

  • Clothing & Decorations: Their long body hair makes clothing uncomfortable for the Sheth. They will often wear a harness with pouches in which to carry tools. A variety of fashions involving dyed hair markings or elaborate braiding and trimming are popular. Sheth who wear armor or spacesuits on a regular basis tend to keep their hair shaved very short.
  • Fears & Inabilities: Sheth are naturally noble and brave. Self-sacrifice comes easily to them and they often put their families and neighbors ahead of their own interests. Most Sheth philosophies encourage the development of a more selfish attitude.
  • Lifestyle: The Sheth live in simple stone and clay cities with avenues of soft grass, where trees and bushes are common and the idea of organized display gardens is foreign to them. For this reason, their cities are almost invisible from the air. While they live very closely with nature, the Sheth do have a technical bent and have developed satellites and spacecraft. They simply do not have a culture driven by material possessions. The Sheth do not engage in mass production; all of their goods are produced by families with a traditional crafting background.
  • Marriage Pattern: While the female Sheth are egg-layers, the males actually carry the eggs in pouches on their backs. They do not bond in pairs, but live in large extended families. In general, all property is owned by the family and the individuals simply have the duty of maintaining and caring for animals, tools, and vehicles.
  • Religion: The Sheth are simply not religious. They have no sense of manifest destiny or personal divinity. Philosophy is a popular pastime, and the Sheth have a great interest in Human religions, they just do not believe in such things. Most popular Sheth philosophies involve methods of separating oneself from the herd.

E. Other Factors

  • Demeanor: Sheth are generally seriously minded and somewhat solemn. They enjoy life and take their enjoyment very seriously.
  • Languages: The Sheth have many dialects relating to trades, crafts, and traditions, of which the Truth Speaker's Dialect is most commonly encountered by Humans. All Sheth will speak TSD at (6/6) and their family's Trade Dialect at (8/8).
  • Prejudices: The Gryph could not be more irritating to the Sheth had the Gnar bent all their will and misguided science into perfecting that attribute. A Sheth left with a male Gryph will likely wind up beating him senseless in short order. Female Gryph tend to leave the Sheth even more agitated and looking out for a male Gryph to hit.
  • Professions: Sheth are most often Recons or Explorers, although in recent years they have been forced to demonstrate that they make great Fighters when left without other options. There are no Sheth Psychics and they do not believe in such nonsense in any case.
  • Training Packages: Any Training Package can be taken by a Sheth, though most of the more appropriate ones are found in Rolemaster, not Spacemaster. Wanderers, Adventurers, Animal Friends, and Scouts are all good Training Packages for a Sheth. In general, these are best used as guidelines for skill choices and bought normally since calculating the Spacemaster TP costs for all of Rolemaster's TP's is beyond the scope of this work.
  • Special Skills:
  • Everyman: Animal Handling, Animal Training
  • Restricted: Acrobatics, Tumbling
  • Standard Hobby Skills: Animal Handling(), Animal Training(), Contortions, Crafts(), Culture Lore(), Diplomacy, Distance Running, Fauna Lore, Flora Lore, Languages(), Leadership, Music, Observation, Philosophy, Psychology, Play Instrument(), Poetry, Sculpting, Singing, Survival, Tale Telling, Tracking, Weather Watching, Weight Lifting

F. Outfitting Options

  • Weapons: Sheth weapons tend to be larger and more powerful than Human ones and they are designed for the Sheth's four opposable fingers rather than Human hands. Three-handed weapons are also common.
  • Armor: The Sheth's flexible physiology is poorly suited to rigid armor types. The less armor they have to wear, the happier the Sheth will be.
  • Money: Any money possessed by a Sheth will be a stipend from their family for their use while traveling among the aliens. On their worlds, the Sheth use an elaborate value-added barter system instead of money.

G. Background Options

  • Sheth get four Background Options.
  • Extra Languages: The Sheth often learn Human dialects (8/8), the Gnar language (5/5), or even learn to understand the Dagonites' methods of communication (3/3) though they can never actually "speak" it.
  • Extra Money: If the Game Master permits it, a Sheth can take his extra money in the form of assets owned by his family. This can be used to allow the purchase of vehicles and buildings at one tenth of the normally listed cost, although the Sheth is not technically the sole owner.
  • Special Items: Sheth are very likely to have very well made equipment that has been put together by a master craftsman.

H. Statistics

Table 8: Sheth Stat Bonuses

 

AG

CO

ME

RE

SD

EM

IN

PR

QU

ST

Standard System

-2

+6

+2

+2

+2

+4

+4

+2

-2

+6

Second Edition

-5

+15

+5

+5

+5

+10

+10

+5

-5

+15

  • RR Mods:
  • Poison: 0
  • Disease: 0
  • Fear: 0
  • Psychic: 0
  • Body Dev. Progression: 0*7*5*3*1
  • MP Dev. Progression: 0*4*3*2*1
  • Soul Departure: 9 rounds
  • Recovery Multiplier: 1.5
  • Race Type: 3

I. Adolescent Skill Development

Armor*Medium skill category

0

  • Kinetic Armor skill

0

Athletic*Brawn skill category

2

Athletic*Endurance skill category

1

  • Jumping skill

0

  • Sprinting skill

0

  • Swimming skill

1

Athletic*Gymnastic skill category

1

  • Climbing skill

1

Awareness*Perceptions skill category

x

  • Alertness skill

3

Awareness*Searching skill category

1

Awareness*Senses skill category

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Hearing)

1

  • Sense Awareness skill (Smell)

1

Body Development skill category

x

  • Body Development skill

4

Communication skill category

3

  • Language skills*

6

Lore*General skill category

3

  • "Own" Region Lore skill

3

  • "Own" Culture Lore skill

3

Martial Arts*Strikes skill category

1

  • Tackling skill

1

Outdoor*Animal skill category

3

  • Riding skill (slug-like hosts)

0

Outdoor*Environmental skill category

2

Scientific/Analytic group*

2

  • Scientific skills*

2

Special Attacks skill category

0

  • Claw Attack skill

0

  • Bite Attack skill

0

Subterfuge*Stealth skill category

0

  • Hiding skill

0

  • Stalking skill

0

Tech./Trade*General skill category

2

  • General skills*

2

Tech./Trade*Vocational skill category

2

  • Vocational skills*

2

Weapon skill categories*

0

  • Weapon skills*

0

Hobby Ranks

6

Background Options

  • Talent Points

4

40

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