Races of the Frontier (so far...)

Dralasites

Average size: 
Average mass: 
Average lifespan: 
Reproduction: 
body temperature: 
1.3 m tall, 1 m wide
65 kg
250 years
hermaphroditic, budding
30 C
Their skin is a flexible membrane that is very tough and scratchy. It generally is dull gray and lined with dark veins that meet at the Dralasite's two eyespots.

The internal structure of a Dralasite is very different from the other races. The Dralasite's central nerve bundle (brain), numerous small hearts and other internal organs float in a pudding-like mixture of protein and organic fluids. Dralasites breathe by absorbing oxygen directly through their skin, so they have no lungs. They are omnivores, but eat by surrounding their food and absorbing it, so they also have no digestive tract or intestines.

All Dralasites go through male, female and neutral stages during their lives (these phases can be controlled with medicines). Males release spores into the air, which drift until they become attached to a female. A young Dralasite then ''sprouts'' from its mother, eventually maturing and dropping off.

Senses
The most important sense for a Dralasite is smell. They breathe directly through their skin, and the entire membrane is sensitive to odors. Their sense of smell is so keen they can identify persons by smell alone and can recognize familiar smells on objects or persons. The membrane also is sensitive to touch and to vibrations, allowing Dralasites to hear and feel.

Dralasites see only in black and white. They see shapes and light and darkness very clearly, and can see a difference between distinct colors (blue and green, for example) because one is darker than the other, but they do not see actual colors.

Speech
Dralasites have a voicebox, but it works like a bellows because they have no lungs. A Dralasite's voice can vary from a soft whisper to a thundering roar and from a bass rumble to a piercing screech. Among themselves, they also use shapes, odors and touch to communicate.

Society and Customs
Dralasites are philosophical and thoughtful. Their communities are small, and many Dralasites prefer to live alone. Dralasites do not care about wealth, power or status symbols. They judge themselves by the quality of their ideas and their ability to discuss important ideas wisely. Dralasites often hold large public meetings to discuss new ideas. Discussions and debates are among their favorite ways to relax.

Steam baths are another favorite Dralasite recreation. They mix perfumes and intoxicants with the steam. These affect Dralasites the same way alcohol does a Human or Yazirian.

Dralasites are widely known for their strange sense of humor. They love old jokes and puns that make Humans groan. Many Human comedians who could not find work in Human cities have become rich performlng on Dralasite worlds.

Dralasites do not normally wear clothing, because it makes breathing difficult and interferes with their sense of smell. They usually carry their equipment on web belts. When they must wear clothing to protect themselves, they use special materials that let air reach their skin.

Attitudes
Dralasites are very fond of Vrusk, because they think Vrusk have funny shapes. They get along well with Humans but are careful not to upset Yazirians, who they consider too violent.

Special Abilites
Elasticity. A Dralasite's skin is stretchable and supported by a complex muscle structure. This allows them to change the shape of their bodies, within limits. They can "grow" arms and legs to use for walking and handling tools and weapons, and re-absorb limbs when they are not needed.

A Dralasite can have a number of limbs equal to its Dexterity divided by 10, rounded up. The player must decide whether a limb is an arm or a leg when it is grown. For example, a Dralasite with a Dexterity score of 45 can control up to five limbs. It could have three legs and two arms, two legs and one arm, no legs and five arms, or any other combination adding up to five or less.

Growing or absorbing a limb takes five minutes. Only one limb can be grown at a time. A limb can be up to 1 meter long and no less than 10 cm thick. "Fingers'' for handling items can be up to 10 cm long and no less than 1 cm thick.

Even though a Dralasite can have many arms, it can not fire more than two weapons at once. When a Dralasite player creates limbs, he must specify one as the dominant limb, the same way a Human must choose to be either right or left handed. Also, despite a Dralasite's stretching and shrinking, the pattern of veins and ridges on its skin does not change, so they have a permanent "fingerprint" for identification.

Lie Detection. All Dralasite characters have a 5% chance to realize when someone is Iying to them. The Dralasite must be communicating face to face with the character, and the Dralasite player must declare that he is trying to detect a lie. Roll d100. If the result is 5 or less, the Dralasite knows whether the person is telling the truth. If the die roll is 6 or more, the Dralasite does not sense that the person is Iying. This special ability can be improved above 5% by spending experlence points (see IMPROVING CHARACTERS).


Humans

Average size: 
Average mass: 
Average lifespan: 
Reproduction: 
Body temperature: 
1.9 m tall
80 kg (male), 55 kg (female)
200 years
heterosexual, viviparous
37 C
Humans are similar to Earthmen, but these Humans developed on another planet closer to the center of the galaxy. Humans are considered the average characters in STAR FRONTIERS games, so their abilities are not modified when the character is created.

Typical adult Humans are approximately 2 meters tall, and have two arms and two legs. They are warm-blooded omnivores with internal skeletons. Both hands have four fingers and one opposable thumb that allows them to grip and use tools. Their arms are jointed at the shoulder, elbow and wrist. Their legs are similar, being jointed at the hip, knee and ankle. Humans walk upright.

Human skin color varies over a wide range, including pale white and pink, tan, pale yellow, red, brown and black. This color does not change as the Human matures. Most Humans have hair covering the top and back of the head, and males also have hair on their chins and throats. Hair color varies from white and yellow to red, brown and black, gradually changing to gray as the Human ages.

Senses
Humans have color vision, sensing the spectrum between infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths. They have good depth and motion perception. Their hearing covers a range from 16 to 27,000 cycles per second, with good separation and direction-sensing qualities. Their skin is touch-sensitive. Their senses of taste and smell are not as highly developed as their sight.

Speech
Humans speak by forcing air from their lungs through a larynx or voicebox and shaping sounds with their lips and tongue. They can create a wide range of sounds, and have no difficulty speaking Pan-Galactic and Yazirian languages.

Society and Customs
Human society centers around the family. A family generally consists of a father, a mother and 1 to 10 children. Families usually group together into communities for mutual support and protection. Community size varies widely; several Human cities are known to have populations above 5 million.

Of all the star-faring races, Humans are the most varied. As a race they are not as warlike as the Yazirians, as businesslike as the Vrusk or as thoughtful as the Dralasites. Yet, individual Humans can be found who surpass even the most violent Yazirians, the most dedicated Vrusk and the most philosophical Dralasites. Humans tend to value individuality and personal freedom more than anything else, but they do not hesitate to work together to reach a common goal or to protect themselves from attack.

To members of the other races, the most puzzling aspect of Human behavior is their curiosity and love of adventure. Many Humans are willing to put themselves in great danger simply to see something new or go somewhere no one has ever gone before. Some Humans (a very small percentage) seem to actually enjoy being in danger, thriving on the excitement of a life-or-death situation. This type of behavior has never been observed in normal members of the other races. Even the Yazirians, known for their violence and fits of rage, try to avoid taking unnecessary risks. This spirit of adventure has served Humans well, however, as most major exploration missions organized by local governments or private companies are led by a Human.

Many alien biologists have wondered how the Human race could have survived long enough to build a civilization and colonize new planets; compared to other creatures in the galaxy, Humans are not especially strong or quick, and are no smarter than the other races. However, Humans are very inventive and adaptable. They manage to survive and even flourish in areas other races consider uninhabitable, by adapting themselves to the new conditions with surprising speed. This and the Humans' love for gadgets and hardware led to the appearance of a popular saying among Vrusk, ''Mr. Human and his Indestructible Junk Show.'' Despite this condescending attitude, Vrusk and the other star-faring races have learned to respect Humans.

Attitudes
Humans are one of the most open and accepting of the known races. They get along very well with Dralasites, and their similarity to Yazirians usually is strong enough to overcome the usual negative reaction to a Yazirian's pushiness. Many Humans, however, are mildly nervous around Vrusk. Human psychologists blame this on the Vrusk's resemblance to a giant insect. (Many Humans dislike insects, and some are actually afraid of them.)

Special Abilites
Humans emphasize training and education more than the other races, so players who are starting new Human characters get to add 5 to any one ability score. This bonus can be added to only one ability in an ability pair. For example, increasing a character's Strength score does not affect the character's Stamina score.


Sathar

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
3.5 m long
55 kg
unknown
hermaphroditic, viviparous
believed endothermic
Sathar are long, worm-like creatures. Their bodies are divided into segments, like an earthworm's. They do not have a skeleton. Instead, they support their bodies hydrostatically, by pumping liquid into the segments so they become hard. A shiny, clear slime coats their skin. Scientists believe they are warm-blooded, but no live specimen has ever been studied.

A Sathar's head tapers toward its mouth, which is circular and ringed with teeth. Each of their two eyes has two pupils. Four tentacles, two on each side of the body, are arranged about 1 meter below the head. The first pair is slender and weak-looking, and about 1 meter long. These end in four smaller finger-like tentacles. The second pair of tentacles is stronger and about 1.2 meters long. Both of these tentacles end in a paddle-like pad. This second pair is used for heavy lifting, while the smaller tentacles are used for fine work and for holding small weapons.

A Sathar moves by slithering across the ground with the first meter of its body raised. They also can coil like a snake, raising 1.5 meters of their bodies from the ground.

The color of Sathar skin varies from yellow to brown. The tentacles are the same as the body, butwith a slight greenish tint. The underbelly is pale pink. A pattern of dots, speckles and stripes decorates the back of the head. These patterns are natural on some Sathar, but are tattoos on others.

Some survivors of Sathar attacks have reported that Sathars are not effected by electrical shocks or doze grenades, but these reports have never been confirmed.

Senses

The Sathar's double pupils give it very wide angle vision. They can see objects in front of them and to both sides at the same time. They smell through two pits in front of their eyes. The sharpness of their senses is not known, but UPF biologists assume their hearing, smell and taste is about the same as a Human's.

Speech

Captured recordings show that Sathar can speak Yazirian and Human languages as well as Pan-Galactic. They hiss and lisp when they speak. Their native language has never been translated.

Society and Customs

Almost nothing is known about Sathar society. They have tried to kill every alien creature they have met in the Frontier, usually with alarming success. No one knows why the Sathar attack so viciously or what they hope to gain. All attempts to contact the Sathar peacefully have failed. No Sathar has ever been captured alive, because they kilI themselves before they can be taken. In one case, an entire Sathar ship self-destructed to avoid being captured. Freeze fields have been applied to several dead Sathar in an attempt to have them revived, but biologists have not been able to find a revival technique that works on them.

Scientists have proposed several theories, based on reports from observers. The most widely accepted was written by Gdtlask Gltak, a Vrusk sociologist. Gltak's theory states that all Sathar belong to military units called cadres. The markings on the back of the Sathar's head identify its cadre. Each cadre trains its members as soldiers from the time they are born. Gltak theorizes that Sathar attack alien worlds because their military society would fall apart if there was no enemy to fight.

Readers are warned that this is only a theory. Until a Sathar is captured alive, their true motivation will not be known.

Attitudes

All Sathar should be considered hostile and dangerous. Citizens of the Frontier who encounter Sathar are required by law to report the incident immediately. If escaping is impossible, citizens are advised to attack on sight, as friendly approaches have always failed in the past.

Sathar also are known to use Dralasite, Human, Vrusk and Yazirian agents to overthrow Frontier governments, terrorize citizens and disrupt trade. Like the Sathar themselves, these agents are extremely dangerous. Suspicious beings should be reported immediately. Citizens are discouraged from attacking Sathar agents, as most are trained and experienced killers.
REFEREE'S NOTE

SATHAR SPECIAL ABILITIES (CLASSIFIED)

The following information is secret, and should not be given to players until they discover it in the course of the game.

Hypnotism. A Sathar can hypnotize a character by talking to him in a non-combat situation. The character must make a Logic check; if he fails, he is hypnotized. A hypnotized character will think the Sathar is his friend, and will want to cooperate with it. He will see things the way the Sathar describes them, if his other senses do not contradict what the Sathar tells him. (For example, a character would not believe that a fire was a pool of water). A Sathar can command a hypnotized person to do something at a specific time, and to forget that he has been hypnotized until that time. For example, a character could be commanded to turn off a security system at midnight.
Sathar Ability Modifiers. A Sathar's Leadership score must be 20 points higher than its Personality score. Their racial modifiers are:

STR/STA: 0
DEX/RS: -5
INT/LOG: - 5
PER/LDR: +10

Vrusk

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
1.5 m tall, 1.5 m long
85 kg
175 years
heterosexual, ovoviviparous
38 C
Vrusk look like large insects and are sometimes called "bugs". Eight legs grow from their abdomen, four on each side. Their torso is upright in front of the abdomen. The torso is humanoid, with two arms connected at the shoulders. The head is above the shoulders. Vrusk hands are circular pads with five fingers spaced evenly around the edge. A Vrusk's shoulders are double-jointed, so they can rotate their arms in a full circle without straining any muscles. They can reach any point on their abdomen or behind their backs easily. They are quicker than Humans, but are not as strong.

A Vrusk's body is covered by a carapace (hard shell). This shell is jointed at the Vrusk's elbows, hips, knees, etc. The carapace protects the Vrusk from bruises, cuts, scratches and other minor injuries. Unlike insects, Vrusk have an internal skeleton to support their bodies. Young Vrusk have a blue carapace with bright orange near the joints. As the Vrusk gets older, its carapace changes to dull green with yellow joints.

Vrusk have large eyes that are protected by a hard, clear covering. The mouth is surrounded by four eating mandibles. The two larger mandibles hold food while the small ones tear it apart and place it in the mouth. They are omnivores. Vrusk have lungs, and breathe through many small nostrils under their abdomens. This arrangement makes it difficult for Vrusk to swim.

Senses

Vrusk have very good color vision, but they see more of the short wavelengths (blue and ultraviolet light) than Humans do, and less of the long wavelengths (orange and red). Their sense of smell is centered in their antennae, and is slightly better than a Human's. They also can touch with their antennae. Their hearing is about the same as a Human's.

Speech

Vrusk speak by combining clicks produced by their mandibles and buzzes produced by a plate in their mouths.

Society and Customs

Vrusk are hard-working and practical. Their society is organized around independent corporations. To a Vrusk, the company he works for is his family and his nation. The company determines everything about the Vrusk's life; who he lives with, what his job is, where he travels, etc. Vrusk give their company name before their personal name.

Vrusk have two types of corporations: conglomerates and trade houses. Conglomerates have business interests in many areas. A single conglomerate might have divisions that build computers, operate farms, train lawyers and set up colonies. A Vrusk that works for a conglomerate usually works for only one division, and might not even know what other divisions the company owns. Trade houses, which are more common in the Frontier, specialize in one type of business. Because all Vrusk working for a trade house do the same work, trade houses usually work together. For example, a trade house that builds farming equipment would hire accountants from an accounting house to keep their financial records. Business between companies is regulated by laws that are so complex no one besides Vrusk have ever fully understood them.

Vrusk also love beauty, harmony and order. The goal of most Vrusk is to become wealthy, collect art, and live in peace. Their love for beauty makes them unwilling to get into fights that do not involve their company. However, Vrusk that are defending their company will do anything to remove the threat permanently.

Vrusk adventurers, however, do not belong to a company. Some are independent businessmen, some are company employees who were fired and some are just too rebellious to put up with company rules. A few start their own companies and eventually become leaders in thelr communities.

Attitudes

Vrusk get along well with the other three races. They respect the Yazirian custom of choosing a life-enemy, and feel at ease around Dralasites because they are careful and skillful planners (though they are annoyed by the Dralasites' sense of humor). They understand Humans the least because, to a Vrusk, Humans seem unpredictable and a little lazy.

Special Abilities

Ambidexterity. All Vrusk are ambidextrous (they can use both hands equally well). Players with Vrusk characters do not need to choose whether their character is right or left handed. Vrusk can shoot weapons, throw grenades, write, catch or grip with either hand.

Comprehension. Because Vrusk have such a complicated society, they are able to understand all sorts of social dealings. All Vrusk characters start with a Comprehension score of 15. This score is the character's percent chance to figure out any type of social dealing that the player himself can not.

Example: A Vrusk is following a Human he thinks is a spy for another company. He follows the Human into a bar and sees him talking to a group of rough-looking Yazirians, occasionally glancing over his shoulder. Then the Human hands some money to the thugs and leaves the bar. The Vrusk player is not sure what the Human was trying to do, so he tells the Referee he wants to use his Comprehension ability. If he rolls 15 or less on a d100, the Referee will tell him that the Human paid the Yazirians to attack the Vrusk if he tried to follow the Human from the bar. A character's Comprehension score can be increased by spending experience points (see IMPROVING CHARACTERS).


Yazirians

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
2.1 m tall
50 kg (male), 60 kg (female)
140 years
heterosexual, viviparous
39 C
Yazirians are tall, thin humanoids. They are generally smarter and quicker than the other races, but are not as strong. They have long arms and legs and slender torsos. Two large flaps of skin grow on either side of their bodies, attached along their arms, torso and legs. When a Yazirian raises its arms, this membrane is stretched tight and forms a sort of wing. Under certain conditions (explained under Gliding). Yazirians can glide short distances using these wings.

Yazirians have muzzles and high foreheads, giving them an animal-like appearance. Their heads are surrounded by manes and collars of hair, which varies in color from glossy black to pale yelow. Their skin color ranges from gray to Iight tan. Because their bodies do not sweat, Yazirians pant to keep cool. They are omnivores.

Yazirians have four knuckles (one more than Humans) on their fingers and toes. The inside toe is opposed like a thumb, allowing them to grasp things with their feet. The tips of their fingers and toes end in broad, ribbed pads, giving them an excellent grip. These characteristics, combined with their primate-like appearance, earned them the nickname "monkeys."

Senses

Yazirians' senses of hearing, smell and taste are equivalent to a human's. Because they evolved from nocturnal hunters, however, their eyes are adapted to seeing in dim light. They cannot see in complete darkness. They usually wear dark goggles when they must work in sunlight. In bright light, Yazirians without dark goggles must subtract 15 from both their Dexterity and Reaction speed scores.

Speech

Yazirians have no trouble speaking Human languages or Pan-Galactic. Their own language is a combination of Human-type sounds and snarls and growls.

Society and Customs

Yazirians were very warlike in the past, and are still considered pushy and aggressive by other races. Yazirian communities are divided into large, loosely organized clans. All the members of a clan are related to each other. In the past, clan ties were very strong. The clans had traditional enemies and allies, and they struggled constantly for power and land. Since the Yazirians moved into space, they have learned to cooperate more and the clans have become less important. Despite this, Yazirians still have a reputation throughout the Frontier as proud, fierce fighters.

A custom Yazirians have kept intact is the selection of a life-enemy. When a Yazirian chooses a life-enemy, he dedicates his life to destroying, overcoming or outdoing that enemy as completely as possible. In the past, a Yazirian would choose an enemy clan or clan member as his life-enemy, but now the choice is much wider. A Yazirian scientist could name an incurable disease as his life-enemy, or a Yazirian trader could choose a competing company. The scientist would try to find a cure for the disease; the trader would try to build up his own company so it is more powerful than his enemy's, or even try to drive the other company out of business.

A Yazirian gains honor by striving to defeat his enemy. Yazirians with powerful life-enemies are respected and admired. A Yazirian that defeats its enemy does not need to choose another, but some Yazirians do. There is no set point in a Yazirian's life when he must choose a life-enemy, and some Yazirians never choose one. A Yazirian that dies without having chosen a life-enemy is considered unlucky.

Typical Yazirian clothing is a large, brightly colored cape and tunic, a waist belt and two belts crossed over the chest. Dark goggles are worn in the daytime. Yazirians do not like shoes, but when necessary they wear mitten-like shoes.

The zamra was used in the early history of the Yazirians as a dueling weapon. The two Yazirians in the duel would climb separate poles about 20 meters in height with a distance of about 5 meters between them. At a given signal the Yazirians would leap from the poles and glide downwards; each would have one zamra to throw at the other. If the duel was not between enemies, the Yazirians would try to hit each other's wing-like membranes, causing opponents to fall faster. The duelists would try to critically wound or kill each other if they were enemies.

The winner of the duel had to fill several conditions. He had to be alive when he landed, the last one to touch down, and had to land within a two-meter diameter circle which was clearly marked on the ground. One contestant had to meet all these requirements or the duel was considered a draw.

Sometimes duels were carried out using zamras made of softer material. These were generally non-lethal, but sometimes contestants were badly injured or slain with them anyway. Over the years the Yazirians started using the zamra not only in duels but also in any sort of fighting. Even now in the age of space travel, most Yazirians know how to use the weapon.

A yazirian will carry at most two types of zamras. One type is produced in a variety of colors (except red) and can be used anytime the character wishes. The other type is dark red, and can only be used against that Yazirian's life-enemy. Often the red zamra will be carried as a sign of honor if the Yazirian chooses a life-enemy that is not a living being, such as a disease or a competitive company. Typically only one red zamra is ever owned by a Yazirian; to own more is considered disgraceful. A character may own as many other kinds of zamras as he pleases.
When a Yazirian character is created, a six-sided die is rolled to determine the initial skill level the character has when throwing a zamra. A roll of 1-3 means a skill level of 1; a 4-5 roll means a skill level of 2; and a roll of 6 indicates a skill level of 3. This skill level may be improved over time. A character's base chance to hit targets when using a zamra equals one-half the character's dexterity expressed as a percentage, plus 10% per skill level with the zamra, plus range, movement, careful aiming, cover, target size, and thrower's condition modifiers. Use an additional -15% penalty if cast by a gliding Yazirian (such as during a duel).

Other character races may use the zamra, though Yazirians tend to frown upon such practices. The zamra has a significant place in Yazirian folklore and culture, and Yazirians like to see it treated with proper respect (which they don't feel can be given the device by other races). Although they usually won't attack someone seen using a zamra, Yazirians won't necessarily be happy to see this situation, either.

Yazirian battle gauntlets and zamras are made of strong, light alloy; zamras weigh about .5 kilograms. Game characters can never "modernize" zamras by adding devices to make them some sort of energized weapon.

Note: the zamra will always be used before any other weapon carried by a Yazirian if a life-enemy is being fought.

When a Yazirian is using a zamra against his life-enemy, he gains a +10% bonus to the chance that he will go into a battle rage, which will last as long as he is fighting his life-enemy. A red zamra will be used against life-enemies if possible, though other sorts will do.

If cast at a gliding Yazirian, a roll "to hit" that is less than or equal to 1/10th the thrower's normal "to hit" score may (at the caster's option) disable one of the target Yazirian's wing-like membranes, forcing him to cut his gliding distance in half and land quickly.

If two Yazirians are throwing zamras at each other, each has a chance to catch the zamra thrown at him with the battle-gloved hand. The chance is equal to one-half the character's dexterity plus 3% per zamra skill level. If the gloved character is hit by a zamra yet makes his catch percentage, he will take no damage.

Any character with a zamra skill level of our or better ha a chance to try rebound shots. For example, the character may be pinned down by gunfire in a corridor, with assailant firing from around the corner. The zamra thrower may attempt to make the zamra bounce off a wall or other surface and strike the assailant. There must be a hard surface for a rebound shot to be attempted, and a zamra can only bounce off one surface to make an effective attack. The following procedure must be used:

  1. Basic chance to hit: 1/2 dexterity (round fractions up).
  2. Bonus: +5% per zamra skill level.
  3. Add or subtract range modifiers, adding 5 meters of effective distance for the rebound itself.
  4. Use the rest of the modifiers listed on p.22 of the STAR FRONTIERS Expanded Rulebook.
  5. Subtract 1-4 points from the zamra's damage if it hits the target, as the rebound absorbs part of the zamra's kinetic energy.
Attitudes

In general, Yazirians like Vrusk and Humans. They occasionally lose their patience with Dralasites, because they are slow and would rather discuss ideas than act on them.

Special Abilities

Battle Rage. Yazirians train themselves to go berserk in battle. A berserk Yazirian gets a bonus of +20 to hit in melee. Yazirian characters start with a Battle Rage score of 5, and a 5% chance to go berserk at the start of a battle. This chance can be increased by spending experience points (see IMPROVING CHARACTERS) to raise the Battle Rage score. Battle Rage lasts as long as the Yazirian keeps fighting; it ends when the Yazirian rests for five minutes.

Gliding. Yazirians can glide short distances using the membranes along their sides. A Yazirian can glide 1 meter for every meter he is above the ground when he starts. He must start at least 10 meters above the ground. The maximum distance a Yazirian can glide depends on the gravity of the planet, as shown below.

GravityMax. Glide
.6150 m
.7100 m
.850 m
.925 m
1.010 m

Yazirians cannot glide on planets with gravities below .6 or above 1.


Zuraqqor



average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
1.3 m tall, 1 m wide
65 kg
250 years
hermaphroditic, budding
30 C
The Zuraqqor are a race of intelligent, bipedal insects, each having small, vestigial wings, two compound eyes, and two antennae.

Zuraqqor are thought to originate from a world near Zebulon, as all assaults on Federation shipping have been made in that area since the new trade route was opened.

Senses
Zuraqqor have near human sense of touch, hightened sense of smell (+5 to sense checks) and diminished sense of taste (-10 to sense checks). Zuraqqor see in 280 degree vision with little sensitivity to light, but is equal to humans in that too bright of light can obstruct their view.

Speech
Zuraqqor speak using whirs, clicks, and flapping their wings in short rappid bursts. They can speak Vrusk and simulate speach in a similar way to Vrusk.

Society and Customs

Zuraqqor live in vast communal buildings called Hives. Each Hive houses 100,000 or more. Zuraqqor planets are divided into Hive Districts, each controlling several Hives.

Zuraqqor society is divided into five classes, called orders:
worker, warrior, technician, king, queen. The class of each Zuraqqor is determined at birth. The five orders have slightly different physical structure that distinguish them from one another. Individual Zuraqqor do not have much personality; they act as members of their class.

About 75% of all Zuraqqor are workers. Workers do the basic labor of Zuraqqor society. The task could be simple, such as on an assembly line, or complex, such as a merchant banker. Workers might use machines as part of their jobs. However, they will never repair, direct, or command machines or robots. Such work is the prerogative of the technician class. Workers are sexless creatures with a heavier build than the other orders.

Warriors are the fighters of Zuraqqor society. They are sexless and make up about 10% of the Zuraqqor population. They are heavier and stronger than all orders except workers. Warriors are more agile than other orders, and are the only ones normally allowed to bear weapons (other Zuraqqor can bear arms if the threat of death is immediate). Zuraqqor warriors repair and maintain their personal weapons, but the heavier weapons and equipment are maintained by a few technicians attached to the squad.

Technicians are technological experts and have a monopoly on science and technology in Zuraqqor society. They have larger brains than warriors or workers, but are not as strong as either. Technicians have gender, but they are sterile. Technicians make up about 10% ol Zuraqqor society. Over the years, technicians became more important as technology became more complex. Technicians now enjoy privileges that workers and warriors do not have. Technicians have a decisive role in society and try to limit kings and queens to figurehead status. Rival groups of technicians often stage palace revolutions to put their own candidates on the thrones.

Queens are the leaders of the worker order (although their power, like that of the Kings, is now limited by the powerful technician order). Each Hive contains one Queen. The Hive Queens elect one District Queen yearly and the District Queens elect a Planet Queen every ten years. Aside from their leadership duties, the queens mate with kings to produce each generation of Zuraqqor. The queens bear thousands of young several times per year. Zuraqqor young are born in a primitive embryo stage then mature in the Hive hatcheries.

Kings lead the Zuraqqor warriors, just as queens lead the workers. There is one King in each Hive. Kings have an organization similar to that of the queens (Hive King, District King, and Planetary King).

Attitude
The Zuraqqor are one of the Sathar?'s allies. They are cunning and dangerous and see the universe as their garden and hair-covered beings as disruptive to its order.

Special Abilities

Speedy Flight. Flight is automatic for a Zuraqqor. Their 20m/round flight speed makes them dangerous opponents.

Reactive Vision. Due to their secular bug eye vision and fast reflexes, Zuraqqor get +5 against surprise checks.

Racial Modifiers
-10 STR/STA
+10 DEX/RS
+0 INT/LOG
-10 PER/LDR
Movement: Human

PLAYER CHARACTER BRIEFING ON ZURAQQOR

Any encouter with them should be reported immediately. If escape is impossible, citizens should attack immediately, attempting to capture a live Zuraqqor for study if possible. When Zuraqqor are encountered with Sathar, citizens should either attempt to escape or attack to kill, as the Zuraqqor are known to be allies of the Sathar.

Average Zuraqqor
PHYSICAL
DATA
DEFENSES
STR/STA 45/45
Military Skeinsuit
DEX/RS
40/40
Albedo Screen
INT/LOG
45/45  
PER/LDR
45/65
WEAPONS:
lM
4
Laser Rifle with 20 SEU clip
  1 Fragmentation Grenade

Humma

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
2.5 m tall
90 kg
210 years
hermaphroditic, viviparous
38 C
The body of a Humma is pear-shaped with a short, blunt head, no visible neck, narrow shoulders, unusually short arms, a stocky trunk, and wide hips with powerful legs. The face has a muzzle, with both feline and canine features. The body is covered with matted fur, usually dull brown. The hands are hairless. The feet are long and tough.

Humma walk on the balls and toes of their feet, which gives them their extra height. They are able to jump an incredible distance. Their short arms can hold a rifle but are not suited for melee weapons. They have evolved with an agile and strong prehensile tail with which they can deliver a sound blow or use a melee weapon.

Humma are warm-blooded but they are not mammals; their physiology and life cycle are unique. Young Humma are female. After they have borne one (all Humma bear one child in their lifetime, though sometimes they bear twins or even triplets), they change into males. When Humma approach 170 years of age they undergo another change into a neuter stage and remain neuter until death.

Senses

Humma hearing and sight are equivalent to Human standards. Their sense of smell and touch are not as acute as most of the other races, while their sense of taste is completely dull. This lack of smell and taste, combined with their tough digestive system, means they can eat almost anything that is vaguely edible.

Speech

The Humma language is an ugly one, full of grunts and gutteral noises. It is not an easy language to learn; Vrusk and Ifshnits, particularly, have a difficult time with it.

Attitude

Most Frontiersmen do not like Humma, and even their fellow Rim dwellers are not overly fond of them. That is fine with the Humma, because they do not care for the other races, either. Humma are rude, crude, lewd, pushy, and arrogant. The only races they enjoy working with are the Yazirians (Humma admire their battle rage) and Osakar (because no one likes them either).

Humma evolved from an extremely warlike society. They were welcomed into the Rim System and eventually allied with the UPF because they are much more desirable as allies than enemies. Since the First Sathar War, their hatred for the Sathar has run a close second to that of the Ifshnit. This is obvious from the term they use to refer to Sathar: "meat"

Society and Customs

Humma history is steeped in civil and interspecies war. The Sathar incursions, however, drove the Humma to finally join the Rim Coalition. There is little that they enjoy more than a good brawl. Humma have an almost fatalistic, "it is a good day to die," attitude which not only makes them deadly warriors but leads them to entertain themselves in most illicit fashions. They are carousers without peers.

Humma society is feudal with the equivalent of a king (called the Highest One) and royalty (Higher Ones, High Ones, and so forth). The fealty they owe their superiors is a very serious matter with them. Humma are usually named after their forebears or the houses they serve (e.g., Glaxchild, Klud of Arius, etc.). The lineage of a Humma is important to him and a source of pride.

In the last few decades the pride and honor that Humma have traditionally assigned to feats of war have come to include accomplishments in technical and scientific areas and explorations. There is even a house, Platget, that now sends out its descendants to become Star Law Rangers.

Special Abilities

Spring Charge. A Humma can spring up to 25 meters horizontally from a standing start and, if he lands within 2 meters of an opponent, come to a dead stop and make a melee attack against the opponent, who cannot strike back. The "carousel attack:' a circle of Humma springing from one enemy to another, is a bizarre battle tactic they enjoy using. A Humma can continue this 25-meter spring for up to 10 turns, but then gets winded and cannot use it again for at least 30 minutes.

Poison Resistance. Humma are unaffected by any poison that they eat or drink.

Prehensile Tail. The tail of the Humma is 2 meters long and has a grip stronger than a Human hand. The tail is capable of holding an item or swinging a melee weapon. When holding an item, the Humma can use its two arms normally. When using the tail to wield a weapon, the Humma must concentrate on it and cannot use its arms to operate anything else. The tail can only wrap around hilts, handles, etc., and cannot throw grenades or operate devices. The tail itself is treated as a rifle butt for damage. It is strong enough to support a Humma's body, but only for a number of turns equal to the Humma's Stamina divided by 10.


Ifshnit

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
1 m tall
30 kg
150 years
heterosexual, viviparous
32 C
Ifshnits are bipedal, symmetrical mammals that look like tiny Humans in hair coats. All Ifshnits have bald pates, moustaches, and long, silky hair over the rest of their bodies. This body hair can be any color but is seldom different shades on the same body. All males have long and ornate beards, usually of a different shade than the rest of the body hair. The body hair of both sexes is usually worn in intricate braids. Each Ifshnit clan braids its hair differently. Ifshnit hands and feet are covered with short hair, except for their palms and soles, which are bare and padded. This short hair is slightly darker than the rest of the body hair. Their hands have three fingers and an opposing thumb, and the feet have four toes.

Ifshnits are herbivores and the thought of eating another creature is utterly revolting to them. Because of their vegetarian diet they are constantly nibbling instead of eating meals.

Because of their small size, Ifshnits cannot use many large items, including normal rifles.

Senses

Ifshnits have normal senses of hearing, touch, and taste. They have almost no sense of smell and have a hard time understanding the concept of scent. Their eyes have a fast-closing inner lid that closes instantly if exposed to bright light, preventing the Ifshnit from being blinded (many exobiologists believe Ifshnits evolved under intense sunlight). Their night sight is no better than a Human's.

Speech

Ifshnits have a lilting, piping voice that is best described as cute. Their language is intricate, but is compatible with most races' linguistic abilities (except the Humma).

Attitudes

Ifshnits are intelligent, brave, patient, and tolerant of other races, and members of most other races like them instantly. However, Ifshnits prefer being alone or with other members of their clan. They harbor an intense hatred for the Sathar and any who serve them. This is due to their past dealings with the Sathar. Though details are hard to get, apparently the Sathar plagued the Ifshnits since their history began. This leads many historians to believe that the Ifshnits (or a branch of that race) at one time inhabited Sathar space. Ifshnits have been known to risk life and limb many times over to eliminate Sathar and their agents.

Society and Customs

Ifshnits are the major race in the Capella system. They founded the Capellan Free Merchants and still control the organization. Their strange, polite dickering is known and welcome on most planets. Due to their origins, Ifshnits are fiercely independent. They like neither mega-corps nor cadres. They live in small family clans and are governed by a committee that changes continually.

Ifshnits believe that this is the last corporeal existence they will have. Their concept of an afterlife is one of pure thought mixed with gentler emotions. As a part of this belief they tend to ignore the sensual pleasures of life. Their favorite pastimes include games (they love competition), storytelling, and bartering for goods.

They adapt very well to living and working in space. Dorem Dasak, the famous Dralasite philosopher and historian, has named them "The race of the future, they who will inherit!"

Special Abilities

Flash Resistance. Ifshnits cannot be blinded by any light, as their inner eyelids snap shut instantly. They cannot see during the turn a light flashes brightly, but their eyesight will be normal the following turn.

Innate Skill. Because of their unique culture, which is heavily based on barter, Ifshnits learn about trading at an early age. An Ifshnit character is allowed to choose one of the following skills at second level and at no cost when it begins the game: Appraisal, Gemology, or Haggling.

Mechanon

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
2.2 m tall
100 kg
unknown
construction
not applicable
Mechanons are roughly humanoid sentient robots. Their brains are made of various-colored crystals that form an artificially intelligent storage and computing device; a technology unknown but much sought after by the other races. Their bodies may vary in shape and size, but are developed according to caste and function, but most are generally of a similar height and weight.

Senses

Mechanons are usually equipped with sensors that give them visual and audio input roughly equivalent to Human eyes and ears. The warriors are also equipped with infrared and night vision and have heightened hearing. The thinker class is believed to be equipped with all available optical enhancement devices and have extremely heightened hearing. Though they can sense chemical compositions and touch pressure, Mechanons cannot appreciate smell, taste or sensation.

Speech

Mechanons have built-in poly-voxes and can be programmed with almost any language. The higher orders, warriors and thinkers, can learn new languages. The Mechanon voice is high and always sounds mechanical.

Society and Customs

Mechanons evolved on Volturnus from primitive Eorna robots into a sentient, sapient race which could propagate mechanically. The robots used on the Frontier in everyday life are to the Mechanons what baboons are to the Yazirians: there is a certain similarity, but the differences are far greater and of more importance.

Little is known about Mechanon society. What is known indicates that it has a complex and strict caste system which does not allow for advancement from a lower caste to a higher one. The more intelligent Mechanons occupy higher castes. It is known that an aggressive tendency to dominate and destroy organic, intelligent life was once a strong factor in Mechanon society. Indeed, it resulted in the famous Mechanon revolution on Volturnus in FY 54 and the eventual mass exodus of Mechanons from that planet. But recent studies have shown that this is no longer a primary drive within the majority of Mechanons encountered. In fact, of 100 randomly tested Mechanons, only five showed any signs of animosity or superiority complexes relating to organic sentients.

Some robopsychologists are beginning to suspect that two completely different Mechanon societies may be evolving: one bent on peacefully coexisting with the other races, and another, smaller faction bent on destroying them.

Mechanons use standard robots to perform menial tasks, just as the other races do. Philosophy and the arts are completely non-existent and Mechanons cannot understand what organic beings see in these pursuits. Mechanons have no sense of public vs. private property. Supplies simply are created, exist, and are used as needed. There is no family unit.

There are few laws in Mechanon society. Every Mechanon is programmed with specific behavioral directives during construction. Noticeably fewer restrictions are placed on members of higher castes. At present, the Mechanon's crystalline technology is the envy of every government and mega-corp in the Frontier.

Attitudes

The Mechanons seem to get along with most races now. Their fascist tendencies have waned since they colonized their own planet, and they are now trying to become respectable members of the UPF community. Many people who have dealt with them in the last decade testify that they are no more difficult to work with than any other race and are possibly easier to deal with than the Humma. Still others, though, contend that the Mechanons are planning the overthrow of all biological races in the Frontier and cite their past cooperation with the Sathar as proof. The matter is hotly contested, and only time will settle it.

Special Abilities

Ambidexterity. All Mechanons are ambidextrous, just as the Vrusk are.

Built-in Weapons. All members of the warrior class have at least one built-in weapon, usually a proton beam or laser. It is suspected that the thinkers have even more powerful armament.

Exceptional Intelligence. Most Mechanon castes have a set Logic score of 75. The thinker class has a Logic score of at least 95 and can figure out the use of any manufactured item in a matter of minutes.

Persuasion. Thinkers are also skilled debaters. They get +20 (+2 Column Shift) on efforts to persuade, and improves with experience.



Osakar

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
3 m tall
100 kg
225 years
parthenogenesis
42 C
Osakar are very tall, long-limbed creatures. Four legs grow symmetrically from the lower portion of their barrel-shaped bodies and constitute 65% of their height. Each leg has two opposing knees and can fold up to lower the Osakar to a height of a little under 2 meters. Their feet are shaped identically to their hands.

Osakar have two arms with shoulder joints similar to those of a Vrusk, but they aren't double jointed. The hands are short and powerful with five fingers (each finger has five knuckles) and two opposing thumbs (each thumb has three knuckles).

The Osakar head is set slightly forward of the shoulders on a long, thick, muscular neck. This neck can turn the head straight back, so the Osakar can easily look behind itself. The Osakar head has a very flat face with little detail. The two eyes are totally black. The nose is an intricately baffled vertical opening. The mouth is a mere slit containing hard, bony ridges used for chewing. Two opposing tongues, one on either side of the mouth, can be seen.

The Osakar epidermis is made up of thousands of large. white, hard, plate-like cells that are shingled downward all over the body. They resemble a huge, white plant more than any animal.

Osakar have only one sex, which is considered female and new individuals are developed from unfertilized eggs. To all other races Osakar appear completely identical, like clones.

Senses

Osakar have vision, hearing, and a sense of touch comparable to that of mankind. They have the finest sense of taste and smell on the Frontier (see Special Abilities).

Speech

Osakar speak a strange language that is quite beautiful. The two tongues produce sounds no other race can make and the use of their baffled nose-hole adds exotic fluting which is entrancing. They have no problem learning to speak new languages.

Attitudes

Osakar try to get along with everyone, but some of the other races are barely able to tolerate the Osakar, probably because of their appearance. Most Humans are afraid of Osakar (because of their "spidery" legs) and the two races never live close to each other. The only races that get along with them are the Ifshnits (after centuries of trade and interaction) and the Humma (because no one likes them either).

Society and Customs

The incredible physical similarities between Osakars has an interesting impact on Osakar society. All Osakar are absolutely equal and have the same rights. They are the only race that has achieved perfect equality. Their lack of distinguishing features not only reinforces this equality, but also channels their natural inclination toward individuality in a most unusual direction. No two Osakar sound alike, the inflection and tone of their voice being unmistakably different. Some even adopt other languages permanently.

This desire to be different also manifests itself in their religious beliefs. Every known religion in the galaxy, including ancient and "forgotten" religions, is being practiced by at least one Osakar. All Osakar are fervently religious, but the religion itself is not as important as the fact that the Osakar believes in it.

But the Osakar desire for individualism is most notably expressed in their apparel. While Osakar can live comfortably in most climates without clothing, apparel accounts for a major portion of their personal expenses. They absolutely love fashion. Gaudy, tasteful, tacky, luxurious, the range of Osakar apparel is without limits and changes continuously. (Osakar characters must spend at least 20% of their income on clothing and accessories.) Osakar do not limit their outfits to one gender or species; any clothing that fits, from any culture or time period, may be worn by an Osakar.

Special Abilities

Highly Developed Smell. All Osakar have highly developed olfactory senses. These are so accurate that an Osakar can recognize and identify even very weak odors that it has encountered in the past, including people. Any Osakar learning the Tracking skill has +15 (+2 Column Shift) added to its success rate, unless something has masked or removed the scent.

Languages. Because of their unique mouth structure Osakar can duplicate all known languages. The Osakar are the finest linguists known. An Osakar character starts the game knowing any four civilized languages it desires in addition to PanGal and Osakish.

S'sessu

average size:
average mass:
average lifespan:
reproduction:
body temperature:
3.5 m long
55 kg
unknown
hermaphroditic, viviparous
endothermic
S'sessu are almost identical in appearance to Sathar, the most obvious difference between them being body coloration. A Sathar's skin is yellow or brown, but a S'sessu has a bright pink- or green-tinted skin. The S'sessu do not have the patterns of dots or stripes on their heads that the Sathar have. Otherwise, all other descriptive information on Sathar can be applied to S'sessu.

Senses

A S'sessu's sense of hearing is equal to a Human's. Its sense of taste is slightly better than a Human's, but its sense of smell is somewhat less well developed. A S'sessu's double pupils give it superior all-around vision, allowing it to see in several directions at once. A S'sessu always has a +2 Initiative Modifier because of its excellent vision.

Speech

S'sessu speak with a hissing lisp. They have quickly learned Pan-Galactic since their existence was discovered, and they can speak it normally. They can also speak the language of their own race.

Society and customs

In general, S'sessu are extremely competitive and self-centered. Each individual does what it wants, caring little for others except for those who can help the S'sessu achieve its goals. Power and possessions are only for those S'sessu who can take and keep them. This would seem to create a society where murder and violence are rampant, but this is not the case. Indeed, at times S'sessu can be highly organized and cooperative, and violent crime is an uncommon occurrence among them.

If a S'sessu believes there is some sort of personal gain to be had in doing so, it will work cooperatively with other beings. A group of S'sessu might pool their money to build an interstellar spaceship, and another group might hire a police force to protect them from robbery or murder by others. However, S'sessu will have only one leader among them in most situations. Thus, a S'sessu company is controlled by one extremely powerful boss; the captain of a S'sessu spaceship is the absolute leader of all beings aboard that ship. S'sessu philosophies are based on getting and keeping power, not on what is right or wrong. To a S'sessu, the only actions that are "wrong" are those that keep it from reaching its goal in the best and safest manner possible.

The discovery of the S'sessu has presented a puzzle for xenobiologists. The S'sessu have no explanation for their similarity to Sathar and were in fact unaware of the existence of the Sathar until contact with the UPF. The current theory held among scientists is that the S'sessu are an offshoot of the Sathar race, and this seems well-supported. If this is true, the separation between the Sathar and S'sessu would have to have occurred more than 20,000 years ago, long before the Sathar or the S'sessu are known to have developed space travel. It has been speculated that an ancient unknown race of aliens (possibly the group known to xenoarchaeologists as the Tetrarchs) transplanted a small group of S'sessu to their present homeworld at that time.

S'sessu only hold claim to a small region of space, consisting of two stellar systems (each with one small inhabited planet) lying ten light years from the Gruna Garu system, on a line running from Dixon's Star to Gruna Garu and on to the S'sessu worlds. Due to their similarity to the Sathar, it was only through luck and careful diplomacy that they were not immediately attacked as hostile aliens by the rescue force that found their homeworld. Little is known about the S'sessu's history, as friendly diplomatic relations have only recently been established.

The S'sessu are extremely aggressive business dealers. In their attempts to gain an equal footing with the other races in the Frontier Sector, they have hired adventurers to spy on, infiltrate, steal from, or suppress activities the S'sessu deem "unfriendly" in the Frontier systems closest to them. This has caused Star Law to take an active interest in certain foreign and business affairs of the S'sessu, though the race as a whole is not regarded as dangerous or hostile.

Attitudes

The S'sessu are essentially amoral (neither knowing nor caring about the difference between good and evil). It is a good bet that a S'sessu will always do exactly what is best for it, even to the extent of betraying others without a second thought to save itself. This "every-worm-for-itself" attitude makes the S'sessu disliked, especially by the Vrusk (who have suffered in certain business dealings from the S'sessu love for "dirty tricks").

Nonetheless, the other races have learned to work with the S'sessu, often with great success and mutual benefit for both sides. S'sessu adventurers often work well as team members, especially if they see their chances of finding personal gain and wealth are improved through cooperative effort. Of course, a better offer might always be made by someone else, leaving the door open for possible treachery.

Special abilities

Ability Insight. Because of the extremely competitive nature of S'sessu society, individuals have developed the ability to judge the strengths and weaknesses of opponents. All S'sessu start with a score of 5% in this ability. This is the percentage chance a S'sessu has of learning one ability score or skill level of a being he observes. The S'sessu must see his opponent actually doing something related to that ability score before he can make this judgment.
Example: Asphenomenas, a S'sessu, sees a smuggler outside a spaceport. The smuggler is trying to shoot a beam weapon at a guard robot. Asphenomenas secretly watches the smuggler, and the player tells the Referee that Asphenomenas wants to use his Ability Insight to determine the smuggler's DEX score (based upon the smuggler's shooting ability). The Referee secretly rolls percentile dice. If the die roll is 05 or under, Asphenomenas will have learned the smuggler's DEX score. A roll over 05 would indicate uncertainty and no knowledge gained.
Ability Insight may be increased by spending experience, just like any other ability score may be raised. This ability may only be used once per game hour, simulating the intense concentration required to use it.

Creating a S'sessu character
S'sessu characters are created in the same way as other characters. The following Ability Modifiers are used when creating a S'sessu:
STR/STA: +0
DEX/RS: +0
INT/LOG: +10
PER/LDR: -10
S'sessu have the same movement rate as Sathar do. They walk at 10 meters per turn, run at 20 meters per turn, and move long distances at 3 kilometers per hour.

The following Racial Reaction Modifiers may also be used when dealing with S'sessu:
Humans have a -5 reaction penalty to S'sessu.
Vrusk have a -10 reaction penalty to S'sessu.
S'sessu have a +5 reaction bonus to Sathar.
S'sessu have a -5 reaction penalty to Vrusk.

(source- Star Frontiers: 25th Anniversary Edition)

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