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Lightspeed: Alien Contact


(Classic Lightspeed Edition)

by David Caffee and William Andersen


Adapted to Lightspeed by Ed Fleming
Artwork by Robert Hemminger
All text and artwork Copyright 2011 ComStar Media, LLC

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Contents
Introduction.......................................1

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens......30

Chapter One: Species Concept..........2

Alien Name: Ryka................................. 32

Chapter Two: Species Creation..........4

Alien Name: Frii-mon........................... 35

Characteristic Adjustments...................... 4
Species Traits and Point Costs.................. 4

Chapter Three: Racial Skills...............11


ADDITIONAL SENSE (WILL)..................... 11

Chapter Four: Talents and


Complications...................................14
Racial Talents............................................ 14

Chapter Five: Finishing Touches........17


Alien Civilizations.................................... 17
OTHER FACTORS...................................... 20
Species Creation Recipe Card.................. 21

Chapter Six: Optional Rating System for


Civilizations.......................................22
Intelligence Rating: . ................................ 22
Technology Rating:................................... 22
Militancy Rating:....................................... 23
Economic Rating:...................................... 23
Individuality Rating:.................................. 24

Appendix A: Sample Aliens and


Civilizations.......................................26
Androzee.................................................. 26
The Jhargi................................................. 26
The KrNeth.............................................. 27
The Lextharik........................................... 28

Alien Name: Spargan............................ 37


Alien Name: Tsari................................. 39
Alien Name: Buuschu............................ 41
Alien Name: Krowler............................. 43
Alien Name: Nailous............................. 45
Alien Name: Aeratix............................. 47
Alien Name: Krotia................................ 49
Alien Name: Karnic.............................. 51
Alien Name: Athians............................. 53
Alien Name: Verl................................... 56
Alien Name: Evi.................................... 58
Alien Name: Derotiki............................ 60
Alien Name: Guhltazi............................ 62
Alien Name: Dho Ngee......................... 64
Alien Name: Drak................................. 66
Alien Name: Hali................................... 68
Alien Name: Ino.................................... 70
Alien Name: Jubonakin......................... 72
Alien Name: Lom.................................. 74
Alien Name: Atomi................................ 76
Alien Name: Tikril................................. 78
Alien Name: Ovarl................................ 80
Alien Name: Maga ............................... 82
Alien Name: Olixi................................. 84
Alien Name: Phazon............................. 87
Alien Name: Fuherl ............................ 89
Alien Name: Qrisi................................ 91
Alien Name: Pakian.............................. 94
Alien Name: Quni ................................ 96
Alien Name: Warlphen......................... 98
Alien Name: Yngloe............................. 101

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Alien Name: Jassian.............................. 103


Alien Name: Yabacha........................... 105
Alien Name: Hurkus............................. 107
Alien Name: Ueda................................ 109
Alien Name: Ocel................................. 111
Alien Name: Ganifian........................... 113
Alien Name: Condizi............................ 115
Alien Name: Betrula............................. 117
Alien Name: Ishoni............................... 119
Alien Name: Ensomi............................. 121
Alien Name: Wsik................................ 123
Alien Name: Xtikix.............................. 125
Alien Name: Metaxian.......................... 127
Alien Name: Zenati............................... 129
Alien Name: Zuphi............................... 131
Alien Name: Muleni.............................. 133
Alien Name: Kespah............................ 135

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Introduction
In many ways, this book has two distinct
parts. The first part (Chapter one thru Appendix
B) is concerned with creating aliens races and
civilizations for your Lightspeed campaign. In
Appendix C, we have a little over 50 sample
aliens to add to your Lightspeed campaign as
your adventures take you to the stars.
Alien life forms have been a core feature of
science fiction since the genre was conceived.
Since then the human mind has dreamed
up countless speculations about what these
creatures might look like and how they might
interact with us. Not only has science fiction
inspired us to daydream about meeting beings
from another planet, we have also created alien
heroes to admire and emulate.
The Alien Creation Guide is a resource for
gamers who want to create custom aliens for use
as player characters and adversaries. This book
has everything you need to bring unique alien
races to life in your science fiction campaign.
Any type of creature you can imagine can be
brought to life is just a few simple steps.
The Alien Creation Guide serves as guide to
provide gamers with all the tools they need to
create their own alien races. The book has step
by step instructions that explain how to make a
balanced, ready to play race using the d20 rules.
The creation guidelines found in this book can
be easily imported into other game systems,
allowing players and GMs the opportunity to
introduce these novel beings into any science
fiction universe.

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Chapter One: Species Concept


It is important to start with a clear idea about
what you want out of your species. You need to
define what your alien is and what it is not. There
are a lot of details to be sorted out and it you may
not be sure where to start. Nailing down your
concept will be easier if you begin by asking
the big questions. What do you want these aliens
to be able to do? What is their physical form
like? Are they a race of peaceful philosophers
or barbaric interstellar raiders? What is the
environment of their home planet like? What are
their strengths and weaknesses?

Many people can find inspiration for their


aliens by looking to science fiction novels, TV,
movies and even comic books. Keep in mind
that copying an alien race straight from popular
fiction can be a bit tedious. This is especially
true if the GM plans to introduce the new alien
race as the primary antagonists in a campaign.
A highly derivative alien can also disrupt
the balance between player knowledge and
character knowledge. As soon as the players
encounter these creatures, they will instantly
know everything about them because they are
Once you have a grasp on the general familiar with their original incarnation in popular
framework you will need to begin filling in fiction.
the particulars. Think about how your concept
Other sources of inspiration might come from
translates into game terms. Perhaps your alien looking at the plants and animals found on our world.
race possesses the ability to change colors Creating aliens out of anthromorphic animals has
like chameleons do. This ability sounds very become a clich in both science fiction and roleimpressive and provides a great description of playing. However, not every alien has to be a race
the race, but in game terms it translates into a of walking lizards or a species of cat people. Try
simple bonus to all Hide skill checks. Likewise, it mixing and matching different traits and survival
doesnt matter if your aliens have horns or rows features. Why not combine the muscular and agile
of razor sharp teeth, both of these characteristics body of a jungle cat with the scaly skin of a lizard?
would classify as natural weapons. Making the Or create a species of winged aliens that are armed
connection between describing the species with poison tipped claws. Perhaps your alien could
qualities in plain English and turning those have the upper body of an amphibious humanoid
characteristics into game rule information is the and a lower body comprised of slithering tentacles.
key to creating a new player-ready alien race.
As you can see there are many ways to use that
Certain aspects of your aliens may be natural world as the inspiration for a new race
interesting and informative but wont translate without always resorting to the tired formula of an
into game terms. While it could be fun to note alien that is half man, half something else?
whether a certain species lays eggs or gives live
birth, this distinction doesnt make a difference
in game terms. Nor does it matter if the species
is carnivorous, omnivorous or herbivorous. A
species with three or four eyes isnt necessarily
going to have better vision than a species with
two eyes. These bits of miscellaneous information
are helpful when you are describing the species
to your fellow gamers, but they are not useful
when creating rules for a new race. It is important
to prioritize the features of a new alien species to
determine which characteristics are truly worthy
of being set into a racial trait.

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There are other concerns that need to be


addressed as you move through the creation
process. While everyone wants their aliens to
be powerful and exciting, the rules presented
here will only allow for aliens that are roughly
equivalent to human beings. As you round out the
concept for this new species you need to consider
whether or not youre alien is balanced enough to
be included in a game with humans. While it may
not be realistic to assume that humans and aliens
will always be able to compete fairly, character
balance is an important consideration in a roleplaying game. This element of game balance may

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

frustrate some players who envision their aliens as


a race of invulnerable twelve foot tall super beings.
The rules presented here in the main book were
written with an eye of game balance and character
parity. Rules for creating more powerful aliens can
be found in Appendix B: Alien Racial Levels.

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Chapter Two: Species Creation


Characteristic Adjustments
One of the most important features of any PC
race is the ability score adjustment. Knowing
what a species strengths and weaknesses are a
key component in understand how playing as this
alien will affect character creation. Ability score
adjustments are balanced, meaning that gaining
a bonus to one ability means taking a penalty
on another. Bonuses and penalties are always
measured out in increments of +2 and -2. A GM
may give a player permission to use an ability
adjustment of +4 or -4 but only if it is essential to
the concept of the new species. A GM should be
cautious about being too liberal when it comes
to adjusting ability scores. Consider that a race
with a -4 penalty to Intelligence would end up
with an average Intelligence score of 6 and a
maximum Intelligence score of 14. The typical
members of this race would be considered
mentally challenged by human standards and
some of them would only be slightly smarter
than non-sentient animals. On the other hand, the
greatest genius to ever live among this species
would barely qualify as gifted when compared
to other races. It is unlikely that an alien species
facing this kind of intellectual obstacle would
ever develop an advanced civilization, let alone
the technology to travel between stars.
Weighted Abilities
Strength and Dexterity are very important
abilities that affect a number of different tasks. Both
of these abilities are used in combat and are vital to
a characters fighting ability. A characters Strength
modifier is added to both melee attack rolls and
melee damage. A characters Dexterity modifier
is added to ranged attack rolls as well as his or
her Defense. Because these abilities are so useful,
they are considered to be weighted. Taking a +2
bonus to either Strength or Dexterity would require
taking a -2 penalty to two other ability scores.
Naturally, a bonus to one weighted ability can be
cancelled out by an equal penalty to the other.

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Standard Abilities
The four unweighted abilities are
Constitution, Intelligence, Willpower, and
Presence. While these abilities are important
to the game, they are not as useful in combat
as Strength and Dexterity. Taking a +2 bonus to
one of the standard abilities can be balanced by
taking a -2 penalty to any one of the other standard
abilities. By the same token, taking a -2 penalty
to either of the weighted abilities entitles a race
to a +2 bonus to two of the standard abilities.
Buying Talents
Every race has unique features that set it
apart from others in the galaxy. All members of
a given species possess a number of racial traits
that aid or hinder that species in certain ways.
Determining what species traits your aliens will
have is a simple matter of selecting each trait
and purchasing it by spending points out of your
creation pool. Each new alien race has a total of
10 creation points that can be used to buy these
various traits. Additional points can be gained by
taking racial drawbacks. Taking a complication
adds points to the races creation pool but also
restricts their abilities.

Species Traits and Point Costs


Ability Score Bonus (8 points)
Members of this species have a natural
gift that gives them an advantage over other
creatures. Select any ability; all members of this
species receive a +2 bonus to this ability. This
ability score increase stacks with any bonus
gained through normal ability adjustments.
Additional Sense (2-4 points)
Members of this species have access to a
sense other than sight, hearing, touch, taste and
smell. Perhaps the creatures sensory organs
work in a different manner than those of other
species, or they may have an entirely different
set of organs altogether. This trait can be taken

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

multiple times, each time it applies to a different


sense.
Listed below are the types of sensory prowess
that can be gained with this trait and the point
cost needed for each.
Low-Light Vision (2 points): A creature with
low-light vision can see twice as far as normal in
poor lighting. The creature can still distinguish
colors, even in dim lighting.
Darkvision (3 points): A creature with
darkvision can see in the dark up to 60 feet.
Darkvision is black and white only, but it is
otherwise like normal sight, and these creatures
can function just fine with no light at all.
Omni-Directional Vision (4 points): A
creature with this trait literally has eyes in the
back of its head, or some other way of looking at
everything around it. The creature is able to see
360 degrees around it. The creature gains a +2
bonus to all Spot checks and cannot be flanked.
Other (4 points): A creature with this trait has
use of a sense that is not visual or auditory in
nature. The creature is able to detect the world
around it through the use of echolocation, scent,
telesensory detection, thermal, vibration, or
some other sensation. The range of this sensory
capacity is 30 feet. The creature is able to move
around normally and make observations within
this range. The range at which this sense is
functional can be increased to 60 feet at the cost
of 1 additional point. A character with this trait
can detect things at longer distances or pick
up on subtle sensations by taking ranks in the
skill Additional Sense (see Chapter Four Racial
skills).
Attack Bonus (specific type) (3 points)
Members of this species are naturally adept
with a certain type of weapon. Select one of the
following weapon types, all members of this
species receive a +1 bonus on all attack rolls
made with this type of weapon; ranged weapons
(such as bows, machine guns or blaster pistols),
heavy weapons (large cannons and energy
beams), melee weapons (such as swords and
spears), or thrown weapons (throwing daggers,

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small axes, hand grenades).


Attack Bonus (6 points)
Members of this species have an unusual
martial ability. This talent expresses itself in an
uncanny natural targeting system. All members
of this species gain +1 to their attack rolls.
Bonus Talent (3 points)
Members of this species are curious and
eager to learn. This inquisitive nature leads to an
eclectic assortment of talents being expressed
within the culture. All members of this species
gain one additional feat at first level. The
character must meet any prerequisites.
Bonus Skill Points (7 points)
Members of this species have a natural
talent for mimicry and absorbing knowledge.
This ability to ape the actions of others greatly
aids the learning process. All members of this
species receive 4 additional skill points.
Change Creature Form (2/4/5 points)
Members of this species are not humanoids.
These creatures belong to a creature type
whose biology differs greatly from most other
organisms. Select one of the creature types
listed below. All members of this species gain
the characteristics, special qualities, etc. of that
creature type.
Construct (2 points): Constructs are artificial
creatures or living machines. Constructs have no
Constitution score. Constructs are also immune
to ability damage, ability drain, and energy
drain, and they always fail Constitution checks.
Constructs are immune to mind-influencing
effects and to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning,
and disease. They are not subject to critical hits,
non-lethal damage or the effects of massive
damage.
All constructs are granted a number of extra
hits according to size. Small constructs gain an
additional 5 hits, medium-size constructs gain an
additional 10 hits, and large constructs gain 20
hits.

Chapter Two: Species Creation


Constructs cannot heal damage on their own
but can be repaired using the Mechanics skill. A
successful Mechanics check (DV 24) heals 1d10
points of damage to a construct, and each check
represents 1 hour of work. A construct reduced
to 0 hit points is immediately destroyed and
cannot be repaired.

Dodge Bonus (2 points)


Members of this species have a knack for
avoiding danger. An inherent object avoidance
mechanism in the creatures brain helps them to
get out of the way when faced with an attack. All
members of this species gain a +1 dodge bonus.
This trait can be taken multiple times, its effects
stack.

Elemental (5 points): Elementals are


creatures formed from non-organic matter and
Fast Healing (10 points)
energy. These creatures are typically formed
Members of this species have an incredibly
from air, earth, water or fire. Elementals are
immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, and stunning. fast healing process that allows them to
They are not subject to critical hits, flanking, or recuperate from serious wounds in a matter
of minutes. These creatures regain hit points
the effects of massive damage.
Plant (4 points): Plants are sentient beings at an exceptionally fast rate. All members of
composed of vegetable matter. Plants are this species gain Fast Healing 1, meaning that
immune to sleep, paralysis, stunning, and mind- they regain 1 hit point of damage per round.
influencing effects. They are not subject to Fast healing stops working when a creature is
reduced to -10 hits or fewer. Fast healing works
critical hits or the effects of massive damage.
just like natural healing.
Damage Reduction (3 to 8 points)
Fast healing doesnt provide any benefit
Members of this species are extremely tough
and resistant to injury. Possessing this trait means
that the creature ignores the first point of damage
from most weapons and natural attacks. All
members of this species gain damage reduction
of 1/- for a point cost of 4. The amount of damage
reduction can be increased to 2/- for a total point
expenditure of 6 or 3/- for a total expenditure of
8 points.

against attack forms that dont deal hit point


damage (such as poison). Fast healing also
doesnt restore hit points lost to starvation, thirst,
or suffocation, and it doesnt allow a creature to
regrow or reattach severed body parts.
Grappling Ability (2 points)

Members of this species are built for wrestling


and tackling. All members of this species gain a
The cost of this trait can be reduced by 1 +2 bonus to all grapple checks. In addition the
point by placing a restriction on the types of creature gains +2 bonus to trip attacks and bull
damage to which the damage reduction applies. rush attempts. This trait can be selected multiple
Select a type of damage (bludgeoning, energy, times, its effects stack.
piercing, or slashing). Attacks that deal this type
Hit Point Bonus (1 or 6 points)
of damage negate the damage reduction and
Members of this species are hardy and
thus, deal full damage.
durable. These creatures gain a number of bonus
hit points. The exact number of hit points gained
Damage Reduction
Point Cost
depends on the number of points spent on this
1/damage type
3
trait.
1/4
1 point: All members of this species gain 1
2/damage type
5
additional hit point.
2/6
3/damage type
7
Initiative Bonus (1 or 2 points)
3/8
Members of this species have fast reactions
and a tendency to act assertively. All members
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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

of this species gain a +2 bonus to initiative.


3 points: The creatures are able to deal
This bonus can be increased to +4 with the 1d6 points of lethal damage with a successful
expenditure of an additional point.
unarmed attack.
5 points: The creatures are able to deal
1d8 points of lethal damage with a successful
Members of this species have a frightful unarmed attack.
look about them. These creatures have evolved
7 points: The creatures are able to deal
into a form that appears dangerous (even if the
creatures themselves are quite gentle). Any 1d10 points of lethal damage with a successful
number of natural features can make a creature unarmed attack.
look fierce and threatening. The creatures may
Natural Psionics (3 points)
be covered with spikes or eye spots, or they may
Members of this species are born with a
have the ability exaggerate the size of their jaws.
All members of this species can choose to make psionic gift. All members of this species are
themselves look terrifying and fearsome once allowed to one low level psionic power, agreed
per round as a free action. When this ability is upon with the GM. Each creature can manifest
in place, all opponents within 10 feet of the this power up to three times in a 24 hour period.
creature must make a Will check (DV 12 + the There is no power point cost for using this power.
creatures PRE/2). An opponent who fails this
Racial Talent (3 points)
save is shaken, taking a -2 penalty on attack rolls,
Members of this species share a unique trait
saves and skill checks for a number of rounds
that is not common among other beings in the
equal to 1d6 + the creatures PRE/2.
galaxy. Select a racial talent listed in Chapter
Four: Racial Talents and Drawbacks. All members
Natural Armor (1 point)
Members of this species are very hard to hurt, of this species gain this feat at character creation.
as they are covered by a protective coating. This This trait can be taken multiple times, each time
armored covering may take the form of leathery it applies to a different racial feat.
Menacing Appearance (3 points)

hide, scaly skin, bony plates or a thick layer of


Resilience (2 points)
fat. Natural armor stacks with the equipment
Members of this species do not succumb
bonus from armor that is worn on the body. All
easily to mortal wounds. These creatures either
members of this species receive a +1 natural KD.
have vital organs that are well protected or they
This trait can be taken multiple times, its effects
simply possess redundant organ systems. All
stack.
members of this species have their massive
damage threshold increased by 3 points.
Natural Weapons (1/3/5/7 points)
Members of this species possess deadly Normally, a creatures massive damage threshold
natural weapons that can be used in melee is equal to the creatures current Constitution
combat. Examples of natural weapons range score x2. This trait can be taken multiple times,
from fangs and claws to knuckle spikes, bone its effects stack.
swords, quills, or any number of other attack
Resistance to Energy (5/7/9 points)
options. The amount of damage inflicted by the
Members of this species are able to withstand
creatures natural arsenal is reflected by the
exposure to a particular type of energy. These
number of points spent on this trait.
creatures ignore part of the damage of the given
1 point: The creatures normal unarmed energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic
attack does +1 point of damage. A creature can concussion) each time they are subjected to such
choose to inflict lethal or nonlethal damage damage. Select a type of energy; all members of
without penalty.
this species ignore the first 5 points of damage

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Chapter Two: Species Creation


caused by this type of energy whenever they are
subjected to it. The amount of energy resistance
can be increased to 10 for a total expenditure of
7 points or 15 for a total expenditure of 9 points.

Skill Bonus (all uses) (2/4/8 points)

Members of this species are particularly


talented with a specific skill. These creatures are
always treated as if they had ranks in the skill in
Characteristic Check Bonus (one save) (3/5 question, and are never considered untrained.
Select a skill, all members of this species receive
points)
a +2 bonus on all checks made with this skill.
Members of this species have a knack for This bonus can be increased to +4 with a total
avoiding certain types of danger. Select a expenditure of 4 points or increased to +8 with a
characteristic check, all members of this species total expenditure of 8 points.
gain a +2 bonus to all characteristic checks of this
type. This saving throw bonus can be increased
Skill Bonus (multiple skills) (3/5 points)
to +4 for a total expenditure of 5 points.
Members of this species have an aptitude
for a group of related skills. These creatures are
always treated as if they have ranks in the skills
in question, and are never considered untrained.
Members of this species have an uncanny Select a number of skills that are similar in scope,
talent for getting out of sticky situations. All all members of this species receive a +2 bonus
members of this species receive a +1 bonus to on all checks made with these skills. Examples of
all characteristic checks.
skills that are similar in scope include Computers
Characteristic Check bonus (specific and Computer Technology, and Acrobatics, or
Perception. The number of skills to which the
threat) (2/4 points)
bonus applies depends on the number of points
Members of this species are naturally resistant
spent on this trait.
to a specific type of threat. Select a specific
3 points: +2 on two selected skills
hazard that requires a Characteristic Check,
such as Con checks to resist poison or disease,
5 points: +2 on three selected skills
Ref saves made to avoid traps or Will saves to
Skill Bonus (specific use) (1/3/5 points)
resist psionics or fear effects. All members
of this species receive a +2 bonus on saving
Members of this species have a flair for
throws made to resist this threat. This bonus can a specialized application of a specific skill.
be increased to +4 with a total expenditure of 4 These creatures have an ability that is narrowly
points.
focused on a certain set of circumstances. Select
a specific application of a skill. All members of
Size Category Increase (2 points)
this species gain a +2 bonus on checks made
Members of this species are bigger than most with this skill, but only if the check pertains to
races in the galaxy. All members of this species the application in question. Specific applications
are large creatures (3 to 5m tall / long and over of skills include Inventor checks made to create
250kg) Large creatures receive a -1 penalty to a certain item, Stealth checks made in a certain
their Defense and a -1 penalty to all attack rolls. type of terrain, Perception checks made under
They receive a +4 bonus to grapple checks and a certain lighting conditions, and Survival checks
-4 penalty to hide checks. The creatures fighting made in a designated environment. This bonus
space is increased to 2m x 2m and its reach is can be increased to +4 with a total expenditure
2m.
of 3 points or +6 with a total expenditure of 5
points.
Characteristic Check Bonus (all saves) (4
points)

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Special Attack (1 to 10 points)

purchased. Modifying a special ability in this way


Members of this species have an inherent doubles the amount of damage that is normally
defense mechanism. This ability allows these dealt (0.5d6 becomes 1d6, etc.) To set the DV for
creatures to use an unusual or exotic attack a characteristic check, use the following formula;
form against their opponents. A special attack
Strength (DV 12 + creatures Strength/2)
could come in the form of a breath weapon, a
Reflex (DC 12 + creatures Reflex/2),
bio-electrical discharge, spines fired from the
Will (DC 12 + creatures Will/2).
forearm or just about anything else that can be
The DV of the saving throw can be increased
imagined. All members of this species gain the
ability to use this special attack. The amount of by +2 for every additional point that is spent on
damage dealt by a special attack and the number this trait.
of times it can be used in a 24 hour period are
Special Attacks (melee)
determined by the number of points that are
spent on this trait.
Cost
Per Day
Damage
The type of damage that the attack deals
1
x1
2d6
must be determined when this trait is purchased.
2
x1
3d6
The damage may be of any type; bludgeoning,
3
x1
4d6
piercing, slashing or energy (specify type).
4
x1
5d6
Creatures may select poison as the damage type
for a special attack (see poison, below).
2
x2
2d6
3
x2
3d6
The delivery method of the attack determines
whether the damage is dealt via a melee attack,
4
x2
4d6
touch attack or ranged touch attack. Special
5
x2
5d6
attacks delivered via a melee attack also deal
3
x3
2d6
normal melee damage in addition to the damage
4
x3
3d6
from the special attack. Special attacks delivered
by means of a ranged touch attack have a range
5
x3
4d6
increment of ten feet. This range increment
6
x3
5d6
can be increased by an addition 10 feet every
additional point on this trait.
Poison: Some creatures use poison as a
special attack. In this situation, the damage
listed on the chart below is treated as primary
and secondary ability damage. The ability that
is damaged must be specified when this trait is
purchased. The primary and secondary damage
can be designated to damage two different
abilities. Special attacks that use poison always
allow a Con check (DV 12 + creatures Con/2).
The DC of the Fortitude save can be increased
by +2 for every additional point that is spent on
this trait.
Characteristic Checks: Some special
attacks allow a characteristic check for half
damage. The characteristic check used to resist
this attack must be designated when this trait is

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Chapter Three: Racial Skills

10

Special Attacks (touch attack)


Cost
3
4
5
6
6
7
8
9
9
10

Per Day
x1
x1
x1
x1
x2
x2
x2
x2
x3
x3

Damage
2d6
3d6
4d6
5d6
2d6
3d6
4d6
5d6
2d6
3d6

Special Attacks (ranged touch attack)


Cost
5
6
7
8
8
9
10

Per Day
x1
x1
x1
x1
x2
x2
x2

Damage
2d6
3d6
4d6
5d6
2d6
3d6
4d6

Stability (2 points)
Members of this species are extremely sure
footed and centered. All members of this species
gain a +4 bonus on characteristic checks made
to resist being bull rushed or tripped when
standing on the ground (but not when climbing,
flying, riding, or otherwise not standing firmly
on the ground).
Weapon or Armor Skill (2 points)
Members of this species have a cultural
fondness for certain types of weapons or armor.
Select one group of weapons, all members of
this species gain this skill with all weapons in a
group.

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Chapter Three: Racial Skills


An alien culture is likely to approach problems
differently than humans do. This fact combined
with anatomical differences naturally leads to
the development of skills that are unheard of
among homo sapiens.

ADDITIONAL SENSE (WILL)


This skill is actually a number of different
skills similar to Inventor, Performance and
Expert. You could have several Additional Sense
skills, each with its own ranks, each purchased
as a separate skill. Additional Sense replaces
either Perception for checks made with a nonvisual and non-auditory sense. The Additional
Sense skill measures how well you use one of
your natural senses to measure and detect things.

approximate distance of complex brains, such as


those possessed by sentient creatures and most
animals.
Thermal: A creature with this sensory
capability is acutely sensitive to heat. This ability
allows a creature to feel the heat generated by
warm blooded animals, high tech equipment
and other sources.

Vibrations: A creature with this sensory


capability is acutely sensitive to vibrations
that travel through the air and ground. This
ability allows a creature to feel the footsteps
of other creatures and other strong vibrations.
The creatures brain can accurately judge the
distance that the vibration is coming from. The
creature can also extrapolate the distance that
Below are a few examples of senses that can the vibration has traveled from its source.
Check: Your check is made against a DV that
be used with this skill.
Echolocation: A creature with this sensory reflects how hard it is to pick up on the object
capability is able to extrapolate the location you are detecting. At times, an Additional Sense
and range of objects based on the reflection of check is opposed by your targets check with a
sound waves. This ability allows a creature to specific skill.
emit a high pitched tone which then bounces
off of nearby objects. The creatures brain
automatically measures the direction that the
echoes came from as well as the time it took for
the sound wave to travel to the object and back.
Scent: A creature with this sensory ability has
an unusually strong sense of smell (or possibly
taste). This ability allows a creature to detect
scent particles, or pheromones. The creature can
detect these particles at close ranges and can
usually track by means of a scent trail. Tracking
another creature in this manner uses the
Additional Sense skill in place of Survival. The
Tracking skill is not needed, though a creature
without this feat suffers a -4 penalty on rolls
made to track by scent.

Additional Sense
Echolocation
Scent
Thermal
Telesensory Detection
Vibrations

Opposing Check
Stealth
n/a
Stealth
Persuasion
Stealth

Aerial Maneuver (STR)

This skill applies to all acrobatic movements


performed by flying or hovering creatures. Any
species with a fly speed can travel through the
air as a move action with no check. However,
a creature performing power dives, complex
maneuvers or attempting to fly through tight
spaces may be required to make an Aerial
Telesensory Detection: A creature with this Maneuver skill check.
Make an Aerial Maneuver check whenever
sensory capability is able to detect the thoughts
and brain activity of others. This ability does not you are attempting to perform an aerial trick,
give the creature the ability to read minds. The maneuver through obstacles or change direction
creature is able to pinpoint the direction and rapidly. If you fail by 4 or less, you are forced

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Chapter Three: Racial Skills


to move in a direction other than the one you
intended. If you fail by 5 or more, you begin
falling. A falling character can regain altitude
by making another Aerial Maneuver check the
subsequent round.
The DV for the Arial Maneuver check depends
on the atmospheric conditions, as given on the
table below.
Atmosphere
Calm Skies
Windy
Severe Storm

DC
12
15
18

Bio-Control (CON)
You have perfected the ancient techniques
that your species has developed to control
metabolism and healing.
The DV and effect depend on the task you are
attempting. You can make a Bio-Control check
to resist poison or disease or to accelerate the
natural healing process.
Task
Accelerate healing
Resist disease
Resist poison

DV
15
Diseases check DV
Poisons check DV

Accelerate Healing: If your Bio-Control check


is successful, you recover hit points or ability
score points (lost to characteristics) at twice the
normal rate: 2 hits for a full 8 hours of rest in a
day, or 4 hit points for each full day of complete
rest; 2 characteristic points for a full 8 hours of
rest in a day, or 4 characteristic points for each
full day of complete rest.

12

Resist Poison: In response to being poisoned,


you can make a Bio-Control check on your next
action. A successful check grants you a +4 bonus
on your characteristic check to resist the poisons
secondary damage.
Contortion (DEX)
You use your species natural flexibility to
squeeze into tight spaces and escape certain
dangers.
Make a check to squeeze through a tight
space, stretch to reach something far away or
twist into an unnatural position.
Situation
Tight space (over
30cm wide)
Tight space (less than
30cm wide)
Stretch
Escape grapple

DC
18
21
24
Opponents Hand to
Hand check

Tight spaces include ventilation shafts, the gap


between prison bars and small sewage pipes.
If the space is long, you can move up to one
quarter of your base speed per round after each
successful check.
You can use this skill to stretch out your limbs
and grasp something in an adjacent square even
if your reach would not normally allow you to do
so. You may use your extended reach to attack
with a melee weapon the following round, but
you suffer a -8 penalty on your attack roll.
You can make a Contortion check opposed
by your opponents grapple check to get out of
a grapple or out of a pinned condition (so that
youre just being grappled). Doing so is an attack
action, so if you escape being grappled you can
move in the same round.

Resist Disease: After becoming infected


with a disease, you can make a Bio-Control
check at any time during the next 24 hours.
Channel Pack Mind (WILL)
A successful check grants you a +4 bonus on
your characteristic check to resist the diseases
Your species is single minded and prone to
secondary damage. Each following day you may follow the pack. Use this skill to alter the behavior
make another Bio-Control check. A successful of other creatures that are highly resistant to
check grants you a +4 bonus on that days Con skills such as Diplomacy or Intimidate.
check to resist secondary damage.
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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

You can direct the actions of a social collective


or hive mind with a successful Channel Pack
Mind check. The DV varies depending on what
action you are trying to get the pack to perform.

perform a strenuous action without taking 1 point


of damage. A failed check carries no penalties;
you can simply choose not to perform the
strenuous action. If you do perform the strenuous
Opposed checks are used when two or more action after failing the check, you take 1 point of
creatures are attempting to influence the same damage, as normal.
social entity.
Task
Attack a known enemy
Attack a neutral party
Attack an ally
Refrain from attacking
an enemy
Aid a known enemy

DV
15
21
27
21
27

Meditation (INT)
Your species has the ability to enter into a
deep trance, which can provide you with certain
benefits.
The DV and effect depend on the task you are
attempting.
Task
Resist fear
Self-Depravation
Willpower

DV
15
21
18

Resist Fear: In response to a fear effect, you can


make a Meditation check on your next action even
if youve been overcome with fear. A successful
check grants you another saving throw with a +4
moral bonus to resist the fear effect.
Self-Depravation: You can attempt to go
without water, food or sleep for extended
periods of time. In response to going without
water or food, you can make a Meditation check.
A successful check grants you a +4 bonus on your
Constitution check to avoid taking damage. You
can also make a Meditation check to go without
sleep. On a successful check, you recover hit
points and ability score damage as if you had
rested for 8 hours.
Willpower: If reduced to 0 hits, you may
make a Meditation check. If successful, you can

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Chapter Four: Talents and Complications


them. You can crush and opponent, dealing
bludgeoning damage, after making a successful
Racial talents are similar to the other talents Hand to Hand check. Small creatures deal 2d6
used in the Lightspeed rules system and they points of damage, medium-sized creatures deal
function in the same manner. Some of the feats 3d6 points of damage and large creatures deal
listed here can by taken during character 4d6 points of damage. Your Strength modifier
creation like a normal feat. However, most racial applies.
feats can only be gained by taking the species
Energy Resistance
trait named Racial Talent. This species trait
You are able to withstand a certain type
grants all members of a race the use of a specific
feat which is selected when the race is created. of energy. Select an energy type; acid, cold,
electricity, fire or sonic/concussion. You ignore
Characteristic Reduction
the first 5 points of damage whenever you are
Your unarmed attacks can reduce an subjected to such damage. A character may gain
opponents abilities. You can reduce an this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.
opponents characteristic when you hit with a
Flight
melee attack. Select any characteristic; you deal 1
You can fly, glide or even hover. You gain
point of temporary damage to this characteristic
whenever you make a successful melee attack a fly speed of 10m. You can use the run action
roll. If you score a critical hit, you deal 2 points while flying, provided that you fly in a straight
of temporary damage to this characteristic. line. You cannot fly while carrying more than
Temporary ability damage returns at a rate of 1 half your carrying STR. A character may gain
this feat multiple times. Each time it is taken,
point per day.
the characters fly speed increases by 3m. Any
Amphibious
creature with a fly speed gains Aerial Maneuver
You can function equally well on land or in as an automatic class skill. A flying creature can
water. You can breath underwater. You are not make dive attacks. A dive attack works just like
subject to drowning, though you can still suffocate a charge but the diving creature must move a
if exposed to an unbreathable atmosphere or an minimum of 10m. The creature can only attack
unarmed or with a light weapon, these attacks
unoxygenated liquid.
deal double damage.
Burrow
Fly-By Attack
You can dig through earth and sand with

Racial Talents

rapid speed. You gain a burrow speed of 7m. You


cannot use the run action while burrowing. You
can only burrow through dirt, mud, sand, etc. You
cannot burrow through solid rock or other dense
materials. You can burrow through the floor of a
building but only if you make a break check to
open a hole in the floor. A character may gain
this talent multiple times. Each time it is taken,
the characters burrow speed increases by 3m.
Constrict

You can attack on the wing.


Prerequisite: Flight.
When flying, you can take a move action
(including a dive) and an attack action at any
point during the move. You cannot take a second
move action during the round when you make a
fly-by attack.
Linguistic Aptitude
You have a talent for learning new languages.

You can squeeze your opponents and crush

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Benefit: You gain Decipher Script, Speak


Language, and Read/Write Language as
automatic class skills. You gain a +2 bonus all
Intelligence checks or skill checks that relate to
understanding a language.
Multiattack
You can make attacks with all of your grasping
limbs at once.
Prerequisite: Multiple Limbs.
Your secondary attacks made with your
additional limbs take only a -2 penalty.

As an attack action, you can run over an


opponent at least one size category smaller than
yourself, entering the opponents fighting space
to do so. The trample deals bludgeoning damage
equal to double your Strength damage.
Trampled opponents can attempt attacks of
opportunity but these incur a -4 penalty. If they
do not attempt attack of opportunity, trampled
opponents can attempt Reflex saves for half
damage. The save DV equals 12 + the creatures
Strength/2.
Racial Complications

Multiple Limbs (grasping)

Complications are the negative characteristics


You have an extra set of limbs that can of a species. These traits hinder the members
be used to manipulate objects. You gain two of a race in specific ways. Taking a racial
additional limbs. These limbs can be normal complication increases a species creation pool
arms or prehensile tentacles. You can use these by the number of points given in parenthesis.
limbs to attack but you suffer a -5 penalty on
Aversion to Violence (+4)
your secondary attacks unless you also have the
Members of this species are pacifists by
feat Multiattack. A character may gain this feat
nature. They may have evolved in a non-hostile
multiple times. Its effects stack.
environment, or perhaps they have simply
Multiple Limbs (locomotion)
advanced beyond their barbaric and violent
You have an extra set of lower limbs that aid in past. All members of this species must make a
movement. You gain two additional limbs. These Will check (DC 16) in order to initiate a violent
limbs can be legs of any sort or they can be act or participate in an unprovoked conflict.
tentacles. Your speed increases by 3m and your If the creature is attacked first it can fight in
carrying capacity doubles. A character may gain self defense without making a Will check. The
creature cannot carry the fight past the point
this feat multiple times. Its effects stack.
necessary to ensure its safety or the safety of
Swim
others. Members of this species will not tolerate
You are a creature of the water and can swim the mistreatment of prisoners or helpless beings
with ease. You gain a swim speed of 10m. You can under any circumstances.
move through the water at this speed without
Blind (+4)
making swim checks. You gain a +8 racial bonus
Members of this species lack eyes of any
on any swim checks made to perform some
kind.
All members of this species have 50%
special action or avoid a hazard. You can use the
run action while swimming, provided that you miss chance in combat. These creatures take a
swim in a straight line. A character may gain -4 penalty on all Strength-based and Dexteritythis feat multiple times. Each time it is taken, the based skills. This -4 penalty also applies to
Perception checks and any other check where
characters swim speed increases by 3m.
sight is important. These creatures cannot read
Trample
visual languages or perform Perception checks.
You can run over your enemies.
If this species also has the species trait
Additional
Sense (other) then this trait negates
Prerequisite: Multiple Limbs (locomotion)
some of the penalties for being blind. Such

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Chapter Four: Talents and Complications


creatures no longer have a 50% miss chance
and do not suffer from the -4 penalty to Strengthbased and Dexterity-based skill checks.
Compulsion (+1 to +4)
Members of this species are driven by an
inherent need. This compulsion could result from
a natural attraction or a cultural circumstance.
These creatures could have a strong desire to
accumulate wealth, a powerful sex drive or a
need to prove themselves in combat. The entire
race may have become addicted to a foreign
substance. These creatures may be extremely
curious or crave entertainment. All members
of this species must make a Will save (DVs
given below) in order to resist the object of
their compulsion. A creature who is completely
denied the object of its compulsion suffers
temporary ability damage. Select either WILL
or PRE. Going too long without fulfilling the
compulsion causes the creature to suffer 1 point
of damage to this ability every 24 hours until the
need is met. When this characteristic reaches
0, the creature becomes catatonic. A catatonic
creature must be given medical attention lest is
suffer from starvation and thirst.
Mild compulsion (1 point): Will check DV
12. The creature must fulfill the compulsion at
least once per month.
Moderate compulsion (2 points): Will save
DV 14. The creature must fulfill the compulsion at
least once per week.
Strong compulsion (3 points): Will save DV
16. The creature must fulfill the compulsion at
least once every three days.
Severe compulsion (4 points): Will save DV
18. The creature must fulfill the compulsion at
least once per day.
Deaf (+4)
Members of this species lack auditory senses.
All members of this species take a -4 penalty
on initiative checks. These creatures cannot
make Perception checks or communicate with
creatures with a verbal language.These creatures
cannot learn to use verbal communication or

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16

read lips as they have never been exposed to


spoken languages before taking to space and
have no frame of reference.
Head Blind (+3)
Members of this species lack any trace of
psionic ability. They may not take the feat Wild
Talent. All members of this species suffer a -2
penalty on all characteristic checks made to
resist the effects of a psionic power.
Inept (+2 or +4)
Members of this species are unable to master
a certain skill. Select any skill. All members of
this species receive a -2 penalty on checks made
with this skill. Increasing the penalty to -4 adds
+4 points to the species creation pool.
Land Speed Reduction (+3)
Members of this species move very slowly
on land. All members of this species have their
speed reduced by 3m.
Size Category Reduction (+2)
Members of this species are smaller than
most races in the galaxy. All members of this
species are Small creatures (60cm to 120cm. tall /
long and less than 30kg) Small creatures receive
a +1 bonus to their Defense and a +1 bonus to all
attack rolls. They receive a -4 penalty to Hand to
Hand checks and a +4 bonus to stealth checks.
These creatures have their speed reduced by
3m.
Vulnerable (+4)
Members of this species are especially
susceptible to a certain type of damage. Select
any damage type; bludgeoning, piercing,
slashing or energy (acid, cold, electricity, fire or
sonic/concussion). All members of this species
take double damage from attacks that deal this
type of damage.

Chapter Five: Finishing Touches


There are many characteristics that make up
an alien species, many of which are not directly
reflected in the game statistics. By putting a little
effort into the miscellaneous bits and pieces
that make up your new species, you have an
opportunity to make your alien more complete
and substantial. This is a chance to make your
alien creature unique, to differentiate your
strong, warlike alien from every other strong,
warlike species that is part of the game universe.

fun and interesting. Having an idea about what


your aliens look like allows the players and/or
GM to get a mental image of the species and
makes them seem more real. A good physical
description helps bring a new species to life. If
you can draw (or know someone who can) then
a sketch of your aliens can also be a great help.

Physical Description: Providing your


fellow gamers with a description of what your
species looks like will make them much more

a collective, a society with its own rules and norms


of behavior. While it is impossible to pigeonhole
an individual into a set mold, an entire society

Society:You need to determine how members


of this species relate to each other and how their
society works in general. It isnt necessary to
Communication/Language: The ability to break down the entire social structure of the
exchange ideas and converse with each other race, just to get a good grasp on the basic rules
is an important feature of any sentient species. and social norms. Ask yourself the following
You need to think about how your alien species questions; Is the species homogeneous (uniform)
communicates with each other. Ask yourself or broken into distinct cultural groups? Who is
questions. Do they have a spoken language? in charge? How to they raise their offspring?
What are the characteristics of this language? How are disputes settled? The answers to these
Does the language use a written alphabet?
questions will go a long way toward laying the
Your aliens can communicate by almost any groundwork for an alien society. Again, you
means imaginable. They could use sign language dont necessarily have to go into great detail. If
or another non-verbal means. Perhaps they can you decide that you aliens live in a matriarchal
link minds with each other or communicate society with a strict caste structure that gives
through electronic implants. Some species might your fellow gamers a good grasp on what this
talk to each other by means of pheromones, society is like. You may not need to go into great
detail about how the matriarch is chosen or the
thermal signals or bio-electric pulses.
specific duties assigned to each caste.
A topic related to the subject of
An important factor in the description of
communication revolves around the way your
aliens identify members of their own species. an alien society is the role of superstition,
A species with a verbal language will usually mythology and religion. An advanced species
give each other names. A creatures name might may have completely given up on all notions of
be a poetic narrative, a physical description, the supernatural. Other species might have a
or a serial number. Sometimes parents will strong concept of the supernatural and actively
name their offspring, others times a name will seek to commune with gods, spirits, mystic
be designated by another family member or a forces, or other less easily defined concepts. In
respected member of society. Some cultures an extreme case the society its self is ruled by
may allow adults to choose their own name. In the priests or mystics, giving rise to a theocracy.
many cultures an individual has several names,
Alien Civilizations
indicating both the being itself as well as the
family group, place of birth, etc. Sometimes a
A single alien is an individual, a life form as
being will have a secret name that is only used unique and unpredictable as any human being.
among close family or during sacred rites.
Millions upon millions of aliens living together is

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Chapter Five: Finishing Touches


presents much less variation and is therefore
much easier to categorize. During this chapter
we will discuss the key components of an alien
civilization. This section is here to give a player
or GM the tools necessary to bring an alien
civilization to life. As we continue, please keep
in mind that the standards and qualities being
discussed represent the society as a whole and
individual alien characters may be very much
unlike other members of their species.
All of the descriptive terms given below
are measured in a scale of 1-10. Very rarely
will a species or culture fall neatly into a broad
grouping like the ones being used. Decimals
can be used to indicate exactly where a species
falls on the scale. For example, a species with a
Technology Level of 2.5 is halfway between the
Stone age and the Bronze/Iron age. A species
with a Technology Level of 2.9 is right on the
verge of entering the Bronze/Iron age.
Aggressive Tendencies: This term is a
measure of how likely this species is to attack
outsiders or provoke a violent conflict. Extremely
aggressive civilizations are the ones who most
often engage in wars of conquest or fight over
territory and resources. Civilizations that have a
low rating on the Aggressive Tendencies scale
may be unable or unwilling to respond to the
aggression of other races.
1. Has no concept of war, the military, or
violence
2. Extremely passive. This race would
fail to defend self and would never
attack another. War and violence has
merely been introduced to this race
they would never participate in such an
activity.
3. Rejects war and the military. This race
would defend itself for survival only.
They would not engage in warfare for
protection of rights, property, liberty,
etc.
4. Very few members of this race accept
war as necessary. The race has a very
informal fighting force made up of
the citizens who are willing to fight and
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18

resist attacks; would never engage in


offensive war.
5. Most accept war as acceptable as a last
resort; maintains a formal fighting force,
typically with conscription compelling
some form of service. Defensive war is
seen as being virtually always justified.
The race accepts offensive war in
defense of their strongest held values.
6. Defensive war is always justified, and
not being willing to fight in such a war
is looked upon with disdain possibly
referring to such a person as a coward.
Offensive war is seen as justified to
accomplish the objectives of the race
(such as more territory).
7. The military and warfare is seen as an
accepted part of life. There is a minor
preference for war over peace, possibly
seeing war as a means of demonstrating
ones strength.
8. War is moderately preferred over peace
(given a choice, people would have
a fairly strong preference for war in
general)
9. Peace is nothing more than a short break
to celebrate the last victory, and prepare
for more war. Those in the military are a
higher class of citizen than those outside
the military. War is seen as preferred
method of accomplishing goals.
10. War is the natural state and society
exists to serve the military (provide the
military with soldiers, equipment, etc).
The military rules the society. War is
the only true method to accomplishing
goals, and therefore peace is an
uncomfortable state. At peace, the
society cannot accomplish anything,
while at war the society can.
Determination: This term is used to
describe the willingness of a species to stick to a
predetermined course of action. Determination
measures how likely a civilization is to alter

19

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

traditions reverse prior decisions or reevaluate


a situation. A civilization with a low rating on the
Determination scale is likely to seek the path of
least resistance while a civilization that is highly
determined will continue on along a disastrous
course of action without considering other
options.
1. Constantly rethinking every decision.
The society as a whole cannot accomplish
anything. All progress is made by
individuals and groups. Tradition is a
foreign concept.
2. Tends to alter course at the first sign of
resistance.
3. Will stick to a predetermined course
only if there were serious consequences
for changing direction.
4. Tendency toward rethinking goals,
objectives and methods but the race can
decide on a direction and stick to it (at
least for a while).
5. Generally sticks to a predetermined
course but always allows for dissent
and alternatives. Tradition is seen
as important but is not central to the
civilization.
6. Highly determined to keep with the
decisions made by previous generations.
Will stick to a course of action despite
some hardship. Breaking with tradition
is seen as highly unacceptable.
7. This civilization rarely changes its mind
about anything and then only reluctantly.
This race will stick to a predetermined
course of action even in the face of
severe hardships.
8. Almost never changes course in any
situation. This race is willing to suffer
massive loss of property and life in
order to see something through to the
end. Will not even consider breaking
from certain traditions.
9. Never even considers breaking from

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tradition or reversing course. This race


will finish what they have started and
keep to the decisions of their ancestors
unless their very survival is at stake.
10. Suicidal determination. This race would
rather go extinct than break from
tradition or give up on something that
they have started.
Independence: This term is used to describe
how individualistic the members of this species
are in relation to others. Creatures with a low
Independence are very similar to other members
of their group and generally dedicate most of
their effort to the improvement of society.
1. Rudimentary knowledge of self, but only
recognizes the interests of the group
2. Recognized interest of self, but selfinterest is seen as meaningless. The only
interests that matter are those of the
group. Will follow the group to the death
if asked.
3. Self-interest, while subordinated to group
interest, is seen as important (just not as
important of group). Will follow the group
to great harm or embarrassment of self.
4. Would follow group interest above selfinterest anytime the two are in direct
conflict. This creature will follow the group
even if it means harm or embarrassment.
5. Interest of self and group are of equal
importance. This race will honor interests
of either depending largely upon who
(group or self) would most benefit from
this race honoring that interest. For
example, a member of this race would
honor self-interest in areas that are more
important to self than to group, but would
subordinate self to the group in areas
where the group is more important. Will
tend to follow the laws/rules of the group.
Members of this race that do not obey
the laws/rules of the group are seen as
bad/undesirable and few pity such a
member for having rights taken away.
6. Would put self-interest ahead of group-

Chapter Five: Finishing Touches


interest anytime the two are in conflict.
Tends to follow the law/rules, but
would break them if it would be best
for self to do so. Values self-rights over
responsibility to the group.
7. Accepts some responsibility to follow
norms of the group, but is only moderately
willing to do so at the expense of
expressing self and pursuing interests of
the self.

20

travel at this point)


9. Interstellar travel, ability to
interstellar ships with weapons

arm

10. Interstellar travel efficiently enough to


trade effectively with others and engage
in ongoing interstellar warfare.

OTHER FACTORS

Size Rating: This term is a measure of how


much space/territory does this species controls
8. Recognizes the existence of the
or has influence over. For the purpose of this
group-interest, but sees it as virtually
rating, consider a galaxy as being 100,000
meaningless. Self-interest is what is
star systems. Each sub-sector is being 10
important.
star systems; a sector is 100; a super-sector as
9. Rudimentary understanding that the
being 1,000 star systems; a quadrant is 25,000
group even exists. Sees self as the
star systems; and of course the galaxy itself as
center of own world, and is unwilling to
100,000 star systems. This is to provide a scale
subordinate self to group under virtually
for the design of the empires, and does not
any circumstance.
necessarily mean that the finished setting will
10. Does not even know a group exists.
use these exact numbers. Please remember to
Technology Level: This term is a descriptor use the decimal points here it is unlikely that
of how far this species has progressed along the anything in the high 9s or 10 rating is going to
standard technological timeline. Keep in mind be acceptable unless the empire is selected as
that different species progress in different ways. one of the few hegemonic powers in the setting
For example, a certain species might be gifted (if you are interested in creating such a thing,
at theoretical physics and engineering but have please contact me).
much less knowledge of biology and medicine.
1. Has taken over own planet, but nothing
more.
1. Complete lack of technology
2. Stone Age
3. Bronze/Iron Age
4. Agrarian Age
5. Industrial Age
6. Very limited space flight (similar to
where the planet Earth is now)
7. Manned space exploration and limited
colonization of own solar system; limited
interstellar communications ability
8. Limited interstellar travel, ability to
significantly arm intra-stellar ships
(ships that travel in own solar system
not able to significantly arm interstellar
ships yet as a result of needing larger
engines and equipment for interstellar

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2. Own planet, and some of the rest of own


solar system.
3. Controls own solar system, has explored
beyond own solar system
4. Has territory in other solar systems,
very minor sphere of influence
5. A power in one sector of space (a
regional power) with complete control
over one sub-sector.
6. Controls one sector of space
7. Controls one sector of space and is
a minor/moderate power in a supersector (a large sphere of influence, a
minor player in the political scene of a
super-sector)
8. Controls more than one sector of space,

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

21

and is a major player in a super-sector


9. Controls a super-sector, and is a
significant power in the quadrant
10. Controls more than one super-sector,
strong power in the quadrant
Diplomacy: This term relates to how
readily members of this species interact with
other species. Some species are extremely
xenophobic or isolationist, while others openly
embrace different species. Diplomacy measures
both the ability and the willingness of the race to
communicate with those who are different from
themselves.
1. Does not relate to others in any way other
than war and accepts only extermination
of the other life form.
2. Willing to rule others, but has no
willingness to consider another life form
as an equal or to cooperate with another
life form. No contact with aliens that are
not subjects.
3. Willingness to listen to communications
from other races. This race will virtually
never cooperate with other races or
engage in ongoing relations.

aliens (jointly build and own projects for


mutual benefit)
9. Seeks collaborative relations with
aliens. This civilization is willing to have
relationships with aliens even if the
relationship does not pose an immediate
benefit. There is a pronounced
willingness to talk to any alien that does
not specifically give them reason to
refuse to talk (such as an alien race that
attacks them).
10. Seeks to form confederations (very
close alliances) with others.

Species Creation Recipe Card


Alien Characters
Characteristic Adjustments:
Size Category/Adjustments:
Base Speed:
Movement Types
Burrow:
Fly:
Swim:

4. Rudimentary acceptance of other race as


having own interests. This civilization is
unwilling to have ongoing relationships,
but is willing to agree to terms on a
single specific agreement that heavily
favors their own race.

Skill Check Bonuses:

5. Willingness
to
have
ongoing
relationships with aliens, but reluctant
to cooperate with alien races unless it is
very favorable to their own empire.

Complications:

6. Willingness
to
have
ongoing
relationships with aliens and to form
cooperative relationships that are
equitable

Determination:

7. Actively seeks cooperative agreements


with aliens that are of mutual benefit

Communication/Language:

8. Seeks ongoing relationships with aliens


that are of mutual benefit. This race has
some willingness to collaborate with

Society:

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Characteristic Check Bonuses:


Attack Bonuses:
Special Abilities:
Resistances:
Alien Civilization
Aggressive Tendencies:
Independence:
Technology Level:
Physical Description:

Chapter Six: Optional Rating System for Civilizations


The purpose of the rating system is really
two fold: We want to make the design of the alien
races easier, and second to have a description of
the alien race that is consistent. For example, if
three aliens are described as Highly advanced
technologically, we would not know if the
three are equal, or if they were basing it on very
different standards. So, we offer these ratings.
When giving the rating, the creator should
give it to one decimal point. In other words, if the
race is somewhere between 5 and 6, but closer
to 5, you can give it a 5.3 or a 5.2 or whatever
in that area. If it is an even 6, please give it a
6.0. This allows designers to have 10 slots within
each rating point to customize their race.
As a sample template for organizing the
information on each alien, you may want to use
the following:
Name of Race:
Appearance:
Intelligence Rating:
Technology Rating:
Militancy Rating:
Economic Rating:
Individuality Rating:
Ecology/Environment:
Description:
Each of the subject headings are described
below.
Name of Race: Obviously the name of the
alien race.
Appearance of Race: Physical description of
the alien.

Intelligence Rating:
0. Incapable of thought or understanding;
unaware of owns existence.
1. Some awareness of owns existence;
incapable of thought beyond that

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2. Instinctive reaction/thought
3. Aware of other living beings as
independent living entities; minimal
ability to communicate with others
4. Ability to communicate and interact
with others; ability to have rudimentary
understanding of complicated ideas,
abstractions, mathematics, science, etc.;
rudimentary ability to theorize.
5. Average Human Intelligence for Earth,
ability to formulate and test theory
6. Gifted intelligence for a human of
Earth; ability to grasp complicated
ideas quickly and to theorize and test
complicated theories.
7. Extreme intelligence for modern Earth;
ability to master very complicated
abstractions and to apply such
complicated abstractions to creating
uses for the information; ability to create
new advanced schools of thought.
8. Ability to understand the most
complicated ideas as an average human
would understand a simple idea; if a Star
Trek reference would be helpful; this
would be the Vulcans.
9. Ability to grasp time and space in its
many complexities, and at higher levels
of the 9 scale, the ability to apply that
knowledge to seemingly unrelated
uses. This rating would be for the superintelligent species.
10. Virtual godhood intellectually.

Technology Rating:
0. Complete lack of technology.
1. Stone Age
2. Bronze/Iron Age
3. Agrarian Age
4. Industrial Age

23

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

5. Very limited space flight (similar to


where the US is now)

accepts offensive war in defense of


races strongest held values.

6. Manned space exploration and limited


colonization of own solar system; limited
interstellar communications ability

5. Defensive war is always justified, and


not being willing to fight in such a war
is looked upon with disdain possibly
referring to such a person as a coward;
offensive war seen as justified to
accomplish the objectives of the race
(such as more territory).

7. Limited interstellar travel, ability to


significantly arm intra-stellar ships
(ships that travel in own solar system
not able to significantly arm interstellar
ships yet as a result of needing larger
engines and equipment for interstellar
travel at this point)
8. Interstellar travel, ability to
interstellar ships with weapons

arm

9. Interstellar travel efficiently enough to


trade effectively with others and engage
in ongoing interstellar warfare; similar
to the Federation in Star Trek: The Next
Generation.
10. Weird technology that is off the scale

Militancy Rating:
0. Has no concept of war, the military or
violence
1. Extremely passive; would fail to defend
self,and would never attack another;war/
violence has merely been introduced to
this race they would never participate
in such an activity
2. Rejects war and the military; would
defend self for survival only; would
not engage in warfare for protection of
rights, property, liberty, etc.
3. Very few in race accept war as necessary
in some circumstances; race has a very
informal fighting force made up of the
fact that some would fight and resist
attack; would never engage in offensive
war
4. Most accept war as acceptable as a last
resort; maintains a formal fighting force,
typically with conscription compelling
some form of service; defensive war
seen as virtually always justified;

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6. Military and warfare seen as an accepted


part of life; minor preference for war
over peace, possibly seeing war as a
means of demonstrating ones strength.
7. War is moderately preferred over peace
(given a choice, people would have
a fairly strong preference for war in
general)
8. Peace is nothing more than a short break
to celebrate the last victory, and prepare
for more war. Those in the military are a
higher class of citizen than those outside
the military. War is seen as preferred
method of accomplishing goals.
9. War is the natural state; society exists to
serve the military (provide the military
with soldiers, equipment, etc); the
military rules the society. War is the only
true method to accomplishing goals,
and therefore peace is an uncomfortable
state. At peace, the society cannot
accomplish anything, while at war the
society can.
10. No concept of peace

Economic Rating:
0. Unable to survive without 100% support
from another species/race; total
dependence.
1. Gathering food to survive
2. The ability to formulate basic weapons
and hunt for food
3. Use of tools for building, etc; agriculture
based economy.
4. Industrial economy (ability to add value

Chapter Six: Optional Rating System for Civilizations


to natural resources)
5. Information
Economy;
large-scale
automation of industrial and agricultural
production; emphasis of economy shift
to ideas and creation of new knowledge
6. Extreme wealth; ability to take care of
all needs of own race, and many of the
wants of members of own race (although
some want still remains)
7. Ability to support all consumption of
own race, with minor excess production
to build and expand beyond ones own
world
8. Ability to support all consumption of own
race, with moderate excess production
to build and expand beyond ones own
world
9. Ability to support all consumption of
own race, with huge excess production
to build and expand beyond ones own
world
10. Post economic (scarcity has been
solved). For those unsure what that
means,
scarcity
means
limited
resources and unlimited wants.
Economics is the study of how we
allocate scarce resources to try to satisfy
unlimited wants. Post Economic would
be a state where we no longer had to
choose between competing wants we
could have it all.

Individuality Rating:
0. Complete conformist; no sense of self as
individual
1. Rudimentary knowledge of self, but
only interests recognized are interests
of group
2. Recognized interest of self, but selfinterest seen as meaningless; only
interests that matter are those of the
group. Will follow group to the death of
self if asked.
3. Self-interest, while

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subordinated

to

24

group interest, is seen as important (just


not as important of group). Will follow
group to great harm or embarrassment
of self.
4. Would follow group interest above selfinterest anytime the two are in direct
conflict; will follow the group even if it
means harm or embarrassment comes
to self.
5. Interest of self and group are of equal
importance; will honor interests of either
depending largely upon who (group or
self) would most benefit from this race
honoring that interest. For example,
perhaps a member of this race would
honor the self-interest in areas that are
more important to self than to group, but
would subordinate self to the group in
areas where group is more important.
Will tend to follow the laws/rules of the
group; members of race that do not obey
the laws/rules of the group are seen as
bad/undesirable and few pity such a
member for having rights taken away.
6. Would put self-interest ahead of groupinterest anytime the two are in conflict.
Tends to follow the law/rules, but
would break them if it would be best
for self to do so. Values self-rights over
responsibility to the group.
7. Accepts
some
responsibility
to
follow norms of the group, but is only
moderately willing to do so at the
expense of expressing self and pursuing
interests of the self.
8. Recognizes the existence of the
group-interest, but sees it as virtually
meaningless. Self-interest is what is
important.
9. Rudimentary understanding that the
group even exists. Sees self as the
center of own world, and is unwilling to
subordinate self to group under virtually
any circumstance.
10. Does not even know a group exists.

25

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Ecology/environment: A description of the


ecology that this race would live in (is it a water
species, dry land, in the forest, in a swamp, etc
if there are a lot of different ones, then please list
them)
Description of Race: In this area you should
provide some background on the race, how
the race organizes itself (are they solitary, hive,
packs, etc). History, politics, culture could all go
in this section.

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Appendix A: Sample Aliens and Civilizations


Androzee
The Androzee are a race of intelligent
machines that were originally created to serve
their organic masters. However, these durable
robots outlasted their designers, who caused
their own extinction by defiling the environment
on their home planet.
Androzean Characters
Characteristic Adjustments: +1 INT, -1 PRE
Size Category/Adjustments: Medium, none
Base Speed: 10m
Skill Check Bonuses: +2 Perception.

greatly in stature and physical design, though


they almost always conform to a humanoid body
structure.
Society: Androzean culture is as organized
and seamless as one would expect from a
society of intelligent robots. The civilization is
governed by a meritocracy. Decisions are made
by a system of councils with limited power. Each
council is made up of experts in the councils
area of control. The primary power is held by
a ruling council that is comprised of a rotating
body of elected representatives. Each lower
council votes on a single representative who is
given a temporary seat on the ruling council.

Special Abilities: Change Creature Type:


The Jhargi
construct (no Constitution score, immune to any
The Jhargi are a violent, warlike race who
effect that requires a CON checks, also immune
often
clash with other militant civilizations. Their
to ability damage, ability drain, energy drain,
mind-influencing effects and to poison, sleep, primary opponent is the race of humans, whom
paralysis, stunning, and disease, not subject to the Jhargi view as rivals.
critical hits, non-lethal damage or the effects of
Jhargish Characters
massive damage), Linguistic Aptitude, Low-Light
Characteristic Adjustments: +1 DEX, -1
Vision.
WILL and PRE
Resistances: Natural Armor +5
Size Category/Adjustments: Medium, none
Complications: Inept (-2 on all Swim checks),
Base Speed: 20 feet, Fly: 10m
Vulnerable (double damage from electrical
attacks.)
Skill Check Bonuses: +2 to all stealth checks,
+2 to perception checks made in poor lighting,
Androzean Civilization
+1 ranged weapons
Aggressive Tendencies: Low (5.1)
Attack Bonuses: +1 to all attacks made with
Determination: Moderate (4.8)
ranged weapons
Independence: Low (2.8)
Special
Abilities:
Low-Light
Vision,
Multiattack, Multiple Limbs (grasping)
Technology Level: High (8.9)
Complications: Head Blind, Land Speed
Communication/Language: The Androzee
communicate with each other by means of high Reduction
speed data transmissions. Data is transferred
via light pulses that are directed toward
the recipients optical sensors. These living
machines are also capable of utilizing verbal
communication and they have a talent for picking
up on new languages.
Physical Description: The Androzee vary
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27

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Jhargish Civilization
Aggressive Tendencies: High (8.4)
Determination: Moderate (5.2)
Independence: High (7.1)
Technology Level: High (7.8)
Communication/Language: The Jhargi
communicate with each other by means of
a complex sign language. This method of
communication is entirely silent. While the Jhargi
have the physical ability to make noise, their
harsh shrieks and deep growls are used only to
convey simple emotions, not intricate dialogue
or subtle concepts.

settlement of uninhabited planets.


KrNeth Characters
Characteristic Adjustments: +1 WILL, -1
PRE
Size Category/Adjustments: Medium, none
Base Speed: 10m
Skill Check Bonuses: +2 to all Computers
and Repair skill checks.
Characteristic
Bonuses:
characteristic checks

+1

to

all

Special Abilities: natural psionics (one low


level power manifested up three times per 24
Physical Description: Jhargi are short, bat- hours)
like humanoids with sleek, lightweight bodies.
KrNeth Civilization
They have four limbs connected to their upper
Aggressive Tendencies: Low (4.0)
torso. The two largest of these limbs are generally
Determination: High (7.3)
referred to as wings, while the smaller are
called arms. However, all four of these limbs
Independence: Low (3.1)
are used for flying and all of them are capable
Technology Level: High (9.3)
of grasping objects. Their lower extremities are
short, scrawny legs with clawed feet and knees
that bend backwards.
Communication/Language: The KrNeth
The Jhargi have skin that is slick to the touch communicates by means of a spoken language.
and ranges in color from grayish green to gray to The grammar and language structure of this
black.Their eyes are large and are set prominently language are extremely simplistic, much better
suited to a physics textbook than a flowery poem.
on the front of their small, oval shaped heads.
Physical Description: A typical KrNeth
Society: The Jhargi are individualistic and
aggressive. Their society is a place of constant stands at just less than six feet in height and
competition and even open conflict. Fighting weighs around 160 lbs. They have thin, lanky
among Jhargish factions tends to be intense but builds and tend to walk with an uneasy gait. The
extremely brief. There is a strong tendency for KrNeth is extremely curious and has a habit
allegiances to shift dramatically as individual of regarding their surroundings with an air of
warriors seek out the chance to better their detached amusement.
personal situations.
Society: The KrNeth is a highly social species
Jhargish family groups are small and tightly with a tightly structured civilization. Very little
knit.The Jhargi may be violent and short tempered regard is given to individual rights as all are
but they are loving parents who viciously defend expected to put the good of ones social unit
above the petty concerns of self. Members of the
their offspring and mates.
ruling class are trained from birth in the arts of
effective governance. Rulers who fail to perform
The KrNeth
their duties or abuse their power can be removed
The KrNeth is a race of explorers and from their position and lose their special status.
scientists who are dedicated to the investigation
of scientific phenomenon and the peaceful

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Appendix A: Sample Aliens and Civilizations


The Lextharik
The Lextharik are famed throughout the
galaxy for their great achievements in diplomacy
and economics. Many of historys most acclaimed
negotiators have either come from the planet
Lexthar or have traveled there to study.
Lextharik Characters
Characteristic Adjustments: +1 PRE, +1
CON, -1 STR
Size Category/Adjustments: Medium, none
Base Speed: 10m, Swim: 10m
Skill Check Bonuses: +2 to all Persuasion,
and Conversation skill checks.

28

species but they left the water long ago. While


they retain the ability to breath underwater, they
are not especially strong swimmers.
Society: The Lextharik civilization has a very
formal structure and they hold to a great number
of social conventions. Tradition is extremely
important to this race and they go to great
lengths to respect the customs of others. Lexthars
government is run in a somewhat democratic
fashion. However, like everything else on Lexthar,
the final make up of a government is a matter of
delicate negotiation. A great number of political,
ideological and economic factions weigh in on
these negotiations, which often take months.

Special Abilities: Amphibious, Linguistic


Aptitude, Special Attack (melee, x1 per day,
poison; 2d6 Strength / 3d6 Dexterity, save DV
equals 12 + creatures Constitution/2)
Resistances: Resilience (massive damage
threshold increased by 3)
Complications: Aversion to Violence
Lextharik Civilization
Aggressive Tendencies: Low (3.5)
Determination: High (8.1)
Independence: Moderate (6.5)
Technology Level: High (8.0)
Communication/Language: The Lextharik
communicate by means of a spoken language.
They are natural linguists with the ability to
pick up on new tongues very easily. Lextharik
languages tend to have complex grammatical
structures. There are many nuances to the
pronunciation of these languages, the slightest
change in inflection or accent can severely alter
the meaning of a word.
Physical Description: The Lextharik are
short, pudgy humanoids with stocky frames and
round faces. They have bluish-green skin and
large, dark eyes. These creatures have webbed
fingers and gill slits located along their necks.
The Lextharik have evolved from an amphibious

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29

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 WILL and PRE.
Advantages: Low-light Vision, Characteristic
Check Bonus (+1 to all checks), Skill Bonus (+8
to all Perception checks)
Disadvantages: Aversion to Violence.
Intelligence Rating: 5.4
Technology Rating: 6.1
Militancy Rating: 3.5
Economic Rating: 5.4
Individuality Rating: 5.0
Social Organization: Clorians live in large
familial groups of up to one hundred members.
Each clan is headed by a patriarch or matriarch,
usually the oldest living family member. Familial
groups are tied to an ancestral homeland, though
individual members will often stray far from
this area. Clans relate easily to one another and
in large settlements they intermix to the point
where the line between familial groups begins to
become meaningless.

Alien Name: Clorian


Homeworld: Clorius IV
Physical Description: Clorians are typical
humanoids that greatly resemble Homo sapiens
with pointed ears and small horns. They come
from a light gravity world, causing them to
evolve low density muscle and bone tissues.
This species has very sharp senses, especially
their auditory sense which is among the keenest
of any known species. Clorians display a wide
range of coloration in their skin, hair, and eyes.

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Government: Clorians have a well known


distrust of official authority and prefer to settle
disputes amongst peers. Clan elders meet
together in informal councils to make decisions
for their families without involving the elected
leadership. Clorius IV is governed by a loose
confederation of regional governments that have
limited autonomy. Most regional governments have
a highly libertarian philosophy and there are few
laws that restrict individual rights. The courts are
usually the most powerful branch of government
and the Clorian legal system is geared toward
ensuring the protection of all parties involved
in a crime or dispute. Violence is rare on this
planet so most cases involve property crimes or
broken contracts. Shame and social ostracism are
a greater fear than physical punishment so the
threat of being taken to court is usually enough to
cause a Clorian to confess his or her misdeeds.

31

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Conflict between regional governments is


not unheard of; usually these disagreements
break out over issues of trade or access to natural
resources. When these disputes are not settled
peacefully it can cause discord but open warfare
is rare. Clorian military forces specialize in
secret operations such as sabotaging equipment
and raiding supply depots.

to say, Dont worry. and Everything is alright.


even in the most desperate situations. Clorians
typically avoid talking about serious or delicate
subjects and instead engage in small talk and
meaningless banter.

Role Playing Notes: A Clorian NPC should


be polite and friendly. He or she would rather
talk than argue and try to avoid conflict whenever
Ecology/Environment: Clorius IV is a low possible. Play up the natural social skills of this
gravity planet with a wide range of ecological species. Clorians are quick to spot deception
diversity. Most of the planet is covered with but too polite to call someone a liar to his face.
temperate plains and unspoiled forests of fern- This species is not direct in their manner and
like trees and massive flowering bushes.
will dance around a sensitive topic rather than
Overall Description: Clorius IV has an address the matter head on. A Clorian doesnt
advanced knowledge of theoretical science ask for a favor without guaranteeing the time
but the planet lacks an extensive industrial and manner of repayment. To this species
infrastructure. The Clorian culture has a great an oral contract is just as good as an official
respect for unspoiled wilderness so they document and they are confused by species that
only mine for resources in places where the use legal technicalities to manipulate others.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
environmental impact will be lessened.
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
The Clorians do not have a developed space homeworld to a campaign.
flight program but they have made contact with
*Clorius IV has been repeatedly attacked by
a wide array of space faring cultures. Clorius
IV has become a frequently visited spaceport. an armada of space pirates, disrupting the trading
Many Clorians have taken to the stars by signing lanes around the system and causing much harm
on to the crews of visiting ships. The species to the planet itself. Naturally, the Clorians have
has no great urge to colonize other planets or mobilized forces to defend themselves but
permanently settle areas outside of their ancestral this peace loving species does not have much
homelands. A Clorian family has to occupy the expertise in this area. Their lack of an armed
same region for three consecutive generations space fleet has also hampered their defensive
before they meet the traditional requirements for efforts. The planetary confederation has begun
hiring mercenaries and privateers to go on the
establishing a new clan and a new homeland.
offensive against the pirates.
Typical Personality: Clorians tend to be
*A group of Clorian traders has established
highly sociable and friendly creatures. A typical
a
temporary
residence in a prominent spaceport.
member of this species is upbeat, energetic,
and non-judgmental. They are quick to form They are engaged in intense negotiations
social bonds and get along well with other between two rival trading consortiums. Someone
species, even ones that are vastly different from has been trying to disrupt these efforts and
themselves. This species has a demonstrated the Clorians have asked for outside help to
love of wandering and exploring new places but investigate the matter.
they generally migrate back to their ancestral
*A Clorian technician has been accused
homelands after being on the move for too long. of murdering a fellow crewman but refuses to
Clorians dislike violence and they are speak in his defense. The draconian legal code
quick to play down conflicts. This species often of his adopted home will surely put him to death
displays a natural optimism and they always look if someone doesnt get to the truth of the matter.
on the bright side. A typical Clorian reaction is

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

32

Economic Rating: 5.1


Individuality Rating: 4.8
Social Organization: Rykan warrior clans
are the primary social unit on Cerebus III. Each
clan contains anywhere from twenty to one
thousand members. Membership in a clan is
determined by blood relationships which must
be traced back directly to a clan founder. The
larger and more powerful clans attract many
more potential members and so they allow for a
much greater degree of fudging when it comes
to genealogy. This loose interpretation of direct
decent allows the larger clans to remain powerful
by continuously replenishing their numbers.
Each of the major warrior clan controls its own
territory and allows other clans to use the land
in exchange for an oath of loyalty. These minor
clans make the same arrangement with smaller
clans and so forth. This land control arrangement
produces a complex web of fealty and servitude
where loyalties often conflict. The situation is
further complicated by the constant skirmishing
and warfare that continuously shifts the borders
between the smaller clans. Occasionally these
petty land wars will draw the more powerful
clans into conflict with each other, provoking
open warfare that can last for generations.
Most clans are ruled over by a patriarch or
matriarch but some are controlled by a council of
Homeworld: Cerebus III
elders. Such a council is comprised of every clan
Physical Description: Rykans are stocky, member who has reached a set age. Members
muscular humanoids with thick bones and skulls. of the warrior clans are required to report for
They can easily be mistaken for Homo sapiens military service whenever they are called upon
from a distance.
by the clan leadership. Whenever they are not
training or fighting, Rykan warrior participate
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 WILL and PRE
Advantages: Base Attack Bonus, Damage in the normal occupations associated with a
Reduction (1/-), Skill Bonus (+4 to all Intimidate technological society. They oversee the clans
industrial and agricultural assets, design and
checks)
build new technologies, write poetry, and so on.
Disadvantages:
Compulsion,
physical
At the bottom of Rykan social structures are
violence (severe: Will check DV17, the creature
the
othoks, or clanless. This social caste is made
must fulfill the compulsion at least once per day),
up of the descendents of people who have been
Inept (-1 penalty on all swim checks.)
rejected by their own clan or whose clan has
Intelligence Rating: 4.9
been decimated by war. The othoks make up a
Technology Rating: 4.8
large portion of the population and these Rykans
spend their life performing physical labor and
Militancy Rating: 6.2
Alien Name: Ryka

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are usually assigned tasks that are seen as


dirty or demeaning. Each of the warrior clans
rules over a population of othoks who provide
them with a workforce for their agricultural and
industrial operations. Othoks are not allowed
to become educated so they are barred from
occupations as technicians, skilled laborers, or
artists. Only the othoks are allowed to enter into
the medical field, as caring for the wounded and
dying is viewed as a humiliating, unskilled task.
The highest career available to the clanless is the
role of othok-uu, or clanless warrior. An othok-uu
is a type of mercenary who is hired to perform
secret missions for the warrior clans. The othokuu are not trusted by traditional warriors and
they are looked down upon by both the clans and
other othoks. Othok-uu often turn to brigandry
and extortion when other opportunities are
lacking.

by their inability to unite together into stable


societies. Discord and violence have brought
down even the most powerful warrior clans and
only a few clans have been able to consolidate
their holdings into a lasting empire. This lack of
stability has also hampered their technological
development and most parts of the planet rely
on crude atomic-age technologies.

Ecology/Environment: Cerebus III is a


barren, rocky planet covered by alternating
bands of frozen tundra and scorching
deserts. The borderlands between these
extremes form habitable zones where
much of the planets biodiversity is found.
Evolving in this harsh ecosystem has given
the Rykans the ability to cope with a wide
range of temperatures and environments.
Overall Description: The history of Cerebus
III is rife with conflict and war. The planet has
seen very few times of peace. The development
of Rykan culture has been greatly hampered

recruit from every clan, region, and caste. This


movement has become increasingly popular
among the ranks of the othok and othok-uu who
are attracted by the lack of social division within
the jihadist movement. Some jihadist factions
only seek to liberate the occupied territories
while others call for the death of every non-Rykan
on the planet. Radical jihadists go even further,
predicting a day when the Rykans will carry this
fight beyond their own world and impose Rykan
religious authority on other planets.

Several times during the planets recent


history, Cerebus III has been attacked by forces
from other worlds. Invading armies, space
pirates, and mercantilist economic powers have
plagued the planet and carved out their own miniempires on its surface. The warrior clans have
failed to unite against these threats and without
a unified effort they have been unable to repel
the invaders. The occupiers have exploited the
inherent divisions among the Rykans and often
play one faction against another. A typical ploy
Government: The government of Cerebus is for a foreign power to seek out the traditional
III is essentially an advanced form of feudalism. enemies of the clan they are currently fighting
The most powerful clan in a region acts as a and arm them with advanced weapons. Some
local government and they allow the lesser of the Rykan clans have accepted the occupiers
clans beneath them to perform administrative as the most powerful clan of their territory and
functions. There is no centralized planetary sworn allegiance to them accordingly. These
government and the Rykans themselves do not pockets of foreign influence are often more
control the whole of their own planet. Even within stable and developed than the rest of Cerebus III,
the clan territories there is no consolidation of despite the constant warfare with neighboring
power or legitimizing of violence. Blood feuds clans.
between minor clans and revolts against the
A growing movement among the Rykans is a
dominant clans are a constant disruption. The call for jihad, or holy struggle, to rid the planet of
othok have no legal rights or political power and all alien invaders. This ideology transcends clan
the quality of their lives varies greatly depending divisions and is the first world wide phenomenon
on that clan that currently rules over them.
in the planets history. These religious warriors

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34

Typical Personality: Rykans are aggressive


by nature and they have an overdeveloped fightor-flight response that almost always leans in
the direction of fight. They are direct in their
interpersonal relationships and have no time
for subtly or the sensitivities of others. Their
psychological compulsion to participate in
violence makes it hard for other species to relate
to the Rykans.
Role Playing Notes: A Rykan NPC should be
brusque and straightforward. He or she is quick
to anger and will respond violently to threats
or insults. A Rykan often uses intimidation to
get what they want and they have no respect
for people who display fear or weakness.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*Rykan jihadists have targeted the business
interests of an alien power that trades with their
world. These radicals have left their own planet
to attack civilian outposts loyal to this merchant
planet.
*Two Rykan mercenary clans have begun
a bloody feud that threatens to destabilize the
space station where they are based.
*The player characters are assigned to go to
Cerebus III and protect a spaceport that is being
threatened by a powerful warrior clan.

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their formative years alone in the swamps and
lakes of their planets wilderness. Young Friimons occasionally form temporary alliances
with one another. These semi-tribal structures
help the maturing youth survive until they reach
adulthood. Sometime after reaching physical
maturity, the adult Frii-mon trickle back into the
civilized areas to begin their adult lives. There is
always a small percentage of the Frii-mon who
decide to continue their simple lifestyle in the
deep wilderness and do not rejoin the rest of
society. Scattered pockets of primitive Frii-mon
communities pop up whenever these tribals
get together in mating pairs. The offspring of
primitive Frii-mons push even further into the
unspoiled wilds before rejoining the rest of the
adult tribe.

Alien Name: Frii-mon


Homeworld: Amphos

Government: The government of Amphos


is a meritocracy where various administrative
functions are carried out by experts in the
related field. A council of top scientists selects
the leadership for any science related bureau; a
council of generals selects the supreme military
commander, and so on. The overall leader of the
planet is selected by a joint session of all the
specialized councils. This administrator governs
the planet for a term of one year.

A strict set of requirements is laid out for


Physical Description: Frii-mon are
amphibious
humanoids
with
a
vague individuals who wish to advance themselves
resemblance to frogs from Earth. They have up the rankings in their careers. A citizen must
serve a set number of years and achieve a
wide, rounded heads and slumped postures.
number of specific accomplishments before
Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 DEX.
being considered for a promotion. A citizen
Advantages: Racial Talent (amphibious), who is promoted consistently may eventually be
assigned to sit on a council for a five year term.
Skill Bonus (+8 on all Swim checks).
Intelligence Rating: 5.0
Technology Rating: 8.3
Militancy Rating: 5.1
Economic Rating: 7.9
Individuality Rating: 5.9
Social Organization: Frii-mons live together
in mated pairs. They bear offspring very rarely
and usually there is only one young in the family
at a time. Their children leave the home as soon
as they begin to mature physically. They spend

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Because of the planets low population


density, large urban centers are very rare. Many
of these cities are designed around a particular
need that the city was built to fill. Some urban
centers are built to house institutions of higher
learning while others are industrial, some cater
to the arts, some are research centers, etc. Friimon who are interested in these activities will
travel to the appropriate city in order to further
their education or begin a career.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

36

Most of the population lives in small agricultural


communities that border on freshwater lakes
and marshlands. The Frii-mon have developed a
number of innovative techniques for raising food
in an aquatic environment. They also supplement
their diet by hunting and fishing extensively. The
rural population sells their food production and
uses the currency that they gain to purchase
goods from the city. Private ownership of land
and water is unheard of on Amphos. The citizens
own the entire planet collectively. An agricultural
producer is allowed to utilize as much land as he
or she can effectively cultivate.

to everything else. Frii-mon mate for life and are


extremely loyal to their chosen mates. When one
half of a mated pair dies, the survivor will not
take another mate under any circumstances.

Warfare on Amphos is mostly limited to


clashes between civilized and tribal Frii-mon
over access to the best hunting and fishing
grounds. Because the civilized population is
much larger and technologically advanced than
their tribal cousins, they can deplete a natural
area quickly. This can make survival much harder
for primitive Frii-mon who fed themselves with
stone tipped spears and hand woven nets. Game
management techniques are employed to keep
civilized hunters away from tribal grounds.
However, this is difficult to accomplish because
primitive Frii-mon move around so often.

*The player characters are invited to Amphos


to help recover an ancient alien spacecraft that
has been discovered in a remote swamp.

Role Playing Notes: A Frii-mon NPC


should be reserved and stand-offish. They are
not particularly social creatures and tend to
converse about practical matters exclusively.
Frii-mon do not initiate violence lightly but
they are savage and merciless when provoked.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

*A Frii-mon scientist has been living alone


on a remote observation station for several
years. When contact with the scientist is lost the
characters are sent to investigate.

*A group of Frii-mon colonists has become


embroiled in conflict with another race that is
settling the same planet. Because Frii-mon do
not understand the concept of owning land, they
have unintentionally drawn the ire of the other
Ecology/Environment: Amphos is a very settlers. When the other race uses violence
wet planet covered by large lakes and marshes to defend their property rights, the Frii-mon
the climate across much of the planet is warm and mobilize against the unprovoked and senseless
humid. The planets axial tilt is subtle, resulting assault. The player characters may be sent to the
planet to find a peaceful solution to the crisis or
in only minor seasonal variations.
they may be hired guns looking for work.
Overall Description: All Frii-mon have
well honed survival skills and a natural urge to
explore new places. They are highly sought after
by expeditions to freshwater worlds. Solitude
and isolation does not seem to bother the Friimon and this makes them well suited for long
range space travel. The planet Amphos has an
interstellar space fleet that the Frii-mon have
used to successfully colonize a small number of
worlds that are similar to their own.
Typical Personality: Frii-mon are loners
by nature and most of them are very shy around
those they dont know. They have a tendency
toward tunnel vision, often becoming absorbed
into their work to the point of becoming oblivious

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Government: Thesis Prime is ruled by a junta
(military dictatorship). Every citizen is required to
serve in the active duty military for no less than
five years. Those who do not desire a lifetime
career in the military can be placed on reserve
duty after their first tour is over. Reservists are
allowed to live nominally civilian lives during
times of peace. However, even the reservists are
required to report for regular training and must
meet the same physical standards as active duty
personnel. During large scale military campaigns
the leadership bolsters their forces by activating
reserve units. The command officers are careful
to use reservists sparingly. Overburdening the
reservists can hurt the economic infrastructure of
the planet by depleting the civilian workforce.

Alien Name: Spargan


Homeworld: Thesis Prime Stat
Physical
Description: Spargans
are
humanoids with a penchant for incorporating
cybernetics into their biological bodies. Some
Spargan veterans have become almost entirely
robotic and appear to be wearing armor all the
time.
Adjustments: +2 DEX.
Advantages: Ability Score Bonus (DEX),
Dodge Bonus
Intelligence Rating: 5.4
Technology Rating: 8.7
Militancy Rating: 9.1
Economic Rating: 7.9

Leadership posts within the civilian government


are assigned exclusively to retired military
officers. A persons service record is the primary
consideration for getting such an assignment.
The civilian government is in charge of public
works and controls many aspects of the planets
economic and industrial life. However, the military
junta wields the true power in this society.
The chief executive of Thesis Prime is known as
the Supreme Commander.This person is appointed
by an assembly of top leaders from every branch of
the military. This appointment is rubber stamped
by representatives of the civilian government. The
Supreme Commander serves a lifetime term and
wields absolute authority while in office. He or she
is allowed to appoint a personal staff as well as
select the heads of various departments within the
government. Naturally the Supreme Commander
is most concerned with managing the planets vast
military infrastructure but the office also oversees
all law enforcement on the planet, including the
dreaded secret police. Other roles played by the
office of Supreme Commander include head of
propaganda, education, and foreign affairs.

The planet is divided into military districts,


each one headed by a general or other ranking
Social Organization: Spargans live in small officer. The general is in charge of all active
family groups that include the parents and duty and reserve personnel in the district. The
offspring as well as extended family members governing officer is expected to cooperate fully
such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.
with the local commander of the secret police and
Individuality Rating: 4.5

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38

obey directives from the Supreme Commander and and training would be enough to keep its military
other superior officers. The governing officer also apparatus relevant. Instead the planet entered into
works closely with the local civilian administrators. a long period of stagnation, civil unrest and decay.
The central government allows private
ownership of small businesses and often works with
these business owners to improve the economic
strength of the planet. Government contracts are
often awarded to the private businesses and this
version of free enterprise is responsible for much
of the technological innovation in Spargan society.
Local civilian leaders are also allowed to form
advisory councils in their territory, ostensibly for
the purpose of improving government services.
In reality, these meetings are simply a place for
citizens to air grievances against their neighbors.
Both the law enforcement community and the
secret police use these meetings for intelligence
gathering purposes.

The Spargans saving grace came the day


that one of their stellar exploration vessels made
contact with an interstellar probe from another
race. The military leadership wasted no time in
declaring a planet wide emergency to deal with
the alien threat. The prospect of fighting aliens
and conquering unknown worlds gave the junta a
renewed sense of purpose and invigorated their
deteriorating regime. The threat of an unseen
alien menace also helped to unify the population
and stole momentum away from anti-military
dissidents.

Overall Description: Ever since they learned


to travel across the stars, the Spargan race has
sought out weaker and less developed cultures to
enslave. The worst crisis in the history of Thesis
Prime came after the end of the last Great War. The
two great military powers of the planet clashed in
an immensely destructive conflict that lasted the
better part of a decade. The victor (the Thesian
Unification Coalition) spent another decade
cleaning up the last of the resistance and rebuilding
the decimated planet. Peace, however, was a
bigger threat than the war itself. After building
a society that was entirely centered on military
operations, the TUC found itself unable to handle
peace. Having conquered the whole of their planet,
the Coalition government had no more enemies
to justify its existence. The military government
continued its wartime policies, hoping that drilling

a GM to introduce this species or their homeworld


to a campaign.

Typical Personality: Spargans are notoriously


curt and to the point. They do not mix openly
with other races and tend to think of themselves
Ecology/Environment: Thesis Prime is as better than others. Spargans are supremacists
geologically active and very mountainous. who view themselves as being inherently superior
Volcanoes, calderas, steep cliffs, sheer rock to other species. They are willing to work with
faces and hot springs are common here. Much of humanoids whose appearance closely resembles
the land masses have been broken into isolated their own but they do not tolerate the presence of
sub continents and the oceans are dotted with non-humanoids.
archipelagos and island arcs. The climate is hot
Role Playing Notes: A Spargan NPC should be
across most of the planet and the ecosystem is extremely formal and rigid. He or she should come
dominated by tropical forests in the lowlands and across as highly disciplined and unemotional.
temperate grasslands in in higher elevations.
Plot Hooks:The following plot hooks can be used by

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*Spargan military forces are scouting a peaceful


planet for annexation. The player characters are
hired to discourage the scouting team.
*The players characters are contacted for a
mission to Thesis Prime. They are tasked with
delivering a top secret computer file to a Spargan
resistance cell operating out of a small civilian
factory.
*The Thesian military government uses a third
party to hire the characters for a suicide mission.
When they dont die, the Spargan military sends a
black ops team to hunt them down because they
know too much.

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Intelligence Rating: 5.6
Technology Rating: 7.9
Militancy Rating: 5.1
Economic Rating: 8.7
Individuality Rating: 4.9
Social Organization:The Tsari live in matriarchal
clans that may include several dozen members.
The matriarch is responsible for overseeing the
well being of the family members and maintaining
the honor of the clan as a whole. The Tsari culture
places a great deal of emphasis on tradition and
the matriarchs job is to teach these traditions to the
young and strictly enforce them among the adults.
Tsari clans are known to participate in honor
killings. Family members sometimes murder each
other over seemingly minor breaches of etiquette
or tradition. The governmental authorities officially
frown on this practice but do not take any legal
action against the killers.
Members of this extended family are bound
by tradition to tithe a portion of their earnings to
the matriarch who is supposed to set these funds
aside for the benefit of the clan. A matriarch who
spends this money extravagantly or wastefully is
considered an embarrassment to her clan. Ideally
the matriarch is supposed to save this money, usually
by purchasing precious metal and gemstones to be
stored in a family vault.

Alien Name: Tsari

While the clan matriarchs rule over their families


Physical Description: Tsari are humanoids with an iron fist, there is no other place in Tsari society
with a large head and pronounced skull features, where women are allowed to hold power. They are
including a cleft down the middle of the cranial officially barred from holding public office and they
are strongly discouraged from participating in the
ridge.
work force.
Homeworld: Tsar
Government: Tsar is governed by a
Stat Adjustments: +2 WILL, -2 PRE.
constitutional monarchy with the monarch acting as
Advantages: Racial Talent (linguistic a figure head with quasi-divine status. The governing
aptitude), Omni-directional vision, Additional power is held by an elected body called the Grand
Hits, Initiative Bonus (+4).
Congress. Technically anyone is permitted to seek a
Disadvantage:
Compulsion,
acquiring seat within the Grand Congress but in actuality only
wealth (severe: Will check DV17, the creature the wealthiest and most powerful individuals could
must fulfill the compulsion at least once per day), ever fund a political campaign. These elections are
fiercely contested and often involve slander and
Inept (-1 penalty on all swim checks.)
political espionage.

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40

The central government has a great deal of


policing authority but law enforcement tends to be
focused on the poor and disenfranchised. When
it comes to the wealthier classes, the courts and
law enforcement agencies generally defer to clan
matriarchs. If a wealthy Tsari is suspected of murder,
the police and civil authorities will discretely meet
with the matriarch of that clan and present their
evidence to her. In order to prevent a humiliating
public trail, the matriarch will take the matter into her
own hands and arrange for a proper punishment to
be met out. Often times the matriarchs will preempt
the authorities in these matters, taking care of the
culprit before the official investigation has been
completed.

and arctic tundra dominate the landscape. The Tsari


themselves tend to live in the equatorial regions
where the temperatures are warmer and rainfall is
more common than snow or hail.

by reservists. The local militias are fiercely loyal


to the monarchy but they are poorly trained and
equipped. Military officers are held in high esteem
but an individuals family connections and political
affiliations are the key to advancement up the ranks.
Talent and ability are secondary considerations.
For this reason the Tsari often employ mercenaries
to bolster their forces during expeditions to other
planets.

*A Tsari businessman hired the player characters


to sabotage the operations of an off-world competitor.

Overall Description: The Tsari culture is


focused on the pursuit of wealth and their interactions
with other cultures reflects this. Their foreign policy
has a decidedly mercantilist bent and they make no
excuses for their desire to economically dominate
other worlds. All out warfare is rare but the Tsari
will bring military force to bear in order to protect
their interests and expand their sphere of influence.
The Tsari government is careful to only pick fights
with undeveloped worlds that are less able to fight
back. The Tsari way is one of subtlety and they
The court system of Tsar is riddled with prefer to exert their influence by corrupting foreign
arcane traditions, draconian legal codes and governments, dominating the local economy, and
overlapping jurisdictions. Navigating this judicial quietly disposing of anyone who objects.
maze is extremely frustrating and time consuming.
Typical Personality: Tsari have a tendency to
Professional barristers and legal advocates are a be arrogant and they carry themselves with an air
class unto themselves, often descended from clans of superiority. They are psychologically compelled
that have practiced this trade for centuries. These to acquire wealth and scheme nonstop to this end.
legal professionals are trained from childhood in Their antiquated traditions and draconian code of
the intricate social etiquette of the Tsari courts, as honor require very precise etiquette. Tsari are easily
well as the complex and often contradictory body of insulted and they do not forgive these slights, often
laws and precedents. Anyone who cannot afford to waiting years to exact some form of revenge.
hire a professional barrister or advocate has almost
Role Playing Notes: A Tsari NPC should be
no chance of mounting a criminal defense and no
very
formal, polite, and stuffy but also greedy and
access to the courts as a way of settling civil matters.
Among the lower classes of Tsari, the lack of legal backstabbing. A Tsari doesnt insult you to your face,
intervention results in a reliance on blood feuds to he whispers behind your back.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
settle differences between clans. .
The Tsari military has only a very small standing used by a GM to introduce this species or their
force and most of their manpower is provided homeworld to a campaign.

Ecology/Environment: Most of the planet Tsar


is cold and arid. A great deal of the planets water
exists as glaciers and polar ice. Vast frozen deserts

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*A character accidently insults a clan matriarch,


sparking off an intense feud. Byzantine political
maneuvering and honor killings threaten everything
that the characters hold dear.
*A political campaign on a Tsari colony
engulfs the characters in a world of espionage and
assassinations.

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: Buuschu gather
together in large social units called groves.
Members of a grove form a tightly knit
community about the size of a small city. Despite
the large numbers of individuals in each grove,
the Buuschu know all of their grove members
intimately well. These social units are so close
that members of a grove will rarely pollinate
with each other. Instead, adult male Buuschu
will travel great distances to seek out other
groves and petition for the right to mate. The
visiting males return to their own grove as soon
as pollination has occurred. The offspring that
are budded from this process are raised by
members of their mothers groves.
Government: Trakas II is ruled by a
body of elder Buuschu known as the Enclave.
This government is essentially a plutocracy,
composed of the wisest members of each grove.
The members of the Enclave live separately
from the rest of their species and spend their
time in quiet contemplation. The issues of the
day are debated in secret and at length. When
a major crisis or event occurs, the Enclave may
call witnesses and experts to appear and answer
questions. Unsolicited advice or opinions are not
welcomed here; the elders expect an unbiased
recitation of facts.

Alien Name: Buuschu

The Enclave is notoriously slow when it


comes
to reaching a clear and final decision.
Physical Description: Buuschu are a race
of sentient plants that have a vaguely humanoid They expect the various groves to spread news
of their pronouncements across the planet and
appearance.
each citizen to take this advice without question.
Homeworld: Trekas II
The issue of whether or not to allow alien species
Stat Adjustments: -2 CON, +2 WILL
to build spaceports on Trakas II was debated for
Advantages: Change Creature Form (plant), seven generations. By the time the Enclave made
Additional Sense (other: scent), Racial Talent it proclamation the original petitioners had
long forgotten about the planet. However, the
(constrict).
precedent has already been set so any species
Intelligence Rating: 5.7
that wants to build on the planet is allowed to
Technology Rating: 6.8
do so, so long as they follow a strict set of rules
established by the elders.
Militancy Rating: 4.1
Economic Rating: 5.9
Individuality Rating: 4.7

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Local governments on Trekas are nonexistent. Each grove settles disputes through
collective action and all major decisions require
the input of every single adult member of

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


the grove. Debates over simple issues can be
extensive and majority rule is not the governing
factor. Groves prefer to reach an overwhelming
consensus in order to maintain harmony within
the community. When a grove is not able to settle
an issue internally, they may ask representatives
from other groves to hear arguments and act as
impartial judges. If all else fails to put an issue to
rest, a grove may petition the Enclave for a ruling.
Though this process is excruciatingly slow and
tedious, the final result will be accepted by all.

42

Besides serving as space crews and researchers


for other species, the Buuschu have hired colony
ships to help them found new settlements on
fertile worlds.
Typical Personality: Buuschu are very
patient and ponderous. They spend a large part
of their lives standing completely motionless,
contemplating the universe as their bodies gain
energy from the twin Trekan suns.

Role Playing Notes: A Buuschu NPC should


be very enigmatic and reserved. This species
Ecology/Environment: Trekas II inhabits is shy around outsiders and they rarely wish
a binary solar system that baths the planet in to interact with other species. To the Buuschu,
almost continual sunlight. The planets surface there is no such thing as a simple answer to a
is warm and rainy with constant precipitation complicated question. They believe that it is
and almost no dry regions. Most of Trekas II is better to find answers for yourself and to this
covered with tropical rainforests and humid end they often answer questions with questions.
swamps.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
Overall Description: The Buuschu have used by a GM to introduce this species or their
an advanced knowledge of science but their homeworld to a campaign.
area of expertise is biology. Engineering and
*A Buuschu colony on another world is being
architecture are strange, incomprehensible
concepts to this species. Most of the structures killed by environmental pollution that is caused
on the planet have been built by means of by colonists from another race.
*A Buuschu elder summons the player
shaping organic matter. The Buuschu themselves
have no need of shelter. Storage shelters, public characters to report to the Enclave and answer
buildings, etc. are made by training plants to questions.
grow into a certain shape. Hard bodied plants
*A Buuschu scientist goes crazy and embarks
are used for supports while tough, fibrous on a senseless killing spree. The characters put
plants are used for connections, and so on. The a stop to the violence but soon realize that the
Buuschu selectively breed many types of plants same malady is affecting all other Buuschu in the
and animals to better serve their needed roles. vicinity.
Over the generations this race has created
artificial colonies that grow into their desired
structure with almost no help from the Buuschu
themselves. Growing a large building can take
decades. However, the finished structure will
literally last forever. The structure repairs itself
through the natural process of the plants healing
themselves. Destroyed parts replace themselves
as the plants reproduce.
The Buuschu have no space fleet, nor do they
have the heavy industry necessary to develop
one. They have taken to the stars with the help
of other species. Buuschu biologists and medical
experts are highly sought after on other worlds.

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43

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: The Krowler live in
small familial units consists of parents, siblings,
and occasionally members of the extended
family. These small families are connected to
each other through an intricate web of social
relationships. Children of the same age are often
brought together into large social circles where
they are expected to form lasting bonds.
Government: Krowl is governed by a
representative democracy. There are distinct
divisions of power among the various branches
of government and a vast multitude of elected
bodies exist to oversee different areas of public
life. There is also a clear distinction between the
central government and the different levels of
local government. The most powerful institution
on Krowl is the High Committee for Oversight
and Regulation. This committee is made up of
eleven political appointees who serve lifetime
terms. The members of the committee are
appointed by means of a complicated and
drawn out political process where a prospective
committee member must seek approval by a
number of representative bodies.

The High Committee is the only political


authority on Krowl that has the power to
Physical Description: The Krowler are short, interfere with the jurisdiction of an elected
pudgy humanoids with a hunched over posture body. The Finance Assembly and the Congress
on Military Affairs have no authority to weigh in
and large heads.
on the others sphere of influence but the High
Homeworld: Krowl
Committee can supersede the powers of both if
Stat Adjustments: None
it deems necessary.
Advantages: Racial Talent (linguistic
Despite their democratic leanings and
aptitude), Characteristic Check Bonus (+1 to all diplomatic bearing, the planet Krowl has
checks), Skill Bonus (+8 to all Diplomacy checks) developed a reputation for militancy. They
Alien Name: Krowler

Disadvantages: Inept (-4 on all Repair


checks)
Intelligence Rating: 5.0
Technology Rating: 8.2
Militancy Rating: 6.3
Economic Rating: 8.7
Individuality Rating: 5.8

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have conducted several large scale military


campaigns against other planets. The Krowler
always fight their wars in the name of self
defense and spreading civilization. However,
opportunistic businesspeople always follow
shortly behind a military campaign. They do not
attempt to occupy or subjugate their vanquished
rivals, but the Krowler do ensure that they are
economically dependant on them. They also
insist on favorable diplomatic alliances as
a condition of peace. The Krowler are often

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

44

Role Playing Notes: A Krowler NPC should


be everyones friend. This species is famous for
their silver tongues and they are not hesitant to
Ecology/Environment: Krowl has a varied use flattery to get what they want. A Krowler can
and diverse eco-system that supports many kinds make even the most preposterous proposal sound
of habitats. The planet has a large percentage of completely reasonable. This NPC should be
its surface covered with oceans and much of the unfailingly polite and extremely knowledgeable
land surface area exists in the form of volcanic about other cultures across the galaxy.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
islands. Because of their planets wide range
of environments, the Krowler are able to adapt used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
easily to many other planetary habitats.
criticized for these soft conquests. They are
also accused of provoking conflicts in order to
expand their sphere of influence.

Overall Description: The Krowler have


long been active in interstellar trade. Ever since
this species discovered interstellar flight they
have actively sought to form equitable trading
partnerships with other planets. They have
been extremely successful at this endeavor and
Krowler trading ships can be seen in almost
every corner of the galaxy. They have developed
a knack for finding what different planets want
and finding sources for those goods. The Krowler
trading network
This species has developed a culture that is
centered on negotiation and diplomacy. They
obtain the majority of their technology through
trade. Their extensive business network comes
at the expense of their domestic production
capacity. The Krowl educational system places its
emphasis on social skill, business, and linguistics.
Building and repairing machines is considered
a menial pursuit so the Krowler outsource these
industries to their trading partners. Even their
vaunted trading ships are acquired from other
planets. To the Krowler this is the natural order
of things; they buy ships from the best ship
builders the same way that they buy weapons
from the best weapon smiths and food from the
most productive agriculturalists

*A Krowler trade mission has been taken


hostage on an unexplored world. The player
characters are assigned to locate and rescue the
captives.
*The characters are in search of an extremely
rare and/or valuable item. The planet Krowl is
the place to go to for this type of hard to find
commodity.
*A corrupt Krowler businessman wants
to hire mercenaries in order to force a trade
agreement with another planet. He or she hopes
to provoke a violent conflict that will bring the
Krowler military in to pacify the alien planet.

Typical Personality: The Krowler tend to be


polite but also somewhat haughty. They tend to
treat everyday social interactions with the same
air of formality that they would treat an important
political negotiation. Krowler get along with
other species better than most cultures and they
are very sensitive to the social, cultural, and
religious norms of other planets.

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45

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: The Nailous are a
race of unemotional machines. These sentient
robots have little in the way of traditional
social structures. Members of this species
are constructed in special factories that are
completely dedicated to this purpose. Each new
generation of Nailous body type is based upon
previous models, with changes and upgrades
based on observation of how those bodies
functioned over time. Occasionally a radical
new technology is incorporated into the design
process in order to evaluate its feasibility. This
trial and error process combined with the
gradual improvements in the body designs
have led to vastly improved machines over the
centuries.
The Nailous are very hesitant about making
alterations to their basic operating hardware,
fearing that any significant change will create a
generation of Nailous that are incapable of fully
communicating with their predecessors. The
Nailous also have a reverential attitude toward
the systems that allowed them to rise to true
sentience.

After the construction of its physical body,


each Nailous is imprinted with a vague set of
Physical Description: As a race of living
computer commands that allow it to achieve
machines, the Nailous vary greatly in their
the most basic level of sentience. The newly
physical appearance. An individual can easily
made robot is then put to work in the factory
swap out old body parts for new ones as the
that spawned it until a more sophisticated
need arises.
intelligence emerges. At this point in time the
Homeworld: Nal Prime
Nailous is given access to the planetary data
links and allowed to absorb information about
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT, -2 PRE
Advantages: Bonus Skill Points, Change a multitude of subjects. Invariably, the sentient
Creature Form (construct), Natural Weapons program will be drawn to a particular field of
(unarmed attacks deal 3d6 points of lethal study and will be summarily assigned to work in
this field. Nailous that work together will interact
damage).
more and more over time and eventually form
Drawbacks: Inept (-2 to all Bluff checks).
something akin to friendship.
Intelligence Rating: 6.6
Some Nailous find themselves unable to
Alien Name: Nailous

Technology Rating: 8.5


Militancy Rating: 4.9
Economic Rating: 7.6

Individuality Rating: 3.8

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handle the structured society of their homeworld.


Artificial sentience has a tendency toward
individualism and this trait is more pronounced
in some individuals than others. These outsiders
are often reassigned to the space program where
they will hopefully find contentment in small

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

46

groups of like minded machines.

This indicates that the early Nailous robots were


Government: The planet Nal Prime has no in mass production before the Awakening. The
government to speak of. The planet has no laws, poor shape of the planet prior to the rise of the
therefore there is no need for law enforcement Nailous race indicates that the progenitors may
or a justice system. Administrative tasks are have been involved in a catastrophic war that
delegated to appropriate departments within caused their extinction. Other explanations have
the public works collective. Decisions that affect been forwarded, of course, but no conclusive
a region are settled by means of mass cognition evidence has been found in any case. The
through the planetary data links. Major decisions Nailous themselves consider the question to
are debated through a mass cognition that be interesting but ultimately irrelevant. The
immensely practical machines keep their focus
encompasses the entire planet.
on the present and immediate future and are less
The public works collective is communal interested in the distant past.
body that is run on a system of meritocracy. A
Typical Personality: The Nailous are
large percentage of the economy of Nal Prime
generally
thought of as not having personalities.
is controlled or influenced by the collective.
There is no systemic pattern that discourages This is not true; however, it is difficult for biological
private ownership of businesses, if fact the free organisms to understand what constitutes a
enterprise system operates on this planet with machine personality.
no regulations. The public works collective is
Role Playing Notes: A Nailous NPC should
primarily concerned with industries that are conduct personal interactions in the most
vital to the survival of the Nailous race. The efficient way possible. It should ignore things
most important function of the collective is the that it does not understand or approve of. It
operation of the reproduction factories. This will not answer extraneous questions nor will it
body is also responsible for generating power, explain its actions.
building transportation systems, and operating
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
the planetary data links.
used by a GM to introduce this species or their

Ecology/Environment: Nal Prime is a homeworld to a campaign.


blasted wasteland with few organic life forms.
*A computer virus has infected all of the
The Nal are machines and can tolerate extreme Nailous living on a mixed population colony.
environments with ease.
This harmful program is causing the Nailous to
Overall Description: The origin of the behave in bizarre ways.
Nailous race is shrouded in mystery.Archeologists
*A Nailian scientist has abruptly left its
from numerous worlds have conducted research post and headed into uncharted space. The
on Nal Prime in order to uncover the secret of player characters are hired to find the scientist
Nailian creation. The earliest Nailous models and determine what caused his unexpected
emerged from an automated factory and rose departure.
to sentience on their own. These primordial
*The player characters are asked to come
machines inherited a barren and desolate world
that was almost completely absent of life. Vast to Nal Prime and assist the Nailous in dealing
ruined cities dotted the landscape of this bleak with a group of anti-social outworlders who
planet but these remains gave no clue to how or are sabotaging vital infrastructure. With no law
why the Nailous were created. The progenitor enforcement infrastructure of their own, the
Nailous are completely unprepared for this type
race left behind few clues to shed light on this.
of threat.
Nailian researchers have found a number
of Pre-Awakening (PA) artifacts that seem to
be the smashed parts of early Nailous models.

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47

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: The Aeratix are
born into hives consisting of several hundred
members. The breeding female is the core of
the hive and she is attended by a small harem
of fertile males. The young are mainly cared for
and educated by their elder siblings until they
are physically able to care for themselves. Upon
reaching adulthood, a young Aeratix leaves the
hive and ventures out into the wider world. The
majority of Aeratix are not fertile so only a few
settle down to produce offspring of their own. The
rest of the population lives their lives dedicated
to personal development, career advancement,
and a tight social network of friends, siblings,
and colleagues.

Alien Name: Aeratix


Physical Description: The Aeratix are
slightly built humanoids with four arms.

The Aeratix are naturally social creatures and


it shows in the way that they care for each other. An
entire community will quickly mobilize in order
to help a total stranger. Hunger and poverty are
foreign concepts on Ratix IV. Individuals share
their resources and possessions so freely that
they rarely ask permission to take things from
each other. Greed and materialism are almost
unknown among this population so nobody
minds when a personal possession ends up
missing. An Aeratix just assumes that whoever
took the item needed it for an important purpose
and will likely bring it back as soon as the
situation allows.

Homeworld: Ratix IV

Government: The planet Ratix IV is


governed by a highly libertarian political
Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 INT and WILL
Advantages: Additional Sense (darkvision), system where individual rights are the primary
Racial Talent (multiple limbs: grasping), Skill concern. Because they are immensely social
Bonus (+2 on all Computers, Technology, and by nature, this race has never felt the need to
coerce each other into helping each other or
Repair skill checks).
forcing moral codes upon the population. The
Intelligence Rating: 7.3
majority of political power is wielded at the local
Technology Rating: 9.1
level, usually in the form of elected councils. The
planetary government is essentially an advisory
Militancy Rating: 4.9
body with little true power.
Economic Rating: 8.0
Economic combines are the primary means
Individuality Rating: 4.1
of production and distribution on Ratix IV. These
combines are also the driving force behind
technological development and exploration.
Academic institutions, factories, and even the
military services are all organized as combines

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


for the collective benefit of their members.
Competing combines occasionally resort to
espionage and other unsavory methods but most
of them take pride in being the best at what they
do.
The Aeratix are not particularly aggressive in
the military sense but they do maintain a highly
trained and well equipped standing force. Their
space ships are the envy of many worlds and
they have the experience of operating on a great
number of different planets. The Aeratixs drive
for knowledge and their penchant for pushing
into new frontiers can often be mistaken for a
military invasion. Such misunderstandings can
result in all out warfare.

48

more reserved species. The Aeratix have no


notion of privacy and will not hesitate to ask an
endless stream of personal questions.
Aeratix are communal by nature and they
prefer to make decisions as a group. They also
have a marked lack of respect for personal
property and do not hesitate to borrow
anything that is needed for a repair job or an
experiment.

Role Playing Notes: An Aeratix NPC should


be hyperactive, eager to learn, and easily
distracted. He or she should always be up to
something. This NPC should always have an
interesting bit of news to pass on or a pile of
unanswered questions to get to the bottom of.
Ecology/Environment:
Ratix
IV
is This character should also be highly observant
characterized by temperate forests that and mindful of details. It is hard to trick or
dominate a large part of the global ecosystem. deceive an Aeratix
These forests are famous for massive tree like
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
growths that stretch hundreds of feet into the air. used by a GM to introduce this species or their
Overall Description: This species have
explored a large part of the galaxy and they
have peacefully settled a number of worlds.
Aeratix technicians and scientists are highly
sought after by space crews and exploration
teams. The Aeratix can be found in almost every
settled corner of space, due to both their own
inherent curiosity and their service aboard the
space fleets of other races.
Among the Aeratix, a respected scientist
or famous inventor enjoys a great amount of
celebrity and social status. Being the first one
to make a scientific break though or build a
new technology is the equivalent of becoming
a sports champion on Earth. Explorers and
research teams are even more admired,
becoming instant legends the moment they
step foot on an unexplored world. Young Aeratix
dream of imitating these heroes by entering the
ranks of the scientific and technical elite.

homeworld to a campaign.
*An Aeratix exploration team has disappeared
while exploring a series of ancient ruins on an
unexplored planet. A single member of the team
has surfaced on a nearby space station carrying
with him a strange artifact.
*The player characters are hired to accompany
an Aeratix survey team on a dangerous scientific
mission.
*An off-world entity hires the player
characters to infiltrate Ratix IV and conduct
industrial espionage. The mysterious employer
wishes to steal advanced technology for
nefarious reasons.

Typical Personality: The Aeratix tend


to be curious and inquisitive. Their thirst for
knowledge is legendary and they excel as
explorers and scientists. Their impulsive drive
to learn more can cause trouble for this species.
This is especially true when interacting with

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49

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: The primary social
construct among the Krotia is an adopted family
that is derisively referred to by outsiders as a
gang. The Krotia do not care for their offspring
after they have been hatched, leaving juvenile
Krotia to fend for themselves. These juveniles
link together into roving bands that survive by
raiding supplies from the adults. Sometimes a
band is adopted by a small group of elders. These
elders are the surviving remnants of a juvenile
band that reached maturity. The juveniles serve
their mentors until they reach full adulthood, at
which point they join the elders as full fledged
leaders over the juvenile bands. This system of
foster parenting forms the basis of Krotia society.
The most venerated individual in a social circle
is known as the grandfather or grandmother.
This role is reserved for the oldest and most
respected member of the foster family.

Government: Comdya has no government


as the term is typically understood. The foster
families serve the role that is normally associated
with formal government. A grandparent
watches over an extended foster family that
includes several adult bands and many juveniles.
Peace treaties between grandparents can lead to
Alien Name: Krotia
the development of regions of relative stability
Physical Description: The Krotia are and cultural growth. Other parts of the planet
reptilian humanoids with a heavy physical build. are extremely primitive. The undeveloped parts
A row of spiny fins protects their backs. They of Comdya are the scene of constant warfare
have long necks and thin but powerful upper between foster families and unchecked raiding
by juvenile bands. Many Krotia living in the
limbs. The Krotian tail is long and thick.
undeveloped zones choose to live solitary
Homeworld:Comdya
lives as hunters rather than get involved in the
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 DEX.
perpetual bloodshed.
Advantages: Additional Sense (other:
The developed zones are home to Krotia who
thermal), Natural Armor (+1 to KD), Natural have settled permanently in an area, giving up the
Weapons (unarmed attacks deal 4d6 points of nomadic lifestyle of their ancestors.These regions
lethal damage)
have seen the development of agriculture, as
well as much cultural and technological growth.
Intelligence Rating: 4.9
Though the settled regions are technically
Technology Rating: 4.9
places of peace, the foster families still compete
Militancy Rating: 6.3
fiercely over resources and new recruits. Slaves
are an important resource and those Krotia who
Economic Rating: 5.1
are captured by others are doomed to a life of
Individuality Rating: 7.1
brutal labor.

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

50

Though a combination of Byzantine


diplomacy and brutal intimidation, a Krotian
leader can unite together several foster families,
become a great-grandparent. Such a powerful
leader commands the loyalty of dozens of foster
families and thousands of slaves. This position
of authority is often inherited by a hand-picked
successor, thus creating a lasting period of
stability. It is only under the rule of such a leader
that sustained cultural progress is possible

they have adapted readily to the ways of more


law abiding societies.

The Krotia have established a reputation as


criminals and thugs. Their way is to take from
the weak and manipulate the strong. Having no
formal laws themselves, the Krotia easily fell in
with interstellar criminal syndicates. At first they
were used as fearsome enforcers by various
gangs but eventually they formed their own
syndicates. Their intense loyalty to members of
their foster family is a huge asset to them as they
thwart investigations by the authorities. Their
deadly claws and teeth have earned the respect
of the galaxys toughest criminals.

Though loyal to his foster family, this character


cares nothing for the welfare of others

Krotian mobs are heavily involved in the


smuggling and selling of illegal merchandise of
every conceivable description. While they dont
sully their hands by moving this merchandise
themselves, the Krotian syndicates have
developed widespread networks of smugglers
and middlemen recruited from other races. They
are also heavily involved in extortion, slavery,
robbery, and loan sharking. Political corruption
and bribery come naturally to this culture and

*A war has erupted between a Krotian


criminal network and a gang of newcomers who
have begun moving in on their territory.

Many off worlders naturally assume that all


Krotians are involved in illegal activities. This is
not true off course and there are Krotians who
are able to live and work within the confines of
the law of their adopted worlds. However, even
among law abiding communities, the Krotians are
still fiercely independent and devoted to their
foster families. It takes a conscientious effort for
Ecology/Environment: Comdya is a desert members of this race to restrain themselves from
planet and the Krotia have evolved to thrive in violence and theft. After all, on their homeworld
a hot dry environment. The only open sources disputes are settled with violence and an
of water on Comdya are a series of swamps and individual gets to keep whatever he or she takes.
lakes that are found in the polar regions.
This cultural divide is one of the reasons that
Overall Description: The moment the first Krotian communities on other worlds are so
alien spacecraft landed on Comdya, the Krotia isolated.
began scheming and plotting to take advantage
Typical Personality: Krotians tend to be
of the many other planets out in the galaxy. At ruthless and greedy, mercilessly using others
first they were content to trade mining rights and to get what they want. They disdain the use of
slaves for advanced technology. After a time the weapons and armor, preferring to settle conflicts
Krotia put larger schemes in motion, bartering with their claws
for passage on alien ships to gain direct access
Role Playing Notes: A Krotian NPC should
to these off world resources.
always look out for the best interest of himself.

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Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be


used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*One of the player characters owes money
to a Krotian grandfather who has taken over the
local underworld.
*An up and coming Krotian gangster hires
the player characters to smuggle a mysterious
artifact to a buyer on another world.

*The player characters have been assigned


to infiltrate Comdya and spy on the grandfather
of grandfathers, a semi-legendary figure who is
believed to command the loyalty of all Krotian
gangs on other worlds.

51

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Individuality Rating: 4.3
Social Organization: The Karnic species
lives communally. A number of extended families
will live and work together in a tightly knight
community that usually consists of a few hundred
members. Authority within these communities is
based on age and the elders are given charge
over their younger peers. Anyone over a certain
age gains a position of reverence and respect that
entitles them to interfere with the lives of anyone
within the commune. Such a person can prevent
a marriage from taking place, direct a younger
person to change careers and even exile someone
from the commune. Disputes between the eldest
members of a commune are settled through the
mediation of an outside agent, usually a priest.

Alien Name: Karnic


Physical Description: What appear to
be eye stalks are actually specialized neuroclusters that aid the Karnic with their telesensory
perception.
Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 PRE and WILL.
Advantages:Additional
Sense
(other:
telesensory), Natural Psionics, Characteristic
Check Bonus (+2 on all Will Characteristic
Checks), Skill Bonus (+4 on all Paramedic/First
Aid checks)
Homeworld: Indus Chi V
Disadvantages: Blind
Intelligence Rating: 5.4
Technology Rating: 7.3
Militancy Rating: 4.9
Economic Rating: 5.9
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Government: Indus Chi V is a theocracy


ruled by a priestly caste. Those who are born
into this caste are trained from birth to fulfill their
roles as the spiritual and political leaders of the
planet. Each small commune is served by one or
more priests who act as advisors and counselors.
Priests who have risen further up the ranks of
the Karnic Temple are in charge of progressively
larger territories and wield progressively more
authority. A temple council rules the planet as a
whole and their authority is absolute. Each of the
priests who serve on the council is in command
of a small army of warrior priests. These holy
warriors are zealous fanatics whose martial skill
is only rivaled by their psionic powers. It is the
warrior priests who are ultimately responsible
for keeping the peace and enforcing the will of
the Karnic Temple.
The Karnic religious faith is based upon
values of compassion and empathy. Religious
laws encourage citizens to settle differences
peacefully and respect the authority of the elders.
Healers and medical practitioners are held in high
esteem in this faith, second only to the priestly
caste. While the Karnic Temple fully embraces a
philosophy of empathy and mutual respect, it also
places a lot of emphasis on ritual and tradition.
Failing to follow the prescribed religious ettiuette
is a punishable offense. Insulting the basic tenets
of the faith or questioning the divine wisdom

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

52

of the Karnic Temple can even be punished by


death.

and listen intently when others are speaking.

Overall Description: The Karnic species is


well known for their mental abilities and their
inherent talent with the healing arts. It is said
that the races telesensory perception allows
them to sense the discomfort of their patents and
respond appropriately. Karnics who venture out
into space are often recruited to serve as medical
technicians and diplomatic staff. This species
enjoys favorable relations with many planets
and they have conducted a great number of
joint exploration missions with these allies. The
theocrats of Indus Chi V have never provoked an
violent incident with another world due to their
cultures pacifistic religious values. On the other
hand, militarily aggressive worlds have gone out
of their way to avoid violating the territorial rights
of the Indus Chi government. The reputation
of their psionic warrior priests is a fearsome
deterrent against attack, especially among races
that do not understand such abilities.

homeworld to a campaign.

Role Playing Notes: A Karnic NPC should


Ecology/Environment: Indus Chi V is a very seem to be eternally at ease and untroubled by
hot planet that whose surface alternates between the problems of the day. He or she should project
tropical rainforest and desert depending on the an aura of serene calm and patience. This NPC
amount of precipitation in the area. The planets should do perform every task slowly and with
geography has produced a number of plateaus deliberate thoughtfulness.
and large mountain chains. These elevated areas
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
are home to a more temperate clime.
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
*A Karnic ambassador senses that one of his
elite guards is plotting to assassinate him. His
telepathy is not fine tuned enough to pin point the
culprit. Because he cannot trust his own people,
the ambassador is seeking the help of outsiders
to unravel the conspiracy.
*A player character is afflicted with an alien
disease that threatens his life. No conventional
treatment has had any effect on the strange
malady. His or her only hope is to travel to Indus
Chi V and seek the help of the great hospitaltemple in the capital city.

*A visitor to Indus Chi V has angered a


member of the Karnic Temples high council with
an act of unwitting blasphemy. This outraged
cleric has ordered his warrior-priests to track
down the blasphemer and execute him. The
player characters are assigned to get the visitor
The great temple-hospitals of Indus Chi back home without creating a further diplomatic
V are known throughout the galaxy for the incident. They may attempt to sway other
extraordinary quality of care that is found there. members of the temple council to intervene or
The skill of their medical priests is legendary and they may try to find the wanted man and smuggle
the planet boasts impressive research facilities him out without alerting the authorities.
for unraveling the mysteries of biological life.
The leadership of the planet welcomes alien
visitors to their places of healing as this gives
them an unparalleled opportunity to learn about
the anatomy and physiology of other species.
Typical Personality: The Karnic species is
known for their gentle disposition and friendly
demeanor. While they are as capable of violence
as most other species, the Karnic culture places
a great deal of emphasis on peace. Because they
lack eyes, Karnics make full use of their other
sensory abilities. They are very touchy-feely

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53

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Disadvantages: Head Blind
Intelligence Rating: 6.7
Technology Rating: 8.7
Militancy Rating: 4.3
Economic Rating: 8.0
Individuality Rating: 5.3
Social Organization: Athiens typically live
in group marriage arrangements. A family will
be comprised of between four and eight adults
with roughly equal numbers of male and female
members. Within this family group any pairing of
male and female is allowed to mate freely and any
children that are produced are raised collectively
by the family as a whole. In this manner, each
child has several fathers and mothers, all with
equal standing and responsibility. Extended
family members may join the main family group
and help with the child rearing in exchange for
room and board.
Children are allowed to leave home when
their parents reach the consensus that they are
fully developed. Children are not recognized
as adults until they reach their full intellectual
and emotional potential. Age and physical
development are only secondary concerns in this
decision. Because Athians form strong emotional
bonds with their siblings, older brothers and
sisters will often mentor and shelter their newly
emancipated relatives until they get settled.

Government: Athas C is governed by a


sophisticated form of representative democracy.
Alien Name: Athians
The central government is divided into four
Physical Description: Athians are tall main branches that govern the planet as a whole.
humanoids with smooth, featureless faces and Regional governments exist separate from the
large eyes. Their hairless bodies are covered central authority and a great deal of power
with a thick, leathery skin. Their knee joints bend is vested on the local level. Colony planets
backwards and they have overtly large forearms. have a great deal of autonomy from the central
Athians disdain all clothing or body coverings government of Athas C.
that are not necessary to protect them from the
The central authority has its power split
cold.
between four distinct branches. Athians have a
Homeworld: Athas C
natural mistrust of power and they are hesitant
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT.
to place too much of it in the hands of anyone
Advantages: Skill Bonus (+2 on any three individual or group. The Grand Assembly is
the planets legislative body and it has sole
Knowledge skills)
province over the creation of new laws. However,
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each new law must be approved by two of the
other three branches of government. The Grand
Assembly elects a chancellor who acts as the
chief executive for a term of ten years. Actions
taken by the chancellor are subject to veto by
the High Courts. Members of the High Courts
are appointed by the Central Bureaucracy and
must be approved by both the chancellor and
the Grand Assembly. The chancellor appoints
the heads of the various agencies within the
Central Bureaucracy, subject to approval by the
Grand Assembly.
Elections on Athas C are held at the local
level and the voters select a representative to the
Grand Assembly as well as members of the local
courts and the minor bureaucracies. Legislators
serve terms of two years and no one may serve
consecutive terms. Judges and bureaucrats serve
terms of varying lengths depending upon their
exact duties.

54

libraries. Athian culture values experimentation


and new ideas.While they respect the knowledge
gathered by their ancestors, Athians believe that
relying on traditional knowledge is a sign of
intellectual laziness.
Typical Personality: Athians are known
for their rational approach to problem solving.
They are not unemotional by any means but they
believe that emotions are not a trustworthy gauge
of truth or an indicator of appropriate action. An
Athian expression holds that one should follow
reason in all matters that dont involve love or
family. This race has a deeply held love of life
and they take joy in simple things. This joy
expresses itself in their love of art, knowledge,
and scientific discovery.

This species loves to debate and their


rhetorical skills are well known. However,
this highly opinionated race can grate on the
sensibilities of other species without meaning
While generally pacifist in their beliefs, the to. Athians often come across as smug and
government of Athas C maintains a powerful dismissive when in fact they are challenging
standing military. The primary function of this others to rebut their positions. This species
force is planetary defense but they also have an thrives on vehement discussion and argument
expeditionary contingent that can be deployed and they are accustomed to challenging each
quickly to trouble spots across the galaxy. Athians other to spirited debates on almost any subject.
are rational beings who are prone to using
Athians are quick to make friends with
reason and logic in all matters of state. This race members of other species and they go out of
values diplomacy and prefers open dialogue their way to make others feel at ease. Athiens
over conflict with other species. Despite this who travel to other worlds make a point of
fact, Athians can react with surprising violence assimilating to the native culture and respecting
and ruthlessness in situations where they find the traditions of their hosts.
themselves faced with an unreasonable or
Role Playing Notes: An Athian NPC should
unyielding foe,
be intelligent, knowledgeable, and completely
Ecology/Environment: Athas C is a varied reasonable. This person should be slow to
planetary ecosystem comprised of vast open anger and very understanding of other cultures.
plains, rolling hills and fertile river valleys. However, an Athian NPC should have little
The climate is mild and there is only a minimal patience for unreasonable people. Athians can
difference in temperature between the poles be cold blooded and vicious when they feel that
and the equator.
an adversary cannot be reasoned with.
Overall Description: The Athian species is
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
known for their accomplishments as scholars and used by a GM to introduce this species or their
artists. This race excels in the study of many fields homeworld to a campaign.
including history, science, and engineering.
*An Athian scholar disappears while
Athas C is widely respected for its magnificent
architecture, fabulous gardens, and ancient investigating a series of sacred ruins on a
primitive planet.
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*The government of Athas C invites the player


characters to come to the planet as freelance
investigators. Someone with psionic powers has
been committing crimes and the Athians are
completely unprepared to deal with it.
*War is about to break out between an
Athian colony world and their nearest neighbor.
The Athians have refused to give in to the
unreasonable demands of this violent race,
provoking conflict. The colonial government is
considering genocide as a means of settling the
issue permanently.

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56

Individuality Rating: 6.5


Social Organization: Verl are spawned from
eggs that are laid by a dominant female. This
queen lays hundreds of eggs at a time and the
offspring are left to fend for themselves during
the formative years of their lives. Young Verl are
essentially animals and they do not develop a
sophisticated intellect until much later in life.
Verl in their animalistic state survive by hunting
animals with their bare claws. They often fight
each other over food and territory. At a certain
age the young Verl are compelled to return to
the place of their birth. During their adolescent
phase they are uncharacteristically docile and
rarely fight with their siblings. The Verl that
survive long enough to return to their hatching
ground form together into a pack that lives and
hunts together for the rest of their lives.

Alien Name: Verl


Physical Description: Verl are tall, slender
humanoids with powerful muscles. Each of their
limbs is tipped with three terrifying claws. Their
heads and the tips of their tails are likewise
adorned with razor sharp spines.

As the pack members near adulthood,


they are usually absorbed into a larger band
comprised of full grown adults. Adult bands are
led by an alpha who achieves his status by
collecting the best trophies. These trophies are
a combination of stolen possessions and body
parts taken from dangerous prey. Adult Verl
have a fully developed intelligence and they are
capable of using sophisticated technology and
equipment. Particularly clever Verl can invent
new tools or improve upon existing devices. All of
Verl culture is maintained by the adult bands as
youngsters are not mentally developed enough
to learn sophisticated skills or remember oral
histories.

When a female Verl reaches the fourth stage


of life, she regresses to her animalistic state of
Homeworld: Unknown
mind and loses much of her adult memories. A
female Verl in this stage of life will seek out and
Stat Adjustments: +2 DEX, -2 INT and PRE
kill any other female in the immediate vicinity.
Advantages: Additional Sense (darkvision),
The pheromones released by a mature female
Natural Weapons (unarmed attacks deal 5d6
drives males into a hyper-competitive frenzy.
points of lethal damage).
For this reason females who are about to reach
Intelligence Rating: 4.3
this age are driven from the band and sent out
to live alone in the wilderness. Verl in space will
Technology Rating: 6.1
drop their mature females on to a nearby planet
Militancy Rating: 10.0
to complete her development into the fourth
Economic Rating: 4.9
stage. Males from other bands will actively seek

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out these mature females in order to mate with


them. The female, in her primitive mental state,
attempts to engage any male that approaches
her in a contest of physical might. These contests
are violent but only rarely result in the death of a
male. The same cannot be said of the aggressive
competitions and duels that spontaneously
break out among the males who come under the
influence of the females pheromone trail.

larger operational range than they actually do.


The truth of the matter is that the spread of the
Verl has been haphazard and their bands are
widely scattered. This fact does little to dissuade
people from sensationalizing every whispered
hint of a Verl raid. Because this species tends to
attack ships in space and remote colonies, it is
very hard to distinguish an actual Verl raid from
an act of piracy or normal military aggression.

Space bound Verl regularly return to known


spawning grounds in order to recruit youngsters
into their raiding parties. Often a planet that
has been used as a breeding ground becomes
inhospitable to other life. The combination of
fierce Verl adolescents and the sheer number
of vicious Verl in their animal state makes these
planets increasingly hostile to sentient life.

Typical Personality: Verl are violent and


selfish. They are quite capable of creating
technology for themselves but world much
rather take what they want from someone else.

Government: The Verl do not seem to have


any form of established government. They are
divided into bands of rival raiding parties that
roam about the galaxy in search of plunder and
conquest. Any settlement unfortunate enough
to be conquered by the Verl is stripped of any
useful resource or technology and the population
is forced to work as slave laborers. Beset by a
perpetual wanderlust, the conquerors inevitably
strike out in search of their next target, leaving
behind only a handful of aging warriors as a
garrison.

Role Playing Notes: A Verl NPC is much


better suited for a combat encounter that
any kind of in depth role-playing. Any social
interaction between the PCs and Verl is sure to
involve threats, insults, and outrageous demands.
Most Verl would rather die than admit defeat. An
alliance made with a Verl character is sure to be
short lived.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The player characters are on board a ship
or space station when it is attacked and boarded
by a Verl raiding party. The PCs must repel the
savage invaders while simultaneously protecting
innocent civilians and vital systems.

Ecology/Environment: No one knows what


*A suspected Verl colony has been located
the ecology of the Verl like, though the Verl seem
on
the
edge of a heavily used shipping lane. The
to favor hot climates over cool or moderate
player characters are contacted to investigate the
temperatures.
site and determine if it truly is a Verl settlement.
Overall Description: No one knows very It Verl activity is confirmed, the characters are
much about the Verl. The name and location of instructed to destroy the colony with atomic
their homeworld is a complete mystery. Nor is weapons or a similar device.
it known how and when the Verl took to space,
though it is widely believed that their spaceflight
technology was stolen from alien visitors who
traveled to this planet long ago.
Fear of Verl attacks is common across the
galaxy. Often the very mention of this species
is enough to cause panic across several solar
systems. The rumors about Verl attacks travel
much faster than the raiders themselves, leading
to the impression that the Verl have a much

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58

Social Organization:The Evi live in large social


groups where children are raised collectively by
the group. Parents have no individual claim to
their own offspring once they hatch and leave
the nest. The eldest female of a group assumes a
natural leadership role and other group members
defer to her judgment in most matters. When two
or more females stake a claim to the leadership
of the group the issue is often settled violently
and the losers are either killed or driven from the
group. The alpha-females authority is limited by
the naturally independent mindset of the Evi race.
Evi are semi-nomadic and never stay in any
one place for very long. Each social group has
a series of established nesting areas and they
fly from one to another as the need arises. Evi
groups have a pronounced tendency to wander
and sometimes get lost during these wanderings.
Adolescent Evi are especially prone to this
wanderlust and often strike out from the main
group for long periods of time. Often these young
Evi are unable to find their way back to the main
group and end up becoming adopted by another
social group. This continual intermingling keeps
Alien Name: Evi
Physical Description: Evi are large reptilian the Evi from inbreeding.
Government: The centers of Evi government
beings with leathery wings and large muscular
reside
in massive sky cities that have been
legs. The males of the species display a pair
of horns on their heads that appear during constructed on the tops of mountains and high
plateaus. These ancient cloud cities are home to
adolescence and grow larger as they age.
the planets most civilized and technologically
Homeworld: Eviras
advanced cultures. Over the millennia, the
Stat Adjustments: +2 CON, -2 WILL
temporary nesting sites used by the Evi became
Advantages: Racial Talent (flight), Racial more and more developed as successive
Talent (fly by attack), Natural Weapons (unarmed generations used these sites and improved upon
attacks deal 3d6 points of lethal damage), Skill what had been built before. Natural obstacles
mean little to the Evi because they are capable of
Bonus (+2 on all Arial Maneuvering checks),
Disadvantages: Compulsion, exploring flight. This fact, combined with their innate urge to
(mild: Will check DV13, the creature must fulfill explore new places, allowed the Evi to populate
the compulsion at least once per month), Inept every mountain range on Eviras in a very short
span of time. As the population continued to grow,
(-1 penalty on all swim checks.)
it became necessary for large numbers of social
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
groups to inhabit the same temporary nesting
Technology Rating: 7.3
sites at the same time. This cohabitation led to a
planet wide cultural exchange. Improvements in
Militancy Rating: 5.4
architecture, mathematics, or tool making spread
Economic Rating: 7.5
across Eviras like wildfire and the most populous
Individuality Rating: 6.3
nesting sites grew into grand cities.

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Each city is governed by the alpha females of


every group that currently inhabit it. This council
settles political matters through a combination
of consensus building, debate, and unmasked
personal
intimidation.
Fighting
between
matriarchs is rare but not unheard of. In such
cases the winner of the battle is deferred to on
the matter at hand. This trial by force may seem
primitive to outside cultures, but one on one duels
between the alpha females effectively serve
to diffuse wide scale conflicts before they start.
However, wars can break out within the walls of
a city if the various factions cannot work out an
agreement over a contentious issue. Because
the Evi are not territorial and do not keep much
in the way of personal possessions, they rarely
fight each other over land. Cities on Eviras do
occasional go to war with each other in order to
gain exclusive access to raw materials and prime
hunting grounds.

worlds found by the Evi themselves.


Typical Personality: Evi are rash and
impulsive at times, ponderous and slow at other.
Their unpredictable demeanor makes dealing
with the Evi a difficult challenge for other races.
Role Playing Notes: An Evi NPC should be
curious and full of questions. This race is known
for their lack of common sense and you should
be encouraged to play up the NPCs sometimes
foolish behavior. Highly individualistic, an Evi
NPC does not like being told what to do and
should only reluctantly obey the authority of the
alpha female of his or her social group.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An Evi colony on a mountainous world
becomes embroiled in a vicious war with the
native inhabitants who dwell in the valleys.

Ecology/Environment: The planet Eviras is


home to tall mountain peaks separated by deserts
and wide grassy planes. Open water on the planet
is limited to a series of landlocked seas and a
single tiny ocean (actually a group of connected
seas that are prone to occasional floods). The
mountains are often sparsely populated by animal
life so the Evi have these areas to themselves.

*An Evi exploration team wanders into the


territory of an aggressive neighbor species. The
Evi do not understand why their neighbors have
become upset over this and a first contact team is
dispatched to smooth things out. If the diplomatic
negotiations break down then all out war will
engulf the nearby systems. The PCs are hired by a
regional power who has an interest in keeping the
Overall Description: Evi are natural explorers peace. Outside influences seem to be attempting
and they eagerly took to the stars as soon as their to sabotage the proceedings for their own gain.
technology allowed them to do so. The greatest The provocateurs may be rival military powers,
minds of Evi science long ago surmised that it intra-galactic arms dealers, or something even
should be possible to travel to islands in the more sinister.
cosmic sea. Since that time the Evi have strived
*A pair of alpha females begin going claw to
and struggled for countless generations to build claw in the middle of a crowded space station. The
their knowledge to the point where they could PCs must contain the situation and avoid civilian
reach other worlds.
casualties without provoking the rest of the Evi
After taking to space, the Evi made contact population.
with other species, thus improving their own
technology and gaining access to alien ships
which gave them an opportunity to explore well
beyond the limits of their own spacecraft. Ship
crews often recruit Evi as scouts, cartographers,
and colony builders. The Evi have made several
colonization agreements with other races, making
joint Evi-alien colonies more common than colony

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60

Social Organization: Derotiki live in small


family groups that consist of parents, offspring,
and sometimes grandparents. Female Derotiki
usually give birth to two or three offspring at a
time, though single births are not unheard of.
The young Derotiki leave home as soon as they
are able and do not form close bonds with their
extended family or even their siblings.
Government: The government of Coryander
is a highly technocratic bureaucracy where
political power is divided between the economic
planners and the technical elite. These two
forces shape plan out the development of the
planet in terms of science and infrastructure to
varying degrees of effectiveness. The positive
outcome of this governing system is that the
planet provides continual support for scientific
research and theoretical development. The
negative side of the arrangement manifests itself
in the inefficient and bureaucratic processes of
the centralized economy.
Straddling the gap between the economic
council and the technocrats is a small political
bureau made up of social scientists,psychologists,
and historical scholars. The political bureau
has no direct authority over either of the main
governing bodies, instead they exert influence
Alien Name: Derotiki
on them through the pressure of public opinion.
Physical Description: Lithe and agile, the
When the political bureau is able rally enough
Derotiki are a furry race that is characterized by
support for or against a particular proposal then
their glossy coats, of which they are quite proud.
they can directly shape the political landscape
They have sharp angled faces with pointed
of the planet. However, if the bureau fails to
muzzles.
convince the populace that action is needed
Homeworld: Coryander
then the political bureau invariably falls to
irrelevance and bitter infighting.
Stat Adjustments: +2 DEX, +2 INT, -2 WILL
Fiercely independent by nature, the
Advantages: Ability Score Bonus (INT), Skill
population of Coryander does not tolerate laws
Bonus (+2 to all Climb checks).
that restrict the rights of the individual. The
Intelligence Rating: 6.7
government must restrict its activities to public
Technology Rating: 8.4
works projects and educational directives or
they risk provoking popular revolt and anarchy.
Militancy Rating: 6.3
So internally focused are the Derotiki that
Economic Rating: 7.1
most of the governments in the planets history
Individuality Rating: 7.4
have failed and left the population in a state of
lawlessness and chaos. The current technocracy
has survived solely because of its limited power

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and its ability to provide basic public services, with anyone who disagrees with them. While
however ineffectually.
the Derotiki are highly intelligent individuals,
One of the biggest challenges that the they lack common sense and are prone to
government of Derotiki faces is the reluctance overconfidence.
of the public to pay any form of tax. Usage
fees and other monetary measures provide the
government with an inconsistent funding source
and the technocracy often teeters on the edge of
bankruptcy. The combination of lack of resources
and the desire of some Derotiki to be left alone
has turned the remote frontiers of Coryander
into lawless zones where governmental authority
does not exist.
Ecology/Environment:
Coryanders
landscapes are dominated by alternating bands
of temperate and tropical forest.

Role Playing Notes: A Derotiki NPC should


look down upon others and only show respect
to those who have demonstrated superiority in
some field. This character will not like being told
what to do and will pay only the faintest lip servie
to rules and regulations. A Derotiki NPC always
thinks that he or she is right and isnt likely to be
open to contrary arguments.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

*A group of Derotiki living on a foreign space


Overall Description: Derotiki colonies station have run a foul of the law on countless
are spreading at a slow but steady pace. While occasions. While they are not career criminals
Coryander has impressive technological by any means, the Derotiki arrogantly flaunt the
capabilities, the planet does not have the rules of station life and cause chaos wherever
economic infrastructure necessary to support they go. Attempts to deport the group have
massive off world construction projects. Derotiki caused outrage among some of the other aliens
have decided to overcome this shortfall by that inhabit the station. The player characters are
seeding a large number of small, low tech asked to diffuse the situation and find a solution
colonies throughout their sector of the galaxy.
that does not lead to further strife.
Some of the Derotiki colonies have made
contact with other worlds. One colony in
particular, Dtikistan, lies at the intersection of
a number of galactic trade routes. The colonists
of Dtikistan have bartered away their small
handful of high tech devices in order to gain the
raw materials needed to develop their planetary
infra-structure.
Derotiki crewmen are recruited by ship
captains who need explorers, scientists, and field
technicians. The species combination of a keen
intellect and fast reflexes is highly desirable in
dangerous environments and unpredictable
situations. However, many employers are
reluctant to accept Derotiki employees due to
their anti-authoritarian attitude.

*A Derotiki colony world has been invaded


by a militant alien species. The characters are
called in by a third party who does not wish
to see the invaders expand their territory. The
PCs are tasked with the daunting challenge of
organizing the scattered Derotiki resistance
groups into a coherent force that is able to deal
with the invaders. Personality conflicts and the
independent nature of the Derotiki conspire to
keep them from unitizing.
*A Derotiki colony has become a pirate
haven as the lawless planet shows indifference
to crimes committed in deep space. Worse, the
Derotiki colonists have acquired their own ships
and whole heartedly thrown themselves into the
piracy trade.

Typical Personality: A typical Derotiki is


haughty, arrogant, and self centered. They are
not highly social creatures and tend to work best
when they are left alone. . This species also has
pronounced stubborn streak and they butt heads
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Social Organization: Guhltazi families are


not just made up of blood relatives but close
friends and associates who are adopted into the
family unit. It is often these extended networks
that take precedence in a Guhltazis social
life and some families have almost no blood
connection at all. Children are raised by their
mothers with a great deal of help from other
family members, especially those who have no
hildren of their own. Aiding the parents in child
rearing is considered good practice for when
the childless family member has offspring of
their own. Offspring are given the full status of
adults long before they reach physical maturity.
The institution of marriage is entirely
unknown among this race, nor do they form long
term romantic relationships very often. Sexual
attraction and romance are considered frivolous
matters and not something that requires any sort
of commitment. A child belongs to its mother
and her social family. The question of the identity
of childs father is considered irrelevant. Males
have no legal or cultural claim to their biological
offspring and their parenting duties are restricted
to helping raise the children of their female
family members. Because a Guhltazi family is not
always a genetically related group, it is possible
for two members of the family group to become
Alien Name: Guhltazi
romantically linked. However, any offspring that
Physical Description: The Guhltazi are tall, are produced are the responsibility of the mother
statuesque humanoids with large, pointed ears and the father is given the same status as all the
and deep set eyes. Their heads are elongated other males in the family group. Couples within
and feature a pronounced cranial bulge in the the same social group are expected to keep
their romantic lives from disrupting the harmony
rear of the skull
of the group.
Homeworld: Guhltaz
A possible explanation for the social mores of
Stat Adjustments: -2 WILL, +2 PRE
the Guhltazi is tied more to biology than culture.
Advantages: Additional Sense (telesensory), Guhltazi females can control their own ovulation;
Bonus Talent, Natural Psionics
therefore they can only become pregnant if
they make a conscious decision to do so. The
Intelligence Rating: 5.0
lack of unwanted pregnancies may have made
Technology Rating: 6.8
culturally sanctioned unions unnecessary. When
Militancy Rating: 5.4
a female decides to have children, she gets
pregnant and raises the child within the stable
Economic Rating: 5.9
environment of her social family. The idea of
Individuality Rating: 6.3
becoming permanently involved with a single
male seems ludicrous an unnecessary to most

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Guhltazi females.

the consequences later. Possessing both charm


Government: The planet Guhltaz is and psionic powers, the Gulhtazi are usually
governed by a republic with strictly limited able to take their way out of trouble. Being a race
powers. The independent-minded Guhltazi of telepaths, the Guhltazi are extremely open
have never displayed the compulsion to dictate with their emotions and have never considered
morality or lifestyle choices upon each other. the possibility of hiding their true feelings.
The highly libertarian government concerns They are naturally trusting and quick to make
itself with only the basic forms of services. The acquaintances but extremely hesitant about
focus of the republics efforts is in the areas of inviting someone into their social circle.
planetary defense and law enforcement. Even in
Role Playing Notes: A Guhltazi NPC should
these limited areas the Republican Senate relies be ready and willing to try new things. He or she
heavily on the support of local elected bodies. In should always have a smile for a stranger or a
the midst of a severe crisis, such as an invasion kind word for a friend in distress. This character
or economic meltdown, the Senate can assume should be highly independent and chafe at
almost dictatorial powers for a set period of authority but also respectful of the feelings of
time. The Senate has no authority to extend the others.
duration of their enhanced powers even if the
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
crisis has not abated.
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
The Republican Senate is made up of elected
representatives from each of the planets
administrative districts. Each Senator serves a
single ten year term and no one is allowed to
serve more than once.

homeworld to a campaign.

Ecology/Environment: Guhltaz is a desert


planet that is dotted with large oasis and the
occasional rainforest. The polar regions are
covered in grasslands and a small area of arctic
tundra.

*A Guhltazi spy has been secretly


manipulating an alien scientist in order to gain
access to advanced technology. The player
characters are assigned to trace the source of
the leak and put the spy network out of business.

Overall Description: The Guhltazi are highly


respected for their veracity, diplomatic prowess,
and natural psionic abilities. Highly adaptable,
the Guhltazi have displayed an ability to excel
at a wide range of activities, from science and
exploration, to business, military endeavors, and
galactic politics. The Guhltazi do not have the
technological or economic capacity to support
expansion to other worlds. However, many
members of this species have taken to the stars
by serving on ships from other worlds. Privately
chartered vessels have also brought Guhltazi
ambassadors and merchants to the centers of
galactic trade, giving this race communications
access to a wide race of other species.

*A Guhltazi living on a primitive planet has


been accused of sorcery. The player characters
must rescue this person before he or she is
executed.

*A trade mission to Guhltaz goes horribly


wrong when the socially conservative traders
are shocked and insulted by the actions of the
free spirited Guhltazi. The player characters
must salvage the negotiations before a major
incident occurs.

Typical
Personality:
Guhltazi
have
developed a reputation for being daredevils.
They jump into a situation first and worry about

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Economic Rating: 3.9


Individuality Rating: 7.5
Social Organization: Dho Ngee families
consist of a core group of parents plus their
offspring. It takes two males in order to
impregnate a female and the offspring receives
genetic material from both fathers. For this
reason, a core parenting group always has at
least three members. Some families contain four,
five, or six parents in addition to the resulting
offspring. Core family groups are linked to
each other through an elaborate network of
extended families, though the importance of
these extended families is much less than the
core group. Offspring are allowed to leave their
homes s soon as they can best one of their parents
in a contest of physical skill and endurance.
Government: The planet Dho Ng Prime is
divided into a large number of small regions
that display a staggering array of governmental
systems. Much of the planet is dominated by
tribal societies headed by a chieftain or council
of elders. There are very few big cities on this
world and most of the population lives in small
villages that have been carved out of the jungle.

Alien Name: Dho Ngee


Homeworld: Dho Ng Prime
Physical Description: The Dho Ngee are
skulking humanoids with flat, featureless faces
and large curving horns a top their heads. Their
bodies are adorned with numerous small spikes
and protrusions, including a set of antennae that
project from the back of each calf.

Within the larger settlements one can find


every form of government from monarchies
to participatory democracies and everything
in between these two extremes. In regards to
governments, there is a pronounced tendency
toward authoritarianism, mostly likely the
result of the planets primitive technology level.
Given this species highly independent nature,
these dictatorial regions are places of constant
violence and civil strife.

There are many among the Dho Ngee that


seek to escape the domination of autocrats and
Stat Adjustments: +2 WILL, -2 PRE.
absolute monarchs by fleeing their ancestral
Advantages: Additional Sense (scent), Skill homelands and building new settlements in
Bonus (+2 on all Investigate and Survival checks), the jungle. The almost endless abundance of
Natural Weapons (unarmed attacks deal 3d6 rainforest ensures tht these enterprising souls
points of lethal damage).
can find an uninhabited stretch of wilderness to
occupy.
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
Technology Rating: 3.7
Militancy Rating: 5.9

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Warfare on the planet Dho Ngee Prime


usually takes the form of isolated raids and
retaliatory strikes. Fighting is often the result

65

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

of one tribe hunting in a territory that has been


claimed by another tribe. These skirmishes
offer one the chance to prove his or her bravery
and skill. These small wars do not involve much
preparation or pre planning and the warriors are
more interested in earning glory for themselves
than coordinating there tactics with the rest of
the tribe.

truth. According to the Dho Ngee, you are either


being one hundred percent honest or you are
being deceitful. There is no moral grey area in
their way of thinking.

Role Playing Notes: A Dho Ngee NPC should


never make threats. He should calmly explain
what reaction he will have to the actions of others.
There is no threat or intimidation involved here,
Ecology/Environment: Dho Ng Prime is a just a recitation of facts. This character should
tropical world that is covered with rainforests also purport himself with dignity and decorum,
from pole to pole. Only in the extreme polar avoiding emotional outbursts. Dho Ngee are
regions can one find a small patch of open highly independent and this character will chafe
prairie.
at all but the must basic social restrictions. A Dho
Overall Description: Known for their ability Ngee NPC should have no regard for the laws or
as hunters and trackers, the Dho Ngee are heavily social customs of other species, often regarding
recruited by other races to serve as mercenaries these social norms as nonsensical and barbaric.
and bounty hunters. Because they live in a prePlot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
industrial society, the Dho Ngee can sometimes used by a GM to introduce this species or their
be manipulated by outsiders who trade flashy homeworld to a campaign.
baubles for services and raw materials. Those
*A Dho Ngee assassin has been hired to kill a
Dho Ngee who have lived out in space for longer wealthy interstellar trader. The player characters
periods of time have a more reasonable idea of are hired to protect the target and get to the
what things are worth and they sometimes aid bottom of the assassination plot.
their brethren when negotiating trade deals.
*A troupe of Dho Ngee mercenaries has
Members of this race are highly individualistic settled on an inhabited planet.This remote colony
and do not work well with some of the more has sparked conflict with the native population,
socially integrated species. Because of this the who consider themselves to be superior to the
Dho Ngee have a hard time being incorporated technological backward newcomers. The player
into formal fighting forces and are much better characters are assigned to keep the situation
utilized as lone scouts or freelance operatives. from becoming violent.
Members of this race are also employed as law
*A trade mission to Dho Ng Prime is put in
enforcement officers on remote colony worlds,
particularly undeveloped planets that are jeopardy when one of the merchants is caught
trying to cheat a Dho Ngee chieftain. Though
covered in unspoiled wilderness.
the players characters were not aware of the
Dho Ngee face legal sanctions and deception, the entire trade delegation has been
discrimination on some planets. Certain marked for death. Now the PCs have to keep
governments have banned Dho Ngee from themselves and their crewmates alive until their
traveling within their jurisdiction. The popular ship returns for them.
perception is that the Dho Ngee are amoral
savages who whose only interest is killing for
profit. This perception is not helped by the
species well known disregard for the laws of
other cultures.
Typical Personality: This species is known
for being gruff and direct. Dho Ngee culture has
no use for social niceties or subtle shading of the

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66

Intelligence Rating: 5.0


Technology Rating: 7.5
Militancy Rating: 4.9
Economic Rating: 6.9
Individuality Rating: 6.3
Social Organization: The Draks live together
in small family groups that rarely include
more than five members, including children.
Friendship and social bonds that are made by
choice are very important to the Draks and often
take precedence over the accident of blood
relationships. Draks form lasting bonds with their
mates but these arrangements are by no means
monogamous. Emotional love is considered to
be an entirely separate concept with no direct
connection to the act of having sex. The law of
Drak culture states that if someones mate has
a child then he is the father. The question of
whether or not he is the biological father is an
irrelevant consideration. It is not unheard of for a
female Drak to raise children by herself and this
is seen as a legitimate and natural arrangement.

Alien Name: Drak


Homeworld: Dranigak
Physical Description: Draks are humanoids
who could easily be mistaken for homo sapiens if
it were not for the clouds of ionized gas that cling
to their bodies wherever they go. This ionized
mist is a defensive adaptation that both protects
the Draks and gives them a limited offensive
potential.
Stat Adjustments: -2 CON, +2 PRE.
Advantages: Natural Armor (+3 natural
armor bonus to KD), Skill Bonus (+2 on all Bluff
and Diplomacy checks), Special Attack (once
per day, ranged touch attack deals 1d4 points of
electricity damage).

Government: Political power on Dranigak is


concentrated at the local level and most regional
governments are governed through direct,
participatory democracy. The local governments
can call for the election of special planet wide
bodies to deal with specific issues. These ad hoc
bodies often have names such as the Special
Assembly for Economic Policy or the Conference
on Alien Relations. These institutions are not
considered to be legitimate entities unless four
fifths of the regional governments are represented
and choose to participate. Even then, the decrees
and regulations that emerge from such special
sessions are only suggestions. Enforcement of
these edicts is left to individual governments
and there is no penalty for governments that
simply choose to ignore the rulings. The one
exception to this rule is a special body known
as the Emergency Committee, a body with wide
ranging powers during times of crisis.

Disadvantages: Compulsion, pleasure (mild:


The Draks are a fairly peaceful race and they
Will check DV13, the creature must fulfill the
keep
a small but highly trained defensive force
compulsion at least once per month).
ready in case of attack from another species.

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There has not been an internal conflict on


Dranigak for over a century. Though they have
no enemies of their own, the Draks occasionally
lend troops and support to causes that they deem
to be worthy.

keep this personal matter from becoming the


justification for a bloody war.

Overall Description: The Draks have shown


little interest in settling new worlds or trading
with other species. They have built a number
of unarmed vessels capable of traveling to
other stars but there is no consensus among
the citizens as to whether or not the expense
is worth it. What really interests the Draks are
not petty considerations of wealth or territory
but the opportunity for cultural exchange, new
experiences, and new pleasures. This great
interest in other species has always been the
driving force behind the Draks space exploration
program and the core reason that individual
Draks have taken to wandering the stars.

of the local youth. Though the Draks themselves


are not taking this charge seriously, the locals
are planning a campaign of terror to drive out
this foreign cultural influence.

*The planet Dranigak has been attacked by


savage raiders from another world. The Draks
are fighting bravely in their own defense but
Ecology/Environment: The planet Dranigak their inexperienced forces are suffering great
is a lush and temperate world that is often casualties. In order to avert a disaster, the
described as paradise by visitors from other Emergency Committee has decided to hire off
worlds. Much of the land mass exists in the form world mercenaries in order to strike a crippling
of micro-continents and island chains, meaning blow to the raiders home base.
that the vast majority of settlements are within a
*A Drak community living on another word
short distance from the coast.
has been accused of corrupting the moral fabric

*A wandering Drak scholar has roamed the


galaxy in search of curious artifacts and new
forms of pleasure to take back to Dranigak.
What the scholar doesnt know is that one of his
prized possessions is actually a high addictive
psionic device that turns its victims into virtual
zombies when the withdrawal kicks in. The
player characters are assigned to catch up with
the scholar before he causes any more harm.
However, every stop along the way leads them to
Typical Personality: Draks are archtypical another colony that is contaminated with psionic
hedonists and even the most stoic among their zombies.
race cant resist a good time when the opportunity
presents itself.
Role Playing Notes: A Drak NPC should be
silver tongued and sly. This character wants to be
everyones friend and has no interest in anything
other than a good time. Sure, there is work to
be done, but only after the important things are
taken care of.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Drak has unintentionally gotten involved in
a romantic triangle. A cultural misunderstanding
has prompted an alien warlord that a female Drak
has promised to be his mate for life. She has since
moved on and now resides in the home of her
new lover, an important aristocrat from another
world. The player characters are assigned to
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68

Individuality Rating: 2.0


Social Organization: Hali live in broods
containing several hundred thousand members,
all of whom have been hatched together.
Female Hali begin attacking each other as soon
as they are mature enough to move around on
their own. This violence continues until only
one female is left in the brood. Upon reaching
physical maturity, the surviving female strikes
out on her own to begin the search for a new
brood. When she finds another brood she must
battle the dominant female and take control of
her harem of fertile males. The social life of the
Hali revolves around the brood mother and her
attending males. The offspring serve the brood
mother faithfully until she is defeated and killed
in battle with another female. The offspring then
begin jockeying for position in the harem, often
killing the elder males who are males already in
attendance.

Alien Name: Hali


Homeworld: Hal Centi
Physical Description: The Hali are short,
skeletal humanoids with long gangly arms. Their
bodies are covered by a bony exoskeleton. The
Halis large heads are dominated by a large
toothy maw. This species is completely eyeless
but an open patch on their external skull houses
a heat sensing organ.
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 WILL and PRE
Advantages: Additional Sense (other:
thermal), Damage Reduction (1/-), Menacing
Appearance, Natural Weapons (unarmed attacks
deal 3d6 points of lethal damage).
Disadvantages: Blind
Intelligence Rating: 4.9
Technology Rating: 7.5
Militancy Rating: 8.3
Economic Rating: 7.4

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The brood mother is at the top of any Hali


social structure, yet she rarely makes any decision
or gives orders to the group. This matriarchs
primary concern is laying eggs and defending
herself against any younger females that might
be on the prowl. Surrounding the brood mother
is a court made up of the strongest males in the
brood. These dominant males not only enjoy the
privilege of mating with the broods only female
but they also rule over the weaker males through
brute force and intimidation. The members of
the harem simply take what they want from the
brood without challenge. While this small group
of privileged males lives a life of relative ease,
the rest of the brood literally work themselves to
death in order to provide the brood mother with
sustenance and increase the development of the
brood as a whole. This balance of power is only
threatened when a new female gains control of
the brood. At this point the offspring of the old
brood mother get a chance to improve their
status and earn a chance to mate with the new
dominate female.
The division of labor in a Hali brood is an
interesting phenomenom. Many great scientists
have dwelt on the subject for years without

69

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

determining exactly how the species gets


anything done. Without any form of centralized
leadership or group discussion, the Hali still
manage to operate a highly organized and
efficient society. One clue to this mystery may be
the fact the Hali are generalists. Each member of a
brood is equally capable of fighting, performing
physical labor, or building tools as the need
arises. It is theorized that each individual simply
goes to the nearest work station or construction
site and starts on any task that needs done.
Eventually every job that needs performed gets
filled.
Government: The Hali have no government
outside of the natural order imposed by the brood
mothers. This species is genetically driven to be
group oriented and formal laws are not needed
to keep things running smoothly. Individual Hali
do not care for their own lives, they work and fight
in service to the brood mother. Every endeavor
the Hali undertake is to improve the safety and
security of their cherished matriarch. These
efforts include building massive underground
fortresses, developing new technologies, and
raiding other Hali for supplies.

Hali are never encountered alone and groups


smaller than one hundred members are very
rare. These creatures have a difficult time with
isolation and cannot operate on their own. Also,
the instinctual drive to serve the brood mother
keeps members of this species tied to their social
group and unable to strike out on their own.
Typical Personality: The Hali have a
reputation as vicious butchers who kill without
hesitation. This reputation is well earned as they
Hali have no regard for the value of life other than
the life of the brood mother whom they serve.
The members of this species are single minded
and methodical, working tirelessly at whatever
task best serves the brood.
Role Playing Notes: A Hali NPC is not likely
to interact with aliens in any non-violent way. The
members of this species do not negotiate, trade,
or take prisoners.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A diplomatic mission is attacked by Hali
skirmishers. The ambassador and his staff
escaped with their lives but his daughter is
still trapped on the crippled ship. The player
characters are hired to rescue the daughter
before the Hali tow the ship back to their
homeworld.

Ecology/Environment: Hal Centi is a barren


world with a harsh and unforgiving climate.
Much of the planet is covered with freezing
deserts, mudflats, and volcanic fields. While
seemingly uninhabitable, the planet actually
*A Hali colony ship lands on an inhabited
supports a great deal of native life, much of it
underground. One thing the planet has going for world. The player characters must infiltrate the
Hali settlement and destroy the brood mother
it is an abundance of mineral wealth.
Overall Description: The Hali are not before the entire planet is overrun.
particularly bright, nor does their group
mentality foster the kid of imaginative thinking
that one normally associates with advanced
technology. Hali science is instead characterized
by a relentless trial and error process that
continues day and night regardless of the
amount of resources that are needed or the
danger posed to the researchers. This species
is also skilled at copycatting stolen technology
and their technical know-how has increased
exponentially since they first made contact with
other species.

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70

Economic Rating: 10.0


Individuality Rating: 8.5
Social Organization: The Ino are not social
creatures by any means. It has been theorized
that in their distant past this species was much
more prone to group activity. However, some
cultural or hereditary change has driven the
species to a much more self serving direction. In
fact the Ino see no use what so ever in working
together and are not concerned in any way with
the welfare of other members of their species.
It is believed that this species is no longer
capable of reproducing. If true, this would mean
that the Ino race is facing gradual extinction. The
desire for individual perfection may be in part
driven by the knowledge that the species as a
whole will eventually be no more. Already long
lived, the Ino may be attempting to achieve true
immortality. This quest for eternal life is partly a
reflection of their inherent narcissism and partly
a way to ensure the continued existence of their
species. The Ino believe themselves to be godlike in comparison to other species and their
drive for self perfection is a way to prove their
divinity.

Alien Name: Ino


Homeworld: Inous Divini
Physical Description: Composed entirely
of living crystal, the Ino have a surprisingly
humanoid body shape.

Government: The planet Inous Divini has no


government. In rare cases two or more Ino may
form a temporary alliance with each other but
only for a mutually beneficial goal that cannot
be achieved alone. These alliances always end
badly as the Ino cannot help but attempt and
display dominance over each other.

Rivalry is a way of life with this species and


they are driven by the urge to one up each other.
Stat Adjustments: +4 INT, -2 PRE
They view other members of their own kind as
Advantages: Change
Creature
Form competitors and nothing more. Since no other
(elemental), Ability Bonus (INT).
type of life is worthy of consideration, proving
Disadvantages:
Compulsion,
proving dominance over another Ino is the goal of almost
dominance (strong: Will check DV17, the all members of this species.
creature must fulfill the compulsion at least once
Ecology/Environment: The planet Inous
every three days)
Divini orbits an ancient star that has neared the
end of its life cycle. Organic life on the planet
Intelligence Rating: 8.0
ended millennia ago. The crystalline Ino are
Technology Rating: 9.5
almost the only creatures that can survive on this
Militancy Rating: 7.3
dimly lit world.

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Overall Description: An ancient and


powerful species, the Ino are driven by a quest
for self improvement. They long ago overcame
the need to divvy up limited resources and there
are few technological or scientific problems that
they have not mastered. The Ino have explored
great swaths of the galaxy and conquered
countless worlds. All that is left for them is the
relentless improvement of the self.
It is widely thought that there are only a
small number of Ino left in the galaxy, most of
them living on worlds other their own. A few Ino
still inhabit their planet of origin, scattered and
isolated in immense fortress cities that they use
to insolate themselves from each other. There are
no Ino colonies or space stations in the galaxy
because this species finds it impossible to work
together.

Role Playing Notes: The Ino consider


themselves to be divine beings with a destiny
greater than all other species. Feel free to play
upon these delusions of godhood.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An Ino rules over a primitive world as a living
god. It has sent its subjects on a holy crusade to
capture spaceships and take to the stars in a mad
quest for a mysterious and ancient artifact.
*A renegade military faction has acquired
the services of an Ino advisor who is giving
them access to incredible technology. The Ino is
really just manipulation this faction for some yet
unknown purpose.

*A technological advanced world was once


conquered
and enslaved by Ino warlords. The
Many species have come to believe that
the Ino race is extinct; others claim that they religion based on the worship of these crystal
were never more than myths to begin with. This beings still dominates the planets spiritual life
attitude is understandable, since the ancient even after thousands of years. The arrival of an
Ino Empire crumbled so long ago that the vast Ino has sparked off a religious fervor all across
majority of physical artifacts have turned to dust. the planet. The entire world seems to be on the
Very few people have ever encountered an Ino road to a religious civil war between the faithful
for three reasons. First of all, they have such a and the unbelievers.
population compared to the vast multitude of
sentient beings in the galaxy. Secondly, the Ino
are isolationists by nature and do not seek have
contact with other beings. Third, the Ino have
a tendency to spend centuries in absorbed in
meditation and self reflection and this further
reduces the likelihood of encountering one of
them.
Typical
Personality:
The
Ino
are
pathologically arrogant and self centered. They
are completely incapable of empathy or social
consideration. This species does not ask, they
order. The Ino do not bargain, they take what they
want and crush any who stand in their path. This
race has no use for beings of other races, though
some Ino take a perverse pleasure from forcing
other cultures to worship and praise them.

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

72

Intelligence Rating: 5.0


Technology Rating: 2.8
Militancy Rating: 6.3
Economic Rating: 2.9
Individuality Rating: 5.0
Social Organization: The Jubonakin live in
closely knit tribes consisting of several extended
families. Tribes are governed through consensus
and no member of the tribe has authority over any
other member, save his or her own offspring. The
only real form of authority in a tribe is the shaman
or other religious leader. These spiritual advisors
do not directly govern the tribe or order others
about. However, a shaman can greatly affect public
discourse through the reading of signs or relying
messages from ancestor spirits. These holy men
and women are often sought out by individual
members of the tribe for advice and counsel as
well.

Alien Name: Jubonakin


Homeworld: Jubos III
Physical Description: The Jubonakin are
a bizarre race with only a vaguely humanoid
appearance. They have four long legs that keep
their body suspended high off of the ground.
This species has four arms as well, two of them
attached to the upper torso and another pair
slung on the lower body between the front
and read legs. The head of the Jubonakin is
exceptionally wide and has a hammerhead
design. Eyes mounted on the far edges of the
head can turn to allow the Jubonakin to see 360
degrees around them.
Stat Adjustments: none.
Advantages: Additional Sense (omnidirectional vision), Multiattack, Multiple Limbs
(grasping), Multiple Limbs (locomotion).

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Government: The largest governmental unit on


Jubos III is a nation comprised of many related tribes.
Occasionally a nation will grow powerful enough
to dominate other tribes and form a rudimentary
empire but they are rare and short lived. Often an
empire is driven by a single influential leader and
does not survive his or her death.
Since the advent of the foreign invaders and
the superstitious hysteria that has accompanied
the arrival of the star demons, there has been an
attempt to unify the great nations into a new empire
and launch a crusade against the occupiers. The
tribal shamans and other spiritual leaders seem
to be the motivating force behind this movement.
However, it is difficult to organize the nations into a
coherent force as each nation is drawn together by
culture and common language and not a common
leadership. Also many of these nations are ancestral
enemies with each other and they have difficulty in
putting aside their differences, even in the face of
these seemingly supernatural threats.
Ecology/Environment: Jubos III is a wet,
swampy planet that is characterized by a lack of
arid land. Even the driest places on the planet are
prone to seasonal flooding. By the same token,
there are few places on the planet where one can

73

Lightspeed: Alien Contact

find open water. There are no lakes or rivers and underdeveloped, a combination that makes others
the planets single ocean occupies less than half of races fearful of what might happen if they were
the total planetary surface.
to gain advanced weaponry. The sudden leap in
Overall Description: The Jubonakin have long military technology could result in a global civil
been battling against the star demons that have war or worse. Some fear that the natives of Jubos
plagued their world. Mercantile interests, pirates, III might take to the stars and use their new found
and other unsavory types have been using parts weapons to conquer and enslave other worlds.
of Jubos III as slave labor camps. The Jubonakin
are captured and imprisoned by these outlaws
and either forced to work for their masters on
the planet itself or sold to slave traders on other
worlds. Mining the swampy surface of Jubos III
is time consuming and dangerous so legitimate
traders and merchants have expressed no interest
in developing the planet. However, using the native
population as a slave labor force is much cheaper
than offering hazard pay. Slaves are also cheaper
than robots and better adapted to the wetland
environment.

Typical
Personality:
Jubonakin
are
understandably shy around off worlds and tend
to be suspicious of their motives. Many Jubonakin
think that aliens are supernatural demons who exist
only to torment them.

Many off worlders are sympathetic to the plight


of the Jubonakin and have attempted to open
diplomatic relations with members of the free
nations. However, the xenophobic and superstition
Jubonakin have thus far resisted these gestures.
Members of this race are naturally untrusting and
fearful when dealing with the strange looking aliens
and their evil magic. It is the hope of many that if
formal relations are made between Jubos III and
the rest of the galaxy then the slavers and outlaw
miners will be less likely to exploit this species.
Others hope that legitimate trade will allow their
merchant fleets to gain access to the mineral
resources of Jubos III without having to deal with
shady middlemen.

Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be


used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

Throughout the galaxy one can encounter


freed Jubonakin slaves who often find work as
mercenaries and colony builders. Several planets
have communities made up of Jubonakin slaves and
their descendants. Diplomatic agents are currently
recruiting these free born Jubonakin in order to aid
in the negotiations with their native brethren.
Despite widespread condemnation of the
slavery and exploitation that occurs on Jubos III, very
few people have suggested arming the Jubonakin
so that they may better defend themselves. This
species is both aggressive and technologically

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Role Playing Notes: A Jubonakin NPC should


exemplify a creature dealing with concepts far
beyond what its culture can grasp. While the
Jubonakin are intelligent, they are still a young and
developing race. This character should seek out
magical, rather than scientific answers to problems
and may regard technology with fear.

*A group of Jubonakin slaves on another world


have revolted against their masters and taken
control of the colony. The player characters are
recruited as part of a first contact team sent to the
colony in order to establish peaceful relations with
the newly freed slaves.
*A top secret military ship crash lands on
Jubos III, carrying with it a computer spool filled
with classified reconnaissance data. The player
characters must find the surviving crewmen before
they are killed by hostile Jubonakin or worse,
captured and interrogated by one of the outlaw
factions on the planet.
*A resistance network is being organized to
drive the invaders off of the surface of Jubos III. In
order for the effort to succeed, the network must
establish the trust of some segment of the native
population. The player characters are assigned to
infiltrate the planet and locate potential allies.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

74

Social Organization: The Lom are bi-sexed,


meaning that when two of them mate then both
parties end up pregnant. The individual who
gives birth to an offspring is solely responsible
for its well being until the young Lom is fully
developed. Fortunately for the Lom, their
offspring mature quickly.
Other than the bond between parent and
child, blood relationships are not particularly
important for this race. Instead, their society
is organized around tribes that consist of
individuals who are drawn together by common
interests and abilities. Members of a tribe often
live and work together communally.
Government: Loma Prime is the hub of
governmental affairs for all Lom-settled worlds.
Each Lom colony is allowed to elect its own
parliamentary body and this body appoints a
single representative who travels to Lom and
acts in its planets interests during the legislative
session. The Star Parliament governs over all
of Lom controlled space. Each representative
serving in the Star Parliament takes a turn serving
as the Speaker, who chairs the legislative session
Alien Name: Lom
Physical Description: The Lom are a and sets the political agenda.
Ecology/Environment: Loma Prime is a hot
species of extremely tall humanoids with
disproportionately long arms and legs. Each of arid world, but the Lom have colonized a great
their arms ends in three bony pinchers. Their number of worlds and seem to thrive in a wide
round heads are dominated by a single large range of foreign environs.
eye.
Overall Description: The Lom are known
Homeworld: Loma Prime
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR and INT, -2 DEX.
Advantages: Ability Score Bonus (INT), Size
Category Increase (Large).
Intelligence Rating: 7.1
Technology Rating: 9.4
Militancy Rating: 3.7
Economic Rating: 8.6
Individuality Rating: 5.3

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for their mastery of technology and physical


sciences. This species knowledge of spaceflight
and colony building has allowed them to create
a vast stellar empire comprised of dozens of star
systems. The Lom are not aggressive militarily
but neither are the particularly friendly with
other races. This species interacts with others
only when absolutely necessary. Though they are
quite proud of their technological achievements,
the Lom do not share their scientific knowledge
with anyone. The Lom are justifiably concerned
about the danger of allowing advanced
technology to fall into the hands of primitive
races.

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The Lom do trade with other cultures


but they do so through a select handful of
middlemen, species that have been thoroughly
vetted and found to be non-violent and ethical.
The Lom have special factories where they
produce superior quality goods from a variety
of technological levels. Often these goods are
manufactured with a particular client in mind,
customizing different pieces of equipment for
the body types of different aliens. Government
inspectors check each product line to make sure
that the goods being sold cannot be adapted for
military purposes.
Despite their closed society and xenophobic
tendencies, the Lom are extremely curious
about alien life and they use their trading
partners to collect all sorts of data about the
various intelligent species in the galaxy. Being
scientifically minded, this species tends to focus
more on the details of biology and environmental
adaptation than the nuances of other cultures.
Typical Personality: The Lom tend to be
quiet and contemplative. While they are famous
for their scientific achievements, the Lom are
well rounded individuals who expend a great
deal of effort on the arts, sports, and philosophy.
The Lom ideal is that of a super Renaissance
being who excels are multiple endeavors.

they insist that the PCs destroy and trace of this


informations existence.
*A renegade Lom scientist has settled on
an alien world in order to continue its work in
xeno-biology. The scientist is kidnapped by a
militant native faction that wants to force the Lom
to increase their weapons capacity. The local
government hires the player characters to rescue
the scientist before he can be coerced into
doing its captors bidding. While the government
wishes the Lom to be safely returned, they make
it clear to the PCs that they must execute the
scientist if there is no other way to prevent it from
building weapons for the militants.
*A trade mission to Loma Prime goes awry
when a first contact team determines that the
traders are too violent and unethical to be allowed
contact with the Lom. The player characters must
convince the Lom that they are not savages in
order to salvage the trade deal. The Lom go to
extraordinary measures to provoke the PCs in an
attempt to prove that they are right.

Role Playing Notes: A Lom NPC should be


distant and non communicative with outsiders.
Their culture has long maintained a policy of
isolation when it comes to other species and
this character probably wont know how to act
around aliens.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An alien spy has infiltrated a Lom colony
world and made off with sensitive scientific
data. The Lom government is fearfully that the
information that was stolen will be used to create
weapons technology. Having little contact with
the galaxy at large, the officials have no choice
but to hire outsiders to track down the thief and
recover the stolen data. The Lom will not tell the
player characters what exactly they have lost but

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Social Organization: Atomi breed asexually.


They procreate their species by splitting
themselves into halves. Each half is a distinct
individual who is separate from the original.
However, each of the halves does retain much
of the knowledge that was possessed by the
progenitor. Life experiences and memories are
lost during the splitting process but skills and
raw facts are retained.
The Atomi organize themselves into troops,
often the members of the troop can trace their
lineage back to a single troop founder. These
troops are run like military units and each
member of the troop is assigned to specific
tasks. Troops live and work as a unit and few
individuals leave the safety of their troop unless
necessary.

Alien Name: Atomi


Homeworld: Atomis Delta III
Physical Description: These creatures seem
to be formed from a combination of solid matter
and pure energy. They can assume any general
shape that they desire, though the Atomi favor
humanoid shapes in order to make contact with
other species easier.
Stat Adjustments: -2 CON, +2 INT.

Government: Atomis Delta III is ruled by a


military junta. Most members of this race serve
in the military forces and all social advancement
is earned by bringing honor and glory to ones
troop. Civilian troops are subservient to the
military and exist only to provide raw materials
for the war effort. The only way for a civilian troop
to free themselves of their lessened status is to
earn a place in the military, usually by replacing
a troop that has been wiped out in battle.
The junta captures enemy civilians to use
as slave laborers. These unfortunate souls are
organized into troops and put to work providing
material support for the war effort. The use of
captured prisoners from off world has allowed
the military commanders to free up more and
more civilian troops and incorporate them into
the military.

Advantages: Change
Creature
Form
A troop advances in rank as a single unit.
(elemental), Natural Weapons (unarmed attacks
Advancement leads to increased privileges,
deal 4d6 points of lethal damage).
greater authority, and better equipment.
Intelligence Rating: 6.2
Command troops are made up of elite warriors
who issue orders to hundreds of smaller units.
Technology Rating: 8.5
The most distinguished troops eventually get
Militancy Rating: 8.8
promoted up to the high command where they
Economic Rating: 8.2
serve as advisors and planners for the Supreme
Authority, a troop that maintains power through a
Individuality Rating: 3.9
combination of military excellence and political
maneuvering.

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Ecology/Environment: Atomis Delta III is


a scorched and barren world that is completely
uninhabitable by organic beings. Only energy based
creatures can survive on this airless rock of a world.
The planet is continually bombarded with high levels
of radiation from space.
Overall Description: The Atomi are in a
nearly constant state of war with every civilization
that is located near their homeworld. It takes
very little to provoke the wrath of this warlike
race and they often engage in multiple military
campaigns at once. The Atomi do not seem to be
particularly interested in conquering territory
or securing wealth, rather they often attack a
planet for no apparent reason whatsoever. Even
more puzzling, the Atomi have been known to
stop a successful military campaign in its tracks
and recall their forces back to their own system.

*A surprise attack by an Atomi strike force


leaves a planet crippled and defenseless.
The player characters are hired to undertake
a desperate mission. The PCs are tasked with
sabotaging the Atomi invasion force, delaying
them long enough for the defending planet to
regroup.
*The player characters are visiting a neutral
space station when it is overrun by a troop of Atomi
soldiers on a scavenging mission. The attackers
plan on slaughtering the entire population and
making off with any and all useable supplies.

Though their culture places a great deal of


emphasis on unity and group living, the Atomi
are quite capable of operating on their own.
Atomi spies and scouts remain separate from
their troop for years at a time. Some Atomi have
even defected from the military and chosen to
live among alien cultures instead of returning to
their brutal and totalitarian homeland.
Typical Personality: Atomi are conformists
who live to serve their social group.The individual
submits to the will of the crowd in almost all
circumstances. When dealing with creatures
from other worlds, the Atomi are dismissive and
demanding, often insisting that off-worlders
grovel and supplicate themselves.
Role Playing Notes: An Atomi NPC should
be threatening and hostile to all members of
other species.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*Someone that the player characters know
personally has been captured by an Atomi
invasion force. The PCs must find their friend
and mount a rescue before the alien slave ship
reaches Atomi Delat III.

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

78

Intelligence Rating: 5.1


Technology Rating: 3.5
Militancy Rating: 4.1
Economic Rating: 3.1
Individuality Rating: 4.9
Social Organization: The Tikril are a race
of slaves that organize themselves in whatever
manner that their masters desire. Very little is
known about what the culture and society of
the Tikril was like before their enslavement.
The offspring hatch from eggs that are laid in
clusters. The young Tikril are cared for by whom
ever happens to be around. Parents often die or
end up sold away before their eggs hatch. As
soon as a young Tikril is strong enough to move
around on its own it is put to work by its masters.
Government:The Tikril have no independent
government, not do they have legal rights on any
planet. Sometimes a group of Tikril slaves will
form an informal council that meets in secret to
discuss problems and solve internal conflicts.

Alien Name: Tikril

Ecology/Environment: The Tikril seem to


be very well adapted for life in underground
environments. They make do when forced to
live in other conditions, though they are not
comfortable on the surface.

Overall Description: No one knows


where the Tikril hail from or how they came
Physical Description: The Tikril are squat
to their current state of bondage. It is widely
humanoids with flat, featureless heads and large
believed that their homeworld was attacked
eyes. They have stubby legs that connect to a
by a technologically superior culture that
bulbous lower body. The lower body connects to
destroyed the native ecosystem and slaughtered
the torso by a long and narrow waist segment.
the majority of the Tikril population. The only
The arms are long and end in dagger like points.
survivors were Tikril captives who were moved
Stat Adjustments: +2 CON.
off world before the planet was decimated.
Advantages: Ability Score Increase (CON),
Tikril can be found in almost any slave
Additional Sense (darkvision), Natural Weapons market. Their natural burrowing ability makes
(unarmed attacks deal 3d6 points of lethal them ideal for use in low tech mines. Tikril are
damage), Racial Talent (burrow).
treated harshly, even by the standards of other
Disadvantages: Inept (-2 to all Mechanics slaves, because they are thought off as worthless
skill checks ), Inept (-2 to all Repair skill for any use besides digging. The shape of their
forelimbs makes them clumsy with tools. Most
checks ) Size Category Reduction (Small).
masters use Tikril as disposable tunnel builders
who are bought cheap and then worked to death.
Homeworld: Unknown

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The largest Tikril populations are found on


mining planets and other places where they
have been brought in large numbers. The Tikril
breed quickly and this fact helps make up for
the high attrition rate that the population suffers.
On a few worlds, the number of Tikril slaves is
greater than the free population that owns them.
There are rumors about small pockets of
free Tikril who have colonized planets after
being abandoned by their owners. There is
some truth to these rumors. Though these Tikril
are not technically slaves, they are subjugated
by the other cultures that share the planet with
them. Usually the free Tikril are required to pay
taxes or tribute in the form of labor or risk being
exterminated by their overlords.

coming from. The Tikril leader offers the player


characters a cut of the mine profits if they can
keep the angry mob at bay and keep the location
of the mine secret.
*A Tikril slave runs away from his master,
taking with him a data spool containing classified
secrets. A rival power hires the player characters
to retrieve the classified documents and bring
the escaped slave in for debriefing. The Tikril
would be more than willing to cooperate, if the
PCs can get to him in time.

Typical Personality: Tikril are skittish


and fearful, a trait that no doubt comes from
a lifetime of abuse and degradation. Some
Tikril have also developed a talent for deceit
and larceny, a necessary tool that comes from
constant starvation and lack of even the most
basic supplies.
Role Playing Notes: A Tikril NPC should be
eager to please and quick to apologize. Even
free Tikril are very aware that their place in the
galaxy makes them easy targets for mistreatment
by others.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The player characters intercept a smuggling
ship that is jammed full of Tikril slaves. After
dealing with the smugglers, the PCs are left
to decide what to do with hundreds of alien
refugees with no where to go.
*An enclave of free Tikril has struck it rich on
a remote planet. Once thought to be worthless,
the planet actually contains a treasure trove of
valuable ore. The Tikril have been very careful
to trade this ore with discreet partners so as to
protect their secret. However, the locals have
noticed that the Tikril colony is not as shabby
and desolate as it once was, leading to many
suspicions. A local militia plans to run the Tikril
off of their land and find out where the money is
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80

Social Organization: Ovarl live together


in large extended families that resemble clans
or tribes. Every member of the family network
is responsible for helping raise and care for
all of the children that are born into the clan.
Some clans number as large as several hundred
members. A clan is headed by a council of
elders that oversees the daily life of the family
and ensures that traditional laws of behavior are
upheld. Ostracism and even physical punishment
await those who refuse to follow tradition. Being
that the Ovarl have a tendency toward self
centeredness, only this constant reinforcement
keeps the family functioning. Those individuals
who chafe at the restrictive atmosphere of clan
life are free to leave at any time.

Alien Name: Ovarl

When a young Ovarl reaches young adulthood,


he or she is required to live alone for a period
that ranges from one to three years. Traditionally
this person was left in a remote wilderness area.
However, in modern times there are few wild
areas that are appropriate for this ritual and far
too many young Ovarl for there to be any real
isolation. For this reason many Ovarl spend their
exile in space; living among aliens is considered
to be its own form of isolation. After the allotted
time has elapsed, the young Ovarl is free to
return and take his or her place as a full fledged
member of the clan. Those who wish to remain in
isolation are free to do so without consequence.

Government: The planet Karharg exists in


a state of near anarchy. Every few years a new
Physical Description: The Ovarl are planetary government is proposed and then
humanoids with angular heads and flat faces. collapses. The resulting power vacuum results
Their hands are three pronged pinchers and in political infighting and even civil war. The
economy of the planet has been stagnant for
their legs bend backwards at the knee.
centuries because of the lack of stability and
Stat Adjustments: None.
centralized authority. Trade is hampered by the
Advantages: Fast Healing.
fact that the planet is divided into a series of rival
territories and the borders between them are
Intelligence Rating: 5.6
constantly shifting.
Technology Rating: 7.9
The lines of conflict on Karharg are ideological
Militancy Rating: 5.9
as well as geographic and entire cities are
Economic Rating: 7.4
sometimes paralyzed by tensions between the
various political factions. The traditional method
Individuality Rating: 6.1
for settling these disputes includes hand to hand
Homeworld: Karharg

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combat between faction leaders. As one might


expect, these duels only serve to stoke the flames
of hatred until widespread violence breaks out.

slow them down.

*A galactic power has grown tired of the


destabilizing effect that Ovarl mercenaries
Ecology/Environment: Karharg is a hot, have on interstellar politics. This stellar nations
humid world that is characterized by swamps has concocted a bold plan to bring stability
and tropical rainforests. The equatorial belts are to Karharg and dry up the seeming endless
the most densely populated areas of the planet. supply of Ovarl fighters. The player characters
Overall Description: Many Ovarl have left are assigned to safeguard this top secret peace
their world in order to escape the restrictive mission and defend the diplomats against the
culture or the lack of opportunities. Still others multitude of political factions and regional
have fled in order to escape political enemies. warlords that may want to disrupt the mission.
It has become something of a tradition for these
expatriate Ovarl to work as mercenaries and
bounty hunters in the employ of other powers
in the galaxy. Private military companies and
similar businesses have set up permanent
recruiting stations on Karharg in order to tap into
this ready supply of manpower.
Typical Personality: The Ovarl have a
tendency to be reckless and will go to great
lengths to prove that they are not afraid of
something.
Role Playing Notes: An Ovarl NPC should
be full of bravado. This character has no desire
to follow the rules that are set by other people
and considers this type of conformity to be a
weakness. This character may be a loner by
nature and probably looks out for number one
first and foremost.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A case of mistaken identity puts an Ovarl
bounty hunter on the trail of one of the player
characters. Unfortunately, this hired gun has no
intention of being talked out of his quarry.
*The player characters are hired to find the
location of a long lost alien artifact. The last
person to see this object was an Ovarl mercenary
who has since returned to his homeworld. When
the player characters attempt to locate him, they
learn that they are not the only ones looking
for this person. Many of the mercenarys allies
assume that the PCs are old enemies looking to
settle a score and they do everything they can to

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82

Disadvantages: Compulsion, performing


experiments (severe: Will check DV17, the
creature must fulfill the compulsion at least once
per day).
Intelligence Rating: 8.1
Technology Rating: 7.7
Militancy Rating: 3.2
Economic Rating: 6.3
Individuality Rating: 5.9
Social Organization: The Maga are
incapable of breeding naturally. These artificially
constructed beings can only reproduce by
combining their genetic material in laboratories
and growing the resultant offspring in liquid
filed tubes. This aspect of their nature combined
with the species highly individualistic mindset
means that the Maga do not form social groups
in the traditional sense. Their offspring are
mentored by an adult Maga or, more rarely, a
small group of adults. This mentoring process
provides the young Maga with their basic
physical and educational needs until they
approach adulthood. The psychology of the
Maga seems to make them somewhat incapable
of nurturing their offspring in the way that other
creatures do. When a Maga approaches physical
maturity there begins to be a great deal of friction
Alien Name: Maga
between the young and the mentoring adult.
Homeworld: Xtikix Alpha
The source of this friction is the increasingly
Physical Description: The Maga are a race idiosyncratic and bizarre behavior of the young
of dumpy, hunchbacked humanoids that are Maga. This period of friction marks the onset of
covered with thick, lumpy hide. This species is what the Maga refer to as The Neurosis. During
known for their distinctive double mouth. Two these years the young Maga usually leaves the
vertical toothy slits dominate the Magas facial company of others for a period of several years.
structure. Four small black eyes sit above the Alternately, the young one who is going through
this phase of development may be confined for
mouth slits.
their own good. After this period of instability
Stat Adjustments: +4 INT, -2 PRE.
passes, the now adult Maga becomes a full
Advantages: Ability Score Bonus (+2 INT), member of the society.
Initiative Bonus (+2 on Initiative checks), Skill
Most Maga are virtual slaves to their creators,
Bonus (+2 on all Craft [chemical], Repair, and the Xtikix. Those Maga who are not employed
Research skill checks)
directly by the progenitor species are sold to
other species. It has become more and more
common to find small clusters of Maga living
among aliens as free citizens. These Maga do not

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Typical Personality: Members of this


species are known for their eccentric, if not
erratic, behavior. The Maga are thought of as
Government: The Maga who still live raving lunatics by sentient beings who are not
under the control of their Xtikix creators have accustomed to them. The neurological wiring
no government of their own and are entirely of these creatures seems to be intentionally
subjugated by the Xtikix hierarchy. Other Maga wired in a way that leads to random mood
live as slaves under the dominance of other swings, obsessive compulsive behavior, and
species to whom they have been sold. A growing other disruptive impulses. Most Maga seem to
segment of the population lives freely as guests feel a strong need for privacy and secrecy and
of alien societies that have accepted them as they can display rampantly paranoid behavior if
equals. These free born Maga often live as these needs are not respected.
Highly individualistic, the Maga do not
recluses and do not actively participate in local
work
well with others and often prefer to labor
politics.
Ecology/Environment: As a genetically unsupervised. Isolation is not a problem for
engineered species, the Maga have no natural the Maga, who do not form strong social bonds
environment. Very little is known about the with members of their own species. They are
environment of Xtikix Alpha, the planet where highly secretive and have little desire to share
this species was designed. The progenitor information or cooperate with others. It is widely
species of the Maga seemed to prefer deploying believed that the Xtikix progenitors engineered
them to remote space stations and domed the Maga in such a way that they function well as
individuals but they are incapable of cooperating
colonies.
with each other or organizing for a common
Overall Description: The Maga were created cause.
by the Xtikix, a progenitor race that has spawned
Role Playing Notes: A Maga NPC should be
a large number of genetically engineered
new species. The Maga were designed to be secretive, paranoid, and just a bit creepy.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
laboratory assistants and technicians and it is in
this capacity that they serve their masters. The used by a GM to introduce this species or their
progenitors also sell their creations as slave homeworld to a campaign.
laborers. Maga are highly prized among races
*A Maga scientist has accidently created a
that have a desire to bolster their technological living chemical sludge that threatens to overtake
progress.
an orbital colony. While everyone else is battling
assimilate into the society or culture of the host
planet and most live as isolated individuals or in
loose knit groups of their own kind.

In recent decades there have been an


increasing number of Maga who have been breed
outside of the control of the Xtikix hierarchy.
The members of this species are most likely to
be encountered on research vessels, in isolated
outposts, or living in urban centers where there
is ample opportunity to participate in scientific
research. This species genetic compulsion to
experiment and tinker makes them ill suited for
any type of work that does not satisfy this urge. At
least one Maga has been able to slate his craving
for experimentation by working as a chef.
However, his unique concoctions and refusal to
take direction often result in mixed reviews.

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for their lives against the ever-growing blob of


goo, the Maga is desperately trying to contain
and recapture his unique experimental success.
*An esteemed scientists career has been
advanced beyond his wildest dreams by the
efforts of his Maga research assistant. A jealous
rival hires the player characters to prove that the
assistant is the real genius behind this string of
breakthroughs.
*A Maga slave escapes from captivity with
knowledge of an experimental weapons system.
His former master will go to any lengths to get
this valuable property back.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

84

Intelligence Rating: 7.4


Technology Rating: 6.8
Militancy Rating: 5.1
Economic Rating: 6.2
Individuality Rating: 4.9
Social Organization: The Olixian family
is composed of two parents and a number of
offspring. Oftentimes an older member of the
family (such as a grandparent) will be asked
to live with the family and provide them with
guidance. This respected elder is deferred to
in all family matters and is the legal and social
head of the family. Children often live with their
elders until they are ready to get married and
start families of their own.

Alien Name: Olixi


Homeworld: Khantara Prime
Physical Description: These tall, lanky
creatures have a distinctly large cranium with
an elongated shape. Olixi have the ability to
generate short bursts of intense heat from special
organs in their hands and fingers.
Stat Adjustments: +2 WILL, -2 PRE

The exceptions to this rule are children


who leave home to enter into a program of
intense study at a library or other repository of
knowledge. This period of study has a distinctly
monastic quality as the students spend most of
their time in private reading and contemplation.
These students are occasionally brought together
to engage in discussions and debates on a
number of different topics. The older masters of
the institution will randomly pull a student aside
for a round of intense grilling on a wide array
of arcane facts and references to ancient texts.
This brutal questioning is meant to reinforce a
young students awareness of how much he or
she does not know. After several years immersed
in schooling this way, most students leave the
seclusion of the library hall to seek a life in the
wider world. Only a small handful of students
have the determination and skill that is required
to complete the decades of study required to
become a master of lore.

Advantages: Bonus Talent, Skill Bonus (+2 to


all Knowledge [history], Knowledge [theology
Government: The government of Khantara
and philosophy], and Research skill checks), Prime is a plutocracy that is run by a number
Special Attack (three times per day, melee attack of councils and assemblies, most of whom are
deals 5d6 points of fire damage).
comprised of elderly Olixi who are either learned
Disadvantages: Inept (-2 on Technology, and masters or experts in a particular field. The
most influential of these groups is the Honored
Repair skill checks).
Congregation, which has the power to grant a
lifetime appointment to one of its members who
then serves as High Guardian. The High Guardian

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is a mostly symbolic position, one that has little


to do with the day to day functioning of the
government. However, the High Guardian wields
absolute veto power over any decision made by
any government official or group. This holder of
this position also has tremendous influence over
the elite group of scholars and experts who form
the various mechanisms of power on the planet.
Popular elections allow the Olixi to vote for
the officeholders in a number of government
positions, mostly local executives and
legislatures. Elected officials on the planetary
level are essentially powerless and, though they
may publicly disagree with the ruling plutocrats,
these officeholders do little more than put a
rubber stamp on the decisions made by the elite.
Ecology/Environment: Khantara Prime
is a world of sweeping plains, frigid tundra,
vast deserts, and lifeless mountain peaks.
The majority of the population lives in a thin
lowland belt that rings the planets equator. This
equatorial zone is very hot but it also contains
the planets largest lakes and rivers. Over half of
the fresh water on the planet can be found in the
equatorial belts. The deserts and mountainous
zones are almost devoid of settlement, save for the
occasional nomad tribe or isolated library hall.
The plains and coastal regions are also heavily
settled, though the population density does not
approach that of the equatorial lowlands. The
oceans on Khantara Prime are small and highly
saline. Only about 60% of the planets surface is
covered in open water.

Olixi are sometimes recruited by interstellar


factions that are interested in their talents as
historians, tacticians, and interpreters of law.
Olixian philosophers have found a very broad
following among the learned races of the galaxy.
Typical Personality: Most Olixi are taught
to contain their primal selves at an early age.
They are a reserved species, one whose culture
values quiet deliberation and thoughtfulness.
Rash actions and strong emotions are completely
improper in Olixian society. That being said, the
Olixi are not rationalists. Indeed, this culture has
a marked contempt for science and scientific
pursuits, so much so that they have handicapped
their ability for perform in these fields. Rhetoric,
appeals to accepted dogma, and references
to the great works of history are the keys to
debating in the Olixian mind. Useless blathering
about facts and statistics is an offensive and
much derided method of making ones point.

Role Playing Notes: An Olixian NPC should


be fairly stoic and dispassionate but easily
annoyed at the same time. This species is not
known for openly expressing any emotion
except for displeasure. This NPC would rather
discuss the finer points of an ancient poets work
or an obscure bit of history rather than do almost
anything else.Tinkering with machines,exploring
new places, or conducting scientific research is
viewed as a waste of time in Olixi culture. This
society has developed to the point where they
no longer push for new ideas and instead focus
on mastering the cultural knowledge that they
Overall Description: Olixi rarely travel have already acquired. Likewise business, trade,
outside their home planet, though a spaceport and the pursuit of wealth are viewed as base and
in the remote mountains of Khantara Prime crude pastimes that are not worth the attention
allows them the opportunity to do so. Creatures of a cultured mind. Feel free to make the NPCs
from other worlds come to this planet in order disdain of these pursuits known loudly and often.
to immerse themselves in the Olixian method of
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
learning. These newcomers have brought with used by a GM to introduce this species or their
them knowledge of their own planets histories homeworld to a campaign.
and cultures. Some Olixi scholars have been
*An Olixian scholar is kidnapped while
intrigued by this cultural exchange and a few of searching for a rare copy of an ancient
them have taken to the stars in order to study and manuscript. The work itself is just another bit of
record as much alien knowledge as they deem to old trivia for the Olixi but it is also a rare treasure
be worthwhile.
and a deeply revered religious artifact. The

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player characters are hired to rescue the missing


scholar and, if possible, secure the book he was
looking for. This mission pits the characters into
a three way battle between the Olixi, a group of
interstellar antiquities smugglers, and a fanatical
religious cult.
*The child of an ambassador living on
Khantara Prime enters a library hall to begin
training in the scholarly arts. A few months later,
she runs away with an extremely valuable text
that she stole from the ancient vaults beneath
the library hall. The player characters must
travel to Khantara Prime and find the lost child
and her stolen text before the incident boils
over into a full-fledged diplomatic incident. As
the characters get closer to the truth, they find
that there is a deeper mystery surrounding this
stolen manuscript and the politically connected
young woman who took it.
*An Olixian delegation to an interstellar
cultural festival has made many enemies with
their scathing criticism of the art and literature
that other worlds have produced. However, no
one expected for one of the delegation to be
murdered. The player characters are brought in
to quietly solve this murder before the end of the
festival. As the event closes, all of the witnesses
and suspects will return to their homes scattered
across the galaxy.

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Disadvantages: Head Blind
Intelligence Rating: 5.2
Technology Rating: N/A
Militancy Rating: N/A
Economic Rating: N/A
Individuality Rating: 6.4
Social Organization: Phazon spontaneously
appear as fully grown adults. They have no
known social organization and there have been
no reported cases of Phazon making contact
with each other. Known for their individuality,
the Phazon tend to be a disruptive element in the
societies that they choose to interact with. While
some Phazon have chosen to settle permanently
in the region where they coalesced, most prefer
to travel constantly and do not spend any great
length of time in the same place. Though they are
far from conformists, Phazon have demonstrated
a marked tendency to absorb the cultural traits
and social mores of other cultures that they have
made contact with.

Some cultures fear Phazon, believing them to


be part of a yet undescribed plot against their
homeworlds. Others wish to capture them and
perform scientific experiments in the hope of
Alien Name: Phazon
better understanding exactly what the Phazon
are. Some primitive cultures have come to believe
Homeworld: Unknown
that a visiting Phazon is an evil spirit or demon
Physical Description: The Phazon are
while others who have witnessed the coming of a
humanoid creatures who appear to be made,
Phazon worship them as divine messengers.
at least partially, from energy instead of matter.
Government: The Phazon are scattered
Though they are solid, the Phazon have an ability
individuals
with no common goals or interests.
to blur their physical mass on a quantum level.
This ability to temporarily distort their physical They do not have a government of their own,
makeup gives the Phazon an advantage when it nor do they seem particularly concerned with
the laws and governmental authorities of other
comes to matters of stealth and evasion.
planets.
Stat Adjustments: +4 PRE, -2 CON
Ecology/Environment: Nothing is known
Advantages: Ability Score Increase (PRE),
about the natural environment of this species.
Skill Bonus (+2 to all Escape Artist, Stealth skill
It has not even been determined what their
checks)
environment is exactly.

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Overall Description: The Phazon are one
of the greatest mysteries in the galaxy. They
spontaneously coalesce on the surface of
inhabited planets. This unusual birthing process
brings the Phazon into the universe fully formed
and possessing a rudimentary knowledge of
their surroundings. The newly formed Phazon
quickly learns to mimic the local languages and
blend in with the native inhabitants.
Many theories exist on the origin of the
Phazon and what role, if any, they play in the
greater scheme of things. Some believe that
they are visitors from another dimension. Others
speculate that the Phazon are created out of pure
energy, though they can offer no explanation as
to how or why this happens. Even more bizarre
hypothesis point to the Phazon as beings brought
forth from the collective psychic energy of the
universe. Some others even believe that they
are metaphysical beings who are spawned by
gods or other great powers for either good or ill,
depending on who you ask.
Phazon find themselves undertaking all sorts
of pastimes as they make their way through
the galaxy. Some turn to crime and other
disreputable trades while others have become
freedom fighters, espionage agents, explorers,
etc. Of course many Phazon have several careers
over the course of a lifetime, often drawn from
a diverse range of fields. Phazon do not work
at all unless they have found a trade that seems
exciting and fun to them. Otherwise they are
content to drift through life and take whatever
opportunities come their way.

88

words and they would rather worry about results


rather than the means to gain those results.
Role Playing Notes: Your Phazon NPC
should be charming, carefree, and flighty.
Serious subjects should be of no interest to this
character compared to the power of raw emotion
or the direct experience of reality.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can
be used by a GM to introduce this species to a
campaign.
*A popular entertainer (who is secretly a
Phazon) has run off with a former bodyguard. This
tabloid headline ends up with the entertainer
being kidnapped by said bodyguard. The
player characters are hired to safely retrieve the
star but their mission is complicated by a wild
victim who eludes her kidnappers as easily as
the team. The happy go lucky Phazon does not
seem to mind the extreme danger that she is in
and instead amuses herself with a game of cat
and mouse as she dashes about the galaxy.
*A Phazon is captured by government
scientists and subjected to cruel and torturous
experiments. The test subject escapes but
he is pursued by military personnel and law
enforcement agents. The escaped Phazon
encounters the player characters and begs
them to help him. If the team agrees to get him
off world, they soon discover that the horrors he
has experienced have made his form unstable.
Unless the characters can find a way to repair
the damage, the Phazon will surely die.

*The player characters are hired by a wealthy


Typical Personality: Phazon tend to be free entrepreneur to locate and capture a Phazon
spirits who are compelled by both curiosity and for his personal experiments. The eccentric
a deep desire to experience life at its fullest. business man wishes to unlock the secrets of
A Phazon may spend days and weeks in an Phazon existence because he believes that this
obsessive quest to discover the perfect dessert will allow him to transcend physical reality and
only to abandon this task at a moments notice in achieve immortality.
order to go mountain climbing. Many consider
the Phazon to be childlike and flighty but those
who have gotten to know a Phazon well have
discovered a surprisingly deep and complex
consciousness that is merely trying to uncover all
that can be uncovered. Phazon value actions over

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grows, the biotechnology takes over, enveloping
the body in a shell of organic armor. Often times
this process radically alters the humanoid form
until the Fuherl is transformed into a monstrous
living weapon. Each Fuherl has a unique
combination of biotech features, usually a
combination of features inherited from parents.
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 PRE and WILL
Advantages: Additional Sense (darkvision),
Damage Reduction (1/-), Natural Armor (+4
armor bonus to KD), Natural Weapons (these
creatures are able to deal 3d6 points of lethal
damage with a successful unarmed attack).
Disadvantages:
Compulsion,
physical
violence (severe: Will check DV17, the creature
must fulfill the compulsion at least once per day).
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
Technology Rating: 7.9
Militancy Rating: 8.4
Economic Rating: 6.1
Individuality Rating: 5.1

Alien Name: Fuherl


Homeworld: Furus
Physical Description: The Fuherl were
once humanoids but they have undergone a
stark transformation early in their history. Soon
after the species entered into its technological
age, the Fuherl began experimenting with
biotech weapons and symbiotic armor. These
experiments progressed at an out of control rate
until now the entire species has been integrated
with self replicating bio-weaponry. The organic
battle systems have been incorporated into the
species DNA. All Fuherls are born with traces
of biotech in their bodies. As the young Fuherl

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Social Organization: Young Fuherls belong


to the state. Every child born on Furus is officially
designated as a biological weapon system and
they are raised in state owned nurseries where
they begin absorbing military programming at
an early age. Fuherls who do not take well to
this programming are decommissioned. As
the young ones near physical maturity, they are
transferred to reserve military units where they
finish out their training with a combination of live
fire drills and actual combat experience. No one
is allowed to graduate from this course of training
without registering at least one confirmed kill.
After completing their tour in the reserve units,
fully grown Fuherls are transferred to front line
combat units where they will spend the rest of
their short lives.
Any combat soldier who disobeys orders or is
grievously wounded in battle is lobotomized and
put to work as an industrial slave. These living
robots perform all of the economic activity that
is needed to support the states endless military
campaigns.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Government: The planet Fuherl is governed
by five warring factions that are constantly
engaged in a combination of all out warfare and
Byzantine diplomacy. These governments have
a tendency to quickly swap sides against their
allies. The battle has been raging for so long
that none of the factions can remember what
provoked the initial conflict. Currently the only
objectives worth fighting for are the resources
that are needed to sustain military activity. The
warring states continually battle over a small
number of resource rich areas, taking and
retaking the same positions over and over again.

90

While the Fuhurl retain the capacity for


reason and independent thought, biotech
hardwiring combined with a lifetime of political
indoctrination is hard to overcome. An adult
Fuhurl is almost always psychologically scarred.
The only thing that keeps them functioning is the
biotech programming that rewards successful
kills with a burst of pleasure-inducing hormones.
After a certain age, a Fuhurl has devolved past
sentience and has literally become a mindless
killing machine.

Role Playing Notes: A Fuhurl NPC should


be a walking weapons platform. The most likely
Some of these factions are ruled by a military interaction between this NPC and the characters
junta while others are controlled by a nominally will be bloody combat.
civilian dictatorship. Civilian dictatorships may
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
be run by a single leader, a council of party elites, used by a GM to introduce this species or their
or both. In all of these cases, loyalty to the state homeworld to a campaign.
is held as the highest virtue and any perceived
*A civilian ship has crash landed on Furus.
disobedience is punished severely.
The team must evacuate the helpless survivors
Ecology/Environment: Furus is a blasted before they are massacred by the native
hellscape that has been decimated by centuries inhabitants.
of war and unchecked industrial pollution. The
*A small group of Fuhurl scouts have landed
only reason that the Fuherls are able to survive
here is because of their extensive biotech on a nearby world and begun launching a series
integration. Very little native life is left on the of raids to test the planets defenses. The local
planet and soon not even the resilient Fuherls authorities fear that this attack is the precursor
to an all out invasion. The player characters are
will be able to survive here.
assigned to stamp out this landing force before
Overall Description: The planet Furus is they can report back to their homeworld.
dying and there seems to be no way to slow its
*A military power is interested in obtaining
slide into lifelessness. The heads of the state
the
secret to the Fuhurls bioweaponry. The
factions know that time is running out and so they
are all making plans for a glorious conquest player characters are hired to travel to Fuhurl
of a nearby world. However, the constant battle and capture as many living specimens as
over resources makes it hard for any one faction possible.
to gather the economic resources necessary
for such a campaign. It seems that none of the
warring factions will be able to escape the dying
world without achieving victory over the rival
factions. This paradox means that the factions
remain locked into the same unending conflict
that destroyed their ecosystem to begin with.
Typical Personality: Killing and violence
are literally programmed into the Fuhurl
psyche. They automatically sort anyone they
meet into one of two categories; ally or target.

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Intelligence Rating: 5.6
Technology Rating: 7.1
Militancy Rating: 4.8
Economic Rating: 6.1
Individuality Rating: 5.8
Social Organization: Most Qrisi are born
into a small nuclear family comprised only
of the parents and offspring. Children tend to
leave their families at an early age and most
live solitary lives until they are ready to find a
mate and start a family of their own. Often times
a young Qrisi will spend a lengthy stretch of
time isolated in the wilderness. This period of
quit contemplation is known as The Journey
and dates back to the traditions of the planets
ancient history.

Government: The Qrisi are ruled by a


constitutional monarchy. The royal family has
no real power in political matters but they are a
highly influential voice when it comes to social
and religious issues. The actual governing
authority is held by a legislature that is elected
directly by the people. The lower chamber of
the legislature is called the Popular Assembly
is a very large body that is comprised of
representatives who are elected for a single
yearly term. No one can serve more than ten
terms in office. The upper chamber is known as
Alien Name: Qrisi
the Royal Council and this body is comprised
Homeworld: Taelva II
of twelve people who are elected to a life time
Physical Description: These tall, thin tenure. Whenever a member of the council dies
framed humanoids have large pointed ears or retires then a planet wide election is held to
and almond shaped eyes that solid black in determine the successor. The current monarch
color. A thick liquid constantly drains from their is officially the head of the Royal Council but
eyes, permanently staining their cheeks with its does not hold any voting power. The monarchs
only function is to observe the traditions of the
pigments.
council and declare the opening and closing of a
Stat Adjustments: +2 WILL, -2 CON.
legislative session.
Advantages: Additional Sense (low-light vision),
Because the members of the Popular
Natural Psionics, Characteristic Check Bonus
Assembly are so numerous, it can be very hard
(+4 to Will checks)
for them to organize themselves long enough
to get anything done. Another burden is the
fact that the assembly members are constantly
facing elections in their home territory. This
constant cycle of election leaves many members

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92

of the assembly to do nothing rather than risk


any action that might be deemed controversial
or politically costly. The ten year term limit on
members of the Popular Assembly means that
many members are forced to leave office just as
they are learning how to navigate the complex
and often raucous Qrisian political system.

enforcement officials were appointed as Supreme


Leader in order to control the planet. During
another historical period, the Royal Council
declared one of the planets spiritual authorities
as Supreme Leader over and over again. One of
the priests closest aides was appointed Supreme
Leader every third year in order to get around
The Royal Council has quite the opposite the limitation of two consecutive terms. In both
problem. As the councilmen are elected to life cases the situation was settled when a council
time terms, they care nothing for the popular member died and was replaced by a more
will or the concerns of the masses. Each populist politician.
member of the council wields a great deal of
Ecology/Environment: The planet Taelva
personal authority but the council itself is often II is actually a large moon that orbits a small to
deadlocked by tied votes. Grudges and personal medium sized gas giant. The moon is the second
vendettas among council members can lead to closest object to its parent world. Taelva II is a
endless bickering and even the most mundane heavily forested world with temperate woodlands
pieces of legislation can be tied up indefinitely covering much of its surface. The equatorial belt
by intransient councilmen whose only desire it to is dominated by a mix of rain forest and desert
thwart their rivals. When the Royal Council does while the polar regions are ice covered seas that
decide to act they can pass laws that are greatly thaw completely during the warmer seasons.
opposed to the wants and needs of the Qrisian
Overall Description: The Qrisi are known
people. In such cases the Popular Assembly for their natural psionic abilities and their
often rises up to veto such measures and score indomitable spirit. These two qualities have
a political victory that will be very favorable to made the species an influential player in galatic
their membership during the next election cycle. politics despite their lack of foreign colonies or
In times of a world-wide crisis the Royal
Council can appoint a person the title of Supreme
Leader and Guardian of the Crown. The monarch
has to formally approve of the selection, the one
true power that still resides with the throne. The
candidate for Supreme Leader cannot have ever
served in political office, either as a member
of the Royal Council, the Popular Assembly, or
the local governorships. In the case of a military
situation, a general will be appointed, in case of
a pandemic a well known doctor may become
Supreme Leader. The Supreme Leader serves
for a term of one year and can only serve for
two consecutive terms. The word of the Supreme
Leader is law and this person has the full power
of a dictator during his or her term. The office of
Supreme Leader has been abused in the past as
members of the Royal Council use this office to
circumvent the power of the Popular Assembly.
During the Reign of Tyrants the Royal Council
consistently voted to declare an emergency
involving law and order. A string of brutal law

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interstellar military forces.


Typical Personality: The Qrisi tend to
be quiet and reserved though they are much
more open around those that know them well.
This species is known for their love of solitude
and natural places and they are accustomed to
spending a good deal of their lives alone.
Role Playing Notes: A Qrisi NPC should
be respectful and calm, even when faced with
hostility and rude behavior.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The player characters inadvertently deliver
a shipment of arms to a terrorist group that is
determined to overthrow the Royal Council and
abolish the monarchy.
*A Qrisi assassin stalks the dreams of one of
the player characters.
*A diplomatic incident flares out of control

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

when a Qrisi ambassador is accused of reading


a fellow diplomats mind without permission.
The host planet frowns on the use of psionic
powers, which it deems to be against the laws of
nature. The ambassador strenuously denied the
charges. The player character s must get to the
truth before a vital trade negotiation falls apart.

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Intelligence Rating: 5.2


Technology Rating: 6.7
Militancy Rating: 5.3
Economic Rating: 6.8
Individuality Rating: 4.9
Social Organization: Pakians live in large
extended families called clans. Allied clans
will live and work side by side with each other
for generations and will often intermarry. Nonallied clans are treated with a degree of hostility
and suspicion but blood feuds are rare. There is
no established hierarchy within the clans but the
general rule is that younger Pakians will defer
to their elders. Sometimes a highly respected
individual will become the informal matriarch
or patriarch of the clan. Such a person does
not have any authority, per se, but many clan
members will seek the advice and approval of
this family member.
Pakians will stick very closely to their clan
mates and allied clans. Often they will migrate
from one planet to another in a stellar caravan
that is thousands strong. They have a deeply
rooted sense of family and community that binds
their culture together. While many Pakians will
leave the security of the clan to work on distant
planets, they almost always return to their roots
as soon as they get the chance.
Government: The Pakians who still live
under the control of their Xtikix creators have
no government of their own and are entirely
subjugated by the Xtikix hierarchy. Other
Alien Name: Pakian
Pakiasns live as slaves under the dominance of
other species to whom they have been sold. A
Homeworld: Xtikix Alpha
growing segment of the population lives freely
Physical Description: Pakians are tall and
as guests of alien societies that have accepted
muscular humanoids. Their hairless bodies are
them as equals. These free born Pakians often
covered with a thick, bumpy hide.
live in segregated communities and they do
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 DEX. seek to participate in local politics.
Advantages: Bonus Hits, Natural Armor (+4
Ecology/Environment: As a genetically
armor bonus to KD).
engineered species, the Pakians have no natural
environment. Very little is known about the
environment of Xtikix Alpha, the planet where
this species was designed. The progenitor
species of the Pakians seem to prefer deploying

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them to unsettled frontier planets and asteroid


mines.
Overall Description: The Pakians were
created by the Xtikix, a progenitor race that
has spawned a large number of genetically
engineered new species. The Pakians were
designed to be builders and industrial workers
and it is in this capacity that they serve their
masters. The progenitors also sell their creations
as slave laborers.

mistreated by their fellow slaves.


Role Playing Notes: A Pakian NPC should
be a no nonsense roughneck who doesnt take
crap from anyone.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

*A Pakian ship captain docks at a busy space


station and is soon accused of killing another
person during a drunken brawl. The captain
In recent decades there have been an has no memory of the event but the authorities
increasing number of Pakians who have been have locked him away and are moving quickly
born outside of the control of the Xtikix to convict him. The captains crew (all of whom
hierarchy. The members of this species are most are clan mates) are ready to tear the station apart
likely to be encountered on trading vessels, in to get their captain back. The team must diffuse
mining camps, or living on planets with a highly the situation and find out what really happened
developed industrial infrastructure. Pakians are before the trial ends.
tough survivors who are hard to keep down.
*While visiting a Pakian colony, the player
Their natural hardiness makes them heavily
recruited by ship captains, mine owners, and characters get wind of a rumor that a rare ore
colony builders. Many other Pakians work as has been found near the colony site. The Pakians
industrial laborers and construction workers on want to exploit this newly discovered resource
but they are fearful that other powers in the
developed worlds.
galaxy may simply decide to take what is theirs.
There have been a handful of unsettled The team is asked to escort a trade delegation off
worlds that have been colonized by Pakians world in order to secure mining equipment and
who are attempting to establish home worlds for buyers for the ore. The mission is complicated
their people. The dauntless spirit and physical by the lead delegates gruff attitude and lack
abilities of the Pakians make this species ideal of negotiating skills. The situation becomes
for the grueling task of establishing a foothold even worse when a foreign agent learns of the
on an untamed world. The Pakians seem to valuable find and alerts his superiors to the
deliberately choose to place their colonies on Pakians newly found wealth.
harsh worlds that other species are not likely to
*One of the player characters kills a Pakian,
find appealing candidates for colonization.
rousing the anger of his clan mates. The team
Typical Personality: Members of this finds themselves being pursued by a crew of
species are known for their gruff attitudes and rough and ready smugglers who are willing to
rough and tumble approach to life. They like stop at nothing to get their revenge.
to work hard and play harder. A Pakian notion
of a good time usually involves intoxicating
substances, brawling, and destruction of
property.
Pakians have a deep seated hatred of the
other races that have been created by the Xtikix.
It is not known whether or not this animosity
is the result of genetic manipulation or simple
because the Pakians were on the lowest rung
of the Xtikix social ladder and they were often

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96

Intelligence Rating: 5.0


Technology Rating: 3.7
Militancy Rating: 6.3
Economic Rating: 3.9
Individuality Rating: 6.7
Social Organization: Quni are hatched from
eggs that are laid in clusters of four to six. The
mother raises the young by herself; the father
stays with the female just long enough to ensure
that mating has been successful. The mother and
young travel everywhere together and they are
never out of each others sight. The offspring
mature quickly and leave the protection of
the mother in order to start their own lives.
Sometimes a group of siblings will remain close
throughout their lives and the females may even
time their mating cycles so that the sisters can
nest together.

Alien Name: Quni


Homeworld: Q-ni

The Quni were once a highly civilized race


that lived and worked together in large numbers.
After their world was struck by disaster the Quni
reverted to a much more primitive state. Some
of them now live in wandering tribes that are
comprised of a small handful of families. Others
are lone scavengers or members of bandit gangs.
The few places where Quni still live together in
cities the population is perpetually on the brink
of total chaos.

Physical Description: These tall, multi


Government: Q-ni is divided between
jointed humanoids seem to be put together
backwards (at least in the view of most a scattered handful of highly dysfunctional
humanoids). The Quni have a distinctive mane of governments and a lawless wasteland that is
ruled by primitive tribes and gangs of bandits.
bristly fur around their necks and shoulders.
The civilized parts of the planet are characterized
Stat Adjustments: +2 DEX, +2 CON.
by rampant crime, bloody civil wars, disease,
Advantages: Ability Score Increase (DEX and
poverty, and all manner of social ills. The
CON).
wastelands are home to killers and scavengers
Disadvantages: Compulsion, hoarding food who are ready to fight to the death over anything
and water (moderate: Will check DV15, the of value. The only law of the wasteland is that of
creature must fulfill the compulsion at least once the nomad tribes who roam the distant reaches
per week), Inept (-4 penalty on all Swim skill of this lifeless zone.
checks)

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Ecology/Environment: The planet Q-ni is


a wasteland world that is dominated by desert
ecosystems. Centuries ago the planet was struck
by a meteorite that blanketed the planet with a
thick layer of airborne dust. This dust, combined
with the other effects of the meteor impact, wiped
out most of the planets vegetation. Without a
covering of plant life the soil turned to dust
and blew away, turning once fertile lands into
dustbowls. The lack of plant life also meant that
the planet lost its ability to remove greenhouse
gases from the atmosphere (massive forest fires
pumped a large amount of carbon dioxide into
the atmosphere). The temporary spike in heat
trapping gases increased the planets mean
temperature and accelerated the process of
desertification.
Overall Description: The Quni are a
once advanced people whose civilization was
destroyed by a cosmic accident. They have been
reduced to a state of barbarism and technological
regression. The planet Q-ni bears few traces
of the technology and infrastructure that once
existed. Resource shortages are commonplace
and the Quni population is a mere fraction of
what it once was.
Few Quni have left their home world and
those that have are more than happy to leave.
Explorers charted the planet Q-ni many years
ago but few races have felt the need to establish
contact with the Quni. They have no stable
governments to negotiate with and the planet
does not offer the kind of resources that would
make it worth exploiting or conquering.
Fast and tough, the Quni make ideal
mercenary soldiers and some of them have done
quite well in that business. Colony founders
sometimes recruit Quni in order to help them
settle and explore worlds with extensive desert
habitats.

Role Playing Notes: A Quni NPC should only


be interested in two things; what it takes to live
another day and what he can gain for his horde.
These creatures are compulsive packrats and
they stockpile food, water, and other supplies
without pause.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
home world to a campaign.
*A mining survey craft is forced to make an
emergency landing on Q-ni. While attempting to
barter for supplies the miners are taken hostage.
The player characters must deliver a cargo full
of food and clean water in order to buy the
hostages freedom. When the bandits get greedy
and try to renegotiate the deal, the situation gets
desperate and violence ensues.
*A space station has been having a problem
with missing supplies and water shortages. The
characters investigate only to find that a group
of indigent Qunis have been hording supplies in
an abandoned cargo space. The hidden stash of
food and water starts causing problems with the
stations reactor as the Quni have been using the
coolant tubes as hidey holes. The supplies must
be removed before repairs can be made but the
Quni are ready to fight to protect their horde.
*A retired Quni mercenary is attempting to
take over the local underworld. This intrusion
into the territory of the established crime boss
sparks off a violent gang war that threatens the
entire colony. The player characters are hired to
take out the new comer before the violence gets
out of control.

Typical Personality: Quni are survivors


first and foremost. They place a high premium
on their own lives and have a marked tendency
to chart their own path. Many Quni display
distinctly anti-social tendencies and they do not
easily bond with others.

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

98

Social Organization: A female Warlphen


lays a single egg at a time. Mating is timed so
that eggs are lain during the cool, raining season
when these creatures take a respite from their
constant wandering. When the young hatches,
the mother cares for it for only a short amount of
time before the offspring joins the larger social
unit. The social unit of the Warlphen is described
both as a tribe and a pack (depending on who
you ask). The social unit has a well established
pecking order that is determined through
physical displays, intimidation, and occasional
violence.
The Warlphen as a whole are highly
individualistic and moving up the social order is
their primary means of group interaction. While
there is rarely any question of who is the alpha
male in a given pack, each individual constantly
attempts to defend his own position and perhaps
move up a notch or two. The pecking order
becomes obvious to observers after a successful
kill. The alpha male takes his share of the meat first
and attacks anyone who approaches before he has
Alien Name: Warlphen
eaten his fill. Then he lesser males, females, and
young begin an elaborate ritual of approaching
Homeworld: Conduzzi IV
Physical Description: These primitive the kill in order. This social dance plays out over
sentient beings seem to be descended from a a course of several hours; each Warlphen takes a
bird-like ancestor. The species has lost their turn slowly approaching the carcass and makes a
wings and feathers in favor of smooth skin big display of warning off any challengers. When
and hands that are capable of grasping things. another Warlphen tries to cut in line, the result is
These creatures have long legs and clawed a loud and sometimes violent contest between
the rivals. Naturally, the youngest Warlphen are
appendages.
the last to eat and many times they will pick apart
Stat Adjustments: +2 DEX, -2 STR
the scraps of a kill as a group rather than jockey
Advantages: Dodge Bonus (+5 dodge for position. The high point of a young Warlphens
bonus), Natural Weapons (these creatures are development is the first time he or she successfully
able to deal 3d6 points of lethal damage with a backs down an adult and takes that adults place in
successful unarmed attack).
the pecking order.
Intelligence Rating: 4.2
Technology Rating: 2.3
Militancy Rating: 6.9
Economic Rating: 2.9
Individuality Rating: 7.1

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One of the primary causes of death among


older Warlphen is starvation as they lose physical
strength and slowly descend the social rankings.
After a time these elders reach the bottom and they
are forced to eat just above the offspring. Often
there is not enough left at this point to feed a fully
grown adult. Some older Warlphen choose to fight
to the death rather than give up their accustomed
place in the pecking order.

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact

Government: These creatures live in primitive


social structures with no established government.
The leader of a tribe is the oldest, strongest male
and this dominant male makes all decisions that
affect the group. Dissenters are free to leave the
social order and strike out on their own if they
disagree.

that the planet was once much wetter than it is


now. The drying of the climate has caused the
seas and forests to shrink and be replaced by
the unending savanna that now dominates the
ecosystem.

When two tribes meet out on the open


savanna it sparks off a potentially dangerous
face off as the two groups attempt to drive each
other away. This confrontation is characterized
by noisy displays and much grandstanding.
Sometimes a member of one tribe will step into
the gap between the two groups, daring a rival
to step forward and prove his or her strength.
Generally the tribe with the largest number of
adults will win the day and chase the losing tribe
for a great distance across the plains. If the two
sides are evenly matched or if the smaller group
refuses to back down then the confrontation will
inevitably end in bloodshed. Warfare among the
Warlphen is as brutal as it is well-orchestrated.
Both groups will retreat a short distance from
their rivals in order to begin maneuvering for
an assault. These creatures apply their brilliant
hunting tactics to inter-tribal conflict to deadly
results. Often two tribes will circle and maneuver
around each other for days until one side or the
other falls into a trap and is slaughtered. Once
violence has begun both sides will continue
fighting until they have completely wiped out the
other side right down to the smallest offspring.

outside of their homeworld. These expatriates


are almost always slaves that have been brought
to other planets as trackers and amusement in
gladiatorial arenas.

Overall Description: The Warlphen are a


primitive race of hunter gatherers who have
Lone Warlphen are not uncommon but they developed very little in the way of technology
dont tend to fare as well as those that remain with and civilized culture. What this species does
their tribes. Without the aid of a hunting party a have going for it are highly advanced hunting
Warlphen is limited to hunting small game and tactics that often involve complex traps and plans
scavenging after the kills of other predators. of attack. The highly individualistic Warlphen
Tribes will often hunt down and kill a Warlphen form into surprisingly cohesive hunting parties,
that is encountered alone but the reason for this probably because starvation is the alternative to
is not clear since a lone Warlphen is no threat to working together.
the hunting grounds of a full sized tribe.
Very rarely will one encounter a Warlphen

Typical Personality: Most Warlphen are


socially minded, even if they dont always put
the interest of the group first. They live within
a group setting but they know that they could
survive on their own if necessary. They have
not demonstrated any desire to cooperate with
outsiders and see other species only as threats
and potential food.
Role Playing Notes: A Warlphen NPC should
be violent and easily provoked. Dont forget
that this species is very animalistic and their
intelligence is very low for a sentient race. These
creatures cannot communicate with outsiders
nor do they seem to have any interest in the
shiny baubles and noise makers that are offered
to them by alien visitors.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

Ecology/Environment: The planet Conduzzi


IV is covered with a vast, endless plain that
stretches from pole to pole. The only breaks in
this sea of grassland are forested mountain peaks
and a number of landlocked seas. It is believed

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

100

*An exploration team is studying the


Warlphen when their scheduled retrieval ship
does not arrive. Running low on supplies, the
scientists send out a distress signal. The player
characters are the only ones to receive this
distress signal. When the team arrives on the
planets surface they find that the scientists
hidden camp has been destroyed and there is
no sign of them.
*A smuggler loses a cargo full of captured
Warlphen in the docking bay of a major space
station. The panicked creatures run into the
stations maintenance tunnels and disappear.
Soon there are reports of people being attacked
all over the station.

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important symbol of ones social status in this
culture. A skilled young warrior may be greatly
admired by his tribe or nation but his influence
and opinions will be greatly diminished by his
lack of experience.
Each cultural group on Yng II has its own set
of well defined traditions and values. Tribes and
nations are very protective of these traditions and
any attempt by another group to impose their
values on the tribe will be fiercely resisted. Even
an unintentional affront to the values of a tribe
could lead to hostilities and outright warfare.
There is a well defined class system at work
in Yngloe society. The professional warriors
hold the highest position in this system, with the
religious class immediately below them. The
farmers, craftsmen, and hunters make up the
base of the social system. Outside of the class
system are the outcasts who have been banished
from their families for crimes against tradition.

Government: The individual tribes are


usually ruled by a chieftain or a council of
Alien Name: Yngloe
elders. A tribal nation is governed by a body
Homeworld: Yng II
of representatives from each of the component
Physical Description: These short, stocky tribes. Sometimes a powerful and charismatic
leader will rise to unite an entire nation under his
creatures resemble upright tortoises.
Stat Adjustments: +2 CON and WILL, -2 DEX or her personal authority. In a few cases a leader
has passed this authority down to subsequent
Advantages: Natural Armor (+8 armor bonus generations, forming a rudimentary dynasty.
to KD), Racial Talent (Burrow).
Tribal nations will sometimes groom a potential
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
leader for this role by granting a title to him or
her such as war chief or holy seeker.
Technology Rating: 2.9
Militancy Rating: 4.2
Economic Rating: 3.0
Individuality Rating: 4.8
Social Organization: Yngloe live in closely
knit tribes that can include as many as a dozen
extended families. Often a number of tribes that
share a common culture and language will join
together to form a nation. Family and tradition
are very important in Yngloe culture and
family elders are revered in an almost religious
manner. An individuals oldest living relative
is considered to be a sacred mentor and must
be consulted in all important matters. Age is an

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The authority of a tribal chieftain or council of


elders is tempered by the influence of individual
families. The family is an all important social
structure among the Yngloe and any leadership
decision that bucks tradition or offends the
heads of the families will be ignored.
Religion plays a large role in the politics of
a tribe or nation. Religious leaders gain their
position only after decades of study under the
tutelage of an experienced priest or shaman.
The religious leaders of a tribe play no direct
part in the political process but they must give at
least tacit endorsement of any major decisions.
The religious class tries to stay separate from

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

102

the more mundane aspects of tribal politics


and instead they limit their input to decisions
on whether or not a decision is in the spirit of
the ancient traditions. When a shaman or priest
tries to directly insert his or herself into the
decision making process it is seen as improper
and unseemly. In such as case the offending
religious leader may be censured or ignored
by other religious leaders in the same nation or
tribe. The priest or shaman at hand may even be
stripped of his or her ability to educate students
on religious issues.

years patiently learning the ways and language


of the local nation. However, the holy seeker
of this nation has been consistently plotting to
undermine the decisions of the great council,
which is leaning toward a trade deal. The player
characters are brought in to provide security for
the head diplomat who fears an assassination
attempt.

Overall Description: This species, while


technologically primitive, has a highly advanced
culture and a rich oral history. Yngloe are a long
lived species and this longevity gives them a
direct link to the knowledge of their past, even
without a written language to transmit this
knowledge.

and declare him high chief of their nation. The


player characters are asked to come to the
planet to safely extract the team. This mission
is complicated when the team discovers that
the scientists have been captured by one of the
warring factions. The only way to ensure the safe
return of the captives is for one of the player
characters to study the Yngloe way of fighting
and challenge the high chief to a combat with
traditional weapons. The elders of the rival
faction reluctantly agree to help, but only if the
team follows their rules precisely.

*A Yngloe mercenary has been living offworld for many decades. He has decided to
return home so that he may spend his remaining
years among his own kind. He offers the team a
Ecology/Environment: Yng II is an arid, substantial reward if they can escort him back to
rocky planet that has an abundance of iron the land of his birth. However, this aging soldier
ore and other dense metals. The environment of fortune has made many enemies who are
alternates between deserts and scrub plains seeking to make his retirement short lived.
with only a small handful of forests, wetlands,
*A scientific team living on Yng II has been
and other ecosystems. The water on the planet inadvertently mixed up in a tribal civil war.
takes the form of spring fed lakes and glacial An arrogant young warrior has convinced a
rivers that dot the surface at irregular intervals. large number of his brethren to buck tradition

Typical Personality: The Yngloe are very


ethnocentric and they have a deep desire to
remain among their own kind. While they are not
aggressive or hostile toward off-worlders, they
are not particularly friendly either. As staunch
traditionalists the Yngloe are naturally resistant
to change and unwilling to debate their beliefs
with outsiders.
Role Playing Notes: A Yngloe NPC should
be shy and wary of outsiders. He or she should
be set in his or her ways. This character may
be stubborn in some areas and unwilling to
compromise.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A diplomatic mission to Yng II is attempting
to obtain mining rights to a region that is rich
in a rare metal. The diplomatic team has spent
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Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Intelligence Rating: 4.9
Technology Rating: 6.6
Militancy Rating: 7.5
Economic Rating: 4.9
Individuality Rating: 3.1
Social Organization: Jassian society is
based around fighting units comprised of
anywhere between three and fifteen individuals.
The Jassians propagate by the means of asexual
spawning. Each member of the species spawns
several clones in succession as the creature
nears the end of its lifecycle. There is a high
genetic mutation rate among Jassians so each
clone is not actually an exact copy of the parent
that spawned it. While the tendency for genetic
drift ensures a healthy variety of genes in the
population, it can result in a large number of
non-viable or unhealthy clones.
The newborn clones are usually adopted by
other members of the parents fighting unit. This
species is engineered to reach physical maturity
in a short amount of time. However, the young
Jassian will need the protection and guidance
of its adopted parents for quite some time. A
Jassian that has demonstrated emotional and
intellectual maturity is initiated as a full member
of the fighting unit.

Alien Name: Jassian


Homeworld: Xtkix Prime
Physical
Description:
These
short
humanoids have bodies that are covered by a
chitinous armor. They have four upper limbs; two
jointed limbs with appendages and two flexible
tentacles. Their heads are oval shaped with large
eyes and a distinct cleft through the top of the
cranium.
Stat Adjustments: -2 DEX, +2 CON and WILL
Advantages: Grappling Ability, Racial Talent
(multiple limbs: grasping), Racial Talent (multiattack), Resilience.

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Government: The Jassians who still live


under the control of their Xtikix creators have
no government of their own and are entirely
subjugated by the Xtikix hierarchy. Other
Xtikix live as slaves under the dominance of
other species to whom they have been sold. The
Jassians were the first creation of the Xtikix to
escape from control of their masters and gain
their freedom. The freeborn Jassians that inhabit
the galaxy have no regard for the laws of other
cultures and races.
Ecology/Environment: As a genetically
engineered species, the Jassians have no natural
environment. Very little is known about the
environment of Xtikix Alpha, the planet where
this species was designed. The progenitor
species of the Jassians designed the species
to be able to adapt well to a wide variety of

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


environments and climates.
Overall Description: The Jassian race
was created by the Xtikix to serve as an elite
corps of slave soldiers. The more that the Xtikix
expanded their sphere of influence the more
that they saw the need to develop a powerful
military force. The Jassians were designed both
to defend the Xtikix against foreign aggression
and to control the burgeoning population of
slave species. As the Xtikix began selling their
genetically engineered slaves to other races,
they realized that the Jassians could become
their most lucrative product. However, they
were careful not to allow to many of them on the
market for fear that they may be used against
their themselves.
Jassians were not developed as front line
troops but rather they are bred for covert actions
behind enemy lines. Espionage and sabotage
are the two most favored tools in their tool box.
Those Jassians that have been sold on the open
market have been put to use as special ops
troops, suicide squads, and elite bodyguards.
Some enterprising individuals have purchased
a Jassian fighting unit in order to rent them out
as mercenaries. It was these kinds of slavers that
allowed the Jassians their freedom, either by
escaping or as a reward for loyal service.

104

for art, music, history, or other products of


culture. Stoic by nature, they take no pleasure
in anything other than victory.
Role Playing Notes: The most likely
interaction that a team of characters will have
with a Jassian is going to involve violence or
at least the threat of violence. Jassians enjoy
personal combat and may attempt to engage a
target hand to hand in order to achieve a more
thrilling victory.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An old rival of the player characters has
obtained the services of a Jassian fighting unit
and sent them on a mission to wipe them out.
The Jassians have been tracking the characters
across the galaxy, waiting for the right time to
strike.
*A business man with ties to the under world
finds that his holdings are being repeatedly
attacked by a group of Jassians. He hires the
team to find out who contracted the Jassians and
then take them out before he becomes their next
target.

*A controversial political figure survives an


assassination attempt by a Jassian fighting unit.
The Jassians that live free throughout the He hires the player characters to guard him and
galaxy are almost all employed as mercenaries, his family from these ruthless killers.
assassins, or similar professions. Hiring a
Jassian fighting unit is extremely expensive but
the mere threat of having them on retainer is
enough to make most people think twice about
crossing you. Jassian mercenaries almost always
complete their given assignments, but not due
to any loyalty to their employers or desire for
reputation. A mission that is not completed robs
the Jassians of the thing that they desire most;
victory.
Typical Personality: Most Jassians have no
regard for any life other than those of its spawn,
its fighting unit, and sometimes other Jassians.
The intense loyalty that members of a fighting
unit have for each other means that Jassians are
rarely encountered alone. Jassians care nothing

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are doted upon by their elders for some time.
Education is a primary aspect of communal life
and a young Yabacha has no shortage of teachers
and mentors. The adolescents study a wide
range of topics that include science, philosophy,
history, and languages.

Government: The Yabacha see social life as a


series of interconnected relationships with each
life form in its place. Their own communities
are so tightly interwoven in each others lives
that they have almost no need of formal laws
and regulations for societal control. Relations
between different communities are likewise
amicable to the point where government is
Alien Name: Yabacha
almost an after thought. Generally speaking the
Homeworld: Yabach
leaders of the planet Yabach do little more than
Physical Description: This species of give advice to their constituents and facilitate
skeletally thin creatures is covered by a thick, communications between communities. This
slimy bio-film that is comprised of masses of role, while sometimes overlooked, is important
because it allows for the spread of ideas and
various tiny creatures.
information across the planet.
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT and WILL, -2 STR.
Ecology/Environment: Yabach is a hot,
Advantages: Fast healing
humid world that is dominated by large lakes,
Intelligence Rating: 7.1
swamps, and bogs. Almost every solid surface
Technology Rating: 6.8
is covered with a mass of living things and the
surface of the water is likewise coated with a thick
Militancy Rating: 4.5
layer of organic matter. Even the air surrounding
Economic Rating: 6.6
the planet is teeming with life as thick clouds
Individuality Rating: 2.9
of flying creatures dominate the skies. Some of
Social Organization: The Yabacha live these flying swarms are so large that they can be
together in tightly knit communal groups. They seen from space.
reproduce asexually and the young offspring
Overall Description: Renowned for their
are left alone for the first few years of their lives. intelligence and good judgment, many cultures
The young develop in bogs and tidal pools that seek the counsel and wisdom of Yabacha
contain the microorganisms that make up the communities. Not only are they consulted on
bio-film that will eventually coat their bodies. tricky scientific problems but they are also
This symbiotic relationship is very important to known to mediate disputes and act as personal
the Yabacha lifestyle and makes them very much gurus to troubled sentient beings.
in tune with their place in the broader ecosystem.
The Yabacha have no enemies among the
After fully integrating with the communal
bio-film that covers their bodies, a young
Yabacha undertakes a treacherous journey from
its spawning pool to unite with its parent and
the larger community. Many Yabacha do not
survive this trek. Those who do make it become
celebrated members of the community and

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various worlds of the galaxy, a rare feat even for


the most peaceful and compassionate of species.
This fact combined with their general lack of
interest in economic competition or expansion
on to other worlds makes them the perfect choice
for those who are looking for neutral arbitrators.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


The bio-film that surrounds them contains
a number of species of micro-organisms, many
of which are specialized and adapted to live
symbiotically with the Yabacha themselves.
Aside from protecting their frail bodies from the
elements, these various organisms perform tasks
that range from healing wounds to transmitting
information to each other on a molecular level.
It is through this medium that certain members
of this species have learned to share memories
with each other.

106

are forced to do it themselves then a major


diplomatic row will ensue. The team is hired
by the government in question to confront the
miners and force them off the planet by any
means necessary. Their employers would prefer
that the characters not harm their citizens but
they understand that it may come to that.

*A Yabacha community that is trying to


establish a colony on another world has sparked
conflict with the native inhabitants. A member
of the native community has disappeared after
Typical Personality: The Yabacha are going to see the Yabacha and the others are
communal to the point where they almost cannot claiming foul play. The Yabacha themselves
function as separate beings. Every decision that are eerily quiet about this matter. The player
an individual makes is done in conjunction with characters have to determine if there really was
others. Usually an individual will initiate a long a murder or if this incident is just an excuse
series of consultations and debates among the for anti-alien violence. The situation has to
community before making a decision on even a resolved quickly before an unruly mob attacks
minor matter.
the Yabacha and provokes widespread violence
Role Playing Notes: A Yabacha NPC is between the two groups.
not an individual in the traditional sense. The
characters will almost never encounter one by
itself. A group of Yabacha will elect a spokesman
to communicate with outsiders for them but they
will deliberate internally over every statement
and response. These creatures are peaceful and
not easily angered but they will fight against
anyone who acts in a hostile manner or threatens
the environment of their planet.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The daughter of a wealthy corporate baron
has run away from home and was last seen
heading to Yabach in order to seek advice from
the Yabacha communities. At last report she had
crash landed in the impenetrable swamps of the
planet as had not been heard from since. The
player characters are hired to rescue the lost
heiress and escort her to safety.
*A group of outlaw miners has angered the
Yabacha by setting up a drilling site on their
planet. The Yabacha communities are united
in their outrage against this intrusion. They are
demanding that the homeworld of these miners
take action to remove them. If the Yabacha

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Social Organization: The Hurkus live
together in loose associations of related families.
These creatures are not psychologically capable
of cooperating with other members of their own
species unless they are from the same group
of families and were raised together. Though
they are naturally anti-social and independence
minded, there is no conflict within Hurkus social
units. Unfamiliar Hurkus are treated no differently
than animals and they will even hunt their own
kind if no other prey is available.

Alien Name: Hurkus


Homeworld: Deliphus II

The Hurkus psychology is dominated by the


urge to hunt and kill. These vicious predators
do not see other life forms as having any value
other than as food. Only the close emotional
bonds formed during the maturing process
prevent them from attacking members of their
own familial group. When a familial group
becomes too large then the Hurkus are not able
to properly form these crucial bonds. The lack
of emotional closeness causes friction until the
point where the Hurkus turn on each other and
eventually the group splits apart. Those Hurkus
who have bonded with each other naturally
group together against the rest.

Physical Description: These humanoid


creatures have four legs and arms that end in
razor sharp beaks. Their heads are dominated
by a mouth that has two enormous fangs jutting
from it.

Government: The Hurkus have no planetary


government. A semi-tribal structure governs
individual family groups but no other authority
exists on Deliphus II. The familial groups are
lead by a hunts master who only has authority
if he or she can convince others to follow
Stat Adjustments: +2 DEX, -2 INT and PRE
Advantages: Additional Sense (low-light along. Generally the best hunter in the group
vision), Natural Weapons (these creatures are is chosen as hunts master and all others follow
able to deal 5d6 points of lethal damage with suit. Sometimes a contest of skill is needed to
a successful unarmed attack), Racial Talent convince the group which hunter is the best.
Ecology/Environment: Deliphus II is a
(multiple limbs: locomotion),
Disadvantages:
Compulsion,
hunting dry, rocky world that is covered in scrub plains,
(strong: Will check DV17, the creature must fulfill desert, and rugged mountains. Violent weather
on this planet kicks up massive dust storms
the compulsion at least once every three days)
that can last for days on end. These storms are
Intelligence Rating: 4.1
often accompanied by lighting. The fact that this
planet orbits unusually close to its home star
Technology Rating: 3.7
largely explains the desolate and inhospitable
Militancy Rating: 7.1
environment.
Economic Rating: 3.0
Overall Description: These terrifying
Individuality Rating: 6.3
creatures are the stuff of nightmares. Consumed

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


by a ravenous appetite and driven by the
psychological urge to kill, Hurkus are not good
at anything except hunting. Even at that task they
tend to rely on brute force and number more
than tactics or planning. Their species cannot
cooperate to the extent needed to form a true
civilization and it is unlikely that they will ever
develop and advanced technology.

108

Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be


used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.

*A shipment of captured Hurkus that was


intended for a gladiatorial arena crashes on an
inhabited planet. The Hurkus have run wild in
the remote reaches of the planet and they are
killing scores of sentient beings and devastating
Hurkus are often used as sentient attack dogs the local ecosystem. The player characters are
by members of other races. The Hurkus do not hired to exterminate the Hurkus infestation.
accept this lot voluntarily, nor are they slaves in
*The characters are captured by a powerful
the traditional sense. The creatures are simply crime boss and exiled into a massive sewer
confined until needed and then let loose in the system that is the hunting grounds of a group of
area where their owners intend to wreak havoc. Hurkus.
Because they are naturally driven by hunger and
*The characters are assigned to escort a
an urge for violence, the Hurkus have no choice
but to unleash the mayhem and devastation that scientific mission to Deliphus II. The party is
their masters intended. All attempts to recruit stranded when a dust storm prevents a retrieval
Hurkus as mercenaries has failed miserably, craft from landing. As the characters wait out the
with the usual result of the Hurkus trying to eat storm, they run into a horde of hungry Hurkus.
whomever made the offer.
Captured Hurkus fetch a high price on the
galactic market. This is partially because they
are so terrifying and partially because catching
them is such dangerous work. Most expeditions
to capture live Hurkus end in failure and there is
almost always a loss of life among the hunters.
Typical Personality: Hurkus are consumed
by an overwhelming urge to kill and eat anything
that they come across. Other sentient beings are
potential food for them. Hurkus will not anything
that is already dead unless they are on the brink
of starving to death. The urge to hunt is so strong
that they will attack heavily armed guards rather
than accept a chunk of meat that has been offered.
They will not attack members of their own social
group but they show no particular loyalty to each
other either. A Hurkus group will often leave a
stranded or wounded member behind as they
single mindedly pursuit their prey.
Role Playing Notes: Hurkus rarely have
peaceful interactions with members of other
species. Almost any encounter with a team
of player characters will result in the Hurkus
attempting to eat someone.

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Social Organization: The Ueda live in vast
hordes that roam the galaxy marauding at will.
Each horde is further divided into nations, tribes,
clans, and families. A Ueda horde can contain
within its numbers a vast menagerie of cultures,
languages, and customs. It is not unheard of
for members of other races to join with a Ueda
horde.
The horde ruler owes his position to a
combination of military prowess, cutthroat
politics, and sheer physical intimidation. A
leader is secure in his or her position as long
as the horde enjoys military success. Failure
and defeat can lead hungry young upstarts to
begin plotting behind a leaders back and this
can eventually lead to a ritual combat between
the leader and his or her would-be successor. A
horde ruler is only vulnerable to usurpation if his
or her popularity among the horde falls due to
repeated defeats or losses in battle. Murdering
or even speaking ill of a popular leader is sure to
lead to a violent death at the hands of an angry
mob.

Alien Name: Ueda


Homeworld: Ued Beta
Physical Description: These stocky
humanoids are covered with an unkempt mass
of hair. They are widely recognized by their
upturned noses and large, slavering jaws.
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 WILL and PRE
Advantages: Additional Sense (darkvision),
Base Attack Bonus, Skill Bonus (+4 to all Intimidate
checks).
Disadvantages: Head Blind.
Intelligence Rating: 5.3
Technology Rating: 7.1
Militancy Rating: 8.8
Economic Rating: 6.9
Individuality Rating: 7.1

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Beneath the horde ruler are a large number


of lesser figures. None of these sub-leaders have
any official title or specific duties. They owe their
position solely to the large number of troops that
choose to follow them. Some of these leaders
may be in perpetual conflict with the horde
leader, maintaining fidelity to him or her due
to the leaders popularity. The horde boss must
tread carefully when dealing with those under
him, for killing someone with a large number of
warriors can be dangerous. Unless good cause
is shown in the killing, the slain commanders
followers may rise up and split from the main
horde. The end result of such a rift could very
well be a bloody civil war.
Among the powerful figures in a horde are
a select number of informal advisors that make
up a sort of leadership council. Some of these
Ueda may not begin their careers commanding
the loyalty of very many troops at all. However,
proximity to the horde ruler is likely to attract
the services of many unaffiliated warriors.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Government: The only law among the Ueda
is the law of the horde. The militaristic nature
of the Ueda leads many to assume that they
practice a military command structure and
martial discipline. Nothing can be further from
the truth. The Ueda have enormous problems
controlling the masses, even on the rare occasion
when they really try. Disseminating information
is another serious problem. There are times
when a band of Ueda warriors will miss out on a
raid simply because they hadnt been told about
it or because the announcement was made in a
language that they couldnt speak. It is the task
of individual commanders to rally together their
own troops in order to take part in the plunder.
A commander who does poorly at this will miss
out on the slaughter and claim a lesser share of
glory and treasure. A commander who is skilled
at organizing and leading his or her private band
will have more success during raids. Successful
commanders invariably draw the attention of
more and more troops.

110

Role Playing Notes: The most common


form of interaction between an Ueda NPC and a
group of player characters will involve violence
and robbery. This does not need to be the case,
as some Ueda have broken away from their
respective hordes and live among other species
as mercenaries, criminals, and in some cases,
productive citizens. Even among the hordes, the
Ueda know that outright hostility is not always
the answer to a problem.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The player characters are spending time of
a space station while their ship is being repaired
or because they are awaiting transport. Without
warning a fleet of Ueda raiders swarms over the
station and soon the entire place is overrun by a
blood thirsty horde.
*A Ueda horde has stolen a valuable
experimental technology. The team is tasked
with locating the horde and either bargaining
for the item or stealing it outright.

Ecology/Environment: Ued Beta is said to


be a lush jungle planet teeming with life. This
*A Ueda horde contacts a planetary
cannot be confirmed as the location of the Ueda
government
with an offer of trade. Their fleet
home world is not precisely known. All of the
Ueda that have made contact with other races has run low on clean water and they are offering
valuable minerals, stolen goods, and other
have been space faring hordes.
Overall Description: Ueda hordes believe treasures in exchange for the right to harvest
that they have a divinely inspired mission to kill, water from the planets oceans. The planetary
plunder, and destroy anything that they come government agrees to the trade out of fear that
across. This warrior culture believes that the the desperate Ueda might launch an assault. The
strong have the right to take anything they want player characters are tasked with monitoring the
from the weak, even their lives. This religious horde and watching for any sign of duplicity.
mandate proves itself in practice, if the gods
wanted the weak to live then they would not have
made them weak.
Typical Personality: Most Ueda are easily
angered and very aggressive when challenged.
They are not the mindless brutes that many
believe them to be. What they lose in judgment
and social skills they make up for with sadistic
intelligence. Underestimating a Ueda may be
the last mistake you ever make. These creatures
have an understanding of negotiation and allies,
though they are hardly a race of diplomats.

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Social Organization: Ocel live in small
family groups comprised of the parents and
a single offspring. The parents wait until the
young is fully matured before mating again and
producing another offspring. These families are
extremely close knit and the young accompany
their parents everywhere. Because of the
species natural wanderlust, most Ocel have
traveled great distances with their parents
before they were fully grown. Much of a young
Ocels education is received first hand through
the experiences they have with their parents.
As adolescence approaches the young venture
further and further out on their own, eventually
splitting from their parents completely. It is at
this stage of life that Ocel will gather together
in groups of other youngsters. The young
often choose to congregate near an elderly,
semi-stationary, member of their species. It is
through this tradition that the Ocel developed an
organized educational system.

Adults without children of their own are often


more sedentary then other members of their
species, exploring new places only as often as
they are psychologically compelled to do so.
It is these members of Ocel society that form
the core of social institutions such as institutes
Alien Name: Ocel
of learning, government, industry, etc. Some
Homeworld: Oktekal Minor
members of Ocel society choose to spend their
Physical Description: The Ocel are a entire lives wandering and exploring and never
species of reptilian humanoids that have large settle down in one place. It is believed that
arms and short legs.
constant travel and exploration has helped unify
Ocel culture at a very early stage in their history.
Stat Adjustments: +2 STR, -2 DEX
Advantages: Additional Sense (other: The restless travelers passed through one
thermal), Bonus Skill Points (these creatures gain society after another, introducing these cultures
4 additional skill points at first level and 1 skill to each others language and customs.
Government: The government of Oktekal
point for each additional level)
Disadvantages: Compulsion, visiting new Minor is a representative democracy with clear
places (mild: Will check DV13, the creature must separation of powers between the various
branches of government. The various branches
fulfill the compulsion at least once a month).
even hold session at separate times, so that
Intelligence Rating: 5.6
the legislature is never assembled at the same
Technology Rating: 6.1
time that the judiciary is holding court. The
military is a separate branch of government
Militancy Rating: 4.3
from the executive. The executive is mainly in
Economic Rating: 6.2
charge of overseeing public work, schools, and
Individuality Rating: 5.1
administrating various publicly funded research

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

112

centers. The impulsive wandering of the Ocel


makes it difficult for them to organize an effective
government. This results in a slow moving and
often ineffectual political process.

retrace this explorers steps in order to find him


and his mysterious object. Agents hired by other
galactic powers attempt to thwart the team and
murder the Ocel explorer.

Ecology/Environment: Oktekal Minor is a


world of stark extremes. The planet is home to
towering mountain peaks, massive cave systems,
burning deserts and freezing tundra. The varied
geography of the planet creates regions that
are climatically distinct from nearby areas. One
part of the planet will be visited by constant
rainstorms while a short distance away there is
a barren desert.

*A diplomatic mission to Oktekal minor is


placed on indefinite hold when the primary Ocel
negotiator vanishes. At first everyone assumes
that he is simply out exploring on a whim. But it
soon comes to light that he has been kidnapped
by someone who does not want the negotiations
to continue. The player characters are called in
to track down the missing diplomat and rescue
him.

Overall Description: The Ocel are


consummate explorers with an undeniable
urge to expand their base of knowledge. They
are psychologically compelled to explore new
places. This natural tendency for exploration
leads them to the desire to understand what they
have discovered.

*An Ocel engineer is working on a


construction project on another planet when she
goes exploring. She sparks of an intergalactic
incident when she goes off to explore an area
that is considered sacred by other races. The
player characters must remove the Ocel from
this area before the tensions escalate into a holy
war that decimates the entire region.

Typical Personality: Ocel are impulsive


and extremely curious. Rarely will they allow a
chance to learn pass them by. The Ocel system
of knowledge is based on first hand experience
and they place little stock in hearsay or textbook
knowledge. That being said, Ocel love telling
stories and they are greatly entertained by the
stories of others. Interestingly, there is no word
in any Ocel language for fiction, they refer to
made up stories as lies and have no patience for
them at all.
Role Playing Notes: An Ocel NPC should be
brash and ever willing to push the boundaries of
others. He or she should always have a story to
share and listen attentively to any story told by
others. These creatures are bold and extremely
curious, try to play up these qualities as the NPC
interacts with the player characters.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An Ocel explorer discovers an advanced
alien artifact on a supposedly uninhabited world.
As the story of this discovery spreads around
the galaxy, many empires decide to see if it is
true or not. The player characters are hired to
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living and collective responsibilities in terms of
child raising and other tasks. Clusters dissolve
and reform fairly often and there are no hard
feelings when a Ganifian decides to depart from
his or her cluster. Mating pairs often split up after
bringing several offspring into the world. Very
rarely will you see a Ganifian endure hardship of
suffering for the sake of its cluster.

Alien Name: Ganifian


Homeworld: Ganis

Status and acclaim are valued things in


Ganifian society. An individual makes a name for
his or herself through accomplishments. Coming
up with an innovative idea, a groundbreaking
work of art, a new way of doing things, these are
the kinds of things that guarantee prominence in
Ganifian society. On the other hand, a reputation
for imitation or unimaginative thinking is a
sure way for an individual to lose esteem in the
eyes of the population at large. It is often hard
for outsiders to understand why the highly
individualistic Ganifians care so little for the
opinions of their cluster mates but put a high
value on the adoration of stangers.

Government: Ganis is governed by a


Physical Description: The Ganifians are direct democracy with only a small handful of
a species of worm like creatures with two professional politicians. Most issues are settled
by direct referendums. The Ganfians are not
manipulator tentacles and a single large eye.
socially minded enough to form lasting political
Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 INT and PRE.
factions and even when they do, the membership
Advantages: Grappling Ability, Natural rarely agrees on more than one issue.
Psionics, Characteristic Check Bonus (+4 to Will
The Ganifians have only a very small standing
Characteristic Checks)
military. Most of the planetary defenses take
Intelligence Rating: 5.3
the form of a civilian defensive force. During
Technology Rating: 6.1
the past century, the planet Ganis has twice
been invaded by alien militaries. In both of
Militancy Rating: 5.3
these cases, the Ganifians proved themselves
Economic Rating: 6.8
to be extremely capable guerilla fighters. Their
Individuality Rating: 7.1
unpredictable tactics and psionic powers made
Social Organization: The Ganifians live live unbearable for the occupying forces, who
together in social groups called clusters. A withdrew after only a few years.
cluster is comprised of several mated pairs
Ecology/Environment: Ganis is a muddy,
that are linked together by bonds of friendship, rain soaked planet with almost no arid land. The
mutual interest, or occupation. Offspring leave entire planet is riddled with tunnels and holes
their parents to form their own clusters as soon that the Ganifians use for transportation and
as they are physically mature. As individualists, occasional living space. This causes the ground
Ganfiian clusters are not tightly knit groups. to frequently collapse in some places.
Instead they exist for the convenience of group

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Overall Description: The Ganifians are
widely respected for their natural psionic
abilities. Many of them have taken to the stars in
the service of scientists, ship captains, and other
aliens. These creatures have no problems living
away from their own kind as they do not have a
particularly strong social impulse.
Typical Personality: Ganifians tend to be
highly independent, creative thinkers. They do
not hesitate to express their opinion and have no
problem arguing a point even when everyone
else is against it. They love to challenge
orthodoxy and may even present a completely
ludicrous notion for no other reason than no one
else has said it.

114

shipment of high tech merchandise. When the


cargo disappears, the team takes the blame for it.
As the mystery unravels, the characters discover
that the business owner is actually a Ganfian with
close ties to the underworld. It has sold is own
goods on the black market and then let the player
characters take the fall for the theft. When the
team discovers the truth, the crime lord sets its
minions against them. The player characters
must outwit the authorities and overcome a gang
of armed thugs in order to prove their innocence
and take down the crooked Ganfian.

*A famous artist visits the planet Ganis


in order to study the creative method of the
Ganfians. However, the artist is driven insane by
Role Playing Notes: Most Ganifian NPCs the constant mental contact that is thrust upon
will be hard to relate to. They care little for the him by the alien minds. Completely mad, the
opinions of others and do not work well in large artist takes a delegation of alien representative
groups. Most Ganfians would rather go their hostages and begins making outrageous
own way than go along with a decision that they demands of the intergalactic community. The
disagree with. That being said, a Ganfian NPC player characters are hired to get the artist off
can make a very interesting and helpful ally if the of the planet before the Ganfians decide to take
player characters can deal with its individualism him out.
and free spirit.
A Ganfian who has become the enemy of
the player characters can be quite dangerous.
These creatures do not hesitate to use their
psionic abilities in battle. Nor do they have any
problem manipulating others to do their dirty
work. A small handful of amoral Ganfians have
set themselves up as intergalactic crime bosses,
political demagogues, and phony religious
prophets.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Ganfian with impressive psionic
powers has been recruited by an intergalactic
intelligence agency with a grudge against the
player characters. The Ganfians handlers use
its mental prowess to track them from planet to
planet. If they are caught, the Ganfian will use its
powers to coerce the team into making a false
confession.
*A shady business magnate recruits the
player characters to guard a mysterious
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Disadvantages: Size Category Reduction.
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
Technology Rating: 6.7
Militancy Rating: 4.0
Economic Rating: 6.9
Individuality Rating: 4.8
Social Organization: Condizi live in large
family groups where two parents raise extremely
large numbers of children. A Condizi female may
lay as many as many as a dozen eggs at a time and
she may lay a hundred clutches of eggs in her life
time. The oldest off the offspring are expected to
help look after their younger siblings as well as
work to keep the family fed. The female parent is
in charge of keeping the offspring on task while
the male parent is occupied full time with work
and other chores.
Each Condizi family has its own status as part
of society. Several families in the same region
may be grouped together to form a village
while a large number of families that live in the
same area might constitute a city. The society
is matriarchic in nature, with the elder females in
any family having authority over the males and
their younger relatives.

Alien Name: Condizi


Homeworld: Condice Rizza
Physical Description: These amphibious
creatures resemble walking tadpoles with large
round eyes.
Stat Adjustments: None.
Advantages: Additional Sense (low-light
vision), Racial Talent (amphibious), Racial Talent
(linguistic aptitude), Racial Talent (swim), Skill
Bonus (+4 on all Cryptography checks).

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Females that reach adulthood are forced


from the home and must strike out on their own.
Once a female has established a life for herself,
including a home, she travels to a nearby family
and asks the matriarch of the household for
permission to take one of the males as her mate.
Males who reach adulthood without ever being
selected as anyones mate will spend the rest of
their lives with the family, essentially slaves to
their mothers and sisters.
Government: The government of Condice
Rizza is an extension of the natural family
structure. This complex web of family groups is
divided by continents, regions, and provinces.
Each province is then divided by cities and
villages that are made up of multiple families. If
a family moves from one region to another it can
drastically alter the population and political make
up of the regions involved. Since the families
that make up a village or city are usually related,

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

116

they tend to stick together against the interest


of other locales. The provincial governments
must battle against the constant competition
that springs from the infighting between cities.
Provincial governments are technically elected
bodies, though in practice government jobs
are passed from mother to daughter almost like
hereditary titles. This is also true of the regional,
continental, and world governments. Political
change is almost impossible as entrenched
political families use their connection to keep
power in their hands.

Overall Description: Condizi are in high


demand due to their unusual linguistic abilities.
Many species travel to Condice Rizza in order to
recruit Condizi translators.

The various governments on Condice


Rizza are linked together in a tangled web of
regional and family loyalties. Some cities may
answer to more than one provincial government
while others are ignored completely. Some
families may answer directly to an official on
the continental or global level while others are
caught in an impenetrable maze of bureaucracy
and conflicting chains of command.

Role Playing Notes: A Condizi NPC should


be thoughtful and eager to please. He or she
should also be diligent toward any tasks that he
or she undertakes. This NPC makes a handy ally
to any group of player characters that is in need
of translation services or skilled divers.

The military is the only part of the


government that is free from this bureaucratic
nightmare. Military commanders report directly
to the continental governments. There is a clear
chain of command that precludes and family
connections or regional bias. Military life is
often the only chance that an unmated male has
of escaping the servitude of life at home. The
core of the Condizzi military is formed of males
who serve for life. The majority of the officers are
young females without children who have not yet
established themselves in the world. Because
of their unique talents, Condizi personnel often
serve as advisors to allied military forces.
They are highly respected for their abilities as
translators and naval personnel.

Typical Personality: Condizi tend to be


quiet and reserved. They like to listen to what
others have to say and do not rush to judgment.
Mals tend to be less assertive than females. Both
sexes are extremely hard workers and they put
their best effort into any endeavor. These are
generally social creatures who get along well
with many species.

Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be


used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Condizi linguist disappears while
working to decipher an ancient tablet. The
player characters are asked to travel to the alien
archeological site in order to determine what
happened.
*A group of Condizi divers is working on a
construction project on the bottom of the ocean
when their platform is attacked by a monstrous
alien sea creature. The team must travel to this
ocean world and rescue the Condizi workers
from the sea floor.

*The player characters travel to Condice


Rizza in order to seek out the services of a revered
Condizi translator. They need him to help them
unlock the meaning behind the inscription on an
Ecology/Environment: Condice Rizza is a alien device that has come into their possession.
cold, swampy world. The barren polar regions However, someone doesnt want the characters
are covered in sheets of ice while the area in to solve this mystery. The team must fend of
between is constantly wet and brimming with Condizi agents that have been hired to steal the
rivers, lakes, bogs, and other wetlands. No part device while simultaneously thwarting a plot to
assassinate the linguist they seek.
of this planet is free from water.

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Intelligence Rating: 4.9
Technology Rating: 6.7
Militancy Rating: 7.5
Economic Rating: 6.1
Individuality Rating: 3.1
Social Organization: Betrulas live together
in extended families. Individual family units
tend to be small but large numbers of related
families will all share the same living space. This
communal environment can include hundreds
of cousins, aunts and uncles, grandparents, etc.
Betrulas owe unquestioning obedience to their
fathers. This absolute submission to paternal
authority extends to a lesser extend to all elder
male relatives. Females are supposed to be
obedient to all of their male relatives except the
very youngest of children. This hierarchy extends
all the way to the top of the family tree, where the
oldest living male in a clan has tacit authority
over all of his children, grandchildren, nieces
and nephews, etc. Respect for elders applies
posthumously on Betrul and direct ancestors are
revered with religious devotion.

Alien Name: Betrula


Homeworld: Betrul
Physical Description: These aliens are thin
framed humanoids who tend to be quite tall.
Their most prominent feature is a large horn that
protrudes from the front of their faces.
Stat Adjustments: +2 CON, -2 PRE.
Advantages: Attack Bonus (members of
this species receive a +1 bonus on all melee
attacks), Natural Weapons (these creatures are
able to deal 5d6 points of lethal damage with a
successful unarmed attack).

Government: Betrul is ruled by a harsh


theocracy. The religious leaders demand nothing
less than complete submission from their
followers. The high priests have the authority
to intervene into any private matter, no matter
how personal or sensitive it may be. Religious
law is strictly enforced with very draconian
punishments for those who violate even the most
minor law. As a matter of technicality, almost
everything is against the law except work, prayer,
and martial practice. Within individual families
the relatives are tasked with enforcing religious
edicts among their kin. Most families are willing
to let their own families slide when it comes to
minor infractions such as wearing the wrong
color or eating forbidden foods. However, most
are quick to point out the short comings of others.
The high priests gain their position after years
of memorizing sacred texts. Once in power, each
priest is responsible for overseeing his own flock
of religious devotees and serving the religions
hierarchy as a whole. There is no single leader

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


or religious authority on Betrul. Individual places
of worship have their own leadership but are not
directly beholden to no one else. Certain priests
have gained enormous followings and therefore
they have a great deal of influence on religious
life. Occasionally a group of highly influential
temple leaders will be called together in order
to settle a dispute between factions or clarify a
matter of religious law.
Ecology/Environment: Betrul is a barren,
rocky world that is covered in deserts and arid
grasslands. High mountain peaks break up the
landscape but the mountains themselves are
almost completely devoid of life. Almost all
Betrula settlements are built near sacred oasis
or fertile river valleys.
Overall Description: The Betrula have
taken to the stars to expand their territory and
bring riches back to their homeworld. However,
they lack the technological and economic
infrastructure necessary to claim territory and
exploit resources on other planets. This has
lead a number of Betrulas to venture out into the
galaxy in the service of other powers. It is hoped
that the wealth and knowledge gained from
these mercenary exploits will help raise Betrul
into an interplanetary power.

118

Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be


used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*The player characters accidentally insult a
troupe of Betrula mercenaries. They take offense
to such a degree that it provokes a blood feud
that can only end after one side or the other has
been exterminated.
*A diplomatic mission to Betrul is put in
jeopardy when the delegation is kidnapped by a
breakaway religious sect. These renegades are
fanatics even by Betrula standards. The player
characters are tasked with rescuing the hostages
without provoking the anger of the mainstream
religious authorities.
*A group of Betrulas fighting under the
banner of a foreign power take over an isolated
outpost on an undeveloped world. They have
enslaved and brutalized the population. This
desertion and the subsequent conquest have
angered the Betrulas employers who have
contracted the team to liberate the outpost and
eliminate the deserters.

Typical Personality: Most Betrula are gruff,


stern, and very demanding of others. They have
no patience for dissent or nonconformity. Some
recognize that other cultures have their own
standards of conduct but the majority expect
every race to adhere to their own impossible
code of behavior.
Role Playing Notes: Betrula care nothing
for the lives of other species. As infidels, these
creatures are damned to eternal torment anyway,
so what difference should it make whether they
enter the afterlife today or years from now? This
utter contempt for all other life should be the
cornerstone of a Betrula NPCs interaction with
the player characters. Combat with this NPC
is not a forgone conclusion but it is a strong
possibility.

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Social Organization: The Ishoni live together
in small familial units. A family will usually consist
of parents with one or two offspring. Ish Delta is
a densely populated world and almost all Ishoni
live in an urban environment.
Government: Ish Delta is a technocracy that
is ruled by a council of elite scientists, scholars,
and other experts. The members of this species
think of governing as a science, one that can be
perfected through study and experimentation.
Members of this council are selected by an
elected body known as the Assembly of Experts.
The Assembly chooses members of the council
to serve out terms of various lengths depending
on the experience and field of study of the
candidate.
The government of Ish Delta is limited in its
power by the vast influence of the planets many
corporations and economic interests. These
mercantile entities control most of the planets
economic activity as well as the institutes of
learning and research laboratories. This means
that most of the members of the Technocratic
Council are former corporate employees.

Ecology/Environment: The planet Ish Delta


is massively populated and highly urbanized.
Alien Name: Ishoni
Even the bottoms of the ocean are heavily
Homeworld: Ish Delta
settled. The civic engineers have made sure that
Physical Description: The Ishoni are a race even the most overcrowded area is built with
of short humanoids with bald heads and three green space and natural habitats. The Ishoni
are smart enough to leave some parts of their
clawed fingers on each hand.
planet completely off limits and these reserves
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT and PRE, -2 STR.
are the only unspoiled wilderness on left on
Advantages: Natural Weapons (these Ish Delta. Even with the urban green zones and
creatures are able to deal 3d6 points of lethal natural reserves, the Ishoni have to purify their
damage with a successful unarmed attack). Skill atmosphere with the aid of filtration towers and
Bonus (+4 on all Diplomacy skill checks), Skill genetically engineered microbes.
Bonus (+2 on all Computers, Electronics, and
Overall Description: The Ishoni have
Technology skill checks)
developed a reputation as merchants and
Disadvantages: Size Category Reduction
businessmen. Their mercantile fame is rivaled
Intelligence Rating: 6.8
only by their technological savvy. Ishoni
corporations operate throughout the galaxy and
Technology Rating: 7.5
have a vast influence on the economic affairs of
Militancy Rating: 5.7
other planets. The combination of business skill
Economic Rating: 7.8
and advanced technology is a powerful tool that
has allowed the Ishoni to economically subjugate
Individuality Rating: 5.2

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a number of planets.

*Conflict rages between an Ishoni


corporation
and a foreign government who
Many Ishoni scientists and other educated
members of their society have emigrated to has accused the Ishoni of selling advanced
other planets to escape the undue influence of weaponry to criminals and rebels. The player
the planets business leaders. Those who do not characters are asked to investigate and keep
desire a lifetime of employment in the ranks of the situation from exploding. They soon discover
the corporations often have no choice but to leave that an intergalactic rival has been imitating
their homeworld and seek out opportunities Ishoni designs and selling them illegally, all in
elsewhere. A few of these Ishoni have joined with an attempt to discredit their competitors.
other races to settle uninhabited worlds.
Typical Personality: Ishoni place a lot of
value on knowledge and skill. They will not
hesitate to display their own savvy. They also
have no pity for the gullible or ignorant and will
swindle anyone who seems like an easy mark.
While egotistical and manipulative, the Ishoni
often come across as extremely likable.
Role Playing Notes: An Ishoni NPC should
be highly intelligent and extremely personable.
He or she should rely more on diplomacy
and word play that brute force. However, this
character should not hesitate to kick someone
when they are down, should the situation call for
it. If all else fails an Ishoni NPC will buy his or
her way out of trouble but this may be seen as a
sign that cunning has failed. An Ishoni is loathe
to offer a bribe because it signifies desperation.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*An Ishoni executive hires the player
characters to conduct corporate espionage
against a competitor. Once the job is finished
and the data has been delivered the executive
decides to eliminate the only witnesses to his
crime. Wave after wave of freelance assassins
are sent after the team. The only way to stop this
onslaught is either to kill the executive or expose
his misdeeds to the company, embarrassing
them into taking action.
*The characters are assigned to protect an
Ishoni trader as she makes her way across the
galaxy, selling high tech merchandise to the
highest bidder. This journey leads to numerous
bad deals, brushes with alien authorities, and
acts of attempted piracy.
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Intelligence Rating: 7.1
Technology Rating: 8.1
Militancy Rating: 3.3
Economic Rating: 7.9
Individuality Rating: 3.1
Social Organization: The Ensomi live in
massive collectives where members equally
share the burden of providing essentials. These
collectives are formed by dozens of related
families and individuals who came together due
to geographic proximity or related occupation.
Members of a collective tend to be fiercely
loyal to each other. Decision making within the
collective is made through consensus and a
major issue may provoke the members of the
collective to debate endless for days before
reaching a unanimous conclusion.

Alien Name: Ensomi


Homeworld: Enso Matis
Physical Description: The small humanoid
creatures are characterized by the two large eye
stalks that protrude from their heads. They have
grey skin and stubby appendages.

Government: The government of Enso


Matis is a tightly regimented meritocracy
controlled by the bureaucratic elite. Those who
demonstrate effective management skills and
achieve results in their given departments are
promoted to higher and higher positions of
authority. The ruling body of this system is the
Grand Committee. This committee is composed
of the highest ranking members of the various
departments in the government. The committee
is attended to by a large staff of technical experts
and researchers. The committee sets long term
goals for the planet, dictates policy, and responds
to crisis.

Below the Grand Committee are a slew of


administrators, technical experts, and policy
advisors whose job it is to enforce the decisions
of the Grand Committee. Each department is
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT and WILL, -2 STR
a highly specialized type of bureaucracy with
Advantages: Bonus Skill Points (these a limited scope of responsibility. The Grand
creatures gain 4 additional skill points at first Committee expects consistent results from the
level and 1 skill point for each additional level), heads of these departments and will replace
Characteristic Check Bonus (+2 to all Reflex ineffectual managers.
Characteristic Checks).

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Ecology/Environment: The planet Enso


Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
Matis has a varied geography and climate. The used by a GM to introduce this species or their
majority of the landmasses have a temperate homeworld to a campaign.
clime but there is a range of extremes from artic
*A group of Ensomi technicians put together
ice caps to arid deserts.
a device that opens up a mysterious portal which
Overall Description: An unusual feature then drags them inside. The employers of these
of Ensomi biology is the fact that this species technicians wish to shut down the portal but they
does not require sleep. As such they can work cannot do that without the aid of the team that
continually with only an occasional respite for created it. The player characters must explore
physical recovery. Many races are eager to hire whatever is on the other side and rescue the
Ensomi as engineers, technicians, and scientists technicians.
because they work obsessively and tirelessly on
*A prominent Ensomi scientist has been
whatever task they are assigned.
kidnapped by an intragalactic arms consortium.
The Ensomi are avid space explorers and
brilliant scientists. They partner with many races
to solve scientific mysteries and explore new
planets. While they are not interested in settling
uncharted planets themselves, the Ensomi have
discovered and explored hundreds of worlds
and made contact with dozens of few species.
Ensomi scientists and technicians can be
found across the galaxy, either traveling in their
own vessels or working with members of others
races. However, their multiple interests and
ample free time means that you can find members
of this species participating in a great number
of activities other than science. In fact Ensomi
are one of the most widely spread species in the
galaxy and they live among a great number of
other races.

They want to use the scientists latest discovery


to create a powerful new weapon. The player
characters must rescue the kidnapped scientist
and destroy the weapon prototype before it can
be sold on the open market.
*The player characters are invited to Enso
Matis to oversee a conference of renowned
academics and intellectuals from across the
galaxy. However, a cabal of jealous Ensomi have
hatched a plot to knock of their rivals. To this end
they unleash a steady stream of technological
horrors upon the conference. The player
characters must free the trapped dignitaries and
defeat the various robots and booby traps that
have been sent after them.

Typical Personality: Most Ensomi are


talkative and very excitable. They like to chatter
incessantly amongst themselves. They even talk
to themselves while thinking about a problem.
They are interested in a great number of things
and will start a conversation with anyone about
almost anything.
Role Playing Notes: An Ensomi NPC should
be a ball of kinetic energy and endless ideas.
This character may grate on the nerves of the
player characters but he or she can be a great
help to them in matters of expertise. The Ensomi
have a broad range of interests and many of them
pursue multiple careers at once. An Ensomi NPC
may be a scientist, an artist, a master chef, and a
historian all at the same time.

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Intelligence Rating: 7.5
Technology Rating: 8.1
Militancy Rating: 4.3
Economic Rating: 7.6
Individuality Rating: 6.0
Social Organization: The Wsik live in
isolated communities that are spread far apart.
Their home planet of Ytal is a barren desert
world that will not support large settlements.
These creatures are highly independent but
also highly social. They mingle freely between
families and are quick to accept newcomers.
Young Wsik spend most of their time being
educated by a number of mentors that have
been appointed by the community. As the
youngsters grow older they naturally bond
with some mentors more than others. This stage
of their development is characterized by an
intense friendship with the mentor in question
that competes against an urge to go experience
the world at large.

Government: The government of Ytal is


controlled by a council of learned scholars.
This council resembles an equal mixture of a
Alien Name: Wsik
university board, a political oligarchy, and a
Homeworld: Ytal
religious assembly. The main purpose of this
Physical Description: This strange looking oligarchy is to settle local conflicts and create
creatures have only one foot that they use to hop an environment that is conducive to study
around on. Their heads are adorned with three and exploration. The council appoints new
members whenever an existing member dies.
mouth tentacles and four eyes.
A special session is held where the council
Stat Adjustments: +2 INT and WILL, -2 STR
members review the qualifications of hundreds
Advantages: Additional Sense (omni- of applicants until they find one that closely
directional vision), Bonus Talent, Special Attack matches the experience and expertise of the
(twice per day, ranged touch attack, 2d6 points deceased.
of acid damage, Reflex check for half damage
The council appoints a number of public
(DV11 + the creatures INT/5).
officials that are responsible for very specific
Disadvantages: Inept (-4 penalty on all climb
checks), Land Speed Reduction (members of
this species have their speed on land decreased
by 3m)

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tasks. These ministers and directors have a


limited scope of responsibility but unlimited
authority in their given area. These appointees
are responsible only to the council itself and
may be removed immediately if they seem to be
incompetent or abuse their power. The council
recognizes the right of local communities to
settle their own affairs and traditionally their

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

124

appointees use their authority only in rare cases. cooperate and is subjected to torture and mind
Ecology/Environment: Ytal is extremely probes. The government of Ytal hires the player
dry and hot. The planet experiences very little characters to rescue their citizen and protect his
precipitation and most of the dry land is covered discovery.
with desert. The oceans are small and highly
saline.

*A trading vessel crash lands on Ytal. A Wsik


rescue party attempts to find the crew but they
Overall Description: The Wsik culture disappear mysteriously. The player characters
is consumed for a love of knowledge and are asked to travel to Ytal and determine what
experience that borders on religious devotion. has happened to the trader crew and their wouldThis species has a great reverence for the be rescuers. The local Wsik are undaunted by
universe around them and they desire nothing the danger and insist on accompanying the team
more than to learn as much about the universe to find out what has happened. In the end it is
as they can. It is this search for understanding discovered that an alien parasite has infected the
that is the key to understanding the culture trading ship, causing it to crash. The team must
and psychology of these otherwise inscrutable contain this deadly parasite before it spreads to
inhabited parts of the planet.
creatures.
Through their desire to discover more about
the universe, the Wsik have accumulated a
wealth of technological knowledge that is the
envy of many worlds. Though they do not use
all of this knowledge to practical purposes, they
have lept at the chance to venture into space and
explore new worlds and stellar phenomenon.
They are not interested in wealth but they will
trade their technological devices for scientific
data and access to new discoveries.
Typical Personality: Wsik are extremely
curious and inquisitive. They are also cautious
and have a great respect for other life forms
and natural phenomenon. This is a species of
individualists, they will not be lead by others nor
do they expect others to follow them.

*The Wsik have spent years studying and


observing an alien object that seems to grow
steadily in power. The object in question seems to
be gathering energy into a nexus that threatens
the entire region of space. Strange disturbances
in the space time continuum begin effecting
nearby planets. The player characters are tasked
with shutting down this device before it is too
late. However, the Wsik will resist these efforts
as they have become obsessed with studying
this phenomenon.

Role Playing Notes: A Wsik NPC should be


in awe of everything. He or she should seek out
new discoveries and new experiences with the
fervor of a religious pilgrim.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Wsik explorer uncovers a lost civilization
and lives among its inhabitance or many years.
After returning to the rest of the galaxy, the Wsik
is kidnapped by a foreign power that has the
desire to conquer and enslave this ancient and
ner legendary civilization. The Wsik refuses to

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Intelligence Rating: 9.1
Technology Rating: 8.7
Militancy Rating: 8.6
Economic Rating: 9.0
Individuality Rating: 4.9
Social Organization: Xtikix parents
take care of their offspring only until they are
physically capable of feeding and cleaning
themselves. After that they are thrust into the
cruel world of the Xtikix hierarchy. Youngsters
are given preliminary education in state-run
facilities before undergoing genetic testing that
determines how they can best serve the hierarchy.
After that they are placed under the tutelage of
an elder Xtikix who works the youngsters under
his control to the point of collapse. It is during
this period of life that the young Xtikix get their
first taste of the brutally competitive nature of the
hierarchy. The youngsters are forced to compete
for the enjoyment of their tutor, sometimes they
are even forced into contests to see who gets
to eat and who doesnt. It is not uncommon for
young Xtikix to die during their tutelage.

Alien Name: Xtikix


Homeworld: Xtikix Alpha

Government: The Xtikix hierarchy is


a complex and highly structured form of
government that clearly defines the place of
each individual citizen. Genetic testing is one
of the key factors that determine the worth of an
individual. Other factors include cunning and
the desire to ruthlessly crush competitors. The
hierarchy encourages cutthroat competition at
all levels of society and makes sure that everyone
knows that there are limited opportunities for
advancement.

Physical Description: These four legged


creatures are able to use any of their limbs for
grasping and manipulation. They have a series
All of the real work within the hierarchy is
of tubes protruding from their backs that are
conducted
by slaves. Many of these slaves have
used for respiration. The Xtikix have razor sharp
been genetically engineered for specific tasks.
teeth and large white eyes.
The job of overseeing and directing the labor of
Stat Adjustments: +4 INT, -2 STR and DEX
slaves is one of the lowest tasks to which a Xtikix
Advantages: Racial Talent (multi-attack), can be assigned. The hierarchy usually reserves
Racial Talent (multiple limbs: grasping), such positions as punishments for failure or
Racial Talent (multiple limbs: locomotion), disloyalty. There is such disdain for directly
Characteristic Check bonus (+1 bonus to all interacting with slaves that the hierarchy prefers
Characteristic Checks).
that they operate as much as possible on their own.
To this end they have genetically and culturally

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


installed safeguards into the psychology of their
slaves. These safeguards are meant to reduce
the likelihood of slave rebellions by keeping
the slaves from cooperating with each other. The
Maga are too paranoid ad unstable to cooperate
with each other and other species do not trust
them because they aid the Xtikix overlords
with their cruel experiments. The Pakians are
naturally hostile to other Pakians from a distant
clan and they bear a deep grudge against all of
their fellows slaves. The Jassians are genetically
programmed to only care about members of their
fighting units and they are so feared by other
races that cooperation is not even considered.
It is not known what social and neurological
safeguards have been integrated into the other
slave races but it is likely that these creatures
are likewise discouraged from cooperating with
each other.

126

Role Playing Notes: A Xtikix NPC will


attempt to dominate and manipulate the player
characters. Any offer of cooperation is sure to
be a trick. Be sure to play up the egotism and
supremacist philosophy of this character.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Xtikix slave ship crashes on an uninhabited
world. The revolting slaves battle against their
Xtikix masters as they try to get off the planet.
The player characters are assigned to infiltrate
the battle zone and recover as much information
about the Xtikix as they possibly can.
*The Xtikix attack a peaceful planet and take
captives in order to sample their genetic material.
They wish to use these samples to engineer
more slaves. The player characters are given the
task of boarding the Xtikix fleet, rescuing the
captives, and destroying the genetic samples.

Ecology/Environment: Very little is known


about Xtikix Alpha. The planet has never been
*A Xtikix ambassador and his Jassian
visited by outsiders and even its location is a
bodyguards has unexpectedly shown up at an
carefully guarded secret in the hierarchy.
Overall Description: The Xtikix are famous interplanetary political conference. No one
for their use of genetic engineering to create knows what his objectives are but the player
dozens of other species which they use as characters have been tasked with observing
slaves. Several of these species have developed the ambassador and quietly thwarting whatever
a large population of freeborn creatures that live scheme he is hatching.
outside the control of the Xtikix hierarchy. These
species, the Maga, the Pakians, and Jassians are
well known in the galaxy. Their other slave races
are almost unheard of and few people know that
they even exist.
The Xtikix place a great deal of stock in
eugenics and selective breeding. However, they
do not directly manipulate their own genes.
Such an act is considered sacrilegious and any
offspring that is created in this manner would be
automatically classified as a slave.
Typical Personality: Xtikix think of
themselves as the most genetically perfect
creature in existence. They have developed
a cult of self worship that is sickening in its
narcissism. They are ruthless, cold bklooded ,
and calculating creatures who care nothing for
the suffering of others.

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Social Organization: Metaxian females
lay a cluster of three to four eggs and raise
the offspring by herself. The male departs
immediately after the mating ritual is complete.
Siblings are very close to each other growing up
and usually maintain contact with each other as
adults. It is not unusual for a group of siblings
to enter the same profession and work together.
Some will even live together and sisters may
help raise each others offspring.
Government: Metax Prime is ruled by a
matriarchal dynasty. The ruling queens have
largely ceremonial duties but they are not figure
heads. The queen has the authority to oversee
the courts, appoint public officials and override
the decisions of local elected legislatures.

Alien Name: Metaxian


Homeworld: Metax Prime

The local legislatures handle the day to day


functions of government, leaving the queen
to busy herself with ceremonial tasks and
gathering wealth. The queen rarely exercises her
considerable power over the legislatures. These
elected bodies are the true power on the planet,
balanced only by the queen who is usually too
aloof and distant to realy care. The queen will
intervene in seemingly mundane matters just
to assert that she is the true authority on Metax
Prime.

As the old saying goes, true power rests


Physical Description: These saurian
behind the throne. The queen herself is
humanoids have a distinctive crest of feathers.
surrounded by a swarm of advisors and hangers
Stat Adjustments: None.
on, many of them on the payroll of interest groups
Advantages: Additional Sense (low light and wealthy economic powers. The members of
vision), Natural Weapons (these creatures are this entourage plot and scheme against each
able to deal 3d6 points of lethal damage with a other in order to gain the attention of the queen
successful unarmed attack), Skill Bonus (+2 to all and perhaps direct her attention toward some
Mechanics, Electronics, and Repair skill checks). matter that benefits their employers.
Intelligence Rating: 5.6
Ecology/Environment: Metax Prime is
a
jungle
world that is covered with humid
Technology Rating: 6.9
rainforests, swamps, and occasional patches of
Militancy Rating: 4.2
grassland.
Economic Rating: 7.1
Overall Description: This species is known
Individuality Rating: 5.2
for their skill with machines and love of tinkering.
Metaxians are renowned as ship builders and
engineers. Aside from their own trading and
exploration fleets, many Metaxians are recruited
by off worlds to work a mechanics, technicians,

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and industrial workers. You can find members


Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
of this species working all over the galaxy and used by a GM to introduce this species or their
they are often drawn to remote colony worlds, homeworld to a campaign.
asteroid mines, and space stations.
*A group of Metaxian engineers is
The Metaxians have colonized a number refurbishing the life support system of a domed
of worlds with the help of off world allies. They colony when an explosion traps them in the
have made the best of their mechanical know lower tunnels. The player characters must
how and created a vast array of specialized rescue the engineers and help them repair the
machines to aid in the settlement of these new damaged life support system before it is too late.
worlds. No terrain or climate is too challenging The mission becomes more complicated when
for this master craftsmen. The colony building the team learns that the explosion was a result of
skill of the Metaxians has lead other powers in sabotage and the saboteurs are still roaming the
the galaxy to seek their assistance in creating bowels of the colony..
their own settlements.
*A routine stop on Metax Prime for repairs and
Typical Personality: Metaxians are friendly supplies turns deadly when a gang of Metaxian
and eager to be accepted. They have a love of smugglers tries to rob the player characters and
sharing and are always to lend a hand, especially strip their ship for spare parts.
when someone has something that needs to be
fixed. They form friendships quickly and are
loyal to a fault. Most Metaxians are willing to let
insults and attack slide and they are slow to anger.
Very rarely will you see a Metaxian engage in
violence. On the rare occasions where the planet
Metax Prime has been involved in open warfare
they have relied heavily on automated devices to
do their fighting for them. They have developed
a reputation for treating prisoners kindly and
being magnanimous in victory. The last race to
invade Metax Prime is now their closest ally. The
invaders were treated so fairly in their defeat
that they have become the Metaxians dearest
friends and most ardent supporters. Many of
their former prisoners decided to stay on the
planet a make a life for themselves among their
former enemies.
Role Playing Notes: A Metaxian NPC should
be constantly surrounded by piles of spare parts,
broken machinery, and other seemingly useless
junk. Avid recyclers, Metaxians will never throw
away anything that might be fixed, rebuilt, or
used to build something else. This character
might compulsively fiddle with tools or tinker
with broken machines all the time, even while
talking or eating. A typical Metaxian expression
translates roughly as, Its not broken, it just
wants to be made into something else.

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Social Organization: The Zenati live in loose
groups of about a dozen creatures. Some of these
Zenati are related to each other and others are
not. The primary purpose of these social groups
is the security of shared habitation. Sometimes
these shared habitats are formed around
some other mutual interest, such as a common
occupation. The Zenati are habitual liars and
they know better than to believe each other.
Government:
The
scheming
and
independent Zenati are notoriously hard to
govern. Their planet is home to a wide number of
governmental systems, none of which work very
well. The planet is home to constant civil wars
and revolutions. The planet goes through cycles
of dictatorships, democracies, oligarchies, and
everything else imaginable. The end result is
a confusing and constantly shifting political
landscape that is constantly on the verge of
anarchy. Wars between rival states are a frequent
feature of a planet where no peace treaty can
ever be taken seriously.

Alien Name: Zenati


Homeworld: Unknown.
Physical Description: The Zenati are
serpentine creatures with long thin bodies. They
have four spindly legs and a single large eye.
Stat Adjustments: -2 STR, +2 DEX.
Advantages: Dodge Bonus (+6 dodge bonus
to defense), Natural Psionics, Skill Bonus (+2 on
all Persusation, Diplomacy, and Conversation
skill checks).
Disadvantages: Compulsion, lying (severe:
Will check DV17, the creature must fulfill the
compulsion at least once a day).
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
Technology Rating: 7.9
Militancy Rating: 5.7
Economic Rating: 6.4
Individuality Rating: 7.1

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Ecology/Environment: No one knows where


the Zenati homeworld is located. The Zenati
have given several different regions of space
as their true place of origin and widely varying
descriptions of its ecosystem. These stories have
all been dismissed as lies of course.
Overall Description: The Zenati are known
far and wide for their penchant for exploiting
less advanced cultures, often by posing as divine
beings or prophets. To be fair to the Zenati, they
are unused to being believed by anyone so their
contact with alien beings must have been a huge
cultural shock to them. That being said, they did
not waste any time trying to use the gullibility
of other races to their advantage. Their reputation
as bold faced liars spread throughout the galaxy
and soon the space faring races were not longer
exploitable in this manner. This naturally led
the Zenati to seek out less advanced cultures to
take advantage of. This race has never had any
religion beliefs or mythology of their own. When
they learned of this aspect of other species
culture it seemed to them that they had found the
perfect confidence game.

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


Using advanced technology and their mental
powers, the Zenati seek to impress their would be
marks with demonstrations of magical powers.
They take great pains to learn about local beliefs
before appearing before the populace as a god,
prophet, spirit, or sacred animal, whichever
is more suited to that particular culture. Once
a Zenati has established itself in a position of
religious authority it usually convinces its follows
to make war against the unbelievers and expand
its influence. On some planets the population is
in a constant state of religious warfare as rival
Zenati attempt to establish dominance. The end
goal of all this scheming and fighting is monetary
of course. The Zenati profit from their outrages
claims of divinity by convincing their followers
to heap mounds of gemstones and precious
metals upon their shrines.

130

fanatical followers of a Zenati who has recruited


his own army of jihad. The prophet has
equipped his troops with advanced technology
and sent them out on a mission of conquest.
The player characters must fight for their lives
against the crusading hordes.
*A Zenati ambassador has been accused
of using his natural mental powers to influence
negotiations with another diplomat. Naturally no
one believes the ambassadors every changing
series of stories and denials. However, the
characters come across evidence that suggests
that the Zenati may have been framed by a
foreign power with an interest in wrecking the
negotiations.

Typical Personality: Most Zenati are


scheming, selfish, and totally without shame.
They lie without thinking about it and, in truth,
they cannot help themselves.
Role Playing Notes: Everything a Zenati
says is a lie, except when it isnt. It is more to their
style to shape the details of a story to be more
favorable to the point that they wish to convey.
Of course a Zenati NPC should regularly try to
take advantage of the player characters. He or
she may tell increasingly incredulous stories just
to see how big of a falsehood that he or she can
get away with.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A diplomatic mission is sent to a primitive
world in order to negotiate a fair deal for resource
rights. This mission is complicated by a Zenati
who has set himself up as the living god of the
planets largest empire. This divine ruler has
already made a secret deal with another trading
conglomerate to steal the planets resources.
The diplomats call upon the player characters
to expose the Zenati as a fraud and secure their
right to negotiate freely.
*The player characters are on a routine
assignment when they are attacked by the

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Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: The Zuphi live in clans
that range in size between a dozen members and
a few hundred. Fiercely independent, the Zuphi
do not form cohesive social groups even among
their kin. There is no structure or authority within
the clans and they are bound together by nothing
more than the ties of blood. Individuals are free
to leave the safety of the clan if they wish and
this is often the preferred solution when conflicts
arise between clan members.
Rival clans war with each other frequently and
blood feuds can last for countless generations.
Violence between clans may die down for a short
amount of time but it is inevitable that a personal
conflict between two individuals will drag their
respective clans into a full blown war.
Government: There is no central government
of Zuphis III. The planet is racked with constant
conflict and bloodshed. Individual clans may
become powerful enough to dominate their
local region but this control is often short lived as
the dominated clans always rebel against their
overlords. An alliance between several clans can
likewise take control of a large territory but these
alliances tend to fall apart due to infighting and
personality conflict between the clan members.

Slavery is a fact of life on Zuphis III. The


slaves are usually the descendants of clans that
have been decimated by blood feuds. Other
Homeworld: Zuphis III
slaves are sold on the open market by their own
Physical Description: These physically
clans, punishment for some crime against their
powerful humanoids are easily recognized by
own blood. Slaves perform all of the real work
the horns that adorn their heads.
of society, from tending the crops to performing
Stat Adjustments: +4 STR, -2 WILL and PRE. skilled trades. Slaves themselves are the
Advantages: Ability Score Bonus (STR), Size most valuable commodity on the planet. The
wealthiest clans have many more slaves in their
Category Increase.
service than they have free family members.
Intelligence Rating: 5.0
Alien Name: Zuphi

Technology Rating: 4.5


Militancy Rating: 7.1
Economic Rating: 5.1
Individuality Rating: 8.1

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Ecology/Environment: Zuphis III is a rocky,


arid planet that is covered with barren mountain
ranges and stretches of dusty scrub plains.
Overall Description: Zuphi are heavily
recruited as mercenaries and bodyguards for
foreign powers. They are often deployed to
battle against primitive cultures where their size
and menacing appearance serve to demoralize
their opponents. Sometimes entire Zuphi clans

Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


will serve together in foreign wars, though
they have a nasty reputation for deserting or
switching sides if there is a better offer. Some
Zuphi become involved in interplanetary crime
syndicates or other disreputable ventures. Many
Zuphi take to the stars in order to get access to
the advanced weaponry that is not available on
their homeworld. This is done with the goal of
smuggling these arms back to Zuphis III in order
to settle old grudges or help a particular clan
rise to power.

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survivors in order to force a ransom of advanced


weapons. The player characters are assigned to
rescue the crew and escort them safely off world.
*A Zuphi picks a fight with one of the player
characters and ends up initiating a violent brawl
where he himself is killed. The player characters
find themselves caught up in the cycle of clan
vengeance as the Zuphis relatives come to take
revenge and their relatives come to avenge them
after they fall.

Slaves from Zuphis III are a favorite in


gladiatorial arenas. They are sometimes used
as manual laborers on planets where machinery
often breaks down due to local conditions.
Some Zuphi slaves are promised their freedom
in exchange for a set term of service. After a
number of years of loyal service the slave is
given a monetary grant and turned loose. These
Zuphi are among the few who will honor their
contracts with off worlds, for freedom is precious
to them.
Typical Personality: Zuphi are very
passionate and often let their emotions get the
better of them. They are quick to anger and slow
to forgive.
Role Playing Notes: A Zuphi NPC can make
a valuable ally to a team of player characters.
However, this character should have a tendency
to take whatever he or she wants without concern
for the consequences. This NPC will abandoned
the team at the first sign of conflict and not think
twice about it.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A team of Zuphi mercenaries has been
terrorizing the inhabitants of a remote mining
outpost. The Zuphi have demanded a percentage
of the mines haul or else they will continue their
campaign of violence. The mining corporation
dispatches the player characters to the planet in
order to protect the outpost.
*A survey craft makes a forced landing
on Zuphis III. The crew is trapped between
two warring clans. Both clans are hunting the
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133

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Social Organization: Muleni live in small
communities that are made up of a few dozen
families. These once nomadic creatures are now
largely sedentary, though their culture still bears
the marking of their wandering past.
Government: The Muleni government is a
direct democracy where the political process
is marked by rabble rousing and vilification of
opposing ideas. Though there are technically
no professional politicians in this government,
there are a handful of wealthy families that have
the finances and connections to control popular
sentiment. These unofficial rulers viciously
stomp down upon anyone or any movement that
threatens their control of the political will. They
stir up angry mobs against anyone who dares
argue against the measures that they wish to get
enacted.

Alien Name: Muleni


Homeworld: Mulen II
Physical Description: These creatures
resemble shaggy worms with three mouth
tentacles and four eyes.

The other main power in Muleni politics is the


religious class. Joining the priesthood is often
the only way for an ordinary Muleni to advance
in status or find a voice n civic debate. The
powerful families dare not direct their venom at
the keepers of sacred tradition so the priesthood
is able to speak freely on matters of state. Of
course the priests keep careful tabs of each
other to ensure that no one is preaching heresy.

Trials on Mulen II are help in the court of


Stat Adjustments: +2 CON and WILL, -2 STR. public opinion. The accused is brought into the
public square and the charges are announced.
Advantages: Additional Sense (low light Anyone who wishes to participate in the trial can
vision), Racial Talent (burrow), Resistance to simply come to the reading of the charges. Private
Energy (15 points cold resistance).
citizens then step forward and shout arguments
Disadvantages: Land Speed Reduction for and against the accused. Those who are in
(members of this species have their speed on the unpopular camp may be intimidated or even
land decreased by 3m)
violently attacked. After the mob has had their
say, the matter of guilt or innocence is put to a
Intelligence Rating: 5.1
vote and the majority decides. In the case of a
Technology Rating: 3.6
guilty verdict, the crowd is then asked to vote
Militancy Rating: 5.9
on the sentence. Any sentence may be put to a
vote for any crime, leading to a wide disparity
Economic Rating: 2.9
in sentencing. The severity of punishment is
Individuality Rating: 5.1
often dependant on the defendants popularity
and the mood of the crowd. Like everything else
on Muleni, the justice system is manipulated
by a handful of powerful families. The political

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens


elite often punish their enemies by having them
arrested on false charges and then holding
the trial quickly. Their own supporters know to
attend the trial ahead of time while everyone
else is taken by surprise. In some cases, physical
violence is used to keep supporters of the
accused from entering the public square.
Ecology/Environment: Mulen II is a frigid
world that is subject to seasonal thawing in the
equatorial regions. The summer thaws flood
the region with water, instantly creating rivers
and lakes. The life of the planet thrives quickly,
taking maximum advantage of the warm weather
and abundant water. The autumn season brings
a massive die off and the snow covered bodies
of the dead plants and animals fertilize the land
during the next warming cycle. Many of the life
forms on this planet are migratory and travel
from one hemisphere to the other as the planet
tilts.

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left their homeworld are far less panicky but


they should still be shy and stick mostly to their
own kind.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*A Muleni patrol guarding a planets ice
caps discovers a vast treasure in the holds of a
long buried spacecraft. The Muleni mercenaries
deserts their post and attempt to take the cargo
for themselves. The player characters are sent
in to determine why the Muleni lost contact with
the base.

*A diplomatic mission to Mulen II goes badly


amiss when the diplomats are ordered to leave
the planet. The ambassador and his staff attempt
to comply but are arrested and imprisoned for
defying this order. The public trial is settled by
a popular vote and the enraged masses decide
to put the entire group to death. An emergency
Overall Description: Muleni are a primitive dispatch is sent to the player characters
species with little grasp of technology.These requesting that they intervene and rescue the
creatures are trapped in between their primitive diplomatic staff.
past and the prospect of a more enlightened
*The player characters are asked to
future. However, they are easily frightened by the
accompany
a team of Muleni scouts as they
introduction of new technologies and new ways
of doing this. They are rabidly xenophobic and explore a rigid ice world. However, the mission
most of them will not tolerate the presence of goes horribly wrong when the Muleni uncover an
aliens on their planet. A few courageous Muleni ancient city buried beneath the ice. The player
have decided to trust alien visitors and they characters follow the creatures down the tunnels
have taken to the stars. These off-world Muleni only to activate an automated defense system.
and their descendants are often recruited to
explore frigid worlds and they sometimes serve
as mercenaries or scouts during cold weather
operations.
Typical Personality: Most Muleni are close
minded and refuse to consider new ideas. They
are easily frightened and their fear quickly turns
to anger. There is a distinctly paranoid streak
to the Muleni psychology that compels them to
think that unknown agents are plotting against
their homeworld and traditional way of life.
Role Playing Notes: A Muleni NPC should
react hysterically to the presence of aliens,
sounding an alarm and drawing together a mob
of enraged xenophobes. Those Muleni that have

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135

Lightspeed: Alien Contact


Alien Name: Kespah
Homeworld: Keysian III
Physical Description:
Kespah are
humanoid beings with feline features. The
average Kespah is 165 170cm for males and
157 162cm for females with slender builds.
While all Kespah senses are more acute than
humans, their particular strengths are in hearing
and smell. They also possess perfect night
vision. The coloration of Kespah varies greatly,
and each Kespah typically has multi-colored
hair.
Stat Adjustments: -4 STR, +2 WIL and PRE.
Advantages: Dark vision, Characteristic
Check Bonus (+1 to all checks), Skill Bonus (+4
to all Perception checks, +4 to Persuasion, +6 to
Negotiation)
Disadvantages:
Greedy.

Aversion

to

Violence,

Intelligence Rating: 7.8


Technology Rating: 6.7
Militancy Rating: 1.4
Economic Rating: 7.1
Individuality Rating: 7.0
Social Organization:
Kespah tend to
either be solitary or live their lives in very small
groups. They do not have any particular loyalty
to other members of their race, and would be
just as willing to work with a group of aliens as
they would a group of Kespah.
Government: Kespah government of their
homeworld is quite decentralized. Keysian III is
governed by trial councils and loose alliances
and associations between families.
Since
families are all quite matriarchal, a Kespah will
typically trust the leadership of a female of any
race over that of a male.
Ecology/Environment: Keysian III, the
homeworld of the Kespah, is a low gravity planet
of very limited resources.
Overall Description: GMs and players can
take the Kespah as ultimate information traders.
They value precious metals, comforts, leisure

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Appendix B: More Sample Aliens

136

and pleasure. They are can be valuable to trade


with, and will keep a bargain with anyone that
has not betrayed their trust in the past.

without proof their friend faces certain execution.


While many citizens are unwilling to share what
they know about who really committed the
Keysian III is located along a major interstellar crime, a Kespah could provide just the help the
trading route. As a result, various alien races set PCs need to find the truth and free their friend.
up trading outposts on the planet to conduct their
*Interstellar merchants are suffering from
trading. The Kespah, cursed with very few natural the pirate activity around Keysian III. The PCs,
resources of value, used their natural ability at hired to help combat the pirates, seek the help
conversation and information gathering to enter of a Kespah trader to learn what they can about
the information trading business. Realizing the a particularly active pirate company. This leads
enormous profit potential in this new business, the PCs to learn that the pirate company is
many Kespah began to leave Keysian III to seek actually a rare group of xenophobic Kespah
their fortune elsewhere. Armed with a natural seeking to end alien activity on their planet.
ability to understand the nature of others, the
* A Kespah approaches the PCs. He has
use of subtle methods of gathering information learned that the adventurers are seeking the
from others, and their keen negotiating skill the lost treasure of the famous pirate Leson. He is
Kespah can often be a very valuable source of quite willing to provide the adventurers with
information for people that are willing to pay.
the location of the treasure, but first needs help.
Typical Personality: By their nature,
Kespah are very friendly, optimistic and seek
pleasure and leisure whenever possible. With
an unending curiosity, they are always learning
and seeking new information about virtually
any subject (one never knows when it might be
profitable to have the information handy). If the
Kespah have a character flaw common to all of
them, it is a natural greed that motivates them to
constantly seek more comforts and shiny metals.

Merchants visiting Keysian III took his lover


prisoner in hopes of forcing her to work for
them. Rescue his lover, and he will provide the
adventurers with the information they seek.

Role Playing Notes: A Kespah NPC


will typically be friendly, polite and trusting.
Understanding the importance of trust in trading
information, Kespah will strive to always keep
their word. As a result, other NPCs will likely have
learned that the word of a Kespah can generally
be relied upon. If someone attempts to gain
information from a Kespah thru the use of threat
rather than offer of payment, then the Kespah
will not feel obligated to give completely honest
information. To the contrary, such a threat would
likely cause the Kespah to never again feel that
they can trust such a person to deal honestly.
Plot Hooks: The following plot hooks can be
used by a GM to introduce this species or their
homeworld to a campaign.
*One of the PCs is accused of a heinous crime
on Satir IV. The PCs know he is innocent, but

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