Races

Characters may be of any race, although Marit is the default, and this entire work assumes, in general, that the characters will be that race. Future supplements may address the other races in greater detail. Ultimately, the availability of any particular race is up to the GM. Characters of any race automatically get the Racial Ability for that race.

Since most races generally refer to themselves as some variation of "the people," races are referred to in galactic discourse by the name of the star system from which their species originated.

Brogan

  • Population: 467 billion
  • Main Allies: Teros, Ghizan
  • Main Antagonists: Norian, Marit
  • Government Style: Imperial
  • Current Emperor: Kiddith Brogan XXXVI
  • Racial Ability: Innate Navigator – Brogan are intimately familiar with the Galaxy, and automatically succeed on Normal or easier Navigation rolls.

Brogan are tall, scrawny humanoids with dark blue-black to purple flesh and huge heads with large, bulging eyes. Brogan have by far the most advanced level of technology-much of which, particularly in terms of defense tech-remains unknown to the other races. It is, however, widely known that the Brogan possess many technologies none of the other races have, including matter teleportation, advanced molecular energy shielding, and it is rumored that they even have some kind of brain implant which can give them what appear to be psionic powers.

As the undisputed sole galactic superpower, the Brogan portray themselves as above the petty alliances and skirmishes of the other races and treat them all with more or less equal amounts of aloofness. Since they view themselves as absolutely superior, Brogan, unlike other races, would never join the crew of a non-Brogan ship for any reason, unless they had for some reason been exiled. As such, it is extremely unlikely that a player character will be Brogan, unless the whole party is.

The Brogan Empire spans dozens of systems, and the Brogan have established homeworlds in each of the home systems of the other races, terraforming them as necessary. Emperor Kiddith Brogan is the thirty-sixth in a very long, unbroken line of emperors who have adopted the name dating back over a thousand years, though few of them have actually been related.

Ghizan

  • Population: 12 billion
  • Main Allies: Brogan, Telatal
  • Main Antagonists: Ph'nong, Marit
  • Government Style: Benevolent Despotism
  • Current Monarch: Dances-Through-Sand
  • Racial Ability: Split Vision – Like most reptiles, Ghizan have an eye on either side of their heads, which they can move and focus independently of each other. This gives them the ability to aim and fire two ranged weapons at different targets. Ghizan automatically get two Shoot attacks per round.

The Ghizan are a reptilian race from a desert planet in the Ghiza system. Ghizans look somewhat like very large iguanas, ranging in color across the spectrum of greens and grays. They are quadrapedal by nature, and their ships are designed with this in mind. Given that the average Ghizan stands just three feet at the shoulder, other races only very rarely visit Ghizan ships—even most Teros are too tall to be comfortable. In the company of bipedal races, however, Ghizan will stand on their hind legs, balancing with their strong tails.

Ghizan are the most recent race to be granted emissaries to the Galactic Congress, 75 years after being permitted by the Brogan to leave the Ghizan system and participate in intergalactic trade and politics. Given their relatively unusual body shapes, it is difficult for a Ghizan to serve on a non-Ghizan ship (and the inverse is impossible) so, like the Brogan, Ghizan are very rarely seen in mixed crews and are unlikely player characters. Rumors exist that elite Ghizan engineers are employed on the largest and most elaborate Brogan warships, using their split-vision to do double the maintenance work.

Due to their particular climate requirements and lack of terraforming technology, the Ghizan have never managed to set up large permanent colonies outside their original homeworld.

Teros

  • Population: 235 billion
  • Main Allies: Brogan, Marit
  • Main Antagonists: Telatal, Norian
  • Government Style: Parliamentary Republic
  • Current President: Halok Divin
  • Racial Ability: Super Smell – The Teros "trunk" appendage has several advantages. In addition to automatically succeeding at Normal or easier smell-based Notice tests, they are also able to identify many elements and compounds present in the atmosphere, down to rough percentages of oxygen, nitrogen, and so on.

Teros are short, almost dwarflike humanoids with pale, yellowish skin. The only obvious thing setting them apart from Marit in general physical appearance, besides their relatively short stature, is the presence of a 3-4 inch trunklike appendage where a nose would normally be. This "trunk" gives Teros an exceptional sense of smell, and is also used by the male for reproduction–females have vestigial trunks.

Teros founded the Galactic Congress with the Brogan some five hundred years ago, after surprising the Brogan, who had assumed they were alone in the galaxy, by sending unmanned probes into the Brogan system. Eventually, they formed the Galactic Congress together and agreed to monitor all known intelligent civilizations for space travel technology, and confine them to their respective systems until the Congress deemed them worthy of admission into the greater galactic community. Perhaps because of their physical similarities, Teros tend to be friendly toward the Marit, and it is not terribly unusual for Teros to serve on Marit ships and vice-versa. There have even been rumors of Teros-Marit love affairs, but such things are considered extremely taboo by both races.

Like the Brogan, Teros have permanently colonized many systems and planets. Like the Ph'nong, they are prodigious miners and have hundreds of mining colonies set up throughout the sector. Current President Halok Divin is widely disliked by many of the other races for inflating the prices of various raw materials provided by the Teros, forcing the choice between high quality, high priced metals, or less expensive and lower quality goods from the Ph'nong, who have less advanced mining technology.

Norian

  • Population: 107 billion
  • Main Allies: Marit, Telatal
  • Main Antagonists: Teros, Brogan
  • Government Style: Tribalist Chiefdom
  • Current Chief: Blackclaw
  • Racial Ability: Bloodclaw's Roar – Norian have the ability to instill The Fear in other races once per day by making a successful opposed Spirit test against one or more opponents. They also have a permanent +10 racial bonus to Intimidate.

The second intelligent civilization to be granted emissaries to the Congress, Norian are large, hairy, bearlike bipeds descended from a highly intelligent line of predators. They are extremely fast and strong, and are equipped with razor sharp fangs and claws, which they prefer over any other weapon. They also prefer to forgo armor unless absolutely necessary. Their physical strength and natural weapons are rather intimidating to the other races, but in actuality Norian tend to be rather gentle and jolly creatures…at least until you really make one angry, which has happened at more than one legislative session at Galactic Congress, causing friction between the Norian and both the Brogan and Teros, which persists to this day.

Due in part to their mutual dislike of the Brogan, Blackclaw has a reasonably solid relationship with the Marit Authority, and there is much trade between the two. Marit occasionally serve on Norian ships and vice-versa, and there are widely rumored cases of rogue Norian-Marit pirate alliances operating in the galaxy.

The relatively close relations between the Norian and Marit have given the Marit at least some small voice on the Galactic Congress, which tends to annoy the Brogan and Ph'nong in particular, though for different reasons. Both races have sent colonists to live on each others' homeworlds and in outlying colonies.

Marit

  • Population: 26 billion
  • Main Allies: Norian, Teros
  • Main Antagonists: Brogan, Ghizan
  • Government Style: Totalitarian Corporatocracy
  • Governing Agency: Marit Authority
  • Racial Ability: None.

Marit are the newcomers to the galactic community, having only just been allowed by the Galactic Congress to leave the Marit system and participate in galactic trade and affairs about 5 years ago. They assimilated into the galactic community quickly, and established solid relationships with both the Teros and the Norian, setting up mutually beneficial trading compacts and working together to form multi-racial crews for trading, exploration, colonization, etc.

However, the Marit Authority is widely known to be a totalitarian regime, run by an elite group of the most wealthy corporate CEOs, which is heavily frowned upon, particularly by the Brogan. Fortunately for the Marit people, the last five years have seen an explosion in the number of ships and crew positions available, allowing many of the somewhat repressed Marit people to escape into the black where they are largely free from the whims of the Authority.

Telatal

  • Population: 7 billion
  • Main Allias: Ghizan, Norian
  • Main Antagonists: Teros, Brogan
  • Government Style: Federated Anarcho-Communism
  • Governing Agency: The Telatal Party
  • Racial Ability: Low-G Adept – Telatal automatically succeed on all Swim rolls in low and zero-G environments, regardless of difficulty.

The Telatal are essentially large, sentient, flightless humanoid bats. They are descended from much smaller, flying batlike creatures, and retain a bit of the now-vestigial leathery wing webbing between their upper arms and ribs, and in between their fingers. In contrast to Marit and Teros, Telatal have extremely short upper arms and proportionally longer forearms, with very long fingers. They have hairy faces with stubby, upturned, batlike noses and fanglike teeth.

Telatal enjoy strong relations with the Ghizan and Norian, and were allowed to leave their system fifty years ago despite hesitation by the Brogan and Teros emissaries. They have been up for admission to the Congress twice in those fifty years, but have been denied emissaries every time. They occasionally may be found on Norian ships

The Telatal have no colonies outside their homeworld.

Ph'nong

  • Population: 107 billion
  • Main Allies: None
  • Main Antagonists: Ghizan
  • Government Style: Hive Mind
  • Current Hive Queen: Th'lgrroth
  • Racial Ability: Hive Mind – Instant telepathy between all hivemembers. Range unknown.

The insectoid Ph'nong, resembling nothing so much as giant silverfish, are largely unseen and unheard of. They were allowed to leave their system before the Telalal, over one hundred fifty years ago, but have still never been up for admission to the Congress; not that they seem to mind. Little is known about them, other than that they have colonized many worlds spanning many systems. It isn't even known which worlds, exactly, outside of a few. Rumors of Ph'nong pirates attacking ships of other races and eating them persist throughout the races. Although no evidence of this has ever been discovered, whenever a ship disappears into the void, the rumors start spinning.

The Ghizan in particular dislike the Ph'nong, though this seems to be because they have an instinctual drive to eat insects.

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