Steve Jackson Games GURPS – Generic Universal RolePlaying System

The Sstasia

Racial Cost: 75 points
Created by: John C. Faludi <john.c.faludi@hotmail.com>

Races have been created with a TL9 campaign universe in mind (with FTL travel available at TL9).


GURPS Space – Alien Race
(sheet layout from: GURPS Space GM's Pack)

[Note: I think some of these are using costs from GURPS Aliens which have since been altered in GURPS Fantasy Folk, 2nd ed. In particular, DR may be overpriced by 4 points, dropping the Sstasia to 71 points. –arcangel@prismnet.com]

Race Name: Sstasia
Human name or nickname: The Saurians

General physical description:

A reptilian race, approximately six feet tall standing upright, powerfully built, with greenish drab skin. Tan to dark brown striped patterns run along the back from neck to tail. Forearms are usually held tight to the body with the hands dangling. Their hands have two clawed fingers with an opposable clawed thumb. Common eye colors range from yellow to green, with orange being rare. They have powerful legs and clawed feet with a large, semicircular, retractable claw on the center toe. Best way to think of what they look like is to watch the Velociraptors in the movie 'Jurassic Park'.

General personality description:

Sstasia are an extremely territorial and brutal race. They are violent and highly antisocial towards other races. They have taken the ideal of "only the strong survive" to an almost fanatical level.

Base point cost to be a member of this race: 75 points.

Home world / system / area: The Saurian Empire is near the edges of known space.
Native star type: Type F (yellow-white) Size IV
Home planet type: High-iron tropical jungle world.
Native gravity: 1.16 G
Preferred temerature range: 85-90°
Atmosphere composition and pressure: Semi-dense oxygen/nitrogen at 1.2 pressure.

Basic Attributes:

ST: +4 (45 pts)
DX: +5 (60 pts)
IQ: -1 (-10 pts)
HT: +2 (20 pts)
Movement speed (bonuses or penalty): Running at 3x move
Natural PD, DR or other defenses: Natural DR2.

Advantages:

Required racial advantages:
Enhanced Move (Running)*2 (20 pts): Increases max speed when running to Move x3. This does not affect Combat Move (unless running all out in a fairly straight line) or Dodge.
Peripheral Vision (15 pts)
Alertness +3 (15 pts): +3 to all sensory rolls.
Combat Reflexes (15 pts)
Damage Resistance (10 pts): DR2 vs. everything due to their tough, leathery hide.
Tail (0 pts): Striker. Range 0. Thrust/Crushing damage. Cannot be aimed well, DX-5 roll to hit.
Bite (15 pts): Striker. Range 0. Thrust/Cutting damage. DX roll to hit.
Foot Claws (40 pts): Leg&Striker. Range 0. Kick damage is Swing/Cutting. DX-2, Brawling-2, or Karate roll to hit.

Outrageous special abilities (e.g., magic):

Magic is unheard of for this race, and Psionics is extremely rare (at least a 50 pt Unusual Background if not more).

Other advantages common among members of the race:

Extra levels of Alertness are common, or seperate levels of heightened senses are common.
High Pain Threshold is also very common for members of this race.

Disadvantages:

Required racial disadvantages:
Reduced Arm Strength (-25 pts): Arm strength is ST-6. This represents their arms being used more as manipulators than anything else.
Intolerance of other races (-10 pts)
Bad Temper (-10 pts)
Bloodlust (-10 pts)
Sense of Duty (-10 pts): to all members of the Sstasia race.
Fanaticism (-15 pts): to the Sstasia race.
Increased Life Support/1 (-10 pts): Require large ammounts of food (usually live).
Short Lifespan/2 (-50 pts): Mature at 9years, Aging rolls begin at 25years (unmodified for medical extensions of TL9).
Odious Racial Habits (-15 pts): Will eat other sentient beings. Ritual cannibalism praticed. Sentient races hunted for sport and enslaved.
Reputation (-15 pts): -3 reactions to everyone, all the time. Sstasia are blodthirsty killers. Sadistic and cruel. A warlike race that hunts sentient beings for food and sport.

Other disadvantages common among members of the race:

Bully, Overconfidence, Jealousy, and Sadism are fairly common.
Compulsive behavior (fighting) is also somewhat common.

Racial Psychology

Racial "quirks," likes and dislikes, or psychological peculiarities:
The Sstasia do not have famalies as we know them. After the young hatch, the parents care for the young until they are about 1 year old. At this time the youngsters begin their education and are sent to what could best be described as military camps. At this point the young Sstasia are on their own and must quickly become independent and self sufficient. They begin their education with basic schooling and combat survival techniques. They are raised in the education centers with the beliefs that their race and its survival are the most crucial parts of existence, thus the idea of a family unit is insignificant when compared to the entire race.

The Sstasia feel that the Kaa are somewhat kindrid spirits. Though they trust them more than any other race they still keep their distance.

Racial or society goals:

Their main racial goal is to survive in a hostile universe.

They seem most human when . . .
. . . they strive to overcome their obstacles against sometimes overwhelming odds.

They seem most alien when . . .
. . . they engage in their ritual cannibalism rites. After a battle they will devour their comrades who have been mortally wounded. They believe that their comrades' spirit will live on within them to make them stronger in the next battle. They will also eat their enemies for the same reason.

They also seem most alien when speaking their language. To other races (not reptilian in origin) their language is treated as mental/hard. The combinations of hisses, growls, and roars are extremely difficult for mammalian life forms to imitate. Body posture used to be an important factor as well, but was slowly changed from posture to intonation when non-visual ranged communication became commonplace in their culture. When written in english (examples below) rough pronounciation should be as follows: Ss-a moderate hiss. Grr-a gargling growl. Aa-a long A sound such as "aahh". !-a short almost barking sound. A*a-a rolling A sound (hard to distinguish from Grr). Ch-a sound much like somone clearing their throat (or hawking a lugie).

Skills:

Required (or very common) skills:
Stealth, Jungle Survival, Tracking, and combat skills are extremely common. Hunting skills are prized especially. Jumping is also a common skill they are extremely good at.

Prohibited, limited, or very rare skills:
Artistic skills are unusual, but not unheard of. Art tends to be very uniform and sterile. Functionality is considered more important than aesthetics.

As noted above Psionics are extremely rare. Teachers for these skills should be few and far between.

Other unusual racial features:

When Sstasia become old and infirm they will usually have their closest companions ritually consume them. This is an accepted pratice since old age causes one to become weak and mentally infirm, all Sstasia see dying old and weak as the most terrible of fates.

The Sstasia male to female ratio is about 1 male to 3 females. There is no gender descrimination among the Sstasia, only the weak and less intelligent are discriminated against (if not killed outright).

What members of this race, if any, are suitable as PCs?
Unless running an "evil" campaign or a campaign where everyone plays a Sstasia this race should be NPC only.

Combat notes:

In melee combat Sstasia can be extremely deadly. Even more frightening than a regular warrior are the Sstasian martial artists. There are two main styles of Sstasia martial arts: Ssaraach (translates roughly to: The Way of the Predator): A stealth-oriented art which concentrates on ambush and assassination, and Ahrraastass (translates roughly to: Viscious Death): A deadly and effecient style which concentrates on killing or incapacitating an enemy quickly.

Since the Sstasia have weak arms (compared to the rest of them) they concentrate on slashing opponents with their huge foot claws or using their powerful bite. Due to their lack of arm strength most common hand-held weapons tend to be ranged weapons (i.e. Lasers, Blasters, etc.), though in ancient times melee weapons such as clubs and spears were used.

Society:

General type of society and/or politics:
The Sstasia society is run by a rigid dictatorship (The Saurian Empire) where the strongest (and smartest) rule. Due to their warlike nature this is the only accepted form of government. Other types of government are seen as inferior. A democracy would be unthinkable; why let the weak masses make decisions which could weaken more members of the race when a strong leader knows what needs to be done to strengthen the entire race. A monarchy would be just as unthinkable as they have no families to identify with heredity or hereditary title.

Social status within the race is based on strength and intelligence. Those that prove themselves to be weak and stupid are not worthy of privelidge, while the strong and intelligent will be better equipped to lead others. Social status and military rank are basically one and the same (so don't bother spending points in each).

Levels of social status can be ranked as follows: (Sstasia name in parenthesis)

-4: Slave of another race (Ssaagrrach)
-3: Outsider (Grraach) or Sstasia slave (Grraass)
-2: Handicapped (Grraa)
-1: Servant (Grr)
0: Citizen (Ssta) or Military Rank 1 (Sstass)
1: Merchants (Rraach) or Military Rank 2 (Sstagrr)
2: Fleet Merchants (Rraa) or Military Rank 3 (Ssgrr)
3: Military Rank 4 (Ssa*a)
4: Military Rank 5 (Ss!) Planetary Ruler (!a*a)
5: Military Rank 6 (Ss!grr) or System Ruler (Ch!)
6: Military Rank 7 (Ssa*agrr) or Multi-System Ruler (Cha*a)
7: Military Rank 8 (Ssa*a!grr) or Emperor's Court (Chass)
8: Emperor (!chgrrssa*a!)

There is also no differentiation in status based on sex. Females can be just as strong and intelligent as males (or even better). Only during a female's pregnancy will she temporarily drop in rank. After having her children her status is returned.

Control Rating and variations for specific fields:
The overall control rating of the Saruian Empire could be viewed as CR4 (Controlled). However, control ratings for items/weapons a Sstasia may posess depend heavily on social status. The higher rank a Sstasia holds, the lower CR item they are allowed to have.

Race's overall role in Galactic society:
Even with their vile reputation (and the habits that go with them) they were offered a seat on the L.A.W. (League of Allied Worlds) Galactic Council. Suprisingly, they accepted, but have not had any major influence in Galactic policy other than making absolutely sure that other races have a difficult time getting into Sstasian space.

Race's overall role in the campaign:
The Sstasia make great badguys, though a creative GM could (if they wanted to, I'm not saying you have to) also turn them into the most misunderstood race in the Galaxy. Their first encounters with other races went so poorly that they were instantly branded as evil and sadistic. In reality they were just following their cultural beliefs and because of this misunderstanding have been blacklisted ever since. It can really turn the tables on PCs who thought that 'killing the evil lizards' was a good and noble thing to do. They should feel miserable when they learn the truth.

Technology:

Tech Level and variations for specific fields:
Vehicles and other transportation are at TL9, as are power systems (fusion plants, etc.). Medicine is about at the middle of TL8 but Cybernetics is just beginning to reach the TL8 range. Robotics have progressed to middle TL8. Weaponry and armor have just recently reached the level of TL10.

Specific gadgets or technologies used by this race:
As stated above, faster then light travel is available at TL9. Otherwise nothing special.


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