The Reptilian Race

by Davide Amato

Art by Christopher Shy

These creatures are evolved dinosaurs, distant cousins of the Reptile Men (see GURPS Fantasy). They look like graceful, slender, two-legged, man-sized reptiles. When fully clothed, one of them could pass for a slim human if he does not speak and covers his face. They are omnivorous egg layers, warm-blooded, with light green or yellow scales. Their faces are like lizards'. They do not have claws, fangs or a ferocious appearance, so humanoid beings tend not to react at the -3 penalty that Reptile Men receive.

The Reptilian Race

The race has a peculiar advantage called "Fast evolver." Over the course of few generations the race can develop useful physical or mental traits, adapting to their environment with amazing speed. In game terms, assume that during character creation a Reptilian can spend about 20 points in any racial Advantage/Disadvantage allowed to Earth-like creatures (See GURPS Aliens).

These advantages are normally linked to some physical disadvantage and some skills, and given in an "Evolver module." The skills are only a product of education, but the disadvantages are part of the physical structure of the subrace, so nothing short of TL9 bioengineering can change this. Note that two Reptilians having different "Modules" can mate, but fertility will be greatly diminished. The offspring will never mix modules, but instead only take the mother's or father's module.

The Fast Evolver is a "special effect", and the race does not have any peculiar characteristic, so the racial cost is zero. Note that a race so perfectly tailored for survival would quickly spread all over an Earth-Like world, unless confined by natural or artificial barriers. They can live comfortably in any natural environment, so they are unlikely to develop a technology past TL1. They simply do not need it.

Some advantages and disadvantages have been taken from the GURPS Aliens book, but they are fully described here, so that book is not required.

Some campaign hooks:

Here are some Evolver modules.

Gecko Module

The subrace is very well adapted to the life on tops of trees or in dangerous mountain peaks.

Module Cost: 17 points
Summary: Clinging, Throwing at DX, Acrobatics at DX+1, Skinny, Fragile
How to use: Very good at hunting and ambushing. Perfect for swashbuckling warriors.

Night Predator Module

This subrace is very adapted to night hunting, and can function well even in daylight.

Module Cost: 16 points
Summary: Infravision, Color Blindness, Tracking at IQ, Stealth at DX, Silence 1, Acute Hearing +1
How to use: Perfect assassins and thieves. Combined with a cowardly personality, they make excellent villains. Give them Night-Only Magery (GURPS Magic) and they will be perfect!

Chameleon Module

The subrace can blend into its surroundings and become noiseless.

Module Cost: 14 points
Summary: Chameleon 2 and Silence 1 (modified), Stealth at DX
How to use: Patient stalkers, quiet and very deadly. Give them an introvert personality, a strong willpower, and some light weapon skill, and they will become the ultimate killers

Crocodile Module

This subrace is lightly armored and very adapted to underwater activity.

Module Cost: 18 points
Summary: Damage Resistance, Reduced Move, Hold Breath, Swimming at DX+2. (The Hold Breath effect is taken from the GURPS Grimoire and implemented using the Knack Rule.)
How to use: They have an advantage in their home, and do not want to lose it. They can be effective villains and good ambushers.

Ankylosaurus Module

The subrace is like a tank: slow but very well armored.

Module Cost: 19 points Summary: Body of Stone x4, Reduced Move How to use it: They are not warriors; a slow warrior is a dead warrior. They will be calm, strong-willed and self-confident. They do not seek fights, but give a good beating to any would-be attacker.

Animal Shaman Module

This is the only module that can be combined with others. This represents the "Shaman," who talks with the spirit's World, as opposed to the classical Magician. It is strongly recommended this module be used instead of the standard Magery Advantage.

Module Cost: 14 points
Summary: Magery 1, Animal Empathy, Magic Susceptibility 2
How to use: It could be used by adding Magery 2 or 3 for a spell-based mage, or used as it is for a Rune Mage.

Hypnotic Eyes Module

This subrace developed an useful natural attack: a peculiar eye movement capable of hypnotizing the unwary.

Module Cost: 10 points
Summary: Hypnotism at IQ+5, Telescopic Vision 2, Weakness
How to use: This module requires cunning. The Hypnosis skill is useful, but only against one enemy at a time, and if it fails there will be some quick escaping to do. Note that this module will become useless in a culture where the Hypnosis skill is known and taught.

Article publication date: June 9, 2000

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