Monday, August 9, 2010

N-Space Beastiary: The Beastmen of Mars

The Races of Mars

This article discusses the various races of Mars in the Space Nazis setting. The setting utilizes the Slipstream product in conjunction with the Savage Worlds Explorers Edition from Pinnacle Entertainment Group for race creation, equipment, vehicles, edges, hindrances and power.

Cat Men are the Red Planet's dominant life form. Other races live alongside them as either prey species, intellectual masters, or hide from them altogether to prevent racial extinction.

The topography of Mars is that of large swaths of red, savanna plains separated by forests, mountains, caverned trenches, and polar ice caps. The canals of Mars stretch from the poles to the equator supplying water and trade routes.

The Librarians of Mars

The squid-faced Librarians truly rule Mars but not in an overt way. In fact, rule may be too strong a word. Better said they always get their way. At least that was true until Earth disappeared down a black hole. Now that humans have settled Mars in large numbers, the Librarians are baffled as to how to best handle the invading race. Some favor developing an illness that would destroy them all. Others, fearing Galaxia's return, think the humans are the best chance the Solar system has of living free. For now the Librarians meet and discuss what to do about the human infestation.

Librarians are one of the ancient races from the Great Galactic Society that overthrew Galaxia and threw her into Z-Space along with most of her allies. There are two dark secrets the Librarians hold. The first is that Earth's solar system is one giant genetic experiment using genetic codes from Earth to create new sentient races. During the height of the Great Galactic Society, the Librarians illegally Terra-formed the moons and planets making habitable for their new creations. They would have been stopped by the Society's thinking machines had the machines known of the genetic experiments.

The second secret is far worse. During the great galactic war in which Galaxia sought to overthrow the Society's great thinking machines, the Librarians joined with Galaxia. As she fought the final battles of the war, she retreated to Sol's 10th planet Gygoth. The Librarians discovered a way to tap into the near-limitless power of the Elder using the hidden Harmonic Stabilizer forming a weapon that would have wrought devastation on a galactic scale.

Seeing the devastation to their laboratory system, a group of Librarians turned on Galaxia sending her, Gygoth, and most of her minions into Z-Space. The Librarians, to hide their crimes, then released the techno-virus throughout the the portal system destroying all technology throughout the Great Galactic Society. Their technology would die as well but their creations would live on. And now they wait for technology to rise again. Little did they suspect that man, the source of so much genetic material, would return them to space.

Today the Librarians aid the Solar Alliance against Galaxia's proxy, the Nazis. While much of their former knowledge is now lost, the memory of the knowledge remains.

The Librarians have two brains. One is there natural brain, the other is given to them later upon the death of an elder Librarian. The two brains slowly merge over time with memories and experienced added from the older brain to the newer. When a Librarian dies, they attempt to remove the brain and give it to a younger Librarian so that some part of the Librarian lives on.

Savage Racial Modifiers
  • Start with Smarts d6
  • Common knowledge and Smarts based skills are never untrained.
  • Re-roll any failed Smarts Skill or Common Knowledge trait test
  • Creepy -2 Charisma

Lagos - The Rabbit Men of Mars

The Lagos are a fleet-footed, backwards race who fear any fight. The herbivorous race have a tremendous jumping ability which helps them avoid conflicts. Their chief goal is to be left alone and to live in peace.

Unfortunately the Cat Men almost worship them as a food source. Since the humans have arrived many Lagos moved into human controlled areas since mankind, in general, takes a dim view of dining on other races.

The Cat Men respect the human laws although they find them puzzling. If the human would only try Lago meat the cats are sure the laws would change.

Savage Racial Modifiers
  • Bound - Jump double distance
  • Fleet Footed - Pace 10
  • Coward -2 Guts check
  • Rabbit Ears and Eyes +2 Notice
  • Hunted - Most Cat men will want to hunt a Lago

Ursans - Bear Men of Mars

Ursans remain a hidden, reclusive race in the polar regions of Mars. The Ursans want no trouble from anyone and they see isolation as the best way to achieve this goal.

Ursans combine aspects of gorillas and bears. They have an impressive framework of muscle hidden beneath thick fur which shields them from the cold polar regions of Mars.

The race normally walks on a combination of bear-like feet and clinched fists. They have a set of claws that extend from just above their first knuckle which aids them when walking on the icy slopes of the polar caps. These become devastating weapons should the Ursan ever become enraged.

Ursan life is communal with the elderly being venerated above all others. The youth are expected to show respect to those older at all times. Disrespect is considered a serious offense.

Ursans avoid combat at all costs but, if injured, can fly into extreme rage destroying all in their path. Due to the Ursan temper, their society is an extremely polite and genteel. Violence is abhorred. When an Ursan does enter a berserk rage it is something like an alcoholic falling back into drink. They are pitied and supported so that they do not stray again.

Savage Racial Modifiers
  • Slow - Pace 5
  • Pacifist (major) - Ursans will do their best to avoid combat altogether
  • Berserk - if wounded Ursans may enter into a rage
  • Claws d8
  • Starting Strength d8
  • Size +2
  • Max Agility d6

Arachnans - Martian Spiders

The arachnans dwell in the great, web-filled canyons of Mars. They allow no intruders. Trespassers are killed then sucked dry of bodily fluids. Even the Nazis avoid the Spider canyons since their one attempt at invasion lead to reprisals throughout the Solar System.

Arachnans are are ten limbed, with a human-like torso and head and a eight-legged spider-like body covered in black fur. They are extreme xenophobes resisting contact with any non-spider. The Arachnans are able to spin webs, have a poison sting, and can climb walls with ease.

Little is known of their society other than the fact they have a grand matriarch who's rule is absolute.

In combat, the Arachnans prefer to sting their opponents first. A melee attack with a shaken result causes paralysis for 2d6 rounds. Once incapacitated, the target is covered in webs and eaten over the next few days typically loosing one vigor die per day until dead.

The Arachnans can also throw webs. This acts as an entangle power with 5 power points. Arachnans movement is not slowed by webbing.

Savage Racial Modifiers
  • Spider Climb (normal pace on vertical surfaces)
  • Poison Sting Str+d6 (an sting attack that causes a shaken result paralyzes the victim for 2d6 rounds)
  • Scary -2 charisma
  • Extreme Xenophobic - Arachnans distrust all non-Arachnans suffering a -4 Charisma
  • Do Unto Others - Vengeful(Major)
  • Web Casting - Entangle 5 PP Throwing roll to hit

Martian Cat Men:

The cat men of Mars are as diverse as the human species was on Earth. They follow the same general markings as many of Earth's big game cats with similar names.

Cat men exists in a caste-based society based on a number of sub-races.

At the top of the caste system sits the Lion Men. They are large, proud, loud and rule the other cat men. While other sub-races may resent the Lions place in their society few would try to alter it for fear of loosing social status to another sub-race.

The Tigrans as next in caste status filling the role of high-ranking servants, engineers, and other professions. The Tigrans and Panterans do not get along and suffer the Racial Enemy hindrance when dealing with the great hunting cats.

Panterans are more primal than the other Cat Men. While technically a lower caste than the Tigrans they believe themselves superior and seek to have their caste elevated above that of the Tiger Men. They consider the Tigrans effete and un-cat like.

Cheetarans are next in social status. They are the messengers and soldiers of the cat men possessing great endurance and speed. Although low in the caste system, they are a proud race who does not take slights well. The perform any duty to the best of their ability. The saying in Cat Land is if you have a task, a Cheetaran will see it done.

Lynxans are on the lowest wrung of the casts system but they don't see that as a problem. They are a conniving, opportunistic race who use their position to every advantage. While the Cheetarans are known as the race who gets things done, the Lynxans are the race that gets things done discreetly for a price. They are inquisitive, often poking their whiskers where they don't belong and smaller than other Catmen standing between 4' and 4.5' in height.

Savage Racial Modifiers
All cat men have the following Savage Worlds abilities in common:

  • Lowlight Vision
  • Stealth d6
  • Claws d6

Some sub-races of cat men have additional hindrances or abilities

  • Lionmen – Code of Honor, Size +1, Racial Enemy (Tigrans), Vengeful (minor)
  • Tigrans – Racial Enemy (Panterans)
  • Panterans – Born Hunters (d6 Notice, Stealth, Tracking), Overconfident, Racial Enemy (Tigrans)
  • Cheetarans - Fleet-footed (pace 10), Vow (minor) to follow orders, Vengeful (minor), Notice d6
  • Lynxans – Small -1, Curious, Stealth d6, Notice d6, Agility d6.

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