Sunday, May 24, 2015



In a galactic civilization, anyone from a different planet can be considered an “alien,” even genetically equivalent species whose only difference is the solar system in which they evolved. However, for the purpose of KWN and the space opera genre, humanity is considered the “default” species, and the term alien is used to mean “alien to humanity,” i.e. non-human.

For game purposes, an alien character is considered the same as a human character, including attribute scores, class and level, etc. Players should feel to describe the character in terms of appearance, home world, strange customs, etc.

In addition, a player may choose to roll on the following table to determine a specific unusual trait possessed by the character’s species (NOTE: a player is not required to roll for a trait; if satisfied with green skin and unusual dietary needs, that might be enough alien weirdness for the player). If the alien character DOES have a trait, the player must also roll for an alien drawback as well.

1 to 2
Acute Senses
3 to 4
Extra Body parts
5 to 6
7 to 8
9 to10
Natural Armor
11 to 12
Natural Weapon
13 to 14
15 to 16
Psychic Talent
17 to 18
19 to 20
Toxic Attack

Acute Senses: Character has heightened senses (smell, hearing, etc.) beyond normal human range and receives a +2 bonus to INT saving throws based on perception, especially when sensing danger. A character with enhanced senses may use them to justify other types of saving throw (for example, tracking or recognizing someone by smell).
Extra Body Parts: Character has additional, duplicate organs of that provide some type of benefit. Additional legs provide the character with faster locomotion (double the normal movement rate); additional vital organs give the character an extra D8 hit points; additional head or sensory organs provide the same benefits as enhanced senses. For characters with additional arms or prehensile digits (manipulative feet or tail, for instance) those of the soldier class gain one extra attack during the melee round, provided they have a second weapon.
Flight: The character’s physiology allows it to float, fly, or glide; perhaps she has wings or internal gasbags that inflate with lighter-than-air gas. Referees will have to determine the maximum range a character can travel before its physiology is fatigued.
Large: Character is much larger than human-size, though probably not more than 3 meters tall. Character receives an extra 2D6 hit points, and all melee damage inflicted by the character is doubled, excluding that of energy weapons like beamrazors. The cost of armor for the character is one step more expensive than usual, and she will have difficulty squeezing into tight spaces or adapting to human-size technology.
Natural Armor: Character has a natural carapace or extremely durable body that gives her a +4 bonus to Armor Class. If the character wears artificial armor, she uses the better protection of the two (i.e. the effect of natural armor does not add to the effect of the artificial armor).
Natural Weapon: The character’s physiology provides her with natural weapons (claws, mandibles, stinger tail, etc.) allowing her to do D6 damage in unarmed combat. The character receives a +2 bonus to attack rolls when using her natural weapon in a fight.
Pheromones: The character can exude off a chemical “scent,” creating an emotional reaction in those in close proximity: either creating feelings of love/attraction or fear/loathing (player chooses which when character first created). Used as a defense mechanism, opponents within 5m must make a PRE saving throw or break off their attacks, either out of friendship or terror. Other uses of this ability will need to be adjudicated by the Referee; it is suggested that its use be limited to once per game session.
Psychic Talent: The character’s species possesses a natural psychic talent usable even by those individuals not trained as Star Knights (choose a psychic talent from those listed; it need not be restricted by tier or prerequisite, but the Referee must approve any talent chosen based on the character concept). Characters activate their species talent exactly like any other talent. Beamrazor forms (see Chapter 2) are not psychic talents.
Shapeshift: The character has the ability to change his form and appearance to a creature or individual of roughly the same size, shape, and/or mass. Characters must make a PRE saving throw to attempt to impersonate a specific individual with any degree of success.
Toxic Attack: The character’s species has a venomous attack (usually a bite, sting, or spit) that has the potential to incapacitate a victim (whether the attack is lethal or not is up to the player to decide when the character is first created). The character must make a normal attack roll at an opponent within melee range and the target is allowed a PHY saving throw to resist the effect. Failure indicates the victim is disabled for 10-60 minutes (D6x10) and, in the case of lethal attacks, will require medical treatment within that time to prevent coma, shock, and death.

1 to 2
Deficient Mobility
3 to 4
Life Cycle Challenges
5 to 6
Life Support Requirement
7 to 8
Limited Vocalization
9 to10
Moral Code
11 to 12
Poor Digital Manipulation
13 to 14
15 to 16
17 to 18
Sense Deprivation
19 to 20

Deficient Mobility: Something about the character’s physical form makes her slower than others; her movement rate is half that of other characters.
Life Cycle Challenges: Character has a physiological disadvantage that will sometimes result in a serious inconvenience for the character. The Referee and player should decide together on something appropriate and on the triggering event for the challenge.
Life Support Requirement: Character requires species-specific life support equipment when not in her native environment, otherwise suffering D6 damage every round of exposure. On the other hand, the character functions perfectly fine in her “home environment” which may be exceptionally hostile to other characters.
Limited Vocalization: Character does not have the proper vocal organs to speak Galactic Basic (the common language of the Republic), though she understands it fine. As an alternative, the PC might be completely mute but have the ability to broadcast her thoughts telepathically (range is everyone within sight; character is unable to broadcast to an isolated individual except – perhaps – via touch, and is unable to use comm devices).
Moral Code: Character has a peculiar code of behavior (pacifist, no display of emotion, “honor is life,” etc.) that she is required to follow by her species custom. Failure to follow the code results in the character losing 10% of earned experience for a game session as the character’s confidence and sense of self-identity is shattered. Referees should be ruthless in enforcing this drawback.
Poor Digital Manipulation: Character is missing normal “hands” or manipulative digits and requires special equipment (vehicle controls, weapons, etc.) adapted to character’s unique physiology. All equipment costs are one step more expensive for the character.
Primitive: Character’s culture is far below galactic technology standards, and has no knowledge of “advanced equipment” (energy weapons, borgs, starships, etc.), feeling uncomfortable around their presence and suffering a -2 penalty when attempting to use such items. A Star Knight character does NOT suffer penalties with beamrazors, having been trained in their use.
 Repulsive: A hideous appearance, coarse behavior, terrible smell, etc. means the character receives a -2 penalty to any PRE saving throw involving interaction with anyone except members of her own species.
Sense Deprivation: Roll D6: On a 1-3 the character is missing a major sense (sight, hearing, etc.); on a 4-6 the character is OVER-sensitive in some way (to noise, smells, light, etc.) and suffers a -2 penalty to attack rolls, skill checks, and saving throws when exposed to the stimulus due to distraction.
Small: The character is of diminutive physical form and all equipment must be “cut down to size.” Small size weapons roll damage dice one-step smaller than normal; for example, a small blaster rolls 2D6 damage instead of 2D8 and a melee weapon inflicts 1D4 instead of 1D6. Small characters receive a +1 bonus to their Armor Class due to their size.

Both advantageous traits and disadvantageous drawbacks are considered common to ALL members of the character’s species. If the PCs encounter other members of the non-human’s species (including friends, family members, past rivals, etc.) they should have the same traits and drawbacks.

[to be continued

[Kloane War Knights is copyright 2013 by Jonathan Becker and Running Beagle Games. The X-Plorers rpg is copyright 2009, Dave Bezio & Grey Area Games. The X-Plorers trademark is used under the X-Plorers Trademark License]

No comments:

Post a Comment