Thursday, August 2, 2012

Races of Galaxy Command

One of the projects I'll be releasing this fall is an expanded race book for Galaxy Command. I don't have many changes to make to the core GC races (because most of them are VERY mechanically sound), so consider this a 'rolling-revamp' focusing on expanding the options available to each GC race.

Expect more detail on major planets in the setting, expanded plot hooks, and rules mods like those in Zero Issue and the Otherverse America GMG that play up the various tropes of 70s sci-fi. I'm deleting the Mechamorphs (or at least not including them in the race book, and letting them fizzle out, though I'm not making any changes to the core campaign book). I've pulled in the Trius from Free20: Threeway and made them a core GC race, and I've added several new races already, including a race of crystaline intellectuals, and five variant Human tribes, from the Pacificans (inspired by Barbarella) to the Survivor Fleet (tough, rugged refugees inspired by Battlestar Galactica).....

Here's a preview of the WARSTAR template- which can be added to any character to make a 'bad guy' version of the race or concept. Expect more details about WARSTAR (the major bad guy faction in the setting, and support for WARSTAR based player characters). 


The WARSTAR Cultural Template

            The worst monsters in the known galaxy can be found behind the Iron Curtain of Space, serving as officers in WARSTAR’s endless legions. But beyond star-monsters and space pirates, almost every race common in Command Space can be found, in oppressed or debased form, within WARSTAR’s territory. There are Human (and Charioteer and even the occasional treasonous Survivor) officers commanding WARSTAR armada, Tal-Anon and Urlok tribes enslaved by WARSTAR, cruel, larcenous Gravity Cats serving the Tyrant as mercenaries, Star Droids programmed for sadism, and even more….

            A character with the WARSTAR template is a hero born behind the Iron Curtain of space. Only infamous rogues, mighty warriors and savage hunters are ever given the WARSTAR Template, which is a mark of pride, terror and honor among the dark empire. Ordinary citizens of the WARSTAR regime toil quietly, their status as star-slaves marked by far simpler designs than the body-wide crimson markings of a true WARSTAR hero. 

            Heroes and villains with the WARSTAR Template enter a strange conversion coffin, where in an agonizing process, every inch of their body is tattooed a deep blood red. Feathers, fur and hair are tinted a similar shade, or else dyed a dark grey or threatening black. Black sigils cover the WARSTAR heroes’ hands and torso, and a star-like design worn over the creature’s right eye (if the creature has eyes as humans recognize them) indicates the alien’s rank within WARSTAR’s legions. This star is a collection of jagged, threatening points with an empty center, laid over the eye itself.

Color and Number of Points of a WARSTAR ‘eye-star’ tattoo
Rank within WARSTAR
Black, four pointed (X-shaped) star
Low ranking grunts, disposable infantry.
1st level heroes, 1st-3rd level ordinary warriors
Black, five pointed star
Trusted non-comms and junior officers. 2nd-4th level heroes.
Black, six pointed star
Senior non-comms and low ranking officers. 5th-10th level heroes.
Black, seven pointed star
Veteran operatives, mid level officers, infamous or daring heroes. 10+ level heroes.
Golden, seven pointed star
Command level officers, nobility, generals. 15+ level heroes.

            Ordinary spacers born in WARSTAR territories often have similar, but much less extensive bio-tattoos marking them as the Tyrant’s property. Among WARSTAR civilians, these marks usually take one of the following forms:
  • A thick, blood red band tattooed around the throat.
  • Black or crimson circles around the eyes like a raccoon’s mask.
  • Sharp, geometric designs in black or red around the right eye.
  • A black or crimson star (with varying configurations and numbers of points) on the palm of one or both hands.
  • A three digit identification code, ending with an alien sigil, on the upper arm, breast or forehead.

            Acquiring the Template
This cultural template is added during character creation.

Ability Score Modifiers
+2 STR, +2 DEX, -2 INT.
WARSTAR raises its military heroes to be physically superior, but places little emphasis on creativity, innovation or cleverness.

            Combat Lessons (EX)
            WARSTAR Heroes are proficient with Simple and Martial Weapons and with Personal Firearms, as well as with Light and Medium Armor.

            Crimson Skin (EX)
            WARSTAR bio-tattoos provide the hero with a +1 natural armor bonus to Defense and Fire Resistance 10.

            No Lesser Fear (EX)
            WARSTAR heroes are cruelly, sadistically trained by WARSTAR taskmasters throughout their brutal childhood and early teen years. WARSTAR heroes are immune to fear effects. This trait is suppressed against fear effects caused by any creature with a WARSTAR allegiance which more Hit Dice then the WARSTAR character. Thus, a WARSTAR hero would be immune to the fear caused by some strange alien predator, but not to the effects of his old drill sergeant, a fearsome 12th level villain sworn to WARSTAR’s service.

            Savage Tactics (EX)
            WARSTAR teaches its soldiers a particularly reckless breed of courage- these overly bold warriors take many unnecessary wounds in battle just to prove their toughness. Anytime the WARSTAR hero suffers a wound, he suffers one additional point of damage per damage dice the attack would ordinarily inflict.
            WARSTAR heroes can never use the Total Defense action.

            Mistrusted (EX)
            WARSTAR’s agents- even supposedly reformed defectors- are justifiably feared in Command Space. The WARSTAR hero suffers a -2 penalty on all CHA-based skill checks, except for Intimidate made against any character with an allegiance to Galaxy Command.

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