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Suldokar's Wake part 6

·1258 words·6 mins

In the last post we discussed backgrounds and how they modify the stacks of a character and also the choice of keywords that they offer. In the post before that we had a look at types. It’s now time to take a closer look at life-forms, or what other systems would call the race of the character.

Note: This is part 6 of a series on Suldokar’s Wake. For a list of posts about this RPG check here.

Life-Forms #

The life-form affect the appearance of a character and also modifies her stacks (see below). Some life-forms give immunities, resistances or vulnerabilities. The choices of life-form is determined by the number of pairs that you rolled at character creation (which we’ll see in details in part 7 of this series).

# of pairs Choices of life-form
None You can make a blood or an alien
One You must make a blood
Two You can make a blood, alien, or tank born
Three You can make a blood, alien, tank born or construct

These restrictions represent the proper distribution of life-forms on Zira-Ka. For example, the most common result is getting a single double and that represents the fact that there is a majority of bloods, etc.

Stack Modifiers #

The following table is a summary of the stack modifiers for each life-form.

Life-Form Modifiers to stacks
Blood Four stacks +2, two stacks +1, +2 to Close and Ranged
Alien Two stacks +2, four stacks +1, +2 to Close and Ranged
Tank Born One stack ≡ 8, five stacks +1, +2 to Close or Ranged
Construct Four stacks +2, two special (droids: Tech ≡ 8, Ghost ≡ 3; holids: Archive ≡ 7, Ghost ≡ 4), +1 to Close and Ranged

Bloods #

Bloods are future descendants of humans and they dominate all over the planet, with the exception of a few areas. They come in all shapes and colors. As most implants are made for bloods, making stack improvement is easier for them than for other life-forms (except for droids). The term “blood” seems to come from the fact they are of a pure bloodline as opposed to aliens who are infected by XLA. Bloods get: four stacks +2, two stacks +1, and +2 to both Close and Ranged.

Aliens #

The “alien” denomination is, of course, from a blood’s perspective, but this large minority has made it its own and uses the term interchangeably with K’lsixla. Aliens look like bloods in most respect, but their bodies live in symbiosis with the alien species XLA, resulting in a number of physical variations. All aliens have trouble finding implants that fit and are generally shunned in blood high society.

On Zira-Ka there are two major groups of playable aliens and you can pick either. All aliens get one special ability, one resistance, one vulnerability, and a special physical feature. They get: two stacks +2, four stacks +1, and +2 to Close and Ranged.

Palp Aliens have thin palps in place of hair. The character can speak the Palp language.

Amphibious Aliens have gills on the sides of the neck, webbing and scaled skin. The character can breath underwater and needs to do so at least one half hour per day or become lethargic (only clean rolls) and pass out into a coma in d3 days. The character can speak the K’lsixla language.

All aliens get one special ability which can be either mental or physical if it fits their body features. They chose a formula or roll randomly in the formulæ table (on the ‘alien (innate)’ column). They also have one vulnerability and one resistance. Roll d12 twice on this list.

d12 V or R d12 V or R d12 V or R
1 Heat 5 Poison 9 Death
2 Cold 6 Disease 10 Light
3 Energy 7 Acid 11 Sound
4 Mental 8 Fear 12 Radiation

Roll d12 once on the aliens features table:

d12 Feature d12 Feature
1 Very powerful bones 7 No nostrils or no nose
2 Extra joints 8 Slit ears or huge ears
3 Curved spine 9 Huge eyes or glowing eyes
4 Impossibly thin or fat 10 Slightly translucent skull
5 Very protruding jaw 11 Deep wrinkles everywhere
6 Three-digit hands 12 Moving birthmarks

Tank Born #

Tank born are sterile bloods bio-engineered during the Thaldo period of the post-imperial era (350-623). That means that tank born were made some 700 years ago, originally to be Thaldean servants. All tank born have one out of three enhancements: Archive, Bulk, or Morph. The one chosen is set and capped (see below) at 8 with a corresponding physical appearance: oversized head (Archive), very tall and muscular (Bulk), or huge eyes and long necks1 (Morph).

The “set and cap” means that whatever you rolled for the stack in question is replaced by 8, and that no background or positive implant modification can change it. It is possible that some implant might lower the stat, as a side-effect, and the score may also be temporarily altered by nanite formulæ.

Tank born do age but they can rejuvenate if they find a working tank. The process affects memories asymmetrically, meaning that older memories are more likely to be lost than recent memories. There is a strong sense of kinship amongst the tank born.

Constructs #

Playable constructs are either droids (machines) or holids (holograms turned into solid holograms through the influence of HoloH). Both are functionally equivalent to bloods: they can move on land, talk, manipulate things with “hands”, etc.

They have one construct adaptation of a formula and up to three built-in tools, one of which may be a weapon, but the total cost may not exceed 50 Parts. These should be in line with the origins of the construct (see below). To determine the formula use the formulæ table (droids use the ‘droids (adapted)’ column, holid use the ‘Core’ column).

Droids need 2 e (energy cells) and two hours of maintenance per day to function2. They have Tech set at 8 and Ghost set to 3 (both disregarding initial rolls and background bonuses). They get double rolls versus harm. Implants for droids are simply mechanical upgrades and are comparatively easy to find.

Holids need to recompile for two hours per day3 and require a holofield. HoloH reaches large portions of Zira-Ka, but it is moody with weather-like effects and can be shielded. Holids get Archive set to 7 and a starting Ghost set to 4 (both disregarding initial rolls and background bonuses). Holids are resistant to regular physical damage. Implants for holids are called “hacks,” and are hard to find software upgrades.

Constructs are immune to suffocation, poison and disease, but are vulnerable to energy weapons and must pass a Ghost roll before they can deliberately hurt bloods.

You need to determine the appearance of the construct and for that you should figure out why it was originally constructed. Remember that any unilateral advantage that comes from the construct’s shape must be matched by hard character data. Your AI can help you figure out what your construct was designed for and how that affects its shape or personality.

Conclusion #

We’ve now completed our introduction to the fundamentals of Suldokar’s Wake, enough so that in the next post we’ll be able to go through character creation, and from there you can begin your journey as a citizen of Zira-Ka!

  1. It is said to be the utmost trait of beauty by Thaldean standards. ↩︎

  2. This may be postponed somewhat but works like skipping food or sleep for a blood or an alien. ↩︎

  3. This works like sleep. ↩︎