Tuesday, November 18, 2014

What Rotten Luck

Ever feel like you're cursed? I'm in one of those ruts at the moment. It all started last month with an appendicitis and then a few weeks later with a cracked tooth that needed a crown. Then I pick up a CD the other day, put it into my car stereo and now it won't eject. Today tops it off with finding out there's no way my rig, which has been a great powerhouse for 6 years now, can run Dragon Age: Inquisition. Granted the last two items on the list are minor annoyances compared to the medical stuff, but it's all adding to the sense of being piled upon with crap. Argh! Anyway, rant off.

On the upside, it seems like my free time has been freed up entirely, so I won't be on much of a hiatus after all!

As for now, I'm off to find out how to dismantle my dash and open up my stereo so I can get my (hopefully not chewed up) CD...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

End of the Week and on the Cusp of a (hopefully brief) Hiatus

Whew! It's been a pretty productive couple of weeks for me on the writing front. I hope you all have enjoyed the regular updates, but they are likely coming to an end for a bit. Dragon Age: Inquisition comes out on Tuesday, so I'll be tearing my way through Thedas again during the scant free time that I have these days. I will be back, and I've got a few posts that I just need to put a little polish on and they'll be ready so there will be a few posts here and there.

I also picked up a couple of card games this week thanks to a couple of coupons from Half Price Books. The first is Boss Monster from Brotherwise Games. In this game 2-4 players try to be the first to score 10 (or is it 15...I can't remember off hand) points before losing 5 lives by building a five room dungeon to face off against heroes that will brave it. The second is Smash Up from AEG. In this game each player picks two 20 card faction decks and shuffles them together and tries to take control of various bases. The factions vary wildly from aliens, to ninjas, to robots, to dinosaurs, and so on. Each faction has a certain specialty which ups the replayability as you can try various faction combinations. There are also several expansions that add even more factions to the game (which I hope to acquire in the future). Both games offer a ton of replay value and are really quick games once you get the hang of them. If you see them, I recommend picking up both games.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Thrint


The Thrintun (plural form of Thrint) are a species of telepathic beings from a planet of the same name in the Tnuctin system. They briefly controlled a wide empire in the coreward Alpha Quadrant before their empire toppled to a slave revolt. Today, the Thrintun are kept in check on their homeworld by one of their former slaves species, the Tnuctip.

Thrintun are vaguely humanoid, cyclopean creatures with scaly green flesh. Heights vary wildly from four and a half feet tall to over eight feet tall. Their wide mouths are filled with needle sharp metallic teeth and their mouths have three finger-like feelers at both ends which help shovel food in. Their hand have three equidistant fingers that are not overly dexterous. Thrintun are not overly intelligent, the males have been ranked at slightly less than average intelligence and their females are virtually mindless. If it wasn't for their mind control abilities, they likely wouldn't have ever attained the stars, no less built an intergalactic empire.

Thrintun have two qualities that govern their lives: hunger and their telepathy. Thrintun suffer from constant, insatiable hunger. They must learn at an early age when to know that they have had enough to eat or become violently ill due to over eating. This hunger consumes their thinking, which can lead them to acting rashly. Their telepathic abilities have been honed to where they can dominate the minds of others, including other Thrintun. A young Thrint is not considered an adult until he can fight off his father's domination and control him instead. This ability allowed them to build an empire without having even sent a satellite into orbit. Thrintun do little for themselves if they have a strong enough will to dominate others to do things for them. Their religions all refer to their mind control abilities as "the Power" and cite it as the reason that they are destined to rule the galaxy and beyond. For a time it appeared as if their legends would come to fruition.

Some Thrintun are born without telepathic ability. These sorry individuals are either killed by their family out of shame or tattooed pink and sold into slavery. These "Ptavvs" are the only Thrintun that anyone is likely to ever see travelling the stars.

The Thrint Emprie controlled over 100 systems at its height. They relied heavily on slaves with more intelligence and knowledge to keep the Empire running. Most Thrintun at this time belonged to various noble houses that all vied against each other for control of slaves and systems, though they would come together to fight against a common foe. Favored slaves were given preferential treatment and were not often subjected to the mind control of their masters. It was a group of favored slaves that toppled the Thrintun Empire.

A group of Tnuctipun geneticists discovered a way to negate the effects of Thrintun mind control for as long as a month at a time. They spread the inoculation throughout the slave species over the course of a few years. When the time was right, the slave took their inoculation and won their freedom in a bloody coup that lasted only a few days as the Thrintun had few warriors or guards of their own as most of their soldier were enslaved species. The remaining Thrintun were exiled to Thrintun where they remain to this day. The Tnuctipun are their caretakers. It was the group of geneticists that spared enough Thrintun to keep the population viable, as they were unwilling to be a part of genocide. Now they ensure that no Thrintun escapes their homeworld and that no one ever attempts to land on Thrintun either.

Ptavvs are the only Thrintun that are allowed off of Thrintun. Ptavvs have found that they breed true, which has allowed them to build lives and communities wherever they wish. Their females are still little more than mindless beasts, and the males are not any more intelligent than their Thrintun brothers, but they are free to live their lives.

Thrint for Savage Worlds
Thrint (WC): Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d6, Spirit d10, Strength d6, Vigor d8
Skills: Notice d6
Pace: 6; Parry: 2; Toughness: 8 (2)
Special Abilities:
Bite: Str+d6 damage.
Tough Hide: The tough scaly flesh of a Thrint conveys +2 armor to Toughness.
Mind Control: Thrintun have the innate ability to to use the Puppet power at will. The range and arcane roll are both the Thrintun's Spirit. They can use this power as many times as they wish and there is no expenditure of power points to use the power.
Clumsy: Thrint hands are terrible for tool and weapon manipulation, they have the All Thumbs Hindrance.
Cyclopean: Thrintun only have one eye. They suffer a -2 penalty to any roll that requires depth perception, like shooting, throwing, jumping a ravine, or so on.

Ptavvs (PC Race)
Spirited: Even though they do not have the mental abilities of other Thrintun, Ptavvs start play with a d6 in Spirit rather than a d4.
Bite: Ptavvs can deal Str+d6 damage with their vicious bites.
Tough Hide: +2 bonus to Toughness due to their scaly hides.
Hindrances: Ptavvs start play with the One Eye and All Thumbs Hindrances. (Ignore the -2 Charisma penalty with the One Eye hindrance.)
Psionic Blind: Ptavvs can never take the Psionics Arcane Background.

Thrint for Rogue Space
DRM +1; TP K; SZ A; MV 30' (walk); AR L; DM L; HP 3; SP *
Mind Control: Thrintun all have the power of Suggestion. They roll this ability with a +3 bonus to the Empathy check. Thrintun can use this power as much as once per round, but if a target successfully avoids the suggestion, they cannot be subjected to the power for the next hour.

Ptavvs (PC Race)
Archetypes: Ptavvs can be Scoundrels and receive a +1 bonus to either  Acquiring or Empathy.
Tough Hide: Ptavvs always have L armor thanks to their scaly hides.
Bite: Ptavvs can bite for L damage.
Clumsy: Ptavvs suffer a -1 penalty to any roll that requires dexterous fingers or fine manipulation.
Psionics: Ptavvs are incapable of becoming Espers.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Liberated Borg


Since the Concord first encountered the Borg, strides have been made in reclaiming or liberating people who have been assimilated. The process of assimilation is so pervasive using cybernetics and nanites so advanced that just the study of the Borg has propelled Concord cybernetics ahead several years, but it has also made liberating victims that much harder. Plus, as difficult as it is to free someone from the ironclad hold of the Borg physically, the psychological damage is sometimes insurmountable.

Since the first successful liberation of someone from the clutches of the Borg, the process has been refined. There is now a standard of care practice that limits the damage to the patient and increases the odds of success. Even so, the chance of successfully liberating someone is only 30%. Many of the cybernetic implants must be removed (some are ingrained into the Borg's biological systems so completely that they can only be deactivated), the neural transceiver must be deactivated (in many cases the transceiver cannot be removed, so there is a danger that it could be reactivated to allow connection to the Borg once again), and the nanites that flood the patient's every system must be rendered inert. Even after the implants are removed, new cybernetic implants may have to be installed that aren't filled with insidious Borg tech to replace lost limbs or organs.

The nanites are the most problematic part of liberating someone from the Borg. Not only is it possible to reactivate Borg nanites with the proper stimuli (thankfully, this is exceedingly difficult), but the nanites are so valuable to a wide variety of people from scientists to criminals that they make liberated Borg akin to a walking treasure trove; they will forever travel with a target on their back. Plus, the nanites make natural healing difficult. For some time, liberated Borg are forced to rest in regeneration alcoves in order for their bodies to properly rest and heal. The time that a liberated Borg must continue to use Borg tech to heal differs from patient to patient and also on their species, but the average appears to be between six months to a year. During that time period, the liberated Borg's biological functions begin to improve and reassert themselves; most are even able to regrow hair (if their species normally grows hair that is).

Psychologically, liberated Borg are essentially entirely new beings. If they had lives before being assimilated, those lives are lost to them. They may have the memories of who they were before, but the connections are severed, the emotions drained away by the cold logic of the Borg which is the one thing that appears to stay with a liberated Borg even long after all the implants are removed or deactivated. The first, and oftentimes most difficult, hurdle liberated Borg must overcome is no longer being a part of the Collective. It takes time for one of the liberated to get used to only one voice being in their mind. Initially, suicide claimed the lives of nearly half of all beings liberated by the Borg, but psycho-therapy courses and meditative regimens have been developed that have lessened the suicide rate to 10%. While liberated Borg crave the voices of the Collective, they have a hard time making the connection that the Collective is just another group of beings sharing ideas, like a family, or a starship crew. Most liberated Borg have a hard time fitting into social situations. They must essentially re-learn social cues, etiquette, humor, and even mating habits as if they were a child.

Another aspect of their recovery is that other beings look upon them with fear, suspicion, even loathing and curiosity. The Borg are a very hated enemy, on par with the Illithid, and many people throughout the Alpha Quadrant either know of colonies wiped out or have been personally affected by Borg attacks. People often have a hard time accepting a liberated Borg. Even if they don't carry any sort of grudge against the Borg or the liberated, the liberated Borgs' own lack of social skills make it hard for other people to accept them into their groups.

Liberated Borg are seen as a huge asset in the eyes of the Concord and other stellar powers that have come into contact with the Borg. They retain the knowledge they gained while part of the collective, and their brains are able to retain information easier. This makes them a valuable source of information on the Borg. They also retain the Borg drive for efficiency and apply that need to every aspect of their lives, this makes liberated Borg very handy on a starship especially if they are a technician. The Collective also see liberated Borg as high value targets. Liberated Borg have been singled out for re-assimilation as they now have new experiences that could prove valuable to the Borg.


Liberated Borg for Savage Worlds
Liberated Borg is a template that is added to an existing character race. I found the great idea "Experience" from here.
Experience: A liberated Borg retains much of the knowledge they where exposed too as part of the Collective. When they make Common Knowledge rolls no subject is considered “foreign.”
Outsider: Liberated Borg have the Minor version of the Outsider Hindrance applied to them. If their species or character already has this Hindrance, the Charisma penalty increases to -4. If the Charisma penalty is already -4, ignore this Hindrance.

Liberated Borg for Savage Worlds
Liberated Borg characters are rolled as a character from a standard race as normal and then adds the following traits.
Experience: Liberated Borg gain an additional +1 bonus to Science rolls.
Socially Inept: Liberated Borg suffer a -1 penalty to all Empathy rolls. Empathy penalty cannot go below -2.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Threats of the Galaxy: The Borg


The Borg are a psuedo-species of cybernetically-enhanced beings culled from various assimilated species from both the Delta and Alpha Quadrants. While tales of the Borg had been traded and swapped by deep space merchants and hyperspace explorers for hundreds of years, the Concord has only confirmed the existence of the beings in the last 55 years. A group of Borg Cubes, their starships named after their curious cube shape, penetrated deep into the Alpha Quadrant and began attacking starships and colonies along the Neutral Zone between the Concord and Romulan Empire. Since that time, many other encounters have been recorded and progress has been made in combating these dangerous beings.

The Borg are all connected in a vast hive mind. What any one Borg experiences, they all experience. Species that they deem worthy of assimilation into the Collective are attacked and members are abducted and injected with nanites to make them into drones. The nanites quickly begin to take over biological functions and building implants in the victim. They also instill an overwhelming desire to seek out the Collective should a victim be left behind for whatever reason. However, the nanites are unable to complete the assimilation of a being totally on their own as there are many implants that must be installed on a Borg Cube. These implants include a neural transceiver for keeping the drone connected to the Collective, one arm is typically amputated and refitted with weapons, medical gear, technical gear, and so forth depending on the drone's function, an ocular implant, and various other implants many of which the Concord does not yet understand their function. Upon assimilation, all individuality in the drone is lost.

There are some other trade-off's than just the loss of individuality. Borg Drones do not heal naturally. They must spend a portion of every standard day in a regeneration pad in order to keep their bodies from decaying and to repair any damage. When presented with new or divergent information, Drones are not quick to react as the information is being analyzed by the Collective. Also, the Borg has proven to be vulnerable to computer viruses introduced into the Collective via Drones. On a couple of occasions, the Borg Queen has been forced to wipe out thousands of Borg to keep a virus from crippling the Collective.


The Borg do not procreate. Infants and juveniles that are among adults being assimilated have some implants installed, but are then taken to maturation chambers until they are old enough to be fully assimilated. During their time in the maturation tanks, their young minds are constantly bombarded with knowledge and information from the Collective. Out of all of the being in the process of being assimilated by the Borg it is the children that have the hardest time fighting off the influence of the Borg largely because it may have been all they have ever known.

The Borg are constantly searching for new species to add to the Collective in order to "refine the perfection" of the Collective. Their qualifiers for assimilation is new or sufficiently advanced technology or unique physiology traits that would benefit the Collective. Species deemed unworthy of assimilation or simply uninteresting enough are either ignored or destroyed. Once the Collective has decided that a species (be it a handful of members on a starship or an entire planet of beings), only the Borg Queen can change the Collective's course of action. Most assimilated species are humanoid, but there have been sightings of Borg Drones from non-humanoid species. There are some species that are incapable of being assimilated. In those cases, if the species is deemed to be a possible threat to the existence of the Collective. they are attacked with the end goal of genocide in mind otherwise they are simply ignored.


The Collective is led by a being known as the Borg Queen. This being is always female from a humanoid species. This being is part of the Collective and yet apart from it at the same time. While drones are emotionless, the Queen displays a wide array of emotions and will even use pain and intimidation to sway the emotions of beings she is dealing with. Based on the few recorded interactions with the Borg Queen is it assumed that there is only one Queen in the Collective. If one is destroyed another is created to take her place after an undetermined amount of time. Unlike drones, the Queen is much more machine than organic. Drones that have been liberated from the Collective (coming in a future post!) that have had their implants removed are still largely organic, all that appears to be organic on a Queen is jut below her collar bones and her head. A synthetic spinal column extends from this organic piece to plug into a totally robotic body. It has been theorized that organic part of the Queen are constituted when needed and that the Queen is largely just a very advanced A.I.; the sum total of all the Collective's knowledge, even its knowledge of emotions and individualism.


Other than the Queen there are six types of Borg. Labor Drones are the most basic of drones, designed for heavy lifting and menial, non-technical tasks. Transport Drones are the pilots of the Collective; they are more nimble and quick than other Drones who tend to be slow and plodding. Maintenance Drones handle the upkeep of systems and equipment aboard Borg craft, they are also generally the first Drones to board a craft that is being evaluated for assimilation to tap into their computer systems and test their weapons and defenses. Tactical Drones are the combat heavy hitters of the Borg. Their implants largely consist of weaponry including arm and shoulder-mounted weaponry. Assimilation Drones are those specially designed to assimilate as many beings as possible. All Drones can inject nanites, but Assimilation Drones are simply more precise and effective at their work. They can also quickly implant neural transceivers into those being assimilated to speed up the process of Assimilation. Medical Drones see to the well being of the Drones. They make repairs to regeneration stations, and see to the installation of implants of newly assimilated Drones.

No matter what type of Drone a Borg is they all share similar qualities. Borg are all adorned in what looks like a mish-mash of cybernetic implants and body armor. The color of the armor is typically black, but gray and sometimes silver can be found as well. The flesh of a Drone has the look of death about it (which can vary greatly from species to species, but chalky white to dirty gray appears to be the most common), which makes sense since the nanites do the bare minimum to keep flesh and organs active. They move with a plodding deliberateness as if they were more robot than a living organism. Drones speak of themselves as the Collective only, never as individuals, only the Borg Queen ever refers to herself in the first person, and even then only rarely.

The Collective's hold on Drones can be disrupted. There are two known splinter groups of Borg that were abandoned by the Collective. In both cases, the groups lost their connection to the Collective. The first group immediately set about developing their own Collective. The Deviants, as they are referred to by the Borg, act much like the Prime Collective, with a desire to assimilate other species and make the Collective stronger, however, they give others the choice to join realizing that not all species would wish to join a hive mind. They may still assimilate beings against their will, but so far have only done so when they have been attacked. The Deviants have also shown a desire to barter with other species and coexist. So far the Concord has not had any official contact with the Deviants.

The second group, known as the Pacifists, were severed from the Collective and stranded on a planet in a remote system. They were not able to establish a new Collective for many years, though they could connect in small groups for short periods of time, which acted as a sort of communal regeneration. Many of the Drones could not take the silence in their minds and committed suicide, but those that were able to stay strong were somehow able to regain a portion of what they were before being assimilated. Most of them removed what implants they could and began to build a community. After having "lived" and worked alongside so many species, some of whom came from cultures that actively warred with each other, they were granted a new perspective on the universe and strove for peace and unity. Eventually, they were able to set up a Collective to link their members. They will not assimilate any other beings, but they do feel that their unique perspective would be an inspirational message to other cultures, including the Borg.

Borg in Savage Worlds
(Borg Stats were inspired in part by those found here. I've tweaked them a bit for my own use.)
Labor DroneAttributes: Agility d4, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8 
Charisma: +0; Pace: 4; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:

  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Transport DroneAttributes: Agility d8, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (Computers) d6, Notice d8, Pilot d8
Charisma: +0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:

  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Maintenance DroneAttributes: Agility d4, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Knowledge (Computers) d10, Notice d8
Charisma: +0; Pace: 4; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:
  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Computer Hacking: A Maintenance Drone can gain control of a computer using their Knowledge (Computer) skill at +2.
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Tactical DroneAttributes: Agility d6, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8
Charisma: +0; Pace: 6; Parry: 6; Toughness: 12 (4)
Gear: Tactical Drones are equipped with a weapons arm. The weapon equipped to the arm can vary, but most are equal to Disintegrator Rifles, Plasma Rifles, Heavy Flamers, and Gatling Lasers. They are all equipped with a shoulder mounted Blaster rifle.
Special Abilities:
  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Multi-TaskTactical Drones can fire both weapons in the same round without a penalty for taking two attacks in a round. 
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Assimilation Drone: Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d12, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Notice d8
Charisma: +0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:
  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Multi-TaskAssimilation Drones can make two melee attack in the same round without a penalty for taking two attacks in a round. All melee attacks from an Assimilation Drone results in Infection if their attack does damage. 
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Medical Drone: Attributes: Agility d4, Smarts d12, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d6, Healing d10, Knowledge (Biology d12, Cybernetics d12), Notice d8
Charisma: +0; Pace: 6; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11 (4)
Special Abilities:
  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and they do not suffer wound penalties. They have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of their body; a called shot could be made against the Drone at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: A Borg Drone can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Triage: Medical Drones can offer assistance to Drones, removing Shaken results with a successful Healing roll. Incapacitated drones can be reactivated to Shaken status with a successful Healing roll with a -2 penalty applied to the roll. 
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
  • Enslaved: Borg Drones are completely enslaved to the Collective and unable to act on their own.

Borg Queen (WC)Attributes: Agility d6, Smarts d12+4, Spirit d10, Strength d10, Vigor d10
Skills: Fighting d10, Knowledge (computers) d12+4, Knowledge (electronics) d12+4, Shooting d10
Pace: 6; Parry: 7; Toughness: 11 (4)
Gear: The Borg Queen doesn't typically wield any weapons, but instead is situated in a highly defended alcove defended by many drones as well as automated defenses. She can and will use any dropped weaponry should she need to, however. 
Special Abilities:
  • Cyborg: +2 to recover from being Shaken and she does not suffer wound penalties. The Queen have 4 points of armor that only covers about 80% of her body; a called shot could be made against the Queen at -4 to hit a unprotected location.
  • Hardened Fists: Str+d6 damage.
  • Adaption: Each time a weapon is used against a drone or the Queen, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d4 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type. 
  • Infection: The Borg Queen can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Vigor roll at -2 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
  • Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can roll a Spirit check to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  


Borg in Rogue Space

Labor/Transport Drone
DRM +1; TP I; SZ A; MV 20' (Biped); AR M; DM L; HP 3; SP *
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
InfectionThe Borg can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 9 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.

Maintenance Drone
DRM +1; TP I; SZ A; MV 20' (Biped); AR M; DM L; HP 3; SP *
Computer Hacking: A Maintenance Drone can gain control of a computer with a Repair roll with a +2 bonus.
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
InfectionThe Borg can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 9 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.

Tactical Drone
DRM +3; TP I; SZ A; MV 30' (Biped); AR V; DM M or V; HP 5; SP *
Weaponry: Tactical Drones have weaponized arms that act as Flamers, Laser Rifles, or Mini-Rocket Launchers. 
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
InfectionThe Borg can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 9 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.

Assimilation Drone
DRM +2; TP I; SZ A; MV 30' (Biped); AR M; DM M; HP 4; SP *
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
Enhanced InfectionAssimilation Borgs are more adept at swiftly infecting beings with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 11 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.

Medical Drone
DRM +1; TP I; SZ A; MV 20' (Biped); AR M; DM L; HP 3; SP *
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against a drone, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the drone has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
InfectionThe Borg can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 9 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.
Triage: Medical Drones can heal drones of damage. Each round a Medical Drone can heal one other Drone of 1d3 HP worth of damage (the Drone's HP can never go above their initial number). They can also attempt to reactivate Drones that have lost all of their HP. Roll 2d6 against TN 11. If the roll succeeds, the Drone is reactivated with 1 HP. 

Borg Queen
DRM +4; TP I; SZ A; MV 40' (Biped); AR M; DM M; HP 5; SP *
AdaptionEach time a weapon is used against the Queen, both the attacker and the GM must roll 2d6. If the number comes up the same, the Queen has adapted to that attack form, making that weapon completely ineffective if an energy weapon and dropping the damage of projectile weapons by 1 die (projectile weapons are dropped 1 die each time the 2d6 rolls come up the same for the same weapon).  Within 1d6 rounds all other Borg have the same defense against that weapon type.
Psionic ResistanceBorg receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting psionic powers. Plus, on the next round, an affected drone can make an Empathy roll (TN 5 + Esper's Empathy bonus) to break the power’s affect on him immediately as the Collective adapts to the power.  
InfectionThe Borg can infect a organic being with nanites, forcing the victim to make a Fighting roll against TN 9 each round until they fail the roll or are somehow freed of the nanite infection. If the target fails the roll, they come under the control of the Collective and lose their free will.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Illithid Servitor Species Part Four: Mind Rippers


The Illithids ran experiments and test on a great many of the species they conquered during the Invasion and humans/near-humans were no exception. As the invasion entered the more densely populated sectors, the Illithids were met with greater resistance to the point that in many sectors the war became more of a war of attrition than the blitzkrieg in which it started. In order to sow discord in the societies of their enemies the Illithid created a new species, splicing their own DNA with that of humans; thus were born the Mind Rippers.

Mind Rippers were meant to be covert operatives in regions of space where humans and near-humans were the norm. The Illithid wanted beings that were ruthless, goal-centered, and utterly loyal to them...the succeeded in two out of three goals. What the Illithid didn't count on was the seemingly innate need in humans (and most near-human species) for individuality and to follow their own paths. While they did develop a race that were ruthlessly pragmatic and goal-oriented, they failed in encoding loyalty into their creations they way they did the Tzakandi. Mind Rippers were smart enough to see what happens to those that displease the Illithid, so they played their part until it was becoming clear their masters were going to lose the war. When the Illithid defeat appeared to be a certainty, the Mind Rippers joined the Ith-Kon in fighting the Illithid from the inside, helping to scatter the invaders across the Alpha Quadrant and beyond.

After the war ended, most Mind Rippers did their best to disappear. They knew that their appearance marked them as being born and bred by the Illithid, and in any case they had little desire to either live among the species they warred against or to be test subjects in any attempt to better understand the Illithid. They made their way to sectors that didn't feel the effects of the war and beyond. Few had any destination in mind and there was little camaraderie among their own kind, so they wander the spaceways living their lives one parsec at a time. There are supposedly a couple colonies in remote systems where groups of Mind Rippers live, but most are vagabonds, traveling alone or in small groups.

Mind Rippers are humanoids with the same height and build as most humans. Their skin color is typically a sickly pale color with some slight mauve spots on their necks and along the hairline of their foreheads. Their most striking feature is the four small tentacles that adorn their faces. One extending from each cheek, one from the chin, and the last replacing their nose. These tentacles allow them to hold a victim's head tight while one or more tentacles find access to the brain to feed. Mind Rippers need to feed on cerebral fluid, but have no dietary need to feed on the fluids of sentient beings. In fact, most avoid to feed on sentient creatures, not out of respect for intelligent life, but for the fact that feeding in such a manner only causes more harm than good so they tend to get their cerebral fluid from animals. They can also eat regular food, which is where they get most of their sustenance. Their hair is stringy and oily unless it is washed regularly and ranges in color from black to sandy blonde. Mind Ripper eyes are deep-set and small, and are usually pale grey in color.

Mind Rippers are extremely focused. Once they set their mind on completing a task, they develop tunnel vision until it is seen through to the end. They are also a very pragmatic species as well. While not as married to logic as Vulcans, they are still quite adept at not letting emotions cloud their judgement. That is not to say that they are not fit to emotional outbursts. Mind Rippers can become frustrated if their efforts are continually hampered and that frustration can lead to fits of rage and violent outbursts.

Mind Rippers for Savage Worlds
Intelligent: Mind Rippers start play with a d6 for Smarts.
TentaclesStr+d4; Reach 1"; Grab; can only be used against Shaken or Incapacitated foes. 
Focus: Mind Rippers can gain a +2 bonus to a skill roll, but during that time they take a -2 penalty to all Notice rolls due to being so focused on their task at hand. 
Mind Rip: Mind Rippers have a special psionic ability they can use even if they do not have the Psionics Arcane Background. They can focus their will on a foe and drain their Intelligence. This is like they are using the Lower Trait power with the trait being Intelligence. They do not expend power points to use this ability, but instead can use it a number of times per day based on their Smarts: d4: 1; d6: 2; d8: 3; d10: 4; d12: 5. No matter if the ability succeeds or not, the Mind Ripper is Shaken by using this power. 
Outsider: Mind Rippers start play with the Major version of the Outsider Hindrance. 
Dependency: Mind Rippers must feed on cerebral fluid at least once a week or they will suffer from Fatigue on the 7th day of not feeding. They become automatically Fatigued each day until they’re Incapacitated. A day after that, they perish. Each hour spent recovering with the appropriate substance restores a level of Fatigue.

Mind Rippers for Rogue Space
Archetypes: Mind Rippers can be Scoundrels or Technicians and receive a +1 bonus to either Acquiring or Repair. 
Tentacles do L damage, but are only usable against a for that is either pinned or otherwise helpless. 
Mind Rip: Mind Rippers can focus their minds to drain the Intelligence from another being. This is an opposed Empathy check. If the Mind Ripper succeeds, the foe's Empathy bonus drops by 1 for 1 round is suffers a -1 penalty to all physical-based tests for 1 round due to being dazed. The Mind Ripper is also dazed for 1 round after using this power no matter if he was successful in its use or not. A victim who drops below Empathy bonus 0 is slain by this attack. Mind Rippers can use this attack as many times a day equal to their Empathy bonus. 
Psionics: Mind Rippers can become Espers, and tend to focus on damaging powers like Psychic Blast and Scream. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Illithid Servitor Species Part Three: Derro


During the Illithid Invasion, the Alpha Quadrant burned, countless lives were lost or otherwise destroyed, but for the Dwarhim it forced them to revisit one of their greatest shames and let the galaxy see the hand they played in all the sorrow.

Over one thousand years ago, there was a Dwarhim geneticist who attempted to grant the psychic-blind Dwarhim with psionic potential. It had been a mad quest for Derrontin Granbash nearly all of this life. He envied other species that could move items with a thought or force others to do their bidding. It was a power that he wanted for himself and his people; a way to retain their glory in the galaxy. At first the Institute of Science approved of his research, granting him the funding and technology. As time wore on, Derrontin was not able to provide any concrete proof that he was making any progress. Eventually, his funding was cut and he was assigned to work with a rival on researching a cure for a form of cancer that was ravaging Dwarhim in their frontier colonies. Enraged, Derrontin left his position and after failing to procure funding from patrons, he turned to crime.

Derrontin performed medical duties for criminal organizations to secure funding for the equipment he needed. He even mixed poisons for cartels who wanted to kill rivals quietly. Once he had secured the equipment he needed, he began the ghoulish work of rounding up test subjects. He felt that if the Institute would have allowed him to run trials on fellow Dwarhim that he was on the verge of a breakthrough before his funding was cut. Now, without the Institute looking down on him and everything he did, he felt free to finally see if his theories were correct. He offered credits, clothing, and food to lure in indigents from the lower wards of the capital city of the Empire of Steel, Ironheart. Like many major cities, the older areas of the city were plagued with poverty, crime, and vice. The Lower Wards were home to many homeless Dwarhim just looking for some food, a fix, and a place to sleep, and Derrontin found them to be easy picking. Once back at his lab, he would he would drug his victims and begin his tests.

As it turned out Derrontin was correct, there was a latent psionic gene in some Dwarhim, an estimated 10% of the population had it. He unlocked it. Unlocking the gene also lead to some surprising side effects. The victims who had the gene had their hair turn white and their eyes went milky white as if they were blind though they could still see. Skin color would turn bluish-gray. They developed an intense sensitivity in light. Anything brighter than a common indoor light bay would cause blindness and natural sunlight would cause their skin to crack and blister. Still, they also gained the ability to learn and develop psionic powers.

With his theories proven, Derrontin set about plans to unlock this potential in a wide array of people. His test subjects, now followers, traveled to the Dwarhim colony of Arntok along the edge of the Empire of Steel's territory. There he created a water-based transmittal system and tainted the water supply with it. The solution unlocked the genes in those that had the potential, but it also sickened most of the other residents of the small colony. When it was discovered what happened, those that did not transform rose up against Derrontin and his growing "cult." When Imperial forces arrived to assist the colony, all they found were smoking ruins. Derrontin and his followers repeated this process three more times before they were tracked down by Imperial warships.

For several days, Derrontin, aided by the psionic abilities of his "children" dodged the warships. Finally, they were cornered in the Aztharon system. Derrontin's ship was badly damaged and the Imperial warships were moving in for the kill when several of his number in a fit of desperation were able to somehow open a wormhole which allowed them to escape. The Empire declared them dead after a thorough search of the sector and adjacent sectors. In reality, Derrontin and his cult ended up on the edge of the galaxy. They managed to survive and thrive until they were discovered by the Illithid.

At first it was assumed that the Derro were another servitor species like the Tzakandi and Mind Rippers that were genetically modified by the Illithid from some other Milky Way species. However, Dwarhim historians recognized them for what they were and genetic scans on Derro corpses and captives confirmed that they were the descendants of Derrontin's cult. It was also assumed that they were a conquered species, that was also incorrect. The Derro were slated to become slaves of the Illithid, but the Derro struck a bargain to offer their services as warriors in return for guidance in honing their psionic abilities. This became apparent after the invasion ended and the Derro largely left with their tutors. Those that stayed behind were hounded by the Empire of Steel (something that caused quite a political storm for the Empire in the Concord Senate) until they too were scattered.

Today, Derro are still largely found with Illithids, and therefore the largest group in any one place is in the Whispering Dark. However, there are Derro scattered throughout the Alpha Quadrant and beyond. They tend to work with unsavory characters, but that is not to say that all are criminals. Only about 40 are known to live in Concord space as citizens of one of the Concord members, most other free Derro have thrown their lot in with other stellar powers like the Romulans, Cardassians, Satyxis, and the League of Unaligned Worlds.

Derro are humanoids that stand around 4.5 tall. Their hair is uniformly white with light to dark gray skin and milky white eyes. They have lean builds in relation to their Dwarhim cousins.

Derro for Savage Worlds
Hardy: Derro start play with a d6 in Vigor.
Psionic: All Derro start play with the Arcane Background (Psionics) edge. They all have the Mind Reading power, but the other two power selections are up to the player.
Low-Light Vision: Derro ignore penalties for Dim and Dark lighting conditions.
Strong Willed: Derro have developed innate defenses against intrusions into their minds. They receive a +4 bonus to resist mind-affecting powers (such as Puppet and Mind Reading). This bonus also applies to a Derro looking at someone using the Disguise power (even though they may not know they are looking at an illusion at the time).
Outsider: All Derro start play with the Major version of the Outsider Hindrance. Derro are known collaborators with the Illithids and are therefore despised throughout much of the Alpha Quadrant.
Vulnerability to Sunlight: Derro are blinded when exposed to light brighter than a common household lightbulb, but protective goggles can protect against this. However, when exposed to sunlight, even the dim light of dawn or dusk, their skin begins to blister. This is played out as if the Derro is being attacked by the Sunlight for every hour of exposure. For sunlight akin to early morning or late evening intensity, the damage is a d8. Mid-morning and mid-afternoon intensity deals d10+2 damage. Sunlight equal to the brightness of high noon or greater deals d12+4 damage. This is lethal damage to Derro, and armor does not add to Toughness against these kinds of attacks. However, vacc suits with a properly shielded helmet can protect against this damage.
Racial Enemy: The Dwarhim carry an intense hatred for Derro even after all this time. When dealing with Dwarhim, Derro suffer a -4 penalty to Charisma.

Derro for Rogue Space
Archetypes: Derro can be Scoundrels and Soldiers and receive either a +1 bonus to Fighting or Acquiring.
Strong Willed: Derro get a +4 bonus to tests against mind-affecting powers like Suggestion or Telepathy.
Sunlight Vulnerability: Derro suffer damage when exposed to sunlight. Armor does not decrease the damage taken, but it can negate all damage if the armor totally covers the Derro's body. The damage is L for sunlight equal to that of early morning/late evening; M damage for sunlight akin to mid-morning/mid afternoon; V damage for intense sunlight. This is considered lethal damage.
Psionic: All Derro are Espers with the Telepathy power even if their Empathy score is not high enough. Telepathy is an innate ability. They can converse with each other telepathically without attempting a power roll, but do have to make a power roll (using their Empathy score) if attempting to communicate with another species. Derro Espers can select an additional power to Telepathy with all powers being equally available.