Sunday, June 29, 2014

The Human Family Part 2

In my last post, I covered many of the various breeds that carry human genetics that can be found in the galaxy. This post will expand upon two other members of the human family tree: Mutants and Human/Alien Crossbreeds.

In an older post (found here), I discussed the background information of mutations in (what I'm now calling) Mythic Space. Mutants have a tough time among their own species, even in one as diverse as humanity. Mutants still face racism, discrimination, and violence because they are what they are. Out in areas of the galaxy where there are many different species converging together, such as the Citadel, mutants are afforded the chance to move about freer than they would in a largely human colony. (For Savage Worlds, I've been using Darwin's World to generate mutants and mutations.)

In my last post, I mentioned the human-fraal hybrids, the Serran. The human/alien crossbreeds I'm talking about here are not like the Serran, who were born out of emotionless science, but rather a human and an alien creating offspring the old fashioned way. There are many different humanoid species in the galaxy, most with the same physiological set-up down to their reproductive organs. In fact, there are so many humanoid species that look similar enough that the classification of near-human and baseline humanoid are virtually commonplace. For instance, upon first sight, one cannot tell the difference between a human and a Sebacean and a Betazoid, but the differences are there. Even so, somehow these species are able to create viable offspring. This is one of the reasons there are so many theories surrounding a "seeder race" that populated the galaxy with so many species that are so strikingly similar. (See my post on Precursor Species here.)

The children of these pairings can have a difficult time in life, especially if their parents came from vastly divergent cultures, such as human and klingon. The children may never truly find acceptance in either parents' culture, and will lead a life that is filled with wondering where they fit. However, in cases where both parents come from species that are similar enough, such as with humans and sebaceans, the child may not even know for a long time that they are any different than the other children around them.

Humans can mate with a vast number of species, but producing offspring that are truly viable was once very rare. However, as humans become more and more entrenched into galactic society, the desire for mixed species couples to have children that were their own has grown. Medical science as stepped up to help alleviate some of the genetic incompatibilities that some pairings once faced in having a child. However, there are some rules that hold true no matter what science would like to accomplish. Generally speaking, humans can only produce offspring with similar species like vulcans, sebaceans, bajoran and the like; or in other words with species that still look and are not too dissimilar to themselves. However, pairings with some...more exotic species have been known to produce offspring such as pairings with luxans, cardassians, and even scarrans, though these are rare. The same hold true for other species as well. Caininoids can procreate with other caininoids and felinoids with other felinoids and so on.

The rules for playing such as character in Savage Worlds are still being worked on. Most of the time I try to meld the two species together by toning down the non-humans stats a bit, and that goes for the penalties as well. If the character is still a bit too strong, I tend to apply the Outsider hindrance as well. I always apply Outsider if the character has parents with features that will make it stand out as something other than human, like a luxan/human since he will have lenkas growing out of his head.

One last piece of the human family tree is that of the Simulacra. These beings were first developed by Voidcorp as laborers for areas that held either distrust for droids or for lines of work where robots or androids would not be able to properly function. They were billed as expendable clones. Most of the galactic community admonished Voidcorp, and they quietly sold off the tech to anyone willing to pay. Now simulacra are only found in areas of space where cloning workers is common, such as in the Thuldan Empire, among Aboleth and Illithid installations, and even among some of the larger pirate barons. Simulacra are human, but with a very shortened lifespan (7-10 years at most). They are born from vats, adult and fully-functioning when born with certain traits and skills coded into their DNA. There are three general "models" of simulacra: laborers, luxury, and soldiers. Most people in the Concord will never see one of these beings. Still, there are the occasional groups that break free of their masters and travel to medical havens with the hopes of stopping, or at least slowing, the sand in their hourglasses. (Use the Simulacra rules in Interface Zero 2.0.)

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