Friday, August 08, 2014
Mephistoids are a feline-like humanoid species from the Cyrane Om'lr system. They were once the chief rivals of the Shi'ar Empire and the two groups waged a vicious war against each other. The Shi'ar won and the Mephistoids were relegated to scattered colonies in Shi'ar space.
Not long after the species first met, it was discovered that Mephistoid males give off a pheromone that can weaken the will of other humanoid species that breathe air. The Mephistoids used this ability to broker advantageous trade treaties with other species. The Shi'ar became enraged when this ability was discovered and went to war. The Cheater War (as the Shi'ar call it because they felt cheated by the duplicitous Mephistoids) was a long and bloody conflict. In the end the Mephistoids were defeated and the males were relegated to interdicted colonies. Female Mephistoids were free to roam to the galaxy once their penance had been served. To this day, hundreds of years later, there are very few free Mephistoid males in the galaxy, as they are largely still confined to their colonies and are not allowed to leave them.
One might think that a defeat of such magnitude would break the spirit of a species, but the Mephistoids are stubborn and dream of freedom for all their species. There are several terror cells made up largely of Mephistoid females that seek to free their men from their imprisonment to this day. While their numbers are only a small percentage of the overall population, their acts of terror against the Shi'ar Empire have stripped the entire species of their citizen status in the Empire. They can travel the various systems in the Empire, but they are under strict scrutiny wherever they go.
Due to their treatment by the Shi'ar, Mephistoids are among the most common aliens from the Shi'ar Empire encountered in the Alpha Quadrant and the Concord in particular. An enclave of Clerans (members of a peace-loving religion popular among the Mephistoids) have even entreated the Concord Senate to aid their in their quest to free their males. Due to the distance and scant contact with the Shi'ar Empire, but the possibility of building a cooperative relationship with a large empire in the Beta Quadrant, the senators sent the Clerans away without any more than platitudes that they feel for their plight but can do nothing more. Still the Cleran sisters seek for aid from others in the galaxy, while the Mephistoid underground continues to fight.
Mephistoids stand a little over five and a half feet tall, but males can sometimes reach six feet or more. Their skin is stark white, but is covered in fine fur that becomes thicker around their stomachs (though many Mephistoids trim this hair) lower arms and legs, and their heads sport hair much like many human species (although typically white in color). Their have long, bushy tails as well. The color of their fur is largely white, but some have black fur with white stripes reminiscent of an Earth skunk. Their eyes are feline-like with slitted pupils and are usually yellow or orange in color. Their ears are pointed as are their incisors and the nails on their fingers and toes. Mephistoids are a very agile people with excellent night vision and a keen sense of smell. They have the standard gender dimorphism of other humanoid species in regards to reproductive organs. Mephistoids can produce viable young with many near-human and feline-like humanoid species.
The feared "mind-controlling" pheromones are given off by both sexes. The males can use the pheromone at will, but females can only give off the pheromone while mating. Even so, the properties of their pheromones are greatly exaggerated. They do not control the minds of other humanoids, but can make them more open to suggestion. Most Mephistoid pheromone use is in their language. They have a verbal language, but along with spoken words, they give off scents that only a few non-Mephistoids can smell and few others can understand. This makes talking with a Mephistoid a confusing affair when attempting to converse in their own language. Even those that speak Basic or Shi'ar do so in a manner that is difficult to understand due to their strange sentence structure. This is an example of a Mephistoid speaking (broken) Basic: "Shi’ar not friends anymore ... if ever were ! Turned, Lilandra has! Forget you how we met ?" Still, some do learn how to speak other languages fluently, even if they still want to punctuate their speech with their pheromones. Translators can be purchased that can detect and translate all of a Mephistoid's speech, both verbal and not, but they are typically expensive (5,000 credits or more)
Mephistoids for Savage Worlds
Attribute Increase: Mephistoids start play with a d6 in Agility.
Low-Light Vision: Mephistoids ignore penalties for bad lighting in all but pitch darkness.
Claws: Mephistoids have retractable claws that do Str+d6 damage and grant +2 to Climbing rolls on all but completely sheer surfaces.
Keen Sense of Smell: Mephistoids gain a +2 bonus Notice rolls pertaining to scent.
Pheromones: Mephistoid males can give off a pheromone that grants them a +2 bonus to Persuasion rolls against other humanoids that breathe in the pheromone and fail a Vigor roll. The pheromones are only effective up to 10 feet away, but can only be smelled by Mephistoids (who are immune to the effects) and by other species with keen olfactory senses. This pheromone's effects only last 15 minutes, after which the victim cannot be affected again for another 24 hours.
Racial Enemy: Mephistoids hate Shi'ar. When dealing with Shi'ar, Mephistoids receive a -4 penalty to Charisma can be provoked very, very easily.
Outsider: Mephistoid females aren't generally welcomed in Shi'ar space, and have the reputation for being terrorists, thieves and pirates in other parts of the galaxy. They start play with the Outsider hindrance. Mephistoid males also start with this Hindrance and well, but they are seen as wanted criminals if found walking free in the Shi'ar Empire, as are any that aid a runaway male.
Mephistoids for Rogue Space
Archetypes: Mephistoid females can be Scoundrels or Technicians with a +1 bonus to either Acquiring, or Repair. Males are Soldiers with a +1 to Fighting.
Pheromones: Any air-breathing humanoid within close range of a Mephistoid must make a Fighting roll or come under the influence of the musk. This allows the Mephistoid a +2 bonus to Empathy checks to influence the victim.
Psionics: Mephistoid espers tend to have the Suggestion power most commonly, but any are possible.