Cross-Species Physiological Variations
Many Vanthian individuals depart from their species norms. Interestingly, there are some abnormalitie which consistently cross the boundaries between species. Speciologists have assigned the following scientific terminology to describe these permutations, which can be applied to a game/simulation environment.
Risical Ruminations: Racial Modifier
Racial Modifiers allow the player to ‘mix it up’ a bit, varying the basic stereotypical nature of character races in several different ways. Risus players may note this beside the racial part of an appropriate cliche, e.g. Cave Vulcan Medicine Man, Bionic Halfling Luchador, Evolved Klengon Psi-Warrior, Wooky Droid-Merchant With An Aversion To Water [he has a mutation that makes him dissolve in water]. Evolved versions of normally-unintelligent creatures can become player characters if the JourneyMaster approves — and what fun-loving JM would not do so?
CAVE/PRIMITIVE: an archaic or atavistic version of the species, usually more brutish and less intelligent. They rely more on physical prowess and strength than intelligence and an appreciation of the finer things, with a keen appreciation of hunting and professional sports.
Cave Elves might use primitive weapons such as throwing sticks or atlatls instead of bows; Primitive RoboDroids would be less advanced, perhaps steam- or clockwork-powered instead of electronic.
EVOLVED or ADVANCED: often have larger brains and diminished hair/body coverings. Beauty and intelligence are prized more highly in advanced societies than strength and violence. Advanced Lizard Men usually hatch long-term schemes to eradicate other species, such as humanity; evolved Dwarves would be more familiar with computers and lasers than printing presses and crossbows.
MIXED RACE or BIONIC: The offspring of two races, possessing the best and wost features of each, such as an Elf/Dwarf hybrid or a Half-Klengon. Typically, such beings manifest the aspecial racial abilities of their parents, though to a lesser degree. Half-RoboDroids are called “Cyaborgs” or “Bionic” (for example a half-RoboDroid Frankenstein). Because of the difficulty these beings have finding sexual partners, or mates, they are reputed to be especially ferocious in battle. (See my forthcoming monograph upon the “Enkidu Gambit” for ways that such vulnerabilities can be exploited).
MUTATION: Many individual beings on Vanth possess features which are not typical of their races as a whole, whether present at birth or appearing at some later stage of life. These birth defects super powers, or alterations are caused by exposure to unusual environmental factors, often radiation, “Alpha Incidents”, or magic.
These are some of the more commonly-known mutations on Vanth. Because of the scientifically-unpredictable nature of the mutation gene, others are entirely possible.
- Mutated Psionic Lobe results in enhanced psionic powers and decreased resistance to them
- Magic Birthmark Companion (many regarded as evil)
- Metabolically stimulated poisons
- Immunity to non-weapon temperatures
- Allergic to alchemy
- Significantly above or below average (for your race) physically, mentally, or psychically
- Poisoned by normal foods
- Armor-piercing fists
- Functional gills, webbed fingers and toes (possibly undocumented amphibian heritage?)
- Short bursts of super-speed at a physical cost
- You melt in water
- Self-consuming brain (your intelligence is gradually eroding)
- Atrophied Psionic Lobe results in decreased psionic powers and an enhanced resistance to them
- Midget version of whatever race you are
- Edible Excretions
- Additional (hidden) eye
- Diseased or cursed
- Crinkly or baggy skin, unattractive to potential mates
- Unusual sexual gift
- Blue diamonds for eyes, valuable but very attractive
- Cannibal Urges
- Unusually vulnerable to laser and phasic damage
- Limbs detachable (may be traded with others like you)
- Ghastly albino skin condition
- Hair/ body covering grows at a tremendous pace
- Lasers shoot from your eyes!
- Cranial feelers, making you more perceprive and telepathic. Looks creepy, but monsters don’t mind.
- Can ignore gravity (but not fly without aid)
- Blind, but other senses are enhanced to compensate.
- Trauma Mutant: when mortally wounded, you gain a different mutation (if you somehow survive).