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Massive TU builder think tank


Hey guys, Endersig here. I was just starting a new game, and (possibly from my love of Andromeda) decided to build a whole new universe... then i figured out how long that would take. Here is what I purpose: if everyone who posted a reply to this added either a race, planet or "federeration" (league of planets with basic description of government system) then i would have enough material to build My own TU and we could all draw from in it our own games. For my part, i will add Neitchzeans.
A subspecies of Human, Neitchzeans are fierce, distrusting, survivalists. They have taken the ideals of the Terran Philosopher Neitchze (is this how you spell it?) to heart, and it is reflected in their culture. They are selectively bred through competition, much like Animals, where the Strong get multiple wives in the hopes that his strong genes will strengthen the race. To be Inferior is the worst disgrace, and they refer to those inferior as Kludges (KLOODGE). Physically, are like humans, but with 3-5 spikes 4-7 inches in length, known as "Bone Blades" coming out of their forarms, these blades are sharp, and can retract to be flat with the skin. (Referees, treat these weapons as Concealed Daggers For damage) Their ultimate belief is that one day, the Genetic Reincarnation of the "Progenitor", Drago Museveni, Will be born, and be their Messiah.
Tips for Generating Neitchzeans are focus on High STR, DEX and END, low social... nothing special in the other catagories. Weapons skills are good, but remember, when all else fails, Neitchzeans are only humans (Genetically engineered humans, but still humans.)
I would think, by what I read in your description, and what I remember from the series, that the Neitcheans DO have a heirarchy, and therefore Social status. There were several meetings in the series with heads of the various prides, and it looked like they had fairly high status, and therefore a high Social stat.
And after watching several episodes it would seem that Int is fairly important, but it seems Wisdom isn't.
And for the race/government, here is the Kohlzaki Dominate.

The Kohlzaki Dominate is a group of 34 planets, spread over three subsectors. Originally these were part of the Union of Artri, but the Artrians fell victim to the Kohlzaki over a century ago. The Kohlzaki are descended from predators on their home planet, and were contacted by the Artrians when they were still at a fairly low level of technological development (TL2). The Artrians; not being proficient at violence, used the more primitive Kohnzaki as guards, soldiers, and any other job they didn't want to dirty their own hands with. This of course led to their destruction, as the Kohlzaki turned on their "masters", killing and enslaving them. The rest of the Artrians "client" races fell to the Kohlzaki shortly afterward. The Dominate's borders have been fairly stable for the last 50 or so years, not because of any peaceful intentions on the Kohlzaki's part, but due to the lack of sufficient military forces to make good their bluster. The Dominate is at TL13, and likely to stagnate there for some time, unless some outside power helps the Kohlzaki to upgrade their technology, since they aren't great technological innovators. The Dominate does small amounts of trade with outsiders, but travelling through Dominate space is completely forbidden to outsiders, and heavily regulated for subject races. There are several Trade Ports along the border worlds, where outside merchants are permitted to bring their cargoes, but those systems are patrolled by massive Kohlzaki fleets.
Relations between the Dominate and any of it's neighbors are strained at best, and at worst there is constant low level warfare. There are substantial populations of Artrians and other client races living outside the Dominate as refugees, as those who could flee did so when the Kohlzaki took over the old Union of Artri. The refugee populations have tried to provide aid to underground freedom movements in the Dominate, with varying degrees of success.
I would curious to see everybody's MTU list of spacial anomolies and odd phenomena

Things like:

- A rapidly rotating liquid metal planet orbitting so close to its star that it affects the star's magnetic fields, sending huge solar prominences arcing from its surface

- Rainbows hundreds of thousands of kilometers long on the cloud tops of a gas giant, refracted through its rings (site of an orbital honeymoon resort IMTU)

- A black hole swallowing a nebula, producing incredible pyrotechnic like displays as x-ray bursts bombard the gas and dust; beautiful but deadly
Originally posted by jwdh71:
I would think, by what I read in your description, and what I remember from the series, that the Neitcheans DO have a heirarchy, and therefore Social status. There were several meetings in the series with heads of the various prides, and it looked like they had fairly high status, and therefore a high Social stat.
And after watching several episodes it would seem that Int is fairly important, but it seems Wisdom isn't.
Oh, Snap! you're right. they would have high social status in there own pride, but people out of their species or members of rival prides would look down upon them. Severe racism against the "Ubers"
Depends how odd you want to get.

A race. The 'Ben Krit'.

Basic biological premise starts with chracteristics of two species. A frog that carries its young parasitically within its own skin, and a wasp that lays eggs inside living hosts.

Physically they are large bugs, 10 major pairs of limbs and an array of web spinners. Segmented thorax in generally three large segments. Exact arrangement of limbs changes over moults, but is generally 2 brachiating limbs, 2 wings/blades, 6 legs. In some cases the end of the thorax elongates into a tail. Multiple compounds eyes, specialised into a variety of wavelengths.

Sexually the race could be described as monosexual. Periods of intensity (generally warfare and duels) that involve a great deal of adrenaline cause the formation of a cyst. The cyst is protected internally by the exoskeletan, an internal cage of more chitonous material and the cysts own fibrous exterior. While healthy a Ben Krit will synthesis adequate hormones to keep the cysts from developing further. If sick or killed the cysts will form into new Ben Krit. The Ben Krit have a way of effectively inseminating the cysts with some of their own genetic material.

Their biology has lead to a society based on clans. Since cysts from a Ben Krit killed in personal combat are inseminated then raised by the victor (as well, if the fight was close, the victor forms another cyst) a successful duelist will have raised many quite successful Ben Krit progeny.

This also allows combative trade. The Ben Krit value additional cysts highly, a human marine is a good match for 2 cyst Ben Krit. A Marine in battledress is a good match for a senior Ben Krit with only their Ka.

"Ka" is a generic word for tool in the Ben Krit language. When used singly it implies the chosen weapon that that Ben Krit uses for duels. Normally this is a highly refined Halberd like weapon. Owning a Ka generally indicates that you have defeated a Ben Krit in a fair fight.

Their legends speak of great Patriarchs that lived for thousands of years before being killed by a worthy child from their own clan, or being eaten from within by the most worthy that they carried. Functionally a Ben Krit with more then 10 cysts will tend to be a patriarch in their current society.

As mentioned above the Ben Krit moult. This is a reaction to new environments that their current form cannot accomodate, or if they need to change their internal structures to make room for more cysts for example. Depending on what environment the Ben Krit is currently exposed to determines how they will come out of cocoon. On low gravity high density atmosphere worlds the wing structures do act as wings allowing the Ben Krit to glide (and in some extreme conditions fly). In most locations the wings atrophy to the point of being little better then swords.

During the second moulting (a mark of adulthood generally) a Ben Krit will nearly always develop a cyst without a need for external pressure. Ben Krit that do not form a cyst (drones) tend not to be violent, as they cannot isseminate anothers cysts. This group could best be considered diplomats, and any psychic abilities would also probably rest here. (Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive, Serve the hive)

Size is up to the GM snaffling the idea. In MTLU (my traveller-like universe) the cysts were the size of basketballs, and 30 node patriarchs were 20 or so metres long. Drones were the size of large dogs. 2 and 3 cyst Ben Krit were approximately human size. Senior Ben Krit (4-6 cysts) were the size of horses.

Why the Ben Krit for a universe? It allows a scary vicous bug race that the players can joyously combat that will in its own way fight fair. It also allows you to use themes of otherness and alienness.

^ Very cool idea. Got some questions:

- Do these cysts only mature into Ben Krit after the death of the host? Can maturation be forced to occur through artifical means? If so, does that mean the host will never see the fruits of their efforts to collect cysts? Does this result in an almost religious belief of incarnation in their cysts?

- If I understand correctly, cysts absorb genetic material from and are genetically aligned to their host. Do they retain any characteristics of the previous hosts? Would a cyst that became affixed to a human develop a hybrid? Could this result in greater diversity by intentionally fixing cysts to ideal candidates in succession?

- Same could be asked about cocooning. Do the Ben Krit engineer individuals by exposing them to particular environmental influences, producing specific desired results?

I personally find a race that deviously manipulates their own kind into monstrosities or tools to be even more disturbing than a strictly parasitic one.
I'll LOAN you the Khizht.

The Khizht are a semi-upright, Exoskeletal, 2m long by 1.25m tall race of omnivore gatherers. Biologically, they are carbon based, and use mostly the same amino acid and protein complexes as terran life. The have a 3 segment body, consisting of a head, a thorax, and an abdomen. There are two limbs associated with each body sement; the head has two sensory limbs (antennae), and two mouth-limbs (about 10cm overall), and the head has a complex mouth, plus two large compound eyes on the sides. There are two smaller eyes on the front of the face for identification of food; these are also used for reading. The head is comprised of about 8% of the overall body mass, and includes almost all sensory organs EXCEPT the brain; likewise, the forestomach is in the head The limbs on the thorax are two arms, and two interchangeable arm/legs.The Thorax consists of about 40% of the body mass, and contains the brain, and the gut. The abdomen has two legs, and two pedipalps modified for reproduction, and consists of about 35% of the bodymass. Excreatory and reproductive functions are localized in the abdomen. Lungs are decentralized; each body segment has 6 two-chambered lungs, each connected to two spiracles on the back. The inner ones are the intakes, the outter ones are outputs, and lung function is monodirectional.
The carapace, in order to support the weight is not terrifically thick, only 1-3 mm, but is backed by ribs of cartilage and keratin, which are fuesed to the carapace. Each lung and hart is a cartilaginous tube, to which the muscles attach. (These organs actually work on both intake and outflow strokes, with different muscle sets.)

There are many hearts; the primary ones are in the thorax, and are a pair of 1kg organs; a backup single one is in the abdomen.. A secondary heart works each the head, arm and leg, massing about 0.3kg each; the pedipalps, and head-limbs have atrophied to about 50-100 grams each. The blood is a multi-se fluid; it lacks the coagulatory functions, but is otherwise similar to mamallian blood in form and function. Most of the blood is formed bby organs in the abdomen. The circulatory system is compartmentalized, but there is exchange of fluids between compartments by specialized sphincters at each joint. The arterial system is highly developed, and is muscularized to aid in flow. The veinous system is less developed, and is semi-open to the body cavity of the thorax and abdomen. The digestive tract basically wallows in veinous blood, but is iteself also laced with arteries.

Limbs are composed of 3 long segments, each with a hinge joint, plus a hand of 4 digits, of two joints each. The "Hip" flexes fore and aft, and has a short segment which allows up and down flexation. The next joint is in-out (up down), as is the one after; the wrist has a short segment nearly identical to the hip, and the fingers extend radially. All fingers can be flexed side to side at the base, as well as in-out; the joint is a hinge. Every joint can be sealed if damaged.

Khizht are not the dominant species, per se, on their planet. They were locked in an evolutionary arms race until a few thousand years ago; their were in fact preyed upon by the semi-sentient Zht'ang, a xeno-therpod-dinosaurian, of similar size to velociraptor. Their development of technology vaulted them over the top, so to speak, and they have neither stopped nor destroyed the Zht'ang.

Khizht Culture predates sentience. Hives are established as communal child rearing facilities. Most children are male, females requireing special nutrition to form. Queens are not quite as territorial as most hive species. Khizht colonies are large, semi-underground affairs, built in and around living trees, and looking all the world like absolutely GIANT termite hills.

Khizht raise all young communally. A Khizht knows it's hive. Females, pre-sentience, would be chased away if too many were in the hive, and would then flee, possibly with a few males. Upon finding a suitable spot, or a hive with few females, would settle down and mate with any males nearby, who would then become brood sires, feeding the offspring, who then would be the workers.

Khizht sentience altered female behavior; females now are actively traded amongst colonies for general genetic spread. Authority is generally the eldest female, followed by male "Thinkers".

A Khizht egg is about 20gm. It needs watering, and a protein excreted by male workers, daily, until it hatches to a grub. It then needs a 30-50 pound carcass upon which to feed, as it grows to the larval stage. When it pupates to the larval stage, it becomes a semi-recognizable khizht, with an second abdomen of soft fleshy parts, in which to store additional fat until it can go through second pupation, and become an adult. this fourth body segment is absent entirely on adults, unless tramatically injured.

Khizht who lose a limb, or even their head, can regrow them if fed well; the fourth segment begins to grow, and they will then pupate again, repairing the missing limbs, and possibly altering gender.

There are three biological castes: Thinkers, Workers, and Females. Thinkers and workers are males; workers are not sterile, but also have no strong urge to mate. Caste is determined by what nutrients are fed DURING pupation; none is worker; high fat and/or protein produces thinkers; feeding by thinker puts hormones in that trigger feminine gender. Feeding is from a specialized gland, and the food is sprayed into the pupal cocoon, and collects at the botom, where it is sucked up by the pupa.

Larva and adults are both capable of speach, an learning peaks during the first year of adulthood, and continues for about three years. Larva, while mobile, seldom leave the hive, and have very poor mobility. (Larva are comparable to human infants and toddlers, intellectually and physically.) Larvae, if food is available, will eat 15-20 kg of vegetable and 5-15kg of meat, in order to put on some 3-4 kg, per week, until they reach nearly 3 times their post-pupal weight, then pupate, and emerge at full adult weight, having shed some. Language and basic mathematics are taught to larvae.

Adults are physically mature at age 1 year past second pupation. Mental maturity for workers occurs about age 2; after that, they tend to not learn much. Thikers never lose the learning edge. Females generally stop learning about age 2, but exceptions occur (especially post-trauma change...). If an adult repupates due to tramatic injury, the learning curve is reset.

Society still centeres around the hive. Each hive has a head queen, and a corps of her favored thinkers.

CT/MT sketch
Workers: Str2d+3, Dex2d-1, End2d+3, Int 2d3, edu 2d3, SS1d6
Thinkers: Str 2d, Dex 2d, End 2d+1, Int 2d6+1, Edu 2d6, SS1d6+4
Females: Str2d, Dex 2d-1, End 2d+2, Int 2d3, Edu 2d3, SS 9+1d
Notes: all have AV4 armor (Cloth).Penetrating damage (Firearms, stabbing weapons) does double damage to the thorax or abdomen, but not the limbs nor head.
Khizht can swim, and float, but they can not dive; their lungs are down the crest of the back.
First aid for Khizht is one level easier than for humans; all other medical care is normal difficulty. (First aid kits for Khizht are generally dermabond and sheet plastic). Khizht will bleed until surgury; if, however, the carapace is still sealed, the blood will be pulled back into the circulatory system...
Claws: the claws are Pen3, Damage 1, block 1.
Speed: 2 if on two legs; 3 if on 4.
Special lifting rule: if the lower arms are used as legs, encumbrance allowance is increased by 50%. If the lower arms are used in combat, an extra unarmed attack is allowed, at -2 to hit, but doing +1 damage.
0-G: Khizht suffer far less from 0-G than humans, taking twice as long to suffer health deterioration.
Atmosphere: Khizht are more tolerant to wide ranges of atmosphere due to not needing to move air in two directions. Halve all penalties. Also, Khizht can hold their breath twice as long as humans.
Vision: Khizht vision is 360 degrees, but is only binocular for 15 degrees straight forward. Their full vision has limited detail capability. within the 15 degree cone distances can be measured fairly well. The secondary eyes which are strongly detail capable, focus out to about 2m, and can see into the near IR and the Near UV, and have a 30degree cone. Khizht can not identify individuals visually past about 5m, and usually only wihtin the 2-3m of the secondary eyes.
Smell/Taste: is entirely on the antennae tips.
Touch: the khizht sense of touch is highly localized: Joints, hands and feet, plus antenae, palps and eyes.
Alright, as founder of this thread, i should prolly give a couple more examples.
The Galatic Rebellion... pretty standard. Headquartered at Villis, the Galatic Rebellion fights the "oppresion and tyrany" of the Empire. They tend to be a rag tag bunch, and don't truly have standard ships, equipment or uniforms. Possible ideas for them may be... Having the PCs be taken over by rebel pirates, or the Rebellion may hire PCs as a Mercenary or Paramillitary unit. The Rebellion is truly located on in the Spinward Marches, as the closer to the core they come, the more the locals are in favor of the Imperium.
Seefra System. A system of 9 identical planets, all about the size of 2 earth moons, and all withing the same parsec (hex, if you use that system). The System has two suns, that are within kilometers of each other. One is currently failing. The Planets are incredibly drought striken (water is more valuble than gold), and relatively low-tech (9-10) They are incapable of Jump travel, and some strange Phenomenon makes Jumping in or out incredibly difficult. (Roll a 10 or greater on two 6 sided die to get in or out, rolling less than a 4 results in the ship being destroyed, and less than a 6 results in some sort of drive failure. The PCs know nothing of this) The Seefrans themselves are not identical on each planet (good try though). They are entirely human and distrust alien species, (the few they come in contact with). They are also incredibly superstitious, and will take anything they don't understand as a threat to their existance. There are only a few Major cities on each planet, and few live outside these cities. Law enforcement is fairly standard, with the exeption of the Tech Police, who confiscated forbidden technology, usually ship parts or high tech armor and weapons. Think Woody meets buzz lightyear, for the general feel.
GM note: The Seefra system was actually created by Ancients to try and see if humans, if kept isolated and low tech, would actually be able to overcome their natural corruption and greed. An expiriment of some sort. Unfortunately, when that didn't work, the Ancients left, creating the "Galatic Turbulence" behind them as they left. As a result, the Seefra system is falling apart, and Ancient artifacts are more common on the Seefra planets then most others.
To reply to Ran Targas about the Ben Krit:

Cysts only develop into adult Ben Krit when no longer exposed to an inhibitory hormone excreted by adult Ben Krit. It would be possible to store a cyst on ice potentially by dribbling manufactured hormone onto the cyst to forestall any awakening. Ben Krit upon breaking out of their cyst tend to be ravenous, either feasting on the carcass of their birth-parent or on other nearby protein rich food. A large predator dumb enough to swallow Ben Krit cysts would have a terminal gastronomic experience as the cyst hatch in their abdominal tract, the final "egg" of the cyst is able to pass through most acid based stomachs.

In a duel the victor will generally open up the thoratic cavity of the victim before spraying their own genetic material over the cysts. The cysts do retain some of their own genetic code, so any such Ben Krit deriving from those cysts would be a genetic intermix of both duelists. The victor would then raise the children so "born" as members of their own clan.

The collection of cysts IS the sexual act among Ben Krit. Duels to the death and to major injury are common. The number of cysts carried indicates status among the Ben Krit, and is also a spur for growth. Their is no more a feeling of incarnation then humans feel they are incarnated in their own children. Cysts are not transferred to a new host (it may be possible surgically, but traditionally it is not done).

One thing I didn't mention is that the Ben Krit change extensively during moult. This is not only physical, personality and knowledge also change. Hormones and genetics also change, litterally they become a new being.

It is possible for a human to raise a Ben Krit, In MTLU there were genetically engineered humans (Sauron Supermen, apologies to Niven/Pournelle) to duel Ben Krit in exchange for system surveys, knowledge and technology. Among the Saurons rasing a Ben Krit child was considered a useful thing, in effect the Ben Krit would consider that soldier to be a Patriarch of their own tiny clan, giving them some status among them, and therefore some slight gain in diplomatic endevours. Genetic material would generally not be subsumed (the genetics are far from compatible), the Ben Krit would be similar to its parent. Not a clone, just effectively a self fertilised egg.

As for genetic engineering and social control, the members of a clan were extremely loyal to their Patriarch (remember this is their sole ambulatory parent/ancestor) whether this was from chemical/pheremonic control, or just intense loyalty, was a question I never answered. Their loyalty extended into unquestioning suicidal behaviour, the patriarch having a similar level of loyalty as a queen bee. Certainly patriarchs experimented on their own children, who were more then willing to volunteer.

Monstrous would be a difficult thing to envision in Ben Krit terms. Anything that makes a Ben Krit nastier in combat, or likely to be underestimated, is a sexual advantage. It is not unknown for Ben Krit to neuter their children by removing all cysts that they carried and forcing them into a moult, this acheived a similar effect to a drone, though generally not as pronounced. Monstrous could be seen as something like making a Ben Krit that was purely designed to destroy cysts in other Ben Krit.

This was for a somewhat darker universe then the OTU, so YMMV.