Monday, August 6, 2018

Intelligent Species

Can I be honest and say that when I posted this table on reddit, this is the table that I was probably most disappointed with the reception it received. There's definitely something to be said for being willing to "kill your darlings", but my hope is that maybe I was just reaching the wrong audience, and actually people find these species as compelling as I do (if you don't mind me saying so...)

Intelligent Species (1d20) Physical Description Unique Traits Additional Notes
0. Humans???Humans? Haven't heard of them...Humans do not exist or are unheard of within this setting.
1. MutantA generic term for many intelligent beings. It is often more so a political rather than scientific question as to what constitutes a mutant. Some are mostly anthropomorphic with various altered features, others more animorphic.Most mutants are capable of reproducing with each other, unless it were physically impossible to do so. Some are mostly humanoid in abilities, while others have superhuman physiologies or magical or psionic abilities. While tribes of mutants with similar properties exist, random mutations even within a tribe can occur. Because of the high degree of naturally-occurring genetic mutation, there is no risk of genetic degradation from incestual reproduction, and as a result there is also no taboo against it.Mutants are collectively the most populous species in the setting, although they do not see themselves as a collective.
2. GolemiteA generic term for many artificial intelligent species, mostly from ancient and more advanced eras (although most have been degraded to the point that they do not remember the past). Can include robots, androids, bio-engineered organisms, magical or alchemical constructs, etc.As with mutants, their abilities vary greatly. Fully-functional golemites with humanoid-like intelligence are increasingly rare, although within most of the meridian system they are not so rare as to draw attention (and some are indistinguishable from mutants or other species).
3. DeinoDeinonychus-like humanoids with high variance in size, but even at the low end larger than average humanoid. Little physical sexual dimorphism. Generally grassy-green or brown colored scaly skin, although some have bolder and more exotic colors. Some also have patches of feathers such as on the scalp, forearms, back, and chest.They are exothermic, and therefore are often passive, require relatively little energy, but are highly dependent on warmth in their environment. As a predator species, they are less dependent on stress-based fight or flight mechanisms for survival, and has led to a demeanor and philosophical disposition which can best be described as Zen Fascism. Their natural strength and low energy needs have made them one of the more populous species.
4. QuenduinHumanoid, tall and lanky, almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears. They generally have tan skin and dark hair, although there are some with lighter skin and hair. Eye color varies much more.Lithe and quick, but generally humanoid-average strength. Known for their warrior, hunter, and general survival skills, particularly in harsh environments. Have limited shapeshifting abilities which can be enhanced by magical or technological means.
5. TartarianHumanoid known for their near-perfect musculature, strength, and masculine features. Human-like sexual dimorphism, but females tend to be somewhat androgynous. They have dark hair and milky green skin, although some also have patches of yellow, blue, or red blended in, and their skin is slightly squamous, although not totally reptilian. Their teeth are also slightly fanged and tusked. Despite these monstrous features, they are not uniformly unattractive (by human standards).Physically large and strong, but also intelligent. Have the intuitive/heuristical ability to perform complex calculations and kaibermancy rapidly and internally, and a natural attunement to daemons and other cosmic, aberrant, or paraversal beings.
6. DoguHumanoid, vary from halfling-sized to below human average. Skin tones are generally dark purple, black, obsidian, or navy blue. Tend to have dark hair of similar colors, but in certain environments have lighter skin tones and hair such as light purple, light blue, gray, or white. Their eyes glow and they have red sclera, green irises, and no pupils. Tend to be lean and lithe, but densely muscular, like an ape. Other general features include short horns on their foreheads, lizard-like tails, and faintly reptilian-like scaled skin that is almost imperceptible except to careful touch. Some are mostly human-like in appearance, while others hold themselves like an ape, or lizard. Some have long jackal-like snouts, or hyena-like jaws.Most have the ability to change their shape to appear more humanoid, except the most bestial, who either cannot, or choose not to. They are cannibalistic by nature, and only gain sustenance from eating intelligent life forms which have undergone at least some decomposition- although they prefer meat which is rotten. Have a complex sense routed through their skin, like a hyper-touch which gives them superhuman senses. Their skin can provide them (and those they touch) with a feeling somewhat like sexual orgasm, love, eureka, divine presence, and dreaming, or like a physical or metaphysical itch or the feeling of disgusting small creatures crawling on and within the skin. It is said that they gain power from money lending, and that corpses buried with wealth provide greater sustenance. They are the most susceptible race to psilosymbiosis.
7. DwarfHumanoid, slightly below average human in size. Mostly human-like, although many have slightly larger noses, brows, jaws, and denser muscles. Speak in a somewhat nasally voice and have limited phoneme production. Despite being below human average in size, are generally physically stronger, but require more food as a result.
8. KoboldLike an anthropomorphic armadillo with moist, whale-like skin, and a reptilian face. Halfling-sized. Back covered in natural armour.Their armoured hide and sharp teeth make them surprisingly tough for their size. They are also well adapted for both aquatic and subterranean environments.
9. AxolHumanoid, moist, semi-translucent skin, usually white with black eyes but sometimes brown/tan, black, gray, or red skin; gold, red, or gray spots or stripes; and red or gold eyes. Hairless, with three long feathery/hairy appendages on each side of their head which, when laid flat, look like cornrows. Long slug-like feelers above their foreheads.Amphibious. Born in pairs. The primary is a quarter-sized tadpole-like creature which will grow into the adult axol, the sibling is born larger, about the size of a baby chicken, looks like a large worm or nematode, and is highly venomous, but will not grow and has limited intelligence. It will attach symbiotically to the primary when it grows, and can bore into its primary or detach itself for short periods of time in an emergency. The sibling has powerful psychic abilities and can summon an astral-form to defend its primary. Each sibling only has one astral-form; like a large waterbear, a larger version of its worm-like self, or humanoid. These astral-forms are generally mono-colored and semi-translucent, or made of mono-colored opaque or semi-opaque bands that shift around an otherwise invisible form. In rare cases the astral-form will have a more solid appearance. So long as the sibling is within psychic range, the primary can regenerate, including the repair of spinal cord or brain damage. The regeneration time varies by the size of the injury and complexity of the injured tissue, and can take anywhere from an hour to regrow an arm to days to regenerate from brain trauma. While the regeneration time varies, it is not the case that the regeneration occurs slowly in that time; no regeneration occurs until enough time has passed, and then the regeneration occurs all at once.
10. ColeopteranIntelligent insectoids. Tend to be beetle-like, although some have traits of other insects, such as ants or bees, and others are humanoid in shape or even have anthropomorphic features.The different phenotypes of coleopteran are different genders. The composition of genders of a coleopteran is determined at birth as a function of what is needed within their community through an unconscious biological/psionic mechanism, and different coleopteran hives have different genders or compositions of genders. Coleopterans are individually-minded, but tend to be highly interdependent on their hive.
11. OctopusA generic term for a collective of related cephalopods. Some appear as typical octopi or squid, while others are more fantastical.Abilities vary, but often include prehensile tentacles with independent/autonomous nervous systems, ink projection, visual and tactile camoflauge, and bioluminescence. Natural mutations are less common among octopi than humanoids, but they are also masters of bio-engineering. Generally above-average general intelligence, but autism spectrum-like social and emotional intelligence.
12. DolphinA generic term for a collective of related cetaceans. Most look like reptilian dolphins, or basilosaurus. Natural mutations are more common than octopi, but less common than on land. Brain hemispheres sleep separately, giving them a dream-like consciousness. Highly sophisticated sense of sound; speech using whistles, clicks, and bursts; music-like language and cognition. Generally below-average general intelligence, but far above average social and emotional intelligence.
13. ZapatotianAn orangutan-sized land-dwelling octopus. Their eyes have adapted to above-water light and visual conditions. Lungs and gills, but gills are vestigial. Long torso, and hind tentacles differentiated such that the two lateral hind tentacles are longer, capable of snake-like locomotion, and raising the body such that the beak is above ground. Front tentacles utilized for carrying objects. They are fast on the ground and swinging in the trees, have powerful beaks, and are expert hunters in forests and jungles. Their society is simple, stone-age or barbarian-esque, but they are not necessarily unintelligent. Even in direct combat they are excellent warriors
14. HueminzOlive-skinned and hairy humanoid species, thin and lanky. Teeth fused into beak-like structure. A durable but otherwise unremarkable species suited to warm climates. They have standard humanoid intelligence, although their society is mostly early-stone age simplistic.
15. VäkiA dimunitive humanoid race, somewhat hairy, with surprisingly large and durable feet. Varying skin and hair colors, mostly pastel, with some insectoid features.It is said that they were once a peaceful people, whose civilization was destroyed by monstrous invaders. Vowing never to be caught at a disadvantage again, they made a deal with a powerful Fey Witch, granting them aptitudes towards stealth, thievery, assassination, spying, and spreading of disinformation.
16. BluHumanoid, tall and lanky, almond-shaped eyes and pointed ears. Green, blue, or teal skin; bright green or blue hair. Less commonly yellow or yellow-green skin or black, dark blue, or dark green hair.On the Red Moon, the astral and physical plane are partially in-phase, such that most things exist as both objects and spaces. As a result, they exist comfortably in both forms, demonstrating powerful psionic abilities.Not intended as a PC species; the concept of object-as-space and space-as-object, and how that affects identity and cognition, make them difficult to run in a game. Also, they are privy to world-knowledge that most other civilizations lack.
17. Deep OnesHumanoid / Blue Moon "Bee" hybrid. In the early stages they appear mostly humanoid with bulbous, protruding eyes and crusty metallic skin with a bluish-green pallor. Further in development they grow wings, claws, and stingers. In their final form, they appear like humanoid-sized "bees".A hybrid of organic/impossible organism. In addition to the abilities of the "bees", they have the uncanny ability to subtlely break the laws of reality through heuristical error-math. They can snip across the paraverse with their claws and form dada-ist collages out of reality.In their humanoid or hybrid form they could be a PC species, but in their "final" form they should be part of Yagak-Sha's hives.
18. BetaLike a plane cutting through reality. Can sometimes take on complex, non-linear shapes.Living dimensions. Each one is an n-dimensional hyperplane which can be characterized as a statistal model. Carry no information per se and therefore cannot causally affect the paraverse. Their existence can, however, be used to predict from the paraverse (although to do so from within the paraverse would alter it). In other words, they are like oracles.Not intended as a PC species; they have unique traits which affect reality in a way which could make them difficult to run in a game.
19. HarlequinadeAn ancient group of golemites. Most appear like porcelain dolls or dummies, or robots with screens for faces. Some have theater or Noh-mask faces, or clown makeup. The screen-faced tend to display static, simple, emoji-like expressions which fluctuate discretely given the context.One of the only civilizations to have survived from prior eras. They have advanced technologies and magics that they do not suppress, but also do not actively share, although they are generally incomprehensible to non-harlequinade. They are the chaotic and sometimes child-like in demeanor, and their non-binary logic makes them difficult to understand.Not intended as a PC species; they have abnormal cognition, and are privy to world-knowledge that most other civilizations lack
20. Anti-MutantRange in size from humanoid to celestial. Usually humanoid in shape, appear as much golemite as organic. Covered in sleek metallic skin (armour?) with fat lines and shapes, generally symmetrical, like a circuit-board, woven throughout. Usually pschedelic, trippy, color, and flamboyant, but also austere and imposing.A teleological lifeform on the Green Moon of an unknown creator. Their DNA self-annihilates from anti-cancer, like a pre-designed sculpture within marble. They vary in color, shape, size, etc. due to inherent "flaws", but seem to converge towards one "type". They are impossible-organisms and have superhuman strength, speed, intelligence, and other qualities.Not intended as a PC species; they have abnormal cognition, and are privy to world-knowledge that most other civilizations lack.

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