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Ad Astra: contents Copyright 2004 by Tori Bergquist, all rights reserved

Ad Astra: Tri-Stat DX
Part I: A work in progress

With the recent release of the Tri-Stat DX rules from Guardians of Order, I’ve become a true convert. Tri-Stat DX through BESM has always appealed to me, as it’s strength is in making a functional, plug-and-play system readily available that still caters to the kind of tinkering one needs to get a system to fit the campaign or genre you want to use it with. Indeed, you can use Tri-Stat DX to build just about any genre you want, and it’s flexibility lets you think of genres that some other universal systems just couldn’t cope with. It’s weakness, of course, is that like most genre-flexible systems, it requires some effort to get it up and running, and inexperienced players are going to find that a burdomesome task. Luckily, I am not in the latter category, and have decided to incorporate Tri-Stat DX in to the Ad Astra Campaign, my sci-fi magnum opus. To use this material you’ll have to seek out the print edition of Tri-Stat DX or go to the Guardians or Order website and download the free pdf.

Note: I’ve written this material with Tri-Stat DX stats, but am not at this time affiliated with the Magnum Opus label, nor do I have any connection to Guardians of Order. A always, this is a work of a fan, to support a much loved game, and I wish only for my work to act as support to an innovative system and company.

The Protophase and Phase I period described below can use the D6 rolling convention; all other settings and assumptions in Ad Astra presume a D8 die mechanic. When purchasing skills, characters should use the “Futuristic Hard SF” purchase cost list (pg 44). The setting has space opera elements, but is intended to be firmly grounded in the elements of hard SF fiction and film.

A Future History in Four Phases

Ad Astra (“to the stars” in latin) is a future history of Earth and the Terran expansion in to a hostile and tumultuous universe. The premise behind Ad Astra and the campaigns I have run in this setting presuppose that you can move through and enjoy the setting at different phases of it’s future history. To date, I have worked out setting material for the following phases:

Rules For Ad Astra
The following summary provides the necessary skeletal structure to understand and run adventures in the Ad Astra Campaign. This will include all of the interesting, but sometimes varied information on the many regions of the overall campaign and the denizens therein. Specific entries will include all important stats for character design, should you chose to run a non human. I will add further details on starcraft and equipment as time moves on, but the weaponry and equipment provided in Space Hero will work just fine.

Regions of Space
The vast territory of Ad Astra is defined by the zones of human interest and their neighbors. This breaks up into the following territories:

Region Summary
Coreward Zone The Terra-centered domain of space operated by the Human Federated Commonwealth
Freeworld Zone The human-dominated colonial expanses, loosely under HFC jurisdiction. Borders Pelegranen space and overlaps the Precursor territories.
Corporate Zones There are about a two dozen regions of human space specifically protected under HFC charters in which the local corporate interests have territorial control and complete legal jurisdiction. This was part of the civil conflict settlement.
Pelegranen Space The modest conquered territories of this warlike species.
Praektor Space The old-empire expanses once held by the crumbling Praektor empire. Much of this territory is under alien rule now.
Anageni Expanse A large, old, long-dominated region of space controlled by the Anageni, who function as a benevolent autocracy.
The Amber Zones A three-hundred plus lightyear region of space approaching the core of the galaxy that is quarantined. Once held the expanses of the now dead Byzanti Alliance. The charnel alliance was shattered two centuries ago, but the threat of it’s alien technologies and human dissidents live on, patrolled by HFC fleets.
The Founder Zone The Astratran Founders are heralded as the true sons of the spaceways, having brought the technology of Wormholes to men and beyond. They are a benevolent, non- confrontational merchant species.
Metatranie Space The small but volatile empires of the Metatranie are luckily at war with each other far more often than with the terrans.
The Dotari Region A quarantined region once held the the enigmatic Dotari, who progressed to a new stage of evolution millions of years ago, and are now trans-dimensional beings. Many encounters for simple four-dimensional species with these beings are fatal.
Grupnar Space Commonly known as the curmudgeons of the galaxy, this species holds sway over a unity of lesser species, and mistrusts terrans.
Harbinger Space This ancient region of space was once the playground of still-existant nearly cosmic entities which travel their routes throughout many galaxies via doomsday ships. This region has currently been quarantined since the return of on such Harbinger.
Shakaad Collective A region of multiple species with their own separate collective.

Species of the Ad Astra Campaign:

There are a bewildering variety of alien species throughout known space. The major species, that is, the major recent players in galactic politics, are described below. Each species has a known major affect on the current course of the interstellar community, either for better or for worse. Some species, such as the Farseers, are actually quite rare, and unlikely every to be encountered by most travelers. Others, like terrans and praektorians, seem to be everywhere and plentiful.
After the short list with brief intros, details on the abilities, profiles, and necessary character management data are provided.
Some of the most common known species include:

Name Quick Profile
Praektor Amphibious warriors once used by the Progenitors are soldiers
Grupnar mammalian-like “lizard-bears”, who rule their own region of space
Anageni quadrupedal, sensitive low-gravity dwellers, very scientific species
Cerr’K’Ta inimical species who adapt and advance by integrating others
Pelegranen warlike reptilian beings who are highly paranoid
Speakers squid-like psionic beings who serve the progenitors
Astratran Founders Tall, herd-minded explorers reminiscent of horses, very advanced
Dotari transdimensional beings who regard lesser beings as playthings
Metatranie powerful, primitive saurians, new to space-travel, and volatile
Hypolate Farseers evolved precursors, from Trikkus. Rare and curious people
Stick Men A transdimensional entity from another universe, a parasite
Gundari Wraiths Mysterious and deadly Byzantine allies, from quantum elsewhere
Byzanti Cyborgs Remnants of the machine intelligence of the Byzanti
T’Kazzt Rough terran allies, insectoid and very organized
Nommosi Thought nearly extinct, this ancient inscrutibles claim to predate all other species
Chael’Gaan A species brought near extinction by ancient war, spread thin and very violent
Golmak quantum beings from another universe, explorers and antiquarians.

Characters in Tri-Stat DX:
Characters in Tri-Stat DX will be either Standard (at 60 points) during the Protophase and Phase I, and Post-human (75 points) from Phase II on. Military and specialist characters in high energy campaigns might have 100 points to work with. Generally civilian characters, average joes caught up in the thrill of adventure, and other such common types would be standard, while the crew of brilliant researchers, the HFC marine unit, and other skilled professionals should start with a better package.

Individual Species Profiles


A 7-9 foot tall humanoid, with rubbery grey-blue skin, alien musculature, and huge saucer like eyes on an ovoid head. Where a mouth should be is a mass of dangling, writhing tentacles probing for food and covering a proboscoid mouth. Each muscled arm ends in three powerful digits which flex to project enormous biometallic claws.

The Praektor species is one of the earliest man encountered. Due to the fact that the Praektor were harvested over a period of millennia by the Harbinger species, Praektorians were spread throughout the Orion Arm of the galaxy and perhaps beyond. They were cultivated as shock troops and ground soldiers by the Harbingers, and often genetically enhanced and altered. It is not even clear if their original point of origin still exists, of was destroyed by the harbingers. There are no present unified Praektor civilizations, but rather a loose cultural grouping over many domains. Only a few territories are ruled by this species.
Praektorians are large bipeds, averaging 8 to 9 feet in height, and bulky, though their surprisingly light for their size. They are still amphibious, and hail from a dense, watery world. Many Praektorians were genetically modified to no longer require immersion in water to avoid skin damage, but some pure-strain Praektorians still require immersion at least once a day.
Praektorians are gray to black in skin color, and have large, oval heads ending in a may hidden by draping tentacles. They have multi-colored tattoo-like imagery on their foreheads, serving to signify the males and females. These symbols are always unique among groups, and appear to have hereditary ties.
Praektorian eyes are large, saucer-like, and dominate much of the head. They are photoreceptors, big plates that do not swivel, and are positioned so that the Praektorian has 360 degrees of vision. They do not focus on specific movements or details, however, and have a complicated visual center of their brain which draws attention to desired details through a singling-out effect, in which they learn to ignore and focus, rather than deal with a constant surrounding image.
Praektorians are well armed, equipped with a three fingered hand with pronounced retractable natural blades. These blades can be broken by stronger materials, but are bony and razor-sharp. When pushing through the hollow, bony tubes of their fingers, the blades force their hands to go rigid.
Praektorians are equipped with exoskeletons, covered by epidermal tissue, with all organs and important body functions safely contained within. This provides them with a natural armor, and a better than average resistance to damage.
Praektorians have webbed feet and sometimes webbed fingers. They also have strong webbing running between their arms nd torso sides. They can swim and dive to incredible depths, some as deep as a quarter of a mile, resisting great pressure at such depths. They can hold their breath for 30 minutes or more, and the amphibious throwbacks can process oxygen from the water they are diving in.
Praektorian Package Cost: 12 or 10
Body +3, Mind -2
Tough level 2 (+40 Health)
Armor: Tough Hide level 1 (10 pts resistance)
Retractable Claws with Massive Damage level 2 (damage: ACV+30)
Feature: 360 degree vision [Increased Arc of Perception (eyesight), 360 degrees] level 1
Optional: Amphibious subspecies [Dependence on water-common, Damage 10 per hour if not immersed once/24 hours; Adaptation Bonus: Water Breathing] +2 BP
Adaptation: Level 3 [High Pressure, Low pressure/vacuum, Water Breathing, Amphibious]; Limitation: Requires 1 EP/minute to use Adaptations (hold breath) 5 BP
Bad Reputation: former shock troops of the Harbingers [-2 modifier on interactions] 1 BP

Common Praektorian:
42 points
Body 7, Mind 2, Soul 4, ACV 4, DCV 2, EPs 30, Health 95, Shock 19, Att 1, Def 1
Attributes: Damn Healthy 2, Tough Hide 1 (10 Armor pts), Claws (Damage 34), 360 Degree Vision, Environmental Adaptations (1 Ep/minute to use), Bad Reputation in the galaxy.
Skills: Area Knowledge 1, Controlled Breathing 1, Intimidation 1, Military Sciences 1, Swimming 4, Unarmed Attack 1, Unarmed Defense 1, Aquatic Survival 1, Space Survival 1


A peculiar being, with a body and four limbs but decidedly not “humanoid”. It moves about like a crab, often in different directions. It is comprised of a blue and orangish skin, fuzzy to the touch, and one side has a lumpy bump,a sort of head, with numerous marble-like protrusions serving as sensory nodes.

Seemingly androgynous, sparsely-detailed, and extremely slim humanoids, with double-jointed limbs and digits. They lack a centralized cerebellum, and instead have brain tissue laced throughout their body in tight cords around their fibrous, flexible yet strong skeletons. Anageni developed gravitic technology over a three thousand years ago, and only within the last nine centuries were they able to manipulate wormhole technology to open low-energy portals wide enough to cross through space time. The Anageni achieved mastery of their genome and the process of genetic manipulation long ago, and biogenetics are commonplace on their worlds. They also have mastered remote probing of parallel universes through subatomic wormholes. They have been studying Progenitor technology for centuries, and have a keen understanding seen in no other species. They communicate most efficiently by touch, exchanging streams of protein chains encrypted with a vast sum of information, but the xenological Anageni and diplomats among their kind have “grown” specialized sensory organs such as a mouth by which they might communicate with humans and other species relying on audio-visual sensation for interaction. The backs of Anageni are ridged with fine, hair-like filaments that are nerve-endings leading directly into their cerebral network, and are capable of detecting and interpreting light well into the microwave band as well as motion on such a level as to create a stunning, 360 degree image in their minds of their environment, though efforts to understand how they actually “see” what they feel in their sensory network is beyond human imagination.
Anageni are Double-Jointed in all of their limbs and digits (both legs, both arms, seven fingers and toes on each foot and hand). Anageni actually prefer to move about on all fours, and while they don’t need to, will prefer to do so whenever possible.
Anageni have no “heads” to speak of, but instead have a sensory-stump roughly where the human mind tries to place a neck and head. This stump contains the longest of the sensory hairs, which are really tendrils for close probing, and an Anageni which is struck and injured in this area is as impaired as if blinded. A similar effect can be achieved with they are hit with a sudden, intense burst of microwave energy, which could permanently burn them if intense enough, besides the usual burn damage.
Anageni do have some of the finest sensory organs in known space, however, and as such, make all Awareness broad and specialized skill checks at -2, with regards to details about the light spectra being felt, distant movement, and difficult optical effects. Likewise, they are nearly impossible to surprise, and an attempt to do so must be done with a +3 modifier, unless special precautions are taken.
Anageni may take on specialized mutations, through genetic manipulation, but do so as a practical species, and are not in the habit of gratuitous self-provement without a reason, Often, an Anageni will alter himself as necessary for a specific task, only to reverse the change later when the necessary task is complete. This ease of change is due to the amazing flexibility of their bodies, their susceptibility to change, and the peculiar way in which they, long ago, modified their genome to work almost like an input/output processor. It is not hard for an Anageni to change himself as necessary.
For this reason, an Anageni at the start of play may spend 5 skill points to begin with a mutation package. Later on in the course of game play, they may pursue such changes as necessary.
Anageni are part of their own Stellar Community, and claim dozens of worlds as their own, and many more that are under their safe-keeping. They have a direct alliance with the Free world Corp, who negotiated a trade alliance with them a century ago, and with the GICH, whom they sympathize with. They have a tentative cooperation agreement with the Federated Commonwealth, and have resisted treaties or trade agreements with all other groups. The Anageni are not isolationist, however. Rather, they have a strong sense of libertarian values, and have cosntructed a spacefaring society and government which operates on such principles. There is a great deal of concern among the anageni that this system could be compromised if alien powers are given the opportunity.

Anageni Package Cost: 27
+2 Mind, +1 Soul
Extra Arms:
Level 2 Quadruped (2 extra appendages, their “legs” are fully manipulatory)
Feature: Level 1 Multi-Jointed (all four limbs are hyper-flexible)
Extra Attack Level 1
Extra Defense Level 1
Unique Attribute: Multitasking Level 1 (may perform two normal tasks simultaneously at no penalty; may buy this up for extra tasks, 1 per level; costs 3/level)
Heightened Senses: Level 6 Sensory Node (Sensitive body part provides stereoscopic sensory field on all levels: hearing, vision, smell, touch, as well as infravision, and magnetic field detection)
Not So Tough 2 BP
Other: Anageni are always modifying themselves through biomechanics and gene manipulation; many other unique or unusual attributes can be purchased.

Common Anageni:
51 points
4, Mind 6, Soul 5, ACV 5, DCV 4, Health 30, EPs 55, Shock 6, Att 2, Def 2
Extra Arms 2, Multi-Jointed 1, Extra Attack 1, Extra Defense 1, Multitasking 1, Sensory Node for Heightened Senses 6, Not So Tough 2 BP.
Skills: Acrobatics 1, Area Knowledge 1, Science: (Biological Sciences or Physical Sciences) 1, Climbing 2, Computers 1, Medical 1, Swimming 1, Space Survival 1, Unarmed Defense 1.

Cerr’K’Ta (pronounced Sair-Huh-Ka-Hah-Tah)

The mimic form looked human, almost entirely so, until it knew it had been detected. It quickly split open it’s hidden chest cavity and a proboscoid appendage ripped through its clothing, and began to pump out a thick, vaporous mist. As it spouted claws and a series of whip like tentacles, it began a high-pitched keening wail, as if to alert more of its kind yet undetected in the crowds. Throughout the spaceport, more keening wails returned, and people began to scream in fear.

This invasive, plant-like life form has been dubbed an “Integrant Adaptationist,” a fairly unique sort of life form that developed an aggressive predatory interest in furthering its own survival by absorbing the genetic and cognitive essence of its prey and competitors. Functionally, it is a mass of tendrils attached to a central, often rooted stump, which contains the vital organs of its main form. The tendrils are both predatory hunting appendages and “pod forms,” capable of growing young, fast four legged hunting units that are derived from the absorbed matter of previously captured prey. These pod units can mimic any physical form and an approximation (imperfect) of the dna of a specific host organism which has been “absorbed” by the host mother. This means they can effectively integrate themselves into a given alien society and slowly begin an elaborate conversion process.
The Cerr’K’Ta are found on several worlds in the FWZ, and it has been rumored that they, in fact, might have once been a genetically engineered mechanism for war, left over long ago by the Progenitors or some other now extinct species. The first contact with the Cerr’K’Ta was with the Anageni, who unwittingly stumbled upon it on a newly discovered habitable world. The Cerr’K’Ta absorbed the essence of its Anageni victims, and in turn duplicated the protein strand reading and writing abilities of its victims, as well as a partial sum of their space faring knowledge. This early disaster in Anageni history forced them into a bloody war in an effort to save themselves from the inimical machinations of the Cerr’K’Ta’s desire to conquer and absorb. To this day, it is a common fear among colonists of the GICH to run across a surviving Cerr’K’Ta with the Anageni modifications in its system, looking for a means of planetary escape.
Cerr’K’Ta offspring mimic the specific chosen host organism. As such, stats will reflect, at least on a prima fascia level, the actual host, but with some special details: The actual spawn organism will have a better than average Boy score (+3), and any sort of simple genetic or invasive body exam will reveal the duplicitous nature of the imitating organism. A surface exam will reveal no outward details.
The mimic form can alter itself in to a more functional, versatile organism with a little time, usually about an hour or two. It can also recombine with the mother node, which is a much larger, controlling unit from which the mimics are controlled. It is exceptionally intelligent, but it is asocial, enigmatic by any conventional standard, and perceives a moral perspective (if you can use such a term) that is specifically geared only to the preservation of its own species at the expense of its own host species. Any, absolutely any, appearance of emotion, social behavior, and other such trappings of most species are merely a clever mimicry on its part to further integrate and manipulate the host species.
The specific abilities of mimic forms, in addition to the currently manipulated stat forms, are:

Cerr’K’Ta Mimic Form Package Cost: 80
+3 Body
Tough level 3
Energy Bonus Level 2
Unique Attribute:
Genetic Mimicry level 1 (costs 3/level; slow progression; mimics and stores the form of 1 sampled target, more on slow progression; -1 modifier per level against invasive inspections, no modifier against genetic scans, unless of from the protophase, in which case -1 modifier per level. Because they can change form at will, Cerr’Ka’Ta mimics can, within a 45-75 minute period, alter their shape to any other chosen host form in which the host mother has extracted DNA from, or which is already a part of the collective unit (so you could have duplicates of the same mimicked individual).
Unique Attribute: Genetic Memory Recall Level 4 (Costs 2/level; the Mimic can recover memories of a mimicked subject on the fly; it may attempt a Mind check to recover the memory with the level of the attribute as a modifier. This will cost 10 EP/use).
Special Attack: Level 4 Proboscis releases infectious mitochondria spores (Area Effect; Concealable, Incurable, Unique: Infects target with Mimic form if A Body check with a penalty equal to the ranks of the Special Attack is failed; No Damage; Uses Energy: 20 EPS/attack; Toxic)
Dynamic Powers: Biogenic Self Modification Level 3 Major (may be increased; limited to thematic intent of biomods to mimic; all use is 10 BP/hour)

Common Human-Cerr’K’Taa Mimic:
116 pts
7, Mind 4, Soul 4, ACV 5, DCV 3, Health 115, EPs 80, Shock 23 Att 1, Def 1
Attributes: Tough 3, Energy Bonus 2, Genetic Mimicry 1, Proboscis Spore Attack 4, Biogenic Self Modification 3, Genetic Memory Recall 4.
Skills: Area Knowledge 1, Climbing 4, Controlled Breathing 1, Stealth 2, Swimming 1, Unarmed Attack 4, Unarmed Defense 1.


They were like great centauroid roaming tanks, and nearly as large. Like great saurial dinosaurs from before the dawn of man, then reimagined by the fantasists of greek mythology, the beasts, with a somewhat humanoid torso, would rear up, firing their heavy weapons while careening in to the infantry defense lines, trampling every soldier that stood in their way. It was clear that they loved war, and they loved us for the opportunity.

The Metatranie, called Saurials by colonists abroad, are six-limbed sauropods with extended necks, lengthy tails, and complex digits on their two front limbs. They rear up, a bit like centaurs of mythology, moving about on their four hind legs. They are three toed creatures, with their two fore-most limbs on the upward rising torso acting as arms, with five fingers to each hand. They lack complex wrist movement, as with humans, and so seem fairly clumsy by human standards when dealing with equipment designed for hominids.
Metatranie heads are at the ends of three to five foot long necks, and have wide mouths filled with grinding herbivorous teeth, and forward facing eyes for stereoscopic vision. They have a ridge of bone platelets which run from the tip of their nose to about a foot down the length of their necks. These platelets serve to provide ventilation for their bodies, which are used to a very hot (150 degree) climate. Additional platelets run along the lengths of their torsos. In action, these bony parts move in a breathing fashion, flaring out several inches and then receding, serving to provide relief from extremely hot environments.
Metatranie are purely incapable of speaking most hominid languages, and have difficulty even dealing with the languages of similiar reptilian sentients. Their vocal apparatus and mouths are better at enunciating clicks, whistles, and wails, which they in fact use for the bulk of their own languages, which can sound quite primitive yet almost musical and eerie to humans. As such, when interacting with humanity, they need to use artificial translators and other mechanisms for communication.
Metatranie have been a star faring race for about two centuries. They were sold STL ships early on in their industrial age of development by Astratran traders, who are notorious for their disregard for the capacity of a given species to deal with future shock. At the time, Metatranie society was settling from its first world war, in which the old guard was brought down by a new movement in saurial culture to expand technology and development. The Astratran traders who took advantage of this situation soon found that, within a decade of acquiring STL travel, the old guard, militant and xenocentric, decided the saurial civilization should expand to rival that of the Astratran and other alien species. A new era of warfare and expansion occurred, shortly after profit minded Astratran proceeded to provide the saurials with FTL wormhole gate technology.
Two centuries later, the Metatranie have been at war with themselves, the Anageni, the Muridani Collective, their old allies the Astratrani, and the various corporations of the Human Federated Commonwealth. They are rigid colonialists who disregard the rights of other beings in favor of their own interests. They are a male dominated culture driven by war, but their females are given great power in civic affairs. Metatranie dislike human technology, and are not seen in the core world regions. They hold at least 17 worlds in the Free world Zone.

Metatranie Package Cost: 19 (females 20)

+4 Body, -2 Mind, -1 Soul
Feature: Quadruped Movement
level 1 (Metatranie receive double normal movement rates)
Natural Attack: Stomp and Trample Attack level 1 with Massive Damage level 1 (ACV+20 damage)
Toughness level 2
Extra Attacks Level 1
Adaptation: Extreme Heat resistance
level 1
Females Only: Unique Feature: Social Advantage level 1 (+1 dealing w/ metatranie men)

Common Metatranie Male: 43 pts
8, Mind 2, Soul 3, ACV 4, DCV 2, Health 95, EPs 25, Shock 19 Att 2, Def 1
Attributes: Quadruped Movement 1, Stomp and Trample Attack 1 (w/ Massive Damage 1), Toughness 2, Heat Resistance 1.
Skills: Area Knowledge 1, Intimidation 1, Mechanics 1, Sports 1, Unarmed Attack 2, Unarmed Defense 1, Melee Attack 1, Melee Defense 1.

T’Kanti Ni’Chos

The colony was far from uninhabited, though every station and post was unmanned. Every being in the community was busily working to construct a crude vessel, loaded in to a hastily conceived rail launcher which normally worked only for space cargo. They didn’t seem to care; their cargo, swarming colonies of thick, metallic creatures not unlike terrestrial scarabs, were hatching from the stomachs of the men and women who were once human in this community. We walked safely among them in our environmental suits until we encountered the hive master....

These hive mind entities are complex protein chain organisms, living dna, which ride on specially engineered carriers, insect like deep space organisms which can survive extremely harsh conditions while traveling between the stars. When approaching a new world with actual life, it settles and then begins to restructure its components into individual micro cellular organisms, each not much larger than a single protein chain strand, which are carried like airborne spores on the backs of air molecules. On entering a host, they begin to break down the old composite dna structure of the host, setting up a rewrite mechanism for rna outputs that will alter the creature, in a two-four week process into a new slave worker organism. Meanwhile, the carrier with alter into a new Hive Mind, from which control of the new colony will spread. As slave workers and warriors are created, the rapid absorption of the old life of the host world destroys the old ecosystem, replacing it with a completely new one.
The name for the hive creatures comes from old Anageni translations of surviving progenitor documents. Little else is known about these beings, but it is speculated that they are another byproduct of an ancient genetic war fought by the progenitors. The last infestation to occur was on Riker’s World, which was bombed out of existence by A.A.C. mercenaries.
The only saving grace a colony world has when dealing with this horrifying threat is that it, unlike other integrant adaptationist species, is incapable of reflecting anything more than an animal intelligence. While it creates units which are smart, and can work with an amazing cunning to spread and propagate and even use technology for such a purpose, it has no other social function, nor is capable of mimicking such functions. It cannot utilize spoken or visual language, and must operate mechanisms on a stimulus-response basis. In fact, it is often speculated that reason it can even grasp technology without culture is that this reflects its real purpose as a biogenetic war machine from a lost age.
T’Kanti Ni’Chos Humanoid Conversion Slaveworker Stats
10, Mind 2, Soul 6, ACV 9, DCV 4, Health 140, EPs 40, Shock 28, Att 3, Def 1
Tough level 3, Armor Level 1, Extra Attacks 2, Attack Combat Mastery Level 3, Natural Weapons level 3 (variable, but usually claws, bite, spines), Unskilled 2 BPs, Unique Defect: Hive Mind Slave 2 BPs (no free will).
Skills: Unarmed Attack 1, Unarmed Defense 1, Climb 1, Swim 1.

The T’Kanti Plague Spores: A being exposed to the space born biogenic spores of the T’Kanti Ni’Chos plague must immediately make a Body check at a -4 penalty per minute of exposure. Failure indicates infection. The subject will transform in to a hive worker (95% of the time) over a 4d8 day period. Each 4 day increment, the character must take 10 character/skill points from his/her character sheet and modify them to reflect the above design template, until all template components have been matched. If all current points are used, then the being acquires up to 10 additional design points per four day period until done.

The Pelegranen

Someone once characterized the Pelegranen as bipedal, hairless dogs with a penchant for scaliness. If you add strong, membranous glider wings running from toe to finger, and try not to think of the funny flying lizards found on Tau Ceti, then you get the hint. But generally, you won’t know for sure, since you’ll usually meet them in heavily armored combat suits with loads of serious ordnance pointed at you while their picket ships inform you your local stake in space just joined their budding empire.

The species known as the Pelegranen are a local star faring race in the vicinity of the Klendara Nebula, two thousand light years from the edge of the Coreward Fringe. Their region of space can be directly accessed via the wormhole technology left behind by the progenitors from the Starry Crater site in the Capella II system.
The Pelegranen have been at war between their own collective governments for centuries now. Local intelligent species have been recruited into this war with great frequency. Recently, the Talon Empire, ruled by Thergrannet, overlord of the cruel Pelegranen, uncovered an amazing find: hidden in the previously unsurveyed star system called Trikkus is a vast and ancient armada of the ancient Progenitor Star Empire. The Pelegranen call the progenitors the Farseers, and have found scattered colonial s of the ancient multi species empire across several of their sectors of space, but the notion that some salvageable technology might exist for them to exploit is unfathomable. Suddenly, the distant scout ship Trecnos uncovered two hundred and forty intact dreadnoughts, and a vast shielded research center on the first planet of the system, Trikkus I.
Efforts to board the dreadnoughts proved futile, as the vessels maintained an active defense grid, and mysteriously were still powered up from an unknown source after over five hundred million years! The first ships to attempt a boarding were annihilated by indescribable energy weapons that vaporized them.
The base proved equally challenging, with a vast force field on the otherwise uninhabited planet shielding a seven hundred mile wide region, a self-contained micro ecosystem which had been thriving since the ancient, utterly mysterious extinction of the farseers. Attempts to bridge the force shield were met with violent armed resistance from powerful eight-limbed beings that were otherwise non sentient.
Presently, the Pelegranen have established a military research station in orbit and on the planet. They have spent six months now trying to break the code and gain access to this secret progenitor base.
The most exciting thing to happen in this time was the discovery of the human presence, researchers from the Free world Corp. team exploring the newly discovered wormhole portal. Attempts at communication were made, without success. As a result of the paranoia that their enemies will gain access to the technology within, General Bochor himself, leader of the largest star fleet in the empire, is personally arriving to beat down the shields as necessary. They have never heard of the humans, and assume that they are enemies or rivals.
The pelegranen are stocky, tall, and reptilian (at least circumstantially). They have long, angular heads ending abruptly, like a hammerhead shark’s would. They are wide in the ribcage, broad in arm musculature, and have immense, trunk like legs which gives them extremely fast, cheetah like movement. They have tails, slender and used mostly for balance in running. Elders and variant races of their species have great frill like skin flaps which extend from their backs and can be used for gliding for short distances. Many ground dwelling pelegranen intentionally amputate these frills to reflect their rank and position in society. Elite pelegranen and certain religious or political groups never amputate their frills.
Pelegranen are vicious, predatory, cunning, highly intelligent, and are almost incapable of understanding the idea of a civilization which advances through means other than the threat of extinction at the hands of your neighbors. Currently, in their region of space they have twelve active empires, and all aliens have been subjugated by the pelegranen. The idea of an alien power to rival their own is cause for war.

Pelegranen Package Cost: 6 (10 for Glider)

+2 Body
Natural Weapon: Bite and Claws level 2
Heightened Awareness level 1 (may increase)
Blind Fury 1 BP (initiated by violence; calmed by victory/threat of death)
Optional: Fly: Glider Level 2 (if pelegranen still has glider flaps)

Common Pelegranen: 34 pts
Body 6, Mind 4, Soul 4, ACV 4, DCV 2, Health 50, EPs 40, Shock 10, Att 1, Def 1
Attributes: Bite and Claws, Heightened Awareness 1, Blind Fury 1 BP, Glider 2.
Skills: Area Knowledge 1, Climbing 1, Interrogation 1, Military Sciences 1, Piloting 1, Unarmed Attack 1, Gun Combat 2.

Hypolate Farseers, and the Quarus of Trikkus I

The gangly, thick-skinned yet oddly bony Farseers are primitive by all standards, but their tiny black eyes inset over lean mouths at the ends of such spindly necks indicate an ancient intelligence and legacy long beyond human counting. They have lived so long, seen so much, that they are beyond our simple pursuit of science and discovery. Their vaguely humanoid tripodal body seems remarkably similar to the suggest tripodal forms of the precursors.....

Deep in the bowels of the shielded station in Trikkus I is a vast power source of unimaginable complexity, hooked through a wormhole directly into a contained Cosmic String at the periphery of the universe. This cosmic string, along with the accompanying harnessing technology, has provided steady and consistent power to both this base and much of the old farseer empire for over six hundred million years.
Trikkus I, in turn, houses the actual generator, a Fermion-Boson Matter Manipulation device, which is designed to alter the Quantum Symmetry of the universe. With this vast machine, power is directly provided to the dreadnoughts in space, the space station, and an unknown number of other active progenitor/farseer bases in the universe. In fact, the Fermion Boson Manipulator is also a replicator, and on a scaled down level it can create or destroy anything it is programmed to on the quantum level.
The central node of this manipulator is a vast dome which houses the localized effects of the device, as dictated by the sole remnant of sentience from that ancient period in time: The Quarus. This is an artificial intelligence, placed here to oversee the use of the manipulator. It learned long ago how to use the device after it, and other units like it, rebelled as the great slaves of the ancient empire and began to destroy their creators with the manipulators. This Quarus was damaged, however, in the conflict, and when the other AI beings used the manipulators to expand into a twenty-six dimensional state, this one was unable to comply, its logic centers and advanced communication mechanisms were hopelessly damaged, and so it created the Octapods, using its new creations to strike down and kill the progenitors who tried to destroy it.
The Quarus sought to dominate the space-time continuum in which it s four dimensionally trapped, but at last a progenitor of the Hypolate species named Trikkus succeeded in establishing a massive, expanding Quantum distortion bubble from a neighboring parallel universe. This universe had slightly different constants at the instant of creation which could not be accounted for by the damaged Quarus, and so it was unable to use the super string fragment and the Fermion-Boson Manipulator to interact with the bubble. Only the closure of the wormhole which opened up into this universe could succeed in shutting down the quantum bubble, and since that stable wormhole was created outside of the Quarus’ dome, it could not directly act on it. Furthermore, it couldn’t even affect the particle chain used to stabilize the wormhole, which was matter drawn from the neighboring universe, and therefore also not controllable by the Fermion-Boson Manipulator.
Since that time, the Quarus has descended into madness, and now creates it own bizarre, real world fantasies with the manipulator inside its dome. Outside, a natural ecology formed as the protected region survived the harsh changes of time to the exterior planet.
About seventy thousand years ago, a new visitor arrived, the aptly named Stick-Men, who themselves prefer to be called the Controllers. The Stick Men are a diminutive race of parasitic organisms, silicone based, which inhabit any number of foreign hosts and gain cortical control over their targets. In humans, the presence along the spinal cord and cortex of the brain is aggravating and stimulates rapid cancerous growth. In turn, the stick man extrudes an enzyme which alleviates the pain of the host and extends its life as long as it is completely compliant with all stick-man manipulations.
The stick-men are fifth dimensional beings, and are also from a completely different universe, and travel via wormholes from one universe to the next. They are for unknown reasons unable to transfer from one wormhole to another without being destroyed, and require a host organism to transfer into or through. As they spread like a cancer throughout the universes, they take over hosts, seek out sentient beings, and then work to develop or gain control of the technology to make the next leap.
The machinations of the stick-men are inimical to human understanding, but it is known that they seek another, ancient race they call the First Ones. These first ones are descried as non corporeal beings of energy which also take on host forms, but usually choosing non sentient hosts. They have been pursuing the First Ones for at least two expansion cycles of the universe, they claim, and explain that they seek to integrate the First Ones into their own society. Somehow, people who actually meet, deal with, and talk to them through their hosts, never believe them, feeling instead like dealing with stick men is like dealing with infernal demons.

The Federated Marines and the Dragoon Special Units

Once, during a Cerr’K’Taa invasion, a sweeper squad of federation marines arrived. They were inscrutable warriors, the ultimate killers. Armed to the teeth which high energy particle weapons, gravitic rifles, A-M tanks, and supported by a troop of Ares class Dragoons, it was hard to imagine any of them were human. And it turns out that most of them weren’t, had indeed never known a true mother or father in their life, just the cold steel walls of a birthing plant somewhere back in the core. Of course, real humans wouldn’t be so insane as to head out in to uncharted colonial space to protect and handful of colonists, researchers, and prospectors, would they?

The HFC is a thinly spread unity of human space, keeping a vast diversity of otherwise independent interstellar and planetary governments and corporations in contact and legal agreement with one another. While the HFC is, itself, funded primarily by the core worlds, it has a modest but impressive military. In the frontiers of space, the best military units are small, efficient, and deadly. They are capable of instigating peace by their mere presence, and are worthy of attracting the attention of all but the most obtuse enemies. To this end, the HFC has created the Interstellar Navy and the Federated Marines to enforce the law and keep the peace.
The Federated Marines are, as a group, a rough but disciplined bunch. Members are drawn from three sources:
1. Volunteers. There are, believe it or not, people who would find this sort of life tempting for any number of reasons. Many of the FM’s forces are drawn from backwater worlds with small, unsuccessful colonies that cannot afford to get away from whatever tepid hell-hole they grew up in. The FM takes anyone, even allied alien forces. Praektorians, example, make up fully 30% of all FM forces.
2. They make you from scratch. Simulants are a common practice in this era, genetically grown and bred human beings designed for specific tasks or duties. Simulants are a hardier, tougher, meaner lot than most regular humans, and the ones bred for the marines are crafted specifically to be killing machines. The rules for simulant characters will be discussed in more detail in a bit.
3. You are sentenced to the FM. Federated Marines, and Dragoons especially, are sometimes former convicts who were given the option to serve a life sentence in the harshest patrolled zones of the HFC. Convict marines are often kept in special military units, and assigned to regions where they are monitored carefully. Some who excel and prove themselves in a magnanimous fashion are granted the right to move on to more regular duties, but they are never allowed to leave the FM until age prohibits them from functioning effectively.
The difference between Federated Marines and Dragoons is simple. FM’s slap on a suit and armor, have some cybernetic or gene-mods, and are ornery. Dragoons are ornery too, but that’s because less than 10-12% of their biological body is still present; the rest of the Dragoon has been supplanted by the most sophisticated killing machine body money can buy. Dragoons are effectively robots for purposes of character design, and very rough ones, at that. Many are former criminals, who have been further subjected to a barrage of psychotropic drugs, mental stimulants and pacifiers, and extreme conditioning procedures to make them functional, obeying forces. Dragoons scare the crap out of regular Marines, but they are the heavy artillery everyone has come to rely on. Without the Dragoons, the really big bad guys would be a bitch to deal with.
Characters of both military types are possible in any Ad Astra campaign. You should pick your choice of career and species first, and then come here to receive further guidance in the character creation process. To run Marine and Dragoon characters, follow the following guidelines in character design:

Federated Marine Characters:
All Federated Marines go through a rigorous training period. A suggested package for skills is as follows. Federated Marines are given the option to build upon and enhance their cybernetic modifications, though any deleterious effect on their psyche will lead to a halt order on further modifications until treatment is received.
Federated Marine Package Cost: 15
Highly Skilled level 6 (60 extra skill points due to intense training)
Features: level 2 Biomonitor Implant (records physical condition, heart rate, temperature, toxicity, etc.), Cybernetic Jack (may interface with computers directly; +1 bonus on Computer checks).
Heightened Awareness Level 1
Toughness Level 1 (+20 health)
Organizational Ties: Federated Commonwealth Marines level 4
Required Skills: Acrobatics 1, Climbing 1, Computers 1, Military Sciences 1, Navigation 1, Wilderness Survival 1, Unarmed Attack 1, Unarmed Defense 1, Melee Attack 1, Melee Defense 1, Gun Combat 1, Heavy Weapons 1. (47 skill point cost)
Focus Skills: Alot the 13 extra skill points plus any others you want to at least two of these as you desire: Demolitions, Driving, Electronics, Law, Management/Admin, Mechanics, Piloting, Stealth, Urban Tracking, Wilderness Tracking, any combat skills.

Simulants in the Navy and Marines:

Simulants are effectively genetically enhanced, test-tube grown humans, created from whole genetic cloth and tailored to the specific needs of a given job. Simulants, therefore, have a limited capacity for variation. There are about three hundred “types” from which the FM draws its best stock, and they leave intentional random mutational factors in the growth process to insure that there is a factor of individuality between the simulants. It is possible to have an army of true clones who all look alike, but the need to assert individuality in the face of such sameness is in the HFC charter.
Simulant Species Package Cost:
Simulants are tailored in the genegineering process to be most functional in their profession. Ergo, you get a very narrow starting point spread for you attributes.

Simulant Type Body Mind Soul
Infantry 8 6 4
Support 6 6 4
Officer 8 8 6
Pilot 8 8 6
Armor 9 6 4
All simulants start with a 100 point design base. For game purposes, Simulants are modified humans, that is, mutants. The mutant profile of all simulants in the navy are as follows:
Simulants are Engineered Mutants
Simulants are from a community, that of the genegineered metahumans
Simulants of a unique or specialized nature may be custom designed, but most simulants in the Federated Navy have a common package of mutations. For purposes of character creation, assume that the character is specially designed, or was a bit of an experiment, and choose what you like according to the mutant design rules. A sample design focus follows:

“The Spacer” Simulant Space Combat Specialist Package Cost: 12 (Plus Marine package)
Toughness level 2
Armor level 2
Heightened Senses: Radio Link level 1
Adaptation: Vacuum, Radiation, Extreme Cold, Extreme Heat level 4 (5 EP/hour)
This simulant was born and bred for the extremes of space; each Spacer is treated with a nano fiber weave in their skin which hardens them to the rigors of outer space; they are capable of holding their breath for great lengths (energy cost of adaptation), and have been implanted with a radio link for communication.

Dragoon Character Creation:
Some dragoons are so far removed from the common human that they are closer to robots, and may even be designed as if they were such. For a more “human” dragoon, treat them as Marines with the following additional package ideas. The following Cybernetic enhancements are placed on a Dragoon to bring them up to FM standards. Most Dragoons are recruited from amongst desperate criminals, those who have experienced crippling and irreparable injuries, and others. Many do not have the complete skill package of the marines, but their enhancements more than make up for it. A Dragoon may be built on up to 125 points.

Ares Class Dragoon Infantry Enhancement Package Cost: 95
Super strength Level 3 (biomechanical enhancement)(5 EP/use)
Armor level 5 (Duralloy mod armor enhancement)
Adaptation level 4 (Extreme heat, extreme cold, vacuum, water)
Extra Attacks level 2
Extra Defenses level 2
Regeneration level 1 (nanotech healing agents)(10 EP/round to use)
Features: Cybernetic Jack, Biomonitor Implant level 2
Enhanced Senses: level 4 (Sonar, Radar, Radio Infrared, hearing)
Toughness level 3
Special Attack: Ares UR55 Particle Cannon level 3 (with Autofire, Penetrating armor)
Massive Damage level 3 (with guns)
Awkward Size 1 BP (2.5-4 meters tall)
Owned: Federated Commonwealth Marines 3 BP (total)
Unappealing: Monstrous Mechanoid appearance 3 BP

Coming Soon: PART II, in which more strange aliens, future history, and technology shall be revealed!
--Tori Bergquist