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Very Different Places RPG

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With the possible exception of dolphins, the sentient races in the Slipstream derive from either humans or one of the Invader races. It is known in lore that while at least some of the Invaders were capable of procreating naturally, it was a very difficult thing for them to do, and they shunned the method in favor of artificial recombination. When the Invaders lost the war, the infrastructure that they brought with them was all but destroyed, and in the generations of chaos that followed some of the survivors ended up interbreeding with humans. Some biologists say that this is what allowed a humanity whose gene pool had been severely depleted to survive at all.

Pre-Invasion races can still be seen, especially among plats, but do not come into play except maybe when describing the person who PCs may be looking for in a stakeout; pseudoalbinism and argyria are common enough to not cause raised eyebrows, after all. One note is that people living outside of Tsuxia tend to get white hair very early, and dying one's hair is common.

Sentient races:

Plat - Most plats live in Tsuxia, and (partially due to a nonviolent but strict eugenic policy, and a shoot-first-then-shoot-again immigration policy) all Tsuxians are plats. Essentially pre-invasion humans, plats haven't changed much outwardly from pre-Invasion times, although a number of microscopic adaptations exist. Moderate psi ability. Lifespan 60-80 years.

Streamie - Slipstream humans have evolved to be faster, taller and thinner over the centuries, at the expense of strength. Moderate psi ability. Lifespan 60-80 years. Most sentient beings in the Slipstream belong to this category; excessive genetic drift between plats and streamies is prevented by Tsuxia routinely expelling excess population as exiles.

Womp - Originally hybrids between a human and one of the now-feral alien footsoldiers. Large, thick skin, somewhat slower in thinking but more methodical. Low psi ability, but psi-null womps aren't more common than psi-nulls of other races. Lifespan 50~70 years.

Geep - Originally hybrids between a human and one of the now-extinct alien overlords. Shorter but thinner than Streamies, with pale greyish skin and wide eyes. High psi ability. They tend to manifest argyria more often than most races, due to the low amount of pigment. Lifespan 70-90 years.

Racial traits

Tsuxians consider plats to be the only true humans; to them streamies are mutants or hybrids, and everything else is an Invader... of course, the average Tsuxian has mostly been exposed to distorted caricatures of geeps and womps, and can probably be told that the womp trying to infiltrate a walled city has just been beaten with an ugly stick! Tsuxians tend to be less developed psionically than Slipstream-born plats, but not by any statistically significant margin. Despite Tsuxian misgivings about racial purity and the large phenotypic variance between races, cross-compatibility remains and speciation is unlikely to happen any time soon -- However, there are statistical differences in mental and physical performance, as follows:

Streamies get a bonus point to Speed.
Plats get a bonus point to Stamina.
Womps get a bonus point to Strength.
Geeps get a bonus point to Focus.

Semi-sentient life:

Lemlin - Often assumed to be hybrids between monkeys and the now-extinct alien technicians, lemlins actually seem to be descended from the alien technicians more or less directly. Hyperactive small creatures with some humanoid traits, they occasionally form a symbiotic relationship with a land's people. Not particularly good at abstraction, but great manual dexterity. Some cantons have special laws protecting lemlins against industrial exploitation. It is known that alien technicians were designed to be unable to reproduce, but during the latest phase of the Invasion a breakdown in Invader genetic and surgical facilities forced some Invaders to try and regain gender expression to survive. Lemlins, however, lost a measure of intelligence due to the shallowness of the remaining gene pool. Lemlins are assumed to not be interfertile with people, although lurid stories abound.

Gork - The alien footsoldiers are hulking creatures that roam the deeps; they can use weapons or tools if they happen to be similar to the weapons and tools used in the Invasion, but are not smart enough to make them, although there have been exceptions reported. Gorks do not breathe well in alpine environments; attempts to use them as workforce have been fairly frequent historically, but always turned fatal for most everyone involved. It is known that alien footsoldiers were designed to be unable to reproduce, and speculated that the small portion that could mated with humans immediately post-Invasion to generate the current population of fertile gorks. Interbreeding with other races is practically nonexistent although roaming gork bands will occasionally kidnap streamie and womp women -- at least in pulp magazines. Likely due to genetic drift or hybridization, using any psi ability on a gork has a chance to send them into a berserk rage -- a clear inversion from the impossibly disciplined stormtroopers that the Invaders brought along.

Fin - Interestingly, dolphins have developed enough psi ability to have been able to move seamlessly from the water to the skies, only returning to their salt lakes to mate and rest after a long hunt. Fins are generally not that interested in using tools, but the smarter ones can hold a conversation in morse code, at least to the extent of putting words together to help with fishing and asking for, or offering directions. Psi flight is basically exclusive to fins, who use their ability to hover above the Slipstream to their advantage when hunting fowl and skyfish. It is rumored that fins can navigate through or above the Votex to a mostly ocean-covered "bubble" of clean biosphere. At least two skyknights are historically known to have ridden fins into battle.

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