Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Psi-Wars Foundational Races: the Ranathim

Homeworld: Styx (Destroyed)
Other Worlds: Sarai, Samsara, Covenant, Moros, the Blood Moon of Charybdis, Sable

The ancient Ranathim race once ruled the galaxy. They come from a dark, twilight world that once orbited a giant star, but which is now only a shattered husk circling a black hole. They have a devilish appearance, with subtle horns, the teeth of a predator, a lashing tail, skin of a pale white, red and violet hue, and black eyes with cat-like golden or red irises. Despite their sinister appearance, the sapient species of the galaxy find them to be exceptionally attractive, with their robust men sporting rugged features and broad shoulders, and their delicate women defined by their soft curves.

Given their beauty and their robustness, they make for highly sought-after slaves, but they hide a dangerous power and an unruly temperament. All Ranathim are psionic vampires, able to draw energy from others with but a touch of skin to skin, whether it be a warm handshake or a tempting kiss. They hunger for this energy, and when empowered by it, they become fantastically strong, quick and lethal. Powerful passions rule them, and those passions empower their innate psionic talent, which makes them their strongest when they’re at their most passionate and unpredictable. Nonetheless, slavers will pay a premium for the careful capture of one, and collar them with psionic inhibitors, forever depriving them of that sweet energy they so crave.

The Ranathim have had a profound influence on Galactic culture.  Their native language, Lithian, is the lingua franca of the Umbral Realm, and their ecstatic cults, the Divine Masks, are still practiced to this day, and gave rise to the Cult of the Mystical Tyrant, whic the human emperor, Ren Valorian himself,  practices in secret.

Ranathim once hailed from a great Empire, the Ranathim Tyranny, and a few of them have an Aristocratic background, but most have lived a life as Slaves or Outcasts, and a precious few have been sufficiently cloistered away by cults to have a Sequestered background. The Ranathim enjoy superior health and attractiveness, and if they can exploit that attractiveness to siphon off some energy from others, have the possibility of prodigious physical feats, at least temporarily. This makes them well suited to social and physical roles, such as Assassin, Bounty Hunter or, to a more limited extend, the Con-Artist. They also make decent Diplomats, Security Agents and Commandos. They have a long tradition of Space Knights and Mystics, however, given their innate psionic power, and given their reserves of psionic energy, they definitely benefit from expanding their psionic power with a Psionic Power-Up.

Ranathim: 50 points

Attributes: HT +1 [10]
Advantages: Attractive [4], Energy Reserve 10 (Psi; Regenerate with Steal Energy Only -70%, Can be used for Physical Extra Effort +45%) [23], Godlike Extra Effort (Physical; Psi -10%) [1], Iron Skull [1], Night Vision 5 [5], Passionate Psi [1], Psychic Vampirism 1 [5], Ranathim Energy Vampirism [5], Sharp Teeth [1], Striker (Horns, Crushing; Weak -50%; Limited Arc, Straight ahead -40%) [1]
Feature: Tail [0]; May increase their disadavantage limit by taking one passion disadvantage (see Ranathim Passion below) [0].
Disadvantages: Uncontrollable Appetite (Psionic Energy) (15 or less) [-7];

Ranathim Traits

Godlike Extra-Effort
Ranathim may use Godlike Extra-Effort (GURPS Powers p 160) on physical effort rolls, including improving their BL, their running speed and their jumping distance. When making extra-effort rolls, they may pay their fatigue cost out of their psionic energy reserves, if they have any. They may not use Godlike Extra-Effort when using Extra-Effort in Combat (B357), but they may spend their psionic energy reserves to power Extra-Effort in Combat, and may spend 2 fatigue or energy reserve points to double the effect of Extra-Effort in Combat except for Mighty Blows, on which they may spend an unlimited amount of fatigue (2 fatigue for +4 damage rather than +2, or 2 fatigue for +4 to a single defense instead of +2, etc).

Passionate Psi
Whenever the character fails to resist a mental disadvantage with a self-control value (voluntarily or otherwise), the character gains +1 to his psionic rolls for every -5 points the disadvantage is worth. This works best when using the Ham Clause.

Ranathim Passion
As part of his racial template, a Ranathim may choose a Passion Disadvantage. If they take a disadvantage from that list, they may increase their disadvantage limit by the lower of the disadvantage value of that passion disadvantage, or by 10, whichever is less. For example, a Ranathim that takes Bully (12 or less) [-5] may have up to -55 points of disadvantages rather than -50, including his Bully disadvantage. A Ranathim that takes Lecherous (12 or less) [-15] may have up to -60 points of disadvantages, including his Lecherous disadvantage. Passion Disadvantages are entirely optional. Many Ranathim have them, but they can also overcome them and buy them off.

Passion Disadvantages: Bad Temper [-10*], Bully [-5*], Compulsive Carousing [-5*], Gluttony [-5*], Greed [-15*], Jealousy [-10], Lecherousness [-15*], Selfish [-5*],

Uncontrollable Appetite
The Ranathim crave psionic energy. If given a chance to drain some, most will indulge immediately. If they choose to resist, they can generally succeed, but the GM may optionally give those with low fatigue (less than half their standard amount) and depleted energy reserves a -2 to resist, while those with full energy reserves gain a +2. If a Ranathim cannot drain psionic energy for extended periods of time (for example, they’re a slave wearing a psi-restraint collar), the GM may temporarily give them a disadvantage worth at least -7; common examples include Bad Temper, Compulsive Behaviors associated with eating (such as eating chalk or dirt), Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain, Nightmares or On the Edge.

Different forms of psionic energy have “flavors,” which Ranathim may prefer. Non-sapient psychic energy tends to be unpalatable, while the energy of an actual psion (or anyone with energy reserves (psi)) tends to taste especially good. Specific preferences for psionic energy may be a quirk.

Ranathim Energy Vampirism 5*/28/30/33/35/38/40
All Ranathim have the ability to drain “energy” from a target that they touch, skin to skin. After 1d seconds of complete skin to skin contact, the Ranathim rolls their Energy Drain skill at +4 and their target rolls Will. If the Ranathim wins, their target loses 1 point of fatigue, and the Ranathim can restore one point of energy reserves (unless the target is an animal without psionic energy reserves, in which case 3 fatigue is necessary to restore 1 energy reserves point). Additional levels are the equivalent to Steal Energy at one level lower (thus level 2 Ranathim Energy Drain is the same as Steal Energy level 1, and so on). Ranathim with higher levels of Ranathim Energy Vampirism can always choose to use the quicker, more reliable version of level 1 Ranathim Energy Drain, provided they can touch the skin of their target with their own skin.

Statistics: Leech 1 (Accelerated Healing (Accessible, only against Sapients or creatures with Psionic Energy Reserves -20%) +20%, Contact Agent -30%, Nuisance effect, Can transfer personality traits -5%; Only heals Energy Reserve -20%, Psychic Vampirism -10%, Reliable +4 +20%, Requires Will Roll (Resistable with Will) -15%, Steal FP -25%, Takes Extra Time 2 -20%) [5]; level 2 and up are as Energy Drain at one level less, with Ranathim Energy Vampirism as an Alternative Ability.
*This power is free for Ranathim, as it’s part of their racial package.

Ranathim Names

The Ranathim use a language called Lithian, a powerful ancient language that has become a lingua franca of the Umbral Rim.  Their names begin with a given name and end with a surname, like human names.

Male Names: Anithan, Anor, Anthara, Aten, Derin, Hanir, Galeku, Kithe, Metra, Natharam, Raitha, Revalis, Satra, Shan, Sutra, Viga.

Female Names: Astra, Athura, Delia, Hana, Kafri, Karin, Maishe, Melia, Merethe, Mirne, Pika, Rita, Sutra, Vivila, Zarie

Surnames: Ashathim, Embanet, Hananet, Heshethim, Kethim, Metria, Midakhet, Minathim, Nentri, Rahat, Shafathim, Temos, Thalom,

Mailanka's Musings on the Ranathim

The Ranathim are the "sexy space vampires," of course.  They're here to fill the niche of the pulpy slave princess, or the grim gladiator, or the cunning space witch or brooding pirate-king.  Their main features, in addition to being attractive, is their "passionate" nature, which both empowers their psychic abilities and encourages players to play up their wicked side, and their pairing of psychic vampirism with their energy reserves and Godlike effort.  Natural energy reserves serve a psychic alien well, but for those who want to be primarily physical (the commando, the bounty hunter, the assassin, etc), this gives their psychic energy reserves a secondary purpose.  Taken together, this makes for a nicely primal, decadent and darkly mystical race.

The Ranathim name arises from some artistic liberties with the Lithian Language, a con-lang by "Leiden."  The language is used with his permission.
All art here is by Christian Villacis, and owned by me.

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