Uncle Jimbo's Bug Huntin' Range

They left it out in the Oort before we crawled from the sea.
The gate of Paradise.
Or the mouth of Hell.

Bug Huntin' Home
Nemesis Gate
Hero Creation

Species Briefing: T'sa

Nature and Society

To the t'sa, philosophy and belief are all, and truth is a meaningless notion which hardly occurred to the species before contact with the literal-minded humans. T'sa seldom measure or define; instead, they seek meaning in all things within the individual's understanding of life. T'sa recognise scientific facts in two senses: that patterns of the physical universe increase understanding (such as chaos theory), and that physical tools can help to survive and persuade others.

Rather than human nations and corporations, t'sa society is divided into alignments. The most powerful alignments, such as the Fifth Line, hold several solar systems. An alignment describes the beliefs, outlook and mode of action of millions of t'sa. Each alignment uses its chosen methods to influence all other people to its mode of thinking.

The beliefs of an alignment are not written down or memorised, and are subject to change over time. When the beliefs and behaviour of numerous t'sa change sufficiently, they will secretly form a new alignment and begin to promote their beliefs. Depending on the alignments in conflict, this may incite warfare or wholesale destruction.

Alignments are organised in a loose, slippery fashion which, to any human, would barely seem to be organised at all. Each local cell is a group of t'sa within one town or city who gather to discuss life and philosophy. Within the cell are several experienced, respected and committed thinkers (sometimes called bloods) who hold no formal position, but are listened to because of their persuasiveness, important connections and grasp of the meaning of life. The bloods, and favoured members of the alignment, are privileged to visit and converse with still more charismatic, thoughtful and committed sages who suggest ways to advance the alignment and provide connections and equipment.

T'sa of Ketann have legal names, which they change only occasionally, as a result of the influence of human legal systems. Even these t'sa prefer to use nicknames. They seldom refer to years or months, or use calendars.

T'sa player characters belong to the Fifth Line alignment.

The Alignments

The Fifth Line has almost complete control over Ketann, and holds the systems of O'a and Honnar. This alignment is of middling age and strength in the known t'sa systems. The Fifth Line pursues information and experience of strange things. Members often trade for exotic luxuries, art and cultural products. They are fascinated by human Buddhism, ambient music, fetishism and even more peculiar notions. The method of the Fifth Line is to propagandise and distort the information which they trade.

The Fifth Line control the Ketann Interweb, but are plagued by Blue Proponent hackers. Computer actions which enhance the Fifth Line are swift and simple, but users who are targeted by t'sa hackers suffer endless problems.

The Blue Proponents are possibly the most committed and most devious of all alignments. They are a young alignment, with complete hold over only one system. Blue Proponents have infiltrated Ketann. They believe in peace, individuality and self-fulfilment. Their methods are assassination and terrorism, shocking non-believers to question their former beliefs and consider the Blue Ideals.

Other alignments have not been able to gain hold in Ketann. The growing Thirteenth Creed believe in righteousness and morality, enforcing this creed by military conquest and re-education. The Third Conception is a very old alignment, and by t'sa standards ponderous and conservative. They currently control the t'sa home system, Selet. They believe in individual dignity and limitation of technology, which they hope to achieve by large-scale sabotage. Several other alignments exist at greater distances from Ketann.

Out of the human powers, the Fifth Line regards Virgin Space as the only real rival and threat. Americans have an admirable commitment and belief, but no real method, and their UN rivals have bottled them up in a small part of one solar system.

Choose Mutations

T'sa have a more stable genetic structure and better medical science than humans, so may not be Spacers or mutants.

Determine Ability Scores

Determine each score in order by the following roll: Str 3+d8, Dex 10+d6, Con 4+d6, Int 10+d4, Wil 4+d8, Per 5+d10

Choose a Profession and career. A t'sa Combat Spec may have a Strength of 10 and Constitution of 8.

Species Abilities

T'sa have the abilities noted in the Player's Handbook (action check bonus, juryrig bonus, scale armor).

Purchase Skills

See Chapter 4: Skills, with the following changes:

Free Skills (T'sa)

Athletics, Manipulation, Knowledge, Knowledge-computer operation, Awareness, Culture, Interaction, Interaction-charm. Note that t'sa no longer receive Stamina as a free broad skill.

Modified Skills

Armor Operation: Not available to t'sa.
Melee Weapons-blade: For t'sa, this skill covers throwing of combat knives.
Acrobatics-zero G training: Open skill

Vehicle Operation-land: The character can drive two of the following: bikes (including skybikes), cars (including skycars), heavy vehicles (including grav-trucks and grav-armour), tracked vehicles.

Vehicle Operation-space: The character is skilled in piloting one type of spacecraft: orbital (planetary thrusters only), light commercial (up to Light Freighter), heavy commercial, gunships (up to Scout), light naval (up to Attack/Sloop), heavy naval.

Knowledge-language: Ketlet language is a regional language of the t'sa homeworld at cost 1 Open. English language is an Open skill at cost 1. Sesheyan language and regional human languages are skills of the Diplomat (Alien Consul) profession at cost 3. Other characters (including Diplomats) pay extra. T'sa may not learn the weren language.

Medical science-xenomedicine: Human cost 3, sesheyan cost 4.
Navigation-drivespace astrogation: Not available. See Physical Science-Gate knowledge.

Tech Science-repair: Divided into the following:
mechanic Combustion engines, electric motors and transformers, any purely mechanical device. Cost 3 Open.
electrogravitic tech Includes computers, interphones, graviton detectors, skycars, PL 6 and 7 personal weapons; requires replacement parts. Cost 3 Tech Op.
heavy engineering Spaceship engines, vehicle weapons, disarm nuclear weapons. Cost 4 Tech Op.

New Skills

Melee Weapons-staff: Cost 3 Combat Spec. T'sa staff weapons are the quarterstaff, polearm and pulse staff. Opponents with shorter weapons are treated as if under suppressive fire (+2 to skill checks to attack, unless the opponent ignores the staff weapon and automatically takes damage)

Modern Ranged Weapons-grenade: Cost 3 Combat Spec. Base ability Strength. Gives the equivalent of broad skill check to throw other objects.

Physical Science-Gate knowledge: Cost 5 Tech Op. Allows guess of an unexplored Iteration's likely point of arrival (+2 difficulty) and gives a probability of falling into Darkness (+3 Difficulty).

Craft: Broad skill (Dex). Cost 3 Open. Specialty skills (eg. weaving) 1.

Awareness-detect evil: Cost 4 Diplomat. See also Equipment: Graviton detector.

Resolve-disbelieve: Cost 4 FD.

Resolve-resist drugs: Cost 4 Free Agent.

Buying Specific Skills at Higher Ranks

PCs can increase a skill by one rank per level (maximum rank 2 at 1st level, 4 at 2nd level etc.) Rank 3 cannot be purchased at 1st level.

Select Perks and Flaws

Modified Perks and Flaws

Alien Artifact: Not available
Filthy Rich: Starting cash is E15-34x1000 (14+d20)

Powerful Ally/Powerful Enemy: Replace with Alignment Involvement (no cost). The character has done secret and sensitive work for one of the t'sa alignments. While he/she can call on favors and assistance, the character is also marked by t'sa and possibly human intelligence services as an agent of that alignment.

Psionic Awareness: Not available.
Clueless: This flaw always provides 6 bonus skill points.
Code of Honor: Not available.

Dirt Poor: Starting cash is E100-1000. The character has at least one debt, and can go into debt to 1 to 3 creditors, gaining starting cash of E1000-6000 from each one. However, the character's debts are E10-55x1000 (5+5d10) to each debtor.

Phobia: Provides 3/5/7 skill points. See AD&D: Spells and Magic and Skills and Powers for appropriate phobias.

Choose Motivation

Choose from the following, or some other suggested motivation:

Psychotic (no PCs)
Demoniac (PCs may not begin with this motivation)

Moral Attitude and Character Traits: As desired

Complete Character

Action check (M/O/G/A), actions per round, combat movement, durability, unarmed attack damage, encumbrance (see p56), throwing distance (see p57), skill check (M/O/G/A)

Starting Cash

Unless stated under Perks/Flaws, each t'sa has E1000-20000 starting cash. This represents a Virtual Commodity Holding balance which can be spent on any personal equipment (not vehicles or employees) or saved. The VCH sites of Ketann are much more volatile in value than FTO balances, and their performance may be manipulated by the alignments.

Displacer suit (t'sa purchase: E18000, controlled)

Energy web (t'sa purchase: E10000, controlled)

T'sa characters have the following free equipment:
Dirt Poor: Two sets rough shorts, one set leather shoes, tablet comp, satphone, soft e-suit
Standard: As for Dirt Poor plus three sets clothing as desired
Filthy Rich: As for Dirt Poor plus ten sets clothing as desired.

Characters do not gain free equipment due to their career.