Uncle Jimbo's Bug Huntin' Range
Where humans are remarkable for their physical abilities, the Gelquan have, for centuries, enjoyed a distinct advantage over other species in their mental abilities, without ever making this fact obvious.
Form and Physiology
A Gelquan is a semi-aquatic, soft-bodied creature, vaguely similar to an Earthly squid or octopus. Its sleek, silvery-blue head is as large as a human torso. A rippling, fleshy mantle extends to either side of the head and extends forward into two pairs of manipulative tentacles, each of which forks in a half-feather arrangement into six short finger-like sub-tentacles. Below the mantle, a fan of eight violet motive tentacles, as thick as a human child's arm and ending in broad swimming paddles, support the creature. Gelquan are quite capable of travelling on land, but prefer to remain in casually elegant complexes of pools and swimming-canals that traverse the quasi-classical halls of their buildings.
A Gelquan has two large eyes on the sides of the head and two smaller eyes which are lower and more central. The eyes are typically a rich dark green or blue, without whites and with a vertical slit pupil. Gelquan have no eyelashes, but have a great range of expression with their eyebrows and eyelids. Below the eyes is a very shallow nasal rise with two vertical slit nostrils. The head then inclines inward at a sharp angle, the angled plane containing a wide, expressive mouth flanked by catfish-like feelers, with three rows of toothy chewing-ridges.
Behaviour and Culture
Despite their creation and dominance of the Collective society, Gelquan are seldom found as political leaders, and hardly ever as military ones. Instead, they are artists, writers, scientists, or simply valued personal friends to members of the numerous subject species who are skilled in administration and personal promotion.
Game Statistics (Gelquan)
STR 7 (d6+2)
* +d4 situation die due to broad skill use.
Vehicle Operation (7), Modern Ranged Weapons (7), Stamina (7), Knowledge (11) - computer operation (13), deduce (12), language (specific) (14), language (specific 2) (13), Social Science (11) - history (13), linguistics (12), Administration (11), Creativity (11) - specific (13), Resolve (11), Culture (12) - diplomacy (13), etiquette (specific) (14), etiquette (specific 2) (13), Deception (12) - bluff (14), bribe (13), Interaction (12) - charm (14)
Each Gelquan has 55 points to divide among his attributes.
Free Broad Skills
Amphibious: A Gelquan's Easy Swim rate is 5 times that of a human, and his Swim rate 10 times that of a human. He can breathe fresh or brackish water as easily as air. When breathing salt water, the character must make an endurance check once per hour. A respirator mask provides complete protection against salt water.
Psionics II: The Gelquan psionic facility is a well-attested fact to the Conclave, but is universally seen as a hysterical, superstitious propaganda smear by Collective citizens. A Gelquan may become a Mindwalker or Diplomat/Mindwalker, but not a psionic talent. He may learn the broad skills ESP and/or Telepathy. The skills most often taught to Gelquan are ESP - clairaudience, clairvoyance, empathy, mind reading, postcognition, psychometry, and Telepathy - contact, mind shield, obscure, suggest.
Social Genius: A Gelquan gains a -1 bonus to all encounter skills except Entertainment and Interaction - intimidate, and to all Social Science skills.