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Species

Races are handled in Hypertech more generally than in other games so that GMs will have the tools they need to flesh out their setting themselves. We provide rules for designing your own alien species through the pairing of cultures and physiologies.

A GM attempting to run a game of Hypertech within the framework of an existing sci-fi universe can easily mix and match attitudes and traditions with innate physical and psychological idiosyncrasies to create the basic species stats for the aliens in question. In settings with great biological and cultural diversity, players might even be given free rein to craft their own species.

Humans

Humans in most settings will be the species of versatility and gumption. We do not provide any real changes to humans as a species. This version of humans is identical to their spacefaring counterparts. A GM might wish to stick to only the main version of human or instead open up the variant rules that allow for feats at 1st level, but this is really a matter of personal taste.

Alternatively, you could design each human world as distinct.

Give each distinct world of humans a set of stats derived from selecting two of the Cultures below, and just make them medium creatures with a speed of 30 feet. This will make humans a more mental rather than physical species in the galaxy, but one with a great deal of potential.

Combinations of Cultures can yield incredibly interesting results.

This system can work well for a galaxy primarily filled with humans, and therefore in need of a little variety. GMs should beware this can allow for higher Ability score bonuses than the normal species creation system would.

Example: Serena is designing the humans who control the empire that rules over most of the galaxy. She has opted to select two Cultures rather than using the standard rules for humans. Looking through the entries, she decides that she wants the humans to have come to rule the galaxy through scientific exploration and determination. However, they’ve become a bit more sedate now that they run everything.

Serena elects to make them Inquisitive and Bureaucratic.

This increases the species’ Intelligence and Wisdom scores by 1 each. They gain Patience and Thoughtfulness from their bureaucratic side, and their heroes still have the Curious and Casually Invasive traits of their inquisitive ancestors. These humans come off as patient watchers, judging and documenting the galaxy they claim as their own; interested in any quirk in the system as a nuance worth understanding.

New Species

Designing a species can be a fun way to customize your setting to suit the needs of your players and the kind of story you want to tell. If you’re ginning up a set of inhabited worlds all your own, this is the way to do it. If you’re in the mood for an established intellectual property, it’s easy to adapt one here as well.

We separate the work into decisions regarding the Culture and Physiology of the creature. The more mental Abilities come from the Culture and the physical ones come from Physiology. Because of this, it’s hard to min-max a species into dominance in any one specific area. The duality of this choice also creates species with a bit more complexity and nuance than a single trait that they exemplify.

When designing the overall personality of the species, keep in mind the influence of its physiology on how it developed. A species covered in a protective shell will likely develop a vastly different government and attitude than one adapted to pouncing from the tree tops with claws at the ready.

For each species, choose one Culture and one Physiology from the entries listed below. If the species you are designing should have a benefit it lacks using this system, you may swap out one of your species’ traits for that of another Culture or Physiology at the GM’s discretion.

Random Species Creation

If you’d like to let the dice serve as the hand of evolution and simply roll to design a species, use the following tables to randomly select Culture and Physiology:

Random Traits

Any given combination of culture and physiology can have numerous variations. If you’d like just one more added twist on your species, go ahead and choose or roll from the table below.

Random Physiology
d12 Physiology
1 Amphibian
2 Arthropoid
3 Arachnoid
4 Aquatic
5 Avian
6 Cephalopoid
7 Fungoid
8 Gastropoid
9 Mammalian (roll 1d4: 1 – Brachiating, 2 – Herd animal, 3 – Pouncing, 4 – Troglodytic)
10 Plantoid
11 Reptilian
12 Choose one or roll again
Random Culture
d12 Culture
1 Aloof
2 Bureaucratic
3 Honorable
4 Inquisitive
5 Manipulative
6 Psychic
7 Ruthless
8 Sly
9 Spiritual
10 Tech-savvy
11 Warlike
12 Choose one or roll again