Beth's SV Parasite Pod dredged up something I'd worked on a while ago - an
alien race with the working name "Devourers" They were originally an afterthought
of the Forge World games from a few years back.
The Devourers are among the most of the most horrific entities encounteable
in known space. One theory places their origin as a deviant/rebellious group
of semi-autonomous, semi-intelligent SV constructs tha "lost" eons ago, or
perhaps a more "primitive" and antagonistic SV relative. Perhaps they are
simply galactic viruses.
Devourers don't build their own ships, but take over the ships of (any) other
races. A Devourer controlled ship can look, move, fire, etc like any other
normal ship, until pieces of it break off and crash into its opponents...
Hull boxes on Devourer ships can be converted to Infectors and launched for
attack. Cross off hull boxes from lower right going up a column. Maximum
4 Infectors (1 complete column) can be launched on a single turn. A given
row cannot be finished off by Infector conversion. launched Infectors are
regrown between scenarios (~20 turns/box).
Infectors are launched as SMLs (defenders can use PDS against them) with 24” range - all arcs.
1d6 Infectors per group launched will target ship, before PDS (as SML).
An Infector hit does 2 points damage (Half on armor, if any - On Phalon ships,
the second point goes to the next armor level down). If one or both points
are on hull, one of the hull boxes is “Consumed” rather than destroyed (picture
an anime-style spread of biological/electronic corruption through the interior
spaces of a ship). On each subsequent turn, when the ship under attack
activates, the amount of new hull consumed = one half the number already
consumed (undestroyed) boxes, round up.
Devourer ships are 10-30% more expensive than regular ships of the same capabilities - they have not yet been playtested.
Crew units in Consumed hull boxes are lost.
DamCon Teams can’t fight Infectors until second turn after first infection.
Combat damage will destroy hull boxes in normal order (i.e. Consumed boxes
will be destroyed before pristine boxes). Friendly fire can be used to help
purge ships of devourer infestations.
If a damage row is completed by the infestation roll threshold to see what
systems are Consumed by the devourer. Consumed systems can be used by the
Devourer player in any legal way -Weapons may fire (assuming Devourer also
has a Firecon), Devourer may steer the ship if it takes the engines (needs
2 thresholds), or activate FTL...etc.
Damage control can neutralize 1 consumed hull box or system per turn (not
armor) - neutralized hull boxes are marked off as “destroyed”. Neutralized
systems are marked as damaged and can be repaired by later (normal) damage
control. Dcon teams fighting the devourers can’t do regular Dcon.
If all converted hull boxes are neutralized, the Devourer cannot spread.
Consumed systems can still be operated by the Devourer. (However, a beam
can’t fire unless the Devourer has both the weapon and an Firecon.
If a consumed row is neutralized, roll to see if any Consumed systems
are re-taken, and if they are damaged (this is in addition to regular damage
control re-taking systems):
1-2: System are re-taken, undamaged.
3-4: System re-taken, but damaged (can be repaired by damage control)
5:System remains consumed
6: System destroyed, and irrepairable during the scenario.
Fully Consumed ships cannot use damage control during the scenario in which
they are captured - the Devourer “learns” the ship between scenarios.
Fully Consumed ships cannot launch Devourer attacks during the scenario thay
are consumed. That capability grows over time between scenarios.
STRAYS [Noam Izenberg]
Think of the different sizes and shapes of terrestrial rays as the
planform for these space dwelling critters. They live in nebulae - both protostellar/protoplanetary
and nova remnants. The UN Codename for the creatures as a group is Strays
(Stellar Rays). I think of them as whale-like in mentality and intelligence,
with some exceptions.
They'd be "built" more like human FT ships then SV, they have a number of
size classifications, directly related to 8 age categories.
BODY is just like hull in normal FT ships. Organized in 4 rows. Body may
be healed. Strays may roll 1 die per age category infant=1, elder=6) and
heal 1 body for each 6 rolled. Venerable and Ancient Strays still only roll
6 dice. If a threshold level is healed over, damage past it does not call
for another threshold roll.
LOC - Locomotion is the equivalent of Main Drive Mass for normal ships. Movement
rules and cost is as per "advanced drives" and operates in cinematic style
even in vector games. Strays travel by "swimming" through poorly understood
"subspace" or "infraspace", commonly termed using the archaic "Aether".
FTL - Strays of Youth through Venerable age can FTL by "diving" into Under-space
(Uspace). Ancients lose this ability either through age or simply allowing
the required organs to atrophy due to reduced interest in far travel. Few
Ancients maintain the desire for this kind of mobility.
BRAIN - serves as Fire control as well as other functions. Adolescent and
older Strays have 2 mass for brain. If infant or youth receive Brain threshold
roll, roll 1d6: 1,2 Immediate break off and flight; 3,4 stunned for duration
of combat, must be revived by attentions of elders; 5,6 Stray is killed.
For older strays, the larger brain requires 2 threshold hits to damage (like
engine hits). For older Strays, roll a d6 after the first Brain threshold:
1-2 no effect; 3-4 Stray becomes enraged; 5-6 Stray will start retreat, but
will not abandon family members or offspring. Offspring will heed call, but
other members may or may not, so Stray may or may not retreat. 2nd threshold
for older strays (3rd for Elders) rolls d6: 1-2 break off/retreat 3-5 - stunned/catatonic;
6 - killed
WEAPON - Strays have a single weapon that fires like a beam. It is an all
arc weapon, but is aligned primarily along the spine. It can be fired once
per turn. Weapon parameters show the beam equivalent class in each of 6 arcs:
F/FP/FS/AP/AS/A. Numbers in parentheses indicate # of PDS dice Stray can
roll against _each_ fighter group or missile salvo attacking it _instead_
of firing its main weapon. Number in brackets is number of PDS dice Stray
can fire against every fighter group or missile salvo within 6" regardless
of target _instead_ of firing main weapon or individual PDS mode.
Adols 3/2/2/0/0/1 (1)
Male 4//3/3/1/1/2 (2) 
Fem 5/4/4/2/2/3 (3) 
Elder 6/5/5/3/3/4 (4) 
Ven 7/6/6/4/4/5 (5) 
Ancent 6/5/5/3/3/4 (4) 
WOMB - Shows growth and atrophying of womb as Stray matures to and through
Female sex. In times of stress, maturing adolescents, males, non-pregnant
females, and Elders can convert this remainder into "body" It takes some
significant time for Adolsecents and Males to recover enough physically and
emotionally from the shock to become female. Some never do. Females and Elders
that lose their womb space due to stress never regain them.
CURIOSITY - Youth and Adolescents are very curious and will approach strange
craft. Sometimes they will try ot "taste" the craft (a physical 2" range
attack equivalent to 2 P-torps), or "play" with them.
COMMUNICATION - Strays are intelligent in a cetacean fashion, and can be
communicated with, after a fashion. Hence they can be reasoned with, cajoled,
threatened, and negotiated with.
ECLIPSING - Elder strays can and will protect smaller young, especially if
related. A younger Stray can hide behind an older one if it ends the turn
within 3" of the larger and their speeds differ by less than the younger's
thrust. The younger stray is "eclipsed" by the older, and cannot be targeted
by any ship in the older Strays F/FS/FP arc. The older Stray cannot fire
into its aft arcs, and the younger cannot fire into its forward arcs. Fire
at the older Stray from its aft arcs has a 50% chance of hitting the younger
Stray. Two adult Strays can sometimes "sandwich" one or more younger strays,
protecting them from both Forward and Aft fire, with similar restrictions
on their fire.
RAGE - If Infants or Youths are damaged, and Males, or Females are present
the older Strays may become Enraged (roll d6, Enraged on a 4-6, +2 on roll
if any of the older Stays are parents of the injured young.) They will
attack the antagonist that injured the young until it is driven off or destroyed
or they themselves are killed. Enraged Strays get +1 to all weapons die rolls.
Rage will override die rolls on brain thresholds (except death). Elders and
Venerables may treat any infants, males and females (but not Youths and adolescents)
as offspring, but have more discretion over their reactions. They may choose
to become enraged or to stop raging.
Protection of Ancients may also provoke Rage in younger Strays.
USPACE WAKE - The movement of Strays through Uspace disrupts space behind
them. Ships crossing through the wake of a Stray can suffer some damage and
other effects, based on the relative size of the ship and the Stray:
Ship >1.5 times more massive than Stray: 1 beam die on crossing ship,
Ship mass 1-1.5 mass of Stray: 2 beam dice and roll d6 for diversion: 1P/0/0/0/0/1S
Ship 0.5-1.0 times Mass of Stray: 3 beam dice, and roll d6 for diversion 2P/1P/0/0/1S/2S
Ship <0.5 mass of stray: 3 beam dice, and heading changed to random clockface.
Fighters/missiles crossing the wake take 2 PDS dice (less than 3 dice since
they can try to "surf" through), or they may spend their reaction move early
to get around the turbulence safely.
It is suggested that ship movement be carefully determined, if using initiative
and sequential movement, and that the path of the Stray be marked temporarily
to track what ships cross it.
USPACE CHURN - Instead of firing weapons or using thrust, a Stray (male or
larger) can churn by using its FTL to dive in and out of Uspace rapidly for
one turn. Strays may churn only once every 5 turns. Effect would be similar
to the gravity pulse we've already discussed. This is also used as a mating
behavior for males and females to attract each other. The churn results in
a pushing effect on nearby ships. Effect range is a 6" radius per full 50
mass of Stray - Youths and infants can't churn. All ships in the outermost
6" at end of turn are pushed 1" radially away from the Stray and take the
equivalent of 1 beam die from the spatial distortion. Each successive range
band inward adds a 1" to the displacement and 1 more beam die. All fighters
and missiles in the churn area are attacked by a B1-as-PDS for each radius
band. Other Strays are neither damaged nor displaced by the churn.
USPACE DRAG - Ships less than 1.5 times the mass and within 2" of a Stray
that goes into FTL risk being dragged through Uspace with them. Roll d6.
Ship is dragged on a 6. Add 1 to die roll if sip is <50% mass of stray.
The effect of Uspace drag is an immediate threshold roll at current level
and a 50% chance of getting drawn through Uspace out of combat (possibly
to fall out in transit, possibly to be dragged all the way to Strays destination).
STRAYS and the Tuffleyverse.
There are few if any nebulae in the Human sphere of influence, so human contact
with Strays is rare. The Phalon hunt the Strays for their hides and organs
(Ob. the whalers of old). The KV are indifferent to them, since their territories
of interest don't coincide. The SV reactions range from indifference to annoyance
to protection. They tend to think of the Strays, which are every bit as ancient
as the Sa'Vasku, like retarded siblings. Human reaction will vary across
the human spectrum.
Other Notes:-Attracted to Uspace disturbances of FTL engines
Scavenge damaged ships for nutrients
Rare attacks on functioning ships in times if scarcity
Venerables and Ancients may sacrifice selves for youngers
WEIJEN [Noam Izenberg]
The Weijen are a vaguely humanoid race that inhabit space rimward of
Human and Kra'vak. They are mortal enemies of the Kra'vak, and have engaged
them in battle over centuries of on-again off-again war. They consider the
Phalon dis-honorable and untrustworthy. They used to worship the Sa'Vasku
as gods, but as the race matured to learn more about their true nature, turned
against them as false dieties, and still bear something of a grudge. Their
initial contacts with humanity have been mixed. The Weijen regard humanity
as backward and too much like the Phalon, but also see a potentially valuable
new ally against the Kra'Vak.
Weijen ships employ a
gravitational "push-me-pull-you" drive called a "Grav Spindle" which has
more limited turning abilities per thrust than Human Drives, but gives a
Wiejen ship a heavy shield-like protection in the fore and aft arcs.
Weijen Weapons are primarily 3 and 6 arc Pulsers (reduced to effectivley 2 and 4 arcs, see GSD rules), and Class 1 and 2 K-Guns.
Weijen is the Galstandard transliteration of a musical chord progression
that sounds vaguely like "Weijjenh" (in roughly A major). It is translated as "walking the path."
Weijen language is basically music to Human ears, better expressed in tablature than in prose, and nearly impossible to
translate in most alphabets.
The Weijen are referred to in common slang as Jens, Jennys, or Genies.
The UN Codenames for Weijen Ships are:
Classes Class Equivalents – UN Codename
B Major SC – Waif
G Major CT - Wendy
F Major FF - Wobbly
A 7th DD - Wringer
D 7th CL - Winder
G flat minor 7th CE - Wailer
C sharp 7th CA – Whistler
A sharp minor CH – Wedger
C minor BC - Wrecker
G sharp BB - Watson
E Minor BDN - Woodstock
D Minor DN - Wordsworth
E Flat SDN - Wax
B half-sharp minor CVL - Wanderer
F half-flat CVH - Warden