Weapon/Defence Archive: Alien Technology: Xeno Files

The following entires and links are to as-is implementations of alien races for the FT universe. Some are FT2/More Thrust only.
This section is just starting out, so is pretty raw.

[Devourers] - [Glacdu] - [Horocca] - [Narpo] - [P'taah] - [Shlandarsh] - [Strays] - [Weijen]

[Noam Izenberg]

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.






[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.

Age    Infant    Youth    Adlcnt    Male      Female        Elder        Venerable    Ancient
Years    0-10    10-20    20-40    40-100    100-200    200-400       400-1000    1000+       
Mass     13        25            50        100         150            200                  250        300+?
Body    5          10            20          45           75            100                  109        230+
Loc       5         10             15          25           23            30                     25        15
FTL      0          3               5           10           15            20                     25        30/0
Brain    1          1                2            2              2...                                  
Weapn    1       1               5            11            22          44                      88        44
Womb    0        0                3           7              13          3                        0        0
Thrust    9    8    6    5    3        3        2        1

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.

Infant    1/0/0/0/0/0
Youth    2/1/1/0/0/0
Adols    3/2/2/0/0/1 (1)
Male    4//3/3/1/1/2 (2) [1]
Fem    5/4/4/2/2/3  (3) [1]
Elder    6/5/5/3/3/4 (4) [2]
Ven    7/6/6/4/4/5 (5) [2]
Ancent    6/5/5/3/3/4 (4) [2]

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.

            Effects at inner-most 6" radius-----------------------------------------------------
Mass    Max radius     Displace    Beam Dice    C1-as-PDS Dice Turning
50        6"        1"        1        1         -
100    12"        2"        2        2        d6: 1P/0/0/0/0/1S
150    18"        3"        3        3        d6: 2P/1P/0/0/1S/2S
200    24"        4"        4        4        d6: 3P/2P/1P/1S/2S/3S
250    30"        5"        5        5        d6: 5P/3P/1P/1S/3S/5S
Ancients lose the ability to 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

[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 ships use the Grav Spindle Drive (GSD).

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

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Last Update December 21, 2002, NRI