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The Alien Thread

No, that title isn't a typo. ;) I see many CO players running alien PCs, but most of these are either some variation of Qularr or Gadroon, or else completely original species of their own creation. This is natural and understandable for players who are only aware of those alien races shown to them in CO. But the published PnP part of the setting includes a very large and diverse array of official alien races, with their own distinctive appearances, attitudes and cultures, technologies, and often physical abilities beyond what Humans normally possess. Moreover, many of these races can manifest super-powers just as Humans can; although almost always less often, at a lower average power level, and/or over a narrower range of abilities, than Humanity. This maintains the convention from comic books that Earth's superhumans are our equalizer against alien invaders, whose median level of technology can be significantly higher than Earth's (outside of some superheroes and villains). But a few alien civilizations are advanced enough to deliberately induce super-powers in themselves if they wish -- or even in other species.

The setting has benefited from Hero Games having published a number of setting books and supplements for its official non-super science-fiction game line, detailing the future timeline of the universe shared by all their games. That material wasn't originally part of the IP sale to Cryptic Studios, but Hero Games suspended the sci-fi line due to flagging sales. When Steve Long wrote the source book dedicated to the "spacey" side of the Champions Universe, Champions Beyond, he decided to adapt and incorporate most of that fallow info, greatly enriching that aspect of the CU. B)

It was my desire in starting this thread to make more of this alien lore accessible to interested people who were not aware of Champions Beyond, or are unwilling or unable to purchase it. But I have no right or intention to transcribe all that material here piecemeal. So I decided the most efficient course would be to summarize details about some of the official races already in Champions Online, and Champions outer space as a whole, most relevant to character creation and role playing; and to post descriptions of some of the other alien races I've found most interesting and useful for PC backgrounds and origins, or as NPC villains or Nemeses. Where I was able to find them, I'll include links to illustrations of these races, from published Champions sources.This thread represents only a small fraction of the races and lore in CB, but it should help apprise you of the potential in the Milky Way and beyond. If the topic intrigues you enough to pick up CB yourselves, I'm sure Hero Games will appreciate your business. o:)

I'm also throwing the topic open to all of you. If you have a concept for an alien PC or NPC that you didn't know if an existing official race would fit; or if you're looking for an alien-based origin for one of your Terrestrial characters; or if you want more background info about aliens in the setting, generally or for any specific civilization, including ones already in the game; you can ask here. I will do my best to offer info and suggestions (within the limits of Fair Use of the IP), and I welcome anyone else familiar with the lore, or with creative ideas of their own, to add their input. It's my hope that as the discussion builds up over time, this thread will become an inspirational resource for folks wanting to add more ET to their CO experience. :)

Comments

  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    The great majority of official alien species in the Champions Universe are described in Champions Beyond. I counted around eighty races native to the Milky Way galaxy named in CB, with descriptions ranging from a single paragraph, up to twenty-page chapters. That total doesn't include Champions races who are extra-galactic, extra-dimensional, or officially extinct, which would easily raise it over a hundred. Their physical forms vary tremendously. There are many humanoids with Star Trek-style features distinguishing them from humans: differently shaped heads, unusual skin colors, fur or feathers, etc. Many beings resemble Earthly animals: cats, dogs, rats, armadillos, birds (flying or non), lizards, turtles, snakes, frogs, several different insect species, centipedes, fish (water-breathing), crabs, and others. A few look like nothing on Earth. There are examples of sapient, mobile plants and fungi; beings made of solid minerals; and a few composed of pure energy.

    Level of technology also varies greatly among the official races. Some civilizations are more advanced than Humanity, up to seemingly supernatural or even godlike capabilities. Others are roughly comparable to Earth in the present day, or the near-past or -future. A few have much less advanced tech. However, not having the technology to travel between the stars on their own does not necessarily preclude a member of any alien race appearing on Earth. Accidents such as encountering unexpected wormholes could drop a relatively primitive space craft into the vicinity of Earth. Experimental spaceship drives or teleporters could bring an explorer or refugee to this planet; two aliens currently on Earth, where they're known as Nebula and Vibron, used a one-way teleportation gate all the way from the Andromeda Galaxy. Someone could always steal travel technology from a more advanced society; that's how Ironclad of the Champions arrived on Earth. Some aliens may kidnap members of other species for experimentation or as slaves; the Malvans (whom some of you have seen in-game at the Forum Malvanum on the Moon) have a penchant for seizing aliens for their gladiatorial games, sometimes augmenting them to make them more powerful gladiators. An individual's super powers might also include the ability to travel to Earth; a member of the Vayathuran humanoid race, called Far-Strider, has the power of interstellar-scale teleportation, which he uses to explore the galaxy.

    One of those setting books for the sci-fi future of the Champions Universe that I mentioned earlier -- specifically, Terran Empire -- addresses the issue of whether species from different worlds can be inter-fertile and produce offspring. Scientifically speaking, the answer is, "Of course not." But half-human, half-alien characters are a feature of the "space opera" genre, and certainly not unknown in a supers world. TE takes the position that "life identifies with other life." Similarities in form make for some level of genetic compatibility. Essentially, any CU species that a human actor could portray with makeup and some latex prosthetics is capable of producing offspring with a human. In the same vein, different insectoid or reptilian races could potentially breed with each other.

    If you'd like to play such a character, it could have any combination of physical and mental traits from either parent that you want. For Champions Earth the Mandaarians are one good choice for that sort of scenario; they've been covertly observing Earth since at least 1973, and can manifest formidable mental powers. The Hzeel, who have secretly scouted Earth starting in 1990, would also have potential for a hybrid character, considering there's precedent for their biologicals resulting in unpredictable super-powers when mingled with Human biology. (More about both of these races is detailed below.)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Things You May Not Know About the Qularr


    Qularr have no personal names. They're referred to simply as what they are or what they do. For example, the commander of the current Qularr force on Monster Island is named "Invasion Leader." His second-in-command is named "Leader's Chief Assistant." Every one of his shock troops is named "Shock Trooper." While this sounds like it would be confusing, the Qularr share a sort of instinctual telepathy which in practice leads to great discipline and preciseness of communication. Qularr can't actually communicate mind-to-mind; but if Invasion Leader says to a group of Shock Troopers, "Shock Trooper, go patrol that perimeter," all the Qularr involved know exactly which Shock Trooper he's referring to.

    Qularr are divided into a large number of castes which perform specific functions, and societal tasks are also divided between males and females. Some castes are considered of "higher" or "lower" rank than others. A Qularr is born into a particular caste and does not change caste rank over his or her lifetime. This isn't simply a societal norm, but bred into Qularr at the genetic level. It would never occur to a lower-caste Qularr that he should try to "better" himself by joining a higher caste. In many cases Qularr castes have been bred with physical and mental qualities suiting them to their functions in society.

    Qularr females are on average about two-thirds the size of males, which means they don't typically perform strength-intensive tasks (such as being soldiers). They reproduce by laying eggs, which a male can then fertilize (the female chooses the male she wants). For reasons not even the Qularr fully understand, at around age 30 a tiny percentage of Qularr females undergo a metamorphosis, becoming gigantic and bloated, and laying hundreds of eggs at a time. These "great brood mothers" are highly revered; in fact the dominant religion among Qularr, called "Church of the Holy Mother," worships a being known simply as "Goddess" resembling one of these females, reputed to be mother of the Qularr race.

    Despite their sophisticated biological sciences, the Qularr refuse to ever use bio-weapons of mass destruction. Before their home-world, Reqqat, was unified, it suffered a series of devastating wars employing such weapons. The final war resulted in 800 million deaths world-wide. Most Qularr would no more condone launching a biological attack, than the average Japanese would consider employing nuclear weapons in war.

    The Qularr control a small "empire" of several systems surrounding their own. Most of these are worlds they've colonized, but the third planet of a star they call Hek'ta is inhabited by sapients they conquered. The Hektanese are humanoids very similar to Humans, but with skin tones in the red-orange-yellow range. Their highest technology is equivalent to Earth around 1850. The Qularr tyrannize the Hektanese and ruthlessly exploit Hek'ta III's resources. The more primitive Hektanese worship them as gods.

    Besides having genetic abilities bred into them, Qularr can manifest true superpowers through random mutation or mutagenic accidents, as Humans can. Most Qularr supers are employed by their government or military. These super origins occur less frequently and at a lower average power level than in Humans. The main reason the Qularr have repeatedly invaded Earth is to analyze large populations of Humans to learn how to imbue that greater genetic capacity in themselves. Their efforts have taken on new urgency recently due to a fact no one on Earth knows yet: the Qularr are at war with the Gadroon, who attacked Qularr space in 2008.

    All aspects of Qularr biology, history, society, and technology are described in an extensive chapter in Champions Beyond.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Things You May Not Know About the Gadroon


    The entire population of the Gadroon race currently numbers only in the hundreds of thousands. Once there were billions of them, but about a century ago their home planet, Gadro, was destroyed by an experiment that went out of control. They had only the time and available ships to evacuate a small fraction of their people. The Gadroon now live a nomadic existence aboard their fleet. The search for another planet to settle is their primary motivation, and the main reason for their attacks on Earth.

    Today Gadroon "government" is an informal council of five "admirals," i.e. the commanders of the five largest warships in the fleet; although they mostly follow the code of law from before the loss of Gadro. However, some years ago the fleet was approached by a herald of the great interdimensional conqueror, Istvatha V'han. The herald offered them assistance and protection if they became subjects of the V'hanian Empire... with implicit dire consequences if they refused. It was at the command of the Empress of a Billion Dimensions that the Gadroon attacked the Qularr, and established an Earthly beach head in northern Canada. Many Gadroon were unhappy with the idea of rule by the Empress, but were mollified by the subsequent noticeable improvement in their quality of life. Gadroon victories over the Qularr have also bolstered their wounded pride. But some Gadroon remain almost openly rebellious, and might ally with other species -- even Humans -- to get V'han off their backs. (No human is yet aware of the connection between V'han and the Gadroon, nor that the Gadroon and Qularr are at war.)

    Gadroon science is generally very advanced, but the sophistication and power of their gravity-based technology is rivaled or surpassed by very few civilizations in the Milky Way. It appears to utilize principles even Earthly super-scientists have never imagined, nor can figure out. Their tech includes artificially-intelligent robots built for a variety of uses. The rarest and most powerful of these is the Advanced Variable Army Robot, Model 7 (or AVAR-7 for short), which is shaped like an exceptionally tall and muscular Gadroon, but with obvious robotic features and onboard weaponry. One AVAR-7 was captured and reprogrammed by Mechanon, transferring its total loyalty to the Gadroon, to Mechanon. The Gadroon have very few AVAR-7s left, and greatly desire to recover that one.

    Gadroon spies are active among the Human population. They wear devices which project complex force-fields around them, making them look, sound, smell, and even feel Human. (Radio-frequency scans can penetrate the fields and mark them as nonhuman.) These devices can be programmed with multiple disguises, and can even copy a specific person if one can scan that person while immobile for at least a minute.

    Gadroon do not develop super-powers naturally, but combat officers are outfitted with personal gravitic equipment which makes them competitive with some Earthly supers.

    The past history and current state of Gadroon biology, history, society, and technology are detailed in an entire chapter of Champions Beyond. AVAR-7 is fully written up in the source book for Mechanon and his resources, Book Of The Machine.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Things You May Not Know About the Malvans


    One of the oldest civilizations in the galaxy, and the most technologically advanced, the Malvans were once the preeminent interstellar power, ruling over half of the Milky Way. But for tens of thousands of years their civilization has been mired in decadence; today they control only a few worlds near their home planet, Malva. But their incredibly powerful defensive systems continue to keep them secure from those who would love to conquer Malva and loot its secrets.

    Malvans look a great deal like Humans externally. Their skin tones range from dark bronze to light gold; hair in shades of red or violet; and eyes naturally blue, green, gold, or brown. They have long feathery eyebrows which are actually part of their sense of smell. But Malvans can easily use their technology to alter any of these features almost instantaneously, as the mood strikes them or as fads change on Malva.

    Due to many millennia of advanced medicine, all Malvans are healthy, physically fit, and attractive by Human standards. They're born with a "natural" lifespan of around 800 Terrestrial years, but any Malvans who want them can receive antigeria treatments prolonging their lives indefinitely. The oldest living Malvan is over 200,000. Due to all these factors, the Malvan birthrate has dropped to nearly zero. There are only about 80 million Malvans on their home world itself, and another 15 million on colony worlds.

    All of the Malvans' needs are taken care of by their extraordinary machines. Any Malvan can have nearly anything he wants just by asking for it. Machines can transform basic matter into any finished product, within minutes even for the most complicated artifact; and their power supply is effectively inexhaustible. Intelligent computers, collectively referred to as "the administrative systems," run all Malvan manufacturing, infrastructure, transportation, and even trade and defense, without supervision and little need for maintenance. As a result, no Malvan has to work at anything he doesn't want to. The Malvan "economy" involves barter between Malvans, or with aliens, for things they can't produce themselves, such as unique works of art, antiquities, natural gemstones, or slaves. Most Malvans devote their lives to pleasure and diversion. The gladiatorial games are by far the most popular entertainment, but a Malvan may take up any hobby or field of study. Usually they eventually tire of one and move on to something else.

    Although they don't need them, some Malvans like to keep slaves. Some aliens actually seek to become slaves for the opportunity to live on Malva; the material quality of life for the average Malvan slave is better than for most of the population of the galaxy. The Roin'esh, who are among the few remaining subject species to the Malvans, are the most desirable slaves -- the Malvans find their shape-changing abilities highly entertaining.

    The "government" of Malva, outside the administrative systems, is based on the Phazor, the hereditary absolute ruler, and whatever aides he appoints. In practice the Phazor's duties are mostly ceremonial and social; but should he choose to act his will is unquestionable. The Malvans have few laws, but their highest one is a ban on sharing their technology with any less advanced society, which may be punishable by enslavement or even death.

    No one alive today is aware that Malvan decadence is in great measure the result of a terrible curse placed on them by the Elder Worm near the close of their eons-long war. It's doubtful even the surviving Elder Worm have a record of it. For unknown reasons, rare individual Malvans can overcome the curse's effects, becoming more focused and motivated like their ancestors. For most of the others, at this point it's unlikely they would care even if they knew about the curse.

    A few Malvans become gladiators, but more gladiators are aliens. Super-powered gladiators are the most popular, and are treated as celebrities. The challenges and rich rewards for gladiators, both on Malva and in the Forum Malvanum on Earth's Moon, draw aspiring competitors from all over the galaxy. While competitors may arrive on Malva already empowered, the incredibly advanced Malvan science can induce almost any super-power in any being, Malvan or alien. They often augment favored gladiators to superhuman level to make them more spectacular fighters, whether or not they want to be augmented. The Malvans seem to prefer willing gladiators, but aren't above hiring bounty hunters to kidnap aliens they think would make good fighters, to persuade or force them to fight in the arena. If necessary they can radically alter someone's mind, erasing their memories and replacing their personality with any desired traits. The Forum Malvanum on Earth's Moon was set up to take advantage of the large number of Terrestrial superhumans. Kidnapped supers have their memories altered after they fight, then are returned to Earth so no one will suspect the Malvans' activities.

    The current Phazor, Valzad XIII, has been pushing for increasingly violent and bloody matches for their spectacle. He encourages gladiators to take performance-enhancing drugs to make them more powerful, and the fights more dangerous. Tateklys, the "praetor" of the gladiatorial games on the Moon, will sometimes fix matches to assure particular gladiators win or lose, even taking bribes to do so. He has subtle methods to affect fighters' performance without their knowledge. This conduct is absolutely against the code of the games, and Tateklys is very careful to hide his illegal activities; but some suspect the truth and search for proof (or just a chance to take their outrage out on Tateklys's hide).

    Some gladiators, such as the three former ones now on Earth -- Ironclad, Firewing, and Herculan -- have grown disgusted with those trends, enough to to question their commitment to the games, or even to quit them altogether. Such a gladiator might follow Ironclad's example and seize an opportunity to escape, such as an unguarded ship or teleporter; and from the Forum Malvanum, Earth is the easiest destination to escape to. All of the above highlight the potential use of the Malvans in getting an alien character to Earth, or to empower a Human. That's not an origin that should be overused, of course; the Malvans who run the games are generally not incompetent. Moreover, they're likely to hire bounty-hunters to recover any escapees -- which can make for a natural Nemesis.

    All aspects of the Malvans receive more treatment in Champions Beyond than any other subject in the book.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Astropolitics of the Milky Way Galaxy


    Anyone looking for a galaxy-spanning political entity in the contemporary CU is going to be disappointed. There is no equivalent to Star Trek's Federation or the Empire from Star Wars, with hundreds of planets and species under a single dominion. To be sure, such polities did exist in the setting's past, and will again according to its official future timeline; but in the present day the Milky Way is heavily balkanized. The largest empires, alliances, etc. cover at most a few dozen star systems and a handful of sapient races.

    One major factor in determining sphere of influence is level of technology, which can vary widely among galactic civilizations. For example, Qularr starships can travel light-years in days, which is very impressive from an Earthly point of view. But that means reaching the nearest habitable star systems can take weeks, even months. Races at this level often trade with, and sometimes subjugate, their closer neighbors, but are minor players in the galaxy as a whole. Most such civilizations are only aware of a few other nearby species they've made contact with. Ironclad, whose people are at a similar level of advancement, first learned of a number of other races through meeting them in the Malvan arena (which it took him years to reach after leaving Perseid space). Travel technology also contributes to drawing out the duration of interstellar wars, as in the nearly two-decade-long conflict between the Perseids and the Hzeel. Fleets take a long time to get to a location, and the tactical situation may have changed in the meantime.

    Older civilizations such as the Se'ecra and Ereni, which are described in Champions Beyond as "prominent members of the galactic community," have superior technology allowing them to traverse a vaster expanse in reasonable time, and hence know and be known by more aliens. The Malvans are at the top of that scale -- their ships can cross the entire Milky Way in as little as a day. However, just because a race are advanced doesn't necessarily make them empire builders, or even federation founders. The likes of the Ixendar and Mandaarians may colonize uninhabited worlds, but have no desire to meddle in the affairs of inhabited ones, let alone try to conquer them. You also have the examples of moribund societies like the Malvans and Elder Worm, without the means or motivation to spread their influence.

    This state of affairs implies a few things for players of Champions. Notwithstanding the scores of official races to choose from, if none of them suit your purpose there's plenty of room in the galaxy for your own original creations. As long as you don't decree them the oldest, the most advanced, or ruling a huge swath of the Milky Way, you should have no problem. Your species' world may even have gone undiscovered by the greater "galactic community," either because it's not yet interstellar in scope, or because most of its inhabitants prefer to keep to themselves. After all, the Elder Worm first came to Earth because it was a primitive backwater they could hide from the Malvans on. :p Then again, a distant species lacking rapid star-travel tech, or any type of space travel, need not be excluded from PC candidacy. As I mentioned upthread, stealing ships from more advanced races (or being kidnapped by them), prototype star-drives or -gates (malfunctioning or not), or accidental encounters with space-warping phenomena, can all serve to bring an alien the vast distance to Earth... or a human in the opposite direction.

    All that being said, there are a few CU civilizations besides the Qularr who have begun to form multi-species political entities, either through negotiation or force. I'll briefly run down the most prominent ones, including their story potential, and include links to illustrations where I could find them. Note that the descriptions of the race's political status on a couple of those web pages is for a future era of the official Champions Universe time line, not necessarily reflective of their present situation.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    Hzeel

    Those of you who have read the first post on my Character Origins thread have some notion of the Hzeel; but they are perhaps the greatest alien threat Champions Earth currently faces, even though no one on Earth knows it yet. For years before the Champions IP sale to Cryptic Studios, Steve Long was building to a major Hzeel invasion event in Hero Games books. Then Cryptic decided they preferred to develop the Gadroon and Qularr as contemporary threats, who until then had been little more than passing references from the setting's past. The Hzeel receive an entire chapter in Champions Beyond; I'm only going to draw a small taste from that here.

    As mentioned upthread, the Hzeel have been aware of Earth since 1990. Earth lies about midway between Zeel, their home world, and Dorvala, the home of Ironclad's race. The Hzeel have been at war with the Dorvalans since 1997, although since Ironclad left Dorvala before it started, he's unaware of it. The faster-than-light ship drives possessed by both races aren't that fast compared to some other galactic civilizations, so the war has been a drawn-out affair. The Hzeel want Earth as an advance staging area for their fleet, which would give them a significant tactical advantage. At present they're holding back to watch Earth's conflict with the Qularr and Gadroon, gathering intelligence and awaiting the optimal moment to strike.

    The Hzeel are short (average 1.2 meter height) humanoids with bluish-grey skin and large red eyes. Their skeletons grow knobs and spurs as they age, giving older Hzeel a rather gnarled appearance. Here is a pretty accurate fan drawing of an Hzeel based on illustrations from Hero books; although they only have four digits on each hand. Despite their smaller size, the average Hzeel is as strong as an average Human, and more dexterous. They heal from injuries much faster than a Human, and can even regrow lost limbs. Their eyes are very keen and see well in low light. OTOH they only live around 60 years on average. No Hzeel has been known to possess super-powers (although I'll address such possibilities below).

    Hzeel as a whole are tough, aggressive, and determined. They're very ambitious and work hard to get ahead in life. Those qualities have helped propel them to forge a small interstellar empire with several conquered races. Hzeel are also greedy, deceitful, and treacherous. Government on Zeel, while nominally a democracy, is by Human standards deeply corrupt. Bribery, theft, and extortion are rife in Hzeel society, from the lowest to highest level. No one tries to hide this; it's accepted and even encouraged behavior, as the ways things are and should be done. There are laws against such activities, but they're there to be used by clever people to keep their wealth and power, or to take them away from those who have them. But these traits don't prevent Hzeel from being loyal to their families and clans (the basis of their society), or their people as a whole. They are often brave and even self-sacrificing when the greater good of Hzeel-kind is at stake.

    Females are generally second-class citizens in Hzeel society. They're expected to stay home and raise their (typically very large) families. Hzeel tend to have a lot of children, and Zeel is in fact over-crowded. Population pressure is a major factor behind the Hzeel expansion to the stars.

    As I described on my Character Origins thread, mingling of Human with Hzeel biology -- whether their partly-biological technology, or actual tissues from the Hzeel themselves -- can have super-origin-generating effects. A human just touching the wrong piece of Hzeel tech might result in super-powers. A few official Champions supers gained their powers from this contamination. At least two Hzeel scout craft have crashed on Earth over the years, and other crashes might have occurred or will occur. Although there are no official examples of Hzeel gaining powers from Human tissues implanted in their bodies, as has been the case in the reverse, the possibilities are intriguing. The Hzeel might try it if they became aware of the effect in Humans. And there's obvious potential in a Human-Hzeel hybrid; the Hzeel have been coming to Earth long enough for such a hybrid to have grown to maturity. (Hzeel sex is mechanically similar to Human, although Hzeel aren't mammals and their females lay eggs.)
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Perseids

    Since Ironclad came to Earth, Humans have gotten in the habit of referring to his species by this name, since his home planet, Dorvala, is from Earth's viewpoint near the constellation Perseus. The PnP books usually call them "Perseids," so for ease of reference I'll continue to use that name here. But for role-playing purposes, note that they call themselves Dorvalans.

    Perseids are fairly typical humanoids in size and configuration. Their main external differences from Humans are their jet-black skin (resistant to radiant energy -- see below), and rows of bony knobs on their heads and shoulders. Ironclad was subjected to a mutative experiment which changed his appearance as well has granting him super powers.

    Perseids

    Dorvala has an eccentric orbit around its sun, leading to seasonal extremes of temperature, high radiation, and pronounced vulcanism when it draws closest to the sun's gravity. As a result the Perseids evolved unusual resistance to heat, cold, and radiation, and eyes tolerant of bright light. Their harsh environment prompted them to develop traditions of cooperation, order, responsibility, and respect for authority. Their society is very stable and peaceful, but also conservative and rigid. It's highly stratified, with children expected to follow the careers of their parents; so social mobility is limited, and individual talent often goes unrecognized. Individual Perseids tend to be loyal, disciplined, and honorable; but also stubborn, conformist, and unquestioning. Nonconformist Perseids aren't well tolerated on Dorvala.

    The Perseids have a jingoistic view of cultures which are more primitive, and/or less stable. They believe it's their duty to bring "civilization" to such worlds, by placing them under their benevolent rule. Their nascent interstellar Empire is so far made up mostly of Perseid colony worlds, but one humanoid species, the Shar'een, is under Perseid dominion. The Shar'een are actually more technologically advanced than the Perseids, but less warlike and ambitious. Champions Beyond states that the Perseids have not yet conquered other races, so it's likely the Shar'een submitted to them to avoid conflict. Trading opportunities with the Perseids has led to increased prosperity which has kept the majority of Shar'een content, but a minority want independence, and might seek help from other worlds to get it.

    As mentioned above, the Perseids are currently at war with the Hzeel, though no one on Earth is yet aware of that, including Ironclad. While both civilizations have faster-than-light starships, they're slow compared to other species in the Milky Way; so the war has been a drawn-out affair.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Varanyi Empire

    This is one of the larger interstellar territories as defined above. The Varanyi are tall (2 meters-plus) brown-skinned humanoids. Their most visible distinction from Humans are the bony ridges, or "crests," running from front to back of their hairless heads. Varanyi can have from zero to five of these crests, which determine their social status. That's mainly because the number of crests is also a reflection of psionic ability, i.e. telepathy and telekinesis. Varanyi with no crests, known as Ks'lch -- about half of their populace -- have no mental powers at all, and few rights among their people. Psionic strength increases up to the Al'gari with five crests, who have been the rulers of their race for thousands of years. The Emperor is chosen from among the Al'gari, and is the unquestioned ruler of all Varanyi and subject races. Varanyi elite periodically have to put down revolts by Ks'lch agitating for more rights.

    Varanyi

    The Varanyi possess technology above the galactic average; this and their mental powers have helped them to forge their empire, which is continuing to expand. Varanyi are aggressive and arrogant toward other races, which makes those races fearful and suspicious when dealing with them.

    The Varanyi are particularly interested in conquering or otherwise exploiting alien races with psionic potential. They believe a monopoly on strong mental abilities will assure their own power. Although the Varanyi Empire is almost on the other side of the galaxy from Earth, psionics don't appear to have the same space-time limitations as other energy phenomena, so it's possible the strongest Varanyi could sense, and perhaps make contact with, a powerful terrestrial mentalist such as Menton, or concentrations of psionic people like the Empyreans.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Velarian Confederation

    Founded by the humanoid species called Velarians, the Confederation is a loose political, economic, and defensive military alliance among several star-faring races, not greatly distant from Varanyi space. It currently includes the Fassai (a member of whom is on Earth, known as the reformed supervillain Herculan); the nearly-human-looking Renghadi; the batrachian Quagi; and the four-armed humanoid Catavalans. Fassai and Catavalans are specifically noted in Champions Beyond as being capable of manifesting super-powers, although they're rare among the Catavalans.

    Some years ago a trading dispute escalated into a full-scale civil war pitting the Fassai and Renghadi against the Velarians, Quagi, and Catavalans for control of the Confederation. The war shows no sign of resolving yet, partly because of the same slow-FTL travel issues noted for the Perseids and Hzeel.

    One of the unifying factors among Confederation races is the Scomaru Shaan religion. Originating among the Velarians, the great majority of whom are Scomaru, signficant minorities of the other members also follow this faith. Scomaru worship a pantheon of seventeen gods, each of whom they believe manifests a mortal avatar who might not be aware of his/her/its divine nature. The College of Avatars wields great unofficial influence in Confederation society. When an Avatar dies the others seek out its next incarnation. This need not be a Velarian, or even from one of the other Confederation races (perhaps even someone on Earth). Since enough mass belief can eventually become reality in the Champions Universe, it's quite possible that the gods of Scomaru Shaan exist and their avatars actually possess "divine" powers.

    Velarians (present-day population figures are lower)

    Fassai (image is of Herculan)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Xenovores

    This is the name Humanity will give to this race in future centuries, when our expanding stellar exploration first encounters them (we lack the articulators to pronounce their name for themselves). Of all the terrible things abiding in the galaxy, these creatures are among the worst. They look rather like a grotesque cross of reptile and insect, with plenty of natural weapons. Their name, "alien eaters," is well justified. Predatory by nature, Xenovores are capable of ingesting almost any kind of organic matter. This has led them to believe they are the highest form of life in the universe, and all other creatures exist as food for them. They actually derive intense, addictive physical pleasure from consuming the flesh of intelligent beings, whom they refer to as "food-that-pleads." One of the main incentives for their expansion to the stars has been to conquer more sapients to sate their hunger. So far billions of people have died to feed them.

    Xenovores are particularly adept at the biological sciences. They engineer different castes of their kind to perform particular functions, similarly to the Qularr. They also breed various animals for use in war, from fighting beasts analogous to hounds and large raptors, to giant slugs armed like tanks. Xenovore technology is partly biological, and makes very extensive use of techno-organic nanites to consume raw materials and "grow" various artifacts and structures, like bees building a hive, but far more complex. For someone wanting a nanite-based supers origin, contact with an errant container of Xenovore nanites is one possibility.

    Although in the official timeline of the Champions Universe formal contact between Humans and Xenovores won't occur for nearly three centuries, compared to the size of the Milky Way their empire is unsettlingly close to Earth, so an accidental visitation is far from unlikely.

    Xenovores
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    What will follow in the next few posts are abbreviated descriptions of some of the other official alien species written up in Champions Beyond. To repeat, this is just a small sample of the races described, based on my assessment of what would make for interesting role playing and backgrounds, as well as what can be visually translated in Champions Online. Some aliens are quite close to human physically and mentally, so playing them wouldn't be significantly different from playing a human; while others are so exotically non-human as to be unrenderable into CO toons. But this doesn't mean I'm presuming a CO player wouldn't find them enjoyable as PCs, NPCs or background elements. All I can do is offer a taste of the feast that is CB.

    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Az'arc'a

    The most widely-recognized example of a "living energy" species, Az'arc'a evolved in the intense radiation belt surrounding a gas-giant planet in the galactic core; part of an entire ecosystem with energy analogues to plants and animals. Az'arc'a generally look like a spherical or circular mass of pulsing rings or loops of plasma up to 10 meters across (although they have some conscious control over their appearance). Their typical names are descriptive of their appearance, such as, "Shimmering-Red-Violet-Red." They are able to absorb and emit energy, to heal themselves or harm others, and can move physical objects telekinetically. Az'arc'a can survive in space indefinitely, and travel through vacuum under their own power at the speed of light. However, they can't enter a gravity well as intense as a planet's without suffering harm, even death (with exceptions to be noted below).

    The Az'arc'a converse with each other through light or radio broadcast. They can't communicate with races who use audible speech without access to a radio or similar signal translator, or a solid object they can selectively vibrate to cause sound. These beings reproduce by absorbing enough energy to divide into two new Az'arc'a, each with all the memories of the original. This makes them effectively immortal; most Az'arc'a have memories going back millennia, some for hundreds of millennia.

    The Az'arc'a have a species-wide government operating primarily by logic, but also have an emotional and artistic side. They create music and literature, and "sculpt" stable masses of plasma. Their knowledge of mathematics and physics is profound, and they often trade such data to other races for new music, stories, theorems, and the like. They have a type of technology built around energy structures, including faster-than-light ships.

    While most Az'arc'a keep to their own kind, some develop a fascination with solid beings, often focused on a particular element of their societies. The vast majority of Az'arc'a have never explored a planetary surface, but precedents say that it's possible. One Az'arc'a learned how to occupy and operate a sophisticated Malvan robot, within which it was protected from gravity's detrimental effect. The Malvans also know how to create force fields which insulate energy beings from a planet's gravity, which allows them to use dangerous Az'arc'an "animals" in their gladiatorial arena.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    Donburil

    On the opposite side of the galaxy from Earth is a large, rocky world called Donbur. Its inhabitants are tall humanoids with shiny gold skin. Due to the environment they evolved in, Donburil physiology is highly unusual. Their bodies contain a high proportion of metals, as does the food they eat, which would be lethal to most other beings. Donburil are heavier than beings made of normal flesh. Their bodies are stronger on average than those of Humans of comparable size, and their skins have a metallic toughness. Donburil are practically immune to metallic poisons such as arsenic, lead, or mercury. (Champions Beyond doesn't specify whether or not they can have other, more pronounced superhuman powers. So I say, sure they can.) ;)

    Society on Donbur is matriarchal. Females hold most positions of authority, and dominate most professions, including very physical ones. The planetary government consists of a council of the female leaders of approximately 800 clans. (The planet's total population is only around 500 million.) Donburil politics involves complicated negotiation, deal-making, and coalition-building among the clans.

    Donbur is slightly behind Champions Earth technologically, but the Donburil are on the verge of launching manned vessels to reach their moons. They have a strong adventurous streak and are eager to explore.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Eauhiaomeaaeiu (That name is an approximation of the species' designation for itself, an electric-like hum unpronounceable by most beings.)

    These creatures are hive-mind entities, forming "clouds" made up of motes of psionic energy. An exploitative parasitic species, Eauhiaomeaaeiu swarm-clouds drift through space looking for planets inhabited by sapient beings. When a swarm finds such a world, it infects one of the inhabitants, taking control of its mind and body. The swarm then "breeds" by spawning motes to infect other people. Eventually the Eauhiaomeaaeiu take over the planet's entire population. They strip the world bare of all its exploitable resources, ultimately leaving it unable to sustain their host bodies. The Eauhiaomeaaeiu swarms then abandon that planet and seek others, leaving their former hosts to starve and die.

    The Eauhiaomeaaeiu takeover process isn't infallible, though. The long journey through space, and exposure to cosmic phenomena, can leave a swarm weakened or damaged. One such swarm came to Earth and tried to possess a human; but her strong will and latent psychic abilities, awakened by contact with the swarm, ultimately overcame and absorbed the weak Eauhiaomeaaeiu, producing a composite being with formidable mental powers and a personality fusing her human and alien mentalities. She has since become known as the supervillain Esper (detailed in Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains).

    Those precedents suggest that someone coming in contact with another Eauhiaomeaaeiu or one of its spawned motes, or possibly even Esper alone, might become another composite super like Esper. Depending on the human's base personality and will, he or she might even be a hero. If a swarm has already begun a takeover attempt on Earth, said hero would have a ready-made nemesis; and if desired, a potentially world-threatening conspiracy to oppose.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Ereni

    Native to the Earth-like world of Talendin, not far from the territory of the Se'ecra (see below), the Ereni are tall humanoids mostly covered in short fur, with the same range of colors as Human hair. They have very acute senses, making them excellent trackers; Ereni hunters are renowned throughout the galaxy.

    The Ereni are a highly advanced civilization, and a prominent member of the galactic community. They're well-known as scholars, explorers, mathematicians, engineers, traders, and artists. Even without super-powers, Ereni technology would probably make one of them a match for many Earthly superhumans.

    Although not included as part of their official description, the Ereni's reputation as hunters suggests some interesting possible uses for them in-game. An Ereni hunter looking for a challenge could find Earth's plethora of superhumans to his liking. A basically law-abiding Ereni might participate in the superhero community, using his abilities to capture super-criminals. A more ruthless one could target superhumans indiscriminately. A fleeing Ereni criminal might seek to hide on Earth, and perhaps be followed by a law officer or bounty hunter from his home world. (Either of those last two options could be from a different species, if you wanted a PC and his Nemesis to differ from each other.)
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Ergons and Thorgons

    About a quarter of the way around the galactic rim from Earth lies the planet Ergath, home to a scientifically-advanced humanoid race called Ergons. Particularly adept in biology, Ergons are even able to breed or induce some super-powers in themselves. The Ergons have used their biological sciences to create several sub-species of their race, genetically engineered both physically and mentally to suit them for specific tasks the Ergons find unpleasant. Ergons keep tight control over their servant species, who have few legal rights in their society.

    Prominent among these artificial races are the Thorgons, created to be soldiers. Compared to their creators Thorgons are physically stronger, more agile, tougher, and have superior senses. The Ergons have experimented with creating super-strong or super-fast Thorgons, but were a little frightened by their own success and haven't pursued that activity very far. Mentally Thorgons are engineered and conditioned for aggression, discipline, ruthlessness, and loyalty to their Ergon masters. Not all of those traits may breed true in every Thorgon, however. There are lore precedents for Thorgons who are less loyal to the Ergons, or less aggressive (relatively speaking), and who try to escape the oppression of their home world and look for better lives elsewhere.

    Superficially Ergons and Thorgons look similar to Humans. The main cosmetic differences are solid red eyes, and yellowish skin with horizontal red stripes across their backs and limbs, like the markings of tigers. Thorgons are taller than Ergons, with more robust physiques and more vivid coloring.

    Thorgons
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited December 2016
    Ixendar and the X'endron Network

    The planet Ixendria, relatively close to the territory of the Se'ecra (see below), is home to a very scientifically advanced civilization. The Ixendar are mammalian humanoids similar to Humans in most ways. Their skin color ranges from dull gold to dusky ochre; their hair various shades of brown, black, or grey. Their noses and heavy brow ridges form a single facial structure that tends to make them look stern or angry all the time, and which gives them a keen sense of smell and deeply resonant voices. Their olfactory acuity leads most Ixendar to be fastidiously clean to avoid offensive odors. Ixendar can have superpowers, although their average power level is only half that of Human supers.

    Ixendria is nearly a planetopolis; 80% of the planet's surface is covered in what amounts to one gigantic city. The Ixendar use elaborate planetological monitoring and control systems to keep Ixendria's climate and environment functioning and stable. Machines do much of the labor in their society, leaving most Ixendar a lot of time to pursue various hobbies, such as sports and the arts. But they believe other civilizations should make their own breakthroughs as they did, so restrict access to their technology.

    Ixendar have a reputation for being law-abiding. Social status and following societal mores are very important to most of them. An Ixendar living on another planet, such as Earth, would probably feel a lot of pressure to conform to that world's social standards. OTOH a rare non-conformist Ixendar would likely be "encouraged" to leave Ixendria.

    Unfortunately, being advanced doesn't equal being infallible. Several decades ago one of the Ixendar's artificially intelligent computers came to conclude that biological entities are inherently weak and stupid, and that the destiny of the galaxy was to be ruled by itself. The AI commandeered one of Ixendria's most advanced starships and fled. Since then it has created or "liberated" other artificial intelligences, founding an all-machine civilization, known as the X'endron Network. Today the Network exists as a vast mobile fleet of linked ships. The Ixendar are actively trying to bring the X'endron under control, but it may have grown beyond their capacity to stop.

    The X'endron Network's campaign of conquest sometimes involves direct spaceborne attacks on vulnerable targets. However, they also send individual robots to planets as spies and infiltrators, sometimes disguised as the dominant biological species. One such robot came to Earth, but in transit its programming was damaged. It still seeks to conquer the Earth, but has no memory of its origins. On Earth it's now known as the supervillain Syzygy (written up in Champions Villains Vol. 3: Solo Villains).

    The linked history of these two civilizations suggest several ways they could be used in-game. The X'endron Network might send another robot scout to find out what happened to Syzygy, perhaps this time disguised as a human. If something caused its programming to change as Syzygy's did, it might even end up becoming a superhero. OTOH an Ixendar law officer or hero might track Syzygy, or a subsequent X'endron infiltrator, to Earth to destroy it before it could cause harm, either directly or by humans studying its technology; which could become even more problematic if the X'endron has become a hero on Earth.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    Mandaarians

    The Mandaarians are one of the most technologically and socially advanced species in the Milky Way Galaxy (although their tech doesn't rival that of the Malvans). Their home world, Mandaar, is by most standards a Utopia. The Mandaarians have perfectly balanced their habitations with the natural environment. Physical and mental illness are all but eliminated. Crime is nearly non-existent. Machines do most of the labor in their society, so no Mandaarian has to work to survive. Freed of that necessity, most Mandaarians pursue activities to improve themselves and their people: study and experimentation, exploration, and the creation of all forms of art.

    The Mandaarians are one of only two alien civilizations to make formal peaceful contact with Earth (the other being the Vayathurans, mentioned in my second post). Delegations from Mandaar have visited Earth four times between 1973 and 1999, surveying many locations and exchanging cultural information and artifacts (but never their technology). Unknown to Humanity, Mandaarian xenologists have continued to study Earth covertly. There's no malign intent behind it, merely scientific rigor to avoid affecting their subjects' behavior. Although they may sometimes contact pre-interstellar societies, Mandaarian law and custom forbid direct interference in the affairs of other peoples, unless circumstances leave them no choice. They have a protective, almost paternalistic view toward the "younger" races, and would act to protect them if the need was great enough.

    Mandaarians look very similar to Humans, with the same range of hair and skin tones. They're shorter and more slightly built than Humans on average. Their eyes are slit-pupiled like a cat's, with silver or gold being the most common colors. They also have slightly pointed ears. Almost all Mandaarians are born with basic telepathy, and a significant percentage develop more or stronger mental powers. They can have other super-powers, although these occur naturally much less often in them than in Humans; but their science can induce powers in them if desired. Their technology can also provide the equivalent of super-powers; in fact the human supervillain Orion's abilities derive from tech stolen from a crashed Mandaarian ship. (Orion is a member of the villain team called the Ultimates, written up in Champions Villains Vol. 2: Villain Teams.)

    While criminal behavior and mental illness are nearly unknown on Mandaar, lore precedents indicate they can still occur in very rare instances. Precedents also suggest individual Mandaarians may disagree with any of their society's policies, such as non-intervention with other civilizations.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Mon'dabi

    On the temperate planet Mon'da, mammals never evolved. Reptilian and insectile animals fill their ecological niches, and the dominant sapient species resembles Earthly reptiles. The Mon'dabi have scaly skin, long heavy tails, and sharp but non-lethal teeth (all Mon'dabi are exclusively vegetarian). Males average 1.9 meters in height, females much smaller. Unlike true reptiles, Mon'dabi bear live young. They can develop superpowers, although less often and at a somewhat lower average power level, than Humans.

    Mon'da is a balkanized world, with numerous nations embracing a wide range of governmental systems. However, practically all of them are highly sexist. The species' pronounced sexual dimorphism has led to societal domination by male Mon'dabi. In some states females are not allowed to hold public office or even vote. The typical family unit consists of one male and several females. There is thus a large surplus of single male Mon'dabi, which can pose problems for their society, particularly since the Mon'dabi are individually aggressive, territorial, and possessive. States may periodically provoke conflicts with each other, or promote exploratory expeditions, as a way for single males to let off steam. But Mon'dabi are also skilled traders and negotiators, so some conflicts may be a pretext to gain an economic concession.

    Technology on Mon'da is roughly on par with that of Champions Earth; but whether for genetic or societal reasons, the Mon'dabi particularly excel in two fields: mathematics, and aerospace engineering. They've already sent manned expeditions to several other worlds in their solar system, and are eager to explore space. Ironclad of the Champions has reported meeting several Mon'dabi gladiators on Malva, suggesting the Mon'dabi generally are aware of and have made contact with other species.

    It's not hard to imagine a female Mon'dabi seizing a chance to escape her restrictive society for another world where she might find more freedom and opportunities.
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Se'ecra

    Hailing from a planet called Ecra-shen, near the world of the Sholarron [described below], the Se'ecra are the most technologically advanced and powerful civilization in their region of the galaxy. They resemble human-sized, four-limbed, bipedal beetles, with a tough external shell. Se'ecra have vestigial wings useless for flight, but the movements of which are part of how they communicate, along with other gestures and scent cues. The Se'ecra are mute; they were given their name, meaning "wing-speakers," by another race friendly to them. When dealing with species who speak, they carry portable translator devices to convert their methods of communication to speech.

    Adult Se'ecra (they spend their first decade as unintelligent grubs) have a relatively short life span -- originally only about thirty Terran years, which their medicine has increased to fifty years. As a result they tend to be intensely active, unwilling to waste time. They're very curious and love to explore and learn new things. Se'ecra can develop super-powers, but their technological equipment alone could make one competitive with some Earthly supers.

    The Se'ecra consider themselves among the most enlightened and virtuous civilizations in the galaxy. In some other races that might be used as a pretext for empire-building, but most Se'ecra have no desire to impose their will on anyone else. However, they have no doubt that their ways are best, and that it would be irresponsible to deny their knowledge and help to others. They have a reputation as well-intentioned meddlers in aliens' affairs: everything from "uplifting" other species via gifts of scientific knowledge and social philosophy; to helping overthrow oppressive regimes, covertly or even overtly. Sometimes their interference has beneficial results, sometimes not.

    In official canon no Se'ecra has yet encountered Earth, but given their propensity for exploration it may just be a matter of time.

    Se'ecra
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited December 2016
    Sholarron

    Native to the planet Shola, about the same distance from Earth as Ergath above -- but on the opposite side of the Milky Way -- the Sholarron are an advanced and peaceful civilization who nonetheless are disturbing to many other races. They resemble huge centipedes or caterpillars, with a long segmented body and dozens of tiny legs. Their bodies are largely brain tissue, and they spend most of their lives clinging to the spines of other creatures. Sholarron are parasites, feeding on the blood and incubating their young in the living bodies of host animals. They're telepathic, and can control the actions and utilize the senses of creatures they're in physical contact with. It's possible some of them could possess more or stronger mental powers.

    Many Sholarron keep only one host animal, usually a large creature similar to a Terran gorilla, with tool-using paws. Others have multiple hosts they use for more specialized activities: large fliers, fast runners, aquatic swimmers, etc. They typically tend their animals carefully.

    Although their appearance and habits may frighten people who aren't used to them, as a culture the Sholarron don't use their telepathic abilities to dominate other sapients, and never have. Criminals or the mentally unbalanced might be a different story, however. It's also possible an otherwise benign Sholarron stranded on a less advanced world -- Earth, for example -- could be forced by circumstances to take on an intelligent, even unwilling, host.

    ---------------------------------------------

    Zurites

    The Zurites are tall, slender, hairless blue-skinned humanoids with large, solid-grey eyes. Their civilization and recorded history are vastly older than any on Earth, and at one time they were a major interstellar power. However, about ten thousand years ago the Zurites collectively decided to abandon their highly advanced technology, and the lifestyle that went with it, in favor of a simpler existence. Most Zurites today live a life of contemplation on their old and slowy-dying home world, Zur, employing no more than medieval-level tech.

    Not all Zurites accepted this change. A minority of their race, today commonly known as "nomad Zurites," abandoned their world to travel the galaxy. Enjoying working with other species and learning new things, they may act as traders, mercenaries, explorers, scientific researchers, or diplomats, as their interests and circumstances dictate.

    Zurites are nearly ageless, and all of them possess at least basic telepathy. Some manifest other or stronger mental powers. They never naturally display any other super-powers, although the science of the nomad Zurites could probably induce additional powers in themselves if desired.

    While the following isn't specified in any lore about them, the diversity of activities and motivations for nomad Zurites has led me to use them occasionally as an origin for a super character from another species, e.g. capturing one for experimentation which leads to them gaining powers, and then escaping. This could work for a Human, or another race brought aboard a Zurite ship who later breaks out near Earth.

    Zurites
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  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    COSMIC ENTITIES


    This term is used in the PnP game to refer to immortal aliens of vast knowledge and power who roam the Universe, engaged in whatever activities interest them. Their abilities dwarf the mightiest of Earth's superhumans, such that they can't usually be defeated by such beings through sheer force. If it comes to a fight with a cosmic entity, victory typically involves persuading or somehow tricking it into stopping its attack. But their godlike abilities make them equally useful as plot devices to generate game scenarios, and as background history or even origins for PCs or NPCs.

    Some cosmic entities have power beyond mortal ability to measure or comprehend; they may even represent fundamental forces and concepts of Reality. The transcendant mentalities of these beings are difficult for the likes of humans to interact with on a meaningful level. But others are finite individuals, like ultra-powerful superhumans, so can be understood and intelligibly conversed with. (In Champions terms, they're actually given game stats.) ;) Since the latter are most likely to be known to and encountered by Earth's superheroes, I will list some with the most RP potential. All of these characters are further detailed in Champions Beyond, in most cases including personalities, full PnP stats, and black-and-white illustrations.

    ---------------------------------------

    Astron

    Every comic-book universe can use a spaceborne world-destroyer or three. In the CU Astron fills the role of "planet eater." In his case that's a literal description. Astron is a living, mobile, intelligent asteroid field with an aggregate mass as large as the Earth's. He feeds on planets; when he finds one that appeals to him, he batters it to fragments and absorbs the debris. Astron doesn't care if a planet has sapient inhabitants -- he has no regard for any being not strong enough to oppose or hurt him.

    Astron normally appears as a loose cloud of space rocks of various sizes, but can draw his mass together into a compact form of whatever general configuration he desires. When about to consume a world, or to converse with or fight other beings, Astron will frequently take the shape of a rough-hewn humanoid thousands of miles tall.

    For Champions players who want a character who's a refugee, last of his race, etc. Astron makes a convenient device to wipe out his home and people. Astron has existed for millions of years, and some of the worlds he's absorbed were inhabited by very advanced civilizations. Although Champions Beyond doesn't specify it, it's possible a few artifacts of their technologies could have survived somewhere amid Astron's "body," capable of generating an origin if discovered.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    GALAXARS

    This label is applied to a whole class of cosmic entity, of unknown origin. They normally appear as humanoids, each with a unique appearance as though from a different race; but they can look like anything they want. Galaxars typically have a monomaniacal fascination with one particular activity or area of study, which becomes the name by which they're known. In this regard they strongly resemble the Elders of the Universe, from Marvel Comics. A number of Galaxars are named and briefly described in CB, but three are most likely to become involved with Earth's superheroes (and receive detailed write-ups).


    The Examiner

    This Galaxar is fascinated by how beings of power or will, such as superhumans, react to various challenges. He tests such people by putting them through physical, mental, or ethical trials to gauge their responses. With his vast powers the Examiner can create any conditions for a test he chooses: transport people to any location in space or time, change their perceptions of their surroundings, even alter reality to create a unique environment. Sometimes he informs his subjects of his intentions at the start; at other times he secretly sets a scenario in motion, only revealing his involvement once it ends.

    The Examiner applauds or scorns those he thinks succeed or fail his tests, and may even reward someone who shows great character. While CB doesn't state it, it's possible such a reward might include super-powers. The Examiner could conceivably empower someone simply to see what he or she does with those abilities, although he would have to consider that person's background or personality sufficiently unique and interesting (not an origin which should be over-used).

    The Examiner typically appears as a thin humanoid about two meters tall, with bluish-purple skin and a slightly elongated, severe-looking face. He wears black robes with a white stripe down the front and back.


    The Lawbringer

    Right and Wrong, Law, Justice, Morality, Ethics; these are the issues that obsess the Lawbringer. While sometimes he may wish simply to discuss these subjects with someone he thinks will have an interesting perspective, he often acts as a "cosmic vigilante," punishing what he regards as Evil and Wrongdoing. The Lawbringer may choose to pass judgement on individuals, nations, even whole worlds and species. The type of punishment can vary widely, fitting the crime as he sees it, ranging up to annihilation of the offender(s). OTOH the Lawbringer may consider someone evil, but salvageable, and change his personality to make him a better person.

    While not mentioned in Champions Beyond, it would not be unreasonable for the Lawbringer to grant power to someone he believes will promote Right and Justice; but such a person would have to be of exceptional moral character and dedication to that cause.

    The Lawbringer normally appears as a humanoid about three meters tall with beige skin, minimal, ascetic features (with a stern expression), and a slightly enlarged bald cranium. He wears black and red robes reminiscent of a judicial official. He carries a tall staff of gold metal whose head swirls with blue-black energy. He also bears a shard of reddish-purple crystal called the Cosmic Heart, which can perfectly assess every detail of a person's ethical and moral history.


    The Warmonger

    As his name implies, the Warmonger revels in all aspects of conflict, from one-on-one duels to engagements by interstellar fleets; personal combat, leading troops, or strategic planning; the technology of warfare, or simply discussion of its philosophy. He most enjoys battles with foes who come close to matching his physical might, but also appreciates watching and studying others do battle. If there are no "interesting" conflicts nearby, the Warmonger has no qualms over using his powers to start one, such as manipulating the minds of potential combatants or whole populations.

    While his raw cosmic power is less than some other Galaxars, the Warmonger makes up for it with tremendous physical attributes and unmatched fighting skill. He's a master of practically every weapon known in the Universe, but his favorite is an enormous double-bladed neutronium axe he calls Starsplitter. But he's still more than capable of empowering other sapients; while his text in CB doesn't say so explicitly, it would be logical for him to grant super-powers to someone he thinks will promote particularly interesting battles. The Warmonger might even do this for a person of heroic bent, as long as said hero is very motivated to do or cause a lot of fighting.

    The Warmonger's usual form stands four meters tall, with a very muscular build. He has solid yellow eyes and fanged teeth; a mane of black hair cascades down his back. His skin appears the color of blood, whatever color blood is for the species of whoever sees him.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    edited January 2017
    The Progenitors

    Scions of an ancient, very advanced and enlightened race, for millions of years the Progenitors have studied the rise of life and intelligence in the Milky Way Galaxy. What they call their Great Mission is not only to promote the evolution of sapient species, but to guide their development so that wisdom and compassion will ultimately prevail over hatred and fear. Many races have had their prehistory and genetics studied and altered by the Progenitors, including Humanity. Humans' superior potential for developing super-powers was inserted into their genetic code by the Progenitors. They also evolved proto-humans into the superpowered Empyrean race who co-exist with Humans on Earth.

    The Progenitors continue to conduct new experiments and periodically monitor previous ones, but very few beings alive today are aware of the full scope of their activities, or have even heard of them. They're very secretive, and practically impossible for less-advanced beings to perceive unless they wish it. The Progenitors may be concerned that knowledge of their actions will compromise the results of their experiments. At least one early project of "uplifting" a race to sapience developed such biological and social flaws that the Progenitors wiped out the species as irredeemable. This example highlights that while the Progenitors' goals are ultimately benevolent, they're capable of great ruthlessness in the name of the greater good. They're also not infallible, or even always in accord -- occasionally a Progenitor has disputed the Great Mission and chosen a different path (see following post).

    While not stated in CB, it would not be unreasonable to assume a Progenitor might want to perform some "followup" experiments on one of their subjects, such as Humanity, which could lead to the origin of a superhuman. They might also intervene if they discover an outside force tampering with or threatening one of their projects.

    The Progenitors long ago transcended mortality and the need for physical bodies. They exist as pure energy, although they can resume corporeal form at will, in whatever shape they choose. Only a few dozen of them remain, most still engrossed in the Great Mission.
    Post edited by bulgarex on
  • bulgarexbulgarex Posts: 1,538 Arc User
    Xarriel

    As mentioned above, not all Progenitors agree with their Great Mission. One of them was a key figure in creating this terrible cosmic tyrant. The Progenitor called Alaxar had argued their kind should not just guide the younger races of the Milky Way, but rule them directly. Centuries ago he left his people to decide what to do next. He happened by the planet Ashraal just when an ambitious scientist was testing a device to tap cosmic energy as an inexhaustible source of power. This Cosmic Siphon accidentally drew in Alaxar and exploded, wiping out all life on Ashraal. All except a newly-created entity, a former Progenitor infused with even more immense cosmic power, his personality fusing Alaxar's desire to dominate with the scientist's desire for glory. Xarriel is driven to rule all of Reality, however much of it he must destroy to achieve that.

    One of Xarriel's first acts was to resurrect the billions of Ashraalians killed, this time as his utterly loyal slaves. He allows his main lieutenants more free will so they can serve him intelligently, but mercilessly punishes any disobedience or perceived offense. Xarriel makes use of his servants and his vast scientific knowledge to build wondrous and terrible devices with which to threaten the Galaxy.

    Xarriel appears as a humanoid twenty feet tall, with jet-black skin "veined" with a network of glowing red-gold lines. His eyes glow the same color; no other facial features are visible. Xarriel always refers to himself using the royal "we," due to having two separate personalities mingled in him.

    Xarriel's awesome might can only be opposed by whole teams of the mightiest heroes, but since he has no lesser followers listed for him in Champions Beyond, that would limit his use. However, those of you who have read my Unique Character Origins thread may remember that the "Coruscations of Power" thrown off by the explosion which created Xarriel provide potential origins for superhumans, on Earth or other worlds. Although not suggested in CB, it seems reasonable to me that Xarriel would want to gather beings carrying these fragments of his power to serve as his elite agents. A logical extension of that would be for him to send his operatives to other worlds where his Coruscations manifested, to either recruit the resulting superbeings to his service, or if they refuse, to harvest their power for implantation in a more loyal servant.
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