Basic racial package
These creatures are not at all related to humans — they seem to be descended from dinosaurs. They look like huge, two-legged lizards, they come in many colors. They shimmering scales make them beautiful, their huge teeth and claws make them fearsome. They are decidedly carnivorous. They prefer hot, open plains and savannas where they can chase their prey; many live in desert and badlands areas where other races can’t survive. Though there are exceptions, most Reptile Men live in small, savage tribes. A Reptile Man has normal height for his ST, and weights 30lbs more than a human of the same height. Advs and Disads: +4 ST (40), +2 HT (20), and -1 IQ (-20), Blunt Claws (+1 per die damage, 3), Bite (Thr-1 cutting, 1) Tail Striker (Cannot parry, rear arc only -80%, 1), DR 1 (5), Peripheral Vision (15), Bad Rep -3 (presumed that they eat sentients, everyone but klernaktha, all the time, -10), Intolerant (warmbloods, -10), Mild Shyness (-5), Nictating Membrane 2 (DR 2, 2). Mammalian languages are difficult for the Reptile Men to master, they can never learn a non-Reptile language beyond their individual IQ level, and cannot take the Language Aptitude advantage (-2). Horses unused to Reptile Men will be terrified; a rider must make a riding roll to keep his mount from shying and throwing him when they first encounter Reptile Men. Or the horse may try to kick them…(-1). Reduced Consumption 2 (1/3 amount of food, 4 Reduced Move -4, with 30% limitation (only when cold) (-14 points Weakness to high heat, base 10 points (fatigue only), 30% limitation (only 1 per time increment) (-7 points). Net cost 22 pts.
: Armor must also be purchased for the tail; this costs the same as armor for a third leg. In addition, most tail greaves have threaded connection points for tail weapons, although tail weapons must be bought separately.
: There are three primary tail weapons--maces (the most common, as they are the easiest to use), blades (basically axes), and spikes (basically picks). The skills to use these weapons are as follows. Tail Mace (P/A and Tail Blade/Spike (P/H). Tail Blade/Spike is more difficult because the user must keep in mind the orientation of the weapon; with the mace, this is not a problem. As a further note, the fumble range is increased by 1, due to the fact that kler'naktha tails are not fully prehensile, and there is an increased tendency to do damage to the wielder if ke is not careful. Tail weapons are treated (for damage purposes) like their normal counterparts, with damage based on Thrust, not Swing (there is no lever arm to increase damage).
Tail Weapons cost 1.5x the cost of their normal counterparts (i.e., mace, axe, and pick). Note that the Tail Spikes can get stuck (like picks), and the Strength roll, due to a lack of leverage, is at a -3, meaning that the average kler'naktha who gets kir spikes caught in a foe needs to roll a 11 or less or be anchored by the tail!
Damage to the tail
: The tail can be targetted in combat; it has a -2 to hit penalty. There is also a chance of it being hit if 12-14 is rolled for hit location. If a 12, 13, or 14 is rolled, roll one die: if a 5 or 6 shows up, the tail was hit instead of the leg. The tail can take HT/2 before being crippled.
11 points/14 points
This is the primary form of martial arts developed by D'g'kler'nakthasa centuries ago. It is hard hitting, direct, and deadly, and despite its relative age, has seen no need of any major change or improvement. It relies on the use of the clawed hands, taloned feet, and tail. It is not artistic nor philosophical; it is an "external" or "hard" martial arts form, designed for deadly combat. There are few holds or throws, and little provision for capture or subdual. Originally designed by a group of Dragons and Targas, and made part of their training, it has since filtered down to many serving in the Line units.
Note that Sweeping Kick is, in this case, not really a kick at all, but a tail sweep that accomplishes the same thing. Hence, the Kicking default for this maneuver is not used; only the Karate parry is.
: Karate, Acrobatics, Brawling.
: Tail Mace, Jumping.
: Tail Blade/Spike, Two-Handed Sword.
: Aggressive Parry, Back Kick, Drop Kick, Hook Kick, Jump Kick, Kicking, Sweeping Kick, Kick-Tailstrike.
: Breaking Blow, Power Blow.
: Flying Jump Kick.
No default. Prerequisites: Karate, Gymnastics at 13+, cannot exceed Karate-4 or Gymnastics -2.
This is a tricky maneuver, involving spinning on one foot while kicking out with the other and following it up with a tailstrike. When done correctly, both attacks land before the target has been knocked over. If it misses by only one, the kick still hits, but the tailstrike misses. If it is missed by 2 or more, a DX-4 roll must be made or the user of the maneuver falls. Even if it succeeds, the user must make a tumbling roll or spend 1 round standing up. For knockback purposes, treat the kick-tailstrike sequence as a single blow, as it is very fast. If it is used in a combination, it must be the last maneuver made.
It is learned as though it defaulted to Karate-6, but no one without training (and a tail) can execute this maneuver.
Coloration and Physical Characteristics
Kler'nakthasa come in various colors and patterns. Common colors are green, red, blue, tawny yellow, brown, orange, yellow, aqua, violet, and tan. Uncommon colors are indigo, black, bronze, golden (not like the metal), copper, and grey. Rare colors are white and silver. All colors come in various shades, ranging from light to dark. The scales of young specimens have and almost translucent quality, while those of adults become iridescent. At about age 50 the scales begin to dull, and at around 60 they begin to turn whitish, beginning at the tips. Those lucky enough to live to around 70 (the normal "maximum" age) have pure white scales.
Patterns of differing colors are uncommon, but include bands (somewhat like that of some snakes), spots (kind of like those on a leopard), tiger stripes, and blotches (like that on boa constrictors or gila monsters). The colors in the patterns (generally two, or, more rarely, three) follow the same distribution as the base colors.
Eye colors are black, blue (both light and dark), green (ranging from yellow-green to forest green to greenish blue), amber (ranging from light yellow to deep amber), grey (both light and dark), and brown (from yellowish brown to dark brown). Occasionally, flecks of a complimentary metallic color will appear in some eye colors (like silver with blue, or gold with brown or green, or copper with amber).
There is no gender-based difference in coloration (for scales or eyes), and there is no real genetic predisposition toward a color or pattern.
There is also much difference in minor cosmetic appendages. Commonly, kler'nakthasa have a small ridge going down their spine, starting from between the eyes and travelling to the tip of the tail (although by the time it gets down to the tail it is impossible to tell what is ridge and what is scale). However, some have more pronounced ridges, back spines, small horns, bumps, fins, or plates. None of these various mutations have any real game effect (they just look neat). Unlike coloration, parentage seems to play a more important role, although it is a relatively small one.
Reptilemen is somewhat of a misnomer, for the name implies cold-bloodedness, which is not true of this race. D'g'kler'nakthasa (or "Kler'naks") belong to the same group of animals that are warm-blooded and exothermic. They use the natural temperature differences of the environment to maintain the consistency of their body temperatures. Humans, on the other hand, must continually burn energy in order to maintain the same body temperature. If a kler'nak becomes too hot, he will face the breeze, seek shade, wet his body, or something similar. If one becomes too cold, he will seek the sun or some other source of warmth, or excercise to burn calories and generate the heat that way.
To simulate this, use the following rules. If the ambient temperature gets above 90° F, and the kler'nak is exerting itself, it must make a HT roll every 15 minutes, with the amount of time decreasing at 5 minutes per 10 degrees above 90° (i.e., at 100°, its 1 every 10 minutes, at 110° its 1 every 5 minutes, at 120° its 1 every minute, and anything over 120° its 1 every 10 seconds). If the roll is failed, 1 point of Fatigue is lost. Add 20° to the above temperatures if the kler'nak is not exerting itself (in this instance, exertion is any movement greater than a walk). This fatigue loss will cause unconsciousness, but the temperature to actually damage the kler'nak is about the same as that for a human. Facing a breeze (which implies opening the mouth to allow for evaporative cooling gives back 1 fatigue point lost due to heat per 5 minutes; this is considered "resting". Spending time in shade nets a point back every 3 minutes. Wetting the body gives back 1 point every minute (which is why a lot of water is carried by intelligent kler'naks).
If the temperature drops to less than 50°, the effects of cold set in. This is simulated by a reduction in basic speed. At temperatures less than 50°, basic speed drops 1 every 15 minutes, down to a minimum of 2. For each 10° cooler it is, the rate decreases by 5 minutes (so if it is 30° outside, a kler'nak will lose 1 from its basic speed every 5 minutes). If it ever gets to 10°, speed can drop all the way to zero, literally freezing a kler'nak in its tracks. Light clothes will add 15 minutes onto the rate, winter clothes will add 30 minutes onto the rate. Each blanket worn will add 30 minutes, with a maximum of 75 minutes being added to the time from all sources. (So a kler'nak could wear light clothes and two blankets, or light clothes, heavy clothes, and one blanket, or just three blankets, and the time increment would be 90 minutes in any case.) Exercising (kalisthenics, combat, or any quick, sustained movement) will also heat up the kler'nak, adding 30 minutes to the time increment for every 10 minutes spent in motion; this is in addition to those bonuses given by attire. However, the exercise only counts toward the time increment that the exercise takes place in.
One of the benefits of being exothermic is the fact that most of the food energy taken in doesn't go to just keeping the body at a constant temperature. Kler'naks need to eat only about a third as much as a human, unless they are really exerting themselves, which may mean that they need an additional meal or two. If trying to keep warm, every 30 minutes spent exerting requires another meal to be eaten.
Kler'naks reproduce (not surprisingly) using eggs. Unfertilized eggs are about one centimeter long and six millimeters in diameter. Once fertilized, they grow to about twelve centimeters long and eight centimeters in diameter. Females can lay from four to six eggs at a time, every four years or so.
Offspring of the same clutch of eggs are called "clutchmates", or "k'yalt'n'neharrsa" (lit., "clutch-siblings"). Those born of the same parents but different clutches are just siblings ("neharrsa").
Irgaaks are two handed swords with curvy, serrated edges. The shape of the blade (its signature) originally served the same purpose as heraldric coats of arms. That is, each clan had, on all of the blades belonging to that clan, a similarity in design structure: a certain wavy sub-structure, a set of spiky protrusions, a certain notching pattern, etc. Most of the blade isn't even edged (like most swords the areas that are are generally on the inside surfaces where a swing will bring them into play but a parry won't dull them. Almost all are Fine (or, possibly, Very Fine). In some areas, they can be used as keys (they do look like them, after all) for very large and deep locks (unpickable by normal lockpicks). It requires a bit of strength to turn the tumblers; the keyhole is often disguised and is often placed on the ceiling (to keep detritus from clogging the hole).
Irgaaks which can channel Khrr’ghhn’s (and sometimes L’ssaah’s or Rrogh’rghh’s) powers cost 10/20 points, as per the Advantage Blessed/Very Blessed (adding the Limitation “occasional 10-“ halves the cost). This gives Divination as the spell, at IQ (or IQ+5). Also, the bearer of the sword may occasionally have the effects of a 1 pt Bless spell on them (this is also “occasional” at 10-, as a separate roll from the advantage abilities). The divination takes the form of pyromancy in the case that Khrr’ghhn is communicating (the irgaak appears to burst into blue flame to the blessed one augury in the case of L’ssaah (omens/events with a Message and Oneiromancy in the case that Rrogh’rghh (Dreams…what else?).
Cut Sw+4; reach 1, 2; Wt: 9 lbs; min ST: 13; Cost $1000 (base). Imp Thr+4; reach 2. Unbalanced (not really, but for game purposes it is treated as such), but can be readied every turn if ST is 15+, see page B104.
Kler'nak Military Structure
The Line Units
The Line Units are ranked by skill and field experience. The seasoned troops occupy the Vanguard and Primary Lines; they comprise the bulk of the military and are the backbone of any operation. Combat teams are usually composed of members drawn from these line units, with command and support figures drawn from the Targa and Dragon units. The Mobile Line units are commonly used for low risk missions such as guarding installations and escort duty. Members of the Auxiliary Line are relegated to the least dangerous, most mundane tasks, and are, to an extent, expected to volunteer for more challenging tasks.
The Targa is a huge, three headed creature that breathes flame and is indomitable. In that tradition, the members of the three Targa units are the elite combat troops. They are specialists in hand-to-hand warfare, heavily armored, and use superb equipment. They serve as the heavy assault and shock troops. Targas lead on the battlefield, and leave strategy to the Dragons. The sight of a Targa on a battlefield is guaranteed to daunt even the bravest foe. Targas lead missions involving direct assault, defense of an outclassed installation, or any other situation involving substantial amounts of hand-to-hand combat.
Taking their name from another impressive and dangerous creature, the Dragons have a very different method. Like their namesakes, they are wise and powerful, more than capable in hand-to-hand combat but preferring to use their wits to defeat an enemy. They handle commando missions and strategic planning, and are skilled in espionage, infiltration, and finesse operations. Dragons are at their best when behind enemy lines. Dragons handle long-range planning and leave battlefield tactics to the Targas. It is the Dragon who sets up an operation, maneuvers forces to gain the greatest advantage before the battle, then leaves it to the Targas to crush the enemy. It is also the Dragon that is more likely to be skilled in the ways of magic.
(Literally, "Keepers of Targas and Dragons")
At the pinnacle of the Kler'naktha military are the Guardians. There are about thirty that are known; given the nature of the Guardians it is difficult to gauge their numbers or identities. They direct the long range plans of the Kler'naktha tribes they belong to, and they coordinate the actions of the Dragons and Targas. Guardians are rarely seen, and represent the best the Kler'nakthasa have to offer. Promotion to Guardian status is by invitation only. The criteria used are subtle in the extreme, and brilliant schemes and exceptional weapons skill are certainly no guarantee of admittance. They are also often powerful mages, although having magical aptitude is not a prerequisite criteria.
The primary social structure of Kler’nak life is the Family. This is generally made up of a few generations of closely related individuals, and they generally live either in the same dwelling, or nearby, within an hour’s travelling distance. Kler’naks are extremely family oriented, and tend to put a lot of emphasis on who is related to whom.
On a more political note, the most important structure is the clan. This is made up of a related group of Families, usually numbering in the high hundreds or even thousands (it is not unusual to have a clan reach the ten thousand member size). It is also normal for two clans to arrange a few marriages to strengthen the ties between them, in effect melding the two clans into one larger organization. Each clan is a separate “tribe” or “country”, but all of the clans belong to a loose confederation (this does not stop clan wars, however, it just makes them less common).
Each clan has a name and a motto, along with certain sword signatures (irgaak shape patterns). Some clan names include “The Sound of the Motion of a Field of Grass in the Wind”, “Thunder in the Valley of the Sun”, “Rippling Waves Crashing on Rocks”, “Rocky Spire by the River of Plentiful Fish”, “Shape of the Five Standing Stones on the Hill of the Ancestors”, “Blowing Sand Over the Space of Dunes”, and “Fence of Mountains Circling the Plains of Fire”. Names are generally based on nature, either a concept or a geographical feature, or whatever. The mottos vary (it is not uncommon for a clan to have more than one) and occasionally change with time; the choice of mottos is often political.
The most prestigious political position that can be held is Head of Clan (this is not to be confused with the Guardians, who are a secretive group of people culled from several clans, and work for the good of the race, not for any specific clan). Beneath the Clan Head are the heads of the eight most prominent Families, who do all of the decision making. Ties are settled by the Clan Head; the Clan Head normally gets no vote, but the power and respect of the position make his wishes practically law anyway. In effect, their primary style of government is an enlightened monarchy/republic.
As with their military, rising through the ranks is by skill and ability only, time in office and petty politics rarely enter into the decisions. In fact, many still do not understand politics in the human sense of the word, they just cannot grasp the idea that people would choose someone who couldn’t do the job well. . . .
Note that the pantheon has a distinctive lack of “evil” gods. In Kler’nak theology, there are no “mortal enemies” or “devils” (like the Giants of Norse Myth or Satan of Christian myth). The primary conflicts come as “divine family disputes”, that usually manifest as inter- and intra-clan political maneuvering that may, in fact, lead to war; these “disputes” can last for centuries (what is time, to a god?). Often they will involve games that take place during clan reunions and clan gatherings.
The primary game is one similar in play to football, but played on a large circular field that is translated as “Breakthrough”. The game is basically played as follows: one team starts in the middle, the other at the edge. The center team must move a tetrahedral stone (weighing about 80 lbs) past the edgeline; the edge team has to take it and put it in the center. The stone can be carried or thrown (which can be quite painful when used as a missile), and tackling, striking, kicking, and tailbashing are all allowed (killing and maiming are discouraged, but accidents do happen . . . ). Points are scored by fulfilling the victory conditions. The game ends when one team has scored 15 points.
Another competition is Sokaaghh’lakshi tournaments, with Clan Champions battling it out; another is a territory-grabbing game similar to capture the flag, but with each flag denoting ownership of a piece of the game field. In this game, physical confrontation can only take place under certain rigid conditions; most of the land grabbing is done through stealth and outmaneuvering the enemy.