Search SJML Archives! (Powered by Google)

Previous Message: Re: Klingons
Next Message: Net.Ships.Book
Month Index: April, 1995


From:     Richard Pugh <RJPugh@??.??????.com>
Date:     Sat, 1 Apr 1995 13:01:44 -0800
Subject:  Re: Trill, v. 2.5
Trill character race, latest draft

Once again folks, here is the latest draft of the Trill character race.  I finally got
around to incorporating everyone's comments (at least I think I got them all).
As always, feel free to pick it apart.  I think most of the big kinks have been
worked out, but the real test will be a play test.

Any takers...?

Also, if it isn't too late to get stuff into the upcoming net.book, this might be a
welcome addition.

Enjoy...

Richard
============================
Trill

(A character race for Spelljammer.)

[Some of the information below is derived from Reid Bluebaugh's "Guide to Star
Trek in AD&D."]


Race Overview

The Trill are basically a humanoid race in appearence.  They tend to be quite
thin, with a series of brown spots that start around the temples, go down the
neck and shoulders, and ultimately to the ankles.

The Trill are a symbiotic race.  Many Trills, especially those that travel in space,
have what is simply called a "symbiont."  The symbiont is an invertebrate
creature that looks something like a short, fat snake, roughly eight inches to a
foot long, with a bulbous head and a flexable carapace.  The symbiont can be
implanted into a special cavety in the abdomen of the humanoid trill (called a
"host" in these cases).  When this is done, the two beings function as one in all
respects.  Humanoid trills without a symbiont can be considered identical to
humans in all respects except for some minor cosmetic differences.

Joined Trill (both host and symbiont) generally retain the basic personality of
the humanoid host, but the host gains all (or most) of the skills and memories of
any other host that the symbiont has had in the past.  There are cases where the
character of the symbiont, which generally tend to be logical, calculating and
extremely dull, dominates that of the host, but this has proven to be the
exception.  Generally the host brings the ability to experience life, and the
symbiont brings the experience of previous lives.

How this arrangement developed is a subject of constant debate.  Even the Trill
aren't entirely sure.  According to their mythology, the symbionts lived
underground while the humanoids were on the surface.  An environmental
disaster forced the two races to 'join' so that both could survive.  As time went
on, this mutual support evolved into a biological interdependency.

Today, symbionts and Trill humanoids can and do live seperately, but members
of both races seem to "want" to be joined.  If for some reason a symbiont is
seperated from its host, the symbiont dies within twelve hours unless a new
host can be provided, or the host is returned to the Trill homeworld.  A host that
has lost his or her symbiont usually dies within a few days.  It is possible to
prevent this using powerful healing magic, but typically the host will refuse
such help.  The emotional dependence derived from the union is so strong that
the host doesn't want to live without it.

On the Trill homeworld, unjoined symbionts live underground in silty,
subterranean pools, where they reproduce and communicate.  They
communicate with one another through some means of telepathy.  This
telepathy can not be transfered to a humanoid, however.  Only a joined trill host
can communicate with unjoined symbionts in this matter, and even this is
restricted to unclear images.

According to Trill history, joining between host and symbiont was at one time
unmoderated and highly random.  This often resulted in unsiutable matchings.
Wars, social horrors, and a variety of other ugly things occured as a result.
Apparently the Trill learned the hard way that symbosis isn't something to be
taken lightly.

Today, the joining of a symbiont with a host is managed by a group of sages
called "The Symbiosis Commission," a branch of the Trill government.  Several
factors are considered when paring a host and a symbiont: character and family
history of the host, previous experiences of the symbiont, and so forth.  Many
trill never receive a symbiont, and many symbionts spend their lives in the silt
pools underground.

A symbiont can live without a host, so long as it's within one of the silt pools on
the Trill homeworld.  No other suitable location has (yet) been found anywhere
else.  If the symbiont has at some point in it's life had a host, it tends to pine for a
new host ever after.

The joining of a host and symbiont usually occurs during the early adulthood of
the humanoid host, though it could occur at any time after the host reaches
physical maturity.  The lifespan of a symbiont has been estimated at about 500
years, so a given symbiont can have as many as ten hosts in it's life time.  The
symbiont somehow "knows" when it's time is reaching an end. When this
happens, the host will devote large amounts of time to writing and recording all
the knowledge of the symbiont.  When a symbiont dies of natural causes, the
symbiont and host usually die within minutes of each other.


"Let's go count each other's spots."
- Trill pick-up line.

___________________
Trill Characters

AD&D Mechanics:

NPC trills may find roles as sages, patrons, diplomats, ambassadors, various
types of contacts, and so on.  Naturally, GM supervision is strongly
recommended in the creation of a PC trill, if a GM is willing to allow such.
Experienced players (i.e. no munchkins) might find playing a trill an interesting
role-playing experience.


Ability         Range      Adjustment
Strength        3/17         -1
Dexterity       3/18         0
Constitution    3/16         -2
Intelligence    6/20         *
Wisdom          7/21         *
Charisma        5/18         +1

Notes: The adjustments apply only to joined Trills.  Unjoined Trills should be
considered humans in terms of game mechanics.  If during the course of play an
unjoined Trill receives a symbiont, these adjustments are then applied to the
character's statistics.

Trills tend to have numerous physical weekness, probably as a result of the
symbiosis.  Hense the penalties on Strength and Constitution.  A truly wicked
GM might want to give them vulnerability to certain kinds of magics, poisons,
and so on.

By the same token, however, Trills have sizeable benefits for Inteligence and
Wisdom.  This reflects several lifetimes of experience, as conveyed by the
symbiont.  For each host the symbiont has had (determined below), the
character may add one-half a point to his or her intelligence and wisdom scores,
plus on more half-point for the current host.  If the total number of hosts is an
odd number, then the odd half-point is recorded as an fraction, as is done for
exceptional strength bonuses for fighters (ex. 15/50).  This fractional point is
applied to any non-weapon proficiencies, ability checks and saving throws that
are based on Intelligence and Wisdom.

Also, Trills are allowed two saving throws on spells involving mental
domination, such as charms and psionic attacks.  This reflects the fact that the
Trill has, in effect, two brains.  To dominate or charm a Trill, you must dominate
both brains.

Skills and character classes:  All character classes are available to Trills, and
there is no limit to how high they can advance in their chosen class.  Stats and
class mechanics may impose limits, just as they would for any other character.
Trills do have the option of becomming dual class characters, though very few
of them do.  No one has a good reason for this, but it's probably related to the
combined experiences of the symbiont override any desire to make a major
carear change:

     "Been there, done that."

When a PC generates a Trill character, they should roll 1d12-1.  This indicates
how many hosts their symbiont has had, if any.  The character should also
determine the previous professions that the symbiont has had.  The previous
professions of the symbiont can be determined with the supervision of the GM,
or by using the following table:

d10	CLASS
1	Warrior
        (30% chance of paladin, ranger, cavalier, samurai, or other
        specialty warrior sub-class)
2-4	Mage
        (25% chance of a specialty mage)
5-6	Priest
7	Rogue
        (10% chance of an assassin if using 1st edition rules)
8	Other specialty character, such as a psionicist or unique
        character class.
9-10	NPC -- no rateable class (functioned as a scribe, diplomat,
        artist, merchant, governemnt official, etc)

When the classes of the previous hosts are determined, the PC can select non-
weapon proficiencies from those catagories normally restricted to a given class,
regardless of the current class.  For example, if a trill priest has a symbiont who
once had a warrior host, the priest can select a proficiency from the "warrior"
list, such as armorer, at the normal slot price as opposed to double price.

In the cases where a symbiont has had a spellcasting host, the GM should roll a
d6.  On a 1-2, the spellbooks or prayerbooks of the previous host (or hosts) are
still available, and the PC (if a wizard) will be able to copy them when they
reach the appropriate level.  In the case of wizard spells, the current host need
not check to "learn" the spell, because the symbiont, while unable to cast spells,
already "knows" the workings of the spell.  In the case of a previous host being a
priest, the GM and player should decide which diety the previous priest
worshiped.  The Trill character may then be able to cast spells that are normally
restricted to the previous hosts dietie, assuming that the current host's dietiy
isn't in direct opposition.


GURPS Mechanics:
(One version exists in a series of files by tmp_harkins@?????.???????.???.edu.
I'm currently working on another version.)
_________________________

Sample Trill character
[This is not an "official" adaptation of the DS9 character, just a sample of a trill
character.]


Jadzea Dax
Chief Battle Wizard, Treladine Outpost
Level 12 Mage

Strength:       10
Dexterity:      15
Constitution:   13
Intelligence:   19
Wisdom:         19
Charisma:       15

Jadzea Dax is a Trill wizard that acts as the chief battle wizard for the
Treladine Outpost in Trabaspace.  She has a formadable spell library, thanks to
two of Dax's previous hosts being wizards.  Most of her everyday spells are
geared toward tending the Baracahania tree that serves as the Treladine
outpost.  If she has reason to expect hostile visitors, however, she will have
appropriate combat and defense spells at her disposal.  She is well liked by most
of her co-workers, and is a long time personal friend of the outpost commander.

Her symbiont, Dax, has had seven previous hosts.  One was a dimplomat, another
a musician, two were wizards, one was a priest, one a warrior, and one a rogue.
As a result, she has a working knowledge of diplomacy, weapon making,
theology, and a respectable level of "street smarts."

Jadzea is likely to enhance this collection of skills even more, because she is
naturally curious and likes to explore.  Despite her placid behavior, she has a
very quick mind and should never be taken for granted.  Her personal interests
include exotic cooking, art, that strange field of knowledge called science, and a
rather dangerous scro version of raquettball.


--
===============================================================
Richard J. Pugh, MLS         |RJPugh@??.??????.com
  Electronic Librarian       |RJPugh@???.com
Admin: spelljammer@??.??.uk  |http://freenet.buffalo.edu/~ac916
===============================================================


Previous Message: Re: Klingons
Next Message: Net.Ships.Book
Month Index: April, 1995

[ SPJ-L@Cornell.edu ] [ Spelljammer@Leicester.ac.uk ] [ Spelljammer@MPGN.com ] [ Spelljammer-L@Oracle.Wizards.com ]