Imperial Heir

When the Ren Valorian conquered the Galaxy, he outlawed aristocracy. Despite this, he married an aristocrat himself, Zandra Tan-Shai, and while his children have no official title, he seems to appreciate it when people speak of his children as princes and princesses. Indeed, his children receive unprecedented privilege within the Empire, as though they actually were princes or princesses. No imperial minister or admiral dares deny them their requests, the Imperial Academy showers them with honors, and local governments or planets “allied” with the Empire offer them noble titles and special accolades. Even Imperial Security refuses to arrest them for blatant crimes; instead, they forward the heir’s indiscretions to the Emperor and allow him to deal with it. For the children of the Emperor, the Empire is their playground.

You are one of these heirs. By canon, the Emperor has three children: his eldest, a half-Ranathim bastard named Astra Vale, a daughter by Zandra Tan-Shai, considered beautiful, charitable and wise by the populace, and his youngest, a son poised to graduate from the Imperial Academy and is dogged by a dark reputation. You can play as one of these characters, or introduce a new heir.

This Background is much more expensive than the usual 20 points; indeed, most templates lack the discretionary budget to afford it. Discuss with your GM how he wishes to handle this, or even if he’ll allow an Imperial Heir in his game.

Imperial Heir

60 points

Traits: Heir (Imperial) [5]; Legal Immunity [10], Status +4 [15*]; Very Wealthy [30];

Skills: Spend additional discretionary points on Carousing (E) HT+1 [2], Current Affairs (Business, High Culture, Politics or Sports), Games (Any), or Savoir-Faire (High Society or Military) all (E) IQ+1 [2], Administration, Gambling, Leadership, Politics, Propaganda, Public Speaking, Research all (A) IQ [2], Expert Skill (Political Science), History (Imperial), Intelligence Analysis, Law (Imperial, Galactic), Philosophy (Neo-Rationalism), Strategy or Theology (Akashic Mysteries) all (H) IQ-1 [2].

Additional Traits: Spend any additional discretionary points on

  • Alcohol Tolerance [1], Ally (Attache, Bodyguard) [varies], Ally Group (Body guards) [varies], Believer (Neo-Rationalism or Akashic Mysteries) [-1], Bloodline (Daijin or Tan-Shai) both [1], Contact (Imperial minister, Imperial officer, corporate executive, skill 12, 15 or 8, 9 or less, somewhat reliable) [1, 2 or 3]; Contact Group (Corporation, House Tan-Shai, Ministry, etc) (Skill 12, 15 or 18, 9 or less) [5, 10, 15); Courtesy Rank (Any) [1/level]; Courtesy Title (Any; often made up on the spot) [1], Credentialed [1], Cutting Edge Gear (Imperial) [1]; Destiny (Greatness)† 1-3 [5 to 15], Favor (Any) [varies]; High Heeled Heroine [1]; Manifest Destiny [1], No Hangovers [1]; Patron (the Emperor) [varies]; Sartorial Integrity [1]; Security Clearance (Imperial) [5 to 15]; Signature Gear (Imperial technology) [varies]; Weak Psionic Latency (Any) [1].
  • Or, if the character has Bloodline (Tan-Shai), you may spend additional discretionary points on Tan-Shai Aristocratic Adaption [8] or Tan-Shai Dark Genetics [22]
  • Or, if the character has Bloodline (Daijin): you may spend additional discretionary points on Classical Features (Aristocratic) and up to two of Daijin Detachment [16], Daijin Focus [6] Daijin Intellect [16], or Daijin Power [10].

† Requires the Manifest Destiny perk.

Optional Disadvantages: Add the following disadvantage options to your template: Bad Temper [-10*], Bully [-10*], Callous [-5], Delusion (“Everyone loves me,” “The Empire is unstoppable,” “The Empire is the hope for the Galaxy,” “I am destined for greatness” etc) [-5 to -15], Duty (Empire, Non-Hazardous) [varies], Easy to Read [10], Enemy (Assassination conspiracy, rival internal faction) [varies], Fanaticism (Empire) [-15], Greedy [-15*], Intolerance (Maradonian Aristocrats, Aliens, Rebel scum) [-5 or -10], Jealousy [-10]; Laziness [-10], Lecherousness [-15*], Obsession (“Gain father’s approval” or a personal project) [-5], Overconfidence [-5*], Reputation (Spoiled Brat) -1 to -2 [-5 or -10], Selfish [-5*]; Sense of Duty (the Emperor or the Empire) [-2 or -10], Unfit or Very Unfit [-5 or -10], Workaholic [-5].

Customizing the Imperial Heir

As a GM, consider carefully if you wish to allow an Imperial Heir into your game. Such a character carries great weight and the campaign can easily begin to turn around them and their choices. They also wildly exceed the normal point budget for a background. If running a normal point-value game with a 50-point power-up budget, consider allowing players to include their power-up point budget in with their background: being an Imperial Heir effectively combines a background with a power-up.

Imperial Heirs can use the “Don't you know who I am?” rule with any imperial organization! Given their high status, they can usually expect to get whatever they want, especially if they take the Emperor as Patron (if they fail their “Status as Pulling Rank” roll, they can always roll to see if the Emperor will intervene). While they only have one disadvantage option reflecting enemies, this disadvantage represents enemies specific to the character; obvious, part of being an Imperial Heir means that a lot of people are gunning for you. The GM should feel free to target the PC with rebels, Maradonian plots, Cybernetic assassins and Ranthim corruption!

The lens assumes that the character is the child of Zandra Valorian nee Tan-Shai, who herself is half Daijin and half Tan-Shai. Zandra herself has only Bloodline Purity 2, and her children are similarly limited to two eugenic packages (which they can mix and match from among House Tan-Shai and House Daijin), unless the GM says otherwise.

The Emperor feels no compulsion to honor his vows of faithfulness to his wife, thus bastards are a real possibility. Any bastard he fathers may be an Imperial heir if he recognizes them. The possibilities are numerous:

In the case of a union between the Emperor and a noble of another house, the child may have some Maradonian traits: take the appropriate Bloodline perk and up to two Eugenic packages. The most likely would be the Daijin Bloodline perk!

The Emperor has already proven to enjoy the pleasures of the Ranathim. If so, take the Half-breed (Ranathim) perk and select any number of Ranathim racial traits during character creation to reflect how and in what way your character is Ranathim. Most half-human, half-ranathim characters have one or more of the following:

  • Ranathim Eyes [2]; Distinctive Feature (Black eyes with vivid irises) [-1], Night Vision 3 [3];
  • Ranathim Passion [-4]; Passionate Psi [1]; -5 points chosen from Ranathim passionate disadvantages.
  • Ranathim Hair [-1]; Distinctive Feature (Vividly colored hair) [-1]
  • Ranthim Vampirism [11]: Energy Reserve 5 (Psi; Regenerate with Steal Energy Only -70%, Can be used for Physical Extra Effort +45%) [12], Godlike Extra Effort (Physical; Psi -10%) [1], Ranathim Energy Vampirism [5], Uncontrollable Appetite (Psychic Energy) (15 or less) [-7].

The Emperor employs a conspiracy of naturally psychic women in Project Foresight, an answer to the Maradonian Akashic Order. The empire nicknames them the “Brides of the Emperor,” and it’s possible this is more true than they realize. Furthermore, he explores a technology called Genetic Communion, derived from Ranathim Mithanna DNA that was rewritten by their oaths to resonate with Dark Communion. Such characters may be the result of his generic experimentations and his dalliances with his own psychic broodmares. Such a character would have the following traits

Genetic Communion Bastard [-3]: Dark Pariah [1], Genetic Commuion [1]; Unusual Biochemistry [-5].

Such a character may purchase any Broken Communion learned prayer or Dark Communion learned prayer as Oath Magic, but instead applying an Oath limitation, he applies a -20% “Genetic Corruption” modifer; this modifier applies 1/5 the original cost of the learned prayer as corruption whenever the character uses it.

The Emperor has considerable psionic power. Any Imperial Heir can justify purchasing any psionic power at character creation and if they take the Weak Psychic Latency Perk, after character creation. On the other hand, some characters might choose instead to explore their Tan-Shai heritage, in which case they may take appropriate Anti-Psi abilities instead, though most such characters tend to have only subtle anti-psi abilities (typically only the Tan-Shai blood purity 0 abilities).

Consider also what Template the Imperial Heir will use. They tend to have nearly any Core template open to them: they work well with the Diplomat or Officer, and quite a few like the idea of being a Fighter Ace. They tend to be too recognizable to be a Spy and too valuable to be a commando. Ren Valorian may raise his psychic children to become faithful Space Knights or Mystics and induct them either into the Imperial Knights or Project Foresight. Finally, his embrace of the Ranathim means he often makes use of Assassins, and may train his less valuable children to be one.

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