The Keleni
Keleni-pair.png

Nicknames: Kitlathim (Lithian), Frogs (derogatory).
Homeworld: Anmārwi (however, no Keleni live there today)
Other Worlds: Samsara, Temjara, Covenant, Kronos

Everyone in the galaxy knows that the Keleni founded the faith of True Communion. This beautiful, aquatic race is naturally telepathic, and their telepathy bonds them to one another, and to other species they encounter. This makes them a deeply compassionate race, gifting them the ability to relate to the woes of others, to listen and to counsel, and their talent at psychic healing makes them a whispered legend among the deeply ill everywhere. All of these together combined into a unique racial profile that gave them deep insight into the great, universal psychic gestalt that binds all of the sapients of the Galaxy together. Thus, most people who encounter them are surprised to find them taciturn, cagey and suspicious of outsiders, but if one understands their tragic history, this makes sense: the Keleni love deeply, but they have been hurt enough to know it is best to love sparingly.

The Keleni have a willowy, ethereal appearance. They are amphibious, able to operate as well on land as in water, and this gives their skin a smooth texture, similar to cetacean skin. They vary in shade from blue to a subtle cerulean to a dusty slate to a rich indigo to a greenish, oceanic teal, but they always have long, silken white hair. They have bioluminescent patches on their skin, which they can light up in the water to communicate with one another, or to express their emotions to races less attuned to their thoughts; the optic qualities of their hair can transmit the light of their bioluminescence, allowing it to glow a soft, pale white in the darkness. They tend to be slender and smaller than the average human, relatively frail and easily overpowered. They slender physique, flowing hair and bioluminescence makes them hauntingly beautiful when dancing or swimming, and they are considered one of the “beautiful” races of the galaxy.

Keleni are naturally telepathic. This natural telepathy is subtle, and gives all Keleni deep insight into the emotions of others and, with focus and training, they can improve it to reading the thoughts of others; some Keleni use it to silently communicate with one another. Keleni are naturally skilled at Telepathy, and can easily develop other telepathic abilities, and can reach greater heights of capability than other races can. They’re also naturally adept at psychic healing: while not all Keleni have Psychic Healing abilities, all of them have the capacity to train and learn it, and can reach greater heights of power than other races. Finally, their telepathy gives them a unique bond that extends through history as well space, and they can “read” the memories embedded in their own DNA, to commune with their ancestors. For most Keleni, this is a dull, subtle sense of importance when they encounter something related to their ancestors, but some study the phenomenon more deeply and bridge the gap of the years to gain the advice and council of long-dead elders.

All these things combine to make the Keleni uniquely compassionate. While other races can face an enemy and dehumanize them in their mind and pretend that they’re not real people, the Keleni cannot. To a Keleni, another’s inherent personhood is written into their aura. They can feel their passions, their fears, their beating lifeforce, and when they kill, they must extinguish all of those things. Most Keleni have an instinctive pacifism. But this deep connection serves as a bridge between species, one that allowed them to make the leap to True Communion and to understand the power that exists between all people, that binds them, that they share. They do not, however, have complete mastery of it. Their natural empathy and healing abilities blinds them to Dark and Broken Communion, which they are unable to access. This tends to make them naturally suspicious of the Ranathim and other races that are naturally bound to “alien” parts of Communion. Indeed, despite their compassion, the Keleni have learned hard lessons about how other races will treat them: others whisper fearfully about Keleni telepathy, or angrily about their “unwillingness” to heal others. They have been exiled from their homeworld by wave after wave of invaders and scattered across a galaxy that reviles them for refusing to bend to whatever culture of the day that is ascendant. The Keleni weather it all, but many have turned insular and isolationist, out of a need to survive.

Keleni are an excellent choice for any player who wants to explore a support character, such as a healer, or anyone who wants to excel at negotiation. They get “telepathy on the cheap” which allows them to manipulate others, and ferret out secrets, with ease. They suffer at direct confrontation, lacking the HP, ST and killer instinct of other races. Their amphibious nature allows them to flow around obstacles in ways others couldn’t, easily moving through the water, or holding their breath for minutes at a time. They’re also deeply relevant to the setting of Psi-Wars, especially in games that focus on True Communion.

Keleni: 20 points

Attributes: ST -1 [-5]

Advantages: Amphibious [10]; Ancestral Bond [1]; Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Bioluminesence [1]; Doesn’t Breath (Oxygen Storage x25) [10]; Keleni Telepathy 1 [12]; Telepathy Talent +1 [5]; Weak Latent Psi (Psychic Healing) [1];

Features: Taboo Traits (Callous, Low Empathy, Oblivious) [0]. Taboo Traits (Broken Communion, Dark Communion) [0]; Maximum Telepathy Talent +5 [0]; Maximum Psychic Healing Talent +5 [0].

Disadvantages: Pacifism (Reluctant Killer) [-5]; Social Stigma (Alien Outsider) [-5]; Vulnerability (Occasional, Dehydration, 2x; Fatigue only -50%) [-10]

Skills: Keleni Telepathy (H) IQ-1* [1]

Keleni Names

The Keleni speak Kelen1, a language unique to them and one that captures the unique essence of True Communion (Annara, in their language). Formal Keleni names begin with their clan name (prefixed with "An-" when used to address them) and their given name. Informally, most people will use a shortened "nickname" version of their formal given name, and often append a descriptor to it. Thus An-Kelleun Surelin might become Sura the Swift.

Clan Names: Astanya, Carasta, Kihita, Kelleun, Lunyere, Maron, Teonethe, Xamorte, Xerremar.

Personal Names (Male): Arrenon (Ara), Irelen (Ira), Istilen (Isa), Jimaren or Jimennon (Jima), Kacanen (Cana), Mettan (Meta), Nualen (Nua), Raelen (Raja), Simmara (Sima), Sirennon (Sira), Siwaren or Siwennon (Siwa), Sortennon (Sora), Takaren (Taka), Torien (Tora), Tennaren (Tena), Xakkar (Xaka), Uranetan (Ura)

Personal Names (Female): Antelin (Ana), Arnaelin (Ara), Enyerel (Enya), Hantelin (Hana), Hekinyen (Heka), Jeriuna (Juna), Laelin (Laela), Marelin (Mara), Mirrein (Mira), Onnewera (Ona), Rethelin (Retha), Sarrelin (Sara), Surelin (Sura), Tennenlin (Tena), Tinre (Tina), Xenisse (Xena), Xerre (Xera)

Sample Descriptives: The Beautiful, The Blue (Sorrowful), The Broken, The Clever (Wise), The Craftsman, The Dark, The Fool (Unwise), The Green (Sea-colored), The Liar (Trickster), The Outcast (Disowned, Clanless), The Prophet, The Sacred, The Slayer of Six, The Strong (Handsome), The Swift

Keleni Traits

Sajima Antaste, a Darkened Spirit

Keleni pacifism is famous throughout the galaxy, but only fools count on it to protect them. In addition to the notes on intolerance, and the fact that some Keleni can steel themselves to kill more regularly, Keleni can also see into the hearts of men. The reason they find it difficult to kill is they cannot dehumanize others the way other races can: to them, the humanity of their victim is plainly written on their face, and they cannot ignore it. However, in some cases, the person whose heart they see is monstrous. Some people are callous murderers, predatory sociopaths or cruel sadists who relish in the suffering of others. To the Keleni, this evil is as obvious as the goodness of others.

When the Keleni encounter such a person, most simply recoil in horror: the Keleni always react negatively towards characters with Callous, Sadism, etc. But some realize that as long as the sociopath is alive, their kin will never be safe. These gain Obsession (Kill a particular truly evil target) [-5]; their pacifism no longer applies to this single target. Other Keleni can't help but notice the single-minded devotion the Keleni has gained to the murder of a life, and they describe this as sajima antaste, a darkened spirit. Keleni opinion is divided on those under a clouded aura, but most see them as tragic heroes who take it upon themselves to remove a danger to their community. Keleni who more often kill these sorts of people might take an extremely limited quirk form of Bloodlust (Only against truly despicable people) [-1].


Keleni tend to be small, but typical for their ST. Use the normal values for their ST from the Build Table (B18), though they tend towards the more slender side; they might be ~5% lighter than average for their height, and Skinny is far more common than Overweight.

Keleni are beautiful, and have human standards of beauty. They will react to other races (including themselves) as a human would. Keleni rarely have below average appearance, and it tends to be commonly associated with injuries than with deformity or simply an unappealing face; such keleni usually have Distinctive Appearance (Scars) to go with their inferior appearance. More attractive Keleni are very common; the GM may even allow Keleni to achieve Appearance (Transcendent) for their most numinous beauties. Elderly Keleni tend to remain very attractive, but often gain the Impressive modifier instead: an old Keleni crone or ancient sage is unlikely to become “ugly,” but age will refine their appearance from “charming” or “sexy” to something more imposing and venerable. Keleni bioluminescence also contributes to their beauty, and one can identify a Keleni if they have an unusual pattern of bioluminescent patches: such characters take Distinctive Appearance (Biolumescent Pattern) [-1].

Keleni skin is streamlined for quick movement through water, but it must remain in a moist environment or it begins to dry out and crack. Their template treats this as a vulnerability to dehydration. Whenever the GM wants to emphasize dehydration with FP loss, a Keleni doubles this loss. At the GM’s discretion, the cracking of skin may be depicted as damage: rather than lose 2 FP to dehydration the Keleni instead loses 1 HP, though the GM should be sparing (no more than 1 damage per 5 fatigue loss is a good rule of thumb). Keleni forced to live on dry worlds tend to cover up, wrapping their limbs in linen and wearing voluminous cloaks. This is to trap moisture near their skin. At the GM’s discretion, such Keleni can add +1 or +2 to any HT rolls to resist dehydration, and if this bonus makes the difference between success and failure, the Keleni loses 1 FP rather than 2.

Keleni psychology is heavily shaped by their natural empathy for others. They tend to have a hard time dehumanizing others, hence they cannot have traits that misunderstand the intentions of others, or even dismiss their feelings: even the hardest, cruelest Keleni might weep at the death of a hated enemy. Traits like Charitable, Selfless or additional levels of Pacifism are common. When this kindness is not reciprocated, some Keleni harden themselves. They might develop traits like Keleni Killer Instinct [5], which buys off their natural pacifism, and they may explicitly take Controllable Callousness [1] as they steel themselves to not care about the feelings of others.

Keleni tend to be emotionally open: they don’t learn to hide their “true feelings” from one another, as it’s virtually impossible to hide your feelings from another Keleni. Furthermore, their bioluminsence tends to give away their true feelings. A Keleni in love may literally “light up” when the object of her affection approaches, and an angry Keleni may begin to “flash” as a warning of their impending violence. Keleni who don’t learn to control these displays are Easy to Read [-10]. Some Keleni learn to partially suppress this and it only flairs up when they get extremely emotional; treat this as Easily Suppressed Disadvantage (Easy to Read) [-1]; it will only trigger when the character has strong emotions and fails a Self-Control roll of 16. Finally, some Keleni learn to not only suppress it, but to “game it.” These characters can make a Will roll to activate Easy to Read for a scene, if they want to be extra expressive, or come across as sincere. This is an example of a Controllable Disadvantage (Easy to Read) [1].

Keleni who spend time among others not of their own kind quickly learn that other races can be extremely abusive or dangerous. Abused Keleni tend to be mistrustful and develop the Suspicious quirk. More extreme examples become Intolerant [-5] of another race (typically Humans or Ranathim), and the most mistrustful gain Intolerance (Non-Keleni) [-10]; this intolerance tends to act less as a hatred and more of a deep paranoia directed exclusively at the race: the Keleni assumes the outsider has ill-intentions, or an evil character, and requires firm proof to the contrary before they will be accepted, and even then, watched carefully. Intolerant Keleni usually develop Keleni Killer Instincts, or a specific, perk-level version for the race against whom they are intolerant. It should be noted that this intolerance is far from universal, but Keleni do tend towards either the extreme of being extraordinarily open to others or extraordinarily closed and suspicious, depending on how they are treated in life.

Keleni who do trust others form tight bonds. They often acquire Sense of Duty, to a single close friend, towards all friends or family, or towards all Keleni. They can be fiercely devoted friends; woe betide those who harm the close companions of a combat-capable Keleni! Such characters might have Higher Purpose (Protect my friends) [5]. Keleni generally dislikes being alone; Chummy and Gregarious are not uncommon.

Keleni have their own unique culture, which includes adherence to tradition, deep religious devotion to Communion, and their own language. However, Keleni communities tend to be ethnic enclaves among other races, so many Keleni master their own language and culture as well as their host language and culture, making them creatures of two worlds. However, this goes beyond the scope of their racial traits.

Common Advantages: Appearance (Beautiful, Very Beautiful or Transcendent) [8, 12 or 16], Controllable Callous [1], Higher Purpose (Protect my Friends) [5], Honest Face [1], Keleni Killer Instinct [5], Pitiable [5], Psychic Healing Talent +1 to +5 [5/level], Telepathy Talent +2 to +5 [5/level]; Voice [10]

Common Disadvantages: Charitable [-15*], Cogenial or Chummy or Gregarious [-1 or -5 or -10], Distinctive Feature (Bioluminescent Pattern) [-1], Distrusts (Race) [-1], Easy to Read [-10], Guilt Complex [-5], Intolerant (Specific Race, or all Non-Keleni) [-5 to -10], Pacifism (Any) [Varies, but reduce the final value by 5], Selfless [-5*], Sense of Duty (Single Companion, All Companions, Family, or all Keleni) [-2 to -10], Suspicious [-1].

Ancestral Bond

All Keleni have a natural, innate telepathic connection to their ancestors, though without training or effort, it is the dimmest possible connection. In the presence of something relevant to the ongoing story that has a connection to their ancestors, they automatically notice something special about it. They also sometimes receive vaguely informative dreams that direct them towards useful clues or hints relevant to the ongoing story. This trait is, in effect, Exposition Sense (Psionic Powers page 42) flavored towards “Ancestral relationships.” This somewhat diminishes the utility of the perk, thus the GM may also allow the character to roll IQ when in the presence of a person, place or item relevant in some capacity to their ancestor; on a success, they sense the fact that it is relevant to their ancestors (and nothing more). This is a Telepathy quirk, and the IQ roll benefits from Telepathy Talent, and it can be halted with anti-psi measures.

Biolumenescence

All Keleni have the capacity to “glow.” This can be focused on a single point, acting as a weak flashlight (generally exerted from the palm), or they can suffuse their body with a glow, which allows them to act as a torch. This is also useful for signaling their presence to others in the dark. This is a switchable feature: it may be turned on or off.

Keleni Telepathy

12/14/27/30/45/51 (Cost for Keleni: 0/2/15/18/33/39)
Skill: Keleni Telepathy (IQ/H)

All Keleni have a natural telepathy that allows them to read the hearts of others and, with additional training, their minds as well. Without training, all Keleni have natural facility at reading the emotions of others, as per the Empathy trait: on a successful Keleni Telepathy roll, gain a sense of the target’s emotions, which grants them a +3 Detect Lies, Fortune-Telling and Psychology rolls (the GM may further extend this bonus to Body Language and Diplomacy, as per Empath on page 10 of GURPS: Power-Ups 3), can tell if the character is an imposter, and allows them to use Influence Skills against Indomitable character. This is not Emotion Sense, and targets cannot resist with Will, but it is a Telepathy power and can be defeated with Anti-Psi countermeasures.

If the character makes physical, skin-to-skin contact with the target and uses Keleni Telepathy, they get the normal +2 Additional Contact bonus (See Psionic Powers page 6) to their Keleni Telepathy roll, but they suffer a nuisance effect if the target is experiencing “strong” emotions: they either become Mentally Stunned for one second and must roll to recover, or must make a Will roll to avoid “mirroring” the emotion for at least one minute. The GM may rule that this nuisance effect is uncontrollable and the character will experience this stunning or mirroring effect when touching others skin-to-skin: for example, a Keleni Princess who touches the bare hand of a space knight who is madly in love with her, she may begin to reciprocate his giddy passions if she fails her Will roll, at least for a minute. Note that the point-cost savings gained for this trait is barely more than a quirk, and the GM should treat it accordingly: it is flavor that can add an interesting twist and explains why Keleni engage in physical contact with great deliberation; the GM should use it sparingly, and should not “punish” a Keleni character with it.

At level 2, the character may deepen their contact with the target of their Empathy to allow them to read their surface thoughts while engaging in skin-to-skin contact. This suffers the same nuisance effect as with Empathy. This works like Telerecieve (Shallow) level 1 (See Psionic Powers page 59).

At level 3+, the character retains Empathy but sheds the Nuisance effect, and gains the effects of Telerecieve (Shallow) of the same level. The character can always freely read the emotions of others and can focus to read their surface thoughts as well.

Keleni Telepathy benefits from Extra-Effort, just like any psionic power. Keleni characters who don’t want to invest in Keleni Telepathy may make a Will-Based Keleni Telepathy roll at -4 and spend 2 fatigue to improve their natural Telepathy to level 2 (allowing them to read surface thoughts at a touch) or apply a -8 and spend 2 fatigue, or -4 and spend 4 fatigue, to read minds from a distance.

This Ability replaces both Emotion Sense and Telereceive for the Keleni, who may no longer acquire those abilities without special GM dispensation (who will likely work out the details on a case-by-case basis). Keleni who want to make use of Mind Probe should see the Keleni Mind-Touch power-up. Keleni Telepathy can use the Animalism technique from Emotion Sense, and Multiplicity, New Approach, and Universal from Telereceive.

Note: The first level for Keleni is free as it is part of their template. They reduce the cost as noted above.

Statistics: Empathy (Nuisance Effect; when touching with skin-to-skin contact another character, strong emotions either stun the character or cause a mirroring of the emotions or both -10%; Telepathy -10%) [12]. Level 2 adds Mind Reading (Contact Agent -30%; Melee Attack, C, -30%; Telepathy -10%) [2] as Alternate Ability; level 3 removes the Nuisance Effect from Empathy and turns it into an alternate ability [3] and then otherwise follows the statistics for Telerecieve (Shallow) of the same level (level 3 has Mind Reading(Short Range 1 -10%; Telepathy -10%) [24] with Empathy as an alternate ability [3], level 4 removes Short Range from Mind reading, etc).

Keleni Power-Ups

Ancestral Guide

8 points

The strong bond between the Keleni and their ancestors can result in more than just an impression when they learn that their ancestors knew something important. It can manifest as a vision of that ancestor! In such visions, the ancestors can impart information, guidance and even create small coincidences that help the character, acting as a sort of subtle guardian angel. Their power tends to be fairly limited or, at least, they offer just enough advice and assistance to get the character on the right track. Only the character can see and interact with the ancestral character, though people currently reading the mind of the character might “overhear” their conversations and, at the GM’s discretion, allow them to participate.

Statistics: Patron (Ancestral “spirit guide,” 150% points; Rarely, 6 or less; Highly Accessible +50%; Minimal Interference -50%; Special Abilities +50%) [8]

Ancestral Recall

14/30/50
Skill: Ancestral Recall (IQ/H)

This Power-Up improves the Ancestral Bond to a full power, and thus replaces it. It contains all of the benefits listed in Ancestral Bond automatically.

A character with Ancestral Recall has a deep connection with their ancestors. Whenever in the presence of a person, place or item relevant to their ancestors, or when encountering an event that their ancestors encountered, they may roll their Ancestral Recall skill; on a success, they get a sense of deja-vu and recall some information about the thing in question. For example, upon encountering an ancient weapon, a successful roll might give them a sense of deep sadness as well as ownership. They might realize that their ancestor owned this weapon, and it was a gift from someone they loved. On a critical success, they experience a vivid memory about the item that gives them additional context and information.

At level 2, the character deepens this connection and allows the character to actively search their ancestral memories for an answer to a question. This requires one minute of meditation. On a success, the character learns what their ancestor learned, as per Racial Memory (Active) (B79); on a critical success, they experience a vivid memory that gives not only the information they seek, but additional context and information.

At level 3, all successful uses of Ancestral Recall, whether active or passive, provide a vivid memory, as though the character had critically succeeded, and after a minute of meditation, the character can actively explore any memory of their ancestors.

At the GM’s discretion, this power can represent a natural extension of the Ancestral Bond perk (treating it as “level 0” of a power). This allows Keleni characters to use Extra Effort to attempt to gain additional information even without purchasing this power! The GM may require such characters to learn the Ancestral Recall skill first (“training” their Ancestral Bond). They may use Extra Effort to increase their bond to Ancestral Recall 1 to gain additional information about any item that triggers their basic IQ roll, to retroactively learn additional information about that singular item, person or place. Any further active delving into their ancestral memory requires improving their Ancestral Recall ability (through training or Extra Effort) to level 2 or 3.

Statistics: Racial Memory (Passive; Telepathy -10%) [14]; Level 2 increases this to Racial Memory (Active; Immediate Preparation Required, 1 minute, on Active elements only -15%; Telepathy -10%) [30]; level 3 adds Immersive [50]

Keleni Bond

5 points

Many Keleni form strong friendships with kin or childhood companions or loved ones that allow them to know what the other is feeling or thinking. Once such a bond is formed, both Keleni will automatically succeed at all attempts to read the minds of their bond-mate, provided they are within the same star system, and the other chooses not to resist.

Statistics: Mindlink [5].

Keleni Mind-Touch

12 points.

Keleni can only naturally read the surface thoughts of others. Delving deeper into the mind requires additional training and focus that most Keleni prefer not to get. However, those who learn it learn to deepen the connection they gain when touching another. While touching a target, skin-to-skin, they may attempt to Mind Probe the target. They cannot mind probe a target without skin-to-skin contact, even if they have already established mental contact (though the GM might allow a Keleni to learn a -3 hard technique to overcome this limitation).

Keleni Mind-Touch uses the Keleni Telepathy skill. Characters who have this ability may learn the Deep Probe technique for Keleni Telepathy (Psionic Powers page 59).

Statistics: Mind Probe (Contact Agent -30%; Telepathy -10%) [12].

Keleni Majesty

0 point feature

The Keleni are often beautiful, but even when they are not, they tend to be striking. Such Keleni are impressive rather than attractive. At attractive, they gain a universal +1 reaction bonus, at Handsome/Beautiful they gain a universal +3 reaction bonus, and at Very Handsome/Beautiful they gain a universal +4 reaction bonus. This is more common in elderly Keleni than younger Keleni.

Statistics: Replace Appearance (Attractive) [4] with Appearance (Attractive; Impressive +0%) [4].

All art here is by Christian Villacis, and owned by Daniel Dover.

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