The Ranathim
Ranathim-pair.png

Homeworld: Styx (Destroyed), the Umbral Rim
Other Worlds: Sarai, Samsara, Covenant, Moros, the Blood Moon of Charybdis, Sable

The ancient Ranathim race once ruled the galaxy. They come from a once great world now shattered by a super-nova into a dark, dark, twilight world that orbits a black hole. They have a devilish appearance, with subtle horns, the teeth of a predator, a lashing tail, skin of a pale white, red and violet hue, and black eyes with cat-like golden or red irises. Despite their sinister appearance, the sapient species of the galaxy find them to be exceptionally attractive, with their robust men sporting rugged features and broad shoulders, and their delicate women defined by their soft curves.

Given their beauty and their robustness, they make for highly sought-after slaves, but they hide a dangerous power and an unruly temperament. All Ranathim are psionic vampires, able to draw energy from others with but a touch of skin to skin, whether it be a warm handshake or a tempting kiss. They hunger for this energy, and when empowered by it, they become fantastically strong, quick and dangerous. Powerful passions rule them, and those passions drive their innate psionic power, making them dangerously powerful when they’re at their most passionate and unpredictable. Nonetheless, slavers will pay a premium for the careful capture of one, and collar them with psionic inhibitors, forever depriving them of that sweet energy they so crave.

Ranathim once hailed from a great Empire, and a few of them have an Aristocratic background, but most have lived a life as slaves or outcasts, and a precious few have been sufficiently cloistered away by cults to have a Sequestered background. The Ranathim enjoy superior health and attractiveness, and if they can exploit that attractiveness to siphon off some energy from others, have the possibility of prodigious physical feats, at least temporarily. This makes them well suited to social and physical roles, such as Assassin, Bounty Hunter or, to a more limited extend, the Con-Artist. They also make decent Diplomats, Security Agents and Commandos. They have a long tradition of Space Knights and Mystics, however, given their innate psionic power, and given their reserves of psionic energy, they definitely benefit from expanding their psionic power with a Psionic Power-Up.

Ranathim

30 points

Attributes: HT +1 [10]
Advantages: Attractive [4]; Godlike Extra Effort [1]; Night Vision 2 [2]; Passionate Psi [1]; Psychic Vampirism Talent 1 [5]; Ranathim Energy Vampirism [5]; Ranathim Energy Reserve 8 [12]; Ranathim Skull [2].
Feature: Tail [0]; May increase their disadvantage limit by taking one passion disadvantage (see Ranathim Passion below) [0]. May increase Psychic Vampirism Talent to 5 [0].
Disadvantages: Social Stigma (Alien Outsider) [-5]; Uncontrollable Appetite (Psionic Energy) (15 or less) [-7];

Ranathim Names

The Ranathim use a language called Lithian, a powerful ancient language that has become a lingua franca of the Umbral Rim. Their names begin with a given name and end with a surname, like human names.

Male Names: Anithan ("Garden" or "Gardener"), Anor ("Master"), Anthara ("Great;" often a name associated with kings), Aten ("Twilight"), Derin ("Flower"), Galeku ("Wealth"), Gedra ("Mountain"), Hanir ("One" or "First"), Kithe ("Explorer"), Metra ("Amethyst"), Mikon ("Lightning"), Milathum ("Son of Stone") Natharam ("The Sun"), Raitha ("Star"), Revalis ("Birdlike"), Satra ("Iron"), Shan ("Wind"), Sutra ("Iron" or "South"), Viga ("Peace" "Satisfied").

Female Names: Astra (Great), Athura (Master), Atrin ("Great"), Delia ("Flower"), Hana ("One" or "First"), Kafri ("Pearl"), Karin ("River"), Maishen ("Lightning"), Melia ("Beauty"), Merethe ("Ruby"), Mirne ("To succeed" or "Victorious"), Natlenie ("the Sun"), Nidia ("Light"), Phaira ("Water"), Pika ("Peace" or "Calm"), Rita ("Star"), Sheni ("Wind"), Sutra ("Iron" or "South"), Vivila ("White"), Zarie ("high")

Surnames: Ashathim, Embanet, Hananet, Heshethim, Kethim, Lenthitria, Metria, Midakhet, Minathim, Nentri, Rahat, Shafathim, Shatra, Temos, Thalom,

Ranathim Traits

Ranathim have normal builds for their ST, though they tend to be robust. Skinny and Overweight are both uncommon, but exceptions do exist. Ranathim generally have red or purple skin, though white or a light greyish blue happen too (and may be the result of crossbreeding with humanity or Keleni). Their hair tends to be red, black, white or silvery-grey; silken and straight hair is more common than thick or curly.

Ranathim are hot. They almost universally have superior levels of appearance, and rarely go below “Normal” appearance. Their attractiveness tends to be sexual, however. They tend to have very distinctly “gendered” appearances: their men are manly and their women feminine. Males often have broad shoulders, rugged jaws, chiseled musculature, and narrow hips, while Ranathim females tend be curvaceous, with broad hips and notable busts, and they tend to have delicate facial features, large eyes and long eyelashes. Those Ranathim who are extremely dimorphic have the Extreme Sexual Dimorphism perk, though it represents more than just primary or secondary sexual characteristics and goes into tertiary as well. Unlike the Keleni, though, Ranathim cap out at Very Beautiful rather than Transcendent. Androgynous Ranathim are rare (but not unheard of). Older Ranathim often retain their beauty, but sometimes they might shift to Impressive. A side effect of the nature of their beauty, Ranathim are more likely to be Salacious than other races are. Finally, those who are Unattractive or worse usually have additional deformities as well, such as Hunchback or Lame or Distinctive Feature (Misshaped Horns).

Ranathim have pointed ears and two sets of horns: two horns atop the head and two horns on the temples. The horns can vary in length and shape from small, diamond-shaped stubs to great, antler-like racks, but the most common configuration is short and flowing back, away from the face, along the lines of the skull. The horns reinforce the skull; Ranathim have skull DR of 6 rather than 2, and deal +1 crushing damage when attacking with a headbutt.

Ranathim have distinctive eyes with black sclera and gold, blue or red irises. Their eyes function very well in the dark, and they operate as well by streetlights or torches as a human would in full daylight. As a result, Ranathim often keep their abodes and temples dimly lit by human standards. They’re not necessarily overly sensitive to light, but some Ranathim might be Photosensitive and complain about how brightly lit humans keep their ships.

Ranathim psychology is driven by their vampiric hunger. They yearn for close contact with others, both social and physical. This drives their immodesty, as it invites others to touch them. It drives their desire to control others, or to be at the center of attention. They suffer no harm when their psychic energy reserves have dropped to nothing, but they feel great hunger to restore it. At the GM’s discretion, a Ranathim with a full energy reserve gains +2 to resist; one with less than half of their reserves resists at -1, those no energy reserves remaining resist at -2. Ranathim with Gluttony often overindulge in psychic energy, rather than food. Ranathim also tend to have preferences for types of psychic energy as quirks. The most common ones are the energy of particular races (the most common preferences being human, keleni or fellow Ranathim), attractive members of the opposite sex, or of psychics with a particular power. The GM might allow Connoisseur (Psychic Energy) to allow a Ranathim to articulate well what he likes about a particular person’s energy, and to know to whom he would recommend a particular “flavor” of energy.

Slave masters who keep a Ranathim slave often use their Uncontrollable Appetite against them. Anti-Psi collars prevent Ranathim from indulging in their appetites and this can drive them crazy. A slave who obeys his master and earns their indulgence might be allowed enough time off of their collar to feed. But a wise slave-owner is careful about this tactic, because this stolen energy feeds into their psychic energy reserves. If a Ranathim cannot drain psionic energy for extended periods of time (for example, they’re a slave wearing a psi-restraint collar), the GM may temporarily give them a disadvantage worth at least -7; common examples include Bad Temper, Compulsive Behaviors associated with eating (such as eating chalk or dirt), Chronic Depression, Chronic Pain, Nightmares or On the Edge.

Beyond this singular hunger, the Ranathim aren’t so different from the other races of the Galaxy. To be sure, they are a passionate race, driven by their id. But despite their depictions in action holovids, this does not necessarily make them monsters. To be sure, Ranathim passions run hot: they love, hate and hunger with greater intensity than humans do, but they still feel the same emotions that humans do. And while these passions are common, they’re not universal: many Ranathim practice strict self-control, or indulge in their vice only in carefully controlled ways, lest their enemies gain power over them. And even when they are passionate, it tends to be excessive in only one direction: a Ranathim might be particularly lusty, or particularly greedy, or particularly arrogant, but rarely all three at once. A general rule of thumb for Ranathim psychology is not that it’s especially different from human psychology, just that the Ranathim are more prone to drama than humans are.

Ranathim have an ancient culture and are the progenitors of the Lithian culture, but they are no longer its masters. In the majority of the galaxy, where humanity or other races dominate, they tend to form ethnic enclaves where they live as outsiders. Within the Umbral Rim, they mingle with other Lithian cultures, though they still face some chauvinism from what Imperial presence has managed to penetrate so far into the Umbral Rim, and they tend to be popular targets for slave raids. In a game set entirely in the Umbral Rim, the GM might dispense with Social Stigma (Alien Outsider).

Common Advantage: Acute Smell/Taste +1 to +4 [2/level], Appearance (Beautiful, Very Beautiful) [8 or 12], Extreme Sexual Dimorphism [1], Ranathim Blood-Scent 1-3 [8, 15 or 21], Ranathim Energy Reserves 9 to 22 [1.5/level], Prehensile Tail [8], Psychic Vampirism Talent +2 to +5 [5/level], Weak Psi Latency (Telepathy or Psychokinesis) [1]

Common Disadvantages: Bad Temper [-10*], Bully [-5*], Compulsive Carousing [-5*], Gluttony [-5*], Greed [-15*], Impulsiveness [-10], Jealousy [-10], Lecherousness [-15*], Overconfidence [-5*], Photosensitive [-1], Psychic Energy Preference [-1], Reduced Energy Reserves [-1.5/level], Salacious [-1], Selfish [-5*], or Trickster [-15], or reduce self-control rating of Uncontrollable Appetite (12, 9 or 6) [-8, -15 or -23]

Godlike Extra-Effort

Ranathim may use Godlike Extra-Effort (GURPS Powers p 160) on physical effort rolls, including improving their BL, their running speed and their jumping distance. They may not use Godlike Extra-Effort when using Extra-Effort in Combat (B357), but may instead spend 2 fatigue or energy reserve points to double the effect of Extra-Effort in Combat except for Mighty Blows, on which they may spend an unlimited amount of fatigue for +2 damage per 1 fatigue spent. Thus, they may spend 2 fatigue to gain +4 on a Feverish Defense and 2 fatigue on Flurry of Blows to reduce their multi-strike penalty to -1, or 3 fatigue to gain +6 defense, etc.

Passionate Psi

Whenever the character fails to resist a mental disadvantage with a self-control value (voluntarily or otherwise), the character gains +1 to his psionic rolls for every -5 points the disadvantage is worth. This works best when using the Ham Clause.

Ranathim Energy Reserves

1.5/level

All Ranathim have natural psychic energy reserves. These count as points of fatigue that can be spent on any use of a psychic power; this includes paying for any fatigue cost associated with a power, paying for Extra-Effort, or paying for techniques. They may also use these energy reserves to power their own physical extra effort, including Extra Effort in Combat. See Godlike Extra Effort above. Ranathim Energy Reserves may also pay for any fatigue penalties accrued from attacks on psychic energy: if a psychic vampire drains a Ranathim of their fatigue, or an Anti-psi character uses a fatigue-damaging attack, the Ranathim can choose to pay the costs out of their Energy Reserves rather than their own fatigue.

Ranathim Energy Reserves do not recover naturally. They can only be refilled with stolen fatigue gained via psychic vampirism, such as Ranathim Energy Vampirism.

Ranathim Energy Reserves vary considerably from individual to individual; those with higher levels of energy reserves tend to be seen as more powerful and talented than those with less. The value listed in the template is a good default value for heroic characters. Less important, less powerful, or less psychically talented characters may have less, while more powerful characters can have substantially more. A suggested upper limit is twice the Ranathim’s own fatigue. Characters may purchase more at 1.5/level, or take Reduced Energy Reserves as a disadvantage at -1.5/level.

Statistics: Energy Reserve (Psi; Regenerate with Steal Energy Only -70%, Extended Source, Physical Extra Effort +20%) [1.5]

Ranathim Energy Vampirism

free*/2/4/6/7/9/10 for levels 1-7

All Ranathim have the ability to drain “energy” from a target that they touch, skin to skin. After 1d seconds of complete skin to skin contact, the Ranathim rolls their Steal Energy skill at +4 and their target rolls Will. If the Ranathim wins, their target loses 1 point of fatigue, and the Ranathim can restore one point of energy reserves (unless the target is an animal without psionic energy reserves, in which case 3 fatigue is necessary to restore 1 energy reserves point). Additional levels shorten the time necessary for this closeness: 2 seconds at level 2, 1 second at level 3, and each level after that increases the amount of fatigue drained per second up to the Ranathim’s Energy Vampirism level-2 (so 2 points at level 4, 3 at level 5, and so on).

This is a variation on the Steal Energy psychic vampirism power. It benefits from Psychic Vampirism perks, including Pleasant Theft and Poison Charm. It might benefit from hypothetical Steal Energy techniques, but nothing can improve its range; Ranathim Energy Vamprism always involves close contact. Characters who want to drain targets at a range should take Steal Energy instead.

Ranathim Energy Vampirism is sufficiently different from Steal Energy that a Ranathim can take both; in such a case Ranathim Energy Vampirism becomes an alternate ability, which effectively reduces the cost of the Ranathim Template. Replace Ranathim Energy Vampirism with the following:

  • Ranathim Energy Vampirism 1 (as alternate ability) [-4]
  • Ranathim Energy Vampirism 2 or 3 (as alternate ability) [-3]
  • Ranathim Energy Vampirism 4, 5, 6 or 7 (as alternate ability) [-2]

Statistics: Leech 1 (Accelerated Healing (Accessible, only against Sapients or creatures with Psionic Energy Reserves -20%) +20%, Contact Agent -30%, Nuisance effect, Can transfer personality traits -5%; Only heals Energy Reserve -20%, Psychic Vampirism -10%, Reliable +4 +20%, Requires Will Roll (Resistable with Will) -15%, Steal FP -25%, Takes Extra Time 2 -20%) [5]; level 2 removes one level Takes Extra Time [7]; level three removes all Extra Time [9]; level 4 increases the amount drained to 1d-2; level 5 increases this to 1d-1; level 6 to 1d; level 7 to 1d+1 fatigue.

*This power is free for Ranathim, as it’s part of their racial package.

Ranathim Passion

As part of his racial template, a Ranathim may choose a Passion Disadvantage. If they take a disadvantage from that list, they may increase their disadvantage limit by the lower of the disadvantage value of that passion disadvantage, or by 10, whichever is less. For example, a Ranathim that takes Bully (12 or less) [-5] may have up to -55 points of disadvantages rather than -50, including his Bully disadvantage. A Ranathim that takes Lecherous (12 or less) [-15] may have up to -60 points of disadvantages, including his Lecherous disadvantage. Passion Disadvantages are entirely optional. Many Ranathim have them, but they can also overcome them and buy them off.

Passion Disadvantages: Bad Temper [-10*], Bully [-5*], Compulsive Carousing [-5*], Gluttony [-5*], Greed [-15*], Jealousy [-10], Lecherousness [-15*], Selfish [-5*].

Ranathim Skull

This is a combined trait that bundles several advantages. In principle, a Ranathim’s teeth do normal, cutting damage for a bite, they have 6 skull DR, and they inflict +1 crushing damage with a headbutt, which counts as a weapon (that is, the horn will break before the Ranathim takes damage from the attack, and the horns can be targeted; treat them as a -5 to hit).

Statistics: Iron Skull 4 [0.8]; Natural Weapons (Sharp Teeth; Cutting; Singular -20%; Cannot Parry -40%) [1]; Striker (Horns, thr+1; Cannot Parry -40%; Crushing; limited arc, forward -40%) [0.2].

Power-Ups

Prehensile Tail

8 points

All Ranathim have tails, but some have especially long and dexterous ones. These can prove useful, if delicate. Treat them as a spare hand with half the body ST that cannot make attacks. This must be taken at character creation.

Statistics: Replace Tail [0] with Extra Arm (Extra-Flexible +50%; No Attack -50%; Weak, ½ ST -25%) [8]

Perks

Extreme Sexual Dimorphism

Ranathim tend to have exaggerated dimorphism. Ranathim men are often very masculine, with exceptionally broad shoulders, sturdy jaws, rugged features and narrow waist, while Ranathim women tend to have generous hips and busts, long legs, large eyes, and delicate faces. This may only be chosen at character creation (Note that, contrary to Bio-Tech’s description, this is not necessarily limited to “male primary sexual characteristics or female secondary characteristics", but applies to all dimorphic traits).

Latent Telepathy

Many Ranathim have a natural talent for Telepathy. This must be taken at character creation, but given how subtle psionic latency can be, at the GM’s discretion, this may be retroactively applied after character creation (the character was “always telepathic, and just didn’t know”).

Latent Psychokinesis

While less common than Telepathy, many Ranathim have latent psychokinesis. This must be taken at character creation, but may be applied retroactively at the GM’s discretion, as per Latent Telepathy.

Unique Ranathim Psychic Powers

Ranathim Blood-Scent

8/15/22 points
Skill: Ranathim Blood-Scent (Per/H)

Ranathim have a reputation for having keen noses, but this is an extension of their psychic vampirism and their predatory hunger for psychic energy. They can detect psychic energy, but many Ranathim perceive it as a scent rather than a visible aura. This scent is stronger on blood, allowing them to pick up the scent of blood easily. Those who hone their senses further can even scent emotions on the blood or psychic energy of others.

At level 1, the Ranathim can reflexively smell that blood is present or that a psychic is present. They cannot determine where the “scent” comes from, only that they smell it. At level 2, they gain the ability to determine the direction from which the scent of blood or psychic energy comes from; furthermore, if their perception roll succeeds by 3 or more, they also pick up the emotions of the bleeding or psychic person. Finally, at level 3, after they have detected blood or psychic energy, they automatically detect the psychic or bleeding target’s emotions, and can roll an IQ-based Blood-Scent roll to analyze what they smell further: success will tell them the blood-type of the target, or what powers they have, or what their psychic power level is and what sorts of powers they might have.

In all cases, if the target is both psychic and bleeding, add +2 to the Perception or Analysis roll. If the Ranathim can taste the blood, they gain a +2 to analyze it or sense the emotions of the target. Acute Sense of Smell/Taste adds its bonus to perception, as normal.

Statistics: The first level is Detect Psis (Occassional; Psychic Vampirism -10%; Reliable +2 (Blood Agent -40%) +6%; Reflexive +40%; Smell-Based, Reversed -20%; Vague -50%) [7] and Detect Blood (Rare; Psychic Vampirism -10%; Reliable +2 (Accessibility, psychic blood only -40%) +6%; Reflexive +40%; Smell-Based, Reversed -20%; Vague -50%) [1] as an alternate ability; the second level replaces Vague with No Analyzing for [+4] and adds Sensitive (Target is Psychic or Target is Bleeding -20%; Linked, Detect +10%; Psychic Vampirism -10%; Smell-Based, Reversed -20%) [3]; the third level removes No Analyzing from both and replaces Sensitive with Empathy (Target is Psychic or Target is Bleeding -20%; Linked, Detect +10%; Psychic Vampirism -10%; Smell-Based, Reversed -20%) for [+7]

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