Sunday, February 24, 2019

Not Quite Human - The Headless Hunters

There is an article from the old Dragon Magazine titled "Make your own Aliens" which was a supplement or variant for Traveller. One of the criticisms of the original game was that it had no aliens, robots or clones, and no rules for including them. Fair point, all three non-human types are common in classic sci-fi. A worthy inclusion into my favorite game.

In my Church & Empire setting, I have made the decision to not include non-terrestrial sentient life forms. However, there's more than one way to introduce the strange, abnormal or weird into Traveller. My avenue is postulating the mis-use of gene sequencing, which is already real science here on earth, to create near-human or partially-human beings. 

I have used the article's method to roll up some genetically modified humans (GMH's). This is one of the stranger types I've created. They are very secretive, but may pop up anywhere. They are known to work as contract assassins, hence their popular nickname,

"The Headless Hunters"

No, a Head Shot will not work against this guy. Good Luck.

Modified human offshoot
Bilateral symmetry
2 legs, 2 arms 7 toes/fingers
No head
Brain in torso
Hunter/chaser type, runs at speed 3
Communal, High Initiative, competitive between themselves, aggressive towards everyone else.

~200 kg mass (~440 pounds)
STR 3D6, DEX 2D6, END 3D6
Skills: Brawling, Gun Combat, Reconnaissance

No natural weaponry or armor, skin & hair, warm blooded
Auditory primary sense, extra sensitivity
Chemical analyzing olfactory sense
sensory organs along top of torso
Perfect balance.
(Speculative) Clairvoyance which enables them to 'see' their immediate surroundings.
Normally you'd go for the jaw, but with this guy?

No one knows where they came from. They can apparently breed, as they've shown up over a long period. The other possibility is that they are very long-lived. Some have been killed and autopsied, and it has been learned that they are GMH's. They are born without a head. This means that someone, somewhere is breeding these headless killers. So far who and where remain a mystery. The Hunters certainly aren't talking.

Their hearing is good to excellent. They don't speak. Most worlds will not allow them entry through the starport, so they disguise themselves with artificial heads to get through customs. When it's time to go to work, the false head is removed. Their reputation is fearsome enough that the sight of one will force NPCs to check morale with a DM of -2.

Who sends them?  Who pays them? Why do they do it?  No one knows. But if a Headless Hunter shows up, you're in for a nasty fight.

I think it only fair to state that while this creation is my work, it is based upon another author's work; so I view this as public domain material. Anyone can copy or modify the Headless Hunters with or without my permission. If you do, though, please mention in the comments where and how you've introduced them.

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