Friday, June 11, 2010

Alien Race: Muscolites

The Muscolites are a new alien race for X-plorers RPG 


Muscolites live on the wind-swept moon of Zeth where gales carrying fine particulates carve away at the landscape and lifeforms alike. The sand is so fine in fact that it feels soft if held in the palm of your hand--but once airborne it's a menace that has skewed the evolution of the humanoids in residence.

Physical Characteristics

In order to survive on the surface, muscolites have evolved soft, thick callouses entirely over exposed parts of their anatomy--such as their faces and hands. At the edges of their extremities, the pads become roughly hewn. The result is an appearance of pillows of flesh that can withstand the harsh climate. Underneath these thick hides lie luminous, angle-like faces, whose glow can nearly be seen through the layers of callouses. The muscolites have extremely well developed lungs to filter out dust and particulate. They expel any build up nasally at the base of their skulls, through a small, downward-facing blowhole.


Because the callouses grow to become so thick, muscolites go blind and deaf by adulthood. To compensate, they develop latent telepathic abilities. Through a lifetime of practice and the aid of ancient technologies they are able to enhance these talents.

Racial Abilities

Muscolites posses Awareness, Clairvoyance, and Telepathy as outlined in the X-plorers psionics skills (though not telekinesis). They are stronger than humans and are naturally inclined with throwing abilities. They also have incredible mental recall. (See below for stat bonuses).


The muscolites live in honeycombed cities inside sinkholes and canyons. They follow a matriarchal tribal structure, where their "Grandest Mother" leads as a sort of shamanistic chieftain. Their young are born live but re-incubated in hive chambers that are dug deep into the walls of canyons and sinkholes or underground in other areas until they develop an initial layer of callouses. As they mature into adulthood, they ascend to higher levels of their colonies--and society--by growing thicker callouses to tolerate the worsening conditions near the open plains that sprawl out from the "top" of the sinkholes. When muscolites reach young-adulthood (about 18), their exteriors finally grow tough enough to withstand the rigors of open air without the protection of canyon walls.

Education /Vocational Training

Psionic abilities will develop early around age 5 or 6 but won't mature until puberty. At age 10 they are taken from their families to be trained in the ways of survival and psionic competence by shaman masters for up to 3 years. By the time they return they are of sufficient skill and ability to enter academic life for an additional 4 years of formal education, learning to hone their talents which are recognized by the Greatest Mother in a special ceremony that determines their ultimate life vocation. Occupations that are valued in muscolite society include hunter/warrior, quarryman, stonecutter, jeweler, merchant, textile/loomsman and shaman.

Belief System

Muscolites worship the cosmos as an element of nature and have no specific god. Moral authority and law comes directly from the Grandest Mother. Laws are memorized and never written down. They rarely leave Zeth, but have been seen in other parts of the galaxy, often preferring to live under settled areas and even large cities. There they receive the mental stimulus they depend on, without having to directly deal with the prejudices of other races.


Though they are by nature not outwardly gregarious, muscolites seek peaceful interaction. However, they are a proud, sometimes obstinate, people (considered so after millenia of being "misunderstood" by outsiders) and can be easily offended in diplomatic situations with other races.Their trust is hard-won, but they are loyal to their allies, whom they are known to take into their bands as brethren. Because of their intensive studies in the telepathic arts they are quite rational as well as though deeply passionate.

They are often hired as body guards due to their imposing physical features, their abilities--natural being strength/endurance and their developed psionic talent which gives them a distinct advantage in negotiation.

Dress and Equipment

Muscolites wear thick, heavily-padded robes with metals and and synthetic compounds woven into the fabrics. Seams are outward facing and are sewn together with metallic fibers like steel wool. This acts as a warning system and a method of detecting wear on apparel that must be monitored for breaches. Offworlders must always wear protective suits when visiting Zeth as the winds will rend flesh in 1d10 hours if uncovered.
 Stats Template
X-plorers Bonuses:
PHY +2
INT +2 (bonuses to psionic abilities as listed and memory)
AGL+2 for ranged weapons that are thrown

D&D Bonuses
INT +2 (bonuses to psionic abilities as listed and memory)
STR +2
CON +2
DEX +2 for ranged weapons that are thrown

Common Weapons

Every muscolite brave has her or his own javelin; but may also employ slings, bows, bolo weapons, and the occasional ray or rail rifle won in a dice game or an especially fruitful barter with off-worlders.

Nikac Javelins

Being natural hurlers and javelin tossers, muscolites carry long javelins with glowing tips. Upon puberty, muscolites learn to fashion their own javelin, constructed out of nikac needles* that employ an electro-shock and sedative (natural to the nikac) at the sharp end of the shaft. Running through the marrow of the needle is nerve tissue that terminates into a gland of sorts. The muscolites learn to tap into the gland's "frequency" and can triangulate the position of the javelin once it has landed it's target, making its retrieval easier.

DMG: 1d10+ PHY/STR and AGL/DEX bonus / while agility and dexterity are important for aiming, muscolite young are also taught to compensate for the the high winds of Zeth using their natural strength to land a kill with a nikac javelin. A targets that is critically hit (20) must roll a save vs. stun to overcome the electro-shock effect of the needle directly to their nervous system.

*To be covered in a future post.

Feel free to use as-is and as always I'm open to feedback. :)


  1. Cool. Interesting species.

  2. Thanks Trey, this one was kind of an experiment. I wanted to create a race that had essentially been forced by the environment to develop into a hive society, though they weren't predisposed to it.

    Wow, that sounds pretentious! Anyway...