Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alien Races: Kthodah, Super-intelligent Neanderthals

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

No one is exactly sure where the kthodah hail from, but they make their home on worlds with advanced civilizations. They are a race of super-intelligent humanoids that are descended from Earth-like Neanderthals. Kthodah brandish weapons similar to their primitive ancestors (clubs, maces, and the like) but they are more sophisticated, energy-enhanced, and far more dangerous (see below).

Physical Characteristics
They resemble Neanderthals in nearly every way, exhibiting the same sloping forehead, prominent cranial ridge, and pronounced jaw. Males are usually of bulky build, especially around the shoulders and upper torso/arms. Females are not as big as their counterparts but bulkier than a typical human female.Kthodah leaders may opt to remove a portion of their skull to help enhance their psionic abilities (see below). They often replace the missing part with a transparent metal skull-plate that aids in psionic training and can translate to a +1 ability bonus should they elect the procedure. Through artificial enhancement they live to around 300 years old, with middle age beginning around 235.


In certain circles, kthodah males may participate in a ritual de-toeing meant to exhibit their stamina and tolerance for pain (a feat that takes enormous mental fortitude and will power as well as resistance to fatigue). In traditional fashion, center-most toes are removed using a ceremonial clamp (not unlike a typical surgical utensil) and twisted off the foot. The outside remaining toes are left to provide the men some stability when walking.* Kthodah "Fathers" (communal leaders) typically only have 2 toes per foot.

*Note: kthodah typically have shorter legs in proportion to their body and are not great runners anyway.

Special Abilities
Females have a unique musical/sonic talent, wherein their "singing" can calm their male counterparts with great effectiveness. This ability is known to work on humans, but to a slightly lesser degree (-1). Kthodah males can be lulled to sleep with the song of a female, if her "song is true" (pleasing to the ear and the male is receptive). Males have enhanced strength and endurance beyond normal human ability as well as a keen senses of smell and hearing. Males can also leap remarkable distances, adding up to 1d10 to their movement.

A larger-than-human brain provides both sexes a few select psionic abilities to call upon, including telepathy, empathy, and psionic blast abilities. With intense training they may also develop telekinesis. Physical and mental abilities develop early, around age 7 or 8.

Kthodah live in small cliques of 12-15 adults with a patriarch usually mating with several females. Dominance is determined through championship duels combining brute strength and psionic powers, the winner of which gets his pick of the females. These groups are constantly traveling in spacecraft of their own design and build, often colorful and highly polished--even to the point of garishness.

Vocational Aptitude
These hominids are extremely bright and have mastered advanced technology in terraforming, agriculture, medicine, communications, and space travel; and excel in other disciplines as well. Their language is so sophisticated that most linguists are unable to successfully translate their native tongue. Fortunately kthodah are able to communicate using telepathy and can interface with most intelligent/sentient lifeforms.

Belief System
Kthodah do not seem to exhibit any type of religious or philosophical indoctrination. While they respect the views of other races, they do not worship any particular deity.

The kthodah are a passionate people and well cultured, despite outward appearances. Older males are very gruff, while younger bachelors are fairly care free. Home life for both sexes can be combative (to say the least), hence, they tend to have a short fuse in moments of duress.Kthodah are master strategists in life and battle and take planning important ventures very seriously. The lack of humor in these situations can often be off-putting to outsiders.While not inherently nasty, they can run the gamut of friendly or downright evil, especially into middle age.

Males and females often wear colorful and striking tunics and brightly colored headbands. As males have a great deal of body and facial hair, they may opt to wear shorter sleeves to accentuate this aspect to females in close proximity. Females are sometimes seen in chainmail on the occasion they enter a battle. Both genders wear a synthetic type of armor (resembling leather) that allows for greater protection against mental as well as physical attacks (+1 to both) and may don jewelry if it pleases them or a mate.

Common Weapons/Accessories
Energy-amplified Club/Mace/Axe - treat as regular weapon with +1d6/+1d10/+1d12 accordingly.
Energy-amplified staff - +2d4 and often also used for support in walking (typical weapon for older males)
Sonic submissive grenade - roll vs. stun, causes 1d4+1 rounds of deafness
Energy or ray weapons - kthodah are known to use a variety of advanced energy projection devices including energy rods, wands, scepters, lasers, ray guns, etc.
Psionic circlets - kthodah have some inherent psionic abilities, but they are known to devise psionic weapons to enhance these talents with an additional 1d6 effectiveness
Stats Template
Move: 12", or hindered by 1d4 if high ranking male

AC: 9, can be augmented depending on armor

Special Abilities: Females: lullaby - treat as sleep spell with +1 bonus per level of PC; Males: scent, hearing, and +1 on encounters where brute strength or stamina is involved , leap adds 1d10 to their movement range.

X-plorers Bonuses/Penalties:
PHY +1
INT +2 (bonuses to psionic abilities as listed)
PRE +1
AGL -1

D&D Bonuses/Penalties
INT +2 (bonuses to psionic abilities as listed, and linguistics)
STR +1
WIS +1
CON +1
DEX -1

Note: As I'm bad with stats, which likely explains the hodge-podge approach. Feedback is appreciated. :)


  1. Cool race. I'm not a strong stat guy either, but the text is nice. I've always found that Kalibak design evocative, as well.

  2. Thanks Trey! Yeah, I know some people can whip up stats like it's second nature and I'm just not one of them. But I figure this I can set a starting point and people can fix to suit their needs.

  3. Very cool race! I always liked Kalibak, the right up is well done. Looking forward to more.