Star Lords Manual - Star Lords Races
Star Lords Table of Content
The Races of Star Lord
The Races of Star Lord
Star Lord provides four races for players to choose from, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The differences between the races are not merely physical - each race also has its own unique social structure that will affect what tactics it can successfully use. The four choices are Humans, Draconians, Predatorians, and Insectians.
Most players are probably familiar with the physical appearance of Humans. When compared to the other races, Humans are the weakest physically. This shortcoming can, of course, be overcome with the appropriate technology. Human populations grow faster than the Draconians or Predatorians, but the phenomenal growth rate of the Insectians still outstrips them.
Humans can adapt to a wide variety of environmental conditions, caring little for the temperature range of a planet. Their scientists are adept at genetic engineering, taking half the time of other races to discover new technologies. They are also quite proficient at developing new construction techniques and new methods of terraforming, significantly shortening the time it takes to discover these technologies. This advantage can allow Humans to quickly dominate an area filled with what would normally be uninhabitable worlds.
Human society is based on principles of self-determination and individualism that are largely incomprehensible to the other races. This is both a strength and a weakness, as Humans are much more affected by their standard of living than other races. When living conditions are good (taxes low, food abundant, entertainment available, etc.), a planet's production rate is substantially increased. When conditions are bad, however, a similar penalty to production occurs. Human players will benefit substantially from keeping their populace happy. Humans generally wish peace with other races, but are willing to defend their ideals and race when necessary.
The Predatorians are roughly humanoid, but to Humans appear to have some of the features of both a wolf and a lion. They are lightly furred (in a wide range of colors from black to a tawny brown), and possess an impressive set of claws and fangs. They are technically omnivorous, but strongly prefer a diet of meat. As a result they only gain half the normal food production from farms, but worlds with high amounts of wildlife give them an alternate food source that they can exploit to great benefit. They are the strongest and most agile of the races, and their ground troops can therefore outperform all others. Their physical advantages also allow them to tolerate higher gravity levels than Humans, but they are less tolerant of higher temperatures.
Because the traditional tactics in hunting prey are stealth and speed, Predatorian scientists are the only race capable of developing new cloaking technologies, and develop new thruster technologies in half the time that it takes other races to develop. This same emphasis on hunting, however, prevents the swift development of new farming techniques, and they lag significantly behind the other races in this area.
Predatorian society is a pack structure, with the ability to hunt prized above all other strengths. Those who are the strongest hunters will survive to reach leadership positions and gain control of the best hunting grounds and the most mates. They are a spiritual people, and take great pride in proving themselves more honorable (in their own minds) than their opponents. A lower standard of living will not affect a Predatorian as much as a Human, as it is considered honorable to endure suffering. A higher standard of living will not affect them as much either, because a rich Predatorian is usually a lazy Predatorian.
The Draconians evolved from carnivores similar to the dinosaurs of earth. They are scaled, with long tails, and possess large claws and a mouth full of sharp teeth. They lay eggs to reproduce, but despite their generally reptilian appearance they are warm-blooded. Draconians are carnivorous, but rather than hunting their food, as the Predatorians, they raise livestock on farms. They are enormously tough physically, allowing them to adapt to the widest variety of environments of any race.
The ancient race of the Draconians is also highly intelligent, giving them a significant advantage over the other races in overall research. They believe in moderation, and tend to spend equal time in all areas of research, with no one area excelling over the others. Draconian society forbids the cloning of their species (which they see as an unnatural attempt to re-create oneself) and they will thus never develop cloning technology.
The Draconian culture is ancient, and largely unchanged from their primitive, pre-space flight years. Draconian mothers lay their eggs in a communal area and then forget them. The old, who have retired to tending the egg chambers, raise the infants. Since no Draconian has a specific parent, they regard their entire race as their parent. Local living conditions have little or no effect on their happiness because they always put their race's needs above their own. If food or other resources are short, they understand that everyone is making do with less, and the same when times are good. Taking more than what is needed is alien to them. This ideal breaks down where other races are concerned, however. The long stability of their culture has caused them to see their culture and race as the ideal, and they view the cultures of others as backward aberrations. Such beings may make useful allies for a time, but they cannot be trusted, and must ultimately accept the Draconian culture as superior.
The Insectians evolved from animals resembling the communal insects of earth. The vast majority of Insectians are workers, with little intelligence and no sense of self. A small portion of the population are the highly intelligent director caste, and control their entire society through telepathic means. All Insectians obey the directors without question, and disagreements among directors are rare indeed. A typical worker greatly resembles a human-sized ant, while the directors resemble large, pale grubs. Most other races find the constant activity of the worker castes to be somewhat disturbing. The dim-witted mind of a worker is not happy if it is not doing something. The directors, on the other hand, are nearly sessile, barely able to move under their own power.
The greatest strength of the Insectians is their swift population growth - at least three times that of their nearest rivals, the Humans. Unlike the communal insects of earth, there are no queens - every Insectian can reproduce. Workers instinctively know when more directors are necessary, and when needed supply the larva with a special chemical that halts their physical development at an early stage in favor of increasing their intelligence. Infant workers require little training before assuming their duties, as most of their work occurs under closer supervision of the directors in any case. Although they are strong enough to survive nearly any gravity level, Insectians are cold-blooded, and so can only survive in a narrow range of temperatures when compared to other races.
Insectian culture is instinctual for the workers. No worker ever needs to be taught who is in charge. They obey without question. Directors are taught by other directors, but even directors are controlled mostly by instinct, and see themselves as a part of the whole. An important part, to be sure, but not so important that it can put its needs above those of the hive. Because all property (and even the Insectian workers themselves) are seen as property of the hive, the Insectians have no concept of money, and therefore no taxes and no production or maintenance costs. This hinders trade with other races, as they only trade raw materials - things with an intrinsic value. The communal mindset of their society also prevents the Insectians from developing cloaking, cloning, robotic mining, and outpost technologies. The Insectian mindset is to use numbers rather than stealth. Directors also have a certain distrust of robots and remotes that cannot be controlled directly as workers can. Their reproductive cycle is too controlled by instinct to allow the artificial means of cloning. The fact that only the directors are intelligent hampers research efforts as well. Despite these limitations the vast number of Insectians and their willingness to sacrifice themselves for the hive make them a force to be reckoned with. Their inability to understand aliens as anything more than unusually organized animals (as they are not part of the hive they cannot be considered intelligent) makes that force a threat to all other races.