Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
The Jaffa are the loyal warriors and priests of the Goa’uld, essential to the survival of the symbiote species. Specially born and bred to serve as front line shock troops and ‘living incubators’, the Jaffa have been manipulated to believe that the Goa’uld are their gods. In the eyes of the primitive Jaffa the Goa’uld are indeed all powerful, using advanced technology that appears both magical and limitless in its potential. Only a few suspect the actual truth.
Description: The typical Jaffa male stands over six feet in height and possesses imposing physical abilities. The women are smaller in stature, similar to humans, and equally imposing. The Jaffa display a wide range of skin tones and ethnicity: all of them descended thousands of years ago from the Tauri – the birthplace of all human life.
Development of the Jaffa over the years has altered their physiology somewhat, turning them into the servants of the Goa’uld. All Jaffa, male and female, possess an abdominal pouch created just prior to the rite of Prim’ta for the insertion of a Goa’uld symbiote. This abdominal pouch forms an ‘X’ beneath the chest cavity through a layer of thick and deadened skin. The skin pulls back to reveal the pouch inside the Jaffa, suitable for a symbiote to survive. This pouch contains small amounts of a clear, sticky fluid, providing a wet seal against the elements. The walls of the pouch are lined with a thick and sensitive membrane that allows the symbiote to interface with the Jaffa, receiving nourishment absorbed through its epidermal layer.
The insertion of a symbiote destroys the Jaffa’s immune system, requiring the symbiote to protect its incubator from injury and disease. If the symbiote is ever removed and not replaced in time the Jaffa will die, rendering the Jaffa utterly dependent upon the Goa’uld for survival. An implanted symbiote does offer several key benefits, however. The Jaffa becomes immune to most diseases and toxins, and the healing power is so powerful that the Jaffa can purge most poisons without any ill effects. This also allows the Jaffa to heal much faster than normal – nearly three times that of a normal human – and grants the Jaffa near-perfect health. As such, most Jaffa live extremely long lives: unheard of considering the primitive nature of their society.
A Jaffa implanted with a symbiote carries it until it matures, typically for up to seven years. After that the symbiote leaves the Jaffa and must blend with a host. If the Jaffa does not receive a new symbiote within several hours they will die. Most Jaffa carry anywhere from 10 to 15 symbiotes during their lifespan. At some point in a Jaffa’s lifetime a symbiote will refuse to enter his pouch, condemning the Jaffa to death.
The ‘symbiosis’ of Jaffa and Goa’uld has existed for thousands of years. The implantation of symbiotes in a Jaffa pouch and their incubation until maturity is in a large part responsible for the near 100% success rate of Goa’uld blendings; without the Jaffa, some 50% of all human-Goa’uld blendings would fail, resulting in the death of symbiote and host alike. In truth, the Goa’uld need the Jaffa much more than the Jaffa need the Goa’uld.
The ritual crushing of a symbiote within a Jaffa’s abdominal pouch is a horrendously painful means of execution, as the symbiote’s toxic blood mixes with that of the Jaffa. Death takes a matter minutes and leaves no visual signs of violence unless a detailed examination is made.
Nature: The Jaffa’s dependency upon the Goa’uld keeps them in a state of perpetual slavery. Once implanted with a larval symbiote a Jaffa needs it to live. In addition, the healing powers of the symbiote are partly responsible for the long lives and health of the Jaffa – were the symbiotes suddenly removed the Jaffa lifespan would shorten dramatically, perhaps even resulting in a negative population growth.
A Jaffa implanted with a symbiote differs significantly from a host who has blended with one. A Jaffa cannot directly communicate with a symbiote except in the deepest layers of meditation – kelno’reem. There the Jaffa may be able to communicate through visions granted to them by the larval Goa’uld. In most cases these images are disturbing to witness. An implanted symbiote can exert no control over the Jaffa; it is not tied into the Jaffa’s nervous system the way blended Goa’uld are. The symbiote only replaces the Jaffa’s immune system, and in turn receives nourishment through its pouch, where it resides until it reaches maturity.
When the symbiote is ready to blend with a host, the Jaffa reports to the priests and declares that his Prim’ta is ready. At this point the priests – working closely under the commands of the Goa’uld – present a host for implantation. Such hosts are rarely willing. The symbiote then leaves the Jaffa and implants itself in the host, taking control. After the blending (taking only a few moments), the new Goa’uld may grant a boon to the Jaffa that has served it thus far, allowing the implantation of another larval symbiote (if available). In some cases the Goa’uld may refuse to allow its Jaffa another Prim’ta, instead condemning the Jaffa to a painful death as their immune system fails. Most Goa’uld do this as punishment if the Jaffa did not carry out his duty properly, harbored some traitorous thoughts, or unnecessarily jeopardized the life of the symbiote at some point. Most Jaffa receive another Prim’ta, however, and continue to serve their masters faithfully.
Rarely will a symbiote blend with a Jaffa – to do so is beneath the station of the Goa’uld. A symbiote will only blend with a Jaffa in dire circumstances, with the imminent threat of death and no other hosts in the vicinity. For example, on the field of battle if a Jaffa is stranded and the symbiote reaches maturity, the Goa’uld may be forced to blend with the Jaffa to survive. In these cases the blending is usually temporary until the Goa’uld can receive a ‘proper’ host. Afterwards the Jaffa is typically denied another Prim’ta and left to die, unless the Jaffa performed some extraordinary act to keep his symbiote alive.
Homeworld: The world of Chulak houses the largest concentration of Jaffa. Originally established by the System Lords, Chulak serves as the primary Jaffa breeding world from where the Goa’uld draw their forces. The System Lords strictly control access to Chulak and its people. Goa’uld are free to visit to select hosts for implantation, but no one Goa’uld can claim Chulak as his own. To do so would risk the wrath of the System Lords and, worse, prevention of access to Chulak and its Jaffa. Several System Lords have exercised ‘exclusive stewardship’ for a time, but they would not dare bar other Goa’uld during that time. Even the upstart Apophis allowed the other System Lords access as they pleased.
Not all Jaffa necessarily come from Chulak; the System Lords often breed their own Jaffa in cities and camps on their own worlds. But these populations lack the diversity of those found on Chulak and rarely show any significant population growth. Chulak remains the largest and most stable source of Jaffa slaves available.
- Fitness 3(5)
- Coordination 2(5)
- Intellect 2(5)
- Presence 2(5)
- Empathy -2
- Psi 0(5)
- Force 0(5)
- Essence 0(5)
- Culture, Jaffa 2(3)
- History, Jaffa 1(2)
- Theology (Goa’uld) 2(3)
- Unarmed Combat, Any 1(2)
- Weapon, Ma’tok Staff 2(3)
- World Knowledge, Chulak or other Homeworld 1(2)
- One Extra Courage Point (+4)
- Language: Goa’uld (Fluent/Literate) (+4)
- Duty: Goa’uld Overlord (-1)
- Hides Emotions (-1)
Note: A Jaffa must take the Background: Prim’ta Symbiote Implant
- Male: Bra’tac, Fro’tak, Moac, Rak’nor, Rya’c, Shak’l, Teal’c, Va’lar
- Female: Drey’auc, Frey’auc, Lo’aun., Pris’aun, Shan’auc
Jaffa that belong to a larger tribe may be called by their family names and their place of origin. This form is normally used only in formal ceremonies or in instances where their identity must not be mistaken. Drey’auc of the Cord’ai Plains and Fro’tak of the High Cliffs are both examples of a formal Jaffa name.
- +1 Strength Attribute
- +1 Vitality Edge
- Extended Lifespan (+2)
- Kelno’reem Trance (+1)
- A meditative trance that must be performed for 4 hours every day, Kelno’reem replaces the Jaffa’s need for sleep.
- Medical Remedy: Symbiotic Immune System (+2)
- Rapid Healing (+1)
- Resistant: Disease (+3)
- Resistant: Radiation (+3)
- Medical Problem: No Immune System (-3)
- Without a symbiote or other medical remedy, the Jaffa will die
- Symbiote Critical Hit (-2)
The character is currently the host body for a symbiote. With the power of a Goa’uld or Tok’ra, he is stronger, faster, and heals more quickly than any other of his species. On the other hand, he also shares his head with someone else, and that’s if he’s lucky. Those controlled by a Goa’uld are completely suppressed by their new partner, though limited proof has arisen that the host can influence the symbiote, but mainly in a subconscious manner. Those who host a Tok’ra have a much better arrangement. They actually share the body and mind equally.
- Immunity: Disease (+3)
- Immunity: Toxin (+3)
- Extended Life Span (+2)
- Naquadah Blood (+2)
- Rapid Healing (+1)
- Resistant: Radiation (+1)
- The character’s maximum Intellect and Presence increases by 1
Goa’uld Hosts choose 3 points of drawbacks from:
- Arrogant (-1)
- Domineering (-1)
- Imperious (-1)
- Vainglorious (-1)
- Callous (-2)
- Irascible (-2)
- Megalomaniacal (-2)
- Note that the host of a Goa’uld Symbiote is generally just a vehicle for the Goa’uld to play with. As such, they should be used primarily for NPCs only.
Tok’ra Hosts gain:
- Code of Honor: Code of Egeria (-3)
- In addition, the character can choose from appropriate Joined Trill traits, with the narrator’s approval.
A few Jaffa have come to use a drug called Tretonin to live survive the loss of a symbiote. This trait can replace the Medical Remedy: Symbiotic Immune System, but the Jaffa loses the Rapid Healing trait as well.
This trait usually means the character is a current or former host of a Goa’uld symbiote. This allows you to utilize certain bits of Goa’uld technology such as the kara-kesh and the healing device. Also, this blood calls to itself. With a Routine (2) Intellect + Perception check, someone with the trait can detect the presence of Naquadah or others with this trait within a 20-meter radius.
All characters with an implanted Goa’uld or Tokra symbiont gain this disadvantage to represent the extra critical hit area now gained in their belly where the symbiont now rests. This disadvantage offers an extra critical hit location, and an attack that hits the character’s abdomen would do 2x damage, as would a head hit.