Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
Ancient Napeans lived in a world that was environmentally dangerous. It was wracked by freakish weather conditions that killed or injured thousands of Napeans each year. Harsh weather often destroyed crops, and hunger led communities to raid their neighbors for food. Perhaps because Napea already offered its people too many obstacles to survival, however, customs eventually arose to minimalize casualties from these raids. Soon competition for scarce food was resolved through ritual combat. These food contests, ironically enough, became occasions for communities to meet and form bonds with one another. Several thousand years of peaceful development ensued.
At the end of this period, Napeans possessed advanced technology, including a worldwide system of weather control and sophisticated terraforming techniques. They used both to reshape the hostile environment of their world. The privation the Napeans had once endured faded into memory.
Boredom eventually set in. The ritualized fights over food resources, although no longer necessary, evolved into simple entertainment, becoming progressively bloodier. Violence spilled over into everyday life. Suddenly Napeans used force on impulse. Public order collapsed across the globe as civil wars erupted everywhere. A major casualty was the weather control network.
A geneticist took it upon himself to cease the hostilities. He formulated a biogenic device which would change Napean physiology and make it impossible for people to continue fighting. He released into the air a virus that soon took hold throughout the world’s population. The virus worked on the aggression centers in the brain, killing the old cells and fostering the growth of a new organ which would grant empathic abilities to each and every affected subject. The pathogen bred true, so that all children born since the first infection would also be empaths.
The ability to read another’s emotions was at first regarded as a painful burden. Nobody wanted to experience what their dying victims felt. They just wanted to kill. It took several generations for people to stop hurting themselves by hurting others. This happened about two hundred years ago. When the civil wars died down, the Napeans built a one-world government, mostly to guarantee the protection of the all-important weather control network. Seventy years ago they developed a warp drive. Forty years ago they joined the Federation.
Napeans are a dour, hardworking people who revere the wise and experienced. The most important Napean ceremony occurs at age seven, when the child pledges lifelong support and loyalty to a non-blood relation mentor. Mentors may agree to tutor their protégés in trades or disciplines when they come of age, or they may simply provide gifts, advice, and connections to the protégé as needed. An unusually large number of Napeans marry outside the species; many yearn for mates who don’t always know what they’re feeling. The Napeans won’t be able to breed their way out of their empathic state, because the altered genes always appear in half-Napean children.
Napeans are firm believers in controlling their circumstances through technology. On the other hand, Napeans hate the very idea of genetic manipulation of intelligent species, and are staunch opponents of even the smallest measures to relax Federation laws against such procedures.
Putty colored skin and a large, leaf-shaped forehead ridge distinguish Napeans from other humanoids. Napean empathy allows only the recognition of emotion; Napeans don’t read thoughts and can use only their normal reasoning abilities to deduce the causes of any given emotion. Thanks to the empathy virus, the Napean aversion to violence is part of their brain chemistry; they can defend themselves, but never feel the desire to attack others. This only applies to physical violence; Napeans are still fully capable of verbal and emotional aggression.
- Fitness 3(5)
- Coordination 2(5)
- Intellect 3(5)
- Presence 2(5)
- Empathy +2
- Psi 3(5)
- Force 0(5)
- Essence 0(5)
- Culture: Napean 2(3)
- History: Napean 1(2)
- World Knowledge: Napea 1(2)
- Receptive Empathy 2
- Language: Napea [Fluent/R/W] (+4)
- Patron: Character’s Mentor (+2)
- Sense of Time (+1)
- Involuntary Projective Empathy (-2)
- Pacifism (-3)
Napeans favor short names that end on vowel sounds, like Buno Dyla and Diou Ria.