Campaign of the Month: January 2012
Star Trek Late Night
Trill, natives of the planet of the same name, seem virtually identical to Humans, except for two notable differences. First, two rows of brownish spots start at the left and right sides of the Trill forehead and run down the sides of the face and the rest of the body. Second, the Trill abdomen contains an internal pocket, making possible the phenomenon for which the Trill are best known – the ‘joining’ with a vermiform symbiont to create a symbiotic lifeform. Not every Trill is joined; according to the Trill Symbiosis Commission, only about one in a thousand Trill is biologically suited for joining. Even then, the number of symbionts is limited, so among that .001% of the population, competition to become a ‘host’ is fierce. Only the best and brightest Trill – about one out of every ten who apply for joining – attains this singular honor. (In truth, approximately half of the Trill population could be joined, but the Symbiosis Commission has suppressed this information for fear that, if it were revealed, the symbionts would become commodities.) When a Trill host dies, his symbiont is removed and joined with a new host. (The above Template represents a typical, unjoined Trill).
The symbionts themselves are about one foot long, blind, motile, and intelligent. Those who are not joined live in muddy pools in the Caves of Mak’ala on Trill, where they are served and protected by a group of unjoined Trill known as the Guardians. While in their pools, they communicate via electrical discharges.
Trill hosts are joined to their symbionts in their mid-20s. Once joined, the host and symbiont quickly become biologically interdependent; after 93 hours together, neither can survive without the other. The symbioint can survive if removed and implanted in another Trill (in game terms, this is a -0 Medical Problem). The joined Trill takes a new name consisting of his given name with the symbiont’s name as a ‘family’ name. For example, if the host Kineron Jalera joins with the symbioint Prel, his new name is Kineron Prel.
A joined Trill shares the memories and, to a large extent, skill of every previous host with which the symbiont was joined. Newly joined Trill gain vivid memories of events which occurred hundreds of years ago. Each host-symbiont combination creates its own unique, merged personality exhibiting different desires and interests than either of them would have displayed individually. The symbiont’s personality usually tends to dominate, or at least be stronger. For example, a newly joined Trill may find himself no longer liking foods he once considered delectable, or taking up ‘new’ hobbies which a previous host enjoyed. A new host-symbiont pair is considered a ‘new person’ and does not have to pay the debts or uphold the commitments or obligations of the previous host.
Trill society has strong taboos against ‘reassociation’ – renewed romantic interest between two Trill who were married during former lifetimes (or between a newly joined Trill and the old host’s loved ones). Trill who violate this taboo are essentially banished from Trill – and, even worse, when they die, their symbionts are not joined to new hosts, but instead allowed to die with them. Since a Trill host considers nothing more important than protecting the life of his symbiont, this is a severe punishment indeed. Similarly, new host-symbiont pairs may avoid associating with the previous host’s family or friends, but that depends on the individual Trill. Jadzia Dax, for example, enjoyed spending time with the friends of the Dax symbiont’s earlier host, Curzon Dax, such as Benjamin Sisko and Kor. However, she did not make any effort to contact or get to know her previous hosts’ children or relatives.
Joined Trill undergo a ‘rite of closure’ called zhian’tara at least once in their lifetimes. Through this process they ‘meet’ their previous hosts by having each host’s memories and personality telepathically transferred to another person for a brief period of time. Most Trill regard this as an opportunity not only for closure, but to obtain greater ‘self’-awareness and understanding of their previous lives.
Joined Trill are extremely allergic to insect venoms, which disrupt the biochemical connections between host and symbiont (in game terms, this is a -0 point Medical Problem). Some, but not all, Trill symbionts can suffer damage if they are transported, and so their hosts avoid using transporters (a -1 Medical Problem). Trill hands are notoriously frigid.
Joined Trills run a risk in combat that most characters do not: Serious injuries dealt to the symbiont may kill the host, too. A symbiont does not normally take damage from injuries that its host body suffers. However, any time the host body suffers an injury to the abdomen/stomach region, there is a 50% chance that the symbiont is hurt as well. It’s only affected by damage that gets through the host body’s Resistance, though. If the symbiont suffers an injury, the host body immediately drops to the same Wound level if it is healthier. For example, if the host is Stunned by an attack which also injures the symbiont and does enough damage to Incapacitate the symbiont, the host body automatically becomes Incapacitated as well. If the symbiont dies, the host body dies, too: If the internal injuries don’t kill him, the loss of the symbiont will do so, in about twenty hours.
- Fitness 2(5)
- Vitality +1
- Coordination 2(5)
- Intellect 2(5)
- Perception +1
- Presence 2(5)
- Empathy +1
- Psi 0(5)
- Force 0(5)
- Essence 0(5)
- Culture (Trill) 2(3)
- History (Trill) 1(2)
- World Knowledge (Trill) 1(2)
- Athletics 2(3)
- Sciences, Any 1(2)
- Language: Trill (Fluent/R/W) (+4)
- Curious (+1)
- 1 extra Courage Point (+4)
- Family Names: Belar, Cahil, Hillio, Hite, Kalon, Lan, Muth, Otner, Peers, Perim, Pren, Renhol, Seyle, Spalen, Tigan, Vayo
- Male Names: Ahjess, Arjin, Aylim, Bejal, Corro, Curzon, Gran, Hanor, Inman, Janel, Jobel, Joran, Kela, Kymble, Leizon, Malko, Norvo, Raifi, Rantic, Selin, Timor, Tobin, Torias, Torvin, Verad, Yedrin, Yolad
- Female Names: Alva, Audrid, Azala, Emony, Ezri, Jadzia, Kareel, Kell, Lela, Lenara, Lisa, Mazie, Neema, Nilani, Reeza, Riet, Selin, Timo, Yanas, Zharaina, Zinn
- Symbiont Names: Ang, Ban, Bek, Dar, Dax, Drex, Dru, Han, Jak, Kahn, Kal, Kur, Lar, Lex, Lon, Mal, Marh, Mas, Meg, Mon, Nor, Nub, Odan, Par, Peers, Poeh, Ree, Ren, Rox, Sko, Tam, Tav, Tel, Tod, Tyr, Ver, Wex, Wey, Yar
Starting with the Species Template, the character can then proceed through the Symbiont Initiation Program Early Life package with appropriate advantages and disadvantages, or even swap for the pre-prepared Academy package.
The end result is that the appropriate Advantages and Disadvantages are added to show that the character is now joined with a Symbiont. The character gains the Advantage The Joined (+2) and the Disadvantage Symbiote Critical Hit (-2).
Character creation may now continue as normal, but the character now has access to new Symbiont Advantages and Disadvantages.
Trill Initiate Hopeful (5 Points)
Most Trill wish to obtain the honor of hosting a symbiont, however the competition is tough, the Symbiont Commission only chooses the best and the Brightest to enter the Initiate Program, designed to cull unsuitable hosts from the ranks of the potential hosts. Competition is tough and always more candidates apply than could possibly be taken on by the Initiate program, which itself takes on more Initiates than there are Symbionts. Candidates are normally received into the program during their 20’s thus giving the individual a chance to grow and mature as an individual. the better to allow integration of personalities when joined. The Initiate program lasts 3 years.
- Academic Skill, Any 1(2)
- Athletics 1(2)
- Rival (-1)
Failed Trill Initiate
A candidate attending Initiate training but who fails to be joined with a Symbiont will have still done well, and be a highly educated and much sought after by other organizations. Starfleet recruits heavily from the pool of failed candidates as more initiates are taken on by the Symbiosis Commission than there are Symbionts to be joined.
- Athletics 1(2)
- Academic Skill, Any 1(2)(2)
- First Aid (Trill Vermiform’s) 0(1)
- Law (Trill Symbiosis Law) 0(1)
- Rival [-1]
- Age: 1d+
- Second Background +1 years
The character was a successful Initiate and achieved the joining. Candidates are normally received into the program during their early twenties, after years of growth and maturity; better allowing the integration of personalities when joined. The Initiate Program lasts three years, designed to cull unsuitable hosts from the ranks of Initiates.
- Athletics 1(2)
- Academic Skill, Any 1(2)(2)
- First Aid (Trill Vermiform’s) 0(1)
- Law (Trill Symbiosis Law) 0(1)
- The Joined [+2]
- Symbiont Critical Hit [-2]
- Cultural Flexibility [+1]
- Code of Honor (Trill Symbiosis) [-2]
- Age: 1d+
- Second Background +3 years
Note: Some Symbionts can take on advantages and disadvantages from previous hosts, as these represent events from history they are worth far less, as they would have been due to the actions of the previous host, nevertheless the results of some of these past actions may follow a Symbiont’s name. These should have a reduced value for disadvantages some may even become valued at 0, and advantages may have a reduced game effect. They are used to add some color and history to the Symbiont, and to help balance the Symbiont.
Symbiont-only Advantages and Disadvantages are marked with (TR).
The Joined (+2)(TR)
The Trill host was successful and has been joined with a symbiont. They now have slightly increased mental capacities countered with a new critical hit location in their belly (Disadvantage; Symbiont Critical Hit). The basic advantage represents the joining with a symbiont, but only 1 previous hosts to draw experience from.
Upon joining the species template Intelligence and Presence attribute maximum rise from (5) to (6), Characters still need to purchase these points in play with XP, but this represents the increased mental traits of the Symbiont joining.
Past Hosts (+1)(TR)
Each previous host must be purchased as an advantage. The final number must still be cleared with the narrator, but now a player must spend points to gain the insight of these previous lives. Each additional life allows the application of the 3 Symbiont Skills, which are applicable to the hosts work, therefore some details must be worked out.
Significant Past Host (+2)(TR)
Alternative to ‘Past Host’, a past host can be purchased with this advantage instead, the host in question was very well-known and famous for an event and the Symbionts name has carried this glory forward with each new joining, the character also receives +2 Positive Renown in an appropriate field.
Historical Aptitude (+2)(TR)
The character has more than a sense for understanding history, in some cases they were actually there! This allows an additional die on any historical skill test, including tests to understand changes or possible alterations in history, such as with some Social Sciences Specializations.
Skilled Host (+1)(TR)
One of the Symbiont’s Previous Hosts was an expert in their field, and was highly skilled, that lifetime (player’s choice) gains an additional Symbiont Skill (4 rather than the usual 3).
Rank (+1 TO +5)
This represents Political Rank, either within the Trill Ruling council, or within the Symbiosis commission. The higher the rank the more political power the character wields within Trill society
Symbiont Critical Hit (-2)(TR)
All joined Trill 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. In the case of a joined Trill, the ‘worm in their belly’, would be their weak spot, and an attack that hit the characters abdomen would do 2x damage, as would a head hit.
Dominant Personality (-1)
Most joined Trill are a symbiosis of both creature and personality, the two intellects seamlessly meshing to form a totally new individual. However one of the creatures in this symbiotic relationship has a dominant personality. One of the two holds dominant sway over the actions of the two. Occasionally the other personality will take over sometimes making the host act contrary to normal. The personalities must be both decided in advance and cleared with the narrator first. However the character gains a -2 negative renown amongst any Trill aware of this dominant personality as it is seen as a failure of the Joining.
Optional Rule: If you have the Starfleet Academy Boxed set, these personalities can both be created with their character archetype rules…
Re-Association Outcast (-2)(TR)
Different from Exile (-4) and Diminished Social Status (-1 to -3). The Trill with this disadvantage has reassociated with a loved one from a previous host. Judged and found guilty, the Ruling council has decreed that the Symbiont shall not be passed to a new host at the end of the current host’s life, and will instead be returned to the Pools of Mak’ala For the duration of the joined beings life, they are to be shunned and outcast from their fellow Trill.
Note: Commonly linked to the ‘Romantic Attachment’ disadvantage…
Immature Symbiont (-1)(TR)
The symbiont is very young, and has only just matured ready for its first joining. This is it, and the character is unable to draw on any previous life experience or Symbiont skills.
Aged Symbiont (-10)(TR)
The Symbiont has led a long life and is getting old, this will be the last time this symbiont will become joined, and at the end of this hosts life-time the Symbiont will return to the pools of the Mak’ala caves to remain for the remainder of its life.
Code of Honor: Trill Symbiosis (-2)(TR)
This symbolizes the deep commitment of the host towards their symbiont. The Trill host may give his life to protect the vermiform inside him, placing the continued existence of the symbiont as a priority even over the sense of self.
Medical Problem: Allergic to Insect Bites (-1)(TR)
Many joined Trill are very sensitive to insect bites, causing discomfort but easing easily. However, some are hyper-allergic to such an insect bite, and would be in danger if bitten. When a character is bitten by such an insect, the character must seek medical attention immediately. Treatment is quick and simple (requires a moderate success with a full med-kit) but without it, the character will loose a health level every 10 minutes until they fall unconscious. Further failure to administer aid will eventually result in the death of the character.
Great Expectations (-1)(TR)
A previous incarnation of the joined being was so famous for something they did that the Symbionts name lives on. Now the character finds they must live up to the expectations of others and always trying to live up to the memory of past glories. The Character must spend a Courage point anytime they try to avoid doing this.
Suppressed Host Memory (-1 or -3)(TR)
The memories of the Symbiont have been suppressed for some reason. The player must have a rough reason as to why this might be… At -1 the previous life experience gives only 2 Symbiont Skills as opposed to the usual 3, although there are few other side-effects. At -3 an entire host’s existence has been suppressed for some reason. It has been known for such heavily suppressed memories to re-emerge and in such circumstances risk the balance of joining between Symbiont and Host.
Dark Secret: Symbiosis Commission (-2)
Those who are high level officers or important people within the Symbiosis Commission, or even those that discover this Secret by any chance (as Capt. Sisko and Lt. Cmdr. Jadzia Dax did) know everything about the awful truth of the Trill symbiosis: 50% of Trill population are biologically compatible, but there are only Symbionts for one tenth of 1% of the total population.