GURPS Space Opera

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GURPS Space Opera
 Creator(s) Mukaikubo
 System(s) GURPS
 Genre(s) Sci-Fi

This is a page for a setting Mukaikubo is creating to run a game with. In overview, it is a fairly general Space Opera-ish setting; two massive empires engaged in a cold war, fate of trillions hangs in the balance, thousands of inhabited worlds, fantastical technologies and Plucky Adventurers operating in the cracks. You get the idea. To represent the odd blend of hyperspace ships that don't have craziness like nanite dissemblers as weapons, the Tech Level is 10^; that is, 10 with significant SUPERSCIENCE. If you're in doubt, ask yourself this; can you see the technology existing in a typical setting like, just as an example, Star Wars? If not, you should ask Mukai about it.

Specific to this setting:

History and Setting

Space Opera: History/Setting has a brief sketch of the State Of The Galaxy and suchlike. Without popular demand, that's all you get.

Species Templates

Just to be clear, these aren't the only species in the setting. There are hundreds of them, humans included. Players can make pretty much whatever their heart desires, if it is not offensively stupid. These seven are included either for particular importance to the setting or just as examples of crazy things out there in the galaxy.


0 points. Even in the 675th and a halfth century or whenever this is (doesn't really matter) people are people!


Joppan Template: 12 points

Attributes: [-20]

ST -1 [-10]

IQ -1 [-20]

HT +1 [10]

Advantages: [41]

Feature: Vestigial Wings (cannot fly or glide in normal grav) [0]

Temperature Tolerance 2 (Center: 65 F) [2]

Sharp Beak [1]

Metabolism Control 2 (Hibernation, cold, -60%) [4]

Damage Resistance 1 (Thick feathers; Flexible, -20%) [4]

Payload 2 (Marsupial-ish pouch; Females only, -50%) [1]

Telescopic Vision 4 (No Targeting, -60%) [8]

Acute Hearing 4 [8]

Subsonic Hearing [5] (+1 targeting)

Acute Touch/Smell 4 [8]

Disadvantages: [-9]

Curious [-5]

Imaginative(Quirk) [-1]

Careful(Quirk) [-1]

Playful(Quirk) [-1]

Broad-Minded(Quirk) [-1]

Description: One of the five Founding Races of the Confederation, the Joppans resemble nothing so much as a walking brilliantly colored parakeet with wings folded on their back instead of at their side. Water-based life like many local races, they evolved from avian hunters (retaining hunter senses and their wings), but as they became more intelligent steadily gained weight until they became flightless and settled down into civilization. Not the strongest or smartest race in the Confederation, they make up for it by being one of the most generally pleasant and friendly races, and make up a large percentage of the Diplomatic Corps.


Kasi Template: 85 points

Attributes: [46]

SM +1 [0]

STR +4 [36]

DX -1 [-20]

Basic Speed +.75 [15]

Basic Move +3 [15]

Advantages: [64]

Fit [5]

Extended Lifespan 1 [2] (36, 100, 140, 180)

Striker- Barbed Tail (Impaling damage, Long (2 SM for reach) +100%, Clumsy -20%) [15]

Acute Taste/Smell 4 [8]

Discriminatory Smell [15] (+4 to Tracking)

Perk: Fur [1]

Night Vision 7 [7]

Single-Minded [5]

Sharp Teeth [1]

Sharp Claws [5]

Disadvantages [-27]

Selfish [-5]

Quirk: Uncongenial [-1]

Quirk: Imaginative [-1]

Quirk: Playful [-1]

Semi-Upright [-5]

Extra Sleep 2 (10 hrs/day) [-4]

Colorblind [-10] (-1 tracking)

Temperature Tolerance 0 (20-75 F) [0]

Skills [2]

Brawling DX+1 [2]

Tracking Per+2 [0] (free frrom Disc. Smell, Colorblind traits)

Description: The Kasi, native to a dry and cool world Earthlike world, resemble nothing so much as lions with a long tail with a wicked barb on the end that (although nonpoisonous) looks like it came off a Terran scorpion. By inclination nocturnal hunters, they work alone instead of in packs like most Terran big cats, a likely reason for their technological progress being slower than many other nearby species- after first contact, the Confederation lifted the Kasi civilization by the equivalent of centuries in a few years. While they move on all four paws, their forepaws have long, flexible fingerlike digits, and if they stand up to manipulat objects they can- barely- totter around on their hind legs.


Kebrie Template: 77 points

Attributes: [120]

SM +2 [0]

ST +10 [80]

IQ +2 [40]

Advantages: [123]

Extra Arm 1(Third Arm) [10]

Extra Arm 1(Tail; Long, +100%; Extra-Flexible, +50%; Weak -50%(1/4 ST)) [20]

Extra Leg 1(Third Leg) [5]

High Manual Dexterity I [5]

Fearlessness 1 [2]

Damage Resistance 4 (Skin/Blubber; Tough Skin, -40%, Flexible -20%) [8]

Temperature Tolerance 1 (centered: -175 F) [1]

Extended Lifespan 2 [4]

Acute Touch 4 [8]

Vibration Sense [10]

Detect(Heat) [20]

360 Vision [25]


Disadvantages: [-166]

Compulsive Playfulness [-10]

Selfish [-5]

Dreamer(Quirk) [-1]

Bad Smell (small ammonia leaks from suit) [-10]


Increased Life Support(Extreme Cold, Massive, Pressurized)[-30]

Decreaased Time Rate [-100]

Description: The most alien from Terrans of the five Founding Races of the Confederation, the Kebrie are the most populous ammonia-based organism known in the galaxy. A rare trilaterally-symmetric life form, in stands nearly fifteen feet tall, with three legs to propel it through ammoniac swamp-equivalents, three long arms located over each leg, and a long prehensile tail coming out the bottom. Instead of having a traditional head, there are three eyes placed at 120 degree increments across the Kebrie's main trunk, with other sensory organs placed on the top between the arms. During evolution, this was meant to make knocking fruits off trees and into the mouth easier- now, it's just a bit of a nuisance. Slow and ponderous due to their body chemistry being at subarctic temperatures, Kebrie scholars nevertheless make valuable contributions to many fields of science, no matter how odd their huge pressure suited forms lumbering through other colony worlds can seem.


Mantispids: -24 points

Attributes: [-130]

ST -5 [-50]

DX -2 [-40]

IQ -2 [-40]

Advantages: [158]

Damage Resistance 2 (Exoskeleton) [10]

Temperature Tolerance 0 (Center: 80 F) [0]

Telescopic Vision 4 (No Targeting, -60%) [8]

Peripheral Vision [15]

Detect(Electrical Fields; Precise +100%) [20]

Fearlessness 2 [4]

4 Extra Arms (Short, -50%) [20]

High Manual Dexterity 2 [10]

Flight (2*BS+2 yards/second +4 pts, Small Wings -10%) [40]

Vampiric Bite (No HP Healing, includes Sharp Teeth[1]) [26]

Innate Attack: Toxic 1d(Followup, Sharp Teeth +0%; Symptoms at 2/3 HP, paralysis, +150% Limited Use 4x daily -20%) [6]

Disadvantages: [-67]

Short Lifespan 3 [-30]

Cold Blooded(65 or less) [-10]

Semi-Upright [-5]

Total Species Intolerance [-10]

Selfless(6) [-10]

Quirk: Attentive [-1]

Quirk: Staid [-1]

Skills: [5]

Aerobatics at DX-2 [1]

Flight at HT+1 [4]

Background: Although on the surface the Mantispids are weak and unthreatening, their Empire forms the single greatest threat to the safety of the Confederation, being the enemy in the century-long cold war that has kept the Confederation on pins and needles for the entire life of most of its members. An individual Mantispid nothing so much as an overgrown 2 foot long slender winged beetle, easily capable of flying in most worlds without peculiarly heavy gravity. Their danger comes from their universal psycopathic hatred of all non-Mantispid life forms, and their hive-based culture which allows them to replenish 'combat losses' within months instead of generations like most Confederation races. They can send 10 Mantispid grunts at a single human and even if the human kills 8, the other two will leap at the human, entangling their prey in their many arms, and injecting a paralyzing poison before beginning to feed. Confederation carbon/water worlds, once taken by the Mantispids are nothing so much as charnel houses when eventually liberated, and many veterans of a single battle against them hold a life long bitter hatred for the 'bugs'.


Neechappa: 70 points

Attributes: [20]

IQ +1 [20]

Advantages: [100]

Feature: Breathes chlorine, not oxygen [0]

Doesn't Breathe(Chlorine Storage, x100 -30%) [14]

Metabolism Control 2 [10]

Feature: Involuntary switching of gender depending on season/temperature/society/magic beans) [0]

Damage Resistance 1 (Scales; Flexible, -20%) [4]

Acute Hearing 4 [8]

Ultrasonic Speech [10]

Sonar (2000 yards) [20]

Acute Taste 4 [4] (Not smell)

Peripheral Vision [15]

Detect (Electrical Fields; Vague, -50%) [5]

Amphibious [10]

Disadvantages: [-54]

Increased Consumption 1 [-10]

Bad Grip 1 [-5]

No Depth Perception [-15]

Increased Life Support: Massive, Pressurized [-20]

Quirk: Chauvinistic [-1]

Quirk: Distractable [-1]

Quirk: Congenial [-1]

Quirk: Serious [-1]

Skills [4]

Swimming DX+2 [4]

Description: The Neechappa are the third of five Founding Races of the Confederation. One of a tiny handful of known chlorine breathers, the Neechappa physically resemble a pale-green tinted otter when seen outside an encounter suit, having evolved in the chlorine world's equivalent to freshwater bays on Earth; small, heavily islanded basins of nearly chemically pure bleach. Tempermentally peaceful herbivores, their two eyes are wide set on either side of their head, leading to some odd situations when trying to use a communications screen mounted in the front of a room.


Socano template: 9 points

Attributes: [20]

IQ +1 [20]

Advantages: [73]

Striker (Crushing damage) [5]

Damage Reduction 1 (hide; Flexible -20%, Tough skin -40%) [2]

Acute Hearing 4 [8]

Acute Touch 4 [8]

Ultrahearing [5]

Discriminatory Hearing [15]

Sonar [20]

Versatile [5]

Vibration Sense (Water) [5]

Disadvantages: [-86]

Bad Grip 1 [-5]

Blindness (Can sense light and dark, -10%) [-45]

Aquatic [0]

Xenophilia [-10]

Curious [-5]

Playful(Quirk) [-1]

Increased Life Support (Massive, Pressurized) [-20]

Skills: [2]

Swimming at HT+2 [2]

Description: Another aquatic race, the Socano hold the distinction of being one of two races in the Confederation that evolved on a moon; a relatively gigantic ocean-covered moon in the Speradon system. They were also one of the more primitive races when contact was made. Their blindness (vision being singularly unhelpful under the surface of an ocean on a heavily clouded, dim planet) and forefins unsuited to fine manipulation retarded their technological development. They bear a startling resistance to pale white eyeless Terran dolphins physically, and share many personality traits like an instinctive fascination with other species as well.


Tesserrem template: [141]

Attributes: [74]

SM +1

STR +6 [54]

DX +1 [20]

IQ -1 [-20]

Base Speed +1 [20]

Advantages: [83]

Extra Legs(18 propelling tentacles; Cannot kick, -50%) [8]

Extra Arms(4 pseudolegs; Short, -50%; Foot Manipulators, -30%) [8]

Perk: Light fur [1]

Acute Touch 4 [8]

Vibration Sense(air and water, +50%) [15]

Telescopic Vision 4(No targeting, -60%) [8]

Fearlessness 2 [4]

Versatile [5]

Empathy(Sensitive) [5]

Constriction Attack [15]

Sharp teeth [1]

Sharp claws [5]

Temp Tolerance 0 (center: 80 F) [0]

Disadvantages: [-16]

Chummy [-5]


Colorblindness [-10]

Description: The last of the Founding Races (aside from humans), the Tesserrem are roughly analogous to ten foot long furry snakes with over a dozen short, stubby tentacles that aid in the Tesserrem's locomotion by pushing at the ground while the main body slithers like a snake- the combined effect is almost like swimming on land. They evolved as pack hunters, hunting from concealment; when their excellent eyes spied a group of herbivores, the entire hunting group would lightly bury themselves in the desert sand, leaving a few enticingly plantlike tentacles to quiver invitingly in air- when they felt the vibrations of the herbivores around them, they'd erupt out of the sand, coiling around their prey and attempting to bite the vulnerable throat. As a starfaring species, they are along with the Joppans a very sociable species, yet notably brave fighters in space or on the ground.


Yap Template: [270]

Attributes: [50]

ST +1 [10]

IQ +2 [40]

Advantages: [291]

Feature: Silicon/Sulfur Chemistry

Feature: Native atm. Pressure, 55 atm

Feature: Native temperature, 650 K

Altered Time Rate 1 (Superchemistry) [100]

Tunneling (Move 6) [60]

Damage Resistance 1 (Exoskeleton) [5]

Acute Touch 4 [8]

Acute Taste/Smell 4 [8]

Discriminatory Smell [15]

Vibration Sense [10]

Absolute Direction [5]

Versatile [5]

Breath Holding 6 [12]

Single Minded [5]

Fangs [2]

Blunt Claws [3]

Innate Attack: Toxic 4d(Followup, Fangs +0%; Symptoms at 1/2 HP +100%, paralysis, +150% Limited Use 4x daily -20%) [53]

Disadvantages: [-71]

Blindness [-50]

Hard of Hearing [-10]

Proud(Quirk) [-1]

Loner [-5]

Compulsive Playfulness [-5]

Description: One of less than 5 known sapient races able to inhabit any greenhouse world natively, the Yap are roughly akin in appearance to giant antlions with giant venomous fangs and two strong manipulating forelimbs with claws to 'swim' through the dirt like it was water. They hunt by, along with a mate, hollowing out the ground enough so it will collapse under a prey animal's weight; they then bury themselves in their own trap, waiting for days or weeks. When it is sprung, the Yap spring out, injecting their prey with a paralyzing venom, and then begin to feed. Although they are a relatively young race to interstellar circles, their choice of habitat has ensured them a large amount of colonies throughout their sector.


Nynderan Template: [+66]

Attributes: [+7]

HP -4 [-8]

HT +2 [+20]

Basic Speed +0.5 [+10]

Ground Move -3 [-15]

SM -2

Advantages: [+113]

Attractive (Impressive) [+4]

Sharp Claws [+5]

Empathy (Psionic) [+14]

Enhanced Move (Air) [+20]

Fit [+5]

Mimicry [+10]

Nictating Membrane I [+1]

Night Vision II [+2]

Teeth (Sharp Beak) [+1]

Telescopic Vision IV [+8] (Broad) Temperature Tolerance 4 [+4]

Ultrahearing [+5]

Ultravision [+10]

Flight [+20] (cannot hover -15%, winged -25%, Temporary Disadvantage: Arms: No physical attack (primary only) -10%)

Extra Arms [+4] (feet -30%, short -50%)

Tail [+0]

Racial similarity [+0] (all members of this race look exactly the same, but they can tell each other apart)

Psionic [+0] (Telepathy only)

Disadvantages: [-54]

Chummy [-5]

Code of Honor (Nynderan)[-10]

Compulsive Playfulness [-5]

Ham Fisted [-5]

No Sense of taste/smell [-5]

Restricted Diet (meat) [-10]

Short Lifespan [-10]

attentive [-1]

chauvanist [-1]

racial face-blindness [-1] (cannot easily tell one human from another, one kasi from another, etc., without empathy, nametag, etc.)

lecherous [-1]

Taboo Trait: Genetic deviations (gigantism, dwarfism, appearance modifiers, etc.) other than those gained AFTER birth

Skills: [+5]

Beam Pistol (DX+0) [+1]

Flight (HT-1) [+1]

Singing (HT+0) [+1]

Soldier (IQ+0) [+2]


Nynderans are small avian creatures, about the size of a Terran North American Bald Eagle, but resemble parrots moreso. They have very distinctive markings, with blood red beak, feet, and fingers, red wings with slightly orange tips, and darker red body. They have large, hooked beaks, and forward facing eyes like that of a bird of prey. Additionally, they have three digits extending from the wrist of their wings, which can be used to manipulate objects, but not nearly as well as humans.

Oddly, Nynderans have no variation in markings, and almost none in size, even between the sexes. Nynderans all look exactly alike to other races, though they seem to be able to tell each other apart perfectly fine. Conversely, Nynderans suffer from prosopagnosia, or face-blindness, in regards to other races, and cannot tell one human from another without assistance (a name-tag or very distinctive feature, for example). Whether this causes, or is a result of, the innate Nynderan mistrust of other species is unknown; the Nynderans certainly don't care either way.

The Nynderan homeworld (aptly named Nyndera) is a tropical paradise, dominated almost entirely by jungles and oceans. Nynderans evolved as predators on their world, working by chasing their prey down to exhaustion, and then attacking with their sharp beaks and talons in its exhaustion. Though a single Nynderan wouldn't be able to take down prey, a group of a dozen or more can be a real threat.

Nynderan culture is dominated by military and clan tradition. Every Nynderan, from birth, is raised as a soldier first and foremost. They may take different professions or specialties later in life, but each and every is trained in the use of Nynderan weaponry. Clan relations are paramount to Nynderans, and each prepends their name with their clan name. If for some reason a Nynderan is exiled from their society or clan, they are stripped of their clan name, a source of great shame for all members of their race.

More Info

For more in depth info, see Nynderans.

Notable Locations

Important stars, planets, and moons will be added here as they become important in games. The Horvath system, for instance, is the nominal destination of the prison ship the PCs are in at the start of the game.

Horvath System

The Horvath star system is an unremarkable yellow main sequence star with a typical collection of planets, a few days travel from the Confederation's frontier. Its primary importance comes from the sector's maximum security prison on the coldest moon of the farthest gas giant from Horvath, christened New Alcatraz by the human settlers of the system. The moon (Horvath 9-F in the catalogue) holds approximately 100,000 life forms, primarily the prison population and a minimal staff of spacedock workers, prison guards, and a few government researchers. The only other inhabited colony is Horvath-3 ("San Bartolomeo" to the locals), a moderately Earthlike farming planet with a healthy enclave of Joppans scattered among the mainly human population.

Kasior System

An irregular trinary star system, the Kasior solar system is located roughly halfway between the Core Worlds and the Mantispid border. The "primary" star is a large, bluish-yellow F-type star, and has a set of nine planets and a prominent asteroid belt. The only notable planet orbiting Kasior A is a half-melted ball of resource rich slag that supports 900,000 mostly Kasi residents whose primary employer is a Confederate installation whose details are highly classified.

The secondary and trinary stars of the Kasior system, however, whip around each other in close proximity roughly every two months. Kasior B is another large, warmer star than Sol at 1.25 solar mases while Kasior C is slightly dimmer and redder at 0.85 solar masses. The combination of the gravity fluctuations of Kasior B/C combined with the periodic influence of Kasior A (reaching perihelion, the closest approach to the other two stars, every 5,000 years) prevented any gas giants from forming, making the B/C planetary family very rocky. The innermost planet, at 1.81 AU barely out of the unstable zone due to B/C's eccentric orbits, is the massive Kasi homeworld, with an improbable 3 major moons. The furthest of these moons holds a thriving lunar colony with 5 million Kasi resident. The only other body of note in the system is the fourth planet of the B/C stars, a mostly frozen ball of ice with periodic thaws and highly salty liquid seas. Kasior B-4, the iceball, holds 3.5 million Kasi and has the primary feature of a notoriously lawless criminal-dominated government.

Kasior B-1 (Kasi Homeworld)

The first human explorers to explore the Kasior system compared the Kasi homeworld to a larger Earth a few millenia after coming out of an Ice Age- the difference is, the Kasi homeworld won't get significantly warmer due to its distance from the suns. Still, it appears remarkably Earthlike, mostly blue ocean with large icecaps and a few large continents around the equator that are primarily green plains, dotted with cities. With its three moons and two suns giving some spectacular views, it's a fairly popular tourist location as well as a thriving commercial world and Naval base. With a population holding steady at around 13 billion, and rich resources, the Kasi homeworld is one of the 30-40 most economically powerful worlds in the Confederation.


Orbital Radius: 1.81 AU (Period: 1.68 Terran years)

Blackbody/Average Surface Temperature: 271 K / 280.5 K (~45 F)

Diameter: 1.21 Earth diameters (9600 miles)

Surface Gravity: 1.09 g's (35 ft/s^2)

Atmospheric Pressure: 1.20 atm (17.6 psi)

Rotational Period: 21 hours

Heavy Volcanic, Heavy Tectonic activity

Population: 13.5 billion, 95%+ Kasi

Government Type: World Government, Representative Democracy (CR 3)

Median Income: 120% TL-typical; 80400$

Economic Volume: 1.1 quadrillion $

Important Installations: Class V Spaceport, Interstellar Company Headquarters, Mercenary Base, Naval Base (100,000 strong; major fleet construction yard, Sector HQ); Major University (60,000 strong)

Sjiusir System

The Sjiusir system is a fairly bustling, cosmopolitan star system that is not quite frontier, but not quite as refined as the Core Worlds. A pair of main sequence yellowish stars orbiting each other just far enough away to 'sweep' gas giants out of the system while maintaining a healthy clutch of terrestrial planets, the Sjiusir system was opened up for colonization 300 years ago, and boasts over a billion sentients on an abnormally large number of planets, as four species have colonized planets in-system. The Joppans have colonized the larger, primary star's planets and asteroid belt extensively, despite the most habitable planet in the system being a cold, nasty, storm-blasted rock that barely earns a habitable rating. The Yap, a silicon/sulfur based race, have heavily colonized the primary's greenhouse planet, and tend to keep to themselves. The secondary star is split between the Kebrie and Socano, with the Socano having heavily colonized a massive ocean world and the Kebrie scattering themselves among a number of frozen planets and moons.

In terms of facilities, there are a pair of excellent (Class V) drydocks available, around the Yap's greenhouse planet and on and orbiting the Socano's ocean planet, the third from the secondary. Another pair of very good Class IV spacedocks which should be more than sufficient to repair the ship are located on the Joppan's main world in-system and in orbit of the Kebrie's homeworld.