Thread: GURPS Znutar?
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:49 PM   #5
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Endor
Default Re: GURPS Znutar?

Adding to the above:

The Snudalians, Frathms, Smbalites, and Redundans are space allies, like Star Trek's Federation, and the Znutar is the ship they've sent on their five-year mission to go boldly et cetera. They all seem roughly biocompatible in regards to air, food, and drugs -- "Zgwortz" is something canned that might be food and might be an intoxicant. (I always imagined it was basically their version of beer, perhaps one of the heavy types that is practically a meal in itself.)

The Snudalians and the Frathms seem to occupy the "normal humanoid" position; these would have the closest to human stats. They had the command positions on the good ship Znutar; whether this is luck, cultural hegemony, or because the other species aren't suited for command is never explored.

The impression I had from the art and the counter stats was that Redundans were lighter-weight but faster and more dextrous (all them tentacles), while Smbalites were squat and strong.

Their ship is a classic 1950s bullet-shaped design, using some sort of explosive rocket fuel. It has a lab, mess and galley, machine shops, sickbay, comms room, computer room, three different ship's launches (a two-man rocket scout, a four-man flying saucer, and a large lander), and a supply of rocket probes. Their armory is non-lethal (on their physiology, at least): stun beam pistols and knock-out gas grenades.

They do not have artificial gravity; if the ship is not under thrust, everyone is in free fall. The game they call "pool" basically involves baseball bats, croquet balls, and all six walls of the pool room; hitting a ball into your crewmates is considered fair play.

The Ook is an apparently non-sapient critter they picked up on another planet as a biological sample and ship's mascot. On the Ook homeworld, they seemed to move in large, scattered groups. Its body is perhaps the size of a ostrich's, but the legs are short and stocky. It's not a strong fighter, but can fight. I don't know if it can actually fly.

The Awful Green Things consume their prey rapidly and breed prodigiously (and apparently asexually), which plays into the board game mechanics; the crew player needs to swiftly and methodically expunge the Things, or the ship will soon be overrun; the monster player wants to eat as many crew as possible, both to eliminate enemies and to fuel faster breeding.

The crew's job is complicated by their not knowing what of their weapons and tools will be effective on this unknown form of life -- when you first test a category of weapon on a Thing, you draw a chit to discover what effect it has. Sometimes they harm, sometimes they're ineffective, and occasionally they make the monsters stronger. The crew throws everything they've got into the fight: stun pistols and gas grenades, canisters of rocket fuel, kitchen knives, pool bats, food canisters, fire extinguishers, welding torches, jars of acid, and "comm beamers" (presumably high-output radio equipment pried from the walls, or kit-bashed in the electronics room).

Hand-to-hand combat is always effective… so it's weird that pool bats might not be, but maybe the Things have a strange response to the material.

The Things have no visible mouths, so I always figured they absorbed their prey like slimes. The legged adults move faster and hit harder than the cilia-clad juveniles. Some attacks might blast a Thing into multiple sticky fragments, each of which may later grow into a new and whole Thing; in the boardgame, fragments can't move to another space but can attack where they are, so in GURPS terms they may have some limited mobility. The Things can survive exposure to vacuum for at least short periods, and can even move along the exterior of the ship.

Leadfoot the robot is slow but tremendously strong and durable. Your classic stompy humanoid robot ("DES. TROY. IN. TRU. DERS."), but it may be pseudobiological within its metal casing, given that its innards need feeding. A common optional rule is that Things that consume it may suffer odd side effects.

Last edited by shadowjack; 04-19-2020 at 10:56 PM.
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