The D'athri are just about everywhere in Known Space. If you are near a space port or in a cosmopolitan region, you will probably see a few in the crowd.
They are of humanoid stock with fairly standard proportions. They are shorter than EarthStock (Humans) 165 cms +/-10 cm (5'5" +/-3") on average.
Their complexion is a pale green to a medium one due to symbiotic cytoplasts that live in their system. Both genders have quite sparse black hair (as most species measure these things) on their heads and down to their mid back. They tend to wear their hair (and their clothes) in something that approximates local fashion. Sometimes they will wear hair pieces or wigs as well. This effect can sometimes be comical, but it seems not to bother them.
Their faces appear that of a noseless human. The D'athri actually breath through two tiny slits, covered in a membrane, on their face to either side of their mouth between their mouth and their eyes. They have two fan ears on the side of their head. These 10 cm/4" appendeges are excellent recievers of sound.
The D'athri thrive in environments on the colder edge of the standard habitable range. However, they actually prefer warmer temperatures. While they are native to low presure environments, they are uniquely adapted to function in a full variety of pressures. They can live just about anywhere with no real discomfort.
In short, while they are comfortable in their home biorange, they actually like to live in different conditions (unlike most races that simply refuse). This is one of the reasons why they have dispersed to the eight directions into space. They are somewhat comfortable just about anywhere.
Note: Humans need light enivro suits, or deep cold weather gear and atmo enrichers to function in the median D'athri range for any length of time.
Their homeworld and primary colonies just happen to be energy resource rich locations. Thus energy companies and work are very common occupations for them.
Though they have dispersed to the eight directions of space, they have brought most of their culture with them. While they will endevor to blend in while at work or "outside", they will live like they were on the homeworld (or as well as they can) when they are home. The details are unimportant but think pillows, tapestries, and very salty and mushy food.
While the family is important, and one should concede to the elder, everyone likes to be independents. It is fairly traditional to those who want some independence to move away from their family when they can.
Their culture tends towards small organizations. They do not trust or like corporations. They tend to have small businesses. The closest thing they have to a large business is a trust, a number of small businesses that roughly work together closely.
Culturally they dislike governments and any group larger than a local merchants association. (They also dislike the guy in charge too). Their independent streak and business savy, leads them to be small business owners everywhere.
If they are not running or working in a small business, they tend to be in the middle or lower end of every power structure, making things work, instead of being in charge.
The steroetype is that they are always in charge of Fuel Depot or the local market. It is a very accurate one. However they are as likely to be running any small business that is not part of a chain.
They dislike strangers and those in power, but once they get to know you, you become family. This dislike of people they don't already know is what gives D'athri a reputation for being somewhat curt or "politely rude".
O'skar is the name of their ancient holy leader. The name holds a special place in their culture, much like Jesus does in the Latin American one. Most males have this first name. They seem to know who they are talking about, even if you don't. This can lead to a little commedy. For example.
You need to talk to O'skar.
The one that runs the Depot?
No, you need O'skar of the food cart.
No the one with the better food cart.
Uses in Game
They are a minor species. They help fill in the blanks of a crowd and add a bit more "spacy" color. Their ubiquitous in and around space ports also gives some comfortable familiarity to the players/ characters. No matter where you go, you know the D'athri are there... and probably in charge of a fuel depot.
There are not a lot of specific details here as they are supposed to be a minor race that seems to adopt local color and customs. Feel free to add any festival, odd social quirk, or mcguffin you need for your game.
If you need stats, simply take human generation, remove any luck or special ability they might have, and subtract 1 or a 5% mark from the statistics. They recieve a +20% to hearing checks.
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? Responses (13)-13
Hmm, a grumpy alien named O'skar?
Not bad - they seem purpose made to add to the array of Star Wars aliens...
Okay, I had not conciously realized that I had a grumpy green alien named O'skar until you pointed it out.
Now I am both amused and ashamed of myself.
...but they can fit into Star Trek or Babylon 5 exactly as well! All hail the minor alien races. :)
Thank you sir, please come again.
Not a bad minor alien race. It certainly has uses, and I liked the bit about "the better food cart."
Heh, not bad, and I understand that this is a minor race with a healthy dollop of comic relief. -0.5 for a few too many spelling and grammar errors.
PM the spelling and gramar errors, I only catch one.
Erk ... I count eighteen, not including a general stylistic deal I wouldn't otherwise mention. Just PMed the list to you.
Nice. A plausible alien race. LOL about Oskar.
Minor speaks more to the amount of effort put into this piece than the role of this race in any game. If something has the feel of minor race, it will also feel contrived, the soul of a good or great role playing setting is that every stone you over turn reveals an entire universe of possiblities. When we start writing dead ends we lose that.
Mm, but that misses a significant point: most races are not, in fact, Full Of Quirky Traits Shared By Everyone, any more than you can claim too many personality traits shared by every human. IMHO, most races are Just Folks. They'll have places in society that vary with their physiology and demographics, but races assimilated into a wider culture won't vary all THAT much.
That is the point. If you make an alien species full of specifics, then there is no room for variations. I tend not to like 1 dimensional aliens, even the occaional cool ones like Kziniti.
Are all Dwarves insanely greedy, all Elves condescending and superior, are all Hobbits homebodies? No. Why do you assume aliens in a sci fi game should be so simple?
None of their variations are genetic, they are cultural... ones similar to many other small social enclaves huddling together in a larger cultural sea.
Besides, the more specifics you put in th more you as the GM have to tailor your world to fit them OR the more you have to ignore.