Sunday, June 9, 2019


Star Dragons
The Star Dragons are ancient beasts, living in small flights lead by their chief astrogators. Feeding on solar emissions, they may dip into atmospheres to see rare sights, or live their entire lives in the vast depths of space. For many centuries, they were considered to be little more than clever beasts, with the rare tales of dragons coming to land and speaking with people considered little more than fancy. As beasts, they were often hunted.

But Star dragons are more than simply beasts. Capable of great understanding, of learning languages, and forming relationships with humanoids, some rare, young, members of their species will do so. As they must land to lay their eggs and raise their young through the first few years (until they are capable of sustained space flight), Star Dragons have dipped their massively clawed toes in galactic society from time to time, with rare hatchlings even eschewing life in their flights for the more dynamic interactions with smaller creatures.

Star Dragons have no native technology, but have a well-developed Force tradition. Force use is almost unheard of among the hatchlings; they are seldom even Force-sensitive. As they age, into Walker-scale adults, then Starfighter-scale Elders, some will develop Force abilities, most of which focus around Sense and the ability to plot hyperspace courses through the force. Rumors abound of powerful other abilities, but they may simply be rumors; Star Dragons have little need for the things of the land, save safe places to raise their young.

Dexterity: 1D/4D
Knowledge: 1D/3D
Mechanical: 1D/2D
Perception: 2D/4D
Strength: 3D/6D
Technical: 1D/2D

Move: 10/15
Size:1.5-2m tall at the shoulders on all fours; folded wings may add 1m to height. 3m-7m from tip of nose to tip of tail. Adults (more than 600 standard years old) are much larger.

Special Abilities:
Space Flight: Star Dragons are capable of flight, both in a planet's atmosphere and through space. Their speed in atmosphere is equal to ten times their Flight skill (under Dexterity), plus any Pips. Their speed in space is equal to their Flight skill. Thus, a young dragon with a Flight skill of 3D+2 would have an Atmosphere speed of 32 (3D * 10 + 2 pips), and a space speed of 3. Star Dragons do not need to breathe, though find it useful for speaking.

Hyperspace Flight: Star Dragons are able to enter hyperspace, flying slowly between star systems, with a hyperspace multiplier of *20. Such flights are incredibly taxing and difficult, both due to the energy needed to enter and leave hyperspace, but also due to their extreme length. Every day spent in hyperspace (recall, they have a *20 hyperspace multiplier) inflicts 1D of stun damage, which can be resisted by the dragon's Stamina skill (not merely Strength, but receiving no benefit from their scales or worn armor). If the damage would be enough to Incapacitate, Mortally Wound, or Kill the dragon, they are instead unconscious for 2D hours, days, or weeks, respectively. While they have a natural sense for Astrogation, they still must take a +10 penalty to Astrogation checks if they do not have an external computer (as opposed to the standard +30). Groups of Star Dragons will often travel as a flight, following the lead of the most skilled Astrogator (and, indeed, Astrogator is a title of high esteem among their flights and rookeries). 
Star Dragons can improve their Hyperspace multiplier, though it is expensive to do so. Improving the multiplier by 1 requires 30 character points, minus their current Hyperdrive Multiplier; so, improving from 20 to 19 requires 10 character points, then 11 from 19 to 18, 12 from 18 to 17, usw. They may not improve their multiplier beyond *10.

Breath Weapon: Star Dragons are able to breath out a stream of plasma, quite similar to a blaster bolt. However, their reserves of this energy are quite low, compared to the capacity of a blaster. At their maximum, they may have ten times their Strength attribute in available dice of damage, and may put no more than their Strength attribute in damage into each blast. (So, a dragon with 4D in Strength could release ten blasts that would do 4D speeder scale damage, 40 blasts of 1D speeder scale damage, or somewhat in between, without recharging) In an atmosphere, they recharge spent dice of damage at a rate of 1 per hour; in space, it is 3 per hour. For this attack, they use the Breath Weapon skill, which is based on Dexterity. Their range in atmosphere is comparable to a blaster rifle; in space, it is a mere 1.

Claws, Teeth, and Scales: Star Dragons are, of course, dragons. Their teeth and claws do Str+1D damage, and their claws provide 1D in protection from both physical and energy damage.

Story Factors:
Speeder Scale: Dragons are not small; they average between three and seven meters in length, and their wings are five to eight meters when spread. They are effectively speeder scale, which affects their Dodge against character scale weapons, and their Brawl and Breath Weapon skills. However, as Speeder-scale creatures, their damage is increased against the same.

Wings: Star Dragon's ability to fly and traverse hyperspace derives from their wings; they generate a natural impeller field which allows the wings to push off seemingly empty space, propelling the dragon forward. Significant damage to the wings reduces a dragon's ability to fly (represented as wound penalties reduce the effective flying speeds).

Speech: Star Dragons are perfectly capable of understanding Basic and a wide variety of other languages, but their vocal apparatus makes pronunciation difficult, especially at anything resembling a conversational tone. If you need a couple syllables shouted across the wasteland, a dragon is perfectly capable; if you want to have a quiet chat about discrete cargo transport, they're less capable. Speech in the Star Dragon language is also not possible in space, and so they have no less than three languages; their verbal speech, their own sign language, and an altered sign language used to communicate with humanoids when they cannot hear them (such as when in space), plus their understanding of Basic. They have no great gift for languages, and so must learn all languages, aside from Star Dragon and Star Dragon sign language, with their skill dice.

Technology: Star Dragons are a wonderfully adapted species, with no native need for technology. Most of their energy comes from stars and solar gasses; their bodies are weapons and armor and transportation. Furthermore, they are enormous creatures, tall as a human when on all fours, and longer than a cargo skiff. While their hindpaws can serve as crude hands, their forepaws are not so dextrous.
As a result, they are quite incapable when it comes to technology; they have little exposure to technology that is designed for them, or even remotely usable by them. At character creation, they may not put any skill dice in any Technical skill save First Aid, nor any Mechanical skill save Astrogation, nor any Dexterity skill dealing with technological weapons (such as blasters, firearms, or grenades). In almost all cases, they suffer a -2D when attempting to do any but the most base manipulations with their forepaws, and a -1D if attempting to manipulate objects with their hindpaws while in flight.

Youth: Playable Star Dragons are young, by their species estimation. While elder Star Dragons may live for thousands of years, they are only young for a few hundred. As they age, they grow longer and larger, with adolescents approaching Walker scale, and the truly ancient in the low Starfighter range. Rumors exist of great old dragons, a dozen meters in length, with tails that reach another score. These increases in size also make it harder and harder for the Star Dragons to interact with humanoids, and, indeed, even to enter atmospheres. Young Star Dragons are somewhat subject to influence from their elders, and may be forced to choose between leaving with them, or being stranded in a star system.

Star Dragons and the Force

Star Dragon hatchlings are sometimes sensitive to the Force, but seldom skilled in its manipulation. As they age, however, their sensitivity to the Force often increases, so that many adult Star Dragons (more than 600 standard years) are Force Sensitive, and most elder Star Dragons (more than 2400 standard years) are highly skilled in its use.

Star Dragon understanding of the Force is rooted in Sense. The picture the Force as strings of energy which suffuse the galaxy, flowing from stars and crisscrossing in an emphermeral web. Thicker threads connect to certain creatures, including the Star Dragons themselves, and by seeing, then touching, those threads, the Star Dragons are able to influence the galaxy. Control is seen as influencing the threads within oneself; Alter is changing the threads as the intersect with others.

One of the first powers most Star Dragons will learn is Instinctive Astrogation (Sense variant); its knowledge is crucial to the life of the Star Dragons. While they are able to astrogate without the force power, it is far more limited. Most Elder dragons will then attempt to teach their students the ability of Receptive Telepathy. Once the dragon has mastered those five powers (Instinctive Astrogation, Receptive Telepathy, and their prerequisites), they have what their teachers consider the basic tools; if nothing else, both dragons knowing Receptive Telepathy makes communication far easier, even across distances. Once these basics are mastered, the student is ready to progress to other things. When Control is learned, it is most often in conjunction with training in Concentration, though Absorb/Dissipate Energy may be learned if the environment is particularly hostile. Alter is always taught with Telekinesis; the fine control afforded by Telekinetics is too valuable to the large-pawed beasts who have to interact with the rest of galactic society.

(A special note about Absorb/Dissipate Energy: this can be used to recharge the dragon's plasma breath more rapidly than normal. If used as a defense, Absorb/Dissipate Energy will restore a number of dice equal to the damage code of the attack, adjusted for scale. If used to simply absorb ambient energy, it allows the restoration of dice at 1 or 3 dice per minute kept up, rather than per hour, as usual).