Monday, June 2, 2008
STRANGE EONS: The Xenogen
"Aliens will not resemble anything we've seen. Considering that octopi, sea cucumbers, and oak trees are all very closely related to us, an alien visitor would look less like us than does a squid. Some fossils in the ancient Burgess shale are so alien that we can't determine which end of the creature is up, and yet these monsters evolved right here on Earth from the same origins as we did." -Johan Forsberg
Across the vast expanse of space lie innumerable worlds, circling distant suns, where strange energies have nurtured a wide range of bizarre life. Seeming both familiar and strange to human eyes and minds, these "Xenos" often dimly resemble humanity, as though their forms were chosen at random.
It is believed by many learned wizards, that ancient representatives of these "Xenogens" visited Gaia in the distant past. These ancient visitors brought magic and knowledge to ancient peoples who constructed temples and sought to worship them. From sexual union with these ancient peoples and beasts is perhaps the origin of some species xenogens near human forms.
Alien beings of all sorts are present in Strange Eons, though they are distant from mankind in thought, deed and nature. In many ways, these creatures are like demons and devils, though they should be treated more as very VERY alien in mind rather than evil in the traditional sense. Most of these creatures are hostile towards humankind in one way or another, though most times this is a sort of casual cruelty, as they don't often notice humans as worth hating. Wizards however, are considered worth noticing to these creatures.
For the DM/GM/Storyteller of a Strange Eons game, mystery is the key to using Xenogens. These creatures live where nothing should be able to live, can eat human food, breath human air and even breed with unlucky humans should the desire strike them. Mix a xenogens actions with seemingly mindless acts of malice and cruelty, strange lusts and jealous rages. Even the nice seeming xenogen will be prone to these habits.
These creatures are both demon AND alien. They are impossible, supernatural beings that come from alien worlds. Strange Eons has no Abyss, Nine Hells or the like. Rather there are worlds where similar conditions certainly do exist, many of which a human could never exist without special equipment of magic to sustain him or her.
Mechanic wise, one could easily use the stats for any evil or neutral Outsider such as demons and devils, though the DM is advised to change the descriptions of the creature and never refer to the creature as say; a Pit Fiend, but rather call it a fiend of world orbiting the star Beta Eridani.
Check out this Star Name site for neat alien stars.
All of these creatures have access to advanced weaponry as well as magic, seeming to produce magical devices without the need of feats or ranks in a spellcaster class. Thus they are often armed with enchanted weapons, and magic items of bizarre make.
If your game system of choice has a range of outsider types available, go for the ones of the most alien habits and powers. Some good examples using D&D, try the following: Astral Energy Monster, Mezzodaemon, Black Troll (Alien breeding program if ever I saw one), Diak, and the Eyewing among others.