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Githiaskio

TNE conversion by Peter Gray

This is a conversion to TNE of the Githiaskio as presented in GURPS: Traveller Alien Races 3

The Githiaskio are a race of sentient acquatic hunters with a startling resemblance to Terran marine mollusks. The "squids" are an intelligent and very adaptive species, whose zero-G and underwater agility made them in high demand for industries related to those environments.

The Githiaskio are native to Githiaski (Antares 2406) a water world located on the edge of the Lesser Rift. Suprisingly, the First Imperium apparently was ignorant or uninformed of their existence, and they were not stumbled upon until the Long Night. Githiaski is metal poor, and at any event the race has no native oppurtunity to develop metal working in the confines of their watery home. The most peculiar aspect of this species is the suprising similiarity of their psychology to humans. Human and Githiaskio mindsets are suprisingly similar, the result, sophontologists think, of parallels in their evolutionary history. They evolved from omnivorous scavenger-gatherers, moving across the ocean in small family groups that strongly resembled hominid family groups on ancient Earth.

Because of their metal poor environment, the aliens advanced to the local equivalent of TL-2, relying heavily on organics and stonework. Among their most spectacular technology included semi-submerged "sailing ships" with streamlined rigging sticking above the water surface, and the hull and living quarters below the surface. The expansion of the Sylean Empire was welcomed, and Githiaski developed average stellar by the time of the Imperial Civil War (1117 UPP is A789886-C Wa Ri 830 Im). The world was incorporated into the League of Antares, and strongly supported the multiracial politics of Archduke Brzk. While the world has been out of contact since the Collapse, large offworld populations of Githiaskio exist in coreward and spinward portions of the old Third Imperium, including several in the current boundaries of the Regency of Deneb.

Biology

The Gitiaskio are radially symetrical, bisexual and semi-homeothermic. They have 1.8 to 2.4 meter long tapering bodies, that are about 45 to 50 centimeters in diameter. They possess six suckered tentacles which are used for manipulation, restraining and feeding. They possess two large compound eyes, but vision is optimised for the acquatic environment, and they are insensitive to reds and yellows. Primary sense is sound, and their hearing is almost as good as a Dolphins underwater. Githiaskio females bear a single live young. Lifespans are about roughly equivalent to humans.

Locomotion is provided by movement of the tentacles; unlike Terran mollusks, they do not possess the abilty to jet water. Also unlike mollusks, they possess an internal skeleton made of strong connective tissue almost equivalent in toughness to vertebrate skeletons. They are poor long distance swimmers, and prefer to swim tentacles forward. They are poor hunters, and their traditional food was either scrounged from local reefs and ocean floors, or was carrion. They can tolerate depths of up to 700 meters under 1G, but are less well adapted greater depths, and nearly all Githiaskio possess a natural phobia of going deeper, similar to the human fear of heights. They are oxygen breathers, but can only respire in water on worlds with a thin atmosphere or better. They can withstand variable salinities, but they are highly sensitive to water tainted by pollution or local atmospheric conditions, and will refuse to enter any body of water so contaminated. A Githiaskio stranded out of water will die of dehydration within five minutes.

Relations with the Imperium/Regency

The great similarity between Human and Githiasko mindsets permitted a close relationship between the "Squids" and Imperial culture humans. Relations with other species and races are very human-like as well. The main Squid communities in the Regency are on Taillon/Inar (Deneb 1415) and a smaller one on Beaxon (Deneb 0439). They are heavily involved in various industrial and skilled professions on several worlds with water compatible with their needs. Most Githiaskio will be encountered on either such worlds, or in low or zero gravity serving in a number of professions and occupations.

Since the Collapse, Regency Githiaskio have developed a very low opinion of Vargr, with whom their race had poor relationship to begin with. Their attitudes toward Virus closely mirror their Human counterparts as well, and there exists no shortage of Squid volunteers for sign up with the military or RQS. Relations with the Aslan are similiarly poor, the result of several confrontations between Fait Accompli lords and several Githiaskio communes in the Thinrim.

Githiaskio Language

Their language is a complex series of whistles, clicks and grunts. Both Humans and Githiaskio can learn the other's language, but at one level of difficulty greater for task resolution. Cheap TL 10 computer translators eliminated most need for either race to learn the other's language, and these are cheaply available on most Regency worlds of TL9+ (Weight: 250 kg, Price: 300 Cr.)

The Githiaskio word for themselves is Whooiihee, and for their world is Llaaaiihoin. Their personal names are long and complex, and most Squids adopt Anglic nicknames when working with humans or on human worlds.

Githiaskio Technology

Largely analogous to human equipment, with a few important modifications. Most electronics and complex machinery must be waterproofed or made water resistant; this will increase the cost of their technology by 20%. Squids can manipulate and fire human or Vargr guns with little trouble, though it requires two or three tentacles to do so. In their native environment, Githiaskio prefer to swim, but out of water, whether in dry air or in space, special water flooded vehicles and spacecraft must be used. These must be sealed against all non-waterine or hostile environments. Specialised vacc suits and non-Battledress encounter suits are available, and are required by Githiaskio if they are to enter tainted water, or dive on a world of atmosphere 3- or A+, but these cost double to make. Githiaskio battledress exists, but all armor mass on the rigid armor table must be doubled, with the legs and head deleted, but must calculate for six arms.

All life support equipment prices are doubled, and specially made workstations costing 200 cr more must be allocated. These vehicles and ships must constantly carry water, and this adds 1.0 metric tons per cubic meter intended for habitation. Because of this restriction, many Squid ships are designed along the lines of human deep submergence subs, building a smaller "pressure hull" that is flooded at all times, leaving the other sections either perpetually dry, or selectively flooded when they are used, in which case ballast tanks are required to flood or drain a hull section.

Githiaskio Character Generation

Before generating Githiaskio characters, their disadvantages must be noted

They are confined to water with sufficient oxygen and a lack of pollutants or atmospheric taint. They possess poor vision, and they are sensitive to bright light. And their tentacles aren't as adept at gripping things as human hands. Rolling a Githiaskio character is as per TNE rules with the following changes to attributes

STR 2D6-2
AGL 2D6-2
END 2D6+1
INT 2D6-1
EDU 2D6-1
CHR 2D6-1
The rolled charism is for other Githiaskio, it is halved in regards to other races.

All Githiaskio characters have a default swimming skill asset of 3, and may substitute this for Zero-G environment skill at a penalty of -1.

Githiaskio are capable of doing three to six independent manual tasks with their tentacles at a Diff. +1. They may do two tasks at normal difficulty, and one task at Diff. -1. These only count for strength and agility based tasks.

Recruitment and education are as per the TNE rulebook. They may enter any career, and learn any skill. Squids are most commonly encountered in RQS/RISS, construction worker and academic careers away from their homeworld or outside their offworld communities.

Githiaskio psionic potential is about the same as humans. However they must role for telekinesis and arcane talents with an additional +2 DM.

Roleplaying Githiaskio is comparatively easy compared to other alien races because of their human-like mindset. However, historically the Squids have been very defensive about being labelled a minor race, and in the past have vigorously defended themselves against outside hecklers and bigots. Since the Collapse, though, the distinction between Major and Minor Races has become moot, and this tendency has subsided in the Regency. But Githiaskio have a well deserved reputation for loud and vociferous complaining, especially when some dumbass human is trying to compell them to enter tainted water or dive beyond their physical capability.


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