Kafer gennies
Note that the aliens called "Kafer" and "Ylii" in this piece are based loosely on the Kafer aliens from the 2300AD roleplaying system. 2300AD is a trademark owned by Tantalus, and the use of the term "Kafer" or "Ylii" isn't meant to be an infringement on their copyrights.

The Kafer Deception

The Kafer deception is perhaps the most insidious and ambitious that RAM has ever undertaken. Originally a joint think-tank project from RAM-Subversion and RAM-Destab (destabilization), the Kafer deception is essentially a grand deception meant for the entire solar system.

In essence, the Kafer deception will be providing the solar system with an external enemy, namely an "alien" race known as "Kafers". (Or so they are known within the Kafer deception). This alien race will of course be very hostile, and be a threat to system security. Thus, as RAM is the rightful successor to the Solar System Alliance (SSA), it will fall on the capable shoulders of RAM to rid the solar system of this dangerous threat. Of course, major fleet action in and around Out Station Adam will be a part of this deception.

In reality, there is no alien threat. At least not from the Kafers. The Kafers are purpose-built gennies with a just as customized "alien" attack craft - the Beta class cruiser. If there is a threat to solar system stability, that threat is RAM and has always been RAM. The Kafers are merely meant as scapegoats and a smokescreen for the next grand RAM scheme for grabbing even more power in the solar system.

Although RAM has spent huge sums of manpower and credits on this project, they also expect to reduce the cost of their investments in selling the pirated goods that the Kafers will accumulate. The Kafer prototype crew are genetically "programmed" to stash their goods on certain asteroids, and hide the loot well. Later, RAM cruisers will come and pick up the goods, and sell it on the open or black market, all depending on the nature of the goods.

Of course, this Beta class cruisers and its crew is merely a test of greater things to come. If the RAM propaganda machine and the Kafers do their mission right, they'll be perceived as an alien menace to the solar system. If not, well, at least RAM got to test a few new weapon systems in a real combat situation. Nobody cares what the Kafers think, brainwashed pawns that they are.

The Kafers and the Ylii

There are two "alien" races, the Kafers and the Ylii. As the Kafers are fairly warlike and, well, not too bright, the Ylii was created as inventive and intelligent to at least partially offset the Kafers' perceived weakness. Also, the Ylii function as the minders of the Kafers, programmed with the "grand strategy" that the Kafers will use in their pirate raids within the solar system. Both these gennie types are programmed to believe that they are "aliens", i.e. not native to this solar system. They were even trained in a simulated alien environment with somewhat higher gravity, and a large, red sun in the sky. They have a separate language, and trinary-based (as opposed to binary-based) computers to further their supposed "alienness".

The truly ingenious bit of gengeneering that may allow the Kafers to pass as an alien race, was the bizarre mix of genetic patches that finally introduced two new components in their DNA helix - the normal base pairs are A-T and C-G, but the Kafers have two additional base pairs - a trait not found in any other race, yet.

Kafer statistics

Genotype: As the Kafers are meant to simulate an alien genotype, they are extensively engineered to hide the fact that, deep down, there is some human DNA screaming to come out. The Kafers are intensely xenophobic, meaning that they will immediately lash out against anything that isn't perceived as being Kafer or Ylii. They regard their Ylii "minders" as somewhere between a father figure and bosses in everyday matters. They do not consider the Ylii fit for physical combat, and will go to great lengths to protect their Ylii "cousins" from the rigors of combat.

They do, however, raid intensely, and keep stocking their ship's cargo hold with valuable goods of all kinds, and when the cargo hold is nearing full capacity, they stash it in secret asteroid caches.

Like the Ylii, the Kafers are tri-digited, having only three fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot.

Physical/Cultural: Being about seven to eight feet tall and weighing about 300 lbs, the Kafers are towering mounds of muscle. Instead of the hair that one might expect to cover such a brute, their skin is densely packed with pseudo-"feathers", furthering the illusion of their alien origins. They have four large eyes arranged in a row around their head, providing them an incredibly wide field of vision. Their vision also penetrates into the infrared regions of the spectrum, allowing them to function normally even in extremely dim light. Their skin coloration (and feather coloration) ranges in the blues from almost black-blue to a watery, azure blue. The Kafers are also oviparous, bearing their young in eggs. However, even though the Beta carries some eggs and egg-tending droids, females are conspiciously absent from the ship.

If a Kafer is bereft of the trace gases he needs in a "common" oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, the Kafer will lose one point of Strength and Constitution every full hour he is without his trace gases. When exposed to the trace gases, the Kafer will be at full ability scores in about ten minutes. If any attribute reaches zero because of this deprivation, the Kafer will die horribly, coughing up yellowish slime and bleeding from his mouth and olfactory orifices (that is, his nose).

Combat: Kafers will often try closing to melee range fast, so as to best utilize their great strength and very efficient Kafer vibropicks. They are quite intelligent, however, and will be content to using their heavy Kafer firesticks if it looks like closing to melee range is either inefficient or suicidal.

Habitat/Terrain: The Kafer ship has a slightly altered atmosphere mix compared to a "normal" mix, with traces of methane and other unusual gases added in their oxygen/nitrogen mix. As such, they usually have to carry facemasks that make them seem truly monstrous, to provide them with the trace gases they need when they are in a foreign environment - such as when raiding a ship's cargo and slaughtering the crew.

Attribute Modifiers: Strength +3 Dexterity +1 Constitution +3 Intelligence -2 Wisdom -1 Charisma -5 Tech +0

Saving Throw Modifiers: Explosion/Plasma +2 Electrical Shock +2 Paralysis/Stun/Fall +2 Toxic/Gas/Poison +4 Suffocation +0 Radiation -2 Extreme Heat +2 Extreme Cold -2

Ylii statistics

Genotype: Being the scientific "alibi", so to speak, of the Kafer culture, the Ylii are far deeper thinkers than the Kafers. They are just as xenophobic, however, so they'll try and destroy anything not strictly Kafer or Ylii - they'll just think through the situation a bit first, using tactics instead of brute force. Possessive by nature, they are also avid plunderers, and enjoy stocking the cargo hold with valuables of various kinds. Like the Kafers, they are tri-digited, having only three fingers on each hand and three toes on each foot. Furthermore, also like the Kafers, the Ylii are oviparous, bearing their young in eggs.

Physical/Cultural: Smaller and more slender than their Kafer cousins, an Ylii average about six to seven feet in height and weigh about 100-140lbs. Having an extremely advanced brain, their craniums are slightly enlarged. They also possess four eyes, with the same characteristics as the Kafer eyes. Further, they share the pseudo-"feather" covering of their Kafer cousins, although their feathers tends to be somewhat smaller and lighter in coloring.

If an Ylii is bereft of the trace gases he needs in a "common" oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere, the Ylii will lose one point of Strength and Constitution every full two hour he is without his trace gases. When exposed to the trace gases, the Ylii will be at full ability scores in about ten minutes. If any attribute reaches zero because of this deprivation, the Ylii will die horribly, coughing up slime and bleeding from his mouth and olfactory orifices.

Combat: The Ylii are not as eager to enter melee combat as Kafers are, but are crack shots with the Ylii firestick. Further, they'll try to sabotage as many shipboard systems as possible in any boarding actions, to ease the boarding action.

Habitat/Terrain: The Ylii have the same atmosphere requirements as their Kafer cousins. However, their facemasks are not fashioned into hideous designs, having a plainer and more utilitarian design.

Attribute Modifiers: Strength -1 Dexterity +3 Constitution +2 Intelligence +2 Wisdom -1 Charisma -5 Tech +2

Saving Throw Modifiers: Explosion/Plasma +2 Electrical Shock +0 Paralysis/Stun/Fall +0 Toxic/Gas/Poison +4 Suffocation +0 Radiation -2 Extreme Heat +2 Extreme Cold -2

Sample Kafer and Ylii equipment

Although each item has either a prefix of "Kafer" or "Ylii", this merely indicates the race that prefers to use that particular piece of equipment. Both Kafer and Ylii alike are proficient with any items of their own manufacture.

Kafer battle armor: Similar in function (though not in design) to battle armor, the Kafer battle armor is an exotic piece of equipment. Featuring a relatively sophisticated on-board trinary computer, it also has quick-change mounts for various armor attachments. It also has a "fields" function, being able to spray aerosol mist to dissipate lasers, and carries a powerful ECM generator capable of confusing a "smart" rocket bullet. The Kafer battle armor provides an AC of 0, and though it has a fields function, it does not grant the lower AC associated with a Battle Armor With Fields.

Kafer heavy firestick: The heavy firestick is a particle beam weapon - conceptually similar to a mass driver (or accelerator gun), it shoots a stream of particles (neutrons, protons, electrons) at near-light speeds, impacting into a target causing damage. The firestick is thus something between a mass driver and a laser, having characteristics of both. However, firesticks are not affected by aerosol mists like lasers are. The Kafer heavy firestick is a two-handed weapon (though some Kafers fire it one-handed at a -2 to hit penalty), and does possess a slight recoil. The firestick also emits a characteristic, high-pitched scream when fired. Although the firestick is powerful, it isn't terribly accurate, giving a -1 penalty to-hit. Size 40" long, weight 9, range 1000, damage 3d6, ROF 1, shots 10, -1 penalty to hit..

Kafer vibropick: The Kafer vibropick is a fearsome weapon. Fully telescoped and primed to action, the Kafer vibropick is a two-handed, "pick"-style weapon with an artificial diamond as a striking head and an oscillating feature making the point of the vibropick vibrate at an incredibly high frequency. When it is in use, a high-pitched humming sound can be used, rising to a sharp peak when the tip strikes something solid. Handle 2' long (5' fully extended), striking head 20", weight 5, range 8' (melee only), damage 2d6, ROF 1, shots n/a.

Kafer vibroclaw armor attachment: Further enhancing the Kafer propensity for up close and personal bloodshed, the vibroclaw armor attachment is an attachment for the Kafer battle armor gauntlet. Quickly snapping on and off, the vibroclaw armor attachment gives a Kafer oversize, crystal claws on one hand (or possibly both). Featuring the same oscillating crystal technology as the vibropick, the tips of the vibroclaws vibrate at incredible speeds, making them capable of cutting through steel like a warm knife through butter. If a Kafer has two vibroclaws, he can of course make two melee attacks in one round, but suffers a -1 to hit penalty in doing so on both attacks. Claw tips 6" long, weight 1, range (melee only) 4', damage 2d4, ROF 1 (each), shots n/a.

Kafer bloodsucker armor attachment: As the blood of nearly any creature can be processed to a nutritious "paste" for tending the eggs of the Kafers and Ylii, the Kafers also sometimes carry this attachment to more easily collect blood. This system actually consists of two components, featuring a back slung container and pump system (capable of storing 20 liters) and a vicious gauntlet-attached crystal "proboscis". Essentially a hollowed-out cone, this proboscis easily penetrates almost any material, and can drain the blood of a man-sized victim (about 4-5 liters) in nothing more than a couple of minutes. Obviously, this weapon is too unwieldy to use in melee combat, and the victim must be either physically restrained or unconscious in order for the draining process to be possible. It will drain about 10 hit points per round, until the victim is dead. If the draining process is interrupted, the large, gaping wound left in the victim will bleed for 2 hit points per round until the victim has received a successful First Aid or Treat Wound treatment.

Kafer shriecannon heavy weapon: Essentially a large sound cannon, the shriecannon is only usable in an atmosphere, with a range based on the density of the atmosphere - the denser the atmosphere, the further the range of the shriecannon. The range given is for an Earth-equivalent atmosphere, with about 30% increase or decrease either way (a Mars equivalent atmosphere giving a 30% reduction of range, and a Venus equivalent giving a 30% increase of range). A penetrating, low, basso sound will be heard when the shriecannon is fired, and a visible shock wave of sonic energy will streak from the business end of the weapon. Fired from the shoulder in a fashion similar to a rocket launcher, the shriecannon fills much the same function as the rocket launcher does in the Kafer and Ylii order of battle. Size 4-7" diameter tapered cone 6' long, weight 25, range 600, damage 4d10+5, ROF 1/2, shots 4.

Ylii firestick: Essentially a lighter, one-handed version of the Kafer firestick, the Ylii firestick has a size of 30", weight 6, range 800, damage 3d4, ROF 1, shots 10, -1 penalty to hit..

Ylii shatterbomb: Used to open quick holes in bulkheads or airlocks, the shatterbomb has a strong adhesive patch to firmly attach it to almost any surface. Once there, the crystalline shell of the shatterbomb will force the explosion into the surface it is attached to, creating a minimal blast radius out in the area around the bomb. The other use of the shatterbomb is as an anti-personnel device: removing a thin segment of the crystalline shell will cause the crystal shell to violently shatter, spraying razor-sharp shards in all directions for 5d10 points of damage in an area with a blast radius of 20'. The Ylii makes extensive use of this device, which can also be thrown like a common grenade.

Ylii battle armor: The Ylii battle armor is quite similar to the Kafer battle armor, although it is somewhat more unencumbering. It does not feature the same type of attachment options as the Kafer battle armor, and the two types of attachment mechanisms are not cross-compatible. The Ylii battle armor provides an AC of 1, and has a fields function equivalent to the Kafer battle armor.

Ylii vibrolash armor attachment: The Ylii vibrolash takes advantage of the slender Ylii's excellent eye-hand coordination, while still keeping a distance between the Ylii and the being subject to the attack. Essentially a gauntlet-attached long, flexible woven carbocord with a razor-sharp shard of oscillating crystal at the tip, the Ylii vibrolash is a terrifying weapon. Like many other Kafer weapons, the Ylii vibrolash emits a keening hum when it is activated. Hideously damaging in skilled hands, an Ylii wielding a vibrolash is indeed a threat to be taken seriously. An Ylii wielding a vibrolash will not receive any Strength bonuses either to hit or damage while using this weapon, but does get his Dexterity "missile" bonus on the attack roll with the vibrolash. 12' long (fully extended carbocord), weight 2, range 12', damage 1d8+3, ROF 1.

Ylii aerodisk grenade: The Ylii aerodisk grenade is an advanced, thrown airfoil grenade. To take full advantage of the unique characteristics of the aerodisk grenade, an Ylii has to have the tactical computer armor attachment. As the aerodisk features an on-board trinary computer and steerable vanes, the aerodisk can be controlled to a certain degree in what path it will take to a target. Provided the Ylii passes either a Battle Tactics or Programming skill check at a difficulty set by the referee, the Ylii can program the aerodisk's path to a target. The maximum range for an aerodisk is the thrower's strength times five, in feet. Although the Ylii can program an aerodisk, it is likely that he will give a Kafer the aerodisk to throw if the distance of the throw is too long for himself. Using the programmable path option of the aerodisk, an Ylii taking one round to program a path to a target can do such things as throwing around corners and suchlike. In order to actually hit someone, however, the Ylii must know the exact position of someone (for instance by seeing the target, or that another Ylii with a tactical computer attachment can see the target), and take a -2 to-hit penalty on his attack roll. The aerodisk can also be thrown like a normal grenade. Weight 1, range Str x 5, damage 4d12, blast radius 15', ROF 1.

Ylii tactical computer armor attachment: The Ylii tactical computer plugs into the left hand side of an Ylii's helmet, and the unit itself rests on the left shoulder of the Ylii. It is fairly large, so it will be fairly obvious if an Ylii carries the tactical computer armor attachment. The tactical computer itself sits in a hardened, crystalline shell, and is AC -4. However well protected the tactical trinary computer is, it is quite fragile, resisting only 15 hp before being rendered useless. The tactical computer allows any Ylii carrying it to be aware at all times what other Ylii carrying a tactical computer can see, as well as what all Kafer droids can see. Further, it gives an Ylii the option to program an aerodisk grenade with a flight path. And lastly, it provides any Ylii with a +10 bonus to his Battle Tactics skill. Weight 3, AC -4, hp 15, allows programming aerodisks, allows instant tactical situation assessment from all Ylii carrying tactical computers and all Kafer droids, gives +10 bonus to all Battle Tactics skill checks.

Kafer / Ylii facemask: The Kafer and Ylii facemasks are used to provide both races with the trace gases that they need in order to survive in a "normal" oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere. With these facemasks, they gain an additional +2 saving throw bonus to any saving throw versus Toxic/Gas/Poison, provided the agent is airborne. These facemasks do not give any bonus to Suffocation saving throws. Further, the Kafer facemasks provide a +10 bonus to all Intimidation skill checks. The Ylii facemasks do not provide this bonus, as they are very utilitarian in appearance. The weight of a facemask is negligible, and it contains enough trace gases for 36 hours of continuous use.

Hatching droid: Unlikely to be seen outside the Kafer Beta cruiser, the hatching droid is a droid specialized in aiding the hatching of Kafer eggs. Essentially being a fairly large (3' radius), circular droid with twelve stubby legs placed equally distanced around the rim of the droid's "body", it certainly looks alien. Aiding in the hatching of Kafers and Ylii, the hatching droid detects when the hatching of a new egg is near at hand. Carefully finding its way to the egg about to hatch, it carefully extends sinuous tentacles from its body, and carefully places the egg on the depression on its "body" for transport to the hatching area. If its sensors detect that the hatchling has difficulties breaking through the shell of its egg, it will carefully weaken the shell of the egg by using a small circular saw, allowing the hatchling to more easily break free. It is quite useless in combat, but if someone wishes to destroy it, it is AC 4, hp 30.

Nesting droid: Primarily used when a new nesting area has to be estblished, the nesting droid is a spidery, fairly long robot (5' long) with six articulate legs. Carrying a large nozzle mounted in a small turret on its head, it is capable of firing a polymer that will quickly harden into the shape it is sprayed. Used to create the depressions that Kafer eggs are placed in, the nesting material is not sticky, and isolate against cold fairly well. The polymer hardens in five minutes, allowing any conscious creature to quickly get out of the nesting material, should it accidentally or intentionally be covered with it. Once it hardens, though, it is about as strong as an equivalent amount of steel, effectively immobilizing someone covered with the polymer. The more delicate part of the nesting droid is its turret, which is quite fragile. AC 2 (turret 0), hp 35 (turret 10).

Tending droid: The tending droid is a droid used in the everyday care of the Kafer eggs. It will patrol any area that is converted to a Kafer nesting area, controlling and adjusting the condition of each Kafer egg, and will also deposit the nutrient paste that the Kafer embryo needs in the soft membrane-covered top of the egg. Fully loaded it carries enough paste for 40 egg-days, i.e. enough to feed 10 eggs for 4 days or 4 eggs for 10 days, or whatever combination that equals 40 egg-days. It is also a fairly capable security droid, containing a light firestick emplacement. The tending droid is quite large, about nine feet in length and three feet wide, and has twelve articulate legs with six on each side. It is also capable of extracting two manipulator arms from its "head". Like all Kafer designs, the tending droid is vaguely insect-like. AC 3, hp 45, THAC0 16, range 500, dam 2d4, ROF 2, shots 30.