Vaults of Vaarn: Visitors custom race

I’ve been kind of obsessed with this little RPG zine called Vaults of Vaarn, if my review of it didn’t tip you off. If you’re not going to click that link, it’s a really great little science-fantasy weirdo RPG setting placed in a post-post-post apocalyptic desert loaded with mutants, weirdos, and strange creatures.

Since an outsized portion of my brain has been dedicated to thinking about Vaarn, I decided to write some of those thoughts down and arrange them into a bit of new fan content for the setting. It’s implied that Urth, the planet that Vaults of Vaarn is set on, was once an advanced and prosperous world with immensely powerful technology. It seems obvious to me that space travel would be possible in this world – so why not add space aliens to the Vaults?

So, I present to you my Vaults of Vaarn fan race: the Visitors. Click the jump to enjoy. All credit goes to Leo Hunt, AKA graculusdroog for the creation of Vaults of Vaarn itself.

It is said that in ancient times, Urth was the crown jewel of an interstellar empire. It spanned the entire galaxy, with thousands of planets in its grasp, spreading good will among all species.

If this empire was real it died with the Autarchs, but aliens from many other planets did arrive on Urth before the Great Collapse. Now they’re stuck here, unable to return home, trying to scrap out a life on the blue waste like anybody else. They live in secret, hidden in the most extreme corners of the desert, only emerging in times of extreme crisis – or incredible opportunity.

NAME

1. Klk11. Starbringer
2. Zyzz12. Rationality
3. K’kkth’th13. Unit 04
4. Zuri14. Processor
5. T’sha15. Soft-Light
6. Xanda16. Mercury Falling
7. Kzaak17. The Devourer
8. Taad18. Softness
9. Zook19. Three Thousand Six
Hundred And Five
10. Helium20. Name unpronouncable
using Urthling voiceboxes

HOME PLANET

1. A lush green paradise11. The planet was alive, and would speak to you
2. Tidally locked, only the twilight zone was habitable12. A very, very tiny planet; space was a premium
3. A frozen hell with little resources13. Endless expanses of red desert and blue skies
4. All-encompassing jungle, teeming with predators14. Nothing but rancid swamps and fog
5. One city covered the entire planet15. A cubical world, made as a novelty by some long-disappeared engineer race
6. Technology and biology were one there16. An intergalactic garbage dump
7. A cluster of asteroids, bound together with massive cables17. You were considered a normal Urthling in your dimension’s Vaarn
8. Glowing crystals and constant lightning18. You were born on a space station in deep space, you’ve never called a planet home
9. Covered in ocean with few rocky islands19. A rogue planet, freely floating through the void
10. A moon orbiting a massive gas giant20. You were born on Urth. Roll again for the planet your parents told you nostalgic stories about

APPEARANCE

1. Bulbous head and massive black eyes11. Humanoid made from jagged crystals
2. A whole society of microscopic individuals working as one12. Hulking piggish humanoid with tusks
3. A massive insect, with a glittering carapace13. A floating sphere of lights and colors
4. A man-sized octopus, walking on its tentacles14. A living plant, leafy and vibrant
5. An enormous centipede, two meters long15. A massive humanoid of solid concrete
6. A squirming, writhing, ambiguous mass of meat16. An extremely tall humanoid with long, thin limbs
7. Tiny, fluffy, and distressingly cute17. You are a parasite that must infest other species to survive. Pick another race to be your host.
8. A six-legged starfish with a central eye stalk18. You look like an Urthling, but with a gnarled and wrinkled forehead
9. A fat snail, with a roughly humanoid upper body19. You look like an Urthling, but with colorful skin
10. You are never seen outside of your pressurized enviro-suit20. You look like an Urthling, but impossibly beautiful

COLOR

1. Grey2. Green3. Red 4. Orange
5. Yellow6. Purple7. Cyan8. Brown
9. Pink10. Black11. Steel12. Brass
13. Chrome14. Gold15. Black and white16. Blue and
orange
17. Yellow and purple18. Pink and green19. Dozens of colorful
splotches
20. Your body changes color with heat like a mood ring

WEIRD BIOLOGY

1. You don’t have to eat or drink, but must be exposed to direct sunlight for at least one hour a day.
2. You can’t speak Urth languages due to your anatomy. You rely on your Universal Translator.
3. You see further into the electromagnetic spectrum. You can see better in darkness, but bright lights blind you.
4. You are naturally telepathic. You can’t turn it off, and must accept any telepathic intrusion into your mind.
5. You can perfectly imitate any Urthling emotion, and non-aliens will always believe you. However, you can never tell an Urthling’s emotional state.
6. You can choose to fall into a deep, death-like state, which always lasts for a full hour.
7. Your saliva is highly corrosive, but you produce so much you are almost constantly drooling.
8. You can scream at deafening volumes, but can never raise your voice above whisper otherwise.
9. You can eat absolutely anything, including stone and metal. However, you require three times the amount of food that a normal Urthling does.
10. You are immune to all Urth poisons, but common sugar and salt is incredibly toxic to you.
11. Your eyes constantly glow with a light bright enough for others to see by.
12. Your skin is as sticky as tape.
13. Your sense of hearing is incredibly sensitive. You have to keep your ears plugged with fabric just to tolerate the average Urthling’s speaking voice.
14. Your species is four-dimensional. You can see briefly forwards and backwards in time, but are often confused about which time period your 3D body is currently in.
15. Your brain is not in what appears to be your head. Attacks to your head are perfectly survivable, but attacks on another chosen part of your anatomy are especially fatal.
16. Your tongue is extremely long and dexterous. It constantly lolls out of your mouth, making talking hard.
17. Your body’s DNA is modular. If you eat the entire fresh corpse of another Urthling, you can absorb an aspect of their body into yours.
18. You are totally blind. However, your sense of touch is so refined, you can tell where anything is from echolocation.
19. Your blood is incredibly poisonous to Urthlings. Anything that gets so much as a few milliliters of your blood inside their body dies quickly and painfully.
20. You reincarnate when you die. When you are killed, a stalk sprouts from your body. If this stalk is cared for and undisturbed for six months, a pod will grow containing a clone with all of your memories.

STRANGE CULTURE

1. Eye contact is a challenge. Never look somebody in the eyes unless you plan on a fight.
2. The direction “right” is cursed. Avoid turning that way, and try not to refer to it unless necessary.
3. Eating must be done in private, as it is disgusting.
4. The dead must be respected and buried, even if the corpse is of your worst enemy.
5. Sharing water with another is the most intimate thing you can do.
6. Warfare is everything. Seek fights, even if it is a bad idea.
7. All forms of authority are illegitimate. Always question your superiors.
8. You must always recite a lengthy prayer when waking, before meals, and before going to sleep.
9. Reincarnation is real, giving you zero fear of death.
10. Knowledge is the only virtue. Learn everything that you can, at any cost.
11. Cowardice is next to godliness. Avoid conflict at all costs, and always run from a losing fight.
12. Always offer a stranger a meal. It is polite to refuse at first; continue offering until they accept.
13. Personal space is sacrosanct. Never make skin-to-skin contact with another person.
14. Going outside at night is insanity. You are certain that you will die if you do so. Surviving a night outside does nothing to relieve you of this notion.
15. Heights are closer to the Divine. You feel more comfortable the higher up you are.
16. Lying is not a sin towards people not of your own species. You can manipulate others to your heart’s content.
17. Identity is fleeting. You change a substantial aspect of your personality every morning upon rising.
18. Wearing clothing is a sign that you are hiding something. You wear the absolute minimum amount of clothing possible and strip naked at the first opportunity.
19. Technology caused the fall of your home planet. You refuse to use modern weaponry.
20. All things in the universe belong to your species. You freely steal and enslave everything that you can get away with.

PRECIOUS HEIRLOOM

1. Two pucks of metal that maintain a permanent, inviolate space of about thirty centimeters between them
2. A bracelet with a mysterious gemstone in it
3. A high-powered plasma pistol with no batteries
4. A steel needle that, when balanced on a finger-tip, always points in the same direction
5. An oblong blue stone that orbits your head
6. A plush toy of some indecipherable animal
7. A glass orb full of strange glowing gas
8. A chunk of crystal that hums softly
9. A strange musical instrument that only you know how to play
10. A telescope that, when looked through, shows a view of your home planet
11. A jar of some preserved delicacy from home; the label is completely worn off
12. A book written in a language from your home planet – one you don’t speak
13. A pocketwatch that shows you the current time on your home planet
14. A taxidermy of a popular pet from home
15. A pocket calculator rivaling any Vaarnish supercomputer; too bad you lost its charger
16. A small ball that, when thrown, always returns to your hand
17. A bottle of home-planet booze, extremely potent
18. An outfit that was highly fashionable back home, ten galactic cycles ago
19. A withered, dry fruit from your home planet – might still be edible?
20. A towel

YOU LEFT HOME BECAUSE…

1. Your planet was destroyed by climate change
2. You were vacationing on Urth, but can’t find a ride back home
3. The prophecy said you must come here to find the chosen one
4. You are a wanted criminal laying low
5. You disagreed with the rate of industrialization on your planet
6. The new planetary government stripped your people of their rights
7. You are in a self-imposed exile for your sins
8. You are an anthropologist studying more primitive planets
9. You came to Urth to play pranks on these backwater hicks, but crashed your ship
10. The planet exploded; you were sent to Urth as a baby and raised by Urthling parents
11. Your planet was eaten by a gargantuan alien; you came to Urth to warn them they’re next
12. You are responding to a distress signal sent from Urth thousands of years ago
13. You’re an intergalactic detective looking for a criminal
14. You are spreading the gospel of your faith to Urth
15. You are the vanguard of an imperial colonizing army; they’ll be here any day, you swear
15. Urthling flesh is a delicacy without compare
17. Urth is the only place the drug you’re addicted to grows
18. You are stuck on Urth due to a complicated visa issue with the planet you actually are trying to migrate to
19. Urthling DNA holds the secret to saving your species from extinction; you need as many samples as possible
20. You’ve been living on Urth before any Urthling; you only recently woke up from hibernation to find the whole planet infested

ALIEN ANATOMY – You gain Advantage on saves whenever it would make sense for your Weird Biology to provide it, and Disadvantage where it would be a hindrance.

HEIRLOOM – Your Precious Heirloom counts as an extra Exotica and takes up zero inventory slots. If you can articulate a use for it, you can gain Advantage on certain rolls involving its use.

OUTSIDER – Everybody knows you aren’t from around here. You get Disadvantage on all social saves involving charm, politeness, and diplomacy, but get Advantage on all social saves involving displaying your cultural superiority, talking down to pitiful Urthlings, and terrifying the locals with your bizarre anatomy and culture.

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