Valkyrie Campaign Setting PC Races (playable character races) are primarily humans. The Sartha affectionately refer to the section of space the base setting takes place in as the Human Sector. Therefore, the majority of the population are humans. The few alien species the humans have met up to now have been immigrants, refugees, tourists, and conquerors. The one exception is the Xai, who were sleeping on the human planets long before they arrived.
You will notice one common theme when reading about the alien PC races is that they are all societal outsiders. If you are looking for ideas for humans characters, one suggestion is to create outsiders as well. They didn’t have to start out that way, they may have fallen from grace, or become isolated through success. Have them find out how to find your humanity in the cracks and alleys of the universe. Tell the story of people who have fallen, the difference they can make, large or small.
This will be a brief overview of the races. I will write detailed spotlights on specific races as time goes on. Just remember to vote in the sidebar polls!
List of Valkyrie Campaign Setting PC Races
Inner System Human
Requirements: Backstory related to the Inner System
New Skill(s): Computers
New Skill Uses: Burglary can now be used for hacking when appropriate (along with Computers), Engineering can now be used on cyberware for androids or cyborgs
Description: Human characters that originate from the Inner System have learned to grow up fending for themselves in the concrete jungle of their megacities. The lights blind visitors from the shadows of the alleys and the boardroom alike. However, the people who grow up below the billboards know the truth. They know the corruption of the bureaucrats who currently rule through rigged elections, fear tactics, and hacked votes. They witness the rich bribe the cops, while the poor are shipped off to who knows where.
Meanwhile, these same powers frame those who dare to take a stand by manipulating technology and records. Everyone is fighting for every piece they can get. And whether that piece is physical, in the Virtual Network, or in people’s mind via marketing or propaganda, the game is life or death. You can either survive by getting out of the way, or by accumulating enough power to crush those in your path.
Suggested Character Archetypes: Anarchist Hacker, Corporate Shark, Mob Enforcer, Cynical Detective, Private Eye, Well-Connected Courtesan, Rogueish Smuggler, Uncompromised Cop in a Sea of Corruption, etc.
Outer System Human
Requirements: Aspect related to a backstory from the Outer System
New Skill(s): Survival, Crafts
New Skill Uses: Academics can now be used to identify Ancient Technology. It can also be used to identify Mysteries, the strange and impossible that can sometimes be said to occur at the outer reaches of space. Engineering can now be used to identify and work with Ancient Technology. Certain Sciences have few available opportunities in the Inner System, but plenty in the Outer System (such as Zoology or Botany).
Description: While the Inner System humans are mostly plagued by the problems of being close to so many other humans and technology, Outer System humans are forced to band together just to survive the harshness of their environments. There may not be as many issues with corrupt police, but that’s because there’s not much law anyway. Pirates seize what they can get when they can get it. Travellers try to avoid sections of space where terrifying space beasts float around subsisting on a diet of merchant vessels and pirates.
A majority of the Ten Great Guilds hide out in the Outer System where they can be free to pursue their missions without interference. The Dorel Ben Shi, for example, have run to the Outer System when they can afford it to be able to practice their magic without the fear of anti-religion regulations. The isolation can be troubling, but if one can find the people to survive with, there can be no greater camaraderie and no greater freedom.
Suggested Character Archetypes: Small town farmer with big hopes and dreams, Dorel Ben Shi Atramencer, Kumoku Village Ninja Assassin, Space Cowboy, Hardened Smuggler, Pirate, Pirate Hunter, Criminal on the Run, Desperate Ex-Con, Frontier Settler, Naive Village Mennonite, etc.
New Skill(s): Infected
Description: Unfortunately, there is no cure for the Vruex disease and there are no known records of anyone who has been immune to it. Rarely, however, a normal human will end up in a state where they survive for a time. There are treatments to slow the process, but death is inevitable. The slow death painfully takes body parts one at a time. Naturally, the process of being infected by an alien virus no one knows much about can cause quite the stigma. Due to how little others know about it, most people try to stay safe by not even coming into contact with, breathing the same air or touching the same objects as the infected.
Often, the virus is difficult to hide without a lot of effort, making ostracism almost inevitable. They may gain appendages, increased strength, tentacle spikes, or other strange abilities. While in the beginning, it may be easy to hide, eventually, they are all driven to a lonely existence. Of course, at times they will be lucky enough to encounter a random acceleration of the process, killing them before any of the more painful symptoms strikes.
Suggested Character Archetypes: Exiled wanderer, a businessman with a secret, loner student with a parasitic friend, half-infected anomaly, soldier on “final mission”, human trying to hit bucket list before death, doctor on a search for a cure, etc.
Random Notes: All-Star Superman has some great inspiration for a character who gains new powers only at what they know is the end of their life. What does your character choose to do with their remaining time? Now is the time for them to decide what they value most in life.
Requirements: Aspect related to being Moditian, weakness aspect related to their physical or mental disability sustained during the Wars that caused them to be discharged (this aspect can’t be their trouble)
New Skill(s): Moditian
Description: These genetically modified humans were created by Frontier Genetics to be superior soldiers. They were designed specifically to fight in an eternal war against the Vruex menace in the Outer Quadrants. While they are faster, smarter, and stronger than normal humans, their most important aspect is their inability to be infected by the Vruex or to birth other Vruex. Instead, of the normal extended process of infestation, it triggers a poison killing them instantly, preventing them from transforming into a Vruex (which happens sometimes).
If a Mod gives so much of themselves in the middle of the battle that they become wounded to the point of incapacitation (quite the feat for these genetic paragons) then they are allowed to participate in normal society as a reward. Of course, this honorable discharge isn’t always the dream every Moditian on the battlefield thinks it is.
The truth is because they are feared so much for being naturally better, people only trust them when they have extremely obvious exploitable weaknesses. On the surface, they are all respected for being veterans. Secretly, they are both feared that they will make normal humans obsolete, and they are disrespected, for each Moditian arrives broken to a world they have never known.
Suggested Character Archetypes: grizzled eye-patch commander, PTSD-ridden soldier, cocky tactician, All-American Super Hero, wise homeless vet, wheel-chair bound hacker, honorable knight seeking justice after a war that had none, conspiracy theorist who no one believes
Requirements: Aspect related to being Kogim, animal they are bound to. They must protect the animal and the animal will try to protect them. They will stay close to each other. Keep in mind additional weaknesses if the animal is hard to kill. For example, if it’s a tiger, it may imbue aggressive tendencies on the PC (such as causing them to jump into a fight when they shouldn’t). If it is an impenetrable turtle, it may cause slowness at times.
New Skill(s): Kogim
Description: Kogim are sometimes affectionately, but often not, referred to as the “Beasts” or “Beastmen”. This race of semi-sapiens are the zookeepers of the galaxy, taking care of the various animals that they encounter on their interplanetary travels. They were legendary for their genetic engineering. Every member has their own pet, of any size or type (within GM reason). During their stay with this pet, they will over time gain some of the attributes of this pet, as well as impart some human-like attributes to their pet, such as an extended lifespan and increased intelligence.
When they arrived in this side of the galaxy, they brought with them as many alien animals as they could. Now, Outer System humans will occasionally find themselves encountering a giant beast floating through space, creating new ecosystems. Also of note are their space stations – floating trees the size of moons or flowers that bloom as big as human cities.
Random Notes: Kogim also have access to a more extreme flight-or-fight response where they gain improved animalistic qualities based on the animal they are bound to.
Requirements: Aspect related to being Sartha, an Aspect related to their Secret. Every Sartha carries a secret or is part of a conspiracy of some sort. They also all have two names, a true name, and a public one. Leading a double life is a big part of Sartha culture, and unfortunately, this stereotype has led to people being distrustful of them, even as they acknowledge their usefulness for their abilities and technology.
New Skill(s): Sartha
Description: A strange, mysterious psychic race of merchants. They travel the galaxy looking for new races with interesting takes on technology, then trade the technology between those races. However, they don’t seem to ever reveal much about their own technology, or whether they have even created much themselves. Whether their technology is so advanced because of what they have stolen from other races, or because they have created it themselves but refuse to share, nobody knows. What they do know is the strange colors of their skin (from blues and purples to reds, pinks, and oranges), strange ears, strange hair, eyes, and yet, it’s how similar they are to humans that creep people out the most.
Suggested Character Archetypes: Technology Dealer, Gambler, Con-Man, Information Thief, Information Dealer, Ambitious Advisor, Mad Scientist, Interrogator, Diplomat, Private Eye, Engineer with a Past, etc.
Requirements: Aspect related to being Xai
New Skill(s): Xai
Description: The Xai are also called Rune Golemns or Sentient A.I. It was discovered that these were a type of ancient, technology harboring sleeping golems. They learn fast and adopt technology and language with a fervent speed that can be dizzying. This may have something to do with their ability to deploy their consciousness in any nearby wireless Network hubs, even on ships. However, they must remain connected to their original golem in some way, like a server that any other net presences must constantly ping, or a brain that controls an arm. While in this state, they simply appear to be boulders with glowing runes around them.
Suggested Character Archetypes: Robot Trying to Learn Human, Helpful Ship AI, Disembodied Hacker, Raging Hulk, Information Dealer, Mr. Universe-like Watcher of Media, Man in the Chair, Over-protective Bodyguard, Duty-Bound Titan, etc.