Humans

Humans can be anything from a random civilian selling you a coffee to a battle-hardened veteran in power armor shooting at you with a rocket launcher. You can use the following guidelines to create NPCs on the fly:

Remember that NPCs don’t follow the rules for character creation. If it makes sense for an elite NPC to have Tactician even if they don’t have Command, just give it to them. You should prefer to give elite NPCs 1 or 2 powerful Edges instead of loading them up with half a dozen Novice Edges; it will make combat faster.

Space Pirates

In space, piracy is an everpresent danger - especially out in the Rim. Pirates come in many shapes and sizes and fly a variety of ships, depending on how successful they are and who they’re targeting. Below are some common examples of pirate ships. Scouts are by far the most popular ship for pirate crews, though fighters are a close second near inhabited planets or pirate bases. Corvettes and cruisers are much rarer, and only used by well-established pirate organisations.

Example loadouts include:

Meta-Terrans

These creatures aren’t aliens, but they’re not quite ordinary animals either. When humans colonised the Firmament, they brought countless embryos and genetic samples of Earth’s flora and fauna with them. Some of these have persisted without changing too much, but others have been engineered to fit ecological niches and help humans to terraform new worlds. As a result, there are quite a few “meta-terran” species derived from the animals of Old Earth. Some of the changes are relatively minor - for example, dogs and cats come in every shade of the rainbow these days - but others vary significantly from their ancestors, or even combine traits from multiple different animals.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 categories of meta-terran creatures:

  1. Spliced animals. The simplest type of manipulation to perform, these creatures are combinations of two species and have beneficial traits from each. Most creatures found in human biospheres fall into this category to some degree, and splicing to make animals more useful or to assist terraforming is a common practice.
  2. Mutated animals. These meta-terrans are animals that have been genetically modified with capabilities and traits that they would not otherwise possess. Difficult to do right; examples often have drawbacks and defects. When done right, the result is an “elevated” creature with exceptional capabilities.
  3. Xenomorphs. The rarest meta-terrans of all, these are animals that have been spliced with alien DNA, usually in an attempt to create something that can survive in human biospheres. Very dangerous, difficult and expensive to make. They can have abilities completely unheard of in terrestrial animals - like the ability to withstand molten lava, or to spit radiation.

Canid

Take DNA from a modern dog, and also from the enormous direwolves of the Pleistocene. Mix them together in just the right proportion, and you get a huge guard dog that is loyal to humans and loves to play fetch, right? Well, turns out when you release them in the wild they regress to a more… primal state. This is why canids are one of the greatest nuisance species in the Firmament.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d10, Stealth d8
Pace: 10; Parry: 6; Toughness: 6

Bite: Str+d6 damage.
Alertness: +2 to Notice rolls made to sense the world around you.

Cyber Hound

The canid is ideal as raw material; strong and fast, but remembering all of the ingrained loyalty and affection for humans that has been instilled into the domestic dog. As such, they’re popular candidates for cybernetic enhancement, particularly amongst crazy scientists and megacorporations. Outfitted with armor plating, a mechanically enhanced bite, and prosthetic legs, they are a swift and terrifyingly resilient predator. With specialised hardware installed in the canine brain, their natural instincts and impulses allow them to be controlled almost as precisely as a drone.

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Intimidation d8, Notice d10, Stealth d8
Pace: 12; Parry: 6; Toughness: 9 (3)
Edges: Alertness

Bite: Str+d8 damage.
Armor +3: Metallic plates grafted onto the skin and skeletal structure of the canid provide it with excellent protection against small arms fire.
Leg Enhancement: In addition to being as fast as a horse, cyber hounds can jump 1” higher than a canid.
Vision Enhancement: It’s typical for cyber hounds to be fitted with active night vision and thermal. They ignore penalties for Dim or Dark Illumination, and halve all other vision penalties.
Alertness: +2 to Notice rolls made to sense the world around you.

Inevitable Lizard

Made by unknown parties for unknown purposes, this six-legged lizard monstrosity is slightly smaller than a man. They are utterly fearless predators, and with good reason - their name comes from the fact that they are extremely difficult to kill. Glancing blows and flesh wounds are shrugged off completely, but even mortal damage doesn’t last long. They can regenerate from any wound within seconds, making them a nigh unstoppable killing machine. Hunting (and regenerating) uses up a lot of energy, so Inevitables spend a lot of time resting in torpor between hunts.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Athletics d10, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d8
Pace: 7; Parry: 6; Toughness: 7 (1)

Bite: Str+d6 damage.
Armor +1: Scaly hide.
Hardy: A second Shaken result doesn’t cause a Wound.
Regeneration: The Inevitable makes a Natural Healing roll every round, even if Incapacitated. Its brain must be destroyed to prevent regeneration.
Improved Frenzy: The Inevitable rolls an extra Fighting die with up to two Fighting attacks in the same turn.
Wall Walking: The Inevitable can move on all but the smoothest vertical surfaces with ease, and can move upside down with an Athletics roll.

Plasm Cat

These feral, genetically engineered felines are striking to look at. They have unusually long legs and two pairs of eyes, and are usually a glistening silvery color. Though they are the size of a bobcat and they can be dangerous to humans, they are generally shy and secretive animals.

The real danger from a plasm cat is not the cat themselves, but the parasite they host and live in symbiosis with. The plasmasis parasite can be found in the air throughout a plasm cat’s territory, and is easily picked up by humans. Those who are affected by it exhibit changes in behaviour, and often refuse to see the plasm cat as a threat.

The plasm cat has the ability to identify humans under the effects of the parasite through a mechanism not currently understood; it will fearlessly approach them. Though it usually just tears up their equipment and eats their food, there have been reports of plasm cats killing humans.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d10, Strength d4-1, Vigor d6
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d8, Notice d6, Stealth d8
Pace: 8; Parry: 6; Toughness: 3

Bite/Claws: Str+d4 damage.
Pounce: Plasm cats can make a leaping pounce to best bring their mass and claws to bear. If they can leap at least 1” and make a Wild Attack, they add +4 to damage instead of +2.
Size -2 (Small): Plasm cats are about the size of a bobcat. This reduces their Toughness by 2.
Plasmasis Disease: A plasm cat’s territory covers about 2 square miles, and is contaminated with airborne parasites. Each hour spent in a plasm cat’s territory requires a Vigor roll to avoid contracting the disease. Those who are affected suffer no symptoms, but will refuse to recognise plasm cats as a threat or nuisance, and will not attack them under any circumstances. This spell is only broken if they or an ally is physically harmed by a plasm cat. After leaving the area, the disease generally runs its course after 2 weeks.

Razorflies

Insects are a vital part of the terraforming process, and necessary to build a stable atmosphere and biosphere. Razorflies were originally various species of genetically engineered insects, designed to survive extreme conditions. On many planets, however, a genetic throwback caused them to mutate into a dangerous pest.

Razorflies are large, menacing insects that grow up to 2 inches in length and can string repeatedly. Though a deep purple in color, they behave similarly to wasps, building nests that teem with hundreds of members. They tend to build them out of mud, meaning that they very often blend into the surrounding landscape (-2 to Notice checks). Anyone who gets too close to a razorfly nest is in for a nasty surprise, as they are aggressively territorial.

Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d4(A), Spirit d12, Strength d8, Vigor d10
Skills: Notice d6
Pace: 10; Parry: 4; Toughness: 7

Sting: Automatically inflicts 2d4 damage to anyone caught within the template. Damage is applied in the least armored location.
Swarm: Parry +2. The swarm fills a Small Blast Template and attack everyone within it every round. Cutting and piercing weapons do no real damage. Area effect weapons work normally, and the swarm is foiled by total immersion in water.

Twintail

A so-called “spliced animal”, the twintail was meant to combine the strength of an ox with the intelligence and eagerness to please of a domesticated dog. The results were successful, from a certain point of view. Mutations were minimal besides a split tail, though a bovine head with a mouth full of fangs has a distinctly unsettling aspect. More importantly, the twintail is smart, fast and terrifyingly strong.

Unfortunately, the twintail is also insane - it acts like a deranged springer spaniel that has no idea that it weighs 2000 pounds. Wild twintails kill a lot of people each year - and more often than not they weren’t even trying to hurt anyone.

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6(A), Spirit d8, Strength d12+3, Vigor d12
Skills: Athletics d8, Fighting d6, Notice d10, Stealth d8
Pace: 10; Parry: 5; Toughness: 11

Bite: Str+d4 damage.
Size 3: The twintail weighs just under a ton.
Alertness: +2 to Notice rolls made to sense the world around you.

Aliens

Sapient alien life has never been discovered in the Firmament - or at least, it has never been publicised. Urban legends about Foundation cover-ups and ancient ruins in the distant systems beyond the Rim have been around for as long as interstellar civilisation. Nonetheless, for most people aliens are animals, nothing more.

Some alien life is miscible with humanity, meaning that people can eat them - and, in some cases, that they can eat people. Others are immiscible. This can mean anything from “incompatible with the human digestive system” to “a single spore can kill an adult human”.

Every now and then, a human-miscible alien will be transported to other systems. If the value is high enough to be worth keeping them alive, even an immiscible alien might leave its homeworld. This is rare, though. You’re generally unlikely to see an alien outside of a zoo or a rich eccentric’s collection unless they’re native to your system.