These business savvy merchants ply the space lanes buying, selling, trading, and even appropriating commodities to sustain their commercial empire.
Agility 3D+2: brawling 4D, dodge 4D, firearms 4D
Mechanical 2D+1: gunnery 3D, piloting 2D+2
Knowledge 3D+1: bureaucracy 3D+2, business 4D
Perception 3D+2: bargain 4D+1, investigation 4D
Technical 2D: computer interface/repair 2D+2, security 2D+1
Strength Damage: 2D
Fate Points: 0
Body Points: 19
Character Points: 2
Wound levels: 3
Disadvantages: Achilles’ Heel: Cold (R3), take 1D in damage per round in temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius; Hindrance: Arrogance (R2), +3 to con and persuasion difficulties
Special Abilities: Extra Body Part: Tail (RI); Natural
Armor: Scales (R1), +1D to damage resistance total against physical damage; Natural Hand-to-Hand Weapon: Claws (R1), +1D damage; Skill Bonus: Business Sense (R2), +2 to bargain, bureaucracy, and business totals
Total creation point cost: 2
Total defined limit cost: 2 skill dice
Disadvantages: Achilles’ Heel: Environmental Incompatibility (R3), +1 modifier to difficulties per round exposed to temperatures below 15 degrees Celsius; Hindrance: Arrogance (R2), +3 to con and persuasion difficulties
Special Abilities: Extra Body Part: Tail (R1, cost 0); Natural Armor: Skit1 (R1, cost 3), +1D to damage resistance total; Natural Hand-to-Hand Weapon: Claws (R1, cost 2), +1D damage; Skill Bonus: Business Sense (R2, cost 2), +2 to bargain, bureaucracy, and business totals
Razithar look like bipedal lizards, with lanky arms and legs, long tails, and reptilian heads. An elongated snout with bulbous nostrils and a wide, tooth-filled mouth dominates their facial features. Bulging sockets hold eyes often narrowed to slits by several eyelids. Round eardrums sit flush with the side of the head, without the benefit of fleshy ear flaps to enhance hearing. A jagged crest runs from the top of the head down to the end of the tail Instead of skin Razithar enjoy a protective coat of scales that covers all parts of their bodies, including their eyelids, belly, and crest.
Razithar hands can articulate nearly any item, despite the presence of formidably sharp claws. The constant clacking of claws on keyboards and calculating instruments dominates any location where Razithar conduct business. Their tails stabilize their balance while standing or moving upright, and have no prehensile qualities.
Individual Razithar display typical variations in height and coloration. Scales vary over several shades of green and brown, though most younglings begin life a solid bright green before color differences surface toward adulthood. Often striped or diamond patterns emerge along the back and belly; these remain similar among related individuals but do not denote any clan or corporate affiliation in Razithar society.
The vast swamplands, shallow seas, and isolated archipelago hills of Murrg provided a rich environment where several intelligent species evolved. The Razithar dominated the marshes, the fish-like Kroakaan inhabited the oceans, and the hulking Nalag the hills. Each developed a specialized economy based on resources available in their terrain. Despite the inevitable conflicts, the Razithar rose above the Kroakaan and Nalag to best administer production and distribution of materials essential for the three species to survive.
Eventually cities arose from the swamps, technology developed, and the Razithar took to the stars. Their hold on Murrg’s economy ensured they could limit their fellow species’ access to the tools and vehicles vital to galactic exploration and commerce. While the Razithar commercial empire expanded to the stars, the Kroakaan and Nalag were relegated to the status of hyposapient species, little more than animals that provide services and goods frequently available from other galactic markets.
Murrg now stands as the hub of an immense Razithar commercial empire. Massive terraforming efforts deepened oceans, drained marshes, and created stable landmasses suitable for the great cities, starports, warehouses, and commodities exchanges that fuel the Razithar economy. Although trading enclaves on other worlds provide ready access to resources, merchandise, and markets, the sprawling facilities on Murrg form the backbone of Razithar trade.
The Razithar built up every dry landmass on the planet, leaving the other 70% to oceans. To maximize space on limited surface area, most structures consist of rowers with foundations in the more stable hilly regions, or broad platforms rising on steel stilts from recently reclaimed swampland. City-towers combine living quarters with retail, government, and office districts. Landing platforms accommodate starship traffic. Warehouse facilities occupy levels beneath docking pads. High-speed transport pods zip passengers through conduits between towers, while hovercraft haul heavy cargoes along designated surface routes. Shuttles transport personnel between distant tower clusters and docking platforms.
Off-worlders receive a cool welcome on Murrg. Although the Razithar do not unduly restrict visitors, they do not encourage them. Few businesses catering to foreign tastes exist. Those visiting native diversions or mingling with the Razithar soon discover the species’ general condescension toward others. With space at a premium, offices, residences, and even hotel rooms rem for exorbitant prices, if available at all. Some corporations maintain administrative branch offices here, but most prefer dealing with Razithar merchant enclaves on their own homeworlds. Those posted to Murrg complain about the oppressive humidity and the daily rainstorms, conditions to which Razithar are naturally accustomed.
Most notable attractions on Murrg relate primarily to Razithar and have little appeal to off-worlders. The Corporate Dome serves as the government assembly, which administers all aspects of the commercial empire; the Razithar frequently refer to their ruling authorities as “the Dome.” The Merchant Academy trains future generations of Razithar for service in foreign markets, commercial enclaves, and trade cruisers. The Exchange tracks acquisitions, sales, and stockpiles for commodities throughout the Razithar mercantile domain. The Equitable Court handles the most prominent cases of economic and criminal injustice.
After centuries of oppression, Murrg’s two other sapient species have degenerated into semi-intelligent beasts possessing few trappings of civilized society. They roam the lower levels of the city-sprawls in furtive gangs, feeding off the sludge runoff from sewer pipes and enduring a wretched existence. They have neither the cooperation, intellect, or willpower to band together and take back any portion of their homeworld.
The Kroakaan, once native to Murrg’s shallow seas, now confine themselves to scavenging the terraformed shorelines. Off-worlders might easily describe them as diminutive fish- men displaying bulging eyes, gills, webbed hands and feet, and a variety of decorative and functional fins (usually in some stage of decay). Their unorganized bands pose little threat to anyone, as they spend most of their rime trying to subsist on shoreline refuse.
One Razirhar corporation has capitalized on an aspect of the Kroakaan reproductive cycle for defense purposes. The rare Kroakaan queens (now kept in captivity and artificially fertilized) spawn their young in a huge, removable egg sac containing up to 100 juvenile Kroakaan in a natural form of chemical stasis. When released from the protective membranes and fluids, the eggs burst, releasing a horde of critters that immediately swarms in search of food, including other living creatures. The Razithar harvest the spawn sacs and install them aboard merchant cruisers. When boarding hostile craft, crews release a sac into the corridors ahead of boarding par- ties, ensuring that the juvenile Kroakaan swarm engulfs and weakens potential adversaries.
Kroakaan: Agility 4D, brawling 5D, running 4D+2, Strength 2D, climb/jump 3D, swim 3D, Knowledge 1D, Perception 3D, search 4D, Mechanical 1D, Technical 0D. Strength Damage: 1D. Move: 10. Body Points: 16/Wound levels: 3. Natural Abilities: teeth (damage +1D ); atmospheric tolerance (water); small size (scale modifier 4).
The trollish Nalag degenerated into reclusive bullies defending wasteland turf beneath the Razithar platforms. They look like well-muscled Terrans with flattened heads showing little spark of intelligence in their simple faces, Pieces of mottled green carapace cover the brown skin on their arms, legs, chest and back, making them seem like formidably armored warriors. A company on Murrg hunts, captures, and breeds Nalag to fulfill a niche market for fierce species to compete in gladiatorial competitions throughout the galaxy. Unlike the Kroakaan swarm sacs, individual Nalag remain too difficult to keep and control to prove useful in Razithar military operations.
Nalag: Agility 2D, brawling SD, Strength 5D, Knowledge 1D, Perception 2D, Mechanical 1D, Technical 0D. Strength Damage: 3D, Move: 10, Body Points: 25 Wound levels: 3, Natural Abilities: claws (damage +1D); natural armor (+2D).
Intergalactic Newsfeed >
Razithar Escalate Trade War
AGOVA SECTOR – A Razithar merchant cruiser attacked a small convoy of TransCorp freighters yesterday, sparking increased tensions throughout the region. The sector’s independent settlers depend on imported goods to survive, though the number of shipping companies willing to deliver commodities in competition with the well-armed Razithar trade cruisers has dwindled. With no firmly established government to patrol the area or negotiate a peace between hostile powers, the behemoth Razithar cruisers threaten to destroy competition and seize a monopoly on commerce in the sector.
Razithar society revolves around profit. Corporations hire individuals for their meritorious performance at a particular job, one that ultimately increases the company’s wealth. Everyone in a commercial structure – from the lowliest cargo loader to the highest execs – openly shows faith that the profit system works. Those rendering good and loyal service receive salary raises and bonuses, while anyone faltering or failing receive demotions and pay cuts. This work ethic encourages blind devotion to Razithar economic endeavors, though it also breeds ample corruption (a perfectly acceptable by-product in such a society). The few who don’t fir into the Razithar work ethic, or who spurn such a exploitative life, wander the galaxy to find a path of their own.
Families form the foundation of Razithar society. An individual family consists of male and female parents and their brood, often as many as 10 children. Most related kin pledge their loyalty ro a particular company, usually one they’ve served in some capacity for generations. Family members often pursue similar careers, populating entire corporate divisions with their relations. Occasionally individuals or entire families transfer from one corporation to another, either to pursue opportunities for greater profit or escape some shameful past at their former employer.
The entire Razithar economy depends on conducting trade with other markets throughout the galaxy. They do not produce any bulk commodity of such value to sustain profitable sales, but they excel at buying, selling, trading, marketing, and transporting other people’s goods to viable markets.
The principle shipping corporations maintain their own warehouses, docking facilities, merchant fleets, security forces, and administrative offices. Most specialize in dealing with particular commodities or conducting trade in specific regions of space. Central offices on Murrg control overall operations, while enclaves throughout the galaxy directly supervise business in their territories.
Each company sends a small delegation to the Corporate Dome, the principle ruling body for Razithar concerns. Here they set standard trade policies, sanction those who work against their profitable activities, and prepare strategies to better solidify their hold on the overall galactic economy. Most decisions rely on data compiled by the Exchange, which monitors all trade activity among the corporations. The assembly elects a triumvirate of chief delegates to act as representatives to both Razithar and off-world concerns in all political and economic dealings.
A profitable economy depends on an armada of armed merchant cruisers transporting and disseminating goods among different markets. Each Razithar corporation maintains its own fleet, which they deploy singularly, in pairs, or as convoys depending on their territory and cargo.
Merchant cruisers form the backbone of any company’s fleet. These massive vessels carry enough cargo space, armor, shields, and ordnance to transport and defend valuable freight. A cruiser’s staff helps it stand on its own, especially in unknown or hostile territory. The crew includes spacers necessary to operate all the craft’s systems, negotiators and analysts, loaders and cargo handlers, marines and infantry, and at lease one adjudicator from the Razithar Equitable Court.
Support vessels such as tenders, maintenance hulks, snub fighters, and shuttles all ensure the protection and smooth operation of the cargo cruisers. Some operate out of enclaves used as merchant cruiser bases. Others, particularly lighter craft and some shuttles, occupy docking bays in the vessels themselves.
Most cruisers operate from enclaves established throughout the galaxy by Razithar corporations. They follow routes that allow them to maximize their profit by purchasing commodities at low costs and selling them on other worlds where increased demand brings higher prices. Some companies specialize in trade routes across several sectors to diversify their salable merchandise. Cruisers plying more remote regions deal in many different commodities, bringing a wide range of goods to planets that have little regular contact with freighters from any galactic power.
A few merchant cruisers operate as privateers, preying on freighters of unfriendly trade competitors. Disabling and looting other cargo haulers provides the bulk of their merchandise for sale, rho ugh such traders prefer dealing on backwater worlds or with crime syndicates that have vested interests profiting from pirate activity.
More than Merchants
Changes in galactic politics and variations among individuals or factions can create Razithar with an emphasis other than mercantile.
Razithar go to great lengths to protect their economic interests. Merchant cruiser crews and shipboard marines serve both as traders and soldiers. In times of war, they form the first rank of defense. A galactic conflict could easily spur an increase in cruiser production and Merchant Academy graduates eager to join the fight. Razithar security personnel receive training to deal with many situations, from guarding facilities and escorting cargoes to aggressively sabotaging and even openly combating trade rivals.
Merchant fleets typically ply established space lanes and call at ports where they can buy and sell valuable commodities. Occasionally they set out on expeditions i11to uncharted territory to explore new routes and find new consumers. They undertake such surveys with the same fervor that they pursue any potentially profitable endeavors. Such explorers do not care much for uninhabited worlds or those with rich natural resources; they seek ready markets for goods, and sources of finished commodities to trade elsewhere.
Although the existing Razithar economic structure borders on the criminal, some shipping corporations, trading enclaves, or merchant vessels may actually operate as truly illegal enterprises. Renegade companies with no representation in the Corporate Dome might go into business for themselves, without the backing and protection of a species-wide government. Other legitimate businesses could front subsidiaries dealing in criminal activities to boost their profits in lawless regions of the galaxy. The Razithar do not encourage sedentary contemplation of the arts, philosophy, and knowledge, for such activities yield few profits. Only those few sages who focus on economic theory and the policies of greed receive any degree of respect; even then, their continued existence relies on how well their philosophies and theories increase their patrons’ wealth.
Laws and Customs
The Razithar legal system and social customs reflect the species’ emphasis on acquiring wealth and actually encourage a redistribution of assets to maintain a healthy financial state. A labyrinthine code of laws punishes thieves of all degrees, places a value on all manner of possessions (even one’s time}, prosecutes those who harm other’s assets, and discreetly rewards ambition. As a general guide, anyone who accidentally or unjustly takes, damages, or destroys another’s property must pay a fine. Individuals often resolve their own petty disputes; someone who accidentally damages another’s personal vehicle offers to pay for repairs, downtime, and overall inconvenience. Local magistrates and ultimately the Equitable Court and its agents enforce laws against greater offenses (above and including minor infractions). The court assigns liaisons to each Razithar shipping corporation and magistrates to every civilian settlement district.
All violations – even treason and murder – incur fines, though the local magistrates and even the Equitable Court impose doubled penalties against offending foreigners (Thus, bringing more money into their economy). Those who cannot pay the requisite fine risk agents of the Equitable Court seizing their assets to pay. Serving prison time or executing egregious offenders does not generate income and often costs the government money, so those committing capital crimes or who are unable to pay the fines are stripped of all possessions, assets, and rank, and dumped on an obscure (if not dangerous) planet.
Even social customs emphasize acquisition of property. Guests bring gifts for even the most trivial of occasions: corporate meetings, friendly visits, family dinners, sporting events, starport arrivals and departures. Offering a present, even an inexpensive token, shows one’s respect for another and willingness to conduct cordial interaction. Most Razithar pride themselves on having a stock of small gifts that represent their personal interests, business associations, political leanings, or rank. Commonly offered souvenirs include ornamental jewelry, candies, personal care items, holovid or music data chips, perfumes, and small, personal electronic devices. As a point of honor, Razithar never conceal detrimental items (computer viruses, tracking devices, poisons) within such gifts.
To refuse a Razithar gift remains among the most dire insults in the society (even greater than plainly derogatory comments). Razithar often forgive common foreigners who remain ignorant of this custom, and they have increased respect for those who practice it. Officials dealing with high-ranking Razithar go to great lengths to find appropriately lavish gifts to encourage better corporate, political, and social relations.
The Razithar religion combines a degree of pious respect and their overall lust for profit. Officially they worship Ziton, the only god of a populous, primitive pantheon to survive their ambitious mercantile evolution. The god rakes the form of a short, obese Razithar wearing elaborately gaudy clothes, his arms outstretched, his claws clenching fat bags of money, and his face sporting a leering smile of victory.
The god’s sneering face likewise decorates rhe surface of the Razithar internal currency, also called the Ziton, leading many off-worlders to speculate that the Razithar have elevated the goals of profit and wealth to holy status.
Worship practices also merge deity with currency. Most ambitious Razithar keep small shrines to Ziton in their homes, often concealing vaults encasing their personal savings, prized possessions, and important documents. Ziton’s statue presides over most Razithar financial institutions, and his face guards the imposing edifices of immense vaults. Although no official liturgy exists, worshipers keep sacred all laws and customs pertaining to accumulating, protecting, and increasing their wealth. Most public shrines provide places for supplicants to offer prayers of request or thanks, and all contain offering wells into which the faithful can cast small coins as gifts, reflecting the Razithar custom of bringing gifts to those tl1ey visit. Perhaps the most pervasive evidence of Ziton’s influence – and Razithar’s respect for him – comes in the traditional parting phrase to wish others well: “May Ziton smile on your fortune.”
Accumulation remains a key theme in many Razithar games and sports. Children prefer scavenger hunts and other collecting and trading activities. They create mock businesses and pretend to broker deals with other groups of children. Their friendships even fall into a hierarchy much like a corporate structure.
Adults find amusement in many traditional ways: concerts, holovids, grand parties and receptions, inspirational orators, and sporting events. Although the actual entertainment takes precedence, most Razithar find such gatherings ideal opportunities to pursue their own profitable agendas and associations.
Razithar particularly enjoy elaborate simulations, usually of economic situations, but sometimes dealing with hypothetical political or military challenges. These occur through board games or computer interfaces, against single opponents or cooperative groups. Many corporations sponsor such simulations, giving players paran1eters similar to problems management currently faces (as a means of cheaply acquiring new ideas).
Although Razithar developed their own technology early in their civilization, they’ve come to depend on equipment from other societies readily acquired through their vast web of intergalactic trade.
These massive vessels form the backbone of the Razithar economy. Traveling alone or in pairs and convoys, they transport valuable commodities among diverse markets. Cavernous bays hold freight, docking bays house defensive fighters and cargo shuttles, and shields, armor, and ordnance protect the entire craft.
Crews consist not only of pilots, gunners, systems operators, and engineers, but an entire corps of merchant personnel, from negotiators to broker sales to loaders to handle cargo. A cruiser captain can also deploy a complement of soldiers if he deems any of the ship’s interests are in danger.
The Razithar contract other species more notable for their starship engineering and construction skills to build a cruiser’s basic hull Other specialized suppliers install weapons systems, computers, life-support modules, and other interior components. Frequent rotation of assignments among contractors ensures no one foreign company or government ever contributes exclusively to a particular system.
Although the Razithar have no massive starship construction yards of their own, they perform final customization of all merchant cruisers in their repair facilities. The characteristics herein reflect the standard trade cruiser. Most corporations, and even individual captains, modify their vessels with additional weapons, system upgrades, larger fighter complements, and (in some cases) airlocks, tractor beams, magnetic grapple tethers, and loading bays specifically designed for plundering cargo from disabled freighters.
Crew: 10,000 (pilot, navigation, gunners, sensors, communication, repair, administration, loaders, and support staff)
Passengers; 1,000 (troops)
Cargo: 200,000 cubic meters, including cargo bays, equipment, storage, supplies, and a squadron of snub fighters
Life-Support Supplies: 3 years
Move: 6 (space)
Interstellar Drive Rating: 2
Backup Drive Rating: 0.5
Weapons: 40 blaster cannons (10 forward arc, 10port, 10 starboard, 10 aft, gunnery bonus +2D, range 8/25/38, damage 6D) 10 tractor beams (1 forward arc, 4 port, 4 starboard, 1 aft, gunnery bonus +2D, range 5/15/30, damage 6D)
Hull Toughness: 5D
Atmosphere Capability: None
Length (approximate): 2,000 meters
Total Cost (new): Not for sale
Cargo Stasis Field
Razithar scientists developed a form of stasis field to preserve perishable commodities during transport. The device generates an energy field that stabilizes matter and prevents aging or cellular degradation. Merchants most often use these fields to store fruits, vegetables, flowers, food, and processed meats during long freighter journeys. With uninterrupted energy How (usually from a starship’s in-system drives), a stasis field can preserve material for up to six months before natural degradation begins, albeit at a slower rate.
The field generator consists of 50 emitter disks each about one meter in diameter, arranged with half above and half below the space intended to store fresh merchandise. A control module outside the field’s range allows the operator to initiate or deactivate the device and monitor the condition of material within. The field generates a bluish light along its perimeter that repels both energy and physical matter attempting to penetrate it. It acts as an deflector shield when withstanding damage; if any damage total exceeds 5D, the generator shorts out and the stasis field drops.
Merchants rarely use stasis fields to transport live commodities (Livestock bays are far more efficient). The scientific principles behind the technology are not conducive to consistently reviving living creatures; beings corning out of stasis must make Heroic stamina rolls or sustain 10D damage from the shock of their physiological systems attempting to revive. The Razithar do not employ stasis fields on a small scale; since the science requires so much energy and space to safely deploy, it becomes too costly. They do not readily share this technology with others, though some examples of these devices have leaked to other species through unconventional channels.
Engineers can install stasis field generators aboard star- ships (25 area units/75 cubic meters, 25 tons, 25 energy units required, 9,000 credits) or in warehouse facilities, both with access to steady and strong power sources. Price: Very Difficult (14,000) for freestanding unit with dedicated power supply.
No Razithar merchant of any rank travels without this versatile personal data device. The tabulator combines the functions of a comlink and media reader/recorder within the shell of a hand comp that easily slips under the arm. The device has ports for interfacing with larger computers, exchanging messages with communications equipment, and reading information from scholarchips.
The device intentionally avoids any holographic display capabilities to ensure privacy. Removable sound and video sensors enable users to easily record messages, while a collapsible screen shades information and messages displayed on the readout from w1authorized eyes.
Tabulators have redundant security measures to prevent unauthorized users from accessing sensitive data. To activate one, the user must enter a customized clearance code, depress a digit against a fingerprint-scanner, and draw a personal sigil on the touch-sensitive screen. Circumventing these precautions requires a Heroic security roll. The tabulator automatically records data (including time, location, and method) for every unsuccessful attempt to access its contents. Price: Difficult (3,354 credits).