The Dealers

Those who dwell in the science of biological lifeforms are deeply vexed by the mere existence of an entirely synthetic android race. For its part, the android race in question is deeply vexed by the mere existence of biological lifeforms, so it considers the relationship equitable.

And equitable relationships are the cornerstone of the android race that calls itself “The Dealers.” Unlike most alien races, the Dealers’ species name is translated by concept to the language of other races it deals with; thus if the word for “dealers” is grenthasha to another race, then the androids will be known as Grenthasha. When pressed for what their “true” name, they politely attempt to change the subject, although they will eventually offer that the closest concept they have to such a thing is “l00111001000001010011010100010l.” Whether this is the singular or plural name of their race is unknown.

Example Character

Dealer 5185058 (4F1E22 in hexadecimal) is an old Dealer and has seen better centuries. After a disastrous trading expedition on Phelos-4, 51S505S was brought to near-destruction after an attack by a Verda prowler. The experience seems to have affected its circuits in an undiagnosable way, such that random unfortunate glitches plague its interactions. The superficial damage and scarring on O’Fyvate (as it’s known to its organic friends) has proven nearly impossible to buff our completely, and it is unable – or unwilling – to purchase a new body. O’Fyvate thus finds itself continuing to roam the galaxy; it has paid off some of its Life Debt and amplified its regenerative properties somewhat, bur it hopes to be a totally free Dealer some day.

Agility 2D +1: dodge 3D+1
Mechanical 2D
Strength 2D+2
Knowledge 4D: aliens: economic law 7D, bureaucracy 5D, business 5D, languages 4D +2, willpower 4D+ 1
Perception 4D: bargain 5D
Technical 2D
Strength Damage: 1D
Fate Points: 1
Move: 10
Character Points: 5
Body Points: 18
Wound levels: 3

Disadvantages: Age: Old (R1), old and battered-looking shell; Bad Luck{R2); Cultural Unfamiliarity(R1}; Debt(R2), still owes significant resources to creator; Devotion (R3), to fair trade and interactions; Hindrance: Limited Regenerative Properties {R7}, -7 to damage resistance totals; Hindrance: Uncreative (RS), +6 to all Technical-related difficulties involving improving or inventing technology.

Advantages: Fame (R3), member of fair and honest merchant race; Wealth (R2), +4 to all Funds totals

Special Abilities: Atmospheric Tolerance (R1), airless environments, with Additional Effect (R3 ), need not breathe; Attack Resistance: Mental (R2), +2D to resistance totals against mental harm; Immortality (R1), will cease to function if back up is erased or cannot be put into new body, with Additional Effect (R2), does not need to eat or breathe; and Price (R1), requires Legendary Funds (posthumously) to activate; Immunity (R5), +5D to Strength or stamina checks against illness or poison; Iron Will (R3), +3D to all willpower rolls and +6 to standard interaction difficulties.

Equipment: Legal PAD

Dealer Package

Total creation point cost: 8 points

Total defined limit cost: 2 attribute dice

Disadvantages: Cultural Unfamiliarity (R1); Debt (R3), owes significant resources to creator; Devotion (R3), to fair trade and interactions; Hindrance: Limited Regenerative Properties (RS), -8 to damage resistance totals; Hindrance: Uncreative (RS), +6 to all Technical-related difficulties involving improving or inventing technology.

Advantages: Fame (R3), member of fair and honest merchant race.

Special Abilities: Atmospheric Tolerance (R1, total cost 5), airless environments, with Additional Effect (R3), need not breathe; Attack Resistance: Mental (R2, cost 4), +2D to resistance totals against mental harm; Immortality (R1, total cost 8), will cease to function if back up is erased or cannot be put into new body, with Additional Effect (R2), does not need to eat or breathe; and Price (R1), requires Legendary Funds (posthumously) to activate; Immunity (R5, cost 5), +5D to Strength or stamina checks against illness or poison; Iron Will (R3, cost 6), +3D to all willpower rolls and +6 to standard interaction difficulties.

Dealer characters with a low number who are expected to spend a lot of time among ocher Dealers should have ranks of Authority, with Price (R1), Very Difficult Funds check required. Dealer characters with a high number who are expected to be commanded by other Dealers should have Employed (R2), Dealer must perform agreed-upon cask in exchange for monetary compensation.

Additionally, as the Dealer pays off its Life Debt, it may lower its Hindrance: Limited Regenerative Properties Disadvantage.


Like their name implies, the Dealers exist to make and broker deals. The reasons why they exist for this purpose is shrouded in antiquity. 1hey mark both their creation and self-aware- ness to an event in their far past they call “the Booting” – the exact date of this is unknown, owing to a data crash centuries ago. While many other races claim their deities both created chem and made them sentient at the same time, the Dealers actually have printed receipts. The androids’ most “holy” text – for, indeed, they seem to approach this aspect of their life with a dogmatic devotion – is a document entitled “Work Order 710522.” (The title and the text is known because it was originally saved in 196 languages on a separate electronic version of the document, of which 17 were decipherable; enough copies were in circulation to survive the purge.) This document describes the creation of 256 robotic life forms by someone known as “193-35” for a someone (or ones) known as Th’ar. The Dealers call 193-35 “the Great Creator,” while Th’ar is “the Great Client.”

Nothing is known about the final fates of either the Great Creator or the Great Client. As best as anyone has been able to determine, something happened on the homeworld of the Dealers (and, presumably, Th’ar) sometime after the Dealers bodily creation but before their activation. This event – theorized to be a massive war or other calamity – wiped out almost all biological lifeforms more complex than simple plants, as well as destroying nearly every sign of civilization on the surface of the homeworld. 1he Dealers were spared because their bunker-like creation chamber existed deep beneath the earth.

The Dealers believe a great deal of time passed between this war and the Booting, although how much they do not how, at some point, their initialization sequence sparked, and their sensors flickered to life. There is debate as to whether the Booting was a prearranged event or something prompted by an outside force; although Work Order 710522 has numerous date and time stamps – marking the initiation of the order, its scheduled completion, and the scheduled pickup- neither the time units nor their scales are known, so it’s impossible to say when they passed. TI1e Dealers generally agree that almost all of the dates have occurred, although owing to some theoretical calculations., it is possible that the scheduled order fulfillment and delivery to 1h’ar is sometime in the future; if so, it is likely to be within the next century or so.

Regardless, this original group of256 androids found them- selves seemingly without purpose as the sole self-aware beings on an entire planet. Although there was some disagreement, the Dealers found themselves defining a purpose quickly. ‘The logic went such: “Since 193-35 created us to make a profit” – for, indeed, many prospectuses and profit statements were found electronically in the same 196-language format – “then it stands to reason we exist to make a profit for 193-35.Likewise, we were created for Th’ar, although we do not know for what purpose; presumably, Th’ar will tell us what we are to do when Work Order 710522 comes to completion. Until then, it falls to us to amass as much profit for 193-35 as we can, without doing anything to jeopardize our obligation to the coming of Th’ar:’ 1hey reasoned that, since Th’ar conducted business in a forthright and legal manner, so too must their dealings be rooted in law and legal respect.

To that end, the Dealers – as they eventually called themselves – sought to make as much money as possible by being completely and utterly fair and forthright. Using a few surviving ships with interstellar drives and knowledge of a few local star systems, the Dealers were able to develop and expand a huge trade empire. 1he Dealers find themselves in an odd position of waiting for two mysterious beings from their past to come for them. The return of 193-35 – or someone acting on 193-35’s verifiable behalf – would give resolution (or at least affirmation) to their chosen profiteering purpose, while the emergence of Th’ar would probably enable them to know their true reason for being.

Ahead of the Game

I have heard it said that “the one who dies with the mast toys wins.” Since our people have a considerable quantity of toys and cannot die, we consider ourselves ahead of the game. -Dealer 10642, after its 31st body transference

Physical Appearance

Standing just under two meters tall, Dealers all look very similar, with near-featureless metallic humanoid appendages: two manipulative arms, two legs providing motility, a head with sensory information, and the like. Although newly created Dealers can have their bodies tailored for specialized purposes, they usually aren’t; Dealers consider trying to craft a form to maximize short-term profits endangers long-term trends, and today’s useful form may prove to be tomorrow’s liability. Dealers have no gender, and find other cultures’ gender roles to be curious. Each Dealer’s real name is actually a hexadecimal number, although they will often adopt an assumed name in the language of the culture they spend most of their time in. Their designations are typically expressed as a series of nearly invisible small raised bumps, usually on their arms or the top of their head; each column represents a digit in hexadecimal, reading from left to right, with a zero represented by a solid raised line as long as 15 bumps. Thus, Dealer 2351 (in decimal) would be represented by three columns – one of nine bumps, one of two, and one of 15.


The Dealer homeworld was once a perfectly normal Earth- sized planet- the second of six worlds in a system with a yellow star. It had a pe1fectly normal, diverse biosphere, with arctic regions at the poles, tropics at the equator, and everything in between. However, shortly before the Booting, a major catastrophe destroyed all complex life and invoked a mini-ice age.

In the intervening centuries, life has slowly begun recovering, and there are even reports of complex animal life being spotted. The Dealers don’t have much interest in these developments, however, since they see little benefit; proto-mammals have notoriously bad credit. The Dealers have developed their world – which they call “1” – to a fairly clean urban complex, with sprawling megastores, offices, and factories. Subsequent worlds have been numbered incrementally, so a Dealer trade route might be indicated as “17-1-4-17:’ The first city formed on a Dealer world is also known as “l” with numbers progressing upwards; the first-built building is known as “1″ and so on. Thus, a Dealer who has a stall in the tenth-founded storefront in the third-built bazaar of the fourth city of the Dealer home- world would have an address of; this system is completely and intuitively understood by other Dealers, but leaves organic lifeforms scratching their heads.


Since Dealers have few of the needs of usual biological lifeforms – food, land, or reproductive rights-their government is unusually scanty. In ge11eral, Dealers are required by law (and, to a lesser extent, programming) to acquiesce to the commands of someone with a lower number than them. However, doing so immediately invokes the Forced Compact – any services rendered from a higher number in such a way incurs an extremely high payment rate. As such, most lower-numbered Dealers tend to bargain reasonably with those younger than them, to arrive at a mutually agreeable contract. This hierarchy extends all the way up to the Firsts – the 256 Dealers who were part of the first batch created. Most of these have been destroyed over the centuries, almost always by accidents or attacks. Only seven of the original 256 were known to exist within the past two decades, and the whereabouts of only two – 94 and 229 – are known. Since every other Dealer in creation can be compelled to serve these two, they wield considerable power. Dealer 229 is the more active and approachable one, and it will often serve as an elder diplomat for the Dealers when such functions are required. Dealer 94 is more of the “hermit on the hill;’ generally hidden and mysterious. There are rumors that Dealer 94 is gathering pieces of a complex ancient artifact from across the cosmos, although for what purpose is unknown; regard- less, the only time Dealer 94 is likely to take any visible activity in the outside world is to interact with groups to find more of these pieces, or to talk with those who may have (knowingly or otherwise) come close to them.

Dealers reproduce by a process called the Forking, in which it splits its essential energy and processing core off into two equal parts. This new part is placed within a body the Dealer has chosen from the homeworld; upon activation, the new core combines with the new body to produce a unique individual. The base laws, rules, and philosophies of the Dealers are uploaded immediately, but no further personality is implanted; Dealers believe that it’s counterproductive to their evolution to impose too many restrictions on the development of successors. As such, each Dealer is truly a unique individual, although the differences in their personalities and outlooks can be subtle to organic lifeforms. (A Dealer debate might revolve around the number of significant digits one should round to, and whether one rounds before or after multiplication.)

Tue Forking process is incredibly taxing, and it’s never entered into lightly; it reduces the automatic regenerative ?properties of their android bodies by roughly half, making them much more susceptible to damage until the deficiency is repaid. Many Dealers have never Forked their essence, and to have more than one or two successors over the span of one’s existence is incredibly rare. Because of this cost, all newly created Dealers are subject to the Life Debt – literally, the cost of creating the new Dealer. This debt is repaid in rare minerals and electronics, which restores the parent Dealer to wholeness; however, there is an entire industry on the Dealer homeworld devoted to the interstellar search for these components, so most Life Debts are tallied as a monetary sum. Regardless of how it’s repaid, the Life Debt is a phenomenal obligation, and Dealers can spend centuries amassing the sum necessary emerge from it.

Since the Dealers reproduce essentially by fission, they find most two- (or more) parent situations confusing: “It doesn’t seem advantageous to lock oneself into a single-investor mutual partnership, especially if outside arrangements are discouraged.” With the needs for reproduction removed, Dealers have no concept of “family” outside of long-term partnerships; they prefer to make such contracts with other Dealers, since they understand each ocher.

Dealers also have one other aspect that makes other species uncomfortable: They have achieved immortality, of sorts. In addition to a body that will never age, their essence is routinely uploaded via an encrypted server every time they visit a Dealer world. If the Dealer has sufficient funds, it can be uploaded into a new body should something happen to the original. In addition to the great expense, the transference to a new body takes time, especially since Dealer scholars must ensure that the original has truly been destroyed lest a duplicate be created.


As their name implies, the Dealers have an interstellar reputation as purveyors in all manner of wares. More significantly, however, the Dealers have a reputation as being uncannily fair; they may not offer excellent bargains, but you can always be assured that a Dealer is telling the truth about its wares, and the price offered will be equitable. To the Dealers, a brokered settlement where all parties agree that they received their money’s worth – or more – is the optimum solution and is to be striven for in all situations. Their dealings are not limited to physical merchandise, either; most services can be procured through Dealers, from legal aid to information services to mercenary might. Dealers have a programmed compulsion to provide an equitable transaction, to the extent that they have risked life and limb to track down a previous client because a transaction was discovered to be unfair. (For example, if the Dealer learned that some information it sold was not accurate, it would be compelled to offer a refund.)

As a result, “haggling” has little meaning to the Dealers, per se; they offer their wares at the price that they conclude is the correct one, and they will accept no more nor less than that amount. However, those who interact frequently with Dealers realize that Dealers place values on everything, so a price that seems unworkable can be made more affordable by offering other items. Thus, Dealer transactions often resemble these odd collections of unrelated lists: a Dealer might trade a used spacecraft in exchange for three blaster pistols, a handful of scholarchips, two liters of Human blood, five transferable vouchers for transport anywhere that can be reached in one week or less, and 5,971 credits.

Dealers set aside 10% of all profits to give to their ‘elders” on 1, of which at least 5% are set aside for the return of 193-35 and the other 5% go toward upkeep of the Dealer worlds (although any extra – of which there is much – is added to 193-35’s reserves). As a result, the cache set aside for 193-35 constitutes, by many reckonings, the largest treasure in the galaxy … although what form, exactly, this wealth has taken is unknown to the outside world. laws and Customs

Outside of the requirement to bow to a lower-numbered superior, Dealers do not have conventional laws; rather, they view the laws of many organics as a means of imposing a natural order that sentient beings simply should feel an inclination toward. Since Dealers are much more attuned with their “natural” inclinations, they have no need for formalized life instructions. They argue that other lifeforms do not have laws requiring people to breathe, since that is the assumed action. Similarly, Dealers have no laws demanding fair trade or contract obligations, since such actions are as natural to Dealers as breathing is to other lifeforms. One of the few laws scares char it’s illegal to copy a Dealer essence into another body when the original exists, and the duplicate in such a rare case must be destroyed (in addition to other reparations).

Since Dealers have free will, it is possible for them to break these customs, although it happens so rarely that it’s treated with the same credulity as spontaneous combustion. Should a Dealer be shown and verified to act against the interests of free trade and the customer, Dealers will band together to capture the defective rogue, who will then have two options: make all reparations necessary (with interest) or be deactivated. The latter outcome is usually performed by the Dealer’s parent or, if unavailable or destroyed, any lower-numbered Dealer.

The Dealers have another custom, which many species find abhorrent: the Law of Financial Culpability. Put simply, the Dealers believe that all transgressions can be repaid monetarily; from breach of contract to crimes of violence, any fault of a Dealer’s can be made whole (to the Dealers, at least) by the expenditure of money- usually a great deal of money. There is no “prison” or other punishment to Dealers outside of the financial ones, although if it is shown that a Dealer has little probability of repaying such debts, it may be deactivated. The Law of Financial Culpability doesn’t come up often, but the notion that a Dealer could commit cold-blooded murder if it had 50 million credits to spend makes some people uneasy … especially since it would be logical for a Dealer to do so if it meant it could make 51 million as a result.


If a Dealer is asked whether they have any religions, they will politely scoff and say there is no empirical evidence for belief in that which cannot be verified. When iris pointed out that their belief in the return of 193-35 seems very much to be a religion, they reject this notion with a vehemence bordering on emotion. When then asked for verifiable proof of the coming of 193-35, Dealers get very quiet. Scholars generally agree it’s best not to press the issue, since it is the Dealers’ belief in the return of 193-35 that makes them such fair traders.

Dealers who interact almost exclusively within the confines of one religion have been known to adopt that religion. First, it’s good for business to be part of the community, and second, within a closed system, it’s easier to be swayed from their natural agnostic tendencies. Still, when pressed, such converts usually confess that their certainty about their chosen faith has a percentage probability in the mid-fifties; when pressed further, these Dealers posit chat chis is the percentage shared by many” true” believers.


Dealers have no organized entertainment since, lacking emotions as others understand them, they are seldom in need of entertaining. They enjoy conversing with others, especially alien species, since doing so gives them more data to make better and more informed bargaining decisions in the future.


If there is one force or factor keeping the Dealers from becoming galactic powerhouses – or, worse, conquerors – it is their inability to innovate technologically. With almost no exception, Dealers have to rely on ocher races for new, different, or better gear; “inventor Dealer” is an oxymoron in some circles. As such, Dealer ships and weapons tend to take on whatever form and function the Dealer is able to afford to purchase from somewhere else.

However, the Dealers have acquired at least two devices that they use in transactions; where they got them from is unknown {since no one has been willing to pay the exorbi- tant price for this “trade secret”), but no other races make use of them.

The Legal PAD: This device cakes biometric and cellular data from a willing biological participant at the time of a transaction’s closing; in addition to a genetic sample, retinal scan, and fingerprint acquisition, it also monitors the circulatory rate, speech pattern, signature pattern, and the like. This information forms the basis of an ultra-advanced contract, providing proof positive that the subject was who she said she was, she entered into the contract of her own free will, and she understood the terms of the contract. Such completed contracts, coupled with the Dealers’ reputation, a re considered ironclad agreements, from which there is practically no room to squirm away; every legal system more technologically advanced than rock-throwing cave dwellers recognizes chem to be valid. It would rake a Legendary business result to find a loophole able to thwart such a contract, and a Heroic personal equipment repair result to erase or reprogram the device. Cost: Moderate (652 credits).

The Dealkeeper Chip: This sub-dermal mobile computer – the size of a half a deck of playing cards – is only used in extreme bargaining situations, and then only reluctantly by the Dealers. So long as the device remains implanted, it compels the subject to obey the terms of an agreed-upon contract (uploaded from a Legal PAD) to the letter. Acting outside the terms of a contract requires a Very Difficult willpower check per round a contra-indicated action is performed. It requires a Legendary medicine result to remove the device, since its mobility enables it to wiggle out of the way of the doctor and further into the p2tient. Still, a massive trauma – such as chopping off the arm in which the device is implanted – is one way of being rid of it. Dealers dislike using these devices in everyone but the most hideously expensive transactions or in those who have proven themselves untrustworthy. Besides the cost (which is passed on to the contract-signer), it also opens up many legal issues; if the recipient of the Dealkeeper Chip dies because he is unable to perform actions to save his life (because they would, inadvertently, break the contract), the Law of Financial Culpability declares the Dealer responsible for monetary reparations in such cases. Cost: Difficult (3,030 credits).

D6 Space Aliens, Volume I (WEG 51022), © 2005 Purgatory Publishing Inc.
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