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Time Lord Game Additions

By Justin Reynolds

DOMINATORS

The Dominators are a ruthless, warlike race of humanoids. So far their empire stretches across ten "galaxies" (probably a mistranslation of constellations or solar systems), and they are attempting to spread further. With the escalation of their conflict with other races, they have begun taking slaves to free their robot workers for use in battle. This strategy is somewhat dubious - in bringing the best specimens of conquered species to their homeworlds, the Dominators have created a potential army to destroy their empire from its heart. Tactics have never been the Dominators' strong point, though. Their success is due to superior technology, numbers, and strength rather than good planning.

As their name suggests, the Dominators are tall and physically imposing. Their massive shoulders accurately indicate their great strength. Short black hair frames their hard faces and deep set eyes, and their heads rest directly on the shoulders with no discernable neck. They wear segmented black uniforms and thick metallic grey body armour. Retired Dominators are often cast as the Narrator in performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Dominator society is highly structured and inflexible. The elite, at least, attempt to be logical and detached. Waste is despised, and squandering of resources can provoke anger. They do nothing unless they think it will aid their plans. In refraining from seemingly unnecessary actions the Dominators often allow serious problems to develop. Probationers, i.e. members of the race who have not yet qualified as full Dominators, tend to display excessive lust for violence and lack of regard for conservation of resources. Dominators do not take criticism well, and although they try to relinquish emotion they are still subject to fear, anger and impatience.

The species minimalist attitudes have lead them to rely on robots called Quarks to perform most tasks. The Quarks conform to the robot description in the Time Lord book, with the exceptions of their weapon systems and the fact that they do not have the brawling skill and won't strike out physically. In appearance the Quarks resemble dark, metallic refrigerators on stumpy legs. Arms fold out from their chests, and end in a variety of manipulative devices and weapons. Their heads are spheres from which five long crystalline spikes project at right angles to each other. Assorted sensors cover most of the sphere's surface.

Weapons
Although they are quite capable warriors, the Dominators do not often chose to enter combat themselves. Instead, their robot servants the Quarks are ordered to destroy their enemies. The Quarks are armed with ultrasonic beam generators, variable power blasters which can deliver up to 8 Wounds. If the Dominators do not want the victims harmed, the Quarks use molecular adhesion to cement them to solid surfaces. This is equivalent to a grappling Attack of 9, and lasts for several minutes. When forced to fight, the Dominators' fists inflict 2 Wounds.

Armour
Dominators wear a heavy armoured jerkin, which provides their torsos with Armour 9. A rubbery black suit protects their limbs with Armour 3.

Weaknesses
While it is difficult to overcome Dominators in battle, they can quite easily be tricked. They are unlikely to be able to tell if someone is lying, and generally take things at face value. If they perceive something to be of no use or danger to them, they will ignore it.

VERVOIDS

The Vervoids are humanoid plants, the product of sophisticated genetic engineering. Their tall bodies are vine-like skeletons covered in thick, dark foliage. Waxy, leaf veined hands end in sharp thorns, and an irregular frill rings their necks. Resembling the flowers of a carnivorous plant, their orange- yellow heads are totally alien. The creatures grow inside huge pods and burst free when they are strong enough, much like a butterfly from a cocoon. During the period of growth, they remain dormant unless bright light strikes the pods. It is possible that more than one Vervoid may grow from a single pod, if human survivors are foolish enough to leave it intact.

The behaviour of the Vervoids is highly methodical. They quickly form a hierarchy, and follow instructions from their superiors willingly. A formidable intelligence and the ability to learn quickly make them dangerous foes, capable of predicting and preventing action against them. These traits are largely due to their intended role as a slave race. Unfortunately for their creators, various Factors caused them to spurn human masters. The dominant belief in the Vervoid psyche is that all 'animal kind' is their enemy - every animal depends in some way on the consumption of plants, so the Vervoids will never agree to coexist with animals. The fact that they were to be enslaved certainly did nothing to mitigate their hostility.

Professor Sarah Lasky created the Vervoids, with the assistance of Doland and Bruchner. Although her goals were purely academic, her desire to succeed in her experiments caused her to ignore the dangers and ethical dubiety of her work. The idea of using the Vervoids as slaves was entirely Doland's, and his associates would not have supported this plan. The first generation of Vervoids was all killed, along with their creators, but the species is not extinct. "Had even a leaf survived and fallen on fertile soil, a Vervoid would have grown". Vervoid pollen is extremely potent: a single grain in a living human's blood stream was able to survive and grow, transforming her into a Vervoid. Only Vervoids destroyed by Vionesium are harmless - the other corpses, and to an even greater degree the pods, are capable of spawning a new generation.

Weapons
The thorns at the end of the Vervoids' talons contain a deadly poison. Even a scratch can be fatal - the toxin is a Wounds 6 quick-acting poison, with a decay rate of 1 Wound per action round. The actual thorn inflicts no significant damage; so armoured characters are reasonably safe in a straight battle.

When agitated, Vervoids give off deadly methane based marsh gas. Anyone in the same area as a gas producing Vervoid suffers 1 Wound per action turn. Additional Vervoids increase the number of Wounds. The gas spreads at the rate of one area per action turn, irrespective of the number of Vervoids.

Vervoids prefer to avoid active fighting but are capable of using weapons, including high-tech blasters.

Weaknesses
Vionesium, an extremely rare metal found on the planet Riogar, can completely destroy Vervoids. When exposed to oxygen, it reacts violently to give off a brilliant light, and forms large quantities of carbon dioxide. This combination accelerates the growth and aging of plant cells, and soon causes any vegetable matter to wither and die.

The other main weakness of the Vervoids, apart from their relatively vulnerable physical forms, is their obsessive hatred for animal kind. This can cause them to reveal their presence unwisely, and prevents them from obtaining allies. They will not even interrogate prisoners about plans to defeat them if simple slaughter is possible.

Survive Dismemberment [Strength]
As plants, Vervoid anatomy is largely decentralized. Because of this, a severed limb can survive on its own for a time, attempting to complete its last task - often killing one of animal kind. The difficulty of a limb surviving is typically 6. Although a severed limb cannot regenerate into a new Vervoid, a new pod will grow from it under suitable conditions.

This item appeared in TSV 31 (November 1992).

Index nodes: Time Lord Additions, The Dominators, Terror of the Vervoids