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Playable Thri-Kreen (Compatible with SWPF)

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  • Playable Thri-Kreen (Compatible with SWPF)

    Funny that people were discussing this in another thread, as I was working on a thri-kreen conversion today at the request of one of my players. I thought I would share the results with you.

    This is a complex ancestry, balanced to +4. I used the D&D 5E stats for thri-kreen as the basis to work from. I did not include Psionics, as that could be better modeled by taking an appropriate Arcane Background if desired. I'm also leaving out the fluff, I presume anyone interested knows it or can find it.

    I included my worksheet notes with point values at the bottom. Not everything has an exact analogue in the core rules, so I used my judgment.


    Languages: Thri-Kreen, Common (understood only, they can only speak their own language).
    • Agile: Thri-Kreen start with a d6 in Agility instead of a d4. This increases their maximum Agility to d12+1.
    • Armoured +2: Thri-Kreen have +2 Armor from their tough exoskeletons.
    • Chameleonic Carapace: A Thri-Kreen can change the colour of its carapace to camouflage itself. So long as a Thri-Kreen is unencumbered and wearing no armour, they gain a +2 to Stealth rolls.
    • Multiple Limbs: Thanks to their four upper limbs, Thri-Kreen may ignore 2 points of Multi-Action penalties each turn.
    • Poisonous Bite: A Thri-Kreen may bite with its mandibles for Str+d4 damage. Once per day, with a successful bite attack, they may inject their victim with a Paralyzing poison. The target must roll Vigor to avoid the effect.
    • Powerful Leap: Thri-Kreen are capable of tremendous leaps. The hero may just twice as far as listed under Movement (page 92). In addition, they add +4 to damage when leaping as part of a Wild Attack instead of the usual +2.
    • Unsleeping: Thri-Kreen do not sleep, and are immune to magical sleep and similar effects.
    • Low Light Vision: Thri-Kreen ignore penalties for Dim and Dark Illumination.
    • Survivor: Thri-Kreen gain Survival as a core skill. This replaces Common Knowledge as a core skill.
    • Unusual Physique: Thri-Kreen subtract 2 from Trait rolls when using equipment (other than weapons) that was not designed for their race. They cannot wear armour or clothing made for humanoids, including magical armour. Equipment and clothing made for them costs double the price. Any non-Thri-Kreen attempting a non-magical Healing roll on a Thri-Kreen must subtract 2 from their roll.
    • Insect Speech: Thri-Kreen are only capable of speaking their own language, which is unintelligible to most creatures. Non-insectoid races cannot learn to speak Thri-Kreen, but they can learn to understand it by taking the proper Language skill (max d6). Thri-Kreen can hear and learn to understand other languages. They may also learn sign language if they are so inclined.
    • Illiterate: Thri-Kreen do not have a written language, and barely understand the concept of writing. They have the Illiterate Hindrance.
    • Inscrutable: Thri-Kreen have entirely different values and motivations from most races. These differences can frequently cause problems, including violence, when Thri-Kreen try to interact with outsiders. All Thri-Kreen are considered to have the Ruthless (Major) and Outsider (Major) Hindrances. These Hindrances provide no additional benefit.
    • Insular: Thri-Kreen are entirely disinterested in the cultures and history of other races. They subtract 2 from Academics and Common Knowledge rolls made on any subject other than their home region.
    Thri-Kreen Equipment

    There are two weapons that are unique to the Thri-Kreen. Other races can learn to use these weapons, but they always take a -2 penalty to attack rolls with them.

    These weapons are not commonly available for sale, as they must be crafted by Thri-Kreen (or taken from them). The listed cost is for the materials needed to craft one.

    Gythka: The gythka is a long-hafted polearm with a crescent-shaped blade on each end. These blades are typically made from knapped flint or obsidian, but some Thri-Kreen use steel blades (usually gifted to them by allies). The gythka is wielded in two hands; skilled Thri-Kreen may wield two of them at the same time. It can also be thrown as a spear with a range of 3/6/12.

    A Thri-Kreen wielding a gythka is treated as being armed with two melee weapons.
    Gythka Str+d8 d6 12 8 Parry +1, Two Hands
    Chatkcha: The chatkcha is a triangular throwing wedge with three piercing points. Thri-Kreen usually carve these from a crystalline material, or knap them from obsidian, but some metal versions exist. In the hands of a Thri-Kreen warrior, chatkcha can inflict deadly injuries, and even return to the wielder if they miss the target.

    If a Thri-Kreen scores a raise on their Athletics (Throwing) roll with a chatkcha and misses the target, the weapon returns to their hand.
    Chatkcha 04/08/16 Str+d6 2 1 D6 2 4
    Positive Modifiers: 15 points

    d6 Agility: 2 pts

    Additional Action: 3 pts (Multiple Limbs)

    Armour +2: 1 pt

    Chameleonic Carapace: 1 pt (+2 Stealth only when unarmored/unencumbered; 2 point value, reduced to one because of limitations)

    Poisonous Bite (Paralyzing): 3 pt (Bite + Poisonous, 1/day. 4 point value, reduced to 3 because only usable once per day)

    Leaper: 2 pts

    Doesn't Sleep: 2 pts

    Low Light Vision: 1 pt (ignores penalties for Dim or Dark Illumination; in D&D they have Darkvision but this seemed a better fit for SW)

    Core Skill (Survival) 0 pts (replaces Common Knowledge as a core skill)

    Negative Modifiers: -11 points

    Unusual Physique: -2 (-2 value, based on "Big" negative racial ability. Armour/equipment penalty applies, no penalty for size 0 weapons, plus penalty to received Healing; I decided it was still a net value of -2)

    Cannot Speak: -1

    Illiterate (Minor) -1

    Ruthless (Major) -2 (reflects thri-kreen values of "survive" and "protect the clutch")

    Outsider (Major) -2 (thri-kreen not likely to make lots of Persuasion rolls, but character actions and NPC reactions make up for that; still worth -2)

    -2 to Academics and Common Knowledge: -3 (-2 for Common Knowledge penalty, -1 for Academics, as it is less used and unlikely to be taken by most thri-kreen)
    Last edited by Sarigar; 08-23-2021, 05:59 PM.

  • #2
    Looks good!

    Only suggestion to rename "Unsleeping" to Non-Somnolent.


    • #3
      FWIW, not all abilities are present immediately for thri-kreen in their original PC versions. Specifically, their leaping is a 3rd level ability, poison and chaktcha skill are 5th level, and dodging missiles is a 7th level ability. This implies these abilities should be racial Edges rather than core abilities, which will probably reduce their points values. Also, thri-kreen have never been able to benefit from armor, rather than they can only use specially designed armor.

      Natural camouflage for arid/desert terrrains is a 3e addition (in addition to shrinking the creatures and basically removing their mantid morphology. ) They did not gain the ability to change color until 5e.
      Last edited by paladin2019; 08-15-2021, 05:11 AM.


      • Sarigar
        Sarigar commented
        Editing a comment
        Pathfinder ancestries are balanced to +4, so there's no need to get it down to 2 points.

      • paladin2019
        paladin2019 commented
        Editing a comment
        Except to make them generally applicable to Savage Worlds. Even Savage Rifts balances at +2

      • SteelDraco
        SteelDraco commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah that's more of a design preference rather than a requirement. I just find that +15 points of positive abilities and -11 points of negative abilities to be way too much cognitive load to put on a race choice. Too much to keep track of for both the player and the GM, and too defining for the character - hard to have a character other than just "the thri-kreen".

    • #4
      Good write up but I agree with SteelDraco. It's too much, I think.


      • #5
        I think having a super alien and one-dimensional Thri-Kreen race is a completely valid story-telling/role-playing option. It's what they were meant to be.

        Practically speaking though, yes, most Thri-Kreen players are probably going to forget that they have poisonous bites or multiple limbs during heated moments in-game. That might be "fun" for players dealing with NPC Thri-Kreen when they forget or don't know that the bug men can leap over impossible chasms or disappear into the desert. As paladin2019 suggested, putting some of these abilities into racial edges could help with a slower learning curve. Although I also think that the kind of player who wants to play as Thri-Kreen is probably the type who also wants to deeply memorize and use all their alien abilities.

        I think the poison bite being "once per day" and costing fatigue are redundant. If it costs fatigue, you're only going to use it once per day.


        • Sarigar
          Sarigar commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree about the poison that 1/day and Fatigue were a bit much. The Fatigue was a requirement for poison bites in SWADE, was just something I overlooked. I removed the Fatigue from the bite on my main document, I just hadn't edited it here (til now).

          I'm leaving the race as is, as far as abilities go. Many Rifts races have multi-page entries of advantages and disadvantages, that has not seemed to confuse players or stop them from playing more complex races. I presented the math on the abilities so that if someone wants to modify any part of it for their own use, they have the means to do so.