Characters, species and organisations from the Rocket Age RPG
Species of the Solar System
- Humans Are Warriors: Earthlings are commonly seen as warmongering, aggressive and heavily armed by the rest of the solar system and that's certainly not inaccurate, as every major nation has soldiers spread across various planets and moons. Even the Europans, who like to state that they rule the solar system, are beginning to show concern.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Humans aren't all horrible people, but every super power is out indulging in colonialism and conquest, with the Nazis and Italians placing large swathes of the Martian population into labour camps.
- Humans Are Special: Humanity in seems to have something special going for it, be it ungodly luck in their home planet Earth, extreme adaptability, or simply being the right species in the right place at the right time.
- Outside-Context Problem: The Earthlings play this part to the solar system at large. None of the other species aside from the Europans had space travel, so humanity became the Cortez to their Aztecs.
- Retro Rocket: Humanity's trademark ship is the chromed space ship.
- Space Clothes: Fashion has slid towards the sleek, gleaming and skin-tight over the course of the alternate 1930s, although more traditional outfits are still common.
- Space Navy: Justified in Rocket Age, since it is the 1930s and the only way the Earthling powers know to manage a fleet of ships is as a navy.
- The Ageless: The Europans, along with any other species with the Immortal trait, do not age, but they are still vulnerable to physical injuries and disease.
- Can't Argue with Elves: The Europans are the closest species Rocket Age has to elves, being immortal, psychic, technologically superior and potentially the oldest species in the solar system. They tend to go on about this a lot the few times they even deign to talk to the other species, although they do send out anthropologists to learn more about them. However, the real reason you can't say screw you Europans tends to be... unpleasant.
- Fantastic Anthropologist: Europan Emissaries immerse themselves into the social roles of different cultures, to gain a greater insight into the other peoples of the solar system.
- The Greys: The Europans are almost a subversion. They fit the mysterious observers and judge archetype, only they aren't so above it all and they don't fit the physical description, being tall and spindly. However, they are usually psychic and they do fly around in flying saucers.
- Mind Probe: The Europans have access to the Neural Linkage System, a device that replaces two of their fingers, and allows them to either link into Europan and Ancient Martian devices or forcibly create a psychic connection with someone.
- Moral Myopia: Europans seem to think they have the right to push around the rest of the solar system and get incredibly angry any time anyone attempts to push back.
- Psychic Powers: Most Europans have psychic powers of some sort.
- Sufficiently Advanced Aliens: The Europans would certainly like to think that they are this and often appear so to outside observers.
- Archer Archetype: Most Ganymedians use bows as their main hunting weapon, with some using special Ganymedian heart bows, made from the heartwood of dead Ganymedians.
- Plant Person: The Ganymedians are a species composed of various symbiotic plants and fungi, as is every other animal native to Ganymede.
- Transflormation: The oldest Ganymedians eventually root into the soil of their home and become trees, venerated by their descendants.
- After the End: Jupiter's moon Io was once a paradise inhabited by a beautiful and advanced people but is now a diseased and toxic wasteland inhabited by their hideously mutated descendants.
- Extreme Omnivore: Iotes, a race used to living on a post-apocalyptic cesspool of a moon, have to be this. They're utterly immune to poisons as a result and can gain nourishment from a bin full of wood-chips.
- Cargo Cult: Some of the natives of Io, a ruined wasteland of a moon, have taken to worshiping the detritus left behind by Earthling explorers, who looked very much like gods to them with their gleaming Retro Rocket.
- Improvised Weapon: Every native Iote weapon is an improvised weapon, made from whatever scrap they were able to find. Don't laugh though, their zip guns, crossbows and slingshots will end you if you underestimate them. Io might have the lowest technology level of the entire solar system, but the Iotes have more natural technical aptitude than practically anyone else.
- Iron Woobie: The Iotes have this as their hat. Bombed back into the stone age in aeons past, the Iotes have degenerated from being beautiful and graceful creatures to hideous and disease ridden. Living on a irradiated rock with limited resources and constant warfare, they have been forced to have an amazing level of emotional resistance and tend to accept even the worst turns of events as a natural part of life.
- Punished with Ugly: Although this might have been a side effect of the viral and nuclear bombardment of Io by the Europans, the Iotes went from being described as the most beautiful species in the solar system to looking like disease ridden, mutated dog men. Knowing the Europan's track record, they probably didn't even do anything to deserve it.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: The Jovians can smell certain dangerous gas pockets, an important ability on Jupiter.
- Proud Warrior Race: Jovians have a martial tradition built around honour duels.
- Winged Humanoid: The Jovians are the gangly, elephant trunked, winged sophonts native to Jupiter.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: For a given value of 'monkey'.
- Proud Warrior Race: Not every Metisian fits this description, but a large section of their society is in the military and very proud of their martial prowess
- Starfish Aliens: The Metisians are six tentacled, 'brain in a jar' style aliens who reproduce entirely by cloning. Notable since every other race is some variation on the Humanoid Alien or ape person.
- Uterine Replicator: Metisians have been using cloning for reproduction for years, possibly even centuries.
- The Big Guy: Venusians tend to be over 3 to 4 metres, with the largest being 4.5 metres.
- Dragon Rider: The storm riders, warrior women Venusians who ride on the backs of Mountain Demons, basically dragon sized pterosaurs.
- Genius Bruiser: The entire Venusian species are well-spoken, philosophical and poetic gorilla-men.
- * Killer Gorilla: Although Venusians are an intelligent, cooperative and developed people this doesn't change the fact that they are two and a half meter (when hunched) tall war-like ape men.
- Proud Warrior Race: Venusians have a strong warrior tradition, understandable given the sheer amount of tribal warfare.
- Rock Beats Laser: This happens very occasionally. In close quarters jungle fighting a Venusian fighting with a club could easily outmatch an Earthling with a gun, especially considering how wet it is on Venus and the sheer size of the Venusian. Also sometimes something that appears low tech, like a Venusian wooden axe, has unusual properties that give it a huge edge against modern technology.
- Too Much Information: The entire Venusian species will not shut up unless they're trying to be stealthy and have no taboos about discussing any topic.
- Troll: Venusians, being huge debaters, will often say something designed to offend, just to get an argument going. Their tribal meetings are usually described as being a lot like internet forums, only louder and more obnoxious.
- Wolverine Claws: Rocket Age has Venusian warriors claws, traditionally made of knapped stone attached to a leather gauntlet, but trade with Earthlings has introduced metal to the mix as well.
As a whole
- Fantastic Caste System: The Martians began creating the current caste system during the Canal Era using eugenics and genetic engineering, to the point that members of different castes are usually infertile with one another.
Chanari, casteless desert folk
- Base on Wheels: Red-Blue Chanari caravans are huge structures, ten meters long, eight wide and six high, designed to cross the deserts of Mars. Moved by the combines muscle power of four bull ulodonts inside the base of the structure, the entire thing weighs hundreds of pounds and uses six gigantic stone wheels for stability. The entire thing is essentially an armed Bamboo Technology sand crawler.
- Born Under the Sail: The thirty three Green-Yellow Chanari are the preeminent silt sailors of Mars. Most sea trade on Mars is done through them, along with most of the piracy, and they are the only people who dare to hunt Silt Dragons, the largest vertebrate in the solar system.
- Frazetta Man: The Grey Chanari are the possible descendants of the first attempts at genetically engineering labourers by the Canal era Martians. So unintelligent that they aren't even considered Martian by the other Chanari tribes, they are frequently lead by escaped Julandri labourers, a race known for their own unintelligence and gonky appearance.
- Gonk: Chanari have the unattractive trait due to their incredibly hard life style and 'low breeding', but Grey Chanari have it the worst, being outright ape-ish.
- Kite Riding: The semi-nomadic Yellow-Red Chanari use one man gliders, which give their highland fortresses the impression of being nests for great flying animals.
- Mooks: A lot of the time Chanari raiders get treated as cannon fodder in adventures and in-universe.
- Ocean Punk: Chanari tribes make up the majority of the people who sail the silt seas.
- Ramming Always Works: The Silt Sea pirates of Mars, typically Chanari, use raiding ships built out of the bones of silt dragons. The prow, made from the skull, is used as a ram and does a devastating amount of damage.
- Femme Fatale: A lot of Courtesans are forced into this role by circumstance and necessity.
- Geisha: Julandri Courtesans are essentially Geishas on Mars, while also holding true to some of the professional mistress stereotypes.
- Gender-Blender Name: The Julandri courtesans of Mars all use female names, regardless of their gender.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: Julandri Courtesans definitely qualify, despite the fact that they are copper-skinned and hairless. They also excrete pheremones that enhance this effect.
- Interspecies Romance: Kind of their job, as they are meant to provide emotional and physical support for the Silthuri and Kastari castes and frequently are found in relationships outside of their species, although this is usually for personal gain.
- Pretty Boy: the Julandri courtesans are a Martian slave caste engineered for physical and intellectual beauty. The men are just as pretty and delicate as the women. They all have female names.
- Sex Slave: A simplistic and biased but not entirely inaccurate view of Mars' Julandri Courtesan sub-caste. They are technically owned by the Royal and Priest castes, but they are closer to geishas than concubines and they have far better lives and potentially can hold a lot of soft power than almost anyone else in their society. Despite this, they still fall into this trope a lot of the time.
- Shameless Fanservice Girl: Martian Julandri courtesans, both men and women, aren't so much shameless, as culturally trained with different social norms. They are aware of the reaction Earthlings have to their revealing or potentially non-existent attire, but they often don't see that as enough of a reason to change. Remember that Rocket Age is set in the 1930s...
- The Big Guy: Some Julandri labourers are bred to be larger than others but many reach 3 metres in height.
- Gonk: Julandri labourers are naturally unattractive, to the point that most people find them uncomfortable at best.
Kastari, the priest caste
- Church Militant: The Order of the Sacred Hamaxe fits the bill the best, both most Kastari sects have small standing armies.
- Corrupt Church: Most of the Martian faiths are deeply political organisations designed to maintain power over the populous, with constant power struggles both within and without.
- Crystal Dragon Jesus: The main Martian faith seems to resemble Hinduism or Buddhism. The different Kastari sects often have differences on the order of importance of the different castes, as well as the nature of reincarnation.
- Hermit Guru: On Mars many Kastari, the priest caste, live as hermits at various shrines, seeking wisdom. There is also Yil, a Soviet suffering from the effects of volcanic gas on Olympus Mons, who believes he is a reincarnated Ancient Martian. Most of the local Kastari are concerned for him and attempt to look after him.
- The Theocracy: Although not usually the ruling caste, Kastari tend to hold a lot of power in most city states and have a lot of sway.
Maduri, the warrior caste
- The Big Guy: Maduri range between 1.8 and 2.8 metres, with the woman being much larger.
- Blood Knight: Maduri males are bred to be savage and recklessly brave. They often charge into suicidal situations and rarely take prisoners.
- Horned Humanoid: The Martian warrior caste have 'tusks' growing from their cheek bones and lower jaw, with the females growing large and more impressive sets.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Maduri have an intense amount of martial pride, built around structured rules of combat. The females, who typically fight on the defence are more of proud soldiers than warriors however.
- The Spartan Way: The Maduri caste of Mars traditionally form its entire military force. They live incredibly hard lives from a very young age and continue to do so, despite being one of the higher castes in traditional society.
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Maduri men aren't exactly small, towering over most humans, but the women are giants, more heavily muscled and tusked. This is due to genetic engineering; the women were engineered for defence, while the men were engineered for offence.
Pilthuri, the diplomat and merchant caste
Silthuri, the royal caste
- The Beautiful Elite: Their wealth is splendid, their lives are truly decadent and they are inhumanly beautiful due to millennia of genetic tampering and eugenics. Unfortunately they are also prone to arrogance and incredibly unchanging, putting them in danger of being overthrown by Earthling armies.
- Decadent Court: Martian Courts are incredibly dangerous, being full of scheming and backstabbing.
- Inhumanly Beautiful Race: The Martian royal castes and their courtesans are consistently described as being incredibly beautiful by human standards, with the towering Royals often being described in terms of their other-worldliness. Note however, that concerning Martians they are far closer to The Beautiful Elite.
- Master Swordsman: Silthanka duelists, Silthuri who specialise in the use of the Silthanka sword, are the best swordsmen in the solar system, selling their services as champions to various royal families.
- Royals Who Actually Do Something: The vast majority of the Martian Silthuri are actually bureaucrats and military officers, despite being the royal caste. However, many of the ruling sub-caste have also been forced into more proactive roles and actions, to avoid being crushed by imperial Earthling powers or the Martians that have allied with them.
- Stripperiffic: There are a number of incidents of this, but the best and most justified example is the Silthuri dueling vest, a set of armour designed to protect the groin, face, neck, inner things, wrists and upper chest in a duel to determine first blood, but not meant to kill the other. Traditionally no other clothing is worn while dueling, leaving a lot on display.
Talandri, the craftsmen caste
- Gadgeteer Genius: Talandri spend their time either making everything for Martian society or maintaining Ancient Martian technology, depending on their sub-caste, which gives them amazing technological savvy.
- Data Pad: Usually found in ancient ruins, datapads hold information such as film footage, or ancient texts.
- Hard Light: In Rocket Age it is highly ambiguous whether Ancient Martian holigrams can occasionally be hard light, or whether there is some other sensory technology deployed in concert with the visuals. Whatever the reason, the effect is that one facility has what may be hard light simulations.
- Laser Blade: The Ancients had the Ray Sword, essentially a lightsaber made of energy contained by the same kind of technology as RAY shielding.
- LEGO Genetics: The Ancient Martians managed to advance genetics to the point where they had a machine that could make all sorts of changes, like adding wings or claws to a person, although it did have its limits.
- Lost Superweapon: The Ancient Martians built multiple super weapons in the war against Eris, including two Planet Killer missiles, one of which was not fired and is still missing.
- Lost Technology: More technology exists in Rocket Age's past than its present. Mars was once a technological paradise and most new Earthling technology is inferior reverse engineered Ancient Martian technology, with the possible exception of the rocket ship and some of Tesla's inventions.
- Perfect Pacifist People: The Ancient Martians clearly hadn't had a war for a long time, since when the Erisians came for them they were utterly unprepared for it.
- Proud Warrior Race: Most of the Erisian culture we have seen was decidedly war-like and heavily honour based, an attitude they have passed on to their descendants.
- Schizo Tech: The Erisians had some highly advanced technology, like their knight power armour, weapon technology and wound closing technology, but other areas where utterly ignored.
- Wolverine Claws: Venusian warriors claws are the descendants of the Erisian Battle Claws, essentially an electrified gauntlet with mounted blades.
- Bizarre Alien Senses: The long dead Lunans are believed to have seen through echolocation.
- Not Quite Flight: The Lunans seem to have been a lot like bats, having winglike membranes, but appear to have been unable to truly fly.
- Do-Anything Robot: Although most robots aren't, their sheer flexibility in how they can be built means that some robomen can do a little bit of everything.
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Many of the Robomen who have eyes tend to have either glowing slits or bulbs in the art.
- Identity Amnesia: As far as we can tell no roboman, be it Ancient Martian or otherwise, can remember their original job or time period. Justified, as robomen are usually millennia old.
- Three Laws-Compliant: Ancient Martian robomen have a number of different three law for their robots. However, sometimes these laws may allow robots to kill, or ignore those in danger depending on the roboman's purpose.
- Tin-Can Robot: Ancient Martian Robomen can be sleek and graceful, but many of the non-service models were built with practicality and survivability in mind.
Organisations and Individuals
Dr. Joy GoodfeelingAn Europan Emissary who has taken on the role of an Earthling doctor.
- Amusing Alien: Dr Joy Goodfeeling chose a comforting name without realising it was actually female. Plus, Goodfeeling.
- Fantastic Anthropologist: Dr Goodfeeling is a Europan emissary, essentially gathering information on other culture via participation.
- Blue and Orange Morality: Dr Goodfeeling comes from a race of aloof aliens and although he takes on the morals of Earthlings, he's acting them out without understanding what they actually mean.
- Disintegrator Ray: Dr Goodfeeling's Weapon of Choice.
'Tommy' Cshan La-LalAn Iote stowaway with a talent for technology, who accidentally marooned himself on Mars.
- Extreme Omnivore: He's an Iote, which means he can and will eat anything without any consequences.
- Gadgeteer Genius: Well, it's to be expected when La-Lal literally translates to 'Makes stuff a lot'.
Fan-jaf-kaA Ganymedian stolen from his home and rescued by the Rocket Rangers, Fan-jaf-ka now works as a hunter and guide across the solar system.
- Archer Archetype: Fan-jaf-fa wields a Ganymedian heart bow, a powerful weapon made from a dead Ganymedian as part of a special funeral.
Brother Gas'ilA Martian Warpriest of the Order of the Sacred Hamaxe who attempts to protect innocents and right wrongs.
- Character Death: Maybe... Gas'il was left out of the character selection at one convention and one of the designers jokingly lamented his death.
- Lawful Good: Gas'il is about as heroic as you can get, even when dealing with Earthlings.
- The Paladin: You bet he is.
- Psychic Powers: Gas'il has low level psychic powers.
- Weapon of Choice: The HamAxe, the symbol of his order.
Captain Herny CotterA US Rocket 'Ranger-at Large', Henry is tasked with finding trouble and solving it permanently.
- Nice Hat: When not wearing his Space Armour helmet Henry rocks a very nice cowboy hat.
- Lovable Jock: Henry used to be a very successful football player back at High School.
- Ray Gun: His normal sidearm.
Princess Shilfaun XXIIA deposed Martian ruler seeking a way back into power after saving her cousin from an anti-Earthling coup.
- Lovable Alpha Bitch: The princess maintains a look of aloof disdain around those who are not her allies but Shilfaun XXII takes good care of her friends, ensuring all those who fled with her had places in her cousin's court.
- Rightful King Returns: Her long term plan involves returning to her principality as ruler once more.
ButchA freed Julandri from Emancipation who fell into crime and mob culture, Butch now wishes to see the world and maybe the solar system.
- Cunning Linguist: Despite his low intelligence Butch has managed to pick up six languages.
- Dumb Muscle: Butch is incredibly strong, the strongest of all the signature characters in fact, but doesn't have much in the way of education or critical thinking.
ZälaA courtesan from Emancipation forced to become a revolutionary after her master planned to kill every slave in the palace, Zäla is now a member of the city's ruling council.
- Happiness in Slavery: Zäla held high rank as a slave and only killed her master after he proposed killing every slave in the palace to prevent the revolutionaries from getting in.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Zäla varies her dress for every social event.
Viper Yellow SunA Chanari tribesmen who has taken to working as a guide for various Earthling expeditions.
- Explorer Outfit: Viper Yellow Sun wears safari gear when trying to drum up business with Earthling expeditions.
- The Unpronounceable: His real name is Chasatunabt, but most Earthlings can't say it.
Taua'd M'llA resourceful Pilthuri merchant and diplomat who has been forced to adapt after her homeland was invaded while she was away on business.
- Black Market: Taua'd was forced to become a black marketeer to look after her six children after her principality fell.
- Exotic Extended Marriage: Taua'd M'll used to have two husbands before they were killed when the Americans invaded.
Khatan Mavai'lkA Maduri warrior who was away from his principality on Mars when his prince was killed in a coup, Khatan has been working as a mercenary ever since.
- An Axe to Grind: Khatan earned the right to use a sunaxe from his former prince.
- Revenge: Khatan hasn't forgotten the man who killed his prince and fully intends to go back one day.
- Sharp-Dressed Man: Khatan keeps himself and his uniform and armour impeccable, a sign of his dedication as a soldier.
- Shotguns Are Just Better: Khatan certainly thinks so.
StachalA Venusian woman who found herself called to continue her coming of age pilgrimage and has become one of the Lost.
- An Axe to Grind: Stachal carries a Venusian wooden axe with her on her travels.
- The Drifter: Stachal is one of those Venusians who never complete their harvititor and hopes to be the one to wander the furthest.
MalthaA Talandri who escaped his old life to work as a freelance mechanic and engineer.
- Suicide Attack: The 31st Seal frequently orchestrates suicide attacks, typically in the form of gigantic warriors with axes, although they occasionally deploy bombers too.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The 31st Seal is a terrorist organisation that uses suicide bombers, gunmen and other forms of violence against Earthlings across Mars. However, considering that Earthlings are in fact an invading force they have a lot of support from the average Martian.
- Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters: The Interplanetary Comintern, an organisation founded by Trotsky before his death, wishes to spread communism to the oppressed of the solar system. Thing is it's been hijacked by Stalin and has become increasingly violent.
- Drop the Hammer: Martian War Priests use Hamaxes, hybrid axe hammers, which can do tremendous damage to people wearing armour when the hammer side is used.
- Church Militant: The Order of the Sacred Hamaxe. They form war-bands made up of members from every Martian caste and roam around performing exorcisms as well as fighting dangerous animals and bandits. Unusually a band member of any caste can become a war-priest, although they are usually Kastari.
- The Order
- The Paladin: The Order of the Sacred Hamaxe is a Martian crusading order and might be the most heroic faction in the setting, protecting innocents, fighting dangerous animals and fighting evil organizations at every turn. The have a strong code of honour and welcome any Martian caste into their order, an amazing thing to do on Mars.
- Scary Amoral Religion: The Orthodox Fellowship on Mars can slip into this very easily. The fellowship as a major role in enforcing the Martian caste system, is xenophobic, imperialistic and actively attempts to wipe out other Martian faiths. They also actively sponsor and support the 31st Seal, an anti-Earthling terrorist organisation. Admittedly, much of the xenophobia is due to the subjugation of the Martian people, but not all.
- Cyanide Pill: Agents of the Red Scorpion frequently carry cyanide pills.
- Nebulous Evil Organisation: The Red Scorpion appears to have started out as The Syndicate, but the addition of its current Evil Genius leader, increasing military capabilities and views towards domination of the solar system seem to have changed that.
- N.G.O. Superpower: The Red Scorpion is a powerful criminal syndicate engaged in smuggling, piracy, slavery and pretty much every other criminal activity throughout the solar system. Their sheer size is notable, but what makes them stand out is their access to world ending weapons, standing military, customised fleet of ships and advanced R&D department.
- Take Over the World: The Red Scorpion intends to use his self named crime syndicate to take over the solar system.
- Eagleland: The Rocket Age America is a mixed flavour version, but the Rocket Rangers are possibly the most inclusive and idealistic organisation in the solar system and frequently go against government policy to do the right thing.