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Ammon

“Ammon” is singular and plural.  Ammon are super-intelligent octopus-persons.

Ammon are most certainly the oddest creatures playable as characters in 100 M. Y.  Not only sentient but super-intelligent octopods, the ammon encountered on land are equipped with homemade drygills and wetskins (something like beer-helmets and octopus-shaped tight “leggings”) or whole “steam monk” suits (gleaming “land-diving” suits of scrap metal and shell, with whale-gut tubes and intricate pressure gauges regulating wetness and temperature).

The ammon genders appear interchangeable, to non-ammon.  Highly colorful, the ammon change tone from purple to orange to blue to green with mood.

How the ammon became sentient is not entirely certain.  It is widely understood, however, that they remained for the longest time doomed to be super-intelligent but very, very short lived:  Like octopodes familiar to us, ammon live only about two years, naturally.

Some time in the last few hundred (or thousand?) years, though, the ammon developed a home-brewed gengineering system called ultragenetics, and now their daily ultragene infusions allow them to live longer—theoretically forever.

But this need for huge green pills condensed from strange mixes of sea-dirt and plants is hardly where the ammon’s inhumanity ends.  Mentally, they are not only as capable as humans and unhumans at abstraction, they are in fact far more capable.  Solitary by nature, ammon tend to live philosophical lifestyles, taking on any number of quixotic and/or highly practical (even weaponizable) scientific experiments, in an effort—according to at least one ammon who visited the old Carvolian capital at Thasmodium before the Second War—to kill all the other sentient life on earth and remain the only powerful being…

Ammon are, in many ways, a munchkin option, as characters go, but they also have huge drawbacks.  And their intelligence is of a sort so radically different from humanity’s that playing one may be their main drawback.

Why, for one, would an ammon join with others on the surface of Pala, to do anything, much less something dangerous?  That said, why not?  Rapidly evolving—now under their own direction—the ammon are in many ways great unknowns, even to themselves.

Ammon gengineer their bodies to be able to speak with land creatures.  They speak their own language (which humans call “ammon,” inventively), which varies from sea to sea but is always mutually intelligible.  Most ammon also understand quan, Carvolian, Vennari, and New and Old Tephnian.

The ammon “religion” is a confusing and hard to translate mix of hardcore materialism and worship of time.  Each ammon is his own priest.  Steam Monks, who dedicate themselves to the “investigation” (overthrow?) of the upworld, are somehow valued by other ammon, but not so much as to prevent all conflict.

Because they must begin playing with both a drygill and a wetskin (2 archaetech) or one steam monk suit (2 archaetech), ammon players must begin at 5th level or spend feats on extra bonus.

Ability modifiers:  +3 DEX, +4 INT, -1 STR, -2 CON, -4 CHA.

Size:  Medium, most of the time.  Land speed 20 feet.  Small, when sucked up into a ball.

Hell science classes allowed:  None.

Species bonus:

  • Aquatic:  Gills. +8/16 Swim (full speed/half speed).
  • Eight tentacles:  Can make 8 awkward d2 dmg attacks, but each after the first gets a cumulative -4 penalty; monks work to train all tentacles at once.
  • Beak:  d6 dmg, -4 to hit unless trained; crit miss does 2d6 dmg to the ammon, as beak cracks.
  • Boneless:  Can suck body in, becoming Small in size.
  • Chameleon:  Ammon may change color at will; +4 Hide (stacks with small size, when sucked up into a ball).
  • Gengineer:  Bonus: Longevitics +1 at start (store of ammon ultragene infusions).  Skill: Longevitics 4 (ammon ultragene infusions only).
  • Ultragenius:  When learning a new skill, using a new device, deciphering a script, or similarly engaging in a challenging mental activity, an ammon may reroll a failed roll 1/5 levels.  +8 skill points at 1st level, typically spent in the sciences.  +2 Language (any).  Already able to speak with land creatures without penalty, thanks to gengineering.
  • Ultraobserver:  An ammon may learn any “forbidden” skill, so long as he has skill points and sufficient time to study with an expert.
  • Favored classes:  Doctor (Gengineer, Algal Alchemist), Monk (Steam Monk).

Species malus:

  • Aquatic:  Requires drygill to travel outside of ocean (1 bonus at start must be spent on Archaetech: Drygill).
  • Aquatic:  Requires wetskin to travel outside of ocean (1 bonus at start must be spent on Archaetech: Wetskin).
  • Short-lived:  Without daily ultragene infusions, an ammon will die within 2 years or a much shorter time, depending on how long he has already been alive.
  • Slow:  In the water, an ammon can jet backward quickly; on land, he ambles awkwardly. In every type of movement, he’s 10 feet slower on land than a human.
  • Evil?:  A disproportionate number of ammon are heartless to the point that humans and other land creatures distrust all ammon inherently.  -4 Gather Information (land), Sense Motive, Persuasion.  -2 Diplomacy.  Gmothi barbarians must roll a WIL save or enter a rage and attack an ammon on sight, on first sighting.
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