Meta-Traits are one of the many ways that the clades and their species can be classified. Meta-Traits are not necessarily related to the phylogenetic classifications, although they can certainly help to define those classifications in terms of the game. They also make it easier to create your own species, should you desire, since in order to create it you must meet the requirements listed below.

The Types of Meta-Traits

There are several different types of meta-traits. These are generally defined as follows:

  • Phylum Meta-Traits
  • Morphology Meta-Traits
  • Mentality Meta-traits

In terms of the game, Meta-traits are a collection of traits (advantages and disadvantages) that are purchased as one large trait. Meta-traits cannot be changed; when you purchase the meta-trait, you must purchase all of the advantages and disadvantages that come with the meta-trait. All of the species templates have the cost for the meta-trait factored into them already.

Designing Your Own Species

When designing your own species, there are number of steps that you must follow in order to keep your species within the limits of the existent species list (and to make sure it stays within the confines of the universe).

  1. Select a Phylum Meta-Trait: This is the most important part, since it tells you what Phylum your species is likely to fall under. This also provides a basis for you to build around, and an idea of what you can and cannot do with this species.
  2. Check the existing species list: It may already be in there, you just need to look for it.
  3. Run it by the GM: Run your idea past the GM. Determine whether or not it's a good idea
  4. Work with the GM to build the species: The GM will work with you to construct the species from the advantages, disadvantages, skills, and other areas that you may be interested in.

Phylum Meta-Traits

Phylum Meta-Traits are traits that tie directly to a phylum or phyla as the case may be. These meta-traits form the basis for the phylum or the phyla, and sometimes they're mutually inclusive, and other times, they're not. Moravec and Allomorph are mutually exclusive with one another, as are Moravec and Biogenic and Moravec and Chimeric. Otherwise, they are usually inclusive unless the GM rules otherwise. The following meta-traits are and their costs are:

Ai Meta-Trait 42 points
ReAi Meta-Trait 32 points
Allomorphic Meta-Trait 44 points
Biogenic Meta-Trait -5 points
Chimeric Meta-Trait -10 points
Moravec Meta-Trait 25 points

Ai Meta-Trait

Ai Meta-Trait is the meta-trait that is used for all virtual intelligences, whether they're uploaded, evolved, or created, so long as they're non-reprogrammable. If it's a virtual, computer intelligent, then it's got the ai meta-trait. The lower-case is intentional; AI and AGI already refer to programmed intelligences. Ai is a variant of AI that, when lower-cased, refers to all computer intelligence. It's considered a "Mental" Meta-trait. Do not confuse this meta-trait for the capital AI Meta-Trait, which is any programmable computer intelligence. A variation on this is the ReAi Meta-Trait, which comes with the Reprogrammable Flaw, and is only suited for specific Reprogrammable Aioids.

Cost: 42 points
Absolute Timing [2]; Digital Mind [5]; Doesn't Sleep [20]; Intuitive Mathematician [5]; Eidetic Memory [5]
Associated Phylum: Aioid, Alife, Phylum Bivec, Moravec, Virtual

ReAi Meta-Trait

Cost: 32 Points
Absolute Timing [2]; Digital Mind [5]; Doesn't Sleep [20]; Intuitive Mathematician [5]; Eidetic Memory [5]; Reprogrammable [-10]
Associated Phylum: Aioid, Bivec, Moravec

Allomorphic Meta-Trait

Allomorph means "other shape" or "other form." This Meta-trait is used for all "trans-" biological species. This includes uplifts, neogens, transhumans, and others; if it's biological, it should have this trait. This trait is not mutually incompatible with Ai, Biogenic, or Chimeric, but it is with Moravec. Its considered a "Physical" Meta-trait.

Cost: 44 points
IQ+2 [20]; Appearance (Attractive) [4]; Fit [5]; Longevity [2]; Regeneration (Slow) [10]; Resistance to Disease (+3) [3]
Associated Phyla: Phylum Biogenic, Cybiont, Cyborg, Hu, Neogenic, Splice, Uplift

Biogenic Meta-Trait

Biogenic creatures are creatures who are created through tissue engineering and other artificial means; they are not born, but they're grown and built in laboratories and are generally biological with underlying nanotechnological structures. They go by many names; droids, pods, androids, synthetics, and others. If it's a fusion a machinery and biology, but was created that way, it's likely a biogenic (a cyborg is in many ways the functional parallel; they are a fusion of machinery and biology, but they were not born that way).

Cost: -5 points
Early Maturation 3-5 [0]; Sterile [0]; Unusual Biochemistry [-5]
Associated Phyla: Biogenic, Bivec, Cybiont

Chimeric Meta-Trait

A specialized meta-trait that is used to represent a species that is created in a manner similar to the biogenic template, but is created when two zygotes are fused together at birth and then controlled and modified as they grow. Chimeric beings may not even be noticeably chimeric; however, if it has features of one or more species and isn't a splice, it might be a chimeric.

Cost: -10 points
Restricted Diet (Very Common; Substitution -50%) [-5]; Sterile [0]; Unusual Biochemistry [-5]
Associated Phyla: Biogenic, Neogenic

Moravec Meta-Trait

This trait represents machine life. It does not distinguish what type of machine life, only that it represents various forms that machine life can take. If it's completely robotic, then it's a Moravec. Moravec is only stackable with the Ai meta-trait among the Phylum Meta-Traits.

Cost: 25 points
Immunity to Metabolic Hazards [30]; Injury Tolerance (No Blood, Unliving) [25]; Unhealing (total) [-30]; 12-hour energy supply [0]; Does not use Fatigue Points [0]; requires repairs to heal [0]
Associated Phyla:Moravec

Morphology Meta-Traits

Morphology meta-traits describe some different body configurations from the typical humanoid body configuration. Most of these are only good for moravecs, although there are a few that can be extended towards other phyla, as well. Most morphology meta-traits are mutually exclusive. Players do not have to select a Morphology Meta-Trait if they do not wish, although they can sometimes help define the species.

Ground Vehicle Meta-Trait

What it sounds like. You look like a ground vehicle of some sort.

Cost: -100 points
Horizontal [-10]; No Legs (Tracked/Wheeled) [-20]; No Manipulation [-50]; Numb [-20]
Associated Phyla: Moravec, Cyborg, Cybiont, Biogen
Notes: Can be stacked with any Phylum Meta-Trait or Mentality Meta-Trait

Icthyoid Meta-trait

You look like a fish of some sort.

Cost: -40 points
Doesn't Breath (Oxygen Storage x25, -50%) or Doesn't Breath (Gills, -50%) [10]; No Legs (Aquatics) [0]; No Manipulators [-50]
Associated Phyla: Any but Hu
Notes: Can be stacked with any Phylum Meta-Trait or Mentality Meta-Trait

Quadrupeds Meta-Trait

You have four legs and move around using four limbs.

Cost: -35 points
Extra Legs (Four Legs) [5]; Horizontal [-10]; No Fine Manipulators [-30]
Associated Phyla: Any but Hu
Notes: Can be stacked with any Phylum Meta-Trait or Mentality Meta-Trait

Veriform Meta-Trait

This meta-trait makes you look like a snake or a worm, or some other creature of a similar build.

Cost: -35 points
Double-Jointed [15]; No Legs (Slithering) [0]; No Manipulaotrs [-50]
Associated Phyla: Any, but Hu, and more common in Moravec
Notes: Can be stacked with any Phylum Meta-Trait or Mentality Meta-Trait

Mentality Meta-traits

These meta-traits describe some non-human sort of intelligence, such as a computer, or something similar. Some of these do not overlap; for instance, Transapient and Superior cannot be stacked, although Transapient or Superior can be stacked with any of the other meta-traits.

Automation Meta-Trait

This trait is used to referred to a specific type of programmed intelligence that is referred to as a "slaved" mentality. This can be stacked with AI or Ai, and is most commonly found among moravecs and biogenics.

Automation Meta-Trait: -85 points
Hidebound [-5]; Incurious (6) [-10]; Low Empathy [-20]; No Sense of Humor [10]; Slave Mentality [-40]
Associated Phyla: Aioid, Biogenic, Cybiont, Moravec
Notes: Stacks with any template

Superior Meta-Trait

A superior is any being that has achieved an intelligence higher than our own; such beings are usually heavily augmented and sometimes not even wholly understandable; they are on the cusp of experiencing a "transcendence" to a higher intellectual level, but in the mean time, they continue to function with the rest of the species. Superiors are noted because of their extreme intelligence, their enhanced sense of time, and their empathy.

Superior Meta-Trait: 160 points
IQ+5 [100]; Per+2 [10]; Enhanced Time Sense [45]; Versatile [5]
Associated Phyla: Any
Notes: Stacks with any template

Transapient Meta-Trait

Where the Superior is on the cusp of passing and transcending, the Transapient already has. They are not beyond what we are capable of understanding, but they have new, weirder ways of looking at the world and their non-linear thinking skills, and methods of consciousness, are entirely altered. Transapients do not have a sense of self, and their senses are so finely acute that they notice all detail, and record all detail, rather than their brain throwing out irrelevant details (i.e., they will remember a wall right down the cracks in it, and know four years from know whether or not the cracks have widened, among other traits). These superbeings are usually AIs, and are usually rulers in some outer colonies, but that is not always the case. Transapients are actually rather rare, since most beings that attempt the transition "break" and become Fallen.

Transapient Meta-Trait: 725 points
IQ+20 [400]; Per+5[25]; Altered Time Rate 2 [200]; Compartmentalized Mind 2 [100]

See Also

Character Creation
Phylogenetic Tree

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