Joined: 11 Sep 2013
|Posted: Thu May 03, 2018 4:58 pm Post subject: Updating the Ugor
|I have a player who wants to play this species in one of my games. After one session I am seeing that some changes are going to have be made. Typically whenever I have a player who wants to play a species other than human I will take a look at that species and see if it needs to be adjusted/changes to better reflect the 30 years of expanded/canon information we have had since last WEG released anything.
In keeping with this, I have gone through the information on the species, using wookieepedia as my main source and the original mechanics for the species.
I was hoping to get people to chime in and give some suggestions on how best to update the species.
Ugors are a species of large, sentient, unicellular organisms native to a planet in the Paradise system. Members of the species are able to change their physical appearance and create pseudopodia to perform the functions of organs and simple tools. The highly efficient Ugor brain, located inside the nucleus, is capable of controlling up to 30 pseudopodia at once. In their natural form, they ooze about as blobs, but many Ugors wear environment suits and adopt a humanoid morphology when dealing with outsiders.
After ruining their once lush planet with industrial toxins and overpopulation, the Ugors evolved the ability to eat garbage and eventually began to worship it. They then set out from their home system—after having sliced up its planet to lay the groundwork for a system-spanning junk yard—and took on the role of scavengers and garbage collectors in the galaxy, bringing them into competition with other species, such as the Squibs. Ugor waste recovery companies report to the Holy Ugor Taxation Collection Agency, which holds authority over all members of the species in the galaxy. Considered an extremely unpleasant, obnoxious race by most other species, Ugors nonetheless are the galaxy's most successful garbage collectors during the Galactic Civil War. They reach their apex of influence after obtaining a prototype gravity well projector from the wreckage of the first Death Star and using it to organize their system-spanning junkyard. Nevertheless, a team of Rebel Alliance and Squib operatives removed the object and sent the system back into disarray.
Biology and Appearance
Ugors ae sentient, unicellular protozoans who range from one to two meters in diameter. They are considered exotic for being one of the few sentient species to fall outside the standard groupings of birds, mammals, reptiles, etc. Their bodies consist of cytoplasm, which can be green in some individuals, bound by an outer, slime-coated membrane. Whereas multicellular beings use specialized, permanent organs to sense and interact with their environment, Ugors employ complicated organelles. One of these is the brain, housed in the central nucleus. Unlike the brains of multicellular beings, which rely on neural networks to perform cognitive functions such as information storage and abstract reasoning, those of the Ugors rely on individual molecules. The molecular structure of these processes allow the brain to operate several times faster and more flexibly than that of a multicellular creature.
One dramatic example of this is the species' ability to rapidly exude pseudopodia devoted to myriad functions. Ugors can mold their cytoplasm into dozens of separate limbs adapted to communicate information, manipulate objects, and facilitate sight, hearing, smell, and taste. In fact, by creating appropriate sensory pseudopodia, Ugors can hear and speak at frequencies beyond those of many other species] and see in lower lighting conditions. They can sprout up to 30 pseudopodia at will, processing a vast amount of information in the process; a multicellular brain would require several times as long to accomplish the same task.
Ugors are amorphic, able to assume nearly any shape. A member of the species might exude extra limbs to wield weapons or create several smiling mouths to placate a nervous customer. An Ugor might generate a tool-shaped pseudopod to act as a bag, knife, lock-pick, shovel, umbrella, or vise. The beings can fluidly adjust their natural abilities as well. By reducing the number of processes devoted to perception, for example, an Ugor might boost its strength or agility.
Nevertheless, most Ugors tended to adopt a default appearance and skill set. A globular form is most comfortable and easy to maintain, even though this body shape forces the Ugor to ooze from place to place at a somewhat slower pace than a member of a multicellular species of similar mass. Those Ugors who come into contact with members of other species often adopt a humanoid appearance, if only barely: the protozoan might take on a stocky body with two thick, handless arms and two short legs, with a mass of eyestalks projecting from where a head might otherwise be. Such a body structure requires concentration and is difficult to maintain for long periods.
Ugors sometimes wear tailor-made, armored, full-body environment suits with large, dark helmets. Whatever their form, most other beings find them unappealing to look at. Squibs find their odor repugnant as well.
Ugors are natural predators and require a large amount of food. Nevertheless, their evolution has equipped them with the ability to digest substances that would prove toxic to other species, and can subsist on other species' trash.
Society and Culture
Ugor society revolves around trading and scavenging; they are famed for providing equipment to nascent civilizations and for salvaging wreckage from failed ones. They are supremely adaptable and astutely able to get what they want from others. Ugor business deals are extremely complex, incorporating opaque knots of loans, interest, and payment plans that are anathema to their rivals, the Squibs. If an Ugor senses desperation in a potential business partner, the protozoan makes every effort to squeeze the other party dry. The Paradise system is constantly visited by beings from all corners of the galaxy searching for older equipment or technology, and although Ugors demand a hefty price for their goods, they are often the only resource for certain archaic parts. They excel at skills that are useful in their pursuit of rubbish collection: education emphasizes skills related to scavenging and starship operation (although members rarely become more than passable pilots).
Nevertheless, the Ugor love for trash has a deeper significance: they worship the stuff. The beings consider pieces of rubbish to be holy relics, and this zealous devotion leads Ugors to fanatically and aggressively collect it. Upon discovering a dump site, an Ugor might first open fire on anyone present and attempt to drive them away. To this end, Ugor starships are heavily armed and Ugors themselves often sport multiple pseudopodia specifically intended to carry weapons. They will then attempt to collect as much garbage as possible.
Non-Ugors find members of the species insufferably pompous and sanctimonious, which give the species a reputation as unpleasant to deal with and, all things considered, best avoided. The species feel that games of chance, haggling, and con jobs are the Ugor way and even consider such behavior virtuous. The species has a tendency to start arguments and make bombastic religious proclamations. They rarely warm up to outsiders, strongly prefer the company of their own kind.
Ugors reserve a special hatred for the Squib species, whom they consider to be their mortal enemies. The unicellular scavengers consider it a noble goal to scoop up salvage before any Squib interests can arrive. Their hatred can sometimes turn to violence: some Ugors hope for nothing less than the extermination of the entire Squib species. The conflict evolves into outright war on occasion, at least in the minds of the players. The feelings are mutual, and the Squibs consider the Ugors to be their primary rivals.
Members of the species rarely profess a love for anything other than garbage or food. They are obsessed with the latter, though not to the level of the Ortolan species. Their cuisine is so complex that most recipes require 12 manipulatory appendages to prepare correctly. Ugor favorites include such delicacies as free-floating fungal fondu, glazed glucose pate, mitochondria crunchy surprise, photo-lipids in brazened fatty-acid sauce, single-celery soda, spirogyra gelatin, and Ugorian spore-gruel. Offers of victuals can brighten an Ugor's perception of the one offering it, although the change in attitude rarely goes the other way.
The species' native language, exists in both spoken and written form, is also known as Ugor. Most Ugors learn Basic, and a sizable number study a trade language, such as Bocce, or the tongue of their rivals, Squibbian. Ugors can speak these languages by creating the appropriate communication apparatus, although their pronunciation often has a watery or slimy tinge. For example, the word 'give' might be pronounced 'gib', 'pilgrims' as 'bilgrims', 'them' as 'dem', and 'sinner' as 'zinner'. Ugor names typically consist of two parts, such as: ArrGack, GrrKack, and SplrMuck.
The Ugors organize themselves into numerous waste reclamation operations, including the Dismantled Droid Disposal Device, the Ugor Salvage Company, and Waste Haulers Unlimited. Jurisdiction over these operations is the Holy Ugor Taxation Collection Agency (HUTCA), whose sovereignty extends to all members of the species regardless of where they live. The agency is headed by a single leader, but the post changes almost hourly due to the complexity of Ugor negotiations. In practice, HUTCA and the government are so mired in red tape that its ability to affect actual change and enforce existing regulations is negligible.
The species' religion, codified in holy books of scripture, is focused on the worship of waste and refuse. They recognize and revere divine beings and concepts, such as the Great Prophet Botiv and the holy irreducible garbágina. The Ugors make sacrifices to the Angel of Taxations and Imports and avoid the influence of an adversarial figure known as the Anti-Prophet. In Ugorian cosmology, Squibs are sinners at best, demons and pseudopodia of the Anti-Prophet at worst. They might be sacrificed to the Angel of Taxation and Imports or—for a fee—exorcised. Droids are regarded as "non-eaters" and thus forbidden as visitors on Ugorian vessels.
Ugor religion extends into the species' legal and legislative framework. The legal system is known as Ugorian Divine Law. Among its mandates is that when an Ugor touches an object, its cytoplasm not only establishes possession, it consecrates the object and makes it holy. Government officials have titles such as "Tax Chaplain," "Chief Tax Chaplain," and "Reverend Auditor." All members of the fleet are regarded as Holy Officers and arbiters of Divine Law. Priest-scientists are another type of official, charged with divining the use and function of interesting relics of trash. The Ugorian battlewagons that patroll their system are considered holy temples, each emblazoned with a holy black hole symbol on its side. The species obtained a prototype gravity well projector from the remains of the first Death Star sometime after the Battle of Yavin. This device came to be regarded as the Prime Mover, and the chunk of space station around it as the Holy of Holies or Holiest of Holies. The Ugors keep the projector under heavy guard of patrol ships.
The species allows outsiders to visit the Paradise system to seek discontinued parts. In the Ugors' view, these visitors are pilgrims seeking holy relics. An armed customs inspection team consisting of Tax Enforcers under the command of a Tax Chaplain first board any foreign vessel. They usher the strangers into the Ugorian temple ship for a meeting with the Chief Tax Chaplain. Here, the pilgrims are levied a fee to enter Paradise. The price varies depending on how easily the Chief Tax Chaplain feels the pilgrims can be shaken down, but the average fee between 0 and 3 ABY is 20 credits per pilgrim, which is placed into a silver-colored plate lined in red velvet. An additional fee might be levied for any droids that might be back at the pilgrims' ship. Visitors are forbidden to carry weapons, expected to pay in advance, asked to respect and adhere to Ugorian Divine Law while in-system, and forced to leave an additional deposit to be refunded upon their departure.
Tax officers can be persuaded to look the other way for the right price, although this usually requires a steep bribe. For example, Squibs are unilaterally forbidden entry to the system, and any Squib found in defiance of this law are arrested as an enemy of the state. Nevertheless, exceptions can be made with a significant donation to cover the "sinner's" presence and the necessary "exorcism fee." Weapons, too, might be carried along for a high "tool license fee." Nevertheless, no exceptions are allowed for ship weaponry, which has to be deactivated before proceeding. This law is enforced via booby-trapped customs seals placed on the weapons' override cutouts; pilgrims are warned removal of these seals is at their mortal peril. Once the pilgrims find something they wish to take out, they have to pay a high extraction fee, officially regarded as a donation. Still, the Ugors' system-spanning junkyard is often the last place a particular archaic piece of gear might be found, leaving its seeker little recourse. During the reign of Emperor Palpatine, ships from the Galactic Empire freely enter and leave Paradise for dumping purposes, but they still have to pay if they came as pilgrims.
Ugors have access to hyperspace-level technology and can make use of most standard-issue kit by exuding appropriately adapted pseudopodia—generating vision sensors spaced at the same distance as those of a typical humanoid to use a pair of macrobinoculars, for example. They have access to architectural technology that, circa 84 BBY, was state of the art; around that year, the Ugor architecture firm Bolzi Design & Transmogrification designed the luxury ports for the Wheel space station. The plans included cutting-edge morphometric technology that allows each port's docking interface to dynamically restructure itself to couple with approaching starships. However, by the time of the Galactic Civil War, native innovation had stagnated, and the species instead adapted ideas from without and reverse-engineered technological items from the castoffs found in the salvage they collected. The resulting mishmash, while eccentric and serviceable, is outdated and far from efficient. Ugor technology is the butt of galactic jokes, as when a Rebel Alliance compared the cobbled-together look of the repulsor-assisted ground-to-orbit concussion missile launcher to "the interior of an Ugor autochef."
Ugors patroll the Paradise system and roam the galaxy in large collection ships. By 0 ABY, their fleet consists mainly of Black Hole-class salvage dreadnoughts, also known as Ugor battle-wagons, manufactured by the Ugor Salvage Company. This type of vessel is cobbled together from scrap, making it a kind of "ugly," and shaped like a plump doughnut with an armored hull of patched-together metal around a sparking, sizzling central hole. Each battle-wagon holds a crew of 48 Ugors, a maximum cargo of 3,000 metric tons, and provisions for four months. The ship's weaponry is antiquated by galactic standards, but with 16 emplacements, it can hold its own in ship-to-ship combat. Inside, the dreadnought is dimly lit and its control panels covered in slime.
The species evolved on an unknown planet in the Paradise system (known as J21-Z65 on most star charts) in an area of the galaxy called the Airam sector. Whereas evolution on other worlds equipped multicellular creatures with specialized cells to respond to a changing environment, the Ugors instead developed new cell parts, a process significantly more involved. No in-depth study of their homeworld ever took place, but Imperial sentientologist Obo Rin reasoned that the planet must have been ideal, with easy access to nutrients and few if any natural predators, for such large protozoans to survive.
Ugors used their world's vast natural resources to develop complex technology well before they had established any significant bodies of philosophy. This inhibited their prudence and allowed them to reproduce irresponsibly and pollute their homeworld to the point where its life-sustaining capabilities reached a tipping point. Nevertheless, evolution continued apace: rather than being forced to make hard choices to restore their once lush world, the Ugors simply adapted to the mess and gained the ability to subsist on nourishment that would be toxic to other species.
From eating garbage, the Ugors took to worshiping it. A species-wide government known as the Holy Ugor Taxation and Collection Agency came to dominate political and religious life. Sometime between 1000 and 25 BBY, after learning the secrets of hyperspace technology, the Ugors spread across the galaxy, gathering refuse and bringing it back to their home system. Sometime before 17 BBY, they came into contact with other scavenger species, such as the Jawas and Squibs, and worked to marginalize these rivals. The Squibs in particular, whose homeworld was nearby in the same sector, proved apt competitors in the waste recovery market, and the two species developed an intense hatred for one another.
The Ugors eventually turned their archaic but formidable weaponry on the worlds of their own system and methodically blasted them into rubble. The process took more than 100 standard years to complete, but in the end, the Paradise system became a massive salvage yard free of any obstructing planets, and the Ugors lived exclusively aboard their ships. The junk floating in their system increased with time, and they encouraged other civilizations to dump their waste there, too.The Ugors also made incursions into Trianii Space, where they planned to collect junk. However, they were forced out by the Trianii Rangers.
By the early days of the Galactic Empire, the species had reached the top of the galactic sanitation business, and more and more worlds came to depend on them to cart away their rubbish. Reasoning that pilgrims had a right to holy relics found in Paradise, the Ugors opened up the system to outsiders who wished to sift through its expansive dumps in search of useful parts—for the appropriate "donation." The Ugors then secured an exclusive contract to clean up after Imperial vessels, which jettisoned their waste prior to jumping to hyperspace, and to receive garbage dumped from Imperial ships.
As the chaotic conglomeration of garbage in Paradise grew, the species found it more and more difficult to control. Within hours of the Battle of Yavin, Ugor salvagers arrived at the site of the destroyed Death Star and swooped up immense hunks of the station's wreckage before being chased off by Imperial vessels. Among the Ugors' take was a prototype gravity well projector. They carted it back to their home system, an event their holy tomes referred to as the "Coming of the Prime Mover." Their priest-scientists studied the relic and managed to reactivate it. They dubbed it the Prime Mover and its associated housing the Holy of Holies. Placed in a key location in their system and protected in a shroud of rubbish, they used its power to organize the vast swath of garbage. The added organization made Paradise more attractive to outside visitors and gave their salvage fleet greater efficiency and profit-making potential.
It was not to last. The projector was also wanted by the gangster Jabba the Hutt and the Squib king, Ebareebaveebeedee. A Rebel Alliance strike force and a Squib guide disguised themselves as Imperials, infiltrated the Paradise system, and stole the Prime Mover. The Paradise system collapsed back into disorder,and the Squib Reclamation Fleet took the opportunity to steal as much garbage as they could before the battlewagons could respond.
The Ugors and their system had fallen under the influence of Darth Krayt and his Sith Empire by 137 ABY.
Ugors in the Galaxy
Many Ugors lived in the Paradise system, stationed aboard the dreadnought patrol craft that protected their junkyard and enforced their laws. By 3 ABY, an Ugor named ArrGack had risen to the post of Chief Tax Chaplain, Reverend Auditor, and commander of the in-system fleet. Another member of the species, named GrrKack, was a Tax Chaplain under ArrGack's command.
Ugors are a common sight beyond Paradise as well. Many are members of the fleet who make regular garbage pickups from contracted planets. They preferr to remain aboard their ships and have any planetary refuse shuttled to them in orbit, but they make exceptions for worlds that lack space travel technology.
Others traveled to locations in which capital ships jettisoned waste into space. Such salvage pilots assume the worst when they come upon a dumpsite. They travel in large numbers to enhance their ability to outflank the enemy. If rival salvagers are known to be present at a dump site (a good assumption, as Squibs tend to arrive at a dump site more quickly), the latecomers aim to drop out of hyperspace right on top of the rivals and surround them with ships. The unicellular scavengers then try to gather as much garbage as possible via ship tractor beams while keeping their rivals at bay with their weaponry. Still, they prefer to avoid combat when possible; when satisfied with their fill, they jump away and lesve any leftovers to other salvagers.
Spacegoing Ugors keep alert for barri, large creatures that live in the vacuum of space and sometimes latch onto passing craft. Once they have a barri passenger, an Ugor ship's crew often feel the creature form a mental link with them. This is often followed by an intuitive understanding of a different hyperspace course to plot. Pilots learn to trust this information, as it tends to lead to a safer course than the one that was originally planned.
Other Ugors scavenge on the surface of worlds. In 17 BBY, one such group, headed by an Ugor named SplrMuck, operated on the planet Almas. While scavenging the remains of Almas Academy (destroyed during Order 66), the group came into conflict with a group of Squibs over a half-destroyed droid. A third party, agents of the Jedi Master Denia, arrived on the scene and negotiated a settlement. Soon thereafter, the three factions came under attack by Dark Lizards and joined forces to fight them off.
Similar bands operate on the planet Korad in the Elrood sector. Sometime during the Galactic Civil War, however, a Squib named Slythor arrived on the world and tried to take over one of the salvage yards. A group of Ugors resisted the incursion, but the Squib managed to take over the yard and declare himself "Highest Exalted Ruler of Korad." He then used Squib henchmen to enforce access to the planet.
Another Ugor of note is a spice dealer who lives on the planet Krann sometime after 4 ABY. He operates in a shopping district near a cantina called the Wages of Phy'r and offers a range of goods that include Corellian spice, Kessel spice, and the highly controlled eldratz. The high-gravity planet Emmer in the Outer Rim Territories, though barely habitable by many species' standards, has a thriving Ugor population during the Galactic Civil War.
Ubrikkian Industries designed and marketed the 9000 landspeeder for Ugor buyers. Its round shape with windows all around was aimed at the species' globular natural form. The speeder's designers even installed a system whereby the vehicle hovered above to allow its Ugor driver to ooze underneath and up inside. Nevertheless, sales were stale. The company eventually revisited the design, added seats, and marketed the new model to the general public as the 9000 Z001.
Ugors are extremely unpopular with other species and suffer discrimination as a result. Their impenetrable bureaucracy and unusual temperaments are so well known that most beings go to great lengths to avoid both. A general distrust of shapeshifting species leads many to fear Ugors and even to regard them as cold-blooded killers.
Home Planet: Paradise System
Attribute Dice: 12D
-- Amorphous: Normal Ugors have a total of 12D in attributes. Because they are amorphous beings, they can shift around the attributes as is necessary - forming pseudopodia into a bunch of eyestalks to examine something, for example, would increase the Ugor's perception. However, no attribute may be greater than 4D, and the rest must be allocated accordingly. Adjusting attributes can only be done once per round, but it may be done as many times during an adventure as the player wants - but, in combat, it must be declared when other actions are being declared, even though it does not count as an action (and, hence, does not make other actions more difficult to perform during that round). Ugors also learn skills at double their normal costs (because of their amorphous nature).
-- Squib-Ugor Conflict: The Ugors despise the Squibs and will go to great lengths to steal garbage from them, since they venerate garbage as a god.
Size: 1-2 meters in diameter (when in circular form)
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