Sunday, March 24, 2013


No. Appearing:1-4
AC: 4
Hit Dice: 1
Saving Throw: Warrior 1
Attack Bonus: +0
Damage: by weapon, or 1d4
Movement: 20’
Skill Bonus: +4
Morale: 7

The Engineers [mnadnzat; mnaat sing.] are a cybernetic species and citizens of the Vokun Empire, responsible for much of the Empire’s technology. Though they are essential to the Empire’s function, the vokun keep them under close control due to their fear of artificial intelligence.

Appearance and Biology: Engineers vaguely resemble isopods of ancient Earth, but with more human faces. The average 1.2 m tall and have eight limbs, but typically ambulate bipedally. Either of their upper pairs of limbs may be used as manipulators, though the first pair is shorter and more dexterous. Though they have an internal skeleton, they also possess thick plates of carapace that extend the length of their bodies. This carapace has an iridescent sheen as it has a coating of metalofullerene. The integument of Engineers comes in several different colors that may denoted their caste.

Engineers as a species have integrated with their technology. All adult Engineers have metaganglia providing conscious control of many aspects of their bodies' functioning and linking them to their spimes and noosphere. If an Engineer’s body is badly damaged, they can download their minds into another from a remote backup.

Other than having a sense of their species as a whole, Engineers do not recognize kinship, nor do they form pair bonds. Mating is a casual affair with no real associated emotion. Young are born in communal nurseries and are pre-sapient. They crawl around Engineer ships, directed by signals from adults, just another tool. Those that survive the second instar are “uplifted” to full sophont status by infection with the appropriate nanites.

Psychology: Engineers are somewhat literal-minded and pedantic, though they're fairly gregarious when their is a topic of conversation that interests them. They are adverse physical confrontation and danger, often to the point of cowardice from the perspective of other species. When they feel endangered they attempt to roll themselves up as much as possible. They make poor fighters, but their aptitude for technology makes them excellent technicians and (of course) engineers.


Tom Fitzgerald said...

I like how this setting is developing. Are you, by any chance familiar with the project? That thing blew my mind a few years ago when I was reading a lot of Alistair Reynolds and getting enthused about transhumanism etc.

Trey said...

I am indeed familiar with Orions Arm,though its been some years since I was following it closely.

Some of the ideas that show up there and in the works of Egan, Reynolds, Rajaniemi, Wright and others show up here--though I'm enthused it with a bit more "pulp" I think by having psionics and things like that.

garrisonjames said...

Are there contra-engineers out there? I was reminded of the Moties just recently and now that I've read about these Engineers, it seems that it would be kind of fun to have an opposing faction/species that goes out of their way just to disassemble stuff, break it down, take things apart...the two groups might even make a really effective alliance or partnership...
Just a passing thought.

Trey said...

Not a bad idea, though I think the Engineers view demolition as part of the creation process--they aren't just mindless assemblers.