Species Template: Chameloid
By Ryan Scott

Chameloids (pronounced KAHM-e-loidz) are the only known race native to the Alpha and Beta quadrants capable of shapechanging.  Their home world is Pollux VIII, which lies on the far end of the neutral zone between the Romulan and Klingon Empires.  The majority of species native to that planet rely primarily on eyesight for sensory input.  Their evolutionary ancestors developed in a niche where they fed on a range of extremely fast creatures and were preyed upon by very lethal ones.  These ancestors developed the ability to alternately mimic their predators and prey just to survive.  In turn, these species developed keen eyesight to spot the Chameloids’ ancestors, forcing them to further perfect their mimicry.  Eventually, these animals developed other means of detecting the shapeshifters, and so the Chameloids had to develop intelligence.

Unlike the Founders, chameloids are solid creatures, and need not return to their true shape at any time.  Their true form is that of a tall (2 meters), hairless humanoid with pallid yellow skin.  Furthermore, they can only mimic individuals they have seen in person, rather than taking on unique shapes or inanimate objects.  They are further limited by size – they cannot mimic any creature less than one meter or greater than three meters in size.  A Chameloid’s yellow eyes are the only feature that cannot be changed.  Of course, this can be concealed using the Disguise skill.  Chameloids reveal themselves to others so rarely that their existence is widely regarded as myth.  Note that Chameloids do not gain any abilities from their shape, such as speed or strength.  They merely look (and, if desired, sound) like the subject in question.  Note also that a Chameloid can change only his or her body, not clothing or other effects.

Chameloids have not developed warp technology, and so are constrained by the speed of light.  They are, however, able to infiltrate the ships of other species and travel anywhere from there.

Attributes
Fitness 2 [5]
Coordination 2 [6]
Intellect 2 [5]
   Logic -1
Presence 2 [5]
   Empathy -1
   Willpower -1
Psi 0 [3]

Skills
Culture (Chameloid) 1 (2)
Shape Shifting (choose Specialization) 4 (5)
History (Chameloid) 1 (2)
Language (Chameloid) 2
Mimicry (choose Specialization) 2 (3)
World Knowledge (Pollux VIII) 1 (2)

Typical Advantages/Disadvantages
Exceptional Eyesight (+2)
Shapeshifter (+6)
Poor Chemoreception (-1)
Poor Hearing (-1)

Author’s Notes
A Chameloid named Martia appeared in Star Trek VI on the Klingon penal asteroid.  The above information is largely speculation and based entirely on the film.

Note that the effectiveness of the Chameloid’s shape-changing ability is based on his or her level of skill.

Editor's Notes
I have adjusted the Template for the higher cost I assigned to the Shapeshifter Advantage.  I would also consider whether or not all Chameloids are so talented at the Shapeshifting Skill; my inclination is to give the average Chameloid a Shapeshifting Skill of 2 or 3.  Even if shapeshifting is something they do all the time, I'm not convinced it should be so much higher than their language skill level.

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