Species Template: Founder
By Ryan Scott

The Founders of the Dominion are liquid creatures capable of changing their shape at will.  The Founders can each assume multiple shapes at the same time, including inorganic and unique shapes in addition to mimicry of existing beings.  This means that a Founder never needs to worry about clothing; a Founder can appear to wear anything he or she wishes.  This shapeshifting ability is limited only by size – an individual Founder can only assume shapes of his or her particular liquid volume.  Note that a Founder’s shape shifting ability does not convey any additional abilities to him or her, such as speed or strength.  The change is purely one of shape and appearance.

In their natural state, the Founders all coexist in a huge sea of living fluid they call the Great Link.  In the Great Link, there is no physical distinction between one Founder and the next, or even individual identities, as humans understand it.  All Founders within the Great Link know everything all other Founders in the Link know, and are, in a way, a single entity.  They only take on independent personality upon leaving the Great Link.

Most Founders are never away from the Great Link for very long, but they do send out members of their race to other, faraway worlds, to gather information.  As they keep one hundred of their kind scattered across the galaxy, these Founders are simply called the Hundred.  The Hundred are sent out with no knowledge of their home world, their race, or their abilities.  After fifty to five hundred years, the hundred instinctively seek out the Founders home world.

Fitness 2 [2]
Coordination 3 [3]
Intellect 2 [2]
Presence 2 [2]
   Empathy -1
Psi 0 [0]

Any Science (choose Specialization)  2 (3)
Culture (The Great Link) 1 (3)
History (Founders) 1 (3)
Language (Dominion Standard) 2
Shapeshifting (choose Specialization) 3 (4)
World Knowledge (Founders' Homeworld) 1 (2)

Typical Advantages/Disadvantages
Arrogant (-1)
Domineering (-1)
Medical Problem (must resume liquid form daily; -1 die each to Fitness and Coordination, -2 dice to Presence) (-5)
Shapeshifter (+6)

Author’s Notes
Since Founders can learn directly from the Great Link, they do not require a standard character history.  Founders leaving the Great Link should be generated by spending an additional 125 points on skills alone.  Note that individual Renown is not applicable, as a Founder is not an individual until he or she leaves the Great Link.  Note also that since Founders do not develop in the same way that other organisms do, they are very consistent in their attributes.  Finally, note that the cost of the Double-Jointed and Resistant advantages have been doubled in this case to reflect the greater abilities of a liquid life form.  Members of the Hundred are the only Founders which should be generated according to the standard rules.  Their Early Life History package should be something like this:

The Hundred Upbringing (5 Development Points)
Any Academic Skill (choose Specialization) (see p. 22 in the Player’s Guide) 1 (2)
Shapeshifting (choose Specialization) 1 (2)
Alien Upbringing +1
Disregard Arrogant and Domineering
Bad Reputation (Cannot be Trusted) -4

Only members of the Hundred should be considered as player characters, and should be created using the standard character history rules.  They will know nothing of their home world, the Great Link, or even their own species.

Editor's Notes
I have modified the Advantages of this Template as submitted by the author, and therefore added a Science skill to adjust the point total for the Template.  This Template refers to the Shapeshifting Advantage and Shapeshifting Skill submitted here by the same author.

Of course, a Narrator should be extremely reluctant to allow any but the most disciplined players a chance to play (and probably abuse) a Founder character or other shapeshifter.

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