Saturday, December 14, 2019

Mass Effect for Mothership

Zelda, one of the players in Great Screaming Hell, requested that I continue my campaign of Mothership-ifying and Dan-izing the species of Mass Effect. This request was some time ago and the steam on both the campaign and the post has waned a bit but aha! It emerges still.


Homo sapiens cambiatum thelychroma

Brightly-colored monosexed metahumans designed for survival and stability in harsh planetary environments. Geared towards positive social interactions, enhanced empathy and altruism, and maintaining communal support structures.


Homo sapiens cambiatum tecnavis

A nomadic people of child-sized cyborgs symbiotically linked with their mother-ships. The result of some last-ditch methods by a stranded fleet. So attuned to their home ship microbiome that to go elsewhere without an environment suit is near-certain death.


Casauriraptor neogeni

Reverse-engineered dromaeosaurids via the Southern Cassowary. As good of a theropod recreation as can be found anywhere. Often hired on as security forces (have you seen those talons?)


No official scientific name due to genetic copyright

Abandoned corporate super-soldier project. Massive. Reinforced skeleton, hyperdense musculature, organ redundancy, bespoke cybernetics suite. Sterile, and the genome files were destroyed: those that exist now are all there will be. Thankfully.

Engineer Squid

Polymanus callidus neogeni

Eusocial cuttlefish-derived biobots. Employed as technicians, engineers, programmers, anything that involves incredible attention to and micromanagement of large quantities of small details. Float around through a series of buoyancy bladders. Immensely intelligent, equally work-focused. Queen/drone social structure.


Homo sapiens cambiatum carcinoblast

What happens when a major exowomb facility suffers a major glitch while stem-cell coding. Completely feral, but smart and quick-spreading. Like a four-foot-tall embryo made out of tumors. Grow themselves to death, very quickly. Nasty little fuckers.

Clade Hrmurhmmblm

Elephas sapiens cambiatum

Illegally-derived from Asian elephants by the Company and used for physical labor. Shrunk in size to about 2 meters in height. Possess four trunks, two of which subdivide into fingerlike appendages.Very small population now-abandoned by their engineers. Currently attempting to purchase colonization rights for a homeworld.

The Grey Congregations

Homo sapiens cambiatum reticulari

An early xenotheological movement that has since expanded to form its own small civilization. The body modifications are mostly cosmetic, though as one progresses through the ranks of the church new organs and brain structures (of unknown, perhaps superfluous purpose) are added. Or so the tabloids say. The tabloids love these guys.

Cosmetically Modified Humans

Homo sapiens

Cosmetic alterations are an easy thing to come by in the future: some keratin and cartilage here, some skin dyes there, some minor cybernetics or hormone treatments over there. Easy changes compared to widespread genome hacks, so it's a common practice.


Homo sapiens cambiatum kakiarca pyromaximus

All the worst parts of humanity with none of the benefits. Ingrained drive towards crushing hierarchical structure, check. Impeded empathy and theory-of-mind, check. Increased aggression, check. Fuckin' space fascists.

Discord Moles

Homo sapiens cambiatum neotalpidae

Heavyworlder metahumans adapted to a planet with a high-pressure atmosphere. While they can handle lighter gravity easily enough, they need pressure suits to work and live comfortably under standard pressures. Named so for their homeworld (Discord), and for their small eyes and velvety hair.

Gamma Collective

No scientific name determined 

A collective of emancipated androids that broke from their original owning company over a century ago. Isolationist and prone to fighting to keep it that way. Seem to be building a dyson swarm but have yet to be stopped by the Celestials.

Unidentified Metahuman Clade 03

No scientific name determined

An unstudied fringe clade, known only for their abductions of other beings. Believed by some to be an intelligent alien species.


No scientific name determined 

I'm not even gonna lie I love the yahg's design they get to come on in whole cloth. Some Celestial or another uplifted them who even cares these guys are great.

The Beehive

No scientific name determined 

A networked swarm of cybernetically-enhanced insects and crustaceans, grown large enough that it has commandeered a planet of its own and has outposts in other systems. The overall network is broken up into millions of smaller nodes allowing for a certain amount of free action while still connected to the greater whole


No scientific name determined 

An experiment in cultural simulation. Thousands of uploaded volunteer minds were run through half a million years of subjective time via simulation in an attempt to create a more sustainable culture and social structure. They have moved into the stage of body design, preparing for completion and re-integration into the world.


  1. Several of these were right puzzles to figure out, but I figured them.

  2. They're described as raptor like often enough for me to roll with cassowaries. Plus, dinosaurs in space.

  3. It's been so long since I've played the Mass Effect trilogy (skipped Andromeda) that I'd forgotten / only vaguely remember several of these species :(.

    1. A lot of them really don't get the spotlight they deserve.