The Vorlon Race (Babylon Five):
Background information is excepted from Voltayre's Encyclopia Xenobiologica
"As to his head he was a god, as to his wings he was Imdugud." -
King Gudea describing Ningirsu, city-god of Lagash, 2150 B.C.E.
The Vorlon race is NPC only because of two reasons. The race is very powerful and due to their motivation is virtually impossible to be played correctly. Their motivations and actions are truly alien, and very hard to describe, let alone play on a regular basis, without the player becoming to "Human" in his actions and motivations.
The Author has only met one player in Role Playing Games EVER that the Author considers able to properly play a Vorlon. The author for this conversion himself feels that he is unable to properly play a realistic Vorlon.
Legend of the Vorlon:
Very few humans have had contact with a Vorlon outside of its encounter suit. Even less have seen what they truly look like. Because of this mystery, Humans have created a legend regarding the appearance of the Vorlon. According to said legend, the last human to see a true Vorlon was a pilot who crashed, off course, on a Vorlon colony world. The human became the first to set eyes upon a Vorlon sans encounter suit, and was turned to stone.
Not every legend is true.
PSI ABILITY: The Vorlons have very strong telepathic abilities. Distance and dimensional location (in real space or hyper space) are not a hindrance to them. At its most basic level, the Vorlon can communicate by sending images directly to a recipient's brain in a form of pictorial communication utilizing forms and experiences from the subject's mind. A more advanced form of direct communication usually occurs when the Vorlon chooses from the mind of the recipient a person that is important (and an authority figure) to that person. Using the memories of that figure, the Vorlon can communicate with the recipient in that form; utilizing direct manipulation and the emotional weight of the figure. Psychic communication between a Vorlon and another usually occurs when the person's mind is in a different state: asleep, exhausted, in a heightened state of awareness. This has led to the association of Vorlons with dream imagery. At its most powerful level, the Vorlons can alter a being's conscious perception of themselves to a limited number of observers (in effect, a psychic cloak). The use of this power requires a certain amount of previous manipulation on the subjects -- in effect, programming a preset perception almost at a genetic level, that the Vorlons know how to activate. When appearing before a single subject, the effect is an automatic autonomic reflex and does not strain the Vorlon. The most difficult and physically demanding use is when the observers are of different races since each race will perceive something different (or even a race like the humans who have a multitude of religions). The overall effect is that all present sees their own version of a Being of Light masked over the true form of the Vorlon -- even those with beliefs that are post-Vorlon influence since the programming is very deep.
In addition to telepathic powers, Vorlons are highly adept in the use of Telekinesis and some forms of psychometry. Recorded telekinetic effects include, but are not limited to, physical violence ranging from the "Darth Vader" choke-hold to full body restraint and manipulation. While some speculate that Vorlons have the physical ability to fly, it may be that they simply levitate themselves. The psychometric powers of a Vorlon seems to be useful in seeing the shadows generated by the release of a large amount of energy that are "painted" on nearby surfaces.
PSYCHOLOGY: Time does not mean to the Vorlons what it means to most of the galaxy's species. They perceive reality, time, and space differently than most. It is said they take no interest in the affairs of others, however they appear to have taken a marked interest in the Minbari and the Humans, and even the Narn. Vorlons speak of themselves in the plural. They also view each individual Vorlon as part of a whole; with each Vorlon being or having an element of every other Vorlon.
Being one of the few remaining First Ones, they are powerful and self-righteous. Peculiarly, they are also insecure about that power. The death of one of their number is taken hard by the whole race.
Toward their servants, the Vorlons expect nothing but perfection. Failure is rarely tolerated with gentility.
RELIGION: The Vorlons worship no one but themselves.
LANGUAGE: Vorlon "names" (i.e. Kosh Naranek, Vorlon Ambassador on Babylon 5) are actually a description; with the words being the closest we can come to the original Vorlonese. They speak through a series of musical/ tonal/atonal chords, almost a chorus of voices.
HISTORY: The Vorlons are members of an ancient group of races called the First Ones, of which they are the youngest. The Vorlons are held in contempt by some of the First Ones (most notably the Walkers). After the defeat of the Shadows in the last Great War circa 7,740 B.C.E., most of the First Ones left. The Vorlons were among the few to stay behind.
According to Dr. Straczynski, "There has never been a survivor of a Vorlon War," but then goes on to say "the Vorlons have never fought a war with any other race. (At least none has ever been recorded.)"
The Vorlons actively manipulated the genetics of a multitude of races (the Minbari, Pak'ma'ra, Drazi, Narn, Human, Markab, among others) to respond to their psychic cloak that disguises their true form. This allows the Vorlons to control the perceptions of these races, allowing them to manipulate them with ease since they always impersonate the messengers of that race's main deity. They are users and puppeteers who use their powers so the younger races will react properly. To the Drazi, a Vorlon would appear as Droshalla, a Narn would see G'Lan, the Minbari, Valeria, and the Humans would see (generally) an Angel. Each race who sees them, sees something out of their own past, their own legends, religions, faiths: a being of light. With the exception of the Centauri, who see nothing. While the Vorlons may have originated supernatural belief among some races where none was present, most belief systems were manipulated to conform to the Vorlon template on some level.
It is known that the Vorlons were on Earth in the 1880's, and that they gained a new Inquisitor at that time -- effectively stopping Jack the Ripper's rampage.
The Earth Alliance had been courting the Vorlons to make first contact since 2247. In 2257 the Vorlons responded by sending an ambassador, Kosh Naranek, to Babylon 5. Immediately upon arrival, Kosh was poisoned. After exiting his transport, Kosh revealed a portion of himself to a Commander Sinclair look-alike. The assassin slapped a skin tab to Kosh's "hand." The assassin was a member of a radical military caste clan which was against Minbari involvement in the Babylon Project, and hoped to sabotage the whole thing from within. Against the Vorlon directive of letting Kosh die rather than having Humans see him outside of his encounter suit, he was operated on by the station's doctor (now transferred to Earth) and scanned by Lyta Alexander. The poison was identified and the murderer was thought to be the commander of the station. During the trial of Commander Jeffrey Sinclair, the Vorlons wished for him (if guilty) to be tried on their Homeworld. They sent a small battle fleet to collect him. Upon discovering that the attempted murderer was a Minbari renegade and that Kosh was fine, they left. The entire affair is still puzzling. It involved a tech smuggler, named Del Varner, who sold a Changeling Net to the renegade Minbari. The Minbari was aided by the Narn. In addition, the Earth Alliance officer Laurel Takashima (now transferred to the Rim) had an active hand in framing Sinclair.
In 2258, a Vorlon ship destroyed the Dilgar Jha'Dur's craft as it was heading to Earth. She had invented an anti-agathic serum. The ship fired two shots, one of them destroying her craft. There have been rumors that the other shot did not miss its mark. When asked why this was done, Ambassador Kosh replied, "You are not ready for immortality." The third time the Vorlons let their intentions be known occurred when the Centauri assaulted the Narn Homeworld with mass drivers, by voicing a protest along with the Human, Minbari, and League governments.
Near the end of 2259, Kosh let himself be seen to an assembled host of diplomats on Babylon 5 in order to save Captain Sheridan's life. Each race saw their holy being (with the exception of the Centauri, who saw nothing) and now revere the station as a Holy Place. After maintaining so many illusions, Kosh returned to his ship and rested there for approximately two weeks.
By mid-2260, the Shadow War was going badly for the Army of Light. Devastating random attacks were destabilizing the minor and major galactic powers. Knowing that their cause would be lost if a victory were not gained against the Shadows, Captain John Sheridan confronted Ambassador Kosh. The lowly human shamed the Vorlon into facing his fear of death; Kosh knew that once the Vorlons actively engaged the Shadows, he would be the target of a reprisal. A Vorlon fleet engaged the Shadows and crushed them. Kosh Naranek died soon after.
A show of weakness at this point in the game was unacceptable. Should word that a race such as the Vorlons could be killed, their foot soldiers would be shaken. To cover their loss they sent their Ambassador-to-Minbar, Ulkesh, who was to assume Kosh's identity, to the station.
GOVERNMENT: Vorlon territory is known as the Vorlon Empire. Nothing is known if there is a Vorlon Emperor, but there is a High Command. The Vorlon Empire maintains a strict immigration and tourism policy:
* Earth Alliance has sent three expeditions into Vorlon space. None have returned. The Vorlons said they had met with accidents and suggested they send no more expeditions into their territory. The Centauri have also sent expeditions into Vorlon space. The Centauri have many strange stories about the Vorlon. Even the Minbari loose their expeditionary forces into the Vorlons territory.
MILITARY: Their starships are living creatures. The fighters are the most primitive ships with rudimentary evolution abilities. Their war cruisers often carry a full crew of Vorlons.
COLONIES: Vorlon territories are rarely trespassed without severe consequence. While no one has mapped the Vorlon Empire, its borders are well known.
A Few of the known Vorlon Holdings:
DM+ 45 2505
This system is accessible through the Centauri jumpgate at Batain, but travel here is not recommended.
Alignments: Any (maybe even Not Applicable), the Vorlons have
very unusual motivation and are very hard to define according to palladium
Attributes: IQ: 30, ME: 25, MA: 22, PS: 20, PP: 20, PE: 25, PB: 30 (outside of encounter suit), SPD: 44 (30 mph / 48 kph maximum)
Hit Points: 8200 (That is 82 M.D.C.)
S.D.C.: 80,000 (That is 800 M.D.C.)
Average P.P.E.: 2D6x10
Occupational Character Classes (OCC & RCC): None, the race has many special abilities and set skills
Skills: Vorlons are adept in Biology and Technology, They rarely study other skill areas. In Biology, the are at about the same technological level as Gene-Splicers and would be able to achieve anything Gene Splicers could.
In game terms, Other skill areas would be most Communications, most Electrical, some Espionage (Such as Intelligence), most Mechanical, most Medical (result of Biology), most Pilot (No Animal Riding Skills), Most Science (Especially Astronomy & Biology), and Technical. Game masters must decide what skills do not fit a Vorlons. Any skill that involves heavy physical activity or would be considered domestic would not be likely to learned. Remember that Vorlons are million + year old race.
Horror Factor: 16
Physical Appearance & Biology: The Vorlons are made up out of almost pure energy, with a semisolid
crystalline matrix. This makes them nearly invulnerable to physical attacks, and even attacks with most energy weapons will do little damage. Their only known weakness in this respect is to a certain rare poison, which disrupts their crystalline matrix.
Their appearance is that of a brightly luminous ovoid cloud of energy, floating upright a few feet of the ground, with almost solid seeming strands of energy woven through. Normally four to six of these strands extend almost tentacle-like out of the cloud, and these are used for physical manipulation, or fighting. In such cases it has been shown that despite their lighter than air appearance, Vorlons are actually quite strong. When the Vorlon moves quickly, it is slightly stretched out, with the "tentacles" streaming behind it like long pieces of string. There is a hint of wings when it moves like this, but this may very well be a illusion, because they move by levitation. It has no real length or size, because of its almost cloudlike nature. There are no discernable sensory organs, and to a non-Vorlon, all Vorlons look alike, with no difference in appearance, or color.
Height: Variable, Vorlons are mostly amorphous that can adjust their height accordingly
Weight: Unknown, being that Vorlons are mostly energy, it has been suggested that they would have a very low weight to size ratio (Perhaps less than 100 lbs / 45 kg)
Average Life Span: Believed to be Immortal
Natural Abilities: Immune to Vacuum and Cold. Fire, Lasers, and Electricity inflict half damage (Vorlons take full damage from M.D.C. Fire such as Heavy Plasma and Fusion Weapons). Physical attacks inflict no damage to the Vorlon itself but do inflict damage to their encounter suit. Magic weapons (If available) will inflict full damage.
Vulnerabilities/Penalties: Magic and Psionics inflict full damage (Vorlons save against psionics as a Master Psionic). Vorlons are vulnerable to some poisons.
Magic: None, In a magic rich environment it is unknown if Vorlons could become magic wielder.
Psionics: Master Psionic I.S.P.: 5D6x10 + 85 (Restores I.S.P. twice as fast as a human) Abilities: Treat all abilities as if the Vorlons are 15 th level. Physical: Alter Aura, Deaden Senses, Death Trance, Ectoplasm, Float, Impervious to Cold, Impervious to Fire, Impervious to Poison, Levitation, Mind Block, Night Vision, Resists Fatigue, Resist Hunger, Resist Thirst, Spontaneous Combustion, Summon Inner Strength, Telekinesis, Telekinetic Leap, Telekinetic Lift, Telekinetic Punch, Telekinetic Push, Teleport Object; Sensitive: Astral Projection, Clairvoyance, Commune with Animals, Commune with Spirit, Dispel Spirits, Empathy, Intuitive Combat, Mask I.S.P. & Psionics, Object Reading, Presence Sense, Remote Viewing, See Aura, See the Invisible, Sense Evil, Sense Time, Sixth Sense, Speed Reading, Telepathy, Total Recall; Super: Advanced Trance State, Bio-Manipulation, Catatonic Strike, Cause Insanity, Cure Insanity, Electrokinesis, Empathic Transmission, Group Mind Block, Hydrokinesis, Hypnotic Suggestion, Induce Nightmare, Insert Memory, Invisible Haze, Mental Illusion, Mentally Possess Others, Mind Block Auto Defense, Mind Bolt, Mind Bond, Mind Wipe, Psychic Omni-Sight, Psychosomatic Disease, Pyrokinesis, Radiate Horror Factor, Telekinesis (Super), Telekinetic Force Field.
Special Psionic Abilities:
- Holy Illusion: At the expenditure of 1D4x10 I.S.P. per round it can create the illusion of being a Divine figure in whoever is in visual range. This will usually be the illusion of a Heavenly messenger, never a true God. All who do not save versus psionics (is +3 to normal roll, no bonuses for the victim) are awestruck. They are immobilized and cannot attack the Vorlon, and they are -5 to parry attacks from him(Surely if an Angel is attacking you, it must be GOD`s WILL) Everything he says during the illusion is accepted as totally true, even after the illusion is at an end. 5% chance of becoming a true believer. (the character may turn into a religious fanatic).
- Split Essence: A Vorlon can split hart of their essence away and use it to possess another. This ability costs 20 I.S.P. to transfer into a psionic host and 40 I.S.P. to transfer into a non psionic host. The Vorlon can for an additional 20 I.S.P. make it that the host is unaware that they are carrying the Essence of a Vorlon inside (In these cases the host must be a non psionics). The Vorlon can suggest activities and may use its psionic talents at half effectiveness.
Combat: 4 Psionic attacks per melee and 7 with Physical Attacks
- Restrained Energy Tentacle: 2D6 + 10 (P.S.) S.D.C.
Restrained Energy Punch: 4D6 +10 (P.S.) S.D.C.
Full Strength Energy Tentacle: 1D6 M.D.
Full Strength Energy Punch: 2D6 M.D.
Energy Crush: 1D6 M.D.
Energy Body Flip /Throw: 1D4
Alliances and Allies: The Minbari and Interstellar League.
Equipment: All Vorlons come with an encounter suit and if found outside of Vorlon space have a cruiser at their call (Another reason they are NPC only)
Vorlon Encounter Suit:
This is a suit that protects the Vorlon and is constructed similarly to Vorlon starships and appears to be a Bio-Organic Material. These suits appear to be worn for two reasons. The first is to help protect the Vorlon, the Second is to hide their actual appearance. The suit does not protect against all poisons. The head of the suit appears to be some form of a sensor system.
M.D.C. by Location:
| Main Body:||500|
 Depleting the M.D.C. of the body will destroy the encounter suit. The encounter suit can regenerate damage on the suit at the rate of 4D6 M.D.C. per minute but can only repair up to half the total M.D.C. of a system or the main body.
Over Ground: The Vorlon Encounter suit hovers just above the ground and can reach a top speed of 40 mph (64.4 kph)
Length: 4 feet (1.2 meters)
Height: 8 feet (2.4 meters)
Width: 6 feet (1.8 meters)
Weight: 1000 lbs (450 kg)
Power System: Unknown
Cargo: Very small, can stow some small equipment
Market Cost: Unknown. Many races would pay millions to billions of credits for a working encounter suit to study.
None, although a Vorlon can use their abilities through the suit with no penalties
- Adaptive Surface: The Encounter suit has the ability to adapt to attacks on it. Once a specific attack has been used against the suit, it will adapt to that attack and any attack of that type that is encountered afterwards will only be at half damage in the next engagement. Variable frequency weapons such as variable frequency lasers can be reset to do full damage once this is discovered. The adaption takes about 5 days to be completed.
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Racial information from Voltayre's Encyclopia Xenobiologica.
Rifts Conversion Copyright © 1999, Kitsune & Mischa. All rights reserved.