WAR OF THE WORLDS

MARTIAN

Val	CHA	Cost	Roll	Notes
10	STR	0	11-	Lift 100 kg; 2d6 HTH Damage
11	DEX	3	11-	OCV:  4/DCV:  4
9	CON	-2	11-
12	BODY	4	13-
20	INT	10	13-	PER Roll 13-
14	EGO	8	12-	ECV:  5
15	PRE	5	12-	PRE Attack:  3d6
4	COM	-3	10-
5	PD	3		Total:  5 PD (3 rPD)
8	ED	6		Total:  8 ED (3 rED)
2	SPD	0		Phases:  6, 12
10	REC	12
50	END	16
22	STUN 	0	
Total Characteristics Cost:  62

Movement:	Running:  3"/6"
		Swimming:  2"/4"

Cost	Powers & Skills
7	Pipette:  HKA 1 point (1/2d6 with STR), Penetrating (+1/2), END 1
22	Pipette:  RKA 1/2d6, NND (defense is not having blood or protective skin or equipment 
	too thick to penetrate; +1), Does BODY (+1), Continuous (+1), Reduced Endurance 
	(0 END; +1/2) (45); No Range (-1/2), Pipette Must Do BODY First (-1/2)
6	Heavy:  Knockback Resistance -3"
3	Tough Skin:  Damage Resistance (3 PD/3 ED)
3	Tireless:  Life Support (Diminished Sleep:  No need for sleep)
-6	Heavy:  Running -3" (3" Total), END 2
6	Tentacles:  Extra Limbs (16 tentacles), Inherent (+1/4)
5	Thought Interchange:  Mind Link, specific group of any Martian; Only With 
	Others Who Have Mind Link (-1)
5	Tentacles:  Stretching 1, Inherent (+1/4), Persistent (+1/2), Reduced Endurance 
	(0 END; +1/2) (11); Always On (-1/2), No Noncombat Stretching (-1/4), No Velocity 
	Damage (-1/4), Limited Body Parts (tentacles; -1/4)

	Talents
9	Ambidexterity:  No Penalty with Off Hand(s)

	Skills
1	Animal Handler 8- (Martian Provision-Creatures)
7	Combat Driving 13- (Martian Fighting-Machines)
0	Language:  Martian (Native, Literate)
3	Mechanics 13-
2	Navigation (Land) 13-
3	SS:  Choose one:  Metallurgy, Biochemistry, etc. 13-
2	TF:  Martian Vehicles
3	Weaponsmith (Choose one:  Missiles & Rockets, Chemical Weapons, or Energy 
	Weapons) 13-
2	WF:  Martian Fighting-Machine Weapons, Martian Heat-Ray
83	Total Powers & Skills Cost
145	Total Character Cost

75+	Disadvantages
5	Physical Limitation:  Large (1.5m sphere; -2 DCV, +2 to PER Rolls to perceive)
	(Infrequently, Slightly Impairing)
5	Physical Limitation:  No Sense of Smell (Infrequently, Slightly Impairing)
5	Physical Limitation:  Reduced Leap, cannot leap (Infrequently, Slightly Impairing)
15	Psychological Limitation:  Overconfidence (Very Common, Moderate)
20	Vulnerability:  2x Effect from Diseases and Biowarfare Agents (Common)
20	Vast, Cool and Unsympathetic Bonus
145	Total Disadvantage Points

Ecology: Martians appear to be bear-sized octopoid entities that have adapted to life on land due to the reduction of Mars’ once-plentiful water. They are able to extend a bone or cartilage pipette from their mouths to take nourishment in the form of blood.

Martians reproduce asexually, budding under unknown conditions to produce a single offspring.

Personality/Motivation:
The Martians have been described as "intellects vast, cool, and unsympathetic." They have no sympathy with other organisms, and are concerned only with their own species’ survival. They appear to be indifferent to other sentient lifeforms, and their marked preference of humans for food appears to be due to human resemblance to Martian food animals. Technically, they are highly advanced, with a science capable of producing giant robotic fighting-machines, intricately manipulative handling-machines and gravity-defying flying-machines. They are industrious and appear to communicate telepathically with one another.

Powers/Tactics:
In battle, the Martians rely on their terrible fighting-machines, which are armed with Heat-Rays (which appear to be some sort of infrared laser) and Black Smoke canisters (poison gas delivered by some sort of mortar system).

The Martians shy away from personal combat, being physically unprepossessing; their pipettes are for feeding, and are typically deployed only when the victim is held helpless in Martian tentacles. "Soldier" Martians may be more competent.

Campaign Use:
H. G. Wells’ Martians were the first alien invaders, and have influenced every alien invasion story since. Designed to illustrate the barbarity of European imperialistic expansion into the Third World to the detriment of native populations, the Martians are handy for showing the advanced countries that they, too, are vulnerable. As such they have invaded England (in the Victorian era) and the United States (in the post-Depression American expansion), and will likely invade again.

I gave the "pilot Martians" (i.e., the ones who actually piloted the Fighting-Machines) 4 extra DEX, 1 extra SPD, and 1 Movement Skill Level with Martian Fighting-Machines in my game, to make them more of a threat to the superheroes they were up against. In a game based strictly on the original War of the Worlds setting, PCs would probably be based on at most 50+50, and this would probably not be necessary.

Appearance:
Martians are all head, with a four-foot diameter head-body with two large, dark eyes over a beak-like mouth. Surrounding the mouth are sixteen delicate tentacles. Their skin is ruddy, and glistens like wet leather. At the back of the large head is a single tympanic eardrum; since the Martians communicate telepathically, this would seem to be a vestigial organ.

Notes:
One area of difficulty in translation is in the physical condition of the Martians. On the one hand, they are seen to have trouble lifting themselves against the greater Earth gravity. On the other hand, they are also noted as having "little or no sense of fatigue." To reflect this, I have chosen to give them significant Recovery and Endurance scores; another tactic I had considered was to give them Reduced Endurance on Running, Swimming and Strength, but I found this not specifically supported by the book.

I note that, from the Martians’ physical description, Wells would seem to have intended them to be refugees from the vanished Martian seas. If this is the case, they might possibly have used their single eardrum for some sort of sonar. And if this is the case, then the location of the eardrum, combined with the indication of "hooting" as an evacuation of air to provide suction for their blood-drinking, leads me to believe they might have a squid-like water siphon for fast movement in the water. They might have settled on invading the land of Earth in the mistaken impression that Earth-seas were devoid of life, much as the Martian seas would have been shortly before drying up completely. However, this is all speculation and therefore does not make it into the write-up.

Wells notes that blue and purple "were as black to them." This would seem to indicate that their visual range is extended downward, toward the infrared. However, no instance of definite Infrared Vision is noted in the text, so no Enhanced Senses power has been assigned.

Wells has the Martians feed through a pipette that transfers blood directly into their systems, but is vague as to the exact mechanism used. He notes that the Martians precede their feedings with a "peculiar hooting," that evacuates air from the system "preparatory to the suctional operation." This indicates a biological origin to the pipette, which I have modeled on the vampire’s bite as the most appropriate analog, albeit with less damage done; the victims of the Martians seem to have survived for some time, indicating the short-term damage was not as severe, and that only long-duration exposure caused death.

Some later writers have preferred to give the Martians greater mental powers; in the original, upon which this write-up is based, no such powers come to light. In fact, some powers, such as Mind Scan, are most definitely absent in the Martians, based on their observed actions. Therefore, I have not chosen to include these powers.

Also note that, with the inclusion of vehicle points into the character cost, it will go much higher. I have left the vehicle points out of the write-up, since there will be some Martians with Handling-Machines and some with Fighting-Machines, and some with neither.

Sources: The War of the Worlds, 1898.

(Martians created by H. G. Wells, character sheet created by Roland Volz <rmv1@optonline.net>)


Martians | Martian Fighting-Machine | Martian Handling-Machine

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