Art by Boris Moskalenko
Tsuku: +2 Str +2 Con -2 Dex 6 HP
Densely fleshed with powerful lungs and hyper-oxygenated blood, the tsuku are a strong, powerful, stubborn people who have only newly taken to the stars. Their home world of Djaringa is over eighty per cent ocean, with the smattering of land broken up into shattered archipelagos which are frequently washed over by tsunamis from the planet’s many earthquakes. Denied a view of the stars by thick cloud and the ocean in which they spent most of their time, they concentrated on their own world, marshalling their resources and accomplishing many great technical feats suited to their environment. Discovered by scout ships they have now joined galactic society, which they readily view as part of their greater family. Fiercely loyal to their ‘pods’ they have now adapted their aquatic technology and lifestyle to new roles amongst the stars.
Size and Type
Tsuku are medium humanoids with the tsuku and aquatic (amphibious) subtype.
Tsuku have the Swim movement type (see the main book) and can move their full speed in water. They are mammalian and need to surface to breathe (without technology) but can hold their breath so long that – with forewarning – they do not need to breathe for any normal duration of time that would come up in a game.
Low Light Vision
Tsuku can see in dim light as if it were normal light.
Tsuku gain a +2 racial bonus to Fortitude saving throws against environmental effects.
The tsuku are fiercely and ferociously loyal to their friends – and expect the same in return. Their presence is great for morale and they draw a great deal of strength from their own bonds of friendship. Designate up to five other people (or sapients) as part of your ‘pod’. Once per day while aiding them or being aided by them you can roll twice and keep the highest result.
Playing a Tsuku
- Care very much about your friends and want to get to know them very well.
- Are filled with a huge amount of curiosity about the universe around you, that may get you into trouble.
- Abhor wastes of resources of any kind and are constantly switching off lights, recycling rubbish and making do with leftovers.
- Sing to yourself and feel crushingly lonely when left completely alone.
Other Races Probably…
- Never met one of you before.
- Find your social forwardness incredibly awkward.
- Find your voice deep and hard to understand.
- Love the smooth feel of your skin and want to touch it.
The tsuku are a solid looking people, broad-shouldered, broad-hipped, barrel-chested and covered in a thick, even layer of tough, smooth, bluish skin and fat. Strong, powerful and more than a little clumsy, few tsuku ever reach the heights of six feet and such a tsuku is rare and noteworthy. Family, pod, tribe, clan and other affiliations are marked with patterns in permanent dye upon a tsuku’s skin so that each can read another like a book. Their voices are also deep and booming and instantly recognisable as a particular individual to any other tsuku. Some tsuku voices are so deep and booming that they can cause physical discomfort to other beings, resonating with their cavities and organs.
Tsuku are mammalian, but it is hard to tell the difference between the males and females if you are not up on tsuku physiology. Females tend to be around six inches shorter – on average – with a lighter skin tone and larger nipples – something that is often visible as most tsuku only wear clothes for practical reasons – like work. Some throwback male tsuku – and only male tsuku – grow tusks, a vestige of their ancestry (take this as a Feat at character creation if you want it, the tusks are considered to be natural weapons like those of the vesk).
Tsuku are new to interstellar society but are determined to make a name for themselves and are rapidly adjusting their existing technology to new roles, which can lead to some… interesting compromises.
Djaringa is off the beaten path and a difficult place to visit for most other humanoids. The frequent quakes, storms and tsunamis mean that the tsuku cities are all free-floating and most are also beneath the surface. Their first major surface city – and starport – has recently been completed, but its day to day location on the planet is anyone’s guess. The tsuku are gregarious and interested in outsiders and so have been encouraging traders and visitors but some tsuku nativists are beginning to regret it, many generations of isolation and a culture of respect and care for the environment bumps up harshly against interstellar tourism and capitalism.
Society and Alignment
Tsuku place an enormous amount of importance on their place in society. You are an individual, but you are defined by your family, your pod, your tribe, your clan, your city and your people over and above that. Tsuku are selfless, generous and, all in all, a ‘happy-go-lucky’ people without any effort. Amongst their species this is not a problem, as other than a few psychotic aberrations everyone is on the same page. It has, however, made them a people ripe for exploitation by others as they encounter less generous, less honourable people. Most tsuku are lawful good, but the law in their own society exists for the common good and is consented to by all, they rankle against authoritarian and unjust laws and regimes.
Tsuku are open and frank about sexual interest, something else that makes many other species and societies cringe. In their home society pods marry each other, with the groups intermingling freely and raising the young communally.
A pod is a friendship group of five to ten tsuku (typically) who grew up together and who know each other well. Pods typically go into the same business and the pod is also a natural military or police unit whose familiarity with each other makes them more effective and trustworthy. Pods lose members and amalgamate over time as well as shedding members who choose a life of adventure. You never, truly, however lose your first pod.
The tsuku can get on with just about anyone, but some grumpy souls find their positivity, happiness and friendliness puzzling and even offensive. Robotic lifeforms, in particular, find them hard to understand and get along with. The tsuku are inclined to give anyone and everyone a chance and are, if anything, far too forgiving.
The tsuku have only been part of larger, galactic civilisation for a score or so years – since first contact. Many of them have stars in their eyes and have taken to space to see everything for the first time and to bring back stories and trinkets for their pods.
Tsuku names are often too deep or too high to be heard by other intelligent beings, and so they tend to translate them into something more easily said by other species. These names approximate their own names in that deeper or higher register and tend to include clicking sounds and long vowels. Some sample names include: Aroon, Cakak, Eeyou, Gunt, Iaia, Klikik, Moona, Ooeo, Quequa, Seeooia, Uwu, Woomaa, Yarooikik.
Tsuku ‘Oon’ Aquavacc Suit
The Oon is a repurposed deep-dive suit, used by tsuku who explore the deepest regions of their ocean planet in search of fresh resources. The suit was easily adapted to become a vacuum suit and its resemblance to antiquated diving gear of other species has been a source of some amusement.
- Oon I: Level 2, Price 800, EAC +1, KAC +4, Max Dex Bonus +3, Slots 0, Bulk 2, Special: Rebreather (can breathe indefinitely underwater and up to two hours in other environments).
- Oon II: Level 6, Price 5000, EAC +4, KAC +10, Max Dex Bonus +4, Slots 1, Bulk 2, Special: Rebreather
- Oon III: Level 10, Price 17000, EAC +8, KAC +17, Max Dex Bonus +5, Slots 3, Bulk 2, Special: Rebreather
- Oon IV: Level 14, Price 61000, EAC +12, KAC +23, Max Dex Bonus +5, Slots 4, Bulk 2, Special: Rebreather
- Oon V: Level 18, Price 400000, EAC +16, KAC +25, Max Dex Bonus +8, Slots 5, Bulk 2, Special: Rebreather
Hydro jets that bolt onto legs, shoulders or other parts of armour, these greatly increase the utility of aquatic armour.
- Rikitikit Swimpak: Level 5, Price 3000, Slots 1, Armour Type (any), Bulk 1, Special: Gain water movement or, if you already have it, gain +10 ft speed while in water.
The Unk Welder-Gun is typical of tsuku technology having two or more roles. While this is a sidearm, it is also a quick, useful welding tool as well as being deadly in close-quarters combat.
- Unk Welder-Gun: Level 2, Price 500, Damage 1d6 F, Range 10 ft, Critical Burn 1d6 F, Capacity 10 charges, Usage 1, Bulk L, Special: Line.