Also known as the Mechalus, the Aleerians are a cybernetic species that appeared as one of the core races in Alternity. They were later ported into d20 Modern in the d20 Future book, although they were not adapted for use in D&D.
The Mechalus hail from the planet Aleer, where they had built a system-spanning civilization before being discovered by humanity. Aleerian civilization evolved much like Earth, with war and rapid advances in technology. Relative to humans they were more militaristic and warlike, and once they discovered cybernetics and bioengineering they quickly embraced these technologies to improve themselves. Within generations their species was being born with augmentations.
Eventually the aleerians turned their attention to exploring space, and discovered that their system hosted a second inhabited planet. First contact ended in conflict, and the aleerians responded by annihilating their primitive newfound neighbors. The realization of what they had done caused a philosophical awakening, rejecting the violence that had characterized their civilization for millennia.
It was not very long after this that a Rigunmor exploration vessel emerged from drivespace in their system. After conquering the language barrier, the Rigunmor delegation found their hosts unusually passive and accepting of the proposal to annex them into the consortium. For the aleerians this was a last step in shedding their old identity, even embracing the word the humans had come up with for their kind: Mechalus.
In the year 2501 (present day for Star*Drive), the Aleer system is a member of the Rigunmor Star Consortium. Under the terms of the Rigunmor-Aleerian trade agreement, the Aleerian government recruits millions of individuals to serve terms as contract workers leased to the Consortium. Known for their outstanding skills with technology and software, the mechalus are in high demand throughout Rigunmor space and beyond. While no mechalus is obliged to serve, volunteers are never in short supply as it offers an opportunity to serve their world while learning more about the galaxy beyond.
While the mechalus are full citizens of the consortium, they have adopted few of the cultural hallmarks of their patron nation. Wealth and personal advancement do not resonate with the aleerian psyche like they do for the entrepreneurial humans of Rigunmor. Rather, duty to community is what motivates most mechalus.
Technology pervades aleerian life. They are connected to each other and their creations by thought, and their bodies are as much machine as flesh. This combined with their history of militarized society gives them a very precise, regimented lifestyle somewhat resembling the early Spartans. Even their speech tends to be laconic. While intelligent and meticulous, their thinking tends to be unimaginative and predictable, lacking the flair for sudden creativity found in humans and T'sa.
Within aleerian society, the community comes before the individual. Children are raised collectively, and there is no significant attachment between parents and children, nor between genders; reproduction is seen as a duty to sustain the community. While aleerians can and do form friendships, these tend to take the form of camaraderie with their teammates, rather than affectionate pair bonds.
Since the cultural awakening that followed their first contact incident, the aleerians have subscribed to a philosophy of nonviolence. It is uncommon to see a mechalus respond to provocation, and exceedingly rare that they would instigate a conflict. But when there is cause for celebration, their exuberance can surprise those who believed them to be unfeeling machines.
There are some peculiar aspects to aleerian pacifism: even the most saintly mechalus does not regard gridcombat to be violence, nor hacking to be a transgression. Raised as they are, connected to their community by data from birth to death, the aleerians do not share the ideas of privacy and propriety found in most human societies. Shame is a concept they comprehend only in terms of unjust harm (and they only awakened to this concept after annihilating another species); indeed some human idiosyncrasies such as embarrassment or selfishness are downright confusing to mechalus.
In an odd case of convergent evolution, aleerians are almost universally attractive by human standards, with chiseled features and athletic builds. From a distance or in dark conditions they can pass as human, although up close their alien features become clear: carbonate fiber skin woven with circuitry and synthetic hair made of wire and fibers reveal a level of augmentation far beyond what the human body could naturally endure.
- Computer Operation Skill Bonus: Mechalus recieve a -1 step situation die bonus whenever they use Knowledge-Computer Science or Computer Science-Hacking skils. To use this bonus they must merge with the computer by forming a physical link via filaments that can extend from their fingers. Forming or breaking this bond takes one round.
- Cybernetic Enhancements: Mechalus have no chance of rejecting cybernetic enhancements, and the amount of cybernetic augmentations they may possess is based on their constitution + 4.
- Ability Modifiers: +2 Constitution, -2 Wisdom, -2 Charisma
- Computer Link (Ex): As a move action, an aleerian can link with any computer he can reach using short filaments that extend from his fingers. Once the link is achieved, the aleerian can use the computer to accomplish computer tasks more quickly than normal. A task that normal requires 1 or more minutes takes a full round action instead. A task that takes 1 or more hours instead takes 1 minute. The DC of the skill check increases by 5. An aleerian retains his dexterity bonus to defense while linked to a computer. Disconnection from the computer is a free action and a linked aleerian who takes an attack action automatically severs the link. The link is also broken the instant the aleerian can no longer reach the computer.
- Cybernetic Adaptability (Ex): An aleerian can have an additional number of cybernetic attachments equal to his level. Improper removal of a cybernetic attachment installed on an aleerian causes 1d4 points of temporary constitution damage (instead of 1d4 points of permanent constitution drain, as normal).
- Skill Bonus: Aleerians gain a +2 species bonus on Computer Use checks.
|Editions:||1st Edition, 2nd Edition|
|Alien Races:||Fraal, Mechalus, Weren, T'sa, Sesheyan|