“pak’ma’ra, all same, all different”
I knew that I was going to make a few characters that would be contrary to expectations for in Card Catalog, and the Nakir’s Zocalo Bar Happy Hour Drinking Society has several of them. First up is Vr’korl because while there was absolutely going to be a Diplomat class character in this group, the generally reviled and disliked pak’ma’ra is not the species you first think of. IN assigning ability scores, Charisma is the most important choice for a Diplomat, especially when the pak’ma’ra have a -2 for it. The pair of 15s can go to Intelligence and Constitution while a 10 Wisdom seems to work. pak’ma’ra are generally disliked because they are carrion eaters, and also have a distinct superiority complex as they are the chosen of the gods able to eat all that crawl on the land and fly in the air. After adjusting Vr’korl’s abilities as a pak’ma’ra, the result is Strength 12; Dexterity 10; Constitution 19; Intelligence 15; Wisdom; 10; and Charisma 14. I know that Wisdom is usually given a priority for characters like Diplomats, but the particular way the pak’ma’ra think means I want to leave that off as a sort of ingenue like quality.
In addition to the Ability score modifiers, a pak’ma’ra also automatically gains Great Fortitude, as they are hardy and able to resist most poisons and illnesses. Because they are so often overlooked, they have Stealth and subterfuge as class skills regardless of their class as well as an additional +2 bonus, and have a bonus of +2 to Intrigue and Investigate.
Diplomat’s are a perfect class for a Babylon 5 game if you play into the intrigue and social components of the setting. Diplomats have low hit points, but Vr’korl will make up for that with the high Constitution, a high amounts of skills, high Willpower saves, but low combat values. They also have a significant amount of Influence compared to other characters. I chose to max out the skill ranks for Sense Motive,Bluff, Diplomacy, and Intrigue as befitting a Diplomat which in the d20/OGL system is equal to your level plus 3 ranks. Next, I spread out the remaining points between a wide variety of skills paying particular attention to Subterfuge, a White Collar Diplomat Profession, and Knowledge of League of Non-Aligned Worlds. The rest of the skills are sprinkled across the options available.
For feats, all pak’ma’ra have Great Fortitude, and as a Diplomat, Vr’korl will take Skill Focus Diplomacy as a first level feat. The Diplomat’s first level Cultural Diversity Feature means picking up Skill Focus in that Knowledge of the League of Non-Aligned Worlds to know them even better.
For Influence, Vr’korl starts with 2D4 League Political Influence and rolled a … 7! Wow! For whatever reason, Vr’korl seems to get what the pak’ma’ra want or need… maybe they just want Vr’korl to leave before it’s feeding time.
A few creds later, Vr’korl has a PPG pistol, some basic gear that isn’t too important to recount, and is one of the few pak’ma’ra with a middle lifestyle in Green sector.
Advancement in the d20.OGL system is a straightforward affair where saving throws, base attack bonuses, and skills all have improvements as the character levels. For skills, I kept the maxed out skills maxed out and kept spreading around the remaining skills. I recorded the Improved Diplomacy Class feature that provides a +2 bonus for all Diplomacy and Sense Motive Checks at second level, and the Strong Influence ability to make it easier to call on subsequent favors. At third level, the second feat Vr’korl picks up is a Skill Focus in Sense Motive to further that ability. Speaking of Influence, Vr’korl’s League Political Influence is up to 11, while spreading out some basic influence into Babylon 5 Local, League Social, and even Criminal at 2 each.
On Melat, the pak’ma’ra knew only that they were the chosen of the gods, very special. It is, after all, the pak’ma’ra way to eat all that crawl on land or fly in the sky when they die to ensure that the souls are released to journey beyond the Rim. THe arrival of these other species was … unexpected. Vr’korl is one of the pak’ma’ra who was given the task of discovery 3 tosh ago. Every 5 tosh, or 15 Earth years, the pak’ma’ra determine what tasks each will complete on a global scale, while the individual villages and cities may do so more often.
The non-pak’ma’ra seemed to need a “leader” or “speaker” when they came for Melat and the system’s Quantium-40, so the pak’ma’ra decided that those tasked with Discovery would include those who would speak and listen with the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. Vr’korl has been on Babylon 5 since it became operational and has been watching and listening the whole time. While not the “Ambassador” for the pak’ma’ra, Vr’korl has had that task before among the village of pak’ma’ra on the Station.
Acutely curious, strikingly intelligent, Vr’korl glides clumsily across the commercial and underground sectors of the space station and comes home to Green sector to share what is learned. The time drinking Rmm*zzq!wwx in Nakir’s had been just another extension of that task, but Vr’korl is beginning to have a sincere affection for these not so fortunate as to be born pak’ma’ra, chosen of the gods, very special.
The League Political connections means that Vr’korl will be at the center of decisions being made by the pak’ma’ra when Capt. Sheridan calls for aid and the galaxy’s power is redefined. Looking forward, the unassuming and often overlooked pak’ma’ra may be some of the purest, ego driven species around. In the future, Vr’korl will continue as a Diplomat, looking towards Alien Empathy as a feat to further understand all these species who are not pak’ma’ra, chosen of the gods, very special. This will certainly continue along the way as a quiet character in the background of others plans who is going about the way of discovery and somehow helping the pak’ma’ra come out ahead.
vrkorl pakmara Diplomat Sheet