There are terrors in the galaxy that send shivers down the spine of even the most grizzled mercenary; chief among them are The Brood. the Brood have long harried the Shi’ar Empire, but have began to appear in the Alpha Quadrant recently. Until that point the tales of living “space whales” filled with insectoid beings that either kill or possess everything in sight were written off as either tales to scare children or to keep explorers out of the Beta Quadrant. It wasn’t until a young Sol Alliance colony in the Verdanst system was wiped out that the Alpha Quadrant societies began to take notice.
The Brood hail from an unknown system. It’s possible that system lies in the Delta Quadrant or even in some hidden world in the Beta Quadrant, but there are theories that propose that they hail from beyond the Milky Way. Either way, the Brood have been known to the Shi’ar Empire for hundreds of years. They travel through space in giant creatures called Acanti (also call “Space Whales” by some deep space explorers and merchants). They infest the insides of these massive, space-living creatures, and use a combination of poisons and bionics to control the creatures. The Brood will then feast on the insides of the Acanti until it dies, at which point they move onto the next Acanti.
The Brood are an insectoid species in many respects, though their physiology is distinctly non-insectoid in several regards. They have a caste-based society. Each Brood enclave is ruled by a Queen. The Queen infects new hosts with embryos. These embryos are fully sentient upon infecting a new host. They slowly re-write the host’s DNA until the host has transformed fully into the most common variety of Brood: Sleazeoid. The conversion process time can vary from species to species, but is generally complete within a week or two. Species with higher regenerative abilities can sometimes purge themselves of a Brood embryo naturally. However, for most species, unless advanced genetic therapies are applied within hours of infection, there is little that can be done to halt, no less reverse the conversion process.
Sleazeoids, also called Soldier Brood, are the workers and warriors of the Brood species. Their duty is to protect the Queen, keep Acanti space-worthy, locating new Acanti suitable for use as starships, and any other tasks the Queen declares. There are also some specialized forms of Sleazeoids called the “Firstborn” that are used as a Queen’s personal guard and her most effective assassins. Although, due to the differences between Firstborn and Sleazeoids, it has been theorized that there may be a Brood classification higher than Queen. This so-called “Empress” has never been seen and it has been suggested that she can only be found on the Brood homeworld, which has never been located.
The Brood are sentient, and despite being in a hive-caste society, they are all individuals but their desire to keep consuming and infecting every species that they can overwhelms most personal wants or desires. Sleazeoids live for their Queen and will fight to the death for her. This is due in part to a strong telepathic link between the Queen and her servants. This link is so strong that it can span across several light years, although how remains a mystery. This link also appears to have an addictive effect on the Sleazeoids. This is why when a Queen is slain most Sleazeoids will commit suicide if another Queen is not within the range that their telepathy can locate. The effect is what keep Sleazeoids in check and obedient despite the fact that each drone has an individual personality. Some Sleazeoids, however, can continue to exist without a Queen. There are even rumors of enclaves of Sleazeoids that actively avoid other Brood and are relatively peaceful, though these rumors remain the stuff of space legend without verifiable proof.
There are many Brood enclaves throughout the Beta Quadrant (likely the Delta Quadrant also), but they are not aligned with one another. There have even been reports of different enclaves attacking each other even though such tales are rare.
The Brood are insectoid in appearance. They are about 8 feet long from end to end. Their weight is variable and their eyes are colored either yellow or red. Sleazeoids are the most common variety of Brood. They are brown in color and can the ability to fly with clear dragonfly-like wings. Their bodies are leaner than that of Queens and end in two tails equipped with long, spear-like stingers. These stingers each carry a different poison. One is a powerful paralytic, the other is a potent neurotoxin that kills within seconds. Slazeoids have size legs, two of which are more tentacle-like in appearance and allow for fine dexterity. Queens are larger, standing around 12 to 17 feet tall, cannot fly, and do not have wings. However, they can infect potential hosts with a touch, and can spit a powerful paralytic goo. Firstborn Brood have a very different look, almost more reptilian than insect. They are green in color and have very durable bony plates covering their bodies. Firstborn stand around 15-20 feet tall. All brood have mouths filled with large, razor-sharp teeth.
Brood for Savage Worlds
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d6, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Shooting d8, Stealth d6, (Sleazeoids may have other skills that fall under various Knowledge categories like Biochemistry, Bionics, and various Technical areas.)
Pace: 8; Parry: 8; Toughness: 13 (2)
Gear: Some Sleazeoids carry energy weapons on par with Blaster Rifles that also have a Stun Setting that work like a Stun Gun (see the Sci-Fi Companion for stats for these weapons).
Flight: Sleazeoids can fly on buzzing insectoid wings with a Pace of 12 and a Climb of 6. Size d6 damage. One contains a Paralytic poison, the other a Lethal poison. (See page 89 of the Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook for more information on Poisons.)
Brood Queen (WC)
Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d10, Spirit d8, Strength d10, Vigor d12
Skills: Climbing d8, Fighting d10, Notice d12
Pace: 8; Parry: 9; Toughness: 16 (2)
Large: Attackers add +2 to their attack rolls when attacking a Brood Queen due to her size.
Size +4: Brood Queens are at least 12 feet tall with bloated abdomens.
Paralytic Poison: See page 89 in the Savage Worlds Deluxe rulebook for info on poisons. This is ranged spit attack that has a range of 4/8/16.
Infection: Any character wounded by a Brood Queen must make a successful Vigor roll with a -2 penalty or become infected with a Brood embryo. Unless the victim receives advanced genome resequencing therapy within the first 4 hours of infection, he will flee his allies in order to find a secluded spot to complete the transformation into a Brood Sleazeoid.
Brood Firstborn (WC)
Attributes: Agility d10, Smarts d8, Spirit d8, Strength d12, Vigor d12
Skills: Climbing d10, Fighting d12, Notice d8, Shooting d10, Stealth d8, Tracking d8
Pace: 10; Parry: 10; Toughness: 20 (4)
Huge: Attackers receive a +4 bonus to their attack rolls when attacking a Brood Firstborn due to their immense size. Size +6: Firstborn Brood stand up to 20 feet tall
Brood for Rogue Space
DRM: +1; TP: I; SZ: RB; MV: 50’ crawl, 80’ fly; AR: M; DM: V (laser rifle), M (tail stingers), or L (bite); HP: 3; SP *
Poison: One tail stinger has a paralytic poison (Fighting roll against TN 8 or become paralyzed for 2d6 minutes) and the other has a lethal poison (Fighting roll TN 8 or die within 2d6 rounds, but application of anti-venom can neutralize the poison). The poisons only take effect if the stingers cause HP damage.
Can be armed with laser rifles.
DRM: +2; TP: I; SZ: RB; MV: 50’ crawl; AR: M; DM: M (claws or bite); HP: 5; SP *
Paralytic Spit: Brood Queens can spit a wad of paralytic goo up to L range. Any hit by this spit must make a Fighting roll against TN 10 or be paralyzed for 3d6 minutes.
Infection: Anyone struck by a Brood Queen attack (even if no damage is dealt) must make a Fighting roll against TN 12 or become infected. Unless advanced genetic therapies are given to the victim within 4 hours, he will flee his companions in order to complete the conversion process into a Brood Sleazeoid.
DRM: +3; TP: I; SZ: ZOMG; MV: 60’ Arachnid, AR: V; DM: M (claws or bite); HP: 5; SP -