NeoHumans: The Benefits of Genetic Science

   Just for a quick note for today, we have the Neo-Human Racial Template. This little +0 ECL build is the perfected result of centuries of genetic engineering, and is about as good as a +0 ECL template can reasonably get without some major drawbacks. It may or may not be suitable for most campaigns, but if you need a genetic elite for something, or if you want to duplicate an old Star Trek episode, then here you go.


NeoHuman Racial Bonuses

Fast Learner, Specialized in Skills, for +2 SP/Level (8 at level one) (6 CP).

Genetic Enhancement: As per Innate Enchantment. Specialized: detectable by any form of genetic scan, cannot be bought up later, enhanced metabolism renders the possessor immune to most helpful drugs, medications, and stimulants. 9 CP/16,000 GP Value, expended on L1 use-activated spells cast at L1 with – where relevant – the “personal use only” modifier (x.7). Sadly, turning “magical” benefits into “racial” benefits costs another 9 CP: you have to buy Immunity / Stacking Limits for these abilities (uncommon / minor / major, 3 CP) and Immunity / Disruption or lack of magic (common / minor / major, 6 CP).

  • Attribute Enhancement: +2 on each basic attribute (6 spells, 8400 GP value).
  • Reflex EnhancementPersonal Haste (+30′ Move, +1 attack when making a full attack, 2000 GP).
  • Adrenal Enhancement: two Grant Simple Physical Feat spells (Combat Reflexes and Improved Initiative, 2800 GP).
  • Innate Resistance (+2 resistance bonus to all saves (1400 GP).  
  • Enhanced Health, purchased as Immortal Vigor I (+12 + 2x Con Mod HP, 1400 GP).

   Sadly, this only works if (1) the game master lets you get away with taking two “immunities to natural laws”, (2) you can start off down the 1280 XP cost of the innate enchantments – or the game master opts to waive it, and (3) you can get away with counting the innate enchantment as “specialized” for a fairly trivial drawback. In the Federation setting such immunities will only work outside the core, and not everywhere there.

Neural Augmentation: +2 Intelligence (6 CP). 

Enhanced Attribute: Apply an additional +2 to an attribute of choice (6 CP). 

   Neural Augmentation and Enhanced Attribute should be combined as a single +2 bonus in worlds where attribute bonuses cost full price: the template is set up for a world with a half-price rule in effect.

Improved Eyesight: +1 Racial Bonus to Spot checks.  

Total: 37 CP. Sadly, as exceptional specimens, NeoHumans are considered Valuable (they are a preferred sacrifice for various magical rituals, -3 CP) and they tend to have a hard time relating to normal human frailties, making them a bit Inept with respect to social relationships (-2 on all Chr-based skills, -3 CP) – thus bringing them down to 31 CP, the maximum for a +0 ECL race.


The Neohuman represents a more-or-less perfected or idealized human. Those who are willing to accept radical departures from normal human appearance, weird personal drawbacks, and similar limitations can actually squeeze more power out of a +0 ECL species (presuming a similarly permissive game master) by Specializing most of their abilities, but this is really about as good as you can get and still be fairly normal otherwise.


2 Responses

  1. I am beginning to suspect that there is something seriously flawed here. I mean a total attribute bonus of +16 plus bonus hp, resists, haste, two feats and +1 to a skill, all in a ECL +0 package?

    Dark elves get spell resistance, two once per day spells, and +4 to attributes and yet have +2 ECL. I know the spell resistance scales, but attribute bonuses mean a lot in my book.

    On the other hand, given this I might be able to build a Praetorian rather cheaply. (Laughs maniacally)

  2. Oh yes, this is seriously tweaked; in fact, it won’t work unless…

    1) The game master allows the Immunities to convert the innate spells into racial bonuses. Given that both of those immunities are forms of “Immunity to Natural Laws”, that’s a very substantial “if”.
    2) A world rule that halves attribute bonus costs is in effect. (This does grotesque things to things like the half-celestial or half-dragon templates – or will reduce the standard half-dragon template to a +2 ECL template. I suspect that the Drow are a bit over-rated though: lets see… +4 Attributes (12 CP under the same half-cost rule), Darkvision (Occult Sense, 6 CP), +2 to Will Saves (Corrupted, only vrs spells, 4 CP), Improved Spell Resistance (12 CP), Specialized Occult Talent (3 CP), 3 Weapon Proficiencies (3 CP), 2 bonus languages (2 CP), and a Light Blindness disadvantage (-3 CP), for a net total of 39 CP. Barely worth a +1 with the half-cost for attribute modifiers, and only a +1 without it. That fits really. Nobody normally takes a Drow unless they’re a serious fan of the fictions or really really want spell resistance. I suspect that most of the extra +1 ECL surcharge is left over from the 3.0 Forgotten Realms book, where they simply wanted to make sure that Drow player characters were rare.
    3) The game master is waiving the XP cost (1280 points in this case) for Innate Enchantments – whether only for starting characters or in general.
    4) You let someone get away with counting the genetic enhancement as “specialized” in exchange for a relatively minor drawback.

    All of those are fairly substantial “ifs”. The whole thing is really only generally applicable if you either want to play up the difference between Neohumans and baseline humans (in which case it’s probably a wash: every eligible character will take it, leaving you with “the PC’s are better than the NPC’s”, which is already pretty much assumed), if you want something like the old “purebred humans” from Gamma World, or if you want a new baseline (in some cases you might: for example, in d20 terms, Ryan had average attributes of 16 before modifiers).

    I’ll append a few of the notes into the template though: it was posted in a bit of a rush and I forgot to note which world template it was under.

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