Bipedalbug v01


!kur!tar - (Click)-Kur-(click)-Tar. (I say “click”, it’s easier)

Created By:Edit

Chris McCubbin and Sean Punch Created GURPS Fantasy Folk “Insect Men” Jay P Hailey fleshed them out as a race for Star Trek Garry Stahl created the name and added more details.


The !kur!tar are bizarre humanoid insectoid people. Like insects, they have hard, chitinous skin of a shiny bronze color; gleaming, black, multi.faceted eyes, and long, curving antennae; but, like Humans, they also have ears and a mouth and nose. Their ears are pointed, and their mouths have sharp, bony ridges instead of teeth. They are as tall as a man, but thinner. Their limbs end in long, spindly hands and feet much larger than a Human's. Insect Men have no hair.

!kur!tar wear items of clothing, for decoration and to allow pockets. They have no nudity taboo, and no obvious genitalia.


  •  !kur!tar are, for the same weight, slightly stronger and tougher than a human, Their chitinous skin offers slight resistance to kinetic damage.
  • Secret Communication: The !kur!tar have a method of communication that cannot be perceived by other races - telepathy on a weird band.


  • Mute: !kur!tar have no vocal chords and cannot make noises necessary for speech.
  • Sterile: !kur!tar nobles are neuters – they have no genitalia and no gender.
  • Unattractive Appearance: The !kur!tar appearance can be disturbing to mammalian species.
  • Secretive: !kur!tar keep to themselves and often hide elements of their culture. They’re just intensely private, but this can strike other people as secretive.

!kur!tar WarriorsEdit

These are the warrior and servant caste of the Insect Men. They are taller and brawnier than their masters, but their most obvious difference from the rulers is their extra pair of arms.

  • They are stronger and more resilient than !kur!tar Nobles, but slightly less intelligent. They can use all four arms simultaneously, suggesting a better coordination than humanoids.
  • Secret Communication: The !kur!tar have a method of communication that cannot be perceived by other races - telepathy on a weird band.
  • Mute: !kur!tar have no vocal chords and cannot make noises necessary for speech.
  • Short Lifespan: !kur!tar Warriors are considered fully grown at age 13, and begin to decline due to age at age 35. Few live past 40 years.
  • Slave Mentality: !kur!tar Warriors have no initiative of their own. Individuals become confused and ineffectual without a "master" to give them orders. This does not necessarily imply a low IQ. An !kur!tar Warrior might be quite intelligent enough to obey the command "mix the elixir, then summon the spirit," but if the same individual was starving and found money it would be hard pressed to decide to pick up the money and go buy food — unless somebody told it to. An !kur!tar Warrior struggles to take any action that's not either obeying a direct order, or part of an established daily routine.
  • Status: Originally, Warriors were considered second class citizens and property. Currently they are considered incompetent, mentally disabled.
  • Sterile: !kur!tar Warriors are neuters – they have no genitalia and no gender.
  • Unattractive Appearance: The !kur!tar appearance can be disturbing to mammalian species.
  • Secretive: !kur!tar keep to themselves and often hide elements of their culture. They’re just intensely private, but this can strike other people as secretive.


It is difficult for Humans to fathom the inner working of an !kur!tar 's mind, partially because the two races are so different, but mostly because the !kur!tar do not practice speech as we know it. They can hear, and they can understand Human words, but they cannot vocalize. They communicate freely among themselves through telepathy on a weird band. Psionics from other species may hear a buzz from !kur!tar telepathy, but cannot understand or join in.. In the early days of contact !kur!tar scholars learn to write, and a few intrepid Mammalian scientists actually descended into their warrens to live for a time. Thus, reports of the lives of the !kur!tar has returned to galactic civilization.

Their silent underground cities are orderly and, by Human standards, impeccably clean. !kur!tar hurry about on errands, or stand patiently — for hours or days — awaiting a call to duty.

They are clever craftsmen and engineers. The !kur!tar decorate their works in intricate geometric patterns. Humans can see no meaning in their carvings, and find them slightly disturbing — likely because the designs aren't meant to appeal to any mammalian aesthetic.

!kur!tar Warriors are versatile during times of war, and make and use very nearly every weapon known to man. They are terrifying opponents, fighting with a merciless ferocity. Their frenzy is made all the more horrible by their complete silence in battle. This unnatural quiet gives an !kur!tar battle a surreal, dreamlike quality that can unnerve even the most hardened veteran. In modern times, !kur!tar Warriors are less useful, and so are not as numerous.

!kur!tar quickly picked up modern technology, and designed their own devices and tools. Some of these artifacts are unpredictable and dangerous when used by Humans.

They have a written language, which is extremely difficult for Humans to learn, as it communicates pure thoughts and concepts without attempting to represent any sound or signal. !kur!tar do not use names, and it is not clear how they differentiate between one another among themselves. Among Humans, they adopt a nickname for convenience.

The !kur!tar keep no shrines, idols or holy books. They seem to have a religion, however, for they will not communicate of other races' gods or beliefs, saying only that they are forbidden to dwell on such matters. Such a deeply ingrained racial taboo suggests the existence of a strong — and secret — religion or philosophy.



Sketch of the !kur!tar

The !kur!tar hatch from eggs, produced by a "queen" that is nothing more than a mindless, immobile engine of procreation. The sentient !kur!tar are actually neuters, with no part in the propagation of the race. The queen's true consorts are scuttling creatures the size of small dogs, with no more intelligence than a normal spider or centipede.

Sentient !kur!tar find the consorts cute and adorable. Nobles may carry a consort around for a while like a pet, but this is temporary. The consort wants to seek the queen and becomes more aggressive and hyperactive the longer he is away. In the presence of the queen a returning consort can become violently hyperactive.

Queens live for centuries, and can reach weights of more than a ton. Non-!kur!tar find the sight of the pallid, pulsating, eyeless mass of the queen — almost completely covered with the small, cluttering forms of her hundreds of bridegrooms — repulsive. Few non-!kur!tar have ever seen this sight, however, as !kur!tar guard their queens with a paranoid intensity.

No sentient !kur!tar ever touches the queen. Her small consorts, in addition to their procreative duties, instinctively keep her clean and free of parasites. They also predigest her food. This food is mostly provided by the sentient drones, but always contains a liberal spicing of small or slow consorts.

The queen produces an egg three times per day. Four out of five eggs turn out to be consorts. Of the remainder, two thirds are warriors and one third are nobles. A queen produces a potential successor once a year. The young queen will be unable to produce eggs for two years after hatching. At birth, she's taken to a chamber of her own and cared for until another young queen hatches. If the old queen is still in good health, the yearling queen is disposed of and the hatchling takes her place as insurance for the community's survival. Sometimes an extremely prosperous colony — or one with a severely depleted population — will keep two or even three queens in production, but this is very rare. More commonly, a community will make a decision to establish a new colony. Once a site has been chosen by scouts, a select group of colonists are sent out carrying a hatchling queen and a few healthy consorts.

In contrast to the primal chaos of the queen's chamber, the young drones are raised in a controlled and orderly environment, under the constant scrutiny of ancient tutors. Warriors are taught to fight, work and serve. Nobles learn to lead and care for the warriors and nest, and also various arts, crafts and sciences. The warriors are fairly intelligent, but are almost completely without will. Without a noble to guide them (or at least an established daily routine to follow) they are completely lost, and unable to take any independent action other than the most basic food gathering and self-defense. A warrior will follow a Human leader (or any other race) if no !kur!tar nobles are available.

The nobles are considered adults at 20, and begin to age at 55. The warriors are much shorter-lived, reaching maturity at 12 and beginning to age at 35. !kur!tar are omnivorous, but prefer fungus to green plants. They do not cook their meat, but will sometimes smoke or dry meat to preserve it. In spite of the cannibalistic habits of the consorts, the sentient !kur!tar will not eat each other, or any other intelligent race.


Most !kur!tar live below the ground in anthill like warrens that can stretch for miles. There are huge subterranean caverns where Insect Men cultivate strange fungus, or vast herds of giant, rolling grubs the size of sheep — the Insect Men's cattle. The !kur!tar seem to have little concern with what sort of terrain their colonies lie under... they're as likely to be found in desert as in jungle. The only terrain they seem to avoid is the frigid arctic.

!kur!tar society is rigidly stratified. Every individual belongs to one of a number of castes. Known castes include administrators, scribes, food.gatherers, queen. keepers, judges, warriors and several "craft guilds." The racial rulers are chosen from among all these castes, through a combination of election by the other rulers and competitive examination. Conformity is valued above all else by the Insect Men.

Anyone exhibiting alarmingly deviant behavior is fed to warriors (never to the queen or consorts, in the belief that otherwise the queen might absorb and pass on the insanity). On the other hand, especially valuable members of the hive are honored, at death or in useless old age, by "serving" the Queen one last time... as dinner. It is speculated that this somehow allows the best of the neuters to pass along their genetic inheritance, though they can never actually breed.

Those who show an undue amount of initiative or free will, yet seem reliable and loyal, are sometimes appointed colony scouts. Other independent thinkers used to be sold into slavery to other races. Some avoided this fate by fleeing the nest —most !kur!tar who lived among other races fell into this category. The warriors were also often traded to slavers. Insect warriors were almost perfect servants — loyal, obedient and unable to betray their master's secrets. They were also often used for bodyguards, and were extremely popular in gladiatorial arenas.

In modern times, !kur!tar are more tolerant of the independent minded, but they still work on the out skirts of !kur!tar society interfacing with other people. Warriors are not sold to other races, but cared for as dependant people.


The !kur!tar largely keep to themselves. They come into contact with the other races of the Kurr Association races because of expansion of their living and industrialization areas. They have some trade with outsiders, but seem not to feel the need for a large cultural or social exchange. In pre-englobement times,  !kur!tar went to war with other races to take and hold land suitable for expansion.

Some !kur!tar nests inhabit colony worlds with cities and colonies of other people – one would think that the !kur!tar tendency to prefer underground communities would make for good neighbors with above ground people, but the !kur!tar are uncomfortable with this sort of arrangement. They prefer their nests to be isolated, away from other people.

The !kur!tar picked up the ethical basis of the Kurr Association quickly and thoroughly. The !kur!tar had always feared the idea that the Orla, Kamla and Kloosh would together or individually begin a war of genocide against them. Sticking to the ethics suggested by the Banduch and encouraging their neighbors to do so made the !kur!tar feel safer co-inhabiting the galaxy with their fellow association members.

If the !kur!tar have neighbors in reach (after enough travel to make it seem difficult to attempt conquest), they’ll trade. They enjoy trading technology and artifacts for fresh vegetables (Not commonly available underground.) the advent of replicator technology has reduced this traffic. !kur!tar feel safer when they can check up on their neighbors every so often, and so still find excuses to trade.

In the past !kur!tar communities would attack rivals for land and space, but only when they felt confident of winning. This led to some ugly massacres and hard feelings. Modern !kur!tar will not attack under any circumstances, but make it clear they expect the same treatment in return.

!kur!tar mining and tunneling contractors are very good at their jobs and their services are a major trade item for the !kur!tar.

!kur!tar PCsEdit

If an !kur!tar individual is going to be played in the campaign, he will probably one of the strangely independently minded individuals. Such people are assigned to trade and scouting missions to learn about the outside galaxy and asses it for the stay-at-homes.

One of the most intriguing aspects to playing an !kur!tar is the racial Muteness disadvantage. It deserves consideration at length.

When Muteness is bought on a racial basis, it is assumed that the race can still communicate, more or less freely, among itself, but that speech with members of other races is impossible. It is further assumed that the requirements of an adventuring life will force the Mute PC to travel away from his race for much of the time. If the Mute race is the most numerous or most important race in the campaign, the points for racial Muteness should be dramatically reduced or eliminated. The Secret Communication advantage is not essential for the race to communicate among itself. Secret Communication indicates that the race's speech is unlearnable and indecipherable to other races.

The issue is further complicated by the problem of Mute psionicists. A disadvantage which does not inconvenience the character is worth no points. If the character can freely communicate with everybody through magical or psionic means, he is not Mute.

An !kur!tar who is not limited by the Mute disadvantage and who could therefore speak normally would be considered a freak — the GM may want to assess a moderate Unusual Background cost in such an instance.


The Kurr Association first appeared in ST-OM #10


The !kur!tar rest on a pretty conventional biochemistry – they can feed on earth plants.


The Kurr Association. The !kur!tar are considered a founding race and partners of the association.


The !kur!tar number 7 billion individuals on 5 planets.


The !kur!tar are ruled by a nested series of councils which are selected both by nomination and meritocratic testing. Each nest is considered it’s own political and economic entity, although the !kur!tar as a whole are considered as a unit by their main ruling council.


The !kur!tar adopted the technology and methods of modern, energy based economy quickly. Their own methods of allocating resources among individuals was already communistic and so had to change little to accommodate replicators and fusion reactors.


In pre-englobement times, the !kur!tar maintained large space and ground defenses. They focused on military space-going ships, because they weren’t terribly excited about strange new worlds and exploring space.

During the englobement, following the founding of the Kurr Association the !kur!tar scrapped and recycled 99% of their military, seeing it as wasted effort.

Since the release the !kur!tar have been focusing on defensive ships, and small scouts. They disagree with the aggressive exploration and expansion of the Kamla and Orla, but are prepared to fight fiercely to defend the Kurr Assocation.  !kur!tar ships are small but focused anti-starship weapons, which are getting refined and better with time. The Influence of the Federation Defiant class is clear.


  • Orla: These humanoids are, with the !kur!tar, one of the founders of the Kurr Association. The !kur!tar consider the Orla almost like siblings. Before the Association,  !kur!tar thinkers considered the Orla the most likely sparking point of a genocidal war, so they were happy and eager to make friends and forestall any conflict.
  • Kamla: These people are, with the !kur!tar, one of the founders of the Kurr Association. The !kur!tar consider the Kamla almost like siblings.
  • Kloosh: The Kloosh, are like the !kur!tar, one of the founders of the Kurr Association. Since the Kloosh were primitives and always running behind the Orla and the Kamla in terms of technology and military might, the !kur!tar felt a particular identification and more positive feelings towards the Kloosh. Since the Association the Kloosh and !kur!tar have become close friends and allies.
  • Banduch: Like the !kur!tar the Banduch were one of the founders of the Kurr Association. The Banduch are shy telepaths who live in their own telepathic matrix. They welcomed some !kur!tar settlement in distant and unused lands on their homeworld. The !kur!tar consider the Banduch mysterious and inscrutable. They are the most likely of the Kurr Association to do what the Banduch suggest first, and puzzle out the whys later.
  • Murachi: The Murachi are a humanoid race from outside the area of the Harmon Globe. The Murachi were introduced to the Kurr by the USS Harrier and later the USS Discovery. Although the Kamla and Orla blamed Captain Hailey for the lowering of the Harmon globe, The !kur!tar considered the matter mysterious and murky. Because of Hailey’s influence the Murachi were greeted warmly. The Kamla and the Orla proposed adding the Murachi to the Association, but the !kur!tar resisted. The Kurr association was formed from the dire necessity of being trapped in the Harmon globe. Although alliance is better for getting along with neighbors, the !kur!tar doubted that the Murachi shared the same motivations for being allies.

The !kur!tar were perfectly willing to be friends with the Murachi, they just felt that widening the Kurr Association to include the Murachi was too quick.

After the almost forced absorption of the Zak, however, the !kur!tar consider the issue hopelessly broken and have ended resistance to the Murachi joining, but may themselves be considering withdrawl from the Association.

  • Zak: The !kur!tar favored taking a very strong defense stance in regards to the Zak, that is, drawing a clear border and then aggressively vaporizing every Zak who set foot across the border. After the Zak lost a bitterly fought war with the Trantorian Empire, the Federation stepped in to negotiate the Zak surrender to the Kurr Association. This surprised and Disconcerted the !kur!tar. The Kurr Association was volunteered to defend the Zak from the Trantorians in a war the Zak themselves may have started.

The !kur!tar are cold to the Zak. They fulfill their Allied responsibilities mechanically. Only the fact that the Trantorians are patently aggressive and conquest driven have kept the !kur!tar from boycotting the Zak.

As Zak fight to defend the !kur!tar the !kur!tar attitude is changing. But they are not happy with the impulsiveness and speed of the developments and would prefer nothing like that ever happen again.

  • The Federation: The !kur!tar at first considered the Federation unalloyed good and were happy to receive federation contact and knowledge. Since then, the Federation has thrown the Zak into their laps. Some !kur!tar thinkers say that the Federations aggressive do-gooder-ism is just a trouble magnet and to be avoided. Other thinkers are still reveling in the wealth of data provided by the Federation. It’s safe to say that the !kur!tar are going to be more cautious and mindful of their interactions with the UFP in the future.
  • The Trantorian Empire – The !kur!tar propose the same solution for the Trantorian Empire as they did for the Zak. Make an obvious and public border- and then aggressively destroy any Trantorian unit that crosses it. The Orla, Kamla, Murachi and Kloosh want to open trade relations with the Trantorian Empire, following a method described as “Constructive engagement”, but the !kur!tar advise caution. They fear such engagement would serve to confuse the battlefield in the event of a Trantorian invasion of the Kurr. Interestingly the !kur!tar find an ally in association talks in the Zak who also advise against engagement with the Trantorian Empire.
  • 'Gallowayans – The !kur!tar get along well with the Gallowayans, and trade with Gallowayan ships when they come by.
  • Dorians - The !kur!tar have a mild relationship with the Dorians. Largely they ignore the Dorians. If the Dorians make a point of contacting the !kur!tar the !kur!tar will tolerate it and be polite.
  • Sixians.- The !kur!tar have let the Sixians know that if a Sixian ship approaches an !kur!tar ship or world it will be destroyed.

More NotesEdit

Insect men are a multi caste race of humanoids evolved from an insect base. The Insect Men look like a bizarre Human-insect hybrids. Like insects, they have hard, chitinous skin of a shiny bronze color, gleaming, black, multifaceted eyes, and long, curving antennae. Like Humans, they also have ears and a mouth and nose. Their ears are pointed, and their mouths have sharp, bony ridges instead of teeth. They are as tall as a man, but thinner Their limbs end in long, spindly five digit hands and feet much larger than a Human's. Insect Men have no hair. Lastly Insect Men have no voice. They communicate with ultrasonic clicks made deep in their throats. They can hear the normal range of sounds, but it takes training for them to equate the sounds made by other beings as communication. Insect Men wear clothing either for protection, or in a fashion borrowed from races that wear clothing. Insect Men to not posses a sense of body modesty. The majority of Insect Men are genderless drones. Those members of the species that do have gender are virtually never seen by outsiders. The species is divided into castes, each which has a function within Insect Man society. Caste in this case is not merely a label but a sub-species within the race. There are two genders and three castes of drones.

Insect men start as an egg. After hatching it is developed as a larvae for 10 months in special chambers within the nest. The way the larva is fed and cared for will determine its role in life. Caste is decided at this point by the supervisors dependent on the needs of the nest. Queens are the big female egg laying machines. She is dirt stupid and immobile unless moved. the queen is the size of a large cow weighting as much as a ton. She does nothing but eat and make eggs, from 3 to five eggs a day. Each nest of 300 to 500 Insect Men will have a Queen. Queens live an average of 150 years.

Males are small dog sized quadrupeds. They have the intelligence of an average bug. Their purpose is to fertilize and care for the Queen. Males can be highly aggressive in there protection of the Queen even attacking members of their own nest. Males seldom live more than five years. Worker Drones that work in the Queen's chamber have a pheromone that causes the males to ignore them. They are the only drones that can safely approach the queen.

Supervisor drones have all the brains. They are the most humanoid looking with four limbs. They have ideas and control things. Supervisors are the creative energy of the colony. All politics happens right there. Supervisors are the drones most encountered by other races. Supervisors live and average of 70 years.

Warrior drones are larger, as much as 8 feet tall, have four arms and a slave mentality. They have a will but not a free one. They fight threats. They are sentient and intelligent. They do not need to be told what to do beyond, "defend this sector". Warriors will devise and execute a defense. If it isn't working they will change it. Warriors live an average of 50 years.

Workers are supervisor-sized, have four arms, and the slave mentality. They have a will but not a free one. They care for the larva and maintain the colony. They are sentient and intelligent. They do not need to be told what to do beyond "we need a ratio of 5 workers to every 3 warrior and one supervisor for the next month". Workers will take intuitive in doing their job. But will do what a supervisor says even if it means death. Workers live an average of 50 years.

An Insect Man's loyalties are to the nest. Its father is a random bug, its mother a mindless engine of procreation. It cannot hope or even want for mates or the love of any "special" person. The mating drive, which is the reason for the actions of most species is absent. Only the nest can evoke his passions. The Insect Man is indeed a natural socialist. The State does matter above all.

Insect Men burrow into the ground making stunningly large nests and labyrinths underground. They advanced to warp drive on their own. In the early going they were considered a terrible threat by the Orla and Kamla, In time telepaths on both sides made contact. In peace that followed the Englobement, Insect men scientist and ethicists have become second only to the Banduch.

Campaign Role:Edit

Not everyone is a human with a rubber forehead.

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