A Gorn

Created By: Gene L. Coon

Appearance:1967 TOS Episode 1X19. "Arena"

Campaign Role: Big Scary Lizard Guys.

Biology: The Gorn are large lizard like humanoids. They are not reptiles in the Terran sense, although they share several commonalities.  The Gorn are warm blooded. They lay eggs.  They're closer to avians biologically. They are considered Saurians.  The Gorn are obligate carnivores. 

Females (the egg layers) are on average 10 larger than males. Gorn.  Most humanoids can't tell the difference between male and female Gorn.  Functionally there isn't one outside of reproduction. Female will lay eggs fertile or not three to five times a year, one or two eggs at a time at most. The older a woman is the less egg laying she does. Diet will also heavily effect egg laying behavior. A starving female lays no eggs. Biologically egg layers must hoard the resources for the child to be and put it all in the egg.

Gorn have extremely fine compound eyes. It is noted that they possess superior color vision to most humanoids and spot movement very quickly. Their vision is a panoramic 240 degrees with equal clarity. Their eyes re not as "high resolution" however and their vision more granular than well developed simple eyes.

The Three sub-races are:

  • Gorn: The "Imperial race". Seven to eight foot tall they stand upright and have partially armored bodies. They are not as quick or agile as humanoids. They make up for it with cunning.
  • Zenda: Smaller and quicker, they do not have the body armor or the size of the Gorn. However they can match any humanoid for agility. Zenda tend to be more blue than green.
  • Ivoi: Physically they fall the middle. philosophically they are the most different. The Ivoi were recovering from a near self-genocidal war when the Gorn arrived. They are by natural introspective and much less violent as a first response. Make no misstate they they can be very violent as a second response.

Location: The Gorn are located at about 3 O'Clock next to the Romulans.

Population: The Gorn have thirty major planets and numerous minor colonies. The Gorn suffer less the problem with linear population growth but geometric space that needs patrolling as most other single race government.

The big one is the girl

Advantages: The Gorn are physically very large and enormously tough. You do NOT want to try and go hand-to-hand with the Gorn.

Gorn reproduction can be very rapid. A female lays several eggs a year and if she is well fed, young and each is fertile she can out pace a Human five to one.

Weaknesses: The Gorn empire is smaller than it's competitors and is falling behind in terms of size and economic growth. The Gorn are a touchy and proud people, they do not take insults well

Culture: Not well detailed at this time.

  • "Egg laying is hard ot do." Bounties for hatched eggs.
  • Clan creche raising of young. Gorn are not parental.
  • Gorn are more economically competitive than sexually competitive. The urge to live well is more important than that of having mates.
  • Gorn have a big curious bump. they will look go see.
  • While readily violent they are not unreasonable and will discuss things.

Government: The Gorn have a Matriarchal Monarchy. The details vary from region to region within Gorn space, but all local governments look to the Emperess for leadership

Economy: The Gorn have a modern-ish energy economy, however, it's leverages differently than Federation economies, and so provides less comfort and more war materiel Guns & Butter before anything else. However they do have the large and rapacious Rolumans to deal with.

Military: The Gorn Fleet is, for the the size of the Gorn Empire, huge. The Gorn feel compelled to try am compete with the Romulan Star Empire and the Federation in terms of military strength.

One on one, Gorn ships equal any Federation ship of the same size.

History: In prior history, It is believed that a T'zen colony effort settled the three core Gorn worlds surviving the fall of the T'zen Empire. Over time three different sub-species of Gorn evolved. Thisis largerly conjecture based on the similar between the Gorn and T'Zen physiology. the Gornn themselves are uninterested in archeology.

About 2090 CE (Terran data) The species that called themselves Gorn, from Gorn discovered primitive warp drives, and began a war to conquer their cousins. By modern times, these three Gorn planets were all one happy empire ruling over their corner of space.

In 2267, the Gorn discovered the Cestus III colony in what they felt was their territory. They attacked and wiped it out. Then the Gorn ambushed the USS Enterprise when that ship visited the colony world. The ensuing battle was interrupted by the Metrons who objected to primitive races having a fight in their front yard. (By 2371, Cestus III was the home of a baseball team that Benjamin Sisko had a hat from on Deep Space nine.)

The Gorn are said to have had a long running war with the Romulans, fighting several bitter wars.


  • United Federation of Planets: Relations started off hostile but the interfere of the Metrons turend out a a good thing and brought boot sides to talk the issues over. (This does not mean the Metron interference is appreciated by either side.)

    The Federation-Gorn border is somewhat fluid. You have Humans that consider themselves part of the Gorn Empire and Gorns that are part of the Federation. Everyone is good with that.

  • Klingon Empire: The Gorn and the Klingons don't encounter each other, much. Gorn mercenaries are considered great fun by Klingon warriors.
  • Orions: the Gorn resist Orion piracy strongly. There are occasional dealings between Orions and the Gorn, but it's hard for the Orions to infiltrate the Gorn. The usual toolkit doesn't work. (On a side note is is interesting how much the Orions depend on the usual toolkit.)
  • Romulan Star Empire: The Gorn and the Romulans dislike each other intensely. At one point the Federation and Gorn Empire shared technology and information to assist each other in fighting with the Romulans.

    There exists a Romulan/Gorn neutral one. Every now and again the Romulans attempt some adventurism and pull back the bloody stump, or the Gorn test the limits only to fall back and lick their wounds.

Gorn Fleet

Gorn Fleet 2268

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