- Created by: Traveler the RPG, referenced from the GURPS Traveler Alien Races 1, adapted by Jay P. Hailey and Garry Stahl.
- Appearance: Starbase 600 game as “The Telepaths”
- Number of Members: Several billion, at least.
- Nature of Members: The Zhodani themselves are humanoids outwardly indistinguishable from humans, often with higher than average Psionic potential. They tend towards olive complexions and straight black hair, although all human variations exist. The Zhodani have 32 teeth on the average, with subtly different shapes than an Earth human. Biologically the Zhodani are incompatible with human beings. they are infertile with Terran humans.
There are a few Humanoid races who are clients of the Zhodani, a few of them even have psionic potential and find their way into the intendant or extremely rarely into the noble classes. The largest non-human minority in the Zhodani Consulate are the Vargr. Because of their chaotic, non-psionic nature, the Vargr make the Zhodani work much harder to maintain stability.
- Organization: The Zhodani Consulate is a participatory democracy in which only nobles are allowed to vote. Executive and judicial functions are the responsibility of a series of councils of varying sizes. Each council elects one of its number as executive officer, and a number of its members as delegates to the next higher council.
A city, for example, will elect several of its council members to be representatives to the world council. The process continues upward through several layers of councils to the overall Grand Council of the Zhodani. Nominally, each member of a council serves for one Olympiad (three Zhodani years), but in practice each councilor serves until their replacement arrives and they are officially replaced, or until word of the delegate's reelection is received. Often, the district from which a councilor is elected will have only relatives as voters, and re-election is virtually assured.
Standard practice (when possible) calls for Zhodani councils to submit important questions to a plebiscite of those affected. The principle can be suspended where immediate action is required, but the official ordering the action stands responsible to the voters, and actions must be justified as soon as possible.
Supreme executive power is vested in three consuls, one elected each Zhodani year for a term of one Olympiad by and from the members of the Grand Council. No consul may be elected twice in succession, and retired consuls become life members of the Grand Council.
- Game Role: A Psion-ocracy that challenges principles the Federation holds dear.
- World Role: Another variation on Empire
- Relative Influence: Absolute within their own sphere, large enough to have three major powers encircling them without.
- Relations: A war with the UFP, the Klingon Empire, and the Bendarri Empire resulted in the destruction of one Klingon House and the reduction of the Zhodani Several of the Xatian powers were dragged into the war, much to their displeasure. The war ended with the Treaty of DS-10
Starfleet, Bendarii, and Klingon ships with Telepaths aboard are conducting a containment of the Zhodani and seeing that the treaty enforcement is firm.
The Zhodani Consulate is thoroughly enmeshed with and tied down in keeping their client/ally/rivals the Vargr stable. They find the containment, annoying and have expressed that annoyance. Funny, but everywhere their diplomats travel they are shadowed by Kronin and or Ane.
- Publicly Stated Goal: Bring the Galaxy to a Peaceful and Controlled state, for the good of all.
- Economy: The Zhodani economy is widely diversified and has medium productivity and wealth creation. Any class can participate in economic activity, but long term planning and organization is done by the Noble class. For cultural reasons, intellectual innovation is stunted and not enacted rapidly when it does happen.
- Group advantages: The Zhodani have access to powerful psionics and are not even slightly hesitant about using them. The Zhodani have an extremely advanced understanding of the humanoid mind and psychology. The average Zhodani Noble rates a 75 on the Kraith scale. The Zhodani are not shy about using their psionic abilities against Non-Zhodani any more than on their own people.
- Group disadvantages: Because all thought is public, and unusual thoughts draws Tavrchedl attention, Innovation is rare in Zhodani culture. Stability and predictability are more prized in Zhodani culture than innovation and flexibility.
- Those who favor them: Themselves and all they control, and they make sure of that.
- Those opposed to them: Anyone not wishing to be in that number
- Area of Operation: Directly opposite of the Romulan/Klingon Border 400 Light years away from Earth (More than a year's travel by older Starships, still more than 90 days by modern ships). And that's just to the border. Zhodane, the Zhodani homeworld is still 120 light years further away.
- Headquarters Location: Zhodane
- Public Face: A happy, competent state, that knows what you're thinking and will gently adjust you to suit its needs.
- Notable Members: None yet mentioned
- History of the Organization: Zhodani history is considered to properly begin with their arrival with the Preservers c. 30,000 BCE. However, the first documented evidence of a major culture on Zhodane is of a moon worshiping empire, ascendant between 7000 and 6000 BCE. Much of the elementary cultural knowledge was developed in this period.
The collapse of this empire lead to a dark age, until the emergence of a noble classes and feudal systems c. 3000 BCE. The resultant encouragement of science and exploration resulted in settlement of much of Zhodane, and technological advancement. However, in 1000 BCE a great plague decimated the population, and brought about a second dark age to the world. In the following period of recovery, psionics gained ascendancy, and the development of the psionic aristocracy began.
The first psionic games were held in 673 BCE, this being the first Olympiad, and so the start of the Zhodani calendar. And the first sublight interstellar expeditions were mounted in approximately 500. Colonies were established on six worlds within four parsecs. In 723 the Zhodani Consulate was established between these worlds. Then, in 1415, warp drive was discovered.
The resulting expansion was gradual and uneventful. Although some states on the fringe resisted absorption into the Consulate, most were annexed peacefully. The Consulate first came into conflict with the Vargr in the 1500s, The resulting Wars have placed the Zhodani firmly in ascendance and their Vargr Allies/Rivals in the secondary position.
- Culture: Their most important difference is the acceptance and use of psionics. Zhodani society is divided into three classes: nobles, intendants, and proles. Nobles are the enfranchised ruling class, and receive psionic training from childhood. Intendants are the managers and administrators of society, and also receive early training. Proles constitute the masses, are forbidden the use of psionics, and do not receive training. Within this rigid class system, there are two opportunities for promotion to a higher class. All Proles children are tested for psionic potential, and those showing high scores are taken from their families and adopted into the intendant class. Intendants are rewarded for great diligence, service to the state or victory in the psionic games, through the granting of noble rank.
The presence of psionics in the hands of those in power means that many aspects of society work at high efficiency. Psychology, behavioral science, communication science, and education are more refined and exact than in other societies. Educational methods are finely tuned, and capable of teaching concepts rapidly and accurately. Mental deviance or criminal tendencies can be detected early and corrected with facility.
Zhodani society is generally a happy one. Individuals are members of a functioning whole, with each making a contribution to its success. The relative lack of upward mobility for the proles is offset by the possibility for their children to move upwards if they have the proper potential. The burden of responsibility imposed on the intendants is lightened by the ever present possibility of reward through elevation to the noble classes. The nobles themselves temper their burden of authority with the comfort derived from their station in life.
The Zhodani have a general distaste for other Humanoid races which do not practice psionics. Effective indoctrination and the ever present possibility that one's mind is being read have removed dishonesty and deviance as common features of society. The Tavrchedl (Thought Police) are a special branch of the government who are charged with maintaining correct thought in the population.
There is no expectation of privacy in Zhodani Society particularly in a mental sense. This lack of a concept of privacy or individual ownership of thoughts is the most alien part of Zhodani culture, and the most difficult for federation natives to understand and get used to.
- Languages: The Zhodani speak a single language, Zhdent. All other languages exist as historical records if at all.
- Military: The Zhodani military is composed of Proles as enlisted people and low level technicians, Intendants as higher level technicians and Junior Officers and Nobles as commanders.
The Zhodani Space navy is technologically apt, and well disciplined, but composed of smaller units spread out pretty far. The Zhodani had no sizable enemies nearby and were not engaged in any sort of cold war with another power. Their Fleet's mission was more arranged around peacekeeping and distributed crises resolution. They are currently rebuilding under watchful eyes. The war cost tnem the majority of their fleet and personnel. Yes they destroyed a single Klingon Hose, but the price was far too high.
The Zhodani Military does not mount any vessel larger than “medium” cruiser currently.
Lienjqiets Medium Cruiser -- 400 meters, class 8 weapons.
Echtovr Light Cruiser -- 300 meters, class 6 weapons.
Vlepchakl Strike "Cruiser" -- 300 meters, class 8 weapons
Shivva Patrol Frigate -- 300 meters, class 6-7 weapons
Zhdits Destroyer Escort -- 200 meters class 6 weapons
Yatstafl Courier -- 150 meters, class 4 weapons
Chitl Scout Leader -- 100 meters, class 4 weapons
Zhodani ground forces are divided into a Marine force which is large and well trained, usually distributed into smaller units on ships and bases. These troops, mostly proles are well trained, highly disciplined and have high morale. Their main task is taking down pirates, rebels and subversives, boarding actions and arrests.
The main bulk of the Zhodani Army is not large by comparison to other stellar powers, and is not as well equipped or trained, but this is mainly due to lack of use. At need it could be brought up to speed in a relatively short amount of time.
The Tavrchedl are the Zhodani Thought Police. A combination of internal Security and aggressive counselors, Tavrchedl Agents travel about seeking unhappy, dissatisfied, or seditious thought and stomping it out. Small handfuls of Tavrchedl agents accompany Zhodani Starships and Military units on deployment and larger groups investigate and pursue seditious people and groups. There are Specialized Tavrchedl units for anti-piracy work. In committed anti-piracy campaign these units will be embedded in a larger Zhodani Space Navy battlegroup. Only nobles may be Tavrchedl agents.