Rikchik

Cost: 0 Points

Rikchiks look like large green spheres (~2 ft diameter) with a single large circular eye set in the center. The sphere is supported by 42 tentacles (~6 ft length), some subset of which (usually 7) are also used for manipulation. 7 smaller tentacles in the front are used exclusively for their language, a sort of logographic sign language.

Rikchiks are deaf and mute, but have an extra sense of emotion-seeing: they can see the background emotional state of the area, and can make out the emotions of an individual after a second of concentration.

The sphere is hard and hidelike (which gives it 1 point of Damage Resistance). The central eye looks very similar to human eyes (aside from the constricting circular eyelid), but is in fact not nearly as fragile: it has no damage bonus. A mouth is hidden on the bottom of the sphere, among the tentacles. The position of this mouth and their large weight and density mean that rikchiks are unable to swim.

Their strong, flexible legs allow them to carry large weights at the expense of their height and speed. Consider a rikchik to be 1-2 ft shorter for every level of encumbrance above None. Their legs can also jump well: the average rikchik can make a 46 inch high jump or a 16 foot standing long jump with no roll required. They do get in the way for walking, however: the average rikchik has a Move of 3.

Rikchiks prefer warm, humid climates. They react to cold as in the Cold Blooded disadvantage. If they are not in a humid area, they must shower at least once a day, or begin taking damage as their skin dries out.

Rikchiks are unable to eat meat. They are able to eat metals, glass, and plastics, and in fact require small amounts of minerals in their diet.

Rikchiks are group-bonding creatures: they react at +2 to each other and other recognized sentient races, and are so unhappy when alone and out of contact with others that they suffer a -1 penalty to Mental skills. They are non-gendered: every other rikchik is a potential partner. They marry into groups of 2-7, and consider marriage very important: single rikchiks have a -1 Social Stigma (Second-Class Citizen) and could not hold political office or vote until TL5.

Rikchiks occasionally wear hats (fighters will often wear helmets or the traditional wide flat "war-hat") and will wear metal or wood shoes on unpleasant ground. They wear sleeves on the rare occasions when they go into cold areas. They usually decorate themselves with body paint, which is applied to the sphere. The back of the sphere is reserved for a family symbol, painted by a spouse. The presence or abscence of this symbol is the easiest way of differentiating a married rikchik from a single one.

Rikchiks are, as a race, interested in strange and new things, to a point that would be considered dangerous or foolish by other races (treat as the disadvantages Curious and Xenophilia). Their emotional sense makes it easy for them to imagine the feelings and motivations of others (this is Responsive), and their deafness and single eye combine to make them difficult to distract when they are working on a long task (this is Attentive).

Their jungle evolution has left them fond of trees: this is similar to humans' affinity for views and lawns. They dislike owning or using animals: pets and work animals are unknown, and animal products are uncommon.

There are multiple regional languages spoken by rikchiks, but a global "Rikchik Language" (M/E for rikchiks) spread through priests during TL3 and was widespread by TL5. (Rikchik languages are M/VH for humans; Human languages are M/VH for rikchiks.) This is just one of the strange turns that rikchik technology has taken: see Rikchik Technology for details.

Attributes:

ST +1[+10]; IQ -1[-10]; DX and HT normal. The average rikchik stands 6 feet tall unburdened, and weighs 200 pounds. Setting strength 11 to those values, the standard GURPS height and weight tables can be used. Remember that eye level is 1 foot below head height, and that the more a rikchik carries the shorter it gets.

Advantages:

3 Extra Tentacles [+15], Long arms with no attack at distance [+0], Extra Flexibility [+10]; Injury Tolerance: No Neck [+5]; Emotion Sense (as Knack: Sense Emotion with no Fatigue) [+26], 7+ Legs [+15], Ambidexterity [+10], Damage Resistance +1 [+3], Super Jump +1 [+10], Extra Encumbrance [+5], Can Eat Metals, Glass, and Plastics [+0].

Disadvantages:

No Depth Perception (One Eye) [-10]; Deafness [-20]; Reduced Move -2 [-10]; Less Peripheral Vision [-15]; Dependency (Humidity or Shower, Daily) [-15]; Cold-Blooded (65 degrees) [-10]; Chummy [-5]; Curious [-5]; Xenophilia [-5]; Responsive [-1]; Attentive [-1]; Cannot Swim [0]; Cannot Eat any Meat [-0].

Racial Quirks

Likes to be near trees [-1]; Dislikes owning/using animals [-1].

New skill:

Body Painting: M/E, Defaults to IQ-4, Painting-3
This is the skill of applying rikchik body paint. It requires some knowledge of rikchik culture to do well. Most rikchiks wear straightforward designs: no roll is required unless something special is being attempted (such as fancy paint for a party, or attempting to mimic the paint of someone else as a disguise).

Taboo traits, skills

Anything involving sound, of course, such as Singing. Dancing is available, as are communication-based skills such as Fast-Talk or Bard. Cooking (rikchik food) is as normal: Cooking (human food) is M/H, and has no safe default, since it requires some extra study, to know that (for instance) humans don't like ground quartz in their bread!

Rules notes

Tentacles:
A rikchik can do with 2 tentacles most of what a human can do with one hand. Any weapon larger than a large knife will be held by 2 tentacles, and punches must use 2 tentacles for full damage. Therefore, tentacles cost 5 points each, half the cost of an extra arm, and 4 are "free". Rikchik tentacles can reach as far as "long" arms, but they are so weak at that distance that they can't attack, so this length is counted as a special effect.
Emotion Sense:
Rikchiks can detect emotional radiation given off by all emoting beings. To see the emotions of a particular person (instead of the general background emotions of the area), they must look for a moment (equivalent of Concentrate). This ability is priced as a Knack, based on a magic item with the Sense Emotion spell and 2 points of power, for a total of 1300 fatigue for the item and thus 26 points for the Knack.
Less Peripheral Vision:
This is by analogy with the 15 point Peripheral Vision advantage. Rikchiks can only see a narrow (compared to humans) area in front of them.
Dexterity:
Somehow, the rule (in Fantasy Folk and Aliens) about Dexterity with Extra Arms got left out of Compendium I. The rule is this: half of your arms are dextrous for free. Rikchiks use their manipulating tentacles interchangeably, so they have Ambidexterity. However, a rikchik may learn to use more of its tentacles for manipulation: this is a 5-point advantage that may be gained after character creation. If at least 21 tentacles are used for walking, there's no speed or encumbrance penalty: that lets rikchik characters buy extra dexterity in up to 14 tentacles.
Size:
In the campaign that rikchiks are designed for, most action is either in rikchik-designed areas or joint human-rikchik areas. In a more traditional GURPS Space campaign, where human or humanoid creatures are the norm, Inconvenient Size might be appropriate.