|Art by Dave Billman|
In this post, we continue our presentation of Tom Molday's historical background of the Starnomads. We learn that “Mudhuggers have no honor” and that, regarding mudhuggers, “Promises need not be kept...” Yet,“trade is so important the Starnomads” and “Starnomads make excellent traders.” It seems incongruous that a people seen as “merciless, treacherous barbarians” can manage to be “excellent traders.” Additionally, we learn that Starnomad “habitats are entirely self-sufficient.” So, why should Starnomads sully their superior hands by trading with debased mudhuggers or by raiding disgusting mudhugger settlements?
How superior are Starnomads to mere human mudhuggers? Moldvay establishes elsewhere in the adventure that – when creating a Starnomad character – “a player rolls 2d10 plus 2d6 for each of the five Basic Ability Scores (instead of just 2d10).”
“Mudhuggers have no honor,” we are told. However, a Starnomad ship will “formally adopt an individual who gains its hospitality.” This is not a rare occurrence – “New blood is constantly being added to the Starnomads.” As such, there must be honor to be found among some mudhuggers.
In last week's post, it was established that, “In the Starnomad mythos, they are building toward an ultimate new species that will have about as much in common with Homo Sapiens as Homo Sapiens have in common with the tree shrews...” Yet in the sections reproduced below, we learn that, “There are even a few [Starnomad] ships composed entirely of alien races.”
Speaking of alien species, illustrated above is a 'Feline', which seems to be slightly larger than the example human shown. The Rule Book states, “Felines are a bipedal cat like species of intelligent, space-faring carnivores.” They are among the “traditional enemies” of the Starnomads, but were previously allied with them. For nearly every humanoid race listed in The Book of Foes, statistics are provided for an average specimen, a soldier specimen, a hero specimen, and a noteworthy individual. The noteworthy Feline individual, Grymalkin, has magic powers. Also, Feline heroes are capable of having magic powers. This is strange in that the Starnomad Setting Index specifies that “Magic does not work...”