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[OFFICIAL] Kra'Vak psychology preview!

From: Ground Zero Games <jon@g...>
Date: Tue, 7 Mar 2000 10:08:21 +0000
Subject: [OFFICIAL] Kra'Vak psychology preview!

Hi all,

Thought you might like a brief preview of the the way that the K'V
psychology has been developed for use in FB2; it should adapt quite well
DS and SG games....

Jon (GZG)

KRA'VAK: Literal translation: "People of the Sorrow Killer "

ZHA'VAK: Literal translation: "World of the Sorrow Killer " - the

Kra'Vak psychology:

RO'KAH (Clouded War Mind):
When a normal Kra'Vak becomes angered, fearful or otherwise strongly
emotionally stimulated, chemicals released into its brain cause a
known as Ro'Kah (literal translation: "Clouded War Mind"), which causes
Kra'Vak to become steadily more enraged as the source of the stimulation
increases. In its extreme stages, the Kra'Vak will enter a kind of
"berserker rage" in which it will attack almost anything (including, in
some cases, its own fellows) but loses its capacity for rational and
coherent thought and planning. This gives Kra'vak warriors a kind of
"reverse morale" effect, where the worse the situation gets in terms of
enemy threat, casualties etc., the more frenzied the warriors will
in their attacks. In Kra'Vak prehistory, this was a survival trait -
running away was of little use against the fast predators of Zha'Vak,
the only defence was to launch a furious frontal attack with all their
While in the grip of Ro'Kah, a Kra'vak warrior will fight like a demon,
using any and all weapons to hand (natural and manufactured), but loses
concept of tactics. In personal combat, an enraged Kra'Vak will simply
launch itself at its opponent, with a weapon if it has one and with
mandibles and claws if it doesn't, uttering a terrible war scream. At
point, it will either win or die. This frenzied burst of energy cannot
maintained for long, and if the warrior wins the fight it will soon
into a much more passive state as the causes of the Ro'Kah are removed
the effects of the fury drain away.

As the Kra'Vak civilisation rose from barbarism and they began to
technology, mechanised warfare and eventually spaceflight, the racial
legacy of Ro'Kah remained with them. Its effects are most strongly seen
Kra'vak ground troops, where their close proximity to the enemy triggers
the neurochemical release that precipitates Ro'Kah very easily. Warriors
that are more remote from the "sharp end" of the fighting, such as AFV
crews and to a greater extent Starship personnel, feel some of the
but at a slower rate and with less ferocity; they may also have the
of the controlling influence of a Sia'Na (see below). The area in which
Ro'Kah has most bearing on space combat is with Kra'Vak fighter pilots -
the exhilaration and stimulation of individual combat is strong when
a fighter, and incoming fire and losses to a group will often push the
remaining pilots into the frenzied state, causing them to make violent
sometimes-suicidal runs at their targets. Any fighter crews that survive
such an attack pass will then generally rely on their computer systems
take their fighters back to the carrier while they themselves recover
calm as the effects of Ro'Kah gradually subside.

In a group, Kra'Vak will suffer the effects of Ro'Kah just as intensely
on their own; in some ways each feeds off the emotional stimulation of
others, and the tension rises even faster. This is true both of small
groups (say, a squad-size unit of ground troops) and larger gatherings,
can even extend to entire War Families. At the macro level, these
are reflected in the interaction between Kra'vak Clan groupings and in
their reactions towards other races - it is a race-wide form of Ro'Kah
which has brought about the war against the perceived threat of the

SIA'NA (Walkers of the Path):
The Sia'Na (literal translation: "Walkers of the Path", but the concept
best translates as "Moderator") are a small caste of Kra'vak in which
physiological processes that cause Ro'Kah are absent or dormant. In
pre-technic civilisation, where Ro'Kah was an accepted and necessary
of inter-Kra'Vak relations and conflict, offspring found to be Sia'Na
considered defective and either exiled from the War Family or simply
killed. As the Kra'vak culture matured and their society became more
sophisticated, however, it was realised that the Sia'Na held a unique
in the scheme of things - they could serve as a moderating influence on
warriors consumed by the fury of Ro'Kah, making proper tactical and
strategic decisions without minds clouded by the fury.

The presence, words and thoughts of a Sia'Na have a calming and
influence on Ro'Kah-enraged warriors, which seems to be accomplished
through a mixture of cultural conditioning, "religious" belief and some
kind of empathic link - the Kra'Vak's own scientists and psychologists
don't fully understand it themselves, any more than human science really
understands the occasional manifestation of apparent psionic abilities
other paranormal phenomena in humans.

To be born Sia'Na is to live a precarious life in Kra'Vak society; they
both revered and despised at the same time by the warriors, and it is
unknown for a warrior in the grip of Ro'Kah to turn on and kill a Sia'Na
who tries to calm and control him. For this reason, the Sia'Na are
of subtle diplomacy and persuasion; these skills grow with age and
experience, as does the Sia'Na's ability to affect larger numbers of
Kra'Vak over a wider area - some of the Sia'Na Elders can extend their
influence to a huge crowd, or even by remote communications, while the
younger and less adept of the caste must be in close physical proximity
the warriors they are attempting to "advise".

Kra'Vak warships will normally have one Sia'Na in their crew to act as
advisor and moderator to the ship's commander; in very large ships
(dreadnoughts and heavy carriers), and in any ship acting as a fleet
flagship, there may be a small group of three or more Sia'Na assigned to
the Flag command staff.
In essence, the presence of Sia'Na in a ship crew or force command is a
reversal of the role of the "Political Officers" found in ESU forces;
the Political Officer will watch for signs of cowardice and dissent
the troops or crew and force them to keep fighting, the Sia'Na exists to
STOP the Kra'Vak warriors from throwing away their lives, ships and
equipment in their frenzied battle-rage.

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