Each race in the FTL universe has a specialty, and most have special traits unique to that race, from powering a room simply by being in it, to excelling at combat. In addition, Humans are the only race that have gender specific traits. You can not tell the difference between a male and female Rockman, Slug, or Mantis. And the Zoltan and Engi have no gender.
Human- Humans are the newest species to the galaxy and comprise the bulk of both the federation and rebel fleets. In most cases, humans are quick to learn, able to master any ship function in a short time. Humans have both male and female genders. Due to the mantis invasion of Earth shortly after humans discovered intergalactic travel, notable tension between human and mantis shipmates is not uncommon.
Engi- The Engi are an odd race, devoid of emotion. In appearance they look to be robots comprised of trillions of tiny nanobots, but they still require oxygen to survive, giving them organic qualities. Engi can change shape to better deal with their environment, but prefer to stay in a shape similar to a human for the comfort of their crew mates. The Engi race has a non aggression pact with the Rebel Fleet, but consider reinstating the federation top priority, so whenever possible they secretly aid federation ships. The Engi home worlds and Engi ships are constantly harassed by mantis pirates and slavers, who consider them ideal slaves due to their natural mechanic talent. The Mantis also mark them as easy prey becuase of their poor hand to hand and weapons combat capabilities.
Mantis- A deceptive and warlike species, the Mantis have evolved into killing machines. Resembling man sized Preying Mantis, they excel at hand to hand combat, forsaking the use of weapons, instead relying on their large claws, extreme agility, and extremely acidic saliva to defeat their foes. The mantis race as a whole, are mechanically inept, instead relying on engi slaves to make repairs and construct advanced technologies. Although a Mantis serving on a Human ship, or any other races ship is rare, it is not unheard of.
Rockmen- Another warrior race, the rockmen look much like what a human would call a golem. Their skin resembles rock, both in look and composition, giving them effective integrated defense, and building incredible muscular strength. They value personal strength and honor above all else, and excel at hand to hand combat, and are also immune to fire, but still require oxygen to breath.
Zoltan- Beings mostly comprised of pure harnessed energy. The Zoltan are a diplomatic race that frowns on violence. They often serve as judges due to their fair and unbiased outlook on all things. They are close allies of the Engi race and can often be found on Engi ships and homeworlds. The zoltan are extremely tech adept, and are the creators of a ship based shield technology that can withstand a great amount of fire before being disabled. Once disabled a shield recharge drone must be dispatched to bring it back up. Due to Zoltan composition, they can manually power ship function by simply being in the room. Upon death, a Zoltan will explode, shocking nearby organics and damaging nearby ships systems.
Slug- Slugs are deceitful and greedy psychics resembling enormous Earth slugs with a set of arms. Using their psychic abilities they can telepathically scan other ships, giving them a distinct advantage in systems containing nebulae, where they use the distortions nebulae cause to ships sensors to hide or to carry out acts of piracy. Like the Mantis, however, it is not unheard of for a Slug to serve on another races vessel.
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