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The Lacerto

This article was originally published in Spanish in Vuelo Raso N. 1, and was translated by Google Translate and Jeff Zeitlin for the November/December 2023 issue. Lea este artículo en español.

The home planet and original tech level of this species is unknown, and it usually thrives in the garbage dumps and unsanitary corners of large colonies and huge starports (except in one very unusual case, they will all be born and die with the Scrapper career and the assignment “Landfill Rat”).

The most plausible theory about this race and its galactic expansion is based on a possible scientific experiment that sought to see how a race with a short life cycle and a relatively low TL could adapt with the rapid passage of generations to different TLs, instinctively parasitizing knowledge, so to speak.

Specimens of this breed are functional adults at 2 years of age and begin aging after 4 terms, at age 18. Each subsequent term counts for three terms of aging.

The theory of its expansion establishes the introduction of several families of this species in the marginal zone of a TL8 system, helping them survive in their first months within this new TL. The first generation born from these subjects took 3 months to arrive, and two years later they were frankly well adapted to their new environment, although they were completely unaware of how the technology worked, they quickly managed to know how to use the devices they managed to gather. The experiment was expanded to places with a higher TL and even to some starports, where each new generation was perfectly integrated into its new ecosystem, although with an “uneducated” perspective or that could even be considered barbaric or underdeveloped within this new environment.

Members of this species do not usually know how to read or write, nor do they usually understand the process that makes technology work. They also have no interest in learning it due to the large amount of time it takes for their short lives. Their mere curiosity makes them try and understand that, if you insert this rectangular object with this little drawing into this slot that fits, then touch the lock button and then touch the green button, you have changed the battery in the flashlight and that is why it gives light again. Even if they don’t know or care what the word battery means or what it is for, simply when the object stops giving light and the red light comes on, you have to change the rectangular flask to fix it. Period.

They have their own language that most translators are already familiar with and it is not surprising that each individual has managed to acquire one (paid or not is another matter). It is important to highlight that they still have a very ancient mentality in their way of seeing life: the majority of specimens of this species see cities, landfills, sewers or starports as a wild animal can see the jungle or its hunting and gathering territory. Their “scavenger” diet is based on all the organic things they can find in the trash. It is not surprising that territorial disputes occur near the alleys where some restaurants deposit their garbage.

In most places this species is considered just another city pest, like rats or cockroaches (even if they are intelligent). In general, governments are quite permissive despite the occasional crimes that this species commits. Although it is true that they have a somewhat diffuse concept of property and it is not surprising that they commit some minor theft (a communicator, a flashlight, a utility knife on occasion…), they are usually things without a high commercial value. The reason for this permissibility is that they help control other pests of the city such as rats that they usually hunt in their free time (and that they try to capture, banish or in more radical and extreme cases, shoot all the members of this species is much more expensive than letting them be).

Despite their rapid demographic growth, the species itself controls its population density and at a certain point they spend all the money they have so that the young people of 3-5 years of age can go far away in the first spaceship that accepts them and leaves them in the first spaceport/planet where they can “settle” to form a new family and so on. There are planets from which migrations of hundreds of individuals leave mathematically every 3 years. In these places, the planet’s own government pays for the tickets in order to avoid greater chaos in the starport, sending them to secondary systems or border sectors (imagine a group of 300 hyperactive, hormonal and sugary young people without family supervision locked in a planetary starport , harassing the crew of each spaceship that arrives to try to buy a ticket, not to mention imagining them on board for one or more weeks).

Physiologically they do not differ much from the animals we know as lizards. They reach a length of 1.30 m without counting the tail (2 m with tail, which does not fall off) and rarely weigh more than 45 kg. They can walk upright for short periods of time, but it is not comfortable for them and they only do so when trying to make a good impression or to look threatening.

The tone of their skin curiously varies depending on the home planet and the mother; let's imagine that the mother that lays the eggs is native to a landfill on a sandy planet (The mother in this case would have a sandy color) and lays the eggs in the sewers of a city of cement and concrete. The newborn will have a sandy color with grayish stripes, while the next generation born in the city will be completely grayish. This tends to give away Non-Natives and first-generation Natives very quickly.

An additional curious fact that very few people know is that due to their fast metabolism, sugar and other energy drinks that are very common in starports cause a very strong reaction in them, causing a tremendous surge of energy. If they do not continue consuming this substance after a couple of hours they fall exhausted and fall asleep anywhere. Many young promises of this species are ruined by these substances. Starports used to migrations usually have signs that advise against/prohibit giving sugar or energy drinks to this species.

Lacerto Characters


Lacerto characters roll their basic attributes as follows:






Lacerto characters have the following traits:

Fast metabolism +2
Members of this species have a really fast metabolism so their reactions are just as fast. Gain a DM +2 on initiative rolls.
Small -1
Adult members of this species are much smaller than a human, so they gain a DM -1 when hit by ranged attacks.
Lizard +1
The physiognomy of this species is so serpentine and flexible that they can easily sneak through ventilation ducts, pipes and really constricted spaces where at first glance they do not seem to be able to enter. Apply a DM +1 to tests where you consider this may be relevant, including climbing.
Cast-iron stomach
This species of scavenger origin can digest and feed on rotten food in very poor condition. This does not make them immune to poisons or other types of diseases. They can simply digest almost anything and get nutrients from it. On the other hand, their sense of taste is quite atrophied.
A Pest
Early in the Lacerto’s career, a high SOC score will only mean something to other members of the species. The inhabitants of worlds familiar with this species will treat them indifferently or worse, whether they have a SOC score of 4 or 12. At least at first.


Members of this species are born as Scrapper (Landfill Rats) and do not acquire adolescent skills, but upon reaching 3 years of age and being considered adults, they acquire all the service skills of this career. After this they continue advancing in this career until they can join the group of travelers via contact or manage to get off the streets. Remember that at 3-5 years of age the Lacerto is considered mature by the standards of his species. If you wish to join a young traveler of this species to the group you can do so through a migration.

Very few members of this species abandon the Landfill Rat career because, although they manage to survive and this allows them to do so, many do not have the exploratory desire that travelers have and feel comfortable in their “natural habitat”. Young people who emigrate are the most likely to enter new careers. Although as with everything, there are always exceptions.