The Seima Families [GURPS]

Seima Families – Google Docs

The Seima Families

Once upon a time, in the long-ago era known as the Eighties, there was a group that had all sorts of quirky, bizarre adventures that regularly placed them in mortal, yet easily resolved peril. What times they had! Exotic physics, secret conspiracies, ancient mysteries, and at least one Christmas-themed crisis (that one took twice as long to resolve as the others). But it all worked out in the end, at least for everyone who was good.

However, in the course of one of these wacky adventures our group of heroes came across a time warp (that bit about ‘exotic physics’ wasn’t a joke) that had spit out a real life ‘caveman!’ But they fixed things; the caveman (they called him ‘Lou’) amazingly picked up English pretty quickly, Lou and the group had a bunch of humorous misunderstandings, and the group eventually got Lou back to his own time.  The group was sad, but really, it was all for the best.  After all, Lou’s tribe was back there. Surely he’d be happier among his own ki… ah, friends and family, right?

Well, perhaps not.  You see, five minutes after the group left the area to go have another wacky adventure, Lou was back.  With his family (read: ‘tribe’). It was a bit of a strain for Lou to hold the time warp open for that long with his mind, but he decided that it was probably all for the best.

Turns out that Lou is a psionic mutant. He didn’t create the time warp — blame quantum foam, or whatever the buzzword is this week — but going through it kicked his mutant genes into overdrive.  That’s why he picked up English so quickly; also, an appreciation for the value of dentistry, underwear, sanitation, industrialization, and representative democracy. There was no way Lou was going back permanently to a prehistoric, non-technological existence after that; and since Lou saw no particular reason to not bring his tribe back with him, perforce they all came along.

The tribe (they have taken the surname ‘Seima,’) found it surprisingly easy to assimilate into American society, although the first generation’s latent telepathic ability to pick up languages easily certainly helped there.  The Seimas simply took to the woods until they could acquire enough resources to get day laborer jobs and other under-the-table employment; within a year they were living in several trailer parks, and working out how to get fully into the system.  They were unexpectedly helped in this by Reagan’s 1986 amnesty, which suddenly gave the Seimas an opportunity to openly legitimize themselves.  All they had to do was lie about which kind of illegal immigrant that they were.

Thirty years later, the Seimas are a sprawling (they tend to have lots of kids) set of families that live in the middle of Maine. Their neighbors generally consider Seima families to be somewhat weird, but not offensively so; Seimas are certainly welcome company on hunting trips,as they are almost legendary in their ability to flush out game.  They don’t exactly keep to themselves, but Seimas keep their relatives in mind in ways that are a bit unusual for modern American culture; this makes them seem a bit old-fashioned to their neighbors, but not in a negative way. Generally, they marry, settle down, have a bunch of kids, get jobs, and don’t make waves.

The third generation — Seimas get married when they’re in their early twenties, and that habit will probably last another two generations or so — is thoroughly Americanized, but still retain the almost supernatural tracking and outdoor skills of their parents and grandparents. Seimas don’t intermarry; they tend to find suitable husbands or brides from farther afield, then take them back to their parents for vetting. It’s very important that a potential in-law be all right with marrying into a family of mutant telepaths, but fortunately the telepathy helps with determining that.

What? Oh, yes. The telepathy thing breeds true.  It’s not the most powerful trait in the world; Seimas can’t use it to read people’s private thoughts.  But it’s great for picking up languages, gaining familiarity with a location and the local culture, determining if people are lying to you, or generally determining somebody’s emotional state. Also: if someone ever does something like desperately think Please, please let him take the hint! at a Seima, he’ll be able to actually hear that.  But it’d have to be under pretty dire, possibly even life-threatening circumstances.

As one might imagine, Lou Seima (now in his late fifties) and his elders try to keep their family’s secret abilities under the radar, as it were. They’re not even sure what would happen, but the Seimas have a great thing going, here.  Why rock the boat?

…At least, that’s what the elders tell Lou. The problem is that Lou is in his mid-fifties, but is still in excellent shape: he looks and feels about ten years younger.  Since life expectancy for adults in his tribe was somewhere around fifty-two or so, Lou decided a little while back that he was allowed to spend his extra lifespan having some wacky adventures of his own. Given that Lou is a full-blown telepath with some limited control over natural rifts in the space-time continuum, he can show up in some wacky adventures indeed.

And if he does show up, unattached adventurers should be warned; Lou has a wallet full of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and various cousins who are currently unattached. And he’s probably never going to run out of them, either.

Seima [37 pt]

Advantages: Cultural Adaptability [Psionic, -10%] [9], Empathy [Psionic, -10%] [14], Language Talent [Psionic, -10%] [9], Outdoorsman 1 [10].  At home, the Seima families count as an Ally Group full of people who regularly go out into the forests and play stalking games in order to keep their prehistoric survival skills sharp.

Disadvantages: Sense of Duty (family) [-5]

Perks: Deep Study [1], I Know What You Mean [1]

Quirks: Congenial [-1], Responsive [-1]


The material presented here is my original creation, intended for use with the In Nomine and GURPS systems from Steve Jackson Games. This material is not official and is not endorsed by Steve Jackson Games.

In Nomine and GURPS are registered trademarks of Steve Jackson Games, and the art here is copyrighted by Steve Jackson Games. All rights are reserved by SJ Games. This material is used here in accordance with the SJ Games online policy.

1 Comment

  • acat says:

    This would be a great backstory for many things .. not just a GURPS campaign.
    Very nicely done, Moe.

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