The Vulcans from Star Trek have often been referred to as “Space Elves” by casual observers, so it’s time to take that thinking to its logical endpoint by making them a playable race in Dungeons & Dragons.
Star Trek: The Original Series had an extremely limited budget, which meant that special effects were in short supply. This meant that the recurring alien crewmember could only be visually different in a limited way. This led to the creation of Spock, a half-human/half-Vulcan hybrid with pointy ears. Spock quickly became the most popular aspect of the show, thanks in no small part to the acting prowess of Leonard Nimoy, who crafted a character who managed to be both alien and appealing at the same time. The audience quickly became hungry to learn more about the Vulcan people, and the role of Spock endures to this very day with different actors. The Vulcans are one of the most iconic parts of Star Trek, and their mannerisms are even known to those who have never seen the show, thanks to cultural osmosis. The average nerd has information about the Vulcans baked into their brain, so they should have an easy time playing one in D&D.
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Ability Score Increase: Your Wisdom score increases by 2 and your Constitution score increases by 1.
Age: Vulcans reach maturity at the same rate as humans, but can live for over 200 years.
Alignment: Their logical mindset means that Vulcans are almost always Lawful, with most being Lawful Neutral.
Size: Vulcans have a similar height & build to humans. Your size is Medium.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30ft
Advanced Metabolism: Vulcan’s have adapted to the harsh environment of their homeland. As such, they can go seven days without sleep and can go for five days without food or water without feeling ill effects. They still benefit from the effects of short and long rests and can still suffer levels of exhaustion. Vulcans are still affected by spells that knock them out or put them to sleep.
Mind Meld: Vulcans can cast Detect Thoughts once per day with Wisdom acting as their spellcasting modifier. There are some caveats to this –
- They need to be in physical contact with their host at all times.
- It doesn’t require any components.
- It can only be used on the host and won’t detect nearby creatures when active.
- The user suffers a level of exhaustion after use.
Languages: Common, Vulcan.
Where Is The Neck Pinch?
The Vulcan neck pinch is a technique that is taught and is not a feature that is restricted to the species, as characters like Data, Captain Picard, and Michael Burnham were able to use it. For those who want to use it as a racial feature –
Vulcan Neck Pinch: A Vulcan can attempt to incapacitate a foe by grabbing their neck and hitting a specific nerve cluster. The Vulcan must make a successful unarmed attack roll at a Disadvantage. If the attack hits, the target must then make a Constitution save of 12 to ignore its effects. If the target fails the save, then they are rendered unconscious. This action only works against humanoids and it’s up to the DMs discretion whether it works on non-humans at all, thanks to their differing biological makeup.
Roleplaying As A Vulcan
Vulcans are utterly devoted to the pursuit of logic. They rarely lie or find humor in everyday life. Vulcans learn to suppress their emotions at a young age, which hides the fact that they possess incredibly volatile feelings. As such, roleplaying as a Vulcan offers some unique challenges for a player. Characters like Spock often played the straight man to the banter of the other members of the crew, even though he was only half-Vulcan himself and had a greater understanding of human culture and societal norms. The need to constantly suppress emotions in the face of clear divisions between good and evil, while following logic in a setting where treasure chests are sentient monsters and giant snails with mace tendrils stalk the countryside would be a very difficult, but rewarding task for players.
Native Vulcans Or Starfleet Vulcans
It’s possible that Vulcans have always been a part of your campaign world, or that they’re longtime residents of places like Faerun or Oerth. These Vulcans could easily be offshoots of elves, who once belonged to a bloodthirsty society, but eventually cast aside their vicious ways and took up the pursuit of logic. It’s possible that the Vulcans in your campaign world are among the first to take up the teachings of Surak, and their race still has a fearsome reputation. Like the Vulcans in Star Trek, the fantasy Vulcans often act as mediators between the other races and they share a strong desire to learn more about the world around them. It could be hard for them to apply logic to a fantasy world with magic and living gods, which would part of the fun of playing one.
The other option is that your Vulcan character belongs to Starfleet and is keeping their knowledge of the galaxy a secret. The campaign world may have been discovered by a Starfleet ship and the Vulcan has come down to the world to learn more about the strange secrets of its atmosphere, resulting in the phenomenon known as “magic.” This is in flagrant disregard of the Prime Directive, but the benefits of having access to such a resource might lead Starfleet to probe further than they normally would. It’s also possible that the Vulcan’s ship crash-landed on the planet and it needs to find materials to fix their ship. Luckily, there are other races on the world with pointy ears, so they have no problem passing for an elf while they go undercover. The DM should restrict their access to high-tech gear, with the explanation that they wouldn’t want to risk it falling into the wrong hands, or that it was destroyed in the crash.
Where Is The Pon Farr?
We’re not touching that one. Stat it for yourself.
Next: Star Trek Adventures: Klingon Core Rulebook Now Available For Pre-Order
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Scott has been writing for The Gamer since it launched in 2017 and also regularly contributes to Screen Rant. He has previously written gaming articles for websites like Cracked, Dorkly, Topless Robot, and TopTenz. He has been gaming since the days of the ZX Spectrum, when it used to take 40 minutes to load a game from a tape cassette player to a black and white TV set.
Scott thinks Chrono Trigger is the best video game of all time, followed closely by Final Fantasy Tactics and Baldur’s Gate 2. He pretends that sorcerer is his favorite Dungeons & Dragons class in public but he secretly loves bards.
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