Varg are amorphous creatures which resemble nothing so much as "blobs". They average about twice the volume of an average human, and can shape themselves by extending pseudopods to form "arms" with which they manipulate objects. Looks notwithstanding, they are intelligent and useful companions. Varg are unable to wear clothes. They are native to a world with gravity 1.13 G and earthlike oxygen-nitrogen atmosphere at 1.08 atmospheres pressure.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Varg have -2 ST (-20 points), +1 IQ (10), +1 DX (10), 360-Degree Vision (25), Acceleration Tolerance (reduced to 5 points for the Amber Nebula campaign), Cast Iron Stomach (15), Injury Tolerance (No Brain, Neck or Vitals) (15), Oxygen Storage (14), Pressure Support (x10) (5), Bad Sight (Nearsighted, cannot be corrected) (-25), Combat Paralysis (-15), Invertebrate (-20), and Reduced Move (-3 MV) (-15). They automatically have the skill Free Fall at DX+2 (8). It costs 12 points to be a Varg.


Varg vocalise in very low pitched voices and their native names sound like belches and grunts to humans. They are difficult for humans to learn (but it can be done), so Varg usually adopt human use names when dealing with humans. Any normal name, of either sex, is a possibility. Since Varg have no sex themselves, they are not perturbed by humans referring to them using the pronouns "he" or "she", or even "it". (Strictly speaking, "it" is the correct term.) Varg can speak English, learning it as a Mental/Average skill, but the result is always guttural sounding. Varg languages (and there are several) are Mental/Hard for humans to learn to understand, but Mental/Very Hard to speak.


Despite their exotic physical nature, Varg are at least as intelligent as humans and have recognisable drives and motives. In general, they like to associate with their own species, but occasional individuals will make friends with aliens.

Varg are usually introspective and care little for chasing adventure or new experiences. Partly this is due to various reflex actions, the main one being a tendency to freeze uncontrollably when placed in dangerous situations. Varg are not cowards, however, and once the freeze reflex passes can act decisively and usefully to imminent danger. In general, however, they prefer the comfort of familiar surroundings and few of them travel to any great extent.

Varg are extremely patient and find fascination in minutiae rather than broad, vivid experiences. A Varg could, quite literally, watch paint dry for hours. They often channel their love of detail into examining all aspects of problems or fields of knowledge. This makes them highly competent and thorough scientists, or specialists in whatever field they pursue. A typical Varg will have only a few knowledge skills, but at high levels.

In order to achieve their ideal lifestyles of detailed research in familiar and unchanging (humans might say dull) surroundings, some Varg resort to unscrupulous methods. Varg criminals tend to be of the mad scientist type, lusting after knowledge and physical comforts rather than power or money. If dealing with other species, they will rely on hired flunkeys for muscle.


The organs of a Varg are distributed fairly evenly throughout its amorphous body, making it difficult to target any particular vital components. This gives them an advantage in tolerating injuries, but their reflex action of collapsing into a resting state at any sign of possible danger means they cannot be relied upon to fight very well. The amorphous nature of Varg bodies also gives them a high tolerance for various extreme conditions, including high pressure atmospheres, high accelerations, and weightless conditions.

Varg have ropy muscle tissue, but without supporting bone structure find lifting themselves off the ground to walk on pseudopods difficult. They generally move slowly in a manner similar to amoebae, extending a pseudopod, flowing into it, then retracting from their previous position. This method of locomotion means they can move easily through small holes. A Varg can move through a hole of diameter 30 cm at no Move penalty, diameter 20 cm in 5 seconds, and diameter 10 cm in 30 seconds. They cannot move through a smaller hole.

At rest, a Varg usually sits in a roughly hemispherical shape on the ground, about 60 cm high and 120 cm in diameter. They can stretch up in a rough cone of about human height if necessary, but not much higher before their muscles can no longer support them. A thin pseudopod may be extended in any direction out to a distance of about a metre. Varg can extend any reasonable number of pseudopods, but they do not possess the Full Coordination necessary to apply them to several tasks at once.

Varg do not have eyes as such, but sense light using organs distributed just beneath their skin. This allows them to see in any direction equally well, but the quality of their vision is poor and gets worse with distance. This is the equivalent of Bad Sight (Nearsighted) and is uncorrectable by technology since the defocusing effect occurs as the light passes through the Varg’s skin.

Varg can eat almost anything with a hydrocarbon organic base. Although they do taste, they find no pleasure or disgust at particular flavours, so are happy to eat anything, including things other sentients would discard as inedible; bones, gristle, wood, spoilt food.

Varg reproduce by budding. They have no sexes as such, but any pair can exchange genetic material to produce offspring of diverse genetic heritage. Exchange of genes is a long process, involving the Varg remaining in physical contact for at least an hour. A Varg can produce buds at any time after reaching adulthood. If it has never "mated", its offspring will be clones of itself. If it has mated, its offspring will contain genes from itself and every other Varg with which it has exchanged genetic material. Newly budded Varg are about the size of a soccer ball and grow to adult size in about 10 human years. Varg begin aging at 70.


Varg communities are very insular, although they will be on friendly terms with any other sentients who are not hostile towards them. They also tend to be communal, with each individual providing goods or services as they can, and each taking what they need. As such, there is no real economy within a Varg community, since all property and services are shared. They will, however, adopt barter policies when dealing with other sentients. Varg get along well with Sparrials because they both have fairly loose concepts of personal property, and will even adopt Sparrial pilfering customs in extended dealings with Sparrial communities.

Varg mating rituals are based more on logic than desire. A pair will discuss the pros and cons of exchanging their genes, usually as part of the process of getting to know one another after they have met for the first time. These discussions are not necessarily private, and often others will offer opinions. Over a full lifetime, a Varg will usually mate with 30-40 other individuals. This number is unconsciously selected, but Varg scientists have calculated that it is close to the theoretical number necessary for maximal genetic health of the species.

Varg are not believers in religion by nature, but many spend their careers researching religions in an effort to find truths behind the beliefs. This is a fairly modern field of Varg study, begun only upon their first exposure to the Pachekki and their religion. They have since taken to analysing human, Larrokite, and other religions with great zeal. Some Varg are confident of a breakthrough in knowledge and an answer to the question of whether there really is a god or not!

For entertainment, Varg tend to like abstract games, such as chess, or music. Their extreme patience and detailed analytical minds make them almost impossible to beat at such games. Varg music is highly complex in terms of rhythm and melody, but invariably only uses a single instrument. An orchestral piece would provide too many different sounds for a Varg to analyse, and thus enjoy, thoroughly. On the other hand, humans appreciate Varg music quite easily. Varg disdain performing and literary arts, but can make excellent photorealistic painters. Impressionistic or abstract art eludes them, however.


Although individual Varg are usually uninterested in exploration, they see interstellar colonisation as an important method of spreading out and gathering knowledge. They are happy to enlist the help of other species for initial exploration, so long as they can set up a Varg colony once a world has been explored enough to ensure there are no dangers. Since Varg scientists are often helpful on a new world, most other species grant them some space.

There are few Varg-dominated worlds, since they have not been principal colonisers since their first contact with the Pachekki. On their homeworld and those they administrate, Varg tend to have a representative democracy structure for dealing with external affairs, but allow internal politics to follow the communal anarchy model of all their communities. A few laws, such as prohibiting harming other sentients, are usually policed by community vigilance.

Varg communities on worlds administrated by other species are usually insular enough that they can police themselves within their own community, and rarely if ever come into conflict with external laws.

GURPS is Copyright © by Steve Jackson Games Incorporated.

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