The quarians are a nomadic species of humanoid aliens known for their skills with technology and synthetic intelligence. Since their homeworld Rannoch was conquered, the quarians live aboard the Migrant Fleet, a huge collection of starships that travel as a single fleet. Approximately three hundred years ago, the quarians created the geth, a species of rudimentary artificial intelligences, to serve as an efficient source of manual labor. However, when the geth gradually became sentient, the quarians became terrified of possible consequences and tried to destroy their creations. The geth won the resulting war and forced their creators into exile. Now the quarians wander the galaxy in a flotilla of salvaged ships, secondhand vessels, and recycled technology.

The quarians’ top priority is the survival and sustainability of the Migrant Fleet. Most of their laws and customs revolve around this goal. It is illegal for couples to have more than one child, so that the fleet can maintain zero population growth (if the population begins to shrink, this rule is temporarily lifted, and incentives may be provided to encourage multiple births). Families are thus very small and close-knit. Because every quarian depends on his or her crewmates to survive, they are much more community-minded than individualistic species like the krogan. Loyalty, trust, and cooperation are highly prized qualities.

Young quarians are required to undertake a Pilgrimage outside the fleet in order to pass into full adulthood. The Pilgrimage is an opportunity for quarians to experience the galaxy outside the Migrant Fleet, interact with other cultures, and learn to appreciate life among their own people. Their departure is a major event; the whole crew assembles to see them off, and they are given many gifts to aid them on their journey, along with immunity-boosting injections and advice on surviving on the outside. The young quarian cannot return to the flotilla until they have found something of value to bring back – whether information, money, or supplies. When they return, they do not go back to their birth ship, but instead select a new ship to join; this helps maintain genetic diversity by preventing intermarriage between close relatives. The quarian presents their gift to the captain of the new ship to prove they will not be a burden on the crew. Although the gift may be rejected if it is subpar, this is very rare, as most captains are eager to welcome a new shipmate on board. Having a large crew is a prestigious thing, as it means the captain has the financial and material means to provide for many people.

Game Mechanics

Quarians favor Tech Classes.

Forced to live in close confines with one another, Quarians are of necessity social. Quarians get +1 to Aid or Interfere with another.

Species Move:
Nomads and Scavengers: When you need something, provided it’s relatively small and can be held in one hand, roll +Sharp. On a 10+, you happen to have just the thing, or close enough. On a 7-9, you have something pretty close, unless what you’re looking for is specialized tech, in which case no luck. On a miss, you used to have just the thing, but you recently sold it or someone stole it. Maybe you can get it back…

Alternate Species Move: Software Savant: You instinctively understand the internal logic of most software programs, interactive interfaces, VIs, and AIs. You can read a person on any computer system (interpreting the move’s results liberally as appropriate) and can add the following options to the list:

  • What is the system’s true function/purpose
  • Who does the system regard as an “authorized user”


Mass Effect - Apocalypse ardhanari