Original Author: Nathan “N0-1_H3r3” Dowdell
“I saw the Homeworlds devoured, hollowed out by the numberless tide. I saw the Leagues torn asunder by the teeth and claws of an enemy unlike any we have ever faced. And I saw no sign of our erstwhile allies when the end came. We are forced now to the stars, to wander and mourn and enact revenge.”
Humankind colonised a vast range of worlds during the original expansions, and as can be expected, many of those worlds left their mark on the generations of people raised upon them. Barren, high-gravity, resource-rich worlds near the core of the Galaxy gave birth to hardy, resolute people, descendants of the colonists who settled there during the Dark Age of Technology. Unlike Ratlings and Ogryns, the Squats once had a civilization of their own, strong and sophisticated enough to stand alongside Mankind as an ally and protectorate of the Imperium. However, the last centuries have seen the Squats decline swiftly – the core of their empire devoured by the Tyranid menace, and the remnants pounced upon by Orks and Chaos Warbands alike, leaving nothing more than scattered survivors, trying to endure in a galaxy that has become increasingly hostile.
Where some have turned to piracy, others have thrown in their lot with their distant genetic cousins, and live amongst the Imperium. Those few Strongholds that remained have pledged themselves to the Emperor in desperation, and now exist as remote, obscure mining colonies where once they were the outposts of a proud civilization.
The Squat Homeworlds were harsh places, inhospitable due to a lack of breathable atmosphere, but immeasurably valuable due to the minerals and metals hidden deep beneath the surface. The cramped conditions in the subterranean Strongholds, the high gravity of those dense worlds, and centuries of hard, heavy labour in continent-spanning mines have led to a race of short, densely-built humans, known properly as Homo sapiens rotundus.
Squat physiology is a product of its environment. Compact, tough, solidly-built and with a low center of gravity, Squats carry loads well, and can operate comfortably in close confines for much longer than humans. Their eyesight is keen in poor light: a side-effect of an almost entirely subterranean existence and their thick-skinned, hairy bodies are quite tolerant of the cold.
Unlike most Abhumans, Squats retain some of the potential for psychic power inherent in normal humans. In Squats, however, it makes itself evident only after many decades, even centuries of life, and rarely results in as potent psykers as humans have been known to produce.
The average Squat stands about 1.3m tall, but is broader and thicker-set than a human. Their limbs and torsos are thick and muscular, with dense, compact skeletons at the core. However, the defining trait that many notice first is the beard. Squat males are universally bearded (this is not the case with Squat females), and all Squats have a lot of thick body hair in general. This is to help them remain warm in cold conditions, such as those once found on their homeworlds
Squats as PCsEdit
Squats are resolute, almost stubborn, and rarely forget even the most minor slight. The strong work ethic bred into them by generation after generation of working in cramped mines, forges and workshops means that Squats are culturally very close-knit, and trust is an important virtue for Squats. Betrayal and deception, then, are some of the worst failings, and Squats do not react kindly towards those who have betrayed them or wronged them in any way. The greatest of these racial grudges are those against the greenskins, a foe faced on many millions of occasions, and more recently, the Tyranids, who dealt such a blow to the Squats that the only way to see them ended was the destruction of the Homeworlds – so unwilling were the Squats to yield their homes to such a relentless invader that they deliberately overloaded the vast geothermal and plasma reactors at the heart of each Stronghold, cracking the planet and flooding the mines with searing plasma.
Squat player characters are survivors of this shattered race, now hidden amongst the masses of mankind. Their naturally direct, tactless demeanour has been soured further by hatred and a lust for vengeance, making them variously morose, irritable and needlessly aggressive. However, their devotion to a worthy cause – some task or goal to direct their hatred and anger towards – and their sheer resilience of body and mind, make them valuable assets for those Inquisitors who choose to employ them.
Squats may take the following Career Paths:
Scholars and record-keepers are important to Squat society, especially after its destruction, to maintain their traditions and hold on to their past.
Squats have a strong sense of justice and an eagerness for vengeance that seems unhealthy at times. On those worlds where they've settled, Squats have been known to work as enforcers in order to make use of these talents.
The Squats are proud, tenacious warriors, and their culture died fighting. Many Squats become mercenaries, PDF troopers or even join Imperial Guard regiments in order to continue their people's warrior tradition.
Some Squats simply fail to integrate into human society, and become outcast, wandering and living hard lives on the bottom rung of civilisation. Some thrive, while others seek a way out of such a life.
Though not actual Tech-Priests, Squat Engineers are similar in many ways. Their understanding of technology is much more practical and straightforward, and they lack almost all of the superstitions of the Adeptus Mechanicus, but the technology they use, and the ways they use it are generally quite similar.
The Squats were isolated from Mankind for so long that they developed an entirely distinct culture, complete with its own language, with local variants existing for each League. All Squats have the Speak Language (Squat) (Int) and Speak Language (League Dialect) (Int) skills.
Squats gain the following traits. Record all of these on your character sheet.
Squats rarely forget even the most minor slight against them, and the gravest wrongs done to them result in hatred and loathing. Few beings have done such terrible things to deserve such enmity, but two have – the Greenskins, and the Tyranids. For these two species, the Squats reserve their purest detestation.
- Benefit: All Squats have the talents Hatred (Orks) and Hatred (Tyranids).
The Squat body is a solid, stable form, able to support heavy weights without difficulty.
- Benefit: A Squat counts his Strength Bonus as twice its normal value for the purposes of lifting and carrying (see page 215 of the Dark Heresy rulebook).
Squat technology is quite advanced, often beyond anything the Adeptus Mechanicus can produce, and the Squats themselves do not treat it with the superstitious reverence common in the Imperium, but rather with a pragmatic and straightforward eye. All Squats are at familiar with a wide range of machines, and their irreverent understanding of them is often shocking to humans.
- Benefit: Squats treat the Tech-Use (Int) Skill as a Basic Skill.
The myriad Leagues and Strongholds of the Squats are destroyed, and not long ago. For most Squats, the destruction of their civilisation is still a recent and painful memory that haunts their nightmares.
Benefit: Squats start play with 2d10 Insanity Points and the Mental Disorder Horrific Nightmares (Minor).
NOTE: A Squat PC may only take ONE of these items in their starting package, the quality is determined by the GM. Quality can be brought up through a variety of means, ultimately at the GMs discretion.
Squat technology is complex and unfamiliar to non-Squats. Any non-Squat receives a -30 to any test to repair or enhance them, and halves any bonus from tools or workspaces.
Squat Exo ArmourEdit
Covers: All AP: 9 Special: Powered Cost: N/A Availability: Unique
Made of thick armoured plates of a material unknown to all but the squats, and powered by crystalline fibres, these suits of armour are a thing of legend amongst collectors. The protection offered is paramount, and each suit is lovingly crafted by a master artisan. Sadly, with the fall of the squat homeworlds these suits have nigh on disappeared.
RoF: 3/6/9 Dmg: 2D10 X Pen:6 Range: 30m Special: Tearing, Reliable Cost: N/A Availability: Unique
Smaller than an average bolter, indeed in a human hand it would appear as a bolt pistol. This three barreled weapon is a lost secret of the squats, and a relic of the dark ages of technology. Not known for their stealthiness, a loud gun that shoots three explosive rounds symbolizes the squat empire in its prime.
This wonderful artifact, like the exo armour, is believed to be a myth by all but the most fanatical collector.
Squat Grudge AxeEdit
Dmg: 2D5+8 Pen:8 Special: Power Field, Unbalanced Cost: N/A Availability: Unique
On First glance these axes look like double sided battle axes out of a fantasy novel. However when activated the blades hum with a crackling power field. The detailed craftsmanship on the hilt and blade is painstakingly intricate, each carving the name of a grudge the squat has redeemed.