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Sidri / Sidrian Hunters (X-Men aliens) (Marvel Comics)

Sidri aka Sidrian Hunters


Power Level: ,
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

Sidrian Hunters are basically enormous space cyber-cockroaches that shoot lasers, only cooler. They were first seen in 1982, and have returned in X-Men-related books on several occasions.

Being a readily recognisable part of Claremont’s Uncanny X-Men run makes them a classic space alien menace. Hurray for classic space alien menaces !


Background

From secondary sources  (namely issue #10 of the original OHOTMU ), we learn that the Sidri are from the Shi’ar Galaxy. They evolved among a free-floating asteroid cluster and live in hard vacuum.

They are semi-insectoid and oviparian. An adult is 4’ high (and 8’ in length, incl. legs) and weighs about 85 lbs.. Their type of government is unknown, and they aren’t known to use technology.

Douglock later confirmed that the Sidri are to an extent techno-organic  beings. They use certain techno-organic components to interface with each other and to merge into greater forms.

How they ended up that way is unclear. The Sidri might be a rare case of a partial, failed techno-organic infection. They may happen to be an extraordinary species that can’t really be infected by the techno-organic virus, perhaps because of their resiliency and adaptability. Or it might be parallel evolution. Or something else entirely.


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Collective

Apparently, this ability to interface with each other means that Sidri have no concept of individuality. They might be described as a distributed intelligence. But in the absence of any documented communication with normal Sidri, it is impossible to tell. Douglock described them as a techno-organic collective somewhat similar to the Phalanx.

A sidri on a white background

Corsair stated that the Lilandra-run Shi’ar Imperium would never employ Sidrian Hunters. So presumably there is something about the Sidri that makes them unpalatable to civilised persons. Deathbird and her supporters had no such inhibition. And I would assume that D’Ken or Vulcan would gleefully employ Sidrian Hunters, not matter what the problem with them might be.

Why the Sidrian Hunters work as bounty hunters, and the nature of their pay, is unrevealed.

When first encountered on Earth, one of the priorities of the Sidrian Hunters was apparently to lay hundreds of eggs in a secure underground place. Whether this is part of their standard behaviour is unknown. But this may explain why Lilandra wouldn’t hire them.


Powers and Abilities

Sidrian Hunters are determined fellows. They can shoot energy beams that are reminiscent of Cyclops’. They are rather large and strong, and even advanced energy small arms (such as the powerful ones employed by the Starjammers) have a hard time hurting them.

Worse, the Sidrian Hunters usually come in very large numbers. An entire matrix, so we’re talking at least hundreds. On one hand, this means that they don’t really bother to use any tactics. They just Zerg-rush without much regard toward discipline, order or coordination.

A Sidrian hunter shoots at Corsair

On the other hand, this means that one of the few realistic ways to stop a set of Sidrian Hunters is a heat-based WMD. Such as a fusion bomb, or thousands of tons of napalm. Even powerful attacks like Cyclops’s eyebeams or Storm’s lightning and winds couldn’t stop a Sidri matrix.

One gets the impression that Sidrian Hunters always recover from damage that doesn’t kill them. Thus, most attacks will only manage to delay and repel them without attrition. But there’s no clear sense of how strong such an healing factor  is.

Furthermore, the Sidri can quickly grow additional armour over their body to defeat specific attack forms being used against them. Such as Storm’s aforementioned lightning. In DC Heroes RPG terms, they have Defensive Adaptation.


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On the offence

Sidrian energy attacks seem powerful. But they lack reflexes and accuracy. And they don’t bother using Team Attacks.

Sidrian Hunters are likely to be used in bulk, and unless the Player Characters  are exceptionally powerful this is likely a battle that’ll be fought in constant retreat and with lots of collateral damage. Until some clever plan can be attempted to destroy the Hunters.

Thus, I’d suggest that the GMs use a sort of anti-mook-rule. If a Sidri is not immediately incapacitated by an attack, do not bother keeping track of the RAPs. Just have the Sidri be Stunned for a Phase and then continue acting as if it had suffered no damage, barring special situations.

Sidrian hunters fighting Cyclops

It will probably be difficult for PCs to concentrate on specific targets when overrun by Sidrian Hunters, anyway. Telling them apart is hard.

Sidrian Hunters are once stated to be able to perceive that a person is being possessed via Personality Transfer. That would imply some form of non-standard Truesight, but what they can and cannot perceive is unrevealed. GMs are encouraged to decide what applies in their campaign.

On some panels Sidris *might* be flying. But then again these simply might be buffeted around by Storm’s winds. This entry assumes that Sidri cannot fly, but it’s not clear.

Collective action

One of the most distinctive and feared ability of the Sidri is that a large group (hundreds or even thousands) can pile up. They’ll then interface with each other until the huge cluster possesses a collective consciousness. Such a merger will look like a sort of gargantuan Sidri made up of many many Sidris, and further possesses the mean to fly at FTL  speeds.

It seems that the Sidri who do that constitute a sort of social unit. Corsair called the Sidri chasing him “a matrix”, like one might talk about a pride of lions or a flock of birds. It is unclear whether there is a upper limit to how many Sidri can group to form such a “Sidrian ship”.

It is quite possible that a smaller number of Sidrian Hunters might be able to merge together into a smaller gestalt. Sidri mutants certainly could.

Sidrian gestalts have been described as being as big as skyscraper. One of our illustrations conveniently features a gestalted matrix flying close to a Boeing.

Hatchlings

The Sidrian whom Kitty Pryde fought in the basement of the Mansion had just hatched. They were very young specimen, as should be apparent by their much smaller size.

Kitty and Lockheed fight Sidri hunters

Such hatchlings do not have Growth at all, and their muscles and carapace are softer. Their energy beams are much less powerful than the adults’. Hatchlings can also get scared and cautious, which the adults don’t seem to do.

When a Sidrian hatchling manages to hit Kitty with a blast, the pain makes her unable to phase . After thinking about it for way too long, I’ve ended up considering that this was a Limitation of Kitty rather than a property of the Sidrian beams. There are other instances of young Kitty being unable to use her powers because of pain and/or fatigue.

Mutants

The Sidri accidentally mutated by Kitty Pryde had very different looks and abilities from their kind. See the game stats section for detailed abilities. As to their appearance :

Mutated Sidri :

Three mutated sidri

Mutated Sidri – merger of the three specimens above :

A mutated Sidri and Colossus


History

Sidrian Hunters are feared bounty hunters in the Shi’ar galaxy. How many Sidri are working as bounty hunters and how they are organised is unrevealed.

In 1981, a matrix of Sidri was hired by Deathbird loyalists (perhaps Admiral Samédar) to hunt down the notorious space pirates and rebels, the Starjammers. Even the powerful HMSS Starjammer could not face a Sidrian “ship” in a space battle. Especially since the crew at that point was but Corsair, the rest having been intercepted by Imperial shock troopers.

Corsair ended up fleeing from the bounty hunters and rushing toward Earth to get reinforcements. He managed to gain support from his son Cyclops and from Storm, but the Sidrian Hunters just wrecked the entire X-Mansion in their assault.

The Summers and Munroe escaped aboard the Blackbird. Eventually a combination of catching the Sidrian gestalt into a violent, lightning-crossed tornado then ramming them with the Blackbird forced them to decohere. Corsair then trapped them in a massive fire by destroying a petroleum storage station.

Mutatis mutandis

Months later, the X-Men and Starjammers had a distant Sidri encounter after the destruction of Broodworld. This happened as they were rushing back to Earth to face the Brood Queen that had been implanted within Charles Xavier. They flew near a damaged Sidrian “ship”, but decided not to take the time to rescue the dreaded, destructive creatures.

The sidri form up as a starship

Incensed by this stance, young Kitty Pryde decided, with her colleague Nightcrawler’s help, to quickly brew a canister of fortifying medical drug. They shot it at the weakened, damaged Sidri matrix without the others noticing.

Some months later, after the Mansion had been rebuilt, Kitty accidentally discovered that a nest of Sidri had been hidden in the Mansion’s extensive basement. This had taken place whilst their parents had been battling Storm, Corsair and Cyclops.

A small gang of hatchlings tried to kill her. But she fought valiantly and soon received the help of yet another extra-terrestrial hidden in the basement, the dragonlike Lockheed. Kitty finished off the hatchlings thanks to the arrival of her colleague Colossus. The ravenous Lockheed burned and ate hundreds and hundreds of unhatched Sidri eggs.

This foiling of a potentially very destructive invasion was, incidentally, what confirmed Pryde’s status as a X-Man. It prevented her demotion into the ranks of the New Mutants.

Everything counts in large amounts

Meanwhile, the Sidri that Kitty Pryde and Kurt Wagner had tried to save in deep space 15 years before were undergoing severe mutations. Being a highly adaptive species subjected to medical drugs cooked up by an amateur using advanced space technology will usually do that.

The mutation made the Sidri more crustacean-like, able to talk (including human languages), stronger, able to spit mucus to snare enemies, etc.. Most importantly it destroyed the techno-organic components used by the Sidri to interface with each other.

Deprived of their intimate contact with the rest of their matrix, the mutated Sidri went half-crazy and developed individuality. They considered themselves to now be hideously crippled. They only wished for vengeance, then death. It took them more than a decade to reach Earth in their search for Pryde and Wagner.

When they arrived there were but three specimen left – plus an unclear number of Sidri who were apparently permanently merged into a ship-like gestalt.

This mutant Sidrian gestalt looked like something halfway between a Sidri “ship” gestalt and a conventional spacecraft. Maybe it was indeed a normal spacecraft colonised and used as a collective skeleton by mutated Sidri as attrition made them unable to form a Sidrian ship on their own.

What happened to the rest is unclear. Death through mutation and/or suicide are distinct possibilities.

Revenge of the Sidri

The mutated Sidri found Nightcrawler in Italy. He was operating with the mutant team Excalibur. The Sidri nearly managed to kill Nightcrawler and Colossus, who confronted them first. But their ally Douglock, a techno-organic being, determined what the Sidri’s problem was.

A gigantic sidrian gestalt flies near a Boeing jet liner

He allowed one of his components (used to interface with other Phalanx techno-organic beings) to be violently taken by the mutated Sidri. They soon discovered that they could use it to interface again with normal Sidri and gradually flush the mutation out of their system. Their problem solved, the mutants left peacefully.

A few Sidri have been seen since, usually in scenes with a bunch of aliens. For instance, some were used as enforcers by Torgo whilst he was working for the Collector.


Description

The Sidri do look slightly artificial and machined. People who encounter then will not be quite sure whether those are sort of insects… or crustaceans… or weird robots.


Personality

The Sidri are cunning, ruthless and highly territorial.

It is unclear how one might communicate with them. In the field they just attack without any attempt at communication and without any hesitation, unless it becomes obvious that the opposition can actually kill them.


DC Universe History

They might be on the contractors list of the Dominators. Maybe one matrix even participated to the Invasion .

The Sidri could be an offshoot of the Durlan species. The Durlans’ shapeshifting abilities arose as beneficial mutations to cope with the apocalyptic environment created by the Six Minute War. The Sidri subspecies has greater ability to adapt against damage, particularly radiation, but has sacrificed its overall shapeshifting capabilities as a result.

However, the Sidri still maintain the Durlan ability to coalesce multiple individuals into a single form capable of interstellar flight. Exposure to extreme physical stressors can trigger remnants of the Durlan shapeshifting ability in addition to the usual adaptations. The mutated Sidri were the outcome of one such event.

Sidrian Hunters may also be bounty hunters working for the Spider Guild.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

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Typical Sidrian hunter

Dex: 03 Str: 05 Bod: 08 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 04 Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Claws: 06, Cold Immunity: 06, Defensive Adaptation (Physical): 04, Energy blast: 08, Growth: 03, Invulnerability: 10, Regeneration: 05, Systemic antidote: 04, Truesight: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Defensive Adaptation can also be used based on watching a fellow Sidri using Defensive Adaptation against a given attack.
  • Energy blast has no AV (they use DEX instead) (-1 or -0 depending on house rules, see the FAQ).
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Power Loss – Defensive Adaptation, Invulnerability and Regeneration do not work at all against heat- and flame-based damage.
  • Systemic antidote only vs. radiation.
  • Truesight – see the Powers & Abilities section.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 05

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Life Support (No Air, No Pressure), Misc.: can merge with other Hunters to form a ’ship‘, see below.

Connections:
None ?

Drawbacks:

  • Strange Appearance (at least on planets with nothing like them).
  • Attack Vulnerability (heat- and flame-based attacks: – 1CS OV and -2CS RV ; note that most blasters do not qualify).
  • SPR (no apparent manipulative appendages).
  • MPR (a Sidri laid flat on its back will find it extremely difficult to flip itself back up).<:li>
  • Misc.: Sidri adults weigh 1 AP.

Collective action

Approximative stats for a typical ’Sidrian ship‘ are [STR 18 BODY 15, Damage capacity (Physical): 10, Energy blast: 19, Flight: 40] with the same Attack Vulnerability as an individual. Note that those stats vary depending upon how many Sidri are ganging up. And that they likely have other, undocumented abilities as a ship (such as navigation and/or sensory abilities).

If a Sidri matrix in ship mode is forced to decohere (by reducing its current BODY condition to 00) the individual Sidri are Stunned for up to a minute (and will fall if they are currently within a gravity well). Presumably, they’ll be unable to reform as a “ship” for some time.


Typical Sidrian hatching

Dex: 02 Str: 01 Bod: 02 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 01 Min: 04 Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 04 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 007 HP: 000

Powers:
Claws: 02, Cold Immunity: 03, Defensive Adaptation (Physical): 01, Energy blast: 04, Regeneration: 05, Shrinking: 01, Systemic antidote: 02, Truesight: 02

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Defensive Adaptation can also be used based on watching a fellow Sidri using Defensive Adaptation against a given attack.
  • Energy blast has no AV (they use DEX) (-1 or -0 depending on house rules, see the FAQ).
  • Shrinking is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Power Loss – Defensive Adaptation, Invulnerability and Regeneration do not work at all against heat- and flame-based damage.
  • Systemic antidote only vs. radiation.
  • Truesight – see the Powers & Abilities section.

Skills:
Acrobatics (Climbing): 03

Advantages:
Life Support (No Air, No Pressure)

Connections:
None

Drawbacks:

  • Strange Appearance (at least on planets with nothing like them).>/li>
  • Attack Vulnerability (heat- and flame-based attacks: – 1CS OV and -2CS RV ; note that most blasters do not qualify).
  • SPR (no apparent manipulative appendages).
  • MPR (a Sidri laid flat on its back will find it extremely difficult to flip itself back).
  • Misc.: A Sidri hatchling weighs 0 APs.

Thus, even a small newborn can threaten most human adults, or a trained and resourceful teenager such as Kitty Pryde at 13. Sorry Kitty, 13½.


Burn the heretic. Kill the mutant. Purge the unclean.

The Sidri “treated” by Kitty Pryde ended up being quite mutated, and were very different from the Sidri norm. Indeed, that was their big problem.

Dex: 05 Str: 10 Bod: 10 Motivation: Mercenary
Int: 02 Wil: 02 Min: 02 Occupation: Bounty Hunter
Inf: 02 Aur: 02 Spi: 02 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 009 HP: 010

Powers:
Cold Immunity: 06, Defensive Adaptation (Physical): 04, Glue: 07, Growth: 03, Invulnerability: 10, Power Reserve (STR, BOD, Defensive Adaptation, Invulnerability, Regeneration, Glue): 05, Regeneration: 05, Systemic antidote: 04

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Defensive Adaptation can also be used based on watching a fellow Sidri using Defensive Adaptation against a given attack.
  • Glue has no AV (they use DEX) (-1 or -0 depending on house rules, see the FAQ).
  • Growth is Always On and Already Factored In.
  • Power Loss – Defensive Adaptation, Invulnerability and Regeneration do not work at all against heat- and flame-based damage.
  • Power Reserve only as a gestalt – see below.
  • Systemic antidote only vs. radiation.

Skills:
None demonstrated.

Advantages:
Iron Nerves, Life Support (No Air, No Pressure), Misc.: can merge with other Hunters to form a ’ship‘, see below.

Connections:
None.

Drawbacks:
Strange Appearance, Attack Vulnerability (heat- and flame-based attacks: – 1CS OV and -2CS RV ; note that most blasters do not qualify), Loss Vulnerability (the top 4 APs of STR and BOD are activated via an Automatic Action, and are active by the very beginning of the next Phase), MPR (ground speed is but a 03).

The Power Reserve can only be employed by merging with another mutated Sidri – the merging Sidri can then use his PR to boost the merged Sidri, but the merged Sidri cannot use its own Power Reserve.

Two mutated Sidri could merge with the third and both could use their full Power Reserve. However I’d assume there would have been some level of diminishing return if more mutated Sidri had been involved.

The mutated Sidri were much stronger than normal Sidri, as they could concentrate to evolve up a powerful carapace/exoskeleton. The three of them could also form a gestalt strong enough to batter Colossus. They could spit a sort of mucus to trap moving targets.

The starship used by the mutated sidri in Excalibur


Design notes

This profile may end up getting game stats adjustments when the HMSS Starjammer gets written up.

Since many people chiefly remember the Kitty vs. Sidrian hatchlings scene, they may seriously underestimate the power of adult Sidrian hunters. The adults are a different matter.

By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (mostly X-Men stuff).

Helper(s): Darci, Roy Cowan, Chris Cottingham.

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