Strange Spelljamming Races: Hat People
Hat People, from the Planet of Hats, are a spacefaring civilization of a rather unusual nature. The "People" in question aren't the mounts they ride on, but rather, the Hats themselves. Any Hat can ride its mindless, artificially created “flesh chariots”, but they prefer intelligent mounts (as in, people.)
A Hat can perform a symbiotic bond with any creature capable of wearing a normal hat (which is usually humanoids or the like). The Hat has a lamprey like mouth (though with much smaller and finer teeth) that it can use to attach itself to the head. Once attached, the Hat will meld its mind with its mount, creating a gestalt mind of both. Some special Hat breeds may grant minor boons in exchange for certain behavioral changes (see below) or increased nutrient take-in they require.
|A Party Hat moves to grab a host. (art Tony DeTerlizzi)|
The Hat will often let the mount’s personality determine the primary characteristics and behaviors of the gestalt mind, though with some additional quirks and sometimes dramatic changes (as dictated by the type of Hat in question- woe be upon whomever dons a Mad Hat.) A displeased or just plain nasty Hat can dominate its mount as per an intelligent magic item. Hats always have disproportionally large Egos. (As evidenced by calling the beings they ride “mounts” instead of “hosts.” (This would imply that the Hats in question would be parasitic in nature, which offends them).
|The rejection of a mount by his Hat can be traumatizing. (Source)|
Hat spacefaring ships will usually emulate the race or species of their mounts (or the race or species that has the largest representation. However, from time to time, an unusually gargantuan Hat will be spawned, such that it can only ride a usually large host, such as a space whale. In that case, the Hat can negotiate with or dominate its host to take the Hat’s kindred into space. Even more rarely, the
Hats may make ships from their own biomanced thread weaves. These ships invariably resemble giant floating hats. The Hats realize that humanoids might find a thing like, for example, a giant beanie hat flying through space disturbing. Therefore Hats usually prefer to use humanoid spacecraft.
Hats have individual names but not usually surnames beyond “the Hat” or an indicator of what kind of Hat it is. For example, the notorious Hat crime lord Jabba, a Bowler type Hat, may go by Jabba, Jabba the Hat, or Jabba the Bowler Hat.