Another playable race in my Barbarian Conqueror King setting are the Bugmen - similar in shape to human-sized cockroaches walking on their two hind legs (and having four arms?). And, like cockroaches, they are highly opportunistic and quite social (among themselves that is), but VERY FAR from the “hive mind” stereotype common to bugs in sci-fi - they lack any king of queen and their social structure is in constant flux. In terms of personality and social niche in the world, they are opportunistic scavengers, often also criminals, hoarders of trinkets and shady traders in odds and ends.
A bit similar to kobolds (and halflings) in terms of their place in the world.
What I’m thinking for them at Bugman 0 is, roughly:
Acrobatics (they’re very nimble and skittish)
Arcane Dabbling (opportunistic and adept at utilizing various trinkets)
Expert Bargainer (opportunistic trader in trinkets)
Infravision (actually, “seeing” air drafts with their antennae)
You may also want to consider what you want a “thief” class to look like in your setting. It would not be unreasonable to do away with things like locks and pockets (and possibly traps) since the world is so primitive.
I personally think a high bugman score giving flying would be pretty cool. Bugman gives you a chance to go very alien if you want, but a lot of the elf powers work well… Immunity to ghoul paralyzation, etc. maybe Web as a custom power, etc.
Hmmm… Flying at a high score could be interesting. Maybe for a “Greater” Bugman.
The setting is a bit primitive but is not THAT primitive. Locks are a bit uncommon, but still exist (but are mostly simple). Traps exist and are quite common (especially in Sakkara - the pseudo-Egyptian dying empire - and the tombs of the dead Serpentmen).
Maybe allow them a limited Speak with Animals that only works on bugs? It would be cool to have them communicate with Giant Centipedes, Killer Bees and Fire Beetles - even if it’s just ‘We’re not food, brother. Move on’.
I am actually thinking about two kinds of Bugmen - ordinary Bugmen (racial level 0 or 1), and Nest Mothers (racial level 4). A Nest Mother will be capable of flight and outright control of insects and also have a tough chitineous shell; ordinary Bugmen will simply have improved reaction from insect critters.
There will be two classes - Male and Female. Male would be Racial Level 0, Thief 2, HP 1, Fighter 1. Female would be Racial Level 4, HP 1, Fighter 1, Mage 1, with all the bug control and flight abilities.
What kind of a stronghold should they get? I’m toying with the idea of a female setting up a nest and start laying eggs (maybe they take only 5 years to mature?) to start her own brood… The male should get some sort of a shady trading hub ala a Thief’s hideout.
A much more violently competitive version of the Priestess’s cloister? Instead of 1dx number getting frustrated and quitting after 1dX months, they’re dead, because their sisters killed them competing for a limited amount of (royal jelly?) they need to be able to eventually go off and be their own queen.
Perhaps adventuring females are just out to gain levels so they can come back for a final showdown to see who gets to set up the next hive-stronghold.
And/or, maybe there’s call here to bring back the old Druid hierarchy - where after whatever level there’s a limited number of “slots” open for someone to occupy that level, and a duel settles who stays and who goes. A hierarchy of queens, so to speak.