Yes, it has come to my attention that this has been discussed in some circles. I would suppose I would be considered the "expert" on this for the Tyranny. So Mumblefratz, let me enlighten you
There are actually a lot of limits on what can be done. You can NOT give yourself or an opponent just any ability. In the case of using a Stock race as either your playable race or as an opponent you are given a strict set of parameters to work within. You can not change the base abilities or starting technologies. You can not alter the inherent bonuses.
Most things are things you can change in the normal set up screen such as race name, ship color, what you want to do with your extra
ability points, things of that nature.
There are a select number of items you can alter here that you can not do in the normal race set up screen. Some are useful. One such thing is the "shortempirename". This is the title that is given to such things as your ships and fleets. Rather annoying to be the Grand Hegemony and your fleet to be labeled "Drath Fleet". Another one you can only do in the raceconfig is alter the DialogueTag. Since each race has its own flavor text, it may be inconsistent with your game. For example, it would be inconsistent for my evil breeding insects to use Torian text so i may alter it to Generic instead. Finally, and a big one for me, is the Race Description as this is the only place that can be altered.
There are other things that you can only do in the raceconfig. One is select the Homestar. The Homestar is a locater for the game to dictate which star system, and in turn which HW, the race is given. The game only recognizes the stock systems and the one labeled "Custom". So it would be possible to give the Drengin the starting position on Sol. This could be useful in an AAR, such as a fallen Earth controlled by the Drengin Empire. The other main thing that can only be changed here is the Super Ability. Want to use the Krynn but hate Super Spy? You could switch it to Super Diplomat instead.
That being said, the game has a number of limits placed to prevent abuse.
The following is a list of things that will trip the cheat flag.
You can not alter the RaceID. No trying to use the stock Krynn as a different race. So no achieving a Racial Medal this way.
You can not add or take away technologies in the stock races. In a Custom race your techs can not exceed the value that you would start with (200 points I believe).
In stock races you can not alter the inherent bonuses, and can only give yourself abilities equaling in points to what would be available to you. For example, social production at 50% costs 5pts and you would have to both 5pts free and it can not exceed 50% as that is the highest value allowed in the game for that ability. For custom races, you can not give yourself any inherent bonuses, and can not exceed the value of the ability points given.
You can not give ANY negative bonuses.
Any other value that is not allowed to be changed WILL trip a warning before you begin a MV game. If you decide to play anyway, the game will be flagged with a cheat flag.
In short, here is what you CAN do with Stock races.
Change ethical alignment, race description, change shortempirename, change homestar system, change super ability, ability description (shows up for opponents +diplomacy -military; has NO effect on ability, its just descriptive)
That's it. Everything else that can be changed can be done either from the Race Setup Screen or the Edit Opponent Screen.
Any other changes WILL trip a cheat flag.
and oh, for the record, this can NOT be done for DL. You can NOT alter the stock races period.