Archives of Nethys

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The Starfinder Roleplaying Game is about more than just meeting aliens—it’s also about playing alien characters. In Starfinder, the word “race” usually refers to an intelligent, selfaware species whose members can be considered characters rather than simple monsters. While not all races are appropriate for player characters, many of them are; any creature with a racial traits entry is a member of a potentially playable race, provided that your GM approves it.


Source Interstellar Species pg. 50
With unclear origins and no home world to call their own, astrazoans have dispersed throughout the Pact Worlds and beyond to join the galaxy’s cosmopolitan tapestry. However, astrazoans only rarely show their true forms to non-astrazoans. Instead, most live their lives as humans, lashuntas, vesk, and other creatures of the Pact Worlds, preferring a semblance of anonymity and not wanting to shock their neighbors’ humanoid sensibilities with astrazoans’ peculiar appearances. After centuries of Drift travel and trade, most humanoids are accustomed to extremely varied life-forms, yet the astrazoan tradition of polite secrecy persists.

Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Con
Hit Points 4

Size and Type

Astrazoans are Medium aberrations with the shapechanger subtype.

Change Form

As a standard action, an astrazoan can physically alter their form to look like any Medium creature, as long as they have seen a similar creature before. They can attempt to either mimic a specific creature or look like a general creature of the chosen type. The astrazoan gains a +10 bonus to Disguise checks to appear as a creature of the type and subtype of the new form. The DC of the astrazoan’s Disguise check isn't modified as a result of altering major features or if they disguise themself as an aberration or humanoid (though the DC is still modified if the astrazoan attempts to disguise themself as a different creature type). The astrazoan can remain in an alternate form indefinitely (or until they take another form).


An astrazoan can move through an area as small as one quarter their space without squeezing or one eighth their space when squeezing.


Astrazoans can see up to 60 feet in the dark.

Many Forms

For effects targeting creatures by type, astrazoans count as both aberrations and humanoids

Rapid Revival

Once per day, when an astrazoan takes a 10-minute rest to regain Stamina Points, they can additionally recover Hit Points as though they had taken a full night’s rest.

About the Astrazoan

Physical Description

When an astrazoan lies flat on their belly, they resemble a radially symmetrical starfish with seven limbs, weighing up to 180 pounds and having a diameter of 9 feet from the tip of one limb to the tip of an opposing limb. In practice, an astrazoan usually walks upright on five limbs, standing about 6 feet tall, with the remaining two limbs reserved to hold and manipulate objects.

Natural skin color varies, typically being some variant of dun, orange, or umber. To the touch, an astrazoan’s skin is rough like sandpaper due to its thousands of dermal papillae that the astrazoan can control to replicate a wide range of surface textures and colors. Each arm has a large eye embedded about halfway down its length along the astrazoan’s backside. Individually, an eye provides limited visual data, and an astrazoan must orient at least four eyes in the same direction to form a clear image.

The only other distinct feature on an astrazoan’s natural body is its mouth, located at the center of their underside. The mouth has a small, retractable beak able to tear apart tougher foods; however, much digestion occurs externally, with an astrazoan expelling their stomach to envelop their food and secrete powerful enzymes into the partly chewed meal. Afterward, they retract the stomach along with the softened food. Like their stomach, an astrazoan’s other organs are also quite mobile, able to be shunted around the body as needed.

In fact, nearly all of an astrazoan’s body can shift, contort, and invert as needed. The skeleton is cartilaginous and able to disarticulate temporarily, providing some structure and considerable flexibility. Their jellylike flesh is comprised of long muscle fibers that can dislocate, flow, and realign into new configurations as needed, allowing them to squeeze through narrow openings and close wounds with ease. Along with their dermal papillae and countless chromatophores, an astrazoan can transform into a variety of functional shapes with extraordinary precision. Once locked into a new form, involuntary muscles help maintain the shape, even if an astrazoan become unconscious.

This transformation is rapid, accompanied by audible pops and cracks as body parts internally detach and reconfigure themselves. Like an invigorating stretch, the process causes mild discomfort, often followed by a rush of adrenaline or endorphins—a side effect that develops into a psychological coping mechanism or mild addiction for some. The sensation is most pronounced when an astrazoan has held a form for a long time, and they often feel the need to briefly reconfigure themselves at least a few times a year.

However, astrazoan transformation has limits. Unfamiliar limbs usually aren’t fully functional. Thus, an astrazoan taking a kasatha shape has limited control of their extra arms, just as taking a strix shape results in flappable wings that aren’t strong enough for actual flight. Shapeshifting also doesn’t change the astrazoan’s interior organs, which resemble blue-gray sacks. Organs merely relocate and are contorted as the new shape requires, but they otherwise retain their forms. As a result, medical scans can reveal an astrazoan’s unique anatomy. Finally, upon death, an astrazoan’s muscles relax, causing the body to slowly shift back into its natural, seven-armed form.

Life Cycle

Astrazoan reproduction exhibits extreme flexibility. Each creature is able to grow male or female reproductive organs as needed. When in their natural form, an astrazoan parent lays an egg that hatches after about five months. However, the process reflexively adjusts to the astrazoan’s assumed form, allowing them to lay an egg or carry the developing embryo internally, all while as much as halving or doubling the gestation or incubation time to better help the parent conform to their assumed form’s reproductive physiology.

Young astrazoans are precocious shapeshifters who transform often as a form of play. Although youths master the basics quickly, each astrazoan has one or more features that they struggle to replicate for the first decade of life, such as being unable to form convincing noses or feet. However, each newborn reflexively knows how to take on a birth shape based on their parent’s assumed shape while the egg formed, helping infants instinctively blend into a society. Astrazoans reach physical maturity around 16 years old.

Home World

Astrazoans either don’t know or refuse to divulge where they evolved, leaving the matter in the realms of science and speculation. They likely originated on the barren world Apostae, evidenced by genetic similarities between astrazoans and an extinct species known as the ilee, which once lived in Apostae’s tunnels. According to pre-Gap records, each ilee had a completely unique physique and appearance—variation that might mean astrazoans’ shapeshifting abilities are an extreme mutation of this natural diversity, allowing them to change shapes at will rather than just at birth. It’s possible that ilee even created astrazoans as a living time capsule, sequestering ilee biology to survive some forgotten threat.

Actually proving this theory is difficult. In modern times, the ilee appear to be extinct, so few samples remain for rigorous comparison. What’s more, Apostae fell into drow hands during the Gap, and they restrict access to much of the planet, inhibiting further study and leaving astrazoans with no home world of their own. Instead, astrazoans live scattered across the Pact Worlds, existing on every habitable world in the system but strongly favoring places where it’s easier to blend in.

The greatest density of astrazoans lives on Absalom Station, where they easily disappear amid the diverse populace and thrive in the cosmopolitan, open-minded society. There, some astrazoans proudly display their native seven-limbed form, though most prefer to live as humans, androids, lashuntas, and myriad other species. Thanks to the station’s miles of twisting corridors and maintenance shafts, astrazoans often work as engineers and tunnel runners by squeezing through tight spaces. Other astrazoans thrive as negotiators, information brokers, and sleuths using their shape changing ability to evade notice or set clients at ease. There are also rumors of sinister astrazoans who have infiltrated Absalom Station’s upper echelons, killing wealthy people and stealing their fortunes and identities in a slow, calculated takeover.

Many astrazoans have made their home on Castrovel, particularly in the spaceport city Qabarat. Because the majority of the planet’s inhabitants are telepathic, many astrazoans living there purposefully develop psychic techniques to better blend in among their host cultures. Rumors tell of astrazoans recruited by elven extremists in Sovyrian, training the former to spy on Apostae’s drow. Meanwhile, several astrazoans live on Verces, where the skin-shifting verthanis often welcome them as honored guests.

Astrazoans tend to avoid airless or otherwise hostile environments, where they would have to rely on magic or technology just to stay alive. Although airless and toxic worlds—such as the radioactive Eox or the water world Kalo-Mahoi—feature spaces for air-breathing visitors, the idea of being corralled into areas specifically designed for outsiders discomforts most astrazoans.

Society and Alignment

Due to their scattered communities, astrazoans have little shared culture, and that which exists is often passed from parent to child for lack of other teachers. The most common lesson is caution, taught through a plethora of fables that each have a hundred variations. These tales convey that many beings associate shapeshifting with duplicity, that they would be shocked by astrazoans’ natural forms, and that it’s best to share one’s true nature only with close confidantes. In reality, space travel has made most societies quite accommodating of unfamiliar aliens with strange powers. Nonetheless, this philosophy of concealing identities stubbornly persists among astrazoans, perhaps because secrecy saved them from some forgotten peril in the past.

As a result, astrazoans primarily adopt and adapt their host societies’ behaviors, customs, languages, and norms. This mimicry often drives astrazoans to develop parallel talents to better blend in, much as how those living among shirrens and lashuntas often master basic psychic abilities of their own. Likewise, astrazoans often delight in biotech augmentations that let them replicate their neighbors’ innate capabilities.

That said, not all astrazoans fit into their host cultures seamlessly or even want to do so. Some of them simply struggle to maintain their forms and assumed identities, bouncing from community to community to avoid extended scrutiny. A small number become cynical about staying hidden, seeing their host cultures as adversaries rather than as neighbors and therefore using their shapeshifting for personal gain as con artists, spies, or assassins. Others embrace their natural forms and live openly, often with fulfilling results. As this last group experiences more and more success in cosmopolitan societies, they’ve inspired other astrazoans to shed their disguises in a cultural shift that might dramatically change the species’ role in the galaxy in coming generations.

In the meantime, sharing one’s natural form is usually a gesture indicating trust or grim determination. Among friends, assuming their seven-limbed body conveys that an astrazoan feels truly safe among their companions or that they’re utterly resolved to overcome whatever challenge lies ahead. To enemies, though, dropping their disguise conveys that an astrazoan is done playing games or, worse, that they’re confident nobody witnessing the act will survive the encounter to spread the word.

Although widespread, astrazoans aren’t especially numerous. As a result, they exercise considerable caution in protecting one another to preserve their species. Except in extreme circumstances, astrazoans avoid killing each other, even when on opposing sides of a conflict. Astrazoans are expected to assist one another, providing resources or aid on request so long as it won’t seriously compromise the donor’s cover. In communities with numerous astrazoans at risk of being uncovered and endangered, individuals sometimes practice ritual exile known as the Eighth Arm Break. Like a lizard amputating its tail to distract a predator, one astrazoan lures investigators away from the community, allows their cover to be blown, and then flees, ideally convincing the community that the perceived threat is no more.

Astrazoan Identity

Changing shape comes easily to an astrazoan, and their psychology seems adapted to switching and learning from their assumed guises to create a complex patchwork of identities. Understanding how an astrazoan defines their true self requires exploring how they view their transformed bodies and personas.

Astrazoans refer to a borrowed shape as a “skin” when it serves only a superficial purpose, such as for a short-term disguise. Assuming a skin has little lasting effect on an astrazoan’s physiology and psychology. However, the more time an astrazoan spends in a skin, the more they develop an accompanying identity, name, set of mannerisms, and values. Especially familiar guises are instead considered “selves,” and most astrazoans can compartmentalize up to seven selves (one stored in each arm’s neural network) they trade between with little issue. Astrazoans who develop and retain even more selves—or who become especially dependent upon a self—can experience identity blending, where the various selves begin blurring together, some of the selves manifest simultaneously, or a favored self suppresses all others. In most cases, astrazoans consider this blending disruptive, yet some delight in the dramatic transformations.

The same kind of plurality that defines astrazoans’ personalities and sense of selves also extends to gender identity and gender expression. Astrazoans are split between those who favor a specific gender identity from their host culture, often assuming skins of that gender, and those who are more gender fluid.


Just like their identities, astrazoan naming patterns are complex. Most astrazoans choose a true name for themselves, which they use in their native form, and a different name for each of their various identities. However, it isn’t unheard of for an astrazoan to go by the same name in each of their identities. Some astrazoans reserve their true name for internal monologue or when talking to trusted friends or others of their kind. Those who embrace their astrazoan identity more openly might reveal their true name to everyone they meet.

An astrazoan’s true name usually includes three or four syllables, with the first syllable or two often functioning as a nickname. Since astrazoans don’t have a language of their own, the origin of these names is unclear, but linguists have noticed some similarities between them and the ancient names of the ilee recovered from pre-Gap records. Names chosen for their other identities, on the other hand, follow the naming patterns of the host culture.

Sample Names

Aavadesai, Ailurizai, Ciribaan, Eileewan, Farahan, Kishlinem, Leileeka, Lumivalo, Miyleean, Sunikai, Tsilakar, Xenelei, and Zanilee.

Vital Stats

Average Height 5-7 ft.
Average Weight 120-160 lbs.
Age of Maturity 16 years
Maximum Age 80+2d20 years