Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder RPG (1st Edition) Starfinder RPG Pathfinder RPG (2nd Edition)


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.

Dessamar imago

Source Alien Archive 3 pg. 15
Dessamars are humanoid natives of Koshoria, a world bathed in violet magical auras in Azlanti space. While adults resemble bipedal butterflies, dessamars hatch from eggs as tiny larvae that grow as they mature. Azlanti call the larvae “instars,” due to an error in a first-contact report. Instars eat magic plants, so their flesh is coated with hallucinogenic powder, muddling the senses of would-be predators with guilt-tinged visions. Instars are sapient, and older larvae are encouraged to explore the world on their own so they can discover their path in life before their metamorphosis into an adult. Once the larvae feel ready, they feast enough to double their size before spinning magical cocoons. About two weeks later, a dessamar adult, called an imago, emerges. Occasionally, instars refuse to transform. Though most dessamars accept older instars, adults often encourage such larvae to seek physical maturity.

Dessamar society is based largely on magic, the study of Koshorian auras, and the worship of Desna. Much like their goddess, dessamars are good-natured, whimsical, and given to exploration and self-expression. Dessamar technology is bioengineered, hybrid, or both. Their clannish social hierarchy is merit-based, with the wisest dessamars guiding the rest. Instars mostly pursue their passions, while imagos seek wisdom and mastery of a life path. However, dessamars can be peaceful to a fault, and they can seem aloof and strangely detached.

Other species find it hard to understand why, although the Azlanti Star Empire claims Koshoria, dessamars ignore the Azlanti. In turn, the Azlanti view dessamars as mere curiosities. Since the Azlanti and dessamars have no competing interests, and the Azlanti find dessamar tech mostly quaint, no clashes and little casual contact occur between the two societies. Dessamars, besides the occasional curious instar, usually avoid Azlanti enclaves. The Azlanti have yet to see any use for dessamars, resulting in some of the most harmonious Azlanti-alien relations in the empire.

Dessamars have a secret, however. The magical violet auras of Koshoria have varying and mostly innocuous effects, such as giving off constant dim light or causing mild euphoria. However, some of these eldritch energies have bizarre connections to the Dark Tapestry. Dessamars study the auras to ensure these connections never bring unwanted attention from aberrations from the dark among the stars to Koshoria. If the Azlanti, in their ignorant state, were to hinder efforts to monitor these auras, results could be disastrous.

A typical dessamar adult is around 5 feet tall and weighs only 60 pounds. A developed instar is about 3 feet tall and weighs 40 pounds. Female dessamars are most often larger and stronger than males.

Ability Modifiers +2 Wis, +2 Cha, -2 Str
Hit Points 3

Size and Type

Imagos are Medium humanoids with the dessamar subtype.

Dessamar Magic

Dessamars have the spell-like abilities below, with a caster level equal to the dessamar’s level.
1/day—charm person
At will—detect magic, telepathic message

Dessamar Senses

Dessamars have blindsense (scent) with a range of 30 feet, as well as low-light vision.

Dream Skill

Each time an imago rests for 8 hours, they can choose one skill to gain a +1 racial bonus, losing any previous bonus from this ability.

Fragile Limbs

An imago’s four arms, two legs, and six wings are fragile. The imago takes a –2 penalty to saves against severe wound and wound critical hit effects against these limbs. Extra arms don’t allow an imago to make more attacks than normal, and an imago can hold objects of only light or negligible bulk in one hand, allowing it to hold up to four such objects at the ready. An imago treats one-handed objects of greater than light bulk as two-handed. Two-handed objects of 2 bulk require three hands, and objects of 3 bulk or more require four hands.

Imago Movement

Imagos have a land speed of 20 feet and an extraordinary fly speed of 20 feet with average maneuverability.


Once per day as a move action, a dessamar can teleport 40 feet. The dessamar can’t bring other creatures along, and if a solid body occupies the arrival point, the ability fails without expending its daily use. This ability otherwise functions as the dimension door spell.

Vital Stats

Average Height 4-1/2 to 5-1/2 ft.
Average Weight 45 to 80 lbs.
Age of Maturity 5 years
Maximum Age 50+2d20 years years