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. 122
Born on a world wracked by eternal storms, shimreens are autochthonous humanoids composed of glimmering crystal who rose to prominence through tenacity and ingenuity, using magic and technology to adapt to their volatile environment. Now, these ingenious innovators live in idyllic city-states, each encased in a crystal dome that both shields the metropolis and powers the city with the limitless energy of a raging storm.

Like the technology that keeps them safe, shimreens aren't born, but made—forged in sacred volcanoes from lava and crystal shards donated by family.

Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Int, -2 Wis
Hit Points 4

Size and Type

Shimreens are Medium humanoids with the shimreen subtype.


Whenever a shimreen takes energy damage, they can voluntarily take an additional 1d4 damage of the same type by amplifying the energy within their crystalline form. The next time the shimreen hits with a melee attack, they release this energy, dealing an additional amount of damage equal to the extra damage the shimreen took (and of the same type). The shimreen can’t take additional damage in this way again until they release the energy they’re storing. If unused, this stored energy dissipates after 10 minutes. The amount of extra damage the shimreen takes (and deals) increases to 2d4 at 8th level and 3d4 at 16th level.

Electricity Resistance

Shimreens have resistance 5 to electricity, thanks to their crystalline structure.


A shimreen constantly emits dim, normal, or bright light in a 5-foot radius and is immune to the dazzled condition. A shimreen can adjust their current level of light as a move action, but they can’t extinguish it.

Shift Limb

As a swift action, a shimreen can transform one of their hands into a natural weapon. While transformed, this hand can’t be used to hold or use anything and the shimreen  is considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal piercing damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic.  Shimreen gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1-1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls with their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual). The shimreen can reverse the transformation as a swift action.

About the Shimreen

Physical Description

Although humanoid in shape, shimreens are composed of luminous crystal rather than flesh and blood. Their tall, angular bodies are hard to the touch, and flexible clusters of crystal fragments form their joints. Due to their composition, shimreens are dense, with a typical 7-foot-tall shimreen weighing over 600 pounds.

Shimreens come in countless colors and consider body clarity and smooth surfaces to be signs of good health and beauty. Their bodies emit a persistent glow that varies in intensity to match their moods. Most learn to control their luminance at a young age and can dim or brighten at will. The Shimreeni language incorporates optional light flourishes that convey emphasis, instill poetic flair, or are part of regional accents. Regardless of a shimreen's control, only death can extinguish their light.

Thanks to their crystalline structure, shimreens are resistant to electricity and reflect light. Even when energies reach dangerous levels, a shimreen can absorb a portion of the energy, amplify it, and release that energy through touch. Shimreens are also sensitive to vibrations, not just hearing but also feeling sound as a thrumming in their chests. Each shimreen's body resonates at specific frequencies, and those sounds that match their resonance cause a tonal harmony shimreens find pleasant.

Shimreens exhibit considerable control over their bodies, displayed in three primary ways. First, they can reshape their arms, transforming them into simple crystal lances or tools. Second, shimreens can purposefully alter the crystalline memory reservoirs that perform most brain functions, allowing them to slowly edit out bad habits or clear traumatic memories in a process that takes either considerable focus or outside assistance. Finally, a shimreen controls how their crystals grow along their head, shoulders, and necks, tailoring their bodies into preferred styles as whim and fashions dictate. Most shimreens shape their head crystals to form crowns or let the crystals around their faces grow wild to form clusters called manes.

Life Cycle

Shimreens aren't born, but purposefully created by their families from crystal shards—freely shorn from crests, crowns, manes, and spurs—that are mixed with the lava from one of seven sacred volcanoes in special creation chambers. These shards melt, either being consumed by the lava or attracting a soul. If the latter, a newborn shimreen about half the size of an adult coalesces from the molten minerals, rising from the lava in a shell of heat-resistant gel that sloughs away moments later.

It's possible for any number of living shimreens to contribute crystals to a child's creation, from a single individual to an entire community. In addition to inheriting some qualities of the parents who donated crystal shards, a young shimreen's composition is also shaped by the volcano of their birth. The most prestigious of these seven mountains is Pharasma's Forge, a small volcanic hot spot and temple complex whose mountain face is carved with ray-like canals that direct rivulets of lava into the creation chambers. Near the city of Zaniir stands the most infamous volcano, Shadowgulch Peak. As the Gap ended, this volcano began spewing noxious, purple lava that attracted mutated beasts and undead shimreens. It's still possible to birth new shimreens there, but the process is so dangerous as to be rarely attempted.

Over their two to three centuries of life, a shimreen's light dims, their body becomes clouded, their exterior softens, and they lose control over their crystal growths. The eldest shed crystal fragments, eventually crumbling peacefully at the moment of death. Shimreen dead are carried in a solemn procession to the nearest sacred volcano and cast into the magma, where their spirits contribute to making future life. Many shimreens believe this step to be necessary in their life cycle, and that if enough shimreens aren't returned to the sacred volcanoes, the volcanoes will lose the ability to produce them completely—perhaps the reason shimreens can be created only on Shimrinsara. Archaeological evidence indicates shimreens of the ancient past might have offered live sacrifices to the volcanoes for precisely this reason—a dark history most believe is pure fabrication.

Home World

Shimreens are from Shimrinsara, an isolated planet deep in the Vast wracked by powerful, never-ending storms. The only planet in its solar system, Shimrinsara is orbited by seven small moons occasionally visible through the planet's pervasive storm fronts. Each moon boasts a single pre- Gap ruin believed by shimreen scholars to be either shrines dedicated to forgotten divinities or memorials to ingenious innovators whose inventions changed the course of shimreen history. Regardless of their purpose, these ruins indicate that shimreens were capable of spaceflight in the distant past. It's unclear what halted their starflight endeavors, but they and their fellow Shimrinsarans (the clawed, crustacean-like corovites and the subterranean, gloom-shrouded uldroons) were grounded by the time the Gap ended.

Shimrinsara's storms are its most prominent feature, coating the planet entirely and blotting out the sun, moons, and stars but for the briefest of moments. The roar of the wind, rumbling of thunder, and torrential downpours are impossible to avoid, as are the constant lightning strikes that flash with terrifying frequency. Flying is difficult, with only starships able to navigate the storms safely, and even then, most choose to fly over the clouds rather than through them.

The majority of Shimrinsara's surface is covered in stormy oceans with towering, erratic waves. Ocean-faring shimreens travel by submarine, rather than ship or hovercraft, and don't tarry long. To shimreens, the ocean is a mystery they have little desire to plumb, leaving Shimrinsara's waterways as the domain of corovites.

Dense jungles occupy most of Shimrinsara's land. Thick-trunked trees weather the gusts and rain, with most flora resistant to electricity in some way. Some plants even reproduce by growing short-lived shoots high above the canopy to act as lightning rods, delivering high bursts of energy essential to those plants creating or dispersing seeds. Elsewhere lie vast, vitrified plains—deserts in a time long forgotten, presumably transformed by innumerable lightning blasts into a jagged glass wasteland.

Volcanoes are rare but powerful and active. Most stand near one of the seven shimreen cities and are considered holy sites due to their role in the shimreen life cycle. However, the volcanoes are also home to lava-dwelling ceractals, cunning beasts that devour shimreens and grow more powerful with each soul consumed.

Shimrinsara boasts extensive subterranean cave systems within which reside the uldroons: intelligent hunters shimreens have warred with since prehistory, when shimreens sought shelter underground. The caves are hot, humid, and often flooded with nutrient-rich runoff that feeds massive fungi and a host of grazers.

Seven luminous crystal domes offer the only refuge from Shimrinsara's weather, each containing a shimreen city-state and designed to harness the storm's power and protect its residents from the dangerous creatures and elementals that roam the planet. Collectively known as the Jewels of Shimreen, these cities—Baruve, Elindom, Haidarus, Irridus, Kaniqlu, Tormalyx, and Zaniir—are part of the united, planetwide shimreen nation. The capital, Kaniqlu, stands near two holy sites: Pharasma's Forge and Sunspot, the only known location where storms never reach and the sky is always visible. Today, Sunspot serves as a safe landing zone for interstellar travelers and as a launch point for the airships, starships, and jungle convoys that travel between the seven cities.

Thanks to the advent of Drift travel, Shimrinsara is a part of the wider galactic community, but few shimreens desire to leave their home planet permanently. Most who leave do so to trade, learn, or explore. All who hope to reproduce must eventually return home, as the lava of other worlds seems incapable of creating shimreens.

Society and Alignment

Shimreens are a logical, orderly people, and their society is both rigid and highly stratified. Citizens are primarily divided into two castes: warriors and workers, with warriors consisting of soldiers, Spectrum Guards, and the Ordered as well as athletes, hunters, and explorers of all kinds. Workers are more diversified, including everything from artisans, engineers, miners, and scientists to doctors, educators, musicians, and politicians. Many shimreens worship Pharasma as a deity of cycles whose blessings are necessary to create offspring.

Resources are plentiful and easily acquired, thus most shimreens have plenty of time to devote to their education, trades, careers, and hobbies. Fashion, music, and sports are among the most popular pastimes, and engineering and the physical sciences the most popular trades. Cosmeticians etch or paint patterns into shimreen exteriors, DJs direct complex tonal symphonies designed to resonate with as many shimreens as possible, and athletes compete in all manner of organized sports and daredevil antics, from lance duels and free climbing lightning rods to electrifying games of blazerball and edderet. Shimreen engineers are known for their solid and reliable constructions—a necessity due to their weight—and the phrase “built for a shimreen” has become synonymous with nigh indestructibility throughout the galaxy.


Shimrinsara is governed by the Spectrum Council, an elected body consisting of one representative from each of the seven shimreen cities. From the capital of Kaniqlu, these leaders manage matters of planetwide significance, including budgeting, laws, taxes, and interplanetary affairs. The Spectrum Council is served by the Council Guard and a few dozen bureaucrats, officiaries, and lawyers collectively called the Heptad Ministry. Candidates run in pairs, with one becoming a Spectrum Councilor and the other becoming the associated city's Facet Councilor—the equivalent of a mayor.

Shimrinsara's seven domed cities—the Jewels of Shimreen—are presented as idyllic city-states with little violent crime and no war. This is largely thanks to the Ordered, local law enforcement who quickly adjudicate disputes, arrest lawbreakers, and investigate crimes. However, shimreens consider imprisonment wasteful, so criminals instead undergo “realignment,” a lengthy process of surgically modifying the criminal's neural matrix to erase dangerous habits. Even though the populace at large accepts or politely ignores this brainwashing, many privately consider it immoral. The more shimreens explore the galaxy and study other cultures, the greater the opposition becomes. However, the threat of exile to the planet's unforgiving wilderness has silenced most dissent—so far.


Traditional shimreen stories indicate the first shimreen was kissed by lightning, rising out of the earth and into sapience, and their spark was passed down through the generations. Although most scholars consider these tales more fanciful than fact, archaeologists have confirmed that early shimreens lived underground. Evidence from these prehistorical days indicate shimreens were hunted by—or perhaps at war with—uldroons, intelligent beings who seep shadows from their bodies much like shimreens radiate light. Although there's little evidence of these encounters in shimreen oral traditions, tales of monstrous uldroons stalking wayward shimreens are common children's tales and ghost stories, with uldroons seeking to snuff or absorb the light of shimreens.

The 8th City

Despite their prosperity and peace, not all is well in Shimrinsara. Lusterless shimreen are ostracized and shunned, socially forced to the fringes of the dome cities alongside dissidents and the oft-realigned. An addictive sonic drug that triggers a user's tonal resonance is making its way through Kaniqlu under the street name “vibrato,” and a three-block radius on the fringes of Irridus is shrouded by perpetual gloom that blots out even the brightest shimreen's glow. Dubbed the Pall, this gloom is rumored to be the work of uldroons.

Outside earshot of the Ordered, citizens whisper of a fabled “8th City,” where the foulest criminals and most rebellious anarchists mingle amid lusterless and unrepentant shimreens who escaped reeducation. Although talk of the 8th City favors tumultuous narratives with insurrectionists, gangs, and warlords, there's also speculation that the 8th City is some hidden utopia beyond the Spectrum Council's meddling. Whatever the case, reliable information about the secret metropolis is hard to come by, and most believe it little more than a fable.


When a shimreen is birthed in Pharasma's Forge, each shimreen who donated a portion of their body to that shimreen's creation also contributes a portion of their name. Usually a single syllable long, these name fragments are shuffled and combined into a new name for the shimreen, which is both unique and signifies their lineage and familial affiliation. In instances where a single individual contributes all the crystal components to the birth of a new shimreen, the individual typically provides numerous fragments of their name, in addition to unused name fragments from their parents. As a result, shimreen names are long, with most varying in length from four to six syllables, and many running longer.

Shimreens traditionally have only one name; however, shimreens visiting other cities or worlds often adopt their origin city as a temporary last name, to be shed when they return home.

Sample Names

Asharin, Fractarial, Imrasara, Miacrysimia, Prisalasim, Qivalaceid, Shionvawei, Telfarashel, Ulashanopar.

Vital Stats

Average Height 6-1/2 to 7-1/2 ft.
Average Weight 550 to 800 lbs.
Age of Maturity 25 years
Maximum Age 200+2d% years years