Archives of Nethys

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Custom Species Builder / Mechanics

Size, Speed, and Senses

Source Interstellar Species pg. 42
Most creatures are Medium size, though your species can also be Small or Large. Making a species smaller than Small requires further considerations about how they might interact with a galaxy built for larger creatures, and mechanically Tiny characters usually have 0-foot reach that makes combat difficult. On the other hand, Huge and larger playable species become difficult to incorporate with most parties and adventures; many areas just aren’t big enough to accommodate them! If you create a Large species, their default reach is 5 feet (like that of most Medium creatures), but you might give them a 10-foot reach.
The default land speed is 30 feet. A species can have a single additional movement speed, but consider the physiological source of that speed and the environmental pressures that would’ve shaped its evolution. Choose from the following list: burrow 20 feet, climb 20 feet, fly 20 feet (average or clumsy maneuverability), or swim 30 feet. You might also reduce the species’ land speed by 10 feet to increase the additional movement speed by 10 feet.
Default vision is explained on page 260 of the Core Rulebook. A species can also have low-light vision as well as either blindsense (emotion, life, scent, sound, thought, or vibration) with a range of 30 feet or darkvision with a range of 60 feet. Again, consider its physiological source and evolutionary reason for existing. You can instead give your species both the sightless universal creature rule and blindsight (emotion, life, scent, sound, thought, or vibration) with a range of 60 feet.
Finally, consider how many abilities above you granted your species. If your species has powerful extra senses, an additional movement type, and other perks so far, it might be best to pick one less regular combat or noncombat ability to keep the power level roughly in line with other playable species.