Archives of Nethys

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Custom Species Builder

An Example Species

Source Interstellar Species pg. 47
As an example, let’s build a species together. We’ll let the randomness of the dice determine many attributes, but even so, we’ll have plenty of interesting choices to make.
Let’s start with a home world. While we could repurpose a world from the Starfinder setting, for now let’s just look at Table 2–7: Biomes and say we want a forest world dotted with magical volcanoes. We don’t need much more than that to get started! Looking at the questions in the home world section, we decide our species treats the environment with care and harvests a unique magical obsidian formed by the volcanoes, available only on this world.
Now let’s get a sense of what our species looks like using the physiology step. Time to let the dice decide! First, we roll on the creature type table and get a 5, so our creature type is fey. Fey can look like almost anything, but it tells us we have a strong connection to some aspect of nature—let’s say those magical volcanoes! Perhaps our species was born of the volcanoes themselves. Now let’s roll on Table 2–3 for our body shape and exterior. We get a 1 and a 3, so our species has a tall body shape and is covered in feathers—perhaps they’re birdlike and glide on the hot air generated by the volcanoes. We’ll roll for our number of locomotion limbs (getting a 2, for 2 limbs), but let’s just pick wings as the limb type to match our concept. For our manipulation limbs, we’ll choose two limbs for symmetry and then roll a 5, giving us insectile limbs.
Let’s move on to our species’ culture. We might envision them as relatively solitary, at least in adulthood, each charged with the cultivation, protection, and harvesting of a single volcano. Their culture might value tradition, individualism, and liberty. It seems like we have a focus on magic and possibly religion, though there’s probably the presence of at least some technology, in that we want them to harvest magical obsidian.
Alright, let’s explore mechanics! First, let’s select fire resistance for our volcano-centric species. That’s one combat ability, so let’s roll for the other one. We get a 13 for alerting presence. Let’s say this ability comes from our species’ innate sense of when a volcanic eruption is imminent, upon which they issue a warning call to creatures in the area. For our noncombat ability, let’s pick spellcasting and give our species the ability to cast life bubble once per day and detect magic and psychokinetic hand at will—all handy for a species adapted to a dangerous magical environment.
Let’s finish with some details. We’ll call our species olca (who speak the Olca language, but not Common) and decide they’re relatively uncommon in the galaxy, mostly content to remain on their home world and trade with visitors.