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Chapter 3: Races

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 40
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.

The following section introduces the core races of Starfinder— seven species so common within the Pact Worlds as to be ubiquitous (or at least recognized) throughout the solar system. A number of slightly less common races native to the Pact Worlds system, such as elves and dwarves, can be found starting on page 506, and even more potential races can be found in the Starfinder Alien Archive. Remember that these are only the races most common within the Pact Worlds—the system also contains many civilized but less prominent races, and when it comes to races from beyond the Pact Worlds, anything goes!

Picking your race is one of the biggest choices in character creation, as once it’s made, it can’t be changed. In addition to its cultural flavor, each race comes with a set number of Hit Points that you get at 1st level, plus several other racial traits that modify your statistics or grant you additional abilities. The ability score modifiers are the most significant of these. These bonuses and penalties apply during the generation of your ability scores (see page 18), and reflect your race’s natural aptitudes and disadvantages, such as vesk being stronger on average than the other races and ysoki being weaker. If you already know what class you want to play, it’s often a good idea to compare its key ability score (see page 19) to the ability score modifiers granted by the respective races when selecting your race, so you don’t accidentally end up with your racial adjustments to your ability scores making it difficult to play the type of character you want. Some races’ ability bonuses make them a perfect fit for certain classes, such as the vesk’s bonuses to Strength and Constitution, which make them natural soldiers. However, don’t be afraid to play against type if the idea excites you—every race presented here has members of every class within its society.


Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 40
The myriad peoples of the Pact Worlds speak a wide variety of languages, from the system-wide trade tongue called Common to obscure alien dialects and ancient languages from other planes of reality. Many worlds have a shared planetary language, most races speak a racial tongue, and all of the prevalent languages of the Pact Worlds have both signed versions and written versions (including both visual and tactile writing).

A character begins play speaking and reading Common, her racial tongue (if any), and the language of her home planet (if any). She can also choose a number of bonus languages equal to her Intelligence bonus from the lists below. A character can learn the signed or tactile version of a language she knows, either as a bonus language or by putting a rank in the Culture skill (see page 139). A character who begins play blind automatically knows the tactile versions of any languages she knows; a character who begins play deaf automatically knows the signed versions. An astonishing number of languages are spoken in the Pact Worlds, and not all are understandable or reproducible by other races without complex technology; some of the most commonly spoken tongues in the Pact Worlds are presented below.

Prevalent Languages

Common, the most prevalent trade tongue of the Pact Worlds, is believed to be based on one or more of the old human languages of Golarion. The other most widespread languages spoken in the Pact Worlds (and their typical speakers) include the following.
  • Akitonian (inhabitants of Akiton)
  • Aklo (inhabitants of Aucturn, Dominion of the Black)
  • Brethedan (inhabitants of Bretheda, Liavara, and their moons)
  • Castrovelian, also called Lashunta (lashuntas, inhabitants of Castrovel)
  • Eoxian (inhabitants of Eox)
  • Kasatha (kasathas)
  • Shirren (shirrens)
  • Triaxian (inhabitants of Triaxus)
  • Vercite (inhabitants of Verces)
  • Vesk (vesk, inhabitants of the Veskarium)
  • Ysoki (ysoki)

Other Languages

The following languages are somewhat less common, but they are often encountered by scholars, spellcasters, and those doing business on their speakers’ respective home worlds.
  • Abyssal (demons, chaotic evil outsiders, inhabitants of the Abyss)
  • Aquan (inhabitants of the Plane of Water)
  • Arkanen (inhabitants of Arkanen and Osoro)
  • Auran (inhabitants of the Plane of Air)
  • Azlanti (Azlanti, inhabitants of the Azlanti Star Empire)
  • Celestial (angels, good outsiders, inhabitants of the good-aligned planes)
  • Draconic (dragons, reptilian humanoids, Triaxian dragonkin)
  • Drow (drow, many residents of Apostae)
  • Dwarven (dwarves)
  • Elven (drow, elves, half-elves)
  • Gnome (gnomes)
  • Goblin (bugbears, goblins, hobgoblins)
  • Halfling (halflings)
  • Ignan (inhabitants of the Plane of Fire)
  • Infernal (devils, lawful evil outsiders, inhabitants of Hell)
  • Kalo (kalo, inhabitants of Kalo-Mahoi)
  • Nchaki (inhabitants of Nchak)
  • Orc (orcs, half-orcs)
  • Sarcesian (sarcesians)
  • Shobhad (shobhads)
  • Terran (inhabitants of the Plane of Earth)

Vital Statistics

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 41
Table 3–1 suggests some basic ranges to help you determine your character’s height, weight, and age. While most characters fall somewhere in the middle of the range for their race, some exceptional individuals may be larger or smaller. Gender plays a significant role in the size and shape of some races, yet even for those races, you should feel free to build the character that feels right to you. Environmental factors can also play a role in determining your character’s size and shape—a character from a low-gravity environment is likely taller and thinner than average, while one raised on a high-gravity world might be shorter and more muscular due to the stresses placed on his body.

The age of maturity listed on the chart represents the age at which a member of a race is likely to be considered an adult. It is a generalization based on physical and cultural factors— individual cultures may vary. The maximum age listed includes an element of randomness to reflect the capriciousness of death, and it is the assumption for the race’s longevity without magical or technological intervention—with the right life-extension technology, individuals of all races can become nearly immortal.

In addition, most of the races presented here are Medium (see page 255); they have a space and reach of 5 feet and a land speed of 30 feet per round. While the ysoki are Small (see page 255), their space, reach, and land speed are those of Medium creatures.

Reading the Race Entries

Source Starfinder Core Rulebook pg. 41
The following pages explain the rules for the core races and describe how they fit into the Starfinder setting, but a few key elements deserve further explanation.

Ability Adjustments: These are race-based adjustments to ability scores implemented during character creation (see page 18). For instance, the ability adjustment for androids is +2 to Dexterity and Intelligence respectively, but –2 to Charisma.

Hit Points: These are the additional Hit Points you get from your race at 1st level. See page 22 for more information.

Racial Traits: The first page of each race lists the special abilities you get when playing a character of this race. You automatically get all of these—you don’t have to pick and choose.

Playing the Race: These notes offer a starting place for how you, as a character of this race, might interact with the world. Note that, as with other cultural details presented in the race entry, these are just suggestions based on a typical member of your race. Personalities vary, and your character might diverge wildly from the suggestions, especially if she was raised in a different culture or under unusual circumstances.