Starfinder – Player Races: Shirren, Gnome and Maraquoi

Heyo welcome back to Voracious Gamer, I’m on a Starfinder thing these days, let’s keep on keeping on with the learning and such. There’s just so much to wrap your head around in an RPG, the possibilities and stories it’s all too good. I just started running a group and I’m getting a second one kicked up now too. Rather the methodically pour through the book with these articles like I planned to do I’m going to switch it up and write about the things applicable to my homebrew Starfinder games and a Phrenic Adept Scholar Marqoui Mechanic.

The Shirren! A new standard race from the core book. The Shirren ability modifiers are +2 Con, +2 Wis and -2 Cha (because they’re bugs ha), the start with 6HP. The Shirren used to be part of a hive mind kind of thing, individualism to them is an addiction, they do their own thing while still maintaining a close-knit community. Ohh, they’re telepaths too. With a medium build these guys are humanoid with dragonfly looking heads. They’ve got Blindsense (vibration) – so they ignore stealth bonuses from visual camo and invisibility when making a perception check. Any foe that can’t be seen still has total concealment (50% miss chance). Once per day a Shirren can reroll a single attack roll or skill check and take the highest result if within 10 feet of an ally due to the Shirren’s communal nature. As far as their telepathy they can communicate within 30 feet with folks they share a language with.

They’ve got a little blurb on ‘play a Shirren if’ let’s run through that. Shirren Cherish independence and like to help their group but they don’t like coercion and entrapment. They hate violence and act as a voice of reason, compassion and community in conflict. They enjoy simple mundane choices that establish individuality and are fascinated by religion and see your choice of god as a reflection of your personality. Other races find Shirren telepathy and mandibles a little unsettling, they appreciate Shirren bravery, logic and diplomacy, they don’t understand delight over small choices or the Shirren definition of freedom. Some also worry Shirren may return to the hive mind style of predatory living.

They’ve got chitinous exoskeletons and extra limbs on their thorax called ‘mating arms’ (*shiver*) they aren’t used for regular activities. Shirren have three sexes: male, female and host. Host incubate the fertilized Shirren egg. In some communities, a single host queen incubates for many partners and is considered the true parent and other communities roll with three partner marriages. Shirren young are little worm larva things for the first two years and often carried about in protective containers to see the world. Not even the Shirren themselves know where the original Shirren hive came from. A large contingent of the self-aware Shirren that broke free contacted the pact worlds before establishing a major Shirren colony on Verces’ Fulbright region. Some Shirren become option junkies in that they get blissed out on sequences of trivial decisions, lol freedom of choice is very important to these guys. They do still foster teamwork and community with a penchant for the greater good.

Shirren are generally agreeable with all other species, even the ones that fear or dislike Shirren. They especially like communal species with zest for life like the Ysoki. The Shirren are less inclined towards violence so many signs on to crews or militaries as ambassadorial or medical roles. They maintain they’re voice of reason but are not to be under estimated when fighting for something they believe in.
The Shirren in my group has quite a backstory and it’s still filling out as we start playing!

Let’s move to the next player race in my game right now. The Gnomes! They’ve got the following ability adjustments +2 Con, -2 Str with 4 HP, they are small humanoids with the gnome subtype. They get a +2 racial bonus to culture checks for being curious little blokes. There are two types of gnome that we’ll define shortly. The feychild get +2 Cha while the Bleachling receive +2 Int. Gnomes get a +2 racial bonus when making saves against effects of fear and desperation. Once per day a gnome can re-roll these checks if they get a 1. Gnomes have a +2 racial bonus in saving throws against illusion spells and effects. They also have some innate Gnome Magic granting them 1/day-dancing lights, ghost sound and token spell, they cast these at a caster level equal to their character level.

The gnomes are from the first world. Today they’re split into two major groups the feychildren who are like the gnomes of fantasy settings, all peppy and brightly colored. But there are also the bleachlings who are survivors of a plague that happened a while back called the bleaching. These gnomes have pale monochromatic features and a kind of dour attitude. The bleachlings will eventually be the only type of gnome as feychildren are still susceptible to the bleaching. Gnomes feed on mental stimulation, the feychildren search for novelty via physical situations where the bleachlings often find their novelty in intellectual pursuits. Most gnomes pursue their passion alone rather than establish long lasting social structures among themselves or other groups.

Gnomes find it hard to relate to other races as their humor and thought processes can seem wildly bizarre. Because of this many Gnomes don’t expect to be understood or bother explaining themselves which ever widens the gap between them and others. They get along best with humans and Ysoki, finding Kasatha and Vesk too stodgy. They’re very common on Absalom Station and Castrovel as well. Their curiosity keeps them traveling and spreading through the stars. They’re the only race allowed freely into Sovyruan Elves territory due to long forgotten pre-gap agreement. Gnomes are 3 to 3.5 feet tall, about 40 pounds and they live up to 500 years! The Gnome in my party is a Bleachling Technomancer prepping to be power armored if I’m not mistaken!

The third and final player in my group is the Maraquoi Mechanic! Maraquoi is a race from the Alien Archive as far as ability adjustments players get +2 Con, +2 Wis and -2 Dex along with 5 HP for playing as Maraquoi. They’re medium humanoids with the Maraquoi subtype. They have Blindsense(sound), sensing the sound through their skin within 30feet. They have a natural climb speed of 20ft as well as low light vision, they can see twice as far as humans in conditions of dim light. Maraquoi are natural hunters and get a +2 racial bonus on survival checks. They’ve got a prehensile tail! It’s effective as a hand and allows them to wield three hands worth of equipment.

They are the primary race of Marata, one of Brethada’s moons in the pact worlds. Until recently their culture was primitive but rapid technological advancements have been made in the last several decades. The stand a bit taller than humans and are covered in silky fur that acts as thousands of miniature antennae transmitting sound to the Maraquoi’s sensitive skin. Fun fact, Maraquoi have seven sexes and the reproduction or whatever is tied into their family and ancestral appreciation. Three of the sexes ilsha, qsha and susha (earth-sire, sky-sire, water-sire) contribute genetic material to the uisha (sharer). The Uisha passes the fetal Maraquoi on to a klsha (bearer) who carries the child to term. Once born the infant is passed to a mesh (cradle) who carries the child in a marsupial like pouch. The seventh sex the zysha (facilitator) doesn’t do anything physical but their presence and oversight still passes genetic material to the offspring. Maraquoi are quite perplexed or amused by the pact worlds ideas of monogamy.

Because of the complex structure of their reproduction life is valued above all as the loss of a few members of a community could limit their offspring severely. Many Maraquoi have turned to merc work and this has split the community, some see it okay if they don’t kill other Maraquoi while others see it as abandoning their virtue and exploiting their ancestors. Most mercenaries still maintain aspects of this traditionalism doing things like holding rituals to recognize fallen foes or friends after battles and such. Some Maraquoi still live in tribal communities on cliffsides or deep in the forests while other groups have sought after industrialization and are pushing towards the stars. These communities have been violating the communal agreements and mining Marata for its precious resources.

For my homebrew campaign, we’re playing in a system of my creation called the Halcyon System many systems away from the pact worlds. There is a planter there called Maraq that one contingent of Maraquoi inhabited decades ago and have since taken to full on industrialization. The Mechanic in my group is from this planet and may or may not have something to do with a crater on the planet so large you can see it from orbit!

Looking forward to running more games to learn about the myriad of other possible player character races, there really are a ton if you include supplements now. I’m planning to spend some time on each class my players selected next to come to grips with what they can do now and will be able to do later. Next time we’ll dive into the mechanic core class!