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. 80
Kalos resemble humans covered in tiny scales with bulbous glowing eyes and large fins running down their flanks to connect their arms and legs. They evolved close to the seafloor of the icy Brethedan moon Kalo-Mahoi, clustering around the moon's life-giving geothermal vents. Since the adaptation of Drift travel, kalos have built their cities into fabulous spectacles as a way of welcoming other species to their home. Those kalos who travel abroad often thrive as artists or as mercenaries specialized in underwater and zero-g combat.

Ability Modifiers +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Con
Hit Points 2

Size and Type

Kalos are Medium monstrous humanoids with the aquatic subtype, meaning they require water to breathe.

Cold Resistance

Kalos are used to swimming in icy water and have cold resistance 5.

Kalo Movement

Kalos have a base speed of 20 feet and a swim speed of 30 feet.

Kalo Vision

Kalos’ innate sonar grants them blindsight (sound) 60 ft., while their specialized eyes grant them low-light vision.

Stealthy Swimmers

Kalos gain a +4 bonus to Stealth checks when in water.

Water Breathing

Kalos have the water breathing universal creature rule.

About the Kalo

Physical Description

Kalos evolved for life in the deep ocean where sunlight doesn't reach. They can't naturally breathe air, so they require breathing apparatus or body augmentation to explore outside of water. Only small pockets of water closest to Kalo-Mahoi's glowing seafloor vents are warm, so kalos developed a hardy resistance to the prevalent, near-freezing water that comprise most of their habitat to travel from geothermal oasis to oasis. Away from the vents and surface, there's also no light, forcing kalos to rely on their innate sonar to hunt and navigate, which is roughly as sharp as a human's sight out to several dozen feet. Kalo scales tend toward shades of blue or green, though pale pink coloration can also appear.
The long, winglike fins that connect kalos' arms and legs are thin enough to be translucent, and their undulating movement helps kalos glide silently through the water while hunting. Kalo eyes are large and able to move and focus independently to sense predators and prey alike. Each eye also possesses a faint and independently controlled form of bioluminescence that kalos use to visually signal each other.
The lower half of a kalo's face is covered by sensory tendrils, and they have large mouths full of small, needlelike teeth. These tendrils might resemble beards in the eyes of hair-growing species, but having long and healthy tendrils is generally an attractive quality for kalos of any gender. Each kalo also has a unique array of decorative spines, which are generally viewed as a human might view hair, running from their forehead down the center ridge of their skull.
Kalos on average range from five to six feet tall and generally weigh less than humans of the same size, averaging around 100 pounds. This stems in part from kalos' mostly cartilaginous skeletons and relatively lean frames. Their physiology makes kalos slightly frailer than humans, and they tend to tire quickly on land, where their fins—developed for gliding on deep ocean currents to conserve energy—don't assist mobility. Water isn't just important for support and locomotion; their gills can't breathe air, so kalos typically wear fluid-filled helmets, respirators, or environment suits. What's more, kalo scales require periodic immersion in water, and they gradually dry out and flake painfully if not doused.

Home World

Kalos are the only intelligent humanoid species to evolve on Kalo-Mahoi, one of the planet Bretheda's many moons. Kalo- Mahoi lacks any terrestrial landmasses and is instead covered in a thick ice crust. The seemingly lifeless surface conceals a vibrant ocean teeming with life. The flora and fauna are so diverse, in fact, that scholars theorize much of it originated in the First World of the fey and traveled to the Material Plane through one of the many naturally occurring First World portals—called blooms—that open and close at random all over Kalo-Mahoi.
The noteworthy number of linnorms (primordial, serpentine dragons) supports this theory, with linnorms living either in ice caves within the crust or deep within ocean trenches. The linnorms claim an unbroken lineage to Ragadahn the Water Lord, one the fey Eldest. Worship of the self-proclaimed Father of Dragons has featured in kalo society for all recorded history, and ruined cities concealed in the deepest ocean trenches bear his spiral iconography and don't seem to have kalo origins. It's possible that kalos migrated to this moon from the First World's infinite oceans ages ago, carrying with them some ancient obedience to Ragadahn. As a chaotic evil demigod, Ragadahn mostly appeals as a being to be appeased to avert disaster, not as a patron with their worshipper's best interests in mind. His worship is considered edgy yet acceptable, usually framing him as an embodiment of primal power and aquatic mastery.
Kalo-Mahoi tends to be divided into three distinct but interrelated ecosystems: the crust, the photic zone, and the aphotic zone. While life on the moon began in the water, some creatures evolved to live partially or wholly on or in the ice crust to escape marine predators and access light, eventually establishing an entire ecosystem. Compared to the oceans, though, the crust is nutrient poor. Today, various points in the crust support starship landing pads and maintain perpetually open holes in the ice to bridge the oceans and galaxy beyond.
The oceans' photic zone is where light from the Pact Worlds' sun extends, shining most brightly near the equator where the crust is relatively thin. It's characterized by free-floating kelp forests, rolling undersea hills covered in vibrantly blooming seagrasses, and city-sized coral reefs. While the most plentiful in terms of resources, this zone has historically been dominated by massive, sharklike apex predators and lightning-fast, pack-hunting mantas, though the balance of power shifted as kalo society industrialized and developed the technology necessary to settle this zone.
Kalo society originated in the ocean's aphotic zone, where no light from above penetrates, though that isn't to say there's no light at all. Almost every creature that lives in this zone possesses some sort of bioluminescence, from snakelike predators communicating with one another through shifting patterns along their backs to fields of predatory grasses glowing a soft blue to entice prey. For much of their history, kalos lived in the deeps to avoid the larger predators above. The largest light sources in the aphotic zone are geothermal vents, which give off pale light as well as heat. Even though the aphotic zone doesn't receive sunlight, it still averages around the same temperature as the photic zone because of the water heated by the moon's core coming from the vents. These vents serve as oases for life in this zone. Aquatic forests of filter-feeding fronds spring up around vents and provide homes for even stranger creatures.
Over millennia, kalo civilization developed from nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes to an industrialized, unified society. Many vents now support large cities, many of which have large “bubbles” filled with air for terrestrial creatures to reside in. Even though the moon is highly industrialized, pollution isn't a serious concern. Kalo-Mahoi's vents serve as a natural energy source and kalo infrastructure places a large amount of emphasis on waste recycling to keep the oceans clean. Several areas moon-wide are marked off as national parks to maintain the moon's biodiversity, but some activists argue that such efforts aren't enough and petition to scale down some of the moon's industry. The large numbers of fey and water elementals who either can't or won't live by the laws of organized society complicate relations as well. Kalo society does its best to devote certain parts of the moon to their neighbors, but conflicts still arise.

Society and Alignment

In ancient times, kalos lived in small groups near the ocean floor and relied on stealth to evade predators, the greatest of which were mighty linnorms. Many communities swore allegiance to a linnorm and offered it tribute in food, art, and other treasures in exchange for protection. In this way, Ragadahn's faith spread amongst the kalos as they prayed jointly for protection and mercy from him and his fearsome children.
A years-long conflict marked the point that kalos mounted a war against the linnorms to claim the moon's oceans for themselves, pushing the dragons to deep trenches or the ice crust. What followed was relative peace and a long period of invention, growth, and rapid industrialization. Kalo artists and innovators could dedicate their talents for the community rather than linnorm overlords, and they used that freedom to create elaborate architectural testaments to kalo civilization—full of colorful, shining spires and winding streets that were bright beacons against the sunless oceans. This was a message: the kalos weren't afraid to make themselves known. Kalo cities are massive art installations, built with the philosophy that beauty is always just as important as functionality in design. A design is a failure if it can't excel at its function while being aesthetically pleasing.
Today, most kalos live in large cities built near geothermal vents dimly illuminated by phosphorescent life. A smaller portion of the population lives in small towns and villages closer to the water's surface. Many of these towns are industrial installations built to manage a particular factory or trade, not host visitors, so they usually lack widespread air-breathing infrastructure. Kalos that live offworld often find it difficult to integrate with other species unless that species is also aquatic, and they most often form their own watery, close-knit enclaves.
Kalos often view their distant history with a mixture of pain and pride, and they preserve many cultural touchstones of their more warlike past. Many contemporary positions take their titles from archaic roles, such as the sharkhunters and mantariders—today names of elite military units. However, actual Mahoi mantas have long since been replaced by technological vehicles, and mantas themselves have been relegated to pets and beloved cultural icons. Deepspeakers, who once served as fearsome spellcasters and liaisons for their communities' patron linnorms, now function primarily as historians, advisors, and curators of cultural artifacts.

Kalos and Art

Since antiquity, art has had a place of reverence in kalo society. Traditionally, clothing, sculpture, carving, and mosaics were the most common mediums, but ever since kalo cities began maintaining air-filled spaces, kalos have practiced painting and other mediums unfit for underwater life. Artists are by far Kalo-Mahoi's most popular celebrities; the infosphere has allowed artists far greater reach than before. Vidcasts of prominent artists doing their work or reality shows featuring contestants competing to create the best art are popular show genres on the moon. Creative pursuits are a required part of adolescent kalos' education, and it's a well-maintained tradition to give handmade gifts to friends and family for special occasions, though with the rise in consumerism, it has become more common to purchase adequately artful gifts instead. Some traditionalist kalos worry that the ease with which goods can be mass-produced and purchased pollutes the very concepts of art and creativity.
In pre-industrial times, most kalos owned relatively few possessions, so they prioritized objects that expressed their individual identities and tastes. A kalo's treasured possessions often incorporated rare materials, displayed artistic flair, and were designed to last for years, if not lifetimes. Post-Gap Kalo-Mahoi maintains this adoration of personalized, artful goods with a startling variety of kalo-designed equipment that's mechanically identical but available in as many designs as one can imagine. Anyone seeking maximum personal clout sports such custom commissions, and the price for these kalo-made products usually reflects the artisanal premium.
Kalo artists often look to other societies to study their artistic traditions as well. Many kalo adventurers got their start by leaving Kalo-Mahoi to explore new ways of creating. In antiquity, the most renowned kalo warriors were known as much for their prowess in battle as for their artistic genius, such as Huur-Shaala the Spearsinger, whose poems extolling Kalo-Mahoi's natural beauty are still culturally beloved today. A popular practice for kalo adventurers since the adoption of Drift travel is to learn from other cultures and hybridize their art with kalo art. A currently popular trend with origins on a different planet is the variety of vibrant colors inspired by lashunta traditions, where formerly kalo art was more texture-based, given the species' reliance on sonar rather than sight for perception.


Kalo names are often derived from history and culture. Parents are likely to name their child after historical figures, artists, fictional characters in media they enjoy, among other sources. It's also common for parents to alter existing names in some way, such as changing the spelling but keeping the sound the same, as an exercise in creativity and to ensure their child has a name that will stand out.
Traditional kalo names don't often have hard consonant sounds. They favor soft consonants and long vowel sounds. However, with the amount of exposure to other cultures Kalo-Mahoi has, it isn't uncommon to encounter kalos with names following the conventions of other Pact Worlds societies.

Sample Names

Sample Names Some sample kalo names include Ashaal-Vash, Vhaalith, Gothuul, Huur-Shaala, Suulha, Dhaavan, Zaasha, Insuul, Mahaluu, Ollonha, Divhuul-Huur, Saamvhi, Ullaamoth, Thuvhaash, Ruugoth, Vhellhu, Elluveth, Yashuul, Falhuur, Luuvhath.

Vital Stats

Average Height 5–6 ft.
Average Weight 75–125 lbs.
Age of Maturity 18 years
Maximum Age 100+3d10 years