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. 114
Ryphorians are trimorphic humanoids with variant physical characteristics depending on the season of their birth. Magic and technology allow present day ryphorians to transcend the seasonal cycle, though old stereotypes surrounding summerborn and winterborn individuals endure, as does the mystery surrounding the rare transitional ryphorians born between winter and summer. Ryphorians evolved on their home world, Triaxus, but can live anywhere in the galaxy. Their Skyfire Legionnaires soared among the stars before the Gap, and many ryphorians still become pilots or warriors alongside their bonded dragonkin partners.

Ability Modifiers +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Str
Hit Points 4

Size and Type

Ryphorians are Medium humanoids with the ryphorian subtype.

Bonus Feat

Ryphorians gain a bonus feat at 1st level.

Keen Senses

Ryphorians’ distinctive ears help them hear precisely, granting a +2 bonus to Perception checks.

Low-Light Vision

Ryphorians can see in dim light as if it were normal light.


Summerborn ryphorians gain fire resistance 5. Winterborn ryphorians gain cold resistance 5. Transitional ryphorians gain cold and fire resistance 2, and when in conditions of severe cold or heat, they have to attempt Fortitude saves only once per hour instead of once every 10 minutes. A ryphorian can stack this natural resistance with one other form of resistance.

About the Ryphorian

Physical Description

Due to the generations-long seasons on Triaxus, ryphorian biology differs depending on the season in which they're born. They're separated into three categories: winterborns, summerborns, and transitionals, who often appear as a combination of the two primary forms. Ryphorians have long, pointed ears with feathered edges that give them exceptionally good hearing and particularly large canine teeth that can protrude from their mouths like fangs when they smile. In general, ryphorians have long arms and legs that struggle to retain noticeable muscle mass, though despite their lithe appearances, the harsh environment of their home planet means most have developed sturdy forms and overflowing stamina.

The current season on Triaxus is winter, so the vast majority of ryphorians are winterborns. They have pale skin, narrow eyes to protect from snow blindness, and their skin is covered in a light fur to help protect against subzero temperatures. Winterborn ryphorians have no difficulty growing full heads of long hair even into old age, though winterborn hair color is almost always a shade of blonde, silver, or white. It's trendy for winterborns to dye their hair with bright fashion colors as a show of originality. Winterborns who form bonds with dragonkin partners often dye their hair and fur to match their partner's scale color.

Modern technological advancements and magical discoveries allow ryphorians of any type to survive the seasons in relative comfort. Though all are born with a form matching the current season, many choose to convert to summerborn. Summerborns have hairless bodies, dark skin tones, and wide, dark eyes to protect them from the harsh and constant rays of the sun. Many summerborns favor colorful and intricate tattoos, sometimes completely covering their skin. Summerborns bonded to dragonkin often get matching tattoos in solidarity with their partners.

Transitional ryphorians are only born during the short periods between seasons, when temperatures and weather are unpredictable. Converting to a transitional form is possible, though few choose this path. Unfortunately, the ancient anxiety surrounding the harbingers of a seasonal change still plagues today's transitional ryphorians. Outsiders, artists, and freethinkers are more likely to seek this transformation. Charlatans and manipulators sometimes take advantage of the third form's mystique, claiming to be powerful mystics or prophets because of their transitional appearance. Transitional ryphorians often display a combination of summerborn and winterborn traits, such as brown skin and patches of fur. Transitionals also have unusual characteristics, markings, and fur coloration; these features are a deformity to some and rare beauty to others.

Home World

Much of ryphorian biology revolves around their centuries of evolution on the planet Triaxus, the seventh planet from the Pact Worlds' sun. Triaxus is defined entirely by extremes: frigid winters, scorching summers, and intense tectonic and volcanic activity. In winter, it's a frozen landscape marred with icy rivers, endless snow, and temperatures that rarely rise above freezing. Summer is a time of extreme overgrowth, deadly wildfires and droughts, and sweltering heat. The ephemeral springs and falls in between don't last long enough for even a single generation to begin and end. The planet is peppered with active glaciers and volcanoes, making the environment even more dangerous and unpredictable.

Ryphorians share this planet with dragonkin, massive 10 to 15 feet tall humanoid dragons that have had an alliance with the ryphorians since before the Gap. True dragons also inhabit Triaxus, often occupying positions of power. In ancient times, chromatic dragons warred with each other using ryphorians as pawns or even to attack the free Allied Territories. Today, ryphorian and dragon relations remain shaky thanks to their shared history.

Most ryphorians live in the eastern portion of Triaxus's massive northern continent. They refer to their lands as the Allied Territories, named for its status as a collection of allied nations and city-states with their own respective governmental structures. Their alliance is held together by a council elected from each of the territories, which meets to decide political and trade issues between the independent territories. Despite the frequent disagreements and disorganized council structure, the Allied Territories work together when necessary, presenting a united front to any potential enemies.

In the opposite hemisphere, the Drakelands are primarily inhabited by dragons. The central land bridge connecting these two continents, called the Skyfire Mandate, is independently controlled by Skyfire Legion mercenaries. The southern island continent of Ning is the birthplace of the battleflowers and continues to be ruled by the Immortal Suzerain and their five-person Council of Wisdom. While it's also home to many ryphorians, Ning's mercantile culture completely differs from the mainland. Its 14 mercantile groups are governed by an oligarchy following ancient traditions and practices that seem incomprehensible.

Society and Alignment

With the political structure of the Allied Territories being so varied, ryphorian faiths and political views can be difficult to follow, and the societal structure can greatly differ from place to place. Nevertheless, some cultural norms exist among an overwhelming majority of ryphorian settlements.

Ryphorians tend to prefer communal living spaces. With the cultural acceptance of the ryphorian-dragonkin bond, bonded partners often live together alongside one another's domestic and romantic partners, children, and immediate family. Most housing in the Allied Territories is built to accommodate these large and complex family lives. Ryphorians who aren't bonded or lack steady romantic partners often live with several roommates, or alongside extended family, in apartments or houses with numerous bedrooms.

When the workday ends, these households—often called “domestic alliances”—enjoy activities together, such as gaming, watching and commenting on vid programs, or discussing the day's events. Outside the home, many residents enjoy the spas and hot springs made possible by the planet's volcanic activity. Most of these spas open in the afternoon and catch much of their business in the evening, with large reservations for ryphorians and dragonkin friends sharing a relaxing post-work soak. During the summer, these spots stay open much later so parties can enjoy outdoor springs in slightly cooler temperatures. Indoor holo entertainment parlors are also common, utilizing the easiest and safest way to escape from the harsh Triaxian climate, even if only for a few hours at a time.

Many ryphorians from the Allied Territories feel comfortable in groups and experience anxiety when forced to be alone for long periods of time. Communal living vidstreams are popular with ryphorians traveling outside the Territories. The streams simulate group meals, bathing, and gaming to combat the sense of profound isolation caused by cramped one-person apartments and ship quarters.

Neighborly Connections

Dragonkin and ryphorians shared bonds and integrated their cultures long before the Gap. All territories that belong to ryphorians belong just as much to the dragonkin who live among them. Since the two groups are so strongly integrated, council members and emissaries from the Allied Territories can be of either species. Sometimes, chosen delegates serve alongside their bonded partners and are treated as a single council seat.

Typical Triaxian architecture reflects this connection. Most buildings are designed to accommodate creatures of different sizes, with adjustable furniture, ramps, and steps of different heights being commonplace. Despite their status as a minority population in the Allied Territories, dragonkin are considered equal citizens, and their partner bonds are legally protected, imbuing partners with next-of-kin status and power of attorney. Implying any connection between dragonkin and the true dragons of the Drakelands is considered gauche and likely to start an argument in the Allied Territories.

Though the peoples of the Allied Territories and the Drakelands are no longer at war, old prejudices and rivalries toward dragons still live in the hearts of many ryphorians. The Skyfire Legion in particular distrusts the draconic inhabitants of the Drakelands. Today, the real war happens in business and political spheres. Dragon-owned corporations and ryphorian companies routinely commit corporate espionage against one another and compete in similar markets. The Drakelands and Allied Territories maintain separate governments with icy relations and begrudging cooperation at best. Ancient laws and crushing bureaucracy bog down draconic politics, which are rife with extravagant decor, elaborate ceremony, and excessive posturing. Outsiders employ draconic cultural experts, mostly ryphorian academics who have undertaken rigorous sociological and linguistic study.

Despite the hostility between the two cultures, they've continuously influenced one another over the millennia. Today, draconic and ryphorian fashions and technology move in predictable cycles thanks to parallel development and appropriation. Many Draconic loan words are used in the common ryphorian language, including a term specific to dragons used to denote periods of time that last generations for shorter-lived beings. This word was first borrowed and adapted to refer to the length of a Triaxian season and is now a fixture in daily ryphorian vocabulary. Battlefield maneuvers are often named using a Draconic patois, and medical terminology has roots in the dragons' tongue.

Many offworld settlers face an uphill battle when it comes to living on Triaxus. The harsh climate and the varied political structures can make it difficult to acclimate. However, most ryphorians are welcoming to offworlders and put in the effort to help visitors feel comfortable in their societies. Their communal and multicultural lives make them willing to listen to the concerns of other species living among them. Even elves who live on Triaxus tend to eschew their typical isolation to live among bustling ryphorian family structures and become romantically involved with ryphorians. The children born of intercultural romances are quickly accepted by their ryphorian families and often become skilled diplomats or planetary guides due to an early grasp of the interactions between multiple cultures.


Planetary Guides

Since ryphorian politics and society is so intertwined with their complicated family and household structures, numerous disconnected member states, and the cultural interactions with dragons and dragonkin, most tourists and business travelers hire planetary guides. These guides are well-educated and trained to deal with people from the Drakelands, other parts of the Pact Worlds, and beyond. Guides are respected by their communities, and the profession is quite lucrative, especially for those hired by high-profile clients. The job training is difficult, and the work is sometimes dangerous, but the prestige and cultural necessity for guide keeps many motivated to enter the profession. Planetary guides operate at a strange intersection of academia, performance theater, and politics.

Every planetary guide must be trained in over a dozen different ryphorian cultural laws and customs as well as draconic laws and procedures for interactions in the Drakelands and Skyfire Mandate. They must be outgoing and resourceful with the ability to speak confidently in front of crowds and the discipline to keep client secrets. Universities on Triaxus offer a specific field of study to educate certified planetary guides, which combines international politics, linguistics, and economic studies with military-style combat and environmental training. The tiered course catalog increases in difficulty each semester, with most students completing their initial degree in 5 to 8 years.

As a rule, foreign diplomats and business executives hire elite planetary guides when traveling to Triaxus. For these positions, the pay is high, and the risks are higher. Certain guides are sought after for their ability to detect and take down threats before the client's bodyguards can even react. The militant aspect of guide training also helps protect tourists, particularly those surveying the unforgiving Triaxian wilderness or visiting volatile areas. Even from the safety of vehicles and snow lodges, the environment and fauna of the planet can be fatal to those untrained to handle it.

Yet, despite their training, occasional accidents result in the death of planetary guides. In these cases, Allied Territories governments offer significant restitution to any kin the guides leave behind. An investigation always occurs after the death of a planetary guide to determine if the death was an accident or the fault of a client. If any clients are found responsible, either through carelessness and not following guidelines for tourists or through failure of a high-profile client to provide proper protection against their rivals, those responsible are forced to pay further restitution to the fallen guide's kin. In the most extreme circumstances, the client might be forced to return home with their right to visit Triaxus in the future suspended or even revoked.


The Ryphorian language shares many similarities with the Draconic language, sharing phonemes, root words, and even idioms. With this influence, ryphorian names tend toward containing a lot of the same harsh sounds found in Draconic ones but with less syllables. Most ryphorian names are no more than three syllables long, making it easier to remember and distinguish many names within friend and family groups.

Ryphorian last names can be inherited from parents but are more often gifted to children by a close friend within their parents' circle. They follow the same trends as ryphorian first names and are often repurposed first names passed onto a member of the extended family. Being offered the chance to gift a last name to a friend's child is considered a high honor and proof of an extremely close friendship.

Sample Names

Atioka, Chezhek, Emex, Jaxek, Kaxani, Raysel, Renn, Syzon, Tyrax, Xalke, and Ziratyk.

Vital Stats

Average Height 5–7 ft.
Average Weight 100–200 lbs.
Age of Maturity 18 years
Maximum Age 80+2d20 years