The SFRPG Roleplaying Game is about more than just meeting aliens—it’s also about playing alien characters. In SFRPG, the word "race" usually refers to an intelligent, self-aware 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.
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, 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 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.
The myriad peoples of the civilized 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 civilized 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. 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 civilized worlds, and not all are understandable or reproducible by other races without complex technology; some of the most commonly spoken tongues in the civilized worlds are presented below.
Common, the most prevalent trade tongue of the civilized worlds, is believed to be based on one or more of the old human languages. The other most widespread languages spoken in the civilized worlds (and their typical speakers) include the following.
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)
- Auran (inhabitants of the Plane of Air)
- Celestial (angels, good outsiders, inhabitants of the good-aligned planes)
- Draconic (dragons, reptilian humanoids, dragonkin)
- Drow (drow)
- 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)
- Orc (orcs, half-orcs)
- Terran (inhabitants of the Plane of Earth)
|Race||Avg. Height||Avg. Weight||Age of Maturity||Maximum Age|
|Android||5-7 ft.||100-200 lbs.||0 years||Technically immortal|
|Dwarf||4-4 1/2 ft.||150-200 lbs.||40 years||250+2d100 years|
|Elf||5 1/2-6 1/2 ft.||100 -150 lbs.||100 years||350+4d100 years|
|Gnome||3-3 1/2 ft.||40 lbs.||40 years||200+3d100 years|
|Half-elf||5 1/2-6 1/2 ft.||100-200 lbs.||20 years||125+3d20 years|
|Half-orc||5-7 ft.||130-200 lbs.||14 years||60+2d10 years|
|Halfling||2 1/2-3 1/2 ft.||30 lbs.||20 years||100+5d20 years|
|Human||5-7 ft.||100-300 lbs.||18 years||80+2d20 years|
|Kasatha||6-7 ft.||120-200 lbs.||25 years||100+2d20 years|
|Lashunta||5-7 ft.||140-180 lbs.||20 years||80+2d20 years|
|Shirren||5-6 ft.||100-150 lbs.||5 years||50+1d20 years|
|Vesk||6-8 ft.||200-300 lbs.||16 years||70+1d20 years|
|Ysoki||3-4 ft.||60-100 lbs.||10 years||60+1d20 years|
The table above 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; they have a space and reach of 5 feet and a land speed of 30 feet per round. While the ysoki are Small, their space, reach, and land speed are those of Medium creatures.
Reading the Race Entries
The following pages explain the rules for the core races and describe how they fit into the SFRPG setting, but a few key elements deserve further explanation.
Ability Adjustments: These are race-based adjustments to ability scores implemented during character creation. 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.
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.