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The phalanx are an artificial race of bio-mechanical constructs native to the Aethera system (described in greater detail in the Aethera Campaign Setting from Legendary Games), granted free will by the ancient power locked within aetherite. The phalanx were not built, but rather found dormant in an ancient pre-Collapse vault on Akasaat’s moon, Prima. Their sophisticated bodies were reverse-engineered by Hierarchy scientists, and infused with an aetherite core, and endowed with sentience through powerful occult rituals. The methods that created the phalanx, however, endowed them with more than mere sentience: they each gained a living soul.

Physical Description: Phalanx are highly advanced constructs originally built by the enigmatic Progenitors, a forbearer species that predates the Collapse. While a phalanx is a construct, it possesses a sophisticated series of synthetic organs that process bodily functions similar to a human, save that all phalanx bio-organic function is derived from aetherite. All unmodified phalanx stand at exactly 6 feet tall, and are composed of a steel-and- duranite skeleton that contains their synthetic organs and circulatory system, all encased in a durable armor plating. All phalanx possess identical blue eyes that shine the same color as aetherite. Phalanx do not breathe, eat, drink, or sleep. Rather, they consume units of aetheric power and convert it into fuel.

Although phalanx do not sleep, during long periods of inactivity they are prone to experiencing waking, dreamlike hallucinations that vary from inexplicable sensory input to fully-realized moments in time. These hallucinations are influenced by a phalanx’s current life, and while such experiences may appear to involve contemporary concepts, some believe they may in fact be memories thousands or more years old.

Phalanx use body modification to express themselves, be it stenciled painting on their armored chassis or mechanical modifications that drastically change their outward appearance. This process began during the Century War, where some phalanx were modified for specialized operations. Many phalanx adopted this tradition of modification after the war and made it their own, inspired by the biodiversity of the worlds they visited during the war. A typical phalanx changes their mods over time due to experience, change in personality, or simple shifts in tastes and mood.

All phalanx were originally constructed with gender- neutral frames. Since their liberation following the end of the Century War, some phalanx have chosen to adopt gendered identities, even going as far as having their chassis remodeled to represent humanoid standards of gender.

Society: Nearly all phalanx surviving today are war veterans. While not all phalanx fought on the front lines of the Century War, all served the Hierarchy war effort in some capacity. This shared history as soldiers, and the collective tragedy of their origin and lives, united phalanx in a way that few other races understand.

The phalanx were born, lived, and—in many cases— died at the orders of another. For the entirety of the Century War, the phalanx were considered property of the Hierarchy. However, following the war’s conclusion, the Hierarchy moved to grant independence to all phalanx and cease all production of additional phalanx from the vaults on Prima. Many phalanx, once granted freedom and independence, discovered that the stars held no place they could call their own. With freedom came the struggle to discover what it means for a phalanx to be an individual.

Many phalanx remained with, or quickly returned to, the Hierarchy military after they were granted freedom. Knowing only war for their entire lives, these phalanx found it impossible to adapt to civilian life. Those who did leave the military took up jobs that used the skills they developed as soldiers during the war. A former counterintelligence agent may have become a law enforcement officer on Akasaat or a security chief on a remote asteroid mining colony, while an aethertech mechanic may have become an independent inventor or aethercraft engineer. The vast majority of the phalanx, however, live on the fringes of society. These phalanx put distance between themselves and the civilizations their kind fought for and died fighting against, creating their own customs and beliefs whole cloth.

Even though many phalanx reintegrated into human after the war, the Hierarchy unofficially treats phalanx as second-class citizens. Phalanx, much like infused, must work twice as hard to achieve the same recognition or status a human might. Additionally, as inorganic beings ostensibly created by humanity, they are often the victims of prejudice and discrimination. Senior leadership among the hierarchy actively strive to keep phalanx from obtaining positions of military or political influence and power.

Among their own kind, phalanx communities are typically close-knit, adopting concepts of family within their social circles. Many phalanx communities have regular meetings to discuss societal and cultural advancement and development. Such meetings are often long celebrations of the arts and philosophy, after which the participating phalanx spread newly developed styles of music, paintings, sculptures, and even radical philosophical ideas into their neighboring communities.

Relations: Many phalanx resent humanity for their treatment during the Century War. While phalanx have been given freedom, it is a cold comfort to their creation and enslavement by humanity. Some phalanx try not to allow themselves to be consumed by bitterness at humanity as a whole, realizing that it is the institution of the Hierarchy that shackled them, and that is the injustice they confront, along with humans who recognized the amorality in how the phalanx were treated, yet stood by and did nothing.

The infused are seen by most phalanx as distant kin united by a bond of mutually experienced servitude and suffering. Both races were designed as weapons of war by humanity and neither truly fit into the modern world. Some phalanx experience a form of survivor’s guilt, knowing that the infused are doomed by their unnaturally shortened life-spans. of note, phalanx are the only other species that are capable of joining the infused’s psychic network. This potential relationship often draws infused and phalanx together in complex familial units with diverse social outlooks.

The phalanx often see erahthi as an inspiration, due to their natural physical expression through plant growth and use of symbionts. However, many phalanx struggle against an underlying guilt with respect to the erahthi due to their violent history as tools to fight them. Some phalanx therefore dedicate themselves to protecting or contributing to erahthi society in reparation for the damage they caused during the war. While erahthi-phalanx relations are strained, many phalanx make great effort to learn from their former enemies to grow understanding of their own people. They recognize that the erahthi are, in essence, constructed to fit roles much as the phalanx are, and seek to form bonds in that commonality.

Phalanx tend to view the okanta with a mixture of curiosity and uncertainty. The okanta are relatively new arrivals to the universe at large, and phalanx have not had long to quantify their relations. The phalanx also admire the adaptability of the okanta, especially their ability to learn nearly any skill through simple observation.

Adventurers: A typical phalanx pursues adventure to find a sense of identity, testing their outlook on life by tossing themselves into the hardships of the world. Many phalanx have served in the same job or social role their entire life and take up adventuring in order to discover a new path for themselves or see a different world. Martial classes like fighter and brawler are common among phalanx due to their military past, while bards are common due to both the phalanx’s emergent emphasis on art and culture and the role bards played in the Century War. Because of their connection to aetherite, aether kineticists are common among the phalanx as well.

Faith: Phalanx do not have any specific favored deities, seeing them as the creations of other races rather than self-existent divinities, though some follow their curiosity to adopt the faith of other races they observe. The most common faith among phalanx is a general belief in the concept of reincarnation. While reincarnation has philosophical and religious touchstones across many species, phalanx believe the dreams and visions they experience imply the existence of past lives as races other than as phalanx, and seek to understand their soul’s origins. Some phalanx adopt the spiritual outlook of the okanta after living with them, learning to appreciate their diverse and storied histories and the concepts of okantan animism and the spirits within aetherite. Phalanx nearly universally believe that their aetherite cores are a physical manifestation of the soul, and the okanta connection to spirits in aetherite is therefore seen as a link tying these two races together.

A small number of phalanx in the Aethera Campaign Setting actively revere the Score as outlined by the Symphonium. These phalanx believe that their species’ role within the Score was not served by their involvement in the Century War, as most Scosists believe, but that their destiny lies beyond the events of the Century War. Phalanx prophecy chanters research the Score tirelessly for evidence of the phalanx destiny and how it may yet be shaped.

Names: Phalanx names vary based on personal taste rather than culture. Those who feel closer to their military roots retain their original serial numbers, while others adopt names from life experiences, such as deceased friends, favorite pieces of art, emotions, or other objects they closely identify with. While some phalanx choose to identify with a gender, like humans they do not differentiate between gendered names.

Sample Names: Citrine, Crow, Fall, Legacy, Seven- Thirteen, Sorrow.

Racial Traits

Ability Adjustments: +2 Con, +2 Cha, -2 Wis. The phalanx are curious, personable, and able to endure great stress, but often naive and gullible.

Hit Points: 6

Size and Type: Phalanx are Medium humanoids with the aether and phalanx subtypes.

Aetherite Dependency: A phalanx must consume at least 1 au of aetheric energy (through an oral induction port) each day or immediately begin suffering from starvation. Phalanx do not take nonlethal damage when starving, but instead become fatigued each day they fail their Constitution check. A starving phalanx who consumes at least 1 au is no longer starving and loses the fatigued condition incurred by aetherite dependency. A phalanx can survive without aetherite for a maximum number of days equal to 3 + their Constitution bonus. After reaching the maximum number of days without aetherite, the phalanx falls unconscious and remains unconscious indefinitely until fed at least 1 au per Hit Die the phalanx possesses. A phalanx cannot die from starvation.

Armored Fists: Phalanx are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic.

Constructed: For effects targeting creatures by type, phalanx count as both humanoids and constructs (whichever effect is worse). They receive a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against disease, mind-affecting effects, poison, and sleep, unless those effects specifically target constructs. In addition, phalanx do not breathe or suffer the normal environmental effects of being in a vacuum.

Curiosity: Phalanx are an inherently curious race and adept at parsing data, and gain a +4 racial bonus on Diplomacy checks to gather information.

Darkvision: Phalanx can see up to 60 feet in the dark.

Flashback: Phalanx can tap into the lingering memories of their soul to gain access to knowledge they do not consciously possess. Once per day, as a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity, a phalanx may willingly experience a flashback to gain an insight bonus equal to their character level on one skill check.

Natural Armor: Phalanx gain a +1 racial bonus to their KAC.

Phalanx Subtype Graft

This subtype is applied to phalanx and creatures related to phalanx.

Traits: Most creatures with this subtype have darkvision 60 ft.; if the NPC is of the phalanx race, they also gain the armored fists, constructed, curiosity, flashback, and natural armor racial traits. They also gain aetherite dependency.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Alien Codex (Starfinder) © 2019, Legendary Games; Lead Designer: Jason Nelson. Authors: Anthony Adam, Kate Baker, John Bennet, Eytan Bernstein, Robert Brookes, Russ Brown, Duan Byrd, Paris Crenshaw, Jeff Dahl, Robyn Fields, Joel Flank, Matt Goodall, Robert J. Grady, Jim Groves, Steven T. Helt, Thurston Hillman, Tim Hitchcock, Nick Hite, Daniel Hunt, Mike Kimmel Marshall, Isabelle Lee, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Jason Nelson, Richard Pett, Tom Phillips, Jeff Provine, Alistair J. Rigg, Alex Riggs, Wendall Roy, Mike Shel, Neil Spicer, Todd Stewart, Russ Taylor, Rachel Ventura, Mike Welham, George Loki Williams, Scott Young.