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Syaandi are a hardy, nomadic race of lizard-like humanoids that tend to prefer warm, arid climates, though they are sufficiently adaptable to be make their homes in many different lands.

Physical Description: Syaandi stand nearly 7 feet tall and weigh 250 pounds. Their grayish skin (sometimes tending toward blue or violet shades, especially in their young) is rough like sandpaper, made up of countless tiny scales, with larger scales on their faces, forearms, and lower limbs. Their faces are blunt and shaped similarly to humans, and while their teeth are sharper and more jagged than a human’s they are not designed for combat. Their fingers are likewise thick and strong, tipped with rugged nails rather than claws. Their eyes are often a piercing violet or pale blue.

Society: Thriving in arid environments, syaandi expand their influence to become the apex predators of the territories they claim, which often range over dozens of square miles. Syaandi split their territories among small family units, each staying close to one another for mutual support. During festivals, they gather in greater numbers to engage in mock combat and athletic competitions. Syaandi often use these events to create further family units by marrying off eligible children, all in an effort to keep the entire race viable.

Beyond their own kind, syaandi are thought to be fiercely loyal to a small group, unsocial to outsiders, and fearless to the point of self-endangerment. These views are largely accurate, with syaandi often finding themselves as soldiers or in other roles that reward brute force. Even the rarer syaandi that become operatives or solarians often find ways to solve their problems through violent means.

Consummate hunters, syaandi feed and clothe themselves with their kills. They prove fearless in combat and shrug off even the most mortal wounds to keep fighting to the bitter end, even giving up their self-control to enter a focused rage. Though syaandi often craft their own weapons, they also assault travelers and caravans to scavenge additional equipment, reasoning that any group incapable of repelling them would only suffer the horrors of the desert anyway, so they do such victims a favor by dispatching them more mercifully.

Syaandi childbearing benefits from their hermaphroditic physiology, and gestation requires only one month so as not to overburden the parent or family unit. Children learn to handle a sling and spear as soon as they can walk, and syaandi parents abandon any offspring incapable of hunting alongside them. Within their culture, even aging syaandi elders may sacrifice themselves in battle to weaken their enemies rather than slow down the rest of their kind in fleeing a great beast.

Relations: Outsiders who encounter syaandi have difficulty winning their trust, least of all because communicating with them is nigh impossible without magic or telepathy. Syaandi have no tongues and have worked out a complex language comprised of clicks, screeches, and guttural grunts that prove hard to translate. They can easily grasp concepts from other languages if they take the time to learn them, but in most cases, they demand that interlopers prove themselves to gain acceptance. Such trials include severing a sand glutton’s tentacle and returning with it or tearing off a chag bull’s horn without the use of weapons. Some syaandi even attempt the same trial in competition with them to show their own bravery. Depending on how well outsiders perform at these tasks, the syaandi family may entertain a newcomer’s requests, accept them into their family, or simply drive them out. Regardless, syaandi make good guides through the wastelands and command premiums goods in return for such assistance. Most people who require help from the syaandi do not balk at their demands.

Alignment and Religion: Syaandi tend towards chaotic alignments, avoiding attachments and large societies in favor of small, independent family groups. They are primarily nomadic, settling wherever the trade or hunting is good and staying long enough to deplete the local resources before moving on. Many syaandi follow a form of shamanic ancestor worship, though some also follow the path of Chtok the Bloody, a power of strength, violence, and mayhem.

Male and Female Names: Syaandi do have a concept of gender, but their names do not differentiate based on it. Names typically are formed from a complex series of sounds that indicate the relationship between the speaker and the person they are addressing, often with a coda indicating their current mood relating to that person. Names can thus change from conversation to conversation.

Racial Traits

Ability Modifiers +2 Str, +2 Con, –2 Cha

Hit Points 4

Size and Type: Syaandi are Medium humanoids with the reptilian subtype.

Cornered Fury: Whenever a syaandi is reduced to less than half its Hit Points and has no conscious ally within 30 feet, it gains a +2 racial bonus to damage rolls and a +1 racial bonus to AC.

Fearless: Syaandi gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against fear effects.

Hardy: Syaandi gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poison, spells, and spell-like abilities.

Scavenger Scent: Syaandi have a keen sense for carrion and death, gaining a limited version of the blindsense (scent) AA extraordinary ability with a range of 30 feet. This blindsense applies only to corpses, creatures taking bleed damage, and creatures with fewer than 50% of their hit points remaining.

Unintelligible: Syaandi lack the vocal apparatus to mimic intelligible speech to most races. They can learn to read, write, and understand other tongues, and can communicate with others through magic such as tongues or by telepathy. Lacking such means, they cannot use language-dependent effects to affect creatures not fluent in Syaandu. Syaandi gain a +2 racial bonus on Bluff and Sense Motive checks made to communicate nonverbally (treat as passing or discerning a secret message). This does not impair their ability to cast spells with verbal components but it does prevent the use of magic items that require command words unless they were crafted by a syaandi.

Languages Syaandi begin play speaking only Syaandu. Syaandi with high Intelligence scores can choose from the following: Common, Draconic, Elven, Gnoll, Gnome, Sylvan, Terran.

Alternate Racial Traits

The following alternate racial traits may be selected in place of one or more of the standard racial traits above. Consult your GM before selecting any of these new options.

Heat Endurance: Some syaandi are particularly well adapted to blazing-hot deserts, gaining a +2 bonus on saving throws vs. fire effects and fire resistance 5, and they can survive in a hot climate up to 140 degrees without discomfort. This racial trait replaces hardy.

Keen Scent: Some syaandi scouts are carefully trained to sniff out danger and prey, gaining the blindsense (scent) 60 feet. This racial trait replaces low-light vision and scavenger scent.

Sand Stalker: Syaandi are deadly desert hunters, gaining a +2 bonus on Stealth checks and reducing the distance at which they can be detected by blindsense (scent) to 10 feet (20 feet if upwind, 5 feet if downwind). When covered in at least an inch of sand or similar loose grit (which the syaandi can do as a standard action if they are prone), this Stealth bonus is increased to +4 and they can be detected by scent only within 5 feet. If a syaandi takes 1 minute to bury itself in sand, this bonus is increased to +10 and they cannot be detected by scent at all. A syaandi can hold its breath for a number of rounds equal to 4 times its Constitution score before it begins to suffocate. This racial trait replaces cornered fury and fearless.

Sandcrawler: Some syaandi are adept at moving through sandy deserts. They do not treat soft sand as difficult terrain and gain a +2 bonus on saving throws against effects that would make them fall prone. This racial trait replaces scavenger scent.

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.