Starfarer Vanara

Mischievous and wise, vanaras are simian humanoids known equally for their wisdom and trickery. Once an innately magical race before the disaster, vanaras only possess a fraction of the great magical powers they once commanded, the ability to twist and compress their shape to a smaller size. Today, many vanara leaders seek to unlock the mysteries and histories of their ancient dynasties, and with it, hopefully learn ancient magical secrets lost to time.

Physical Description

Depending on their subrace, vanaras resemble great apes or monkeys with humanoid proportions. Longtail vanaras are lithe and graceful, and possess a prehensile tail that are as long as one of their arms, while whitecape vanaras are burly with longer, muscular limbs, no tails, and a thick matting of fur on the back of their necks and down their backs. Vanaras of both subraces have prehensile feet, and their fur tends to range a variety of colors, from tawny blond to ashen gray, earth brown to deep black. The rarest of fur colors among vanaras is a fiery red that their people believe symbolizes an individual with a powerful soul who is destined for greatness.

Instead of fur, vanaras possess hair on their head much like humans do, but this hair is always the same color as their fur. Vanaras also possess the ability to shapeshift into a smaller version of themselves, cutting their height (which often exceeds that of a human) in half. Although whitecape vanaras are far less likely to make use of this ability, it isn’t uncommon for entire communities of longtail vanaras to spend most of their time diminished, even building their houses and dwellings for their smaller statures.

Home World

Vanaras call one of the many moons of a certain world their home. It is the traditional home of the vanara people, and following the empire's exploration of their star system, the elders of their world were one of the first off-world governments to agree to joining the slowly building empire, for they saw only benefits to a united galaxy. As a result, the vanaras were given places of honor within empire's hierarchy, and many off-worlders colonized the moon with the vanara’s blessings.

Then the disaster occurred. But where off-worlders only were mutated on their sister world, on the Vanara's home, the corruptive taint manifested as an airborne strain of lycanthropy that ravaged countless races living on the planet, including the vanaras. In years since, the vanaras have developed methods of preventing the disease from being spread through the air, and now seek to reclaim their ancient home from the raving werebeasts that inhabit it, especially the weregorilla descendants of empire officials who once dwelled on Eogawa. These weregorillas, curiously enough, are the only lycanthropes created by the disaster on the entire world to retain their humanoid intelligence.

Society And Alignment

Vanara society is equal parts traditional and turmoil, built on scaffolds of ancient practices that are being secondary to whatever means is practical in the moment. In this regard, vanaras honor the spirit of their traditions, but seldom the letter—they are quick to assess the value of laws and cultural norms and change them however they feel would be more effective or enjoyable. As a result, vanaras tend to have a good scence of what is fair and what isn’t fair, and legally trained vanaras often make excellent judges. Overall, vanaras value action over conjecture. While they enjoy philosophy and debate, they view them as luxuries that cannot always be afforded during times of crisis, when taking swift and decisive action is usually preferable to deliberation.

Relations

Vanaras have good relations with most races, although they’re stereotyped as mischievous tricksters who place their own need for a laugh over the well-being of others. In fairness, such stereotypes have a hint of truth, as vanaras are more than willing to poke fun and cause a bit of playful mayhem at the expense of others, and vanara comedians are renowned for their blunt satire and favor jokes that other races often find as being in poor taste. Vanaras tend to wear samsaran patience thin, and they outright frustrate kasathas, vesks, and dwarves. Of all races, however, gnomes tend to get along best with vanaras, as they seldom take themselves seriously enough to be off-put by vanara playfulness or humor.

Adventurers

Vanaras crave adventure, and often leave their homes in order to lead lives of excitement and daring before settling down in middle age.

Longtail vanaras make excellent operatives, with their acrobatic and dexterous skill, and they sometimes find themselves drawn to the ways of the mechanic, if only out of sheer curiosity for how machines work.

Whitecape vanaras prefer more in-your-face methods, and their physical brawn allows them to excel as soldiers. The wisdom exhibited by vanaras of both subraces allows them better comprehension of the many mysteries of the universe, making them more likely to stumble upon secret connections that ultimate define them as mystics.

Names

Vanara names run about half and half for traditional and modern names, with more modern vanara families often looking to other cultures in the galaxy for naming inspiration. While it is much more common to see a vanara with a traditional vanara name, in the past few decades there has been an uptick in how many vanaras are willing to give their children human, catfolk, or even deoxyian names. Some examples of vanara names are Ahjaja, Ashoka, Benipal, Chia, Chowdhury, Dass, Ganjoo, Guffd, Jay, Jarita, Johal, Kirsi, Manne, Naik, Oza, Patla, Rati, Salvi, Sanya, and Viveka.

Racial Traits

+2 Wis (See below)

4 Hit Points

Vanaras are humanoids with the shapeshifter and varana subtypes and are Medium. They have a base speed of 30 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet, which allows them to climb without needing to make Athletics checks checks and grants them a +8 bonus on all Athletics checks to climb. See the climbing section in Chapter 8 of the Starfinder Core Rulebook.

Change Size (Su): Vanaras can change their size from Medium to Small as a standard action, halving their height, length, and width and dividing their weight by 8. In addition to gaining the usual modifiers for being Small, vanaras using this ability gain +2 Dex and –2 Str, and their base speed is reduced to 20 feet. All equipment worn or carried by the vanara is similarly reduced, but any reduced item that leaves a the vanara’s possession instantly returns to its normal size. Vanaras can remain in this state indefinitely, and returning to their true size is a standard action. At 1st level a vanara’s Dexterity when medium cannot be greater than 16.

Dimorphic: Vanaras gain one of the following racial traits depending upon whether they are ethnically longtails or whitecapes.

Longtail: Longtail vanaras gain a +2 racial bonus on Acrobatics, Sleight of Hand, and Stealth checks, and they have a prehensile tail that can be used to carry items and wield weapons. In effect, longtail vanaras can wield and hold up to three hands’ worth of weapons and equipment. While their prehensile tails increase the items they can have at the ready, this does not increase the number of attacks they can make during combat.

Whitecape: Whitecape vanaras gain a +2 racial bonus on Athletics, Intimidate, and Perception checks, and their muscled limbs and stooped builds grant them Improved Unarmed Strike as a bonus feat and a +2 insight bonus to KAC against bull rush and trip attacks.

Low-Light Vision: Vanaras can see in dim light as if it were normal light. For more details, see the low-light vision section in Chapter 8 in the Starfinder Core Rulebook.


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