Star-Crossed Species: Huitz’zysha
Posted by Owen K.C. Stephens
I haven’t worked on crossbred Starfinder species in more than four years, but it came up recently. So, here’s at least one more star-crossed species entry, and we’ll see if people like them enough for me to make more.
Rare in most places, numerous huitz’zysha can be found on Vance IV, a thickly forested world in the Vance system also known as Morreion.
The Vance system is just beyond the furthest world of the Ioun Imperium in terms of real distance (less than a light-year away), despite being a lengthy jump through hyperspace. It’s existence is not known to the Imperium, but it is known to several clans of huitz’plina who foresaw its importance generations ago due to the visions of powerful precognitive seers. As a result, when huitz’plina from those clans manage to travel off-world, they often make a pilgrimage to Morreion. Many retire there, and several small huitz’plina settlements have developed on-world.
By coincidence (or perhaps not coincidentally, given the huitz’plina precognitive visions regarding the system), due to a hyperspace wormhole, the Vance System can easily (and even accidentally) be reached from a Forest Moon in the Core Worlds. The Forest Moon in question happens to be the homeworld of the maraquoi, who have experienced a significant boost in technology resulting in many hyperspace trips off their world. On some of them, the route to Morreion was discovered, and a significant maraquoi settlement was established.
When the huitz’plina and maraquoi encountered one another, they found significant appreciation in eac other’s culture, art, food, and music. A joint council was set up to ensure all claims to the planet were respected, and peacefully settle disputes. As the maraquoi settlement was larger and more advanced, number huitz’plina took up residence there. Friendships and even romances blossomed. In time, it became commonplace for a huitz’plina to be asked to serve as a zysha-vennin, or “spiritual ancestor” of pregnant groups of maraquoi–essentially an honorary role based off the zysha, or “facilitators,” one of the seven genders of maraquoi that are not part of the physical act of reproduction, but are crucial to it, and still somehow contribute their genetic material to the offspring.
It came as some surprise when a huitz’plina zysha-vennin turned out to be able to act as a true zysha, contributing genetic material to their honorary descendent. These mixed-species offspring were known as huitz’zysha, and were cherished and welcomed by all the settlements of Morreion. In time, a huitz’zysha formed a family with both maraquoi and huitz’plina, and discovered they could substitute members of both species for various genders each group normally used to produce offspring. And, then, a huitz’zysha group of maraquoi and huitz’plina included a beloved lashunta friend as a zysha-vennin… and discovered that any family with a huitz’zysha could add genetic material from other species who served as zysha-vennin.
As a result, there was an explosion of huitz’zysha being born and cared for on Morreion, often taking on physical traits from other species as well. The complex love-binding groups that grew up around this share a great deal with maraquoi 7-gendered parenting groups, but also have various polyamorous and friend-bonded traditions adopted from huitz’plina, lashunta, elven, vesk, and orcish cultural norms. Huitz’zysha are raised knowing that they are the product of strong, complex relationships of caring parents, friends, and relatives.
Though huitz’zysha can differ wildly in appearance, they all share the same species traits (though some of those are flexible depending on their exact ancestry).
Ability Adjustments: Huitz’zysha come in numerous shapes, sizes, and dispositions. A huitz’zysha gains a +2 bonus in two ability scoes of your choosing, and a -2 penalty in one ability score.
Size and Type: Huitz’zysha are medium humanoids with themaraquoi and huitz’plina subtypes, a 20 foot speed, and a 20 foot climb speed. At character creation a huitz’zysha may either select another medium humanoid subtype to gain (representing an additional genetic ancestor), or begin with 4 bonus species HP rather than 2. The subtype cannot be from a species with an ability that allows them to be treated as another type (such as plantlike).
Kith’s Appearance: Huitz’zysha do not take penalties to Disguise checks to look like another species that is a medium huamnoid that has the same subtype they do.
Senses: Huitz’zysha have blindsense (scent) with a range of 15 feet, blindsense (sound) with a range of 15 feet, darkvision with a range of 30 feet, and lowlight vision.
Prehensile Tail: All huitz’zysha have a tail that is as effective as a hand at manipulating objects, which allows them to wield and hold up to three hands’ worth of weapons and equipment. This does not increase the number of attacks they can make during combat.
Though physical and mental therapy, a huitz’zysha can learn to access abilities from their ancestors not universal to all their kind. By expending a feat, a huitz’zysha can gain one of the following abilities if a medium humanoid species with one of the same subtypes the huitz’zysha has gains it: amplify, animated, agile, amphibious, astute, battle-hardened, bloodscent, brachiator, boneyard conditioning, buoy, change shape, cold ensured, cold resistance, convivial, cooperative, distracting buzz, burrow, dream skill, drow immunities, dual nervous system, easily augmented, electrical affinity, electricity resistance, elven immunities, empathic, espraksa movement, enveloping grip, favored object, fearsome, fierce survivalist, find weakness, fire resistance, flexible, forest friend, glider, gravity adjustment, heat tracker, hold breath, imago movement, intellectual knack, jumper, lifebound, lurker, malleable limbs, mechanical talent, multicultural, natural agility, natural communication, natural swimmer, natural weapons, necromancy resistance, nightborn, nimble, orc ferocity, perceptive, pounce, predreaming, psychometry, radiant, regenerative evolution, rugged travel, scrappy, shards of the past, shared stillness, shift limb, simulacrum, skin mimic, slow but steady, spine assault, sneaky, stonecunning, stony plates, strix mobility, sturdy, survivor, survivalist, suspicious, talented, telepathy, third eye, tinkerer, trimorphic, twinkle, versed, wary, and wasteland dweller. A GM may choose to allow additional appropriate species traits, if desired.
Spending a feat can also double the range of their species trait blindsenses and darkvision. A huitz’zysha can take additional feats to gain additional species traits it qualifies for, but cannot take the same trait more than one, or take traits from species that are not Medium humanoids with a shared subtype.
Huitz’zysha have the height, weight, and aging characteristics of one Medium humanoid species that shares a subtype with them, selected at character creation.
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