Shakk (Species for Starfinder)

The shakk are an amphibious species who evolved as aquatic solo alpha predators on their home world. Their own legends claimed they choose to evolve the ability to move on land, however awkwardly, to ensure there was no part of their planet they could not dominate. However, shakk evolved into sentience and sapience hundreds of thousands of years ago, and their planet was ravaged by numerous world wars fought with terrible weapons of mass destruction. Their entire pre-technological history is long lost, with counterfeits and propaganda from 103 known previous worldwide cultures further cluttering what is known about previous ages.

Shakk claim to now be in their “104th Society,” and it is this culture which became starfarers thousands of years ago. Thier current parent culture never moved past a form of technological feudalism that closely resembles the structure of organized crime in other societies, and many shakk are socialized to see might-makes-right mobster and corporate organizations as the “true” and “most real” types of government. A classically-educated shakk learns about negotiation, game-theory, and leverage as children, the lessons being thought much more important than “good behavior,” “making friends.” or “sharing.”

The 104th Shak Society sees the need to have a firm hierarchy the only way to prevent more destructive wars that could finally wipe them out as a species. As a result, shakk are often accused of being a species of mobsters, though of course they are no more genetically attuned to being mobsters than dwarves are crafters or humans are renegades. But the fact many shakk have managed to be extremely successful as overbosses of illegal and semi-legal operations keeps the stereotype alive.

There is some anthropological and genetic evidence to suggest shakk are distantly related to (or were perhaps engineered by) the alghollthus. Shakk themselves tend to see this claim as weak-at-best, and even if there is some relationship, fine it more likely that alghollthus are a genetically-engineered offshoot of shakk, perhaps a lost colony of a previous society that used genetic engineering to alter themselves to survive harsh environments.

(Art by Jacob Blackmon)

+2 Con, +2 Int, -2 Dex
Hit Points: 2
Large aberration
Swim speed: 40 feet
Slow but Steady: Shakk have a land speed of 20 feet, which is never modified when they are encumbered or wearing heavy armor. They also gain a +2 racial bonus to saving throws against poisons, spells, and spell-like abilities, and when standing on the ground they gain a +4 racial bonus to their KAC against bull rush and trip combat maneuvers.
Hefty: Shakk are treated as huge creatures when determining if they can be affected by maneuvers and special abilities. They can use weapons designed for Medium, Large, or Huge creatures without penalty.
Lungful: A shakk can hold its breath for a number of hours equal to it Con score.
Darkvision: Shakk can see up to 60 feet in the dark.
Sly: Shakk gain a +2 species bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Sense Motive checks. (This represents a classic shakk education. Shakk raised in different environments can learn different lessons, and a GM may grant them a +2 species bonus on four different related skills.)
Strong Mind: Shakk gain a +4 racial bonus to Will saves vs compulsion effects, and the DC to Intimidate them is 4 higher than normal. If a shakk succeeds at its save against a compulsion effect, it has no effect on the shakk (even if there is normally a partial effect on a successful save).

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About Owen K.C. Stephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is a full-time ttRPG Writer, designer, developer, publisher, and consultant. He's the publisher for Rogue Genius Games, and has served as the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the Editor-in-Chief for Evil Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps. He has a Pateon which supports his online work. You can find it at

Posted on April 15, 2022, in Microsetting, Starfinder Development and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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