The Barathu are the natural extension of Starfinder's philosophy of "make as many weird alien race PC options as possible." The Barathu are certainly the most unusual; they resemble a cross between a jellyfish, a storm cloud, and a giant slug. They're natives of a gas world and their flopping, floating, bloaty, slippery forms are well-suited to drifting amoung the clouds of Bretheda. They can use their own biomass to craft organic structures and tools (including guns!). They can also merge with each other to form superorganisms. Each smaller Barathu has its own personality and knowledge but form unique personalities when they merge together. They manipulate this sense of self to skirt legal loopholes, counting themselves as more or fewer in numbers when it it beneficial to do so. Most Barathu are scholarly and they tend to specialize in the biological sciences. A subrace on Liavara focus on dreaming and just trip balls all the time.
Like many of Starfinder's aliens, Barathus actually first appeared in Pathfinder, in the splatbook Distant Worlds, where they are called Brethedans.
Ability Modifiers: +2 Con, +2 Wis, -2 Dex
Hit Points: 6
Size and Type: Medium aberration.
Early Stage Adaptation: An early stage barathu’s body is mutable and can adapt to many different situations. Once every 1d4 rounds as a swift action, an early stage barathu can reshape its body and adjust its chemistry to gain one of the following qualities. The adaptation lasts until the beginning of the early stage barathu’s next turn. Unlike more mature barathus, early stage barathus are not generally capable of more complex adaptations.
- Upper limb refinements enable the barathu to add an additional amount of damage to melee attacks equal to its Strength modifier.
- A toughened dermal layer grants its a +1 racial bonus to AC.
- Developed lower limbs grant it a base speed of 15 feet.
- Molecular-level modifications grant it resistance 2 against a single energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic).
- Elongated limbs extend its reach to 10 feet.
Floaters: Early stage barathus have a base speed of 0 feet and an extraordinary fly speed of 30 feet with average maneuverability.
Limited Telepathy: Early stage barathus can communicate telepathically with any creatures within 30 feet with whom they share a language in common.
Strange Anatomy: Early stage barathus gain a +1 racial bonus to Fortitude saving throws.
Alternate Racial Traits
Collective Connection: +2 racial bonus to checks to recall knowledge. Replaces Strange Anatomy.
Fluid Self: +2 racial bonus to saving throws against mind-affecting effects. Replaces Strange Anatomy.
Internal Cheistry: Gain the following options instead of the typical options available for the Early Stage Adaptation ability.
- The barathu gains an acid spray ranged natural attack that deals 1d3 acid damage with a 30-foot range increment. A PC using this ability is considered armed and gains a unique Weapon Specialization with this attack at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1-1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls with this attack. The acid spray cannot be disarmed or sundered and doesn't require ammunition.
- The barathu secretes a frictionless slime. When the barathu uses early stage adaptation to gain this ability, they can immediately attempt to use Acrobatics to escape a grapple without spending another action.
- Lighter-than-air gases increase the barathu’s fly speed by 15 feet.
- Soothing psychoactive chemicals grant the barathu a new saving throw against each ongoing mind-affecting effect that is affecting them.
- A cloud of fumes spreads over a 20-foot radius from the barathu, affecting the area as a smoke grenade. Barathus are immune to the choking effects of this cloud.
Mineral Exoskeleton: Gain these options instead of the typical options available for the Early Stage Adaptation ability.
- Added reinforcement to their external shell grants the barathu DR 1/–.
- Dangerous growths function as a natural weapon that deals 1d3 bludgeoning, piercing, or slashing damage. A barathu PC using this ability is armed, and this attack cannot be disarmed or sundered. If a barathu PC using this ability is at least 3rd level, they gain a unique Weapon Specialization with these natural weapons, allowing them to add 1-1/2 × their character level to damage rolls with this attack.
- Spikes grow from fleshy surfaces, dealing 1d6 piercing damage to each creature that hits the barathu with an unarmed or natural attack.
- Reinforced tentacles function as powerful but slow limbs, granting a burrow speed and land speed of 10 feet.
- The area covered by the barathu's shell expands, granting a +2 racial bonus to AC but reducing the barathu’s flight speed to 0.
Student of Liavara: You gain the following spell-like abilities. Replaces Early Stage Adaptation.
- At will: daze, telepathic message
- 1/day: mind link, mind thrust (1st level)
Barathu are well-suited to being melee warriors. Most of their adaptations either give more melee options or give increased resistances. They make solid Soldiers and Solarions, and can be tough Mystics, as well. They are strong early in the game when melee damage, racial health, and the ability to float are most important.