Formians are a species of ant-like insectoid beings from Dungeons & Dragons, who failed here on Earth and got a better life in the hereafter. A formian has an ant-like head and hindquarters, including four legs, but has a humanoid torso and arms, not unlike an invertebrate centaur.
Formians first appeared in the first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons' Monster Manual II. This presented formians as an otherwise ordinary species of intelligent creature - rather less interesting than those other bugmen. Full statistics for three main castes of formian were there provided; the workers (about the size of a large dog), the warriors (the size of a pony) and the myrmarches (the size of a horse). Special types mentioned as being found only inside Formian hive-cities were the male gymarches and the queen.
In 2e formians didn't even make the Monstrous Manual. They show up in Planescape - belatedly, in the Planes of Law box. Here (and in the very unofficial 3e/d20 spinoff Beyond Countless Doorways), formians are multiversal - a retcon, given their complete absence from the first Compendium Appendix and from all other 2e content.
By the Great Wheel the bugmen are mostly concentrated on Arcadia, that boundary-plane between Lawful Good Celestia and Lawful Neutral Mechanus. Planes of Law and the second MC Appendix described formians as one of Arcadia's primary inhabitants.
In Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition, they have begun taking over Mechanus. In that edition's Monster Manual, formians were adapted to the new edition's core rules, in which they are presented as the exemplar species of the Lawful Neutral alignment. The selfsame edition's Manual of the Planes implies them the primary inhabitants of both Arcadia and the Lawful Neutral Outer Plane of Mechanus, against the earlier editions' Modrons.
The Taskmaster caste of Formian is a man sized Formian that lacks the combat abilities of the Warrior but is able to use Dominate Creature as a spell-like ability. It is encountered with a slave creature.
Formians are absolutely bound by the law of their queen. Due to this, all but the highest ranking Taskmasters and Myrmarchs are merely slave-like pawns. For this reason, Formians are the only race of bug people in Third Edition that are explicitly unplayable; the Thri-kreen and Dromites have proper PC stat blocks in the Expanded Psionics Handbook and elsewhere, and the Abeils appear in the Monster Manual II with a note from WotC saying "you can certainly try".
Because formians didn't get the 2e love that thri-kreen got, formians passed into 3e without the condom of the OGL. Paizo pounced on that and put them into Pathfinder - here losing their planar status and instead being an alien race that travels through space, founding colonies on new worlds and slowly trying to infest the stars. This would be picked up to make them a playable race in Starfinder where they have just ended a long war with the Lashunta on Castrovel.
Starfinder PC Stats
Ability Modifiers: +2 Str, +2 Con, -2 Wis
Hit Points: 4
Size and Type: Medium monstrous humanoids.
Formian Senses: Formians have darkvision with a range of 60 feet, and they have blindsense (scent) with a range of 30 feet.
Limited Telepathy: Formians can communicate telepathically with any creatures within 30 feet with whom they share a language.
Natural Weapons: Formians are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal piercing damage with unarmed strikes, and those attacks don’t count as archaic. Formians gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1 and 1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls for their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level).
Sonic Resistance: Thanks to the chitinous plates that cover them, formians have sonic resistance 5.
|The inhabitants of the Planes of Planescape|
|Upper Planes||Aasimon • Angel • Animal Lord • Archon • Asura • Eladrin • Guardinals • Lillend|
|Middle Planes||Formians • Githzerai • Inevitable • Marut • Modron • Rilmani • Slaadi • Kamerel|
|Lower Planes||Alu-Fiend • Baatezu • Bladeling • Cambion • Demodand • Erinyes • Hag • Hordling • Imp • Kyton • Loumara • Marilith • Obyrith • Succubus • Tanar'ri • Yugoloth|
|Transitive Planes||Astral Dreadnought • Githyanki|
|Inner Planes||Azer • Elemental • Genie • Grue • Mephit • Salamander • Sylph|
|Sigil||Dabus • Cranium Rat|
|High-ups||Archangel • Archdevil • Archfey • Archomental • Demon Prince|
|The Races of Pathfinder|
|Player's Handbook:||Dwarf - Elf - Gnome - Half-Elf - Half-Orc - Halfling - Human|
|Aasimar - Catfolk - Changeling - Dhampir - Duergar |
Drow - Fetchling - Gillman - Goblin - Grippli - Hobgoblin
Ifrit - Kitsune - Kobold - Merfolk - Nagaji - Orc - Oread
Ratfolk - Samsaran - Strix - Suli - Svirfneblin - Sylph
Tengu - Tiefling - Undine - Vanara - Vishkanya - Wayang
|Bestiaries:||Android - Astomoi - Caligni - Deep One Hybrid - Gathlain |
Gnoll - Kasatha - Munavri - Naiad - Orang-Pendak
Reptoid - Rougarou - Shabti - Trox - Yaddithian
|Adventure Paths:||Being of Ib - Kuru|
|Inner Sea Races:||Ghoran - Monkey Goblin - Lashunta - Skinwalker |
Syrinx - Triaxian - Wyrwood - Wyvaran
|Ultimate Wilderness:||Vine Leshy|
|Blood of the Sea:||Adaro - Cecaelia - Grindylow - Locathah - Sahuagin - Triton|
|Planar Adventures:||Aphorite - Duskwalker - Ganzi|