Pahtra are a catfolk race hailing from the Starfinder gaming line, introduced in the splatbook "Alien Archive 2". A slave race of the Vesk, pahtra are a race of cheetah-like humanoids hailing from the relatively low-gravity lush jungle world of Pulonis (or "Vesk-6", if you ask the Vesk), who evolved to outcompete the extremely fast-moving and agile predators native to that planet. Pahtras’ fur ranges in color from tawny brown to shades of black and gray, while their eyes can be virtually any color of the visible spectrum. According to ancient traditions, a pahtra’s unique facial pattern indicates her character and potential for achievement. Some pahtra societies still assign adolescent pahtras to a specific social role after a reading of her face patterns by a pahtra mystic, although this tradition is growing increasingly uncommon due to stories of individuals, often adventurers, defying their "destined" roles and yet coming to achieve great success.
The tradition of rounding up all the 15 year olds and sending them into the jungle, where they are divided into groups and forced to undergo a weeks-long series of survival challenges and war games that will determine their status in society, shows no sign of dying out, despite the fact that each year's trial typically sees at least a few casualties.
One weird thing about the pahtra is that most individuals are asexual, at least mentally. Considering how fertile they are, with an average litter size of six to eight kittens, this may be an evolutionary trait that keeps them from overpopulating themselves into extinction. Still, it does have impact on their mentality and culture. In particular, whilst pahtras frequently form lifelong, loving relationships with a single partner or small set of partners, they cherish individualism above all else. From their first steps, they strive to distinguish themselves from their siblings by developing and perfecting a unique ability. This inclination also makes pahtras highly suspicious of conformism—including that demanded by their vesk overseers—and while they can be deeply distrustful of strangers, they are also very protective of those they consider friends.
Another weird thing about pahtras is that their culture sees music and battle as the two greatest possible career paths, defining all other activities by how they relate to these callings. They also see strong synergies in the two pursuits, using music not just for artistic expression but also to coordinate battles and intimidate their enemies. Pahtras have perfect pitch and are natural musicians, and their music plays a central role in their society. They use arias, ballads, and elaborate musicals to tell the stories of their most legendary warriors, and they play bass- and percussion-heavy music to bolster their morale on the battlefield. Essentially, they're a race of catfolk bards, although far more badass warrior-musician than the typical goofy comic relief.
The relationship between the pahtras and the Vesk is... complicated. The vesk conquered Pulonis by virtue of their superior technology (at the time) and the fact the pahtra were heavily socially disorganized; better firepower and an inability to unite in the face of invasion meant that vesk victory was inevitable. At the same time, the pahtra's warlike nature and cultural expertise in jungle survival made them natural guerilla warriors, and they made the vesk pay dearly for what land they covered, winning no small amount of respect from their conquerors in the process. Ironically, the vesk conquest finally united the pahtras, even as they brought them to heel... well, for a generous interpretation of the term.
See, even now, despite the fact that the vesk are their ultimate rulers, the pahtras strive to preserve their own cultural distinction, especially as they won the right to be largely self-governing when it comes to local matters. Rebellious groups flare up every now and then, but have always been crushed up until now. Those pahtras who can't take it under vesk rule have largely taken advantage of their recent treaty with the Pact World, fleeing to Golarion-space and pursuing careers as explorers, mercenaries, musicians and seers.
- Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Cha, –2 Str
- Hit Points: 4
- Size and Type: Pahtras are Medium humanoids with the pahtra subtype.
- Pahtra Senses: Pahtras have darkvision with a range of 60 feet and low-light vision.
- Nimble (Ex) An off-kilter pahtra doesn’t gain the flat-footed condition or take the normal penalty to attacks, and she can steady herself as a swift action instead of a move action.
- Talented: Pahtras gain a +2 racial bonus to Acrobatics checks, Stealth checks, and checks with one Profession of their choice.
- Wary: Pahtras gain a +2 racial bonus against charm and compulsion effects