Meet the Iconics: Raia

Monday, July 24, 2017

The countdown to Starfinder is on! We're highlighting the iconic characters and core classes that appear throughout the pages and covers of the Starfinder line. Today we meet Raia, the iconic technomancer!

Illustration by Remko Troost

Raia Danviri was born and raised in the lashunta city-state of Komena, near the southern tip of the continent of Asana on Castrovel. Komena's proximity to the formian-inhabited continent of the Colonies has made it a center of military activity for millennia, but to the Danviris, it was a home filled with hope and promise. Raia's parents were diplomats, and devoted their lives to brokering a peace between the lashuntas and the formians, a goal that spanned decades. They taught their daughter the value of all sentient life, for even among creatures like the insectile formians, who were so unlike lashuntas and had been enemies for so long, one can find similarities like culture, society, and civilization. But even more important are the differences. The details that separate one species from another are not only what make them interesting, but also teach one new things, and inspire one to question and re-examine one's own assumptions and beliefs.

The fact that Raia's parents actually succeeded in helping to negotiate peace with the Colonies only reinforced their teachings in the young lashunta's mind. Raia became almost obsessed with alien life forms. She devoured any texts she could find that described the myriad species that inhabited the worlds beyond Castrovel, and dreamed of someday traveling among the stars and meeting new species. When she reached puberty, Raia chose to develop into the tall, intellectual damaya subspecies, following the example of her parents, both of whom are damaya.

When she was old enough, Raia applied to and was accepted into one of Qabarat's famed universities. Her aptitude exams showed a talent for both technology and spellcasting, so she studied the discipline of technomancy, using experimentation to blend science and magic together. At the same time, however, she also excelled in xenobiology and xenoanthropology, applying academic rigor to her childhood passion. During this time, Raia discovered Yaraesa, the lashunta goddess of knowledge and wisdom, whose faith was more akin to the scientific method. Raia wholeheartedly embraced Yaraesa's teachings, seeking self-perfection through the acquisition of knowledge and the development of one's mind and intellect.

It was also at university that Raia met Danese, an exchange student from Triaxus. Raia was immediately enthralled with the exotic ryphorian and his silky white fur, but it was Danese's quick wit and keen intellect that turned the initial attraction into something more. Danese was the first real "alien” that Raia befriended, and their friendship eventually blossomed into love. Raia and Danese were inseparable during their time at university, but knew they would need to reassess their relationship when their studies were complete. Danese had already accepted a commission in the Skyfire Legion and had to return to Triaxus after graduation, while Raia had been accepted into a graduate program on Absalom Station. Danese offered to resign his commission, but Raia refused. In her opinion, neither of them should have to sacrifice their own advancement and improvement for the sake of the other; instead, each of them should follow Yaraesa's example and figure things out for themselves—intellectually and spiritually, as well as romantically. They bid each other a tearful farewell, and promised to reunite whenever circumstances allowed.

After completing her studies, Raia realized that her passion for studying alien life-forms was actually a calling, and her technomantic abilities were the currency she could use to fund her life's work, exchanging her skills as a scientist and technomancer for berths on ships heading out to undiscovered regions of the Vast. Raia believes there is a certain nobility in contacting an alien species for the first time and working to ensure that both they and the peoples of the Pact Worlds advance and improve from the relationship. She seeks out new technology and alternative magical techniques from the aliens she encounters, trading her own knowledge in exchange. Raia doesn't hold to any unrealistic expectation of non-interference in alien cultures, but believes strongly in doing the right thing, and in always striving for honor, compassion, and justice.

Despite her love of exploration, Raia remains firmly tied to the Pact Worlds. Besides her parents and friends on Castrovel, Raia still loves Danese, and the two remain committed to one another, even across the vast distances involved in interstellar travel. They stay in regular communication, and treasure the infrequent times when their paths bring them physically close to one another. Some day, they might choose to settle down and build a life together, but for now Raia is content. She knows love, her life has purpose and meaning, and the galaxy is filled with an endless number of aliens to discover, befriend, and study—one species at a time.

Robert G. McCreary
Starfinder Creative Lead

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Tags: Iconics Meet the Iconics Raia Remko Troost Starfinder Technomancers
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Fanatical materialist xenophile. Neat.

What's this about subspecies?


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Lashunta sexual dimorphism from Pathfinder got retconned into a metamorphic subspecies system. Damaya get what used to be female stats in Pathfinder.


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Rhedyn wrote:

Fanatical materialist xenophile. Neat.

What's this about subspecies?

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2ubv9?Enworld-Exclusive-Planet-Castrovel-previe w#32

Crystal Frasier wrote:
Mark Moreland wrote:
David knott 242 wrote:
1) A Lashunta is born male or female and then chooses to become Damaya or Korasha later on. In the distant past, males were expected to become Korasha and females were expected to become Damaya and rarely made the opposite choice, but nowadays all four combinations are relatively common. This option leaves open the possibility of families that are all Damaya or all Korasha.
It's this option, as far as I understand it (as a non-member of the Starfinder team). There would certainly be a lot of pressure in a Damaya family for all the kids to be Damaya, just like a family of doctors might pressure their kids to also be doctors. But ultimately, the kid gets to choose his or her own path when the time comes.

If we're looking at getting into specifics—and I'm happy to having helped rework this aspect of lashunta biology—the lashunta evolved two distinct types of adolescent developments as a response to the severe swings in environmental pressures of their homeworld. Depending on the pressures they faced at puberty, they would either mature as hardy, combative korasha, or they would mature as adaptable, observant damaya. When their culture later developed a tradition of strong gender roles, the kinds of pressures that triggered development as a korasha fell almost entirely on males, while the pressures that trigger damaya development fell almost wholly on women.

As lashunta have move towards leaving their sexism in the past and opening social roles, education, and careers up to everyone regardless of gender, the distribution has become much more even, and many city-states even allow a child to choose how they will develop (by way of meditation and/or medication) rather than just relying on ambient environmental pressures. There are still a few conservative city-states where the gender divide exists and the subspecies are still largely divived by gender, but these are increasingly rare.

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

Also cool to see our first Iconic that's in a interspecies long distance relationship.


shes cute, I like her.


Kvantum wrote:

So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

Also cool to see our first Iconic that's in a interspecies long distance relationship.

Elves are still there. they are just xenophobic and insular.


Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Sovereign Court

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I like her worldview. I think Raia is the iconic that best matches how I like to play.

Scarab Sages

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I love the character, but I'm a little disappointed in that for a character that is a technomancer, there is hardly any tecnomancy duscussed. She clearly has the xenoseeker theme though.


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Imbicatus wrote:
...for a character that is a technomancer, there is hardly any tecnomancy duscussed.

I noticed this as well, and I'm of two minds about it. On one hand, it's refreshing to see a character that uses its class primarily to pay the bills - not everyone dedicates their life to their job, and seeing a character that exists as more than a vessel for class abilities is refreshing and relatable; Raia is possibly the most relatable iconic of the bunch.

On the other hand, she is the iconic Technomancer, and it would be nice to see how the content of her studies has impacted her personal trajectory in more areas than "college major".


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Another nice write up. An interesting character concept. It leaves me wanting to see more on the technomancer

Sovereign Court

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IonutRO wrote:
Lashunta sexual dimorphism from Pathfinder got retconned into a metamorphic subspecies system. Damaya get what used to be female stats in Pathfinder.

I truly love this change. It makes for much better role playing.


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Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I love her. Out of all the iconics i identify the most with her and i would love to study aliens.


So standard triaxians have been retconned into ryphorians in the same way standard vercites have been retconned into verthani. Good move. It would be awkward to say "oh THIS is a triaxian from Triaxus. But THAT is not a triaxian, that's just a Dragonkin native to Triaxus--a Triaxian Dragonkin, not a Triaxian triaxian."


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"Raia doesn't hold to any unrealistic expectation of non-interference in alien cultures..."

"What is this ... 'prime directive?' How ridiculous! How can you learn what they have to teach you if you never interact?"

I love it. Can't wait to see the class reveal. (That's later this week, right?)


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I am noticing a pattern in regard to race names -- any race named after its planet of origin seems to be getting a new name. The "ryphorian" appears to be a winterborn Triaxian, for example.


Doc_Outlands wrote:

"Raia doesn't hold to any unrealistic expectation of non-interference in alien cultures..."

"What is this ... 'prime directive?' How ridiculous! How can you learn what they have to teach you if you never interact?"

I love it. Can't wait to see the class reveal. (That's later this week, right?)

If they follow the normal pattern we should get the technomancer write up friday afternoon.


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Berselius wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Um....except that Castrovel is their homeland and Golarion(Kyonin) was just a colony. So that makes no sense.

Unless they retconned that...


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Berselius wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

I though Elves came to Golarion from Castrovel not the other way around.

But it makes sense that Elves have entered a state of isolation after most of them woke up one day with most of their lives just missing, same goes for the dragons apparently.


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Very interesting story and potential for character development.

Really dislike the artwork, for the simple reason that the body armor has a huge weakness in the protection of the abdominal area, and that can potential by a fatal flaw in a combat situation.


kaid wrote:
Doc_Outlands wrote:

"Raia doesn't hold to any unrealistic expectation of non-interference in alien cultures..."

"What is this ... 'prime directive?' How ridiculous! How can you learn what they have to teach you if you never interact?"

I love it. Can't wait to see the class reveal. (That's later this week, right?)

If they follow the normal pattern we should get the technomancer write up friday afternoon.

I couldn't remember if it was Thursday or Friday, but was pretty sure it was *before* the weekend. Since I work 6 or 7 days a week, I can't always remember trivalities like the weekend!

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber
Giorgo wrote:

Very interesting story and potential for character development.

Really dislike the artwork, for the simple reason that the body armor has a huge weakness in the protection of the abdominal area, and that can potential by a fatal flaw in a combat situation.

Mage Armor may still be a thing in the future; its ability to prevent strippy characters from being skewered should allow it to stand the test of time.

Raia will probably be my go-to pregen now because I try to talk to every creature before fighting. That will include the akatas on the cover of Incident at Absalom Station because they're too cute to shoot/stab/crush with a gravity-well sword, etc.


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The only way her outfit works is if it isn't armor at all.


Hey at least it's covering her heart. ;)

I think of it more as dress armour, not meant to be used as practical armour but it can stop a bullet...to the heart. ;)

Grand Lodge

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Not all adventurers wear practical clothing, sometimes it's about style. Look at Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. Other than his helmet he just wears a shirt and leather jacket.

Creative Director, Starfinder Team

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Argendauss wrote:
So standard triaxians have been retconned into ryphorians in the same way standard vercites have been retconned into verthani. Good move. It would be awkward to say "oh THIS is a triaxian from Triaxus. But THAT is not a triaxian, that's just a Dragonkin native to Triaxus--a Triaxian Dragonkin, not a Triaxian triaxian."

That's exactly why we did it! Names that seemed totally reasonable in Distant Worlds became clunky when doing a whole game based around them. :P


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber

Clever ploy- paint fake skin over the strongest armor.


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Aw, I was hoping it would be summer on Triaxus so we could see both seasons.


John Kretzer wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Um....except that Castrovel is their homeland and Golarion(Kyonin) was just a colony. So that makes no sense.

Unless they retconned that...

Well I mean the capital of Sovyrian is called El, so You'd think the El-ves would have evolved there. Plus they and the lashunta look quite similar.

Silver Crusade

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I loved her story, it was really sweet and heartwarming ^w^


Hill Giant wrote:
Aw, I was hoping it would be summer on Triaxus so we could see both seasons.

It's funny, because I'm pretty sure they show the planet as tropical in the preview from last week.

Kind of hoping that, with advanced tech and magic, they have like a weather control thing so they can change seasons with the rest of us. Would be a fun difference so you can experience the planet either way.


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Rysky wrote:
I loved her story, it was really sweet and heartwarming ^w^

It's a nice change of pace from having a traumatic and dark backstory. :)

Silver Crusade

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Dragoncat wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I loved her story, it was really sweet and heartwarming ^w^
It's a nice change of pace from having a traumatic and dark backstory. :)

Ye.


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David knott 242 wrote:
The only way her outfit works is if it isn't armor at all.

From what we've seen, armor always doubles as a spacesuit (for at least a few hours), so armor may not need to even have (physical) protection to be useful.

Additionally, it may not be armor; her "armor" could be sitting in her pocket, enveloping her in a tech/magic forcefield. Shie is a tech-savvy space wizard from the future.

I'm fairly certain that she's got some type of armor, though. All classes are proficient in light armor (the spacesuit thing), and without somatic spell components, I can't really think of a reason to forgo it.


I'm a bit sad how little class talk there was for her whereas everyone else it played a larger part or was at least put into context more or less.

That said I like the background.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, "technomancer" was just her major in college. She is more defined by her theme than her class.


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Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Not all adventurers wear practical clothing, sometimes it's about style. Look at Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. Other than his helmet he just wears a shirt and leather jacket.

And occasionally pants.

I wonder how easy it is to minimize the "techno" part if one wants someone who studies just magic. But that's for another blog post.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

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I love Raia's optimistic worldview. There isn't a lot of "drama" in her background, but I think that has a lot to do with the way she lives her life. On one hand, it can make her seem innocent, but on the other, it points to a mature approach to challenges and change. I think she makes an excellent addition to the iconics.


For a bit of a sneak preview of what the Starfinder pre-painted miniatures will look like, here is a link to them. However, the image quality is fairly poor but in general you get a pretty good idea of what they will look like:
www.minisgallery.com/starfinder/index.html


I love her background! She's defined by optimism, hope and love, and that's such a wonderful change of pace, both in science fiction and rpg character motivation.


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Distant Scholar wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Not all adventurers wear practical clothing, sometimes it's about style. Look at Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. Other than his helmet he just wears a shirt and leather jacket.

And occasionally pants.

I wonder how easy it is to minimize the "techno" part if one wants someone who studies just magic. But that's for another blog post.

For such a character, the Mystic class may be a better choice.


The only mystic connection that does not appear to have magic come from higher powers of some sort is Psychic, so I doubt it. A non-techno mage is probably a technomage who doesn't pick up any tech-related magic hacks.

The Concordance

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Raia is the Janira Gavix of Starfinder.

Liberty's Edge Contributor

Squeakmaan wrote:
Distant Scholar wrote:
Jurassic Pratt wrote:
Not all adventurers wear practical clothing, sometimes it's about style. Look at Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. Other than his helmet he just wears a shirt and leather jacket.

And occasionally pants.

I wonder how easy it is to minimize the "techno" part if one wants someone who studies just magic. But that's for another blog post.

For such a character, the Mystic class may be a better choice.

True. The source of a mystic's powers isn't specified. It can be from a higher power, but can just as easily be arcane or psychic in origin.


Argendauss wrote:
So standard triaxians have been retconned into ryphorians in the same way standard vercites have been retconned into verthani. Good move. It would be awkward to say "oh THIS is a triaxian from Triaxus. But THAT is not a triaxian, that's just a Dragonkin native to Triaxus--a Triaxian Dragonkin, not a Triaxian triaxian."

What? I'm lost.


John Kretzer wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Um....except that Castrovel is their homeland and Golarion(Kyonin) was just a colony. So that makes no sense.

Unless they retconned that...

I thought they were from Kyonin, retreated to Castrovel to avoid Starfall, then came 'home' later.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Rysky wrote:
Dragoncat wrote:
Rysky wrote:
I loved her story, it was really sweet and heartwarming ^w^
It's a nice change of pace from having a traumatic and dark backstory. :)
Ye.

Gotta be honest, an adventurer with a normal, loving upbringing and a sane home life WOULD be the true oddball. What sane well-adjusted person would do it? :)


You might be surprised at home many people are driven completely around the bend by 'normal, loving upbringings'

That said, I have no idea how this 'idealistic college kid' iconic will deal with any sort of hardship.


Ouachitonian wrote:
John Kretzer wrote:
Berselius wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
So... what happened to the elves on Castrovel? Did they disappear with Golarion?

I believe they are still have a homeland on Castrovel but due to the disappearance of Golarion and their original homeland of Kyonin, they have become even more isolationistic and very bitter (due to having their original homeland just up and vanish).

This does not mean elves don't occasionally leave Castrovel to explore the universe but those cases are rare and isolationistic elves view those of their kind that leave their home on Castrovel with a mixture of pity and scorn.

Um....except that Castrovel is their homeland and Golarion(Kyonin) was just a colony. So that makes no sense.

Unless they retconned that...

I thought they were from Kyonin, retreated to Castrovel to avoid Starfall, then came 'home' later.

That was the story I remember from Inner Sea World guide, but re-reading it, Paizo has kept it intentionally vague; it's so pre-history that the answer is not clearly defined. Even the Pathfinder Wiki's references don't come down decisively, that I can see. It doesn't even matter by this point, anyway.


Castrovel has been called their homeland several times, especially in the Second Darkness adventure path and the Distant Worlds Campaign Setting.

The primary city is called El, and has several Elf-Gates that lead to colonies across the cosmos including Kyonin.

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