Kaymos


Homebrew


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I've become a bit fixated on Candares lately (I connected it to a recurring NPC's background), and that got me thinking more about the settlement and the mysterious kaymos mentioned in passing in the Castrovel article in Dead Suns #2.

I've gone so far as to pester past and present Starfinder developers about the kaymos and I've confirmed that, yup, they're a tossaway line to inspire GMs, with no plans for them currently lurking in the wings. So with the stage cleared, I decided to flesh them out a bit; here are my WIP scratch notes.

First of all, here's all of official canon on kaymos:

1. They are native to the cliff walls of the crevasse surrounding Lower Candares, where, traditionally, they maintain seasonal temples and bury their dead.

2. They are "spider-limbed."

3. They live in peace with Candares' lashunta population.

4. A rare mineral, corpsicum, is produced when water seeps through the kaymos' burial grounds. Astral Extractions recently discovered new magical uses for corpsicum, leading to a "corpsicum rush."

5. Some kaymos (along with some lashuntas) have formed a resistance group to the industrial miners called the Wallkeepers.

And lastly, it's not directly stated, but kaymos are native to Castrovel, where most of the other sapient species (lashuntas, formians, and khizars) are telepathic.

So, since the next Starfinder Wayfinder is years out, here's what I'm noodling with so far. Work in progress!

Kaymo Racial Traits
Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, -2 Cha
Hit Points: 4
Species Language: Kaymo
Size and Type: Kaymos are Medium monstrous humanoids.
Darkvision: Kaymos have darkvision with a range of 60 feet.
Four-Armed: Kaymos have four arms, which allows them to wield and hold up to four hands' worth of weapons and equipment. A kaymo's upper set of arms are distinctly smaller than their lower set. A kaymo takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls if if uses its upper arms to wield weapons of 1 or greater bulk. Otherwise this functions as the kasatha ability (and counts as it for the purposes of prerequisites).
Inherited Memory (Su): A kaymo's neurological system naturally forms crystalline micro-lattices that become psychically attuned as the kaymo reaches adulthood. This acts as a natural psychic receptacle for memories that one kaymo can mentally pass on to another. At character creation, a kaymo may choose any one skill to store as an "inherited" memory. The kaymo gains an additional skill rank at 1st level and each level thereafter; these ranks must all be placed in the inherited skill. A kaymo may also choose to leave their receptacle unused, not applying the bonus skill ranks.

Once per day, in a process that requires one full hour of uninterrupted physical and telepathic contact (or one day of downtime), a kaymo can pass this skill to another kaymo. The initiating kaymo loses the stored memory (including all of its skill ranks) and the receiving kaymo gains that memory (including extra skill ranks in that skill equal to the receiving kaymo's level). If the receiving kaymo already had an inherited memory, it loses that memory (and its skill), with the new skill replacing it. Alternatively, the receiving kaymo can pass the existing inherited memory to the initiating kaymo (effectively trading the skills).

If the recipient kaymo is already trained in the inherited skill, their own skill ranks and the inherited ranks do not stack. Thus, "extra" ranks go unused, but still exist to be passed on.

A kaymo can also pass their inherited memory on to non-kaymos, so long as the recipient has either telepathy or limited telepathy (from any source). However, the transference is far less effective with non-kaymos. A kaymo can also choose to use this limited and temporary form of memory transference with other kaymos, if it so chooses. When it uses the limited form of this ability, a kaymo can grant one of two effects (the initiating kaymo's choice). First, a kaymo can deliver a burst of information related to the inherited memory, as a mink link spell (CL equals the kaymo's level or CR). Alternatively, a kaymo can grant a psychic impression of the memory, granting the recipient the benefits of the aid another action when using that skill for the next hour. This limited form of memory transference requires only physical contact and a full action to perform.

In all cases, recipients must be conscious and willing for the psychic bond to function. Transferring memories is a supernatural ability, but a kaymo's ability to store an inherited memory is extraordinary and cannot be dispelled.

For kaymo NPCs, designate one master skill as the kaymo's inherited skill. NPC kaymos can transfer memories to reallocate that master skill to a new skill using the same skill bonus.

A kaymo's inherited memory includes not just the practical knowledge and even muscle memory contained within the skill, but also the experiences of the kaymo who originally formed that memory. Kaymos view this ability as a means to literally share a piece of themselves or keep aspects of a respected ancestor alive within them, so they consider the process incredibly intimate, usually transferring memories only to loved ones, dear friends, or trusted heirs or students. Kaymos speak of "bequeathing" memories through the generations.

Kaymo Movement: Kaymos have a base speed of 20 feet and a climb speed of 20 feet.
Limited Telepathy: Kaymos can communicate telepathically with any creatures within 30 feet with whom they share a language, as the shirren ability.
Spatially Aware: Kaymos gain a +2 racial bonus to Athletics and Sense Motive checks.

Kaymos are an insectoid species native to the high peaks surrounding the Candares valley on the continent of Asana on Castrovel. Unlike Castrovel's dominant sapient species, they remain clustered in the region, generally feeling a strong and direct connection to the history of their homeland. Kaymos' ancestors spent the majority of their lives scuttling along the vertical surfaces of the ravine walls overlooking the Tarakeshi River, where they built their ancient temples, tombs, and nest-like villages. When the spring floodwaters sieve through the porous rock of the cliffs, they would break down the interred remains of the kaymo dead, gradually flushing their crystalline memory matrices into a sludge-like solution that often lined the pools formed at the base of the valley's countless waterfalls. When early lashuntas and other creatures wandered into the valley and drank from these pools, they received strange visions -- kaymo memories scattered into component atoms -- that eventually caused them to look up and discover their neighbors peering down from high atop the jagged cliffs.

Kaymos' ability to literally share the learned experiences of others makes them extremely open-minded, though they are cautious and deliberate. As a culture, they remained neutral in the lashunta-formian wars, their presence gradually leading the lashuntas of Candares to develop slightly progressive views toward their insectoid foes in the Colonies compared to other city-states.

The strange properties of corpsicum -- the mineral formed by the breakdown of kaymo neurons in solution of water and the mountains' natural mineral deposits -- has long been known in Candares, but in its natural form it only produced weird, disjointed memory-visions of no practical use. Within the past dozen years, however, researchers from the off-world Astral Excavations mining company discovered that purer, more concentrated corpsicum -- that mined from the cliff sides directly below the ancient kaymo tombs could be refined into a magical substance that greatly enhanced telepathic communication and memory retention, useful in a variety of hybrid technologies that utilize the recording and transferring of memories, such as mnemonic editors. While Astral Extractions is not yet known to have violated any kaymo burial grounds, their cliffwalking extraction bots creep closer and closer to the "pure veins" of corpsicum by the month. Traditional rebels like the Wallkeepers insist that it's only a matter of time before Astral Extractions starts "mining" the kaymo dead directly or even, as the most conspiratorial think, start experimenting with methods of "farming" kaymos to extract corpsicum directly from their bodies.

Ironically, kaymos as natural cliff-walkers, kaymos are exceptionally well adapted to work the corpsicum mines, and for every kaymo secretly attending Wallkeeper meetings, another two or three put on a hard hat and a name tag every day to collect an Astral Extractions paycheck.

A kaymo's anatomy mingles both insectoid and humanoid traits in ways that some of Castrovel's denizens find unsettling. A kaymo has a segmented body with eight spindly, multi-jointed limbs -- four fully prehensile arms and four legs -- all ending in delicate, clutching claws. A kaymo's foremost set of arms and its rearmost set of legs are shorter than the central limbs, so when a kaymo isn't clutching a vertical surface, it naturally stands upright with a slightly hunched posture. A kaymo moves with deliberate precision; on the crumbling cliffs of the Candares valley, "Slow is fast, and fast is dead." The chitinous plates on a kaymo's back are a mottled greenish-brown that would normally blend into the vine-covered cliff sides of their native environment, but in modern Candares most kaymos spotted on the cliffs wear neon orange safety vests and carry whirring power tools, somewhat disrupting their natural camouflage. The lines of a kaymo's face are almost disturbingly humanoid, with four small mandibles forming something akin to a humanoid jawline and two large, black compound eyes that even some kaymos admit share a strange resemblance to elven eyes. (A distasteful joke told by some of Castrovel's lashuntas and elves is that kaymos were created when either ancient lashuntas or elves -- whichever one isn't within earshot -- intermingled with formians. Genetic analysis has disproved any such connection, however.)

The average kaymo is 5-6 feet tall when standing on a flat surface and weighs 150-250 pounds.


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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Pawns, Starfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Society Subscriber

This is super cool, John. I can’t believe that no one has had anything to say about it in the year and a half since you posted. Perhaps, like me, they just don’t look at this homebrew forum with any regularity.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It was a downer, but such is life. Thanks though!

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