Small and furtive, the ysoki are often overlooked by larger races. Yet through wit and technological prowess, they’ve spread throughout the solar system, giving truth to the old adage that every starship needs a few rats.
+2 Dexterity, +2 Intelligence, and -2 Strength
2 hitpoints at first level
Ysoki are Small humanoids with the ysoki subtype.
Ysoki can store up to 1 cubic foot of items weighing up to 1 bulk in total in their cheek pouches, and they can transfer a single object between hand and cheek as a swift action. A ysoki can disgorge the entire contents of his pouch onto the ground in his square as a move action that
does not provoke an attack of opportunity.
Ysoki can see up to 60 feet in the dark.
Ysoki are scrappy and nimble even when the odds are against them. A ysoki can stand from prone as a swift action. Additionally, when off-kilter (see page 276), a ysoki does not take the normal penalties to attacks or gain the flat-footed condition. When attempting an Acrobatics check to tumble through the space of an opponent at least one size category larger than himself, a ysoki receive a +5 racial bonus to the check.
Ysoki receive a +2 racial bonus to Engineering, Stealth, and Survival checks.
Ranging from 3 to 4 feet tall, ysoki resemble humanoid rats who walk upright, complete with fur, long incisors, constantly twitching noses, and partially prehensile tails that help them keep their balance and maneuver in zero gravity. Their small, dexterous hands are perfect for working on delicate electronics, and their keen noses often allow them to identify complex chemicals by smell. Male and female ysoki are difficult for other
races to tell apart, as they have similar body types and favor similar fashions.
While the term “ysoki” originates from Akiton, where the race has long been a vibrant and respected culture, populations of ratfolk (as they’re sometimes called) existed on several worlds for millennia before spaceflight became common. Whether these different populations were examples of convergent evolution or they shared a common ancestor is anyone’s guess, but today most of these cultures now identify as part of the overarching ysoki race. This is due partially to the wide variation in ysoki heredity, which makes ethnicity (and often even immediate family connections) almost impossible to determine by sight or genetics, but even more so to the fact that ysoki have done more than any other ratfolk group to demand and maintain the respect of larger races.
SOCIETY AND ALIGNMENT
Ysoki society is chaotic and freewheeling, and a typical warren is full of half-finished projects and multiple ysoki talking over each other. Regardless of their role in society, nearly all ysoki hold a deep and abiding love for technology and gadgets, whether it be an engineer’s love of taking machines apart or a soldier’s appreciation for her armor’s construction. While they traditionally take on roles and societal niches other races view as unpleasant, acting as junkers or squeezing through the innards of starships, this is due not to a lack of pride, but rather an abundance thereof—ysoki are so sure of their own worth that living in subpar conditions doesn’t shame them. Larger races’ tendency to underestimate or pick on ysoki has left them fiercely loyal to their friends and families—both ysoki and otherwise—and a ysoki presented with a gross injustice often feels the need to fling himself teeth-first at the problem, consequences be damned. As a result, the most common ysoki
alignment is chaotic good, though they can easily be tugged toward the evil alignments by loyalty or a need to strike back at perceived oppression (or even simple disrespect).
Friendly and talented, ysoki integrate easily into most civilized societies, sometimes in all-ysoki neighborhoods and other times living side by side with alien cultures. The large size of ysoki families and their tendency to travel also means that a ysoki on a Pact World is shockingly likely to have a cousin or other contact in just about any major settlement. Of the major races, ysoki get along best with lashuntas, with whom they’ve traded for millennia, though they appreciate humanity’s pluck and shirrens’ devotion to community, even if the latter are a little too calm for ysoki tastes. They identify with androids’ defiance in the face of prejudice, but they find kasathas too aloof and vesk too obsessed with displaying dominance. Regardless of others’ races, ysoki pride themselves on being quick judges of character, and members of many other races have been surprised to find a ysoki fighting on their behalf after no more than a conversation in a crowded bar. Quick to rile and quick to forgive, fond of laughing at misfortune (both their own and others’), ysoki can sometimes be exhausting, but they are rarely boring.
Though ysoki form strong bonds with their friends and families, these connections are as likely to take them off-world as to keep them at home. Many curious young ysoki sign on with starship crews to see the universe or find their fortunes, and soon adopt their shipmates as a second family. Their natural aptitude with machines most often leads ysoki to become mechanics and technomancers, but they also enjoy the gloriously complicated weaponry employed by operatives and soldiers, and many appreciate the quick-witted patter of envoys.
Ysoki names tend to be short, and even those given longer names inevitably shorten them for informal use. Nicknames are often as important to ysoki as their actual names, and they tend to give both other ysoki and their non-ysoki friends monikers that refer to their personality or physiology, such as “Snack,” “Sparks,” “Twitch,” “Boom-Boom,” or “Dirtbath.” While some ysoki take family names, many use the names of their ships or home settlements instead. Some sample ysoki names include Bena, Coponisa, Cors, Goba, Ketch, Kib, Lolo, Niknik, Quig, Resk, Sim, and Twik.