Monstrous Physique — Turian

Here we are once more to finish off the main races for the Mass Effect series. (At least, the species available as companions in the first game in the series!) Rather than recount another tale of me playing a decade old game, I think I’ll just dive in to the stats. It’s what Garrus would want. Let’s have a look!

Turian Infiltrator CR 1
XP 400
Turian operative
N Medium humanoid (turian)
Init +5; Senses Perception +6
HP 17
EAC 11; KAC 12
Fort +3, Ref +4, Will +4
Speed 30 ft.
Melee slam +6 (1d4+3)
Ranged pistol +6 (1d4+1)
Offensive Abilities trick attack +1d4
Str +2, Dex +4, Con +1, Int +2, Wis +4, Cha +0
Skills Computers +11, Engineering +11, Perception +6, Piloting +6, Sense Motive +6, Stealth +11
Languages Common, Turian
Other Abilities asari melding
Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or squad (3–6)
Gear Aldrin Labs Agent armor (treat as second skin), Armax Arsenal Brawler (treat as azimuth laser pistol) plus 3 batteries

Turian Agent CR 9
XP 6,400
Turian operative
N Medium humanoid (turian)
Init +9; Senses Perception +18
HP 135
EAC 22; KAC 23
Fort +10, Ref +11, Will +12
Defensive Abilities evasion, uncanny agility
Speed 50 ft., climb 30 ft., swim 30 ft.
Melee slam +19 (3d4+12)
Ranged pistol +19 (2d8+9) or
sniper +17 (2d10+9)
Offensive Abilities debilitating trick, trick attack +5d8, triple attack
Str +3, Dex +6, Con +2, Int +3, Wis +4, Cha +0
Skills Acrobatics +23, Computers +18, Engineering +23, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18, Stealth +23
Languages Common, Turian
Other Abilities operative exploits (interfering shot), specialization (daredevil)
Environment any
Organization solitary or pair
Gear Armax Arsenal Predator L armor (treat as gold travel suit), Elanus Risk Control Services Striker (treat as aphelion laser pistol) plus 5 batteries, Haliat Armory Equalizer (treat as tactical magnetar rifle) plus 36 rounds

Turians are a humanoid species with avian features. They are similar to humans in regards to height and lifespan, but sport thick fingers that end in talons and a set of mandibles around their mouths. Turian bodies are covered in a unique, metallic carapace that is resistant to low-level radiation and they possess excellent eyesight. Turian culture is very regimented and well-organized. Most turians dedicate themselves to public service and the turian military is the center of their society. Turian military includes more than just soldiers as the military also provides public services in the form of civic police, fire brigades, and engineers. A turian typically dedicates a decade of her life or longer to various public service positions. Due to this cultural structure, many turians serve in positions of leadership.

Ability Adjustments: +2 Dex, +2 Wis, –2 Cha
Hit Points: 4
Size and Type: Turians are Medium humanoids with the turian subtype.
Low-light Vision: Turians can see in dim light as if it were normal light.
Natural Weapons: Turians are always considered armed. They can deal 1d3 lethal damage with unarmed strikes and the attack doesn’t count as archaic. Turians gain a unique weapon specialization with their natural weapons at 3rd level, allowing them to add 1–1/2 × their character level to their damage rolls for their natural weapons (instead of just adding their character level, as usual).
Turian Exoskeleton: Turian exoskeletons are resistant to radiation. Turians receive a +4 racial bonus to saves against radiation.
Turian Training: Turians are known for their militaristic roles. Turian characters select either advanced melee weapons or long arms. They are proficient with the chosen weapon type.

Monstrous Origins

Okay, last one! I realize now how hard it is to map abilities to existing creatures and races. Making brand new alien species is a lot easier than trying to decide what an existing species receives for racial abilities. Although a lot of the Mass Effect aliens are very unique and distinct from one another, most of the major differences beyond appearance were cultural. Luckily, this culture is something I was able to tap for the turians. Being a more military focused race, I used that as inspiration for their training ability. It didn’t make sense to grant proficiency in small arms as all classes grant that already, but I also didn’t want to go too far and grant all weapon proficiencies to everyone. Instead, I created the choice that we see above. I think it’s a cool ability and lets players make their class a little more unique. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a wasted ability with soldiers. You can’t please everyone! Turian eyesight seemed perfect for low-light vision and their unique carapace was also an easy addition. The fact that turians have talons also pointed me to stealing the vesk’s natural weapons. The thing that was kind of tough was the ability adjustments. The predatory nature of the turian physiology suggested Dexterity to me and the regimented culture felt like a Wisdom bonus. The same culture also eventually led me to choosing a Charisma penalty as I felt that turians might come off as a bit standoffish due to their upbringings.

That’s it for this week! If you end up introducing turians into your game or you have any request for a future Monstrous Physique, please drop me a line at

Luis Loza

Luis Loza is a developer at Paizo, working on the Pathfinder Lost Omens line and formerly on Campaign Setting and Player Companion lines. He's done freelance for Paizo Inc, Legendary Games, Rogue Genius Games, and more third-party publishers. His hobbies include gaming both tabletop and video, making jokes, obsessing over time travel, taking naps with Nova his cat, and walks with his wife. He is eternally plagued with a hunger for tacos. Consider checking his material on his Patreon at