One Shot RPG features a playable race of aliens who range from being made of stone to being made of plant material. All individuals of the race feature a naturally grown collar, and modifying it is used to show their status in society.
Stone and Plant People
Members of the playable alien species from Mars are known as stone people and plant people. They get this name because each individual falls somewhere on a sliding scale of plantyness. Some are composed of mostly plant material, some are made of mostly stone, and some are a mixture of the two. The species is humanoid in appearance, and the plants and rocks they resemble are comparable to Earth counterparts.
At first glance, an individual on the plant side of things looks like a run of the mill flesh and bone humanoid species. But upon closer inspection, the viewer will notice that hair is made up of fronds, needles, and even an occasional cone. What appear to be solid limbs reveal pressed stems and leaves. The plant people are based off of non-flowering Earth plants—liverworts, mosses, ferns, cycads, and conifers. Their skin ranges from relatively soft and fleshy to woody and bark-like. Their colors include greens, browns, reds, blues, and yellows.
Members of the species that fall on the stone side of the scale resemble walking colossi. Their bodies are composed of rocks, minerals, and gemstones. Bodies are singular pieces with little segmentation. They start out smooth and crack as the individual ages, with the eldest members featuring large gashes. Their hair ranges from a single formed shape, to strands of silicate, to full-on crystals. Individuals share patterns and colors found on Earth rocks—splotches, banding, and flecks.
Members of the One Shot RPG playable race averages six inches shorter than a human. Those on the plant side of the scale tend to be lighter and thinner than those made of stone—who tend to be bulkier and weight more. There are heavy plant people and skinny stone people, though. No matter where they fall on the scale, plant or stone, they are still comparable to the weight of a human. Players don’t need to worry about a stone person falling through the floor of a building or a plant character being blown away in the wind.
The species doesn’t utilize photosynthesis, and even if it did, most members live underground and don’t get a lot of sunlight. Regardless of where individuals fall on the scale, they need similar amounts of food and water to survive. From a mechanical perspective, plant people don’t burn faster or take more damage from fire, and stone people aren’t immune to electricity. There are visibly male and female genders, comparable to humans in anatomy. Their internal structure also somewhat resembles that of a human. Like the denizens of Venus, it’s hypothesized that long ago, organisms from Earth arrived on Mars and evolved in a manner similar to life on Earth, which explains the resemblance.
Individuals are all the same species and are able to produce offspring with each other, even if they fall on different sides of the plantyness scale. Both genetics and environment dictate where the resulting offspring sits on the scale. Two fully stone parents can give birth to a fully plant baby, and vice versa. The species reproduces by spores, the mechanics of which varies based on where the individual falls on the scale—and are beyond the scope of this article.
As brainstormed in the previous article, members of the alien species feature a naturally grown collar at the back of their neck. The collar is ornamental in nature, its original purpose has been lost to time with advances in technology. They range in size from as small as an inch tall, to extending well past the head. Naturally grown collars sport simple shapes—a split, here a bend there—and can be made from both plant and stone material. The collar gives the race an almost snobby appearance, or even make them look evil, which can add to the horror feel of the setting.
The most fashionable and trendy body modification that people undergo involves changing the appearance of their collar. Collars are cut or formed into elaborate designs and are changed into vivid colors. They are pierced with gems and jewelry, making them looks like crowns. The collar has turned into a status symbol; the rich are able to afford elaborate modifications while simple—temporary—changes like painting are practiced by the poor.
Previous articles have mentioned that members of this species have formed a symbiotic relationship with a glowing fungus. This idea has been scrapped in favor of the collar. The main reason for this was outlined in the previous article. In addition, the race already has a lot going for it, and adding the fungus would only make it even more complicated.