Races in RPGs are often built as one note stereotypes and players get to either play into that or be the exception.
That’s lame. Races should be interesting and only be held back by a players imagination while still being unique among other people.
So in writing this, I had five points I wanted to (attempt to) nail with this idea:
Ground each race in what makes them unique and fun to play
Separate nature from nurture in development
Dump problematic or tired stereotypes
Make it an accessible gateway for people who don’t know much about them to learn and expand upon
Do it in one page or less (because not everyone wants to/has time to crack open a novel to learn about the origins of a group of people)
For quericu, I wanted to showcase the creativity and unique features that would come about from tree-based people. How they move, how they live, how they gain nutrients. They’re fundamentally different, but they’re still people of the realm.
I wrote this to work mechanically with Lexicon (the system I built), but it also works for any system if you read it simply as lore.
Special thanks to u/DeathMcGunz for critiquing quericu.
One Page Lore: Quericu
Quericu (kware-eh-coo) are unique in their nonuniform anatomy and visual connection to different kinds of trees, meaning few quericu appear alike. With long lives and astounding resilience, many quericu have stories to tell.
Quericu are living trees. They possess the five senses and all of the necessary features to experience them, though the placement can be more fluid than it is among other creatures.
Long branches form limbs, with smaller branches they can use like fingers. However, the amount of arms and fingers a quericu can possess is nonstandard.
Rather than legs, quericu walk on their collection of roots, giving them astounding balance and stability.
Quericu can become Uprooted at virtually any size, though they rarely grow taller than 15 feet. It is only after becoming Rooted they can grow to astounding heights.
Quericu do not sleep or eat. They gain nutrients and energy through sunlight beaming on them for at least 6 hours a day. While they can go a day without it, they will begin to suffer if they continue to live without sunlight.
Quericu do not grow all at once. Their foliage and branches grow in spring, followed by their trunk in the summer, and their roots during the fall and winter.
Communion with Nature
Despite losing a direct connection to the Rootsource- a network of roots and fungi similar to mycorrhizal networks- Uprooted quericu still have a connection to nature. They can offer minor services to nature if they so choose, such as providing temporary shade, sharing nutrients with other plants, and warn plants about potential dangers.
Their tree-like appearance often attracts or confuses animals, especially those who normally nest or hunt near trees the quericu resembles. Some creatures will attempt to nest in the quericu. This can result in a symbiotic relationship between the quericu and the animals or other plants that make them their home, such as allowing birds to nest on them if they eat the unwanted insects that attempt to burrow into the quericu’s bark.
This communion with nature extends to the weather as well. They can often sense her moods and predict her actions. They are also resilient to her powers, such as heat, cold, and wind, since quericu are in nearly every region of the world so long as there’s soil.
Three Stages of Life
Quericu have 3 stages in life: Seedling, Uprooted, and Rooted. When a Seedling falls from a Rooted quericu, it takes root and connects to the Rootsource, granting it communication and resource sharing with other quericu in the vicinity. At this stage, the Seedling grows, remaining as a stationary tree.
At the Seedling’s choosing, it can start the second stage of life: Uprooted.
Uprooted quericu pull their roots from the ground, disconnecting themselves from the Rootsource. They open their eyes and mouths and for the first time can communicate with creatures outside of the Rootsource. Many quericu use this time to wander and explore.
When they wish to expand the family, a quericu can choose to become Rooted. To become Rooted, quericu bury their roots into the ground, forever releasing what gives them mobility. Within a week, their mouth seals shut, removing their ability to communicate verbally. Once fully Rooted, they connect to the Rootsource, granting them the ability to connect their thoughts to other rooted quericu in the vicinity.
After many years of being rooted and growing larger, they sprout a seed and expand the family.
Quericu live until an external force claims them. This is true in each stage of their life.
- Extra Arms – Extra limbs can make many tasks easier
- Many Fingers – Many fingers allows even massive quericu the ability to perform delicate tasks
- Massive – Many quericu utilize their towering figure to their advantage
- Sturdy – Wide and numerous roots means quericu can stand their ground
- Carrying Capacity – A strong quericu can carry a heavy load without slowing
- Camouflage – When standing still, it’s difficult to tell a quericu from a tree
- Commune with Nature – Quericu have a distinct connection with plants and animals, be it friendly or hostile
- Weather Compliant – With a unique anatomy, extreme temperatures don’t much bother quericu
- Resilient – Few things can truly stop a quericu
- Flowering – Some quericu can produce seedless flowers that provide a service, such as fine smells or useful ingredients
- Thirsty – Quericu must take in an astounding amount of water through their roots to sustain themselves
- Loud – Quericu tend to creak as they move
- Telegraph – Given their massive size, their movement is often easy to predict
- Vulnerable to Fire – Wood burns more easily than flesh
- Too Big to Notice – Quericu are susceptible to termites and other burrowing creatures
Other One Page Lore for fantasy folk:
I’m intractable on