Saturday, September 3, 2011

Berk Species Profile: Tofu People

Image from Wikimedia Commons
Visitors to Berk soon notice that many of the city's residents are unusually pale. On closer inspection, these residents have curiously flat faces and soft flesh. These are the tofu people, a species of people who mainly live in Berk and the surrounding area. Though they are not as numerous as the human residents of the city, tofu people come from all walk of life and are a common sight in all parts of Berk.


Tofu people can be tall or short, heavily-built or thin. There are no fat tofu people, though. Whether they are wiry or broad-shouldered, all tofu people are in good physical shape. Their skin is commonly a pale cream color, but some tofu people have brown or yellow coloration, resembling the color that tofu takes when it is prepared in certain ways.

No two tofu people look exactly alike, and many differ greatly in appearance. Some are very angular, with rectangular heads, torsos, and limbs and only the merest suggestion of facial features. Others are nearly indistinguishable from humans except for their baldness and lack of coloration.


Tofu people are not animals, and their bodies are composed entirely of homogenous tofu. They have no internal organs, and the way their bodies function remains a mystery. Because their bodies are made of the same material all the way through, tofu people have no weak points and can continue functioning as normal even with sections of their bodies missing. When a tofu person loses a limb, there is no way to reattach the missing body part, but the tofu person will regenerate the appendage slowly over time.

Despite being made of tofu, tofu people can walk, talk, think, feel emotion, and do most other things that humans can. Tofu children often delight in discovering how their bodies are different from those of their human friends; for instance, tofu children who discover human farts enjoy trying to mimic the sound by squeezing their hands together to make farting noises.

Tofu people prefer to eat vegetables, and find foods tasty in direct proportion to how healthy they are. Some tofu person street vender favorites include Brussels sprouts on-a-stick and popsicles made by sticking a popsicle stick into a frozen turnip. Tofu people have trouble grasping why humans like unhealthy foods so much better than healthy foods.

When necessary, a tofu person can survive on very little food for days or even weeks at a time, though the tofu person will start to weaken and diminish in size until more food is found. When food is plentiful, tofu people can gorge themselves, growing rapidly in size. The sight of a hungry tofu person demolishing an enormous bowl of cauliflower is awe-inspiring.

Tofu people do not need to sleep as humans do, though if they remain awake for long stretches of time their bodies start to burn more and more energy, and so they must keep eating more and more until they have a chance to rest for a few hours. Snacking is very important to tofu people, and they take every opportunity to quickly crunch a carrot or scarf a handful of pea pods.

Tofu does not have a long shelf life, and similarly, tofu people do not live as long as humans do. A typical tofu person's life expectancy is about 35 to 40 years. As they age, tofu people become soggy and brittle (it's considered polite to ignore the smell). To compensate for this short life span, tofu people grow up very quickly, increasing in size and soaking up knowledge to the point where they can be considered adults at 5 years of age.

Just like humans, tofu people come in two genders. They reproduce and have tofu babies, who look like tiny, nubby versions of tofu people. The exact mechanism by which tofu people reproduce is unknown, and tofu people will change the subject if anyone brings it up.


Like tofu, tofu people soak up the flavor of the world around them. A tofu person who grows up near the Great Library will become intellectual and soft-spoken, while a tofu person who grows up among street performers will be outgoing and flashy. A tofu person who grows up near a Russian werewolf barracks will be a strange one indeed, happily devouring barbequed lettuce and constantly drinking carrot juice.

If tofu people exist in isolation for a few generations, they tend to become level-headed generalists who learn a variety of skills.

Species Faction: Vegan Cannibals

Perhaps the most well-known thing about tofu people is that they make up the raider gang known as the Vegan Cannibals. If a tofu person ever eats tofu, it damages their mind and makes the tofu person crave the flesh of its fellows. Once a tofu person tastes tofu, all other food tastes bland and mushy to them. From that day forward, only tofu has any texture or flavor.

Vegan Cannibals hate animals with their assortment of weird internal giblets and are repulsed at the thought of eating anything but tofu. Common Vegan Cannibal battlecries include "If you won't eat tofu, eat this!" and "Meat is about to be murdered!"

Vegan Cannibal gangs fight with a variety of sharpened, oversized eating utensils. Most Vegan Cannibals will use forks or spoons, but the elite are the Vegan Cannibal Chopstick Masters, who can paralyze a body part with a poke to a pressure point and disarm skilled opponents with the flick of a wrist.

After eating tofu, a Vegan Cannibal will heal rapidly from wounds as their body uses the tofu they just ate to patch the body part that was injured. This regeneration is believed to help a tofu person extend his or her lifespan. Fear of old age has driven many tofu people to try a nibble of tofu in the hopes of prolonging life, and this almost always leads the tofu person down the path of Vegan Cannibalism. Similarly, Vegan Cannibalism threatens the more vain tofu people, who can start snacking on tofu to prevent the spread of fine lines. Imagine the horror of having Auntie Bertha, who seemed to be aging so gracefully, go to the bathroom to "touch up her makeup," only to emerge as a tofu-crazed monster.

Eating tofu has long-term physiological effects on tofu people. Their bodies tend to become stooped and lanky, and they move with a characteristic lope. Their minds start to degenerate until, after years of eating nothing but tofu, a tofu person can barely remember how to talk (but will probably still try to tell people about the dangers of eating meat and the health benefits of tofu, albeit in an unintelligible jabber).

It is possible for a tofu person to be saved from Vegan Cannibalism, but it is not easy. The tofu person must be kept from eating tofu and fed vegetables to cleanse their body. Most importantly, the tofu person has to be restrained to keep them from eating their own delicious, delicious bodies.

Some people believe that yoga can also cure a tofu person of Vegan Cannibalism, but it's quite a risk to take. A Vegan Cannibal Yoga Zombie is something too terrible to contemplate...


Tofu people who become adventurers often have specialist roles like demolitions experts. These tofu people are drawn to adventuring as a result of their curiosity and their natural ability to soak up information.

All demolitions experts have to learn quickly, but tofu people have the advantage of being able to learn from their mistakes. A tofu person who blows off an arm will give a one-shouldered shrug, check his or her notes, and go off to find a meal.

Tofu people also make good snipers, since patience comes naturally to them. Tofu people snipers enjoy the fact that other species have weak points to shoot. The lack of biological processes makes it easier for a tofu person to hold a weapon steady. One thing tofu people have to learn is when to shoot, though, as they have a natural tendency to line up a shot and wait for the right time to take it, and keep waiting, and keep on waiting. Some raider leaders have spent whole days in the crosshairs of novice tofu people snipers without realizing it as the tofu person kept on patiently waiting for the shot to line up just right.


  1. I found this amusing, but I'm not sure how I could pull it off in an actual campaign. I do like the part about Vegan Cannibals having a craving for their own delicious, delicious bodies. And the ability of tofu to soak up the flavors around it is very useful...

    Typo: "Tofu people have trouble grasping why humans like unhealthy foods so much better than unhealthy foods."

  2. Thanks for the comment about my typo, and thanks for your feedback!