People In Rubber Suits

Basic Information

People In Rubber Suits are aliens with a similar body layout to humans, and with only cosmetic changes from human appearance.

These aliens are also typically psychologically, socially and biologically similar to humans - although sometimes with a specific "hat" intended to distinguish their "species" from others (e.g being a proud warrior race or some characteristic like "very susceptible to heat" (often colour coded for your convenience)). Beastmen are particularly prone to fall victim to this trope.

This term is also used pejoratively to refer to RPG characters for whom their species is only a set of modifiers to their stat block, and for whom the player makes no effort to actually roleplay a non-human (not to be confused with identity equals personality, which is a similar lack of effort from a different angle).

Any character which is actually just a person in a rubber suit is probably a gimp.

See Also

Costume Tropes
Otherness Tropes


TV Tropes Wiki entry

Game and Story Use

  • For shows trying to emulate science fiction television series, this trope is in-genre and may be what players expect. On the other hand, there is no reason to stick to it in other science fiction settings - unlike TV shows, RPGs don't have to worry about a special effects budget.
  • This trope is also common in fantasy games - partially because they are based on human mythology, partially because this justifies having interchangeable equipment for a variety of player character races.
  • It also works for settings where the various "alien" races are for the most part just metaphors for different aspects of the human condition.
  • This can be legitimate if all of your "aliens" are in fact parahumans derived from GM human stock. Even if no-one remembers that anymore.
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