Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Spore Week: Strange Growths of the Beeheath Undermarket

You saved his village!  He's so proud of you!
Adventurers recently cleared out the stretch of sewer beneath the Beeheath Market Square, and in the process, found a circle of myconids living within the storage rooms of the old Gewerbestadt Night Market.

In time, as sewer workers survey the site and begin shoring up the old aqueducts, the myconids will no doubt encounter humanity and become exposed to commerce and trade and human values.

Such is the way of things.

At that time, travelers will no doubt want to trade for their wondrous fungal remedies.  The myconids do not understand trade — you can just give people stuff they need, after all — but it is the way of these strange mammalian things, so they will adapt.

They don't sell many standard goods, other than rations at standard prices.  (Hope you like mushrooms!)  For the discerning adventurer, here are some nonstandard goods they might sell.  Alternately, since the characters arguably helped them by clearing out the sewers of vermin, perhaps they just have one of these waiting when next they visit!  (Coincidentally, the next one grows to maturity the visit after the last one is consumed.  Funny how that timing works.)


As any mycologist can tell you, identifying fungi is difficult, even if you're well-trained.  Characters can only identify what a given fungus is and does at great difficulty, if at all.  (It's probably easier to identify it after you've eaten it, though.)  Assume the descriptions below are guidelines; the fungi can have greater similarities if you want to make future identification more difficult.

The myconids don't know what these mushrooms do to non-fungal lifeforms, so they can't help you.  They're very interested to know what happens when you consume these mushrooms, though.

The face of a dedicated scientist.
Assign prices to the following.  (10gp or 25gp per syllable in the name is a good rule of thumb.)  Alternatively, roll 1d12 to see which type of mushroom is available on any given visit:

1. I Dreamt A Dream Of Fullness, Of Wholeness, And It Was My Entirety
A standard healing potion: like a cure light wounds spell (1d6+1 hp) in an old-school game, or a potion of healing (2d4+2 hp) in a 5e game.
A brownish, greyish morel with a warm, nutty flavor.

2. I Had A Dream Of The Cosmos, And It Was I, And I Was It
You know it was coming.  Replicates the effects of an enlarge spell for an hour.  (For old school games, assume it grants double size and double Strength-based damage for the duration.)
A sticky red-and-white spotted toadstool.  Tastes sour, like illusions of grandeur.

3. For the Eukarya Is Mykarya, All Are Connected, All Are Siblings In The World
The consumer must make a saving throw vs. poison.  (Or a DC 13 Constitution check.)  On a failed save, the consumer begins the transformation into a slime mold.  This takes a turn (10 minutes), and is quite painful.  However, once complete, the character can ooze through cracks as small as one inch without difficulty (and without slowing down), and the character can cling to walls and ceilings, moving at standard rates without climbing checks.  The character's equipment is left behind, but the ooze-character makes a dandy scout.  At the end of every hour, the character makes the same saving throw vs. poison, turning back into themselves (albeit bereft of equipment) on a successful save.  If the character fails five such saving throws in a row, the change is permanent.  (Although appropriate magic can probably reverse the transformation.)
A patch of purple-brown mold with an acrid aroma but pleasing, cotton candy taste.

4. The Motive Force Of The Mind Sets The Whole World Into Motion
The consumer gains +1d6 Intelligence for an hour.  (Alternately, for a 5e-type game, gain advantage on Intelligence checks as per enhance ability.)  The character can probably do calculations in their head for the duration.
A juicy purple toadstool, it probably leaves stains on the inside of your pack.  Tastes like cool lemonade on a hot desert day.

5. The Deepest Root Lies Not In The Earth, But In Oneself
You can communicate telepathically with nearby intelligent creatures (creatures of higher than animal intelligence that you can see within 60 feet) for the duration.  They cannot communicate back, though.
A brownish-orange bracket, chewing it tastes of nutty wood and a mild metallic aftertaste.

6. The Fruit Was Birthed In The Mind, And It Will Take Root In All Minds
You grow fruiting bodies that rupture, sporulating in a cloud around you.  For 1d6 rounds, you can order people to do things as per a suggestion spell.  They fall under this compulsion for only 1d6 turns (ten-minute increments for you new school folks), but it requires no further concentration from you to enact.  This spell only affects creatures that breathe and can understand your language.  They can roll a save vs. poison to resist the compulsion.  (For 5e-type games, roll a DC 13 Constitution saving throw to resist the suggestion.)
A white puffball, tasting of exotic fruits and ambition.

7. I Dreamt I Was An Animal Capable of Speech, And The Other Animals Did Hasten To My Words
You grow fruiting bodies that rupture, sporulating in a cloud around you.  For 1d6 turns (ten-minute increments), those nearby must roll a save vs. poison or else be affected as if by charm person.  The charm effect wears off when the duration ends.  As per a regular charm person spell, the affected parties know that you did something to them when the spell wears off.  They get saves if you ask them to do something harmful, as normal.  (Again, DC 13 Constitution saving throw to resist 5e charm person.)
A pink puffball, tasting of port wine and sorrow.

8. The Deepest Root Lies Not In The Earth, But In Oneself, But Oneself Is The Microcosm
For an hour, any creature coming within 30 feet of you must make a saving throw vs. poison or else be affected by your rapport spores.  (5e: DC 13 Constitution saving throw.)  While under the influence of these spores, creatures can communicate telepathically with you or any other creature under the influence of rapport spores, so long as they are within 30 feet.  (However, all creatures thus networked hear this communication, even affected enemies.)  You can likewise communicate with the network.  This affects any living creature smarter than an insect (Intelligence 2+), so long as it isn't an alien spirit (like an elemental.)  The effect ends when the duration ends.
A yellow puffball, tasting of salt and tin.

9. The Dream Of The Fungus-Mind Lives Within Me, Now
The consumer must make a save vs. poison or else be affected by confusion for 1d6 hours.  (Again, DC 13 Constitution saving throw to avoid confusion.)  You are gripped with terrifying hallucinations for the duration.  Hopefully, your companions have something to keep you restrained.
A morel with a washed-out brown color, tasting faintly of strawberries.

10. I Dreamt Not Of The Mycelia, For They Dreamt Of Me First
Hoo, boy.  If someone eats this, they make a saving throw vs. poison.  (DC 13 Constitution saving throw.)  The fungus has a will and controls the character for 1d6 hours.  (That is, the GM controls your character for 1d6 hours.)  What it wants is best left to the mind of the GM, but it's probably strange and alien.  (If you're stuck for ideas, it probably wants to spread, or to spread the meld.  What do your friends do when they catch you seeding local wells with fungal spores?)  You do not remember what you do in this time.
A sticky yellow toadstool, tasting acrid and strange.

11. What Is A God But A New Life Upon The Face Of The World
The consumer makes a save vs. poison.  (DC 13 Con save.)  Failure indicates the spores take root.  Over the next 1d6 hours, a fruiting body appears and grows before falling off.  It gains 10 pounds per hour.  When it falls off, it becomes a 1 HD myconid — AC unarmored, 1 slam attack for 1d4 damage, and its only special powers are to release spores that alert other myconids of danger.  It withers and dies if exposed to direct sunlight for more than an hour.  (If using 5e, use the stats for a myconid sprout.)  It has no particular loyalty to you, although it is likely to regard you as a parent if well-treated.  But are you willing to nurture this thing until it grows into an adult?
A toadstool with a fibrous, bracket-like consistency.  Tastes like wood and nostalgia.

12. I Dreamt Of Home, Of My Truest Self, Of The Meld That Lurks In All Our Selves
Make a save vs. poison or a DC 13 Constitution save.  On a failed save, the consumer falls into a deep slumber lasting 1d4 days.  The consumer's body swells and grows during this time, becoming strange and purplish.  At the end of this time, the consumer's body ruptures, revealing a myconid inside.  The myconid retains the original character's memories and statistics, although it exchanges the original character's race for its own.  (If using the race-as-class variation, it becomes a myconid with the same XP as the original character.)  As with For the Eukarya Is Mykarya, All Are Connected, All Are Siblings In The World, appropriately potent restoration magic might reverse the transformation.
A purple mushroom looking disturbingly like a little myconid.  Smells like the top of a baby's head and has a subtle, musky flavor.  Tastes like home.

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