Any of you guys know anything interesting about Fungus? I'm running a space game and want to do a fungi world, so to speak. But I don't want to do the normal thing, ie here are some mushroom men, please fight them.
>>38663934“I see the mycelium as the Earth's natural Internet, a consciousness with which we might be able to communicate. Through cross-species interfacing, we may one day exchange information with these sentient cellular networks. Because these externalized neurological nets sense any impression upon them, from footsteps to falling tree branches, they could relay enormous amounts of data regarding the movements of all organisms through the landscape.”- Paul StametsMycelium Runninghttp://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_futurebeyond23.htm
>>38663934Bioluminance can be one thing for communication through colors and brightness?
There's always the cordyceps option.Some fungi also display fluorescense.Then, real life slimes are also considered fungi.Maybe have an ancient civilization turned into funky glowing space zombies? Apply space slime where necessary.
>>38664041If you want some ideas for interesting (Read: Horrifying. Like most of mother nature) take on Fungus and plant life in general, take a look at the latest Wow Expansion. Namely the Botani in gorgrond. Some dark shit when you think about it.
I recall there are forms of predatory fungus that feed on worms that pass through their roots, which constrict and kill the worms.
>>38664046That'd be cool. Inside of some dark cave and you see an ocean of fungal crabs moving around and casting their own silent rainbow rave.
>>38664162ooooh, make it so this fungus starts poisoning and making everything want to kill the PCs.>so like a zombie apoc-NO! when i say everything FUCKING EVERYTHING! the grass starts to conspire against them with hard shells forming, water poisons suddenly from fungus getting in the water, any game they hunt (which is going to try and kill them with mushroom rape power) has tainted meat, everything that isnt the goddamn sunshine should be trying to kill them in some new creative way (bodies, plants, creatures, fucking everything) maybe get them to link up with some scattered expedition forces that they can (sort of) rely on having rations or at the least fungus-be-gone.this is your job anon, make us proud
>>38664658A fungal apocalypse would be great. Have it go full horror creepy, just all life slowly being replaced or just DRAINED by fungus that never quite kills it, just deforms it and makes it gross and weak.Throw in some fungus 'dryads' to act as double agents and doppelgangers and you got yourself a fun time with a boatload of poison and hallucination risks.
>>38663934Unfortunately fungus isn't my area of expertise so I'll just quote Tvtropes for this one:>Cordyceps are a type of fungi that infects living creatures (mostly insects and other arthropods). They grow inside the infected bug until it kills it, at which point the fungus bursts out of the host's exoskeleton and flowers, spreading its spores. Even creepier is that some species of cordyceps actually affect the host's behavior. For instance, one species infects ants. The infected ants gain a compulsion to climb upward as far as they can before they die, which allows the cordyceps to spread its spores further.
>>38663934You could have them all be constantly drunk on their own ethanol.
>>38664658All the while, beautiful delicate spores of shimmering lights, a veritable living rainbow, surround you and fill the air with the faintest scent of sweet decay.
>>38664818Eeehhnn. That's so overdone now. The Last Of Us was Cordyceps: The Happening. I'd rather it be a threat of general loss of quality of life. Not an end of the world, but a weakening of it.Or if you want you could get really surreal and make it mind altering mushrooms. Imagine if the entire party was trapped in a slowly darkening Hotline Miami nightmare in some fantasy land where magical madness mushrooms have started to poison the winds, and you have to somehow stop and cull the things or whatever is controlling them before you go completely insane.
>>38663934If it's just a world, have everyone be sick. Combat's physically easier because shrooms are pretty soft, but someone's been covered in hives since walking through the dangling gills of a tall fungal cap, someone's just not stopped coughing since setting foot on it from ambient spore/pheromone levels, and anyone else is shitting out most of what they eat, seizing, or feverish.
>>38664975Make it more than just fungus zombies. Make it a neural net with each cluster of fungus acting as a neuron.Think SM's Alpha Centauri. The planet is alive and the fungus is its brain. Maybe some sort of genetic quirk in its makeup is making it grow faster than it wants. Think brain cancer. And it's eating up everything in its path. It WANTS to help you stop it. It doesn't like weird creatures polluting its mind. But it doesn't know how.What you think?
>>38664852Parasites are neat, but TLoU did Cordyceps pretty publicly.
>>38664975It's a misconception-but a popular one-that fungus can only grow on dead things.Play that up in a world filled with fungus. It's eating something dead underneath it--be it a dead civilization or the bodies of dead creatures.That's an idea. The world is made of the bodies of dead gods that fungus is growing on.
>>38666354But they did it so lammmme.
>>38666417Well yeah, they just used them as generic zombies. What would be a better way to do it, do you think?
>>38666349Well what I'm saying is no fungus zombies at all, just an fungus that infests EVERYTHING as a sort of gross parasite that doesn't kill you, but leaves the entire world weakened and sort of vaguely slimy.
>>38666502Yeah, that sounds like a terrible fate.Really bad.Totally not one of my fetishes.
>>38663934Take yourself literally - most of the world is a single fungal colony. Large fungal colonies already exist, like the huge one in midwestern US.Play up the fact that all the fungi on the planet are simply offshoots of the great planetary puffball. Make your players roll saves when walking on bare patches where the dirt covering the colony has washed away - either invading macropsudopods or sticky bits, you name it.Have "decay pits", where the mushroom men toss any non-fungi - living or dead - into a pit to become food for the colony. They keep a moderate population of photosynthesizing plants and higher life-forms to produce biomass, maybe have the players liberate them?Consider hinting that the colony is growing ripe, and will soon explode the whole planet to spread its planet-consuming spores throughout the galaxy.
>>38666389I kind of like the idea of macro conceptual horrors like that. Take any natural process and then make it into a magical issue, like fungus that grows from dead civilizations, or giant apocalypse maggots that eat at the remains of a destroyed world.They don't even have to be threatening, maybe they're just very huge and nasty reminders of something really bad that happened.
>>38666601God dammit anon I am actually not trying to cater to fetishes for once. I mean it. We're talking open sores, skin sloughing off, coughing all the time, going into seizures from the shit growing out of your neck, real horrorshow.
>>38666448Well, for one, have the infection pass through distinct phases as it assumes control of the host without destroying the host's mind until the last possible moment. Cordyceps want to reproduce, not alienate future carriers.One minute Bob's fine, then he starts screaming before trying to force-feed you his infected flesh.
>>38666448The way they are in real life.Person gets infected, gets sick, etc. Eventually sick person is completely taken over. Moves into crowded area (subway, mess hall, anything the former brain would equate with "lots of other humans") and dies.Fungus grows out of him quickly (within 30 minutes) and pops, spreading spores around the area.Slowly introduce it to players by having them find an abandoned space station above the world with the mushrooms. The space station should be more than enough warning of "DON'T FUCKING GO DOWN THERE" (Although scans will indicate a completely breathable atmosphere.) Communication stopped a week after there was a transmission about an "illness."
>>38666722NOTE: I have no idea how TLoU did it so hopefully I'm not just rehashing stuff.
>>38666635Just don't worry about it. If it exists, it is someone's fetish, just a higher likelihood that it is the fetish of someone you play with.
>>38666714Exactly.But if you don't want to go total body horror, just reflavor it so it's a psychedelic infection instead. Your skin glows with colorful fungus patterns, everyone has weird rainbow psychic powers, everyone is prone to massive fits of hallucination and mild psychosis. Could make for an interesting underground colony as a potential dungeon or ally, whether elf or dwarf or dryads with an infection or who knows what, all of them vaguely mad and too powerful to just casually off.
>>38666674>>38666722Fringe had a good episode on this; you could throw a Helix spin in and get something truly terrifying. You start off feeling a little off. You graduate to unquenchable urges to transfer fluids by whatever means to the uninfected. When it becomes terminal, you mindlessly move to the most crowded area you can find and die, outgassing spores. Lather-rinse-repeat.
>>38666789I'm just saying I know exactly how the fetish would work but I was honestly going for a more sad and yucky thing than crazy slimy mushroom-infected girls.It'd work well for some kind of evil elf plot too if a whole nation is stuck with the weakening growths.
>>38666873You can say one thing, but they perceive it as another
OP here:The initial idea for this thing is that this is a race of fungal creatures that live on an interstellar scale. Their basic form is a sort of coating, sort of like the "Creep" the zerg have in star craft. It's a mold that grows across the surface of planets, breaking down organic matter and even soil and stone for useful minerals. The thing that makes this thing really dangerous is the fact that, as more of it breeds, it starts getting intelligent; a sort of distributed intelligence that gets greater as it has more little clusters of thinking pods or whatever you wanna call them. As it gets more intelligent, it starts being able to react to stimuli, to protect itself, to create specialized, ambulatory forms to do its bidding or rapidly adapting protective methods against things attacking it. Slowly it spreads and consumes entire planets, burrowing down into the crust and living off the heat of the planet's core. Once it reaches this stage it begins growing enormous organic engines, organs which take the planet's material and blast it off into space as a form of thruster, pushing it away from it's home solar system and into space. It drifts toward the nearest star, sustaining itself in a half dormant state, until reaching another solar system, where it blooms, spreading spores across the entire system before dying off.
>>38666906That's why I clarified the kind of slimy and wet I meant. I wasn't clear the first time. We were working with vague mushrooms.
>>38666944Not that this matters, but this is a common misconception - the part of the fungi that we see spreading spores and then dying is just the fruiting body, not the main body. The main body lives on to fruit again.In that case, there's probably an original colony somewhere and the planet itself is just a spore.
>>38666947That can only play into more fetishes.
>>38667007Well, sure, but the number of people who enjoy the rotten and dead and choking-on-bile sort of wet and slimy mushroom infection is far outstripped by the ones who enjoy the more sensibly designed wet and oily magical realm mushrooms that don't make you look like the elephant man just took a safari in his own tank of shit and drained out pus.There's no stopping it for sure, but we're trying to discuss the BAD kind of mushroom infection that's only a magical realm for like 7 people in Iowa.Now step aside. Best fungus coming through.
>>38666944So a sort of natural grey goo thing.You could step it up and have there be several species of this kind of megafungus, with THAT kind being seen as a sort of enemy species that eats worlds, while others maybe just seek out planets to be normal mushrooms on or go into symbiosis with intelligent life. Then they end up a pseudo-population of nations divided by intent with their own galactic politics in the abstract.
>>38666389There's a blog post I want to link to but can't because fucking spam filter. Google 'Goblin Punch The Great Rot' and it should be the first result; it's pretty much exactly what you're talking about.
What do you guys think of the option of having people willing form a relationship with fungal bodies that grow on them, in a kind of symbiotic, semi-hivemind with the other people affected by the same fungus?
>>38668110Sounds like an interesting option, especially if it provides resistance against hostile infection from other fungus.
>>38668110Made me think of Mass Effect with the Geth + Quarian happy ending.
>>38663934Fungi are among the oldest living things on Earth. Take a look at your average mushroom and realise it and its network of similar mushrooms may be thousands of years old.
Fungi have 36,000 different genders
>>38668110Sounds pretty magical realm to me.
HYPHAL NETWORKSTrust me on this one, OP.
Also remember that Fungi are able to produce Chitin, which is the same structural component that composes the shells of arthropods and other invertebrates.So don't assume that all fungi have to be squishy and shroomy.
>>38670654there better be a fungi tumblr then so they can tell everyone about it
>>38663934Here's a few fact from when wrote a paper about fungi for an ecology class a couple of years ago. Also some ideas.>Fungi are unlike any oter organisms. When they mate, both of their bodies fuse in a sort of reverse-mitrosis process that develops into one individual. Fungi have thousands of gender "types" (inb4 tumblr), only fusing with compatible types. Their bodies literally melting together to exchange DNACould make for some interesting character dynamics. >Fungi are responsible for producing chemicals that can treat cancer, parkinsons disease, seizure disorders, severe burns, ferment/ preserve food, and led to the creation of the dug penicillin.A fungal-based bard or healer would be an interesting character. >Fungi store fat in the same way as animals, in the form of soluble fats, and also posess collagen to protect themselves. Some fungi us chitinous protein exoskeletons for protections in the same way that insects do.Chitinous armor with collagen gauntlets for your characters? maybe a bioreactive armor made with fungal elements for the scifi aspect o things. >In some temperate and tropical forests, slime-mold fungi exist during the beginning of their lives as amorphous blob-like colonies of epithelial cells, moving across branches on the forest floor consuming dead leaves and insects, before finding a suitable place to mature into their solid adult fruiting bodies.Would love to hear about what you come up with OP. Hope that helps!
>>38671101>Fungal bard.Why not a fungal alchemist? Grow from yourself the ingredients for your healing, buffing and occasionally hallucinogenic concoctions.
The mushroom people have a Melding once every daycycle, during this melding, they upload the personality of every single participant and incorporate it into a Pattern that is physicaly made up of colored mushrooms (looks like a Mandala) and then download personalities and skills into every mushroom present.The pattern stores the combined information for the entire colony, meaning, if any one of them ever learned the language of the Players, then every one of them can possibly know it, or at least they can download an ambassador personality into that knows the language into one of the bodies.If a single Mushroom-man through some accident is sepparated from the rest of the colony and prevented from melding for long enugh, they may develop a personality, and may end up going rogue from the rest of the colony in order not to lose their personality.There's a long-standing civil war between two great factions where the principal conflict is how to best preserve the patterns. One side believes in making tons of identical backup copies, while the other believes in allowing a slight diversity to further evolution.
Dumping some stuff from my Laundry campaign. Don't show it to my players!The theme is a fungal universe linked to ours. Right now the Nazis are experimenting with gate technology in WW2. There is a parallel time line in the present where it's no longer Nazis, but fungal tech and a conspiracy that has preserved the lore of how to reach the other place.
>>38672614The fungal world is mostly inspired by Miyazaki's Sea of Corruption, only without insects or eco filtration.
>>38664104>Fungus>PlantThe Botani are plant people.The Zangar creatures are fungus.
>>38672644Without fungi there'd be hardly any plants and virtually no soil. They produce complex chemicals like a research reactor from poisons and rocks. They scale like nothing else living. Fungi ARE the superior biology.
>>38672676Of course that means you should never trust them.
>>38663934>Snapping awake you grab for weapon that isn't there.>Half of the armor you were wearing is hanging from the tree you had awaken under.>'How did this happen?' you think to yourself.>We were walking along conversing of the townsfolk ailments and....the Mushroom-thing...>What had happened though?>I thought we had all defeated them easily in battle.Make them hallucinogenic.
>>38666722IIRC, TLoU did have this. There were large areas, mostly underground or inside buildings, where dead infected would literally just lie down and emit clouds of spores. It's also worth noting that TLoU only briefly shows the early days of infection, and in those days people were literally just going crazy from (presumably wind-borne) spores. The overwhelming majority of the game takes place many years after the cordyceps apocalypse. Civilization has already collapsed, and what infected that remain are either highly mutated stragglers (which are more fungal being than man), or "runners" which are your average zombies.Don't know why people are hating on TLoU in this thread. Sure, cordyceps is overdone, but it wasn't when TLoU came out and the game has stellar writing.
>>38673329>It wasn't when TLoU came outThey killed what could have been a great idea. Now when you try to talk about cordyceps as a story idea you have people that go LIKE IN THE LAST OF US RITE FUNGUS ZOMBIES!>The overwhelming majority of the game...which are your average zombiesAnd here we have the problem. People going crazy and trying to urinate on you because the spoors in their head are telling them to spread their body fluids is interesting. People becoming marionettes that try to choke you to death one second and then apologize and beg for mercy as the hyphae inflammation in their head dies down for a minute is interesting.Zombie shoot-em-up is not interesting. TLoU farmed a cool story concept for commercial profit.
The mycelium in oregon is over 2000 acres large, over 2000 years old. It farms the forest it lives under, regularly cutting off nutrients to specific areas, eating the dead trees that fall there, and then letting more grown. The mycelium is more often the important part of a fungal colony, much more so than the visible mushroom part above the surface. The mycelium is the transmission network for information and nutrients.
>>38676053>sapient neural network of mycelium acts like an efficient mafia don in control of his territory. He wants things to die, because he wants food, but he wants to be efficient about it. He'll protect and even aid the creatures that live above him. Because he knows he'll outlive and eat them all.
Twilight Imperium has a race call the Arborec. They are basically a living world on steroids
>>38663934>space fungiYou might get a few ideas from Star Control 2's Mycon.http://wiki.uqm.stack.nl/Mycon
>>38663934>>38666944Don't forget that fungi are heterotrophs. Once all the vegetals are dead, fungi die too. Because of this, a shroom-only world is completely impossible, even on short time scales. Of course it's not necessarily a problem, I just had to say it.
>>38676943A lichen is a vegetal + a fungi. So what I just said still stands.
Thallids from MtG are pretty cool
>>38664041>http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/ciencia/ciencia_futurebeyond23.htm >The notion that fungi may participate in some form of planetary interspecies communication and/or consciousness through their mycelium may seam a bit 'far out,' but consider that mushrooms have been used to expand consciousness for countless millennia. While I don't doubt that fungi have useful properties and that they can probably be used in all sorts of things, a lot of this seems to be really stretching, to the point of becoming pure fiction. He sounds like another of those scientists who spent a bit too long with their heads buried in their particular field and suddenly they start seeing it everywhere.
>>38672087that's an even better idea
>>38666845This, there is a great fringe episode in season four about a giant neural network fungi