Monday, May 14, 2012

Quivering Fungi

Handle With Care...
Quivering Fungi
No. Enc.: 3d6
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: n/a
Armor Class: 9
Hit Dice: 1d4 hit points
Attacks: 1
Damage: Special
Save: MU1
Morale: n/a

Less a monster, more a hazard to underground navigation, Quivering Fungi are dimly luminescent subterranean relatives of puffball mushrooms. But they're more than just mushroom that glow slightly. Quivering Fungi are hosts to a wide range of symbiotes and parasites, their flesh is rife with colonies of bacteria, so much so that these thriving bacterial colonies are what cause the characteristic 'quivering' motion for which these things are known.

What makes these fungi remarkable and useful to delvers is their soft luminosity, which is derives from a milky fluid that can be tapped, collected and concentrated into a sticky paste that can then be packed into various translucent, organic containers such as insect cocoons, glued-together husks, cured worm-skins, or lanthorns molded from various horns, hooves or portions of crustacean or other carapaces. These light sources are cool, non-flammable, and persist for up to 1d6 days, unless the contents are exposed to air or water, in which case the paste quickly melts and/or evaporates within 1d4 hours, growing steadily dimmer as it dissolves and emitting a rich, heady fragrance that attracts all manner of predators within a 360' radius.

What makes these fungi dangerous to encounter in the wild is their sloppy, bacteria-packed fluids that will spray across a 10' radius should one of them be roughly handled, crushed, stepped-upon, or struck with any force. The soupy mess contained within these fungi is virulently contagious, and anyone exposed to it must make a Save (at -2 penalty) or develop a nasty bacterial infection.

We heartily recommend making use of Gorgonmilk's Dungeonfunk Table, a community project available in a free pdf thanks to Matthew from Rended Press.


  1. Cool. This write-up is a wonder of "Gygaxian naturalism": strange, yet fully realized and integrated into its world at the same time.

    You know, you could combine a number of your psots like this with the proper art and have a great sort of "naturalists guide" sort of book.

  2. Thanks Trey. We'll have to seriously consider your idea. We do have some tables and other bits to go along with a lot of our monsters. Reader feed-back means a lot to us, so we've been focusing our efforts on those things that seem to get the most response...

  3. First, let me say that the color art is cool. Secondly, this critter is gross. Gone forever are the sterile, linear underworlds of yore. With the Quivering Fungi, any cellar becomes Xibabla. Thirdly, the bioluminescent fluid of this creature sounds like a very dangerous light source. Is it correct that its smell is always a bit attractive to predators, but that the scent grows stronger as the light source becomes weaker?

  4. Thanks John. First, thank you very much for the kind words regarding the art. Secondly, yep--these things are really nasty-gross, but they're not the worst of the lot. There's some real doozies on the way. Love the Xibalba comparison/connection. You're on the money about that; the underworld tends to be more organic and non-linear, the way we approach it. Thirdly, yes, it is a very volatile substance, in that it must remain sealed air-tight, or else it causes problems. So long as the substance is securely sealed, it won't attract any predators, but once the seal breaks or the container leaks, it certainly will. And yes, the goop attracts the monsters more intensely the more it dissolves or evaporates and grows dimmer.

    There are some wicked traps that can be set-up with this stuff...


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