PLAYER ANCESTRY: MYCOMORPH

In Vaarn many things have become intertwined, and much that was once the province of mankind alone – speech, reason, art, religion – has been granted to other forms of life and these beings hold themselves as humanity’s equal. In the mycomorph death and life are preserved in strange balance, for the creatures are formed of dead flesh and living fungus and they name their kind the ‘twice born’. A sculptor of living matter and artisan of decay, the mycomorph remakes human flesh in its own image, and there is no shortage of raw material in the blue hinterlands of Vaarn.

Mycomorphs have developed from an enemy type to a fully-blown player ancestry as I’ve developed the setting. Many of them are hostile, but I don’t see why you couldn’t play as a sane, eloquent mould-man if you wanted to. They’re not intended to be the classic ‘mushroom man’, instead taking the form of human corpses that have been twisted by the cultivation of far-future biotech fungus.

Sculpture by David Altmejd

First, roll four d20s to generate the basic form of your mycomorph:

BODYHEADCOLOURTEXTURE
1ChildlikeClassic MushroomMilkyRubbery
2CorpulentFrilled GrowthsCreamWarty
3SoftSphericalAshenSlimy
4SkinnySpiresBlueFuzzy
5SkeletalConicalTaupeHairy
6BulbousCup-likeCrimsonVelvet
7LongHumanYellowSoft
8SquatTendrilsOrangeTree Bark
9FlexibleHollowBlackLeather
10StretchedDandelion FuzzVioletJelly
11HulkingMask-likeOliveBurnt
12GiantEye GardenLimeSponge
13MuscularCrateredRustVeined
14DecayingCauliflowerIronDowny
15BrokenFlatGoldDry
16LankyVeil-likeBronzeDamp
17PowerfulCoral-likeIndigoPitted
18ImposingFilamentsTranslucentCrusty
19WeakBrain-likeRoseSpiny
20WitheredGeometricBrindledFeathered
Sculpture by Gosia

Next, roll three d20s to generate your mycomorph’s name, personality, and the special quality of their fungal flesh:

NAMEPERSONALITYSPECIAL QUALITY
1DovenglassAbrasiveBioluminous
2OulbrierArrogantPoisonous Spores
3MockbridgeAssertiveParalysing Spores
4HeadhillCharismaticPsychedelic Spores
5TirrinDaringMind-slaving Spores
6YearnsDecadentAphrodisiac Spores
7CerilgreayEloquentPoisonous Flesh
8RendmoorExtravagantParalysing Flesh
9EamontHedonisticPsychedelic Flesh
10PurplebeckImpulsiveMind-slaving Flesh
11ArrabyIrritableAphrodisiac Flesh
12KabergillMelancholyAbsurdly Flexible
13PearthikaParanoidMute But Telepathic
14DevandarshQuietCan Clone Self
15CoronamReligiousFeeds on Toxins
16AshwineRomanticFeeds on Plastic
17EkramavatiScholarlyFeeds on Metal
18WhitmonSternFeeds on Radiation
19FroswhirlVainAcidic Blood
20KirthVolatileLight Enough to Float
Image by Bimer

Finally, as is customary, I will use these tables to make a Mycomorph PC for Vaarn. I roll a hulking blue mycomorph with jelly-textured flesh and a cup-like head. For a name I roll Mockbridge, for demeanour I roll irritable, and for special quality I roll aphrodisiac spores.

I have a fairly clear image of Mockbridge already. They were formed from the dead body of a gladiator slave, who was thrown, their head smashed in by a mace, into the nightsoil pits outside the walls of Gnomos. A wandering spore entered this corpse, and began to rebuild. The head was beyond repair, so the mycomorph sprouted a towering blue vase-shaped growth, something like a pitcher plant. I imagine the fungus being traps insects inside the cup, and feeds primarily in this fashion. Mockbridge emerged from the pit after three days of restless sleep, with only faint memories of their previous life as a human. They are large and imposing, but actually far weaker than their size would imply, as their flesh is soft and jelly-like. Mockbridge emits spores which have an intense aphrodisiac effect upon mammals, but have no genitalia or sexual desires themselves, which may explain the mycomorph’s extreme irritability. It’s hard to get much sense out of humans when all they seem to think about is reproduction.

Sculpture by Clare Curneen

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