View Full Version : Emergent Behavior-based "Hive Mind"?

2007-11-07, 11:32 PM
Before I continue, I feel it's important to explain emergent behavior, since that's what the thread is about. Emergent behavior is when you have a large quantity of simple mechanical organisms which interact to act far more intelligently than they could on their own.

Let's take the example of the ant.

An ant is stupid, and there is no "brain ant" - the queen's purpose is to lay eggs for her entire life. But somehow ants produce complex architecture, control fungi and certain other insects, forage for and amass around food supplies, and even wage war. Emergent behavior is how.

To take the example of foraging food, a number of ants leave the nest to locate food, and eventually one of them finds something. It begins to leave a trail of pheromones and finds it's way home. This trail is followed by other ants - if an object gets in the way, the ant moves around it and when it returns it leaves a new path that shows the proper route. When the food runs out, ants stop leaving the trail, and it naturally dissipates.

So my question is this - are there any emergent behavior-based species that you know of in D&D or other settings?

2007-11-08, 12:58 AM
formians perhaps?

2007-11-08, 06:54 PM
formians perhaps?Although they have a biologically-forced caste system and are ant-themed, formian's social behavior is no more emergent than humans, albeit with telepathic aid.

So I guess the answer is no?

2007-11-08, 07:06 PM
Erm, Borg are almost an example, perhaps kind of what you need, but not "Emergent" per say. Each Borg had memories, skills, and abilities before assimilation, but after, it shares the mind of One. That one knows everything that all the others do, plus some. However, once again, not perfect, as there is a "Queen" that instead of just having babies, commands the entire Hive and knows everything that anything ever assimilated knew. I'm only saying this because there was a Borg template floating around recently.

Short Answer? No.

2007-11-08, 07:10 PM
There's always GIANT ants.:smallsmile:

2007-11-08, 07:11 PM
Yes, I am pretty sure that ants themselves are statted somewhere.


But seriously, not off the top of my head, certainly not in core books. I think you should probably just homebrew something, and base it off of ant behavior.