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    Lightbulb [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Trlleeltrlaa
    (truh-lee, trah-la)


    Trlleetrlaa, also known as Trufflefolk, are an unusual occurrence of fungal sentience. They evolved from colonies of parasitic fungus. Through their song they attract the fair folk, and through their spores infected them. The sylvan beings are filled with feverish visions of great beauty and wild sadness and the song fill their heads with a glorious melody. Possessed with the deepest longing to share the melody with others of its kind it would seek them out. As they began to sing to their brethren fungal blooms of incredible beauty would grow painlessly from all about them and in one final moment of ectasy and song they would fall. New fungus would then spread, each singing the unique song of the fey that hosted them. This requiem is in memory of their host and at the glory of life. They empathically take a vaguely physical form of their host.

    In spore form they lie dormant in the bloodstream until reaching brain matter. At that point they begin to grow and spread, bursting forth. At the final moment of their host's death they take the basic knowledge and instincts of their host, from which they use to grow on. This also determines the general mindset of each clan, though individuals may break from tradition and general practise of the clan.

    Though trufflefolk will infect fey if possible, through no inclination of their own, they are capable of budding every 5 years if well nourished. This double is an exact clone of the parent.

    Personality: Trlleetrlaa share much of the personality of the fey creatures from which they originated. Some may be aggressive and warlike while others peace loving and flighty. All however are great lovers of song with whimsical moments.

    Physical Description: Trufflefolk normally appears as stocky, humanoid-shaped creature of rough, creased flesh with intricate wrinkles, veins and lumps. A large, fleshy growth normally adorns their head or back like fins. Two small, root-like antennae extend from the front of the face with waving tendrils. On each side of the face are two large orbs of smooth flesh that act as primitive eyes. They see very poorly, only shapes and shadows without color or great detail. Despite this, their coloration varies considerably, from pale pinks to dull oranges to grays and browns.

    Alignment: Trufflefolk veer towards true neutrality in general, often not caring about anyone but their own people. Some however are well disposed towards others, while other trufflefolk can develop a cold hatred for non-trufflefolk. Alignment tends to be within one step of their original fey host, though there are many exceptions.

    Lands: The Trlleetrlaa originate within the deeps of the Tangle. There, where near every plant has a limited ability to move, and eyes to see, they feel most at home.

    Settlements: Trufflefolk tend more towards gardening and arborsculpture than building, having little need for shelter or food preparation. Certain trees do 'taste' better than others, so they attempt to cultivate them to the best of their ability.

    The young also grow very slowly, so the tending and protection of trufflefolk buds are also much time consuming.

    Power Groups: Trufflefolk do not have leaders as others know them.

    Beliefs: Trufflefolk tend to be druidic in beliefs, following the ebb and flow of nature. A large minority however revere the deity of a thousand tendrils, each one planted into a different world or plane. They believe it is this creature that awoke The Tangle, and subsequently the trlleetrllaa.

    Languages: Trufflefolk speak Tulgey. The language is complex and difficult to reproduce, comprised primarily of an elaborate cricket-like chirps, trills and warbles. They can however reproduce most any other languages, though in a rolling, sing-song accent.

    Names: Trufflefolk names are more like songs, having no true meaning, but is the melody of joy the parent expresses at their maturation.


    Trlleeltrlaa Racial Traits

    Con +4, Dex -4: Trufflefolk are incredibly resilient and hard to kill, but are extremely plodding and slow to react.
    * Medium: As Medium creatures, trufflefolk have no special bonuses or penalties due to their size.
    * Evolved Plant Type: Trufflefolk have the evolved plant type. This is similar to the normal plant trait except they are not immune to mind-affects and also require a period of dormancy that mimics sleep.
    * Trufflefolk land speed is 20 feet.
    * Low-Light Vision: A trufflefolk can see twice as far as a human in starlight, moonlight, torchlight, and similar conditions of poor illumination.
    * Color-Blind (Ex): Trufflefolk are immune to spells that deal specifically with color, such as Color Spray, though those that do damage, such as Prismatic Spray, still effect them. They also take a -4 racial penalty to search checks.
    * Absorb Nutrients (Ex): Trufflefolk don't have to eat more than once a week, though they require twice as much water per day as a normal human. They can absorb water, as well as any organic source, right through their porous skin, no matter the quality.
    * Blooming Dirge (Ex): Trufflefolk gain a +4 bonus to Charisma-based checks with fey. As well, once per year when they bloom they will instinctively infect them. They produce an invisible cloud of spores that extends 5 feet per hit die of the trufflefolk at a rate of 5 feet per round. All creatures with the fey type must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + half Trufflefolk HD + Con mod) or become infected. They must make the save each day or take 1 point of Wisdom drain. Each day of infection the DC increases by 1. When they reach 0 Wisdom the fungus blooms from their head and quickly spreads, immediately killing the fey. Trufflefolk do not have any control over this function.

    Remove Disease and similar spells and abilities destroy the spores, though have no affect on adult trufflefolk.
    * Living Telepathy (Ex): Trufflefolk can use telepathy with a willing creature it touches. The sensation is thoroughly unpleasant, feeling like tendrils slowly creeping over the brain. Any creature concentrating on a spell or power must make a DC 20 concentration check or lose concentration.
    * Hibernate (Ex): A Trufflefolk that would die from cold exposure instead goes into a state of suspended animation. He may stay in this condition for a number of months equal to his Constitution score. After that he begins to suffer from starvation and thirst, though each month without counts as a day. If in direct contact with an organic source or water/ice he may slowly absorb enough to keep from having to make saves.
    * Languages: Tulgey and Sylvan. Bonus Languages - Common, Myconid, Treant
    * Favored Class: Druid
    * Level Adjustment: +0
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2010-01-24 at 06:03 PM.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Very excellent. Very cool.

    Mechanically and concept are, as usual, without issue; I don't have any feedback to give except to say "Keep up the good work!"
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    I love the fluff and concept. The racial traits look pretty balanced, though I'm not positive (I don't have the time to test them out right now). They fit the theme really well. You should put in a special note about the effects of fire damage on trufflefolk.

    Did you draw that picture yourself?

    The nickname "trufflefolk" got me thinking. Do they really taste like truffles? If such a rumor was started (true or not), the trufflefolk would quickly be targeted by the gourmet community. Truffles are in high demand, after all.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    I'd say they would be edible by humans... but so are every other race, so really that'd be getting silly.

    In the campaign I made them from though, they come from a place where almost all plants have limited mobility of a sort, if only twitching twigs, as well as eyes or other visual organs.

    Inspired by this:
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    I was expecting a note as to the mechanical effects of fire on the Trufflefolk. Is there going to be one? Does it do anything other than make them nigh-unplayable (as the fluff suggests)?

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    I'd say they would be edible by humans... but so are every other race, so really that'd be getting silly.

    In the campaign I made them from though, they come from a place where almost all plants have limited mobility of a sort, if only twitching twigs, as well as eyes or other visual organs.
    The question wasn't if they are edible, but if they taste like truffles. Truffles are extremely rare and valuable, sometimes fetching over $1,000 per pound. A human-sized truffle (trufflefolk) could be worth over a 100 grand (assuming they weigh roughly the same amount as humans)! I could certainly imagine unscrupulous hunters poaching trufflefolk to sell to cooks.

    Yes, I think about food way too much.

    Twitching plants with eyes!? What kind of campaign is this, and where did you get the idea for it?
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    I'd add in the absorb nutrients ability that if they 'sleep' atop a suitable amount of organic material, they are considered to be fed and watered for the day. Helps keep it 'fungus-y'.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    Helps keep it 'fungus-y'.
    Ladies and gentlemen, the one and only time this phrase has ever been used.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by Gorgondantess View Post
    I'd add in the absorb nutrients ability that if they 'sleep' atop a suitable amount of organic material, they are considered to be fed and watered for the day. Helps keep it 'fungus-y'.
    Well, fed anyways.
    Last edited by The Vorpal Tribble; 2009-12-14 at 08:37 PM.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Here's a question:

    Trufflefolk are humanoids mainly to fit in with other races, and because a bipedal two handed shape is pretty utilitarian. But, theoretically, could they take other forms?

    This wouldn't be an instant shapeshifting ability, more of a long term self-alteration that takes weeks. But it would a neat detail if there were some trufflefolk that took on other forms to better serve their species. For example, trufflefolk that took wolf-like forms to serve as guard dogs. Or trufflefolk that took on horse form to serve as mounts for other trufflefolk. Perhaps animal-shaped trufflefolk could be the lower class, focusing on physical traits to the detriment of mental abilities and fine control.

    Or, even if Trufflefolk can only take humanoid form there could be related less-intelligent truffle species they've bred as domesticated animals. Then you could have truffle dogs, truffle horses, truffle hawks, etc.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Hrm...sentient fungus...where have I seen this before?
    GAAAAHHHH!!!!ORKS!!!
    (just kidding)

    Well thought-out, good fluff, and mechanically balanced. Could you ask for anything more?

    If they have to have so much water, would they even have a fire vulnerability? If they require 2x normal amounts of water, that would make them, like, 90-95% water. Much more than humans, and humans don't take extra damage from fire...
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Requiring more water does not mean their water content is necessarily higher, it means that they urinate more, and/or (more probably) there skin is less efficient at retaining moisture.

    so the tending to trufflefolk buds are also much time consuming.
    This seems a bit garbled.

    Under "Languages" in the less crunchy part you say they speak Burble, but that isn't listed in the more crunchy part. Is "Burble" the campaign specific name for Myconoid? I didn't know myconoids could even speak verbally...

    I think that you should at least give more in-depth roleplay tips for how a PCs personality should change after the first time they take damage.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2009-12-15 at 12:40 PM.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Just a minor question. If they don't speak Myconid as a native first language, who does?

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Under "Languages" in the less crunchy part you say they speak Burble, but that isn't listed in the more crunchy part. Is "Burble" the campaign specific name for Myconoid? I didn't know myconoids could even speak verbally...
    Burble is what Jabberwocks do.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by dsmiles View Post
    Burble is what Jabberwocks do.
    Tuffleflofing nonsense, sir! If I wasn't so numbungled from this crumpergation, I'd gyre your gimble post haste!

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Ok, I did an overhaul of these fellows to make them more adaptable for play and to fit in with the campaign that spawned them.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Very cool. A related video. Have you seen this Cordyceps is a fungus which infects ants, takes over their minds and then grows out of the body and sprays infecting other ants.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    I've always loved this species, though the picture has me a bit scared :p

    I wish I had your skill for design - both mechanics and imagination.
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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by JoshuaZ View Post
    Very cool. A related video. Have you seen this Cordyceps is a fungus which infects ants, takes over their minds and then grows out of the body and sprays infecting other ants.
    Really? That actually happens?



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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Quote Originally Posted by The Vorpal Tribble View Post
    Really? That actually happens?


    Yeah. although that video when they show the fungus growing they are actually using a time-elapsed video over the course of a few hours. But still very nasty and very cool. Cordyceps is my third favorite parasite. My second most favorite is Toxoplasma gondii which normally infects cats and rats and modifies rats brains to get the rats to be eaten by cats. Humans are frequently infected by Toxoplasm although we're a dead end for the parasite. There's some evidence that infection in humans does produce some effects, including being more likely to have mental illness. On the other hand, there's some evidence that infection might be correlated with increased creativity and intelligence. Possibly most worrying, some fairly developed countries have infection rates in H. sapiens as high as 80%.
    Last edited by JoshuaZ; 2010-01-24 at 08:47 PM.

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    Default Re: [Race] The Fungus Among Us

    Yes, Josh, exactly

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