I don’t think I’ve ever used myconids, but that’s something I want to remediate soon enough. However, if I were to stick to D&D canon lore (which I won’t), myconids are supposed to be found exclusively in the underdark, the subterranean world home to the iconic drow. This was set in stone, so to speak, by Gary Gigax’s D1-2 Descent into the Depths of the Earth (1e), which of course, borrowed heavily on established hollow earth fiction (Jules Verne’s Voyage au centre de la Terre). More to the point, Gigax also borrowed the myconids, which were created in the earlier module A4 In the Dungeons of the Slave Lords, which was an subteranean adventure (mostly) but in no way deep in the bowels of the earth-subteranean.
They belong on the surface!
Leaving the myconids out of most of the more typical (surface) encounters is both sad and needless, in my opinion. Put in any setting, the potential is just mind-blowing…
A few weeks ago I tried MtG for the first time. I’d never played in my youth (it seems like you choose either tabletop gaming or card gaming, rarely both). My good friend, who was nostalgic about his own gaming past, introduced me to this famous money pit (what a friend hey!). He taught me the basics and we had time to play twice The first time, and most interesting from my pov, was with bare-minimum dominaria decks.
I had a black and green deck, with not much going on with the notable exception of FUNGUS!
Here’s some cards I had:
That sufficed to make me like the game as I’ve been quite fascinated by anything mycology-related for a while now. In fiction, since I read the Ambergris books from Jeff Vandermeer and before that in gastronomy, when my wife and I became wild mushrooms enthusiasts.
The M:tG Thallids (how the fungus creatures are called) seems to have much more impactful art and concepts than their D&D Myconids counterpart and I will certainly steal a few things for my Ruins of Chult campaign!
They’re street cleaners, removing offal, dejections, basically any organic waste. Sometimes they get a little less discriminatory about the unmoving quality of their sweepings.
That’s something I came up with while reading Jeff Vandermeer’s book:
What I’m stealing for my setting is only the cruder idea of the Gray Caps of Vandermeer, who aren’t even mushroom creatures as such, but are fuzzily described as smaller humanoids with a weird civilization based on advanced fungi technology.
The total creepiness and sinister threat of the Gray Caps I leave out, only because it won’t do thematically for my setting, but it was a very good read!
Far from the primeval forest of its youth, amidst the housings and the bustling urban activity, lives a strange creature: a cosmopolitan dryad. The most surprising thing? It chose to be there…
Of course, it could have had a better tree in the wild. But the crazyness of the crowd, the thousands of overheard tidbits of gossip, even the occasional surge of violence, this dryad loves it all!
Sometimes an unfolding event catch its fancy so much that it overcomes its usual shyness and asks a friendly-looking passerby about it. It rewards interesting information with some of its tree’s deliciously invigorating oranges.
Ogres are anabolic steroids (ogrenabol) users, of course. Humanoids taking ( by ingestion) ogrenabol gain tremendous strength but it has a terrible side-effect: intense deformity. Ogrenabol was synthetized by hobgoblin chemists almost a century ago. It’s not illegal but it’s costly.
Now, I like this concept… But I haven’t the faintest idea what I’m gonna do if a player wants to test ogrenabol for his PC… Oh well, let’s cross the bridge when we’ll come to it, I guess…
Cockatrice pit fighting.
Now, let’s assume that the cockatrices are, somehow, evolved(1) creatures and as such, likely to fight each other if left to their own devices, shouldn’t they be resistant (at least) to each other’s petrifying bite? Let’s say, to keep it simple, that they have advantage vs petrification (2).
their owners have thick leather gloves
their wings are clipped so they don’t fly away
champion cockatrices may have a little bonus to their attack or save or both
Freshwater Dragon Turtle
The freshwater dragon turtle is a lot smaller than its oceanic cousin. Many of these beasts have found their way in the canals of the City where they seem satisfied to operate as living rafts, transporting both people and merchandises, for a fee. Being as intelligent (int: 10) as their gargantuan relatives, these dragon turtles accept partnerships with a “pilot” (that don’t have any piloting to do) who will negociate fees and seek clients, for everyone’s convenience.
Approaching their nesting sites, at the bottom of the Sacred Lake, is a sure way to be attacked by these otherwise peaceful creatures.
The freshwater dragon turtle is of huge size, is CR 6 (compared to 17) and steam breath is very rarely exhibited amongst them.
A Galeb Duhr typically come into existence, however briefly, in the aftermath of a brutal street fight that saw a lot of brick/pavement throwing. It’s supposed that the creature’s existence – formed from the very stuff that litters the street – is a defense mechanism set in motion by the ambient angst and the City’s magic.
Most of the time, the Galeb Dhur brutalize some of the nearby offenders and then simply resume its inert state. Sometimes though, it lingers and endangers until forcefully put to rest…