Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Silly Monster Redeemed

I’ve just had such a good idea about gas spores that I feel I must post it.

I’ve always hated this creature, primarily because once a party knows that it isn’t dangerous if you don’t hit it, it is a useless balloon floating around dungeons. And what player doesn’t already get the joke – yes, we know its not a beholder.

I’ve always felt, however, that a gas spore could be some kind of monster in its own right.

Consider the cattail. Once the flower is ready to germinate, the hard brown shell splits, allowing the downy material within to fluff out; the wind then catches the fluff, which supports the seed, scattering the plant throughout the marsh.

Now, suppose the gas spore is made of the same hard fibrous material on the outside (let’s give it more hit points, as well). The entire creature doesn’t split at once – only compartmentalized pockets, which have matured. Effectively, there is always some part of the creature which is in gestation mode.

Allow the gas spore to emit the down it produces; this down supports a seed just like a cactus, but the seed retains its parent’s floating capacity ... so that the seed and its downy surrounding, no wider than a few centimeters across, can float its way along. Stone and dead wood it ignores, but once it attaches to living tissue, the seed at once begins to affect the skin as a disease – which must be saved against or cured.

Nasty, but quite practical.


KenHR said...

As discussed, I quite like this. It gives what was originally a "gotcha" monster an actual niche.

Very nasty, it'll go well with the monster that vomits throat leeches into victims.

Ragnorakk said...

how about the spores are beholder seeds?

Alexis said...

beholder seeds ...

Yes I can see that. One in 100 is a sterile mutation, unable to reproduce itself but having the addition of eyestalks and magic power. So logically, you could eradicate beholders if you could kill every last gas spore.

I like, Ragnorakk.