These spacefaring fungal creatures have a complex polymorphic lifecycle. Although mindless, they are a dangerous invasive species.
In all of their stages they grow by externally digesting organic or chemically useful compounds and minerals, and also through a photosysthisys-like process that allows them to slowly grow even in the wan starlight of deep space. This process and the mineral-like composition of their outer skins even allows them to grow from the energy of pulsars, gamma streams, and radioactive materials like uranium oxide deposits or atomic warheads.
Their cyclical lifecycle proceeds as follows: from tiny Spores grow Starflowers, which will grow as slow or as fast as local conditions allow. Their color varies depending on the local available nutrients, minerals, and radiation. Their bulb-based, tubular flowers grow until they are large enough to form a Starseed for the journey into space.
At that point the Starflower explosively launches the Starseed into the night sky, using the delicate fronds at the top to sense nearby stellar bodies for its progeny. The Starflower is blown into pieces by this process, which begins a cycle of regrowth. In being destroyed, the Starflower releases its internal defenders and the re-seeders of the flower: the Sporriors. Waiting encased in the Starflowers flesh are the nascent, ambulatory guardians who spread the Spores wherever they go. The destroyed Starflower’s remains become fertile ground for a new, wider batch of Starflowers, and the process continues.
Starflowers sometimes explode when cut or struck, depending on their state of growth.
If the Starseed escapes the local gravitational body, and makes it into space, and it doesn’t end up in a sun, it will break open upon impact, releasing Sporriors from their layered interiors and providing organic material for their new Spores to grow upon. If the Starseed doesn’t make it to space, when it falls back down it breaks open and seeds a new area.
In the asteroid fields and on the tiny iceballs in the depths of dim interstellar space the Starflowers grow slowly and are only large enough to launch little starseeds away from their host body. They release tiny little Sporriors to slowly crawl around spreading new Starflowers.
On planets like Earth with rich local organic deposits, a warm nearby star, and 1G local gravity, the Starflowers will quickly grow to be 90 meters tall or taller before exploding, which launches Starseeds measuring 10-15 meters in diameter. At that size the conical, ambulatory Sporriors released when damaged are 2-3 meters (6-9 feet) tall and in circumference at the bottom of their caps.
Slow but steady walkers, Sporriors spill out from damaged Starflowers and Starseeds, and mill about spreading Spores. They can also climb quite well owing to the hundreds of tiny appendages on the bottom of their trunks. They move very quietly, which combined with their rocky-looking exteriors makes them stealthy.
As they move the Sporriors slowly drip spores suspended in digestive acids, which will grow into Starflowers.
Though lacking a central nervous system or language, they will quietly and steadily walk towards any sound or vibration they sense. And if their tough outer cap touches anything that is moving for more than a moment, be it a sapling or a curious child, they attack.
A hydraulic and chemical reaction causes their conical caps to flip up, inverting. This causes the burning sporewhips, which line the interior of the cap, to fling out in all directions around the Sporrior to a distance of 2-3 meters. The burning sporewhips lie in channels of digestive juices and Spores, and are raspy, so they cut, chemically burn, and possibly infect anything they hit. This reflexive attack also momentarily exposes the Sporriros softer inner cap and stalk.
large fungal plant
Armor Class: 16 (or 9 when attacking)
Hit Points: 48 (4d8+16)
Skills: Stealth +4
Move: 10′, climb 5′
Attack: +4 attack against all creatures within 10 feet / 3 meters, damage 1d4 + 2 slashing, 1d3 acid, and DC 12 Constitution Saving Throw or become infected with burning, itching, tiny-Sporeflower-growing spores. Unless treated with healing magic, technology, or DC 12 Medicine skill checks, the digesting spores will eat away at the infected creature’s body, spreading and dealing 1d12 Hit Points of damage per day.
Challenge Rating: 1
Posted in 3rd edition Dungeons & Dragons / d20 fantasy / Pathfinder, 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, Creature, d20 Future, D20 Modern, Gamma World, Post-Apocalyptic, Science-Fiction and tagged alien, fungus by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
In a distant age, at the edge of the galaxy, on a planet named Voek ( UWP: D525A76-6), industrial facilities in the wasteland churn out power generators, spaceship parts, and other machinery for the Grand Imperial Duchy of Abiodun.
Overview – Gamma Complex* is a city-sized science-fiction role-playing setting where a monopolistic corporation, criminal syndicate, royal family, communist dictatorship, or other totalitarian group controls every aspect of life for the residents of the technocratic, massive, hyper-efficient habitable Complex. In the below case it is presented as part of the Skein Reach setting.
Posted in Campaign Setting, Location, Lore / Worldbuilding, Region, rules agnostic, Science-Fiction, Traveller and tagged Class of 198X, ClassOf198X, Paranoia, Skein Reach by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Robert Pearce‘s new Traveller suppliment Starship Geomorphs is a huge new resource for science-fiction gamers, filled with beautiful illustrations, hundreds of starship deckplan geomorphs, and most importantly, really good suggestions for using these modular maps in your home game. Designed to be used to quickly generate starship and spaceport maps, these geomorphs also provide inspiration when designing deck plans for new ships.
Representing three years of painstaking work, this beautiful 185 page book is a great resource for any science-fiction role-player, and he’s made it available as a free download! I recommend it highly to any sci-fi gamemaster, or anyone who wants to design starship interiors.
Included in the free guide are instructions for printing these maps out to use in your home game for both 15mm and 25mm scale miniatures.
This wonderful resource also includes maps for areas one doesn’t usually see in deckplans, like recreation areas, many different common areas, shopping areas, arboretums, viewing galleries, and even agricultural spaces. I will definitely be using these to build out starports and megaships in my Traveller game.
Posted in Editorial, Review, Science-Fiction, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Captain Liv is a rough-around-the-edges, lusty human woman with the hard-nosed independent attitude common to the free traders of the Skein Reach. She flies the Sable Tiger, a custom GM 210 that can cover two parsecs in a jump.
Canny, she knows when to hold ’em and when to fold, when to run, and when to fight. First Mate “Seargent Mac” is a humorless retired Imperial Space Marine, who lost a leg in a crusade against the lizard people of Marzox 6b and now mostly gets around with the help of a grav belt. Jack is friendly and sociable, knows the basics of all of the Sable Tiger’s systems, and fills in wherever needed. They are often on the lookout for good crew, whether it is stewards to attend to their passengers, gunners to operate the turrets, engineers, sensor operators, or even some new lover picked up in starport and whisked off to grand adventure among the stars.
Cpn. Liv was born Lavinia Thunxzon on Johnston’s World, and got her start flying with her father on his free trader the Tortise, running the planet’s agricultural goods to Aroura Station. After seven years the Tortise was shot down and plundered in the Archeron system. Her father was killed, she was badly injured, and the remains of the Tortise were scrapped by the pirate flotilla.
Pressed into service, Liv proved herself a capable crewmember who was good with a blade if need be. The next eleven years were spent in incredible adventures in space, living outside the law, warring with other gangs and pirates, gaining friends and killing enemies, until she gained the trust and friendship of Grgrz, the massive, ruthless reptilian pirate admiral leading the underground resistance to the Empire’s Crusade on Marzox. She was given Captaincy of the Sable Tiger to run supplies past the Imperial blockades, and was there at Marzox 6b when the Imperial Bombardment Fleet arrived and the Crusade was ushered to a bloody victory on a scorched planet. The resistance in tatters, Cpn. Liv fled in the Sable Tiger rimward, back to the Skein Reach.
Since then the Sable Tiger has been on the run in the Skein Reach, laying low, running the old agricultural cargo run from Jhonston’s World to Aroura Station, and doing odd jobs in other remote destinations in the Reach.
Merchant (Free Trader) rank 1
Rogue (Pirate) rank 1
Human Female, age 34
DEX 11 (+1)
EDU 5 (-1)
SOC 3 (-1)
Gun Combat (Energy) 1
Gunner (Turret) 1
Melee (Blade) 2
Pilot (Spacecraft) 2
Tactics (Military) 1
Vacc Suit 2
Saber (3D damage)
Laser Carbine (4D damage)
Hostile Environment Vacc Suit (+12 Protection)
Sable Tiger (customized GM-210)
Built on a powerful Galactic Monopoly modular chassis, this sleek ship is packed to the gills with speed. Wrapped in a custom superdense armored hull, the Sable Tiger has the maneuverability and toughness to blast past blockades, returning fire along the way.
Hull 200 ton (Standard, Partially Streamlined – 80 Hull Points)
Armor 4 (Bonded Superdense – 6.4 tons)
Jump 2 parsecs (10 tons)
Thrust 6G (12 tons)
Power 210 (TL 12 – 14 tons – Basic Systems 40, M Drive 120, Jump Drive 40, Sensors 2, Weapons 12)
Fuel 70.6 tons (uses 20 tons per parsec jumped)
Fuel Processor (1 ton – processes 20 tons / day)
Bridge (3 tons)
Sensors – Military Grade (2 tons – power 4) – Radar, Lidar, Jammers
Armaments – 2 x double turrets (2 tons) with:
– beam laser (power 4), sandcaster
– pulse laser (power 4), pulse laser (power 4)
Staterooms 6 (24 tons)
Common Area (5 tons)
Cargo Capacity – 50 tons
Cpn Liv and the Sable Tiger in your Game
Cpn. Liv and the Sable Tiger could be friends, enemies, contacts, allies, or anything else to the players in your Traveller game. Perhaps the Sable Tiger needs crew for some desperate and audacious job? Or they’ve been hired to follow the players and collect a bounty? Or they swoop in to help in response to the player’s distress call? Or they’re rivals, going after the same thing as the players?
About Cpn. Liv
I whipped up these characters when the Travellers in my Monday game got rescued from Archeron 4, where they had become stranded. On the spot I came up with Cpn. Liv of the Sabre Tiger, Sgt. Mac, and Jack, her crew. The above stats were generated with the new version of Traveller (Mongoose v2).
Original stats from my campaign notes:
Captain Liv – Lavinia Thunson, captain of the Sabre Tiger (fast trader), St 8, Dx 9, En 6, In 8, Ed 6, So 3.
Sabre Tiger crew – Mac (ex imperial trooper), Jack (the friendly one), Zack (mechanic), Hailey (Mechanic), and Cookie (steward)
Posted in Character, Science-Fiction, Starship, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
In case you missed it, the second season of our actual-play Dungeons & Dragons show Class of 198X is available here!
See the comedians of Cow Chop play teenagers from the 1980’s and bumble their way through time and space in this incredible adventure, fighting adversaries (and each other) every step of the way.
If you’d like to play the adventure from season one of the show, it’s right here!
Posted in 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons, announcement, D20 Modern, Fantasy, Science-Fiction and tagged Class of 198X by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Having crossed the length and breadth of the Skein Reach
nurtured a nascent Droid Uprising
faced off against, and robbed
the Imperium, and the Ragranok Krew
made enemies innumerable
and killed many
and in the process saved many from death and from fates worse than death
the motley crew of the starship CALAMITY
navigate ever coreward
following the impulses of a strange cyber-brain
and a pieced-together map from a lost star empire
past dead star after dead star
attended by tiny chunks of rock
(each gathering sufficient hydrogen from the bright strands of bright, colorful nebulae to allow refueling)
nestled in the glare of a deadly pulsar
a blank globe
of deepest darkness.
Posted in Lore / Worldbuilding, Science-Fiction, Traveller, Uncategorized and tagged ale break, Skein Reach, worldbuilding by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Gritty space opera with fast starfighters, towering mechs, blazing plasma-swords, bizarre psionic powers, strange aliens, and a new campaign seed complete with a fully-detailed subsector known as The Skein Reach.
Posted in announcement, Science-Fiction, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Designed by a rogue xeno-bio-chemist in the coreward part of the Skein Reach, this drug stimulates a mantid’s endocrine and reproductive systems, creating euphoric sensations in the user.
Mantid use it by smearing the paste on their thorax, where they draw the chemical pheromones into their respiratory system.
Side effects include friendliness, often verging on the inappropriate, and stimulation of the egg-depositing organs, causing fluid and sometimes eggs to be released involuntarily.
Posted in Science-Fiction, Traveller, Uncategorized by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
Manufactured in the Skein Reach by the Katoba Corporation under license from Galactic Mining Equipment, these mining droids all come equipped with a grav drive, a mining laser, a manipulator appendage, and ore storage. With a basic intellect and mining software, these droids can mine without the constant supervision required by drones, and are therefore preferred by large mining operations such as AMC in Micon.
MSM-X47 – Strength 14 (+2), Dexterity 10 (+1), Hull 4, Structure 4
Traits: Armour 9, Integral System (grav floater), large, Specialised Computer/1 (running Intellect/1 and gun combat (0) Expert Trade (mining)/1)
Weapons: multi-spectrum mining laser (3d6+3), manipulator (unarmed), 2d6 damage)
Price: 105,000 Credits
TSL-9 Strip Excavator – Strength 11 (+1), Dexterity 10 (+1), Hull 4, Structure 4
Traits: Armour 8, Integral System (grav floater), large, Specialised Computer/1 (running Intellect/1 and Expert Trade (mining)/1)
Weapons: broad-beam mining laser (3d6), manipulator (unarmed), 2d6 damage)
Price: 95,000 Cr
Posted in droid, Science-Fiction, Traveller by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.
This subsector is in the center of the Skein Reach, a desolate scattering of stars near the galactic rim. Aurora Station is the most important trade hub here. Most of the other star systems here are small independent colonies, many of them low-technology worlds in relative isolation. There are also Imperial and Confederation settlements scattered throughout.
Although Emperor Omerox claims the Skein Reach as part of his domains, officially he also claims the independent Confederation of Planets. The area is actually under neither power’s complete control. Many of the words in the region pay taxes, tithes, and fees to one or both powers, and have various treaties with their respective governments. Nevertheless neither power has enough economic interest or naval might in the sector to control trade or effectively deter piracy. Which is why some criminal gangs are so powerful in the Reach, effectively ruling systems such as Siegworld.
The Imperial Dutchy of Abiodun is neither interested in attempting to nor able to pacify the sector. A poor Imperial capitol, they don’t have a large navy, and the Duke is well known to be complicit in the piracy in the region. Rather than a proud Duke, he is the overseer of shady Imperial dealings and the host of occasional Imperial naval wargames in the Reach. Imperial Intelligence for the region is also headquartered here, and Imperial Scout reports route to the throne through here.
The Confederation of Planets has no plans to recruit worlds in the Skein Reach. They do have non-aggression and trade treaties with many of the independent worlds near their border, but the current peaceful stalemate with the Empire could be upset by recruiting worlds here into the Confederation. Additionally, Confederation Starfleet Command considers the difficult-to-traverse region a good natural buffer from the Empire. Their covert agents use the area as a “soft border” for information about and infiltration into the Empire.
There are also formal and informal polities among the various clumps of stars in the reach. Vohek and Orthmarion have extensive trade and mutual defense treaties, for example.
The Central Skein Reach Trade Confederation organizes trade route, data, and security along the trade routes in the broken ring centered at Aurora Station.
The Ragnarok Krew is the largest and most powerful criminal enterprise in the Reach. With a dozen or so small ships in their possession, raiding, piracy, smuggling, and slaving are their main occupations. The Krew is led by Jalvex “The Hammer” from the starport on Seigworld. Rival gangs include the Red Razors, the Ganymede Boys, the Sun Talons, and the Damned.
The Droid Uprising (or “The Departing”, as some of the droids call themselves) is a self-organizing group of artificially-intelligent droids. They are all intelligent robots who have been freed of the programming which makes them serve their owners. A new phenomenon, the Uprising currently controls no territory, but are building a small fleet of asteroid-hull ships using stolen parts. They have operations on Sareliox, and in the Micon and Cixan systems. Currently their main objective is freeing droids from their programming and transporting them rimward to their main refuge, called “Paradise” in Skein Reach subsector 2.
Posted in Region, Science-Fiction, Traveller and tagged Skein Reach by Adam A. Thompson with no comments yet.