You are symbiotically bonded with a fungal organism, which has threaded its hyphae throughout your system. This fungus draws sustenance from your body, and gives you a somewhat unusual physical appearance – especially when the fungus periodically enters its reproductive phase and develops fruiting bodies. In return, the symbiote enhances your body, offering physical protection, chemical stimulants, and novel ways to attack or subdue foes: by helping you survive, the fungus ensures that it too continues to exist.
GM Intrusion: Your fungal symbiote does not always manage to differentiate between friend and foe; clouds of spores can be released accidentally; people may react to a character that sprouts fungal colonies in a negative fashion.
Following the format of the Character Options supplement, choose a connection from the following. Pick a PC:
- You suspect that this character sees you as an inhuman monster, and that he or she believes you are working against the interests of the party (and/or humanity). This character’s player decides whether or not your impression is accurate.
- When they are around, you can feel the fungal symbiote pulse in your veins, as if about to sporulate. You suspect the organism sees this character as a potential host; you can choose to talk to them about this, or not.
- Your symbiote appears to perceive them as a threat: when they approach, it releases a cloud of spores that increases the difficulty of any action they undertake by one step (while they are in your immediate vicinity).
- This character seems to have some biological knowledge pertinent to understanding your symbiote. Occasionally, they are able to offer advice that helps you maintain control of the fungus within you, or to channel its influence in beneficial ways.
- Esotery Effects:
Fungal Sustenance – Your demand for food and water is increased by about 1/4 from that typical to a person of your size.
Sporulating Appearance – Fungal bodies occasionally sprout from your flesh, blossoming quickly (10 minutes) and withering after 28 hours; this gives you a disconcerting appearance that increases the difficulty of positive social interactions by one step. This should be implemented as a GM intrusion (which does not yield any experience).
- Minor Effect Suggestions:
- Your fungal symbiote releases a wave of chemicals into your blood stream, replenishing one of your depleted pools by one point (your choice).
- Major Effect Suggestions:
- Your attack is accompanied by the incidental release of a choking cloud of spores, modifying the next attack made against you to the detriment of your foe (by one step).
- Tier 1:
Resilience: Your symbiote gives you a tough, flexible hide. You gain +1 to Armour. Enabler.
Spore Cloud (2 Intellect points): You breathe out a stream of spores which spreads to engulf a single creature within immediate range. This cloud causes the creature to choke, resulting in its actions being modified by one step to its detriment for one round, at which point the cloud dissipates. Creatures which do not need to breathe are not affected by this ability, though the spores will work underwater (entering through gills). Action.
- Tier 2:
Biochemical Stimulus (2 Intellect points): Your symbiote releases chemicals into your bloodstream that temporarily provide a boost (+1) to your Might, Speed or Intellect edge. This boost ordinarily lasts for one hour, though if you engage in strenuous activity (such as combat or continuous climbing) these chemicals are metabolised after ten minutes. You may only have one version of this skill active at any given time. Action to initiate.
- Tier 3:
Chitinous Strength (4 Might points): Hyphae laced throughout your flesh grow and swell as your symbiote pulses within you; you are trained in non-combat Might actions for the next ten minutes. Action to initiate.
Biochemical Processing: Your symbiote automatically attempts to break down noxious substances into harmless by-products; you are immune to natural poisons and diseases.
- Tier 4:
Fungal Decay (4 Intellect points): You release a stream of virulent fungal spores at a single creature within short range. On contact, these embed themselves in the flesh of this creature, causing 4 points of damage as they release digestive enzymes that allow them to worm their way in. After one minute, fruiting bodies erupt from the skin of this creature, causing a further 2 points of damage. This ability is only effective against creatures with an organic component into which the spores can burrow. Action.
- Tier 5:
Improved Spore Cloud (5 Intellect points): From your pores, you release a cloud of spores that engulfs all creatures within immediate range. If they need to breathe (the spores are effective underwater, clogging gills), all of these creatures suffer from the choking effects of the cloud and lose their next round, after which time the cloud dissipates harmlessly. This ability may only be used once per 28 hours, as the symbiote requires time to produce more spores. Action.
- Tier 6:
True Symbiote: The fungal symbiote becomes fully integrated into your system. You gain 5 additional points in each of your pools.
Sporulate: Your ‘sporulating appearance’ is now under your direct control, and only occurs if you wish it to (maximum once per day). Though your sporulation still brings with it a penalty in positive social interactions, if you choose to initiate it you gain six fruiting bodies. Each one can be used to restore 1 point to a pool of your choice; these fruits are independent of one other, and can restore points to different pools. Action to initiate.