Mad Menagerie: Fossilifungus

A strange fungal mass is growing on the head and torso of this shambling corpse.

Fossilifungus is a fungus that has evolved into a near symbiotic relationship with the undead, specifically zombies. When a fossilifungus spore attaches to flesh animated by necrotic (or negative) energy, it will take root and begin to grow.

Fossilifungus draws nourishment from enzymes produced when flesh decays from necrotic energy. Over time, the fungus will spread to cover the back, head, and upper torso of its host. Fossilifungus has a defense mechanism triggered by the movement of warm bodies. This mechanism involves the discharge of five to ten tiny barbs in a cone that is ten feet wide and fifteen feet long. When a living creature is struck by a barb, it causes paralysis for up to one minute.

This paralysis gives the host enough time to reach this immobile food source and begin devouring its flesh. There are many horror stories from the fringes of the Dead Wastes about victims being eaten alive by fossilifungus ridden zombies, only to be able to call for help once it was too late.

The fossilifungus represents a new class of monster in that it is a Symbiont.  A Symbiont is never encountered by itself as it relies on the host creature to survive.  A Symbiont works much in the same manner as a template, except for the fact that it always has a method of removal.  A Symbiont can be added to any creature type it applies to.  A monster with a Symbiont gains the benefits provided in the Symbiont description as well providing an additional amount of Experience for defeating the monster.

Benefits: +1 Bonus to AC; +10% bonus to Hit Points; gains use of the Fossil Barbs power.
Bonus XP: +33%
Host: Any Corporeal Undead

Fossil Barbs (ranged, standard, recharge 4, 5, 6)
Blast 3, +6 (+ 1/2 Host’s Level) vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d4 (+ 1/2 Host’s level), Stunned (Save Ends)
Effect: If the target breathes, he is Slowed (Save Ends)

Tactics

The tactics of the fossilifungus is somewhat dictated by the movements of the host.  It will attempt to catch as many targets as possible in its Fossil Barbs and will continue to do so when it recharges.

Lore

DC 15: The growth on the corpse is a fossilifungus, a fungus known for its paralyzing spray of barbs.
DC 20: If you breathe in the dust caused by the fossilifungus’ spray of barbs, it drugs you and makes you slow.
DC 25: It has been said that any spells, rituals, or items that can cure disease can instantly destroy a fossilifungus.

  • This is pretty experimental, as pretty much all the custom stuff I do is…  I am still toying with the idea that Symbiont have a separate, flat experience value.
Listening to: Android Lust – The Dividing – Stained

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