rasgon writes "Spores are everywhere! Sometimes they walk around and thump their chests. Here, an old favorite is presented for use in the Flanaess and compatible with the latest D&D rules.
VEGEPYGMIES (MOLD MEN)
By: Rasgon (email@example.com)
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
Mold men, sometimes called vegepygmies or even moldies, are short, bipedal fungus creatures. They have sharp, thorn-like claws, and leaflike tendrils form a fringe on their shoulders, abdomens, and limbs. A topknot of these tendrils sits at the apex of a vegepygmy's head.
The coloration of mold men matches their surroundings; forest mold men have brown skin and green tendrils, while those found underground might have gray skin and black tendrils. Mold men are 1 1/2 feet tall, plus 1/2-foot per Hit Die (not counting hit dice gained from class levels).
New vegepygmies are created by russet mold, by their leaders' spore attacks, or by budding. The latter occurs only if food is plentiful. Russet molds produce 5 HD mold men, while leaders create 4 HD mold men; normal budding produces 1 HD mold men. 6 HD leaders are created by special spores saved from the vegepygmy homeworld. They reach maturity in 1d4+20 hours. Their lifespan is 5-10 years.
Mold men will attack any form of animal life for food and reproduction. They use their efficient thornlike teeth to tear up meat and then allow it to rot within them, slowly breaking it down into simpler nutrients before excreting piles of rich soil.
Although they do not have a spoken language, vegepygmies are capable of vocalized cries. They normally communicate by tapping on their chests and on trees or stones, although they can understand the speech of sporebats and myconids.
Mold men form primitive, settled tribes. Their lairs are usually found in warm underground areas, although some tribes have lairs in the underbrush of deep, dark forests and jungles. Tribes are very territorial.
Vegepygmies are ruled by a chief, and their warriors are supported by bands of rangers.
Mold men co-exist well with plant and fungus life. They often use shriekers to guard their lairs, and vegepygmies native to the lair can pass by those shriekers unnoticed. Russet mold is usually found in the vicinity of a vegepygmy lair as well. About half of their hunting parties are accompanied by a pack of thornies or phantom fungi as well.
Vegepygmies have been known to associate with myconids and sporebats, who view them as rustic cousins. According to legend, the great mold men nations were once ruled by neh-thaggu, and the great tribal leaders claim that their spores are of neh-thaggu descent.
Vegepygmies care mainly for their survival and the survival of their tribe, and are thus true neutral.
Mold men are traditionally xenophobic and predatory, but some have learned to trust humans, forest giants, and elves. Mold men are seen as naïve and overly enthusiastic by those of other races who have come to know them intimately.
More than anything else, vegepygmies hate umber hulks, who they blame for enslaving them in the first place. They never saw the neogi (see below).
New Language: Fungal is the language of spores, used by myconids, sporebats, phantom fungi, yellow mold, neh-thaggu, shriekers and other creatures to pass simple or complex messages between each other. All vegepygmies can understand it, though only their chiefs "speak" it.
IN THE FLANAESS
Almost a hundred years ago a neogi slaver ship traveled through the stars on a routine transportation run. Beside the neogi overlords and their charmed umber hulk servants, the ship contained a variety of creatures from a dim, radioactive planet called Mungoth and sheen automatons the neogi had recently purchased from the Arcane. Unexpectedly, an illithid nautiloid ship raided the vessel, and in the ensuing combat both ships crashed into the Barrier Peaks, killing both the illithids and neogi. The sheens terraformed a small mountain valley to make it habitable for the Mungothians, and the vegepygmies, along with the grimlock and chitine slaves of the illithids, began building societies both within and outside the valley, while the umber hulks retreated underground, their ultimate fate unknown. The vegepygmies in particular have learned to thrive in the new world they've found themselves on, and have sent ambassadors to Kimbertos Skotti. The grimlocks claim a third starship was involved in the crash, but this has never been verified.
VEGEPYGMY RACIAL TRAITS
Ability Scores: +2 to dexterity and wisdom, -2 to strength and intelligence
Small Size: As small creatures, Vegepygmies have all of the bonuses and penalties associated with small size.
Base Speed: 20 feet.
Automatic Languages: Common.
Bonus Languages: Fungal
Radioactive glow (Ex): In the terraformed valley, vegepygmies are able to use the strange radiations the sheen have created as a light cantrip three times per day. This ability fades after three days outside. This is an extraordinary ability.
Sneaky: Vegepygmies get a +2 to Hide as a racial ability.
Spores: The tribal chieftains can use spores to communicate in Fungal with other fungus creatures, as well as produce attack spores that kill their victims (Fort Save) and use them to incubate new vegepygmies.
Favored Class: Ranger. A mold man suffers no penalty when multiclassing with ranger and one other class.
Note: Spelljammer, Third Edition"