Wednesday, January 29, 2014


I don’t have particularly strong vegepygmy feels, but old-school players love these guys.  (Clearly they’ve been to the Barrier Peaks and I haven’t.)  Originally vegepygmies were the products of a crashed alien spaceship, according to the world’s oldest role-playing game (the same spaceship that gave us the froghemoth and the wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing).  In Paizo’s Into the Darklands, they got an amusing retcon as the product of drow sporecrafting gone wrong—so wrong in fact, that the drow had to summon demons just to drive the fungal creatures away.

Whether your vegepygmies are alien, manmade, or natural, they remain frightening because of their ability to turn victims into plant creatures like themselves…and because of the generous, voiceless manner they go about it.  To vegepygmies, the conversion is a gift, and that’s almost creepier than if they were menacing about it (the way their cousins the myceloids are).  Also, their reverence for (and willingness to use and repurpose) bits of their former corpses is nicely gross and unsettling.  Like Star Trek’s the Borg, they are after assimilation and procreation, and they don’t see why everyone shouldn’t embrace their fungal existence.

Since the Clockwork Murders, there have been bounties out for free-willed constructs—and the bounty on Oakson of the Fourth, a wyrwood criminal, is higher than most.  Following his trail leads adventurers deep below the sewers to a tribe of vegepygmies.  There they find the vegepygmies have a new chieftain: Oakson.  When the wyrwood failed to succumb to their spores, the awed vegepygmies accepted the wooden construct as one of their own.  He has been busy, too: May of the newer vegepygmies show signs of having been birthed from the magistrates that condemned Oakson for his may crimes.

A party of adventurers escorts a Terran-speaking sage to a trox settlement to broker a deal over nearby land and water rights, only to find themselves netted from above by half-orc sky raiders.  Aboard ship, the trox begin to panic—not because of their predicament, but because the ship shows signs of a corruption that is almost, but not quite, rust.  The slavers picked up russet mold at their last port of call, and soon the first half-orcs begin to fall ill…

Vegepygmy religion—when it exists—is an odd affair.  They have a superstitious fondness for their host bodies and work to protect the russet mold that is omnipresent in their communities.  But well-established colonies with exceptional leaders may turn to the worship of other intelligent plants or fungi, outsiders, or even actual deities.  In the later case, their pantheons are largely topsy-turvy affairs, where powers of fungi, decay, death, darkness, and water are venerated, while deities of healing, light, and alcohol are seen as adversaries.  (This is not because vegepygmies are evil per se, it’s just that their values are alien to the mammalian experience.)  Captured adventurers openly displaying holy symbols of these powers may find themselves used as props in crude morality plays set to percussion, where pantomime bringers of water, darkness, and glorious decay ward off the hated brightness and its medicinal servants.

Pathfinder Bestiary 273

Remember my call for more Core +1 books?  (That is, single books that, when added to the Core Rulebook and the Bestiaries, served up rules/setting/monsters combos that could be the basis of an entire campaign, in the vein of Ghostwalk or Oriental Adventures?)  Well, I put my money where my mouth was. 

To get my mind off my plumbing woes—and to give myself a reward for submitting some important documents to my insurer—I just ordered Razor Coast from Frog God Games.  FGG is the next best thing to Paizo, Nicolas Logue is a known quantity, the reviews were good, and it has a Wayne Reynolds cover.  So I went for it.  (And yes, I ponied up for the print.  I hate reading PDFs.)

Speaking of which, I told myself I wouldn’t look at the bundled PDF and would wait till the book arrived, but not three hours later I peeked anyway.  It’s a hair different than I was expecting (more like the mother of all sandbox adventures than a setting sourcebook), but so far it looks very cool, is well designed, and I love the little asides and sidebars.

All in all, I’m psyched.  I’m all about books like this—hell, one day I’d love to see my name in one—and after my tirade two weeks ago, I wanted to support the creators who are making them (and best of all, printing them).  I can’t wait for more.

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