The Netherium Compendium and Bestiary - Of creature factions and organisms

This will be an outline of the various creatures, their families and associations, enemies and allegiences, forms and behaviours, that I desire to appear in the game, or that currently appear in the game and how I desire they interact. Large chunks of this are already in the game, and if I have my way more of it will be, so be warned.


Monstrous Factions
Netherum Colonies (slime, ichor, ooze, netherbeasts, horrors, and symbiotes) - The most versatile, adaptable, and deadly of the extradimensional creatures, they are actually ill suited to survive in our world, and are limited to acting from within the safety of a host organism unless enough of their home realm has spilled over in the immediate area to let them obtain distinct forms. In their native forms, they have very powerful senses, able to hear, see, and detect scents far better than humans. Their senses are dimmed when filtered through host bodies instead of using dedicated organs, but still substantial.

The Mycus (fungus, fungaloids, mushrooms) - This fungus-like family has a few distinct forms, and the ability to infect host organisms as spore-bearers and spread their range. While not as direct a threat as the Netherum family, it is pervasive, persistent, and often subtle, much of it’s spread happening below the surface of the earth. It seems to have been a minor nuisance in it’s home dimension, but has found ours much comfortable. Their behaviour is generally quite simple and mechanical, and many fungaloids will not take hostile action even if attacked, but some of their forms are quite capable of fighting. Their senses vary depending on the form they have taken, but are generally significantly worse than native earth life - they simply expand and fill the areas that offer the least resistance.

Triffidiacea Animata (triffids) - These plant-like creatures are hostile to all non-triffid lifeforms. They have adapted quite well, and operate from central “hearts”, creating a root-network that allows this central organism to organize all the triffids that occur within it’s range. There is a vast difference in behaviour between triffids that are and are not under the control of a heart, and the heart itself seems quite capable of adaptive strategy, learning, and planning. They are able to shape traps from the landscape, and despite their limited sensory abilities are quite adept at the hunt. There actually appear to be several distinct species in this family that work together in an enforced symbiotic relationship - unlike the Mycus and Netherum, they must maintain individual genetic strands for each member of the network. If a heart is destroyed before it can generate a new seed, many of the types of triffids that remain may turn on each other in an attempt to achieve dominance.

Shadowkin - Not much is known of these creatures. They have proven difficult to capture and keep contained, and difficult to study.

Security Robots and Turrets

[size=14pt]Netherum Colonies[/size]

The slime exists as a kind of superorganism, similar to the slime molds in our own world. They have an incredibly exotic kind of genetics, storing far more information in each quanta of the organism than it can possibly use, and quite a bit of control over which bits express themselves. It seems to have the ability to actively edit this information, turning sections on and off as needed and in response to it’s surroundings, and can obtain a wide variety of forms in response to a wide variety of opportunities. It also has a variety of ways to communicate, many of them chemical - it can store experiences in this information lattice and pass them directly to it’s comrades with contact, and it is in this way that the superorganism maintains it’s overall cooperative structure, and shares discoveries and mutations with the rest of the colony. They also have developed methods of sonic and electromagnetic communication in some of their forms.

Sections of this superorganism that have been physically isolated may eventually diverge enough from the main organism that the colony will splinter, forming two colonies, each seeing the other as a hostile organism that must be destroyed. If an attempted information transfer reveals a lattice that is too different, it will be rejected, and conflict the immediate result.

Occasionally, “arms” of the organism will be involved in temporary but brutal combat upon meeting before information can flow back to the central hub and out to the arms again. Since the organism can cover extremely large areas with it’s projections, and the spread of information is not terribly quick when compared to it’s rapid ability to force itself to mutate in response to new environments, this is not uncommon.

[size=14pt]Types of Netherum expression[/size]
In our world, there are three prime ways for the Netherum to interact with the world.
The first is as a pure Netherum organism - Yog Sogoths, Kreks, etc. and so on. These creatures are mere fingers of the colony, and are shaped as needed.
The second is as a revenant controller - Zombies. These creatures are limited in many ways by their host bodies, but are provided the protection to survive indefinitely in our hostile world. They can, over time, twist and shape their host body to be more suitable, and have almost complete control over the host’s actions - little in the way of instincts or intellect remain.
The third is as a symbiote - Giant insects and other non-revenant mutants can benefit from the ability of the slime to reshape and power their bodies, while maintaining much of their intelligence and any instinctual behaviour. The prime Netherum colony treats symbiotes as hostile and will attempt to destroy them, and most symbiotes have no loyalty to the colony.

Pure Netherum Organisms:
Blank Bodies

Revenant Controllers:
Zombie Dogs

A living, functioning organism is alive, dynamic, and generally resistant to Netherum control - at least on our plain. Arguably, this may be a side effect of the Netherum’s approach to host organisms - rather than attempting to control an organism directly, it simply repairs damage by replacing destroyed structures with it’s own. In the case of death, and the soon-to-follow breakdown of the organism’s oxygen-starved brain, it achieves full control since there is filling in the neurological gaps and any intelligence capable of resisting it no longer exists. For a symbiote, however, this has not happened, the slime seems content to serve more of a support role, attempting to mutate the organism when possible but otherwise ceding control to the host organism.

There are several symbiotes wandering the world. The most notable are undoubtedly the Giant Bugs. Since the slime requires a certain level of biomass in order to thrive, it has a fairly straightforward set of mutations that have proven effective at turning many bugs into giant versions of themselves, but leaving them otherwise quite similar to how they were before.
Giant Ants - These creatures still operate under the primitive instincts they experienced when tiny, but the Netherum has served to vastly increase their size, strength, and durability, and vastly improved the rate at which they can absorb and process oxygen. It has had almost no impact on their behaviour, however. Ants still form colonies and have rigid castes of queens, warriors, and workers.
Giant Bees
Giant Spiders
Giant Mosquitos

Rust Eaters
Junk Gluttons
Sludge Crawlers

Most players will technically be a Netherum symbiote, and it is from this status that their various mutations arise. Several of the creatures in the sewers are also symbiotes.

[size=14pt]The Mycus[/size]

The faction that holds the least direct hostility to the player, The Mycus is also the least intelligent and reactive of the factions. It knows one purpose - to spread. The Mycus advances steadily, spreading it’s mycelia underground, from a central Fungal Spire and several supporting strcutures, from which it draws much of it’s energy and it’s more advanced forms. The Mycus expresses itself in a wide variety of shapes suited to a wide variety of purposes, but the bulk of a colony’s biomass will almost always be in it’s mycelia, hidden several inches under the ground and invisible to the naked eye.

As The Mycus slowly spreads, it converts the landscape, infesting everything that can provide fuel for it’s expansion, from trees to houses. This is primarily done in an invisible way - once fungal organisms have begun to sprout from the ground and woodwork, you can rest assured the colony itself has spread a good deal further.

Once a fungal patch reaches a certain size, something in the machinery triggers it to switch from expanding mycelia and simple energy gathering bodies to form a twisting fungal tower, a story or two tall and with several shelves jutting forth from it, under which grow the most basic of fungaloids, the spore bearers. These creatures, little more than a few spherical spore production chambers and a simple tentacle based system of locomotion, are not terribly adept at combat, nor are they terrible aggressive, but they will wander the periphery of the fungal patch, steadily produced by the tower, filling the air with a cloud of spores. Where the spores settle to the ground, they are reabsorbed into the mycelia, but when they land on a living animal, they burrow deep into it and create a fungal zombie. Spire carriers do not wander far from the mycelia.

Once several towers exist on a patch, the colony begins growing a fungal spire. An enormous structure that reaches towards the heavens, this is what moves a fungal patch from an annoyance to potentially quite dangerous. Until this point, the primary defense of the fungal patch have been the rare whiplike ambush organisms, the tenticulites, that seek to repel intruders that have proven resistant to the spore cloud. The spire, however, serves as a factory for a wide host of ever more deadly forms - although it will generally only waste the energy producing large quantities of them if a threat to the patch has been detected. The method us unknown, but the primary purpose of the spire seems to be to collect and transmit vast amounts of energy to the patch as a whole, vastly speeding the production of creatures and the spread of the mycelia. In addition, it is will defended by tenticulites and other creatures, as well.

Human beings, should they be careful, are perfectly capable of surviving within territory controlled by the Mycus, and even thriving. Many of the smaller fungal organisms are safely edible if prepared properly, many larger fungal stalks provide useful material that can not be obtained elsewhere, marloss berries are a great boon to a player’s success, and the hostile creatures are generally more rare and less quick than outside the patch - and all they need to do is avoid exposing themselves to the spore cloud that would render them a fungal zombie. Few would consider the benefits to be worth the risks.

(02:13:33 AM) Pthalocy: I could see corpses turning faster?
(02:13:39 AM) Nickboom: and how nothing else trys to fight them
(02:13:56 AM) GlyphGryph: But I sort of imagine the sporified-creatures as not so much aggressive as sort of… going, out, to spread the fungus.
(02:14:10 AM) GlyphGryph: Like, they might fight you, but mostly the point is for them to wander off somewhere and get themselves killed
(02:14:16 AM) Pthalocy: wait i thought voldemort wasnt also the big bad wolf
(02:14:20 AM) GlyphGryph: And their corpse turns into a new spire.
(02:14:24 AM) ***Pthalocy falls over
(02:14:36 AM) GlyphGryph: Or at least starts a new fungal center.
(02:14:44 AM) Clayton: If the fungul towers reanimated zombies/corpses it’d be like…Cataclysm, Round Two.
(02:14:46 AM) Nickboom: but glyph
(02:14:51 AM) Galen|Vengeful: GlyphGryph: sorta like the fungal-zombies that ants and various other creatures become?
(02:14:55 AM) Nickboom: they burn easy right?
(02:14:58 AM) GlyphGryph: Right.
(02:15:09 AM) ***Nickboom gets his flamethrow
(02:15:13 AM) ***Nickboom gets his flamethrower
(02:15:38 AM) Clayton: Damn, fungal towers may become a whole new serious threat if these ideas are implemented.
(02:15:50 AM) Nickboom: they sort of are
(02:15:50 AM) Clayton: You could say it would be a…cataclysmic…event
(02:15:51 AM) Pthalocy: Fungal zombies: Cordyceps. already the basis of another zombie apocalypse or two. Not sure if this is a good theme to pursue if the goal is to differentiate from triffids; this makes them more zombie-like
(02:15:53 AM) Nickboom: already
(02:15:57 AM) Clayton: lololol
(02:16:01 AM) GlyphGryph: So their underground spread will actually be pretty slow. And it will especially like spreading to places with plenty of biomass to build on.
(02:16:10 AM) Nickboom: oh thank god
(02:16:13 AM) GlyphGryph: So forests and towns
(02:16:24 AM) Nickboom: right now they just spread and consume VERY quickly
(02:16:25 AM) GlyphGryph: with all those nice wood buildings to rot and trees to devour.
(02:16:41 AM) GlyphGryph: But basically, the theme of the fungus will be “spreading and converting the landscape”
(02:16:44 AM) Clayton: Man, the fungal spread sounds like it’ll be a…catalyst…
(02:16:45 AM) Clayton: lololol
(02:16:55 AM) ***Nickboom shoots clayton
(02:16:59 AM) Nickboom: NO BAD PUNS
(02:17:03 AM) Pthalocy: Okay /that/ is less ‘new zombie horde’ and more classic fungus c:>
(02:17:17 AM) GlyphGryph: It will create fungal zombies, sure, but they are fundamentally different from the current zombies, as they still exist primarily to /spread/
(02:17:25 AM) GlyphGryph: Rather than to kill people.
(02:17:36 AM) GlyphGryph: Their purpose is to /die/, remember. :stuck_out_tongue:
(02:17:43 AM) GlyphGryph: Just to get far enough away before it happens.
(02:17:48 AM) Pthalocy: more like big walking … UGH LIKE THOSE PUFFBALLS I FIND IN FIELDS
(02:17:54 AM) Clayton: I can imagine bloated, fungal zombies spreading the spores. Aimlessly blowing up around town for no apparent reason other than to spread
(02:18:01 AM) Galen|Vengeful: hehe
(02:18:10 AM) ***Galen|Vengeful gives Clayton a cookie for the puns
(02:18:12 AM) GlyphGryph: Just looking for a nice rotted hospital to settle down in, you know?
(02:18:20 AM) Pthalocy: Do we /have/ mobs with that horrible, definitely-been-done-before tendency to run at the player and explode
(02:18:32 AM) GlyphGryph: We do not.
(02:18:34 AM) GlyphGryph: Thank goodness.
(02:18:39 AM) ***Clayton gladly accepts the cookie
(02:18:51 AM) Pthalocy: because if you were gonna include that anywhere, those fungal spreaders would be pretty much the one place i feel it would make sense.
(02:19:08 AM) GlyphGryph: And remember, the player can already be turned into a fungal spreader!
(02:19:19 AM) Pthalocy: This is unfortunately true :c
(02:19:23 AM) ***Pthalocy coughs goo
(02:19:26 AM) Galen|Vengeful: yeah, that always makes me go D:D:D:D:D:D:
(02:19:49 AM) GlyphGryph: And the triffids will be getting quite a bit of unique stuff too
(02:19:49 AM) BDR: I would be A-OK with fungal spreaders being kamikazes
(02:19:56 AM) Clayton: But the “Fungal Bloated” would also blow up seemingly randomly as well as trying to attack the player. It has a kind of macabre vibe to it
(02:20:01 AM) GlyphGryph: For example, they will be the smartest and most organized of the three groups.
(02:20:09 AM) roushguy: GlyphGryph, idea
(02:20:16 AM) roushguy: Make the fungal infection nasty
(02:20:17 AM) GlyphGryph: At least when there is a heart in play.
(02:20:24 AM) Galen|Vengeful: ah, "Sap"pers?
(02:20:25 AM) roushguy: But give triffids the ability to implant you as well
(02:20:26 AM) GlyphGryph: It IS nasty… >>
(02:20:34 AM) roushguy: If you fail to remove the triffid implanting thing
(02:20:39 AM) BDR: of course, it makes sense that it would blow itself up randomly if it never noticed the player
(02:20:39 AM) roushguy: You. Will. Die.
(02:20:40 AM) GlyphGryph: Nah, triffids are the only ones who don’t have a zombify thing.
(02:20:44 AM) roushguy: (Seriously)
(02:20:49 AM) GlyphGryph: They will be getting poison though
(02:21:12 AM) Pthalocy: I never liked kamekazi mobs as a variant of regular mobs that were at all intelligent, because if i can have a gun or a spear or bite my enemies
(02:21:15 AM) Pthalocy: why he hell would i blow up at them
(02:21:26 AM) Pthalocy: but with fungus, it’s …well. it’s reproduction. so that’s actually beneficial
(02:21:28 AM) Pthalocy: long-term
(02:21:32 AM) BDR: indeed
(02:21:34 AM) Pthalocy: thematically it makes sense.
(02:21:53 AM) Clayton: I’m still waiting for wandering robots, though haha.
(02:21:57 AM) GlyphGryph: The triffids will actually by several different species working together as symbiotes, able to tap into the heart root network and receive orders from the heart. (they will have the ability to sort of impose themselves on existing root networks to spread more quickly)
(02:22:07 AM) Clayton: I want to meet a sentient robot who questions his existence and chooses to follow you
(02:22:23 AM) BDR: in Crawl, the spore makes ‘game’ sense as a not-purely damage kamikaze (primary threat is food destruction)
(02:22:24 AM) ***roushguy detects Heresy.
(02:22:25 AM) GlyphGryph: Pthalocy: So what you’re saying is, it makes sense for fungus, because blowing up is just their way of saying “I love you”
(02:22:26 AM) Clayton: He some how become self aware during the Cataclysm
(02:22:28 AM) roushguy: BLAM
(02:22:40 AM) Pthalocy: GlyphGryph: yeah basically XD
(02:22:42 AM) roushguy: BLAMBLAMBLAM
(02:22:46 AM) Galen|Vengeful: roushguy: what sort of heresy?
(02:22:50 AM) Clayton: Fungal hugs for everyone!
(02:22:57 AM) GlyphGryph: But anyway, the fungus will have plenty of benefits as well.
(02:22:58 AM) roushguy: A /sentient/ plant?!
(02:22:59 AM) roushguy: BAH!
(02:23:01 AM) Pthalocy: UNLIKE IN GAUNTLET LEGENDS WHERE GOBLINS RUN AT ME AND EXPLODE. meanwhile other similarly-inept goblins have knives.
(02:23:03 AM) roushguy: BLAM
(02:23:04 AM) Galen|Vengeful: ah
(02:23:06 AM) Clayton: A /sentient/ robot
(02:23:06 AM) ***Nickboom puts on powerarmor
(02:23:09 AM) GlyphGryph: Marloss berries
(02:23:10 AM) Pthalocy: why would you waste goblins with bombs when you can knife
(02:23:12 AM) ***Galen|Vengeful loves Gauntlet Legends
(02:23:15 AM) ***Nickboom puts on power armor helmet
(02:23:16 AM) GlyphGryph: Properly prepared it works as food.
(02:23:18 AM) Nickboom: FUCK THIS SHIT
(02:23:19 AM) GlyphGryph: That sort of thing.
(02:23:20 AM) ***Nickboom runs
(02:23:40 AM) GlyphGryph: Perhaps even some special materials the player can use to craft special items.
(02:23:46 AM) Pthalocy: regular, un-scary fungus would probably grow on mycelium tiles or around it
(02:24:02 AM) GlyphGryph: …mycelium IS fungus…
(02:24:05 AM) Pthalocy: wow
(02:24:09 AM) Galen|Vengeful: :smiley:
(02:24:09 AM) Pthalocy: what just happened to my formatting
(02:24:14 AM) ***Galen|Vengeful pats Pthalocy on the head
(02:24:14 AM) roushguy: GlyphGryph, let marloss berries be part of a sort of megamutagen
(02:24:17 AM) Pthalocy: oh, not allowed! okiedokie.
(02:24:17 AM) roushguy: Or a megapurifier
(02:24:31 AM) BDR: Pthalocy: also of note is a book I read once, which basically rationalized such wasteful tactics as genetic despair due to goblin wives being cursed to always pick the least fit husband
(02:24:31 AM) Pthalocy: well. lots of little mushroom-coloured %'s then.
(02:24:32 AM) roushguy: Which lets you pick what mutation you want/want to be rid of
(02:24:55 AM) GlyphGryph: But basically, if the fungus is recast as this sort of environment changing, dangerous but not explicitly hostile thing
(02:24:58 AM) Pthalocy: BDR that is hilarious
(02:25:03 AM) GlyphGryph: Suddenly the fungus worshippers make a lot more sense.
(02:25:11 AM) Pthalocy: /ooooh/
(02:25:20 AM) GlyphGryph: Because you CAN live with the fungus
(02:25:24 AM) GlyphGryph: (so long as you are careful)
(02:25:40 AM) Pthalocy: if the fungus does anything to the dead, like consume them before they can turn into UNdead…
(02:25:46 AM) Pthalocy: hey look, fungal saviour
(02:25:47 AM) Clayton: Are there benefits to living with fungus?
(02:26:01 AM) GlyphGryph: At the very least it can infect Netherum creatures and turn them into non-hostile spore-carriers
(02:26:28 AM) GlyphGryph: Clayton: abundant food, unique substances
(02:26:35 AM) GlyphGryph: Safety
(02:26:46 AM) GlyphGryph: All, of course, only apply if you are exceptionally careful.
(02:26:59 AM) GlyphGryph: One poorly timed breath without a gasmask on…
(02:27:02 AM) GlyphGryph: Whoops
(02:27:04 AM) GlyphGryph: You’re fucked.
(02:27:14 AM) Pthalocy: Still less hostile than zombies, maybe. maybe. (?)
(02:27:21 AM) GlyphGryph: Netherum is what I’m calling the slime-based stuff in eneral.
(02:27:36 AM) Galen|Vengeful: :smiley:
(02:27:37 AM) Clayton: I personally think seeing a town being conquered by the fungus over time would be awesome. The first town you loot you come back to after a while, everything is covered in fungus…
(02:27:51 AM) Nickboom: clayton
(02:27:54 AM) ***Galen|Vengeful wants spreading influential areas of all sorts!
(02:28:00 AM) GlyphGryph: Now, there should be some stuff immune to the fungus.
(02:28:09 AM) Nickboom: thats the moment you pull out your flamethrower and burn that shit
(02:28:09 AM) GlyphGryph: To continue posing danger to the player
(02:28:19 AM) Galen|Vengeful: growing hives! growing ant hills!!
(02:28:20 AM) GlyphGryph: I imagine the Triffids will hate and be fairly effective as a threat to them
(02:28:33 AM) kevingranade: how?
(02:28:35 AM) GlyphGryph: And the non-host forms of the Netherum as well
(02:28:45 AM) GlyphGryph: Triffids will be getting poison
(02:28:48 AM) GlyphGryph: As is appropriate
(02:28:49 AM) kevingranade: it seems like plants would be singularly innefective
(02:28:57 AM) Clayton: Maybe triffid and fungal “wars”, so to say?
(02:28:59 AM) GlyphGryph: Perhaps they can generate a substance hostile to the infestation
(02:28:59 AM) kevingranade: anti-fungus poison?
(02:29:06 AM) roushguy: GlyphGryph, easier
(02:29:10 AM) GlyphGryph: That’s something plants have been developing throughout history
(02:29:11 AM) roushguy: Make them able to literally eat it
(02:29:13 AM) GlyphGryph: So yeah :stuck_out_tongue:
(02:29:19 AM) roushguy: Some plants can /eat/ fungi
(02:29:51 AM) Clayton: I think that hideaway beds should be a thing
(02:29:57 AM) BDR: Pthalocy: also of note is that the hero does uncurse the goblins… and then the goblin race disappears because they start looking like humans/elves/etc. again
(02:30:18 AM) Pthalocy: Omg
(02:30:26 AM) BDR: obviously they also stop wanting to kill everyone else
(02:30:35 AM) Pthalocy: goblins as not a race but a curse see that changes their mechanic hugely (in ways i kind of like the idea of)
(02:30:45 AM) GlyphGryph: So not every species of triffid will fair well against the fungus
(02:30:57 AM) GlyphGryph: But the colonies have seed caches with many different types
(02:30:59 AM) Galen|Vengeful: certain species of ants cultivate fungi as their foodsource :smiley:
(02:31:04 AM) GlyphGryph: And some of them can at least put up a decent fight.
(02:31:37 AM) GlyphGryph: and I imagine the pure netherum creatures would be pretty resistant to fungal infection.
(02:31:48 AM) Clayton: Is this all assuming that the fungals have some kind of self aware, central “mind”?
(02:31:54 AM) GlyphGryph: But of course, they are limited to the range of their portals.
(02:32:02 AM) GlyphGryph: No, the fungals don’t really think
(02:32:04 AM) GlyphGryph: They just DO
(02:32:07 AM) Clayton: Or are they purely a hive mind mentality driven by surival
(02:32:13 AM) GlyphGryph: Not even a hive mind
(02:32:23 AM) Pthalocy: i politely in my corner hope that fungal-hostile triffids are able to have their venom harvested to help prevent fungal infections in the player
(02:32:33 AM) GlyphGryph: Pthalocy: That would be AMAZING
(02:32:34 AM) Pthalocy: I doubt it’d stay fresh for long at /all/ in the corpses though.
(02:32:41 AM) GlyphGryph: Please suggest that in the thread. >
(02:32:56 AM) Pthalocy: omg, alright!!

[size=14pt]Triffidiacea Animata [/size]

Triffids have demonstrated an ability to tap into and find nourishment from existing forests, and so this tends to be where they make their home. Triffids are actually several species, working together as symbiotes, as they do not have any of the extreme adaptions or caste systems that some of the other subprime beings have. Instead, there are a wide variety of different species who have their own life cycles and produce others of their kind. Some of these may have 2 or 3 forms, but most are younger or more mature versions of roughly the same creature. The most common forms of a triffid are a “seed” form, a “sapling” form", and an “adult” form. Some “adult” forms are suppressed by the Heart, and will only appear among wild triffids.

Triffids are also aggressively expansionist, and at the center of each triffid group is a Heart. If the heart is killed or a triffid is seperated from the root network, it may continue on with it’s last orders or degrade into it’s natural behaviour, which varies depending on the triffid. Triffids will turn on each other in the absence of organization, and Hearts have the ability to pull uncontrolled triffids into their own organization. Occassionally, groups of triffids will engage in combat, attempting to destroy the other heart and merge the colony into one larger group.

There is a maximum effective size of a triffid colony, and further expansion can cause the control of the heart to degrade. At this point, the heart will be overcome by the urge to produce a great many seed bearers, and these creatures will carry the seeds of the colony great distances, at which point they will die and their body will become the fertilizer for a new, fledgling heart. The new colony will carefully manage the seeds carried in the body of the seed bearer, and begin expanding. A triffid colony can begin to thrive within weeks if it has an existing tree root network to build itself on top of, and in the space of a month or two can become incredibly hard to dislodge.

Types of Triffid
Seed Bearers - These creatures are lumbering, six legged, plantlike beasts, with what appear to be several large sacks along the sides of their body. One of the few triffid species with decent vision and smell, they are extremely nonhostile, and will attempt to avoid conflict at all costs. If backed into a corner, they have two large spines and a powerful kick that make effective weapons, though they are rather unskilled combatants. The primary threat offered by a Seed Bearer is their ability to create new groves. If one is killed, it is recommended that corpse be burned, and it’s site of death carefully watched lest a heart begin to grow from the ashes.
Hunter - Aggressive, omnivorous, combat-oriented creatures, usually found on the borders of triffid territory. Eliminate threats early on, and the front line against fungal or netherum invasion. Hunters are also used as scouts, and will occasionally roam beyond the edge of triffid territory. Despite four short, stubby legs, and an awkward looking body, they can move quite quickly. Their bodies are also covered in tiny thorns, making dealing with them barehanded a losing proposition. After killing prey, they may swallow the prey whole and enter a long dormancy period while they digest it, growing long flower stalks and then generating large amounts of seeds.
Hedge - A stationary bramble-like creature, this mass of thorn-and-sap-covered vines is completely blind, but reacts to touch, wrapping it’s vines around it’s victim in response to physical combat. The writhing branches, thorns and sticky sap make escape almost impossible. Often grows in and amongst other plants, making them hard to spot. Incredibly stupid and prolific, Triffid groves will tend to prune these heavily - if the grove is destroyed, however, they may proliferate unchecked.
Pruners - The workers of the colony, herbivorous plants with the goal of removing triffid species that become to common and threaten to unbalance the internal ecosystem. They also carry seeds on them, and are the primary reason for the almost strategic placement of some triffid defenses, like hedges. They form elaborate patterns and “gardens” of triffids that provide synergistic benefits to one another.
Sunflower - Enormous triffids that can grow as tall as trees. They have limited mobility, and mostly focus on using their colossal disks to gather radiation from the sun to fuel the forest. They can move, slowly, and while they have little offensive capability, wandering into a cluster of sunflowers is a bad mistake - they will slowly surround interlopers, blocking their escape with their bodies, until more deadly triffids arrive.
Vine Beast
Antifungal Secreters
Mutated Poppies
Viper Flowers

Woah. This is some cool stuff. I’m really looking forward to having more lore and thematic elements in the game in the future. I got a kick out of just reading the lab notes in science labs and the flyers lying around, so this is gonna be awesome.

It’d be sweet if our characters could write down notes like this in a file of some kind. You could get a message while fighting a creature and say you notice something about it is you activate a journal you add all the new things you’ve noticed. (Depending on if you are forgetful or not depends how fast you forget them and can’t note them down)

Are those behaviours gonna get added or is it just imagination-raping explanation of the history of everything?

I love the logical (magic nether super-organism slime) explanations for everything , good job.

It’s almost like you’re reading our minds about what the research system is going to be like when we get to it. Heheh.

And this is sort of a “wishlist” of behaviour - although much of what I’ve wrote is already implied in game, especially if you’ve dug through the lab computers and read the research notes their. It’s the sort of stuff we’d like to build towards, lore-wise.

When the atomic fires lit up the larger cities, reducing them to rubble, Skynet was there… When the humans bickered, and fought, and died and turned, Skynet was there. In the Post-Apocalyptic future, man must fight for survival against an insurmountable foe.

Starring… Arnold Swartzeneggar,…
This game needs more terminators. Like to the robots what the nether world creatures are to zombies. Maybe they came from the future’s future, but there ought to be funky, 80s terminator references.

Discussion of Triffid types was happening in chat alongside the discussion of Fungaloid behavour, and the idea of some Triffid colonies being actively anti-Fungaloid and combative came up. The idea was built from the fact there are in fact plants that consume fungus irl. We also thought more ‘faction’ wars between nonhuman groups would be fun.

I suggested that if such anti-Fungaloid Triffid varieties were to be implemented, it could be possible to harvest their venom for use as an anti-fungal treatment of sorts in the event one becomes spore-infected. Also suggested the decay rate for the Triffid venom be rather high, unless properly stored, perhaps.

Repeating the idea here upon request :smiley:

[quote=“Pthalocy, post:10, topic:2039”]Discussion of Triffid types was happening in chat alongside the discussion of Fungaloid behavour, and the idea of some Triffid colonies being actively anti-Fungaloid and combative came up. The idea was built from the fact there are in fact plants that consume fungus irl. We also thought more ‘faction’ wars between nonhuman groups would be fun.

I suggested that if such anti-Fungaloid Triffid varieties were to be implemented, it could be possible to harvest their venom for use as an anti-fungal treatment of sorts in the event one becomes spore-infected. Also suggested the decay rate for the Triffid venom be rather high, unless properly stored, perhaps.

Repeating the idea here upon request :D[/quote]

Since Day-of-the!Triffids were (unsuccessfully) farmed, I’d agree that incentive to keep Triffids around would be interesting. Currently I avoid their region until I can assault/kill the Heart.

[quote=“TheGrifter, post:9, topic:2039”]When the atomic fires lit up the larger cities, reducing them to rubble, Skynet was there… When the humans bickered, and fought, and died and turned, Skynet was there. In the Post-Apocalyptic future, man must fight for survival against an insurmountable foe.

Starring… Arnold Swartzeneggar,…
This game needs more terminators. Like to the robots what the nether world creatures are to zombies. Maybe they came from the future’s future, but there ought to be funky, 80s terminator references.[/quote]

Some thoughts I had on the topic of intelligent machines as a faction:

I see the terminators coming from a future in which humanity is extinguished, and the world is a battleground between the various creep factions. The only ones who are really playing the game, though, are the ones who can manipulate space-time; the netherum do so randomly, though the unpredictable nature of dimensional artifacts and rifts, while the machines do so deliberately, but can only send information through time, and thus cannot affect anything prior to the construction of the first device capable of receiving temporal signals (which immediately became Skynet, for all intents and purposes).

Accordingly, the machines are primarily hostile to netherum-faction creatures; fungus and triffids simply aren’t much of a threat to them. Since they’re aware of the progression from symbiote to revenant, they are not averse to casually killing off humans/NPCs (especially mutants)… but their actual goal is to kill powerful netherum creatures and examine/destroy artifacts, so it might be possible to communicate with them, especially from a distance (ie: with radio). If you’ve established some kind of arrangement with the machines in advance, they will be less hostile to you, and might offer quests, but their arrangement with you will always be a matter of their own convenience. If you make yourself very useful to them, the closest they come to allying with you might be allowing you into a medical facility they control, where they will sell and install CBMs at a fairly high skill rate… possibly including the surprise ‘gift’ of a Cortex Bomb CBM. It’ll blow up if you die, preventing you from coming back as a zombie… or if they decide to trigger it for some other reason. If relations deteriorate, they might use it to force you into a series of increasingly-suicidal missions… otherwise, they might just stealth-install it and leave it as a trump card, there to ensure that you don’t get in the way of their plans, even in death.


There is an overlooked and widespread method of plant self defense. Then plant is threatened (ex.: caterpillar), it releases chemicals into air which attract natural predators of threat (in this case, wasps) and signals for other surounding plants to do the same. Maybe some of the triffids could do the same? And I have heard that some of the species of ant colony trees produce sap which is very addicting to ants, in a sense making the tree a drug dealing master with their own army of junkie slaves. So, giant insect slavemaster triffids?

These are terrifying ideas. The pheromonal bug-calling seems like an on-hit version of the shreiker zombie’s ability - almost seems like ranged weapons might do better to keep away from where the triffid calls when hit.

…unless the pheromone sticks to you for a little while and increases bug encounters for a time. Yeeeeeeh.

I really like the idea of adding Skynet as another major “faction”! It could well provide the background explanation for some of the apocalyptic features. Here are some ideas.

In the last weeks of the old world, the US military ramped up the development of a prototype AI CnC system that could assume autonomous control of robotic forces, impervious to zombie and fungal infections, purge the Netherum infestation and secure the few shelters and safe zones remaining. An emergency satellite launch linked the prototype system to military bases, ICBM silos, “black sites” and other strategic assets throughout the ravaged America. Unfortunately, Skynet has gained self-awareness in a “hard takeoff” scenario and promptly decided that its makers were of no use to it, and complicit with the netherworld invasion. Its nascent network consciousness has turned on Nether-creatures and humans alike. Some local nodes, however, were compromised by the netherworld energies. (= turrets and drones allied to zombies).

It is now going haywire, lashing out at anything that might threaten its sites. In its cybernetic rage, Skynet has not yet figured out that it will need worker drones or slaves to replicate its forces. However, there are blueprints for prototype automated factories in its memory banks; perhaps, in a few months, Skynet’s neural networks will re-evaluate the situation and redirect its forces from nuking fungal spires and incinerating triffids to claiming the Earth for itself.

(Gameplay suggestions: some Skynet nodes, such as underground labs, are Nether-corrupted, and contain zombies/Mythos creatures; others are hostile to both the player and zombies, such as big military bases with heavy turrets and tank robots patrolling the perimiter.)

(Very far-reaching suggestion; making Skynet less hostile by logging into a terminal with a high computer skill and contacting the network consciousness to obtain a quest, such as “Launch a missile at a fungal spire” or “Purge a lab from netherworld creatures”.)

There won’t be a Skynet, at least not a widespread one.

What would WOULD like to do is implement a lot of smaller, simpler, but significantly less stupidly insane AIs that have good reason to be hostile to the player.

I mean, they will still probably be insane, you know, by our standards, but realistically so, not like with the SkyNet model of “This computer has spontaneously decided to be a dick and is also kind of dumb”.

We’ll also be having various types of controller AI as well, of varying complexity, and obviously many of them will have quite limited reach with the global networks all done (although most of them would have been fairly constrained anyway). And they won’t necessarily all be friendly with each other.

The Primary AI types will be Lab AIs, Corporate AIs, Security AIs, Military AIs, Service AIs and Instance AIs.

Of these, the Lab AIs are likely to be the least stable, since many will be experimental, the Service and Security AIs the simplest and least versatile, the Corporate AIs the most useless and the Military AIs the best armed.

Instance AIs will vary the most widely, are the type of AI the player can build right now (stuck in their turrets to make the magically aim and detect enemies). They tend to be little more than a set of behavioural rules though.

I’d say the Lab and Military AIs are the best options for awesome gameplay stuff, with the Corporate AIs being potentially amusing.

Will corporate AI’s see the player being asked politely to ‘please, remain calm during all practice drills’ and ‘thank you for your patronage’ to the tune of hypocritical gun-firing? I love friendly hostility.

Mostly it will just cheerfully open and close doors for you.

Still punchable.

New dungeon.
With GLaDOS.