Thoughts on fungus


#21

Yeah I kind of like that idea too. It has the potential to be extremely dangerous, because if you pass out in the open, you are done, the fungal creatures nearby will kill you while you are passed out unless their AI is changed. But it is a sort of limited danger though.

Going anywhere near Mycus with sleep spores without a gas mask or environmental protection would be about as safe as visiting Bill Cosby’s hotel room. But if you have hazmat gear you would be fine, and they would be no more threatening than normal.

To address this, instead of spores you might have them shoot sleep darts at short range or have the substance injected by a fungal mycelia tendril or something. Make them inflict fatigue and knock you out if they manage to get enough shots that pierce your armor, and if you don’t take a hit of a stimulant or atomic coffee or something.


#22

Having the sleep kick in over several rounds would help and be fun, because then you can take some meth or atomic coffee (is there a difference) like you say.

I think personally I prefer inhaled spores, but darts would be neat too. If I were making it inhalational, I wouldn’t make them too effective due to how crazily difficult it would be if they kick in.

It could also be skin absorbable like regular spores.


#23

I don’t think you can get addicted to Atomic Coffee. I usually wear a camelbak filled with it and take a hit when I get very tired or to hulk out for major combat. Combined with the very little sleep mutation, I think I went almost two weeks without actually sleeping.


#24

“I don’t think you can get addicted to atomic coffee I never stop drinking it and if I did stop I would immediately pass out and sleep for six months but I am quite sure you don’t get addicted what would that even be like I mean it would be like being addicted to water nobody is addicted to water don’t be ridiculous God I love atomic coffee I wish it were real in real life because my regular coffee is OK especially after I put a few shots of espresso in it but it’s still nothing compared to atomic coffee that shit is the real deal”


#25

Wait can you just counter your downers with an upper? That doesn’t feel right from a biochemical standpoint. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:


#26

Depends on the downer. You can’t counter an opiate overdose with methamphetamines, but a lot of management of toxodromes in medicine is basically countering an upper with a downer. It’s just that it’s all a bit more complex than “up” and “down”. Opiate overdose reduces respiratory drive, so you need to counter it with something that increases respiratory drive. Or, since there is an actual antidote, you could just give them naloxone.

In simpler terms, if you take a bunch of drowsy medications and then a bunch of caffeine and amphetamines, it will somewhat counteract the drowsiness.


#27

Okay that’s more in line with what I thought. I changed my major from a premed after the first two years because fuck learning medicine.


#28

A reasonable stance. Thankfully premed isn’t a thing where I live, because actually learning medicine (instead of getting a vague, not particularly employable general biology degree and then hoping to get accepted to med school) is pretty fun.


#29

Speaking of drug interactions, as I recall from my days as a pharmacy tech, aspirin has blood thinning effects so you can’t stack it with prescription blood thinners like Warfarin. Anybody know if you have a higher chance of bleeding in game if you take a bunch? Or if any real life drug interactions are programmed in?


#30

In game I haven’t noticed any correlation between bleeding and aspirin use.


#31

Regarding overhauling the fungus, one interesting mechanic might be for the center of the infestation in an area, like a tower for example, to increase the power and durability of the other fungal creatures in the overmap based on how infested that overmap is. The more tiles of fungus, fungal creatures, or fungal zombies in the overmap, the stronger they get and smarter they behave. Kind of like the Flood Gravemind from Halo.

Bonus points if you make the mycus compound intelligence communicate with players in menacing iambic heptameter.


#32

You guys I recently watched a documentary on CuriosityStream about fungus (it’s called The Kingdom and holy crap go watch it) and fungi are amazing and miraculous and also terrifying and this is definitely their planet we’re squatting on holy crap.

Anyway apparently the only reason mammals didn’t die out when the dinosaurs did is because of the higher internal body temperature which most fungal infections can’t survive. It might be cool if, when infected with some kind of fungal spores, you could try to fight it off by piling warm clothes on yourself and getting really hot, sort of a self-inflicted fever. Or preventing fungal infection if you keep your body hot while around fungal enemies. It doesn’t universally cure all fungal infections in reality, but it just feels like a potentially cool mechanic (though I’m not sure how difficult that would be to add to the game itself).


#33

Funny you should say that, the game is realistic enough that I’ve been just assuming I shouldn’t take aspirin if I have a bad bleed.

I like your tower buff idea. I definitely couldn’t do that, but if/when I get to the other stuff, maybe someone else could


#34

Get your gas masks, people. It looks like they got one.

In all seriousness though; if higher body temperatures can help fight fungal infections then is it possible that things like high metabolism would help fight them, or was that just pseudoscience that I vaguely recall reading somewhere?


#35

Seal the exits, She’s infested!

Speaking of infested mouthpieces for an alien intelligence, having some NPCS be secret fungal infiltrators would be cool. You would have to scan them with medical equipment or something to determine they were just being worked like a puppet. Or catch them in an act of sabotage or creating a fungal tile.

You would have to be a lot more careful about choosing followers, and keeping an eye on them.


#36

Oi, I’m a she! :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I think the higher temperature thing only works on some types of fungal infection, not all. There are fungi that can survive just fine at higher temperatures (these are the ones most dangerous to humans and dang, they are difficult to fight off). So even if added to the game, it would probably be best to only have it work some of the time.


#37

Maybe for mundane fungal infections, idk, I’m an engineer so my medical background is pretty limited. @Erk is a doctor or something he might know.

But I don’t think it would work on a Mycus infection. The Mycus has actively adapted itself to survive in a variety of environments across multiple worlds and dimensions. While it doesn’t seem to like fire very much, that just means its flammable like any other vegetation, not that it cannot tolerate elevated ambient temperatures.

For example, IIRC the nature of plant and fungi cell structures makes them hardened against radiation compared to animal cells. So while you might be able to kill a Mycus infection with a radiation treatment, it would probably require an extremely high dose to do it.


#38

Sounds fair enough. I was just excited about all the cool stuff I learned from that documentary. :stuck_out_tongue: Still, some infections can be fought off with fever, and life forms, especially microscopic ones, can mutate randomly - it would be a cool thing to have in the game as a potential way to fight off certain types of infections, maybe with only a chance of success to reflect mutations, etc. Again, I have no idea how hard this could be to code in though. Just a cool idea.


#39

I’d love to add mutant diseases and responses some day.


#40

As far as I know, fungi cells are more closely related to animals than to plants