Triffid Nurseries

I was just thinking about how triffids actually reproduce. They’re supposed to be animate plants, yes? So how are they born? They seem intelligent enough to be aware of situations collectively, and they already cultivate their own groves; why not farm their own offspring?

I don’t know if this would be its own special biome, like fungal towers and fungal bloom, but in my head I see a big field of carefully sewn fields lined with big twitching infantile triffid stems in various stages of development. As plants it makes sense that, in the very beginning, they’d be anchored to the earth and extracting nutrients straight out of the ground, or maybe connected to some kind of feeding system connected via roots that, very far away, connect back to the triffid heart. They need to build up their bodies first, and it’s more efficient to save energy by anchoring one’s self to the earth and sucking up whatever they need however they need it, whether by photosynthesis, direct feeding, ect.

Once they’re developed enough to defend themselves or have grown the parts they need to create energy more efficiently, all their fluid bladders are filled, ect, then they either uproot themselves or some kind of caretaker unit shuffles over and does it for them. At that point they’re either full-grown triffids or triffid sprouts (that later grows into an actual triffid).

This can either be above ground or below it, branching off of the tunnels and such that come off of the triffid heart. To me it makes sense to have a special field to do this, since they’re more like crop warriors than anything precious and important to them and grown en masse. There could also be special places specifically designated to grow their triffid queens, and are much more heavily defended due to the important role that the queens play in cultivating and expanding the groves.

It would also be nice to see a bit of variety in the triffid faction this way. Currently I think there’s only the generic grove, which means roaming queens carving paths of destruction across the landscape. This would spice up the environment a bit and also give us access to triffids without having to constantly check to ensure that the queens aren’t roaming everywhere and destroying absolutely everything, or heading somewhere they shouldn’t.

I’m also thinking there would be giant nutrient ‘stomachs’ of some variety to feed growing and perhaps adult triffids, but those could just be part of the nursery.

Just some ideas thrown out there.

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Good points all, I thought you meant an artificial nursery they escaped from, but I like yours better.
Something this made me think of, what if the queen were a mobile nursery? It would wander around tearing up (mylching) regular plants, and leave behind triffid sprouts.

If the queens would stop growing a forest in a few seconds i d be happy no matter what.
This sounds like a good alternative skill-.

If our triffids are in any way related to the literary triffids, this would likely be the case, as in DotT they were grown and harvested for various products like triffid oil, and only became a danger to humanity once the comet rendered everyone blind which allowed them to escape into the wild.

Eh, honestly I like the “faction in their own right” much more than the “earth-creature that was cultivated by humans and then went crazy”. Our triffids might be inspired by the literary ones, but their backstory is vastly different IMO.

That said definite +1 from me on this idea, it definitely fits the triffid faction idea. I’m imagining a handful of different fields, each protected by a collection of the finest triffid warrior creatures, tended by special triffid caretakers, and each one growing a different triffid faction creature. Infant/young vinebeasts over in that field, infant/young triffids in this field, a special “school-like” structure for the younger triffid queens (which I’d imagine would just be the same as normal triffids for the infant stage) to mature in, and so on, with vine walls dividing them up and making everything neat and orderly.

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Based on what I’ve observed about their behavior, I don’t know if the “queens” have any kind of role as far as hierarchy goes. They seem more like gigantic farm plows more than any sort of queen beast, and that there are triffids around when a queen triffid roams about ripping up giant forest paths doesn’t seem to indicate that they’re following them, or guarding them. I mean the entrance to the heart IS right over there, practically in visual range; they’re just milling about the grove.

I’m not sure if the triffids even have a hierarchy system. All of the drones seem relatively replaceable and the queens happen to be important pieces of equipment that the hearts would want taken care of.

The triffid collective looks more like a bee hive full of drones as opposed to an ant colony with castes and ranks. Every drone is also a warrior and the only difference with a triffid hive is that they have specifically designated hive builders.

That’s just based on observations anyway. From what I’ve seen in game, the triffid collective looks more like a slightly more diverse bee hive than an ant colony.

AFAIK triffid hierarchy system is kinda like this:
Triffid heart
Everything else :stuck_out_tongue:

It’s like hive-mind directed communism; each creature of the collective works to perform the tasks it is best suited for to it’s own ability and the needs of the collective (which is determined by the heart) as a whole.

My comment on queens in another building was going off the idea that triffid queens are more of a specialized form of the triffid creature, and as such would be the same in the infant stage but different in the younger stage, instead of being a completely separate creature that was just part of the triffid faction (and thus would be raised in a different field). I probably shouldn’t have used the word “school-like”, since “structure” would have conveyed what I meant just as well without the confusion. :stuck_out_tongue:

Right, so all the other triffids are completely equal. So the queens are just giant beasts of burden if anything. Living farm plows. I think ‘queen’ was bestowed upon them with the idea that this is momma triffid, when in reality its just a really big laborer.

That also raises a point about the fungal fighters. The fungus is more of a force of nature than a proper faction, so maybe the triffids have special places where they sap off of a fungal growth and simultaneously ‘convince’ their units to work for them, and also cull their growth, so as to keep them under control and as a useful resource instead of direct competition. The tradeoff: the heart gets whatever it is they need off of the fungus that they need them for, and also get some free drones out of it as a side benefit.

I wonder what function they use to convert fungaloids. Maybe they infest them with some sort of plant growth and force them to rely on whatever the triffids feed on for nutrients in the process, effectively enslaving that particular fungaloid.

Something very similar happens in nature. I forget what plant in particular does it, but there is a flower of some variety that physically changes the chemistry of ants that feed on its sap and makes it so that the only nutrients they can absorb come from its sap and its sap alone, more or less enslaving the ants via chemical alteration. The ants defend the plant because they need it for survival, and the plant gets mercenaries that feed on small amounts of its blood regularly. The plant definitely gets the better end of the deal.

Perhaps we can observe a similar thing happen between triffids and fungaloids? This explains where the fungal fighters come from. If that happens we’d also need to see gigantic fluid bladders or stomachs of some sort that are out bulging and throbbing in the groves, where drones and such make pitstops for nutrient intake (I can only assume that photosynthesis alone isn’t sufficient for energy needed to physically move around).

Actually…

I just had a very interesting thought about those fluid bladders, and feeding off of them. What if, when you take on the Elf-A threshold mutation, you become valid enough in the eyes of the triffids to become a useful resource? Elf-A and Plant lines would do it, but maybe there is a special Triffid line you could pick up so you’re not merely an ally, but a literal part of the triffid collective? Sort of like the Mycus for the fungus, except with the triffid line you’d actually have a tangible allegiance to something and not just the concept of its existence. The fungus will grow itself, with or without your help; the triffid collective needs each and every one of its drones to succeed. Drops of blood in the beating triffid heart: innumerable and equally vital.

Perhaps becoming addicted to triffid nutrient fluid would have its own slew of benefits? Least of all becoming a valid member of the triffids…

Fungal fighters are more of the triffids way of dealing with fungaloids. Fungaloids and Triffids have a special hate for each other, even among the members of the “Big 3” (the other being the blob), most likely brought on by their collective differences. Where triffids are all about every part of the collective maintaining it’s uniqueness and each thing serving in the way it is best suited at, the Mycus is much more about making everything the same where possible, converting those things that are different to function similarly to it’s other elements, all while spreading the fungus.

That said the Mycus is definitely an actual faction, it’s just operating on a scale similar to the blob, so it’s difficult to recognize at first glance. Unlike the blob the Mycus actively interacts with it’s recruits though, try out the Mycus mutation line and you’ll encounter several times where the Mycus hive mind actively speaks to the player (and later on you become part of said hive mind, beginning to use the collective “we” to refer to yourself).

The “triffids can use the fungus” idea has been brought up before, and personally (especially now that we actually have a Mycus hive mind speaking sometimes in-game), I’m against it. I much prefer the idea of two especially mortal enemies, each with a totally different setup and goal, than the idea of an unthinking force of nature and a thinking communistic faction. The sap idea is basically how the triffids get pretty much any of the creatures they use anyways; they “take” them through their own mental dominance and breed them to fit perfectly into their role until they can’t survive without it. (Ooooh, we should have triffid hearts hit the players with some mental-based attacks “hallucinations”, etc. while they are fighting the player, interspersed with some messages about how you should bow before the heart’s will and become part of the collective. I think it’d add a fair bit of flavor to the triffids without making too much of a difficulty change.)

@triffid mutation, triffids aren’t so much mutators as they are breeders, and they tend to be pretty heavy handed on the “you will fit the collective” aspect. That said they are also probably one of the only factions out there that you could conceivably have a discussion with because they aren’t too big to totally ignore or consume you, and they are individualistic enough that what you do could actually matter to their plans. While I don’t really see the player becoming part of a triffid collective (loss of free will and all that jazz), I could see a player convincing a triffid heart to help them/become their ally in some way (though the triffid heart would obviously view it as you becoming their ally/tool), and having some more plant-like mutations might be able to aid in that discussion. It could probably be a further point of meeting with the heart, where you can talk with it mentally and possibly convince it that you want to become an outsider ally while being strong enough to resist its mental dominion.

Of course eventually it would probably backstab you, and it shouldn’t for sure work on other Triffid hearts due to their individualism, but the original would probably be willing to wait until their hold ont he planet was more secure, and the fact that attacking you would bring them into conflict with another heart should at least give non-allied hearts pause before they decide to do so.

I’d rather the player formed more of a truce with the triffids than become an ally or member. Even after heavy mutation, the player should still be sufficiently different from the triffids that they only consider it a friend rather than a member or an enemy. I worry that the two factions might become too similar, and it ends up being “drink this to be a fungus or drink this to be a triffid”. It would be interesting if sufficient plant mutation (like roots) instead allowed the player to communicate with the triffid heart somehow, and allowed you to negotiate mutually beneficial arrangements, like the player could provide fertilizer in exchange for a protective vine wall around their base, or something like that.

Edit:

I think i2amroy got a lot what I was thinking down, though I don’t really see the triffids as an “assimilate or perish” force but more of a “get in our way and we’ll kill you” kind of force. In fact, I’d kind of like it if most triffids were non-hostile at first, but get too close to one or harm it and it blasts you with a gob of sap that attracts nearby triffids to attack you.

Hm. I guess you’re kind of right. I don’t see the hearts having much vision for something that they aren’t already using; you don’t fit the role enough. I agree, the best you’d get out of the heart is a truce they’d probably break if they saw an opening.

How individual are the triffid drones? If they have any sort of intelligence, having a truce with the heart could provide an ample opportunity to observe them all individually and make out some of their characteristics. It could actually be kind of educational for the survivor. Also, having something with an intelligence and you no longer deemed a threat to the heart means that you could possibly convince the lesser creatures to perhaps follow you around. They’d want something out of it, obviously, but it’d be nice to have a little company that is slightly more useful than NPC’s. That and triffids are kind of cool.

I wouldn’t mind a tiny triffid garden for my base tbh. They’d make nice pets. Maybe they’d manage your farms for you.

I don’t really see much individualism in the triffid drones since they, along with basically everything else in the triffid factions, have been bred to not be much more intelligent than wild animals and to not have much of a sense of individuality in order to allow easier control by the heart, so even if you somehow managed to isolate some from the heart’s control they probably wouldn’t be much smarter than a wild dog.

That said I’d definitely see you being able to throw in “and manage my farm for me!” into your negotiations with the triffid hearts. They might even see it as a bonus instead of a demand, since they plan to cultivate pretty much the whole world like that eventually anyways (though you might lose some of your ability to chose exactly what you were growing there :P).

Like, imagine the triffid hearts as the “people” of the triffid culture, each with their own army of very well trained animals to control. The triffid hearts each are individualistic and form large “houses” similar to the nobles of old. They have their own parliament back on their home planet, where the most prestigious of triffid houses has large sway over the direction of the triffid culture as a whole. Currently most of the triffid hearts that you see are either the “get rich quick” members of smaller houses, trying to turn this new world into their way of getting up to match the older, more prestigious houses, or the scouting hearts of the more prestigious ones (and often they are both, just as a real world person might be trying to curry favor with their “betters” by passing information back to them all while trying to better their own (and their local family’s) lot in life.

Well, the queens can cultivate vastly larger expanses of land in a matter of minutes than the typical survivor could do in weeks, so I can’t see you throwing your farm plot into the deal as anything more than pocket change comparatively. Albeit slightly more orderly than tangles of shattered trees and gnarled vines.

One thing the survivor does have access to that the triffids might be able to use, however: information. That’s how the survivor got off the ground at the start of the cataclysm and it’s what would make them a sizable enough force to be able to stand up to the mental dominion of a triffid heart, as well as fight off the forces of the grove over its head. Perhaps you would have to have razed at least one other triffid grove and cut out one triffid heart before any of them are willing to pay you any attention, because that is definitely not something that just anyone could do single-handedly, or even in a group.

Perhaps you could work out some kind of ‘treaty’ in exchange for valuable information on how humans cultivated this planet before their extradimensional kin showed up. There are a ton of bodies on the earth and they all used to need food. Perhaps provide samples of pre-existing plants and the like for the heart to use as reference.

This could also bring up the unique relationship between the individual heart and the survivor: perhaps with one it was only barely willing to sign a truce of sorts, whereas another is a little bit more generous and grateful for this kind of exchange, though it would have its own requests and what it would want. Every heart could be like its own small faction within the triffid collective; you could be allied with one grove, which provides one or two triffids to follow you around (after you’re marked with a chemical to convince them to do so), while the other would really prefer you not walk on its land but tolerates you because you’re something of a threat otherwise.

You could really go into depth with how each grove deals with the survivor if you manage to prove yourself as something other than part of the environment. Maybe some refuse to be nice at all and just inherently hate your kind of life form, or others view you as a murderer that must be destroyed.

This would definitely be something I’d like to do, with some possible other ways to prove yourself as well other actually murdering one of the hearts (though that would probably do it, and if you murdered one and then came into contact with one of their “rivals” it could certainly make them look upon you more favorably.

Also I edited my previous post with an extra lore paragraph, not sure if I got that out before you posted or not. :stuck_out_tongue:

This all would be a good way to emphasize the intelligence of the triffids as a whole. From the survivor’s point of view, all three factions are just special flavors of mindless monsters invading their home (though I’m mostly sure the blobs really are just sort of packs of very specialized animals).

You know what would be interesting? If you somehow managed to besiege a triffid grove, or maybe just straight up razed it and snipped anything that tried to sprout up. I wonder how a cornered and frustrated heart would react to being held hostage. Other than being seriously pissed off.

It would be interesting if by eating the heart, you got triffid-like mutations, and were able to control your own grove, and to get more triffid mutations you would have to take out more hearts, which- is one of the hardest tasks in the game.

Loving this, some triffid-specific quest lines would be awesome, probably based around their desire to expand, which would also mean eliminating nearby rivals such as mycus, zombies, and other groves. Imagine leading the charge against a triffid heart backed up by a horde of triffid warriors :smiley:

Should Triffids have their own unique plant tile? Something like the fungal bedding for the fungus, except it doesn’t do all that much other than mark territory of the triffids and maybe is used as a basis for spreading their groves. At the moment its a little hard to tell exactly where their groves start and end, beyond the paths of ruin the queens have carved through the earth. It’d be akin to a jungle tile, made up of knotted vines and trampled miscellenious stalks and whatever other types of plant life maybe didn’t survive the process of getting physically ripped up out of the ground by the queens (and the shattered bits of trees). Triffid jungle tiles or something like that. Grove underbrush? Something.

Although it probably wouldn’t spread to other forest tiles. The mycus already does that and frankly the rate they spread is a little bit broken. Anyone ever see a fungal bloom spawn in the middle of a forest before? It’s like a wildfire except made of fungus particles.

I feel like a lot of the triffid "boundaries should be more clearly defined by straight walls of vines, etc., rather than just making a new tile (though I could certainly see them having a special “floor vines” tile or something that they make roads out of). Walking up should hopefully be eventually more like walking up to a medieval town, with walls, pathways, fences, etc… Maybe do a thing where the vines will spread normally on their own, but all of the walkways made of them have special fire/damage resistant vines on the edges to stop them from spreading too far. The end result would be a walkway that repairs itself if any one spot is damaged but doesn’t spread beyond its boundary limits, and seems a fairly triffid thing to do IMO (self-repairing walkways made of plants and all that jazz).