The plumber came today to do some work on my … well, plumbing … and he finished in record speed. By finishing so darn quick, he gave me enough time to take my family out to a satellite library where they were having a used book sale.
To prove just how wierd I am, I snagged “The Complete Book of Mushrooms.”
No, I’m not a fan of the hallucinogenic properties of mushrooms, I just think that mushrooms and other fungi are just damn creepy. Why? Why could any one hate these spongy, fleshy, grown-in-the-dark plants that suck the good stuff out of dead things? I hope that explains it.
It’s that creepiness that I hope to exploit some day in my writing — whether it be for a comic, role-playing game or some as-yet-unthought-of medium.
I have, in fact, tried to use mushrooms as a basis for a Dungeons & Dragons adventure, but the publisher just wasn’t interested.
Just in case you were interested, here it is:
By Your ComicsOnTheBrain.Com blogger
With a dread illness befalling an entire village, the elders have gathered up a small group of adventurers to seek out a cure.
The isolated village is too far from the nearest city to go there, so instead, the elders are hoping an old text can lead the adventurers to the home of some almost forgotten allies who live deep in some nearby caverns.
The new adventurers are sent out of town amid a chorus of cheers as they and a pack mule set out to the nearby caverns. There, they are to seek out the “plant people” who live there.
Upon arrival at the caverns, the adventurers find three separate entrances from which to choose. One houses a pack of krenshars (a vicious hyena-like creature) and monstrous centipedes.
The second cave is the temporary base of operations for a group of goblins (MM p. 133) and one of their hobgoblin (Rog 1) masters.
The third cave is the cave where the myconids (The aforementioned plant-people who are like giant, mobile mushrooms with arms) dwell. Unfortunately for the adventurers, the myconids have moved deeper into the caves over the years. They’ve long since given up living near the surface world, and moved their homes and farms farther inside the earth. Since that move, new creatures have taken up residence in the myconids’ original home.
Since the myconids fed their fungal crops a diet of carrion and offal, the now-unattended fields have become the home of vargouilles (flying zombie heads) and three ghouls . Naturally, the creatures relish the thought of “fresh meat” and move to intercept the heroes.
After vanquishing or avoiding the creatures, the heroes find evidence of the myconids’ move, and the adventurers can follow the caves to their new home.
There, the heroes encounter the mushroom men. The myconids are wary of the adventurers at first, initially attempting to drive the heroes away. Eventually, the myconids understand the heroes’ plight and welcome them into their village.
The adventurers are granted an audience with myconid sovereign, the village circle leader, and it offers help in the form of several remove disease potions. The myconids’ store isn’t enough for the entire adventurers’ village, though.
But hope isn’t lost, the sovereign explains that it makes so many potions each day that the clan opted to open up trade with the dwarves who live even deeper in the caves. These dwarves would offer the myconids carrion of all type in exchange for a large cache of potions.
The sovereign suggests that the adventurers continue down through the cave to the dwarven stronghold to fulfill the rest of their needs.
So, the heroes set out deeper into the cavern where they do battle with a wandering grick (kind of like a giant-sized gypsy moth caterpillar with tentacles) and eventually come across the dwarven stronghold.
The stronghold is eerily quiet though as the dwarves have met their end at the hands of an advanced choker (MM p. 35). As the adventurers explore the stronghold, they encounter the creature and do battle. Upon its defeat, the heroes uncover the dwarves’ own store of potions and work their way back to the surface.
Near the cavern’s mouth, the heroes are ambushed by another gang of goblins, led by a second hobgoblin (Rgr 1). This group has tracked the heroes from when they entered the first cave and are either seeking revenge for the deaths of their fellow tribemates or (if the player characters managed to avoid that group earlier) simply there to take the adventurers’ loot.
Upon the second gang’s defeat, the heroes can make their way back to the village, and deliver the potions to those in need.
“Medicine Run” is a dungeon crawl adventure for 1st-level characters. It can be placed any setting. The adventure will require two maps.