Here is the wonderful sweaty spore shifter Woshoshoh, a fully fleshed out NPC for your campaign. There are tips for using them as an ally, as well as a foe, a stat block and details on using them with a faction. The faction elements are partly based on WWN but should be understandable without it.
- In Your Campaign
- Stat Block and Combat Strategy
Every year at the falling of the leaves, the ancient giant Alcramom strode south. He crossed the great plains of Tiroeth, down from the Middle Mounds, making his way to the Marawyd. In that ancient forest, under ancient hardwoods, he stole the myconids’ children. He consumed them with abandon, raw and scent-screaming or in broth, silent and steaming. Each year the myconids submitted to Alcramom’s hunger. They wished not to leave the fertile forest, they wished not to risk all for few. So the cycle repeated, years came and went and so did the new grown until… out of the deep wood came Woshoshoh. Woshoshoh saw the sacrifice and Woshoshoh said: “No more! No longer will your cultivars be despoiled by men of meat! The dark warm places, the soil and rot places will be safe again!” Woshoshoh stirred heat in the people’s gills with mind word and speech scent. The people made Woshoshoh their sovereign and Woshoshoh demanded the life mulch of Alcramom.
That year, a great growth was woven at Woshoshoh’s command. A great mycillum snap-trap was lain in the earth awaiting the giant’s rumbling gait. Oh how the giant trembled as he stood on that spore laden ground! Oh how he remarked: ‘Me foot itches a bit.’ as he feasted on those who gave their lives! Afterwards, there were some who questioned the wisdom of Woshoshoh, saying: “Why give so many lives to itch a giant’s foot?” They argued and fumed but at the next turning of the leaves Alcramom did not return. He had been laid low by the rot that started in his foot, climbed up his spine and terminated in his small, hungry brain. Eventually, Alcramom’s addled mind made him take one last stride south to the Marawyd and the myconids: to lie, to rest, to sleep, to die.
So it was that the giant’s massive body became a grand bed for spore sowing and tending. A great bounty of new fungal forms sprouted from its mighty mulch and the clan expanded in numbers and territory. After the first bloom, Woshoshoh claimed the choicest cut, the meat man’s great toe, now half rotted and twisted by fungal growth. Woshoshoh enchanted the fetid digit with magick and mind murmurs, Woshohoh christened it ‘The Sweaty Throne’, Woshoshoh rides it squelching across the landscape. The Sweaty Throne twitches up and down, wriggles side-to-side, sniffing out new lands to conquer. The servants of the Spore King dance around it, picking up torn toe nails and the slime it leaves behind.
All hail the Great Fungus Who Shall Decompose the World, The Strong Shroom Tyrant of the Treeshade of Shoshom, The Greatest Bloom of the Most Fertile Rot, Sovereign Woshoshoh!
Mannerisms and Example Speech
- Sighs often, talks slowly and forcefully, makes grand proclamations
- “Frustrating be the wind that carries a spore too far from home”
- “I was born in the heart of the first forest before the wind called you to this world”
- “This reminds me of…something…something important…something that happened long ago. No, I don’t remember what it was! Humpf.”
Desires and Goals
- Woshoshoh cares deeply for their people. They believe everything they do is for their people’s benefit. Their people must never cower in fear again. Respect is due to those who feel the same for their people.
- Expand and control the local territory as their rightful home. All must, will and should rightly be mulch, mush and spore.
- To be recognised as a legitimate king by other nobility who deserve their rule.
Weaknesses and Flaws
- A degree of arrogance engendered by an uncontested centuries long rule
- Woshoshoh was actually banished from the Deep Marawyd for an unknown reason
- A slight inferiority complex sometimes leads to brash shows of strength or concern over trivial slights
- Loves to roam freely on the Sweaty Throne, often without his honour guard, much to their chagrin
- Whilst undoubtably ancient Woshoshoh’s memory sometimes fails
- A deep seated hatred and disdain for gluttons, especially those who take from those unable to defend themselves
- Woshoshoh’s people being hurt or slighted deeply offends him. He will defend their honour to the end.
- Woshoshoh is intensely loyal to and protective of their translator Aloshu
- Beset by disturbing waking dreams, Woshoshoh is bonded to the Kobold Dreampuller who interprets and eases them
- Deeply wishes to return to the glade of his birth in the Deep Marawyd but loyalty to their people forbids it.
In Your Campaign
Generally, Woshoshoh operates from their ancestral home, a forest on the outskirts of the Marawyd. However, if they are in a weak faction strength they may be roaming the area nomadically having lost control of their home. It is not essential that their base be a forest, a cave system would work equally as well.
Actions/Plot Threads/Adventure Hooks
Below are a selection of actions or hooks that Woshoshoh and his faction might engage in. They are grouped according to whether he is positioned as an Ally or Enemy of the Party. If his relationship is not clean cut he may engage in actions from either.
As an Ally
- To Dream a Dream – The great Spore Sovereign is having terrible, tremulous nightmares of a coming doom. The PCs recover the materials needed to enter into his dreams, discover the source and stop it. If they are not quick enough the Sovereign will become a conduit for nightmarish creatures to enter the material plane. During the journey they will discover that the threat is very real and does not exist solely in the Dreamscape.
- Kidnapped – One of Woshoshoh’s lieutenants has been kidnapped and is being used to extort resources from him. Woshoshoh is in a state of despair and his people are much weakened as a result. Raids in their territory go unpunished and dubious characters are allowed free reign in their domain. The PCs are contacted by another lieutenant to gather information on their whereabouts and ultimately mount a rescue mission. Not wishing for Woshoshoh’s attention to return to the kingdom, other forces will align against the party.
- Produce the Cure – A terrible blight, pox or spreading fungal bloom threatens to destroy the neighbouring polity. Woshoshoh or some of his court may be able to concoct a remedy or provide key ingredients. However, they will need to be convinced that the events are not to their benefit first.
- In the Memory – Inside of Woshoshoh’s mind lies the key to defeating a terrible foe. The ancient world was young when Woshoshoh came into it. The great soveriegn’s memory is however quite poor. Several small trinkets must be brought to Woshoshoh to attempt to jog their memory.
- Woshoshoh’s Spies – Spies and allies of Woshoshoh have uncovered something rotten in the court or leadership of a nearby faction. Forces are aligning to turn this faction against the Sovereign’s people and remove them, permanently. PCs must work to aid Woshoshoh in finding out who is behind it and also to stop them.
As a Foe
- Spore Bomb – Woshoshoh is tired of the nearby settlement encroaching on their turf. A series of corrupting spore bombs have been placed that when detonated will destroy, possess or mutate the victims. Test runs of the explosive spores have been trialled on local monster factions and outlying areas. A test subject has escaped Woshoshoh’s myco-lab jabbering insanely and covered in peculiar growths. If the PCs can cure them, they will have a vital clue.
- Threatening the Borders – Territorial disputes have led to Woshoshoh making ready for war. Their forces harass the surrounding lands and steal prizes of property and peasants. Other dangerous creatures have begun to flock to his banner seeking bloodshed and power.
- Steal the Dragon – Rumours of a slumbering dragon have reached Woshoshoh. They plan to find it and infect it with spores in order to create a fearsome asset for their warmongering. The PCs must attempt to locate the dragon first and prevent this. Will they wake the dragon, with potentially dangerous consequences, or try to hide it? If they are too late, how will they deal with Woshoshoh letting it loose?
- All as one cannot fall – Woshoshoh has decreed that safety can only be assured by making the world in the myconids’ image. Dangerous strains of brain controlling fungus have been let loose in the local populace. Those that are infected begin by seeing the Sovereign’s ways as natural and just, progress to being drawn towards them and finish as parasitic slaves to their will. The initial traces of infection are hard to ascertain but peculiar events are beginning to occur all over the area.
- Corrupt Influence – Woshoshoh’s court has begun attracting various wizards, artists, alchemists and others with whispers of potent spores. Woshoshoh has begun leveraging their dependence and fascination with these to weave a magical corruption. The deep-spore miasma seeps from their homeland and out into the surrounding farmlands turning them into decaying, swampy, fungal forests.
Woshoshoh’s kin do not fit the stereotypically docile nature of Myconids. Years of his leadership have instilled in them a burning passion and belief in the rights and powers of their species. No longer area they content to only dwell in dark spaces and avoid conflict. Woshoshoh’s people seek to mark the world stage with their doings and secure their place in it. As a result, they have had considerably more interactions with outsiders than others of their kin. Moreover, some of them grow to monstrous size due to the effects of devouring the giant Alcramom’s flesh. There are rumours of Fungikin Giants and great hound like beasts amongst Woshoshoh’s retinue.
Note: The myconids of Woshoshoh’s brood are immune to the effects of sunlight. They generally still prefer the shade and may still show negative effects if unable to rest in some for extended periods.
First, you should choose whether their faction is Stable or Unstable:
- Stable – The faction’s position and power level is relatively constant. They may struggle to expand but conversely may be unlikely to collapse. The administration and wealth level are reasonably efficient.
- Unstable – The faction’s position and power level are relatively unpredictable. They experience rapid expansion but may struggle to avoid collapse. The administration and wealth levels are highly variable and corruption and ambition levels may be high.
Second, decide how strong you wish Woshoshoh to be in your campaign i.e. how big a player are they in local events.
- Weak – Below strength, diminished, perhaps on the verge of being destroyed. Alternatively, controlling a significant amount of territory but riddled with corruption and close to losing it all. Limited amounts of their resources are truly reliable. They will be desperate, frustrated and angry but not irrational.
- Normal – In control of their immediate surroundings, potentially challengeable and wary of being deposed or others moving into their territory.
- Powerful – Either through alliances, strong defences or bloodshed they have solidified their position and dominance over the local area.
- Conquering – On the war path, strong and dominant. In this stage they threaten local kingdoms and perhaps the continent if left unchecked.
|Woshoshoh’s Faction Strength||Cunning||Force||Wealth||Magic||Treasure|
Some of Woshoshoh’s Lieutenants are outlined here. These may be first points of contact for the PCs or lower level foes.
- Lonimgo Brightcrest – Kobold Dreampuller, sage-like, speaks in metaphor and riddle. Quiet and frequently asleep. Feigns deafness.
- Derks Reinskal – Human Artist, creative and charismatic. Well versed in and a regular fixture in the surrounding courts. A seasoned spy and political operator despite being somewhat unreliable.
- Mwanfo Aloluka – Kadalaki Alchemist, inventive and withdrawn. Educated at the Infinite Academy in Everstone with many connections there. A specialist in healing, enhanced growth and psychotropic substances.
- Mashuno – Myconid Warmaster, seasoned commander. Old fashioned, honourable and aggressive in tactics. A formidable combatant as well as strategist. Well versed in poetry, dislikes Steelbark.
- Aloshu, The Mouth of Woshoshoh – A sentient, luminous fungal symbiote that inhabits the body of Kan-Halka a goblin bard. Aloshu is smart, calm and well-spoken whilst Kan-Halka is more concerned with wine, lore and poetry.
- Gwendyllaff Caernal – Wood Elf Druid, young and shrewd. Pays little deference to elders, especially older traditionalist druids. Body heavily covered in magical tattoos some of which were designed by Derks.
- Steelbark – Ancient Dryad, wizened veteran of much conflict. Slow to anger and reticent to commit to action. Little social skills, but and to the point. Encyclopaedic knowledge of history.
As well as standard faction actions, e.g. attack or build, Woshoshoh’s faction can engage in the following:
- Soporific spore spies – Brainwashed humanoids or animals have infiltrated the surrounding area and will provide information to the Sovereign or his servants.
- Sew and harvest – The myconids plant mutated spores and reap their benefits in components, foodstuffs and trade goods.
- Research new strains – Alchemists and fungal farmers working for Woshoshoh research and breed new fungal strains. These may be enhanced food crops, weaponry or others.
Woshoshoh will have various assets at their disposal according to their strength. These can be deployed to enhance their position or attain strategic goals. Illustrative examples are provided depending below. Stronger positions generally have access to lower strength assets as well.
|Weak – Destitute||Normal – Stable||Powerful – Ascendant||Conquering – Overlord|
|Spore Hound Scouts||Spys, moles and saboteurs||Free Companies paid for with crystal mushrooms||Monopoly on rare alchemy and far reaching trade of magical assets|
|Secret pathways hidden in plain sight||Fungal brew berserkers||Expansive Embassies, overt and covert||Landwarp Bombs|
|Travelling Art Troupes||Fortifications||Wind-Blown Vanguard sprouting in the wilds||Phalanx of Shambling Mounds|
|Deep Soil Camouflage||Spore Laboratories||Fungikin Giants||The Sporemind Network|
|Elite Guard||Combat enhanced Myconid Warriors||Resurrection Cultivars||Fanatics of the Myconithic Church|
Stat Block and Combat Strategy
Woshoshoh and the Sweaty Throne have a combined stat block. It is assumed that if either is alive so is the other. When working together they form a symbiotic relationship functioning as one creature. The Sweaty Throne is Woshoshoh’s thumb-like steed although it is more like a squelching oozing motorbike puffing our noxious fumes in its wake. It moves in a wriggling side to side motion, leaving a thick mucus path behind it. A thick, sticky, digestive ooze melts and renders down those who are rolled over by it.
Woshoshoh should be a mighty foe should it ever come to battle, shrugging off most blows and spells. If run on their own feel free to beef them up somewhat. Woshoshoh will normally be accompanied by several attendants if not a small platoon of servants. They have however been known to roam abroad solo, touring the land on the sweaty throne. His servants and advisors generally frown on such behaviour but who are they to question the desires of the great growth. Be sure to make use of Woshoshoh’s Fungal Afterlife trait if you wish them to return after his defeat…
As well as various standard myconid forces the following are likely to be accompanying Woshoshoh:
Aloshu, The Mouth of Woshoshoh – The great fungus rarely travels to meet other creatures without his trusty translator. Whilst Woshoshoh can speak common, letting humanoid words pass his slimy lips is unpleasant. Aloshu’s mouth is more suited although its not technically his mouth but rather that of Kan-Halka the goblin which he is symbiotically bonded to.
The Fungre Guard – Woshoshoh is often accompanied by his Fungre Guard. These elite soldiers are actually a self aware fungal infection that takes over their host’s body, as a result their exact form can vary. Despite their regenerative abilities, eventually the bodies they inhabit rot and wither and they must find a new host. Such host creatures are often chosen for their size and power with ogres being a common easy target. Make the following adjustments to an existing stat block:
- Adjust the creatures stats as follows: STR + 2, DEX – 1, CON + 2
- AC minimum 15 (Natural Armour)
- Replace the creature’s INT, WIS and CHAR with the following scores: 12, 14, 8
- The creatures type changes to plant and their alignment to Lawful Neutral
- The creature gains the following abilities:
- Resistance to Poison Damage
- Regeneration – Regains 5 hp at the beginning of its turn unless it took fire damage over the course of the last round. A Fungre Guard only dies if it has 0 hp at the beginning of its turn and does not regenerate hit points.
- Shield Wall – At the end of the Fungre Guard’s turn, if it did not move it gains +2 AC until the beginning of its next turn.
- Reaction: Take the Blow – When a creature makes an attack against an ally within 5 feet, the Fungre Guard may instead become the target of that attack.
Shields of Woshoshoh – These Myconids are specially chosen due to the poisonous outporings of their physiology. Their touch is lethal to non-fungal life whilst they heavy spore cloud they can exude can blind and sicken. In dangerous situations they use these talents to make approaching Woshoshoh a dangerous proposition. In battle they can deny areas whilst outside direct combat they can burrow into the land, poisoning it and making it unable to produce edible crops.
On initiative count 20 (losing initiative ties), Woshoshoh takes a lair action to cause one of the following effects; they can’t use the same effect two rounds in a row:
- Puffball explosion – Dangerous spores scatter in a 20-foot radius centered on a point on the ground that Woshoshoh can see within 120 feet of it. That area partially obscures vision, and each creature there must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or be Blinded. When the creature exits the affected area they are no longer blinded. The spores dissipate when Woshoshoh uses this lair action again or when they die, a strong wind can also disperse them.
- Blessed with Sentience – Woshoshoh grants sentience to a nearby fungus. A Myconid or other plant creature of CR 1 or lower appears in a location within 60feet that Woshoshoh can see. It has the same initiative as Woshoshoh and acts immediately after them.
The region containing Woshoshoh’s lair is warped by spores and growth, which creates one or more of the following effects:
- Mycellum root network – For a 5 mile radius around Woshoshoh’s lair, myconids may communicate with each other as via the sending spell once per day.
- Disorienting Fungal Blooms – Trap like patches of fungus exude confusion spores in a wide radius. These blooms make navigation difficult. Attempts at tracking or navigating in the region requires a successful Wisdom check DC 14. Failure causes the party to lose sense of direction for one hour.
- Fungal infected animals – A one mile radius around Woshoshoh’s lair contains these symbiotic creatures. They are the eyes and ears of Woshoshoh and will alert them to movement in the region.
Fungal Afterlife. If Woshoshoh is slain, a creature within 120feet will become a host to his reincarnation spores. The host will be unaffected by the spores, simply hosting them until the spores find safe soil to root into. A DC 16 Perception check will reveal the spore’s presence but not their nature, which requires a Medicine or Arcana Check DC 16. The spores can be removed by greater restoration or a similar effect, killing Woshoshoh permanently. If the spores take root somewhere safe and undisturbed, Woshoshoh will reform within one week, a week after this Woshoshoh will be at full strength and attempt to return to their people.
There we go, the mighty Woshoshoh! I hope you find him useful or inspiring and I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions or whether you use him. Personally, I quite like the idea of peaceful Myconids being made ready for war and taking their place amongst the powerful factions of the world. Perhaps the sweaty throne will squelch across your world wrecking havoc or perhaps the party can make a stalwart ally. Until next time!