Wednesday, April 3, 2019

OSR Parasite Challenge

This post is made for the parasite contest hosted on the OSR Discord server. The other participants, and their blogs, are:
Micah, RTXAmbnz, Lexi, Type1Ninja, wr3cking8a11, Oblidisideryptch, Wizard, and James Young.

The challenge was to make a GLOG class in a week for a parasite race-as-class. I know many of the participants went for something unique, but I decided to go for something classic. I was mostly inspired by the Venom symbiote, but this old flash game from newgrounds kept coming to mind as well. In The Visitor, you play a tiny worm-like alien thing, hopping from body to body and mutating into their forms to solve puzzles. I liked the idea of a class that can hop bodies and use them as they see fit, so I tried to mechanize that and make it fairly simple. Then I added some higher level stuff like Venom-style body mutations to give it some depth.

The adaptations list is where I think some changes could be made, but I figure it could be tailored however the GM sees fit. The adaptations listed down there are just an example.
Related image
Remember this guy?


Starting equipment: Human Host Body (1 HD, Morale 9)
Skill (1d3): Biology, Seduction, Alien

A Symbiote, Hijack
B Adapt, Total Loyalty
C Simultaneous Adaptation
D Fast Adaptation OR Master of Evolution

You are an alien parasite that controls bodies. Your true form is a small worm-like blob of viscous material. Unless in a host body, you have no hands, cannot wear armor, and move at a base speed of 10ft per round.
Notes: I figured this class should probably have some downsides, so the parasite is incredibly fragile outside of a host. They should want to keep their host alive until they can find a new one.

To attach to a new host body the creature must either be willing, unconscious, or restrained in such a way that you can enter their body through an open cavity, and cannot have a number of HD greater than the HD of your current body+1. The new host body can make a save to avoid being controlled, but will take 1d6 damage on a failure. If the strain of the process does not outright kill them, you now have a new host and can use their physical body as if it were your own. Use the host’s physical stats (STR, DEX, CON) and their HP and equipment. While attached to a host your presence is only apparent as a small pulsating black wart at the base of their neck, right between the shoulder. If your host is killed, save or die from the system shock feedback. You don’t have complete control, however, as any action that you command that would be obviously suicidal provokes a morale check from the host. On a success they can make a save to break free.
Notes: The actual mechanics for hijacking a new body ended up being a little complex, but I wanted to put some limiters on it because otherwise it's essentially a free mind control spell. It manages to break some of the limiters later on, but this means a level 1 parasite isn't completely OP.

Image result for abathur
"Better, Faster, Stronger"
By mutating the host body’s natural form, you can make some improvements to their biology and apply one of the following adaptations to them. This takes a week of downtime to recover from the warped body, and permanently lowers the host’s HD by 1. If this would reduce a host to 0 HD, use your own HP, as you are now a hybrid body. In this case you cannot eject from the host until after taking a week to remove the adaptation and restoring the host’s body. Each host body can only have one adaptation applied at a time.
  1. Armored Carapace: The host grows an armored bone carapace, granting AC as plate.
  2. Bone Scythes: One or both arms are replaced with bone claws that cannot manipulate objects but deal 1d8 damage on a hit.
  3. Adrenaline: The host’s metabolism is maxed out, granting doubled movement speed and an extra attack every round.
  4. Wings: The host’s back sprouts leathery bone wings that grant a fly speed of 40 ft/round
  5. Unstable Chemistry: The host can be blown up as an action or on death, dealing 2d10 damage to all targets in a 30 ft range
  6. Amp Up: The host’s STR, DEX, and CON are increased to 18 through intense hyperactivation of muscles.
  7. Residual Budding: The host body remains under your thrall for 1d4 rounds after leaving it.
  8. Forearmed: The host’s arm splits in half at the elbow, creating a third hand. Can be combined with bone scythes
Notes: As noted above, the adaptations list is mostly examples. Feel free to add more or remove some for your own parasite. They might be too powerful, as they haven't been tested yet, but I think they should match well with some of the higher-powered GLOG classes out there. Don't forget to accompany these mutations by horrible impossible folding of the host creature's anatomy.

Total Loyalty
Your hosts now have 12 morale while attached.
Notes: This is where the ability gets to be much more mind-control-like. I still feel like the host should have some level of agency, but at level 2 this is probably fine.

Simultaneous Adaptation
You can now apply a number of adaptations to your host body equal to the number of Parasite templates you have.
Notes: Load up that host with wings, bone scythes, and armored carapace and turn them into a total monster.

Fast Adaptation
You can apply or remove an adaptation in 1 action rather than 1 week.
Notes: I intend to probably tweak the numbers on adaptation time. I don't know how powerful they are yet, but I know I want this thing to be able to adapt itself on the fly at higher levels.

Master of Evolution
Create a new adaptation or choose an adaptation, that adaptation does not count against your adaptation limit
Notes: Allows the player some leeway in making this parasite their own by giving them a signature mutation. Something like Venom's black suit appearance would be cool here.
Related image
More of a symbiote than a parasite, really...

1 comment:

  1. Our new Kickstarter just launched today and it is FULL of parasites... It is called
    Worm Witch: The Life and Death of Belinda Blood. Just it out..