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Feeding the beasties deep down in the depths...

Dated: 15 May, 2020

In the ongoing challenge to the FRPG World Builder there is the constant worry of “So what do the goblins eat when there are no adventurers wandering around?”

On Barnaynia we have come up with a solution and then gone a bit Gonzo with it to build up a whole range of new stuff to bamboozle the players with.  A whole realm of flora and fauna that doesn’t base its food chains on photosynthesisers but on Thaumosynthesisers; that is organisms that get a substantial amount of their energy from the Magical Field projected by the moon…  (this is an extract from one of the appendices of the upcoming SM05 World Guide to Barnaynia.

Thaumofunghi are an astonishing form of life that form the foundation of the food webs and general ecology of most of the Darkworld and the other areas where the light of the Sun might not supply normal plant life with the kind of energy they need to survive.  Almost every civilisation that has had any time surviving on the magnificent world of Barnaynia has some experience of this life form and many have completely depended upon it, in one form or another.  However, its very existence, let alone its many, many forms and uses are practically unknown in Dunromin and the Land of the Young.

To start from basic, Thaumofunghi is not a single form of life.  The term represents a whole branch of Zoology, a vast range of plant and fungus life that depends on Thaumosynthesis for its energy rather than Photosynthesis.  The myriad forms of this entire Phylum of organisms can boggle the mind and it is estimated barely 10% of its forms are known the Science (by Science of course we mean the University of Dunromin).

And this does not even include the even more vast variety of microscopic forms that comprise Paraplancton in the poorly explored watery deeps beneath the ground…

So how do we cope with all this?

Fear not, in the new book, SM05 The Worldguide to Barnaynia, we have two tools to help the beleaguered Games Master.  The first section is a series of tables for determining the properties and form of any form of Thaumofungus you might need at any point.  The second gives some common examples of Thaumofungus you can use as and when you need to.  There are also a few ideas of how the concept of Thaumofunghi might be included in your scenarios, if you want to.

In real game terms this is like trees and plants, but underground.  Over time any explorer or adventurer who spends any amount of time underground will learn to recognise the different forms that Thaumofungus can take.  They will learn the dangerous ones first, the useful ones later.  Just the same as a child playing in the woods will discover the nature of plants and mushrooms, possibly with some guidance from a more experienced person.

As you know, there are some forms of Thaumofunghi already documented in the core rules.  All the Slimes, Moulds and animated fungus in the core rules are forms of Thaumofungus and won’t be re-documented here.

In the upcoming new release SM05 The World Guide to Barnaynia we include the above information AND the random Thaumofungus generator…