Friday 22 January 2016

Moshir and the Symbiant Class

I've been doing some more thinking about the Fixed World. (At some point I will also think up a better name for it than this.)

In the North West of the map is a series of islands where it is always winter and always dawn ("C" on the map).

This is described in my notes as:

A group of islands where it is largely always winter and largely always dawn. Surrounded by semi-thawing pack ice. The seas are home to roving, warring tribes of merrow, who hunt seals and group together on the ice. The land is populated by stone giants, to whom the resident human population - eskimos or paleosiberian types - owe fealty. Little grows except lichens and molds (yellow mold, russet mold, etc.), oozes, jellies, and so forth. Some human tribes have symbiotic relationships with these creatures, and allow them to grow on their flesh.

I am keen on developing both these islands and the small continent to the East (marked "D"), in large part because I am obsessed with creating a megadungeon glacier, or is that glacier megadungeon?, but in small part because, well, this:

But let's explore the idea of the inhabitants of Moshir, which these islands are going to be called, having symbiotic relationships with oozes, slimes, jellies and so forth. I should first caveat this by saying that big elements of this are lifted from the now sadly long-defunct Roguelike game, Tales of Middle Earth, which may very well be the greatest computer game ever created.

Symbiant Class

A symbiant is a human being who can charm oozes, slimes, jellies, molds and the like, and, through a dangerous magical process, enter into a life-sharing relationship with such a creature. This is usually done through allowing the life form in question to enter his or her orifices.

A symbiant has d6 hit points and uses the magic-user level progression chart. His prime requisite is CON. He advances in fighting ability and saving throws as does a cleric.

Symbiants have the following abilities.

Level One: Symbiants can cast the special spell, charm ooze, slime or jelly. They can memorise, and cast, this spell once per day. The function is identical to a charm person spell, but acts only upon primitive life forms.

Level Two: Symbiants gain the power to turn oozes, slimes and jellies in a manner similar to a cleric.

Level Three: Symbiants can cast the special spell, share life. This functions as follows:

First, the symbiant must have charmed an ooze, slime or jelly and have it in his thrall. He then casts the share life spell, and allows the life form to enter him through the mouth, nostrils, and so forth. (Or eats it in the case of a mold.) This process takes one day. The symbiant must make a saving throw vs poison if the life form has a number of HD equal to or greater than his number of levels, with a cumulative -1 penalty for each HD beyond his number of levels. If this saving throw fails, both he and the life form die.

Once the symbiant and another life form are sharing their lives, the symbiant gains half of the hit points of the life form. For instance, if the symbiant has 12 hit points, and his green slime has 8, the symbiant from that moment onwards has 16 hit points (as long as he continues to share his life with the green slime).

The reverse of the spell is called expel life, and causes the life form to leave the symbiant's body. This sickens the symbiant for one week per HD of the life form.

Level Four and onwards: At Level Four, the symbiant can use one attack from his life form, once per day. This increases to twice per day at Level Six, three times per day at Level Eight, etc. For instance, if our symbiant is sharing life with a green slime, once per day at Level Four he can invoke the green slime's attack in addition to his own attack during a combat round.

Level Nine: The symbiant gains all the special defences and resistances of his life form.

[Needs more work, but you get the idea.]


  1. Shades of Leto II from "Children of Dune". Very cool.

  2. Hey, you might be interested to know that ToME isn't defunct, it just got renamed to Tales of Maj'Eyal. Apparently someone else had intellectual property rights to the middle earth name so they had to change it up.

    It's had a lot of development over the last 8 years, you can find the current version here: or if you don't like all the changes there's a branch which hews closer to the 2.x release which you can find here :

    1. Yep, I do know about Tales of Maj'Eyal. I tried to get into it but it seemed like it was straying away from Roguelike principles by having a bit of a story and also allowing you to reload saves after death?

    2. If you're on one of the easy modes, you get multiple lives, but there are also more hardcore roguelike modes.

  3. If you liked ToME you might like PosChengband:

  4. can a symbiant be bonded with multiple creatures simultaneously?

    1. Ah, I forgot to put that in. No - a creature has to be removed before a new one can come in.

  5. When you said "glacier megadungeon," my mind immediately jumped to the first RPG blog I ever started following, Dreams in the Lich House. It doesn't seem to be on your super extensive blogroll to the right, so I'll just point you toward the Black City project he has (had?) going on there for consideration and comparison.

    1. Oh yeah, I've been following Dreams in the Lich House for a long time. My blogroll doesn't seem to work properly - it only updates certain blogs. Not sure why.

  6. At some point the Symbiant should be able to morph into the shared life form or some approximation there of, no?