Starfinder: Screaming Fungus

Chris Van Deelen

Screaming fungus Spellcaster CR 1 XP 400

Neutral small plant

Init +0; Senses: low-light vision 60 ft., Blindsense (vibration) 30 ft.; Perception +10

 

Defense                                                             HP 16

EAC: 12; KAC: 13

Fort: +1; Ref: +1; Will: +4

Immunities: Cold, plant

 

Offense

Speed: N/A

Melee: Tendrils +2 (1d6+1 Crit spoor infection)

Ranged: Shriek +4 (1d4+1 Crit deafened 1d4 hours)

Space: 2.5 ft., Reach: 30 ft.

Offensive Abilities: Stunning Scream

 

Statistics

Str +0; Dex +0; Con +7; Int -; Wis +0; Cha +0

Skills: Survival +5

Other Abilities: Spore infection

Languages: None

 

Ecology

Environment: Temperate forests, any tropical

Organization: Small patches (1d4), medium patches (2d4+4), large patches (4d6+6), infestations (10d10+10)

 

Special Abilities

Spore infection (Ex): Whenever the screaming fungus makes a critical hit with the tendrils, it will inject the victim with its spores. The victim is allowed a Fort save (DC 11). If it fails, nothing will happen for the first 48 hours, and then the victim will begin to sicken. Each day afterwards the victim will suffer 1d3 points of Constitution damage and this will continue for exactly five days. If the Victim’s Constitution ever drops below zero, they will die instantly, otherwise each day that passes, the fungus converts the victim’s body into spoors, which appear on the body as blue pimple-like protrusions. These will take 1d6 hours to ‘ripen’ at which time they will pop, filling a 10 foot area with spoors. They will only take root in dead plant matter, such as what can be found in tropical locations or forests. The victim can be cured by a cure disease spell or technology which destroys disease.

Stunning Scream (Su): Whenever something disturbs the ground within 30 feet of the fungus, bulbous form will suddenly open wide, looking for all intent to be a human mouth. As a standard action, It will then shriek, and anyone caught in the thirty-foot area of effect must Will save (DC 11) or become stunned. The creature can use this at will.

 

This strange alien fungus can be found anywhere where there is plenty of decaying vegetable matter, and is most often found in forests and jungles. The fungus appears as a bluish-grey bulbous growth, protruding from the loam-rich soil. The average specimen is about the size of a human head, and is even vaguely shaped like one, including what appear to be eyes, ears, a nose and mouth.  The creature can see, and the ‘head’ can swivel around, looking and watching. A series of sensitive tendril-roots spread out for thirty feet in all directions. No other Screaming fungus will grow in this radius, although dozens to hundreds can coat the forest floor in all directions, making the area a virtual minefield.

Like most fungus, this particular creature lives to reproduce. It has a unique way of doing so, by stunning anything that steps into the area it is growing and sending tendrils into the victim, where it will plant spores. The fungus is able to have its progeny spread this way, as the creature it has infected will leave the area and should eventually die.

Although the creature can cause deafness with its shriek, the victim will not be immune to the attack. The shriek causes damage through vibrations. Furthermore, if the victim is deafened by the attack, a second critical hit will cause the deafness to become permanent!

While infected, the victim will be mobile, although it will feel quite ill, and it will get worse with each passing day. Even on the first day the victim will develop boils or pimple-like bumps on their body, which will eventually burst. This causes the victim no additional damage, but ensures that the spores will be spread.

Anywhere the spoors land and meet the correct conditions will see the fungus grow in 4d8 days. During this time the fungus is creating the network of roots and spreading across the location. At the end of this period the bulbous head will break through the surface and start the process all over again.

The correct conditions are areas filled with plenty of rotting plant matter and moisture, and although they can be found in temperate climates, they only appear when the temperature is above zero – despite the fact the fungus is immune to cold. If the temperature ever drops below zero, the fungus will retreat into the ground and go dormant until temperatures climb above freezing once again. The fungus is completely harmless during this state.

It is also unintelligent, despite having a human-like appearance. On more technologically advanced worlds, these fungus are often used around large estates or areas where the public is not meant to view, discouraging any possible trespassers and the curious.

Starfinder Creature Index

Chris Van Deelen is the creator and contributor to over half of the Wisdom from the Wastelands series, contributor to the Swords of Kos: Hekaton anthology, and the recently released 'Swords of Kos: The Rite'. He also wrote Creatures of the Tropical Wastelands, and 100 Oddities found in a Car. As prolific as he is, Chris Van Deelen continues to write and produce material which will be in publication soon. Not only is he a prolific content creator, he also has a wide selection of fiction and stories! If you like his work, please follow his personal author page on Facebook and on Twitter to keep up with his latest news and game content.