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October 29, 2005, 3:55 pm

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Bizzare Life-Forms Challenge

By:

The Challenge:
Think of any bizzare life-form, WHATEVER life-form that lives a not-so-standard way. Not the way common sense would expect it. Make it in some way logical or not, just forget the boring everyday logic.

A little ‘theory’ about life and resources

I have read somewhere, that not a hundred years ago, the bat was not believed to have any special sense, and the idea that it could produce ultra-sound waves and hear them when they return, was considered nonsense and pure fiction.

As it happens regularly in science, fiction became reality once again. You can hear from time to time about exciting discoveries, with scientists being amazed what is possible. Did you know some bacterias can feel magnetic fields? I don’t know what it is useful for, but hey, who cares? 

I think it is a wrong approach to be surprised again and again, how much better would it be to ask: “What IS possible?” in the widest sense, and continue from there.

Wisdom here:
If there is anything that can be considered a ‘resource’, Life will sooner or later find a use for it.

What is that unclear thing called resource, you ask? Anything you want.

Take all elements from that periodic table.

Take all existing molecules.

Take all possible wavelengths of light, and not only of it.

This is fantasy, so take all those unreal things too.

Take all those weird dimensions and planes.

Think of several more things…

...and NOW think of all possible ways Life could use this. You can be sure the reality will be more bizzare than you can imagine. Whatever mysterious power works in your world, you can be sure moss will grow on it one day. 

Whether be it simply for food, poison against other life forms, or only a source of information, unless it is much too rare, or really too hard to use, there WILL emerge a life-form able to use it.

One real world example for all:

Around 1970, a transport of freshly-mined uranium from Africa was found to be ‘used’ (ie having not the right amount of critical isotopes) as if it was already in a nuclear plant. Did some terrorists steal it? No, homo sapiens, the bacterias were first again! And made their own reactor…

There are many bacterias able to purify and concentrate various minerals. One type specialized on uranium, concentrated it on a certain location, where it naturally began to work like a reactor. Estimated up-time: several million years.
(From James Lovelock’s Gaia.)
http://www.alamut.com/proj/98/nuclearGarden/bookTexts/Lovelock_Oklo.html

Challenge:

Think of any bizzare life-form, WHATEVER life-form that lives a not-so-standard way. Not the way common sense would expect it. Make it in some way logical or not, just forget the boring everyday logic.

To inspire:
See the World of Kerren and think what other lifeforms can that Warp dingus have attached.

Some organisms tolerate Undead. What if one begins to use that Negative energy thingy somehow, growing while everything around withers? (Free campaign idea here!)

A weird plant (or animal?) that attaches itself to the shoes of bi-pedal humanoids, removes them, and wraps around the feet. And there it stays and survives of things you step on. Right, you can walk on, and it serves as your shoes, for miles and miles. Unremovable at first, when you finally get used to it, it dies as the winter comes. Thanks for the seeds you helped to spread this way.

A minor scavenger that follows you everywhere, and consumes your excrements. Somehow a question of taste? Ewwww…. 

... the strange world inside your Bag of Holding.

A thin membrane-like being that ‘consumes’ sound waves. Useful for separating dungeon sections, so no sound will get far. May be a simple plant that uses this ‘energy’ to support growth… or may trap denizens and devour them while they scream, your choice.

... it moves around the world, and sometimes stops here and there, to feed on a tiny fraction of the energy neural systems of advanced lifeforms have.DM use: try to foretell PC’s actions. They meet some orcs-> they fight. Comes that strange being, and erases the short-term memory of everyone. So they walk peacefully down the corridor…
and suddenly are in a room with orcs, swords drawn, plus some fresh wounds and minus some ammo and spells. Both sides are confused. Ah, the sweet roleplaying…



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Codex

Balisk Lichen By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Flora - Any

“Man, that is an incredible likeness.”
“What’s that stuff growing on that statue?”
“The better question, what is that statue doing out here?”

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Blue Fires By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - Tundra/ Arctic

The Dancing Lights of the Ice Wind are one of the great dangerous in the Land of Snow and Ice.

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Campfire Fuzz By: Siren no Orakio ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - Any

These small, luminescent creatures are a distant relative of the willowisp, little bits of orangish light that are attracted by the flames of a fire. When enough of them have gathered around a fire, the fire appears to take on a fuzzy indistinctness.

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Crevasians By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Intelligent Species - Mountains

Crevasians were human long ago. The differences are several, but few were ever noticed by outsiders. They have astrong communal feeling, which _literally_ flows in their blood…

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Crystal Waveivore By: Erfunden ( Lifeforms ) Unique - Space

This vast and ancient organism played an important part in the mysterious organization of the cosmos, facilitating the isolated development of inteligent species.

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Gharjoy - A type of Gargoyle By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - City/ Ruin

Gharjoy are one of the seven things that are called Gargoyle. They may be the origin of all things Gargoyle.

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Globs By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Any

Globs are a partially amorphous life-form of the shape-changing kind.

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Grassbiter By: Dozus ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Plains

“Careful where you step.  There’re grassbiters ‘round here.”
-Farmer Jorl

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Grex By: Appaloosa ( Lifeforms ) Flora - Forest/ Jungle

Proof that some times truth is stranger than fiction. (Sometimes)

The Unique Life cycle of the Grex. A forest Decomposer.

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Grolen - A type of Winged Gargoyles By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Mountains

There are seven or so types of lifeforms considered Gargoyles by the less informed. This is one.

Grolen are another semi-sentient creature which is called a Gargoyle in popular parlance.

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Hotheads By: Zylithan ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Tundra/ Arctic

Hotheads are small badger-like animals that inhabit the frozen lands of the north.  They are cute, furry, playful ... oh yes, and quite dangerous if you’re not careful.

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Isuni Meneratt By: Nobody ( Lifeforms ) Flora - Forest/ Jungle

An extremely exotic tree that is unlike any other. It is used world wide in the finest palaces and establisments…

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Lux Mites By: Shadoweagle ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Any

These mites fly silently and are small enough to be nearly invisible to the naked eye. If it was not for light, no one would know they were there. These creatures absorb and re-emmit light, turning dim to bright, and bright to blinding.

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Magma Borers By: Scrasamax ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Underground

The Magma Borer is a large creature native to the extreme world of Crematoria. Scientists and planetologists have yet to be able to explain so many things about the planet and the unknown lifeform that made it possible.

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Manna Fleas By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - Any

These creatures have the uncanny ability to feel the ripples of magic, so they travel through planes, rather than distance to find food.

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Marching Barnacles By: Dozus ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Water

“Jones, when was the last time ye cleared yer hulls?”
“Mm, a few months back.  Why?”
“Yer ship.  She’s comin’ outta the water.”

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Medusa Tree By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Flora - Forest/ Jungle

This tree has a somewhat unclear bush-like appearance. But so far, nothing special. The actual reason why is it called after medusas, is his power to deter any hostile creatures, and to be sure, all creatures

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Midarans By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Any

Midarans come from a middle island in the far sea. They have become well known for being traders and merchants. They are also know for being quite magical. Then there is their appearance.

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Observers By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Constructed - Any

They are so cute. They follow you around like a puppy. It is a badge of honor to be interesting enough to be followed by one of them.

But, “What is their purpose?”, “Who are they observing for?”, and “Why?”

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Ocadian PitFiend By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Flora - Desert

Ephemeralstability wrote:
The ochre sands stretch for miles around. Something kicks up the dust. It’s a yak. A desert-yak. It ambles slowly, nuzzling the ground for the low-growing shrubs. The ranger freezes. “Stay very still,” he warns. “Don’t move at all.” “What is it?” you ask, breathlessly. “It’s the most dangerous creature in the whole Ocadian desert. And it’s about to eat that yak…”

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Rainbow Snails By: Strolen ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Underground

Both beautiful and delicious, these highly sought creatures are almost extinct in some areas.

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Sheen Leech By: Moonlake ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Plains

A variety of bizarre but otherwise harmless insects. 

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Sincewela By: Scrasamax ( Lifeforms ) Constructed - Any

Eww…take a look at that nasty beast!

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Spoilsbugs By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - City/ Ruin

Adventurers and Beetles both quest after the same things. The Beetles tend to win.

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Sshpah (Wordfishes Of Hloth) By: CaptainPenguin ( Lifeforms ) Intelligent Species - Water

The Wordfishes of Hloth, known also as the Sshpah, are strange composite-minds of the Hlothian jungles.

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The Black Ones By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Any

The Black Ones are a paranoid’s nightmare. They can take over any single body, or be hiding nearly anywhere. They can see as well in the dark as the light. They can hear nearly any sound, like the faintest heartbeat 10 paces away. They are totally alien, with motivations and drives that are nearly incomprehensable to humans. And the worst part is, they are here and you don’t know it.

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The Hair Beast By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Unique - Any

Awakened by a Curse, fed by the cries and anger of children, this creature now roams the world.

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The horrible and hated Nail Worm By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Underground

The horrible and hated Nail Worm lives in deep caves near the Evil Labyrinth. It is unknown, whether only one monster exists, or there are several. There was at least one guaranteed sighting in the Labyrinth itself.

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The Invisible Lake Beast By: manfred ( Lifeforms ) Unique - Water

Unseen and striking from suprise, this creature is on its way to becoming a legend.

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The Molochi By: Siren no Orakio ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Other

On a world made entirely of molten rock, there is still life.

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The Slurg By: tarock ashar ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Any

This slug like parasite is actually a symbiote. After attaching itself to a warmblooded host, it feeds off that being. However, its tenticles, growing under the skin, act as secondary nerves, increase the victims nerve responses.

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The Stayers - a type of Gargoyle By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Constructed - Any

There are seven or so types of lifeforms considered Gargoyles by the less informed. This is one.

Stayers are classic stone gargoyles, big gothic, bat wings, claws, fang, and so on. They are quite variable in their appearance, but they tend to keep this in common. They are also the defenders of Wizardry - Great Magics.

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Unknown Death By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Third Kingdom - Other

Your adventurers can name this one, if they survive. The last thing they will hear is: “ppppooockt-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t-t” before their eyes and ears start bleeding and their body become black and blue… battered by something unseen and untouched.

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Vapour spider By: Kinslayer ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - Any

Spiders of the moonlight, weaving webs of smoke, mist, and moonbeams.

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Verner By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Fauna - Other

The toxic lands of the Wastes should support no life. Here the land is slowly corrosive to the touch, causing illness with prolonged contact. The bubbling sulfur and ectomass pools are especially lovely, if you have the right aesthetic. The soil is soft and any heavy object slowly sinks. Other than a few migrant birds and some exotic small insects, The Wastes support only one native lifeform - The Verners - Exerpt from the often wrong but very popular Kalemandi’s Beasts of Lore and World.

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Winged Geomorphs - A type of Gargoyle By: MoonHunter ( Lifeforms ) Ethereal - City/ Ruin

There are seven or so types of lifeforms considered Gargoyles by the less informed. This is one.

Geomorphs are related to Earth Elementals in structure and form, but these creatures have more in common with ectomorphs (spirit forms) than true Fey or Elementals. They may be a distant offshoot of spirit dragons.

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Comments ( 12 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
October 30, 2005, 0:47
0xp
This is the "Great Scroll". This is our first real "quest". The Strolenites were challanged to do something. For the most part, we did it. These write ups are great. This is one of my all time favorite threads on Strolen v1.0 and will probably be one of my favorite Codices on Strolen v2.0
MoonHunter
November 3, 2005, 23:51
0xp
This thread is the home of much gaming goodness. This thread officially is on my favorites list AND deserves two paws up.
MoonHunter
May 25, 2006, 10:46
0xp
I am HoHing this again because it needs to be brought to people's attention. There is so much we can do with this and it languishes here. So go ahead and post something.
Voted Murometz
June 27, 2006, 22:18
0xp
In case anyone is still not sure or hasnt seen it (gasp!), THIS IS A FANTASTIC SCROLL! I mean just glance at the 'Content' block and you cant help but be impressed! Geez, another two dozen or so entries and we can publish Strolen's Tome of Beasties, Critters, and Thingamabobs.
Murometz
September 15, 2006, 16:55
0xp
Inspirational and timely BUMP!
MindForge
December 21, 2006, 21:39
0xp
Wow. Many of these creatures are awesome. I love the vapor spider. It has inspired me to create a d20 creature out of it. Not exactly though, I am going to use shadows that the creature spins into webs and not smoke, but the spider was cool indeed.
MoonHunter
March 28, 2007, 0:36
0xp
Rise! Rise I tell you. Find new exotic things to add to this Scroll and Codex
MoonHunter
March 6, 2008, 17:11
0xp
This is a great thread. Nobody adds to it anymore. Why is that?

I think mostly that people don't know it is here. So I am fixing that.
manfred
March 7, 2008, 15:12
0xp
It seems to me, that we like to get very serious about exotic lifeforms nowadays. This challenge is best met with a little of wild abandon.

Darn. Are we coming out of age? :)
Voted Moonlake
March 3, 2011, 22:41
0xp

I remembered running into this Codex the first time 2 years ago and thinking "Wow". Strangely, despite this and numerous subsequent run-ins with this through individual submissions, somehow I never voted on the Codex itself. Correcting this now.

Voted valadaar
December 19, 2011, 18:24
0xp

This is a grand list. Also adding to my to-do list.

 

Voted Chaosmark
December 19, 2011, 20:14
0xp

Still loving this codex and all it's entries.



Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: MysticMoon

The soul of a mage has been trapped in his own bust for centuries. The bust is a foot in height and made of a dark silvery metal. It is well crafted, perfect in every detail of the mage's features. The frozen expression is one of shock. It was sold off in auction after the mage's unexplained disappearance and has been passed around as a curio ever since. The cause of his entrapment? He practiced in secret; none knew of his hobby. Being self taught, he was unable to tell that the spell he thought was for protection was actually for entrapment...

Ideas  ( Lifeforms ) | July 21, 2011 | View | UpVote 4xp


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