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> Szah-lah's Guide to Green (and once green) Things
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

I have been inspired by one of the Dragon issues (108) I bought recently- it has a rather lengthy article (for the time) on fantasy vegetation. Looking them over, I have come up with some of my own specifically for GW. I hope that others will join in with their ideas.

Blackgrass is an plant that uses both light and heat for chemosynthesis. When the sun goes down, the plant takes the heat it has collected and uses a small portion to make food- the rest is wasted and emitted from the plant. The result is the patch of grass can be 10 to 20 degrees warmer than the air at night. The heat is emitted through out the night until an hour or two before dawn (when the heat runs out). Many animals and some plants that enjoy the heat use blackgrass as a lair. Those organisms that do lair in blackgrass are almost always start their activity as the grass cools.

Blaze oaks have bright red leaves, and contrary to the myth, do not use fire to kill competing trees. They are usually found in pure stands as they do have one weapon to kill other woody plants (but not herbacious plants)- a fungal symbiote. The fungus has heavy spores and the distance they can travel from an infected tree is measured in ten of meters. Strangely enough, the only source of spores are blaze oaks. The fungus has a very long lifespan and only reproduces at the end of it. Other woody plants die before the fungus and thus cut off its food supply.

This post has been edited by derek_holland on Dec 30 2006, 20:42
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Bones-shrub is a small, woody plant that was part of an experiment of the Ancients. It has bark that is based on the structure of abalone (which makes it super strong) and whorled groups of spines. The bark (3d4+4/2d4/1d6) allows it to survive just about any herbivore. The reason for the name is its method of collecting fertilizer- an attractive scent (resist with mental resolve at a 3 step penalty) that draws animals that try to consume the plant. The odor is so illuring that each animal (inc heros) must make a check daily and if each fails multiple checks, they can starve to death. The cloud of keromone is about 45 meters in diameter, depending on the wind.

Slaggrass requires bare rock to germinate. Each plant sends out a large mass of roots that slowly dissolve the stone and thus a patch is either in, or will be, a dip or hollow. Given enough time and an absence of soil, slaggrass can wear a mountain down to nothing.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Krebs are small herbs that are similar to slaggrass in habitat. Unlike slaggrass, which requires any bare rock, a kreb needs a very concentrated source of calcium and thus is found in some rare soils, but is more commonly a parasite of turtles and other shelled organisms. Each kreb plant is only .4 m tall with brown flowers and dark green leaves. Even though they will result in the death of their host (unless destroyed of course) over a few years, krebs do provide camoflauge and thus the survival rate of turtles has increased as adults.

Matli are a hazard to boats and waders in shallow water. They have spines to prevent herbivory which are strong enough to pierce normal wood. Found only in slow moving water less than 2 meters deep, these mutated reeds are totally submergent. Requiring only a small amount of sunlight, they are mostly found in murky waters and thus the hazard they pose is that much worse.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Well for the 3 people reading this, I will continue-

The red striff is a mutant trumpet vine that slowly strangles trees after enveloping them. The large red flowers are popular with many insect species, but mutant trees and shrubs hate them with a passion. Though violence is rare over the vine, it does happen when the insect farm it.

The bone knob is a parasite of certain fungus species. Obbs and some other fungal creatures occasionally have white lumps covering their body and this weakens them greatly (loss of 1 constitution with more over time- until death). The plant goes to seed the same time the fungus releases spores as to infect the offspring.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

The ove vine was developed to breakdown concrete after steelcrete was developed. The plant had some problems, such as slowed growth on concrete and large amounts of water needed, so it was abandonded and only used in a few third world countries. After the Cataclysm, the vine mutated and now breaks down both 'cretes and thus is slowly erroding buildings found in wet areas.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Some plants are seen both as a blessing and a curse and antweed is an example. In the wild it is considered a great find, but near any community that uses wood as a buliding material, the shrub causes unease. It is called such because of a very old misnomer- termites are called white ants by some. The plant is always found on termite nests for two reasons- it has adapted to using the the termites' waste and collecting the methane the termites produce. Antweed twigs are covered with small bladders that contain the methane as it makes a good deterent to almost all herbivores. The bladders are collected and used to start fires and for fire arrows- add d4s/d6s/d4w of fire damage to the arrow's damage.
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JSM3050, Group: Heroes, Beyond Level 20 submitted 5 Resources has rated 2 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 3 projects.

Now that's what I call some freaky plant life. While I don't have anything to contribute, it was certainly an interesting read-through. alienthumbsup.gif
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Thank you.

The ripper shrub is a common plant along waterways. It has long, flexable thorns that tear off small sections of hide and flesh which then rot and fall to the soil. Some small birds and insects use the shrub to collect food and the plant has evolved a thick mat of small spines that cover its bark; of course this doesn't deter many of the insects, but now birds have to hover to collect the meat.

The skipping log is a strange plant that exists only in moving water. It is a tree that now exists in a horizontal position with small branches on the air side. Both ends of the bole (or trunk) have roots and this keeps the plant very stable. The only things that knock them out of position are boats and large mutants. So named because in many places it is easy to cross rivers by skipping from one plant to another. They are also great places to fish.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

A similar plant to the skipper log, the surfbreak, was created to mimic the land creating qualities of the red mangrove but at a faster rate. The plant is also horizontal, but instead of being 10-20 meters long like the skipper log, the surfbreak reaches 50 meters with a diameter of 4 meters. It is not a solid cylinder like most trees- its bole is made up of several small trunks which allow water and soil to pass through. This keeps the tree from being smashed by large waves or washed away in flooding. Since it prevents erosion so well and is so large, it can be a hazard for boats attempting to beach among the surfbreaks due to shallow depths. Some people use them to create islands to draw fish and birds as well as minimize storm damage. A few even consider the branches of the surfbreak home.

A third plant created for similar reasons is the hullcracker (its new name). This plant was created for fish habitat to replace tire and car reefs in freshwater. It is a huge plant that is totally submergent (a flaw with its engineering) with many large, exposed roots spread over a diameter of 80 to 100 meters. The roots only have their tip in the bottom and thus provide structure for habitat. Many aquatic peoples love hullcrackers as homes and those surface dwellers with large boats and ships hate them for the damage they cause.
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derek_holland, Group: Heroes, Master of Mutant Creation submitted 0 Resources has rated 10 resources, submitted 0 artworks and is involved with 0 projects.

Unlike previous plants, this one is meant to be limited in range- maybe a valley or two. The howling tree is a extremely dangerous plant in the wind. It produces a sonic attack that inflicts d4w per round to everything within 100 meters of the tree and the wind speed must be at least 30 kmh. The sonic immunity mutation is the only reason that anything lives in and near groves of this tree and anything without it is turned into a soupy stain on the ground or a twisted bits of metal. Some people call it the holey tree because of the gaps in the bark that produce the sonic effect. Strangers think that the trees have some religous significance and learn the truth the hard way many times.
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