Psilofyr the Spore Lord

A contemplative and peaceable deity, Psilofyr is the myconid deity of community and philosophy. It is an ancient power, manifesting as a type of fungal world tree archetype. It dislikes animal life, seeing them as inherently destructive and violently destructive, although it has softened towards races like the svirfneblin that have proven themselves allies to myconids.

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Psilofyr (PDF Version)
(The Spore Lord, the Pacifungus, the Fermenter of Potions)
Intermediate Power of Mechanus, LN

Portfolio:                 Community, healing, philosophy, mold, fungi, alchemy, myconids
Aliases:                     None
Domain Name:           Mechanus/Mycelia
Superior:                   None
Allies:                       Callarduran Smoothhands, Darahl Firecloak, Meriadar, Segojan Earthcaller, Shevarash
Foes:                           Blibdoolpoolp, Deep Duerra, Diinkarazan, Diirinka, Ghaunadar, Great Mother, Gzemnid, Ilsensine, Ilxendren, Juiblex, Laduguer, Maanzecorian, Nerull, Piscaethces, Shar, Urdlen, Zuggtmoy, the drow pantheon (except Eilistraee), the goblin-kin pantheons
Symbol:                     Mycelium basket holding a crystal vial
Wor. Align.:              LG, NG, LN, N, CN

Quiet and meditative, Psilofyr (SIGH-low-feer) is the philosopher-god of the myconids. It teaches non-violence and non-confrontation, favoring mediation to resolve conflicts. It gifted the myconids their intelligence, and in return they honor its tenets of peace and oneness with the environment.

The Spore Lord is an ancient deity, seen by myconids as a fungal equivalent of a world tree or world serpent. They hold that Psilofyr existed long before the gods of the fleshy folk, spreading its mycelium unseen throughout the multiverse. As befitting the nature of the deity, myconid mythology tends towards philosophical ponderings rather than stories of adventure or education. Such myths tend to form dialogues or monologues about events and moral quandaries, and it is in this way that the young learn the lessons that the Spore Lord taught the first myconids. The most well-known dialogue represents a discussion between Psilofyr and a legendary myconid king which contrasts the hasty, aggressive, and unthinking nature of humanoid life with the non-confrontational and harmonious myconid way of life. This and similar dialogues often take upwards of eight hours to fully convey, in part because there many detailed philosophical asides and digressions. Humanoid transcriptions have been attempted but they typically fall short in describing the complex philosophies involved.

Psilofyr rarely involves itself in the politics of other powers, but it recognizes the danger evil underdark powers pose to its followers’ existence. As such, it has made strategic alliances with other benign subterranean powers, extracting agreements that their followers will not invade myconid caverns. While suspicious and rather disgusted of humanoid life, the Spore Lord has found that these alliances have been fruitful, especially with the deep gnomes of Callarduran Smoothhands. In its own words, the gnomes are the most myconid-like humanoids it has encountered; a high complement considered the source. The elven god of vengeance against the drow, Shevarash, has also turned out to be a strong ally, for he and his followers have defended myconid realms against drowic depredations. As such, the Black Archer’s followers know they can find temporary succor within the fungus men’s realms. Psilofyr has also formed a powerful bond with the god Meriadar, the peaceful patron of mongrelmen and non-evil goblin-kin. The Spore Lord’s views on the evil powers it opposes rarely rises to hatred; it simply sees them as the worst examples of the violence and depredations common to the fleshy races and a manifest danger to its followers. The wanton depredations of Urdlen, the Crawler Below, and Juiblex, the Demon Lord of Slime, have garnered significant and active opposition from Psilofyr. The one power that Psilofyr truly hates, however, is Zuggtmoy, the Demon Lady of Fungi. In her the Spore Lord sees the corruption of everything it cares for, and more than one community of myconids have fallen under her sway over the centuries. Her imprisonment somewhere on Oerth has allowed Psilofyr to actively move against her followers and reclaim or eliminate a number of her cults across the planes.

The Spore Lord is a patient deity, preferring observation and consideration to direct action. Its avatars are frequent visitors to the prime material plane, communing with myconid kings in order to grant them some portion of its knowledge and power they can use to defend their communities. It rarely engages with non-myconid races on these visits, and only acts to defend itself if threatened; it has no desire for violence, and this is conveyed to its kings and followers.

Psilofyr’s Avatar (15-HD Myconid, Cleric 32, Mage 20)
Psilofyr appears as a gigantic humanoid mushroom, very much like a standard myconid. Drifting behind it as it levitates just above the ground is a vast mycelium complex that seems to glow slightly. It has a pair of large intelligent grey eyes but no mouth, and while its skin is usually blue-grey, it can change color to match its environment or suit its mood as desired. It draws its spells from all spheres and schools.

AC 4; MV 9, Fl 18 (A); HP 199; THAC0 0; #AT 1
Dmg 15d4+8 (fists, +8 Str)
MR 60%; SZ G (30 feet tall)
Str 21, Dex 14, Con 20, Int 20, Wis 23, Cha 23
Spells P: 14/13/13/12/11/10/8, W: 5/5/5/5/5/4/3/3/2
Saves PPDM 2; RSW 5; PP 5; BW 4; Sp 6

Special Att/Def: Psilofyr despises violence, favoring the use of its powers and magic to pacify foes rather than eliminate them. If forced to engage in melee, the Spore Lord attacks as normal myconids do, by clasping its hands together and clubbing enemies.

Psilofyr can spray spores in a jet 5 feet long by 60 feet wide or target a single creature up to 120 feet away. In addition to having all the spore types of a myconid king, twice per day each it can create spores that cause disease, function as a cloudkill upon those affected, or duplicate the powers of dust of sneezing and choking. Further, it can radiate spores in an expanding cloud with an initial radius of 10 feet at will. This cloud grows at 10 feet per round to a maximum radius of 80 feet after 8 rounds have elapsed. The effects this cloud can have are sleep, enfeeblement (as the spell ray of enfeeblement), or pacification (as the normal myconid spores). It is able to inscribe a symbol of persuasion twice per day, and casts the calm version of emotion up to 6 times per day.

The Spore Lord is immune to injected poisons and suffers half damage from bludgeoning weapons and water- and cold-based attacks. It cannot be confused or magically compelled to violence, and communicates with any creatures within 240 feet via telepathy.

Other Manifestations
In general, Psilofyr favors direct mental contact with followers over manifesting its power, although even then it typically reserves this for its myconid kings, whether priests or not. If sends an avatar to commune with a myconid king, it can grant them the powers of a 10th level wizard and 18th level priest for 1d4 days after 24 hours of rapport. Far less often it will issue brief messages to followers, warning of danger or directing them to a specific location. While most commonly sent to its myconid or mold man followers, even Psilofyr’s humanoid clergy has received such messages. The Spore Lord’s only other known manifestation takes the form of anti-animal shells of varying sizes, from small enough to protect one individual, to large enough to protect an entire community. Only myconids have ever benefited from the community-sized manifestation.

The Spore Lord is served by ordinary fungi (lichen, molds, mushrooms, yeasts, etc.) of all sorts, as well as ascomoids, brown mold, campestri, carapaces, chromatic mold, einheriar (in the form of myconids), gas spores, phycomids, russet mold, shriekers, sonic mold, sporebats, violet fungi, and yellow mold. Psilofyr never displays its favor or disfavor through discoveries of any sort.

The Church
Clergy:                      Specialty priests, shamans, mystics
Clergy’s Align.:      LN, N, CN
Turn Undead:           SP: Yes, at priest level −4, Sha: No, Mys: No
Cmnd. Undead:         SP: No, Sha: No, Mys: No

All specialty priests, shamans, and mystics of Psilofyr receive religion (myconid) as a bonus nonweapon proficiency.

Myconid followers of Psilofyr are generally isolationists and non-confrontationalists. They do not maintain strong relations with other communities; they are self-sufficient and their lack of interest in conquest or trade keeps them somewhat forgettable to most other races. To those nearby communities that have proven themselves trustworthy and friendly, they can be counted upon in times of crises, however. Such friendly races see the myconids of the Spore Lord as strange and alien allies at best, and inoffensive neutrals at worst; the evil races mostly see them as a minor obstacle to their ambitions or an ignorable non-threat if they have no designs on their territory. Opinions of Psilofyr’s mold men (vegepygmy) followers are somewhat harsher. While also isolationists who prefer to be left alone, they do not have the same preference for non-violence, and sometimes raid nearby communities. They make no alliances except with myconids or intelligent plant creatures, so humanoids near them often see them simply as barbaric and somewhat dangerous nuisances.

Neither myconids nor mold men build temples or shrines dedicated to the Spore Lord. Neither do myconids build shrines, for their faith is a mental and meditative one. They have no concept of religious ceremonies as humanoids do, and see no need to erect physical representations of their faith. Lone myconid priests who have left their circle and community, often influenced by contact with outsiders, have been known to create shrines dedicated to Psilofyr. These shrines usually have a crude, stone-carved idol in the shape of a regal-looking myconid. Shrines found within mold men communities often are set in a hollow fungal-encrusted log and designed to look like a common local mushroom carved of stone or wood.

Psilofyr’s priesthood recognizes no distinction between novices and full priests, nor does it have a hierarchy as others do. Specialty priests are known as saproans, and make up the entirety of the myconid priesthood. Most such priests are also the king of a given a community, but recently the Spore Lord has directed its priest-kings to elevate other singular individuals to priestly status, seemingly to help aid its followers in the defense of their realms, and some rare wandering individuals have shown themselves to be priests as well. Further, while the overwhelming majority of Psilofyr’s mold men clergy are shamans, a handful of singular individuals have become specialty priests. Mold men consider these individuals blessed by the Spore Lord himself. Outside of mold men and myconids, humans and Underdark races (including but not limited to drow, svirfneblin, and mongrelmen) are drawn to Psilofyr’s service. Most become mystics, but especially insightful individuals manage to become specialty priests. There are also unconfirmed rumors that a handful of grey druids have begun receiving their spells from the Spore Lord. While myconids recognize mold men priests as members of the faith (albeit not equals) they do not recognize humanoid priests as members of the clergy.

Dogma: The violence and stupid aggressiveness of fleshy creatures is inevitably self-destructive. Be one with your environment and one with your community. Seek thoughtful ways to solve problems together, not violence. Heal the mind and the body will follow. The secrets of molds and yeasts are a boon directly from the Spore Lord; use them wisely to brew concoctions helpful to the community.

Day-to-Day Activities: Among myconids and mold men, priests of Psilofyr are difficult to distinguish. While they are often the kings or chiefs of their communities, they act almost exactly as those leaders who are not priests. They have no special duties required of them as priests other than those necessary to gain spells on a daily basis. The Spore Lord’s rare humanoid clergy tend to be loners who gather fungal extracts and use them in alchemy and brewing to create concoctions of various sorts, especially those related to healing and altering mental states.

Important Ceremonies/Holy Days: The priesthood of Psilofyr observes no holy days or regular ceremonies.

Major Centers of Worship: The Spore Lord’s clergy do not go on pilgrimages, and do not recognize any significant holy sites. Unusual fungal growths and phenomena near their settlements are sometimes taken as signs of Psilofyr’s divine touch, and as such may be revered by those communities. These are purely local phenomena, however.

Affiliated Orders: Psilofyr’s clergy maintains no martial or monastic orders.

Priestly Vestments: Mold men and myconid priests do not wear ceremonial garments. Humanoid followers of Psilofyr, however, wear robes of grey and brown with deep red or lavender trim. The holy symbol used by all members of the priesthood is an amulet in the shape of a mushroom with branching mycelia extending below the stem, typically made of stone, wood, or metal.

Adventuring Garb: The Spore Lord’s clergy utilize armor and equipment appropriate to their community. Among the humanoid clergy, nets and staves are favored and armor is eschewed. They favor simple and comfortable traveling garb that doesn’t advertise their position or status. They often carry alchemical compounds to cause various non-lethal but debilitating effects in opponents.

Specialty Priests (Saproans)
Requirements:          Wisdom 18
Prime Req.:                Wisdom
Alignment:                LN
Weapons:                   Club, lasso, mancatcher, net, sling, staff, staff sling, whip
Armor:                       None
Major Spheres:         All, astral, creation, divination, elemental (earth, water), guardian, healing, law, numbers, protection, thought, wards
Minor Spheres:         Necromantic
Magical Items:         Same as clerics
Req. Profs:                Alchemy (PO:Spells & Magic)
Bonus Profs:             Sage knowledge (mycology)

  • While most saproans are myconids, especially gifted mold men (vegepygmies) may join the ranks. It is said that some humans and a handful of individuals of other races have been accepted into the ranks by Psilofyr as well.
  • Saproans are not allowed to multiclass.
  • Saproans are completely immune to the harmful effects of fungal diseases, spores, and attacks, including the rotting attack of violet fungi, yellow mold spores, and mundane afflictions like athlete’s foot. They can still be harmed indirectly by fungi, such as through the heat draining of brown mold, the concussive blast of a gas spore, or ingesting poisonous mushrooms.
  • Saproans can lay on hands (as a paladin) once per day. If used on fungal creatures (myconids, mold men, campestri, etc.), they restore 2 hit points per level; when used on any other creature, saproans restore one hit point per level.
  • Saproans can cast puffball or sanctuary (as the 1st-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 3rd level, saproans can cast hold person or withdraw (as the 2nd-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 5th level, saproans can cast emotion control or mold touch (as the 3rd-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 5th level, saproans can brew magical potions and create magical powders, using fungus extracts, fermentation, and alchemy. Only one potion or powder can be created per month, although the saproan need only spend seven full days on the concoction interspersed throughout the month.
  • At 7th level, saproans can cast earthmaw (as the 4th-level priest spell) or speak with fungi (as the 4th-level priest spell speak with plants, but affecting any fungus, even intelligent or monstrous varieties) once per day.
  • At 9th level, saproans can cast rising rot or transport via fungus (as the 5th-level priest spells) once per day.
  • At 11th level, saproans can cast anti-animal shell (as the 6th-level priest spell) once per day.
  • At 15th level, saproans are completely immune the harmful effects of all fungi, including the concussive blast of a gas spore and the heat draining of brown mold. Further, they can command all non-intelligent fungal creatures within 60 feet, similar to an evil cleric’s ability to command undead, although no roll is needed. Intelligent fungal creatures cannot be commanded in this way.

Psilofyran Spells
In addition to the spells listed below, priests of the Spore Lord can cast any spell from the Plant sphere that specifically affects or creates fungi, such as the 1st-level priest spell puffball and the 4th-level priest spell speak with plants. If the spell is vague or ambiguous, assume they do not have access to it. Spells that banish or prevent fungal rot are not gained, however. Further, they can cast the 3rd-level priest spell mold touch, detailed in Faiths and Avatars in the entry for Eldath, and the 5th-level priest spell rising rot, detailed in Faiths and Avatars in the entry for Moander.

2nd Level
Wall of Spores (Pr 2; Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere:                    Plant
Range:                     30 yds.
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 2d4 rds. + 1 rd./level
Casting Time:          4
Area of Effect:         20-ft. cube + 10-ft. cube/level
Saving Throw:        Neg.

By means of this spell, the caster creates a billowing wall of fungal spores. The spores are so dense that they obscure all sight, including infravision, beyond 2 feet. The wall must be a roughly cubic or rectangular mass, at least 10 feet across in its smallest dimension. Any creature caught in the cloud must make a saving throw versus spell or choke on the spores for 1d3 rounds, unable to do anything but move at a rate of 10 feet per round. Covering the nose and mouth, even with a hand, can eliminate the need to make a saving throw, and any creatures that do not need to breath are immune to this effect of the spores. Creatures that die within the cloud must make a saving throw versus poison of begin to sprout violet fungus growths in 2d4 turns. Such a corpse can no longer be raised or resurrected at this point. A cure disease spell cast on the corpse before this point will eliminate the fungal growths. The duration of the wall of spores can be halved by a moderate wind, or dispersed entirely by a strong wind.

The material component for this spell is a spore from a violet fungus or a shrieker.

3rd Level
Spore Cone (Pr 3; Invocation/Evocation)
Sphere:                    Plant
Range:                     0
Components:           V, S, M
Duration:                 Instantaneous
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         60 ft. long × 20 ft. wide cone
Saving Throw:        ½

The spore cone resembles the attack of certain moldy creatures. When the spell is cast thousands of tiny seedlike spores shoot through the air at high speed, inflicting 1d4 points of damage per caster level. Creatures caught in the spell’s effect must also make a successful saving throw vs. spell or spend the next 2 rounds clearing the spores from their eyes and throat. Any creature killed (that is, reduced to 0 hit points and not raised or resurrected) by the spore cone becomes a host and sprouts yellow mold after 3d6 days, negating any chance to raise the creature. A creature that fails its saving throw vs. the spell dies 2d8 days later and hosts a new mold 5d6 days after death. A cure disease spell removes the spores from the dead creature’s body if cast before the mold sprouts. Nonbreathing creatures or creatures with AC 0 or better suffer half or one-quarter damage from the spell. Constructs and creatures composed of inorganic matter (like skeletons, earth elementals, and iron golems) are unharmed by this spell.

The material component is a spore from a gas spore or yellow or brown mold, which is consumed in the casting.

5th Level
Transport Via Fungus (Pr 5; Alteration)
Sphere:                    Plant
Range:                     Touch
Components:           V, S
Duration:                 Special
Casting Time:          5
Area of Effect:         Special
Saving Throw:        None

By means of this spell, the caster is able to enter any large fungal growth (one foot or larger) and pass any distance to a fungus of the same species in a single round regardless of the distance separating the two. The entry fungus must be alive. The destination fungus need not be familiar to the caster, but it also must be alive. A caster uncertain of the destination fungus, need merely determine direction and distance, and the transport via fungus spell moves him as close as possible to the desired location. There is a basic 20% chance, reduced by 1% per level of experience of the caster, that the transport delivers the caster to a similar species of fungus from 1 to 100 miles away from the desired destination plant. If a particular destination fungus is desired, but the fungus is not living, the spell fails and the caster must come forth from the entrance fungus within 24 hours. If the fungus is smaller than the caster, the caster must make a saving throw versus spell to successfully enter and transport. Note that many fungal species are larger than they appear, as much of their growth is below the surface. This spell works with molds, lichens, mushrooms, shelf fungi, shriekers, violet fungi, ascomoids, and gas spores. This spell does not protect the caster from any harmful effects of contact with these fungi. The destruction of an occupied fungus slays the caster (see the plant door spell).

4 Responses to Psilofyr the Spore Lord

  1. Barastir says:

    Good entry. I have some questions, though…

    Have you considered, considering the contemplative trait of this deity, giving it some psionicist levels?

    Wis 18 is a bit high, no? Is it right? Being so, most of the priest would be shamans or mystics?

    Besides, is the 15d4 damage right? Thanks for any clarifications!

    • AuldDragon says:

      I don’t see Psilofyr as psionically capable, since myconids don’t have that ability in the 2e material.

      Wisdom 18 is from his priest entry in Monster Mythology; most of his priests are Myconid Kings (they *all* were in that book). 15d4 is the correct damage, since his avatar matches myconids for damage, which deal 1d4 per hit die. They’re also 2 feet tall per hit die, hence his 30 foot stature. One problem with his entry in DMGR4 is that *most* of his stats are incorrect; they were copied from Vharaun and not updated.

      • Barastir says:

        Nice, thank you for your response. I must confess I haven’t checked the DMGR4 before writing my questions, I should have done it.

        As for his damage, I think it’s OK. Considering its size and comparing it to the Elemental gods, I believe it’s good.

        • AuldDragon says:

          No worries. Detailing the avatars can always be more than a bit subjective and based on esoteric elements. :)

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