Minis Gazeteer: Fungi

Being an overview of the various fungus minis available for your 28mm RPG.

I was actually surprised at the lack of weird fungus creatures. For D&D, aside from Myconids, you usually get Violet Fungus and Shriekers, and that’s….that’s about all there is. Let’s cover those first, anyway. And let’s be honest — there’s nothing spectacularly different about anyone’s violet fungus or shrieker minis that set them apart from anyone else. Here is Reaper’s Bones Black version:

Violet Fungus
Shrieking Fungus

Here’s the Pathfinder version, the “Purple Fungus”.

From an Ebay posting.

Any particular reason to prefer one over the other? Not really. You could even make your own pretty easily by following DM Scotty’s directions.

With that out of the way, let’s talk Mushroom Folk. They come by a variety of names. The unfortunate thing is that mushroom-folk tend to be really cartoonish. Indeed, you may as well use the nearest Nintendo Toad or Toadette or even Goomba minifig as use most available minis. I’m going to save myself and you a lot of time and only mention the ones that stand out to me. The official D&D version are the Myconids, and honestly the WizKids Myconids are some of the better mushroom folk minis around. They avoid most of the cartoony pitfalls, they have lots of little details that make them fun to paint. They are inexpensive (like most WizKids minis). Solid.

After the WizKids version, things start to turn Toadish rather quickly. However, I would recommend checking out a couple others as well, including:

Otherworld Miniatures’ myconids,

Krakon Games’ Mykelings
Mirliton SG’s Fungoid
Song of Blades’ Fightin’ Fungi line, which is a mixed bag but has some winners.

You can find a few others on this thread over at randomplatypus, but a few of the links don’t work at the above are mostly the best I’ve been able to find.

One last stop for our Mushroom Folk category, is the Fungus Queen, Zuggtmoy. The official Gale Force 9 mini is really all you’d ever want for it:

Reaper also has a Fungus Queen, which takes it in a different direction. I suppose they could both be aspects of Zuggtmoy?

If you want your bard to seduce a mushroom demon, I guess.

Moving on from mushroom folk, we come to Mushroom Beasts. Here we have some more variation and creativity. Let’s start with this 54mm “Myconid” by A Villain’s Lair, available as a 3d Printed mini from Shapeways. (I have tried to stay away from 3d Printable minis for this guide, since i don’t have access to a 3d Printer, but apparently Shapeways prints the items for you? I’m not sure.) I know this is called a myconid, but it’s going to be too big to use as a standard mushroom guy, and looks-wise, it’s not going to be something you parlay with in a darkened alleyway.

Pathfinder has a couple good fungal creatures, including this Ghost Fungus:

Image result for pathfinder ghost fungus

See also this undead-ish “Fungal Guardian“:

(The Song of Blades line that I linked to above also has some fungal zombies if you want to go this route.) WizKids has another take on a fungal zombie as well, this time from their DND Ravnica line, the Fungus Drudge. I have not seen one in person, but all the pictures I’ve see make me very iffy on the paint job of this one:

Another MtG: Ravnica mini, which I like a bit better, is the Saproling. It’s not my favorite version of the saproling from the card game (I like the more recent tokens with bright colors) but it serves as a smaller fungal beasty:

Epic Salvatore Creations has this Phantom Fungus:

I’m sure there must be some other fungal monsters out there, but these were the few I was able to come up with so far. The first is, the Mi-Go.

Reaper has a great Mi-Go:

Mi-go, Eldritch Horror

Pathfinder has a Mi-Go as well:

The Dust minis game has Mi-Go with ray guns!

The board game Mansions of Madness includes two Mi-Go minis which are pulling brains out of human heads!

Image result for mansions of madness mi-go

Other Mi-Go minis you might want to check out:

All right, that’s all the “official” fungus minis I have to talk about. Here’s one more item, though: a while back, I postulated that perhaps — just perhaps — unicorns were just horses that had been infected by a fungal parasite, much like the cordyceps fungus. And that their horns were just parasitic extrusions. This idea had been touched on previously, apparently, by Charles Stross in his short story “Equoid”. Given this idea, I think a few undead unicorn minis would fit in with this list. (Really, if you want to mess with your players, you could just a cordyceps extrusion onto virtually any other mini to make a fungal parasite variant of it. Take it to the extreme: have a dungeon where everything is infected, it’s all one fungal organism.)

So here is an undead unicorn mini:

flaming-undead-unicorn
“Flaming Undead Unicorn” by Stonehaven Miniatures

Have I missed anything? Do you know of any other cool fungal minis (or undead unicorn minis)? Let me know!

Dungeon World: Into the Fire Session #1 Recap

Dungeon World
We played a session of Dungeon World via Google Hangouts this past wednesday. It’s a mini-campaign I’m calling Into the Fire, loosely inspired by the concepts from Hell Dorado/Claustrophobia.  Here’s how it went:
The world is dying. Pieces of the world are vanishing, ceasing to exist. There isn’t much time left. So, the Council of Wizards has created bridge to elsewhere — a portal to another world. One team of explorers has already been sent through the portal — but they didn’t come back.Now the Paladin Targus Fairhand is sent through the portal, along with two hirelings (Daron, a human burglar, and Ramak, a dwarf), along with two conscripted prisoners, Alti (a Shaman) and Nora (a Ranger). Targus is forthright about their mission: they are to explore the area around the portal entrance, and attempt to discover what
has delayed the first team of explorers.
Exiting the portal on the other side, they find themselves in a dark, sweltering hot environment. They can hear something moving in the dark. The dwarf, who can see in such environments, reports that they are in a cave, likely forged from volcanic activity, and that there is some sort of animal to moving behind some rocks to the north-west. While Targus lights a torch, Alti makes contact with one of her ancestor-spirits, Riga. (Riga is not summoned, but communicates telepathically).  Riga merely shouts that Alti  should “go back! leave this place!” and begins screaming, seemingly in agony.
Targus, having lit the torch, reveals a cavern with three passages leading north, west, and east. The rocks that form the floor, walls, and ceiling are smooth, as though they had been melted and then hardened again. There are some larger boulders, pieces of the ceiling which have fallen, and behind some of these is the beast. Targus steps around the rocks and finds a creature like a maggot the size of a St. Bernard, with a face like a human skull and the horns of a bull, and a scorpion’s stinger at its tail. It gives a piercing shriek as it sees him; he attacks it with his mallet, but the blow merely bounces off

the creature’s rolls of fat, and the thing’s tail whips forward to strike him on the neck. Nora, bow drawn, tries to sink an arrow into into the beasts’ hide, but cannot see it past the rocks and the Paladin.

Alti tries to calm Riga, but only agitates her more. The screams of anguish fill Alti’s head, leaving her unable to act or sense anything around her — and thus she fails to see (or alert the rest of the party to) the second maggot-thing that creeps out of the eastern
passageway.

Meantime the poison now in his veins weakens Targus, but he holds fast against it. Nora gets her shot and pins an arrow in the beast’s hide, but fails to see the second maggot-thing crawling up behind her. Targus and the two hirelings attack the first beast again, and as the dwarf and burglar stab at it, Targus cracks its skull open with his mallet — sending a spray of black gore into the dwarf’s face.

Nora is surprised by the maggot’s sudden sting in her arm; she cries out and drops her bow so as to attack it with her spear, but before she can do anything the maggot wrap itself around her and begins to crush her. The others, hearing her cry, rush to her aid; save for Alti, who is still overwhelmed by the cries of her ancestor. She manages to sever the telepathic link to Riga, but, seeing the situation at hand, decides that the others can take care of it without her.

Targus strikes at the maggot, but in the confusion as it writhes he hits Daron instead. Nora uses her spear for leverage to break out of the maggot’s grasp, but has to leave it behind as she slips loose.

[Monsterhearts] Player Created Follow-up Material!

Hannah, one of my regular players and fellow Camlann writer, was inspired enough by our Monsterhearts last Saturday to write this Abstract for Matrilineal Lycanthropy, detailing the workings of her Werewolf character from the point of view of some shadowy organization that we didn’t see on Saturday, but which I will definitely canonize if we ever pick up the story again in the future.

I love it when games I GM lead to bursts of creativity!

Board Game Thoughts

My family isn’t all that into RPGs, but they do like board games, and since I’ve been visiting my folks the past few weeks, I’ve been playing a *lot* of games.  Mostly these have been strategy/tactical games.  Let’s see if I can remember all the ones I’ve played:

  1. Colossal Arena
  2. Carson City
  3. Last Night on Earth
  4. Clue: The Great Museum Caper
  5. Risk
  6. Zombie State
  7. Bang!
  8. Space Hulk: Death Angel
  9. Defenders of the Realm
  10. Arkham Horror
  11. Munchkin
  12. Pirates of the Caribbean Pirate Dice

That last one my older brother and I also used to tweak the rules of a pirate game he’d bought that has very high quality pieces, board, etc, but very poor rules to go along with them.  So, then, twelve or thirteen board games, some of which I played more than once.  (I also played Dogs in the Vineyard with some friends, but that wasn’t with my family.  And my younger brother and I started playing Dungeon World, an old-school hack of Apocalypse World, but we didn’t get much farther than character creation, unfortunately.)

While Risk and Clue: The Great Museum Caper are old family favorites (although I hadn’t played Clue: TGMC since highschool), and many of the others (Last Night on Earth, Arkham Horror) were very familiar to me, several of the games were new, including Colossal Arena, Carson City, Zombie State, Space Hulk, and Defenders of the Realm.  Of these new games, I think Zombie State is probably my favorite, although Colossal Arena and Space Hulk are also highly enjoyable games, and Defenders of the Realm seems to work when you’d like the experience of playing Arkham Horror without quite so strong narrative elements or Yog-Sothothery.  The only one I didn’t really like was Carson City, which has far too much in common with Settlers of Catan for my taste.  (I know Settlers is quite popular in most corners, but I am not any good at it and find it frustrating, as if there is some central mechanic to the game that everyone else has read but have conspiratorially kept hidden from me.)

Many of the newer games had strong narrative or story elements, which (in addition to their excellent rules systems) are what make them of especial interest to me.  There’s a web forum I frequent entitled “Story Games” which is mostly about RPGs but is so named because it wants to encompass all games in which a story is told or formed through play.  It’s a purposefully vague and inclusive definition, but I find this not to be a disadvantage.  I suppose there are people out there who self identify as exclusively RPG players, but my own allegiance is more to the narrative form (of any sort), and as pertains to games I’ll go anywhere I can create a sense of story.   To be fair, I’ll happily play other games as well (I especially enjoy strategy games like chess or Risk, and get addicted to puzzle games like Tetris) but those games I consistently find the most enjoyment in have a narrative element; be they RPGs or board games.

What games do you all play with your family members?  Are they more “traditional” games like Scrabble or Monopoly, or do you have family members who are interested in war or strategy games, or even RPGs?

Also, what cool board games, if any, have you played recently?  Any experiences with any of the games on my above list you’d like to share?