The ocordys are a fungal people in the Vistelo system. Because their method of reproduction requires the destruction of a mind, their existence is considered ethically questionable, and some believe they should be prevented from reproducing altogether. Nonetheless, as long as they only use the mindless gastropods as hosts, most are willing to tolerate them.
Etymology and Other Names
give me some time here
Those that were born in the mind of a sapient race are generally called "parasites", though recently they have fought against this slur.
Biology and Anatomy
The fungus itself is fairly nondescript. It is always a shade of pale yellow, with fruiting bodies having golden caps and black gills, with some likening them to crowns when seen from a distance.
Their usual bodies resemble large, bipedal snails, with skin ranging from drab greens, greys, and browns to some vibrant yellows or reds. Skin patterns are, at most, subtle striping. Shells are always brown and banded with darker shades. These bodies are usually quite slow, and their feet and hands secrete a viscous mucus. They have four eyestalks, each tipped with a simple eye, and their mouth has a sharp tongue that aids in the eating of vegetation. Many of their organs are within the shell on their back, which is quite sturdy, but cannot be painted or dyed without harm to the internal organs.
Due to the nature of the relationship between "brain" and body, an ocordys has delayed and muffled pain response. As such, they can spring back from wounds that might send others into shock.
Sociology and Culture
Due to their rocky ethical position, ocordys society highly values acting as ethically as possible at all times. An ocordys who behaves badly may soon find themselves excommunicated from the others, to make the point that their behavior is discouraged. Through this constant vigilance, they hope to redeem themselves in the eyes of others.
Spirituality is an important part of ocordys culture, and temples or churches are often cornerstones of ocordys settlements. This spirituality is not rigid; an ocordys may try several religions, or even combine facets of them, to find what they believe. Though they are usually open to trying any religion, they are most drawn to those that teach of the sanctity of all life.
Ocordys do not usually feel the need for strict punctuality. While flat-out skipping out on an obligation is rude, being late isn't really anything to get worked up over. It takes the time it takes. No more, no less.
Because the growth of the fungus destroys the mind of the host, implanting your spore into a sapient race is seen as a form of murder, even by other ocordys. An ocordys who implants their child in a sapient race is often executed, and their child is essentially doomed to life as a social pariah, even though they have no actual control over the situation.
Because of their tendency to avoid creating unnecessary conflict, ocordys have taken to naming themselves with Standard words, which they then translate depending on the language they communicate in. The Standard name is considered the default, however; even in areas that primarily speak another language, they will register under their Standard name, even if they go by the language of the area.
Names are genderless, and tend to follow this pattern:
- first word second word + third word
Examples: Rock Hardshell, Flint Leadfoot, Leaf Ironstag
A "parasite" will almost always choose a new name for themselves, because to keep the name of the body is highly disrespectful. However, sometimes they maintain use of it if they try to hide their parasitic nature.
Ocordys in their default body are a Medium race, and have a movement rate of 20 ft. An ocordys in their default body may take +2 Con -2 Wis or +2 Int -2 Cha.
Borrowed Body: An ocordys may, once per combat, take a hit of damage as nonlethal damage instead. This ability applies to all ocordys, including parasites. This hit cannot exceed half of their total hit points.
Thick Shell: An ocordys in their default body gains +1 natural AC.
Soft Mucus: An ocordys in their default body gains +2 Move Silently.
Players may also make an ocordys character that parasitizes a race besides the default body. However, such a character would face numerous difficulties due to the cultural stigma against "parasites", which could negatively affect their play experience. Make such characters at your own risk.
A parasite can use the default racial modifiers for ocordys, or they may select from the modifiers of the race they inhabit. However, they cannot select a Cha-boosting nature. Their size class is dictated by the race they inhabit.
Parasites retain the Borrowed Bo
dy racial trait. The other two traits are taken from the race they inhabit, as dictated in the table at right.
Additionally, all parasites take a penalty to Disguise checks to disguise themselves as a member of the race they parasitize, due to incompatibilities between the fungus and the body. This penalty depends on the race inhabited, and supplants the usual penalty for disguising oneself as a member of another race.
Ability Score Increase. Your Constitution score increases by 2, and your Intelligence or Strength scores increase by 1 (your choice.)
Size. Your size is Medium.
Speed. Your base walking speed is 20 feet.
Borrowed Body. Upon taking damage from an attack, you can use your reaction to subtract 1d6 from the damage. This increases to 2d6 at 6th level, 3d6 at 11th level, and 4d6 at 16th level. After you use this ability, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.
Natural Armor. When unarmored, your AC is equal to 12 + your Dexterity modifier.