I love the Circle of Spores Druid because it’s so wierd. I haven’t quite wrapped my head around the “beauty in decay” notion of this circle. I like the idea of a subclass that doesn’t make me feel the need to play an evil PC like a death domain cleric or a necromancer. So how do you explain the lore of the circle of spores in your game? Do you play a druid who worships the god of death? A character from the under dark who really likes mushrooms? I kind of like the idea of a spore druid as some kind of perversion to the Druidic order like an oath breaker paladin.
I see it as moreso an acceptance of death rather than exactly wanting to cause it. Where other druids may venerate the spreading of life or the lives of animals, the spore druid seems more into the full cycles of life. Something big dies, and molds, fungus, small plants and animals recycle the flesh, one life becomes many, and the cycle continues ever onward. The ability to make fungal zombies seems like it is less towards the whole necromancy bringing back the dead, but merely one new version of that cycle. The dead being used in more ways than just being broken down. They would be closer, to me anyways, to something like a grave cleric or the raven queen warlock, in how they accept death and believe all things have a time in which they fall.
OK that all makes sense. I just want to make sure that my Hill Dwarf Spore Druid is not seen by other players (or NPC’s for that matter) as just another evil wannabe-lich necromancer. Hey, wait up guys! Let me turn into a bunny so you can see what a nice and fuzzy druid I really am! I do plan, however, to take full advantage of both Animate Dead and Fungal Infestation in the near future (I’m only 4th level now). In my mind, I picture the zombies and skeletons slowing growing (or blooming?) into mushroom constructs aka “my Fun Guys”… more like fungus golems, perhaps?. I guess the carcass is really just organic matter that feeds the living fungus. That’s still pretty creepy! Maybe we are all just fertilizer anyhow?
Here's a conversation my spore druid had with the cleric in our party. He was bugging her all day about how spore druids can "stomach the things they do", he was going in circles (get it?) until she replied with this.
Druid: Tell me, do you know why you bury the dead? or turn them to ash with pyres? Cleric: Uh.. because leaving them out in the open will cause sickness? Druid: *giggle* silly, that's much of an excuse as the other two I mentioned~ Cleric: Excuse? Excuse for what? Druid: To look away. Cleric: "look away"? Druid: We of the spore... we choose not to look away. Not when everyone else has. Cleric: ...
She's a True Neutral Eladrin, wise but not at all intelligent, so I thought it would make sense that she explains her circle's belief through emotion and not a full blown rant. I had her circle's philosophy written down for our DM, but this moment just says a lot more about the Circle of Spore in our game.
My Spore Druid is a Water Genasi (Triton) and instead of basic fungus my Druid instead focusses on the use of a Fungal-like Coral. The Idea is that a meteor from the Moon of Water (In the campaign the elemental planes are moons orbiting the material place rather than different planes) crashed into the sea near the Triton enclave and brought with it this extra-planar Coral that is expanding out from the crash site across the sea. The meteor leaks extra-planar energy, causing a high number of Water Genasi in the surrounding Triton population, and Water Genasi that are born are indoctrinated into the Coral Druid circle. My character is now traveling over land spreading the Coral where-ever he can, hopefully into fresh water sources and drinking water through use of the Plant Growth spell (homebrewed to work on Coral). Other people at the table like the idea, and I take skulls and fashion them into 'plant pots' for my coral. It's all really macabre.
However, what me (not my character, he thinks he's doing good work) and the DM know is that the Coral Meteor was, in fact, a failed attempt by Zuggtmoy to invade the Moon of Water, and the coral carries her corruption and influence. People have recently started acting weird in towns were I've 'diversified the ecosystem' of their water source, it's going to come to a head soon and it's going to be so fun :)
This is really weird. Coral is really a a great idea for a Spore Druid. I’m picturing Bootstrap Bill from the Flying Dutchman. Is your campaign headed for a showdown with Zuggtmoy, herself? That would be epic.
I'm not really sure where it's headed. My character and his people worship the "Coral Queen" as their patron god. The Coral Queen seems to be a benevolent God, and those closest to her (the coral) can hear her whisper in your ear. All the Tritons want to do is spread her unity as much as they can.
The Coral Queen is obviously Zuggtmoy, and she's managed to trick the entire Triton population into becoming essentially cultists. I am currently undecided what my character would do if they found out the truth. And with only an Int of 10 he hasn't worked out why he's not welcome in places of worship for good aligned gods yet 😂 He just thinks it's fish people racism. Presumably when the truth comes out I'll need to make a decision based on the party reaction.