“Gnonmen prize any living thing above any non-living thing in any circumstances. To them, life is the justification for the world and its true continuity. The spine of reality. All is a fiction. Only life and its laws are authentic. Kings and wealth both fade and die, but life is strong and grows and time goes on in its real continuity. Life is what is real. Life knows neither good nor bad nor justice as a measure of morals. It simply is and it must be preserved.”
-Patrick Stuart (Veins of the Earth)
“Gnonmen like to grow living things.”
Gnonmen grow mushrooms and plants adapted to underground darkness. Both products form their main source of food, but do not think that they lack a variety of flavors and benefits. Through centuries of experimentation, they have created different varieties, divided into four basic groups with specific nutritional properties, derived from the type of compost used in the crops.
1d4 Sources of Gnonmen Compost
- Type 1. Dead animals and plants. These foods provide fiber, protein and fat.
- Type 2. Soil and plants. These foods provide glucose, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
- Type 3. Dead adventurers. These foods provide calcium, protein and fat.
- Type 4. Living adventurers. See next.
Living Adventurers Compost
Although Gnonmen are not cruel or evil, they sometimes hunt adventurers (or get them from dungeon traps). When they capture an adventurer they hold him firmly to the ground in a dark cave and make him inhale spores of certain fungi that only grow under certain conditions of darkness and humidity. In a few days, new fungi will sprout from their skin cavities, causing them a hypersleep state (and pleasant psychedelic wet dreams) while keeping them alive by transmitting nutrients captured from the air and soil (and a little help from the farmers).
Farmers take care with loving attention of the adventurer-orchard, because these mushrooms, modified by the adventurer’s genetics, have an incomparable flavor, among other properties. These minuscule mushrooms are called Adventuring Mushrooms.
1d6* Effects** of Eating a Balanced Meal in a Gnonmen Settlement (Which Always Includes Adtenturing Mushrooms)
- Blood Poisoning (Gnonmen are immune; they heal 6 hp instead). See below.
- Re-roll or your Hit Dice; that your new maximum hp.
- Up your nose. Can’t smell anything but raw compost and suffer -1 to attack rolls and perception rolls involving smells, due to being generally sickened for the next d12 hours. Gnonmen gain +1 bonus instead.
- Save versus Magic. Success means you can increase a random Ability by 1. In LotFP terms, a score of 18 gains a modifier of +4. Failure means you have an uncontrollable hunger and what you want to eat is your host. Whether you succeed or not, you will be declared a non-pleasant person from this moment. Gnonmen don’t make a save, they get lucid dreams during the night instead, and upon awakening they have brought something from the dreamworld (referee’s choice).
- Is…is that a finger? Save versus Magic or realize what this stuff was made out of, suffering -1 to all rolls until you get a good long bath.
- There’s a gold ring in your bowl, you almost drowned with it. It’s pretty and seems valuable (50 sp/gp). It must be easy to sell it. But if you try to sell it, the buyer knows who it belonged to and believes that you murdered poor Edgardo de León y Molina, a Spanish nobleman well liked by the authorities. Of course he will report you.
*The second time a party tries it, he rolls a d4 instead. Gnonmen always roll d4.
**Some of these were inspired by, or blatantly stolen from Dick McGee
1d4 Things That Happen When You Eat a Gnonmen
- You get lucid dreams during the night, and upon awakening you have brought something from the dreamworld (referee’s choice).
- Your maximum hp is increased by 1d6.
- Save versus Paralysis at -1. If you fail, you fall unconscious and when you awake, you have become an adventurer-orchard. You are feverishly conscious but unable to talk or move.
- “To Gnonmen the body is superficial, accidental. Tone, brightness, occluding or refracting, that is all. The eyes matter to them, not the face.” (Patrick Stuart; VotE) Save versus Posion or become just like Gnonmen. When you kill, you always take your victim’s eyes. You strive to keep the eyes of your victims in good condition until you find a specialist who can keep them permanently bright, like jewelry. Fresh eyes are kept in jars, 6 eyes (3 pairs) occupy a space in your inventory equal to a weapon or medium object. The eyes turned into jewels do not take up space if you use them as an ornament.
Contagion. Save versus Poison or contract the disease.
Incubation and interval. After 8 hours, and at each 8-hour interval (3 times a day), save versus Poison again or vomit blood and suffer d6 damage, and a cumulative -1 penalty to all your rolls due to malaise. When you save successfully, you don’t vomit, don’t suffer hp damage and the penalties are reset.
Duration. If the disease doesn’t kill you or is cured, has a natural duration of 3 weeks.