Though it is called Balisk Lichen, it can be found in any region frequented by a stone transforming lifeform (Balisk, Medusa, etc). It is a strong (nearly impossible to remove) green lichen that is 'fuzzy', like a short green grassy fur. It only grows upon organic materials that have been turned to stone. The lichen will break down transformed lifeforms into rubble. It then expands and grows upon the rubble. Eventually it breaks the rubble down completely, converts into spoors and joins the wind.
The lichen is very toxic when 'alive'. Nothing eats it. (It can not be made into a poison because the compound goes innert if it dies (which it does within minutes of being pulled from a rock). Well that is not true. Balisks and other stone transforming creatures have been known to lick and eat the lichen off the rubble. Their salivia seems to disolve the connection between the lichen and the rock. The lichen seems to be the digestive medium for the Stoners. It is concentrated nutrition pulled from the previously organic material.
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? Responses (12)-12
Updated: Updated for a mistype
I like it: You have followed the logic that would apply if someone was indeed able to turn organic material to stone. Had you offered an anecdote or some interesting plot hooks or the like, I would have boosted the score further by .5 or 1 (depending on the effort and success). Two thumbs up.
Absolutely. I wonder when we will run into a time when we will have a problem creating new and refreshing material like this. And please, add anecdotes they are fun. :)
Looking at the title, I thought it was going to be a type of lichen that could turn people to stone somehow.. maybe first paralyze them, and then petrify them like a tree.... while gaining sustenace on them. As it is, the basilisk lichen could add some background texture to a campaign, but doesn't seem particularly useful.
Not everything has to kill PCs directly.
This has two fuctions in a campaign
1) This explains the ecology of your stone making creatures. Everything has to eat, how do these things eat?
2) By making an appropriate nature check, you will know there is a stone gaze creature in the area. Thus the skill will come in handy and the appropriate PCs forwarned.
I like the Idea, and I appreciate the originality, but why does it grow on once organic rock only? Perhaps the Saliva promotes grwth in the surviving lichen.
Because the rock still has some organic properties and compounds in it. It's chemical structure will still include the same 'chemical' that made it up before, just in a different structure (plus the magically summoned and embedded siliconates). Thus the rock is more 'organic' and food like.
The Saliva will probably promote the grown of the surviving lichen (GOOD IDEA) for two reasons. One, it make more space for it to regrow. Two is that it probably has compounds that are needed for its life... thus increasing the symbiosis between the litchen and a stone making creature.
Perhaps the 'Stoner' transfers the litchen from statue to stature as well in its salivia. Maybe in a 'high acid' environment, it is just an intestinal flora. In a low acid one, it become the litchen.
A handy little plant. I would expect the lichen to only grow on the victims of certain types of petrifying creatures. The idea that the 'stoner' carries it as part of their system sounds convincing and also summons up some unpleasant images:
'From your vantage point on the bluff, you can make out the gorgon approaching the statues that once were your cohorts. She begins licking them all over their bodies.'
A fun, solid, interesting plant that can add the depth I love to have in game.
Would also love to have a PC with a stone arm, or something, and let him have this take form on him.
Doctor: Sorry Grom, the only cure for this is to have a Balisk lick off every remnant of the lichen.
Grom: Is that it?
Doctor: Yep, once the lichen is removed you should simply keep it out of the air so more lichen spore don't find it and germinate.
I love the name, Basilisk Lichen! LOVE IT. Plus what others have already said. Fun stuff, this.
Very orginal. 5/5
This is great stuff - I like the idea that it can help signal the presence of petrifying creatures.