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redking
Learned Scribe

141 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  04:26:00  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Dungeon Magazine #194 has an article by Ed titled Thormil's Secret. For those without access to the magazine, Thormil is a breeder of high quality cattle in Cormyr. Thormil has a mind controlled deepspawn producing clones of high quality animals, which Thormil sells to restaurant kitchens.

Its not clear on how Thormil is feeding the deepspawn, but it is possible that the deepspawn has been given a Ring of Sustenance to allow for all its feeding requirements.

Deepspawn held in captivity is something that has been mentioned in many FR products. How widespread do you think this practice might be?

Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  07:07:09  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Deepspawn are abberations "native" to the Underdark. With a "very rare/unique" encounter frequency in earlier editions. They are also considered dangerous and exotic "pests" - targeted by exterminators and expeditions and hunting parties - because of their ability to rapidly invade areas with large populations of servant creatures.
This means they aren't just littering the landscape. They're unable to easily conceal their presence and yet they're hard to find, so there can't be too many of them.

They're Chaotic Evil, bent on consumption and domination, yet they are patient and cunning, they can speak (many) languages, they can (usually) cast spells. Genius or Supra-genius intellects. You can't mind control a deepspawn until you're able to defeat it. Along with all of it's minion creatures. Which means you gotta take it alive. Most conflicts will end up in dead adventurers or in dead deepspawns, few would dare try to subdue or control such a threat.
This requires a certain level of combat competence - say, an archmage, or perhaps a middly mage plus a party of tanks. There seems to be an adventuring party in every tavern but it's doubtful that many have what it takes to bring in a tame deepspawn.

And a captive/controlled deepspawn would atract some attention from intelligent people (or intelligent monsters) who might wonder where this endless supply of cloned livestock keeps coming from. They might be deepspawn hunters/slayers who've followed their target this far. They might be mages (or dragons) who'd be very interested in taking control of this deepspawn creature factory for themselves.
So even if this practice is widespread, it certainly wouldn't be well known. It would be cloaked in secrecy, hidden from silver-coined rumours, hidden from prying eyes, hidden from prying magics.

All that being said ... Thormil may have negotiated a special arrangement with this (otherwise uncontrolled) deepspawn. Perhaps he feeds it two average cattle to receive one superior cattle which he can sell for far more than twice the price? Perhaps it is the deepspawn which controls Thormil (or a deepspawned Thormil clone?) instead, using Thormil as a method to collect information and gather wealth, using this wealth to defend itself from pesky adventurers or to simply buy itself more exotic foodstuffs? Perhaps it even has more sinister motivations and is slowly introducing addictive or toxic substances into the cattle clones.

[/Ayrik]
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  15:05:58  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
The Darkhold is known to drop deepspawn near trade routes to disrupt supply lines while they operate with no problems so that is another instance of what would have to be allied deepspawn. I had considered using a deepspawn as the source for flying mounts at Give Me Wings to Fly in Iriaebor. But, the difficulties of keeping a deepspawn captive pushed me to go with a Waterdeep/Nimbral connection instead (it also dovetails nicely into events in Nimbral at that time). If a deepspawn can produce anything it has eaten, what if the one you captured had eaten part of a beholder? Or a dragon. Or any of a multitude of other things that would make it impossible to keep under control.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  16:27:22  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I've never personally been one who was much for the polymorph lines of spells (even though I get how highly effective they can be), but this makes me wonder about the versatility of permanently changing something into a deepspawn (like a cow) that never would have eaten another creature, and then feeding it something you want to duplicate repeatedly. It may or may not be possible depending on edition of the game, but its an interesting idea.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  16:47:03  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I've never personally been one who was much for the polymorph lines of spells (even though I get how highly effective they can be), but this makes me wonder about the versatility of permanently changing something into a deepspawn (like a cow) that never would have eaten another creature, and then feeding it something you want to duplicate repeatedly. It may or may not be possible depending on edition of the game, but its an interesting idea.



Now, THAT is an interesting idea I had not considered. What if a wizard used polymorph magic somewhere between Polymorph Self (too short a duration and cannot turn into a size H creature) and Shapechange (too short a duration) to turn themselves into a deepspawn and then generate their survitor creatures that way. They would be 100% loyal to the wizard no matter his form. It could also be used to create creatures for sell or for harvesting blood, skin, etc for research. Plus, there is no chance that the deepspawn would be uncooperative and it would only be there for 1 to 4 days at a time so chance of discovery is lessened.

Edit: Looking into this scenario more, perhaps the spell would be similar to the 5th level Drow spell Wonderform.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents

Edited by - TheIriaeban on 19 Jul 2021 17:43:57
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  21:03:40  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

I've never personally been one who was much for the polymorph lines of spells (even though I get how highly effective they can be), but this makes me wonder about the versatility of permanently changing something into a deepspawn (like a cow) that never would have eaten another creature, and then feeding it something you want to duplicate repeatedly. It may or may not be possible depending on edition of the game, but its an interesting idea.



Now, THAT is an interesting idea I had not considered. What if a wizard used polymorph magic somewhere between Polymorph Self (too short a duration and cannot turn into a size H creature) and Shapechange (too short a duration) to turn themselves into a deepspawn and then generate their survitor creatures that way. They would be 100% loyal to the wizard no matter his form. It could also be used to create creatures for sell or for harvesting blood, skin, etc for research. Plus, there is no chance that the deepspawn would be uncooperative and it would only be there for 1 to 4 days at a time so chance of discovery is lessened.

Edit: Looking into this scenario more, perhaps the spell would be similar to the 5th level Drow spell Wonderform.



I'm exceptionally curious on this as well, but I don't have the cycles right now to hunt down all the various permutations of types of polymorph. If you DO find one that lets you effectively become a creature with all its attendant abilities (the spell shapechange may work in some editions), it would be interesting to note. That being said, for stuff like this individual wanted (producing numerous "prize pegasi" or "griffin cavalry" or even just cattle for the slaughter) it might be better to convert a cow..... and now I'm tickled with the idea of having a cow converted into a deepspawn to eat another cow to produce cattle....

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TomCosta
Forgotten Realms Designer

USA
968 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  22:00:23  Show Profile Send TomCosta a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wasn't there a group in 2E's Skullport that had a captive Deepspawn that generated monsters for sale? It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. Perhaps, to their aberrant minds this seems like some sort of fun or a way to pervert the real world.
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SaMoCon
Senior Scribe

USA
403 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  23:13:08  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

... It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. ...

IMO, writers using the Rule of Cool instead of what would make sense in the setting. I have always been disappointed with the jarring dissonance between descriptions of super-humanly intelligent beings and how they are used in stories where they behave in truly idiotic and predictable ways that belie both their capacity for thought and reasoning. Thinking through the ramifications does not seem to matter as much as what the writers think is "kewl!" at that moment. This is just one of many instances that you, I, or every other reader can point out as deeply contradictory and flawed. *shrugs* That is just the nature of intellectual products for profitable consumption that have multiple authors, and no single executive with artistic integrity whom is in charge of the narrative with the power to stop the entire process if something does not make sense.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 19 Jul 2021 :  23:38:56  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Wasn't there a group in 2E's Skullport that had a captive Deepspawn that generated monsters for sale? It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. Perhaps, to their aberrant minds this seems like some sort of fun or a way to pervert the real world.



Well IF you can use shapechanging magics to convert (since I've been using it as an example) a cow into a deepspawn with its attendant abilities.... but still pretty much a cow's mind.... again, I know regular polymorph in most editions doesn't come with the attendant powers, but higher level magics may (shapechange mabye?).

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  00:47:16  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

Wasn't there a group in 2E's Skullport that had a captive Deepspawn that generated monsters for sale? It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. Perhaps, to their aberrant minds this seems like some sort of fun or a way to pervert the real world.



I had to look that up. The group doesn't just generate monsters for sale. They breed deepspawn so that high end buyers can populate their dungeons, etc with creatures. Of course, deepspawn are expensive (10,000+ gp) so your garden variety bandit lord isn't going to have more than two.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  01:36:53  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

... It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. ...

IMO, writers using the Rule of Cool instead of what would make sense in the setting. I have always been disappointed with the jarring dissonance between descriptions of super-humanly intelligent beings and how they are used in stories where they behave in truly idiotic and predictable ways that belie both their capacity for thought and reasoning. Thinking through the ramifications does not seem to matter as much as what the writers think is "kewl!" at that moment. This is just one of many instances that you, I, or every other reader can point out as deeply contradictory and flawed. *shrugs* That is just the nature of intellectual products for profitable consumption that have multiple authors, and no single executive with artistic integrity whom is in charge of the narrative with the power to stop the entire process if something does not make sense.



IIRC, Ed created deepspawn precisely to make dungeons and such make more sense. Dungeons and other ruins are often crawling with more nastybads than would logically make sense -- or ones that would otherwise be out of place. Add in a deepspawn spitting out these monsters, and it makes sense.

Having them super-intelligent does seem odd, though. Them being aberrant creatures balances that out somewhat, but I'd prefer them to be not much smarter than the average person.

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Blademaster
Acolyte

Canada
5 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  01:40:46  Show Profile Send Blademaster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
From Volo's Guide to the North. There is a captive deepspawn in Noanar's Hold. The mages there feed it stags, owlbears, elk, bears, and other forest game for hunting to ensure that there is good hunting for the nobles and wealthy.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  02:34:05  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

quote:
Originally posted by TomCosta

... It begs the question of how this happens to such a relatively powerful creature. ...

IMO, writers using the Rule of Cool instead of what would make sense in the setting. I have always been disappointed with the jarring dissonance between descriptions of super-humanly intelligent beings and how they are used in stories where they behave in truly idiotic and predictable ways that belie both their capacity for thought and reasoning. Thinking through the ramifications does not seem to matter as much as what the writers think is "kewl!" at that moment. This is just one of many instances that you, I, or every other reader can point out as deeply contradictory and flawed. *shrugs* That is just the nature of intellectual products for profitable consumption that have multiple authors, and no single executive with artistic integrity whom is in charge of the narrative with the power to stop the entire process if something does not make sense.



IIRC, Ed created deepspawn precisely to make dungeons and such make more sense. Dungeons and other ruins are often crawling with more nastybads than would logically make sense -- or ones that would otherwise be out of place. Add in a deepspawn spitting out these monsters, and it makes sense.

Having them super-intelligent does seem odd, though. Them being aberrant creatures balances that out somewhat, but I'd prefer them to be not much smarter than the average person.



Agreed. If they are are simply "monster copiers", have them be of Average Int and Lawful Neutral. They are willing to make deals with whomever to create whatever is agreed upon for the required supply of food and some treasure. You could even have ones that accumulate a specific amount of treasure eat it and then transform into something else. That would give them a desire to work with someone or at least accumulate and then eat the coins/gems of whatever its spawn kills.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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TBeholder
Great Reader

2407 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  11:04:56  Show Profile Send TBeholder a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Deepspawn are controlled not quite routinely, but often.
For example, there were mentions of Malarites using them to churn out prey animals, IIRC.
And the dwarves for clone troops, back during Spawn Wars. Maybe back then most deepspawn were "domesticated", who knows, it's just that in the later eras vast majority are feral.

People never wonder How the world goes round -Helloween
And even I make no pretense Of having more than common sense -R.W.Wood
It's not good, Eric. It's a gazebo. -Ed Whitchurch
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Gary Dallison
Great Reader

United Kingdom
6360 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  11:17:10  Show Profile Send Gary Dallison a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Maybe the one in Ed's article was unique and super intelligent, while the rest are a little slow.

Perhaps like dragons they keep increasing in size, power, and intellect with age so the young ones are pretty dim.

The one thing in all the RAS novels i liked was the polymorphy of a humanoid into a hook horror. The longer it was in the form, the more its thought patterns changed to match its biology (which kind of makes sense).

And lastly, while a deepspawn may be super intelligent, that does not necessarily mean it understands our language, or even thinks in the same way we do. It is an abberation and i normally equate that with a far realm influence or warping by pure chaos. So it could be super intelligent and able to see into multiple different dimensions and perceive and interact with different realities (thinking in 5 dimensions and anticipating or predicting the future), but it takes very little notice of our own material dimension and the present, and so to us it looks like it just sits there and eats while spewing out monsters but in reality it is currently cogitating on what will happen in 300 years and where it should place its left tentacle to ensure it gets that prize morsel to wander into its layer (butterfly effect and all that).

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SaMoCon
Senior Scribe

USA
403 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  13:07:41  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert
IIRC, Ed created deepspawn precisely to make dungeons and such make more sense. Dungeons and other ruins are often crawling with more nastybads than would logically make sense -- or ones that would otherwise be out of place...

I swear, the more I find out, the more tarnished the FR becomes in my eyes. In a fantasy land populated with industrious creatures of all kinds that have little to no defenses against the various nasty-bads that can swoop down from the sky or charge unimpeded through the foliage and wide-open spaces of the surface world, why must such a creature be the main reason for what would otherwise be underground dwellings & redoubts that fall into disuse and become dungeons? The needs for secrecy, valuable materials, protection, and survival have caused many RW people around the world to excavate vast networks below ground - and here there be no dragons. All the races that do not do well in the sun, all the races that are persecuted by the dominant civilizations in their locality, and all the races that have something to gain by digging beneath the surface can create more dungeons with with story based needs of greater innovations and variety than... I'm just abandoning this line of thought before I quit the setting. Why they exist in the first place is immaterial to this scroll, anyway.

The OP cited an article for a mind controlled deepspawn, and wondered at the implications of a profitable deep-spawn cloning venture (DSCV). The resulting responses show that there are several DSCVs and that such operations are proliferating. Putting the handwavium aside about the "hows," the fact that hyper-intelligent beings are put to use this way is both horrific and mind boggling. Any argument made to say that deepspawn are brainiacs in some higher dimension inaccessible to PCs in play is akin to saying that each bovine specimen in a herd is just the worldly shell of a godly being acting with cosmic power across multiple dimensions but here is no different than any other specimen of cattle but if the shell dies so too does the god. A PC killing a cow-shell god has not defeated a "CR=infinity" deity because that was not what they were interacting with. Either these rules and descriptions for deepspawn in play are legal with expected behaviors for their stat blocks or the very rules by which we are expected to play are untrustworthy because of things that are both incomprehensible and have nothing to do with game play.

Going back to what the OP inquired about, I don't think a ring of sustenance would suffice for deepspawns' production. The ring of sustenance would merely keep the lights on and power going to the machinery of the factory - the materials still need to be brought in before products can be churned out. Wearers merely do not acquire any detrimental effects from lack of nourishment and/or rest while the ring of sustenance is in use.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  19:07:52  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Looking at this a bit more from the angle that the deepspawn is the larval stage for some other creature, I did notice a similarity: deepspawn have a 77% magic resistance and phaerimm have a 77% magic resistance to petrification or polymorph. What if deepspawn eventually turn into phaerimm? That means you would have these people "farming deepspawn" are actually actively aiding in their own eventual destruction. That would be a delightful bit of Karma/irony. Of course, no one knows this because no one survives at that location once the transformation into a phaerimm happens.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

My FR writeups - http://www.mediafire.com/folder/um3liz6tqsf5n/Documents
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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  20:12:19  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Looking at this a bit more from the angle that the deepspawn is the larval stage for some other creature, I did notice a similarity: deepspawn have a 77% magic resistance and phaerimm have a 77% magic resistance to petrification or polymorph. What if deepspawn eventually turn into phaerimm? That means you would have these people "farming deepspawn" are actually actively aiding in their own eventual destruction. That would be a delightful bit of Karma/irony. Of course, no one knows this because no one survives at that location once the transformation into a phaerimm happens.



If the deepspawn was a larval phaerimm, I'd expect the adult phaerimm to retain at least some sort of similar ability -- even if it's just spitting out one critter once a week.

Though it does make me think that maybe deepspawn were engineered for that specific ability... Though I'm more thinking Batrachi, as the originators.

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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 20 Jul 2021 :  23:01:38  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

Looking at this a bit more from the angle that the deepspawn is the larval stage for some other creature, I did notice a similarity: deepspawn have a 77% magic resistance and phaerimm have a 77% magic resistance to petrification or polymorph. What if deepspawn eventually turn into phaerimm? That means you would have these people "farming deepspawn" are actually actively aiding in their own eventual destruction. That would be a delightful bit of Karma/irony. Of course, no one knows this because no one survives at that location once the transformation into a phaerimm happens.



If the deepspawn was a larval phaerimm, I'd expect the adult phaerimm to retain at least some sort of similar ability -- even if it's just spitting out one critter once a week.

Though it does make me think that maybe deepspawn were engineered for that specific ability... Though I'm more thinking Batrachi, as the originators.



They are both resistant to magic, very intelligent, have multiple limbs, and are physically similar (one is a sphere with a mouth and the other is a cone with a mouth). I am thinking that the final act is for a phaerimm to burst out of the deepspawn with the deepspawn dead and its intelligence now in the phaerimm. Being able to reproduce creatures doesn't follow from one form to the next.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2021 :  05:10:55  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

They are both resistant to magic, very intelligent, have multiple limbs, and are physically similar (one is a sphere with a mouth and the other is a cone with a mouth). I am thinking that the final act is for a phaerimm to burst out of the deepspawn with the deepspawn dead and its intelligence now in the phaerimm. Being able to reproduce creatures doesn't follow from one form to the next.



Sorry, I don't see it. I think this is another case of reading too much into superficial similarities.

Lots of stuff is resistant to magic, very intelligent, has multiple limbs, and isn't related in any way to deepspawn or phaerimm.

Beholders are very intelligent spheres with mouths, and their eyestalks are like limbs. They're not resistant to magic, but they can cancel it out. It's pretty safe to assume, though, that they are not connected to deepspawn.

Also, the reproductive information we have on phaerimm doesn't even imply that their larval state is anything other than a little phaerimm.


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TheIriaeban
Master of Realmslore

USA
1289 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2021 :  14:18:16  Show Profile Send TheIriaeban a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban

They are both resistant to magic, very intelligent, have multiple limbs, and are physically similar (one is a sphere with a mouth and the other is a cone with a mouth). I am thinking that the final act is for a phaerimm to burst out of the deepspawn with the deepspawn dead and its intelligence now in the phaerimm. Being able to reproduce creatures doesn't follow from one form to the next.



Sorry, I don't see it. I think this is another case of reading too much into superficial similarities.

Lots of stuff is resistant to magic, very intelligent, has multiple limbs, and isn't related in any way to deepspawn or phaerimm.

Beholders are very intelligent spheres with mouths, and their eyestalks are like limbs. They're not resistant to magic, but they can cancel it out. It's pretty safe to assume, though, that they are not connected to deepspawn.

Also, the reproductive information we have on phaerimm doesn't even imply that their larval state is anything other than a little phaerimm.





None of the stuff I have mentions anything about the life cycle of a phaerimm so if there IS something out there that already has it, that would naturally supersede my suggestions. However, I stand behind the logic of a deepspawn "growing" into a phaerimm. They are both aberrations. While there is generally a linkage of abilities/form/functions in normal creature morphologies, that can and should go out the window for abberrations.

"Iriaebor is a fine city. So what if you can have violence between merchant groups break out at any moment. Not every city can offer dinner AND a show."

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Wooly Rupert
Master of Mischief
Moderator

USA
36787 Posts

Posted - 21 Jul 2021 :  14:57:42  Show Profile Send Wooly Rupert a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by TheIriaeban


None of the stuff I have mentions anything about the life cycle of a phaerimm so if there IS something out there that already has it, that would naturally supersede my suggestions. However, I stand behind the logic of a deepspawn "growing" into a phaerimm. They are both aberrations. While there is generally a linkage of abilities/form/functions in normal creature morphologies, that can and should go out the window for abberrations.



So if they are aberrations, why would normal logic apply?

Phaerimm were introduced in FR13 Anauroch. This source very briefly covers their reproduction: they stab someone with their stinger, and implant an egg in that person. If the egg is fertile, it hatches and eventually eats its way out of the victim -- much like some species of wasp.

What that larva looks like isn't discussed, but there's nothing that implies it is anything but a little phaerimm. There's no mention of later changes or it having a non-phaerimm form or anything like that.

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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
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Posted - 21 Jul 2021 :  23:14:46  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Yeah, I wouldn't cross the two. That being said, I wouldn't be surprised if phaerimm created the first deepspawn (anymore than I would be surprised if aboleth or mind flayers or batrachi or drow or duergar or some insane genius derro, etc... created them)

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas
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redking
Learned Scribe

141 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2021 :  16:32:25  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon



The OP cited an article for a mind controlled deepspawn, and wondered at the implications of a profitable deep-spawn cloning venture (DSCV). The resulting responses show that there are several DSCVs and that such operations are proliferating. Putting the handwavium aside about the "hows," the fact that hyper-intelligent beings are put to use this way is both horrific and mind boggling.


Well... deepspawn are aberrations. And perhaps the lesson of intelligent beings getting enslaved for the enrichment of others is that the real monsters are humans. Or something.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon

Going back to what the OP inquired about, I don't think a ring of sustenance would suffice for deepspawns' production. The ring of sustenance would merely keep the lights on and power going to the machinery of the factory - the materials still need to be brought in before products can be churned out. Wearers merely do not acquire any detrimental effects from lack of nourishment and/or rest while the ring of sustenance is in use.



In the game world, the DSCV just makes sense. Even if the ring of sustenance is of limited effect, there are other ways of producing the raw materials needed for deepspawn spawning. I would expect serious venture capital to fund DSCV projects throughout the realms. The advantage of deepspawn cloning is that quality of the product is not left to nature and natural breeding. If you've got a high quality sample of beef, you can replicate it without fail.

Don't even get me started on the utility of deepspawn to royal families and aristocratic families. Its not clear how much of a person a deepspawn must consume to get the template of the creature it must clone, but a few bloodlettings is probably sufficient. A royal family could thusly clone some infant princes and princesses and hold them in reserve in case something happens. Alternatively, these 'quintuplets' could be married off to seal alliances.

Don't forget the good old mindswitch . I find switching my body with the body of someone else kind of disgusting. But the deepspawn clones solve all that. I just get a younger version of myself from the deepspawn, and mindswitch that. That way, when I have children in the future (easy, with my now young body), the kids will actually be mine not some other man's spawn.

I strongly doubt that it will only be evil people involved in DSCVs. Finder, now a demigod, has a very questionable history when it comes to creation of life and he has very few followers, and perhaps only one cleric. That can be fixed by cloning up some clerics via deepspawn. Pretty any organization that wants to be self perpetuating will be a DSCV or a customer of a DSCV.
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2021 :  19:16:55  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
This does bring up one question... and I don't feel like looking it up... what ARE the differences between the "spawn" and the real thing? I know there was something, but again, just don't feel like looking. But to RedKing's point, if they aren't "the same" there might be reasons why people aren't doing some of the above tricks.

For instance, I'd imagine its not documented, but I bet you can't breed the spawn of a deepspawn to produce new offspring. I would bet they are "born" sterile.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 23 Jul 2021 19:18:06
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SaMoCon
Senior Scribe

USA
403 Posts

Posted - 23 Jul 2021 :  19:35:24  Show Profile Send SaMoCon a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by redking

Don't even get me started on the utility of deepspawn to royal families and aristocratic families. Its not clear how much of a person a deepspawn must consume to get the template of the creature it must clone, but a few bloodlettings is probably sufficient. A royal family could thusly clone some infant princes and princesses and hold them in reserve in case something happens. Alternatively, these 'quintuplets' could be married off to seal alliances.

Don't forget the good old mindswitch . I find switching my body with the body of someone else kind of disgusting. But the deepspawn clones solve all that. I just get a younger version of myself from the deepspawn, and mindswitch that. That way, when I have children in the future (easy, with my now young body), the kids will actually be mine not some other man's spawn.

You are aware that the spawn are 100% loyal to the Deepspawn. Not even magic, the penultimate of handwaviums in fantasy settings, can overcome that. That part about being devoured is to make a copy of the creature - the whole creature including skill sets and abilities as well as vital organs. The entirety of lore and game materials should not have to be written in legalese for us to understand the authors' intent. I read that entry and came away with the understanding of "fatally consumed" for the purposes of the game. If any sage here has a different interpretation for how "devoured" works in the context of the Deepspawn's monster description, the floor is yours.

You want a younger version of one's character without becoming the pawn of... how'd you describe it?
quote:
Well... deepspawn are aberrations...
Yes, that. There is a spell called Clone which creates an identical body for that will immediately accept the soul of one's character to become that character and only requires one cubic inch of viable flesh (not blood, bone, hair, scales, or starting to rot flesh) for the production.

If the Deepspawn were so easy to control, then why do the Zhentarim, who can capture and relocate them to harass their rivals, not use them for themselves? My guess is that the Zhents see the costs and risks of having a DSCV far outweighs the benefits.

Make the best use of the system that's there, then modify the mechanics that don't allow you to have the fun you are looking for.
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redking
Learned Scribe

141 Posts

Posted - 24 Jul 2021 :  10:59:32  Show Profile Send redking a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by sleyvas

This does bring up one question... and I don't feel like looking it up... what ARE the differences between the "spawn" and the real thing? I know there was something, but again, just don't feel like looking. But to RedKing's point, if they aren't "the same" there might be reasons why people aren't doing some of the above tricks.

For instance, I'd imagine its not documented, but I bet you can't breed the spawn of a deepspawn to produce new offspring. I would bet they are "born" sterile.



Ed affirms that they are completely normal creatures of their type. I speculated about the effects of spawn breeding on this thread.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon
You are aware that the spawn are 100% loyal to the Deepspawn. Not even magic, the penultimate of handwaviums in fantasy settings, can overcome that.


In 2E it was indeed the case that magic could not turn a spawn against its deepspawn creator. That opens up a whole can of worms about exactly how magic interacts with the spawn. In 3.5e, this is handled much more elegantly. "Spawn are fanatically loyal to the deepspawn that spawned them and willingly fight to the death to defend it". The best way to handle it in 3.5e is to set the attitude of the spawn to 'fanatic' when directly defending the deepspawn creator, and to consider all orders to undermine or attack the deepspawn under a compulsion effect, such as dominate person, to be against its nature. "Subjects resist this control, and any subject forced to take actions against its nature receives a new saving throw with a +2 bonus".

When it comes to loyalty to the deepspawn, the deepspawn doesn't have a psychic link with its spawn. There are ways of making the spawn unaware of the existence of the deepspawn. Alternatively, a deepspawn under thrall of mind controlling magic would not be able to order its spawn to liberate it anyway.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoCon
The entirety of lore and game materials should not have to be written in legalese for us to understand the authors' intent. I read that entry and came away with the understanding of "fatally consumed" for the purposes of the game. If any sage here has a different interpretation for how "devoured" works in the context of the Deepspawn's monster description, the floor is yours.


Devoured is indeed the term used in 2E. "Physically consumed" are the words used in 3.5e. And you may be right that a deepspawn may have to completely, or almost completely, consume a creature to be able to clone it.

quote:
Originally posted by SaMoConIf the Deepspawn were so easy to control, then why do the Zhentarim, who can capture and relocate them to harass their rivals, not use them for themselves? My guess is that the Zhents see the costs and risks of having a DSCV far outweighs the benefits.


Yes. A deepspawn could potentially stir up a lot of trouble if it was able to liberate itself and get into contact with its spawn. A well-run DSCV would have the spawn located very far away from its deepspawn creator.

In 3.5, the awaken undead spell opens up another possibility. Kill a deepspawn and cast animate dead, making a deepspawn zombie. Then cast awaken undead. Awakened undead get their Extraordinary Abilities (Ex) back, and Spawn (Ex) is a Extraordinary Ability. I can only speculate about the effects that the necromantic energies might have on the spawn. Half-undead template, perhaps?

Clearly, the best DSCV is one in which the spawn have very little latitude for autonomy. The animal breeding venture of this Thormil, for example, or sentient beings being bred for the slave markets of slave holding societies - or even for food for mind flayers, for vile DSCVs.
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Delnyn
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USA
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Posted - 25 Jul 2021 :  14:40:06  Show Profile Send Delnyn a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Just a whimsical thought. Envision the Zhentarim-allied beholders possessing a thrall deepspawn that spawns its own Manshoon clones.
The clones are loyal to the deepspawn, who in turn obeys the beholders.
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2021 :  16:20:29  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the look back on that thread from 9 years ago. It brings me back to a question from back then that bears on THIS conversation... what if a deepspawn of say 14 HD were fed a deepspawn of say 11 HD and the 11 HD deepspawn were fed a 8 HD deepspawn and then refed BACK to the original. Now, the "14 HD" deepspawn can produce an 11 HD deepspawn that can immediately begin spewing out 8 HD deepspawn. Within a few weeks, there might be a few dozen deepspawn.

Secondarily, the idea that the "spawn" can breed, and may have been used by the dwarves to increase their population is an interesting one. I honestly don't know if I like that or not. Deepspawn are already powerful, but if you were to say introduce a deepspawn that can introduce, as an example, rabbits that can then breed new rabbits (or chickens or something else that's relatively fast breeding).... the effects on a world would be very devastating. Having these beings being born sterile and also without a soul capable of going to the afterlife (which opens up another can of worms, I realize) is the way to go I feel. Maybe they somehow "draw life force" from the surrounding land itself, and eventually a deepspawn creates dead zones if they just stay in one place recreating life too much. Just some ideas to think on to make them part of the magical "ecosystem".

Oh, and while I had always had an inkling of this being used for slavery purposes..... one idea just popped in my head that works for a particularly gruesome punishment in old Thay. Captured prisoners sentenced to a life of slavery in the mines might be fed to a deepspawn. Their very short life spans (because working the mines is dangerous) might then be continually repeated. They obviously would only do this with the most resilient of potential slaves.

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 25 Jul 2021 16:24:50
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Ayrik
Great Reader

Canada
7981 Posts

Posted - 25 Jul 2021 :  21:18:05  Show Profile Send Ayrik a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Just a whimsical thought. Envision the Zhentarim-allied beholders possessing a thrall deepspawn that spawns its own Manshoon clones.
The clones are loyal to the deepspawn, who in turn obeys the beholders.
There must be some sort of limit on who/what the deepspawn can duplicate?

Archmages and liches seem powerful enough to avoid being spawned ... or, at least the ones who do get spawned must be very weak, injured, depleted, incompetent knockoffs? Sort of like simulacra, merely a (small) percentage of the original version's actual abilities.

And what of creatures like celestials and fiends and planars and outsiders? In particular the Lawful-aligned sorts? Devils/baatezu are nominally all obedient to Asmodeus, modrons are nominally all obedient to Primus, etc - and this absolute, intrinsic loyalty/obedience to their alignment is the source of their power, it's what links them to the fundamental essence of their plane. A deepspawned devil would be a cheap fake, no?

Indeed, a deepspawned dragon would also arguably be a cheap fake, since it lacks the essential "anima" (soul/spirit) of a true dragon, it's not a true dragon with a true connection to draconic heritage and magic.

It's just Made In Chinadark garbage. Looks good on the surface. Readily available at low cost. Plus free shipping. Seems like a great deal.
But actual usage reveals that it lacks real quality. It lacks real substance under the surface. Cheap junk which breaks or fails too quickly.

[/Ayrik]

Edited by - Ayrik on 25 Jul 2021 21:22:52
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11770 Posts

Posted - 26 Jul 2021 :  02:30:26  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Ayrik

quote:
Originally posted by Delnyn

Just a whimsical thought. Envision the Zhentarim-allied beholders possessing a thrall deepspawn that spawns its own Manshoon clones.
The clones are loyal to the deepspawn, who in turn obeys the beholders.
There must be some sort of limit on who/what the deepspawn can duplicate?

Archmages and liches seem powerful enough to avoid being spawned ... or, at least the ones who do get spawned must be very weak, injured, depleted, incompetent knockoffs? Sort of like simulacra, merely a (small) percentage of the original version's actual abilities.

And what of creatures like celestials and fiends and planars and outsiders? In particular the Lawful-aligned sorts? Devils/baatezu are nominally all obedient to Asmodeus, modrons are nominally all obedient to Primus, etc - and this absolute, intrinsic loyalty/obedience to their alignment is the source of their power, it's what links them to the fundamental essence of their plane. A deepspawned devil would be a cheap fake, no?

Indeed, a deepspawned dragon would also arguably be a cheap fake, since it lacks the essential "anima" (soul/spirit) of a true dragon, it's not a true dragon with a true connection to draconic heritage and magic.

It's just Made In Chinadark garbage. Looks good on the surface. Readily available at low cost. Plus free shipping. Seems like a great deal.
But actual usage reveals that it lacks real quality. It lacks real substance under the surface. Cheap junk which breaks or fails too quickly.



One thing I noted on that OTHER thread from 9 years back that redking referenced, there is a hit dice limit to what a deepspawn can produce (and thinking on that... the statement I just stated above would need some curbing). Basically CR6 creatures or less is their limit of ability. That's in 3.5e CR's as well (which 5e CR's I'd put the CR limit even lower, as I note 5e doesn't give very much a high CR).

So, as I see it, no copying liches. No eating Manshoon's dormant clone and making Manshoon. However, you could make a herd of pegasi (CR3) or griffons (cr 4), or even wyverns (cr6) etc... for a cavalry. Dragons though should be pretty much out.

I also agree with the idea of copies being "lesser"... they should be... just for game balance reasons. Now HOW should they be is worth discussing. The first thing I mentioned that I don't think many folks would have a problem with... making them sterile. Mind you redking had a good story in that other thread with dwarves using deepspawn to replenish their race (I'd put that more on derro than dwarves though, as I don't see dwarves feeding their womenfolk to deepspawn to make more of them... its just immoral beyond belief in my view to dwarven ethics). Beyond making them sterile though, not sure what else to do. Maybe they have a shorter lifespan/age faster (so whereas a standard pegasi might live 25-30 years, of which maybe 15-20 years they can be used as mounts.... maybe a spawned pegasi is only viable for 5 years). For someone looking to raise an army fast, rapid aging wouldn't be too horrible of a problem. It would also make a "regular" breeder more viable for someone who wants to raise a herd of pegasi that they will use for an extended time of a decade or more.

What else besides sterility and rapid aging might you want to add to "spawn"? I mean, you don't want to reduce their hit dice or their ability scores or their abilities necessarily. Are there other things one might do? I mentioned above the idea that they might be drawing this "life force" to create new life from the surrounding countryside, so having a deepspawn in the area might not be good for the ecosystem. Anything else?

a copy from that thread detailing what the spawning ability was since it was well written.

**************************
Spawn (Ex): A deepspawn is usually encountered with one
to three of its spawn—monsters of CR 4 to 6. Spawn are
fanatically loyal to the deepspawn that spawned them and
willingly fight to the death to defend it. To determine what
kind of spawn accompanies any given deepspawn, roll d% and
consult Table 11–1.

TABLE 11–1: DEEPSPAWN SPAWN
d% Spawn
01–15 Displacer beast (CR 4)
16–30 Minotaur (CR 4)
31–40 Manticore (CR 5)
41–50 Troll (CR 5)
51–60 Digester (CR 6)
61–70 Ettin (CR 6)
71–100 NPC adventurer, level 1d3+3 (see page 110 of the
Dungeon Master’s Guide)

A deepspawn can spawn only creatures identical to those
it has physically consumed. Each spawn possesses even
the learned abilities (such as class level, skills, and
spells known) of the original but retains only
dim memories of its former life. Only Large or
smaller corporeal, living creatures native to
the Material Plane can be spawned. After
spawning, a deepspawn must wait 4d6
days before doing so again.


That makes it clear to me that the cap on a deepspawn's is CR6, and even if it eats a 20th level sorcerer, the copy will only be CR6 maximum.

Deepspawn are certainly able to make copies over and over of the same creature.

Interestingly, LEoF does provide for advancement for deepspawn.

Advancement: 15–27 HD (Huge); 28–42 HD (Gargantuan)


Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Edited by - sleyvas on 26 Jul 2021 02:32:42
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