New Non-Monstrous Plant/Alchemical Item: Mordax

7 posts / 0 new
Last post
Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture
New Non-Monstrous Plant/Alchemical Item: Mordax

[b]Mordax[/b]
The mordax plant is an odd sort of climbing vine that seems to thrive in extremely acidic bogs where little else might otherwise grow. After taking root, the plant feeds not only to typical nutrients, but also leeches acidity from the soil. It will grow upward by climbing over anything it can. If nothing is present upon which the vine can climb, it will eventually fall under its own weight and continue creeping along the ground as it continues to grow.

Mordax plants are perennials that drop their leaves and seem to die back to bare vines during the colder months, but sprout new growth after a period of dormancy. In an interesting cycle, the mordax does not seem to compete much with other plants. Rather, it actually encourages other plants to grow in its area. As it leeches acidity out of the soil, it creates an environment safe for plant life that would never have been able to take root in such caustic conditions.

Once out of its dormancy, the plant begins to grow fruit, the pomme mordax. Pomme mordax fruit are typically green or purple, depending on ripeness. They begin as small as acorns, but mature to roughly the size of a grapefruit. While the fruit is small and green-colored, it is safe to consume, if a bit bland. Animals eating the green fruit and defecating the seeds within is how the mordax propagates itself.

Once the fruit deepens to a purple color, no animal will touch it. Inside the smooth outer rind is a thick liquid so caustic that it burns almost anything it touches instantly. Near the end of the growing season, the mordax plant will droop under the weight of dozens or even hundreds of pomme mordax and will begin dropping the engorged fruit. This has the effect of disintegrating nearby plant life and re-acidifying the soil. The mordax vine then lives through dormancy on the nutrients of the dissolved plants and begins the cycle again.

[b]Pomme Mordax[/b]
The fruit of the mordax plant, pomme mordax, are typically hard and green as they grow, but begin to soften and deepen into a purple color as they near ripeness. A pomme mordax fruit may be thrown as a splash weapon identical to a flask of acid. The fruit are delicate and begin to break down quickly after being removed from the vine. 1d3 days after being harvested, pomme mordax will burst open, spilling their corrosive contents and dealing 1d6 damage to any creature or object that shares its space.
[i]Market Value[/i]: 2gp

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

The life cycle for this plant is pretty cool. I appreciate the price for a flask of acid being dropped from 10gp to 2gp, owing to the pomme mordax's dangerous deterioration; but even 2gp seems like it might be a little pricey considering you don't actually know how long you have before they explode. It's hard to imagine vendors stocking this anywhere near their other stuff, or even near other pomme mordax.

I think maybe the idea of people selling this fruit when it's overripe doesn't make a lot of sense from a logistical standpoint, no matter how cheap it is.

"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Fair enough. I really don't see this fruit getting stocked by any normal, sane vendor. It's typically gonna be found in bog environments, which aren't where you're gonna find civilization to begin with, and I really don't see much of a market for people to trek into bogs to find and retrieve them for vendors. I suppose the entry could include mention of the use of a spell like [i]gentle repose[/i] to be used as a preservative so the fruit could make it to market. When I had the idea in my head, it really never occurred to me that these would be part of a market economy. Hmmm.

HVB

Maybe a successful know nature check could determine how many days until it "rots". I'm not sure vendors would carry this fruit in shops, but alchemists may have some on hand in a temporary preservative of some kind.

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

HVB wrote:

Maybe a successful know nature check could determine how many days until it "rots". I'm not sure vendors would carry this fruit in shops, but alchemists may have some on hand in a temporary preservative of some kind.

That's not a bad idea. It would be weird if the ripening process was truly random; so if people who know a little bit about plants could have a chance to roll so they don't hurt themselves, it would go a long way.

"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken

Fixxxer
Fixxxer's picture

Alright, here's a second take. New or updated things are underlined.

[b]Mordax[/b]
The mordax plant is an odd sort of climbing vine that seems to thrive in extremely acidic bogs where little else might otherwise grow. After taking root, the plant feeds not only to typical nutrients, but also leeches acidity from the soil. It will grow upward by climbing over anything it can. If nothing is present upon which the vine can climb, it will eventually fall under its own weight and continue creeping along the ground as it continues to grow.

Mordax plants are perennials that drop their leaves and seem to die back to bare vines during the colder months, but sprout new growth after a period of dormancy. In an interesting cycle, the mordax does not seem to compete much with other plants. Rather, it actually encourages other plants to grow in its area. As it leeches acidity out of the soil, it creates an environment safe for plant life that would never have been able to take root in such caustic conditions.

Once out of its dormancy, the plant begins to grow fruit, the pomme mordax. Pomme mordax fruit are typically green or purple, depending on ripeness. They begin as small as acorns, but mature to roughly the size of a grapefruit. While the fruit is small and green-colored, it is safe to consume, if a bit sour. Animals eating the green fruit and defecating the seeds within is how the mordax propagates itself.

[u]Contrary to most other types of plant,[/u] once the fruit deepens to a purple color, no animal will touch it. Inside the smooth outer rind is a thick liquid so caustic that it burns almost anything it touches instantly. Near the end of the growing season, the mordax plant will droop under the weight of dozens or even hundreds of pomme mordax and will begin dropping the engorged fruit. This has the effect of disintegrating nearby plant life and re-acidifying the soil. The mordax vine then lives through dormancy on the nutrients of the dissolved plants and begins the cycle again.

[u][b]Economy[/b]
Mordax plants are rarely found outside of marsh environments. As a result, it's unusual to find pomme mordax available for sale outside of a few very rare rural communities. It is possible to halt the fruit's inevitable decline with the use of [i]gentle repose[/i] spells, but paying for such specialized handling is typically cost prohibitive for most vendors. Alchemists have become something of an exception to this, and some have been willing to pay a very steep price to have seed-bearing fruit delivered to them so they might foster their own domestic mordax plant. Outside of very specific marsh environments, it's difficult to make a mordax plant thrive, and requires constant work to provide the right lighting and soil conditions, but for some alchemists the effort is well worth the reward.[/u]

[b]Pomme Mordax[/b]
The fruit of the mordax plant, pomme mordax, are typically hard and green as they grow, but begin to soften and deepen into a purple color as they near ripeness. A pomme mordax fruit may be thrown as a splash weapon identical to a flask of acid. The fruit are delicate and begin to break down quickly after being removed from the vine. 1d3 days after being harvested, pomme mordax will burst open, spilling their corrosive contents and dealing 1d6 damage to any creature or object that shares its space.

[u]Mature pomme mordax may be used as a reagent for the alchemical crafting of acid. They provide a +5 circumstance bonus to any Craft (alchemy) check used to craft acid. Additionally, the crafter need only pay 1/10 the acid's price for crafting materials instead of 1/3.

[b]Check DCs[/b]
[/u][i]Note: This info will be formatted into an attractive chart in the final product[/i]

[u]Determine immature pomme mordax is safe to eat - Knowledge (nature) DC 13; Survival DC 15.[/u]

[u]Determine mature pomme mordax is unsafe to eat - Knowledge (nature) DC 15; Survival DC 18.[/u]

[u]Determine how long (in days) a harvested mature pomme mordax has until it bursts - Knowledge (nature) DC 15.[/u]

[u]Produce and maintain a healthy environment for a mordax plant to thrive (required weekly) - Knowledge (nature) DC 15.[/u]

MinusInnocence
MinusInnocence's picture

This is much more reasonable and the extra content is a welcome addition.

"Men are the only animals that devote themselves, day in and day out, to making one another unhappy. It is an art like any other. Its virtuosi are called altruists." - H.L. Mencken