Be sure to check out Oblidisideryptch, Micah, Type1Ninja, James Young, Coalfiber, Lexi, Isaak Hill, Ambnz, Chuffer, Martin O,and Wizards' interpretations of the idea of a "Parasite Race-as-class"!
In space, there are effectively infinite forms of life if you look long and far enough. Herbivores, Carnivores, Psychevores, and of course, Parasites.
The parasite form we will be discussing today is the Biocon, which is to say a Biological Conjoint Organism. Much debate has been had over whether they're more accurately referred to as a sleeve, suit, or other synonym for a piece of clothing OR as a disease, affliction, or condition that creatures suffer from. At the end of the day, everyone recognizes them as an organism.
Biocons are a species of parasite that was recently discovered in the core of a dead star on the outer reaches of the Colonized Systems. After a frightening first encounter, the crew of fuel miners credited with the discovery had become Joined, as it is called. Biocons are capable of sapient thought, and are very committed to the survival of themselves and their host. This doesn't extend to describing the host's new lifespan, however. They are capable shapeshifters, and can produce any biological or thaumaturgical effect their host can describe to them.
Very little formal research has been conducted on the effects of Joining, for a couple of reasons:
1. The superhuman feats capable when Joined make it unlikely for most folks to willingly lay down and be studied. If you could suddenly leap tall buildings in a single bound, would you want to get studied in invasive, possibly lethal ways, for the benefit of science?
2. At the end of its currently perceivable lifespan, Biocons kill their host. Resurrection of the original Joined soul is presently impossible. Research in this vector is underway.
There are no known cases of a Joined lifeform surviving longer than 2 years, and that person had an extremely sedentary lifestyle. The many cases of.. enterprising Joined lead much shorter lives. Adventurers certainly won't make it longer than a little while.
Biocon 1. Joined, Manifestation, Fatal Maturation
Biocon 2. +1 Manifestation, + 1 HD
Biocon 3. +1 Manifestation, + 1 HD
Biocon 4. The Brightest Candle, +1 Manifestation, + 1 HD
Starting Equipment: Biocon Manifestation ([level]*2 slots), dagger
Skills (d3): 1. Mining, 2. Diplomacy, 3. Wanderer
Hit Die: d8
|A blood elf woman, admiring her newly progressed Biocon.|
Joined: You share your body with a parasitic lifeform known as a Biocon. It's something like dolphin flesh with a thin layer of chitin over the top, sans the hairs. It feeds on your biological processes, and on the very essence of your soul. In turn, it grants you many abilities.
It is a sapient, living creature, and you can communicate with it telepathically. Its personality, goals, and other details are at the GM's discretion. Roll mental stats for the Biocon, and record them separately from your own. Effects that would normally target you are allowed to choose between you and the Biocon. When you gain this level, you can reroll an ability score of your choice and take the higher, as the Biocon naturally shores up your weaknesses.
Manifestation: Your Biocon is malleable, and dedicated to assisting your combined survival. Choose one monster's ability, such as an attack, movement, special ability, size, or other feature. GM has final say. The Biocon can produce this effect at will. It may need to make morale checks, to avoid being stressed out and activating this Manifestation on its own.
Onlookers will certainly need to make morale checks if you do something horrible, like manifest an Illithid's brain eating or a Mind Flayer's eye beam. You suffer a [level] penalty to reaction rolls.
Fatal Maturation: The GM will roll 1d12 secretly. This is your maximum lifespan in months, and unless you find a way to separate the Biocon from you, you will die. You cannot be brought back from this death in any known ways. You may be able to convince your Biocon to divulge this info, but it makes a concentrated effort to encourage you to live your best life. They often see this as information that will be a problem for you.
The Brightest Candle: You are at the end of your rope. Your Biocon has reached maturity, and you are now considered one entity for the purposes of targeting and such. At your whim, you can set the other end of the candle alight. You turn over the last shreds of your control to your Biocon. Your ability scores become 20, and you reduce all damage taken by 5. Your HP also increases to 50. You lose 1 HP each minute, and cannot restore it. When it reaches 0, you die. Irrevocably.
Your body and soul have been burnt up by the Biocon, and it... disappears. Where to? Who knows.
|A birdfolk, possessed by a Biocon that makes them much faster.|
I was going for something like Baoh, Infamous, and other kinds of dangerously powerful parasites. I liked the idea of being able to do cool transformations (and visually, I drew on my favorite pokemon Deoxys' transformations) but didn't want the implementation to be clunky. So, I tossed around the idea of "schools" like wizards, with Manifestation Dice. But, ultimately, I think just stealing stuff from monsters is a lot simpler. But if someone does something like manifestation dice, please tell me. I think that'd be awesome.