Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Dungeon Pheromone Types

Started reading about this when saw doco on lamprey infestation of the great lakes and how pheromones helped beat them. Developing things that attract females and others that scare them made a push pull plan that helped beat them. After reducing fish stocks by 90% the slimy horrors had to be stopped. If only people had thought of eating them like Romans did who depleted most of them in Europe and possible farmed them (how they fed them i don't know). Ive used lamprey men in dungeons so this might be handy....

In my Xor setting pheromones are a common potion type and often keyed for specific purposes so a d100 table will be provided below of interesting ones. In other settings pheromones and scent based chemicals could be useful. Planet Psychon would work fine.

Druids and animals - 
pheromones as text
As I wrote about along time ago Druids learning animal languages can also read animal scents and possibly some skilled hunters might do this to a lesser degree. Scent marks are like writing for animals or at least graffiti. A fluent animal scent reader can identify the gender and health of scent maker and can tell if they are a dominant pack member and how big there territory is and how often they patrol. It could be annoying that your cat man follower rubs himself on every door frame and pisses briefly every intersection but they sure know when they come across their own or others scents which can be handy.

Goblins could be 
pheromones sensitives
They leave territorial scents and even barracks might be scented for goblin caste or status. When a goblin tribe reaches a certain size the chief develops more HD and his immediate elite followers grow bigger. Possibly hobgoblins and bugbears develop or pheromones in a concentration cause goblins to become cannibals and then  morph into new forms. Goblin creches might release a calming effect to stop cannibalism. Goblin tunnels might have chemical trails marked for long trecks and trade routes. A well traveled trail feels safe. A weak one way trail scares goblins as it might be a monster lair.  Concentrations of goblins might effect their aggression or reproductive 
pheromones. Some pheromones might trigger mutations or adaptions to new environments. When you kill goblins their blood gives off pheromones that warn others making them retreat women and young and enraging leaders and warriors. Being covered with their blood might make things worse. Elves might manipulate goblin pheromones to enslave them or settle them as barriers between elfland and human lands. Elves might control their aggression and breeding output or use to mutate certain strains. Possibly demons or chaos things might manipulate goblins this way. Bugbears and hobgoblins odours might make goblins submissive or wary.

Some Common Pheranome Types
Necromones - released on death makes others afraid (or other species hungry)
Calming - makes species relax, possibly released when submissive or mothers 
Trail - like ants might leave markers, common trails read as safe, one way as risky
Territorial - mark borders of a territory of group or a gender or individual
Royal - leaders produce scents to command their followers
Sex - arousing odours or signals to atract mates
Signal - modifies behavior typically makes more sexually receptive or defencive
Primer - trigger physiological developments or mutations 
or suppress others from breeding
Epideictic - tell other females not to lay eggs or breed here
Alarm - alerts group to danger some might be specific like fire, intruder, boss in danger
Aggression - makes colony ready for war, flood, or disaster
Aggregation - makes come together for breeding or other purposes
Releaser - alters behavior for example mother rabbits use to make babies nurse
Recognition - detect own tribe or detect close kin to avoid inbreeding
Marking - mark some eggs as queen and others as drones or other uses

Hostile Species use of pheromones
Some species use pheromones to disguise themselves and infiltrate a colony
Some might alter behavior of a colony for own game
Some might use as lures for traps
Follow prey trails or set up ambushes on trails
Prey may recognise and fear predictor scents
Parasites rewire prey to be attracted to predator scents to pass themselves in food chain

Physiological Changes From 
Plants if alarmed might produce toxins or tannin to make themselves taste bad
Mole rat queens suppress puberty in other females so only they breed
Colonies might produce specialists like more soldiers or specific workers

Pheromone Potions
Alchemists might be able to extract pheromones and possibly shamans especially non human ones might be able to make or uses a few types of pheromones. A druid being a shapeshifter would find it easier to create potions based on their first hand knowledge. On Xor or Psychon specialist pheromone potion users would be more common. Some creatures might leave scent trails or musk or urine or feces or organs like glands that easily make potions. Tears, sweat and other fluids might be source of potions.

Potions vary in prices from cheap from wild shamen and druids who use them often, but mostly they are rare and expensive. People apply them to themselves or near dungeon air intakes. Scent carries at least 100 yards in a dungeon and becomes intense to recipients to within 30 yards. When applied outdoors the air may carry the scent up to 100 to 300 yards or more but if the air is still or the wrong direction only about 30 yards. Outdoors intense reactions are only 10 yards. Recipients might get a save with milder contact but none with intense dose. Some especially primers need contact. Royal types need to be eaten.

Versions that effect animals work on normal size and giant size versions or beast men versions and possibly magical hybrids

Potions are highly refined and function differently to natural pheranomes

Feel free to replace species rolled with something similar or suitable for environment

Very Common Potion 30gp
Common Potion 100gp
Uncommon 300gp
Rare 500gp
Very Rare 1000gp

d100 Pheromone Potions
01 Goblin Necronomes make them uncomfortable and start to flee and reduces morale
02 Hobgoblin Necronomes make them violent and warlike with bloodshot eyes
03 Bugbear Necronomes make them hide and prepare ambushes
04 Mindflayer Necronomes make them wary and begin to retreat or hide and call for minions
05 Lamprey Necronomes make them retreat even jump out of the water in blind panic
06 Shark Necronomes make them hungry and look for corpses to eat
07 Goblinoid Calming agents cause them to be more interested in grooming or socializing 
08 Owlbear Calming agents make them fluff up and sit in nests or have a dust bath
09 Rust Monster Calming agents make them feel sated and curl up into slothful state
10 Carrion Crawler Calming agents make them slow into a torpor and lose appetites

11 Gelatinous Cube Calming agent makes them slow to a halt and not react to motion
12 Ochre Jelly Calming agent makes them stop and flatten into bubbly jelly pools

13 Ant Calming agent stops colony states of alarm or aggressive making them sit still 
14 Ant Trail can be used to lure ants into traps or slow them with complex crossings
15 Termite Trail is used to lure termites to wooden structures as act of sabotage
16 Slug Trail makes other slugs stop to eat the trail to see what interesting things rivals eat
17 Carrion Crawler Trail makes other crawlers follow in hopes of stealing rival victims
18 Gnome Trail makes gnomes follow the trails marching in line and sing songs 
19 Green Slime Trail lures the slime away to somewhere dangerous to it or a container
20 Feline Territorial scent makes them avoid areas if extracted from larger cats or group
21 Canine Territorial scent makes them avoid areas if extracted from larger pack or animal
22 Bee Territorial scent makes them look elsewhere but might make them prepare for war
23 Kobold Territorial scent makes them rush home and tell chief who sends envoys
24 Orc Territorial scent makes orcs wary, some scout area while rest rush home 
25 Goblin Royal jelly makes a goblin change into a sub chief and a further dose 
26 Bee Royal jelly makes a bee grub grow into a fertile bee queen 
27 Ant Royal jelly makes a bee grub grow into a fertile ant queen 
28 Termite Royal jelly makes a bee grub grow into a fertile termite queen 
29 Dinosaur Royal jelly makes dinosaurs grow extra HD if fed to as baby
30 Leech Sex scent attracts aroused leeches to swarm on target 
31 Goblinoid Sex scent makes goblins constantly aroused and think about horny
32 Hook Horror Sex scent makes them seek a mate, without one they tear themselves apart
33 Beholder Sex scent makes them slobber and drool crying out for a mate
34 Grell Sex scent makes them seek source and entangle it and become aroused 
35 Tiger Beetle Sex scent makes beetles drag chunks of meat to source to seduce a mate
36 Unicorn Sex scent makes unicorns more attracted to virging human females
37 Goblin Signal makes tribal members start cannibalising elderly and weak members
38 Baboon Signal makes lady baboons butts swell up and attract males 
39 Dragon Signal makes them crave humanoid virgins to eat to stimulate their reproduction
40 Owlbear Signal makes owlbears shuffle about on all fours and rub their butts on walls
41 Goblin Primer makes goblins have a chance of mutating into hobgoblins
42 Hobgoblin Primer makes hobgoblins have a chance of mutating into bugbears
43 Hydra Primer makes them grow a extra head
44 Dragon Primer accelerates their development into next growth stage after a binge of food
45 Ogre Primer triggers mutations that make them more hideous 
46 Faun Primer changes them into more magical satyrs
47 Locust Primer changes them into larger (+1HD) carnivorous (d6) cannibal specimens
48 Orc Primer changes orc into a leader which might lead to inter tribal conflict 
49 Slub Primer changes slug to larger +1HD version
50 Troglodyte Primer changes them into a leader type with extra HD
51 Displacer Primer turns a panther into a displacer beast
52 Gnome Primer turns a gnome into a dwarf but they save to resist and try to avoid
53 Mutant Primer stimulates development of new mutations
54 Wasp Epideictic prevents them attacking person covered in scent
55 Carrion Crawler Epideictic prevents them attacking person covered in scent
56 Griffon Epideictic overcomes urge to eat a horse and makes them receptive to mating
57 Ant Alarm triggers colony defenses making them seal doors and hide children 
58 Goblin Alarm makes the colony entrench themselves and seal lair entrances
59  Hobgoblin Alarm makes them ready armour and weapons and prepare tight formations
60 Gremlin Alarm makes colony hysterically flee the area abandoning everything
61 Kobold Alarm makes them retreat to lair while setting and arming traps
62 Dragon Alarm makes them alert and listen and smell for threats and prepare to fight
64 Goblin Aggression drives them crazy bouncing, biting, scratching and screaming
65 Hobgoblin Agression makes them furious, swear and break formation
66 Bugbear Aggression makes them come out of hiding, foaming at the mouth screaming
67 Kobold Aggression makes them over run their own formations and traps towards smell
68 Dragon Aggression makes them angry and violent and initiates a rampage  
69 Swine Aggression makes pig beings grow furious and roam looking for fights
70 Bee Aggression  makes them angry and attack anything in territory or near hive
71 Ape Aggression makes them scream and fight anything or each other if no threats
72 Rat Aggression makes rats crazy attacking any non rat near their lair or the smell
73 Troll Aggression makes them howl and bite each other and themselves in fury
74 Hyena Aggression makes them howl, laugh, snort angrily, and snap at anything  
75 Dwarf Aggression makes them bite their shields and foam at the mouth beserkly 
76 Frog Aggregation attracts frogs of all types in area and often starts them spawning 
77 Locust Aggregation makes them gather into swarm then begin to eat everything
78 Leech Aggregation makes them swarm to mate and then feed
79 Orc Aggregation makes a horde gather and inevitably a leader declares a war
80 Halfling Aggregation makes them assemble for a giant picnick or party
81 Gnome Aggregation makes them hold hounds in ever growing circle dancing and singing
82 Harpy Aggregation makes them swarm over area shitting and vomiting filth and swearing
83 Kobold Aggregation makes them gather with tools and dig a functional dungeon complex
84 Spider Aggregation makes them swarm and cover in web or build nests if not spinners
85 Scorpion Aggregation makes them gather in swarm and challenge each other 
86 Bat Aggregation makes thousands of bats swarm to location squeaking and flapping
87 Shark Aggregation attracts dozens of sharks who swarm mercilessly 
88 Rabbit Releaser makes rabbits swarm thirsty for milk and suck on everything
89 Manticore Releaser makes them stop being jerks and playful like kittens
90 Dragon Releaser makes them want to sit on treasure mounds or nests for days 
91 Goblin Recognition makes them accept you as goblins in community 
92 Ant Recognition makes user seem to be a ant and accepted in colony
93 Leech Recognition makes them not want to drink users blood
94 Ochre Jelly Recognition makes them not devour users
95 Slug Recognition makes them think user is one of their children
96 Dragon Marking makes dragons of same type extracted from mistake user for kin 
97 Spectral Hound Marking lures a interdimensional horror to the marked victim
98 Bee Marking makes them take user to hive and feed royal jelly too
99 Lycanthrope Marking makes them seek to inflict the target with their infection
100 Minotaur Marking makes them attracted to subject and able to follow anywhere

Also see this very Xor compatible stuff from goblin punch
If I mixed my hell with Xor might run parallel to Goblin Punch
Eve our thoughts on devils vs demons are close


  1. Breaking these down into categories was super useful to me, thanks. I have a highly natural/biological setting where pheromones are used regularly.
    Also, Xor is my favorite campaign setting I hope to *never* adventure in, heh. I'd love to inflict it on players someday as a punishing hellscape though.

    1. cheers - most of my table based settings mash together quite well

  2. I really like this!

    How do players interacting with it? Like if a party doesn't have a druid or a cat man, if this going to be "legible" to them? Do the elves think of it this way? Or is this a case of "waiting to be discovered" for the PCs to figure out?

    1. well its like walking around not noticing all the graffiti and not reading the tags and what crews are smashing a area

      a npd or dog might give party a clue - on Xor biological treasures are one of the main points - i will do hormones, nueral peptides and other body fluids will be upcomming


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