Comic 187 - Probably have to fight it

22nd Jul 2018, 8:36 PM in High Roads, Low Roads, Threeroads
Average Rating: 5 (2 votes) Rate this comic
Probably have to fight it
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Author Notes:

Morgenstern 22nd Jul 2018, 8:36 PM edit delete
You take out your shield and wind wand, just to be on the safe side... but you try to talk to the fungal creature.

It does not respond.

"Perhaps it is sleeping on the job," Emmy remarks. "Is that something it would do?"

"Inzo is... not sure mushroomses do the sleeping," the goblin mutters.

You try a little more firmly, and a little louder, to get the mushroom's attention. Still, no reply.

"Hume tried it hume way," Inzo states, pulling a switch. "Now Inzo try it gob way!"

The crab lurches forward, raising one of its claws and preparing to fire a bombardment of volatile bubbles, but just as it does--

the mushroom's spots roll over, revealing luminescent pupils. Inzo shrieks as every one of the fungus' eyes lock upon Inzo, and in that instant

there's a puff of smoke inside the crab mech

and the sound of splashing from behind you.

You and Emerald turn, discovering that a squad of tingly toads has burst out of the water below. You hazard a glance back at Inzo, to see how he's fairing against the mushroom, and--

Inzo is a frog.

"What?," Emerald begins, following up with a far more powerful "WHAT?!"

The mushroom begins trying to shuffle its way toward you, but frogging Inzo didn't move the mech out of the way. The tingly toads, like the ones you met back at the docks, look jumpy and hostile.

Emerald, by contrast, looks both offended and confused. "Why is he a toad now?! Are THESE toads, or were they previously... NOT toads? Am I going to become a toad?!"



Twyll 22nd Jul 2018, 9:04 PM edit delete reply
Uhhhhmmm. Well then. I suspect the best way to deal with the frogs is to have Nast sweep them away with a blast from the wind wand, while Emmy tries to attack the fungus guy. Can she do that by extending a tentacle from behind the mech, so she doesn't expose herself to the Frog effect?
ZincFingers 22nd Jul 2018, 9:19 PM edit delete reply
That seems a solid plan as any, best try to para-touch the fungus as well. That way we can move around a touch more freely.
Korsha 22nd Jul 2018, 9:31 PM edit delete reply
Did it... Medusa stare a frog effect? I expected spores, not that!
Can Emmy be paralyzed? If not, she should prob deal with the frogs, Nast make a tornado on the water by the mushroom, obscure it's vision
Sanityfaerie 22nd Jul 2018, 9:53 PM edit delete reply
Can Emerald be paralyzed? can she be harmed by acid? If not, then for right now, the fungus is stymied. If we have Emerald go after the toads, she should be able to catch them with tentacles as they move in, which wold give her something to munch to maybe improve her paralysis and/or acid, and might give Nast someone to rob.

Side note: perhaps we should hand the bandit's Mask to Emerald when we can. She's the one with the long-range attack form that's based around touching people.
Rent 22nd Jul 2018, 9:58 PM edit delete reply
we should probably check and see if Inzo can talk in his froggy form. Also, we have a frog potion in our inventory. Does anyone remember what it does?
ZincFingers 22nd Jul 2018, 10:04 PM edit delete reply
I would assume it temporarily turns one into a frog. I can’t say what it would do if given to a toad, are goblin-come-toad as the case may be.

It might just turn him from toad to frog, and back again when the potion wears off.

Edit: on a second reading, the goblin is indeed a frog. The potion may still only be a temporary solution to our problem.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jul 2018, 10:42 PM edit delete reply
Following jRPG tropes that potion is a permanent switch because the Frog/Toad spell flips between on and off.

It's our one cure for after we deal with this threat, but if this is the guard at the entrance then I'm not sure we're supposed to be exploring this so early. >.> Maybe we should withdraw and come back later... we'll see.
Lapdragon 22nd Jul 2018, 10:02 PM edit delete reply
Either wind-blast the Toads or wind-slash them to take care of them permanently - Emmy's concern that they may not have always been toads is valid, and this is likely where the toads that we fought earlier came from.

I suspect that the mushroom is not very durable (funguses aren't generally known for extreme toughness), so a tornado directly on top of it might do some damage, and if we can manage some acrobatics with the wand, we alternatively might be able to swing an impromptu Terranado by tornado-ing the ceiling of the cave and then bringing the resulting mess downwards onto the mushroom - it'll probably wreck the floor, but floors are easier to repair than partymembers.

If Inzo can manage any cognitive functions while Toad-ified, would drinking the frog potion reverse the Toad effect? On that thought - if he can manage any functions while toad-ified, then he might want to try to continue working his mech if at all possible, as he's likely now protected from further toading. He's a fairly small goblin to begin with, and it appears that he's now a fairly large toad - he might just be able to work a lever or pedal.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jul 2018, 10:45 PM edit delete reply
I'm all for Wind Blasting the Toads away and setting up a Tornado on the fungus itself. Not sure if we can pull off a Terranado solo, that might be a bit too much.

And I'm guessing that Inzo can't operate his mech while in Frog form. In jRPGs party members turned into Frogs/Toads can't use their equipment, because those can't lift a sword or wear armor (minus a full body helmet? XD) so I'd guess that's the same case here. If not and he can do something, then merely keeping his crab mech between us and the mushroom to block its vision would already be a lot.
Antarean 22nd Jul 2018, 10:13 PM edit delete reply
Emerald *was* paralyzed when we fought the collossapillar, although that wasn't chemical based. At the very least she should be able to get into a paralysis stalemate with the toads, basically her and them continually touching each other and being paralyzed, but this isn't ideal. Maybe create a tornado on top of the toads or in between them and us. Although if Emerald is immune to chemical paralysis, then she just has to use acid touch and let the toads attack her.

Emerald might be able to reach a consentacle around the mech and paralyze the fungus, and Nast might be able to get a slice on it with the wind wand, although it seems like it might be a spell caster which would imply some measure of intelligence, so while defending ourselves we could try shouting at it that we don't want to fight.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jul 2018, 10:51 PM edit delete reply
I am afraid that the mushroom is, indeed, a spellcaster. But we tried talking and got no results. Either it doesn't understand our language, or it's too hostile to care, or both.

I'm also concerned that it can, indeed, turn both Emmy and Nast into toads too, at which point this fight is over. >.> We need to finish it before that happens.
Gandalf 23rd Jul 2018, 2:27 AM edit delete reply
+1 to this: Emmy deals with the toads or at least holds them off, Nast windslashes or tornados the fungus.
Eyebrows 22nd Jul 2018, 10:40 PM edit delete reply
The frogs are likely hallucinations. Kill the mushroom with a wind slash.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jul 2018, 10:49 PM edit delete reply
...... no way are they hallucinations. If we ignore them and everyone gets paralyzed, the battle's over. I'm all for defeating the mushroom before it transforms the rest of our party, but avoiding a stun-lock is the more immediate problem.

Toads aren't very tough, they're just slippery and evasive.
pwzysk 22nd Jul 2018, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
DO NOT look in the fungus thing's eyes. Emmy probably has the best chance of taking it on, being that she can fight without looking by simply tossing tentacles in its general direction and using acid touch or paralyze. Nast should focus on keeping the toads at range with the wind wand. Inzo should stay in the mech and be froggy.
Not a dog 22nd Jul 2018, 11:04 PM edit delete reply
There is the question of if we have to make eye contact, or if the fungus just have to look at us. My interpretation was that fungus staring with *all* eyes = frog, regardless of what the target is looking at.
Lapdragon 23rd Jul 2018, 3:36 AM edit delete reply
Emmy doesn't have eyes at all, actually - but if this is a gaze effect, then the target doesn't need to see the caster's eyes, the caster just needs to be able to see the target - I read up on gaze attacks (Pwzysk is correct).

Whether or not a slime is a valid target for a polymorph curse is another matter entirely, I'm not sure you could even turn a single-celled invertebrate (size be damned) into something as structurally complicated as a frog. I get that we're talking about magic here, but that's one hell of an upgrade - if magic worked that way, then the Archmages wouldn't have been that big a deal, because regular mages could just generate armies out of whatever nearby stones that they could cast a spell at.
MakePeaceAndLove 22nd Jul 2018, 10:55 PM edit delete reply
Those toads are very slippery. But Emmy is a shapeshifter so think like one.

Have her flatten along the wooden floor, covering the entire area. Wherever the toads land, they'll be standing in acid. Then, even if she gets paralyzed, if that doesn't make her suddenly revert shapes (I sure hope not because suddenly pulling together like that would be weird) then she'll still be in position to damage them.

Similarly, to fight the mushroom Emmy can stretch along the floor and touch its feet, and melt it from below, or paralyze it (hopefully it works)... I wonder if she could consume it to gain that froggification effect?

Either way, I'm concerned that this IS a spellcaster. As in, it just cast the Toad/Frog spell on Inzo and can do the same to Emmy and Nast. Maybe it can miss, maybe it's guaranteed, but either way we have to end this fight quickly. Have Nast distract and damage it with the Wind Wand, I'm all for a Tornado on its current position, that proved very effective when we battled the Summoner previously.
Not a dog 22nd Jul 2018, 11:00 PM edit delete reply
If the frogs were both previously not frogs and are currently hostile, then we should assume that they are also under some form of mind control. In other words, if frog Inzo can operator the mech, we should assume he is a threat unless he indicates otherwise.

We could probably destroy the mech with deinforce+ if necessary, but then we could easily lose track of Inzo, and this would be wasteful if either Inzo is not hostile or can't operate the mech as a frog. For now, just be wary and maybe get some space if possible.

If Inzo can show being not hostile, I would have Emmy slip into the mech, protecting her from the other frogs, and try to trick the mushroom into staring at Inzo again.
Guest 22nd Jul 2018, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
I just thought of something else. If frog Inzo is not hostile, can he speak frog. Maybe he can communicate with the other frogs and convince them to back off, or promise to help get them back to normal, if they were previously not-frogs.
Lapdragon 23rd Jul 2018, 3:38 AM edit delete reply
+1 on frog-Inzo trying to communicate with the others if possible.
Xylas_Incarnum 22nd Jul 2018, 11:07 PM edit delete reply
mmmmm... Wait is this mushroom a "magic mushroom"? (purple smoke turned Inzo into a frog apparently. Ugh, typing out magic mushroom made me cringe.)
Sanityfaerie 23rd Jul 2018, 3:10 AM edit delete reply
We've just been hit by a frog blast.

Keep an eye out for vent cores.
Jaesooth the Mad 23rd Jul 2018, 3:14 AM edit delete reply
Someone needs to kiss Inzo. That's how you undo frog transformation curses.
Lapdragon 23rd Jul 2018, 4:19 AM edit delete reply
I just read up on Polymorph attacks (and gaze attacks, but we're too late for that now), and a polymorphed target still retains their intelligence, class, etc, but all of their physical attributes become that of the polymorph appearance.

If Inzo is now a Tingly Toad, we should try to pop the hood of his mech (or he can if he's physically able, as he should still know how) so that he can try paralyzing the Fungal Guard.

This might be a good time to test the offensive potential of our new Abundance spell - if Tingly Paralyze is a chemical attack, then we might be able to either increase its potency, or increase the number of times that Inzo can do it, potentially stun-locking the Fungus. If it's a magic attack, then nothing would happen and we should save our mana.

As to the Gaze attack itself, Emmy should be immune - she has no eyes and doesn't even use normal vision to "see", and gaze attacks apparently require the target to see the attack. As to the nature of the Gaze, I'm guessing that it's a curse (as opposed to a standard polymorph spell). Nast will need to either hide behind the mech at all times, or just concentrate on the toads and let Emmy and Inzo deal with the Fungus. I suspect that he can handle the toads on his own - he's fought them before so he knows most of their tricks, but once he's cleared them out he will have to be careful to keep his gaze averted from the Fungus.

If Inzo lives through this (polymorphs can be fatal, and I don't think Inzo has a hardy constitution), we'll need to get him to Justice or another cleric asap, so that she can decurse him before the effect becomes permanent. I hope if he lives through this that he learns a bit of restraint when engaging new enemies in the future.
Devus 23rd Jul 2018, 7:16 AM edit delete reply
-1 to casting a touch spell on a possibly hostile party member with a new touch attack.
Lapdragon 23rd Jul 2018, 1:33 PM edit delete reply
Unless his mind broke from the shock of being polymorphed, it's still his own mind and he's still Inzo, just frog-shaped.

We can find out easily enough whether he's still "in there", just by asking him to do something specific - hop up onto the dash panel, activate a function on his mech, or something similar.
Devus 23rd Jul 2018, 5:06 PM edit delete reply
That wouldn't tell us whether he's under mental domination or not, just that he still understands english.
GS 23rd Jul 2018, 6:19 AM edit delete reply
It's time for a new combo attack.

Have Nast ready a wide burst of air, a cone if possible.
Let Emerald squirt paralysis juice; the moment she ejects the juice, Nast triggers the cone.

Combo attack: paralysis cloud.

Catch all the toads in the cone before they can jump and zap us.
With the toads out of the way, repeat the process and catch the fungus when its eyes are open.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jul 2018, 9:32 AM edit delete reply
I like the idea of that attack, in principle. I just don't think these toads are a good target for it, as evasive as they are... so +/-0 from me.
JiggilyJoe 23rd Jul 2018, 9:22 AM edit delete reply
Best bet is to have Emmy block the toads, she can flatten her body to stop any toads from getting to us, make a slime wall...

If Inzo is still functioning, he can attack, if not then we can use his mech as a shield and use wind wand to slice and dice the shroom into little pieces.

I'm guessing (hoping) the frogs turn back after the shroom is gone.

Also, the fish guy said pirates used the cave but had stopped coming here, my guess is that after the mushroom showed up,they lost several guys before abandoning the cave. Maybe we can get in good with the pirates if we can do this without killing any of them.
MakePeaceAndLove 23rd Jul 2018, 9:34 AM edit delete reply
Huh, that would be cool... on the other hand, if they don't revert (or need a separate casting to turn that toad status on/off) then there's really nothing we can do for these, even if they were victims of the mushroom.

If we don't want to kill them then we might leave now and return here later.
JiggilyJoe 23rd Jul 2018, 3:43 PM edit delete reply
I don't think leaving is an option at this point.
Thoth 23rd Jul 2018, 11:17 AM edit delete reply
(Slow clapping) dang it well done. Guys... Its a "Toadstool"
Devus 23rd Jul 2018, 5:08 PM edit delete reply
*slow clap*
Crestlinger 23rd Jul 2018, 3:16 PM edit delete reply
Waterspout as blinder for fungus, them add some exploding bubbles for some ribbivenge.