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Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 3:11 pm
by obsidian_razor
Ok so... odd question as I'm not entirely clear on how bionoids work.

From the definition in the monsters manual where they appear, it seems that they are a symbiont, but they also seem to be referred as separate creatures that can reproduce and create symbionts...

So... how do bionoids come about exactly, and why are they so rare? Since I realise my question is a bit unclear, here's the two pieces of text that confuse me:
Even bionoid reproduction is invasive. The eggs of mature bionoids are disc-shaped with a single crystalline "trigger" in the center. This crystal serves a multiple purpose: it is an attractant to potential victims since it makes the egg look like a magical item. and it is also the young bionoid’s eye. When a potential host touches the crystal eye, the host’s essence marks the egg. The egg bursts, attaches to the host, and grows as a symbiont, eventually separating and becoming a separate, nymph bionoid.
This part seems straight-forward, the bionoid attaches to a host creature as a sort of parasite or symbiont and after a while it "falls off" and becomes an independent creature.
If elves, humans or other humanoid races touch the egg, it infiltrates the victim, creating another adult bionoid. The new bionoid has the abilities described above, but appears only when danger threatens, whereupon the host "monsters out" into the bionoid monster form.
But then we have this bit, that seems to indicate that if you touch a bionoid egg and are a not an orc, you suddenly become a full-blown bionoid that only shows it's true nature if you "hulk-out" in the presence of danger.
Though rare, a bionoid family can comprise hundreds of members, always led by the individual who started the unit, either the original bionoid or its full-blooded descendants. Bionoid symbionts are welcome to join the unit, but must vow to avoid (and avoid infecting) residents of the outside world.
This final bit (which actually appears before in the text) confuses me further. It seems to imply that bionoids can reproduce "normally" and form family units. However, the bit that I've put in bold text is what throws me off. It seems to imply that bionoid symbionts are separate creatures and these are the ones that "infect" others, turning them into bionoids.

Can someone explain to me exactly how this creatures work? They are basically Guyvers, which makes them awesome, but they could also be interesting background creatures for the game. Also, I'm curious as to why they seem to limit their own numbers, how many bionoids are out there?


Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Mon Mar 30, 2015 4:31 pm
by Spellship Trooper
i'm no expert on cannon. i've only recently started a spelljammer obsession in the last few years. I did do some Bionoid research for a storyline i my home game. i came to the conclusion the bionoid is an inherited template that can be added to anyone a symbiote would attach to on it's own. but also passed on through eggs

so full-blooded descendants would be Bionoid Elf has a baby with Elf/human/Half Elf in the normal sense. that Child inherits the "curse" and all abilities (in 3.x game terms gets the template)

Bionoid symbionts are those who pick up the eggs as per the ecology. they are not blood children to the unit but are still bionoids

if it helps imagine it thusly: every Bionoid not born as such had hopes, dreams and fears before and after transformation. they had a life. even if they are seen as Living Weapons by IEN. the character can't look at the sheet and say "i'm no longer an Elf." thus they ought to not abandon the practices of sentient folk including blood family.

Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 9:45 am
by obsidian_razor
That actually makes sense :)


Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 10:57 am
by obsidian_razor
The other question is... if Bionoid reproduction is basically two-fold, via infection and birth... why are there not more bionoids? They've been around for a long time from the sound of things.

Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:32 pm
by night_druid
Bionoids are the Guyver with the serial numbers filed off (barely).

The fourth novel, Radiant Dragon, had a bionoid as a characters. One passage in particular interested me, because it stated that bionoids were 'life-like' (at least, that's how their name translates out to). I think the elves intended to create a type of golem, and ended up with something that wasn't a golem. Events happen, the bionoids that survived the First Unhuman Wars got dumped on some remote world.

Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Wed Apr 01, 2015 6:42 am
by Spellship Trooper
Well, IMG they are angsty about their state. they are made for battle and sure they rock at it. no argument there. i'm sure have you heard the proverb "live by the sword die by the sword"? to bear children then or to infect them is to condemn them to a violent death (most likely) also, you have no guarantee a symbiote will be a spiritually focused as the Bionoid, practicing battle as a spiritual discipline, eschewing war for a life of peaceful farming like they do.

i might have to think on that...there is a mandatory AL change...hmm.

there's also the backwoods (back Wildspace? Backspace?) nature of the Unit Farms to contribute to lack of mates and hosts

Re: Where have all the bionoids gone?

Posted: Sat May 23, 2015 3:57 pm
by Big Mac
I am guessing that the term "bionoid" is being used in two ways in Spelljammer:
  1. We have a life form that "converts" humanoid creatures, as part of its life-cycle and
  2. We have a large number of elven volunteers, who converted themselves into bionoids during the First Unhuman War.
I can not recall if the Elven Navy discovered bionoids, or invented them, but at some point during the First Unhuman War, they took the decision that they needed to use bionoids to beat the Unhuman Fleet.

So large numbers of elves (how many, I'm not sure) intentionally infected themselves with the bionoid eggs and transformed into something that was no longer an elf. They have the memories they had before, but they can not breed normally and they are highly dangerous.

At the end of the First Unhuman War, the elves decided that these "elven bionoids" were too dangerous to keep around, so they sent them away. I'm not sure if they all went to one place or if they split up. But, if you ignore the "bionoid lifeform" aspect for a moment and concentrate on the "elven bionoid" aspect, what you kind of have is a bunch of war veterans who have been driven out of their own homes.

Because the elves weaponised the bionoids during the First Unhuman War, there are far more many "elven bionoids" than you would probably get naturally. And when the SJ canon talks about bionoid culture, it is really talking about the "elven bionoid culture". If an unethical human got infected by a bionoid egg, I doubt they would feel the need to place the same restrictions on themselves.

I think that the elven bionoids are the same people they were before they allowed themselves to be transformed, so from one point-of-view, they still care about things that elves care about. But, from another point of view, they have been rejected by the elves they sacrificed their normal lives to defend, so some of them are angry and out for revenge.

If they could transform themselves back from being elven bionoids into true elves, I think they would. I think they would still be angry at the elves who rejected them, but they would regain the ability to breed normally and have normal lives. So you do have the symbiont thing going on there - an elven mind in the body of a transformed monster.

When you start looking at bionoids that hail from "victims" of other races, you add something else into the mix. And I think they would be individuals, rather than communities.

I do wonder if there is a groundling world out there somewhere, with mindless humanoid creatures (something like Neanderthal man) that occasionally stumble onto bionoid eggs and get transformed. On a planet like that, if there were "too many" bionoids, they would "over consume" and not be able to reproduce. So there would probably be some sort of natural built-in control mechanism, that keeps the bionoids down to a small percentage, if they were based on a world like that.

But if you have a group that artificially brings bionoids together with people (the elves used volunteers, but you could have a group that used prisoners or slaves) you can overide any sort of natural control mechanism and create a temporary population explosion. I think that is why this group feels somehow "wrong" because they are "wrong". They are "unnatural" as they have been created artificially, rather than as a result of "bad luck".