If I wanted to replace torches in my setting with small bioluminescent ocotpi kept in jars, what qualities would said ocotpi need (besides being brighter than any real world natural.organism) to justify being used over a piece of wood or a candle lit on fire - especially taking Into account feeding the little bastards and changing their water?
If you want things to remain "realisticish" you could change them to jellyfish to remove the need for feeding.
There's a type of jellyfish that gets all it's nutrients from the sun. So it would be like a solar powered lantern.
My setting uses bioluminescent worms that live in people's hair and feed on their dead skin and parasites. Low maintenance, don't need a hand to carry them. Just stick them in your scalp and pubes and you're good to go.
Maybe you could train them so they omit different light colors. They could strobe a certain out variety of colors in the right disappointed (someone trespassing, octopode alarm starts blinking, maybe other octopi down the hall pick up on this doing the same to alert another guy), or could dim themselves or brighten as required. You could further train then, perhaps, to do simple but nice things like "turn on" automatically if you enter a room and so on. TBh I would just go looking at what options light switches have in a house catalogue and pick what sounds neat.
What's your setting like? Do these glowing octopi need to replace all torches everywhere? If not, use them in cities and areas that use them as tourism traps. You can also use them in underwater civilizations that can't use torches for obvious reasons.
They don't require much sustenance and give light long after they are dead.
Most people just buy them in a jar, let them slowly die, it's still a lantern that burns for months. Others feed and take care of them, which is generally seen as a cute and naive thing, like something a child would do.
They are common in coastal provinces, but in the inner provinces far away from the sea, they are merely curious pets for the rich.
>Reasons for the bard to go adventuring without pants (roll 1d10):
1. Bard is a woman; wears a skirt
2. Bard is a trap; wears a skirt
3. Bard is Scottish; wears a kilt
4. Bard is a quadruped (centaur, corgi, etc.)
5. Bard is a mermaid
6. Bard is going on a beach adventure
7. Bard is going on an onsen adventure
8. Bard is a spooky skeleton
9. Bard is very forgetful
10. Bard has bioluminescent pube-worms
They're a ridiculously common invasive species, and using them until they die is the only way to control their population.
"God damn it, the little buggers hatched all over the cabbage patch again. Someone get the pickling jars, we need somewhere to store them while they eat each other alive."
They would have to be hyperactive to stir the seawater, As well as being super long lived because tiny jar = real life molluscean death soup. They have kidneys that make them die. Instead these would have to have good kidneys, and be sorta able to walk. Maybe growing up to be a seashore terrestrial that preys on crabs and ruins the elf-girls for bikinis at the beach,
I love this idea. I've been debating with my wife for what sort of practical utility tentacle beasts and stuff could have.
>Citizens have taken to placing coins in the lantern jars around main gates and major thoroughfares
>Some say it brings luck. Others say that the creatures whisper secrets to them in return for an offering.
>Many are the urchins and beggars missing fingers, their greed met with tiny gnashing teeth.
>I've been debating with my wife for what sort of practical utility tentacle beasts and stuff could have.
You lucky son of a gun! She's a keeper.
Listen, you better do good by her and stay a faithful man, because if you ever break her heart, I'll break your ribs
also could make them filter feeders, so all that would have to be done is someone going around changing out the water with fresh seawater
even though that wouldn't be too realistic, i doubt anyone is going to complain or argue about it, and there are many different types of filter feeders so even if they do they can bugger off
Instead of Jars:
Every building/structure is built with an open system of glass tubes perched several inches beneath the ceiling.
Water flows through the tubes and are just wide enough the octopus have room to move and navigate around.
They possess a weak poison in their suction cups and also know how to spray water at insects/prey and will paralyze and drag unwanted pests into the water to drown them.
Some rooms may have a central container which the tubes connect to, often having toys or hiding places.
Octopi may wander out of the water for short periods of time.
Special Octopi Rods would house a series of mirrors to greatly increase the bio light.
Unless of course you hit a natural gas seam (which is odourless and colourless) if which case you'll explode.
Never had a GM do that one yet but probably because they never thought of it.
> not been a member of glorious 10 tentacled squid master race
Fire is the exclusive domain, and avatar, of a god your people have offended deeply. It can be used, in carefully controlled settings, but without supervision it has a nasty habit of "jumping" onto, well, goddamned everything.
hmm, would the lamp-critters be a controlled/rare resource or would they be found in practically every clean body of water/breed like hell? After all torches are made from fairly ubiquitous materials and so have ease of production on their side.
I like this idea a lot OP, I'll be stealing it.
It would be extremely useful to not have a torch, by the way, because it would produce no smoke. It would also be easier to cover the squid rapidly if you needed to hide (just cover it or put it in a bag, torches would burn the bag/you'd need water to put it out fast.) Plus torches can be used in really confined areas or within places with a lot of wood or paper, would be dangerous and possibly burn books/scrolls in ancient libraries, and so on.
I think they'd be more of a specialised device, for things like mining where you could get gas build up and coal dust going boom, or for somewhere like a library which doesn't want soot ending up on the books, reduces fire hazards and that sort of thing
>a group of nomads who are masters of origami who fold up their paper encampment when they move; have a very strong dislike for fire
S T O L E N
>in order to feed they raise all their appendages and so look like jarred slowly flickering flames from afar
>when close to beings of great evil they'll either go crazy and emit a lot of light or get dimmer to not make themselves a target
>when they feel threatened, they'll flicker between bright red and bright blue like a siren, to scare off predators, so they work as warning alarms
>when they breed, they tend to do so on land by the shores, and stay around in collective orgies, called being "in heat"
>eggs hatch very quickly, so these are commonly called wildfires, as the longer they stay clumped together the more they'll spread
>young ones used as pets for small children, they act as nightlights for them
>one can last a while without water, but once they die, they quickly dry out and turn to what resembles ash
There you go, anon. Enjoy your Octopyros.
It's pretty much just a sentient version of one of these.
Everyone prefers them over torches because they express their mood with the colors they luminate. And they have a keen sense of danger, some even believe they possess vestiges of prescience.
Now with a little experience you can tell how much danger you're in at any moment just by the light patterns flashing across the skin of your luminoctopus. This is why experienced veterans will never part with their most utilized ones. They know their patterns and have a specific idea of what the creature considers dangerous. Some even keep several for specific purposes.
Luminoctopodi differ in many more qualities than just sense of danger. Some prefer warm colors, some cold tones, some shine bright white most times, others merely glim dimly red or blue and can't be spotted from afar, a few signal wildly, and they come in all sizes. Tiny ones are kept in glass vials worn as jewelry by well off urbanites and huge ones inhabit light house apertures, some well known for their steady signal by sailors of many lands.
They get very old. In fact it is unknown if they even die of old age as they perish easily through circumstance. Their nature is extremely docile and their instinct to luminate makes most easy to spot. They dry out in a day or so without water, and although they do not seem to breathe or even defecate the water must be changed at least every few weeks.
No procreation in captivity has been recorded. They are all caught and exported from the luminous sea of ___ where large swarms emerge from the depths to lay their spawn near the surface for mysterious reasons. The reefs are quite a sight at night. But access is strictly policed and the entire region is marked black on many official maps.
It'd be easy enough to say the octolants feed off of sunlight also - the jellyfish do their thing by engulfing and carrying around algae, and there's plenty of other animals besides jellyfish that do that.
They'd produce Sphere of Darkness in proportion to their proximity to holiness, which'd be very handy for creatures that lack Dayvision.
>the evil lich runs an onsen
Druids, Rangers and Illithids For The Ethical Release of Squids, or DRIFTS?
Not necessarily a quality of the Octopodes, but...
What if it just rains a lot? Outdoor travel in the dark pretty much rules out the usefulness of torches to the point where they're never much explored as a technology, except as a novelty way to provide light indoors for a limited time.
>tfw it's still even legal to sell 1/2 gallon tanks
In the wild octopi require salt water, at the very least a 50 gallon tank, some sort of bubbler and a chiller to keep the water at a low temperature. All of that could be done with magic, of course, but so can permanent fires so I'll assume you're running somewhat low-magic.
What if they were a
holy cross between octopi and angels: god's two favorite creationsand because of that they float in the air and don't breathe, but are also very light and fickle. In cases of severe wind the player has to carry their octopus or strap it to their head!
Plz no. I couldn't play a trap bard. I suspect my friends know of my trap fantasies
>reason to use over torches
They are so goddamn cute. Like, seriously, too goddamn cute. It's like a real-life Pokemon craze. People walking around trade 'em, they talk stats, run fantasy bio-ock leagues.
>Adventurers! The Council of Elves has decided you will be put to dea-.....is, is that a Magma Red? I need one to breed with my Sky Green.....You're exonerated! Case dismissed!
>carry their octopus or strap it to their head!
I'm onto you
>This is pretty much how it goes in my setting
>High ranking nobles try to get rare and powerful pets to fight against each other
>The party is hunting down what ever the lord's wife fancies is the meta for the upcoming league
>They have been caught in enemy territory a few times and let go in exchange for pets.
>order of Paladins devoted to the Great Pyroctipi in the Sky
>all carry trained cephalopods as torches/cop lights/BBEG radars
>highest ranks use flaming flails in devotion to their tiny lightbringers
>domains in Light and Water
>fallen paladins frequently enter into service contracts with Mindflayers
>feeding the little bastards
>changing their water
Combine both. It's not normal water, but a kind of alchemical sap which keeps it nourished and hibernating.
When it starts to move, it's time to change the substance.
>What if they were a holy cross between octopi and angels
That's Sea Angels - same phylum, but over in the class gastropoda (it's a sea slug) rather than cephlapoda.
Perhaps they feed off the byproduct of whatever magic happens in the place, effectively eating waste or undesired vermin. If they feed themsleves and reproduce, they are already infinitely more utile than constantly needing to be replaced torches or candles. Also, if we are going full magic, perhaps they repel some sort of evil or have psionics static that either annoys scrying or makes it easier to focus.