3
\$\begingroup\$

The Monster Manual says:

A spore servant is any Large or smaller creature brought back to life by the animating spores of a myconid sovereign. A creature that was never flesh and blood to begin with (such as a construct, elemental, ooze, plant, or undead) can't be turned into a spore servant.

Spore Servant Template, Monster Manual, pg. 230

Animating Spores (3/Day). The myconid targets one corpse of a humanoid or a Large or smaller beast within 5 feet of it and releases spores at the corpse. In 24 hours, the corpse rises as a spore servant.

Myconid Sovereign, Monster Manual, pg. 231

Which of these contradictory conditions are correct here?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ Between these two descriptions, what do you view as being the contradictory information? \$\endgroup\$ – Xirema Sep 13 '19 at 17:35
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Reading between the lines, is there an implicit question along the lines of: "if a Myconid Sovereign can't make a spore servant out of a monstrosity (such as a Hook Horror), how else could the Hook Horror Spore Servant have become a spore servent in the first place?" \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Sep 13 '19 at 21:13
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ (Note that I just picked the Hook Horror as an example because there happens to be a stat block for a Hook Horror Spore Servant already, which makes my example a concrete example; I am not implying OP is interested in Hook Horrors specifically - it's the generic case that I suspect the OP might be interested in.) \$\endgroup\$ – NathanS Sep 13 '19 at 21:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @NathanS Thank you very much \$\endgroup\$ – Ohar Sep 14 '19 at 5:40
6
\$\begingroup\$

There's no contradiction here. The Myconid Sovereign can only target corpses of Large or smaller humanoids and beasts with their ability.

However, a DM might choose to apply the Spore Servant Template to another corpse. As long as it is Large or smaller and isn't a construct, plant, etc., the template can be applied even if the creature isn't a humanoid or beast.

Just because the action to animate such a corpse isn't in the Myconid Sovereign's stat block doesn't mean that such a creature can't exist. Perhaps infecting a corpse of a non-humanoid/beast doesn't come up often enough in play to merit a mention here. Note that the monster manual doesn't describe the origin of every monster, or list every possible action every creature can attempt, just what's needed in a normal combat encounter.

The DM is free to apply the template to any creature meeting the requirements, and in the lore text you quoted, "A Spore Servant is a Large or smaller creature brought back to life by the animating spores of a Myconid Sovereign" (emphasis mine). Note the lowercase "animating spores"; this refers to the spores in fiction rather than the mechanical action in the stat block. It doesn't say "... brought back to life by the Animating Spores action of a Myconid Sovereign."

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ But how these spore servants could be created then? It is totally unclear. \$\endgroup\$ – Ohar Sep 13 '19 at 19:27
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ohar Just how it says--The Myconid Sovereign creates them. They just don't have that action listed in their stat block. A wolf can howl, but "Howl" isn't listed as an action in the Wolf stat block. \$\endgroup\$ – Iguanodon Sep 13 '19 at 19:29
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ohar what do you mean by how? You quoted their animating spores action. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 13 '19 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Iguanodon It is still strange for me - if a Myconid Sovereign is able to create them, why is his action still disables it? \$\endgroup\$ – Ohar Sep 14 '19 at 5:43
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ohar The designers probably just thought that animating humanoids and beasts would come up more common in combat. The DM is free to apply the template to any creature meeting the requirements, and in the lore text you quoted, "A Spore Servant is a Large or smaller creature brought back to life by the animating spores of a Myconid Sovereign." Note the lowercase "animating spores;" this refers to the spores in the fiction rather than the action in the stat block. It doesn't say "... brought back to life by the Animating Spores action of a Myconid Sovereign." \$\endgroup\$ – Iguanodon Sep 14 '19 at 12:24
0
\$\begingroup\$

There is no contradiction, syllogisms just aren't intuitive for everyone

People often intuit information from propositions that entirely unrelated to those propositions yet seem related for psychological reasons.

For example, a rule might say "You can wear armor that is one size larger than you as long as it is made for a creature with the right number of limbs" and another rule might say "This armor can be worn by a creature of the same size". People might read the first rule as also saying "you can't wear armor that isn't one size larger than you or isn't made for a creature with the right number of limbs". Then, when they read the second rule, they will assume you still need to have the right number of limbs even though that was never a rule in the first place. This is called denying the antecedent and, while invoking the fallacy is frequently necessary to get the rules to function the way the designers want, here it is getting you into trouble.

The rule for the spore servant template says, effectively, "If a creature is X, it cannot be a spore servant". The rule for the sovereign ability says, effectively, "If a creature is Y, it can be a spore servant". From this we can correctly deduce that Y must be a subset of 'not X' but to deduce that Y and 'not X' must be identical is fallacious-- you are assuming that the statements imply that if a creature is not X it can be a spore servant and if it is not Y it cannot.

\$\endgroup\$
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I think you have a very good point here and I do get it, but I think you could make this answer a lot more broadly applicable if you simplify the language a bit and use the current question explicitly as an example. \$\endgroup\$ – Rubiksmoose Sep 13 '19 at 20:01
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Odds are if they couldn't grok the original text, they're not grokking this :) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 13 '19 at 20:20
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This is needlessly complicated. \$\endgroup\$ – SeriousBri Sep 13 '19 at 21:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.