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Mushroom Theories

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Mushroom Spawn Theories

This page should server as a central place to collect knowledge how, where and why mushrooms spawn. For specific mushroom type spawns see Mushrooms

It has been suggested that we are capable of influencing the mushroom spawns. This page intends to help find out how.


  • Spawns start and end at the same time. This seems to be constant for each mushroom type
  • Spawns seem to have a certain terrain type they prefer, tho this does allow for some variation
  • The measurements made by the Ecology skill may or may not play a part.
  • Specific spawns vary in size over time and possibly by season too.

Ecology Theory (Not Proven)

Mushrooms spawn based on the combination of terrain and some combination of ecological factors. The size of the spawn is randomly determined.


Specific mushroom types seem to spawn in specific areas most of the time. For instance Dead Tongue always seems to be near water and Iron Knot always seems to be near steep rocky terrain. Some spots that might have the same terrain type does not have the the given mushrooms, indicating some other factor.

From various hints dropped previously it would appear that there are 7 layers, 2 of which are not directly measurable.

From T1 amnesty (does any of the other amnesty logs mention ecology?)

00:49 The ecology system never really drove the game as much as planned...
00:50 The idea was that there are all these layers representing things like soot (given off by certain buildings),
      Acid (mining, other buildings), Nitrogen (eaten by some shrooms, consumed by others), and a few others.
00:50 And mushrooms were supposed to thrive on some layer values while modifying others.
00:51 Sort of a complex version of the wolves/rabbits ecosystem.
00:53 And we tuned it and tuned it, but never really got it so that everything followed comprehensible patterns.
      People got good at hunting for shrooms, but I never heard someone say "hey, after I pollute this area with
      soot, then SLaves Breads no longer grow.

This means the list of layers is possibly

  • Acidity
  • Phosphorous
  • Groundwater
  • Heavy Metals
  • Soot?
  • Terrain?
  • X = Nitrogen?
  • Y = ?

There is evidence for a link between 0 Soil Acidity and spawns of Dead Tongue and Acorns Cap mushrooms.

How To Prove

Collect ecological data where mushrooms are found and add them to a central database to see if a pattern emerges. A good start is [1]

Important observable parameters:

  • Heavy Metals (a number measured with Ecology 1)
  • Acidity (a number measured with Ecology 2)
  • Ground Water (a number measured with Ecology 3)
  • Phosphorous (a number measured with Ecology 4)
  • Soot (possibly measured with Ecology 5 as in T3)
  • Rocky/Sandy/Dirt/Road/Water Terrain
  • Jumbled/Flat Terrain
  • Terrain Elevation

Any other parameters?

Alternatively try to create the correct ecologic conditions for a specific type of mushroom in a place that they do not spawn at present. This does however require better understanding of what those ecological parameters are.

This requires some ecological research

Another important parameter to track is the relationship between mushrooms.

  • Which mushrooms spawn in similar terrain but not in the same location (Cobra Hood and Iron Knot)
  • Which mushrooms do spawn in the same location on the same night (Cobra Hood and Colts Foot)
  • Which mushrooms spawn at the same location but on different nights (Cobra Hood and Scorpion Brood)

This data might reveal some relationships between mushrooms that can be exploited.

Cellular Automaton (Not Proven)

There is an underlying cellular automaton model for each mushroom type. Possibly there are also fixed origin points to seed the model. Such fixed seed points might also be time dependent (say end of a season or end of month)


Spawns seem to move over time.

(Meta Thinking) Cellular automata are used for the patterns on the beetles in beetle breeding.

How To Prove

  • Picking all the mushrooms in a given spawn might destroy the spawn unless there is also a seeding point.
  • Picking mushrooms from only one side of a spawn might influence the movement of the spawn.
  • Map a specific spawn in detail over time

Spore Theory (Wrong)

Disproved: Dropped items have no scripts run on them (*possibly* an exception on clinker). Quoted by Pluribus (the one that wrote the system).

  • Mushrooms grow from spores.
  • Spores have a certain incubation time before they grow mushrooms. This may vary by mushroom type.
  • Mushrooms only grow if the spores are in a suitable location (terrain).
  • Spores are created by existing mushrooms, either fresh or dropped.
  • Spores travel from the parent mushroom for a certain distance in a certain direction. This may vary by mushroom type.


There is some anecdotal evidence for cycles in the mushroom spawns in a given location. Some spawns seem to travel from night to night.

(Meta Thinking) This is similar to the way Papyrus seems to work.

How To Prove

Try to transplant a prolific mushroom (say Iron Knot or Cobra Hood Mushroom) to a location that does not have that type of mushroom at present. This supposes that dropping a picked mushroom also generates spores. It seems likely that these two mushrooms have the shortest incubation period and the shortest travel distance.

If such a transplant succeeds the other two theories are proven wrong.

A single successful "transplant" won't be able to prove whether the action taken (dropping the shroom) caused the bloom or whether that spawn would have happened anyway at that location due to some other factor. We'll need to be able to get consistent transplant results (e.g. we can with a high success percentage cause the appearance of the shrooms if action X is done) before we can rule out other options. --Shebi 13:50, 14 April 2009 (EST)

Several attempts at transplantation have failed. Similar attempts in previous tellings have also failed. The discovery of a provable link between acid and certain mushroom spores make this theory highly unlikely.