It’s not only the pets that need to get some mutating done, I’m in the same boat myself! Whilst I haven’t been packing on the Biomass at the moment, I’ve been making sure I keep a steady intake in order to continue accumulating points and there’s plenty that I can do with them. I’m not planning on pushing anything to +30 just yet, not even my precious carapace, since there’s still much lower hanging fruit that I can reach up and grab with almost no effort. Upgrading my stomach would be good, but still too expensive at this stage. It’s a whopping 140 Biomass to take a single organ from +25 to +30 and when I still have parts of my body without any upgrades at all, it just isn’t going to happen.
That’s right! I’m talking about my brains!
All four of them, to be precise. The main mind, main sub-brain and the two lackeys, the regular sub-brains. I actually spoke fairly at length with Torrina about mutations for brains, at Granin’s suggestion, since he thought that she might have more expertise than he did as she specialised in ‘spell-casting wimp monsters’, in his words. I quickly learned that when it comes to brains there is way too much to know and very quickly had to ask the enthusiastic shaper to tone things down for me.
In the end, despite the plethora of possible options, combinations and builds that can be done with brains, there are only a few that are particularly relevant for me. In the end, what exactly do I want my brains to do? The focus is fairly narrow when it was put to me in those terms, and Torrina was only too happy to spell out the strengths and weaknesses of each choice at a level that I could comprehend it.
Still, I wistfully look down the list at the many intriguing options that I’ll never get the chance to pick.
Rapid brain for faster processing of information. Very useful for speed type monsters like Vibrant. A mutation like this, as well as a nervous system upgraded similar to mine are almost a necessity for her as she gets faster and faster. Moving at that kind of speed without being able to think fast enough to keep up with it, or react fast enough when something jumps out at you, is a short cut to getting yourself splatted on a wall somewhere. I was sure to sit Vibrant down and press this point upon her as soon as I got the chance, which took a little doing. Gravity mana is a great leveller when it comes to catching her.
Motion Prediction brain? Another handy one. Develops and improves the section of the brain dedicated to motion tracking and prediction. I remember hearing that jugglers on Earth were found to have larger examples of this sector. It might seem like not much, but when you think about the amount of motion tracking that goes on in combat, you’d begin to realise just how important it can be to be able to accurately trace and predict the path of things in motion. I’d love to take this as a defensive option… but my heart is set on another path… Maybe if I get another brain…
Hormone control brain? Turns out even monsters have hormones that help regulate their body. Being able to exercise some level of control over them would be more than a little handy… Need an adrenaline kick at just the right moment? POW! Delivered right into the system when you want it.
Emotion regulator? This one seems a little weirder to me… The meditation skill does something similar once ranked up, but I can see there would be some synergies. If you were a rage monster like Sarah then you could use something like this to make you angry all the time. Apparently she isn’t able to purchase this mutation due to a restriction of her species, which is something I’ve not yet run into. Though I suppose if you literally turn yourself into an unstoppable avatar of berserk rage then the System isn’t likely to just let you turn it off whenever you want to. It’d be like allowing Vibrant to purchase a ‘calm’ organ. It’s just wrong.
But it’s in the magical options that the real juice of the brain mutations can be found. Better mana manipulation, or perception, or handling, or sensitivity, or even absorption are here. You can improve the brain’s capacity to handle specific types of mana, or utilise particular types of constructs.
It’s even possible to select mutation that will, after enough upgrades, permanently engrave a construct into the structure of the brain itself. Wild, I know. The advantage of not having to make and then maintain the construct are nice and all, but you could just get the mana organ if you wanted to. Of course, taking this option only takes up a mutation slot, rather than a new organ, essentially passing the cost onto Biomass rather than precious evolutionary energy. The drawback being that the brain you purchase this mutation for won’t be able to utilise any other form of mana, which is a problem, obviously. I suppose if you were a specialist, it would be fine, but I have other plans.
When looking at it logically, what am I going to be using my sub-brains for? Creating mind constructs! It’ll be the constructs themselves that go on to do the actual spell-casting, and I can’t mutate those, they aren’t physically part of my body. There’s no point making my sub-brains better at casting any spell other than mind constructs, it’s simply a waste of resources.
This is the point that Torrina was most determined to press upon me, not to be distracted by the shiny offerings but focus on the boring truth. The future of my sub brains is a grim one, they will be mind construct batteries and little else! The better they are at making mind constructs, the more spells I can sling! There simply isn’t any way to overcome the difference by going down any other path!
So naturally, the option I choose for them is the Mind Mana Specialisation.
All three sub-brains are to be upgraded to +15, taking the mind mana mutation both times, then reinforcing it. With this, all three of them will become much more adept at handling mind mana, as well as using the mind mana construct. This will help my training speed as well as improving my ability to form new minds. Which leaves me with my main brain. Obviously, there’s a few ways that I could go with this one. I could leave all the spell casting to the sub-brains and have my main mind be set aside just for processing combat information and moving the body, but that’s boring! I didn’t pump so many stats into this brain to have it handle all the simplest tasks! No! I pumped all the stats into this brain so that it could handle the biggest, most awesome magic of all!
Whipping through the menu, I find what I want and grin to myself.
Gravity Mana specialisation. I take this mutation at +5, then I scroll through and find the other mutation I want: Condensing Mana handling. Take that mutation at +10, then fuse the two together at +15. Gweheheheh. That’s right, my main mind is for dropping bombs, literally. Of course, the sub-brains can cast the gravity bomb now, but that doesn’t mean that’s what I want them to do most of the time. Nope, they’re reserved for creating mind constructs that will focus on elemental casting. When it comes to gravity magic, the main mind is going to be my go to and I’ll continue pouring evolutionary energy into it until it can throw around gravity spells with contemptuous ease.
With these two mutations, my main mind has grown better at condensing mana and handling gravity mana. I can’t wait to see how they work together!
With everything selected, I confirm my choices and almost gleefully allow the rising itch to take over, throwing my body to the ground and spasming my legs in the air like a poisoned spider. Just wait, Dungeon! My power will never stop growing!
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