The Host (3.5e Class)
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The Host is exactly what he sounds like. He is the host to an extraterrestrial symbiotic life form that attaches to him in order to survive, and in turn grants his host amazing powers. Through the gain of experience in his host, the symbiote also gains in strength and ability, which it in turn passes on to his host to boost his power. The symbiote is helpless on its own, but experience it gains through its host, it can then pass on back to the vessel. While the power gathers by the symbiote, it is used through the host. The symbiote cannot force itself in control of its host. In addition, a symbiote that leaves its host loses its power (as does its host), and when it connects to a different host, it has to regain experience back from level 0. Therefore, it is in the best interest of both the symbiote and its host to have a mutual relationship on good terms. Considering a symbiote must have the consent of its host, more or less, they are better off addressing their intent upright. Still, a symbiote is able to enter the host against its will, and usually has to in order to communicate with the future host, as most people do not agree with foreign alien life forms entering their body. The symbiote itself thinks in an aberrant, unfathomable fashion that can best be described as chaotic, and very much so, while remaining fairly neutral on the good and evil spectrum. It cares little about anything but itself. The main things it longs for are survival and power. After that, all it can really hope for is a host that it can more or less get along with, as that makes its life a hell of a lot easier.
Making a Host
The nature of the symbiotic organism is to take the strength and experience of its host and augment them in an extraordinary way. The main way the symbiote functions is to help reduce certain effects and amplify others, as it improves its host’s anatomy, as well as manifesting on the host, almost changing the form of the host, and powerfully amplifying the host’s natural talents, as well as introducing others.
Abilities: Constitution is needed for a few of the symbiote’s ability saves, and helps patch up its health because a low AC, health is important. Strength is very useful, as this is a melee-based character, so Attack Bonus and damage are dependent on it. Dexterity is also helpful to patch up AC somewhat, as well as a few abilities that rely on ranged touch attacks, as well as skills. Intelligence would be nice for skills, which will make the character excel. Wisdom could be useful as it eventually adds to the host’s Armor Class, also by increasing the character’s perceptive abilities, as well as his low will save and vulnerability to sonic making low wisdom dangerous. Charisma however is not very useful. Still, the idea of being in a symbiotic relationship with an aberrant, sentient creature disturbs some, so the ability to disguise may make some charisma desirable.
Races: A symbiote can attach to any sentient race, really. It finds difficulty in understanding other aberrant thought patterns, which, ironically, makes it better at connecting with ordered minds.
Alignment: Alignments of Chaotic nature are most preferred. Neutrals can work, though good or evil tend to cause alignment strains occasionally. People of a lawful nature do not get along well with the symbiotes, and if such a bond is to occur, conflicts often follow. Still technically any alignment is possible, though the recommended alignments are CG CN CE or TN.
Starting Gold: 2d4 X 10 gold pieces
Starting Age: Moderate
|Saving Throws||Special|| Natural|
|1st||+1||+2||+2||+0||Symbiote, Manifestation, Claws, Keen senses, Affinity, Vulnerability, Unarmed Strike||+3|
|2nd||+2||+3||+3||+0||Dodge, Physical Enhancement||+3|
|3rd||+3||+3||+3||+1||Uncanny Dodge, Mutation||+4|
|4th||+4||+4||+4||+1||Insight, Physical Enhancement||+4|
|5th||+5||+4||+4||+1||Claw Damage Type, Evasion, bodily improvement||+6|
|6th||+6/+1||+5||+5||+2||Multi Attack, Mutation, Physical Enhancement||+6|
|7th||+7/+2||+5||+5||+2||Improved Uncanny Dodge||+7|
|8th||+8/+3||+6||+6||+2||Bite, Physical Enhancement||+7|
|10th||+10/+5||+7||+7||+3||25% fortification, Physical Enhancement||+10|
|12th||+12/+7/+2||+8||+8||+4||Mutation, Physical Enhancement||+11|
|15th||+15/+10/+5||+9||+9||+5||Adamantine, Mutation, Greater Mutation, 50% Fortification||+14|
|16th||+16/+11/+6/+1||+10||+10||+5||Greater Mutation, Physical Enhancment||+14|
|18th||+18/+13/+8/+3||+11||+11||+6||Greater Mutation, Physical Enhancement||+15|
Class Skills (4 + Int modifier per level, ×4 at 1st level)
All of the following are class features of the Host.
Weapon and Armor Proficiency: The host is proficient with simple weapons and light armor. The nature of the symbiote causes the use of manufactured weapons to be less efficient, preferring to use the body of the host, and granting a number of natural attacks and armors, of which it is always proficient. Anything heavier than light armor makes it impossible to manifest the symbiote, and even that becomes useless when the symbiote manifests, as the symbiote’s own natural armor negates the armor bonus. However, enhancement bonuses still apply to the armor, and any negatives such as penalties and max Dexterity bonuses still apply.
Symbiote (Ex): At some point in your life, you met an extraterrestrial creature of a symbiotic nature. At the exchange of letting it into your body, it grants you abilities, and as you naturally gain in strength and experience, so does it. However, the cost of allowing another creature into your mind is the distinct possibility of oncoming insanity. The organism’s aberrant thoughts, while not definable to ‘normal’ standards, are close to purely chaotic. While it cannot take control of your body, it can shut off its abilities, or even inflict mental pain upon its host. Acts that directly harm the creature, that are exceptionally suicidal, or that are exceptionally lawful are among the list. The symbiote desires self-betterment and survival above all. It wants not only to survive, but also to become as powerful as possible. The Symbiote Grants these Traits:
Speed: Base land speed is 35 feet.
Regeneration: You gain regeneration equal to your Con modifier/sonic (this can change by mutations that increase your Con score – such as the hyperactive adrenaline gland).
Manifestation (Ex): Manifesting or suppressing the symbiote is a full round action that can be used indefinitely, providing the char is not exhausted, in which case a fort save of 25 must be met. Manifesting the symbiote causes it to ’leak’ out of the skin, covering the body, such as a full body skin enveloping the host. What the manifestation ultimately appears like depends on the personalities of both the host and the simbiote, without effecting the overall shape and size of the host. While manifesting the symbiote, multiple different buffs appear. The arms transform into vicious claws, dealing 1d6 damage at level 1, with a critical of 19–20, which increases in dice size in the same way as a monks unarmed damage.
At level 8, a bite attack manifests as a natural attack, dealing 1d10 damage with a critical of x3. Additionally, the symbiote grants enhancement bonuses to natural claw attacks made with the host’s primary claws, equal to ¼ levels. Note that when this bonus grants your claw attacks an enhancement bonus of +1, they are therefore treated as magic for overcoming DR. This bonus applies to your bite attack when the enhancement bonus is equal to +2, giving the bite a bonus of +1 at level 8. Likewise, any subsequent natural attacks formed through mutations gain this bonus when the primary enhancement is equal to +3, where they get a +1. After the enhancement bonus establishes for the host’s secondary attacks, they then increase normally (so +2 at level 12 for the bite, +3 at level 16, etc, or +2 at level 16 for subsequent natural attacks).
At level 5, primary claw attacks gain the ability to deal any type of damage desired (bludgeoning, piercing or slashing), as the claw is able to change forms. This is a swift action. Additionally, it is possible to have 2 different types, by say using a swift action to change the left claw into a pike, and keeping the right claw slashing. At level 10, all natural attacks gain the chaotic descriptor for the sake of damage reduction. At level 15, both the host’s primary claws and bite attack are adamantine.
In addition to natural attacks, the symbiote grants the host armor. The details are in the table before this.
Finally, manifestation gives a +4 to disguise, as it alters the appearance, and can be changed.
Elemental Affinity (Ex): The symbiote’s nature grants it mastery over an element. At level 1 choose which element the symbiote has mastery over (or do it randomly), so long as it’s not the same as the symbiote’s vulnerability. This affinity grants the following abilities.
At level 1, you’re offered resistance 5 to the element of choice. This resistance increases by 5 every 4 levels, and becomes immunity at level 20.
At level 3, you deal ½ level in damage of the chosen element whenever an enemy makes physical contact with you, through grappling or natural and unarmed strikes; the exception is electricity, which only transfers through the use of metal weapons.
At lvl 5, you gain the ability to enhance your physical attacks for a number of rounds equal to your current class level + constitution modifier rounds a day. When physical attacks are increased, you gain a bonus to a natural attack of your choice equal to 1d6+constitution modifier of damage in your chosen element. This damage increases to 2d6 at level 8, 3d6 at level 12, 4d6 at level 16 and 5d6 at level 20. This bonus applies to your claws, and to apply it to any other form of natural attack takes an additional use per day. Activating this ability is a free action, and may be activated as many times per round as the host has natural attacks.
At level 8 as a standard action, you can launch a ball of the chosen element, dealing (class level + constitution modifier) x d6 as a ranged touch attack, with medium range. This ability can be used a number of times equal to half your character level + constitution modifier times per day.
At level 16 this energy attack deals d8s, as well as an additional effect based on the element; burning damage equal to your level/turn if a failed reflex save (½ level + constitution modifier +10) with a new save each round with difficulty increasing by 1 for each failed save; numbing causing the char to take ¼ level in dex damage following a failed fortitude save; shocking reducing movement speed by half, and reflex saves by 2 following a failed fortitude save; poisonous fumes from the acid causing nausea on a failed fortitude save.
At level 20 this attack becomes a 10 ft radius.
Physical Affinity (Ex):. At lvl 1 the Host gains +1 natural armor, which increases by 1 every 4 levels. At level 3, your body is coated in thorns causing the same damage as the enhancement effect, plus your natural attack’s enhancement bonus, if any (for example, at level 4 it deals 3 damage, 2 from the spikes, 1 from the first level of enhancement bonus; note, this damage therefore overcomes dr/magic after enhancement bonuses are added). At level 5, natural attacks gain a magical weapon ability of +1, such as bane or flaming. At level 8, a +2, except axiomatic, or 2 +1 abilities, or a +1 on 2 different attack types, etc, so long as the total does not exceed the total available. At level 12, a +3, at 16 a +4, and ultimately at lvl 20 a +5, with vorpal being available to the claws. At level 8, your wicked claws double in critical range (17-20), though this effect doesn’t stack with any other effect to increase critical range. At 16, your claws can rend the skin, granting the rend ability if both claws hit, dealing damage equal to 2 claw attacks plus 1 ½ strength.
Vulnerability (Ex): Your symbiote’s biggest weakness, is from sonic damage. Sonic attacks disrupt the symbiote’s ability to latch to its host, causing mental anguish and decreased performance. Being dealt sonic damage forces the host to roll a fortitude save, equal to the save of the original spell, or if no original save is possible, the save is made by (10 +½ hit dice +ability mod for effect, or primary attribute). On a failed save, the host takes a point of wisdom damage, and is nauseated for a round and sickened for a minute. On a successful save, the host is sickened for a round.
Keen Senses (Ex): The nature of the organism in your body grants you a number of boons to your senses, letting you see and hear what it senses by giving a + 4 bonus to spot and listen. Low-light vision is gained if not already had; if so, its doubled. At level 2 Dodge is granted as a bonus feat. You gain uncanny dodge at level 3 and improved uncanny dodge at level 7. Additionally evasion is gained at level 5.
Physical Enhancements (Ex): The organism increases the physical properties in you body, making you almost super-human. You gain a +1 in all Physical ability scores(Str, Con, and Dex).
Mutations (Ex): These effects are effectively permanent, though theoretically they can be unapplied if the host (or the symbiote) wishes. For example, a host with the Tail mutation need not manifest his tail, though he gains no benefit from not doing so. Contrary to choosing not to manifest a mutation, the symbiote itself could choose not to apply one of its mutations to the host, if say it was punishing its host, or if it was otherwise being mischievous.
Web: at getting rid of one of his claw attacks, the symbiote can turn one of his arms into a web of tendrils; such a web functions as a net, with a range of 10 ft. However, the roll to escape the net is equal to the hosts level + strength modifier, plus size modifier, if any. It takes a standard action to change the arm into the net, and when the net is escaped or if the attack is missed, it takes a standard action to ’reload’ the net.
Damage Reduction: Gain DR 5/Lawful. Must be level 9 before choosing this mutation.
Exoskeleton: The host gains a layer of armor, granting an armor bonus equal to his constitution modifier. Any effects that decrease constitution therefore decrease this bonus, and any effects that raise constitution raise this bonus. This armor counts as a normal armor bonus, such as one granted by manufactured armor.
Increased elemental affinity: All dice involved in your elemental affinity attacks are increased a step, so from d6 to d8 or d8 to d10, etc, as well as gaining an additional 3 uses a day.
Poison: claw and bite attacks that deal damage have the potential of dealing poison damage. The save is equal to (½ level + constitution modifier + 10), and can deal one of the following effects; recurring 2d6 damage, 2 ability score damage, or paralysis for 1 turn. Must be level 6 before choosing this Mutation.
Greater legs: increase move speed by 15 a +10 bonus to jump
Hyper-Adrenaline gland: The Symbiote has increased the adrenaline glands in the body making you much more difficult to kill while at the brink of death, you gain the Diehard feat, and gain Temporary hit points equal to 1d12 + Con modifier. You also gain a +6 to all physical stats while bloodied.
Meld with metals: the symbiote is able to meld a metal into its body, granting all natural attacks the descriptor of the metal used. Choose between alchemical silver or cold iron. The symbiote must be given a weapon made primarily of the substance that is wished to be infused into its body, and such a weapon must have a minimum of a +1 enhancement on it. Then the symbiote must be allowed a day without manifestation. After the process is complete, the weapon is destroyed, and the whenever the host manifests his natural attacks, they count as that metal for the purpose of overcoming damage reduction.
Tendrils: grants the ability to launch adhesive tendrils from free hands, acting similar to grappling hooks. The tendrils launch up to 50’ and can be launched as a swift action. The act of launching the tendrils is a ranged touch attack, at DC 10 for most inanimate objects, with +2 to the difficulty every 10’ past 20, as well as any difficulties added due to circumstance. The dc is increased by 5 during movement, such as falling or swinging from the previous tendril, etc. They can be used to grapple, at a −5 to the check, after a successful ranged touch attack. If the second tendril is used, decrease the penalty to −2. Also, tendrils can be severed by the other party, by dealing 10 damage. The AC is equal to 10+enhancement bonus offered by any armor + natural armor. Dexterity and dodge bonuses are not added in. In order to attack with a claw, the tendrils must be dismissed, though attacks not reliant on the host’s main hands can still be used.
Mental fortification: The simbiote protects the mind, giving the host a +4 on all mind effecting effects, as well as any effect to try and view the subject magically, as well as a +2 to will saves stacks with bodily improvement.
Improved multiattack: as a bonus feat; must have the multiattack feat prior to choosing this mutation.
Tail: a permanent tail is grown, treated as a secondary natural attack (1d12 + 1 ½ str), and a +2 bal, with +8 to swim and a 20’ swim speed. A 10 can always be taken on such a swim check.
Venom Shot: A projectile like sting form in the arms (not interfering with claws) that deal 1d6 + Dex damage and, the target must make a DC 25 + Con mod or become paralyzed a number of rounds equal to your constitution mod and take 1d6 + Con mod ongoing poison damage.
Spider walk: gains micro hairs to give a climb speed of 20’. In addition, a 10 can always be taken on a climb check, and you can climb no matter the surface. This requires at least 2 free arms, with any additional arms used granting a +2 bonus per pair.
Insight (Ex): Starting at lvl 4, the host gains a bonus to his AC equal to his wisdom modifier as a dodge bonus. This is due to the symbiote’s ability to help the host predict the attacks of his opponents.
Bodily Improvement (Ex): The simbiote grants a number of buffs to increase the body’s power and ability. At level 5, +1 is added to all saves, with an additional +2 to mind effecting effects, poisons and diseases and polymorph effects
Multiattack: Multiattack is gained as a bonus feat at level 6.
Fortification (Ex): The simbiote’s influence over your body has changed the structure of your physiology. You gain fortification to critical hits 25% at lvl 10. At lvl 15 this is increased to 50%. This bonus applies to precision based damage, such as sneak attacks, requiring a roll for any such damage to take effect. However, this bonus does not apply to the effects of a vorpal weapon. If such a critical strike is to occur, this fortification has no effect.
Greater Mutations (Ex): These represent major alterations to the host’s original form or physiology granted by the symbiote.
Wings: the host gains wings and a fly speed equal to his base land speed. Flight is average in maneuverability. Additionally, the wings can be used as 2 secondary natural attacks, dealing 1d4 damage each. Finally, the host gains flight as a class skill, and gains a +4 bonus to it.
Bodily immunities: the symbiote drastically improves the bodies ability to reduce the influence of outside effects. Immunity to poison and disease are granted.
Extra limbs: two more arms are grown. These arms, while not nearly as powerful as the main claws, are treated as secondary natural attacks (dealing 1d6, x2) or a slam attack (dealing 1d10x2 plus full str). Additionally, they increase any climb or swim checks by +4, and give a circumstantial bonus of +2 to grapple checks.
Amorphous: The fortification offered by your simbiote rids you of any ’weak’ point throughout your body. The exception is beheading from a vorpal weapon. Otherwise, it grants immunity to all critical hits.
Great Physical Prowess: Permanent +6 to all physical attributes. Can only be taken once.
Reach: Primary claw attacks and bite attack have reach out to 10’ caused by stretching of the body. This feat can be taken again, giving 15’ reach.
Increased enhancement: All natural attacks gained by the host are treated as having the same enhancement bonus as the host’s main claw attacks.
Improved Damage Reduction: DR/Lawful, equal to 5+constitution modifier. This damage reduction does not stack with any other source of DR.
Perfect Form (Ex): At level 20 the symbiote gains a final, great mutation, chosen from the following list, upon achieving the pinnacle of physical form with its host. The host is now treated as an aberration for the purpose of abilities that depend on type, as none of the traits the aberration type confer are added to the host.
Bestial: the symbiote maximizes the physical potential of its host, increasing the size category by 1, as well as adding +4 to all physical stats, in addition to the +4 to constitution and strength gained by increasing size category, as well as the -2 to dexterity for a final of +8 strength, +2 dexterity, +8 constitution, as well as the penalties to AC and attack bonus granted by an increase in size, as well as any other bonuses and penalties associated with size.
Indestructible: gains the previous mutation amorphous, except that its immune even to beheading, the mutation bodily immunities, immunity to paralysis, sleep, stun and polymorph, as well as the mutation great physical prowess that stacks with the previous mutation if applicable. Also, gain it gains damage reduction in the form of DR/–– equal to your Constitution modifier. This damage reduction does not stack with any other source of damage reduction.
Master of acrobatics: as a master of movement, the host gains the wings and tendrils mutations, or increases flight maneuverability to good and increases flight speed by 10’ if already had, and increases the tendril mutation to 100’ ft, with a +2 to difficulty every 20’ past 40’. This mutation also increases movement speed by 20, grants the run feat if not already had, and increases jump by +12, and balance, tumble, swim and climb by +8. In addition, a running start is never required to jump, and jumping can be performed from a stand at no penalty. Also, swim and climb gain a movement speed of 20’, or are increased by 20’ (although never more than land speed if possible) if already had. In addition, freedom of movement is permanent upon the host.
Master of multiattack: all attacks are treated as primary weapons, dealing full str for all attack types, if higher than it is already. In addition, an additional set of limbs are sprouted, treated as the extra limb ability; if that ability is already chosen, this effect stacks granting a total of 6 arms. The tail mutation is also gained, but only if not already had. Also, any available attack can be chosen for attacks of opportunity, and the dice size for all natural attacks are increased by 1 step. Additionally, the increased enhancement mutation is gained, if not already had. Finally, all natural attacks threat ranges are increased by 1, though this doesn’t stack with like effects such as keen or the natural increase to threat granted to the primary claws.
Ultimately, if a host does enough to drive its symbiote out after a level in the class is gained, he faces a permanent 2 Wisdom damage, as the lack of the simbiote becomes odd to his conciousness. To begin life as a new class, the character must first take a level in the Expert NPC class and begin his first level at his 2nd HD. If he has multiple levels as a Host, all those levels are subsequently replaced with the Expert NPC class. Any Base Attack Bonus, Saves and Hit Dice are recalculated. Any skills, however, remain unchanged. Needless to say, all class abilities are lost.
<-number of skill points-> + Int modifier skill points per level.
Playing a Host
Religion: Religion is of absolutely no concern of the simbiote. If anything, it dislike's religion, and tends to get along poorly with clerics and especially paladins. However, ultimately the host is the one who decides if he wishes to follow a religion, and if he does a god of chaotic nature is usually chosen.
Other Classes: Paladins, being the embodiement of good an law obviously get along quite poorly with a simbiote, making it hard for a host and a paladin to be on good terms. Also, a distrust of religion can make clerics difficult to get along with. As an abberant, extraterrestrial lifeform, druids and rangers who revere nature also tend to get along poorly with hosts. Sorcerers, often being of a chaotic mindset as well as having some form of lineage of...unsavory descent are able to appreciate hosts and simbiotes more readily than most. Rogues and barbarians, classes that are also very chaotic in nature also get along quite well. Also, wizards who specialize in polymorphing themselves, or even druids who can look past the allegience with an abberant creature often befriend hosts, as they enter combat in a similar fashion.
Combat: This typically depends on how the simbiote mutates. Regardless, the host is a front line combatant. He charges in using his frightening powers and vicious natural weapons to take apart his enemies. Being granted a number of boons to increase his sturdiness, he could easily become a tank, just as his ability to become unparelleled in forms of movement can make him an efficient scout.
Advancement: A host does not have much to gain outside his own class. Inward growth is what the simbiote needs to thrive, and if his experience is spent trying to learn unique forms of combat, its often lost on the simbiote’s granted abilities. Still, a barbarians rage or rogue’s sneak attack could be greatly appreciated by the class.
Hosts in the World
|“||A monster draped in writhing black with razor sharp claws and needle like teeth came out of the air and decimated our troop. Just as we managed to regain our wits, the creature sprouted an additional set of arms and threw a fireball at us. Yet again, we managed to regain our composure and we managed to shove a spear to the shaft directly through the creature’s heart. Instead of falling, a mass of tendrils opened, spitting the spear out of the creature’s chest. After a few minutes of combat, when all our troop was dead or diabled, the monster cackled madly, and I kid you not, the mass of black dissappeared, leaving nothing but an average looking man, in no armor and armed with no weapon, who then whistled and walked off.||”|
|—Jjorgen Darksteel, Dwarf Mercenary|
The simbiote is on a quest for power. He thrills in adventuring, searching for power, and artifacts to increase its strength. It would want to join an adventuring party for the pursuit of strength, and strength alone.
Daily Life: On a day outside of adventuring and combat, a host may appear as a normal man, and if nobody witnessed him manifest his simbiote, then there's little to no way they would know his true power. Yet as soon as he does, he becomes an unstoppable force of bestial strength and savagry.
Notables: Venon Durden, a human commoner’s life changed when he stumbled upon a strange mass of dark blue ooze in his home. As he investigated the mass, it suddenly lurched forward and engulfed his body. As he thought his life was over, he heard a strange voice in his head. ‘My name is Wave. I am a creature of which you could not understand. I do not wish to harm you, only to better you. If you accept me into your mind and body, we will become force to recon with, that all the world will come to know and respect...or fear. What do you say human. Do you wish to join me...?’ From that day on, Venon made his name in history as the Waterfall, an assassin known for his unstopable force in battle, along with his odd affinity with ice magic. After the assassination of 2 kings, 4 feudal lords, and over 50 nobles throughout the kingdom, the Waterfall was eventually pinned down by over a dozen sorcerers specializing in sonic magic, after the cause of his brutal abilities were determined. Organizations: Simbiotes are unlikely to surface. On occasion they due, and as they reproduce asexually, there are likely more than a few growing throughout the planet. Still they are incredibly rare. Also, the nature of the simbote race is to become the most powerful. They dislike the thought of any rivals, and more often than not try to rid themselves of future rivals, if they happen to run across any other hosts. Still, its not impossible that a band of hosts could form, if the odd occurance that multiple simbiotes surfaced and attached to hosts around the same time period, in a pursuit of greater power through an alliance. NPC Reactions: Most goodly races despise the thought of having a creature inside their mind, and therefore most hosts that are open about their relationship are shunned. While they may not be the most popular people throughout town, however, mercenary bands and armies, even kings seeking key warriors and assassins are often very excited at the find of a host, as they tend to make very efficient special warriors.
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) can research simbiotes and hosts to learn more about them. When a character makes a skill check, read or paraphrase the following, including information from lower DCs.
|5||The host is actually a host to a symbiotic creature living in its body.|
|10||The change in its body is actually the simbiote enveloping the host, amplifying his inherent power.|
|15||Hosts can vary dramatically in physical ability and shape, and some even have mastery over elemental forces.|
|20||Sonic based attacks are efficient against hosts, as it causes their simbiote great distress.|