Admittedly, this species is still rather primitive, barely more than a bacterial colony; but it seems to be evolving fast and in oddly directed ways, almost as if the normally random march of the mutations was …
It's the first time I try organizing a game, so please forgive gross overlooks. Hopefully I'll do better the next time after this topic.
How does it work ?
Simply put, each person can suggest one trait the current organism will evolve next turn; the suggestions are tallied, then a dice is rolled for each of them to see if you managed to mutate your way through generations:
1 - Result is exactly opposed to the one intended !
2 - Evolution goes in a somewhat opposite way to the one intended.
3 - The trait is barely or badly evolved, producing no concrete result -but no penalty either.
4 - Notable evolution toward suggested goal. It's not perfect, but it's more or less what you wanted.
5 - Major evolution toward suggested goal; the desired result is neatly obtained.
6 - Evolution goes beyond the suggested goal, making the creature somewhat specialized in this new trait.
Moreover, the more people agree, the easier it is: you gain +1 to your dice roll for each 20% of voices going to the same suggestion (though 6 is still the maximum).
Don't hesitate to go wild in your suggestions, I'll try to accommodate you -breaking them into smaller parts if necessary. As a rule of thumb, one turn correspond to a few millions years.
Now it would be easy if you could just do whatever you wanted without caring about survival, am I right ? But that's not how it goes in this wild wild world.
First, the basal species just underwent speciation, and so two subpopulations are evolving independently while vying for the same resources. Consequently, you guys are divided between two independent teams (called A and B for now, we'll rename them later), each one in charge of one and only one clade. That should put a little animation, hehe. This round will continue as long as there is competition between the two -depending on your actions, there is a lot of ways this could end ...
Another complication is the potential changes in the environment. Just wait until I've finished my table of random catastrophes ! From time to time, I may roll for an unpredictable and far-reaching disaster, through which pre-adapted entities will have better chances of surviving …
But enough blabbering ! Here is the initial situation.
Environment : the Lake, a large mass of warm fresh water (so to speak ). Photosynthetic unicellulars lives in the upper levels of the water column, while heterotrophic bacteria and Myxostagnum primum (your base species !) scavenge at the bottom.
The western side of the Lake is covered in massive rocks fallen from the overlooking peaks, creating an intricate maze of tight passages between the blocks. As one progresses alongside the bottom, stones become older and older and, having had time to erode, smaller and smaller; the middle of the Lake bottom is a plain of fine sand. Meanwhile, the eastern side is covered in silt.
SPECIES FOR BOTH TEAMS:
Primitive Lake-mold (Myxostagnum primum)
A tiny blob of mostly undifferentiated cells sitting on the bottom of the lake. It feeds by endocytosis on whatever (non-self) organic matter fall on it. It grows as long as food is available. When it begin to starve or is damaged in any way, some of its cells grow flagella, separate from the main mass, and migrate blindly until hopefully stumbling upon food; those that survive the ordeal become the founders of new colonies.
Main environment: bottom of the Lake, primarily mud-side (more open, easier to be reached by food).
Notable flaws: relies on blind luck to be hit by edible matter.
Turn 0: Above!
Turn 1: Antannae | Paddles | 'sploding
Turn 2: Antannae launching | Digestive system and Spines | Eatin' crap
Turn 3: Tentacles | Sense of Smell, Womb and 'sploding | Bubbles
Turn 4: Balloon usage | Surface Breathing and algae symbiosis | Hivemind
Turn 5: More balloon usage | Lungs and sight | Cannibalism and oxygen addiction
Turn 6: Parasiting barometz | Defensive slime and swim bladder | Photosynthesis
Turn 7: Immune system | Skeleton and poison filter | Stolons
Turn 8: Adrenal control | Jaws and proper heart | Viable emerged growth
Turn 9: Air sacs | Sex and walking | Fruits
Turn 10: Stinghorns | Claws, scales and genitalia | Hidden impaling traps and spores. Also, most people get out of the Lake.
Turn 11: Internalisation | Ears, smell and scaly belly | "Moderation-encouraging" fruits and desert roots
Turn 12: Eating non-viable hosts | Herding, better nose | Selective eating and ... severe cankers ?!?
Turn 13: Coat of spines | Climbing, eating meat and a neck | Tentacles of doom !
Turn 14: Carnivory | "Pacifying" breath and flexible neck | Water-retaining covering and dense, reabsorbable neurotoxins
Turn 15: Inheritable immunities and reproduction while impaled | Gliding membrane, bigger kidney and modified eye | Safe paths for children, longer-range pods and terrestrial fruits
Turn 16: Regaining photosynthesis | Echolocation, fog-catching web and back spines | Mobile tentacle pod and MOAR toxins
Turn 17: Perfecting the photosynthesis lifestyle | Perfecting heart and lung, glue spraying and a tail | Oliphant seeds and viral sabotage
Turn 18: Genestealing | True flight and farming | Using larger seeds as mobile platform for a colony
Turn 19: Cold resistance and copying endothermy | Endothermy and learning | Extreme toxicity and drinking behavior
Turn 20: Immortality and copying learning | Fire breath and poison resistance | Explosive propulsion, signalling trail and better spores
Turn 21: Toxin and radiation resistances | Poison resistance and prehensile limbs | Mimicry and smog aura
Turn 22: Cryptobiosis | Language and agriculture | Multistage bomb-rocket and rainseeding
Turn 23: Cleverness, burrowing and "hearing" | Tool use and animal husbandry | Optimised propulsion, balloon seeds and resistance to digestion
Turn 24: Aerican Englush speaking and tree chopping | Tool use and eyesight | Moderate salt-resistance, fibrous spores and "airborne forets". Also, THE END of the first game due to civilisation.
Starting Blobs (ADA species, turn 0)
Antannae (ADA species, turn 1)
Antannae Launching (ADA species, turn 2)
Use Moldmine as balloon (ADA and WTU species, turn 3)
The Plan (all three species, turn 4)
Transition (ADA species and its successive hosts, turn 5-6)
Host and parasite (ADA species turn 6 on a Chlorichtes venosis, evolved turn 5 but still alive as a non-player species)
By 20 characters!
Paddles & Digestion (BB species, turn 2)
Spines and Chemical Receptors (BB species, envisioned turn 3)
Womb (BB species, turn 3)
Symbiotic Algae (BB species, turn 4)
Eye and internal organs (BB species, turn 5)
Photosynthetic sails, among other things (BB species, turn 7)
Mandibles (BB species, turn 8)
The coastal king takes a stroll (original, fully colored) (BB species, turn 9)
Leaving the Lake (BB species, turn 10)
Now with cat ears ! ^^ (BB species, turn 11)
A strange climber (BB species, turn 13)
A Spider Greenbeast contemplates the possibility of suicide (BB species on WTU's species, turn 17)
Vengeful dragon (in progress) (BB's species, turn 20)
BURN! (alias: F YEAH DRAGON)(BB's species, turn 20)
Ecosystem diagram, Turn 3
Ecosystem diagram, Turn 7 (small inexactitude: BB's species is among the few of its kind not affected by ADA's species, as their slime prevents its fixation)
"I'll get you next time, Gadget !" (an alternate universe where WTU managed to get out of the Lake and explode those left behind)
(Best read in David Attenborough's voice) (Quasar narrates a documentary about the strange ecosystem as of turn 15)
Screw this I'm leaving (the way WTU's species (try to) escape BB's, as of turn 20)