A tagamaling buso (pronounced: /tɑːgɑːmɑːlɪŋ bstah-gah-mah-ling boo-so[4]) was a type of buso, being the victim of the infected claws of a tigbanua buso and cursed to turn into one each night.[3][2][1][note 1]

Ecology[edit | edit source]

Any humanoid wounded by the claws of a tigbanua risked contracting its disease or curse, if they lacked the fortitude to resist. Those infected inevitably became a tagamaling.[3][2][1]

Thereafter, every night after sunset, the victim was at risk of transforming into a tagamaling. This was slight at first, only a 1-in-a-100 chance on the first night, but increased steadily each night, becoming in a 2-in-a-100 on the second night, and so on.[3][2][1] The transformation often occurred around midnight.[5][6][note 2] It lasted throughout the rest of the night and ended at sunrise, when the victim changed back to their original form[2][1] with no memory of the experience,[3][2][1] though they might find themselves terribly fatigued.[1]

In the ninety-nine days after infection, the condition could be lifted with cure disease, remove disease, or remove curse.[2][1] But on the hundredth night, the chance became certain, and the victim would become a tagamalingevery night without fail. They could not be cured[3][2][1] by any magic less than a miracle or a wish.[1]

A tagamaling could not transmit the infection to others. They also lacked the tigbanua's aura of paralyzing fear.[2]

In an unusual case, a human wu jen cursed to be a tigbanua buso didn't spread a normal infection but a kind of spiritual taint. Those turned into tagamalings by him couldn't be cured normally but would be cured as soon as he was slain. This change could also be triggered by a traumatic situation.[6]

Description[edit | edit source]

A tagamaling looked like a tigbanua in most aspects. When a victim transformed, their feet became elongated and bony, their hands grew sharp claws, their teeth grew into wicked fangs, and most notably their eyeballs fused into a single orb, colored red or yellow.[2][1] Otherwise, they retained something of their original build and height, appearing shorter and stockier than a tigbanua as they didn't have its lean figure, long limbs, and long neck.[2] However, a tagamaling resulting from the above spiritual taint could have the full height and long limbs and neck. They could retain other aspects of their original form, such as their hair.[6]

Combat[edit | edit source]

Tagamalings attacked everyone they encountered, using their new claws and fangs to slash and eat them.[3][2][1] They were as durable as they were in life.[2]

Behavior[edit | edit source]

When transformed into a tagamaling, the victim was as mindless as an animal and much more savage, simply attacking—and then eating—whatever and whoever they came across. Their minds were consumed with rage and animal instincts, and they could not do anything requiring thought, nor could they use any special skills, magic, or other powers they might know normally.[3][2][1]

Perhaps mercifully, they retained no memory of what they'd done when they turned back.[3][2][1]

Homelands[edit | edit source]

While they could go anywhere in Kara-Tur,[2] tagamaling busos were usually found where there were tigbanua busos, namely in the temperate, tropical, and subtropical wildernesses.[7][8]

History[edit | edit source]

In Wa Year 1775 (1357 DR), an unusually intelligent tigbanua named Getsu tried to destroy the city of Nakamaru in Wa by turning as many of its citizens as he could into tagamalings who would slaughter the rest. He had at least commoners infected within the first 99 days and went on to attack the Worthless Flower yakuza gang before adventurers likely stopped him.[9][10]

In summer of Wa Year 1775 (1357 DR), Takako Shimizu, a samurai of Aru Province in Wa, was attacked by the unusual cursed tigbanua buso while out hunting. Several weeks later, she transformed for the first time and killed a fellow samurai in the Donjon of Aru. Adventurers in service to her uncle the daimyo, Benju Matsutomo, may have investigated, discovered the condition when she transformed and attacked them, and finally hunted down and slain the cursed tigbanua buso responsible.[6]

Circa Kozakuran Year 1433 (1359 DR), a group of twelve infected people—two men, three women, four children, and three elders—settled in the abandoned ruins of Ito-jo, a castle in Maeshi Province in Kozakura, where they occupied the old gardeners' huts and eked out a meager livelihood. They claimed to be refugees of the mainland and lived in fear. Although wary of visitors, they were not inhospitable, and would even put them up for the night, provided all windows and doors were barred and weapons put away. They all turned into tagamaling busos at midnight.[5][11]

Appendix[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

The tagamaling buso is based on creatures of Philippine mythology, specifically the legends of the Bagobo people. Here, the buso is a kind of spirit or demon and the tagamaling is a buso that is an evil eater of human flesh for one month and then a godly being who does not the next. While there are multiple types of busos in Bagobo legends, and the structure of the 1st-edition Oriental Adventures and Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix write-ups imply there may be multiple busos, only tigbanuas and tagamalings have been presented in D&D, to the point that the term "buso" seems synonymous.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  1. In 1st-edition Oriental Adventures and 2nd-edition Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix, the tagamaling buso transformation is said to be a disease, while in 3rd-edition Oriental Adventures it is said to be a curse and classified as a supernatural effect.
  2. While the exact time of transformation is not specified in write-ups of the tagamaling buso, NPCs tend to transform at or after midnight, suggesting this is the standard time.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 James Wyatt (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition). (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 148–149. ISBN 0-7869-2015-7.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 Rick Swan (July 1990). Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), p. 8. ISBN 0-88038-851-X.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 117. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  4. James Wyatt (October 2001). Oriental Adventures (3rd edition). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 249. ISBN 0-7869-2015-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jon Pickens and others (1986). Night of the Seven Swords. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 0-88038-327-5.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Nigel Findley (1990). Ninja Wars. (TSR, Inc), pp. 93, 95–96. ISBN 0-8803-8895-1.
  7. Gary Gygax, David Cook, and François Marcela-Froideval (1985). Oriental Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 114. ISBN 0-8803-8099-3.
  8. Rick Swan (July 1990). Monstrous Compendium Kara-Tur Appendix. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 62–64. ISBN 0-88038-851-X.
  9. David "Zeb" Cook (1987). Blood of the Yakuza. (TSR, Inc), pp. 25, 34–35. ISBN 0-88038-401-8.
  10. David "Zeb" Cook (1987). Blood of the Yakuza (Encounter Construction Booklet). (TSR, Inc), p. 1. ISBN 0-88038-401-8.
  11. It is unknown if these tagamalings have a connection to the tigbanuas also dwelling in Ito-jo.
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