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- Carrier: These chunky helpers will haul things where they need to go.
- Clawer: Vulnerable but fearsome, the clawer specializes in damage dealing.
- Barkskin: Slow but tough, the barkskin soaks hits for your other fighters.
- Woodmaker: Generates wood over time.
- Medicinemaker: Generates herbal medicine over time.
- Berrymaker: Generates berries over time.
- Gaumaker: Produces Gauranlen sprouts to make new Gauranlen trees.
All dryads are produced by a Gauranlen tree. They have no need to eat, are immune to disease events, and have a 100% Toxic Resistance, rendering them immune to Toxic fallout and Toxic buildup. Dryads will bleed, but cannot bleed to death. They have a sleep need requirement and tend to sleep at nighttime, not maintaining a normal sleep schedule.
Dryads heal abnormally fast, and can be commanded anywhere to enter a healing cocoon, which will heal all present injuries (not including lost limbs). Alternatively, they can retreat to a gauranlen tree. This takes 3 days and heals all permanent injuries, lost parts, and bad conditions.
Dryads will automatically have the Animals training for their respective caste. The barkskin and clawer dryads start with Guard and Attack, the carrier starts with Haul, and the rest have no trainability. They can only have their Gauranlen tree's connected pawn as their master, but can form bonds with their master tends to them. They do not require regular handling to maintain tameness or other skills.
All dryad castes have a meat yield of 3 immature dryad meat, despite being mature. Immature dryads give 4 meat.
All castes will start off as an immature dryad. Immature dryads will spawn every 8 days, according to an invisible timer. If there are empty dryad slots, this timer will be visible; it'll still tick down if there aren't empty dryad slots, waiting for an opening.
Immature dryads will attempt to immediately form into a cocoon upon spawning, as long as their sleep need is met. It takes 5 days for them to grow into a caste. Players can choose the caste for each specific tree, which future dryads will be. Changing a tree's caste will cause all dryads to become immature again, instead taking 6 days to grow up.
An unconnected tree will produce up to two immature dryads, which can immediately enter cocoons upon the tree gaining a connection.
Dryads cannot be assigned to any areas. While not hauling or following a drafted pawn, dryads will meander nearby their Gauranlen tree. They will attempt to put out fires on Gauranlen moss nearby. When following a drafted pawn, dryads perform identically to other animals. Carriers will continuously haul, while other animals with Haul training have a random delay.
Upon releasing a dryad to the wild, absolutely nothing will change, they remain connected to the tree and maintain their behavior. They cannot be re-tamed and your pawns will lose control of them.
Gauranlen tree connection interaction
If there are more dryads than the "mother" tree can support (i.e. by going under the minimum connection limit to support a number of dryads) the dryad will "return" to the Gauranlen tree. A dryad returning to the tree will not have any effect on the spawn timer.
All dryads have a specialized purpose. Berrymakers, medicinemakers, and woodmakers all create resources that may be difficult, depending on biome and Ideoligion. Barkskin and clawer dryads fight, carrier dryads haul, and gaumakers can create more trees and thus more dryads.
Tree pruning is a time consuming process - colonists connected 2 trees will need to dedicate all their time managing their trees. For the three resource -makers, just planting crops (when possible) tends to give more yield per work. Haulers are more efficient than humans haulers, as 1 tree and 1 colonist will support 4 haulers who don't need to eat or recreate, and will work longer than prune time. Combat dryads are weak on their own, but have unique advantages and dedicated combat roles - see #Combat potential for details.
There are 3 dryads that offer creating items of value, the woodmaker, medicinemaker, and berrymakers. All three will create resources once every 2 days.
- Berrymakers produce 38.2 of raw berries in Market Value.
- Selling raw is most efficient, as packaged survival meals or pemmican require meat to craft.
- Woodmakers produce 30 of wood in Market Value.
- Wood can be fashioned into sculptures, valued based on Art skill. However, one harvest is not enough for a sculpture, and they take a noticeable amount of work. See Sculpture Production for more details.
- Converting wood to chemfuel is a net loss ($2.4 wood makes $2.3 worth of chemfuel), but is 16x lighter.
- Medicinemakers produce 30 of herbal medicine in Market Value.
- It's best to sell raw - industrial medicine, their only product, isn't profitable as it requires buying neutroamine.
Therefore, berrymakers are the most efficient money dyrad, giving the most value for no extra work. However, berries expire after 14 days, which may necessitate woodmakers instead.
Berrymakers create $11.46 (at 0 Trade Price Improvement) per day, per dryad. If you are pruning 2 trees with a 20 plant-skill colonist, they can support 8 dryads (working 11 hours a day), and thus make ~$8.33 per hour of work, plus transportation. To maintain at least one dryad, ~2.5 hours of work is needed per day, so more dryads per tree are more efficient than more trees.
For comparison, planting a single psychoid plant gives $28 in flake. Corn can be planted and harvested to make $605 per hour with the right bionics. This makes dyrads a fairly poor method of making money, and more useful for their situational or Ideoligion benefits.
Only Barkskin and Clawer dryads are capable of combat. Either dyrad can follow their tree's connected pawn into battle, much like a trained animal. Dryads have special advantages over normal animals: they can't die of blood loss (so don't need to be tended to immediately), can heal otherwise permanent injuries in 3 days, and do not contribute towards colony wealth (making raids smaller). However, they can't be brought off the colony normally, unable to leave via caravan or pod launchers.
As individual fighters, dryads perform rather poorly in combat. However, they are good at doing their role, supporting colonists and other pawns in combat:
- Barkskin dryads boast high defense, with similar armor to a thrumbo (70% sharp, 40% blunt), but with around 9x less health. They can take roughly 3-4 shots from most firearms. With 3.16 DPS, they are fairly weak, but their armor and aforementioned healing make them useful. With such high armor, these dryads are good at distracting enemies while your colonists fire from afar. Alone, they are roughly equal to dogs in combat.
- Clawers have a great DPS, out-damaging scythers and thrumbos, and their first attack will stun for a short duration. The opposite of barkskins, clawers have poor durability. This makes them strong when combined with other melee attackers (including other clawers), in a cramped hallway, or when facing a small number of powerful enemies like centipedes or thrumbos. Alone, they are typically capable beating gun-wielding human pawns.
Conclusion: Even though they require a large amount of a pawn's time, dryads don't need food or training. With strong healing and immunity to blood loss, players may find them easier to keep than other pets. If they die, the tree-connected pawn only receives a -2 mood debuff, and a new dryad can take their place in 12 days.
- Immature dryads still appear as adults on the animals tab.
- When entering cocoons, the dryads will maintain the appearance of their previous caste.
- If a tree with dryads has its connection to the connector severed, such as by kidnapping or death, all specialized dryads revert back to immature dryads.
- Dryads can be taken off of the map when choosing animals to take with you when starting a new colony after obtaining a piece of the archotech map, and a master that is taken with them remains as their master. Dryads function without their gauranlen tree if taken off the map in this way, but despawn after a period of about a little longer than a season.