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"The first sanguophage appeared thousands of years ago when the lord-explorer Varan-Dur sought to control a hyperintelligent archotech and found himself transformed by it instead. Every sanguophage is descended from him. Since then, sanguophages have often been hunted because of their destabilizing power and their need for blood. Since they can pass for baseliners, many live in hiding among typical humans.
Their numbers are unknown. Some think they are legends or rare irrelevancies. Some believe sanguophages secretly direct entire human civilizations. The stories speak of eternal lords ruling billions from slate-black space stations, or directing blood sacrifices at conferences in the underlayers of the deepest urbworlds."— Biotech preview #4: Xenotypes, world factions, and the dark blood-drinkers
Sanguophages are a mysterious but powerful group of xenohumans. They have no distinguishing looks from other xenohumans, so they blend in at first glance. Once selected, their differences are immediately apparent, from their hemogen and deathrest trackers at the bottom of the screen, to their unique abilities and immense genetic differences.
Sanguophages have a gene complexity of 57 complexity and an equivalent xenogerm contains 8 archite capsules. With a 0 metabolic efficiency, they have a hunger rate of ×100%. Note however that sanguophage genes can disable a pawn's native germline genes (e.g. Fast Runner will negate a neanderthal's Slow Runner), which can change their metabolism.
All sanguophages have these xenogenes:
|Superfast wound healing
|Mild UV sensitivity
|Strong melee damage
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Sanguophages can be found in several ways.
- Sanguophage scenario : You start the game with a Sanguophage.
- Recruitment: You capture and recruit a Sanguophage, or one joins as a wanderer.
- Gene implant : You can force Sanguophages to use their gene implant ability on one of your pawns if they are captured or downed. Select the desired pawn to gain these abilities, and then right-click on the sanguophage and choose the "Absorb xenogerm" option. If the sanguophage's genes are currently regrowing, this will kill them.
- Quest : You allow 2 or more Sanguophages hold a meeting at your colony. They will start the ceremony by placing a blood torch, which gives +2 mood buff to all sanguophages in its radius, and a red mist, with red eyes appearing in it, will appear for a few hours. The torch will remain once the quest is complete. One of the quest rewards will allow you to choose a pawn to be implanted with Sanguophage genes. There's also a small chance that some of those sanguophages will give you a join offer, similar to refugees.
- Quest : You get word that a sanguophage and his thralls are about to crash, and you can signal them to land at your colony (or nearby). You are advised that if you capture the sanguophage you can force them to implant a xenogerm in one of your colonists.
Becoming a sanguophage has a variety of pros and cons, that are generally worth the implantation.
Access to Low Sleep means that, even when considering deathrest, a sanguophage will have more hours of work every day. The archite genes provide eternal youth and health, and cure scars akin to luciferium. Fast walker and Robust are useful to just about any colonist. Finally, their hemogen abilities are all useful in their own way.
However, being a blood drinker does come with costs - a need for hemogen and a need for deathrest. While they are not deal-breakers, you should consider them whenever playing with a sanguophage. These are detailed below.
Sanguophages can store 100 hemogen, which can be increased by deathresting with attached hemopumps. A sanguophage consumes 10 of their stored hemogen per day, equivalent to a bloodfeed every 2 days. Hemogen reaching 0 is not fatal, but will inflict a gradually increasing penalty that eventually reaches ×50% Consciousness, +15% pain and a −20 moodlet. Hemogen is also required, and consumed by, the Longjump, Piercing spine, and Coagulate abilities.
As a rough measure, each regular human can meet 1.48 sanguophages' needs for blood indefinitely, assuming no hemogenic abilities are used. Extracting hemogen packs and consuming them is exactly as efficient as blood feeding in terms of hemogen per prisoner per day. Packs require storage space and additional pawn work, but do not inflict a painful bite or a −5 moodlet, and extracting them slowly trains the medical skill. Note that the moodlet is avoided when feeding on masochists or those with the Bloodfeeders: Revered precept.
Prisoners are preferred as hemogen sources over colonists because the blood loss will reduce the ability to work for a short time. The mood impact of bloodfeeding is also less important on prisoners. You can give prisoners the Dead calm gene to make sure they don't escape while still remaining able to feed themselves from nutrient paste dispensers or meals left in their prison. Alternatively, the leg treatment will also prevent escapes and reduce their Market Value, but they will need to be manually fed by colonists or paramedic mechanoids. You can also give them negative genes like Very unattractive to reduce food upkeep.
Sanguophages need to deathrest once every ~30 days. This will last from 4 days (regular bed) to 2.5 days (deathrest casket + 2 deathrest accelerators). During this time, the pawn will have their needs frozen. Lacking deathrest is like lacking hemogen - it isn't fatal, but comes with major Consciousness and mood penalties.
The main cost of deathrest is that your sanguophage might be stuck sleeping whenever a raid arrives. Cassandra Classic and Phoebe Chillax both have defined cooldowns between sets of raids, but Randy Random won't give you that mercy. They can wake up at will, but this results in the Interrupted deathrest hediff, reducing their stats for 5 days.
Note that deathrest comes with some benefit. You can connect with deathrest buildings like the glucosoid pump to improve post-deathrest condition. Psycasters will appreciate using psychofluid pumps to improve their psychic abilities. However, deathrest building capacity is limited. It must be increased one at a time by the expensive and somewhat rare deathrest capacity serum. Further, unlike a Cryptosleep casket, deathrest does not suspend Addiction, and can be used to mitigate withdrawal symptoms.
Sanguophages have Pyrophobia, which can cause Fleeing Fire mental break if near fire. This makes it more difficult when fighting fire-based enemies like the tesseron and diabolus. In addition, they are damaged more by fire. A firefoam pop pack can be handy.
Sanguophages also have minor UV sensitivity, giving −6 mood and ×90% move speed during the sunlight. Ultimately, this is a minor penalty, but one worth noting. A sanguophage is slightly slower than a base human in the day, but faster at night.
Choosing a host
Because each xenogerm implantation has a cooldown of 2 years, not all your colonists can become a sanguophage right away. There are 2 types of colonist that deserve special mention:
- Colonists with brain damage, or colonists with chronic conditions like frail. These conditions are cured by the Scarless gene, and would otherwise require luciferium, healer mech serum, or the biosculpter pod to treat. In a similar vein, older colonists are vulnerable to disease and said chronic conditions. Being a sanguophage renders full immunity to disease and aging, and will retroactively cure any existing conditions over time.
- Colonists who would appreciate access to the various genes. Melee fighters will gain access to many good vampire genes, like Strong melee (skill), Strong melee damage, Robust, and Longjump, as well as all the Archite genes. Any colonist will appreciate the powers of Deathless and Scarless.
- Their pyrophobia will negate the Pyromaniac trait. Pawns with Transhumanist ideologies can also go without mandatory age reversals.
Remember that Sanguophage implantation replaces all xenogenes. Your genies, hussars, and highmates will lose all of their respective genes. Any xenogerms you've implanted will be replaced completely. In addition, placing any xenogerm will erase all the Sanguophage genes. Don't give them Great Melee thinking it'll just improve your sanguophage's melee skill, it'll also remove their archite genes and need for blood.
- 1.4.3531 - Fix: AI sanguophages can use longjump without any remaining hemogen.
- 1.4.3534 - Fix: Error on drafting pawn with hemogenic ability gene with no hemogen gene.