Friday, December 15, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Malevolent Plants

Hello, and welcome to another Frightful Fridays! This week presents a bounty of two terrible plants, the detonating bramble and the rotshroom. The detonating bramble shoots thorns into its victims and the thorns explode into brambles while inside their victims. Fun! The rotshroom is more actively evil and likes to instantly decay its victims, which rise as zombies when they die. Also fun!

I hope you enjoy both of these monsters. I'll see you next week with another monster!

This gnarled and twisted collection of plant matter sports long, sharp thorns that look like they could break away easily.
Detonating Bramble      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Small plant
Init +9; Senses low-light vision; Perception +14
AC 23, touch 17, flat-footed 17 (+5 Dex, +1 dodge, +6 natural, +1 size)
hp 119 (14d8+56); verdant healing
Fort +13, Ref +11, Will +5
Defensive Abilities thorn defense; DR 10/cold iron and slashing; Immune electricity, plant traits
Weaknesses kindling
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 4 thorns +16 (1d6+4 plus bleed)
Ranged 2 thorns +17 (1d6+4 plus bleed)
Special Attacks broken thorn, detonating thorn
Str 18, Dex 21, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 12, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +13; CMD 29 (can't be tripped)
Feats Dodge, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Mobility, Spring Attack, Weapon Focus (thorn)
Skills Climb +12, Perception +14, Stealth +16 (+24 in undergrowth); Racial Modifiers +8 Stealth in undergrowth
Environment any forest
Organization solitary or cluster (2–7)
Treasure incidental
Broken Thorn (Ex) A detonating bramble must break off a thorn when it uses it as a ranged weapon, and may break off a thorn when it makes a successful melee attack with a thorn. This deals 1d4 points of damage to detonating bramble. On a successful hit with a thorn, the bramble gains a free combat maneuver check with a +4 racial bonus to impale the thorn in the foe it struck. Removing one thorn requires a DC 20 Heal check made as a full-round action. For every 5 by which the check is exceeded, one additional thorn can be removed. On a failed check, a thorn is removed, but the process deals 1d6+2 points of damage to the victim.
A thrown thorn has a 10-foot range increment.
Detonating Thorn (Ex) A broken thorn explodes into an inert bramble after 1d4 rounds. This deals 6d6 points of piercing damage to the victim (DC 21 Fortitude halves). The victim is entangled and nauseated until the bramble is removed, requiring a DC 21 Heal check made as a full-round action. On a failed check, the bramble remains, and the victim takes 2d6 points of damage. The DCs are Constitution-based.
Kindling (Ex) Upon taking fire damage, a detonating bramble gains vulnerability to fire. If it fails its Reflex save against an attack that requires a save and deals fire damage, it catches fire, taking 1d6 points of fire damage each round, but its melee attacks add 1d6 points of fire damage. It can attempt a Reflex save (at the same DC as the original Reflex save) as a full-round action to put itself out; the bramble has a +4 racial bonus on this save.
Thorn Defense (Ex) Any creature that strikes a detonating bramble with a non-reach melee weapon, unarmed strike, or natural weapon takes 1d6+2 points of piercing damage from the bramble’s thorns. The bramble can use its broken thorn ability to lodge a thorn into its opponent.
Verdant Healing (Ex) While in undergrowth, a detonating bramble gains fast healing 2.

Created by fey druids, detonating brambles are a blight on living, fleshy creatures making the mistake of entering their lairs. While possessing more of an instinctual level of intelligence, the brambles are patient enough to wait for their victims to draw close enough for them to attack from a position of advantage within the undergrowth where they hide. Detonating brambles gather up loose plant material from undergrowth, which allows them to heal from the damage they inflict upon themselves to leave thorn within their victims. These thorns become terrible time bombs that burst into a full-grown bramble while devastating their hosts. These new brambles are inert, initially, but become new detonating brambles if left to grow in the gory remains of their victims.

Evil druids cultivate detonating brambles as guardians, but they must use magic to control the brambles, since the creatures are too dim to recognize them as allies.

A typical detonating bramble has a 4-foot radius and weighs 20 pounds.


This pale mushroom has a seam down its stalk giving it a pair of legs. It oozes a tarry substance from its cap, and a pungent odor emanates from the tar.
Rotshroom      CR 7
XP 3,200
NE Small plant
Init +3; Senses deathwatch, low-light vision; Perception +9
Aura stench (20 ft., DC 18, 2d4 rounds)
AC 20, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+3 Dex, +6 natural, +1 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +10, Ref +8, Will +5
DR 5/good; Immune cold, death effects, disease, negative energy, plant traits
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 tentacles +12 (1d6–1 plus spores)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with tentacles)
Special Attacks create spawn, spore cloud, spores
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 10th; concentration +13)
Str 8, Dex 17, Con 16, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 17
Base Atk +7; CMB +5; CMD 18
Feats Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (Heal), Toughness, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Heal +10, Perception +9, Stealth +11
Environment any temperate or warm land or underground
Organization solitary or corpse grove (2–12)
Treasure none
Create Spawn (Ex) A living creature that dies as a result of a rotshroom’s spores rises as a free-willed fast zombie with the rotshoom’s rot spores special attack 1d4 rounds later.
Spore Cloud (Ex) Once every 1d6 rounds, a rotshroom can release a 20-foot-radius cloud of spores. All creatures caught within the cloud are subject to the rotshroom’s spores and must attempt a DC 18 Fortitude save. On a failure, the victim becomes sickened for 1d4 rounds; if it is already sickened as a result of a previous use of the rotshroom’s spore cloud or its stench, the victim instead becomes nauseated for 1d4 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Spores (Ex) Any creature that takes damage from a rotshroom’s tentacle attack or is caught in the rotshroom’s spore cloud becomes exposed to its spores. These spores grow rapidly in living creatures. This affliction is a disease effect, but it is poison-like in its speed and duration.
Rot Spores: Disease—injury or ingested; save Fort DC 18; frequency 1/round for 8 rounds; effect 1d4 Con damage and 2d4 bleed, and the victim must succeed on an additional Fortitude save or 1 point of Con damage becomes 1 point of Con drain instead; cure 2 consecutive saves.

Rotshrooms thrive in areas where dead bodies have been left to decay. They accelerate rot, so they can more readily feed on it. Their predilection for open grave sites and other places where large numbers of creatures died gives them a kind of necromantic ability, and living creatures that succumb to the rot they inflict come back as shambling undead. This ability makes them attractive to powerful undead and necromancers, since the plants do the work of revivifying bodies, leaving the newly created zombies available for control by these powerful creatures. The plants also serve as a line of defense for undead creatures and frustrate enemies who come prepared to destroy undead, but may be surprised by living allies capable of incapacitating their foes with their virulent rotting disease and disgusting odor.

A typical rotshroom stands 3–1/2 tall and weighs 50 pounds.