Today is last day of Plant Week here at Necromancers of the Northwest, and it will surely come as no surprise to anyone that the creature feature of the week will be a plant monster of some kind. Personally, I’ve always been a little underwhelmed by plant monsters. They either have overwhelming success (a handful of assassin vines once killed 4 or 5 party members in one of my early campaigns), or they are disappointingly weak and useless (in another recent game, my party dispatched an encounter with plants that should have been a challenge without being injured). I feel like the problem is that there aren’t enough powerful plants past CR 3, and that assassin vines should really probably be more like CR 6. To solve this, I decided to make the most powerful monster featured on Exotic Encounters this year a plant. This is it: the verdant damnation.
This hideous monstrosity shambles out of the jungle’s depths. Standing at a great height, its body seems to be made of a great tree trunk and propelled by hundreds of twisted roots. The main body is surrounded by writhing vines that lash out violently in a storm of death. The crest of the beast is crowned by a wide array of flowers the size of your head in every hue imaginable, producing a sweet smell.
VERDANT DAMNATION CR 16
N Gargantuan plant
Init -3; Senses blindsight 120 ft.; Perception +27
AC 27, touch 3, flat-footed 27 (-3 Dex, +24 natural -4 size)
hp 372 (24d8+264)
Fort +24, Ref +7, Will +8
Defensive Abilities ironwood form, mindless, plant traits
DR 10/piercing and slashing
Speed 30 ft.
Melee mass of vines (2d6 tentacles) +29 (2d8+15 plus grab)
Space 20 ft.; Reach 20 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (2d8+15), mass of vines, poison cloud, strangle
Str 40, Dex 5, Con 30, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 5
Base Atk +18; CMB +37 (+41 grapple); CMD 44 (+48 grapple)
Feats Ability Focus (poison cloud)B, ToughnessB
Skills Perception +27
Environment any forest
Organization solitary or escort (1 plus 2-12 standard treants)
Ironwood Form (Su): A verdant damnation has the ability to transform the wooden portion of its body into wood hard as iron, making it exceptionally difficult to harm. The verdant damnation gains a natural armor bonus to AC equal to its Constitution modifier (typically +10), and its damage reduction cannot be overcome except by adamantine weapons. While in this form, it cannot move, and it suffers a -3 penalty on the roll to determine the number of tentacles it can attack with using its mass of vines ability. Activating or deactivating this form is standard action which does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Mass of Vines (Ex): A verdant damnation’s body contains a mass of tentacle-like vines which can attack its foes. Each round, roll 2d6 to determine the number of tentacle attacks it can make that round. For each creature that it is currently grappling, reduce the result by 1. Note that the verdant damnation must still make a full-attack action to make more than a single tentacle attack on any given round, regardless of the amount rolled.
Poison Cloud (Ex): A verdant damnation’s body is covered in flowers that constantly produce a cloud of vapor which affects the minds and bodies of all living creatures within a 50-ft. radius. All living creatures within that area must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 34) or become sickened for 1 round, and then must succeed on a Will save (DC 34) or be compelled to move at least 5 feet closer to the verdant damnation. Creatures already adjacent to the verdant damnation are immune to the second effect. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based, and includes a +2 bonus from Ability Focus.
Strangle (Ex): A verdant damnation chokes the life out of its prey. Creatures the verdant damnation is grappling must hold their breath or begin to suffocate. Each round that such a creature suffers damage as a result of the constrict attack, he must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC equal to the amount of damage dealt by the constrict attack that round) or have the remaining number of rounds that he can hold his breath before needing to make Constitution checks to do so reduced by 1 additional round.
The living embodiment of the most deadly and vile of jungles, the verdant damnation is one of the most feared plants of all. Its body consists of a single massive tree, surrounded by a mass of tentacle-like vines which lash about for prey. Finally, it is covered in numerous flowers which contain tiny mouths, used to devour food. Though not intelligent, verdant damnations are often directed by jungle deities or powerful druids to serve their wicked ambitions.
Left to their own devices, verdant damnations are driven primarily by mindless hunger and fierce territorial instincts. Since verdant damnations are the embodiment of verdant realms, they do not reproduce naturally, meaning the creatures are exceedingly rare. Because of their extreme remote habitats, they rarely interact with humanoids, except when driven to do so.