It’s pretty much the heart of spring while I’m writing this, and flowers everywhere are in full bloom. While I’ve always thought flowers are among the prettiest things the natural world has to offer us, I also have pollen allergies, which make flowers my enemy. To that end I decided that this week’s Exotic Encounters should feature a deadly flowering plant monster which kills by the virtue of its powerful scent-based attack. Now players with allergies have a chance to get their revenge—if they can survive.
This monster before you looks like a cord of leafy vines, with beautiful star-shaped flowers blooming all over it. The creature’s chief feature, however, is the powerful and pleasant scent that wafts out from the many brilliantly colored flowers.
DREAD FLOWER CR 4
NE Medium plant
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +10
AC 15, touch 14, flat-footed 10 (+4 Dex)
Hp 42 (5d8+20)
Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +3
Defensive Abilities plant traits
Speed 10 ft.
Melee 4 tentacles +6 (1d3+2)
Special Attacks life drain, sweet scent, weakening aroma
Str 14, Dex 10, Con 16, Int 5, Wis 14, Cha 2
Base Atk +3; CMB +5; CMD 15
Feats Ability Focus (sweet scent), Toughness, Weapon Focus (tentacle)
Skills Perception +10, Stealth +0 (+20 in deep undergrowth); Racial Modifiers +20 Stealth in deep undergrowth
Environment temperate forests, swamps
Organization solitary or pair
Life Drain (Ex): Whenever a dread flower hits with its tentacle attack, the target must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or become fatigued for 1d4 rounds. If the target becomes fatigued as a result of this ability, the dread flower regains 1d4 hit points and gains a +2 enhancement bonus to its Strength and Dexterity scores for 1d4 rounds.
Sweet Scent (Ex): A dread flower emits a sweet smelling scent from its colorful flowers, which can be clearly smelled at a distance of up to 120 feet. A creature who breathes in the scent must succeed on a Will save (DC 15) or be compelled to move closer to the dread flower on its turn. An affected creature must use a move action to move closer to the dread flower on its turn and cannot move farther away from the dread flower, but is otherwise free to act normally. A creature already adjacent to the dread flower is unaffected by this ability.
This is a mind-affecting effect. Creatures immune to scent-based attacks or to poison are immune to this effect. Creatures who gain a saving throw bonus vs. poison apply that bonus against this effect, as well. The saving throw DC is Constitution-based.
Weakening Aura (Ex): Up close, the sweet scent of the dread flower is far more potent, sapping the strength and vitality of those who breathe in its perfume. A creature which begins its turn adjacent to the dead flower must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 15) or suffer 1 point of Strength damage. Strength damage dealt this way is very temporary and recovers at a rate of 1 point per hour, once the victim stops being exposed to either the dread flower’s sweet scent or weakening aura abilities.
Known by some as the siren flower, these terrible flowering plant monsters use their sweet scents to lure prey to its doom. Not quite mindless, these hunters have a malicious streak and will happily kill and maim anything that wanders too close to them, luring in the unwary and then crushing them to death with their powerful tentacles, even as the victim is lost in the flowers’ beautiful scent. Cunning and violent predators, these wicked plant monsters prefer to attack the weak, injured, and very young, not simply because they make easier prey, but because the dread flower enjoys dominating the helpless and reveling in its relative strength.
Though the dread flower is not especially social or intelligent, these creatures possess some limited intellect that makes them very dangerous as ambush predators, and they speak a primitive version of Aklo which they use to torment their victims. Their primitive understanding of Aklo leads some to believe that they were created by evil-aligned fey creatures, a theory corroborated by the monsters almost otherworldly beauty, and pleasant but lethal means of attack.