Difference between revisions of "Assassin Tree"

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Latest revision as of 14:37, 16 January 2020

Assassin Tree

Assassin Tree (HeavyCR 18)

Pure Evil - Colossal - Plant
Assassin Trees are full-sized trees that are animate and perfectly hostile to all other animate existence. As a plant, the Assassin Tree considers all non-plant creatures to be enemies.
Assassin Trees are thankfully rare compared to other sorts of trees, but that still means they are uncomfortably common. They can be found in forests and jungles, hilly or mountainous wilderness, swamps, and even tundra and deserts. Indeed, more than a few desert oases have been lost to these vegetable menaces.
Even worse, it is not uncommon to find Assassin trees in ruins and abandoned structures everywhere, often in the company of Leatherleaf (which explains how the ruins came to be ruined). In the wild, Assassin Trees can be attracted to campfires and the like, although thankfully, these wooden beasts seem to be less active in the hours of darkness.
Perhaps worst of all, it is not uncommon for the rich and powerful to have Assassin Trees as part of their landscaping. A grove of Assassin Trees in the center of a decorative garden can be a useful thing for the rich and evil...
The Assassin Tree is a carnivorous plant that creates its own grisly fertilizer by smashing animals with its long, heavy branches. These remarkable plants can detect movements in the earth and air and detect changes in light and heat through their broad leaves, giving them exceptional awareness of the area around them. Possessing limited intelligence or agenda, they lash out at whatever living things pass nearby, rarely worrying about how dangerous those things might be.
Unfortunately, Assassin Trees are hard to pick out in a vegetated setting. Their bark and leaves can grow in any of several ways, sometimes even on a single plant, meaning that up close it is hard to be certain you are looking at one. If you can see one from a good distance, it is easy to spot that they look like a pair of long, narrow trees that have grown together in the center of their slender trunks. They have two root balls at the ends of woody 'legs', a central trunk, and then two or three distinct leafy crowns. The entirety of their massive bulk is unnaturally flexible for such a wooden creature, and they move with startling speed.
When they attack, which is almost always when they sense anything warm or moving nearby, they stride close on their wooden 'legs' and then smash the ground below with deadly force. They are terribly poisonous, the merest brush of their leaves or bark raising painful weeping welts. If they are successfully attacked, by heroes able to withstand their attacks or by town guard with siege weapons, they shatter before their final destruction into a jagged mass of debris, which is still horribly animate. Worst of all, if you shatter one but fail to finally put it down completely, the mass of debris will eventually sprout into dozens of new assassin trees.
Assassin Trees do not seem to be directly related to assassin vines, although there are obvious parallels between the two creatures.

General

Lore Check: Know (Nature) (Basic: DC 36; Full: DC 51)
Init: +32
Ambush Chance: 8+ on d20 (req's 1 minute prep; Takes a -4 penalty to ambush in non-natural surroundings.)
Senses: Standard Senses, Tremorsense 120 ft.
Passive Perception: 42 (Spot: +32, req's move action)

Defense

AC: 42
Maneuver Defense (MD): 48
Hit Points: 960 (Heavy role included)    (Bloodied Value: 480)    Hit Dice: 34
Fort: +21    Refl: +16    Will: +21
Special Defenses:
Strong Against:
  • (Heavy Role) Immunity (partial 3): Heavies are immune to the first three conditions applied to them during an encounter. If a fourth condition is applied to a heavy, it is resolved normally. A 'condition' is defined as any non-instantaneous harmful effect applied to the monster, other than damage, but is most commonly one of the defined Status Conditions (but it doesn't have to be). Statuses related to damage (such as injured, bloodied, staggered, dying, or dead) are not 'conditions', and cannot be negated or avoided with this ability.
  • (Plant 1) Immune (no effect): poisons (tainted, poisoned, blighted), magical sleep (drowsy, sluggish, asleep), paralyzed, stunned, polymorph
  • (Plant 2) Immune (no effect): Forced movement (including Drag, Reposition), Prone (quelled, prone, splayed)
  • Hardened (½ damage): Cold (energy, common)
  • Immune (no effect): Light (energy, uncommon)
Weak Against:

Offense

Movement Types: Walk 10 ft., see also Rooting Crush
Space / Reach: 25 ft. / 25 ft.
Standard Attack:
  • 2x Scourge of Leaves +30 (5d8+25/19-20 x2) as slashing (physical, common); plus: Searing Rash
Full Attack:
  • 4x Scourge of Leaves +30 (5d8+25/19-20 x2) as slashing (physical, common); plus: Searing Rash
Standard Ranged:
  • 2x Pollen Puff +30 (5d8+25/19-20 x2) as abrasion (physical, uncommon) (Increment: 30 ft.; Max Range: 90 ft.) ; plus: Searing Rash
Full Ranged:
  • 4x Pollen Puff +30 (5d8+25/19-20 x2) as abrasion (physical, uncommon) (Increment: 30 ft.; Max Range: 90 ft.) ; plus: Searing Rash
Maneuver Offense: +33
Siege Damage:
  • 1x Burrowing Roots +29 (1d6+2)
Special Attacks: Unusual Shape, Rooting Crush, Searing Rash, Siege of Brambles
Action Points: 1 (Heavy role included)

Statistics

Str: 38    Dex: 12    Con: 36    Int: 6    Wis: 16    Cha: 20
Feats:
Skills:
Languages:

Special Abilities

Unusual Shape (Ex)

Instead of a single 25-foot (a 5x5 square) space, as is normal for a Colossal creature, an Assassin Tree is represented as two 10-foot (two 2x2 squares) spaces on the battlefield (one for each root ball). The huge mass of the tree is balanced above. Despite having two tokens on the field of play, it only has one pool of hit points and is a single creature for purposes of area of effect damage and status conditions.

Rooting Crush (Ex)

As a full attack action, instead of attacking adjacent creatures with Scourge of Leaves, the Assassin Tree pulls up one of its two root balls and 'takes a step' with it, attacking all creatures in a 25 ft. x 25 ft. space (5x5 square area) adjacent to where the 'stepping' root ball sets down. The 'stepping' root ball must set down in an unoccupied space that is within 50 feet of the 'rooted' root ball (the one that did not move). Every time it uses Rooting Crush the Assassin Tree may choose which root ball to move and which one to root. Rooting Crush does not provoke attacks of opportunity. When it uses Rooting Crush, it rolls a separate to-hit roll for Scourge of Leaves (its basic melee attack) for each creature in the affected area, but rolls damage only once for all creatures successfully struck.
In addition, all creatures that are adjacent to the space where it sets down its root ball must make a Reflex save versus a DC of 31 or they are knocked Prone. Creatures that succeed on the save are Quelled instead.

Searing Rash (Ex)

Searing Rash is a savage allergic reaction, caused by contact with the bark, roots, or leaves of an Assassin Tree. It causes terrible pain, incredible itching, and raises huge, blood-weeping welts.
Searing Rash    (Injury vector; Poisoned intensity)
Save: Fort DC 31;     Frequency: 1/round for 3 rounds
Effect: 1d4+1 points of DEX damage plus 4d8+18 points of poison (physical, uncommon)
Fruition: Victim falls Unconscious and cannot be awakened by normal means.
Fruition Duration: 1d6 hours.

Siege of Brambles (Ex)

The first time an Assassin Tree is reduced to zero hit points in a battle, it is not destroyed. Instead, it collapses into a massive pile of debris, loses all status conditions, is immune to all damage until its next turn, and its hit points are reset to half their normal value. (480 HP)
At the beginning of its next turn after Siege of Brambles is activated, the two tokens of its space are removed, and replaced by a single 3x3 token representing the pile of animate debris it has become. This new counter is placed anywhere within its melee reach, calculated from either of its former counters (any square of its new space must share any square within its former melee reach). This new counter may be placed on top of enemy counters without penalty, and all creatures within its new space are automatically struck once by Scourge of Leaves and must make a save against Searing Rash.
In this form, it loses the ability to use Rooting Crush, but it retains all its other abilities, its Walk speed improves to 25 feet, and it gains the ability to move into, and through, other creatures' spaces without penalty or provoking attacks of opportunity. Any creature within its new space suffers Scourge of Leaves damage once when it ends its move.
If multiple Assassin Trees are present and have been reduced to their Siege of Brambles forms, they can stack with each other, sharing their space, without penalty, just like swarms. However, also like swarms, no more than two Siege of Brambles-form Assassin Trees can make their free Scourge of Leaves attack against a single target in a given round, no matter how many are stacked into that creature's space.


Combat Tactics

Assassin Trees move to attack as soon as they perceive a non-plant creature of any sort. Their tactics are simple, preferring to use Rooting Smash against any group of three or more foes they can reach. If they cannot use Rooting Smash, they will use Scourge of Leaves on the closest valid target. If they cannot attack with Scourge of Leaves, they will shoot Pollen Puff as a full attack and edge closer with five foot steps.
After Siege of Brambles activates, it will collapse its new form on top of as many enemies as it can, then attack viciously using Siege of Leaves. Note that much like a swarm, it automatically does damage to creatures within the debris pile, so it will try to keep foes within its area while still attacking with Siege of Leaves. Without Rooting Smash it is quite slow, but it still has a very long reach. If all foes manage to get beyond its reach, it will use Pollen Puff and pursue until all enemies are outside its perception range.
Note that even though they are not exactly intelligent, Assassin Trees are NOT mindless. They will never break off a battle against a non-plant once begun, but they will use simple tactics, and will do things like edge slowly closer under the cover of darkness, and they will definitely position themselves deliberately in points of good ambush.

Out of Combat

In the wild, Assassin Trees are deadly menaces. In the wild, they are good at ambushes, blending into the vegetation, despite having no special Stealth skill. They tend to be sudden, brutal fights. If they are shattered into their Bramble form and survive, they will sprout dozens of new Assassin Trees.
Where Assassin Trees truly become pernicious is when they are paired with other plant monsters. Sentient plants will 'assign' Assassin Trees to places where they can serve as guards and obstacles. Some plant creatures seem to be able to communicate with Assassin Trees...somehow...and can direct them around.
Even civilized areas can have Assassin Trees. They occasionally come into vogue as exotic plantings in the gardens of the rich and evil. Such domesticated Assassin Trees can be kept fairly docile with plentiful food and water, as well as premium soil. Note that a disgruntled Assassin Tree does a LOT of siege damage, and will generally break free of nearly any confined area fairly quickly. Narrow moats of strong brine are often used to deter them in 'decorative' settings, but such measures are far from perfect and magic is the best way to contain them.
Assassin Trees have been encountered even in sewers, as shoots escape these gardens and sprout in the most inconvenient places.

Rewards

XP: 307,200 (Heavy role included.)
Treasure: Sellable Goods worth 135,778 gp.
Weight: 380 lbs.     Volume: 15.2 cu ft
Optional Treasure Rules: Roll on the following table once per encounter (NOT per creature). Any items discovered are in addition to the normal treasure for the encounter.
Table 1: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant Found (If Any)
1 - 8 Nothing Found
9 - 12 1 Languid Remnant (tier 1)
13 - 15 1 Pale Remnant (tier 2)
16 - 18 1 Bright Remnant (tier 3)
19 - 20 Roll on Table 2
Table 2: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant(s) Found
1 - 3 4 Languid Remnants (tier 1)
4 - 7 4 Pale Remnants (tier 2)
8 - 11 1 Intense Remnant (tier 4)
12 - 15 1 Blazing Remnant (tier 5)
16 - 18 1 Vital Remnant (tier 6)
19 - 20 Roll on Table 3
Table 3: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant(s) Found
1 - 3 4 Bright Remnants (tier 3)
4 - 5 4 Intense Remnants (tier 4)
6 - 8 4 Blazing Remnants (tier 5)
9 - 11 4 Vital Remnants (tier 6)
12 - 15 1 Prime Remnant (tier 7)
16 - 18 1 Mythic Remnant (tier 8)
19 - 20 1 Empyrean Remnant (tier 9)