5e SRD >Creatures >

Bramble

Gargantuan plant, neutral evil

Armor Class 15
Hit Points 351 (18d20 + 162)
Speed 0 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
15 (+2) 21 (+5) 28 (+9) 6 (–2) 16 (+3) 9 (–1)

Saving Throws Dex +11, Con +15
Skills Perception +9
Damage Immunities psychic
Condition Immunities charm, frightened, prone, stunned, unconscious
Senses tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 19
Languages
Challenge 17 (18,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Addictive Berries. Brambles produce delicious fruit year-round. Every time a creature that would naturally eat berries eats a bramble berry, it must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or irrationally crave another. Once a creature eats its Constitution score in berries, it is addicted, and can be cured only by magic such as remove curse, greater restoration, and the like. However, since the berries are delicious and carry no obvious ill effects, many creatures don’t even notice that they are addicted. Any creature that naturally eats berries can survive on bramble berries exclusively, with no negative health effects. For Small or Medium creatures, 20 bramble berries is as satisfying as one goodberry and even heals a point of damage like a goodberry. Smaller or larger creatures need fewer or more berries, but never very many. Once an addicted creature has had enough to be satisfied, the irrational cravings stop until the next day, but if the creature chooses to eat more anyway (because the berries are tasty) there are no more ill effects than might occur from eating too many mundane berries.

    Baked or otherwise cooked or preserved berries are one-quarter as addictive, effective, and satisfying as fresh berries for the first week after preparation (it takes four berries to require a saving throw, rather than just one). After the first week of preservation, they lose potency and become mundane berries, safe to consume and highly nutritious. If forcibly deprived of bramble berries, within 1d4 hours of the first denied craving, the addicted creature becomes incapacitated with pain, only able to take actions that might lead to the acquisition of a bramble berry. The cravings subside 1d4 days later, but resurface immediately if exposed to the sight or scent of bramble berries. Only restorative magics or the death of the bramble can permanently cure the addiction.

    Those who succeed on a Wisdom save to avoid addiction or those cured of addiction through magic are immune to the addictive power of the berries for one hour. After that, they must save again if they eat more berries. Anything that does not eat food or that does not naturally eat berries cannot be affected by bramble berry addiction.

    Observed using detect magic, the berries are magical, with an aura primarily from the transmutation school. With a successful DC 19 Wisdom (Perception) or Intelligence (Arcana) check, a second, very faint necromantic aura can be detected.

  • Create Bramble Zombies. If a Medium creature addicted to bramble berries dies (for any reason), the target rises again within 1d4 rounds as a bramble zombie (see monster entry). Larger and smaller creatures do not rise but crumble to a soil-like dust instead. If the bramble dies, any of its bramble zombies also immediately die and crumble to dust.

  • Improbable Growth. The bramble is always growing and always producing berries. When casually observed by sapient creatures, it seems to grow at a fast but natural speed for an invasive berry bush, not easily observed in action. However, though the movement is subtle, the bramble’s vines and branches grow at an unnatural speed, producing new berries, laying down new roots, and quietly taking over surrounding vegetation. Once a bramble reaches Gargantuan size, it never runs out of berries faster than its addicted creatures can pick them, though the bramble may grow the berries in harder and harder to reach areas to slow down picking. If two brambles encounter one another in the same area, they merge into a single, larger bramble. Brambles do everything in their power to take over all vegetation in an area, including crops and trees. They also crawl over buildings, roads, and anything else they encounter. Left to its own devices, a bramble expands outward in all directions at a rate of two yards per day.
  • Inspire Loyalty. After each month of addiction to bramble berries, a creature must make a DC 19 Wisdom saving throw or become loyal to the bramble. Like a lesser version of charm, loyal creatures do not wish to see the bramble harmed and do not blame the bramble for doing things like destroying habitats or fields of crops. So long as the bramble continues to behave as a simple plant, they treat it as a desired and beneficial plant. Addicted wild animals adapt their habits to accommodate its takeover of the surrounding ecosystem. Addicted farmers stop trying to cultivate anything but the bramble, and instead turn their skills to bramble farming. Other addicted sapients modestly prune the bramble to protect their homes and roads, but otherwise welcome its presence all around them.

    Bramble loyalty does not extend to acting out of character, but anyone who harms the bramble is seen by bramble-loyal creatures with deep suspicion as a threat to home and livelihood. Bramble loyal creatures can tell the difference between the modest pruning of a bramble-loyal creature and attacks intended to harm the bramble. Helpful or harmless pruning is not viewed with suspicion.

    Bramble loyal creatures are never greedy with bramble berries. They always have as many as they need and are always willing to share.

    Bramble zombies never attack bramble-loyal creatures. The first time a bramble-loyal creature sees evidence that the bramble is able to move, fight, and kill people, as well as the first time a bramble-loyal creature sees a bramble zombie, the affected creature may make another Wisdom save to shake off the bramble’s Inspire Loyalty ability. If this save fails, the bramble-loyal creature accepts the plant’s movement as normal, and the zombies as natural and harmless, to be ignored.

    Bramble loyalty can be removed with a remove curse spell.

  • Magic Resistance. The bramble has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The bramble makes six attacks.
  • Thorny Vine. Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 18 (2d6 + 11) slashing damage, and the target must make a successful DC 19 Dexterity saving throw or be grappled (escape DC 19)
  • Crush. One target grappled by the bramble at the start of the bramble’s turn takes 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

ABOUT

A bramble is much like any other plant. It absorbs sunlight, draws water and other nutrients from the soil, and wants only to live and reproduce. However, somewhere in the course of its magic-tainted evolution, the bramble became not just an aggressively invasive species but a community-destroying monster. Left to spread, it would not be impossible for the bramble to destroy and consume all other plant-life in the world. In communities where the bramble has already won, all clothing and goods are made of bramble leaves and fibers (though bramble does not make an excellent textile or building material), and even the wine is made from bramble juice. Brambles become vital to every profession in the region, because it is all people have.

Brambles instinctively avoid revealing that they are more than mere plants, so a threatened bramble leaves its own defense to its loyal addicts and to its bramble zombies for as long as it can before it begins to move. Once moving, a bramble is fast and strong. If any of those loyal to it switch sides once they see it move, the bramble kills those enemies first so that they (still addicted to the berries) can instead rise as bramble zombies.

A bramble is not particularly pretty, as plants go, though it is in no way notably horrible. It has green leaves, cherry-sized, dark red aggregate fruit, and pretty white flowers all year round, but this beauty is overshadowed by tangles of woody vines and stems, and by the dead vegetation and occasional garbage or abandoned dwellings visible in the depths of the ever-growing bramble — remains of all it has conquered. The bramble also sports inch-long, blood-red thorns. These thorns are a mere annoyance to those picking berries, but should the bramble ever spring into motion, they can be deadly.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Tome of Horrors 2020, (C) 2020, Necromancer Games