Climbing Vine

Medium plant, unaligned

Armor Class 11 (natural armor)
Hit Points 13 (2d8 + 4)
Speed 10 ft., climb 10 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
13 (+1) 7 (–2) 15 (+2) 1 (–5) 7 (–2) 1 (–5)

Skills Athletics +3, Stealth +0
Damage Immunities psychic
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, deafened, exhaustion, frightened, prone
Senses blindsight 20 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Challenge 1/8 (25 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Digestive Dew. A creature that starts its turned grappled by the climbing vine takes 2 (1d4) acid damage.
  • Flexible Form. A climbing vine can move through a space as narrow as 6 inches wide without squeezing.

ACTIONS

  • Dewvine. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: The target is grappled (escape DC 11). The climbing vine has two attacking vines, each of which can grapple only one creature.
  • Squeeze. The climbing vine squeezes creatures in its grasp. Each creature grappled by the climbing vine must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or take 5 (2d4) bludgeoning damage.

REACTIONS

  • Grasping Retaliation. When a creature hits the climbing vine with a melee attack while within 5 feet of the vine, the vine can make one Dewvine attack against it.

ABOUT

A long, thin vine sprawls across the cliff face. Spindly fronds unfold from the main vine, covered in tiny, dew-tipped stalks. One frond lies curled around the half-digested remains of a bird. Climbing vines are a form of high-altitude plant life, adapted to living above the tree line where few nutrients are available. Clinging to rocky crags, they survive by feeding on whatever animals they can catch. Birds, lizards, insects, and even humanoids who get too close are grabbed by their dew-tipped feelers, crushed by their vines, and slowly digested.

Ambush Plant. Slow, fragile, and functionally blind, a climbing vine is a foe that is easy to underestimate. Seen from afar, they are trivial to avoid or destroy. However, they tend to hide among less dangerous plants or squeeze into tiny gaps in the rock, nearly invisible from a distance but able to sense vibrations in the air and through the rock via specialized roots. Often, they are imperceptible until they strike, reaching out to grab some unfortunate creature and crush it into easily digestible paste. They are most vulnerable while feeding, when the corpse of their prey limits their options to hide and makes it clear that they are not a harmless plant.

Cultivated Traps. While the climbing vines’ natural environment is remote, hostile, and unlikely to be seen by most adventurers, they are far more plentiful as purposefully cultivated living traps. Intelligent monsters, isolated hermits, and particularly belligerent mages occasionally grow climbing vines as a self-maintaining security system. A climbing vine attached to a breach in a lair or little-traveled section of a fortress eats vermin and sneaky intruders, keeping the area relatively clean and providing a modicum of security. Though solitary in the wild, climbing vines live in large groups when cultivated. A single vine is little threat to all but the frailest intruder, but a cluster might entangle and devour a relatively hardy foe. They are also a suitably horrible way to dispose of witnesses, sacrifices, or unruly subordinates.

Alchemically Valuable. Alchemists have an ever-present demand for climbing vines. Their dew is a potent acid commonly used as a reagent or for dilution into acid flasks. Their vines are strong for their size, and the fibers in the vines are used in a variety of strength potions. Some alchemists have specially prepared greenhouses where they maintain and harvest climbing vines, but stories of overrun greenhouses filled with man-eating plants and the remains of unfortunate apprentices lead most to buy what they need from adventurers.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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