Thorn Crawler

Huge plant, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 184 (16d12 + 80)
Speed 40 ft., climb 20 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 14 (+2) 20 (+5) 3 (-4) 14 (+2) 3 (-4)

Senses tremorsense 120 ft., passive Perception 12
Languages
Challenge 10 (5,900 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +4

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Blood Scent. The crawler can smell blood up to 1 mile away.
  • Recoil From Flame. When the crawler takes fire damage, it releases any creatures it is grappling.
  • Woodland Stride. The crawler ignores difficult terrain from nonmagical foliage. Creatures make ability checks to track the crawler with disadvantage.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The crawler makes three attacks: one with its bite and two with its tendrils.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 21 (3d10 + 5) piercing damage. If the target is a Large or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the crawler can’t bite another target.
  • Tendrils. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (3d6 + 5) slashing damage.
  • Swallow. The crawler makes a bite attack against a creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is also swallowed, and the grapple ends. While swallowed, the target is blinded and restrained, and it has total cover against attacks and other effects outside the crawler. At the start of each of the crawler’s turns, the creature takes 17 (5d6) piercing damage, and the crawler regains a number of hit points equal to the damage dealt. If the crawler takes 25 damage or more on a single turn from a swallowed creature, or if the crawler dies, it regurgitates all swallowed creatures, which fall prone in a space within 10 feet of the crawler. The crawler can have up to two Medium or smaller creatures swallowed at a time.
  • Thorn Burst (Recharge 5-6). The crawler magically causes thorns to explode from plants within 30 feet of it. Creatures in that area must make a DC 17 Dexterity saving throw, taking 38 (11d6) piercing damage on a failed save, or half as much damage on a successful one.

ABOUT

Thorn crawlers resemble massive centipedes made entirely of twisted roots, branches, vines, and undergrowth, with every inch of the monstrosity’s body covered in razor-sharp thorns. These carnivorous plant creatures roam only the world’s most primeval forests, using their ability to scent blood from a mile away to track down and consume injured prey. Despite their massive size, thorn crawlers are adept at navigating dense forests; they easily squeeze under tree roots and scurry through weed-choked gulches, even climbing into the forest canopy to better survey the ground and get the drop on unsuspecting prey.

Like many carnivorous plants, thorn crawlers feed on bodily fluids, leeching blood and humors into their root systems. A thorn crawler’s digestive organs, such as they are, are located along the inner diameter of a hollow cavity in the monster’s body. Thorn crawlers tuck captured forest critters and unwary travelers in this cavity, piercing its prey with sharp roots and swiftly draining the creature of vital fluids. Days later, a thorn crawler unceremoniously expels the victim’s desiccated husk onto the forest floor.

A newly introduced thorn crawler can challenge a forest’s apex predators and decimate the local ecosystem if left unchecked. Rulers of nations whose forests are beleaguered by thorn crawlers sometimes arrange for formal hunts of the creatures. Because the peasantry would turn such a hunt into little more than a slash and burn of the entire forest, rulers prefer to send adventurers who have a lighter touch to hunt down and eliminate the pesky plants.

Variant Thorn Crawlers

Their ability to traverse a wide variety of terrain means that thorn crawlers can be found in forests throughout the world. Those in temperate forests typically become dormant during the winter, slumbering in thicketed ravines; those in tropical climates, however, are active year-round. Some species develop a natural paralytic poison that afflicts anyone on the wrong end of their thorns, while others have been afflicted by powerful consumed magic items or artifacts which have unlocked theretofore unknown primal powers.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Battlezoo Bestiary (5E) © 2022, Skyscraper Studios, Inc.; Authors: William Fischer, Stephen Glicker, Paul Hughes, Patrick Renie, Sen.H.H.S., and Mark Seifter.

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