Tree Skinner

Medium fiend, chaotic evil

Armor Class 13
Hit Points 38 (7d8 + 7)
Speed 30 ft.

10 (+0) 16 (+3) 13 (+1) 14 (+2) 15 (+2) 18 (+4)

Skills Perception +4, Stealth +7
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks not made with silvered weapons
Condition Immunities charmed
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Abyssal, Elvish, Infernal, Sylvan
Challenge 2 (450 XP)


  • False Appearance (Tree Form Only). While the skinner remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a normal tree.
  • Inhabit Tree. As a bonus action, the skinner touches a Medium or larger tree that is not a creature and disappears inside it. While inside the tree, the skinner has tremorsense with a radius of 30 feet, has an AC of 15, has a speed of 0, and has vulnerability to fire damage. When the skinner is reduced to 15 hp, the tree dies and the skinner appears within 5 feet of the dead tree or in the nearest unoccupied space. The skinner can exit the tree as a bonus action, appearing within 5 feet of the tree in the nearest unoccupied space, and the tree reverts to being an object. The skinner can inhabit a tree for only 3 days at most before the tree dies, requiring the skinner to seek another vessel.
  • Magic Resistance. The skinner has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.


  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 6 (1d6 + 3) slashing damage. The target must succeed on a DC 13 Constitution saving throw or take 7 (2d6) poison damage and become poisoned until the end of its next turn.
  • Vine Whip (Tree Form Only). Melee Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, reach 20 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) bludgeoning damage, and if the target is a Large or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 13). The skinner can grapple up to two creatures at one time.
  • Squeeze (Tree Form Only). The tree skinner makes one vine whip attack against a creature it is grappling. If the attack hits, the target is also unable to breathe or cast spells with verbal components until this grapple ends.


A feminine creature made of decaying, thorny plant life gives a wicked laugh as she touches a tree and disappears. Moments later, the tree emits the same laugh as it swings its branches.

Formed by Hags. Night hags create tree skinners by taking advantage of dryads that have been driven mad by the death of their trees. The hags promise the dryads a chance to connect with trees again and induce them into submitting to a special ritual. The ritual used to transform a dryad into a skinner also instills in the dryad a hatred of all fey. The irony of a former dryad using trees to murder fey creatures delights the hags to no end.

Tree Puppeteers. Tree skinners can inhabit trees, turning the plants into weapons that can destroy forest communities.

The evil essence of a skinner slowly rots a tree from the inside out, eventually killing the plant. When the tree dies, the skinner is expelled and becomes agitated until she finds a new tree to inhabit.

Skinner Bands. Tree skinners all share the same desire-the destruction of all fey creatures. When the skinners encounter others of their kind, they join forces to attack communities of fey. As long as they have fey to attack, the group will stay together indefinitely, otherwise the lack of a common enemy causes infighting, leading to the dissolution of the group.

Hated by Treants. Treants abhor tree skinners, seeing them as abominations that manipulate plants and sap the life of trees. If a treant hears of skinner activity, it stops at nothing to slay the fiend.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page