I’m Feeling Just Vine

Returning to the review of all the monsters in the Pathfinder Bestiary, I’m fairly amazed that I’m still trapped in the A’s. At my current rate of progress, given how often I update and the frequency with which I post on this particular topic, it’s going to be quite a while before we finish this off.

Now, I don’t particularly mind that this project is rather monumental in scope – I’m quite happy to dig a tunnel through this particular mountain using only a needle. Why, you ask? Because I get to examine, critique, and make a mockery of some truly excellent monsters. It’s a joy to think about what I’m going to say regarding the succubus, the lich, or the tiefling, for example. And then we have guys like today’s monster, which while not Bonus Bestiary bad, isn’t the sort of thing that entire adventures revolve around. So, gentlegamers, I present to you, the…

ASSASSIN VINE

Now, I’d think that the name alone would be enough to clue you in to this monster’s schtick. It’s a carnivorous plant, attacking through stealth and strangling its prey, right? Okay, thank you, next!

Yeah, I suppose there’s a bit more to this, but not really. Yes, it has the ability to make nearby plants entangle things, but that seems weird to me…that level of tactics seems to require some sort of sentience, but this plant has none of that; hence, that means it’s using its entangle ability every single round as long as it senses something nearby. So really, your first clue that an assassin vine is near is when the dandelions at your feet start wrapping around your shoelaces.

And while the picture above may look pretty cool at a glance, I don’t recommend giving it any more than that, otherwise you’ll start to notice some disturbing aspects to it. The most obvious being that the plant seemed to have been orally raping that person when they died; clearly, this particular assassin vine must have been from Japan.

Also, what the hell is up with that skeleton’s eyes? Seriously, look at the shape of those sockets. They’re these oblong cavities arranged in such a way as to be slanted downward on the face. WTF was that thing? Based on those bones, I’m starting to be glad that this particular freak of nature, whatever it was, ended up being plant food.

In the meantime, the assassin vine remains one of the lamest plant-based monsters in the Bestiary. With no real intelligence or powers, besides wrapping you up with daisy chains, this is nothing more than another hazard dressed up as a monster. Once your PCs figure it out, they’ll almost certainly never be caught by it again, and will likely try to use it against their enemies; imagine the look on the evil vizier’s face when his salad starts to bite back!

Personally, I’d have re-branded these as “assassin grapevines”; not only does it become a serious threat to nearby living things if you want to start a vineyard, but I’d also add another power or two so that you could literally hear things through them. And after that, well…

Just imagine what their raisins would do.

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