As anyone who’s done even a casual amount of landscaping, or perhaps tromping around in the woods, knows, about the worst thing you are likely to encounter in a garden is a blackberry vine. They are long, tangling, and full of prickly thorns which can pierce the skin and shred your new shirt. They’re also a real pain to uproot, and have a bad tendency to keep coming back year after year. When it came time to make a new plant monster, I turned to this terror of the garden for inspiration. The bloodberry vine is even more dangerous than its mundane cousin, and adds to its considerable natural repertoire a hunter’s instincts and unique powers.
A twisting vine with thumb-sized sharply pointed thorns, this plant monster is about the size of python and moves with the same serpentine grace. Huge ruby-red berries swell up all along the creature’s body.
BLOODBERRY VINE CR 9
N Large plant
Init +4; Senses low-light vision, darkvision; Perception +1
AC 23, touch 9, flat-footed 23 (+14 natural, –1 size)
hp 119 (14d8+56)
Fort +13, Ref +6, Will +5
Defensive Abilities bramble shield; Immune plant traits
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +14 (1d8+4/19-20, plus grab)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks bloody grasp, constrict (1d8+6), grow berry
Str 18, Dex 11, Con 18, Int 2, Wis 13, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +15 (+17 grapple); CMD 25
Feats Cleave, Improved Grapple, Improved Initiative, Improved Critical (slam), Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (Slam)
Skills Stealth +13
Terrain temperate forests
Organization solitary, pair, or patch (3-10)
Bloody Grasp (Ex): A bloodberry vine can ring the blood out of its foes with a powerful attack. Whenever the bloodberry vine confirms a critical hit with its slam attack, it gains a +8 bonus on the subsequent grapple check made with its grab ability on that target. If it successfully grabs the target, the target suffers an additional 1d8 points of bleed damage. For the purposes of the bloodberry vine’s grow berries ability, this bleed damage is counted as damage dealt by its natural attacks.
Bramble Shield (Ex): A bloodberry vine is covered in razor sharp barbs, making it difficult to attack without armor. Any opponent that hits a bloodberry vine with an unarmed attack, natural attack, or a melee weapon without reach suffers 1d6 points of bleed damage from prickly razor thorns. Any creature with an armor bonus to AC of +8 or higher is immune to this effect.
Grow Berry (Ex): A bloodberry vine can grow berries, nourished by the blood of creatures it injures. For every 20 points of damage a bloodberry vine deals with its natural attacks and constrict special attack, it grows 1 blood-red berry. When it grows a new berry, it gains 5 temporary hit points. These temporary hit points last for 1 minute, or until expended. Additionally, for every berry a bloodberry vine has, it gains a +1 bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls, to a maximum bonus of 1/2 its Hit Dice (typically +7). Once it has been destroyed, these berries can be eaten by other characters in order to restore a number of hit points equal to 1d4 + 1, as well as gaining a +1 competence bonus on attack rolls and damage rolls for 1 minute. The berries from a fallen bloodberry vine remain viable for 1d4 days after being harvested, after which time they rot away.
Bloodberry vines are unusual creatures, born when a blackberry vine proves lethal to a living being. The seeds from that vine spring anew and give life to these terrible monsters. Bloodberry vines shamble about like a twisted serpent made from thorny vines, hunting living creatures to fuel their reproductive cycle.
Like some insects, bloodberry vines require blood both to eat and to reproduce, using the vital energies of other creatures to fuel their natural processes. Thus, these plants are avid and dangerous hunters. While their diets usually consist of small woodland creatures and birds, which are attracted to their juicy berries, bloodberry vines will not hesitate to attack larger prey. Unchecked, their population can explode in the course of just a few years, and often times druids and rangers, as well as more powerful forest predators such as green dragons, are forced to spend their time restricting the population.