Friday, March 2, 2018

The Reaping Willow

The other day while commuting to work I listened to Dragon Talk, the official Dungeons and Dragons podcast. It was not a recent episode. It was probably from December at the earliest. During the "Lore You Should Know" segment resident D&D lore expert Matt Sernett, @sernett on twitter, expressed his displeasure for monstrous trees. That got my mental gears going and I created this goof on the fly. So thanks Matt for planting the seed of creation in my mind and that seed giving birth to this gem, or is that mixing my metaphors and I should say sapling? Regardless, at least it's not a wandering cactus. You're welcome!

Reaping Willow

A tall slender tree that can reach upwards of 40 feet with a lifespan of 125 to 150 years. This deciduous tree can be found in temperate climates but can also thrive in arid soil. The Reaping Willow uses it's long tendril like branches to ensnare unsuspecting victims and wrap them into a cocoon. These tendrils have an extremely high tensile strength yet are susceptible to being severed by sharp objects. If an animal is ensnared and tries to resist by pulling away from the tree it risks severing their appendage before it could possibly break the willow's limb. Once encased a food source is slowly broken down by the acidic excretions in the willow's limbs. After all the soft tissue has been completely digested the bones are absorbed into the trunk and become a part of the tree's structure. The Reaping Willow is non ambulatory and depends on catching it's prey through the element of surprise. This carnivorous plant is opportunistic and will eat any animal that it is capable of laying a branch on. While it prefers to prey on small mammals, birds, and reptiles the Reaping Willow will eat a humanoid if it is desperate, and lucky enough, to catch one.

Courtesy of Getty Images and a few filters.
Reaping Willow
Large Plant, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (Natural Armor)
Hit Points  103  (15d10 + 20)
Speed 0 ft.

STR     DEX   CON     INT   WIS     CHA
16(+3)  8(-1)   14(+2)   3(-4)  12(+1)  12(+1)

Damage Resistances: bludgeoning, piercing
Damage Vulnerabilities: slashing, fire
Senses: passive Perception 14
Languages: -
Challenge: 3


Multiattack. The Reaping Willow makes two attacks per turn. If successful on the first Snare attack it will attempt to Encase its victim. If unsuccessful it will attempt to snare the victim again. The Reaping Willow can have up to 6 targets encased at once.

Snare. Melee weapon attack. +5 to hit. Reach 30 feet. 1 target. Hit 12 (2d8+3) slashing damage. If a character is successfully hit they are knocked prone and suffer from being grappled.

Encase. Melee weapon attack. +5 to hit. Reach 30 feet. 1 target. Target must be grappled. Hit 12 poison (2d8+3) damage. The Reaping Willow is starting to digest the target. The target will continue to be encased until they makes a successful DC 10 (strength) check on their turn. Each round after the creature has been encased it will take an additional 12 (2d8+3) until it is freed or dead. This does not count as an action by the Reaping Willow.

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The Reaping Willow Author: Robert Lashley. © 2018 Moon Sea Studios, LLC.

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