19 March 2017

Monster: Barrow-Tree

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Barrow-Tree

A dark and foreboding tree with gaping holes resembling eyes and maw. Bones and skulls are fused into its trunk, and blood seeps from cracks in its blackened bark instead of sap. A few skulls and partial skeletons hang from its branches.


CR 9; XP 6,400

CE Huge Undead
Init +3; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +20

Defense

AC 23, touch 11, flat-footed 23 (+4 deflection, –1 Dex, +12 natural, –2 size)
hp 119 (14d8+56)
Fort +8, Ref +8, Will +12
Defensive Abilities all-around vision, channel resistance +4, lumbering, spirit shroud, walking blight; DR 10/slashing and magic; Immune undead traits
Weakness vulnerable to fire

Offense
Speed 15 ft.
Melee 2 slams +18 (3d6+9)
Ranged barrow-swarm +13 touch (3d6 bleed)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks barrow-swarm

Statistics
Str 28, Dex 8, Con —, Int 13, Wis 17, Cha 19
Base Atk +10; CMB +21 (+23 with bull-rush); CMD 34 (36 vs. bull-rush, can't be tripped)
Feats Awesome Blow, Improved Bull-Rush, Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (barrow-swarm), Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Intimidate +21, Knowledge (religion) +18, Perception +20, Stealth +8, Survival +20; Racial Modifier +16 Stealth in forest

Ecology
Environment temperate forests, hills, and graveyards
Organization single, pair, or grove (3–12)
Treasure standard

Special Abilities


Barrow-Swarm (Su) A barrow-tree can release swarms of spirits infesting some of the skeletons hanging on its branches to attack single living creature within 60 feet as a swift action. On a successful ranged touch attack, the swarm attacks the designated victim dealing 3d6 points of bleed damage per round, until it is sent against another creature, the victim dies or receives any form of magical healing. Unless the barrow-tree was destroyed, stopping bleeding with a Heal check merely passes the swarm to the person that performed the first aid. Effects that ward against insects, such as repel vermin, protect against the barrow-swarm attacks.

Lumbering (Ex) A barrow-tree can't run, but it also can't be slowed or tripped and ignores difficult terrain.

Spirit Shroud (Su) A barrow-tree is protected by veil of ethereal spirits that can be sometimes seen as a light mist pouring out of its skulls and rolling around the tree. A barrow-tree gains deflection bonus to AC equal to its Charisma bonus (minimum +1), all around vision, and uses its Charisma modifier instead of Dexterity when calculating Reflex saving throw and ranged attack. When a living creature dies within 60 feet, the shroud thickens granting the barrow-tree temporary hit points equal to the deceased creature's HD for 1 minute. Temporary hit points from multiple deaths stack, with each death resetting their duration.

Walking Blight (Su) A barrow-tree presence blights the nearby vegetation. The plants grow weak or twisted near the places frequented by barrow-tree. A barrow-tree is immune to any plant-based environmental effects, including magical ones.


When a tree growing on barrows or in haunted forest becomes corrupted with blood, death, fear, and pain, it can absorb spirits of the deceased and fuse with their bones to form a malign undead entity. Barrow-trees are intelligent but vicious beings of nature turned into manifestation of death and suffering, they do not communicate, though spiritual vestiges that surround them might speak, moan, cajole, or plea for help.

Variant:
Sorrow Trees (CR 10) are particularly malicious and cunning barrow-trees, with Intelligence and Charisma scores of 21, 133 hit points, Fortitude and Reflex saving throws bonuses of +9, Bluff +21, Intimidate +21, Knowledge (arcana) +19, Knowledge (nature) +19, Knowledge (planees) +19, and Knowledge (religion) +22. Sorrow-trees are capable of sending their bound spirits to communicate telepathically with creatures within 60 feet and can attack three different creatures with their barrow-swarms at the same time.

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