Carnivorous Vines

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1d10 patches
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 30’ (10’)
AC: 7
HD: 1 to 10 per patch
Attack: See below
Damage:  See below
Save: L14
Morale: N/A
Hoard Class: Incidental

One would think that out of all life on the planet, Plants would have been affected the most by mutation – simply because there are so many different types of plants to be found. And many species were in fact heavily mutated by radiation and toxins, some even gained a level of sentience.

It is rumored that this particular species of plant had been around well before the end of the final wars, and had been discovered in the remote regions of Mexico in the ruins of Aztec temples. This is quite possibly true, but no one knows for certain. It is said that the vine mutated from being exposed to so much blood spilled during sacrifices and became a predatory plant, but again this is pure speculation.

The mutant plant appears to be a leafy vine, which is quite indistinguishable from many other types of vines found in tropical locations. The difference is that it moves, and is drawn to body heat and blood.

The vines wait for prey to draw close, and then they produce a cloud of class 9 poison in a thirty foot radius. Anyone inside the radius must save versus poison or fall unconscious for 2d6 turns (as in 10 minute turns!) Even if those inside the cloud succeed, they still feel tired and willing to sit or lay down for a rest, but typically seeing their comrades collapse will alert them to the possible danger.

Once the vines use this, creatures are immune to the effects of the gas for 24 hours. Those who succumb to the effects can be woken up, but only after 1d6 rounds of shaking or one round in which they take at least 1 point of damage.

When a victim is properly subdued, the plant will send out creepers from its main patch. These creepers are able to travel up to five hundred feet from the main patch, moving at a slow but steady rate. They will touch unconscious forms and exude a anesthetic toxin which will dull all pain and ensure that once the plant begins to feed, the victim will not awaken.

The plant then injects an acid-like enzyme, which breaks down the flesh and muscle of the victim into an easily sucked-up slurry, allowing the plant to feed from the victim. This causes 1d6 points of damage per round, which the plant will draw into the vines and suck back to the main patch.

The plant can use the slurry of organic fluids to heal any damage it has sustained, or help it grow. The slurry will heal damage at a 1 for 1 rate, and allow the plant to grow one hit dice for every 8 points it drains. The patches are always a single yard in diameter from size to side. It just grows thicker and lusher with each additional hit dice. Once it hits ten, then the plant is ready to spawn.

Note that any patches within the area will send out vines in order to feed upon a victim, not just one. It is quite conceivable that the victim could be reduced to bloody goop, filled with bones, in a matter of a couple of rounds if there are enough of the plants nearby. It also means that the more plants there are, the longer it takes for them to spawn.

If the plant is ready to spawn, then instead of killing the victim, it will implant a seed-pod in the victim’s body. The seed will remain dormant for 2d3 days, at which time when the victim goes to sleep, the pod will release the same anesthetic and it will rapidly tear itself free from the victim. This will cause the victim to make a saving throw versus death or be killed instantly. Even if it succeeds, the victim will take 6d6 damage. The seed-pod will then hunt for any patch of open ground to burrow into and then continue the process of growth and procreation.

Many patches will have the loot and artifacts from previous victims lying about, but the exact composition of these finds are left up to the ML to decide upon.

Lastly, if prey happens to be scarce, the plant is able to mimic any sound it has heard – from weapons fire, screams, speech, you name it. Often it will produce cries for help in order to lure possible prey in so it can feed.

Mutations: free movement, sound imitiation, toxic weapons

Source: The Ruins (2008)