Dread trees are treant-like creatures, awakened by death, blood, and necrotic energy.
Huge plant, neutral evil
- Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
- Hit Points 138 (12d12 + 60)
- Speed 10 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA 23 (+6) 8 (-1) 21 (+5) 9 (-1) 16 (+3) 8 (-1)
- Damage Resistances bludgeoning, necrotic, piercing, poison
- Senses passive Perception 13
- Languages understands Common, Primordial, Sylvan but can't speak
- Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)
False Appearance. While the dread tree remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a burnt, dead tree.
Multiattack. The dread tree makes three entangle attacks.
Entangle. Melee Weapon Attack: +10 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 16 (3d6 + 6) piercing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 14). Until the grapple ends, the target is restrained. At the start of each of the dread tree's turns, while it has a target grappled, the target loses 16 (3d6 + 6) hit points due to blood drain and the dread tree heals half the amount. The dread tree can grapple three targets at a time.
Animate Blights (1/Day). The dread tree magically animates up to 12 bushes it can see within 60 feet of it. These bushes have the same statistics as a needle blight, except they have Intelligence and Charisma scores of 1. The animated blights act as an ally of the dread treant. The bushes remain animate for 1 day or until they die; until the dread tree dies or is more than 120 feet from a bush; or until the treant takes a bonus action to turn it back into an inanimate bush. The bush then takes root if possible.
April 15, 2016
About the Author
Wayne, also know by many variations of "Pall" online, is a dangerous Dungeon Master when he has a sore throat... he kills characters without doing the funny voices and sound effects--and that's no fun.
The concept of a dead tree exposed to necrotic energy and blood coming to life as an evil treant is definitely not new to the imagination by any stretch. However, even though all the players suspected some sort of trap, their characters still got close enough to the tree for me to grapple a few of them in the surprise round. The silent, tortured face that appeared on the tree as it started draining blood was fun to describe.
I used the kraken and stirge for examples of the text to use for the hit and grapple ability and blood drain. Also, because this was basically a solo creature against a party, the healing ability was to give it more staying power.
Animating the needle blights was to keep with the piercing theme of damage and to give the dread tree some ranged offensive weaponary to make up for its slow speed. They do not hit often, but deal decent damage when they do, making the little creatures a threat. I staggered their activation to make it seem like every bush in the area was a potential threat.