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Gallows Tree (Dread Codex Monster)

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Gallows Tree
Size/Type: Huge Plant
Hit Dice: 16d8 (168 hp)
Initiative: +1
Speed: 20 ft.
Armor Class: 24 (-2 size, +1 Dex, +15 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 23
Base Attack/Grapple: +12/+30
Attack: Slam +20 melee (2d6+10, 19-20/x2)
Full Attack: 6 slams +20 melee (2d6+10, 19-20/x2)
Space/Reach: 15 ft./15 ft.
Special Attacks: Create Gallows Tree Zombies, Gallows Tree Zombies, Improved Grab
Special Qualities: Damage Reduction 10/Slashing and Magic, Low-light Vision, Plant Traits, Resistance to Fire 10, Tremorsense 60 Ft.
Saves: Fort +16, Ref +6, Will +7
Abilities: Str 30, Dex 12, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 6
Skills: Listen +18, Move Silently +17
Feats: Cleave, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Initiative, Power Attack, Weapon Focus (slam)
Environment: Temperate and warm forest, hill, marsh, and plains
Organization: Grove (1 gallows tree, plus 6-11 gallows tree zombies)
Challenge Rating: 13
Treasure: 50% standard
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 17-24 HD (Huge); 25-48 HD (Gargantuan)
Level Adjustment:

This creature appears as a massive, tall tree with thick branches from which hang several humanoid corpses tightly secured by their necks with greenish-brown ropes. Its canopy is thick and busy, and its trunk is mottled brown.

Gallows trees are sentient plants that sustain themselves on the internal organs and body fluids of living creatures. They use deception to lure potential prey into range at which time they unleash the gallows tree zombies attached to their branches to kill or capture the prey. While mobile, a gallows tree prefers to remain in one spot for an extended length of time (usually until its food supply in the area runs out). From this location, it simple waits for prey and then attacks when such beings come into view.

Combat Edit

A gallows tree normally stands idle, lowering its zombies to the ground when living prey come within 100 feet of the tree. If a foe comes within 15 feet of the tree itself, it lashes out with its sharpened branches or attempts to grab the foe. A grabbed foe is subjected to additional damage as the gallows tree pummels it with its other branches. Occasionally the tree works in concert with its zombies, grabbing a foe and holding it while its zombies pound it into goop. Slain creatures are dragged close to the tree, sliced open, and their innards devoured by the tree's roots.

Create Gallows Tree Zombies (Su): When a creature dies within 15 feet of a gallows tree, it uses a sharpened tendril to slice open the creature's abdomen, thereby spilling the corpse's innards on the ground. The organs and fluids are absorbed by the tree's roots. Corpses of a size other than Medium or Large are simply left to rot. Medium or Larger corpses are filled with a greenish pollen fired from one of the tree's branches. The abdominal wound heals over the next 1d4 days, at which time the slain creature rises as a gallows tree zombie connected by a tether-vine to the gallows tree that created it. Gallows tree zombies possess none of their former abilities.

Gallows Tree Zombie (Ex): Each gallows tree has several gallows tree zombies connected to it. A Huge gallows tree may have no more than seven gallows tree zombies connected to it at one time. A Gargantuan gallows tree can have a maximum of 11 zombies connected to it at any given time. See the gallows tree zombie entry below for details on that monster.

Improved Grab (Ex): To use this ability, a gallows tree must hit with its slam attack. It can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If it wins the grapple check, it establishes a hold and deals slam damage each round the hold is maintained.

Tremorsense (Ex): Gallows trees can automatically sense the location of anything within 60 feet that is in contact with the same vegetation the tree is touching.

Treasure Edit

Half-standard — Gallows trees do not collect treasure but occasionally such items (the remnants of devoured prey) are found in the vicinity of the creature.

  • Citrine (x2) [60 gp each]
  • Fire opal [700 gp]
  • Tourmaline [100 gp]
  • Gloves of arrow snaring [4,000 gp]
  • Potion of bull's strength [300 gp]
  • Scroll of dispel magic (CL 5th) [375 gp]
  • 905 gp

In Your Campaign Edit

Many villages and towns have a great tree where their ancestors hung evil-doers. Over the decades and centuries of use, the amount of death the tree helped to cause affected it in a way none could have foreseen. The gallows tree is born of death, which is why it is in this supplement of undead. Its "offspring," the gallows tree zombies, are detailed below for similar reasons, even though they are not undead.



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