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Gallows Tree Zombie (Dread Codex Monster)

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Gallows Tree Zombie
Size/Type: Medium Plant
Hit Dice: 6d6+8 (33 hp)
Initiative: +6
Speed: 30 ft.
Armor Class: 17 (+2 Dex, +5 natural), touch 12, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +4/+8
Attack: Slam +8 melee (1d6+4)
Full Attack: 2 slams +8 melee (1d6+4)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spore Cloud
Special Qualities: Darkvision 60 Ft., Fast Healing 5, Low-light Vision, Plant Traits, Tether-Vine, Tremorsense 60 Ft.
Saves: Fort +6, Ref +4, Will +2
Abilities: Str 19, Dex 15, Con 13, Int 4, Wis 10, Cha 1
Skills: Hide +5, Listen +5, Move Silently +5, Spot +2
Feats: Alertness, Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Environment: Temperate and warm forest, hill, marsh, and plains
Organization: Grove (6-11 plus 1 gallows tree)
Challenge Rating: 4
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 7-12 HD (Medium); 13-18 HD (Large)
Level Adjustment:

This creature is a humanoid with deathly gray-green skin dressed in tattered and torn clothes. Small plants, weeds, and fungi grow on the creature's body. A long, sinewy, greenishbrown noose connects the creature to the massive tree behind it.

Gallows trees zombies were once living humanoids slain and devoured by a gallows tree and reborn from the seedlings as a minion of said creature. They serve no purpose in life now other than killing to capturing living prey for the gallows tree that created them. These monsters retain small memories of their former lives and these scenes sometimes manifest in the zombie's mind, causing it great anger which it vents on the nearest living creature.

Gallows tree zombies show no spark of life in their eyes, but are not completely mindless. They are no undead even though their name suggests otherwise; therefore, they cannot be turned or rebuked.

Combat Edit

Gallows tree zombies hand motionless from the gallows tree, appearing lifeless. When a living creature comes within 100 feet of a gallows tree, the zombies are lowered to the ground and they move to attack.

Gallows tree zombies prefer uneven odds that favor them, so ganging up on an individual is the norm in battle. Slain foes are dragged back to the gallows tree to be devoured or transformed into a gallows tree zombie to replace any that fell in battle.

Spore Cloud (Ex): As a free action, once every 1d4 rounds (but no more than three times per day), a gallows tree zombie can breathe a cloud of poisonous, greenish spores in a 5-foot cube directly in front of it. a creature caught in the cloud must succeed on a DC 14 Fortitude save or be slowed (as the slow spell) for 6 rounds. Once minute later, the creature must make another Fortitude save (same DC) or take 1d3 points of Strength damage. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Fast Healing (Ex): A gallows tree zombie heals only if it is connected to its gallows tree by its tether-vine.

Tether-Vine (Ex): A gallows tree zombie is connected to the gallows tree that created it by a long sinewy vine. This vine can be lengthened to allow the zombie to move up to 100 feet away from the tree. The vine is AC 19 (touch 12) and has 10 hit points. Harming the vine deals no damage to the gallows tree zombie or the tree itself, but if severed, does prevent the zombie from using its fast healing ability.

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

Treasure Edit

None — Any treasure around the gallows tree zombie is part of the trove listed with the gallows tree above.

In Your Campaign Edit

Although not true undead, the gallows tree and its zombies make for a great bluff. A villain could conceivably make his hideout in a cave where a gallows tree would be the first line of defense. Alternately, he could simply set up an ambush for the party near to one. After pumping the local rumor mill full of false information (how the area is guarded by a vicious undead tree and its zombies, the PCs would come equipped to deal with such a threat. Of course, they would have prepared wrongly and the villain gains that much more of an upper hand when he launches his counterstrike.



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