Monster Monday: Deathroot Mother

Deathroot Mother               CR 11
A  skull-faced creature made of twisted roots scuttles toward you on arachnid legs, trailing thorns and leaves. 
XP 12,800
NE Large Undead
Init +10; Senses Darkvision 60 ft; Tremorsense 60 ft; Perception +19 Aura Root Dream Spores
Defense
AC 31, touch 15, flat-footed 25 (+6 Dex, +26 natural, -1 size)
hp 114 (12d8+60)
Fort +9, Ref +13, Will +12
Defensive Abilities undead traits; SR 22; vulnerability to fire
Offense
Speed 50 ft, climb 50 ft
Melee 2 claws +14 (1d10+5 plus deathroot poison)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Statistics
Str 20, Dex 22, Con -, Int 12, Wis 18, Cha 20
Base Atk +8; CMB +14, CMD 30 (36 vs trip)
Feats Improved Initiative, Weapon focus (Claw), Lightning Reflexes, Skill Focus (perception), Ability Focus: Deathroot Poison, Improved Natural Armor
Skills  Climb + 28,  Intimidate +20, Knowledge (arcana) +16, Perception +19, Stealth +20 (28 in a forest setting)
Languages Common
Special Abilities
Root Dream Spores (EX, aura): A death root mother is continually surrounded by a cloud of spores with hallucinogenic properties. Creatures which breathe within 30ft of the deathroot mother must make a DC 18 Will save each round or come to believe they have put down roots and become a tree. Creatures affected are dazed for 1 round. After making 2 consecutive saves, a creature becomes immune to the effects of the spores.
Deathroot Poison (EX): Claw–Injury: save Fort DC 20; frequency 1/ round for 6 rounds; effect 1d6 Con, cure 1 save. This horrifying poison causes growths to occur within the creature’s body. Creatures slain by this poison rise as zombies in 1d3 minutes.
Spindle Tree (SU): At will and as a swift action, a deathroot mother can use a Tree Stride effect, except without the restriction that the tree entered must be of big enough girth.
Ecology
Environment temperate and warm forest
Organization solitary or brood (1 deathroot mother plus 2d8 zombies)
Treasure standard
Sometimes, when the necromantic winds of midnight align just right, a corpse abandoned in the forest becomes a deathroot mother. These terrifying creatures delight in stalking travelers through their dark domains, waiting for one or more of them to fall prey to their hallucinogenic spores. Then the deathroot mother begins a horrible feast, reaping the dead to create undead servants. Some say that deep within the most overgrown forests of the world, whole cities of these creatures walk the rotting trees, and we see only the loners and outcasts of their undead society.

Notes

This creature will be most exciting when you turn to one of the players and simply say, “You believe you have been turned into a tree. You’re dazed as a heady smell like rotten wood fills the air.” Then when the stealthy undead being steps forward to attack, the players will be primed for a truly horror-inspiring fight.

Enjoy!

-Max Porter Zasada

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