Needlefolk

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Medium-Size Plant

Needlefolk.gif

Hit Dice: 3d8+3 (16 hp)

Initiative: +0

Speed: 30 ft.

AC: 14 (+4 natural), touch 10, flat-footed 14

Attacks: Needles +2 ranged, or 2 claws +3 melee

Damage: Needles 1d12+1, claw 1d4+1

Face/Reach: 5 ft. /5 ft.

Special Qualities: Plant traits

Saves: Fort +4, Ref +1, Will +3

Abilities: Str 12, Dex 10, Con 13, Int 6, Wis 15, Cha 5

Skills: Hide +8*, Listen +4, Move Silently +2, Spot +4

Feats: Alertness, Stealthy

Climate/Terrain: Any forest

Organization: Solitary or grove (5-50)

Challenge Rating: 2

Treasure: Standard

Alignment: Always neutral

Advancement: 4-9 HD (Medium-size)

Level Adjustment: +1

Though needlefolk superficially resemble humanoids, they are in fact mobile plants. Because they lack roots, needlefolk must take in water and nutrients through a structure that resembles a mouth.

Under most circumstances, a needlefolk’s movements are slow and stately. When faced with danger, however, it can be nearly as quick and agile as a human.

A needlefolk is a green, hairless bipedal creature whose body is covered with short, stiff bristles (actually needle-like thorns). In human terms, its body is quite thin, even emaciated-looking. Its arms end in "hands" that sport vicious-looking claws (actually large, sturdy thorns). The coloration of the small leaves that cover the monster’s body mirrors that of the foliage around them: green in spring and summer, red and yellow in autumn, and brown in winter. Needlefolk are deciduous, so they drop their leaves and become dormant through the cold season. A dormant needlefolk resembles a tree with two branches and a faint outline of a face in the bark atop its body.

Needlefolk have no appreciable society or culture. They live in the forest with no more social organization than trees or shrubs would have. Their dietary needs are all satisfied by absorbing light and by eating dirt, decaying leaves, and the occasional small, dead forest animal. They reproduce by seeds, which each needlefolk produces in the autumn. The seed pods are brown and covered with spiny thorns. Because they fall close to the parent plant, groves of needlefolk tend to spring up wherever one has chosen to spend a season.

The only thing that excites needlefolk is elves—they hate elves passionately. Needlefolk can sense the presence of an elf within 1,500 feet, and they always move to attack when one is detected. However, the monsters do possess enough intelligence and cunning not to commit suicide if they can see that the odds are strongly against them. If badly outnumbered, a needlefolk may shadow the target elves until it can see that enough additional needlefolk have gathered in the area to shift the balance against the enemies.

Needlefolk speak Sylvan.

COMBAT

Needlefolk are not tremendous fighters at close range; their preferred weapon is the small needles that cover their bodies. Each round, a needlefolk can launch a cluster of needles from its body (range increment 20 feet, maximum range 200 feet). The precise number of needles launched doesn’t matter; either they all hit a single target as a cluster and deal 1d12+1 points of damage, or they all miss. If forced into melee, a needlefolk attacks with its claws. Groups of needlefolk attack as individuals, without any sort of plan or direction. Each one is cunning enough to determine where its own attacks might be best targeted, but it cares nothing for what the rest of its kind do in a fight.

Plant Traits (Ex): Needlefolk are immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and polymorph. They are not subject to critical hits or mind-affecting effects. The creatures also have low-light vision.

Skills: *A needlefolk’s coloration and needles give it excellent camouflage in the forest. While there, it has a +16 racial bonus on Hide checks when stationary. This bonus drops to +8 if it moves at up to half-speed.