Speed: 5 ft. (1 square)
Armor Class: 15 (–1 size, +6 natural), touch 9, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+12
Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d6+7)
Full Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d6+7)
Space/Reach: 10 ft./10 ft. (20 ft. with vine)
Special Attacks: Constrict 1d6+7, entangle, improved grab
Special Qualities: Blindsight 30 ft., camouflage, immunity to electricity, low-light vision, plant traits, resistance to cold 10 and fire 10
Saves: Fort +7, Ref +1, Will +2
Abilities: Str 20, Dex 10, Con 16, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 9
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary or patch (2–4)
Treasure: 1/10th coins; 50% goods; 50% items
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 5–16 HD (Huge); 17–32 HD (Gargantuan); 33+ HD (Colossal)
The assassin vine is a semi-mobile plant that collects its own grisly fertilizer by grabbing and crushing animals and depositing the carcasses near its roots.
A mature plant consists of a main vine, about 20 feet long. Smaller vines up to 5 feet long branch off from the main vine about every 6 inches. These small vines bear clusters of leaves, and in late summer they produce bunches of small fruits that resemble wild grapes. The fruit is tough and has a hearty but bitter flavor. Assassin vine berries make a heady wine.
An assassin vine can move about, albeit very slowly, but usually stays put unless it needs to seek prey in a new vicinity.
A subterranean version of the assassin vine grows near hot springs, volcanic vents, and other sources of thermal energy. These plants have thin, wiry stems and gray leaves shot through with silver, brown, and white veins so that they resemble mineral deposits. An assassin vine growing underground usually generates enough offal to support a thriving colony of mushrooms and other fungi, which spring up around the plant and help conceal it.
An assassin vine uses simple tactics:
It lies still until prey comes within reach, then attacks. It uses its entangle ability both to catch prey and to deter counterattacks.
An assassin vine deals 1d6+7 points of damage with a successful grapple check.
An assassin vine can animate plants within 30 feet of itself as a free action (Ref DC 13 partial). The effect lasts until the vine dies or decides to end it (also a free action). The save DC is Wisdom-based. The ability is otherwise similar to entangle (caster level 4th).
To use this ability, an assassin vine 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 can constrict.
Assassin vines have no visual organs but can ascertain all foes within 30 feet using sound, scent, and vibration.
Since an assassin vine looks like a normal plant when at rest, it takes a DC 20 Spot check to notice it before it attacks.
Anyone with ranks in Survival or Knowledge (nature) can use one of those skills instead of Spot to notice the plant. Dwarves can use stonecunning to notice the subterranean version.