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    Default Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Guardian Tree
    Gargantuan Plant
    Hit Dice 15d8+135 (202 hp)
    Speed 0 ft. (0 squares)
    Initiative: +5
    Armor Class 23 (-4 size, -5 Dex, +22 natural), touch 1, flat-footed 23
    Base Attack/Grapple +11/+18
    Attack Leaf storm +17 ranged (2d8+6 plus slow)
    Full-Attack
    Space 20 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
    Special Attacks Entangling roots, judgment, leaf storm, rustle call
    Special Qualities Blindsight 60 ft., damage reduction 10/slashing, face carvings, guardian tree, low-light vision, plant traits, vulnerability to fire
    Saves Fort +19 Ref — Will +13
    Abilities Str Ø, Dex Ø, Con 27, Int 13, Wis 22, Cha 7
    Skills Handle Animal +16, Listen +26, Spot +26
    Feats Alertness, Great Fortitude, Improved Initiative, Improved Natural Armor, Improved Toughness, Iron Will
    Environment Temperate forests
    Organization Solitary
    Challenge Rating 9
    Treasure None
    Alignment Always neutral
    Advancement 16-26 HD (Gargantuan); 27-45 HD (Colossal)
    Level Adjustment

    Guardian trees appear to be massive trees with faces carved into them. Attempting to enter one's forest, however, reveals its true nature as a guardian of the forest, its faces coming alive and a judging air surrounding it.

    A guardian tree is 50 feet tall and 6 feet in diameter, weighing about 35 tons.

    Combat

    Guardian trees first assess potential threats, passing judgment on them. If creatures are found worthy, there is no need for more action. However, if the creatures are found unworthy, the guardian tree loudly rustles its leaves for allies and waits for help, some of which usually arrives in the same round.

    Entangling Roots (Ex)
    A guardian tree's root system is vast and dangerous. In a 40-foot radius of the guardian tree, its roots lie in wait. If a creature the guardian tree has deemed unworthy of entering its forest enters this area, the roots rise from the ground to entangle any creature that fails a DC 23 Reflex save. These roots can attempt to trip any creature entangled by them without fear of reciprocation. The trip attempt uses the guardian tree's base attack bonus and Wisdom modifier for the touch attack and its Wisdom modifier for the Strength check instead of Strength. Only the roots in the same square as a creature can entangle and trip it, though for each square the creature moves through in the 40-foot radius, it must make another Reflex save to avoid being entangled. Each square's roots can only attempt to entangle and trip once per round.

    Face Carvings (Ex)
    Covering each guardian tree are carvings of faces, eyes wide open. A guardian tree cannot be flanked and has blindsight out to 60 feet. Any creature with 3 or more Intelligence within 60 feet that can see a face is sickened until it can no longer see the face. A successful DC 23 Fortitude save negates this sickening effect for 24 hours. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

    Guardian Tree (Su)
    A guardian tree protects all plants within its domain. As long as a guardian tree lives, the forest it lives on the edge of and all plant creatures within the forest gain fast healing 7 (half the guardian tree's Hit Dice), including the guardian tree itself. Any creature or plant affected by this fast healing grants the guardian tree vision and senses as if the tree was the plant or creature. This is simultaneous for all affected plants and creatures and doesn't affect them in any way.

    Judgment (Su)
    Guardian trees don't let just anyone pass into their forest. Any creature attempting to enter a forest protected by a guardian tree must make a DC 23 Will save or be turned away unless the guardian tree allows it entrance. This also prevents creatures from coming within 120 feet of the guardian tree. If a creature succeeds on its Will save to enter a guardian tree's forest or come within 120 feet of the tree itself, it is constantly under the effects of geas, as the spell, while in the forest or in range. If the geas would be removed by magical means, it disappears for 1 round and then reapplies. Upon leaving the forest or range, the geas effect goes away. The save DC is Wisdom-based.

    Leaf Storm (Ex)
    As a standard action, the guardian tree can send a massive storm of leaves down upon any creature within 120 feet. This requires a ranged attack using its Wisdom modifier to modify it. If the attack hits, the leaves spread and deal 2d8+6 (Wisdom modifier) slashing damage and slow all creatures within 10 feet of the target hit. The slowing effect lasts for 2d4 rounds. In addition, creatures hit are pushed back 5 feet in the opposite direction of the forest. If a creature is hit multiple times, the effects don't stack. Instead, the duration is renewed.

    Rustle Call (Ex)
    As a standard action, the guardian tree can rustle its leaves to communicate with any living creature that has an Intelligence score within one mile of it. A creature can respond to the guardian tree if it wishes—no common language is needed—running at full speed unless it would be fatigued in doing so, in which case it goes as fast as possible otherwise. There is no limit to the number of creatures that can be summoned in this manner. If it is threatened, the guardian tree can send out a distress call as as swift action that alerts all the creatures of the forest within 1 mile to come to its aid. The call summons 1/2 the guardian tree's HD in allies that arrive in 1d4 rounds.


    Adventure Hooks

    A warden who has been tending to a forest for thirty years has recently been rejected by the guardian tree of the forest. He wishes to gain entry once more, but doesn't want to harm the guardian tree in doing so.

    Your path is blocked by a guardian tree who judges no one in your party worthy to enter except the elf.

    Woodsmen have been attacked repeatedly by the guardian tree of a forest after they started to chop down a cherry tree. The leader of this group is willing to do anything to get into that forest for its wood. Her drive for this particular forest is peculiar, but the workers don't seem disturbed.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2013-10-24 at 11:45 AM.
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    wow, thats a big tree. imagine the damage from the acorns if it shook its branches. 14d4 damage from falling nuts.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Interesting idea. I like it! On a brief glance, my only suggestion would be to further define the Rustle Call ability. What does "rush to aid the guardian tree in any way they can" mean? How soon do they arrive? What actions do they take? Do they fight, even if they would normally be docile creatures? Does the tree direct them or do they act on their own? To simplify things, what about basing it on Summon Nature's Ally, or even just making the ability to use Summon Nature's Ally at will or a certain number of times per day?

    Edit: I also think the CR is a little high, depending on what Rustle Call turns out to do. The tree doesn't really have that much by way of offense other than imposing status effects. It has decent defenses, but PCs are going to be all tricked out in fiery abilities more often than not, so this thing's going to have a tough time not getting scorched. I don't really know how to address this other than via Rustle Call.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    I'm kinda curious why it has non-abilities in Str and Dex? It seems like you purposefully kneecapped it. Even without a Dex score it makes reflex saves. The modifier for non-abilities is +0 so it still gets a Reflex number even if it automatically fails Reflex saves.

    Nonabilities
    Some creatures lack certain ability scores. These creatures do not have an ability score of 0—they lack the ability altogether. The modifier for a nonability is +0. Other effects of nonabilities are detailed below.

    Strength
    Any creature that can physically manipulate other objects has at least 1 point of Strength. A creature with no Strength score can’t exert force, usually because it has no physical body or because it doesn't move. The creature automatically fails Strength checks. If the creature can attack, it applies its Dexterity modifier to its base attack bonus instead of a Strength modifier.

    Dexterity
    Any creature that can move has at least 1 point of Dexterity. A creature with no Dexterity score can’t move. If it can perform actions (such as casting spells), it applies its Intelligence modifier to initiative checks instead of a Dexterity modifier. The creature automatically fails Reflex saves and Dexterity checks.
    Initiative should be +1 not -5 as it would use Int modifier instead of Dex modifier.

    Reflex save is +0 (always fails)

    You need to note which ability is the basis for each save. Face carving and Judgment Call seem to be Constitution-based.

    Judgment call should probably be a mind-affecting ability since the guardian tree can't physically prevent someone from entering its forest. It can't even patrol its forest so how would it know? It should have a way to sense whenever a creature enters or leaves its forest. Obviously, normal animals would never be denied access to the forest. Being shaken is hardly a deterrent.

    Judgment (Ex): Guardian trees don't let just anyone pass into their forest. Any creature attempting to enter a forest protected by a guardian tree must succeed on a DC 25 Will save or be turned away, unless the guardian tree allows it entrance. This also prevents creatures from coming within 120 feet of the guardian tree. If a creature succeeds on its Will save to enter a guardian tree's forest or comes within 120 feet of the tree itself, it is constantly shaken while in the forest or in range. This is a mind-affecting effect. The save is Constitution-based.

    Rustle call needs to explain how the tree communicates and needs more game mechanics. You need to limit how many HD worth of creatures can heed the call. You should include the creatures from Rustle Call in the CR. Here is what I recommend:

    Rustle Call (Ex): As a standard action, guardian tree can rustle its leaves to communicate with any living creature that has an intelligence score within one mile of it. The creature can respond to the guardian tree if it wishes—no common language is needed. If threatened, the guardian tree can send out a distress call as as swift action that alerts all the creatures of the forest within 1 mile to come to its aid. The call summons 1/2 the guardian tree's HD in allies that arrive in 1d4 rounds.

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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    I honestly would go the other way from what Mephibosheth was saying, and *increase* the CR. I mean, impossibly high DC or be Sickened, Impossibly high DC or be auto NO'd... this creature would be hard to hit with anything other than ranged attacks, and that outside most weapons' range. [Short] ranged spells will also likely miss.

    But, I do agree that it needs attack. Summoning seems like it'd work.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Temotei, interesting. Been playing Zelda recently?

    I too feel that a CR 9 critter that can't actually do anything to harm the players beyond summoning squirrels to attack them doesn't sound like a CR 9 critter. Especially given that I think I could kill it purely with fireballs and it couldn't stop me in any way.

    I'd like to see it gain some offensive action, perhaps Druid spells or some spell-like abilities that let it DO something.

    And yeah, one more call for Rustle Call to be clearly defined. I like Debihuman's suggestion.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2013-03-27 at 10:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by SamBurke View Post
    I honestly would go the other way from what Mephibosheth was saying, and *increase* the CR. I mean, impossibly high DC or be Sickened, Impossibly high DC or be auto NO'd... this creature would be hard to hit with anything other than ranged attacks, and that outside most weapons' range. [Short] ranged spells will also likely miss.

    But, I do agree that it needs attack. Summoning seems like it'd work.
    There really isn't a point in increasing the CR. Unless the party is evil, there's no reason for it not to grant passage. This is less like a creature and more like a plot device. Unless they absolutely have to go into the forest, they can just avoid this encounter. It stops being fun to have high DCs to avoid being sickened. And anything auto is even less fun. I don't particularly like railroading players, which is what an impossibly high DC does. It's not necessary and it's weak DM design.

    ----------------------------

    I would have given it Dex 6 and Str 23 along with 2 slam attacks but I would have left it immobile. Maybe it could use its roots to trip opponents or its leaves to slow them. As it is, it's not really all that interesting.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-03-27 at 11:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Mephibosheth View Post
    Interesting idea. I like it! On a brief glance, my only suggestion would be to further define the Rustle Call ability. What does "rush to aid the guardian tree in any way they can" mean? How soon do they arrive? What actions do they take? Do they fight, even if they would normally be docile creatures? Does the tree direct them or do they act on their own? To simplify things, what about basing it on Summon Nature's Ally, or even just making the ability to use Summon Nature's Ally at will or a certain number of times per day?

    Edit: I also think the CR is a little high, depending on what Rustle Call turns out to do. The tree doesn't really have that much by way of offense other than imposing status effects. It has decent defenses, but PCs are going to be all tricked out in fiery abilities more often than not, so this thing's going to have a tough time not getting scorched. I don't really know how to address this other than via Rustle Call.
    This is fair. Summon nature's ally would make it easier, though I had originally intended for it to be vague so a DM could decide how many creatures were nearby and such based on the forest the DM created.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    I'm kinda curious why it has non-abilities in Str and Dex? It seems like you purposefully kneecapped it. Even without a Dex score it makes reflex saves. The modifier for non-abilities is +0 so it still gets a Reflex number even if it automatically fails Reflex saves.

    Reflex save is +0 (always fails)
    According to the shrieker entry, the Reflex save is just the dash for an auto-failure. It makes more sense than +0 anyway since there's no point in including it.

    Initiative should be +1 not -5 as it would use Int modifier instead of Dex modifier.
    Oops.

    You need to note which ability is the basis for each save. Face carving and Judgment Call seem to be Constitution-based.
    Wisdom-based.

    Judgment call should probably be a mind-affecting ability since the guardian tree can't physically prevent someone from entering its forest. It can't even patrol its forest so how would it know? It should have a way to sense whenever a creature enters or leaves its forest. Obviously, normal animals would never be denied access to the forest. Being shaken is hardly a deterrent.
    Mind-affecting seems fair. The guardian tree is supposed to know (somehow) when anything is entering its forest so it can protect it. Maybe it has an innate connection to the creatures of the forest or with the trees or whatever, but it just knows, and that's creepy. I'll see if I can spell it out.

    The deterrent is being turned away. Even if you succeed, you're shaken.

    Rustle Call (Ex): As a standard action, guardian tree can rustle its leaves to communicate with any living creature that has an intelligence score within one mile of it. The creature can respond to the guardian tree if it wishes—no common language is needed. If threatened, the guardian tree can send out a distress call as as swift action that alerts all the creatures of the forest within 1 mile to come to its aid. The call summons 1/2 the guardian tree's HD in allies that arrive in 1d4 rounds.
    I like it. Thanks for this.

    Prepare to be overrun by critters, I reckon.

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Temotei, interesting. Been playing Zelda recently?
    Actually, no. Just thought of it when working on the campaign setting. The Great Deku Tree may well be one, though, perhaps with enough HD to be Colossal.

    I'd like to see it gain some offensive action, perhaps Druid spells or some spell-like abilities that let it DO something.
    That's fair. I'll see what I can do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Unless the party is evil, there's no reason for it not to grant passage.
    Adventurers are notorious woodland marauders, cutting down bushes, trees, and animals alike. The tree doesn't care what your alignment is; it cares for the good of the forest. If it senses a threat in you, it's going to attempt to turn you away.

    ----------------------------

    Maybe it could use its roots to trip opponents or its leaves to slow them.
    That's an idea.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Temotei View Post
    The deterrent is being turned away. Even if you succeed, you're shaken.
    I hate to say it, but that's a pretty poor deterrent unless the PCs have to go through the woods (but that's a plot device and shouldn't be the scope of the creature). Being shaken is not all that bad.

    Adventurers are notorious woodland marauders, cutting down bushes, trees, and animals alike. The tree doesn't care what your alignment is; it cares for the good of the forest. If it senses a threat in you, it's going to attempt to turn you away.
    I always thought that was over-rated. If a group of adventurers lights a fire for cooking that's not necessarily a bad thing because they'd probably be cutting down dead trees to use as firewood. Green wood tends to smoke a lot. Also, everything has a right to eat. How many times have adventurers eaten rations instead of hunting or relied on magical food?

    Don't be so quick to think that trees automatically think adventurers are bad for the forest. Culling trees and animals provides a service too. It's only when things are hunted for sport or too much that it should be a concern. Just walking through the forest to get from Point A to Point B shouldn't be an issue.

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    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-03-27 at 06:22 PM.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    I hate to say it, but that's a pretty poor deterrent.
    What do you recommend?

    Don't be so quick to think that trees automatically think adventurers are bad for the forest. Culling trees and animals provides a service too. It's only when things are hunted for sport or too much that it should be a concern. Just walking through the forest to get from Point A to Point B shouldn't be an issue.
    It's not an automatic thing. It's a judgment call on the tree's part. I was just pointing out that good adventurers won't get entrance just because their entry says they're good.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Maybe it should place a geas on anyone it deems unworthy of entering its forest as the spell instead of leaving them shaken.

    Debby
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Maybe it should place a geas on anyone it deems unworthy of entering its forest as the spell instead of leaving them shaken.

    Debby
    Done. I like it.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Leaf storm is too weak. Damage for a Gargantuan creature should be 2d8. Also, Reach is a matter of size. It has a reach of 20 feet not 0 feet.

    Face Carving has a slight problem. If any creature sees it is sickened, then allies who come to its aid are sickened too as most animals will fail their save. I would say that it affects only creatures with an Int of 3 or more.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2013-04-03 at 08:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Debihuman View Post
    Leaf storm is too weak. Damage for a Gargantuan creature should be 2d8. Also, Reach is a matter of size. It has a reach of 20 feet not 0 feet.
    A creature with no attacks doesn't have reach. See the shrieker. Leaf storm was just put under attacks so it would be easier to use for DMs instead of having the attack bonus and everything in the entry. That's why there's no full attack entry.

    I'll change the damage. Another 4.5 on average shouldn't change much anyway.

    Face Carving has a slight problem. If any creature sees it is sickened, then allies who come to its aid are sickened too as most animals will fail their save. I would say that it affects only creatures with an Int of 3 or more.

    Debby
    Good catch. Done.

    Thanks a ton for the critique. This helps bunches.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2013-04-03 at 12:37 PM.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    I really like this creature. It seems like an ideal guardian not just for nature but for anything that happens to be found in a forested location -- pair these with a few druids, treants, thorns, and other plant-like warriors and they could probably do solid job defending a portal into a dimension under the control of an ancient abomination from before the creation of the world. You know, just as an example.

    Quick question on the geas ability -- what does the geas actually require the victims to do?

    Covering each guardian tree are carvings of faces, eyes wide open. A guardian tree cannot be flanked and has blindsight out to 60 feet. Any creature with 3 or more Intelligence within 60 feet that can see a face is sickened until it can no longer see the face. A successful DC 23 Fortitude save negates this sickening effect. The save DC is Wisdom-based.
    Is this a permanent negation, or is it one of those, "any creature that makes its save cannot be affected by this particular monster's use of this ability for 24 hours" thing that the books are so fond of using?
    Last edited by Steward; 2013-04-03 at 12:56 PM.

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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    I really like this creature. It seems like an ideal guardian not just for nature but for anything that happens to be found in a forested location -- pair these with a few druids, treants, thorns, and other plant-like warriors and they could probably do solid job defending a portal into a dimension under the control of an ancient abomination from before the creation of the world. You know, just as an example.
    I'm glad you like it.

    Quick question on the geas ability -- what does the geas actually require the victims to do?
    The guardian tree wants nothing more than to make unworthy creatures stay out of its forest. If its judgment alone can't deter someone or something by itself, the tree places geas on its target to force the creature out of its forest. If it doesn't leave, it suffers all the effects of not following its geas, as normal. The reason I didn't state that the purpose of the geas was to leave the forest was that a creature could reason that they are leaving the forest; they're just leaving by the other side, which is unacceptable to the guardian tree.

    Is this a permanent negation, or is it one of those, "any creature that makes its save cannot be affected by this particular monster's use of this ability for 24 hours" thing that the books are so fond of using?
    Well, that's awkward. I'll make it a 24-hour delay until it can affect those creatures again.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2013-04-03 at 01:10 PM.
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Steward View Post
    I really like this creature. It seems like an ideal guardian not just for nature but for anything that happens to be found in a forested location -- pair these with a few druids, treants, thorns, and other plant-like warriors and they could probably do solid job defending a portal.
    Im doing just that with three of these trees, guarding the very entrance to the feyrealm
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    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Amechra's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    You know, you could just have the Geas be to leave the forest by the shortest route that they can.
    Quote Originally Posted by segtrfyhtfgj View Post
    door is a fake exterior wall
    If you see me try to discuss the nitty-gritty of D&D 5e, kindly point me to my signature and remind me that I shouldn't. Please and thank you!

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    What? Send perfectly good bags of nutrients out of the forest?!


  20. - Top - End - #20
    Ogre in the Playground
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    tongue Re: Tree, Guardian of Trees [3.5 Creature]

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    What? Send perfectly good bags of nutrients out of the forest?!

    I can see the geas now...

    LEAVE MY FOREST!!! but send fertilizer!!!
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    Belladonis Campaign Setting 3.5
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