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A Thorny Room

Encounter Level 2 (625xp)

This encounter is suitable for use in any underground location where the area above is natural woodlands, or perhaps tainted woodlands. Brysthal might well be luring woodsmen to their deaths for example after her tree was cut down above trapping her in its root system. Like yesterday’s encounter this encounter was first created (by me) for the Ramshackle Dungeon project on the WotC Community Boards. You can join the group here.

Regardless of why the PCs encounter her Brysthal, is a bitter Dryad whose tree has been badly damaged and warped somewhere above, and perhaps only the roots remain alive through some perversion of naturedown trapping her down here.

If the characters are approaching from the south read or paraphrase:

As you approach this room vines and molds grow along the walls of the dugneon in increasing amounts, until at last all sign of the stone work is covered by greenery and dead leaves crunch underfoot.

If the characters are approaching from the east read or paraphrase:

As you move down the corridor vines and molds grow along the walls of the dugneon in increasing amounts, until at last all sign of the stone work is covered by greenery and dead leaves crunch underfoot. Ahead the passage seems to come to an end in a mass of vines.

Passive Perception 17 or Active Perceptio 12 reveals that the vines cover an old wooden door.

Once the characters enter the room read or paraphrase:

The walls and cieling of this room are covered in mold and vines obscuring the stonework.

Setup

1x Brysthal – Blighted Dryad
8x Blightborn Twig Blight
2x Greenspawn Sneak

  • For 4 PCs: remove a Greenspawn Sneak.
  • For 6 PCs: Increase Brysthal’s level by 1 (See DMG1.)

Features of the Area

Illumination During the day faint light comes through a narrow crack in the cieling providing dim light. At night the room is dark.

Covered by Vines The walls and cieling of this room are covered in mold and vines obscuring the stonework. This vine covering makes the terrain difficult for those without forest walk.

Entrances The southern entry is an open archway. The eastern door is always closed but is not locked.

Large Plants Each corner of the room and the roots hanging from the cieling at the center of the room qualify as a “large plant” for Brysthal’s Treestride and similar powers.

Tactics

All the monsters start off hidden (Greenspawn DC 19, Blights DC 26, Brysthal is in her tree), as they have no particular need to be moving about in the lair. Once the PCs enter the Twigblights swarm in among the PCs attacking wildly, whilethe Greenspawns will attempt to attack with combat advantage and will happily move into places where they can get total concealment. Brysthal will attempt to use hit and run tactics, especially if it will grant one of the Greenspawn’s combat advantage. She takes full advantage of the large plants in the room.

Some players may seek to set the detritus on fire, doing so will cause a fire to rapidly spread through the room (burst 2 expansion from the starting point each round) causing any that are caught in the conflaguration to take 1d6+4 fire damage each round. The fire will last 2 rounds in any given square. Once the fire has burnt for two rounds the room begins to fill with smoke; medium creatures will then need to make endurance checks DC15, a failed check results in that creature becoming stunned. After 2 more rounds this check is also required of small creatures and all gain concealment due to the smoke.

Brysthal and all her allies immediately focus all their attacks on any PC who starts a fire.

Allow the PCs a Nature Check DC10 to realise that starting a fire is probably a poor plan.

Ending the Encounter

Sadly Brysthal is quite insane due to the damage to her tree above. She will fight to the death along with the Twig Blights. The Greenspawns will only fight until they are bloodied if Brysthal is slain.

If the PCs flee the room the creatures do not follow unless a fire was started, at which point the creatures persue until the PC that started the fire is dead. (They will coup de grace such a PC.)

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