Snakes… Why’d It Have To Be Snakes…

…because snakes are cool, that’s why! Duh! Only sharks are cooler… hm…. snakeshark! Oh, yeah, that’s going in there…

Anyway, here’s a bit more of work-in-progress for Earth Delta, namely, snakevines! I like concepts that lend themselves to easy expansion, mostly because I’m intellectually lazy, and if I get one quasi-good idea (possibly even a para-good idea, and if you get that joke, damn, you’re an old-school gamer), I will not just run with it, I will do a god-damn marathon with it. So, when I got the idea of sort of snake/plant hybrids, it occurred to me I could do all sorts of snakes and fill a lot of different niches, so a quick look at my spreadsheet of monsters showed me I still needed brutes and artillery for level 15… and that’s what you’re getting.

Wait, you ask, level 15 of what? No, you’re not asking that, since this site isn’t exactly teeming with random casual browsers, but, just in case… this is for Earth Delta, Lizard’s version of post apocalyptic mutant adventuring designed for the Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition rules, a lot like WOTC’s own Gamma World, except, a)mine doesn’t have collectible cards, and, b)rather ironically, mine is more compatible with core 4e than theirs. Go figure.

Snakevines

Snakevines are hybrids of plant and serpent, usually resembling twisted, hydra-like collections of leafy snake heads springing from a bulbous trunk that scurries along on dozens of serpentine roots. There are many different species. They are usually found in ruined and overgrown cities, where they slither and lurk inside buildings or among other overgrowth, such as bloodzu.

Snakevine, Anaconda

Snakevine, Anaconda

Level 15 Brute

Huge natural mutant beast (plant)

XP 1,200

HP 183; Bloodied 92

AC 28; Fortitude 29; Reflex 26; Will 25

Speed 6

Resist 10 psychic

Initiative +9

Perception +10

Tremorsense 20

Traits
Slithering Roots
The snakevine ignores difficult terrain while shifting.
Cut off one head…
…and it doesn’t grow a new one. Once the anaconda snakevine is bloodied, it can grab only two targets. If it has more than this grabbed when it is bloodied, one is randomly freed.
He’s No Fun Anymore
If a grabbed target is reduced to 0 or fewer hit points, the anaconda snakevine will not include it in Squeeze Play attacks, as it’s ready to be eaten once all the other prey is dead
It’s Easy Being Green
If encountered amidst dense greenery and vines, the anaconda snakevine has a +4 bonus to stealth until it moves or attacks.
Standard Actions
m Strangling Bite • At-Will
Attack: Melee 2; +18 vs. AC
Hit: 5d6 + 5 and target is grabbed until escape. The anaconda snakevine can grab up to four targets. It can only make strangling bite attacks if it has grabbed fewer than this number. See also “Cut off one head…”.
M Squeeze Play • At-Will
Attack: (All grabbed targets); +18 vs. Fortitude
Hit: 2d10 + 9 damage. In addition, until the start of the anaconda snakevine’s next turn, the DC to escape the grab increases by 2. See also “Squeeze Harder”.
Minor Actions
Squeeze Harder • At-Will
Requirements: Only against a target hit this round by Squeeze Play; only once per such target per round.
Effect: The target must make a DC 16 Endurance check (Easy DC of the snakevine’s level) or lose a healing surge. .
Skills Athletics +18, Endurance +18, Stealth +14
Str 23 (+13) Dex 14 (+9) Wis 17 (+10)
Con 23 (+13) Int 2 (+3) Cha 14 (+9)
Alignment      Languages

Anaconda snakevines are massively thick creatures, their sinuous green bodies rippling with strength. They usually lie in wait among other vines and plants, so twisted around them as to be almost invisible, and then begin a sudden squeezing attack on all creatures in reach. They are fairly single-minded creatures; squeeze it until it stops moving, then eat it if it looks like nothing is around which will try to eat it first.

If the snakevine anaconda sees no more enemies and all the creatures it has grabbed are dead or helpless, it will begin to swallow its prey; this is best modeled by losing one healing surge per minute. When all of the surges are gone, the target is devoured and dead. The anaconda snakevine cannot swallow prey larger than Medium, so it will drop any such prey it has grabbed if they fall below zero hit points or become helpless.

There are many rumors, bordering on legends or myths, of truly massive anaconda snakevines that lurk in the densest jungles at the heart of the ruined cities of the equatorial and tropic regions. Some of these tales are simply of immense monsters, but others talk of intelligent, psionic, anaconda snakevines that rule regions of their cities as gods.

Snakevine, Spitting Cobra

Snakevine, Spitting Cobra

Level 15 Artillery

Large natural mutant beast (plant)

XP 1,200

HP 113; Bloodied 57

AC 26; Fortitude 26; Reflex 28; Will 28

Speed 4, climb 4

Resist 10 psychic

Initiative +13

Perception +17

Tremorsense 20

Traits
O Snapping Heads • Aura 2
The snakevine may make a basic melee attack as a minor action against any creature which begins its turn in the aura.
Slithering Roots
The snakevine ignores difficult terrain while shifting.
Standard Actions
m Venomous Bite (poison) • At-Will
Attack: Melee 2; +20 vs. AC
Hit: 3d6 + 8 and ongoing 10 poison damage, save ends. If the target is already taking poison damage, then further saves are at -2.
r Venomous Spit (poison) • At-Will
Attack: Ranged 20; +20 vs. Reflex
Hit: 3d10 + 7 poison damage, and target takes ongoing 10 poison damage and grants combat advantage (save ends all).
Special: On a critical hit, target is also blinded.
R Spitting Fury (poison) • Recharge recharges when bloodied
Effect: The snakevine makes three venomous spit attacks, each at a different target.
Triggered Actions
M Leaking Sap • Recharge 5 6
Trigger: The snakevine takes damage from a melee attack or an attack with the weapon keyword.
Attack (Immediate Reaction): Melee 1 (The source of the triggering attack); +18 vs. Fortitude
Hit: The target is immobilized (save ends), and the snakevine may either shift 1 square or make a venomous bite attack against the target.
Skills Stealth +18
Str 18 (+11) Dex 23 (+13) Wis 21 (+12)
Con 17 (+10) Int 2 (+3) Cha 14 (+9)
Alignment unaligned     Languages

Spitting cobra snakevines, sometimes just called spitting vines or cobra vines, hunt by poisoning prey at a distance, keeping up the barrage of venom until the enemy collapses, and then moving in to feed. If the cobra snakevine sees no more enemies and has a helpless enemy within 20 squares, it will move to it and begin to swallow it; this is best modeled by the victim, if he is still alive, losing one healing surge per minute. When all of the surges are gone, the target is devoured and dead. The cobra snakevine cannot swallow prey larger than Small, so it will leave such corpses to scavengers.

They are not interested in Medium or creatures as food, but will attack if disturbed or if they feel the creatures are a threat or have invaded the snakevine’s home. If an enemy approaches too closely, the snakevine will usually do all it can to escape and will then focus its attacks on the interloper, in preference to all other targets. Only if the enemy seems very weak, or if there is nowhere safe to move to, will a cobra snakevine bite rather than shift after a leaking sap attack.

Cobra snakevines are mostly solid green, but their heads are usually patterned with unique geometric shapes in shades of green, grey, and brown. Carefully dried and preserved, such heads are valuable to rubblers and other communities who live near to the cities; in some societies, the patterns on the heads are used as symbols for fortune-telling. Someone using the gut & skin technique can gather the heads for sale; they have the same base value as components would, but cannot be used to make items.

Common Mutations

The following mutations are known to be found among all breeds of snakevine.

Snakemind: Sometimes, a snakevine develops an advanced consciousness, raising its Intelligence to 10 (if you prefer, roll 8+1d6) and granting it the languages of Common and either Branchwave or Scale (Ophidian dialect), as well as 1-2 trained skills. The twisting snake-heads are agile enough to wrap around the trigger of a gun, and they may well have an appropriate weapon to supplement their other abilities.

Woodscale: Some snakevines have exceptionally thick skin, a hard bark that offers additional protection but reduced mobility. These snakevines have +2 AC and -1 Reflex, but lose the AC bonus after being bloodied. (They do not regain the Reflex penalty)

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