Not Every Monster I Create Is Based On a Bad Pun
Just, Y’Know, Most Of Them
When the Muse Calls, You Must Listen
So I am waiting in line at the grocery store, and someone ahead of me is talking about buying a fern (this being the season when everyone sets out plants for sale), and I suddenly think “Inferno”. And here it is!
The changes wrought by the Cataclysm touched even the humblest of plants. The ubiquitous fern, for example, having survived since the Devonian, was not going to be wiped out by a mere war. One branch of the family tree… or a frond of the family rhizome, as the case may be… has evolved to use the traditional enemy of plants as a weapon itself.
Infernos grow in large bushes, about five feet across. When undisturbed, they seem to be innocuous greenery, with the only clue as to their nature being a very faint (DC 22 Perception or Nature check to notice) heat shimmer above them, regardless of the ambient temperature. When disturbed or threatened, they can generate a flaming sap that ignites upon contact with air, then shape it with a natural pyrokinetic ability so it does not burn them or ignite the forest, but can form a protective aura or be hurled at foes. They are not carnivorous, but the corpses they leave behind are of value to meat-eating plants or more normal predators, and some species live with them symbiotically, helping the inferno to kill enemies and then feasting on the remains. Despite its essentially plantlike nature, an inferno’s rudimentary telepathy can send ‘pain’ or ‘fear’ signs to others nearby, thus attacking in concert or engaging in behaviors more sophisticated than expected from a “mindless” creatures.
UNCOMMON | N | MEDIUM | PLANT
Perception +12, Tremorsense 60’
Skills Athletics +10
Str +1, Dex +4, Con +3, Int -5, Wis +5, Cha +0
Quasi-Mindless The inferno can be targeted with abilities that do not affect mindless creatures, but before it takes damage or needs to save, the attacker must make a flat DC 10 check, or there is no effect. (Abilities which specifically affect plants always work, even if they normally cannot target mindless plants.)
AC 18; Fort +6, Ref +13, Will +11;
HP 45; Immunities fire, blindness, deafness;
Pyrokinetic Aura (aura, fire) 10 feet, 3d6 fire; DC 20 basic reflex; will not affect allies of the inferno.
Flare Response ↻ Trigger An ally of the inferno is struck by a melee or ranged attack. Range 60 feet Effect The inferno makes a plasma flare strike, and its pyrokinetic aura deactivates until the end of its next turn.
Speed 15 feet
Melee ◆ blazing frond +10 , Damage 1d8+6 fire and slashing
Ranged ◆ plasma flare +12 (range increment 30 feet), Damage 1d10+6 fire
Flaming Bloom ◆◆◆ Frequency 1/minute Effect The inferno’s aura expands to 20 feet until the end of its next turn. While I hate the fact this needs to made explicit, this ability does not work if the pyrokinetic aura is deactivated due to the use of flare response.