Slaver Fungus (CR 10*)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: -2 (Dex)
AC: 14 (-4 size, -2 Dex, +10 natural), touch 4, flat-footed 14
Hit Dice: 10d8+80 (125 hp)
Fort +15, Ref +1, Will +3
Speed: 0 ft.
Space: 30 ft./40 ft.
Base Attack +7; Grapple +15
Attack: 4 tendrils +11 melee
Full Attack: 4 tendrils +11 melee
Damage: Tendril 2d8+8
Special Attacks/Actions: Fungus minions, improved grab, transforming fungus
Abilities: Str 26, Dex 7, Con 26, Int 3, Wis 10, Cha 3
Special Qualities: Fire vulnerability, plant traits, tendril regeneration
Advancement: 11-17 HD (Gargantuan); 18-28 HD (Colossal)
Climate/Terrain: Any forest
Treasure/Possessions: 1/10 coins; 50% goods; 50% items
*This number can be adjusted up or down depending on how many fungus minions the slaver fungus controls.
The main body of a slaver fungus looks like an enormous purplish-white mushroom with a very broad cap. The outer layer of the fungus is extremely tough, like the bark of a tree. Immediately beneath the cap are four large nodules that form the base of long, thin, tough tendrils. These tendrils extend into the underbrush, where they seek out and grapple prey.
The most insidious aspect of the slaver fungus is its ability to infect living creatures and transform them into walking plants that protect the main body. A fully-grown fungus constantly releases spores that blanket the area around it. These spores infect any creature that breathes them in, creating fungus minions: zombies animated not by negative energy, but the fungus that pervades their bodies.
Externally, fungus minions look as they did in life, but a dense, sickly, purplish-green fungus covers their skin and fills their eye sockets. They wear the tattered remains of any armor and clothing on their person at the time of death; it, too, is densely covered with fungus (and offers no additional protection). Internally, the fungus quickly moves through the victim's body, consuming tissue at a rapid rate until only an animated shell remains.
Animals of the forest are also commonly infected, shambling around alongside humanoid fungus minions.
A slaver fungus relies heavily on its minions (see below) to protect it from harm. It also uses its tendrils to drag victims within 30 feet of its main body, where they may become infected by the spores. If victims do not attack the main body of the fungus, it releases them and lets the infection slowly finish the kill.
Improved Grab (Ex): If a slaver fungus hits an opponent that is at least one size category smaller than itself with three of its four tendril attacks, it attempts to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity (grapple bonus +27). If it gets a hold, it can transfer drag the opponent to within 15 feet of its main body on its next turn. Alternatively, the slaver fungus has the option to conduct the grapple normally, or simply use its tendrils to hold the opponent (-20 penalty on grapple check, but the fungus is not considered grappled).
Transforming Fungus (Ex): A slaver fungus can release a cloud of spores that, if inhaled, turns living creatures into animated fungus. Any creature within 30 feet of a slaver fungus must make a Fortitude save (DC 23) each round or become infected with the fungus. Incubation takes 1 day; damage 1d6 temporary Constitution damage; 2d6 secondary Constitution damage. A remove disease or a successful Heal check (DC 25) stops the infection.
Victims whose Constitution reach 0 due to fungus damage die from their bodies becoming completely permeated with the fungus. Victims essentially become zombies per the Monster Manual. However, the victims' type becomes "plant," not "undead," and they are not affected by any spells or effects that influence undead. Victims gain the plant traits and fire vulnerability listed below.
Should the transformation that creates a fungus zombie reach completion within five miles of the original slaver fungus, the zombie unerringly returns to the main body, stopping only to defend itself if attacked. If the transformation occurs beyond 5 miles, the fungus zombie attacks the closest living creature, then the next, continuing until it is destroyed.
Upon destruction, the zombie breaks into a cloud of spores. Unless destroyed by burning or disintegrate, the zombie may (1% chance) leave behind remains that become a new slaver fungus. It takes five years for the slaver fungus to reach maturity; it is completely harmless until that point.
Fungus Minions: Fungus zombies (see above) who return to the slaver fungus that spawned them become fungus minions who instinctively protect it. At any given time, ten to twelve Medium-size fungus minions guard a slaver fungus and never stray farther than 50 yards from the main body.
Fire Vulnerability (Ex): Slaver fungi take double damage from fire attacks unless the attack allows a save, in which case they take double damage on a failure and no damage on a success.
Plant Traits (Ex): A slaver fungus is immune to poison, sleep, paralysis, stunning, and polymorphing. It is not subject to critical hits or mind-affecting effects. The creature also has low- light vision to a range of 30 feet.
Tendril Regeneration (Ex): Foes can attack the tendrils of a slaver fungus, but only when those appendages are actually holding an opponent. A tendril has an AC of 21 (touch 10) and can withstand 18 points of damage. The loss of a tentacle does not harm the creature (that is, the damage does not apply against its hit point total), and the limb regrows within 1d6 days.