Swarm, Dread Blossom (CR 6)

Tiny Plant (Extraplanar and Swarm)
Alignment: Always neutral
Initiative: +3 (Dex); Senses: low-light vision, Spot +2, and listen +2


AC: 16 (+2 size, +3 Dex, +1 natural), touch 15, flat-footed 13
Hit Dice: 7d8+14 (45 hp)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +2
Speed: Fly 60 ft. (good)
Space: 10 ft./0 ft.
Base Attack +5; Grapple -
Attack: Swarm
Full Attack: Swarm
Damage: Swarm 2d6
Special Attacks/Actions: Blood drain, distraction, poison pollen
Abilities: Str 2, Dex 17, Con 14, Int -, Wis 10, Cha 3
Special Qualities: Half damage from slashing and piercing, plant traits, regeneration 5, swarm traits
Feats: Alertness; Ability Focus (poison pollen); Lightning Reflexes
Skills: Hide +1*, Spot +2, and listen +2
Advancement: -
Climate/Terrain: Wilderness of Beastlands
Organization: Solitary, pair, or colony (3-8)
Treasure: None

Source: Monster Manual III

Ahead of you lies a beautiful bed of hundreds of large red flowers speckled with gold and black. Their sweet perfume isn't quite strong enough to disguise the sent of rotting flesh, and looking closer, you notice the flowers seem planted in dead bodies. Suddenly, all the flowers shudder as if in a strong breeze and lift into the air. They fly up like a flock of sparrows coming aloft and swoop around toward you with flowers pointed away and wicked thorns aimed in your direction.

Dread blossoms are blood-drinking plants from the Wilderness of the Beastlands transplanted to the Material Plane by foolish elves who mistook their nature.

An individual dread blossom looks like a foot-long crimson flower, speckled with gold and black pollen, that ends in a 6-inch-long hollow thorn surrounded at its base by a frill of inch-long roots. Few creatures can examine a dread blossom in such derail, as a dread blossom swarm at rest is usually firmly planted in the bodies of its last victims.

In flight, a dread blossom swarm resembles a flock of birds wheeling swiftly through the air. Each blossom flies thorn forward, fluttering two petals as rapidly as a hummingbird flaps its wings.

Creatures of the Beastlands know nor to disturb beds of dread blossoms, but inhabitants of the Material Plane are often curious about the dead creatures where the plants have taken root.

Extraplanar Subtype

A subtype applied to any creature when it is on a plane other than its native plane. A creature that travels the planes can gain or lose this subtype as it goes from plane to plane. This book assumes that encounters with creatures take place on the Material Plane, and every creature whose native plane is not the Material Plane has the extraplanar subtype (but would not have when on its home plane). An extraplanar creatures usually has a home plane mentioned in its description. These home planes are taken from the Great Wheel cosmology of the D&D game (see Chapter 5 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). If your campaign uses a different cosmology, you will need to assign different home planes to extraplanar creatures.

Creatures not labeled as extraplanar are natives of the Material Plane, and they gain the extraplanar subtype if they leave the Material Plane. No creature has the extraplanar subtype when it is on a transitive plane; the transitive planes in the D&D cosmology are the Astral Plane, the Ethereal Plane, and the Plane of Shadow.

Swarm Subtype

A swarm is a collection of Fine, Diminutive, or Tiny creatures that acts as a single creature. A swarm has the characteristics of its type, except as noted here. A swarm has a single pool of Hit Dice and hit points, a single initiative modifier, a single speed, and a single Armor Class. A swarm makes saving throws as a single creature.

A single swarm occupies a square (if it is made up of nonflying creatures) or a cube (of flying creatures) 10 feet on a side, but its reach is 0 feet, like its component creatures. In order to attack, it moves into an opponent's space, which provokes attacks of opportunity. It can occupy the same space as a creature of any size, since it crawls all over its prey. A swarm can move through squares occupied by enemies and vice versa without impediment, although the swarm provokes attacks of opportunity if it does so. A swarm can move through cracks or holes large enough for its component creatures.

A swarm of Tiny creatures consists of 300 nonflying creatures or 1,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Diminutive creatures consists of 1,500 nonflying creatures or 5,000 flying creatures. A swarm of Fine creatures consists of 10,000 creatures, whether they are flying or not. Swarms of nonflying creatures include many more creatures than could normally fit in a 10-foot square based on their normal space, because creatures in a swarm are packed tightly together and generally crawl over each other and their prey when moving or attacking. Larger swarms are represented by multiples of single swarms. (A swarm of 15,000 centipedes is ten centipede swarms, each swarm occupying a 10-foot square.) The area occupied by a large swarm is completely shapeable, though the swarm usually remains in contiguous squares.

Traits: A swarm has no clear front or back and no discernible anatomy, so it is not subject to critical hits or flanking. A swarm made up of Tiny creatures takes half damage from slashing and piercing weapons. A swarm composed of Fine or Diminutive creatures is immune to all weapon damage.

Reducing a swarm to 0 hit points or lower causes it to break up, though damage taken until that point does not degrade its ability to attack or resist attack. Swarms are never staggered or reduced to a dying state by damage. Also, they cannot be tripped, grappled, or bull rushed, and they cannot grapple an opponent.

A swarm is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of mind-affecting spells and abilities (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) if the swarm has an Intelligence score and a hive mind. A swarm takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells.

Swarms made up of Diminutive or Fine creatures are susceptible to high winds such as that created by a gust of wind spell. For purposes of determining the effects of wind on a swarm, treat the swarm as a creature of the same size as its constituent creatures (see Winds, page 95 of the Dungeon Master's Guide). For example, a swarm of locusts (a swarm of Diminutive creatures) can be blown away by a severe wind. Wind effects deal 1d6 points of nonlethal damage to a swarm per spell level (or Hit Dice of the originating creature, in the case of effects such as an air elemental's whirlwind). A swarm rendered unconscious by means of nonlethal damage becomes disorganized and dispersed, and does not re-form until its hit points exceed its nonlethal damage.

Swarm Attack: Creatures with the swarm subtype don't make standard melee attacks. Instead, they deal automatic damage to any creature whose space they occupy at the end of their move, with no attack roll needed. Swarm attacks are not subject to a miss chance for concealment or cover. A swarm's statistics block has "swarm" in the Attack and Full Attack entries, with no attack bonus given. The amount of damage a swarm deals is based on its Hit Dice, as shown below.

Swarm HDSwarm Base Damage
1-51d6
6-102d6
11-153d6
16-204d6
21 or more5d6

A swarm's attacks are nonmagical, unless the swarm's description states otherwise. Damage reduction sufficient to reduce a swarm attack's damage to 0, being incorporeal, and other special abilities usually give a creature immunity (or at least resistance) to damage from a swarm. Some swarms also have acid, poison, blood drain, or other special attacks in addition to normal damage.

Swarms do not threaten creatures in their square, and do not make attacks of opportunity with their swarm attack. However, they distract foes whose squares they occupy, as described below.

Distraction (Ex): Any living creature vulnerable to a swarms damage that begins its turn with a swarm in its square is nauseated for 1 round; a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 swarm's HD + swarm's Con modifier; the exact DC is given in a swarm's description) negates the effect. Spellcasting or concentrating on spells within the area of a swarm requires a Concentration check (DC 20 + spell level). Using skills that involve patience and concentration requires a DC 20 Concentration check.