There are many creatures in fantasy genre that can be used in roleplaying games to give variety in encounters.

Today’s trio are Plants, ancient species and skilled survivors.

Dryads

Appearance – Humanoid reclusive plant creatures, either native or from the Feywild.
Terrain – Forest, Jungle, Swamp.
Prey – Sunlight and Water.
Allies – Brownie, Nymph, Pixie, Satyr, Sylph, Treant.
Enemies – Anyone that destroys large areas of nature.

Contacts for – Druid Circle, Church of Mielikki & Silvanus (Faerun), Church of Beory & Elhonnah (Greyhawk).

Signs Dryads are in the area :
– All plants are healthy in the area.
– You can hear creaking wood without wind or movement.
– There are no herbivores nearby.

Ways to use in an encounter :
– Shrub stands up to full height.
– Branches above climb down towards you.
– One of the trees move at the last second.

Plot hooks :
– Protect the Dryads sacred grove from monsters, else the world will be unbalanced and the elemental war will start again.
– Negotiate between the Dryads and the Woodcutters to prevent further hostilities.
– Lure the Dryads back to the Feywild for a huge reward from the Fey Court.

Shambling Mound

Appearance – Wandering piles of compost, vines and branches.
Terrain – Forest, Jungle, Swamp.
Prey – Anything organic.
Allies – Some crazy Fey Warlocks.
Enemies – Fire Elementals, Salamanders, Efreeti.

Enforcers for Fey Warlocks, Sacred Guardians for Bullywugs or Lizardfolk tribes.

Signs Shambling Mounds are in the area :
– Huge path of crushed wilderness.
– Snapped off vines every 20 feet.
– Scent of damp leaves everywhere.

Ways to use in an encounter :
– The wilderness near your camp assembles.
– Bursts out of the large sewer junction.
– It climbs out of a dank chasm.

Plot hooks :
– The Shambling Mounds are all heading to one forest. Find out why.
– Efreeti have offered tons of sweet coin for a live Shambling Mound or three.
– After years of coexistance, a fishing village has been attacked by a Shambling Mound.

Vegepygmy

Appearance – Short tribal plant creatures, tendrils implant spores.
Terrain – Underdark, Forest, Jungle, Swamp.
Prey – Anything organic.
Allies – Mycanoid.
Enemies – Kobolds, Lizardfolk, Troglodytes.

Vegepygmy can be independant tribes in swamps or the underdark, potential allies or threats.

Signs Vegepygmy are in the area :
– Remains of someone with plants growing in them.
– Lots of fungus and succulant plants in the area.
– Obsidian spears and daggers.

Ways to use in an encounter :
– Many climb out of the swamp water around you.
– Nets haul you into the trees.
– A dozen rappel down on vines.

Plot hooks :
– Vegepygmy have moved into the sewers and started multiplying.
– Threatened nation’s ruler wants to offer Vegepygmies an alliance.
– Your herbalist relative wants an escort through Vegepygmy infested swamp.

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