PDA

View Full Version : Villain Recalled



afroakuma
2009-06-21, 07:43 PM
I could have sworn I posted this... sometimes it's good to nag, people.

You asked for her, and here she is: the original Nightshade!

Nightshade
Medium Plant
HD 15d8+75 (142 hp)
Speed 40 ft. (8 squares); burrow 20 ft.; climb 20 ft.
Init: +11
AC 34; touch 24; flat-footed 20 (+10 Dex, +10 natural, +4 insight)
BAB +11; Grp +16
Attack Vine slash +22 melee (1d8+5 and poison, 19-20/x2) or barbs +22 ranged (1d6 and poison)
Full Attack 2 vine slashes +22 melee (1d8+5 and poison, 19-20/x2)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (15 ft. with vine slash)
Special Attacks Vines, pollen, barbs, poison
Special Qualities Fire and cold vulnerability, fragmentation, pod, enhanced senses, nature's call, fast healing 10, plant traits, spell-like abilities
Saves Fort +16 Ref +24 Will +16
Abilities Str 21, Dex 31, Con 21, Int 17, Wis 15, Cha 27
Skills Bluff +14, Climb +19, Disguise +17, Escape Artist +16, Hide +21, Jump +12, Listen +16, Move Silently +24, Sense Motive +11, Spot +14, Tumble +19, Use Magic Device +20
Feats Ability Focus (poison), Ability Focus (pollen), Power Attack, Skill Focus (Disguise), Stealthy, Weapon Finesse
Challenge Rating 13
Alignment Neutral evil

Nightshade is a treacherous, violent agent of natural forces.

Though her pod resembles a shambling mound, Nightshade herself resembles a young, lithe half-elven woman with very pale green skin, dark lips and vibrantly green eyes. Her "hair" is actually a myriad of long, slender black leaves surrounding her flower, which resembles an oversized black hellebore. She normally wraps this "hair" in a ponytail to conceal her stamen and nectaries. Nightshade can grow tough dark leaves around sensitive areas to provide armor and modesty, but her only consistent features are her alluring smile and a belladonna amulet.

Combat
Nightshade favors stealth to approach and poison targets. When caught in close combat, she uses her vine whips and barbs to repulse foes, then uses spell-like abilities to distract foes while she retreats to concealment. If necessary, she will disperse pollen to stupefy foes; when all else fails, she will begin fragmenting and retreat as fast as possible.

Vines (Ex) Nightshade has vines hidden in the palms of her hands that can extend to attack up to 15 ft. away. Despite being a Medium creature, she has a reach of 15 ft. with her vine attack.

Pollen (Ex) Nightshade can expel her sleeping pollen a 30' radius once every three rounds as a standard action. This pollen works as the spell deep slumber, affecting up to 20 HD of creatures. A Will save (DC 22) negates the sleep effect. Additionally, creatures within the radius of the pollen suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to Will saves for 24 hours. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Barbs (Ex) Nightshade produces long, needle-sharp barbs in her mouth, which she can spit as a swift or immediate action as a ranged weapon with a 5' range increment. These barbs are coated in her poison and deal 1d6 damage. Spitting barbs does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Poison (Ex) Contact, Fortitude DC 22, initial damage 2d6 Dex and victim is nauseated for 1 minute, secondary damage 2d6 Dex and victim falls unconscious. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Fire Vulnerability (Ex) Nightshade takes double damage from fire. When damaged by fire, Nightshade cannot use her fragmentation ability for 1d6 rounds.

Cold Vulnerability (Ex) Nightshade takes double damage from cold. When damaged by cold, Nightshade loses her fast healing ability for 1d4 rounds.

Fragmentation (Ex) As an immediate action, Nightshade can shed her outer coat and propel herself up to 10 ft. away. She can make a Reflex save against trip or grapple attempts (DC = opposed Dexterity check) to negate them. Fragmentation does not provoke an attack of opportunity. Nightshade cannot propel herself through occupied spaces.

Pod (Ex) Nightshade grows in a pod that resembles a shambling mound. While still immature, the pod uses a shambling mound's statistics to fight. If the pod dies while immature, Nightshade's previous body regenerates.

Should Nightshade be killed in her true form, the broken pod regenerates as her consciousness transfers back. If this regrown pod is slain, Nightshade will die permanently and cannot be summoned back ever again.

Enhanced Senses (Su) Nightshade has low-light vision as well as darkvision out to 120 ft. and gets a +4 insight bonus to Reflex saves, Will saves and initiative checks. She also has a +1 insight bonus to attack rolls, a +4 insight bonus to AC unless flat-footed, and a +8 insight bonus to Listen and Spot checks.

Nature's Call (Su) Nightshade is subservient to the call of nature's servants, regardless of her wishes. When the forbidden ritual that summons her is cast, Nightshade's current body immediately crusts over in sap and cracks apart, falling in a loamy mess. Her equipment immediately decomposes. She cannot resist this effect in any fashion, and no effect save antimagic field will prevent her consciousness departing and her body perishing.

Spell-Like Abilities (Sp) At will - detect animals or plants, detect magic, entangle, pass without trace, rusting grasp, speak with plants, warp wood, wood shape. 3/day - barkskin, command plants, diminish plants, poison, tree shape. 1/day - tree stride. Caster level 10th, save DCs Charisma-based.

Equipment Nightshade always wears the brooch of the night, which conceals her from scrying effects and protects her as a nondetection spell. It also provides a +4 enhancement bonus to her Strength, Constitution and natural armor. This brooch, which always forms as part of the summoning ritual, brings her nature-made equipment with it at each new calling, which includes a leafy cloak of resistance +5, black, butterfly-patterned gloves of dexterity +6 and thin boots of speed. She is known to have access to some magical means of disguise, as well, and may have other magical accessories bequeathed to her by the druid who created her.


Nightshade
Fifty years ago, during a great war, orc hordes raided a mighty forest and stripped it bare of trees and life. In retaliation, the druid guardian of the woods summoned from the fallow earth a dark belladonna, the deadly nightshade, and used an ineffable ritual to spread its poison throughout the ranks of the vilekith. Routed, the hordes fell back, and the druid set to restoring his domain.

Twenty years later, the armies of the orcs returned, this time with engines of war. The druid went among them, striking at their war machines and dispersing them with fire, storm and swarm. However, the orcs had brought shamans who crossed magic with the druid, and in his injured state he was forced to withdraw.

Unable to recover, and with the orcs despoiling his land, the druid once again brought forth the deadly flower, and this time turned to more esoteric forces, empowering it with sentience, form and much of his own power. Given shape and purpose by the druid's will, it attained life in his passing, and brought death, despair and destruction to the orc armies.

The plant creature returned to the druid's deathbed, where it discovered the original bloom from which it had been crafted, the nightshade. Shaped by the druid's beliefs and dreams, the young entity selected this as its name, despite its true relation being the hellebore. It understood itself to be female, and to be an agent of the natural world, and knew too that it was bound, in its very being, to serve the call of nature ever more.


The Villainous Turn

But Nightshade had been spawned of anger, of pain and of wrath, spawned from nature's most inimical, most destructive magic. The druid's concept had given her the form and personality of a young female half-elf, and such was how the immature youngling tried to act.

Shocked at the reaction of humans to her appearance, Nightshade disguised herself and went among them, hiding her stamen and petals and letting her leaves grow to resemble hair. Though she learned of culture and language, she often found herself acting in selfish or destructive fashions. Her few brief experiments with intimacy revealed to her that she was tremendously poisonous, and at her anger vines would rise up and thorns would come forth.

Enraged and alone, Nightshade fled the human world - and suddenly found herself decaying, and falling into darkness, and awakening in an enclosed, tough, fleshy pod. She emerged to face a new druid, another who had tapped nature's fell side, by whose magic she had been incarnated in this new body, so similar to her prior one.

Nightshade served the druid's bidding against the despoilers of nature that he had summoned her to slay. Afterwards, she fled, and for a week was alone, until the call came once more, from a different direction.

In the years since, Nightshade has become known to druids of looser morals as a weapon against those they perceive to be enemies of nature. Between "uses," Nightshade has developed her own distinct personality and yearns to be free of her enforced mercenary lifestyle, which forcibly rips her away from any sense of settlement, comfort and establishment time and time again.


Encounters

When Nightshade is first called to an area, she appears in a pod of plant material similar to a shambling mound, and remains in this immature form for 1d4 days. When she emerges, her summoner tasks her and she sets off immediately to accomplish her mission. However, Nightshade normally works alone or with a few plant creatures, and almost never operates in tandem with the one who called her.

In combat, Nightshade uses stealth and poison with wild abandon, and is noticeably sadistic. She is terrified of fire and cold, and grows paranoid around druids (who she will never stand and face) and rangers (who she will try to slay at every opportunity).

When not on a mission, Nightshade actively avoids druids and works to spread disinformation about herself, hoping that she will never again be summoned. She will disguise herself as a humanoid woman and go socialize, as she understands enough about humanoid culture and customs to behave herself, even if she willfully ignores what is "right" in favor of what she wants more often than not.

Nightshade remains unconcerned at what she perceives as the "trifling" matter of murder. Though not filled with bloodlust, she is wary and violently antagonistic to those who go near her pod.

Ultimately, Nightshade's true goal in life is to build a life for herself, and when not on the job she'lll take any step to achieve that end.


Plot Hooks

•A young noblewoman has been led astray by her new best friend, a lady of unknown parentage whose appearance has coincided with a series of accidents among the merchant elite.

•Horrific translucent shells in the form of a young half-elf woman litter the city streets. Some terrifying new druidic magic is suspected.

•A strip mine has been overrun by plant creatures. The last band of warriors sent out remarked on a large, throbbing pod at the center of activity.

•As the nation gears for war, its catapults are warping, its gates rusting apart and its loggers being ritualistically executed.

•A nobleman wooing a lovely lady saw her scream and crumble to a mess of weedy loam. He wants to have the entity responsible punished.

•A local merchant lord has been targeted on three successive nights by an assassin who leaves no trace of entry or exit and who seems to be eroding his secured compound with rust.

Juhn
2009-06-21, 08:42 PM
Well, I for one wasn't nagging because I assumed you were simply terribly busy.

That's an interesting take on PCV. I certainly wouldn't have thought of it; good on that one.

And somehow this villain reminds me of Poison Ivy. Was this intentional?

afroakuma
2009-06-21, 08:50 PM
And somehow this villain reminds me of Poison Ivy. Was this intentional?

No, but it was largely unavoidable.

Still, I think she's distinct enough. For one thing, she's a brunette. (ish...)

Juhn
2009-06-21, 08:57 PM
Well, if her hair is literally black (leaves, but still), then she's technically not a brunette. At least, I think brunette is brown-only.

And as long as she doesn't start trying to molest plantlife, we should be good. (Some writers have done some strange things with Poison Ivy, and I waste enough time on wikis to have heard about more than I'd like to have...)

afroakuma
2009-06-21, 09:05 PM
Well, if her hair is literally black (leaves, but still), then she's technically not a brunette. At least, I think brunette is brown-only.

And as long as she doesn't start trying to molest plantlife, we should be good. (Some writers have done some strange things with Poison Ivy, and I waste enough time on wikis to have heard about more than I'd like to have...)

No, unless by molest you mean "kill."

She's completely unlike Ivy in motivation - she doesn't give a damn about the natural world; she's pressed into service. She'd like nothing better than to kill every single druid so she could never be summoned again.

Juhn
2009-06-21, 09:15 PM
Except, if I'm reading this correctly, she won't fight them. Or, by "won't stand and fight" do you also mean "will instead assassinate"?

afroakuma
2009-06-21, 09:17 PM
Except, if I'm reading this correctly, she won't fight them. Or, by "won't stand and fight" do you also mean "will instead assassinate"?

Basically, I mean "she'd love to kill them, but has rather correctly figured out that they have the spells to dominate her and/or take her apart."

She wouldn't be remiss to getting others to try, though.

Sereg
2009-06-21, 11:15 PM
Well done, you have brought us another excellent villain. (Hopefully this convinces people that there are more awesome plant-villains that need to be brought to light.)

cnsvnc
2009-06-22, 10:46 AM
She is awesome. Haven't seen a display of power lately. I'll strive to yoink her.
I keep away from vuacs, will see it only after it's finished.
And I see no Poison Ivy, apart from superficial details.

afroakuma
2009-06-22, 04:44 PM
The POWER has been elsewhere and very busy. Nice to know the meme still holds.

Juhn
2009-06-22, 06:51 PM
Yeah, the Ivy thing was mostly an appearance thing.

Emong
2009-06-22, 07:00 PM
Equipment Nightshade always wears the brooch of the night, which conceals her from scrying effects and protects her as a [I]nondetection[I] spell. It also provides a +4 enhancement bonus to her Strength, Constitution and natural armor. This brooch, which always forms as part of the summoning ritual, brings her nature-made equipment with it at each new calling, which includes a leafy cloak of resistance +5, black, butterfly-patterned gloves of dexterity +6 and thin boots of speed. She is known to have access to some magical means of disguise, as well, and may have other magical accessories bequeathed to her by the druid who created her.



Formatting nitpick. Otherwise great job! A very interesting villain on the whole.

Lord_Gareth
2009-06-23, 05:50 PM
Very nice, and - as has been the trend with your villains lately - there's room for silly ol' redemptionists like me to squeeze in edgewise and be all like, "BE HEALED OF YOUR EVULZ!"

Or, rather, "OW! Freakin' plant poisoned me. Oh, I am going to read the **** out of this holy tome, and you're going to listen!"

afroakuma
2009-06-23, 05:55 PM
Very nice, and - as has been the trend with your villains lately - there's room for silly ol' redemptionists like me to squeeze in edgewise and be all like, "BE HEALED OF YOUR EVULZ!"

Yeah, I'll make sure to remove that in the next one.

Lord_Gareth
2009-06-23, 05:56 PM
They'd have to be spell-immune; I'm not above bringing an amber gem and a scroll of sanctify the wicked to every encounter.

Then again, the above is more-or-less making the tools work, and not the characters.

But still.