Deadly Gardens: Cinder-Heart Treant
This installment of the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, ½ a page SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
As always in the series, we begin with new magic items – this time around, the first would be the gullet stone, which is a single-use item that is actually a Medium boulder shrunk to Tiny size – it can be expanded to its proper size on command, sickening the target f it has swallowed the stone. Yes, the creature can vomit the stone. Beyond that, the stone allows an adventurer swallowed by the horrible entity from the 19th dimension to dimension door out of the being swallowed impasse. Cool item and makes sense – If I were an adventurer, I’d carry one of these with me… The second item would be the spring totem, which may be embedded in freshly turned soil, generating fresh water spring for as long as it remains. Destroying the totem may cause springs to slowly dry up and once used, it roots itself, preventing the integrity of your world’s world-building. Really cool story-item!
A total of 8 different natural items are provided as well: Amoeba t the next save, granting a minor bonus; brain ooze gray matter may cause the target to be nauseated, but also prevents being surprised. The tendrils of wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing can greatly enhance the power of undead created, particularly zombies. Jotund troll cranial fluid can nauseate the imbiber, but also provide essentially advantage on the next Will-save. Deep sea serpent jawbones can be used as super greatclubs with an increased critical multiplier. The weapon also causes all three damage types, which can be a bit wonky. Not a huge fan here. Hippocampus swim bladders contain air that can last Medium targets 10, Small ones 20. It can be reused. AMAZING one! I’m so going to use this one. The dire corby femur can be made into flutes that enhance bardic performance DCs. Finally, there would be the cinderheart. This item is really hot, causes damage upon being touched and can act as a large fire source for pyrotechnics etc. Additionally, it can be used as a focus for fire-spells, reducing the resistance of targets affected by the fire spell by 5.
Now, the cinderheart treant (amazing artwork, btw.!) clocks in at CR 10 and gets the fire subtype. The creature is Huge and retains the base treant’s siege capacities. These, however, explode upon being slain and have a short-range heat aura as well as a breath weapon. Driven insane by the ordeal they suffer, their treespeech can confuse plants that hear it. Nice take on the classic burning/insane treant trope.
Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no glaring issues on a formal or rules-language level. Layout adheres to Rusted Iron Games’ nice two-column full-color standard and the artwork is fantastic, particularly for the low price point. The pdf comes fully bookmarked, in spite of its brevity – kudos!!
Russ Brown and Kim Frandsen deliver a rather cool, fun adversary here – the supplemental items are nice and the execution of this take on the burnt treant trope is nice as well. All in all, a neat addition to the series, well worth 5 stars.
You can unleash the smoldering wrath of these treants here on OBS!