This installment of the Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page of SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin this pdf with a total of 7 different magic items, the first of which would be burrowcorn, which attaches to specific targets and burrow into the target. As a minor nitpick – the damage dealt is untyped here, which doesn’t make too much sense to me. Similarly, the claws granted by gloves of the wombat don’t have the damage type included, though here, referring to the claw-default makes sense. These btw. also allow you to burrow. Fungus shields are AMAZING – they not only produce edible mushrooms, they also can kick up clouds of sickening spores that penalize those foolish enough to attack you.
Petrified wood clubs can petrify on critical hits. Treantseed may be planted as a full-round action and then grows into a treant with the young creature template applied for 10 rounds before turning into an oak. Wild charm nets you basically small domestic animals that you can send to attack a foe 1/day, either hampering them or inflicting minor damage. Finally, the wood mask nets you a bonus to Bluff checks as well as bonus to saves versus effects most plants are immune to. Finally, the section provides the woodland armor special ability and enhances woodland stride…or grants it. Which is nice. However, somewhat weird, the armor provides a natural bonus equal to the enhancement bonus for a limited duration. This can yield some seriously high AC…and lacks an activation action. One can default to the standard, but yeah. The pdf also sports one natural item, which yields a temporary +4 bonus to natural AC.
Now, what about that eponymous creature, what about the grovemaker? The grovemaker would be a CR 10 Large plant creature that generates a fascinating allure via its scent. Additionally, a creature hit by the grovemaker becomes covered with an oily sap that causes Dex-damage and turns the targeted creature more tree-like, but also nets the barkskin benefits (not italicized). Nice: Fire damage can end this effect. Those reduced to 0 Dex become trees and may even become proper trees, losing all identity – nightmare fuel, as far as I’m concerned. Worse, the grovemaker can actually command trees to attack targets. Yep, these guys are basically the plant-pushback to over-logging, taking from humanoids what they took from the forests…pretty creepy!
Editing and formatting are very good on a rules language level, good on a formal level. Layout adheres to a 2-column full-color standard and the pdf sports a really nice full-color artwork for the critter in question. Also really cool: The pdf comes fully bookmarked with nested bookmarks -kudos for going the extra mile there!
Mike Welham’s grovemaker is a nasty critter; the creature is a deadly adversary with some disturbing abilities. The supplemental material is okay, but honestly, does not live up to the amazing potential of the creature itself. Thus, my final verdict will clock in at 4 stars for the whole pdf; if you’re primarily interested in an amazing critter, it most certainly is worth getting.
You can get this pdf here on OBS!