Starfarer Adversaries: Djinn Plant (SFRPG)
This installment of the Starfarer Adversaries-series clocks in at 7 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page advertisement, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 3 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
So, first of all: The sample artwork, as always reproduced as a 1-page handout within, rocks this time around. I have a soft spot for plant monsters, and it managed to creep me out, so that’s a good thing. The pdf contains not one, not two, but 4 different statblocks for different stages in the eponymous djinn plant’s life cycle: CR 1/3, CR 3, CR 12 and CR 19. It’s a plant, no surprises there, and the graft has been properly applied. The plants use the expert array as a basis.
So, the djinn plant, conceptually, comes quite a bit more explanation than other critters in the series, and there’s a reason for that – the budding, Tiny CR 1/3 version actually feels like a good decoration for most sentient species: It’s basically a venus flytrap-like plant that can’t move and subsist on annoying vermin, parasites, etc. Oh, and they smell nice. Really nice. As in calm emotions (Starfarer’s Companion)-levels of nice. Here’s the problem – while they can’t speak as a Tiny plant, they do learn to speak.
Once they’ve grown to adulthood, they get the signature ability that nets them their name “Aid Benefector” – sounds nice, right? Well, they reveal that they are sentient then, and communicate with their benefactors. You see, the plant can actually, once per week, grant you a wish. It just needs you to do this one teeny-tiny thing. Feed it a member of your species with a CR equal to or greater than the plant. DAYUM; that’s dark and would really screw up our entire planet, considering how humans can be!
What do I mean by that? It gets better! At CR 12, when they mature, they become ambulatory, have tendrils (with grab) and may swallow targets whole. Oh, and they start emitting those spores. Which will mutate plant-life into more djinn plants. WTF. That’s nightmare fuel. And all the while, everyone remains oh so calm, thanks to their aroma…OUCH. Once they reach their greater stage, they can trample targets and inflict, treant-style, double damage against objects. And yes, I genuinely consider them to be damn scary. Minor complaint: The swallow whole damage listed for the greater djinn plant is incorrect – it should be 6d10 + 25 A.
Editing and formatting are very good on a formal and rules-language level; apart from the one minor snafu, I noticed nothing serious that would impede your enjoyment. Layout adheres to the series’ two-column full-color standard, and the artwork is really nice this time around. The pdf has a single bookmark to the credits, but needs none at this length.
Jacob Blackmon’s djinn plants bring a little touch of a certain shop of horrors to space, and makes them a potentially civilizations-ending nightmare. I love them! How could I not! My one complaint here is that it’d have been nice to see a corruption, Occult Skill Guide style, or a disease-like representation for the “I mutate other plant-life”-angle, since chances aren’t that bad that sooner or later, there’ll be quite a few plant-based PC-races. Oh well, this still comes highly recommended at a final verdict of 5 stars!
You can get this creepy critter here on OBS!