Dragon Encounters

Making dnd combat fun, finding monsters that fit together, monster tactics and strategies, and other ways of using the monsters of dungeons and dragons

TWIG BLIGHT: Attackers That Can Come From Nowhere

(are by vecteezy)


Combat rating 1/4


1 Twig blight (CR 1/8)

2-3 Crawling claws (CR 0)


Combat rating 1/2


2 Twig blights (CR 1/8)

3 Blood hawks (CR 1/8)


Combat rating 1


3-5 Twig blights (CR 1/8)

1 Cockatrice (CR 1/2)


Combat rating 1


4 Twig blights (CR 1/8)

2 Shadows (CR 1/2)


How to Use – Combat encounter (difficulty 2)

The twig blight is an incredibly simple monster to use. Its power is in its ability to ambush. Use it to catch your players off guard. Have a ring of them pop up around the party, with no easy place for the mages to retreat to.

Alternatively, wait until the players are engaged in melee with another enemy and then have a few of them pop out of the ground between the melee fighters and the mages. [I suggested in the needle blight article that blights could sleep in the day and only come out when they smell blood. This is what I had in mind.]

You could also use them by having them block access to the enemy range attackers. Since they’re made of wood, it makes sense that if they’re killed by a fire attack, they would keep burning for a round, preventing anyone getting through the area where they were without taking fire damage. Since the name “twig” implies that they are small and quick burning, I would probably say that they only burn for a single round before going out. Then again, the fire could always spread to the surroundings and start a larger fire. [This last paragraph might technically be homebrew.]

Another idea for them is to make use of the holes they come out of. After all, if they dug themselves out of the ground, they’re not going to leave smooth soil behind. That the ground will be difficult terrain goes without saying, but if there were several of them that popped up from the same small area, it would make sense that even the land between them would be weakened. A PC stepping there might suddenly find the ground collapsing under his feet, plunging him into a hole.

To make this idea even more interesting, put the twig blights near the edge of a cliff. When they appear, they weaken the ground between themselves and the cliff. If any PC should go there, the cliff will collapse under him (or if you want to catch more in your trap, you can say that the cliff was strong enough to hold up to one person but not to two.) You can start with the PCs there when the twig blights appear, but if you want to be more sporting about it lure them there afterwards. Putting a range unit, such as a needle blight or two, at the edge of the cliff should do it.

If you’re willing to use what I suggested in the last post about blights being nocturnal, this would give one more idea. When you draw a battlemap, add in several ridges of stone, areas of loose rock, or the equivalent of. The idea behind this map is that the players are going to be fighting a number of enemies who have range attacks (preferably not needle blights, as they would also be asleep during the day according to this logic. Possible ideas include spined devils, hobgoblins, gnolls, manticores, skeletons, and yuan-ti.) The players will have to decide between traveling on the rocks, which are difficult terrain, or traveling in the dirt and risking arousing twig blights when they draw near them.

You might want to decide that they only arouse the twig blights if they’re injured, as the twig blights then smell blood, or the twig blights can be aroused by movement and it doesn’t matter if they’re injured. Be aware that some of the enemies will also arose the twig blights if they go near them. At the same time, these enemies will also be attacked by the twig blights, as they don’t take sides. (If you go by movement, they’ll be aroused by any enemies that don’t fly. This exempts the spined devils and the manticores. If you go by the smell of blood, any enemies who bleed, which means all the ones listed above except the spined devils and the skeletons. In general, celestials, constructs, elementals, fiends, oozes, plants, and undead don’t bleed.)

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About Me

I have been a DM for several years, and I was designing home RPG games since my young childhood. I have been a fan of many different types of games (computer, board, RPG, and more) and have designed several for my own entertainment. This is my first attempt to produce game content for a wider audience.