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

VINE BLIGHT: Making Grapple More Dangerous, or More Inescapable


Combat rating 1


1 Vine blight (CR 1/2)

3-6 Stirges (CR 1/8)


Combat rating 1


1 Vine blight (CR 1/2)

4-5 Blood hawks (CR 1/8)

3 Diseased giant rats (CR 1/8)


Combat rating 2


1 Vine blight (CR 1/2)

2 Harpies (CR 1)


Combat rating 3


2-3 Vine blights (CR 1/2)

1 Gibbering mouther (CR 2)


How to Use

The most obvious way to use vine blights is for them to hold the prey still while needle blights and/or other ranged attackers pelt the captive from a distance.

An interesting variation * would be for the vine blight not to advance of the PCs, but instead to ready an action for as soon as they come within range. This strategy requires either that the vine blight has at least partial cover, and that there be ranged attackers who are busy assaulting the PCs from the far side of the vine blights.

If most of the other attackers are killed, the vine blights should change their strategy and advance on the players.

Note: When you have multiple creatures with the same recharge ability, you don’t have to worry about the number of PCs you catch with it.

* Interesting in terms of how it would affect players movements.

Combat Challenge (difficulty 1)

A natural consequence of blights moving in and occupying a former village is that the houses are going to start decaying quickly. (Rapid plant growth is not kind to wooden houses.) Wait for them to be navigating a decaying house, and then have the floor collapse under one of them, causing them to plunge into the cellar. Or nearly do so, at any rate.

As the PC starts to slip (you might need to give him a chance to rescue himself with a saving throw, by the way) the vine blight uses its attack and grapples him *. The only thing now keeping him from falling is this grapple, and if he breaks out of it or if the blight is killed, he will fall.

If the vine blight gets another turn, it will probably use its entangling plants ability if it’s available and other players are in range. This can also be done by another vine blight, if you placed a second one in the scenario.

If he does fall, I suggest bludgeoning damage from falling, being knocked prone, and finding himself in a dark cellar with 3-4 twig blights.

You can have the player fall off the side of a cliff, if that works better.

Another, different challenge would be if the area was flooding, and the players need to leave the area quickly.

* The vine blight used its previous turns to ready an attack action against the first enemy to move within range and get its attention.

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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.