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Illustration of a green tendril wrapping around the edge of a large leaf.

 

Safety Rating: Situationally dangerous.

Environment: Anywhere that is near a gateway to the Other Realm. Pickpocket Vine prefers moist areas with lots of trees, like temperate forests, tropical forests, and swamps, but it can grow in any ecosystem as long as a gateway is nearby.

Details: Pickpocket Vine can only grow in places that are near a gateway to the Other Realm. It is believed that fae living in the Other Realm specifically bred Pickpocket Vine to help them trick people into crossing over into the Other Realm.

The stem of each Pickpocket Vine grows into a sturdy, irregularly-shaped, gray pod that is the size of a melon. This pod is firmly anchored in place by tough, woody roots. When it is grows in trees, the pod is always tucked into a fork in the trunk. If there are no trees, the pod wedges itself between large rocks. The surface of the pod always matches the texture and shape of its surroundings. This makes the pods nearly impossible to spot at a distance.

Long, green, vine-like tendrils grow from the center of the pod. When the pod is open, these tendrils spread out over the nearby area. If it is growing in a tree, the tendrils drape over the branches, mimicking moss and lichen as they hang down over nearby paths and trails. However if Pickpocket Vine is growing on the ground, the tendrils slither along the  ground, hiding in the underbrush.

When someone passes near to one of the tendrils, it slowly reaches for one of their items. As it makes contact with the item, the tendril carefully wraps itself around it. If there are multiple people, then more than one tendril will simultaneously reach for an object. Once the item or items are fully entwined, all of the tendrils rapidly retract back into the pod, taking the items with them. The pod snaps shut, sealing the objects it has stolen inside.

That is the cue for a nearby fae to collect the stolen item and disappears with it through the gateway into the Other Realm. Doing this regularly tempts people into chasing after them in an attempt to retrieve their item (which are undamaged).

Lore: Pickpocket Vine is an exceedingly magical plant and its magic is not well understood by anyone outside of the Other Realm. One thing that is known is that Fae can form bonds to a specific Pickpocket Vine that allow them to know when it has grabbed an item. Bonded fae also have a way of easily opening the pods.

One of the many magical mysteries about Pickpocket Vine is how multiple Pickpocket Vines are able to act in a coordinated fashion, with all of them moving and then retracting at the same time. Another question is how Pickpocket Vine is able to specifically locate magical objects and objects that people feel a strong personal attachment to.

Pickpocket: Because they are so well camouflaged, characters that aren’t looking for Pickpocket Vine can’t spot it while it is holding still. The vines will stay still until the player characters are surround by the tendrils from one large Pickpocket Vine, or the tendrils of multiple smaller ones. Then the tendrils slowly start moving as they attempt to pick their pockets. These tendrils can be hanging down from the treetops or be hidden in the underbrush. Either way, each character rolls Perceptions to find out if they notice the stealthy motion of the tendrils trying to grab onto one of their items.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that the character only notices the Pickpocket Vine moving when it has already grabbed one of their items and is rapidly retracting out of reach.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that they notice the tendril moving as it grabs onto one of their items. While they noticed it too late to stop the Pickpocket Vine from grabbing hold, they can take one action before the vine retracts with their item.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character notices the Pickpocket Vine reaching for one of their items. They can take one action before the vine grabs on.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character notices multiple different tendrils moving. They can take one action before the vine grabs their item and, for the rest of the scene, they are prepared on any roll made to spot or avoid the reaching tendrils.

Knowledge Roll: Once the player characters have spotted Pickpocket Vine, they can roll their Nature knowledge to find out how much they know about it.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that they misidentify this as a special type of Vampire Vine that feeds on the magical properties of items.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that they know that this plant is called Pickpocket Vine and that it steals objects and locks them inside its pod, which is sturdy and hard to open.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that they also know that this plant is from the Other Realm and that it is used to lure people into going through a gateway into the Other Realm.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character is exceptionally knowledgeable about Pickpocket Vine and they know a trick for easily opening the pods.

 

Pickpocket Vine is part of the Crossroads Setting for the tabletop role-playing game, Magic Goes Awry. Click here to go to the list of wild and whimsical magical plants from the Land of Crossroads.

 

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