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Illustration of thick, twisting, looping, green vines on the floor of a tropical forest.

 

Safety Rating: Extremely dangerous.

Environment: Druid cultivated regions of tropical forest.

Details: Bred from a carnivorous plant, many druids living in tropical forests use Spiral Snare Vine for defense. This tough, ropey vine drapes itself over and around paths in loops big enough to catch large people and animals. While Spiral Snare Vine is easy to spot, patches of it aren’t as easy to get around. This is because, when triggered, Spiral Snare Vine closes like an iris, creating a wall that blocks the area that it is in. This means that people can’t just trigger it to get around it.

Spiral Snare Vine is covered in thin hairs that can detect even the slightest touch. In order to avoid being triggered by normal occurrences, like falling leaves, the first touch activates the vine, and a second touch within the next minute triggers it. When triggered, Spiral Snare Vine suddenly twists closed, sinking poisonous thorns into the flesh of anything it catches. Though this poison is designed to incapacitate, rather than kill, being rendered unconscious by this vine can be extremely dangerous, especially if there are predators nearby.

Any time that a Spiral Snare Vine is triggered, but fails to catch something, it starts opening back up right away. However, if a Spiral Snare Vine catches something, even an inanimate object, it holds on tenaciously, waiting for one of its druid caretakers to come collect its catch.

Lore: Druids have been working with snare vines for as long as anyone can remember. They are the oldest family of domesticated carnivorous plant. As a result, many different varieties have been bred for hunting and defense. In addition, snare vines are believed to be the ancestors of the touch sculpted plants that are currently used to make furniture that adjusts its height and shape in response to the touch of its user.

Because of the long history of cultivation, many kinds of snare vine are a capable of developing strong relationships with the druids that care for them. This is true of Spiral Snare Vine. As a magical plant, Spiral Snare Vine is more aware of its surroundings, which means that Spiral Snare Vines can recognize their caretakers and let them pass through without going off. In addition, as guard plants, Spiral Snare Vines are suspicious of strangers, even if those strangers can talk to plants.

Identifying It: Spiral Snare Vine is obvious. There are thick vines draped around and across the path. Because the snare vine family of plants contains many extremely dangerous plants, most people have been taught to identify and avoid them. This means that when the characters see a patch of Spiral Snare Vine, they get to roll Nature to identify it, even if they don’t actively try to identify it.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that the character thinks that these are ordinary forest vines.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that the character knows that this is a type of snare vine. Snare vines are carnivorous plants. When triggered, snare vines tighten around their victims, digging poisonous thorns into them. Unfortunately, the character isn’t sure which type of snare vine this is, what triggers it, or what its poison does.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character has identified this as Spiral Snare Vine, which is triggered when its thin hairs are touched. Spiral Snare Vine is easy to spot, but it closes like an iris, creating a wall that blocks the area that it is in. In addition, they know that its poison is designed to incapacitate, rather than kill.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character also knows that after the first touch the Spiral Snare Vine is activated and ready to go off if it is touched again within the next minute. This means that if a vine is touched once, waiting a minute will give it time to reset to its normal, not activated state.

Investigating It: If the characters don’t identify Spiral Snare Vine, they can still use their other skills, like Perception, to investigate it. Successful rolls tell them that the vine is bunched up and tensed, as if it is ready to spring. Close examination of its surface reveals thin, flexible hairs, along with some large, needle-like thorns.

Moving Through It: If the characters are trying to move through a patch of Spiral Snare Vine without touching it, then they roll the Mobility skill to find out if they are successful. Other skills or abilities can also be used, depending on what the character is trying to do.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that the character touches the Spiral Snare Vine twice and sets it off.
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that the character touches it once. If this is the first touch, then this Spiral Snare Vine is activated and ready to go off if it is touched again within the next minute. If this is the second touch, then it is set off.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character avoids touching the Spiral Snare Vine.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character is able to avoid touching the vine and gets themselves into an advantageous position. For example, they might be able to get into a small, unobstructed area where they can take actions without risking setting off any Spiral Snare Vines (even on failed rolls). Alternatively, they can now move back and forth through this specific area without needing to roll for it.

When a Vine Is Set Off: If the characters touch the Spiral Snare Vine twice, then they set it off. Anyone that isn’t trying to avoid touching it automatically sets it off. When Spiral Snare Vine is set off, the character that touched it rolls their physical defense.

  • 0 Successes: A failure means that the vine catches them and the thorns sink in and deliver their poison. If this is the character’s first time being poisoned by Spiral Snare Vine, then the character is moderately poisoned. This means that that they take a one die penalty to their Dexterity Skills. (See the “Incapacitating Poison” section below for more details.)
  • 1 Success: A partial success means that the character is caught, but not poisoned. There are several ways that this could happen. For example, the Spiral Snare Vine could catch one of the character’s items, such as their backpack, their bow, or the hem of their cloak. Alternatively, a protected part of the character’s body could be caught, but not pierced by the thorns. For example, a sturdy boot or armored arm could be caught.
  • 2 Successes: A full success means that the character uses their defense to avoid being caught.
  • 3 Successes: An outstanding success means that the character avoids being caught in the vine and is able to get themselves into an advantageous position. They are on the side of the vine that they want to be on. The character also gets an additional benefit, such as being in a location where they can assist others withoug risking setting off more vines.

Extracting a Caught Person: How easy or hard it is to extract someone who has been caught in a Spiral Snare Vine depends on the situation.

  • A Single Spiral Snare Vine: Individual Spiral Snare Vines are sometimes positioned around doorways and other entrances. Depending on what the person is doing, a failed roll to free someone could result in thorns sinking into the caught person or someone who is trying to help them. However, because there is only one vine, failed rolls might simply have other effects.
  • Multiple Vines: This is a patch of Spiral Snare Vine with multiple different vines in it. A failed roll to help a person caught in a vine could result in the vine’s thorns sinking into someone. However since there are more snare vines around, a failure could instead set off an additional snare vine. Because this patch only has a moderate density of Spiral Snare Vines, once a caught person has been freed, they can leave the patch without needing to make any further rolls.
  • A Dense Patch of Vines: In this situation there are so many Spiral Snare Vines in this patch that there is a possibility that the player characters will become overwhelmed by them. Here, any failed rolls that involve the patch of vines set off additional vines and partial successes arm new vines so that a second partial success will set them off. In addition, if a trapped character is freed, the patch is dense enough that they have to make a fresh Mobility roll to get out of this patch without being caught again.

Incapacitating Poison: The first time that a character gets poisoned they are moderately poisoned. If they get poisoned again before they have a chance to heal or rest, they become seriously poisoned. A third poisoning means that they are critically poisoned, and a fourth makes them unconscious.

The poison of the Spiral Snare Vine is designed to incapacitate people, rather than injure them. This means that if a poisoned person is able to rest for a while, the poison will wear off, leaving the person unharmed.

  • Moderately Poisoned: The character takes a one die penalty to their Dexterity Skills.
  • Seriously Poisoned: The character takes a one die penalty to all body skills, abilities, and defenses.
  • Critically Poisoned: The character takes a one die penalty to all of their rolls.
  • Unconscious: The character is unconscious and unable to take actions until they receive medical treatment or the poison has had time to wear off.

 

Spiral Snare 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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