Daily Monster #41: Corpse Flower

As someone who has a terrible record of keeping houseplants alive, I have to say that I’m kind of intimidated by this creature. Has nature finally had enough of my failed gardening attempts? Perhaps it is the Corpse Flower who should fear me instead

As someone who has a terrible record of keeping houseplants alive, I have to say that I’m kind of intimidated by this creature. Has nature finally had enough of my failed gardening attempts? Perhaps it is the Corpse Flower who should fear me instead; if there’s anyone capable of killing a plant with the word “corpse” in its name, it’s probably me. Anyway, enough rambling about my lack of a green thumb. Let us discuss the…

Corpse Flower

The basics

Oh boy, this is definitely an interesting creature. Let’s see what we got in terms of stats. We’re looking at a +3 CON and matching STR, DEC and WIS of +2. Their lowest stats are their -2 INT and -4 CHA.

The Corpse Flower is considered a large plant and is usually of chaotic evil alignment. Although their AC is only a 12, this creature definitely makes up for it with its 15d10+45 hit point pool.

In terms of movements, we only get 20ft of both walking and climbing speed, but we can at least look forward to using the Corpse Flower’s Spider Climb ability.

This large plant is immune to the blinded and deafened conditions, which, you know, makes sense considering it can’t actually see or hear anything outside of its 120ft of Blindsight.

This creature’s most interesting trait is its Corpses that grants it two combat options: For the first one, the Corpse pant feeds on one of the corpses it contains and regains 2d10 hit points. For the second, we can instead opt to turn one of these corpses into a zombie.

Speaking of zombies, any and all walking meat bags produced by our evil plant will share its Stench of Death feature, which basically translates to this monster being such a stink that any creatures within 10 feet of it must make a DC 14 Con save or be incapacitated. Have you ever smelled something to terrible that you couldn’t move nor react? Neither have I, thankfully, but that should clue you in to the magnitude of the stench. The fact that you can do either of these as a bonus action is actually great for your boss monster action economy.

Thankfully, if you run out of “organic fuel” you can always snatch up any other corpses that are within 10ft of our monster by using its Harvest the Dead feature.

In terms of attacks, you’ll be happy to know that this creature can make three tentacle attacks as part of its multiattack. Although the initial bludgeoning damage is not exactly great, there is also a chance for extra poison damage on a failed CON save.

The Corpse Flower is considered a CR 8 creature.

The lore

Anyone watched Little Shop of Horrors? No? You should. Look, all I’m saying here is that today’s monster would make the perfect Audrey II, but I guess we should go back to talking about this creature’s lore rather than musical potential.

Alright, alright. The Corpse Flower was first introduced to the world of Dungeons and Dragons in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes for 5th edition. As a newcomer to the game, there’s actually not a lot of lore to be found on these creatures, but what little there is quite juicy.

Turns out this monster can sprout from the grave of any necromancer or powerful undead unlucky enough to find themselves, well, dead. Apparently necromancy is evil plant juice strong enough to raise these things.

The only way to stop their growth is to burn the seedling in a timely manner before it grows into today’s spooky monster. Otherwise, the Corpse Flower can grow to an enormous size within mere weeks after which it will free itself from the cursed earth that gave birth to it and begin its hunt for fertilizer, b which of course, I mean humanoids; although I suspect it could also settle for just about any other living creature as well (there’s nothing in the text that specifically contradicts this).

Other than being a giant mass of writhing tentacles and decomposing bodies, the biggest defining trait that sets this monster apart is their pungent spell of decay and rot that emanates from it.

The execution

Now here’s the thing, this is definitely a monster I will be using in the near future, so I sort of already have some ideas for it which I will happily share with you guys right after cautioning and all of my players who might be reading this to skip this section.

With that out of the say, let’s talk about what makes this creature unique and how we can use it to our advantage for an unforgettable encounter.

I think we can all agree what sets this creature above the rest is a combination of its durability (thanks to an ample supply of hit points) and its ability to heal and create smaller threats to divide the party’s attention. But how can we use this to our advantage? Well, consider the following:

It could be that your party gets sent by one of the local herbalists in search of a special rare ingredient; a Corpse Flower’s root. Or perhaps your party simply stumbles upon this creature as they explore an abandoned graveyard or battle site. Personally, I think I would prefer to have the monster come for our party of heroes instead. Imagine the terror when Audrey II climbs over the town wall and begins to feast on the local graveyard.

Whichever of these options you choose, make sure that there’s plenty available bodies for your monster to feed upon when combat starts. You will want to make sure that there’s enough fuel to keep the Corpse Flower going long enough to make it an interesting fight. Since the Zombies it produces are technically not under its control, it’s probable that some of them might choose to go after any innocent bystander townsfolk that happen to be walking by at that time. Between the Zombies, the Corpse Flower, and trying to keep everyone in one piece, the party will have its job cut out for itself.

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