This creature appears as a massive, tall tree with thick branches from which hang several humanoid corpses tightly secured by their necks with greenish-brown ropes. Its canopy is thick and bushy, and its trunk is mottled brown.
Gallows Tree (CR 13)
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 6 slams +23 (2d6+10/19–20 plus grab)
Space 15 ft.; Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks create gallows tree zombie, gallows tree zombies
Str 30, Dex 12, Con 23, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 6
Base Atk +14; CMB +26 (+28 sunder, +30 grapple); CMD 37 (39 vs. sunder, can’t be tripped)
Feats Cleave, Critical Focus, Great Cleave, Improved Critical (slam), Improved Initiative, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Staggering Critical, Toughness, Weapon Focus (slam)
Skills Perception +24, Stealth +15
Languages Common (cannot speak); empathy with gallows tree zombies
When a creature dies within 15 feet of a gallows tree, it uses a sharpened tendril to slice open the creature’s abdomen, thereby spilling the corpse’s innards on the ground. The organs and fluids are then absorbed by the tree’s roots. Corpses of a size other than Medium or Large are simply left to rot. Medium or Large corpses are filled with a greenish pollen fired from one of the tree’s branches. The abdominal wound heals over the next 1d4 days, at which time the slain creature rises as a gallows tree zombie connected by a tether–vine to the gallows tree that created it. Gallows tree zombies possess none of their former abilities.
Each gallows tree has several gallows tree zombies connected to it. A Huge gallows tree may have no more than 7 gallows tree zombies connected to it at one time. A Gargantuan gallows tree can have a maximum of 11 zombies connected to it at any given time. See the gallows tree zombie entry for details on that monster.
Gallows trees can automatically sense the location of anything within 60 feet that is in contact with the same vegetation the tree is touching.
Environment temperate and warm forest, hill, marsh, and plains
Organization grove (1 gallows tree, plus 6–11 gallows tree zombies)
Treasure half standard
Gallows trees are sentient plants that sustain themselves on the internal organs and body fluids of living creatures. They use deception to lure potential prey into range at which time they unleash the gallows tree zombies attached to their branches to kill or capture the prey.
While mobile, a gallows tree prefers to remain in one spot for an extended length of time (usually until its food supply in the area runs out). From this location, it simply waits for prey and then attacks when such beings come into view. Gallows trees do not collect treasure but occasionally such items (the remnants of devoured prey) are found in the vicinity of a gallows tree.
A gallows tree normally stands idle, lowering its zombies to the ground when living prey come within 100 feet of the tree. If a foe comes within 15 feet of the tree itself, it lashes out with its sharpened branches and pummels the creature or attempts to wrap a branch around the foe. A grabbed foe is subjected to additional damage as the gallows tree pummels it with its other branches. Occasionally the tree works in concert with its zombies, grabbing a foe and holding it while its zombies pound it into goop. Slain creatures are dragged close to the tree, sliced open, and their innards devoured by the tree’s roots.
Gallows Tree from the Tome of Horrors Complete, Copyright 2011, Necromancer Games, Inc., published and distributed by Frog God Games; Author Scott Greene.