A prickly cactus’s arms are covered in vicious spines.
Cactus Leshy CR 2
Speed 20 ft.
Melee 2 slams +4 (1d4+1)
Special Attacks launch needle
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6; concentration +6)
Constant—pass without trace
Str 12, Dex 14, Con 15, Int 7, Wis 14, Cha 11
Base Atk +2; CMB +2; CMD 14
Feats Endurance, Nimble Moves
Skills Acrobatics +2, Perception +7, Stealth +10 (+14 in deserts), Survival +2 (+6 in deserts); Racial Modifiers +4 Stealth and Survival in deserts
Languages Druidic, Sylvan; plantspeech (cacti)
SQ change shape (Small cactus; tree shape), grow fruit, verdant burst
Grow Fruit (Ex)
A cactus leshy can drastically speed up its fruiting process, producing an edible fruit without spines over the course of 1 minute. This fruit functions as though affected by goodberry and also provides the benefits of endure elements. Producing a fruit with these abilities is draining for the leshy; as a result, it takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage.
Launch Needle (Ex)
As a standard action, a cactus leshy can fire one of its spines at a target within 30 feet. If the attack hits, the target takes 1 point of piercing damage (this damage is not modified by Strength) and must succeed at a DC 13 Fortitude save or be sickened for 1d3 rounds. The save DC is Constitution-based.
Needly Skin (Ex)
A cactus leshy is covered with needles and spines, and its slam attacks deal both bludgeoning and piercing damage. Any creature grappling a cactus leshy or attacking it with a natural attack or unarmed strike takes 1d3 points of piercing damage. A creature grappling a cactus leshy takes this damage each round of the grapple.
Environment warm deserts
Organization solitary or patch (2–12)
Most cactus leshys prefer a quiet, slow-paced life under the hot desert sun, where they tend to other cacti and conserve their energy until the rains return. Their first response to visitors tromping around near them is often a terse warning, or even an insult. While they are initially surly and taciturn, cactus leshys may befriend travelers who show them respect and are willing to put up with their bitingly sarcastic sense of humor. These leshys are fiercely loyal allies, willing to drain away the vitality of their own bodies in order to protect and nourish allies who are less capable of surviving in the unforgiving desert.
When rainfall comes to the desert, cactus leshys become active and cheerful. On these rare occasions, they welcome visitors and help travelers find places where the water is likely to linger. That is not to say that these creatures would prefer to live in a wetter climate—after a few weeks away from the desert, cactus leshys complain vociferously about how hard it is to stave off rot in mushy soil.
A variant cactus leshy called a pesh leshy, or peshy, thrives in deserts, where cacti that produce the drug pesh are a prized crop. These leshys’ fruit provides the effects of a dose of the drug instead of a goodberry spell. Peshys are more social than typical cactus leshys, and they work in harmony with farmers who tend their own small farms. Large commercial farms are more divisive, with some peshys supporting the proliferation of their charges and others seeing the industry as a perversion of their gift.
The shapes of cactus leshys’ bodies are as varied as the shapes of cactus plants themselves, but they all have two or more branches that they can use to carry objects and to stab their enemies. A typical cactus leshy is between 2 and 3 feet tall and weighs up to 120 pounds when fully hydrated.
Growing a Cactus Leshy
Cactus leshys grow best in arid deserts, but can be cultivated in any climate as long as they are given sandy soil in which to take root and provided water only sparingly.
Pathfinder Adventure Path #115: Trail of the Hunted © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Amber E. Scott, with Crystal Frasier, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Tonya Woldridge, and Linda Zayas-Palmer.