Last Updated on November 9, 2023
Medium Plant, Neutral Evil
- Size: Medium
- Creature Type: Plant
- Alignment: Neutral Evil
- Armor Class: 12 (natural armor)
- Hit Points: 11 (2d8 + 2)
- Speed: 30ft.
- STR 12, DEX 12, CON 13, WIS 8, INT 4, CHA 3
- Condition Immunities: Blinded, deafened
- Senses: Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive perception 9
- Languages: Understands Common but can’t speak
- Challenge: 1/4
Claws. Melee Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, reach five feet, and one target. Hit: 6 (2d4 + 1) piercing damage.
Needles. Ranged Weapon Attack: +3 to hit, range 30/60 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (2d6 + 1) piercing damage.
Source: Monster Manual p 32
Needle Blight and Where To Find Them
Needle blights are a type of blight, a family of plant monsters imbued with negative energy from the Gulthias tree, a tree born from a stake misused to impale the vampire, Gulthias.
Since the stake did not pierce Gulthias’ heart, the vampire’s consciousness infected the stake and turned it into a sapling.
Eventually, the sapling became an evil treant-type monster with the power of Gulthias and began spreading seeds that would grow into the blights.
There are four types of blights, and needle blights are just one kind of blight. While all blights live in the forest, each blight is unique and features characteristics that are not seen in other blights.
For instance, needle blights are known for their pack-hunting tactics.
Groups of needle blights will gather around campsites and ambush the campers since they look indistinguishable from the thorny undergrowth when standing perfectly still.
Needle blights can’t speak, but despite their lack of verbal communication, they’ve got a highly organized community method.
Needle blights have perfect camouflage when in the thorny underbrush. They can stand perfectly still and are indistinguishable from a typical plant when they do.
How To Hunt the Needle Blight
Needle blights are rarely found solo. They’re almost always found in packs of hunters.
Since needle blights usually travel in packs, they’re most deadly to low-level characters who will be overwhelmed by their numbers.
Needle blights are unlikely to try and hunt alone even though they’re much faster than some other blights and have significant advantages in numbers since they also have ranged abilities.
Needle Blights: Dangerous Foes for Low-Level Characters
Needle blights can drop a level one character with just a single hit from their needle attack.
With a 60-foot range and a +3 to hit, needle blights are very dangerous at level one. Needle blights are similarly squishy to the level-one characters they threaten.
So, your initiative rolls will tell a big story about how easy an encounter with needle blights is going to be.
It’s also worth remembering that needle blights generally serve the Gulthias tree that spawned them. So, you may attract the attention and ire of the Gulthias tree after you off a bunch of his servants (and the speedy ones at that!)
Fight Needle Blights Up Close
Once you get in combat with the needle blights, you will want to get as close to them as possible.
Needle blights are most dangerous at a range as their needles hit significantly more often than their claws. Once you’re in melee range of the needle blight, they become much less dangerous.
If there are multiple needle blights, try to herd them into a group and surround them. This will limit their range and prevent a lot of damage.
How To Bring Needle Blights Into Your Game
The most challenging thing about incorporating needle blights into your game is the incorporation of the Gulthias tree that they serve. For needle blights to exist, the Gulthias tree must also exist.
So, if you’re looking to get your players facing off against a group of needle blights, you’ll need to justify their existence with a Gulthias tree that’s accessible enough for the needle blights to be encountered.
Justifying the Gulthias tree means justifying the existence of vampires that is prevalent enough for the staking of a vampire to go wrong.
While incorporating monsters into the lore in an immersive way is a fantastic way to play, not every little change needs to be justified in the lore.
Sometimes, it’s okay to say, “That’s just how it is.” There’s no harm in making minor adjustments to the story to make the experience more enjoyable for your party.
We’ve also done guides on their cousins, vine blights. Check out that guide to see how two monsters from the same group can differ!
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