Last Updated on December 7, 2022
If you’ve ever seen an imposingly large mass of needle-y plants, you may have seen an ambush of needle blights that chose to let you pass without a fight.
Needle blights are a sentient mass of thorny plants tainted by the evil power of the Gulthias tree. Needle blights are a frankly unimposing and easy-to-defeat plant creature.
You won’t experience a significant challenge from one or two needle blights even at the first or second level as they’re meant as a starter monster to help you get your sea legs.
What Is a Needle Blight? Where Do I Find Them?
Armor Class: 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 11 (2d8 + 2)
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
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.
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.
They tolerate the presence of other needle blights and other blight types, unlike tree blights, who will take different blights but attack other tree blights on sight.
If you’re looking for a needle blight, start by scouting out campsites. Needle blights often gather at camps to ambush the people who rest their heads there.
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: Things You Need To Know
Needle blights are rarely found solo. They’re almost always found in packs of hunters.
It’s critical to remember that these carnivorous plant monsters are trying to eat you. They’re bothering you because they’re hungry, and it would be best to stay out of their way if you aren’t looking for a fight.
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 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!)
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 complex 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 Incorporate Needle Blights Into Your Game as a Dungeon Master
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.
Explaining the vampires means blah blah blah; a whole lot is going on when it comes to incorporating blights in general.
Luckily, if you don’t want to do that, you can use the rule of cool or employ the ever-classic, “It’s my game, and I get to choose the monsters.”
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.
Can a Needle Blight Be Tamed and Kept as a Pet?
The biggest problem with keeping needle blights as pets isn’t the act of taming them; it’s justifying why owning a pet that can understand your spoken language at a native level should be allowed under the law.
Needle blights can’t talk, but they can understand the Common language. They’re semi-intelligent, and you must ask yourself if it’s ethically sound to keep something that intelligent as a pet.
However, if you were going to tame a needle blight and keep it as a pet, needle blights would be an excellent candidate for taming.
Needle blights are well known for their “pack tactics” hunting style, which encourages social bonds and cooperation between needle blights.
This means that needle blights will be more inclined to try and solve issues peacefully when presented with the option to do so.
You may be able to negotiate or create allyships between needle blight communities and players if you give them ample opportunities to role play with the monsters.
It would be better to treat the needle blight as a friend and an equal rather than a pet. Teach it to sign language or get a kind druid to play interpreter for you.
Instead of treating it as an object, treat it like your child. What I’m saying is to adopt the needle blight. Treat it like the son you’re not sure you want.
This is the only ethical method of adding a needle blight to your Dungeons & Dragons party.
Many adventurers are felled due to failing to check the nearby brushes for an ambush of needle blights. Don’t be one of the masses who forgets to check the campsite for dangers!
Needle blights are one of many monsters players can find walking around the forests of the Forgotten Realms.
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!
The essential part of any tabletop game is that you and your party are having fun. Don’t be afraid to make alterations or changes to the source text to improve the experience for you and your party.