Last Updated on June 28, 2022
If your party hasn’t been taking appropriate care of the local flora as they traipse through the world, causing mayhem for all those who encounter them, blights are a great way to get them to respect Mother Nature.
Blights are mildly evil plant monsters with limited movement and intelligence.
Vine blights are unique in the blight family because they’re the only blights able to speak a language—common if you were wondering what it is.
Keep reading to learn more about the vine blight and how to incorporate this monster into your Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
What Is a Vine Blight?
Armor Class: 12 (natural armor)
Hit Points: 26 (4d8 + 4)
STR 15, DEX 8, CON 14, WIS 10, INT 5, CHA 3
Skills: Stealth +1
Condition Immunities: Blinded, deafened
Senses: Blindsight 60 ft. (blind beyond this radius), passive perception 10
False Appearance. While the blight remains motionless, it is indistinguishable from a tangle of vines.
Constrict. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) bludgeoning damage, and a Large or smaller target is grappled (escape DC: 12). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained, and the blight can’t constrict another target.
Entangling Plants – Recharge 5. Grasping roots and vines sprout in a 15-foot radius centered on the blight, withering away after 1 minute. For the duration, that area is difficult terrain for nonplant creatures.
In addition, each creature of the blight’s choice in that area when the plants appear must succeed on a DC: 12 Strength saving throw or become restrained.
A creature can use its action to make a DC: 12 Strength check, freeing itself or another entangled creature within reach on a success.
In short, vine blights are a type of blight that is made of vines. Blights are plant monsters that emerged from the tainted Gulthias tree—the stake used to attempt to kill the vampire, Gulthias, that did not pierce the vampire’s heart and grew into a tree with the consciousness of the vampire.
The Gulthias tree spreads the seeds that eventually grow into blights throughout the world as it wanders the Forgotten Realms leaving devastation in its wake.
There are several types of blights made from different kinds of plants, but the vine blight is, as it might seem, made of vines.
It’s a twisting mass of anthropomorphic vines that can walk around and cause mayhem, but usually, blights keep to themselves.
All blights can understand the Common language, but only vine blights can speak, making them unique among the blight family.
Since blights are enchanted flora, blights are indistinguishable from typical flora when they’re motionless.
Blights move very slowly and don’t have muscles as humanoids do. So, standing perfectly motionless is no trouble for them.
Like all other blights, vine blights are not an exceptionally threatening target. At a challenge rating of a mere ½, you rarely have trouble fighting a vine blight, even at low levels.
They’re intended to be starter monsters to help you get comfortable with your current character and class, not a challenging duel to the death.
Fighting a Vine Blight: How To Kill a Vine Blight
So, you might wonder why vine blights aren’t weak to fire, as fire weaknesses for plant creatures have become an everyday staple of fantasy settings, and the only honest answer is, “Wizards didn’t think they should be,” which is good enough for us.
(It’s not our game. We just write the guides…)
Unlike some games where the monster type determines weaknesses, Fifth Edition stat blocks individually assign weaknesses.
Some are ubiquitous, like the Fiends’ resistance to fire damage, but do not have liability for firing in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition.
Vine blights are particularly susceptible to ranged damage. They are slow-moving, and most characters can easily outpace a vine blight while walking.
So pelt the dang thing with ranged attacks while staying safely out of range of its Entangling Plants.
If you intend to kite the vine blight to death, remember that it does have reach on its Constrict attack. So, its range doesn’t end at the edge of the melee range; its range is melee + one square.
If you just kite the vine blight around, you’ll be fine, and you probably won’t even take damage.
How To Incorporate Vine Blights Into Your Campaign
If your party is some kind of heathen party that’s worshipping vine blights or has another vine-blight-related lore or goals, you should probably bring some cake next session cause they sound cool as hell.
First of all, vine blights are most likely to be found in the forest where vines are plentiful. No real point in doing vine blights if you aren’t in the woods or somehow connected to the forest.
Usually, the vine blights will stay around the Gulthias tree that spawned them, acting in its service.
Vine blights are a unique addition to the blight family because of their ability to speak. In this way, you can incorporate the vine blight as more than a monster, but rather an envoy of the plants.
Many other far more intelligent plant family members could assist your party, but this one is special… it has 5 INT and 3 CHA.
Despite how dull these creatures are, they still are known for a host of social interactions between themselves and other animals.
Notably, the errata states that they’re known for “taunting victims” and “bargaining with powerful foes.”
This is important because it means that errata have stated that vine blights are intelligent enough to understand cause and effect and tangible and intangible value.
These traits paint an exciting picture of the mind of a vine blight.
Vine blights should be able to be reasoned with since they’re able to understand cause and effect and value.
They should be able to value their own lives and know that you may cause them harm should they attack you.
In fact, given that one of their notable social traits is “bargaining with powerful foes,” they’re far more likely to bargain with the party than attack them.
If you want to give your party a challenge, a group of multiple blights of varying types would be an excellent way to get your party’s blood pumping to fight a nearby druid or something.
Do Vine Blights Make Good Pets?
I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but keeping semi-intelligent creatures that can speak and communicate with you as a pet is not precisely ethically sound. Yes, I said it. Keeping parrots as pets isn’t morally sound.
Vine blights, however, don’t make good pets even if it were ethically sound to keep one as a pet.
Blights canonically have different social hierarchies and community interactivity from each other.
For instance, twig blights often herd together and attack campsites, while tree blights will ally themselves with other types of blights but attack different tree blights on sight.
It’s not entirely known what kind of community vine blights have, but we can assume that it’s somewhat verbal since vine blights can speak.
There’s no text suggesting that vine blights do or do not tolerate the presence of other vine blights, so it’s really up to your DM how they want the vine blight to interact with the world in that sense.
If your DM wants to have a more social vine blight, you may be able to ally with the vine blight community, but, again, keeping a speaking humanoid as a pet is not kosher unless you’re both into it like that.
The vine blight must give comprehensible, enthusiastic, and ongoing consent to being kept as a pet for it to be ethical.
Vine blights are a unique and exciting monster that can add a lot to your campaign with their open-ended lore.
Whether you use the vine blight monster as an additional monster for a powerful druid or create a storyline around the social communities of vine blights, you’re sure to bring your players joy with these enchanted forest creatures.
As always, the most important part of a tabletop game is that you and your players are having fun. Just because something is established lore in the errata doesn’t mean it has to work for you and your players.
If you think changing something will improve the experience for you and your players, change it! There’s no reason to be beholden to a ruleset when bending and breaking the rules hurts no one!