Dragon Magazine

Bladderworth, Giant

Dragon #167



Climate/Terrain:Stagnant swamps or marshes
Frequency:Uncommon
Organization:Solitary
Activity Cycle:Day
Diet:Carnivore
Intelligence:Non- (0)
Treasure:Incidental (10% chance each of J,K,M; 5% chance each of Q and one small magical item)
Alignment:Neutral
No. Appearing:0
Armor Class:1-2
Movement:6
Hit Dice:8
THAC0:19
No. of Attacks:11-20
Damage/Attack:See below
Special Attacks:See below
Special Defenses:See below
Magic Resistance:See below
Size:See below
Morale:Unreliable (2-4)
XP Value:L to G

The giant bladderwort is a rootless, freefloating water plant found drifting just beneath the surface of stagnant waters in deep marshes or swamps. It may grow in combination with other marsh plants in huge floating mats, which appear solid but through which even small animals quickly sink. The greenish-brown stem may grow up to 50? or more if conditions are right, and it usually has 1d10+10 traps, each about 4 across, attached to its feathery green branches.

Combat: The traps are translucent bladders, each containing a partial vacuum, that lie beneath the water. Due to the slightly greater pressure of the water outside the trap, the sides of each bladder are slightly concave around the middle, giving it a pinched-in look. Water is kept out by a flap at the mouth of the trap, which is sealed with a weak glue and acts as a valve. Long guide hairs and shorter trigger hairs surround the mouth of the bladder. When the trigger hairs are touched, the valve opens inward and the victim is swept along with some water into the chamber. The flap reseals and the water is absorbed (to be expelled later), restoring the partial vacuum. The triggering, activation, and closure of a trap all take place in less than a second. Digestive fluids then flood the chamber, causing 1-4 hp damage per round. Due to the very small quantity of air inside the bladder, the victim suffocates in 1-6 rounds unless assistance is given.

A small-size creature (4 or less) is wholly engulfed, while a larger one may have only part of its body caught in the bladder, which will still close and seal its flap, doing damage to the victim thereafter. In such cases, DMs should roll percentile die to determine what area of the victim?s body has been caught (1-20 right arm; 21-40 left arm; 41-60 head and upper torso; 61-80 right leg; 81-100 left leg). A character caught may attempt to break free by successfully rolling his chance to bend bars against the trap?s seal or by attacking the trap itself.

Each trap has 2 HD; the body of the plant has 8 HD. Damage inflicted on traps will not kill the body of the plant. Outside attacks on a trap holding prey inflict half the damage on the prey within and half on the trap itself. Victims wholly engulfed by the trap may attack only with teeth, claws, or daggers.

Habitat/Society: Bladderworts usually reproduce by pollination. Their purple and white flowers rise just above the water on narrow stems. During the winter, this plant forms green buds, called turions, that sink to the bottom of the marsh and rise up again in spring to develop into mature plants. If a bladder can be wholly raised above water (by itself, it weighs 50 lbs.), it collapses with a loud popping.


Last Modified: January 28, 2014, 22:16:22 GMT

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition


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