GM Notes: (The intention of this encounter is to reward people for taking non combat skills, and to show that there are more ways to advance than just attacking everything they see.) This tree survives by capturing large animals and people and slowly consuming them. A Knowledge (Nature) or Knowledge (Local) DC 15 check will reveal that the tree can be appeased by offering it a more hearty snack. Attacking the tree will almost certainly result in the old man’s death. Perhaps a cow, deer or any other animal or person who’s larger than the frail old man might tempt the tree to let him go.
Monsters: Assassin Vine, Bestiary 1 [SRD Link]
Tactical Notes: This tree’s stats are based on an Assassin Vine, but it will not attack unless overtly attacked by the group. If offered anything bigger than the old man, it will instantly grab the offer and release the man who will collapse and need to be dragged to safety. If the group attacks the tree, it will instantly kill the old man.
XP Value: If the group kills the tree, 800 XP. If the group successfully rescues the old man, 1000 XP.
If the old man is rescued, he will show them a secret cache with 100 gold, if instead they kill the vine, no treasure.