Monday, September 28, 2015


Google isn’t serving up a lot about the tunche, but it appears to be a monster of Amazonian (rainforest, not Greek) extraction.  Pathfinder’s version is a plant-like jungle fey roughly shaped like a praying mantis/jaguar hybrid.  Players used to contending with grigs and sprites had best beware: This monster is CR 17, vastly stronger than a human (Str 33), and packs a poison that saps Con and Wis.  And with 10+ plant-related spell-like abilities under its fronds, a tunche can make escape a very dim possibility if it catches PCs when their spellcasters are low on spells or out of commission (such as just after they've left whatever horrible Mayan-esque pyramid you coaxed them into exploring).

One note from the mythology worth playing up: While a tunche usually reserves its wrath for despoilers of the forest, it often likes to lure passersby into returning its whistling call.  (In game terms, this is represented by the tunche’s sound mimicry and ventriloquism abilities).  According to its own twisted sense of honor, the fey seems to consider those who engage in the call-and-response fair game to devour, no matter how respectful of the forest they are.  As a loremaster’s calculating spell engine once put it, “The only winning move is not to play.”

A stone-and-crystal spiderweb serves as the only path to a long-abandoned mountain temple.  The Advanced crysmals that laboriously crafted the web still scuttle along its gleaming “threads,” dining on mineral veins embedded in the canyon walls.  The real threat though, is a tunche that ambushes anyone leaving the temple, attempting to bull rush them off the stony web.

Travelers in the Avorash Jungle sometimes meet a halfling woman bedecked in orchid blossoms.  She claims to be a queen of the trees and will assign travelers a task they must complete before finishing their journey.  In truth, she is a shapechanged tunche that uses the tests to weed out the unworthy.  Losers fatten her leafy form.

For his final examination to become a true grandmaster, a bard is sent to collect “the cry of the orchid.”  On the surface, this is a reasonable (if nearly impossible) task—previous grandmasters have captured everything from the footfall of a cat to the sound of flying earthbergs crashing in Jotunlund.  In actuality, the assignment is a setup: The bard’s enemies in the college want to see him humbled and then devoured by a tunche.

Pathfinder Bestiary 4 265

I’m back!  Turned out my cross-country flights were not conducive to blogging, so eventually I just decided to write last week off and enjoy San Fran/Palo Alto/Redwood City and Davis.  The plan is to be back on schedule this week, never fear!

I’m pretty sure dr-archeville and fortooate have been waiting for this entry for over a year now.

If you’re looking for the trumpeter swan or the tuatara, look here and here.

Why did I wind up posting so little last week?  Because I was catching up with all kinds of West Coast friends!  Including my Vampire GMs from my grad school days (so amazing!), and this guy, with whom I rolled d20s one college summer in a Ravenloft-inspired 2e D&D campaign.  I know him as Mike Sullivan (said all in one breath, to differentiate him from Mike Veloso) but you all (especially you Redditors) know him as the creator of Everyone Is John.  Play it this weekend, why don’t you?


  1. You should've mentioned you were coming to the Bay Area. I live in Berkeley and would've loved to meet you.

  2. Sorry, man! I usually post about my travels ahead of time, and it would be fun to get folks together for a meetup sometime, but this trip kind of snuck up on me. But you didn't miss anything—since it was for a wedding and I rarely get to the West Coast, pretty much all my time was spoken for with groomsmanly duties or seeing old friends. I once again failed to carve out any time to see Alcatraz, and had no idea that I was so close to Yosemite when I was driving through Davis/Sacramento/Stockton or I might have actually altered some of my travel details to see it.