Tuesday, April 7, 2015


Enticing Head-Fruits: Great name for a power?  Or the greatest name for a power?

Originally from Chinese lore, in Pathfinder the jinmenju is a tree that lures in victims with its intoxicating stench and enticing head-fruits(!) while driving away would-be rescuers with its unsettling drone and shout (aided of course by Lunge, Combat and Lightning Reflexes, slams, and a nasty bite).

But it's the tree’s ability to shape its fruit into faces a PC knows (augmented by stolen memories) that is perhaps its best talent.  Tricking a cavalier into thinking the tree holds the spirit of her lost love—only to have the tree claim it ate her?  Or enticing a barbarian into eating the “head” of his mother, with a dash of sculpt sound so that she screams as she’s devoured?  That’s just wrong…and also very right.

An elven princess is a powerful druid who uses her control over an exotic jinmenju to flatter her peers and mock her rivals.  She also uses the tree to discreetly assassinate and dispose of her enemies, luring them to its glade in the palace gardens.  (The victims’ intoxicated acceptance of their fate has so far foiled magical attempts to detect foul play.)  For some reason half-dragon elves seem immune to the jinmenju’s stench and poison, which may explain why the princess hates the half-dragon faction in court most of all.

Jinmenju-head wine is a rare delicacy.  And an annual tribute of this wine has long kept an underworld dragon away from the Court of Sighing Swallows.  When a rokurokubi manages to steal this year’s shipment, it’s up to an upstart group of adventurers to either harvest a new batch, find and defeat the snake-necked sorceress, or drive off the dragon.  If they’re particularly unlucky or honorless, they might have to do all three.

While dreamwalking, adventurers come across an island in the Silver Sea populated by jinmenjus.  The jinmenjus whisper to the adventurers with the voices of their loved ones, hoping to separate them and pick them off one by one.  Any adventurers killed by the dream-jinmenjus will wake as penanggalens in the real world and begin pursuing a nightmare-fueled agenda.

Pathfinder Adventure Path #54 86–87 & Pathfinder Bestiary 4 161


1 comment:

  1. Dream world jinmenjus that create real-world Penanggalen?! The next arc in my campaign. Perfect investigation material! Too good!