Waterwheel Plant, Giant

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Climate/Terrain:Temperate marshes
Activity Cycle:Day
Intelligence:Non- (0)
Treasure:Incidental (10% chance each of J,K,M; 5% chance each of Q and one small magical item)
No. Appearing:1-2
Armor Class:6
Hit Dice:5 (see below)
No. of Attacks:3-12
Damage/Attack:See below
Special Attacks:Suffocation/dissolving, surprise
Special Defenses:Nil
Magic Resistance:Nil
Size:L to H
Morale:Average (9)
XP Value:2,000

The giant waterwheel is a rootless plant that floats just below the water's surface, drifting with the currents. It has a single curved stem about 20' long; 3-12 trapping leaves, resembling open clamshells, grow in whorls about the stem like spokes on a wheel. During high summer, the plant's white flowers may be seen just above the surface of the water, borne up on narrow stems. Victims have a -2 modifier to be surprised, both underwater and on the surface, and might not detect this plant until they have blundered into it.

Small items may be found buried in the silt beneath where a giant waterwheel floats. The traps open 1-2 days after prey has been digested, allowing indigestible parts to fall out.

Combat: Anything of small size brushing against any one of the many trigger hairs inside a trap causes it to close in less than a second. The lobes of the trap then press together, forcing the victim down to the bottom of the trap and forcing the water out, creating a hermetic seal that requires a successful bend-bars chance to break. Anyone caught inside the trap must act immediately, or he will be unable to brace himself to attempt to break the seal. The trap accepts small-size creatures up to halfling size) only; larger objects are released in the next round. Each trap has 2 HD and attacks accordingly. The body of the plant has 5 HD.

When closed, the trapping leaf begins secreting digestive fluids, causing 1-4 hp damage per round. Suffocation occurs in 2-4 rounds unless the victim is able to cut free with a small hand weapon by doing damage equal to half the trap's hit points. Attacks from outside inflict half their damage on the trap itself and half on the victim inside.

Habitat/Society: Considered by some to be an aquatic version of the giant venus' flytrap, the giant waterwheel plant grows under the surface of the water in acidic marshes, in company with reeds, rushes, and other aquatic plants. It has no natural enemies and is so subtle a predator that few communities are even aware of it. Swamp-dwelling races sometimes attempt to move these plants around their island lairs in lakes.