Tumble melon trees are large, wineglass-shaped trees with thick limbs and greenish bark. Â They reproduce in an unusual way: they produce delicious roaming melons with mild curative properties. Â After the melon seeds pass through the body, they compel the creature to plant them somewhere fertile.
Groups of these wandering fruit depart simultaneously every few weeks (in different directions). Â The tree rolls the melons down grooves in its trunk, and thus sets the traveling melons on their trajectories. Â If a tree is approached, there is a 50% chance that it will flat-out give you a melon. Â If the tree is climbed, it will wiggle in an attempt to shake the climber off. Â If the tree is attacked or any melons stolen, the tree will freak out and start whomping people with thick branches. Â
If the tree is tormented with ranged weapons and there is no one nearby to whomp on, it may attack by throwing melons with its scoop-like 'hands'. Â It is difficult (but not impossible) to catch these melons undamaged. Â The traditional method of melon harvesting involves an archer and two assistants holding a 'catching blanket'. Â But even this is risky--tumble trees can throw a heavy melon very fast with their strong, whipping arms. Â A tree will usually have about 6-12 melons.
If a tumble melon tree is severely injured, it may feign death by making a sad wailing noise, going limp, and rolling any remaining melons in all directions. Â The melons will attempt, poorly, to avoid capture (they are in escape mode).
Tumble melons are about the size of cantalopes. Â The hard, leathery skin is colored in green and black zigzags. Â The fruit of the melon is pink, fleshy, and composed of pulpy seeds (think of a pomegranate). Â They roam by rolling in a random direction, although they avoid steep slopes and cannot manage anything more than the mildest uphill. Â They are common near rivers.
Tumble melons are roaming fruit. Â They have very poor senses, but they will approach creatures that they find and roll around their feet, like a cat asking to be petted. Â They are delicious, nutritious, and heal a tiny amount of health when eaten.
Sometime within 24 hours after being eaten, another magical ability of the melon manifests itself: it is a powerful laxative. Â Tumble trees reproduce by encouraging other creatures to spread their seeds throughout the land. Â The bowel movement will be watery, urgent, and include a great number of tumble tree seeds. Â
When the creature is pooping, the seeds also cast a charm effect on the creature, compelling them to bury the seeds in a safe place where a tumble melon tree might grow strong and healthy. Â If the seeds are ejected into loamy forest soil, all this charm effect does is require you to scrape some dirt on the seeds. Â If you are not in a sunny forest or a fertile field, the seeds will ask if they could please be buried in some nice dirt? Â You may be obligated to comply.
It is not recommended to exploit tumble melons for their healing properties. Â The laxative and charm effects stack dangerously with multiple ingestions. Â (You might blow your O-ring and spend the rest of your life pulling weeds in a grove of tumble melon trees.) Â Despite these prohibitions, it is not hard to find buyers for tumble melons, especially among opium addicts and others who suffer from constipation.
A Free Lunch.Â The PCs are accosted by a random wandering monster! Â Oh, it's just a delicious tumble melon, asking to be eaten.
At Least I Have Full HP.Â The wandering PCs randomly accost a tree! Â They stumble across a tumble melon tree. Â They've got a druid who knows half of the story, or an injured PC eats the melon and feels the healing powers of the seeds. Â Will they succumb to greed and temptation? Â And if they do, will they succumb to constant diarrhea and dehydration?
Come at Me, Bro!Â The PCs are tasked with harvesting melons from an adult tree. Â (For hard mode, make it a grove of them).
The Giving Tree.Â The PCs are badly injured, and come across a grove with a strange, naked man tending to the trees. Â He takes pity on the party and offers them fresh water and access to magical healing melons. Â A melon follows him around and seems to obey his commands, and the trees seem to give him melons when he asks. Â He tells the party not to eat more than one, and then slips back into unhelpful madness, talking to a sapling and becoming irritated if he bothered. Â The party is left alone in the tumble melon grove. Â After each eating a melon, they have felt the healing effects. Â Will they succumb to temptation and gorge themselves on melons until their bones knit and they are at full health? (Gods, I hope not.)
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? Responses (11)-11
You might blow your O-ring and spend the rest of your life pulling weeds in a grove of tumble melon trees
I laughed heartily at that line
This is great. They will approach them and roll around the feet like a cat looking for a scratch is a fantastic visual. I loved this idea and think it would be great fun to use!
This is a perfect flavor piece. Something I'd use in a highly fantastic setting (or possibly an alien planet). I might make them a little less watermelon-ey in description, but overall I love this sub. Definitely got a laugh from me, thanks!
Haha, this is a fun sub! I wonder if the melons could be juiced, and if so, would the laxative and charming properties remain...
A nice fantasy flora. In terms of the write-up, good visuals and humour.
This is great, a fun non-combat encounter!
This calls to mind Piers Anthony. He would _love_ these.
This is AMAZING. Super original. Fits very well into any magical setting. Easy to incorporate as a neat side thing or as an adventure driver.