Deadly Gardens: Scorpion Cactus (PFRPG) PDF

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Deadly Gardens is a series of short PDF documents that each feature a brand new plant monster to use in your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game or OGL campaigns. In addition to a new monster, each volume will also feature supplemental material based around the natural wilderness theme.

In this volume:

  • Scorpion Cactus CR 3
  • Expanded Rules for Natural Items and how to harvest them
  • 9 Natural Items: Ankheg Saliva, Basidirond Tea, Cave Fisher Rope, Chuul Slime, Cockatrice Tongue, Powdered Gorgon Horn, Gorgon Steaks, Scorpion Cactus Nectar and Scorpion Cactus Resin.
  • 1 Natural Hazard: Quagmire
  • 1 Terrain Type: Salt Flats

Author: Russ Brown
Artist: Christian Dragos
Pages: 5

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***** (based on 3 ratings)

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An review of the revised version


The third installment of Rusted Iron Games' Deadly Gardens-series clocks in at 5 pages, 1 page front cover, 1/2 page SRD, leaving us with 3.5 pages of content, so let's take a look!

We begin this humble pdf with new hazards and terrain types - in the former case, this would be the quagmire hazard, while terrain-wise, we get concise rules for salt-flats, both of which are pretty damn awesome.

The scorpion cactus itself is a CR 3 adversary that cannot move - a cactus studded with a deadly, poisoned stinger...and a unique trick: You see, the cactus can emit a heatwave that duplicates a strange confusion effect that makes the target believe that it's further away than it actually is, granting a unique defensive trick to the creature. Oh, and yes, it can fire the needles on the stinger...but alas, the pdf fails to specify a range for the ranged attack of these needles. EDIT: Stinger-range added!

Beyond this compelling adversary, though, we are introduced to new natural items - alongside concise harvesting rules for them: So if your campaign is like mine, then yes, you'll definitely enjoy this section: Beyond gorgon steaks (yummy!), chuul slime and highly acidic ankheg saliva, cockatrice tongues and similar items, with easy rules for use, can be found herein - obviously alongside two harvesting options for the eponymous scorpion cactus.


Editing and formatting are top-notch, I noticed no glitches. Layout adheres to Rusted Iron games' printer-friendly two-column b/w-standard and the neat artwork of the cactus is impressive for such a small pdf.

The scorpion cactus is cool - add in the natural items and the cool terrain type and hazards and we have an inspired, humble little pdf that is very much worth the fair asking price...EDIT: The range of the singer has been added, which increases the rating of the pdf to 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.

Two Great Stings That Go Great Together


Disclosure: I received a review copy.

I am fully impressed not only with the monster featured in this product, but the new system for natural items, which allows for the creation of special materials from natural sources. Long have we needed a system to simulate natural cures that were not the work of an herbalist or alchemist, but of everyday people that know the land and know its secrets.

This product continues to wow with quirky and interesting creatures that are not just monsters for their own sake, but come baked in with plot hooks and adventure seeds, and even some useful items to boot.

The scorpion cactus does not disappoint, making for a memorable encounter. As for the natural items, each one is intriguing and useful, at times making me wonder why someone else hadn't already made something similar.

With lots of fun ideas for player and GM alike, this is a steal at $1. you get 5 pages (1 page for cover, 1/2 page for OGL) packed with good material. I give this a 5 out of 5.

A new monster and more


This is a review for 'Deadly Gardens Volume 3: Scorpion Cactus', a supplement by Rusty Iron Games. I'm not a native speaker (I'm German), so I may have fumbled my language skill checks from time to time. Give me a note if I wrote something wrong and I'll try to make myself more clear.

Deadly Gardens Volume 3 has a 3.5 pages with a nice pics (and a cover, OGL and so on).

First of all, while this supplement is supposedly about a Scorpion Cactus, said monster is just a page long, while we get on two and a half more pages a terrain type, a natural hazard, and nine natural items, most of which have nothing to do with a Scorpion Cactus and sometimes even the connection with a garden theme seems a bit stretched, with Cave Fishers for instance, but not so much as in the second number of the series. The ideas presented here are good, but the title is a bit of a misnomer and may not fullfill the expectation of buyers.

On we go toward a detailed look at the contents.

First we start with a quagmire, which, as a CR 2, is nice, but the idea has surfaced in other supplements as well over time. What I like is the new terrain type 'Salt Flats', it fits the cactus-theme and it incorporates the aforementioned quagmire in a nice way.

Next we get to the title monster itself, the Scorpion Cactus. This is a well done creature. Plants usually have a big problem, than that's their underwhelming speed. Now the deadly garden series recognizes the problem, in this case the speed is 0 ft, but solves it with nice thought-out reach and a defensive ability which scares away natural predators, for it stores the heat of the day and can release it if threatened. The latter doesn't help against adventurers, but adds a realistic component which I like. Maybe a limit on the usage per night would have been good, while by day it could have been used every 1d4 rounds or something like that. But all in all nice crunch and nice fluff.

The final topic are natural items, starting with how they are harvested, used and preserved. We get nine of those, all nicely done. You can get a strong silk line out of a cave fisher, can use the powdered horn of a gorgon and so on, so you are able not just to loot the treasure of your monster, but also parts of their body for minor but fitting benefits. The only one I didn't get was why the Scorpion Cactus Nectar could heal fatigue (among others). While plants sometimes have unexpected abilities, I would have liked it tied a bit more to the monster. But thats a really minor complain.

All in all this is a supplement well done, while nothing is really great, you get twelve good and useful items for your next expeditions. The title is a bit misleading as I pointed out above. I'll settle for 4.5 out of 5 stars, rounded up for the purpose of this platform.

Have fun!

Community & Digital Content Director

Now available!

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

Thanks Chris!

The PDF has been updated to include bookmarks.

Reviewed. Have fun!

Thanks for the review Oliver! Objective reivews are always welcome.

Since you have mentioned it in a couple of your reviews, I thought I might explain that in the Deadly Gardens title, gardens is used in the metaphorical sense as a reference to nature as a whole, rather than a literal garden. I have no idea how well that translates to German.

In any case I hope the new format for the product descriptions I uploaded recently give people a better sense of what to expect in each volume.

Sovereign Court

Review posted!

Thanks for the Review Lorathorn!

Reviewed first on, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here and on OBS.

Thanks for the review EZG!

Thanks for pointing out that the Scorpion Cactus is missing range info on its spine attacks. I will see about updating the pdf to include that info.

Will update my review as soon as the glitch is fixed! :D

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 16

The PDF has been updated to include range increment information for the Scorpion Cactus' Needle attacks.

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Updated my review to reflect the changes made.

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