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Shambling mound
For other meanings of "Shambler", please see Shambler (disambiguation).

The carnivorous shambler, also known as a shambling mound,1 often appears to be nothing more than a heap of rotting vegetation.2


A shambler resembles a wet mass of twisted vines and other vegetation that stands on two legs resembling tree trunks. When at rest or lying in ambush, they blend in with the vegetation of the swamps or forests where they live.2

An average shambler is about eight feet in diameter, between six and nine feet tall, and weighs 3,800 pounds.1[citation needed]


Shamblers originated in the legendary Green Valley, which might be located in a remote part of Golarion or even outside of it. Explorers from Azlant, possibly accompanied by elves from Kyonin, found the Valley and unwittingly became infested with strange spores.34

When they returned from the Valley, the spores turned them into the first shamblers. The victims were overcome by the horror of their transformation and fled into the wilderness, and the knowledge of the Valley's location was lost.34

Ecology and society

Shamblers are usually solitary creatures that wander in search of prey, and if two happen to meet they generally ignore each other. Few creatures hunt shamblers as prey.5

They can survive on a diet of rotting vegetable matter and can supplement this with photosynthesis. However, in order to reproduce they need to absorb living tissue, particularly brain tissue, in great quantities—sometimes as much as a ton. Elven tissue is extremely effective, however, and a single elf corpse is sufficient for reproduction. Some shamblers are aware of this and seek elves over other victims.5

When a shambler is ready to reproduce, it finds a suitable hiding place and roots itself into the soil. A week later, about a third of its mass detaches itself and becomes a new shambler.5

In rare cases, a shambler can develop an empathic ability that draws other shamblers to it and enables them to work in as a group. These groups sometimes seek to establish a connection with the lost Green Valley through meditation, or through actively seeking to destroy civilisation.5


Shamblers fight by slamming foes and wrapping them in their vine-like tentacles. Despite their appearance, they can be surprisingly cunning in their pursuit of prey. They are also reasonably good swimmers.2

They are resistant to fire, and exposure to electricity temporarily invigorates them.2

A shambler occasionally forms a symbiotic relationship with a swarm of insects, often centipedes.3 Similarly, some become infested with fungi and can discharge clouds of dangerous spores when struck.32


Other types of shambler include:

  • Greensward: A tragic form of shambler usually grown from elves that retains some semblance of their former memories. They are more intelligent than normal shamblers but still lack the ability to speak.6
  • Shambling monolith: Shamblers that can pull nearby plant matter into their body, temporarily bolstering their power and swelling in size.6
  • Spore mound: Shamblers infested by fungi and mold in close proximity to where they live. They appear encrusted in mushrooms and fungal growths. Damaging a spore mound exposes a creature to its symbiotic molds, such as yellow mold.42
  • Stormstruck shambler: Shamblers struck by lightning enough to gain a greater affinity for it. They can expend their vitality to charge their limbs with electricity and shock their foes.6
  • Tanglethorn mound: A desert variant that can survive in arid conditions but is unable to swim. These resemble cacti wrapped in thorns and vines and often burrow beneath the surface in order to ambush prey passing above them.4

Variant abilities

Shamblers particularly attuned to nature can replicate a number of druidic spells. Some can compress their forms and squeeze into narrow spaces, making them difficult to damage with bludgeoning or piercing weapons.6

Some shamblers that live in close proximity to vermin, such as centipedes, eventually find swarms of the creatures living within their bodies. These swarms typically do not come to the surface of their host enough to be a threat, but they eagerly seize the chance to consume creatures drawn into the shambler's mass and will burst forth in a swarm upon their host's death.3

On Golarion

Shamblers are most common in the Sodden Lands and the Mwangi Expanse, and are drawn there by a shambler druid named Zandghoreishi.4

Fungal shamblers live in the fungal swamps of Ilvarandin, one of the vaults of Orv.7


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