Difference between revisions of "Purple Worm"

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| Save-Mod = +1
| Save-Mod = +1
| Frequency =  
| Frequency =  
| Effect = {{Ability-Dmg}} [[Ability Damage|STR damage]] and {{Special-Standard-Dmg}} points of [[non-lethal damage]]
| Effect = {{Ability-Dmg}} [[Ability Damage|STR damage]] and {{Special-Standard-Dmg}} points of {{dmg|poison}}
| Fruition = All non-lethal damage remaining at time of fruition is immediately dealt to target again as irresistible lethal damage.
| Fruition = All poison damage remaining at time of fruition is immediately dealt to target again as {{dmg|primal}} damage.
| F-Duration = Instant
| F-Duration = Instant

Revision as of 14:51, 16 January 2020

Purple Worm

Purple Worm (HeavyCR 14)

Neutral - Gargantuan - Magical Beast
Purple worms are enormous worms with purple plated hides and gigantic mouths filled with sword-like teeth. Purple worms are renowned burrowers, but can be found nearly anywhere. Their unique physiology allows them to easily adapt to hot and cold climates with equal indifference.
Purple worms are drawn to vibrations, and will approach areas being disturbed, usually messily consuming anything they find. This makes them particularly hazardous to miners, as well as those building new construction in unsettled areas. Strangely enough, the worms will tend to shy away from areas with a LOT of vibrations, perhaps out of some instinctual avoidance of things which might prove large enough to kill them. As a result, purple worms rarely threaten large cities or large herds of animals, and far more frequently prey on small groups on the outskirts of civilization.
Purple worms burrow by way of eating everything in front of them and can digest stone and metals as easily as flesh, though it is unclear if one of these things provides more nutrition than another.
Fighting Purple Worms is a task for the truly heroic, or those with access to siege weapons. To make matters worse, Purple Worms are poisonous, and nearly impossible to 'finish off', as they will shed segments as they are damaged and seek to attack anew just when you think they are finally dead.


Lore Check: Know (Arcana) (Basic: DC 26; Full: DC 41)
Init: +25
Ambush Chance: 10+ on d20 (req's 1 minute prep)
Senses: Standard Senses, Blind to Vision, Tremorsense 120 ft.
Passive Perception: 37 (Spot: +27, req's move action)


AC: 36
Maneuver Defense (MD): 40
Hit Points: 630 (Heavy role included)    (Bloodied Value: 315)    Hit Dice: 27
Fort: +17    Refl: +13    Will: +14
Special Defenses:
  • ER 41/Fire (energy, common)
  • ER 41/Cold (energy, common)
  • ER 41/Acid (energy, common)
Strong Against:
  • (Heavy Role) Immunity (partial 3): Heavies are immune to the first three conditions applied to them during an encounter. If a fourth condition is applied to a heavy, it is resolved normally. A 'condition' is defined as any non-instantaneous harmful effect applied to the monster, other than damage, but is most commonly one of the defined Status Conditions (but it doesn't have to be). Statuses related to damage (such as injured, bloodied, staggered, dying, or dead) are not 'conditions', and cannot be negated or avoided with this ability.
  • Immune (no effect): Illusions, gaze attacks and any other visual-based attacks (they are blind to vision)
Weak Against:


Movement Types: Walk 60 ft., Burrowing 60 ft.
Space / Reach: 20 ft. / 20 ft.
Standard Attack:
  • 1x Earthy Gorge +26 (4d10+24/x2) as crushing (physical, common); plus: Grab
Full Attack:
  • 1x Earthy Gorge +26 (4d10+24/x2) as crushing (physical, common); plus: Grab
  • 2x Tail Stinger +25 (4d6+9/x2) as piercing (physical, common); plus: Purple Poison
Standard Ranged:
Maneuver Offense: +25
Siege Damage: Not siege capable
Special Attacks: Grab, Swallow Whole, Purple Poison, Shedding, Stinging Flurry
Action Points: 1 (Heavy role included)


Str: 26    Dex: 14    Con: 22    Int: 6    Wis: 8    Cha: 8
Feats: Grapple, Improved (EFFECT: Grapple, Improved (Feat))
Languages: Despite being remarkably intelligent for a worm, has no language and cannot even be communicated with via telepathy, unless you also use Enuncia

Special Abilities

Grab (Ex)

After any successful bite attack, the Purple Worm may make a free Grapple attack, rolling its Maneuver Offense (1d20 + 22) versus the target's Maneuver Defense. If successful, the target is given the Grappled condition and is in the Purple Worm's mouth. Note that the Purple Worm is never treated as being Grappled while grappling an enemy with its mouth, though the grappled opponent suffers the normal penalties for being Grappled.
A Purple Worm can only hold a single creature in its mouth at a time, and the creature can be no larger than size-huge.

Swallow Whole (Ex)

If the Purple Worm begins its turn with an opponent one size smaller than itself (or smaller) grappled in its mouth (see Grab above), it can use a free action to attempt a Swallow Whole check, by rolling its Maneuver Offense (1d20 + 22) against the victim's Maneuver Defense. If it succeeds, it swallows its prey, and the opponent takes 2d8+9 points of crushing (physical, common) damage. If the Swallow Whole check fails, the purple worm may try again as a standard action, or it may spit the target out into any space within their reach as a swift action. Spat out creatures arrive Prone, but may make an Acrobatics check against a DC of 31 to land on their feet and look super-cool, to-boot.
Being swallowed causes a creature to take 2d6+5 points of Acid (energy, common) damage each round at the start of each of their turns. A swallowed creature keeps the Grappled condition, while the Purple Worm remains un-grappled. A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing, light piercing or close weapon. It requires 95 points of damage to successfully cut free of the Purple Worm's belly, and this damage is NOT applied against the Purple Worm's hit points, instead coming from a separate pool. The Armor Class of the interior of the Purple Worm is equal to the worm's Touch AC, and does not benefit from the Purple Worm's Energy Resistance vs Acid, Cold or Fire. If a swallowed creature cuts its way out, the Purple Worm cannot use swallow whole again until the damage is healed.
Alternatively, a swallowed creature can just try to escape the grapple, rolling its Maneuver Offense against the worm's Maneuver Defense (DC 37). If successful, the formerly-swallowed creature crawls their way back up the worm's throat, and ends up back in the Purple Worm's mouth (where they may be bitten or swallowed again, when the worm gets additional actions).
A creature that cuts its way free of the Purple Worm is deposited Prone on an interior square of the Purple Worm's space, allowing it to set up Interior Flanks for its allies. Assuming the escaped creature is size-large or smaller, they are not considered squeezing while occupying this interior space (and neither is the Purple Worm).

Purple Poison (Ex)

Creatures struck by the Purple Worm's tail are stung by a 5-foot-long shiny black stinger which injects poison into its target. Creatures so struck may also become poisoned:
Purple Poison    (Injury vector; Poisoned intensity)
Save: Fort DC 28;     Frequency: 1/round for 3 rounds
Effect: 1d4 STR damage and 2d8+9 points of poison (physical, uncommon)
Fruition: All poison damage remaining at time of fruition is immediately dealt to target again as primal (untyped, irresistable) damage.
Fruition Duration: Instant

Shedding (Ex)

The first time during a combat in which a Purple Worm is reduced to zero or fewer hit points, it is not slain. Instead, it becomes immune to all damage until the start o its next turn as it sheds its outer husk and burrows out from the massive pile of remains to continue the attack, undeterred.
Its size is reduced to huge, but its reach remains 20 feet. On the worm's next turn after it was first reduced to zero hit points, on its normal initiative, as a move action, it emerges from the ground at any point it wishes within 60 feet of its old space. It is restored to half its original maximum health (315 hit points), and any conditions it was suffering under are cleared.
As it emerges, it may use a swift action to make a Swallow Whole attempt against one enemy creature if it emerges adjacent to them. This bypasses the normal need to Grab the foe first, and instead the worm may try to gulp them directly down into their stomach, as detailed in Swallow Whole (above.)
The worm may use its remaining standard action however it wishes, but a Stinging Flurry (see below) is their most common tactic when Shedding is triggered.

Stinging Flurry (Ex)

As a standard action, the Purple Worm may erupt into a writhing, flailing mass of muscular coils, as it flings its tail-stinger around in a wide area, stabbing and stinging every creature within twenty feet of its space. This deals 2d8+9 points of piercing (physical, common) damage to all creatures within 20 feet of its space and inflicting them all with Purple Poison (see above). All affected creatures may make a Reflex Save against a DC of 26 to take half damage and negate the Purple Poison. Creatures that fail the Reflex save may still make a Fort save to attempt to resist the effects of the poison.

Combat Tactics

Purple worms are simple-minded, but driven by instincts that help them excel against creatures not used to burrowing for a living. Purple worms will begin a combat by attacking through intervening stone or soil, biting whatever foe is in their reach and trying to get close to victims for their stinger to get into action. Their tremorsense lets them get line of sight on a target even through stone floors, walls or ceilings, while their earth glide movement ability gives them line of effect through that same stone. Note, however, that all squares through which a purple worm passes become tunnels accessible to anyone. Purple worms always eat everything they tunnel through! While a purple worm might begin an attack with total cover against their target (from their target's perspective), they can never end their attack with cover, because of the way they use Earth Glide.
Once they bite, they can perform a grab for free. Note that, while they can never bite a target when they already have a creature in their mouths, they also get a free Swallow Whole attempt at the beginning of each turn. Even if the swallow whole attempt fails, the Purple Worm can either attempt it again (using a standard action this time, instead of a free), or if they decide the target isn't very swallow-able, they can spit them out as a swift action, in order to bite someone new.
During full attacks, the purple worm can also attack with its tail. The tail is not capable of burrowing (only the mouth can create new tunnels), so it must have line of effect to make attacks. However, the tail can deliver a very nasty poison on its target.
Note that purple worms have 20 feet of reach, so even though several of them may appear in a given encounter, they can easily arrange themselves to bring their full might to bear against any target or targets.

Out of Combat

Purple Worms have astonishingly good minds, but they are complete monsters. They exist to eat prey and make more Purple Worms.


XP: 76,800 (Heavy role included.)
Treasure: Sellable Goods worth 47,250 gp.
Weight: 280 lbs.     Volume: 11.2 cu. ft.
  • Purple Poison is valuable, and a Purple Worm's hide, teeth, and stinger are all valuable as well. In addition, they will have some quantity of conventional treasure in their stomachs.
Optional Treasure Rules: Roll on the following table once per encounter (NOT per creature). Any items discovered are in addition to the normal treasure for the encounter.
Table 1: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant Found (If Any)
1 - 8 Nothing Found
9 - 12 1 Languid Remnant (tier 1)
13 - 15 1 Pale Remnant (tier 2)
16 - 18 1 Bright Remnant (tier 3)
19 - 20 Roll on Table 2
Table 2: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant(s) Found
1 - 3 4 Languid Remnants (tier 1)
4 - 7 4 Pale Remnants (tier 2)
8 - 11 1 Intense Remnant (tier 4)
12 - 15 1 Blazing Remnant (tier 5)
16 - 18 1 Vital Remnant (tier 6)
19 - 20 Roll on Table 3
Table 3: Roll a d20:
Result Remnant(s) Found
1 - 3 4 Bright Remnants (tier 3)
4 - 5 4 Intense Remnants (tier 4)
6 - 8 4 Blazing Remnants (tier 5)
9 - 11 4 Vital Remnants (tier 6)
12 - 15 1 Prime Remnant (tier 7)
16 - 18 1 Mythic Remnant (tier 8)
19 - 20 1 Empyrean Remnant (tier 9)