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Purple Worm

The purple worm is the most common and infamous of the cave worms, a much-feared monster wandering the twisting tunnels of the Darklands that is capable of carving out entire cave systems. Tunnels bored by a purple worm don’t always last long after these creature’s passage, and areas where they nest are maddening mazes of passageways that lead nowhere, yet navigating the labyrinth to find the worm’s central nest often yields amazing treasures left behind by the worm’s prior victims.

Recall Knowledge (Nature): DC 31

Purple WormCreature 13

NGargantuanAnimal
Source Bestiary pg. 56
Perception +20; darkvision, tremorsense (imprecise) 100 feet
Skills Athletics +30
Str +9, Dex -1, Con +7, Int -5, Wis -1, Cha -1
AC 32, Fort +28, Ref +21, Will +21
HP 270
Inexorable The purple worm recovers from the paralyzed, slowed, and stunned conditions at the end of its turn. It’s also immune to penalties to its Speeds and the immobilized condition, and it ignores difficult terrain and greater difficult terrain.
Shake It Off ReactionReaction Frequency once per day; Trigger The purple worm would be affected by a condition or adverse effect (such as baleful polymorph). Effect The purple worm negates the triggering condition or effect. Effects from artifacts, deities, or a similarly powerful source can’t be avoided in this way.
Speed 40 feet, burrow 40 feet, swim 20 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action jaws +28 (deadly 2d10, reach 15 feet), Damage 3d10+15 piercing plus Improved GrabMelee Single ActionSingle Action stinger +28 (agile, poison, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d12+15 piercing plus purple worm venomMelee Single ActionSingle Action body +26 (reach 15 feet), Damage 1d10+13 bludgeoningRanged Single ActionSingle Action regurgitate +26 (brutal, range increment 60 feet), Damage varies (see ability)Fast Swallow ReactionReaction Trigger The purple worm Grabs a creature. Effect The worm uses Swallow Whole.Purple Worm Venom (poison) Saving Throw DC 32 Fortitude, Maximum Duration 6 rounds; Stage 1 5d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round), Stage 2 6d6 poison damage, and enfeebled 2 (1 round); Stage 3 8d6 poison damage and enfeebled 2 (1 round).Regurgitate The purple worm can violently regurgitate a creature or boulder it has swallowed to make a ranged Strike. The Strike deals bludgeoning damage depending on the size of the projectile: Tiny deals 2d6+13, Small 3d6+13, Medium 4d6+13, Large 5d6+13, and Huge 6d6+13. A regurgitated creature takes falling damage from the height of the target or from 20 feet, whichever is greater.
Boulders occupy space in the worm’s stomach as a creature of equivalent size, and purple worms often have several boulders swallowed. A purple worm can use a single action to swallow a new boulder.
Rock Tunneler A purple worm can burrow through solid stone at a Speed of 20 feet. It can leave a tunnel if it desires, and it usually does.Swallow Whole Single ActionSingle Action Huge, 3d6+9 bludgeoning, Rupture 24Thrash Two ActionsTwo Actions The worm makes a Strike once against each creature in its reach. It can Strike up to once with its jaws, up to once with its stinger, and any number of times with its body. Each attack counts toward the worm’s multiple attack penalty, but the multiple attack penalty doesn’t increase until after it makes all the attacks.

All Monsters in "Cave Worm"

NameLevel
Azure Worm15
Crimson Worm18
Purple Worm13

Cave Worm

Source Bestiary pg. 56
Cave worms are gigantic scavengers that bore through the depths of the world, eating whatever material they find. Named for their distinctive colorations, these worms are ravenous and display overwhelming destructive capabilities. Cave worms of different colors and abilities lurk in the more remote corners of the world—tales speak of white worms that dwell within immense glaciers or icebergs and gray worms that burrow through the boneyards of long-forgotten ruins, to name a few.

Belly of the Beast

The adventure need not end simply because the party was ingloriously swallowed whole by a giant cave worm. Perhaps the PCs find an undigested item that helps them survive the inhospitable environ, or maybe the worm regurgitates them in a cavern far off from where they started. Whatever the specifics, you can easily draw from folklore and popular fiction to create your own "belly of the worm" adventure for heroes who wind up on the wrong side of the monster’s scales.

Cave Worm Guardians

Cave worms are notoriously dim witted, driven primarily by purely animalistic needs to feed and reproduce. This hasn’t prevented attempts to use them as guardians for their lairs, if not to tame them. Magic can be used to maintain control over a worm, but gifted, patient, and brave animal trainers can condition cave worms to serve in all manner of roles, such as living siege engines, shocking methods of executing foes, or merely pets.

Notorious Worms

Some societies view the immense cave worms as natural disasters or incarnations of wrathful gods. Cave worms that have been active in a region often become part of that area’s local lore. For example, in the notorious Cinderlands of eastern Varisia, Shoanti have long told tales of Cindermaw, an immense crimson worm viewed by some as worthy of worship, and by others as the ultimate test of bravery.

Ravenous Tunnelers

Cave worms are infamous for being nearly unstoppable and for swallowing their prey whole. A cave worm also ingests earth and minerals as it tunnels. The worm processes some of these minerals, resulting in its armored hide and toxic sting, while it leaves others behind—often including treasure or other valuables that incidentally serve to lure explorers into the worm’s proximity and, more often than not, its gullet. While not completely mindless, cave worms are difficult to train, and most attempts to domesticate them (in theory, a cave worm would make an excellent mining resource) result in disaster.