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Bore Worm Swarm

Bore Worm Swarm Creature5

N Large Animal Swarm

Senses Perception +12; tremorsense (imprecise) 60 feet

Hydrophobia Water causes bore worms to curdle and die-even an empress bore worm will smoke and twitch, its shell eventually turning a dull brown before caving inwards. The secret as to why lies in the chemical composition of the worm’s acid. Normally, bore worms are immune to their own acid, but exposure to water alters the acid’s nature, and so the worms burn alive in their own secretions.

Skills Acrobatics +10, Stealth +12

Str -1, Dex +3, Con +4, Int -5, Wis +1, Cha -4

AC 20; Fort +15, Ref +12, Will +8

HP 60; Immunities acid, precision, swarm mind; Weaknesses area damage 4, splash damage 4, water 8; Resistances bludgeoning 4, piercing 8, slashing 8

Speed 15 feet, burrow 30 feet

Swarming Bites [one-action] Each enemy in the swarm’s space takes 3d6 acid damage (DC 22 basic Reflex save). Creatures that fail this save become sickened 1 from the swarm’s painful bites.


A single finger-length bore worm is unpleasant but mostly innocuous. Ten thousand bore worms, on the other hand, pose a formidable threat to even seasoned adventurers.

The countless worms form a roiling, rancid mass of acid and pain, capable of delivering a hideous death to any person or beast unable to escape them. Unfortunately for any creature other than a bore worm, most encounters involve swarms.

Despite their repulsive appearance, bore worms play an important part in ecosystems by transforming rotting plants and animals into rich, loamy soil. Many subterranean farmers lure them to their property but must keep them well fed to avoid the cannibalistic frenzy that creates an empress bore worm. Bore worms also serve as a staple of some exotic cuisines. If properly cooked with fungus and plenty of salt, they become a favored delicacy; uncooked, they prove considerably less appetizing.

These vermin produce corrosive, noxious slime and deliver agonizing bites, whether as a revolting, wriggling swarm of finger-length worms or a single massive, lurching beast. Among some communities, most inhabitants regard bore worms much in the same way surface cultures speak of maggots or cockroaches-with general disdain and revulsion. Children consider catching a single bore worm and using it to torment others a rite of passage, albeit a dangerous one.

Variant Bore Worms

The humble bore worm is a small and simple creature, both biologically and magically. These qualities allow it to adapt rapidly to different environments, some of them quite extreme, and also makes it susceptible to magical radiation and experimentation. Many an apprentice takes their first steps in the school of transmutation by practicing on these worms, while variations-both natural and cultivated-are scattered about beneath the world’s surface.

  • Ice Worms: Found tunneling through glaciers, these pale-blue worms behave similarly to their soil-bred cousins, but their frigid acid inflicts marks similar to frostbite on anything they touch. Ice worms still flee from liquid water but are immune to cold rather than to acid, and they substitute cold for acid in all of their attacks and abilities.
  • Lava Worms: These bizarre creatures consume not living matter but minerals and rare earths. They’re most often found near volcanoes or open magma and will swim through the lava in pursuit of a meal. Lava worms are immune to fire rather than to acid, and they substitute fire for acid in all of their attacks and abilities.
  • Necral Worms: An undead sorcerer in a ghoul-run city developed necral worms about 60 years ago by filling an empress bore worm’s abandoned exoskeleton with a unique alchemical paste. These undead bore worms radiate the very energies of death, making them surprisingly sophisticated magical batteries. Less pleasant entities often use them as magical tools. Necral worms have the undead trait and negative healing. They substitute negative damage for acid damage in all of their attacks and abilities, and they gain a weakness to positive damage in place of their weakness to water.
  • Mage-Eater Worms: These luminous, purple worms present just one more reason to avoid areas where magic is unreliable or unpredictable. When a creature fails a save against Swarming Bites or Painful Bite, the worms also attempt a counteract check against a single spell affecting the creature (counteract level 3, counteract modifier +12).
Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Bestiary 3 (Second Edition) © 2021, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Logan Bonner, James Case, Jessica Catalan, John Compton, Paris Crenshaw, Adam Daigle, Katina Davis, Erik Scott de Bie, Jesse Decker, Brian Duckwitz, Hexe Fey, Keith Garrett, Matthew Goodall, Violet Gray, Alice Grizzle, Steven Hammond, Sasha Laranoa Harving, Joan Hong, James Jacobs, Michelle Jones, Virginia Jordan, Tj Kahn, Mikko Kallio, Jason Keeley, Joshua Kim, Avi Kool, Jeff Lee, Lyz Liddell, Luis Loza, Ron Lundeen, Philippe-Antoine Menard, Patchen Mortimer, Dennis Muldoon, Andrew Mullen, Quinn Murphy, Dave Nelson, Jason Nelson, Samantha Phelan, Stephen Radney-Macfarland, Danita Rambo, Shiv Ramdas, Bj Recio, Jessica Redekop, Mikhail Rekun, Patrick Renie, Alex Riggs, David N. Ross, Simone D. Sallé, Michael Sayre, Mark Seifter, Sen.H.H.S, Abigail Slater, Rodney Sloan, Shay Snow, Pidj Sorensen, Kendra Leigh Speedling, Tan Shao Han, William Thompson, Jason Tondro, Clark Valentine, Ruvaid Virk, Skylar Wall, Andrew White, and Landon Winkler.