Monster: Barrow-Worm

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This bloated, short-legged lizard is covered with sickly yellow and purplish-pink skin. It has an ugly oversized head on a long neck, and even longer tail.

CR 10; XP 9,600

CE Large Dragon
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, deathwatch; Perception +18


AC 24, touch 9, flat-footed 24 (+15 natural, –1 size)
hp 126 (12d12+48)
Fort +12, Ref +10, Will +13
Defensive Abilities dead-eater; Immune aging, death, disease, magic sleep, paralysis; Resist cold 30

Speed 20 ft.
Melee bite +18 (2d8+10/19–20/×3 plus energy drain)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks breath weapon (60-ft. cone, 10d6 cold plus energy drain, Reflex DC 20 halves damage and negates energy drain, usable every 1d4+1 rounds), create spawn, energy drain (1 level, DC 19), nether frost, powerful jaws
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 12th; concentration +15)

Str 24, Dex 10, Con 18, Int 11, Wis 17, Cha 17
Base Atk +12; CMB +20; CMD 30 (34 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Critical (bite), Improved Vital Strike, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes, Power Attack, Vital Strike
Skills Bluff +18, Intimidate +18, Knowledge (Religion) +15, Perception +18, Sense Motive +18, Stealth +11
Language Draconic

Environment barrow-lands and boneyards
Organization single or pair
Treasure standard

Special Abilities

Create Spawn (Su) Living creatures slain by a barrow-worm rise as uncontrolled zombies or wights (if humanoids with 4 or more HD) 1d4 days later.

Dead-Eater (Ex and Su) A barrow-worm is immune to ability damage, ability drain, and energy drain of undead creatures. Its natural attacks are treated as magic and silver.

Nether Frost (Su) A barrow-worm's breath weapon is a gout of life-sapping, undead-freezing cold. All living creature that fail their Reflex saving throw against against the barrow-worm's breath weapon gains 1 negative energy level. All undead creatures that fail their Reflex saving throw are entangled for 1d4+1 rounds instead.

Powerful Jaws (Ex) A barrow-worm's massive, bone-crunching jaws add 1-1/2 Strength bonus to their damage roll, and have a critical hit damage multiplier of 3.

Barrow-worms are vile dragon-kin feasting on rotting corpses and bones of the undead, bloated with residual necromantic energies of their chosen food. They are gluttonous and lazy, but also show a degree of malicious cunning and cruelty. They often kill more than they can eat, so the dead will rise as much more appetizing undead later. 

A few sages speculate that the first barrow-worms grew from draconic hatchlings infected with ghoul fever, though there is little proof of such origins as they breed true now. For obvious reason, testing this hypothesis is a challenge, as hatchlings of various draconic races are hard to come by and usually fiercely protected by their mothers. Regardless of the accuracy of that guess, barrow-worms are aggressively hostile toward ghouls, considering them competitors and scavengers for the ripe corpse available and snacks at the same time. They might coexist with more powerful intelligent corporeal undead, though they can easily turn on such neighbors when hungry or angered. They completely ignore incorporeal undead and are usually ignored by them in return.


Barrow-wyrms (CR 12) resemble bloated wyverns instead of land-bound worms. They have advanced and giant templates, wings giving them fly speed of 60 feet with poor maneuverability, and their breath is a gout of foul flames that inflict 15d6 points of fire damage (DC 24) in addition to draining energy from living creatures and entangling undead ones. They are also less lazy and more actively malicious than their land-bound kin, often cooperating with powerful undead creatures, and have some knowledge of magic, being capable of using mass suggestion (DC 21) as a spell-like ability three times per day, targeting both living and intelligent undead creatures. They also have constant see invisibility and greater arcane sight.

AC 29 (+1 Dex, +20 natural, –2 size); hp 174 (12d12+96); Fort +16, Ref +11; Will +15; Melee bite +21 (3d8+17/19–20/×3 plus energy drain); CMB +25; CMD 36; Str 32, Dex 12, Con 26, Int 15, Wis 21, Cha 21; Bluff +20, Fly +8, Intimidate +20, Knowledge (Arcana) +17, Knowledge (Religion) +17, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20, Spellcraft +17.

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