Cave worms

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Cave worms

Postby Big Mac » Thu Aug 17, 2017 10:59 pm

Cave worms are creatures that lair in the Maze in the Underdark below the Ghostwind Platau.

The Broadaxe Tribe constructed the Maze in the tunnels below the Ghostwind Plateau. The tribe were forced to flee their homelands, along with other human tribes that the Empire of Ravilla were trying to hunt down, but while other tribes fled all the way to Thalos, the Broadaxe Tribe decided to make a stand at the Ghostwind Plateau and fortified the entire region. The Maze was built as part of the underground defences against the elves.

The Broadaxe Tribe was defeated by the Empire, but the Maze is still there. And it is infested with cave worms. Here is what page 22 of The Ghostwind Campaign says about them:
The Ghostwind Campaign: Chapter 4: Maze wrote:Special Rules

The maze is dottd with cave worm lairs, as indicated by the counters placed around the battlefield. As soon as a model moves to within 3" of a counter, roll a d20. On an 18+, a cave worm strikes at the model from its lair. A model (even if it is knocked down) that starts its turn within 3" of a counter also requires a roll to see if it is attacked.

A cave worm has a melee attack of +2 and deals 1 melee damage. It has no ranged attack. Whether or not it hits, after it has made its attack, the cave worm immediately withdraws into its lair. Cave worms cannot be attackd in their lairs.


I assume that cave worms exist elsewhere (other than the Maze) but I can't see any mention of them. I did find a webpage called Cave of the Hanging Snakes about snakes that pop out of cracks in the ceiling to attack bats.

Does anyone know of any Greyhawk or non-Greyhawk products that contain cave worms, or anything similar?

How would you convert these critters into standard D&D monster stats? They kind of feel more like a self-renewing trap than a monster.

The Ghostwind Campaign kind of implies that you can't attack the cave worms, but would you allow PCs in a Sundered Empire game to attack them?

And would you keep cave worms as a monster that attack from lairs, or would you make it possible for people to encounter them slithering around in the underdark or on the surface?
Last edited by Big Mac on Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cave worms

Postby willpell » Fri Aug 18, 2017 9:24 pm

I didn't know Ghostwalk was on a plateau.... :twisted:
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Re: Cave worms

Postby ripvanwormer » Fri Aug 18, 2017 11:36 pm

I don't know enough about the Chainmail system to know how powerful these critters are relative to other threats, but there are lots of worms that live in caves in various editions of D&D, from rot grubs to purple worms.

Probably you could just use the stats for monstrous centipedes. I wouldn't worry about the exact rules, since they seem to only apply to the miniatures game. A D&D version of the creature isn't going to be immune to attack just because it's retreated into its lair.
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Re: Cave worms

Postby Big Mac » Thu Nov 02, 2017 1:30 pm

ripvanwormer wrote:I don't know enough about the Chainmail system to know how powerful these critters are relative to other threats, but there are lots of worms that live in caves in various editions of D&D, from rot grubs to purple worms.


That makes sense.

Well we know that these things are at long enough to be able to strike 3 inches from their lairs in Chainmail measurements. It should be possible to infer a length (or at least a minimum length*) from that.

* = If the cave worms are doing the same thing as the yellow-red rat snakes (Pseudelaphe flavirufa) in the Cave of Hanging Snakes, I presume they would need to keep a fairly significant part of their body (maybe a third or a half or even more) inside the hole to stop them falling out.

ripvanwormer wrote:Probably you could just use the stats for monstrous centipedes. I wouldn't worry about the exact rules, since they seem to only apply to the miniatures game. A D&D version of the creature isn't going to be immune to attack just because it's retreated into its lair.


I suppose that some sort of rules for cover would apply to a cave worm that retreated into it's lair. If you can see the hole, you could probably stick a dagger into it and get the cave worm. It might even be unable to defend itself in the lair...

...assuming that these critters live in a single hole. They might actually have a network of tunnels behind the walls an ceilings of a cave they live around.
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