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Rot Grub Swarm


This nauseating carpet of wriggling white grubs undulates outward in a pallid wave of hunger.

Rot Grub Swarm CR 7

XP 3,200
N Fine vermin (swarm)
Init +2; Senses blindsense 30 ft.; Perception +0

DEFENSE

AC 20, touch 20, flat-footed 18 (+2 Dex, +8 size)
hp 85 (10d8+40)
Fort +11, Ref +5, Will +3
Defensive Abilities swarm traits; Immune mind-affecting effects, weapon damage

OFFENSE

Speed 10 ft.
Melee swarm +10 (2d6 plus distraction and infestation)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 0 ft.
Special Attacks distraction (DC 19), infestation

STATISTICS

Str 1, Dex 15, Con 18, Int —, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +7; CMB —; CMD

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Infestation (Ex)

Any living creature that takes damage from a rot grub swarm becomes infested unless it succeeds at a DC 19 Reflex save. On a failed save, the infested creature takes 1d4 points of Constitution damage per round as the rot grubs burrow through and consume its flesh—this effect continues as long as the victim remains in the swarm and continues for 1d6 rounds after it leaves the swarm. Any energy-based attack (including damage from negative energy) that deals at least 5 points of damage to the victim automatically destroys all of the rot grubs infesting it, ending the effect prematurely. Additionally, any effect that removes disease instantly ends a rot grub infestation. Immunity to disease offers no defense. The save DC is Constitution-based.

ECOLOGY

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Rot grubs are foul, nauseating parasites that feed on flesh and use corpses as nests in which to grow. While a rot grub can derive nourishment from dead flesh, its true hunger is for the flesh of the living. Thankfully, rot grub swarms occur only rarely, as they require the infested carcass of a Huge or larger creature and many weeks to build up the numbers necessary to constitute a swarm.

In some cases, a rot grub continues to feed and grow, eventually reaching enormous size as a giant rot grub.

Additional Ecology

Rot grubs are nauseating parasites that feed on flesh and use corpses as nests in which to grow. While a rot grub can derive nourishment from dead flesh, its true hunger is for the flesh of the living—live flesh greatly accelerates a rot grub’s growth to adulthood. A grub with only a corpse to feed on can take weeks to complete its transformation into the short-lived, skittering, yellow-orange arachnid that is its adult form, but a grub that finds living prey gnaws its way through the body and gorges on live flesh, then nests in the resulting corpse and grows to adulthood in a matter of hours. An adult rot grub lives for only a few hours—long enough for it to lay dozens of eggs within the body of its old host before it dies. The new grubs that hatch grow slowly unless a new host wanders by.

Thankfully, rot grub swarms occur only rarely, as they require the infested carcass of a Huge or larger creature and many weeks to build up in the amounts necessary to constitute a swarm. When this occurs—after the grubs have finally skeletonized their host—they erupt and seethe across the ground, a hideous carpet of pale flesh that, unlike smaller groups of rot grubs, actively seeks out living flesh to consume. Once formed, a rot grub swarm is self-sustaining; the vermin quickly devour creatures they slay and move on. When individual grubs mature in a swarm, they are quickly eaten by those grubs yet to achieve adulthood.

Swarms of rot grubs are single-minded in their purpose, and know only hunger. They are voracious, and never stop moving or pursuing flesh that can be eaten. As long as consumable flesh exists, they replenish their numbers at a speed such that they never need to stop to rest. Swarms of rot grubs have been known to cross vast expanses of land like flesh-eating floods, consuming all living creatures that they happen to encounter. These menaces arise most frequently in warm, moist environs, but prove tenacious and might be found in nearly any unfrozen clime.

Infested Undead

Since rot grubs only feed on living flesh and use dead flesh as an incubator, undead are not harmed by infestations of the parasites. A corporeal, non-skeletal undead infested with rot grubs transfers one rot grub to any creature that touches it or to any creature it strikes with a touch attack or with any natural attack. The target may make a DC 15 Reflex save to avoid being infested, but otherwise is immediately subjected to a single grub Burrowing through his flesh. A rot-grub-infested undead’s CR increases by +1.

Additional Ecology Section 15: Pathfinder Adventure Path volume #25: Bastards of Erebus © 2009, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Author: Sean K Reynolds.
Section 15: Copyright Notice
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Bestiary 3, © 2011, Paizo Publishing, LLC; Authors Jesse Benner, Jason Bulmahn, Adam Daigle, James Jacobs, Michael Kenway, Rob McCreary, Patrick Renie, Chris Sims, F. Wesley Schneider, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor, based on material by Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, and Skip Williams.