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The Wriggling Man (Worm that Walks Wizard 17)

A mass of wriggling worms, the man before is clearly an arcanist of great stature and great power.

The Wriggling Man CR 18

XP 153,600
Male worm that walks transmuter 17
NE Medium vermin (augmented human)
Init +10; Senses all-around vision, blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +28

DEFENSE

AC 34, touch 22, flat-footed 27 (+6 armor, +2 deflection, +6 Dex, +1 dodge, +3 insight, +2 natural, +4 shield)
hp 144 (17d6+85); fast healing 18
Fort +8, Ref +11, Will +13 (+21 vs. mind-affecting)
Defensive Abilities worm that walks traits; DR 15/—; Immune disease, paralysis, poison, and sleep effects; Resist cold 30, fire 10
Weaknesses worm that walks traits

OFFENSE

Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.
Melee swarm slam +14 (5d6 plus grab)
Special Attacks discorporate, engulf
Arcane School Spell-Like Abilities (CL 17th; concentration +23)

At will–change shape (beast shape III/elemental body II, 17 rounds/day)
9/day–telekinetic fist +14 touch (1d4+8)

Transmuter Spells Prepared (CL 17th; concentration +23)

9thsummon monster IX, time stop
8th–quickened greater invisibility, mind blank, polymorph any object (DC 26)
7th–quickened fireball (DC 19), mass hold person (DC 23), mage’s sword, reverse gravity
6thchain lightning (DC 22), disintegrate (DC 24), flesh to stone (DC 24), mage’s lucubration, quickened resist energy, quickened scorching ray
5thfeeblemind (2; DC 21), overland flight, quickened shield, telekinesis (DC 23), telepathic bond
4thblack tentacles, confusion (DC 20), dimension door, mass reduce person (DC 22), mnemonic enhancer, phantasmal killer (DC 20)
3rddispel magic (2), fireball (DC 19), protection from energy, slow (DC 21), stinking cloud (DC 19)
2ndinvisibility, pyrotechnics (DC 20), resist energy, scorching ray (3), web (DC 18)
1stgrease (DC 17), expeditious retreat, feather fall, magic missile (3), reduce person (DC 19)
0 (at will)acid splash, light, mage hand, mending, prestidigitation

TACTICS

Before Combat The Wriggling Man casts mind blank every day, and activates his ring of invisibility as soon as the PCs approach his stronghold. He casts overland flight and resist energy (cold) once he realizes that the PCs are about to enter his room.

During Combat As soon as the PCs enter the room, the Wriggling Man, who stands near the throne but is invisible, casts time stop. He has at least 2 rounds to cast spells while time is stopped—he first casts quickened shield and then summon monster IX to summon an astral deva. The next round, he casts telepathic bond on the deva so he can communicate with it silently and quickened fire shield (chill shield) on himself. If he has enough time during time stop, he’ll also cast quickened resist energy (acid) and protection from energy (sonic) on the third round, mage’s sword on the fourth round, and reverse gravity on an area where he can affect the most walking PCs. When his time stop ends, he telepathically commands the summoned astral deva to imperiously demand that the PCs leave this place, claiming that they tread upon the works of one under the protection of Heaven itself. This is, of course, a lie—the Wriggling Man doesn’t expect the PCs to fall for it, but the tactic does amuse him and it could work, especially if the PCs don’t ask to make Sense Motive checks to see through the angel’s forced lie. If the PCs persist, the Wriggling Man telepathically orders the angel to attack the PCs, starting with a blade barrier and following up with melee attacks with its hammer. The Wriggling Man keeps in motion, flying around the room invisibly as a move action after each time he casts an attack spell on the PCs each round so that it’s difficult to track his position. The Wriggling Man tries to avoid melee combat if possible, but if his magic manages to incapacitate a character, he won’t be able to resist approaching to engulf the poor PC.

Morale If the Wriggling Man’s contingency activates, he uses dimension door to retreat to a safe area. He waits until he’s recovered, then casts dimension door to return to this room to start the attack anew—this time he fights to the death.

STATISTICS

Str 10, Dex 22, Con 16, Int 22, Wis 16, Cha 8
Base Atk +8; CMB +8 (+16 grapple); CMD 31
Feats Arcane Armor Training, Combat Casting, Combat Expertise, Craft Magic Arms and Armor, Craft Wondrous Item, Dodge, Greater Spell Focus, Improved Initiative, Light Armor Proficiency, Quicken Spell, Scribe Scroll, Spell Focus (transmutation), Toughness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Bluff +16, Fly +26, Knowledge (arcana) +26, Knowledge (local) +26, Knowledge (nobility) +26, Perception +28, Sense Motive +28, Spellcraft +26, Stealth +31
Languages Abyssal, Aklo, Common, Draconic, Sylvan, Terran, Undercommon
SQ arcane bond (staff), contingency, physical enhancement (Dex +4), tenacious
Combat Gear staff of transmutation; Other Gear +4 fire resistant leather armor, amulet of natural armor +2, headband of mental prowess +2 (Int [fly], Wis), ring of invisibility, ring of protection +2, portable hole (contains a small library, a reading desk, and all of his spellbooks—these books contain all of the wizard spells in the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook save for Divination and Necromancy spells)

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Contingency

If the Wriggling Man’s hit points drop below 30, a dimension door activates.

Discorporate (Su)

The Wriggling Man can collapse his body into a shapeless swarm of worms as a free action. He drops all held, worn, and carried items, and his Strength score changes to 1. He functions as a true swarm while discorporated, and has a reach of 0 feet (his space remains unchanged). While discorporated, he loses all of his defensive abilities but gains all of the standard swarm traits. He also loses his slam attack and all special abilities and special attacks, but can make a swarm attack that inflicts 5d6 points of damage. He can reform into his true form as a full-round action, as long as he has at least 1 hit point—doing so provokes an attack of opportunity.

Engulf (Ex)

If the Wriggling Man successfully grapples a foe, he can engulf that foe as soon as the attempt to grapple succeeds. He then sends a large number of the worms that comprise his body to swarm over the grappled creature. He can only engulf one target per round. These worms inflict 5d6 points of damage per round. The damage caused by an engulf attack is treated as swarm damage for the purposes of what creatures it can affect. Any creature damaged by this engulf attack is also subjected to distraction, and must make a DC 21 Fortitude save or be nauseated for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Grab (Ex)

The Wriggling Man can use his grab attack on targets that are no more than one size category larger than himself.

Tenacious (Ex)

The Wriggling Man gains a +8 racial bonus on CMB checks made to grapple a foe, rather than the normal +4 racial bonus granted to most creatures with the grab special attack. In addition, he gains a +4 racial bonus to his CMD.

Worm That Walks Traits

The Wriggling Man has no discernable anatomy, and is not subject to critical hits or flanking. He can be damaged normally by weapons (such blows scattering worms or temporarily disrupting a portion of its body), but damage is mitigated normally by fast healing and damage reduction. Reducing him to 0 hit points forces him to discorporate—at 0 hit points he is staggered, and at negative hit points he is dying. He is immune to any spell or effect that targets a specific number of creatures (including single-target spells such as disintegrate), with the exception of such spells and effects generated by himself, which treat him as a single creature if he so chooses. Mind-affecting effects that target single creatures also function normally against him since his individual components share one hivemind in common. He takes half again as much damage (+50%) from spells or effects that affect an area, such as splash weapons and many evocation spells. The Wriggling Man is susceptible to high winds—treat him as a Fine creature for the purposes of determining the effects of wind.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder 36: Sound of a Thousand Screams. Copyright 2010, Paizo Publishing LLC. Author: Richard Pett