Death Worm

Small monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 44 (8d6 + 16)
Speed 20 ft., burrow 20 ft.

9 (–1) 15 (+2) 14 (+2) 1 (–5) 11 (+0) 3 (–4)

Damage Immunities lightning
Senses tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Detect Life. The death worm can sense the general direction of creatures that aren’t Constructs or Undead within 1 mile of it.
  • Discharge. When a creature ends its turn within 5 feet of a death worm, the creature takes 2 (1d4) lightning damage.
  • Dreaming Venom. The death worm’s poison influences the dreams of those poisoned by it. A creature that succumbs to this poison has disadvantage on Wisdom saving throws and suffers strange dreams. Every 24 hours that elapse, it must repeat the saving throw, reducing its hp maximum by 2 (1d4) on a failure. The poison is neutralized on a success. The target dies if dreaming venom reduces its hp maximum to 0. This reduction lasts until the poison is neutralized.
  • Lightning Arc. When a creature starts its turn within 15 feet of at least two death worms, the creature must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or take 5 (2d4) lightning damage. The creature has disadvantage on the saving throw if it is within 15 feet of three or more death worms.
  • Regeneration. The death worm regains 3 hp at the start of its turn if it has at least 1 hp.


  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) piercing damage plus 2 (1d4) lightning damage and 4 (1d8) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or succumb to the worm’s venom (see the Dreaming Venom trait).
  • Spit Poison. Ranged Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, range 15/30 ft., one creature. Hit: 9 (2d8) poison damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw or succumb to the worm’s venom (see the Dreaming Venom trait).


Death worms are found in high-altitude deserts and scrublands where they can be a deadly hazard to the unwary.

The Worm Electric. Death worms gather lightning within their bodies and discharge it to kill foes. This discharge is especially deadly when death worms gather in squirms.

Death worms are attracted to the minuscule bits of lightning contained in living creatures, and a living creature simply walking through a region containing death worms on a particularly dry day is often enough to attract a worm attack.

The first sign of the worms’ presence is small, random arcs of lightning skittering across the surface of the ground. Wise travelers quickly leave the area.

Mysterious Origins. Some scholars suggest the death worm is the larval form of the behir, but none have found proof. However, death worms separated from their kind may grow to immense sizes.

From the Gods. Humanoids living near death worms treat them with respect and, in some cases, even mystical reverence. To them, the worms are the messengers of the gods, and surviving for days in regions filled with the creatures is often a mark of adulthood.

Alchemical Uses. Many seek out death worms for alchemical research, using their poison or conductive flesh for lucid-dreaming elixirs, deadly poisons, and various lightning-based spell components. Locals also use death worm venom as a food preservative, especially in the fermentation of animal’s milk and vegetables, allowing for increased food stores through the harshest seasons.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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