Given that:

  • A party character (human/wereraven gloomstalker ranger) got kidnapped and had an experiment done on her, during which she had six red worms implanted in his body (the worms clung to her heart, making her sick and unable to change her shape to raven);
  • Some comments suggested this is not from the CoS book, and the DM probably created this situation;
  • The party as a whole is willing to help our ally heal, and the DM is receptive to ideas if those are creative and have no obvious downsides or side effects;
  • Other players are dragonborn druid (me), dwarf paladin, tiefling bard, tiefling barbarian, half elf warlock, aasimar sorcerer. All lvl 7.

What spells or actions would help fight these body parasites?

What the group thought so far:

  1. Attempting a surgery, together with the paladin; we are both good in medicine and could probably go through the saving throws required;
  2. Acting as a good druid and looking for herbs that are known to kill helminths, like neem, triphala or clover; I don't know if those exist in Barovia, so this course of action could be ruled straight out;
  3. Casting stone skin on the victim in an attempt to make the parasites' teeth break (the RAW says that the person's flesh would become hard as stone, what is not clear is whether internal tissues count as "flesh" or only skin and muscles);
  4. Use healing magic (like lesser restoration) that explicitly cure diseases and conditions, but it's not written anywhere whether parasites count as disease or not.

Would any of those ideas work, or is there a spell/course of action we did not anticipate?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think the edits will change my answer. The only thing that could/would is if you know what creature these Red Worms are. But even with that, your DMs implementation of them may be homebrew. Having said that, this edit definitely takes the idea generation out which should reopen it. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 18, 2019 at 15:04
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Reduce yourself and enlarge the parasites. Then, one should be able to (with a running start) tackle parasites with ease. ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Jul 18, 2019 at 15:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, mildly related on whether or not infesting worms/critters count as a disease: Kyuss Worms \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Jul 18, 2019 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ FYI, you now have enough rep to join Role-playing Games Chat if you want to go into idea generation with us here :) \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 18, 2019 at 16:39

2 Answers 2


You're going to have to ask your DM

There is nothing in the rules about Baba Lysaga being able to do this - whether it's the red worm implantation (what are red worms anyway?) or that they'd prevent polymorph.

You're going to need to talk to your DM about what this is and what you can do. Unfortunately, we can't help you.

  • \$\begingroup\$ We have no problems with our DM - I suspected this plot was either a nerf or more probably a plot hook, which is normal in our dynamic as it forces the group to come up with ideas... We usually have fun with this. I just wanted to have some clever idea that wouldn't take much of a imagination stretch to work. \$\endgroup\$
    – SieluLintu
    Jul 17, 2019 at 21:41
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @vbastard ah, in that case we're not the right place for this. Idea canvassing is much better suited for a forum or once you've got 20 rep you can join our Role-playing Games Chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 17, 2019 at 21:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @VBAstard I removed the section about DM concerns. Glad you're having fun! \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 18, 2019 at 15:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ You have one question with three upvotes; one more upvote will give you access to chat. \$\endgroup\$
    – Davo
    Jul 18, 2019 at 16:00

This looks like plot device magic.

That is, there's no "standard" monster / trap / spell / notoriously unsanitary inn that gives you Red Worms of Being Unable to Polymorph. This is something the DM has chosen to inflict on you, which they might do for any of several reasons:

  1. As a puzzle. This is basically how you're approaching it in this question: as a problem to be solved using the tools your characters have available. (Both "cut you open and remove the bugs" and "gather herbs to make a worm-killing potion" are good starting points, at least.) In this case you need to pay close attention to any details about the problem the DM gives you, and try things to see what kind of obstacles you run into.

  2. As a plot hook. That is, it's a problem to be solved but you don't have the tools you need; you will subsequently be given the chance to go get them, or meet someone who can help. In this case you need to be asking every NPC and looking in every library and apothecary's shop and witch's hut until you find the hook. (I've done this as a DM; I had two PCs get an infection from messing around in some caves, and then they met a doctor, a priest, and an alchemist who all proposed various cures which required them to go to dangerous places and do adventurer stuff.)

  3. As a plot complication. You're doing that one Iron Man movie where Tony Stark wrecks his suit and is stuck in a small rural town and has to storm the bad guy's compound using stuff he can buy at the hardware store. The point isn't for you to stop and solve the problem; it's to do other stuff you need to do, with the additional handicap of being unable to change form. (This is a variant of the fairly standard scenario where you get thrown in jail without your weapons or spellbooks.)

  4. Because you're being nerfed. Wereravens come with two very game-breaking powers: immunity to mundane damage, and flight. The flight in particular trivializes many problems ("You must cross the Mississippi River, but it's full of man-eating hippos and the only bridge is guarded by a murderous bandit gang led by--" "Fine, I fly across."), and both of them are problematic when only one person in the party has them. Perhaps they're being taken from you. In this case you're not getting your wings back, at least not until the party is high enough level that the advantages no longer matter much. You can accept that, or you can open a discussion with the group about it and try to work out a compromise.

You need to know which one it is, because a correct solution to any of these is an inappropriate response to the others. If you think it's #3 or #4 and say "Fine, I guess I can't transform, sucks to be me" and it's actually #2, then you're going to miss whatever plot hook is being offered this way. On the other hand if you think it's #1 and it's not, then you're (totally inadvertently!) stalling the entire campaign while you talk about anti-helminthic herbs. And if you think it's #2 and it's really #4, your character will be walking up to random strangers and yelling "I've got worms! Does anyone know how to cure me?" for a long time.

It's pretty reasonable to ask the DM something like "Is this a problem you intend us to try to solve ourselves, or do we just have to wait for a solution to present itself, or is it really incurable?" The goal isn't to get them to hand you a solution, but just to know whether you're derailing the game.


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