I'm a part of a homebrew setting 5e game where the real homebrew, outside of lore, is only custom monsters that are rarely made by the DM as he prefers to use normal D&D monsters when he can. In this latest game, he used Swarms of Rot Grubs and one managed to hit me and a turn later dig in.

However, since my character is a werewolf, I questioned how the Grubs got through my skin in the first place as normal swords and spears failed to pierce my hide in the past.

DM ruled it as they do, so I will accept it as such....also helps we're fairly mid-game, so we have someone with lesser restoration.

But I want to know how the internet thinks about this: since the Grubs have no way of hurting me, can they still somehow bypass that Immunity to feast on my heart?

DM allows content up to Tasha's. From what I understand it's the basic version of DnD 5e. Apologies if that doesn't clarify things better.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Null-Walker, by the way: Welcome to the RPGSE! By tagging your question with the game system and version you are using it is more easily searched by other users and we can be sure answers are dealing with the correct game/edition for you. When you get a chance, I encourage you to read more about how this site works by taking our tour or referring to our help center. Again, welcome! \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Feb 2, 2021 at 0:10
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  • \$\begingroup\$ I can't help but wonder what would happen if you received the feather token in the stomach treatment. \$\endgroup\$
    – Joshua
    Feb 3, 2021 at 3:56

1 Answer 1


You are infested but take no damage

A Swarm of Rot Grubs Bite action reads:

Bites. Melee Weapon Attack: +0 to hit, reach 0 ft., one creature in the swarm's space. Hit: The target is infested by 1d4 rot grubs. At the start of each of the target's turns, the target takes 1d6 piercing damage per rot grub infesting it.

Unlike in the case of Injury Based poisons the effect of Bite is not contingent on damage. This is especially clear in that when Bite occurs no damage is actually dealt.

You will, however, be immune to the piercing damage dealt by Bite. So you are infested by grubs but they cannot harm you.

How is being infested relevant?

Being infested matters in two basic ways.
Firstly it is relevant for role play/narrative reasons. There is a degree of body horror to having maggots inside you that could create an interesting scene. People who know you have grubs inside you might be disgusted and your character might be disturbed to feel them inside.

Secondly if you ever cease to be immune to non-magical piercing damage without having first removed the grubs (such as via Lesser Restoration) then you will start to take damage from the grubs. This could be relevant if you ever find a cure for your Lycanthropy.

How can I explain this in-game?
D&D is not a simulator so there are situations where the mechanics conflict with how we narrate the events of the game. It is somewhat paradoxical for your hide to stop swords but be penetrated by some bugs. This can be addressed by designing a narrative that will fit the mechanics.
For example instead of narrating non-magical immunity as "impenetrable skin" you could imagine a more Marvel Wolverine type healing ability. A non-magic sword could still cut you but you would heal the damage before any "real" harm was done. This makes the grubs even creepier because they essentially would be continually eating your flesh and having it regrow around them.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Okay yeah, I understand that. Thanks alot for your input this helps clear things up for me on my end. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 2, 2021 at 0:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ @ThomasMarkov Not so. "Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!" meta.stackexchange.com/help/privileges/edit \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 2, 2021 at 3:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Marvel Wolverine type healing ability" was even explicitly provided as an interpretation of the equivalent-ish Damage Reduction (the 3.5e SRD says "Wounds heal immediately, or the weapon bounces off harmlessly"). \$\endgroup\$
    – minnmass
    Feb 2, 2021 at 4:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DaleM Your addition did not improve the post, it was merely a comment. Please keep comments in the comments, rather than editing a comment into an answer. It's kinda rude. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 2, 2021 at 14:18
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    \$\begingroup\$ Hate to start to walk down this path, but in the exceedingly unlikely situation that I as a GM found myself in this situation, I'd say that they made their way in through a body orfice (eg: nostrils). \$\endgroup\$
    – T.E.D.
    Feb 2, 2021 at 16:46

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