These dark green maggots, rather then eat flesh munch on paper. A certain kind of paper;the kind that many countries choose to make their banknotes out of. A few of these in the wrong place can reduce somebody to a pauper, or if in enough numbers bring doom to a bank if they somehow get into it's well-sealed vault.
Most maggots only eat dead or diseased flesh and cause living creatures little or no harm. But like the maggots of the screwworm, these nasty little things target living people with their oversized jaws. If they land on prey and are not brushed off in seconds, they burrow in like ticks and cause a lot of pain to their unwilling host.
Like spiders, these grow webs and like spiders they eat small insects that get stuck in thenm. Although if the fly of their own kind gets stuck in their web, they will cut it loose rather then eat it. There are many of them, their webs are large and sticky and their bite mildly venomous. One bite causes little harm, but if enough bite at once they can paralyse and then consume an adult human. Rumours of giant versions of these are most likely untrue.
If plucked from the rotting body that they inhabit and properly washed to remove decaying bodily fluids, they taste very nice indeed and are healthy and a good meal to eat. Although you need a lot of them to fill your stomach, and if you don't wash them first you can come down with a very bad case of D at best, and a deadly disease at worst. Some who sell them in the markets don't wash them first. Caveat Emptor.
These little creatures developed a defence against birds and other predators that saw them as a threat, by having chemicals in their blood that if exposed blow them up, burning the predator's mouth in the process. Although they are too small to cause any real danger to a human, they can be used in the same way as a match or a tinder box.
These maggots will only grow in the bodies of those who are truely dead and beyond Undeath. Therefore, a dead body with these growing upon it will not rise to trouble the living. Certain cultures might only bury the dead when these maggots appear in their flesh, to avoid the Undead.
These nasty little biters do prey on the living, but oddly enough, only on the bad. How their flies know who is good and who is bad is unknown, one myth is that they are the messengers of a God of Justice, another that they were created by a very powerful and very moral archmage when he was on his deathbed. Few people are totally good, and they might wake up with one or two of these things gnawing on them in a non vital spot. But a bad person might get an outbreak of thirty or more, and someone evil enough, who has done something that the vast majority of people think is bad, could end up dying, riddled with these things.
If you are a magic user, eating these will boost your magical power, but at a cost to your health as they are mildly poisonous. So it is a bad idea to give in to the temptation to eat too many at once, or you will end up very ill indeed and using all the magical power you just gained in a powerful healing spell before you end up unable to do anything but lie there in your own sick. So using them to gain the power of an archmage, in effect cannot be done. You can safely eat one or two a day without any serious ill effects, more then that and sickness starts to kick in.
Assassins have been known to seed a bowl of rice with these and trick the target into eating it. Any not chewed throughly will not only survive the stomach acid but start nibbling holes in the stomacj lining, growing as they do until they eat the person from the inside out within only hours. If the infection is found out about in time, there are healing potions that will deal with the problem.
These have only been encountered within the eyes of decaying Undead, and the Undead do not mind them in the least and will in fact defend them. Should one of these be plucked from the eye, the Undead, which does not act as if blind in the least despite having maggots in it's eyes, is suddenly unable to see in that eye. Clearly the maggots are somehow acting as eyes for the Undead, and are anything but parasites to them.
Instead of feeding upon flesh, these things feed on metal. After a dead knight is lovingly buried in full armour with a sword by his loving family, or a monarch is buried with Funeral Gold and Grave Silver and royal regalia, if somehow the tomb escapes the attentions of grave robbers through honest guards, earthquakes that bury the tomb or sheer luck, then given enough time these maggots will begin feeding on the metal. So by the time the PCs find the tomb and decide to loot it, what was decent armour will be tattered and torn and tomb treasures will be rendered useless.Grave robbers hate these things with a passion.
These fly around at head hight. Depending on the GM, they can be anything from a harmless piece of the description of a scene, to maggots with huge teeth whose favourite food is a human eyeball, to somewhere in between.
Harmless to humans and animal life, these little maggots feed only on decaying meat and they glow with a bright green glow. If enough are gathered together they make a very effective torch, and be used to shed light in caves, underground cities, mines and other places where to light a fire or even cause a spark might cause a deadly explosion from methane or other flammable gas. If starved the light grows weak and if killed, they stop glowing altogether so for the best results, they need to be fed with a hunk of meat not fit for human consumption. This smells, so it is bad manners to take torches of this kind into someone's house or shop without permission from the owner.
Another of these maggots that are harmless to living things, if thrown upon dead flesh including Undead flesh, even that of powerful and seemingly alive Vampires, they burrow in and eat it with a passion, causing the Undead great pain. As well as a test for Undead, they can also be used in surgery as they will not harm living tissue.
These taste horrible and eating even one makes the eater throw up, thus stopping those creatures that prey upon maggots from eating them. If someone is unlucky enough to be poisoned, eating one of these will cause the poison to be vomited out. Although it's not pleasent so is best done as a last resort to remove deadly or crippling poison.
These bright red maggots when eaten by humans create a buzz. How strong the effects are depend on the GM. At one end of the scale these might be sold perfectly legally in a pub, without ill effects unless one eats a lot of them all at once. At the other end of the scale, eating one of these might be enough to cause incurable insanity rendering the person a danger to themselves and others.Or they could be an illegal drug that many people can ingest without harm, that causes horrible damage in some people.
These prey upon trees and upon ill or injured Ents, and Ents fear them more then a swipe from an axe. A healthy Ent can reach in with a branch and pluck them out before much harm can be done, but a sick Ent may end with them devouring it's core wood, eating it alive from the inside out. When eating normal trees, they render the wood useless for everything but kindling and sawdust, so they are no more liked by humans then they are by Ents.
These are like tapeworms in a Dragon's stomach;if the Dragon is otherwise in good health, they normally cause very little harm to the point that the Dragon is unaware of them. Only an ill or very hungry Dragon will suffer ill effects from them. Should a Dragon die violently in combat, these boa constrictor sized maggots sense it is dead, eat their way rapidly out of the body and attempt to fasten on and devour the Dragon's killer or killers. If killed by another Dragon, they are easily torn apart by it's talons, roasted or otherwise killed by it's breath weapon, or the Dragon just flies out of range.
PCs, however, will have a heavy fight on their hands when they least expect it, and when their strength, magic and healing potions have often been greatly depleted in killing the Dragon. Often they will be weighed down with loot from the Dragon's hoard when six or seven of these things burst out of the body and attack them;a good final adversary for a cruel GM to use against his or her players. They will never burst out of a living Dragon, as like all good parasites, they avoid killing their host.
These are no bigger then normal maggots, but they feed on rock, and over enough time can render caves, mines and the foundations of buildings unsafe. Whilst they feed very slowly at the rate of an inch a year, when things come crashing down they can cause catastrophic damage and loss of life.
(Plot Hook-a villian is intent on introducing these to a country without them and the PCs must stop him or her.)
Unremarkable to look at unless the person is a skilled entomologist who knows all about all manner of bugs, if enough of these are caught, crushed and mixed with various other things, the result is a potent truth potion rendering anyone who swallows it unable to lie for hours. It is not absolute, the person may outright refuse to answer a question, but if he or she does answer it must tell the truth. Certain court systems could use this potion to prevent perjury.
To protect themselves from predators, these maggots are covered with spiky poisonous hairs. Even a small touch causes an itchy and painful when scratched wound that is prone to infection. Too much of this poison can paralyse and kill.
These massive, slow moving single maggots can devour an entire body with a few bites of their jaw-filled mouths. They survive by scavanging upon the dead and by burrowing into the ground to launch surprize attacks upon the living, lopping off a limb with their first attack. They defend themselves with long sharp poison hairs as long as spears and almost as hard to cut. Those who survive and pupate become huge hunting wasps that prey on giant spiders, but most are mistaken for spawn from hell and slain by humans before they reach this stage.
Eat one of these little blue maggots and you fall asleep for an hour. Up to twelve can be eaten safely in a 24 hour period, providing a twelve hour sleep that is difficult to wake from. If more then that are eaten, it becomes a poison. Eating more then twenty at once is deadly, stopping the heart and creating a sleep that one will never awake from.
Like ant lions but much larger, these bury themselves in soft sand to ambush passing desert mice which they grab and eat with their sharp jaws. Although not poisonous, they can give a nasty bite to a human if said human puts a foot wrong, a bite strong enough to pierce a sandal, and it is easy to get the wound infected if it is not quickly cleaned with water and bandaged up.
Most maggots if they survive turn into flies, but this one starts as a fly and then pupates and turns into a maggot. Harmless to living humans, it is being studied by those masters of magic who are trying to create a potion that can reverse the efects of aging and thus create eternal life.
Many maggots are parasites, but this one is capable if it can crawl onto the head of sleeping animal, or indeed human, of possessing it by injecting a long sharp spike into the brain. It then uses it's captive creature for several days as a bodyguard for it's egg sac, attacking anything or anybody who comes too close. When it detaches the creature or human it possesses normally falls down dead, it's brain destroyed by the parasite.
If stepped on, these inch long maggots explode with a blue flash and a loud crack. Sold in some places as fireworks, they can also be placed on the floors of homes and other places to prevent anybody from sneaking up on the occupant. Children often use these as toys.
These protect themselves against predators and parasites with armour so hard that it is possible to stomp on this and unless you're in armour, you won't even hurt it. It makes a good slingshot, easily able to crack a close window or bruise somebody.
The maggot stage of Fire Flies, these should not be looked at too closely, as they are capable of emitting once per day a spout of acid, that can blind if it hits an eye, which is the target that these maggots aim for. They don't do this out of malice of course, they are just protecting themselves, but they have been known to hurt children who mistook them for Stone Maggots or Cracker Bugs who picked them up.
When these infest bodies of animals and occasionly, humans, if in a cool, dark place they just devour the body like normal maggots. If the area is hot and dry and the body is full of maggots, then acting as one they make the decaying body get to it's feet and walk to the nearest cool dark place, causing it if human to be mistaken for a zombie or ghoul, causing panic within the region. On one occasion after a major battle, Walker flies laid eggs all over the bodies of the dead soldiers, causing an entire army seemingly of the Undead to rise, swords often clutched from rigor mortis in dead hands, and walk for over a mile to the cool of the nearby woods were they sank down again.The terror that caused for miles around can be imagined; in fact, both sides saw it as a sign that the gods were fed up with the war, and made peace within a matter of days.
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? Responses (8)
This is quite well done and far more creative than I would have thought possible given the narrowness of the topic. The wyrm worm is my favorite, definitely a nasty surprise for a dragon hunting party.
I am on the same page as Mystic in saying this came out far better than I had originally thought by reading the title. Some are really good while others just do not seem to hit with me very well. For instance #4 just seems off. I may just not be fond of it or it may be written in a strange way.
Well no flies on you....just maggots.
I am with mystic and Mourn this is a surprisingly varied and creative list. If I were to write it I would shoot for a greater consistency of tone and perspective. You seem to jump back and forth between the vague verisimilitude of in-game entries and the hard facts presented with a mind towards narrative wiggle room that defines RPG specific content. A comparison of Numbers 12 and 13 is good example of how this write-up lacks a constant tone or perspective.
Still a “fun” bunch of maggots.
An interesting thirty that goes kinda well witht he 30 flies sub I saw earlier. I can't help but notice how the sub feels a little incomplete, with the life cycles of these maggots only half fulfilled. Seeing an expansion in the future with how some of these maggots (Such as #1 & #8) would functon as full fledged flies.
That bit aside it's a unique list, and useful for GM's dealing with a lot of necomantic sub plots int heir games, or simply wishign to spice up the bloated, fly encrusted corpses PC's tend to stumble across now and then.
I really like Wyrm Worms. That *would* be a great post dragon-fight scene. The PCs collapse to rest, chunks of dead dragon all around and suddenly...ATTACK OF THE GIANT TAPE WORMS FROM HELL!!!!! (Do these qualify as maggots though? Or are they tape-worms?)
A few of these, seem inconsistent, as has been mentioned, but overall a creepy and creative list!
I also like Rice Maggots!
Would not have thought it possible to come up with this many maggots :)
Some of the entries could do with trimming
Agree with the others, and this is a good, creative 30.