Is the Bebilith's rotting bite poison?


Rules Questions


As the thread title, cheers.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Nope, it is a supernatural ability. Poisons are extraordinary abilities that are called out specifically as being poison.


Well, if you HAD to decide one way or another, think about it this way: diseases are caused by either viruses or bacteria, whereas poisoning is caused by toxic agents infiltrating the body. Since it's described as a 'rotting bite', I'm inclined to suggest it's bacteria-based, and thus disease rather than poison.

Of course, this is Dungeons and...I mean, this is Pathfinder, so either could also be caused by MAGIC (a.k.a. tell real-world laws of reality to go cry in a corner), so it could just be that too. =)


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Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
PRD wrote:


Rot (Su) A bebilith's bite causes a horrible withering and weakening of the flesh, resulting in a hideous melting and foul rotting effect. This catastrophic withering begins on the round the creature is bitten and continues for another 4 rounds thereafter, for 5 rounds of withering in all. Each round the rot persists, the target must succeed on a DC 23 Fortitude save or take 2 points of Constitution damage. If the target makes two consecutive saving throws in a row, the effect is cured. Heal can also halt the rot effect. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Quoted from PRD.

It's neither a disease nor a poison. It's a supernatural effect. It's no different than any other supernatural ability. If it were a disease, then it wouldn't be cured with Heal it would be cured with Remove Disease. If it were a poison, it would be cured with Cure Poison. Heal is a healing effect spell. The ability is basically a supernatural ability to make your flesh rot, not by bacteria, but as if you were rapidly aging (that's the best way I can explain it).

The best visualization I can think of is the guy in Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, who drank from the wrong cup and aged and rotted while he was still alive and turned into dust when he hit the ground. Or, if you prefer, the glasses guy from the first Indiana Jones movie, who's face melted off from looking at the Ark of the Covenant. Either is a good visual, one for melting and one for withering.

Either way, neither of the effects in the movies were disease or poison, they were supernatural curse effects. Honestly, I think the ability would make more sense if a Remove Curse spell rather than Heal solved the issue.

The Exchange

Compare and contrast the rod of withering, which is also an ability-damaging effect that is neither disease nor poison - just magic. Although if the GM decides that it's a curse, he/she is on safe ground too - it'd follow the precedent set by mummy rot.


Way back before the Bestiary 1 was released there was a discussion about monsters whose abilities didn't quite match their flavour, and I put up that the bebilith is supposed to be a hunter of lesser demons, but his strongest weapon is poison (in the 3.5 version), despite demons being immune to poison.

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