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Mummy rot was a condition inflicted upon victims by the touch of a mummy. It was usually fatal unless cured.[5][2][6] Mummy rot was a disease that occurred in various strains and could be natural or magical (like a curse) in nature, which required different methods to cure.


The primary way to contract this disease was to be successfully touched by a mummy.[5][2][6] There was also a necromancy spell called mummy touch that gave the caster the ability to bestow a form of the disease on a victim by touch, while rendering the caster immune to mummy rot for the duration of the spell.[7]


Mummy rot came in different strains. One version immediately prevented all magical cure spells and slowed normal healing, requiring a recuperative period ten times the normal duration for a wound to heal. As the disease progressed, it slowly rotted parts of the victim's body until they sloughed off or fell off, permanently disfiguring them, and it was ultimately fatal in one to six months. Upon death, either by mummy rot or by mummy violence, the victim completely rotted away in one hour.[5][8] The form of mummy rot bestowed by the mummy touch spell was identical to this strain except that corpses did not rot away after death.[7]

A more virulent strain was caused by a magical curse delivered by a mummy's touch. One minute after succumbing to the curse, the victim's constitution was weakened and their appearance began to degrade. Healing spells cast with sufficient skill could overcome the curse and heal wounds, but unless the curse was removed, the victim would soon die as their constitution withered and they turned into a sandy dust, leaving nothing to resurrect.[9]

Another version of the disease attacked the lungs, slowly filling them with dust until the victim asphyxiated.[4] Healing magic was only half as effective on a victim of this strain, and if their endurance was not up to the challenge, necrotic tissue damage (immune to all types of healing) started to spread. If the victim managed to fight off the disease, only then could the necrotic damage be healed; otherwise death was swift.[6]


The simplest way to prevent mummy rot was to stay away from mummies. Barring that, a protection from evil spell could increase the odds of avoiding a mummy attack. Ironically, casting cure disease on a mummy temporarily rendered it incapable of rotting its victims.[10] The drawback to this tactic was that cure disease required the caster to successfully touch the mummy and possibly contract the disease.


The cures were as varied as the strains of the disease. For the first strain mentioned above, the victim first had to imbibe an herbal tea made from the mothersleaf plant. Then a cure disease spell would completely remove the rot and allow healing magic to be fully effective. If a victim died of this strain, cure disease and raise dead had to be cast on the corpse, in that order, within an hour or the body rotted beyond hope.[8]

For the curse version of mummy rot, a break enchantment or remove curse spell had to be cast on the victim, and then a cure disease could rid their body of the rot.[11]

The last strain mentioned above could be fought off by particularly tough individuals without the aid of magic.[4] Otherwise, a cure disease ritual could be used to cleanse the subject, but not without risk of injury or even death.[12]

The ornamental stone violine was known to be proof against at least one strain of mummy rot. The victim had merely to touch one of these gems and it would remove the disease completely, consuming the gem in the process.[13] If held continuously against the skin, irtios crystals prevented mummy rot from decaying the flesh.[14]

A water of Eldath potion could also cure some forms of mummy rot.[15] Of course, stronger magics like wish or miracle could also be used to cure a victim of mummy rot.


See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Monte Cook, Jonathan Tweet, Skip Williams (July 2003). Dungeon Master's Guide v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 292. ISBN 0-7869-2889-1.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 190. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Mike Mearls, Jeremy Crawford, Christopher Perkins (2014-09-30). Monster Manual 5th edition. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 228–229. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 James Wyatt (June 2008). Dungeon Master's Guide 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 49. ISBN 978-0-7869-4880-2.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gary Gygax (December 1977). Monster Manual, 1st edition. (TSR, Inc), p. 72. ISBN 0-935696-00-8.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Mike Mearls, Stephen Schubert, James Wyatt (June 2008). Monster Manual 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 192. ISBN 978-0-7869-4852-9.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 93. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 80. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  9. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 190–191. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  10. Ed Greenwood et al. (1989). Lords of Darkness. (TSR, Inc), p. 85. ISBN 0-88038-622-3.
  11. Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 191. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  12. Rob Heinsoo, Andy Collins, James Wyatt (June 2008). Player's Handbook 4th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 303. ISBN 0-7869-4867-1.
  13. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 53. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  14. Ed Greenwood, Eric L. Boyd (1996). Volo's Guide to All Things Magical. (TSR, Inc), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0446-1.
  15. Julia Martin, Eric L. Boyd (March 1996). Faiths & Avatars. (TSR, Inc.), p. 61. ISBN 978-0786903849.