Best of the Beastiary, D&D

Carrion Crawler: Literally a Giant Maggot (Best of the Bestiary)

If I could delete this thing’s design from my memory, I would. There are very few cases where this is a good thing.

Lore: Where There is Death, There is a Meal

This monster’s flavor text is definitely not meant to weave a thrilling narrative. Hell, it can barely even be used as a side quest! It exists purely as a tool for the DM to set up encounters with.

Carrion Crawlers are hunters of the dead. They will go to places where lots of dead bodies can be found, as well as a location where other predators. Typically, they will wait a long time for their prey to reach them, as they are very patient. They will attack anyone who enters their territory or interrupts their feasting.

That’s about it. Three paragraphs explaining that they like to hunt around abandoned battlefields and like isolationism. Effective for setting up an encounter? Yes. Deep or interesting? Nope.

Design: Thanks, I Hate It

Huh. After the Aboleth, I didn’t think another monster would be able to reach ‘nightmare fuel’ status. But if I’ve learned anything while writing this blog, it’s that I am more often than not wrong.

Monster_Manual_5e_-_Carrion_Crawler_-_p37
While the eyes are certainly creepy, it’s the teeth that really get me!

These things are equal parts terrifying and awesome! They take the giant insect motif and take it to eleven! It isn’t the most creative design, but it is certainly above average. I absolutely love this design!

Even if I wish I could burn it forever.

Stats: Not Quite the World’s Strongest Maggot

For such an intimidating monster, this thing sure is a bitch!

Their AC and HP are both pretty low, making killing them pretty easy. Plus, their damage is just as pitiful, with their highest being 2d4+2 for their bite attack. Without their multiattack ability and extra paralyzing poison, these guys wouldn’t even be intimidating to a party of level one players.

But they can climb on the ceiling with ease. Which is terrifying.

These guys are pure fodder. Nothing more. The only purpose of these monsters is to kill some time with an encounter on an abandoned battlefield or something.

Conclusion

Carrion Crawlers are decent monsters. Not amazing, not terrible. Just decent. And I get the feeling that’s exactly what the devs had in mind when they made them. You can’t weave an epic tale around them, nor a thrilling boss fight. They’re simple but decently effective fodder.

With that in mind, let’s put them on the Best of the Bestiary!

  1. Beholder
  2. Death Tyrant
  3. Behir
  4. Aboleth
  5. Ankheg
  6. Aarackockra
  7. Azer
  8. Spectator
  9. Cambion
  10. Animated Armor
  11. Banshee
  12. Basilisk
  13. Bulette
  14. Planetar
  15. Carrion Crawler <———
  16. Rug of Smothering
  17. Bugbear Chief
  18. Bugbear
  19. Vine Blight
  20. Twig Blight
  21. Needle Blight
  22. Bullywug
  23. Solar
  24. Deva
  25. Flying Sword

As much as I enjoy their design, I can’t rate them any higher than they are here. Their lore and stats are both pitiful. These guys aren’t meant to be a big, thrilling encounters. The only real value in them is a quick, time-killing battle.

What a waste. That design is pretty good…

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