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.
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.
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!
- Death Tyrant
- Animated Armor
- Carrion Crawler <———
- Rug of Smothering
- Bugbear Chief
- Vine Blight
- Twig Blight
- Needle Blight
- 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…