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Crawling claw

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki
Crawling claw
First appearanceDragon #32 (December 1979)

In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game and various other fantasy settings, the crawling claw is an undead or construct creature which consists of the severed hand, paw, or claw of a deceased creature, animated to come alive. Its appearance is that of a severed hand which crawls on its fingers.

Publication history[edit]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st edition (1977–1988)[edit]

The crawling claw first appeared in the first edition in Dragon #32 (December 1979).[1]

Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd edition (1989–1999)[edit]

The crawling claw appeared in the second edition in the adventure module Shadowdale (1989). The creature then appeared in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989),[2] reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).[3]

Dungeons & Dragons 3.0 edition (200–2002) and Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 edition (2003–2007)[edit]

The crawling claw appeared in the third edition in Monsters of Faerûn (2001),[4] and Lost Empires of Faerûn (2005) in version 3.5.[5]

Dungeons & Dragons 4th edition (2008–20014)[edit]

The crawling claw appeared in the fourth edition in Open Grave (2009).

Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition (2014–)[edit]

The crawling claw appeared in the fifth edition Monster Manual (2014).


Crawling claws are created by necromancy and are often used as guards by their creators. Crawling claws attack by leaping at, punching, strangling, and scratching their enemies. Though sometimes solitary, they are often created and travel in groups, which are able to attack by overwhelming foes. Being small and silent, crawling claws also have the benefit of stealth. They may be able to open doors and pull levers and might also be used as laboratory assistants. Although not attached to a brain, crawling claws are nonetheless able to follow spoken and telepathic orders from their creator. They cannot speak, and are neutral in alignment.


Screen Rant compiled a list of the game's "10 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Monsters, Ranked" in 2018, calling this one of the weakest, saying "At best, you can use a bunch of them to act as a distraction or as a screen while another villain prepares a spell or trap."[6]


  1. Dragon #32 - "Dragon's Bestiary," Ed Greenwood
  2. Conners, William, et al. Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (TSR, 1989)
  3. Stewart, Doug, ed. Monstrous Manual (TSR, 1994).
  4. Wyatt, James and Rob Heinsoo. Monstrous Compendium: Monsters of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2001)
  5. Baker, Richard, Ed Bonny, and Travis Stout. Lost Empires of Faerûn (Wizards of the Coast, 2005)
  6. "Dungeons & Dragons: 10 Most Powerful (And 10 Weakest) Monsters, Ranked". ScreenRant. May 20, 2018.

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