D&D General How would you use Carrion Crawlers meaningfully?


I wrote an adventure for a previous 3.5 campaign that had a network of interlaced carrion crawler tunnels - with 13 holes leading up to the surface - as the entrance to a vampire's underground lair. The PCs were hunting the vampire, so first they had to crawl into one of the holes, then wriggle around on elbows and knees (that's how cramped the tunnels were) throughout what was effectively a little maze, looking for the one passageway that led further down into the ceiling of the first chamber in the vampire's cavern network. And, of course, as the PCs are crawling around, the 3 or 4 carrion crawlers who live in those passageways (and who already know which tunnels lead where and which connect to others) are maneuvering around so they can attack them from behind, the direction where their weapons aren't pointing.... I made a few larger chambers in the crawler network where paralyzed victims would be dragged away to be eaten and have eggs laid upon their corpses, so the newly-hatched baby crawlers would have some already-decomposing meat to chew upon after breaking out of their rubbery eggs.


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Make them have essentially no limit to how large they can grow, given sufficient food supply. So, if there's a major war or plague or other event that's providing plentiful corpses, they can just keep on eating and growing, gaining a burrow speed, occasionally shedding casts of their exoskeleton, until the largest known versions have stats similar to a purple worm but with multiple 30' reach tentacle attacks instead of a stinger.

Going on the principle of You Are What You Eat, a carrion crawler that had ingested a horde of undead or some plant-monster spore zombies could be terrifying.

Back in 4e campaign, I used amphibious carrion crawlers that had emerged with flooding of a town. They would paralyze then drag prey into the water to drown them. PCs had to follow one of the crawlers through water back to its underground lair to find a missing NPC. Made for an interesting side quest.

I'm going to be including some giant amphibious crawlers as a side encounter in one of the locations in my D23 project - they're going to be something that attacks passing ships...
Another side encounter in a forest is going to have a giant arboreal crawler that hides in the treetops playing ambush predator.



This makes me want to make and run a Call of Cthulhu or Ravenloft adventure called "The Thing in the Attic"


In my Iron Gods game the kobold bard traded in a magic mace at a Kellid trading settlement for a choice of three magic magic items. had the other party members each suggest a minor equivalent item. He declined the stick of spirit wolf summoning/fetching. Someone suggested a magical mount for him to keep up with everybody else. I don't remember the third suggestion.

He went for the reskinned travelling goat figurine of wondrous power, the figurine of carrion crawling.


He is a creation school bard and occasionally magics up a sidecar for his cleric buddy.

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