Crawling Claw 5e: Stats and Guide for Players & DMs

Last Updated on November 7, 2023

Crawling Claw Stats

Tiny Undead, Neutral Evil

  • Size:  Tiny
  • Creature Type: Undead
  • Alignment: Neutral Evil
  • STR 13 (+1), DEX 14 (+2), CON 11 (+0), INT 5 (-3), WIS 10 (+0), CHA 4 (-3)
  • AC: 12
  • Hit points: 1d4 (2 avg.)
  • Damage Immunities: Poison
  • Condition Immunities: Charmed, exhaustion, poisoned
  • Speed: 20 ft., climb 20 ft.
  • Skills: History (+12), Perception (+10)
  • Proficiency Bonus: +4
  • Senses: Blindsight 30 ft. (blind beyond this radius), Passive Perception 10
  • Languages: Understands common but can’t speak
  • Challenge Rating: 0


Turn Immunity. This means the crawling claw is immune to all effects that turn undead.


Claw attack. This melee weapon attack has a +3 to hit, a 5-foot reach, and does just 1d4+1 (3avg) bludgeoning or slashing damage. The crawling claw gets to choose which kind of damage it does.

What Is a Crawling Claw in DnD 5e?

The crawling claw is an undead hand possessed of all the malice a dark wizard could fill the thing with, capable of hanging onto the ceiling just above the party’s heads. It is a small, weak enemy designed for surprise encounters or a surprise encounter for a low-level party.

The crawling claw is not a powerful monster, nor is it especially dangerous on its own, but it is a creature with a lot of history behind it both in D&D and the horror genre in general. 

That gives it a high potential plot-relevance score, which is enough to make any monster worth reading up on.

Besides, you can always go the Addams Family route and keep a crawling claw as a party pet!

Variations of Crawling Claw

The official lore behind the crawling claw is a little confused. The description in the Monster Manual discusses a large variety of traits, some of which are contradictory and many of which reference an unknown necromantic ritual essential to creating the creature.

From what I can piece together, the ritual requires the severed hand of a corpse and binding the life force of the creature to which the hand belonged to the hand itself, thus creating the necromantic horror that is the crawling claw. 

The ritual works best if the original creature was a murderer (some lines even imply the original creature must be a murderer), though that raises more questions than answers.

The official description also lists so-called living claws, which were the severed hand of a murderer still alive. These crawling things were animated by the spirit of the murderer and could reattach themselves to the original living flesh. 

Finally, enterprising DMs might also consider a propagating swarm of crawling claws. While the tactics of a crawling claw swarm will be discussed below, a variation on these undead creatures might include crawling claws intent on tearing off your hands, creating more of their ilk.

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