Crawling Clam

The third level is water themed, and I was running a bit dry (ha, ha, ha) on sea creatures to fill out some of the rooms. "Well, why not clams?" I think to myself. "What's more terrifying than a clam?"  Thus, the Crawling Clam is born.

Then, today, I'm reading about "World of Synnibarr."  It's some RPG that came out in the 90's, and was panned for having grizzly bears with laser eyes and fire-breathing clams.  All I'm thinking at this point is, "Why didn't _I_ think of fire breathing clams?"  I don't know anything about the guy's rules, but his setting sounds awesome.

Anyhow here's my lesser, not-fire-breathing clam:

Crawling Clam
No. Enc: 1d8 (2d12)
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 90’ (30’)
Armor Class: -2 (tentacles 3)
Hit Dice: 3 (tentacles 5 hp)
Attacks: 4
Damage: 1d6 each
Save: F3
Morale: 8
Hoard Class: See below
XP: 80

Crawling clams are 5’ long bivalves that drag themselves along damp dungeon corridors using their four 10’ long tentacles.  Each tentacle is tipped with a wicked claw, and in combat the clam will use all four to attack its prey.

If players attack the tentacles, they are AC 3 and have 5 hp each. A single blow at the tentacles will not damage more than one, and after absorbing 5 hp damage are either severed or crushed beyond use. Damage to the tentacles should not be applied to the body’s hit points

Attacking the clam’s shelled body is more difficult – the shell gives it AC -2.

If the shell is pried open, the body is only somewhat reminiscent of a clam, with tentacles protruding from the thick meaty foot muscle, and a drooling, bald human-like head nestled in the center of its gills. Below the idiot head are a pair of tiny arms and legs.

20% of crawling clams will be clutching a 100 gp white pearl in their tiny hands, and a further 5% will hold a 500 gp black pearl.


  1. That would be a perfectly fine monster, were it not for the idiot baby head and pearl clutching vestigial body - which push this thing into the realm of the Freudian/Derridean Unheimliche. I can only see it with a shell of horrible fused hair clumps and thick keratin. Anyway excellent.

  2. This is disturbing and really plays same strings that various forms of the abomination in John carpenter's film The Thing did.

    I think sea level could be thematically great place to put all sort of anatomically weird creatures and hybrids of human features, starfish with human hands, hunched humanoids that serve as nests for tube worms, murderous naked men with seahorse heads whose bulging vacant eyes never blink etc.