||2-4 hit points
|No. of Attacks:
||1-4 (armored foes)
||1-6 (unarmored foes)
||T (human hand)
The much feared crawling claw is frequently employed as a guardian by those
mages and priests who have learned the secret of its creation.
No single description of a crawling claw is possible as they are not uniform
in appearance. Since claws are the animated remains of hands or paws of living
creatures, they are apt to be found in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
When a claw detects a potential victim, it leaps to the attack. Although it
may not appear to be capable of such a feat, its great strength enables it to do
so. The maximum distance a claw can leap is 15 feet.
Once a claw lands on its victim, it attacks in one of two ways. If the victim
is wearing metal armor, the claw delivers a powerful blow that inflicts 1d4
points of damage. Against those who are not armored (or only wearing leather) the
claw can employ its great strength in a crushing grip. This manner of attack
causes 1d6 points of damage.
In some cases, a claw may be instructed to attempt to strangle or gouge out
the eyes of a victim. In any such case, the DM should consider all aspects of the
situation and determine how much, if any, damage is done.
Claws are immune to any form of death magic or raise dead
spells, although a resurrection
spell renders them immobile for a number of turns equal to the level of the
caster. Claws have the same resistance to charm, sleep
, and hold
spells that undead do, but claws are not subject to turning, control undead
spells, or damage by holy water. Cold-based spells make claws brittle so that
all rolls to damage them are increased by 1 point per die.
Edged weapons inflict only half damage on a claw; all magical weapons cause
damage as if they were not enchanted in any way (although to hit bonuses still
Crawling claws are nothing more than the animated hands and paws of
once-living creatures. As such, they have no culture or society to speak of. Despite
this, crawling claws do have a limited ability to communicate with each other. This
takes the form of a basic telepathic link between all the claws of a single
"batch." Whenever one claw finds a victim, all of the others in the area who were
made at the same time move in to help it.
In addition, claws that have been instructed to do so can act in concert with
each other to move large objects. The DM should use five pounds per claw as a
reasonable limit to the weight that can be moved.
Crawling claws can be created by any mage or priest who has knowledge of the
techniques required to do so. To begin with, the creator must assemble the
severed limbs that are to animated. The maximum number of claws that can be created
at any one time is equal to the level of the person enchanting them. The hands
(or paws) can be either fresh, skeletal, or at any stage of decomposition in
Claws can be controlled in one of two ways: directly or via programming. The
manner of a claw's control must be specified when it is created and cannot be
changed thereafter. All of the claws in a particular batch must be controlled in
the same manner.
Programmed claws are given a single, brief instruction that they attempt to
carry out to the best of their ability. The maximum length of the programming, in
words, is 15 plus the level of the creator. This programming sets the
conditions under which the claw attack. A sample command might be: Kill anyone except
me who opens this chest.
Directly controlled claws are manipulated by the thoughts of their creator.
The mental effort of controlling claws is quite tiring and cannot be maintained
for more than three consecutive rounds without a one-round rest. Further, the
range of such control is limited to 10 feet plus 5 feet per level of the creator.
A person controlling claws cannot undertake spellcasting or any other
activity. Injury to a controller does not break his control unless unconsciousness
results. If direct control is broken for some reason, the claws continue to follow
the last orders they were given.
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