Corpse Crawler

Tiny undead, unaligned

Armor Class 12
Hit Points 1 (1d4 – 1)
Speed 20 ft., climb 20 ft., burrow 5 ft.

2 (-4) 14 (+2) 8 (-1) 1 (-5) 10 (+0) 2 (-4)

Skills Stealth +4
Senses darkvision 30 ft., passive Perception 12
Challenge 0 (10 XP)


  • Spider Climb. The corpse crawler can climb difficult surfaces, including upside down on ceilings, without needing to make an ability check.
  • Web Sense. While in contact with a web, the corpse crawler knows the exact location of any other creature in contact with the same web.
  • Web Walker. The corpse crawler ignores movement restrictions caused by webbing.


  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one creature. Hit: 1 piercing damage, and the target must succeed on a DC 9 Constitution saving throw or take 2 (1d4) poison damage.
  • Infest. Over the course of 1 minute, the corpse crawler can infest the corpse of a Medium or Small humanoid, turning it into a zombie under its control. Until the effect ends, a creature can ask the corpse up to three questions. The corpse crawler can speak through the corpse using any language the corpse knew in life. Answers are usually brief, cryptic, or repetitive, and the corpse is under no compulsion to offer a truthful answer if you are hostile to it or it recognizes you as an enemy. This effect doesn’t return the creature’s soul to its body, only its animating spirit. Thus, the corpse can’t learn new information, doesn’t comprehend anything that has happened since it died, and can’t speculate about future events. When the corpse crawler leaves the corpse (including dismissal), or the zombie is reduced to 0 hit points, there is a 25% chance that a hostile swarm of insects will appear occupying the corpse’s space.


Corpse crawlers greatly resemble glossy black spiders, with white discoloration across their backs giving the vaguest impression of a skull. Fresh graves, warzones, and lands ravaged by plague are likely to draw these dreaded necrotic arachnids who feed on the residual life force of fresh corpses.

Necrotic Nest. Corpse crawlers not only feed on necrotized flesh but also make of it their nests, burying rapid-gestating egg sacs between loose layers of muscle and broken-down tissue, saturating the dead flesh with nourishing necrotic energy.

Corpse crawlers do not require mates to reproduce, each of them able to create offspring on their own after consuming enough energy. Thanks to their rapid reproduction, areas with a large supply of fresh dead are at risk of being overrun if even one is able to nest amongst the corpses.

Puppet Master. In order for newly-hatched corpse crawlers to survive, they must feed on dead flesh that has been infused with necrotic energy by their parent. A result of this oversaturation is the animation of the infested corpse, including some semblance of its former mind, though it no longer bears any true intelligence. Corpse crawlers pilot their reanimated hosts until they are destroyed by the crawlers’ own voracious young.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Zargoth’s Tome of Familiars, Copyright 2021, Arcana Games, LLC.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Zargoth’s Tome of Familiars, Copyright 2021, Arcana Games, LLC.

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