Crab, Garroter

Family: Insects Rodents & Vermin

Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 13 (natural armor)
Hit Points 18 (4d4 + 8)
Speed 30 ft., swim 20 ft.

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

Skills Athletics +4
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 10
Challenge 1/4 (50 XP)
Proficiency Bonus +2


  • Amphibious. The garroter crab can breathe air and water.
  • Strangling Divination. A Humanoid reduced to 0 hp while grappled by the garroter crab experiences a brief vision of the future. This effect works like the divination spell, except the reply is only as a mental vision and it can be about any specific goal, event, or activity to occur within 30 days. Once a creature has received a vision in this way, it can’t do so again for 30 days.


  • Whip-Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 5 (1d6 + 2) slashing damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 12). Until this grapple ends, the target can’t speak or cast spells with verbal components, and the crab can’t use its Whip Claw on another target.


This blue-black freshwater crab scuttles through the mud by the stream, searching for prey.

Strangling Claws. Garroter crabs are named for their abnormal right claws, which have evolved over time to strangle prey like a barbed whip. This long whip-claw is lined with powerful muscles and joints at the beginning, middle, and end that give it great flexibility.

Clacking Hordes. During mating season, thousands of garroter crabs congregate in remote riverbanks and marshes, and the males whip their shells with a loud clacking sound to attract mates. Familiar with the sound, locals avoid the rivers and streams near their homes during such times.

Tasty Predators. Garroter crabs prey on rodents, cats, and other small animals caught by the riverbank. Considered a delicacy by many, fishing communities near colonies of garroter crabs often have a few skilled fishers capable of bringing in the dangerous crabs.

Unknowing Diviners. Garroter crabs are touched by minor divination power that typically triggers when the crabs attack humanoids, though some humanoids have found ways to prepare the crabs’ remains to create the same effect. Because of this peculiar ability, scholars speculate the crabs were created long ago as tools of divination or were gifted by some long-forgotten deity of fate to its followers.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 1 ©2023 Open Design LLC; Authors: Daniel Kahn, Jeff Lee, and Mike Welham.

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