Crab, Keelbreaker

Huge monstrosity, unaligned

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 157 (15d12 + 60)
Speed 40 ft., swim 40 ft.

19 (+4) 10 (+0) 18 (+4) 3 (-4) 12 (+1) 10 (+0)

Skills Perception +5, Stealth +4
Senses blindsight 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

Special Traits

  • Wail. As long as at least one if its living figureheads remains intact, the keelbreaker crab can cause the figurehead to wail. Roll a d6 and consult the following table to determine the wail.
  • Amphibious. The crab can breathe air and water.
  • Living Figureheads. Three magical figureheads adorn the crab’s back. While at least one figurehead remains intact, the crab has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks and can use its Wail. Each figurehead is an object with AC 15, 20 hp, resistance to bludgeoning and piercing damage, and immunity to poison and psychic damage. If all the figureheads are reduced to 0 hp, the keelbreaker crab can’t use its Wail action. Damaging a figurehead does not harm the crab.
  • Siege Monster. The crab deals double damage to objects and structures.
d6 Wail
1-2 Frightening Wail. Each creature within 60 feet who can hear the crab must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the keelbreaker crab’s Frightening Wail for the next 24 hours.
3-4 Maddening Wail. Each creature within 60 feet who can hear the crab must succeed on a DC 16 Wisdom saving throw or take 18 (4d8) psychic damage.
5-6 Stunning Wail. Each creature within 60 feet who can hear the crab must make a DC 16 Constitution saving throw. On a failure, a creature takes 9 (2d8) thunder damage and is stunned until the end of its next turn. On a success, a creature takes half the damage and isn’t stunned.


  • Multiattack. The crab can use its Wail. It then makes two pincer attacks.
  • Pincer. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 17 (3d8 + 4) bludgeoning damage, and the target is grappled (escape DC 16) if it is a Large or smaller creature. The crab has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.


Three figureheads rise from the tattered sails and anchor chain that drape the crab’s carapace. As the behemoth clacks its claws, the maidens depicted on the figureheads begin to wail.

Few monsters strike more fear into the hearts of sailors than the keelbreaker crab. These enormous crustaceans prey on ships caught in shallow water and decorate their shells with the wreckage left behind. Keelbreaker crabs are drawn to ships carrying magical cargo, as well as to the enchanted, living figureheads that often adorn such vessels.

Living Figureheads. The wails of a keelbreaker’s figureheads drive most who hear them mad. However, a figurehead recovered intact from a crab might be convinced to reveal the location of a hidden treasure or even chart a course to the native harbor of the ship it formerly adorned.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 2. © 2020 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Celeste Conowitch, Darrin Drader, James Introcaso, Philip Larwood, Jeff Lee, Kelly Pawlik, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham.

This is not the complete section 15 entry - see the full license for this page