Crab, Samurai

Medium beast, lawful neutral

Armor Class 16 (natural armor)
Hit Points 105 (14d8 + 42)
Speed 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

18 (+4) 10 (+0) 16 (+3) 6 (–2) 14 (+2) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws Str +7
Skills Athletics +7, Perception +5, Stealth +3
Damage Resistances bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks
Condition Immunities charmed, frightened
Senses blindsight 30 ft., passive Perception 15
Languages understands Common but can’t speak
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)


  • Amphibious. The samurai crab can breathe air and water.


  • Multiattack. The samurai crab makes three melee attacks. If the crab is grappling two creatures, it can’t make Crustaceous Sword attacks.
  • Crustaceous Sword. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) bludgeoning damage. If the target is Medium or smaller, it is grappled (escape DC 15), and the crab can’t use this claw to attack another target. The crab has two claws, each of which can grapple only one target.


  • Fighting Stance. The samurai crab adopts a fighting stance, choosing from the options below. The stance lasts until the crab ends it (no action required) or uses this bonus action again.
  • Banded Claw. The samurai crab adopts a wide, grappler’s stance. While the samurai crab is in this stance, each creature that starts its turn grappled by the crab takes 3 (1d6) bludgeoning damage.
  • Hard Shell. The samurai crab adopts a defensive stance, increasing its AC by 2.
  • Soft Shell. The samurai crab adopts an offensive stance, gaining advantage on the first Crustaceous Sword attack it makes each turn.


A crab with a peculiar looking shell shaped like a helmet scuttles forward. It moves with uncanny precision as it draws a sword from a scabbard-like section of its carapace. There are many rumors surrounding the creation of the first samurai crab. Some say they are cursed warriors who broke the creed they swore to uphold. Others say they were a wizard experiment gone wrong. Still other scholars speculate they are just unusually intelligent crabs who watched skilled warriors’ movements from the shallows and began to mimic them.

Samurai crabs are found near coastal cities, especially those with significant martial forces. It is believed that the presence of talented and skilled fighters attracts the crabs.

Unclear Motives. From outside observations, the samurai crab appears to be simply a large crab with an odd shell. However, samurai crabs are quite skilled with blades, and they constantly seek out opponents to test their combat prowess. Though they can’t speak, they understand rudimentary Common, and they know the basic weapon movements and signals for initiating honorable duels with armed combatants. Whether bested or the winner, a samurai crab competing in an honorable duel never kills an opponent unless its own life is threatened.

Carapace Blade. One of the most unique and interesting aspects of the samurai crab is the presence of its iconic sword or in some cases swords. Some crabs salvage the swords from shipwrecks while others seem to be hatched with them. Samurai crabs fight to the death when creatures attempt to relieve them of their swords.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Tome of Beasts 3 © 2022 Open Design LLC; Authors: Eytan Bernstein, Celeste Conowitch, Benjamin L. Eastman, Robert Fairbanks, Scott Gable, Basheer Ghouse, Richard Green, Jeremy Hochhalter, Jeff Lee, Christopher Lockey, Sarah Madsen, Ben Mcfarland, Jonathan Miley, Kelly Pawlik, Sebastian Rombach, Chelsea Steverson, Brian Suskind, Mike Welham

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