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Crawling Horde

Gargantuan swarm of Medium undead, neutral evil

Armor Class 9
Hit Points 155 (10d20 + 50)
Speed 40 ft., burrow 20 ft., climb 30 ft., swim 30 ft.

STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
20 (+5) 8 (–1) 20 (+5) 4 (–3) 7 (–2) 10 (+0)

Saving Throws Str +9, Con+9
Damage Vulnerabilities bludgeoning, piercing, slashing
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities blinded, charmed, exhaustion, frightened, grappled, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned, prone, restrained, stunned
Senses darkvision 60 ft., tremorsense 60 ft., passive Perception 8
Languages
Challenge 9 (5,000 XP)

SPECIAL TRAITS

  • Grappler. The crawling horde has advantage on attack rolls against any creature grappled by it.
  • Magic Resistance. The crawling horde has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
  • Swarm. The horde can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the horde can move through any opening large enough for a Medium zombie. The swarm can’t regain hit points or gain temporary hit points.
  • Undead Fortitude. If damage reduces the crawling horde to 0 hit points, it is entitled to make a Constitution saving throw with a DC of 5 + the damage taken, unless the damage is radiant or from a critical hit. On a success, the crawling horde drops to 1 hit point instead.

ACTIONS

  • Multiattack. The crawling horde makes five attacks: four with its slam and one to mob.
  • Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 8 (1d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage.
  • Mob. Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, reach 0 ft., one Large or smaller creature in the horde’s space. Hit: 19 (4d6 + 5) bludgeoning damage. Also, the target is grappled (escape DC 15). There is no limit to the number of creatures the crawling horde can mob.

ABOUT

Entire towns meet their demise at the hands of the fiends of the Underhell, and any survivors have the unfortunate task of handling the burial of these dead. As the fiends of the Underhell slaughter countless mortals, finding enough graves to bury these dead frequently proves all but impossible, leading to most victims ending up in enormous, mass graves. Through the power of the Underhell’s fell energies, many of these mass graves become the site of large, undead uprisings. In rare cases, these corpses rise in the same instant, creating a sort of hive-mind or shared consciousness. These corpses move in unison as large masses of undead known as “crawling hordes.”

Crawling hordes move about like enormous snakes or ocean waves of undead. They seek any living creatures they can add to their constantly shifting mass. A crawling horde makes use of its endless corpses to move about, with each extremity used as part of its locomotion, either to crawl along the ground or to dig through the earth at an accelerated rate. The dozens of arms and legs allow a crawling horde a surprising amount of speed and mobility, making it difficult to escape the monstrosity’s clutches. Victims caught in a crawling horde’s grasp find themselves moved along the creature’s form, passed from corpse to corpse.

The excessive energies required to animate a crawling horde grant it a formidable resistance to magical effects. Clerics and paladins have difficulty using their divinely charged abilities to turn or unmake a crawling horde, and due to the relative insignificance of a particular corpse, a crawling horde hardly reacts to attacks from weapons. As such, any who know of the terror that is a crawling horde prefer to run from the monstrosity rather than attempt to combat it. In many cases where a crawling horde is destroyed, its component corpses will continue to animate as shamblers.

This enormous mass of corpses writhes and undulates like a snake with each corpse grasping outward. The countless corpses and body parts intertwine, making it all but impossible to identify any individuals.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Sandy Petersen’s Planet Apocalypse, © 2021, Petersen Games.

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