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In the Dungeons & Dragons fantasy role-playing game and various other fantasy settings, the crawling claw is an undead or construct creature which consists of the severed hand, paw, or claw of a deceased creature, animated to come alive. Its appearance is that of a severed hand which crawls on its fingers.
The crawling claw first appeared in the first edition in Dragon #32 (December 1979).
The crawling claw appeared in the second edition in the adventure module Shadowdale (1989). The creature then appeared in the Monstrous Compendium Forgotten Realms Appendix (1989), reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993).
The crawling claw appeared in the third edition in Monsters of Faerûn (2001), and Lost Empires of Faerûn. (2005).
The crawling claw appeared in the fourth edition in Open Grave (2009).
The crawling claw appeared in the fifth edition Monster Manual (2014).
Crawling claws are created by necromancy and are often used as guards by their creators. Crawling claws attack by leaping at, punching, strangling, and scratching their enemies. Though sometimes solitary, they are often created and travel in groups, which are able to attack by overwhelming foes. Being small and silent, crawling claws also have the benefit of stealth. They may be able to open doors and pull levers and might also be used as laboratory assistants. Although not attached to a brain, crawling claws are nonetheless able to follow spoken and telepathic orders from their creator. They cannot speak, and are neutral in alignment.