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Cthonian Crawler from a very old issue of Polyhedron

The mighty carrion crawler is a staple badguy from my D&D experiences and also has turned up a lot in my more recent games – especially to indicate to the players that they have wandered into dungeon areas that are no longer inhabited by the more “civilized” underworld dwellers.

My most recent campaign was run using the Labyrinth Lord rules instead of B/X D&D, so instead of Carrion Crawlers, the party encountered Carcass Scavengers, hideous maggot-like creatures with small tentacles topped with paralyzing stingers.

But screw that, I pulled out this illustration from an old issue of Polyhedron to show them the true nastiness of their foes. One player screamed “cthulhu!” and ducked for cover.

I definitely understand why Hasbro made the Carrion Crawler one of the protected IP creatures of the Dungeons & Dragons brand. Gelatinous cubes and carrion crawlers remain two of my favourites in the collections of strange underground scavengers available in the DMs toolkit.