The process that a wizard undergoes to become a lich seldom leaves the wizard’s mind entirely sound. A common result is a deepening paranoia and a tendency to collect things. Over centuries these two patterns can generate some truely gruesome and absurd creations. The lich Malbeck grew fascinated with the animated hands known as crawling claws. He began by cutting off the hands of anyone who visited or attacked his tower, but rapidly started seeking out communities where he could twist the minds and hearts of the people living there, causing his victims to go on murder sprees, depopulating entire towns. His work created a gigantic swarm of undead hands that would rend living creatures apart. Eventually Malbeck was destroyed and his various creature dispersed. The swarm of crawling claws broke up and scattered to the 4 corners of the world, seeking out necromantic energies and bearing part of its creator’s malice.
This is an example Claw Swarm, one grown huge with victims.
Crawling Claw Swarm
Huge (15’x15′)Swarm of Tiny undead, neutral evil.
HP 299 (46d12)
Speed 20 ft, Climb 25 ft
Str 13(+1), Dex 14 (+2), Con 11, Int 5 (-3), Wis 10, Cha 4 (-3)
Damage resistances: Blunt, Slashing, and Piercing. Any Attack that targets a single target/
Vulnerable: Area Effects Attacks,
Damage Immunities Poison
Condition Immunities Charmed, Exhaustion, Poisoned, Paralyzed, Petrified, frightened, prone, restrained, stunned.
Senses Blindsight 30 ft, Passive Perception 10
Languages Understands but can not speak common.
Challange 16 (15,000)
Turn Immunity: The swarm is immune to effects that turn undead
Recruiter: Any humanoid killed by the swarm is torn apart after combat, increasing the swarm’s hp by 4 up to its maximum hp.
Swarm: the swarm can occupy another creature’s space and vice versa, and the swarm can move through any opening large enough for a Tiny Crawling Claw. The swarm can’t regenerate hit points or gain temporary hp.
Amorphous. The swarm consists of 9 5×5 areas of crawling claws. It may occupy any 9 orthagonally adjacent spaces. The swarm can also bunch up in individual spaces, allowing it to make multiple attacks against targets in those spaces.
Undead traits: the swarm does not need to eat, breathe, drink, or sleep.
Multi-attack: The swarm can make a Paralyzing Claws attack against every creature it shares a square with. If more than one square of the swarm occupies a given space, it can make one attack per square in that space against each target in that space.
Paralyzing Claws: Melee Weapon Attack: +9 to hit, Reach 0, one target, 10 damage (2d8+1) +3 damage (1d6 cold). The target must succeed on a DC 18 Constitution saving throw or be paralized for 1 munute. The target may make an additional saving throw at the end of each of its turns to end the effect on itself in the case of a success.