Hermit Crab

Chris Van Deelen

No. Enc: 1
Alignment:  Neutral
Movement: 60’ (20’)
AC: 1
HD: 22
Attacks: 1 ram, or 2 claws and bite
Damage: 8d6 plus special or 2d12+6 / 2d12+6 and 2d8+3
Save: L20
Morale: 11
Hoard Class: 4d6 randomly determined items (45%)

The common hermit crab survived the war which nearly destroyed the world. Like so many other lifeforms, this creature underwent genetic mutation due to the radioactive energies left behind from the final wars. It grew to insane proportions, growing so large as to become one of the deadliest scavengers to be found.

Except for the immense size of this mutant, the creature still retains the physical appearance of its ancestors, and can be easily recognized. The creature still has the instinct to find shells of other creatures to use as protection and homes – the only issue is there are few creatures out there who can match the monsters size requirement. As such, it has adapted and instead uses the wrecks of the innumerable vehicles which can be found scattered across the coastal wastelands.

The beasts cannot use anything smaller than a three-ton truck as a shell, and they have been known to use the remnants of semi-trailers. The claws are so powerful, the creature can easily cut through metal as if it was tissue, although this can take time, and it will carve away the front end, leaving the box and rear. It seems to have an instinctual knowledge when it comes to removing the engine and passenger cab, as the few which have been encountered only use the rear body of the vehicles.

When it hunts, it will sit in the ruins or along debris-scattered shorelines and pull its body completely into the interior of the vehicle. The beast can still easily be seen if anyone is looking, but it relies on its prey assuming the body it uses is nothing more than a wreck.

Still, anyone foolish enough to pass in front of the vehicle may be in for a nasty surprise as the claws lash out and attempt to impale the victim. The beast gains surprise on a 1-2 on a d6.

In combat the monster will sometimes try to ram anyone close enough, especially those who happen to look large and formidable. This is a standard melee attack and if it succeeds, the victim must save versus stun or be not only knocked prone, but will automatically be forced back 1d6x5 feet (even if the save succeeds). If the victim hits an obstacle, treat it as if the victim has fallen, and suffers 1d6 for every 10 feet knocked back (rounded to nearest 10).

After this attack, the monster will attempt to claw and bite. If the beast rolls a natural 19-20, the claw impales the victim, automatically inflicting the claw damage every round until the victim can pull free, or they are killed. This is a grapple check with the claw Strength being 14 (although the monster is far stronger than this.) While impaled, the creature gains a +4 to hit with its bite and second claw attack, and the damage inflicted is increased by 25% (round to nearest).

Harming the beast is difficult, very difficult, as it has a natural damage reduction of 20 points against all types of attacks except for toxins, radiation, poisons and mental attacks. These beasts are so tough in fact many creatures would rather flee than face them down.

The females lay 2d10 inside the ‘shell’ they call home and allow the young to stay with them until they reach at least 3 hit dice in size (typically they grow 1 hit dice per 3 months). Once they reach this size, the creatures are now too large to remain with the mother and they will leave, taking shells of their own, although this consists of things like garbage cans, dog houses, mail boxes and the like.

If someone manages to destroy one of these powerful monsters, they will often find boxes, crates or the remains of previous victims stored away inside the ‘shell’ the monster used.

Mutations: Aberrant form (natural weapons), gigantism

Source: Fallout 4 – Far Harbor DLC (2016)

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