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Shadow Crawler

Warehouse.png Crawler l.png


Role Venomous, stealthy critter
Location Caves
Lower Underrail
Coretech Research Facility
Institute of Tchort west wing
Loot Crawler Stinger
Crawler's Eye
Insectoid Salivarium
Abilities Darkvision
Crawler Sting special attack
Regenerates 20 hit points per round
Restealths after injecting its venom
Combat Stats
Combat Stats Level: 12
Damage: 15-25
Range: Melee
Action Points: 50
Initiative: 27
Detection: 193
Base Abilities Strength: 8
Dexterity: 10
Agility: 12
Constitution: 8
Perception: 10
Will: 4
Intelligence: 4
Skills Stealth: 142
Resistances Mechanical: 20% / 8
Heat: 0% / 0
Cold: 0% / 0
Electricity: 0% / 0
Acid: 0% / 0
Energy: 0% / 0
Bio: 0% / 0


Born from the feverish imagination of Styg one stormy night, crawlers are nightmarish amalgams of arachnid bullshit. They are some of the most challenging (and fun) foes in the game, and require special tactics to defeat. Crawlers look like pony-sized black scorpions and in three varieties: crawlers, Death Stalkers and the boss-like Black Crawler. They feed on rathounds and humans.


Crawlers live in dark places, both ruins and caves. If a cave contains red dream mushrooms, mindshrooms or both, there is a good chance that crawlers are around.


Crawlers and their variants will always be stealthed when you enter their area. Upon detecting the player, there will attack. As of version, crawlers received an AI upgrade: After successfully injecting their venom (paralyzes for two turns after two turns of bio damage), they crawl away via cavern ceilings and restealth, only to reappear when their prey is about to be paralyzed. Note that they do not disappear from the map but teleport and restealth instead. They are still around... somewhere...

Crawlers are never alone. After a crawler stings the player, the others will wait until the venom takes effect to attack. In combat, they will use their claws to attack a disabled target and deal additional Opportunist damage against paralyzed foes. Crawlers also regenerate 20hp per turn (in normal difficulty). Finally, they have relatively high mechanical damage for critters so plan accordingly.

Fighting tactics

Defeating crawlers depends heavily on your build, but some precautions will always help. Carrying Antidotes to cure crawler poison before it paralyzes you is essential when facing crawlers in a defensive battle, even if you have the Thick Skull feat. Please note that Death Stalker venom eliminates that option. A flare thrown at the ground will remove stealth from anyone caught in the halo so bring a dozen if you plan on fighting them.

One vital element to remember is that since crawlers will wait for their venom to take effect, it is often possible to run away from the map to fight another day.

Several methods exist to fight them.

- The universal method: regardless of builds, everyone can use Bear Traps as it requires no skill level. Bear traps will activate on sneaky targets and intercept them as they head for you. One way to deal with crawlers is to set up lines of defensive bear traps and kill them as they get caught. Note that you can't set up traps during combat, therefore the preparation has to be done immediately upon arriving in their area.

Psi characters can also use electrokinetic imprint.

- Detection:

  • Characters with low Detection likely won't notice crawlers before they attack, but characters with high Initiative have a chance of getting the first turn if they bump into a crawler before it attacks. The Paranoia perk, high Perception, motion tracking Goggles and a serving of Stuffed Bat help.
    • Flares and grenades or other area-of-effect attacks can be used to flush them out of stealth if you have a rough idea of their location. Flares in particular are particularly economical for this purpose.
  • Characters with high Stealth and Detection have a fair chance of detecting crawlers first if moving carefully.

- Combat

  • AoE effects aimed at one crawler can reveal the others if they are stealthed.
  • Because they tend to strike from melee, they are very susceptible to Tasers. Keep one handy to zap them and prevent them from running away.
  • Incendiary bolts and munitions work well; like many other denizens of the tunnels, they will often panic when ignited.
  • They regenerate, so it is sometimes better to finish one off instead of going for the AoE.
  • They are not that smart. Use chokepoints to your advantage.
  • You can get in and out of the area and kill them in increment.


  • Dude believes they are shadow incarnate and that they resemble scorpions only because being attacked by an actual shadow is too terrifying for the human mind to handle.
  • The crunching sound crawlers make when they die is as satisfactory as popping bubble wrap.


Various crawler portraits and sprites.