One of the oddities of Fiend Folio I used in coastal areas was the crabmen. In 2e, their entry went on to talk about their molting noting that some individuals reach ten feet tall and live to be about 20 years old.

I thought about them again today in part because I was recently in my hometown during the time of year for harvesting soft-shell crabs. Without going into the process too deeply, the idea is to catch crabs close to molting and place them in a make-shift aquarium until they shed their shell. During the process, the crab will usually increase in size by 33%.

This triggered three ideas for the as-of-yet-unnamed-clone:

  1. Alter the stats to include a 33% growth rate per molting
  2. Give a few shamans the ability to create golems from their old shells.
  3. Create a module that features them as a function of mass combat rules

I also wanted to give my crabmen a new name, Portán, mostly to differentiate them from the old stats. The Portán are similar in some ways, but generally have more intelligence (barely), grow larger, and practice their own form of primitive magic.


Frequency: Rare
No. encountered:
Medium (5 ft tall) to Large (11 feet tall)
90 ft, swimming 60 ft
Armour Class:
Hit Dice:
3 - 6
1d4 - 1d10 / 1d4 - 1d10
Special Attacks:
Special Defenses:
Magic Resistance:
Lair probability:

The special attack refers to the special ability to create golems from discarded molts. Portán shamans do not know any other spells.

The golems are created by filling the old shells full of mud and animating them. The stats would be the same except:

  • No 11 foot tall golem would be found. After reaching that height, a portán will die shortly before or during any molting.
  • Move is 60ft and Swimming 30ft.
  • As golems, the creatures are immune to charm and sleep spells as well as psionics.

When I get the mass combat rules hammered out, we'll see these guys again.