Death Watch Beetle
Others Deathwatch Beetle
Body type Beetle
Average length 5'
Sapience Non-sapient
Aggressivity High
Place of origin Prime Material Plane
Habitat Temperate regions
Diet Carnivore, Insectivore
Locomotion Hexapodal
Status Critically Endangered (Listed as "very rare" in-game)
Behind the Scenes
Universe Dungeons & Dragons
Created by Gary Gygax

Death Watch Beetles are a species of massive beetles known for camouflaging themselves with makeshift ghillie suits. They can click their carapace to produce a deadly vibration.

Monster Manual descriptionsEdit

2nd EditionEdit

This monstrous insect is found in temperate regions. It is particularly dreaded as it often disguises itself. These disguises range from wearing carapaces of other giant beetles to sticking rubbish to itself with a glue of earth and saliva. Although commonly encountered outdoors, death watch beetles of the giant sort have also been known to invade subterranean areas in search of food.

The normal attack of a death watch beetle is by biting with its great mandibles. Before such an attack, however, the monster will make a clicking sound with its carapace. This sound produces sonic vibrations which are deadly. Creatures within a 30-foot radius must save vs. death magic or die. Those saving must take from 5-20 points of damage. The clicking of the death watch resembles that of a drumb or gong. As the sound is diffused and seems to come from everywhere, location of the monster thereby is 90% unlikely. After 1 round, the vibrations have the stated effect. The effort required to produce the killing vibrations is such that the monster is able to perform the clicking only once every 2-5 hours.

As a death watch moves frequently in search of food, it is unlikely that it will have treasure, other than an incidental item possibly stuck upon its back as camouflage. Even if a beetle stays in one locale for an extended period (10% chance) only the treasure carried by victims slain by the monster will be in the area.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • There is a real life beetle known as the Deathwatch Beetle (Xestobium rufovillosum) which this monstrous creature derives its name from. Judging by the artwork and lifestyle however the two are not intended to be related.

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