Crypt things were a rare kind of intelligent undead[note 1][2][3] bound to protect a specific burial site.[1]


A crypt thing resembled a human-sized skeleton wearing dark robes. Their empty eye sockets contained eerie points of red light.[1]


What made crypt things most dangerous was their ability to teleport adversaries away. Otherwise they attacked with their bare, skeletal hands. Aside from the common immunities of the undead, only weapons imbued with magic were able to hurt a crypt thing. Due to their strong attachment to the place they guarded, priests were unable to drive them away with their holy power.[1]

There were rumors of a type of crypt thing that paralyzed its opponents and made them invisible at the same time, instead of teleporting them.[2]


On rare occasions, a corpse rose as a crypt thing on its own accord and was driven by a desire to protect the graves of its descendants. More often, such an undead was created by a priest or wizard with the help of the create crypt thing spell. Only one crypt thing was found at one burial place,[1] but it sometimes commanded a group of less powerful crypt servants.[4]

The bones of a crypt thing could be used in the creation of a potion of undead control or especially effective pipes of haunting.[1]


According to the sage Elminster, crypt things existed in the ruins in the Undermoor, the area of the Underdark below the High Moor and Serpent Hills.[5][6] They could also be encountered in the dreaded ruins of Shoonach.[7]

Crypt things also dwelt in the Abyss, both in the endless black sand of the Layer of Desert,[8] as well as in the realm of Orcus, where there existed a whole Valley of Crypt Things. As an exception to the rule, 24 of them sat together, each on a throne, at the sides of this vale.[9]




  1. In 1st edition the crypt thing, though skeletal in appearance, is not undead, while in 2nd edition it is.


  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Mike Breault (ed.) (1990). Monstrous Compendium Greyhawk Adventures Appendix (TSR, Inc.). ISBN 0-88038-836-6.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Don Turnbull (1981). Fiend Folio. (TSR Hobbies), p. 21. ISBN 0-9356-9621-0.
  3. Ed Greenwood, Alan Zumwalt, Don Turnbull (November 1981). “Fiend Folio Findings”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #55 (TSR, Inc.), pp. 6–10.
  4. David C. Sutherland III and Cynthia K. Felegy (1993). “City of Delights (Monstrous Compendium)”. In Tim Beach, Tom Prusa and Steve Kurtz eds. City of Delights (TSR, Inc). ISBN 1-56076-589-5.
  5. Tim Beach (October 1995). “The High Moor”. In Julia Martin ed. Elminster's Ecologies Appendix II (TSR, Inc), p. 30. ISBN 0786901713.
  6. Tim Beach (October 1995). “The Serpent Hills”. In Julia Martin ed. Elminster's Ecologies Appendix II (TSR, Inc), p. 31. ISBN 0786901713.
  7. Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 80–81. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
  8. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1988). The Throne of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), pp. 33–34. ISBN 0-8803-8560-X.
  9. Douglas Niles and Michael Dobson (1988). The Throne of Bloodstone. (TSR, Inc), p. 52. ISBN 0-8803-8560-X.