Creature Feature (5e): Walber Snail

The walber snail is thankfully a rare thing. While relatively small, it is notoriously hostile to perceived threats, commonly spitting a deadly sludge at any and everything that moves too quickly in its vicinity. The sludge is dangerously acidic but its real threat is in the fever the sludge carries. Either through magical or natural evolution, walber snails almost universally develop a terrible disease known as Dowler Fever (often called “Walber Fever” for obvious reasons). Walber snails themselves are just carriers, showing few if any symptoms of the illness. Those who catch their disease are almost universally less lucky. 

Walber Snail

Tiny beast, unaligned

Armor Class 14
Hit Points 32 (5d8 +10)
Speed 10 ft.

4 (-3) 8 (-1) 14 (+2) 1 (-5) 9 (-1) 1 (-5)

Saving Throws Dexterity +0, Constitution +3
Skills Stealth -2
Damage Resistances fire
Condition Immunities prone
Senses passive Perception 9
Challenge 1 (200 XP)

Special Traits

  • Carrier. Walber snails are immune to the effects of all non-magical diseases. A target who touches a walber snail with exposed skin (excluding the snail’s shell) must immediately make a DC 14 Constitution save or contract dowler fever (see below)
  • Tough Shell. As an action, a walber snail can retreat into its shell, raising its AC to 18. While in its shell, a walber snail gains the restrained condition and can perform no other action but exit its shell (reducing its AC to 14 and allowing all movement and actions as normal).


  • Sludge. Ranged Weapon Attack: +1 to hit, reach 20ft., one target. Hit: 6 (2d6) acid damage. On a successful hit, the target must make a DC 14 Constitution save. Failure indicates the target has contracted dowler fever (see below).

Dowler Fever (Disease)

Dowler fever is most commonly contracted by coming into physical contact with a walber snail, although it can also be contracted by touching a creature, their bodily fluids, or their waste who is already infected with dowler fever. In either case, a creature contracts the disease if they fail a DC 14 Constitution save after such contact. 

Dowler fever takes 8 hours to manifest, causing vomiting, sneezing, and its namesake fever. An infected creature gains 1 level of exhaustion, requires twice the normal food and water, regains only half the normal number of hit points from spending Hit Dice, and no hit points from finishing a long rest.

At the end of each long rest, an infected creature must make a DC 15 Constitution saving throw. On a failed save, the creature drops 1 additional level of exhaustion. On a successful save, the creature regains 2 levels of exhaustion. If a successful saving throw reduces the infected creature’s level of exhaustion below 1, the creature recovers from the disease.


Large for snails, walber snails are about the size of a young kitten, if a great deal uglier. Their shells are grey (and hard as stone), their skin wet and slick, and their eye stalks are disproportionately long compared to similar species. When they feel threatened (as they often do) they give off a whistling hiss and begin to smell quite rancid. They are growing increasingly rare: many a count has sought to completely eradicate these already rare creatures from a given area due to the disease they spread (which, one should note, can then spread victim to victim). 

About Quin Callahan

Quin Callahan is a freelance writer and college level English and economics tutor of over four years experience. He has written for a variety of gaming, technology, and economics publications. His favorite animal might be the squid but he is rarely certain.

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