Closely resembling the deathclaws of the Commonwealth, Appalachian deathclaws are found across the region in 2102. While still considered mythical in New California by 2161, deathclaws are a relatively common sight in West Virginia.
Deathclaws are the results of a pre-War experiment that involved creating a mutation of the Jackson's chameleon, along with several other species, to use as weapons on the battlefield. They are strong, agile predators that will attack the player character on sight. Their long, sharp claws are capable of inflicting great, oftentimes deadly, amounts of damage (hence their name).
Deathclaws have a very high amount of health for creatures of their level and are incredibly resistant to most damage types, particularly energy damage. Their hides have been known to reflect energy weapons (laser) when fired directly at them. Their versatile combat style makes them a hefty opponent even if they are lower level. When aggravated, they will initiate combat by roaring and stomping the ground, causing a shockwave.
While they predominantly use their namesake claws for dealing damage, they may also headbutt their foes to stagger them. Their power attack comes in the form of a wide-swinging claw slash which deals significant damage.
The deathclaw has a substantial level of natural armor and are resistant to damage on their dark, scaled parts, leaving the belly as a weak spot which takes increased damage. However, due to their hunched posture, this is difficult to hit. They can dodge gunshots and zigzag while charging the shooter, making them even harder to hit. If one of their legs become crippled, a broken bone will be seen stabbing out of the skin, and they will move incredibly slowly. With both legs crippled it is unable to move at all. It is also possible to shoot off the end of their tail.
Their model size makes them ungainly in uneven ground, which can be used against them. Their inability to climb or jump renders their close-combat style useless if attacked from high enough ground, and if they are unable to travel certain terrain such as jumping up on a rock, they will flee until their target is on level ground again. Many of their attacks can also be avoided by keeping a constant pace, which allows the player character to simply outrun their claw strikes.
Matriarchs, as the name implies, are the female leaders of the species. They have more health than alpha and normal deathclaws, with deadlier attacks. Their horns curve out and down, compared to the alpha's forward and up.
The chameleon deathclaw is unique among other deathclaws. Its default color is a slightly more sandy tone of a regular deathclaw, but when aggravated, it will display vibrant colors depending on its movements in battle. It flickers between stone gray, acid green, red, orange and teal. When killed, its body retains the last color it was displaying.