Thursday, August 18, 2011

Iron Horse

The Iron Horse (Clockwork Nightmare) CR7

A whirring and hissing horse trots up, steam billows out of its nostrils and exhaust pipe tail. Gears clank and squeak at its joints as the heavy hooves hit the paving stones with a hiss of steam.

XP 3,600
N Large Construct
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +9


AC 25, touch 11, flat-footed 23 (+2 Dex, +14 natural, –1 size)
hp 63 (6d10+30)
Fort +5, Ref +7, Will +0
Defensive abilities Hardness 10, Immune Construct traits; Resistances fire 15
Weaknesses Vulnerability to Electricity, Rust Vulnerability


Speed 30 ft.,
Melee bite +12 (1d4+7), 2 hooves +4 (1d6+4 plus 1d4 fire), or slam +12 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks steamcloud, iron limbs


Str 24, Dex 14, Con -, Int 9, Wis 7, Cha 8
Base Atk +6; CMB +11; CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)
Feats Alertness, Improved Initiative, Run
Skills Intimidate +10, Perception +9, Sense Motive +9, Stealth +7, Survival +10
Languages Common

SQ Created mind, Hardness, Windup Key, Metal Body


Created Mind (Ex): Clockwork creatures know nothing when first created, but many are intelligent. On its first day, a clockwork creature functions like any mindless construct, but thereafter its native intelligence comes to the fore, allowing it to reason and improvise. Creators can thus give their clockwork constructs somewhat vague commands and allow them to interpret and act on them, secure in the knowledge that their servants will not act in a way contrary to their desires.

Despite a reasoning intelligence, the clockwork creature remains wholly under the control of its creator and does nothing against that individual’s will. Because of a special bond formed during its first day, the clockwork creature can instinctively detect the location of its creator, regardless of magical and natural barriers, so long as the latter is within 100 feet. This ability prevents anyone from successfully impersonating the creator within that range. If someone resembling its creator issues an order from more than 100 feet away, the clockwork creature might or might not obey, depending on how suspicious it is of the command.

The creator can designate another creature or group of creatures for the clockwork creature to obey, but the creator’s commands always take precedence over those of other designated commanders. If the clockwork creature has an Intelligence score of 3 or higher, it continuously watches designated commanders for signs that they are commanding it against its creator’s intent. Should such a situation occur; the clockwork creature instead acts loyally.

A clockwork creature with an Intelligence of 12 or higher automatically knows when its creator is being forced to act against his own wishes through mental control or other coercion, physical or mental. In such a case, the clockwork creature improvises a way to attain its creator’s true goals without allowing harm to come to him. In the absence of any commands from its creator, a clockwork creature follows the last commands it received. If it knows its creator is dead, it attempts to achieve his goals to the best of its ability

Iron Limbs (Ex) An iron-clad creature’s natural attacks and grapple deal damage as cold iron weapons, overcoming damage reduction just as a cold iron weapon would.

Metal Body (Ex) : Beneath its skin, a clockwork creature is largely composed of metal. It counts as a ferrous creature for the purpose of rusting grasp and other spells that have special effects on metal. This metal body provides the equivalent to medium fortification from critical hits.

Windup Key (Ex) A clockwork creature must be wound up each day by placing a small key into a special orifice and turning it—an action that provokes attacks of opportunity.

For each full round that the key is turned, the clockwork creature can be active for 4 hours (maximum 24 hours). In most cases, the creator either retains his construct’s key or gives it to the clockwork creature so that it can keep itself running. When the clockwork creature runs down, it becomes immobile, helpless, and unconscious, and it remains so until wound up again. Anyone can wind up a clockwork creature without the key by making a successful Open Locks check as a full-round action (DC based on the quality of lock the creator built into the clockwork creature). This technique allows the clockwork creature 4 hours of activity (maximum 24 hours) for each such successful check.

Steamcloud (Su) In battle, an iron horse exhales smoke that chokes and blinds foes, filling a 15-foot cone each round as a free action. Anyone in the cone must succeed on a DC 16 Fortitude save or become sickened until 1d6 minutes after leaving the area. This smoke acts as obscuring mist for the purposes of concealment. The steamcloud persists for 1 round. The save DC is Constitution-based.


Environment as creator
solitary, pair, or swarm (3–12)

Treasure none

This construct is only modeled on the hellish nightmare, it is actually a clockwork construct, with windup key, however it does have a somewhat intelligent created mind.

Design Notes: I didn't want the Iron Horse to fly, but the smoke was just too good to pass up, so I got rid of fly and plane shift abilities and added the Iron Clad template without increase in lieu of that particular CR Increase. Renamed smoke to steamcloud. I had to tweak the CR, it didn't feel like a CR8 creature as it only has 5 hit dice, so I downgraded it from 8 to 7. I may still update the fortification on these templates, as that is in line with the 3.5 rules of construct immunity to criticals, I have to think on this. The hardness from the clockwork template now seems a bit clunky, so I may update the pair of abilities to a DR.

Cost to Construct: TBD according to the construction rules in Ultimate Magic.

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