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Clockwork Creature (CR +2)

Image used by permission of Fat Goblin Games.

The clockwork creature whirs to life at the whim of its master. Made of various metals and granted the soul of a monster, this intelligent construct is designed to resemble a living creature in both form and function. A clockwork creature serves as an intelligent aide, guardian, or even friend to its creator, or to anyone its creator designates. A clockwork creature’s body is a complicated construction of gears, wires, chains, and struts, often covered with riveted metal plating to give it the form of the living creature it mimics. Magic and engineering give a clockwork creature access to the powers of the creature it resembles, thus enabling its creator to effectively gain the aid of any being desired.

Creating a Clockwork Creature

“Clockwork creature” is a created template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature that is not an ooze (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A clockwork creature uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.

Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +2.

Alignment: Always neutral.

Size and Type: The creature’s type changes to construct with the appropriate augmented subtype. Do not recalculate base attack bonuses or saves. Size is unchanged.

Hit Dice: Change all racial Hit Dice to d10s. The creature gains bonus hit points as a construct of its size category. Since it has no Constitution score, it does not gain bonus hit points based on high Constitution.

Armor Class: The clockwork creature’s natural armor bonus improves by +5 over that of the base creature.

Defensive Abilities: The clockwork creature retains all the defensive abilities of the base creature and gains those described here.

Hardness (Ex)

A clockwork creature has a hardness of 10. This quality functions like object hardness, even though a clockwork creature is not an object.

Resistances (Ex)

A clockwork creature has resistance 10 to acid, cold, and fire.

Vulnerabilities: The clockwork creature gains the following weaknesses:

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.

Vulnerability to Electricity (Ex)

Because the delicate interior mechanisms of a clockwork creature are particularly vulnerable to electricity damage, it takes double damage from electricity on a failed save and half damage on a successful save. If the base creature is immune to electricity, it takes no damage from electricity attacks but is dazed for 1 round on a failed save.

Special Qualities: The clockwork creature retains all the special qualities of the base creature and gains those described here.

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 acts loyally instead. 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.

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 Disable Device 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.

Abilities: Change from the base creature as follows: Str +4, Dex +4, Int –4 (minimum 0), Wis –4 (minimum 1), Cha –4 (minimum 1). As a construct, a clockwork creature does not have a Constitution score.

BAB:  Use fast BAB for all of the clockwork creature's racial HD.

Skills: A clockwork creature gains skill points for its racial Hit Dice as a construct (2 + Int modifier), or 0 if its Intelligence score is 0. Recalculate its available skill points, then purchase its skills afresh, treating the base creature’s skills and any skills in which the creator has 5 or more ranks as class skills and all others as cross-class skills. The clockwork creature retains any skill points gained from class levels and any racial bonuses the base creature has.

Due to its innate understanding of its own being, a clockwork creature gains a +5 racial bonus on Craft (armorsmithing), Craft (weaponsmithing), and Disable Device checks. It can use these skills as though they were class skills, even if it has no ranks in them. However, the clockwork creature takes a –2 penalty on Stealth checks because its internal mechanisms constantly click and whir while it functions.

Languages: A clockwork creature that is intelligent enough to speak languages speaks those that its creator teaches it. Orders from its creator are heeded regardless of language, but a clockwork creature must understand the language of another commander to follow her orders. If it does not, it simply obeys the last orders of its creator.

Environment: Same as creator.

Organization: Solitary, pair, or gang (3–4).


Clockwork creatures are created like golems. Because it is composed of various metals and composite materials, a clockwork creature weighs nearly twice what the base creature does.

Creating a clockwork creature costs 800 times its CR in gold pieces. Assembling the body requires a successful Craft (armorsmithing) and Craft (weaponsmithing) check (DC 20 for both), the Craft Construct feat, and the ability to cast arcane or divine spells.

The level of the clockwork creature’s creator must equal or exceed the CR of the clockwork creature +4. Completing the ritual requires the spells geas/quest, limited wish, polymorph any object, and endure elements.

Clockwork Characters

A clockwork character favors whichever class the base creature does. Such a character can be introduced into a campaign in a number of ways.

The Lifespark template allows a clockwork creature to become part of any adventuring party. Also characters might even create a clockwork creature as a cohort under another player’s control.