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Clockwork

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 53
Clockwork constructs are the technological cousins of golems, constructed with a combination of magic and precise technologies dependant upon the internal churning and turning of thousands of intricate springs, screws, and gears.

There are those who would scoff at the work of clockwork engineers, whose constructs seem at best merely imitations of the creations brought to life by practitioners of the purely arcane arts. However, those canny enough to realize the potential of clockwork engines know their true power to be both exotic and potent. In worlds where clockworks are common, these creatures can rival even the most powerful of golems for raw power. Massive giants comprising countless nuts and bolts have torn entire empires asunder. Time and time again, clockwork creatures have proven themselves a formidable presence in the face of more traditional rivals, and those who have borne witness to the feats of these creatures know to hold their tongues before questioning the constructs' power.

Clockwork creatures function by combining magical energies and clockwork mechanisms. The myriad metal parts that go into the construction of a clockwork creation require absolute precision in order to function properly, so they must be built by only the steadiest of hands. Amateurish attempts at clockwork construction typically result in nonfunctional units or misfires, and many an engineering lab has been burned to the ground by novices seeking to learn the basics of clockworks and the elements that power them.

Particularly guileful crafters may construct miniature clockwork spies that can record sound, and rumors tell of even more advanced technologies that allow visual recording. While magical wonders such as spells can allow the user to scry information or to see where one isn't normally physically able to, clockwork spies provide an edge in that their memories are concrete and incorruptible, enabling them to make flawless recordings of events not subject to the regular perversions of human memories.

Clockwork creations, as their names suggests, must be wound up before they animate. The creator of a clockwork crafts a unique key for each creation. This key is typically inserted into the clockwork's back and turned clockwise to wind it. Turning the key counterclockwise has the effect of winding the machine down, though only a willing (or completely helpless) machine will allow itself to be unwound in this way, meaning either its creator or someone its creator has specifically designated can normally do so. Since each key is totally unique, construction of a new key (or bypassing a key entirely) requires a successful Disable Device check (DC = 20 + the clockwork's CR). Larger clockworks tend to have larger keys, and particularly huge keys require more than one set of hands to turn. Rather than seek assistance from other engineers, eccentric or hermetic inventors often rely upon other clockwork creations to help them turn keys or aid in the creation of more monumental constructs. Other times, engineers give copies of keys to their most trusted clockworks, which can be programmed to wind allies and even themselves as the situation requires.

Much like golems and animated objects, clockwork creatures can be given any number of commands; a perpetually turning script in their core records those orders and programs the rest of the machine. Only one who possesses a key to the clockwork can program it, but any commands given to the construct last until the clockwork is reprogrammed or destroyed. An individual clockwork's potential is only limited by its creator's innovation and aptitude. Unlike many golems, which are trapped in bodies resembling lumbering and fallible cages, clockwork constructs can be repeatedly reworked and reengineered—gears can be oiled, springs can be replaced, and pistons can be fine-tuned. The ever-adjustable framework of these mechanical beasts allows for extreme variation from creation to creation.

Since clockwork creations are mostly mechanical and are at the mercy of their creator's adeptness with the technology, they are prone to the follies of human error. Loose bolts, improper programming, or lack of maintenance are all cause for malfunctions, errors that can range from minute energy leaks to deadly explosions. The most common cause of malfunction, however, is not imparted by the creator, but by the clockwork's destroyer. Creatures attacking the machine gradually unhinge screws and twist cogs with each landed blow, giving the clockwork a greater chance of backfire. Many combat clockworks are thus accompanied by clockwork servants—servitor clockworks that quickly and readily fix their mechanical allies in the heat of battle.

In the earlier days of clockwork technology, many practical hindrances prevented rapid maturation of the devices. Clockwork machines were powered by inefficient, costly resources; however, the advent of arcane enchantment not only has allowed for greater precision in the crafting of gears and other key components, but has also opened up a wide new range of possibilities for defensive systems and offensive weaponry. Early attempts to combine clockwork with steam power or other nonmagical forms of energy tended to overcomplicate the already delicate machinery, and have long since been abandoned as a result. Whispers abound of an even more unusual category of clockwork that has solved this problem and has merged the complexities of steam power with the adaptability of magical energies, yet such exotic and unusual clockworks remain nothing more than rumors in most worlds at this time.

Clockwork Augmentations

Source Pathfinder #123: The Flooded Cathedral pg. 81
In addition to the standard special abilities and qualities granted by the clockwork subtype, many clockwork designs incorporate more abilities designed by their engineers. The following examples are intended to help GMs build new clockworks or modify existing ones. Some of the most common clockwork special abilities have been gathered in this section along with a number of new ones.

Charged (Ex): Equipped with a static generator, a clockwork with this special ability deals an additional 1d6 points of electricity damage with all natural attacks and melee weapons it has.

Efficient Winding (Ex): Built for long missions, a clockwork with this special ability can function for 2 days per Hit Die each time it’s wound. If the creature’s CR is 11 or higher, it can function for 3 days per Hit Die each time it is wound.

Embedded Ioun Stone (Ex): As a full-round action, an ioun stone can be embedded in (or removed from) a slot in the clockwork creature (usually on its forehead). It is possible to embed or remove an ioun stone only if the clockwork is helpless, pinned, or willing. The clockwork gains the benefit of the ioun stone, including its resonant power.

Grind (Ex): A clockwork with this special attack deals additional slashing damage when it makes a successful grapple combat maneuver check because of many twisting gears and churning pistons in its body. This additional damage is equal to 1d4 points (1d6 if Large, 1d8 if Huge, 2d6 if Gargantuan, or 3d6 if Colossal) plus 1-1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus.

Integrated Firearm (Ex): One of the clockwork’s arms ends in a firearm. The firearm generally functions as a pistol or musket intended for a creature of the clockwork’s size, but nearly any firearm of suitable size is possible. The clockwork is considered proficient with the weapon. The clockwork can reload an integrated one-handed firearm as a swift action and an integrated two-handed firearm as a move action. As a standard action, the clockwork can remove the broken condition from an integrated firearm, provided that the condition resulted from a misfire. A clockwork usually has 10 rounds of ammunition and gunpowder stored within a reloading mechanism.

Proficient (Ex): A clockwork with this special ability is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. The clockwork must have humanlike hands in order to gain this ability.

Repair Clockwork (Ex): Clockworks with this special ability are adept at repairing other clockwork constructs. As a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the clockwork can repair damage done to either itself or an adjacent clockwork creature, restoring 1d10 hit points to the target. If the repairing creature’s CR is 11 or higher, the amount of hit points restored increases to 2d10.

Self-Destruction (Ex): When the hit points of a creature with this special ability are reduced to 10% of its total or less but are still above 0, the creature self-destructs on its next turn, bursting in an explosion of metal scraps and steam in a 20-foot-radius burst. The damage dealt is equal to 1d6 points for each Hit Die above 5 the construct has (clockworks with 5 or fewer Hit Dice cannot gain this ability). Half of this damage is fire damage and half is slashing damage. A target that succeeds at a Reflex save (DC = 10 + half the clockwork’s Hit Dice + the creature’s Constitution modifier [usually 0]) takes half damage.

Standby (Ex): A clockwork creature with this special ability can place itself on standby as a standard action. While on standby, the clockwork creature cannot move or take any actions. It remains aware of its surroundings but takes a –4 penalty on Perception checks. Time spent on standby does not count against the clockwork’s wind-down duration. The clockwork can exit standby as a swift action. If it does so to initiate combat, it gains a +4 racial bonus on its Initiative check.

Tough Alloys (Ex): The clockwork gains Toughness as a bonus feat.

Creatures in "Clockwork" Category

NameCR
Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Excavator10
Clockwork Familiar2
Clockwork Goblin3
Clockwork Goliath19
Clockwork Gunslinger7
Clockwork Leviathan12
Clockwork Mage9
Clockwork Nautiloid14
Clockwork Overseer7
Clockwork Priest11
Clockwork Servant2
Clockwork Snail10
Clockwork Soldier6
Clockwork Songbird1/2
Clockwork Spy1/2
Clockwork Steed6
Clockwork Vivisectionist10
Mechanical Efreeti1
Toy Golem5

Clockwork, Clockwork Nautiloid

Nestled in a massive spiraled armored shell, this clockwork creature has several dozen grasping tentacles surrounding its octopus-like beak.

Clockwork Nautiloid CR 14

Source Pathfinder #125: Tower of the Drowned Dead pg. 82
XP 38,400
N Huge construct (clockwork)
Init +9; Senses blindsense 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +8

Defense

AC 31, touch 13, flat-footed 26 (+5 Dex, +18 natural, –2 size)
hp 161 (22d10+40)
Fort +7, Ref +14, Will +7
Defensive Abilities deep dweller, reflective shell; DR 10/adamantine and blugeoning; Immune cold, construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity

Offense

Speed 10 ft., swim 40 ft.
Melee bite +30 (2d6+10), 4 tentacles +25 (1d8+5 plus grab)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks constrict (1d8+5), tenacious grappler

Statistics

Str 31, Dex 20, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +22; CMB +34 (+38 grapple); CMD 49 (can't be tripped)
Feats Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB
Skills Perception +8, Swim +18; Racial Modifiers +8 Perception
SQ enhanced senses, swift reactions, winding

Ecology

Environment any water
Organization solitary or pair
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Deep Dweller (Ex) Clockwork nautiloids are immune to cold and damage from water pressure.

Enhanced Senses (Ex) Clockwork nautiloids have more efficient olfactory, tactile, and visual senses than most other clockwork creatures. A clockwork nautiloid has blindsense out to a range of 60 feet and a +8 racial bonus on Perception checks.

Reflective Shell (Su) The curved shell of a clockwork nautiloid resists magical ray attacks. Ray spells and ray effects targeting a clockwork nautiloid are harmlessly deflected and have no effect.

Tenacious Grappler (Ex) A clockwork nautiloid does not gain the grappled condition if it grapples a foe with its tentacles.

Description

Clockwork nautiloids are specialized, watertight clockwork creations designed to withstand the darkest, coldest ocean depths. A clockwork nautiloid resembles an oversized nautilus with a curved and magically strengthened shell. Its sharp, octopus-like beak is surrounded by dozens of tentacles that appear organic but contain rotors and pistons allowing for a strong, prehensile grip. Most of its tentacles end in a subtly serrated gripping pad, but two of them end in specialized sensory equipment shielded with durable crystal. These clusters provide the clockwork nautiloid with superior senses, allowing it to see even in the oppressive blackness of the deep ocean.

Clockwork nautiloids pursue the directives of their creators with single-minded purpose, attacking any creature that interferes with their orders. Although a clockwork nautiloid has many gripping tentacles, it can usually bring only four of these tentacles to bear in combat along with its snapping bite. Clockwork nautiloids are relentless combatants that pursue their opponents to any depth and even onto land, propelling themselves with their powerful tentacles.

A clockwork nautiloid is 30 feet long and weighs 4 tons.

Ecology

The shell of a clockwork nautiloid is a tight spiral made of overlapping metal plates. In addition to providing significant protection to the creature’s delicate internal mechanisms, this shell is coated with a thin film of grease baked onto the metal at incredible temperatures to waterproof the creature’s interior and prevent the shell from degrading in the harsh, salty water of the ocean. This thin film also reflects incoming rays, scattering these magical attacks without harm to the clockwork nautiloid.

Unlike with living nautiluses, which inhabit only the largest portions of their shells as they grow, a clockwork nautiloid’s entire spiraled shell is filled with gears, rods, and springs. The pleasing logarithmic spiral of a clockwork nautiloid’s shell arises not from a pattern of natural growth but because the mathematically consistent shape allows for the most efficient packing of the creature’s clockworks. A clockwork nautiloid’s winding key fits into a small hole at the precise center of its spiraled shell, on either the left or right side.

Although clockwork nautiloids have few natural predators, mysterious titanic creatures lurk in the deep oceans, and clockwork engineers often camouflage their clockwork nautiloids just to be safe. The upper side of a clockwork nautiloid is often constructed of dark metals in overlapping stripes, allowing the clockwork nautiloid to blend with the deeper ocean below when it is seen from above. Similarly, the creature’s underside is usually constructed of bright, pale metals; when seen from below, the creature appears part of the brighter ocean above. Clockwork nautiloids cannot retract into their shells, although they can fold their tentacles over each other to form a rigid covering.

Tons of ore are required to produce a clockwork nautiloid—enough to deplete a small mine—but once created, the construct has little impact upon the natural environment. Its coated shells provide no purchase for barnacles or other small creatures, so it slips through the seas without displacing marine life. A clockwork nautiloid pollutes very little under normal operation, as its greased gears and pumps are fully contained.

Habitat and Society

As they are specifically created to withstand marine depths, clockwork nautiloids are only rarely found outside of the deep ocean. Because of the expense of creating these constructs, they are usually programmed to perform specific, important tasks lasting no more than 22 days (the limit of the clockwork nautiloid’s winding). The tasks that bring clockwork nautiloids to the ocean depths are as varied as the motives of their creators. A creator might deploy a clockwork nautiloid to defend a strategic undersea locale, recover treasures from a shipwreck, explore a submerged ruin, or capture valuable marine specimens.

Clockwork nautiloids must be flexible problem solvers, as they usually operate independently in environments that would be lethal to their creators. Like most clockwork constructs, clockwork nautiloids lack an Intelligence score, but each is constructed with multiple internal turning scripts that turn simultaneously when wound. As a result, clockwork nautiloids can process multiple strategies to surmount obstacles. This parallel thinking also makes a clockwork nautiloid a surprisingly flexible combatant, able to efficiently fight large groups by grappling smaller foes, biting at others, and rotating its thick shell to intercept attacks.

Few clockwork engineers have the resources necessary to build more than one clockwork nautiloid at a time, but those who do find that the creatures work very well when paired together. Although a clockwork nautiloid’s tentacles cannot normally reach its own key (unless its tentacles are specifically designed to do so), clockwork nautiloids can wind each other to extend their operating time considerably. Undersea explorers tell of roving pairs of clockwork nautiloids encountered many leagues from civilization, sustaining each other for much longer than their initial winding.

Variant Clockwork Nautiloids

Just like other clockwork creatures, clockwork nautiloids can be found in many configurations, each specific to the construct’s task. Furthermore, clockwork engineers can retrofit and redesign existing clockwork nautiloids to serve different functions. One of the many variant clockwork nautiloids is presented below.

Kolgo’s Submersible (CR 14): The gnome engineer “Cogwheel” Kolgo spent his life’s fortune in the construction of a clockwork nautiloid with an internal chamber just large enough for a Small humanoid to inhabit. A creature in the chamber can wind Kolgo’s submersible and see out of the construct’s prehensile eyestalks. Unfortunately, Kolgo has not yet figured out how to keep this interior chamber pressurized, so tests at deep ocean levels have proven lethal for the test subjects.

Construction

A clockwork nautiloid is difficult to create, as each component must be waterproof and able to withstand the crushing pressure of the deep ocean. The creator must start with crafted clockwork pieces worth 18,000 gp.

Clockwork Nautiloid

CL 14th; Price 200,000 gp

Construction

Requirements Craft Construct, geas/quest, limited wish, true seeing, creator must be at least caster level 12th; Skill Craft (clockwork) DC 25; Cost 109,000 gp