Archives of Nethys

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Steam-Powered Clockwork Dragon

Puffs of steam, quiet hissing, and a whirring of gears accompany this massive metal dragon.

Steam-Powered Clockwork Dragon CR 18

Source Construct Handbook pg. 62
XP 153,600
N Huge construct (clockwork)
Init +10; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, see invisibility; Perception +8


AC 36, touch 16, flat-footed 28 (+6 Dex, +2 dodge, +20 natural, -2 size)
hp 217 (25d10+80)
Fort +8, Ref +16, Will +8
Defensive Abilities fortification 75%; DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Resist fire 30; SR 27
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity


Speed 70 ft., fly 110 ft. (average), swim 70 ft.
Melee bite +37 (4d6+14 plus 1d6 fire), 2 claws +37 (2d8+14 plus 1d6 fire), tail slap +32 (2d6+7 plus 1d6 fire), 2 wings +32 (2d6+7 plus 1d6 fire)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft.
Special Attacks adamantine weapons, breath weapon (100-ft. line, 14d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 22 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), self-destruction, storm blast
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 25th; concentration +20)
Constant—see invisibility


Str 38, Dex 23, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +25; CMB +41; CMD 59 (63 vs. trip)
Feats Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB, RunB
Skills Fly +10, Perception +8, Swim +22; Racial Modifiers +8 Fly, +8 Perception
SQ heat management, increased locomotion, steam engine, swift reactions


Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure none


Though some scholars may argue about who exactly created the first steam-powered clockwork, the secret of their manufacture is now out. Savvy engineers have started to create faster and more powerful clockwork contraptions in the form of marvels blending arcane heat sources with large boilers to create pressured steam that powers the complex constructs.

The steam-powered clockwork dragon presented here is built using the clockwork dragon. See that entry for full descriptions of its base abilities.

Creating a Steam-Powered Construct

“Steam-powered clockwork” is an inherited template that can be added to any construct (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A steam-powered clockwork retains all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here. Creating a steam-powered clockwork increases the skill check DC to craft the construct by 5.

Challenge Rating: Base creature’s CR + 2.

Type: The base creature gains the augmented and clockwork subtypes. If the base creature did not have the clockwork subtype, add the vulnerable to electricity, swift reactions, and difficult to create special qualities from that subtype.

Hit Points: Double the bonus hit points based on size granted by the construct creature type (if any).

Defensive Abilities: Engineers design steam-powered clockworks’ mechanisms to withstand the heat and pressure of the steam that powers it. As such, steam-powered clockworks gain fortification and fire resistance based on their Hit Dice.

Hit DiceFortificationFire Resistance

Attacks: A steam-powered construct diverts excess heat to its melee weapon systems, dealing 1d6 points of additional fire damage with natural attacks and with any metal weapons it wields.

Special Attacks: Engineers utilize a steam-powered clockwork’s pressurized steam to further enhance its capabilities. A steam-powered clockwork gains steam blast plus one additional special attack from the list below. The save DC against a steam-powered construct’s special attack is equal to 10 + half the steam-powered construct’s Hit Dice.

Self-Destruction (Ex): When a steam-powered clockwork’s hit points are reduced to 10% of its total or fewer but are still above 0, the creature self-destructs on its next turn. It bursts into an explosion of metal scraps and steam that deals 1d6 points of fire and slashing damage per Hit Die the steam-powered clockwork has to creatures within the steam-powered clockwork’s natural reach (minimum 5 feet). A target can attempt a Reflex save for half damage.

Steam Blast (Ex): As a standard action, the steam-powered construct can release a jet of steam at a target within 30 feet. If the construct succeeds at a ranged touch attack, the jet deals 1d6 points of fire damage for every 2 Hit Dice the steam-powered construct has (minimum 1d6).

Steam Horn (Ex): As a standard action, the steam-powered construct can unleash a loud blast of sound and a cone of steam that deafens targets and deals 1d6 points of fire damage for every 2 Hit Dice the steam-powered construct has (minimum 1d6). A target can attempt a Fortitude save to take half damage and negate the deafened condition. Medium and smaller constructs release a 15-foot cone, Large and Huge constructs release a 30-foot cone, and Gargantuan and Colossal constructs release a 60-foot cone. This ability is usable once every 1d4 rounds.

Special Qualities: A steam-powered clockwork loses the winding and efficient winding special qualities and gains a steam engine with a boiler instead of a clockwork winding mechanism that requires a special key. To power and move the construct, valves collect and release pressurized steam from the boiling water.

Heat Management (Ex): When a steam-powered clockwork ignores any amount of fire damage due to its fire resistance, the steam-powered clockwork gains the benefits of haste, increases the additional fire damage applied to melee attacks to 2d6, and loses its fortification ability for 1 round. Whenever a steam-powered clockwork takes cold damage, it gains the effects of slow and loses the extra fire damage applied to melee attacks for 1 round. A steam-powered construct can negate either effect with a successful Fortitude save (DC = 10 + the amount of energy damage taken). Steam-powered clockwork golems are affected by magical fire and cold spells, which bypass their immunity to magic special ability.

Increased Locomotion (Ex): Steam-powered clockworks increase all movement speeds by 10 feet and gain Run as a bonus feat.

Steam Engine (Ex): An alchemically treated boiler contains the superheated water that supplies power to a steam engine. A steam-powered clockwork can remain active for 1 week per Hit Die with a full boiler. Anytime the steam-powered clockwork uses a special attack granted by this template, reduce the remaining duration of activity by 1 day (to a minimum of 1 day).

Ability Scores: Str +4, Dex +4.