RPG Adventures and design guides for tabletop gamers

Clockwork Cat

Posted In Articles, Front Page, Monsters | 9 comments

Clockwork CatA low hum of muffled clicks and whirrs emanates from this feline statue as it stretches. Its dark body glistens in the available light, and its eyes and ears move as it begins to look around the area. A faint glow flickers in its eyes, a low thrum underlies the sound of its movement, and more such statues start to stir.

Crafted as an experiment by an eccentric artisan and magic-worker years ago, clockwork cats have found a niche among those who want guardians for their abodes or who want an element of companionship without the need to feed creatures. Those who prefer to hide their defensive measures craft them to appear as statues, while those who seek verisimilitude use organic elements such as fur to make the creatures seem more natural. Regardless of the materials used for external appearance, clockwork cats have the same abilities. How they choose to use them is up to the one who crafted them.

Clockwork Cat                                             CR 4

1,200 XP
N Medium construct (augmented)
Init +4; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +3

DEFENSE
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+4 Dex, +6 natural)
hp 3d10+20 (36 hp)
Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +2
DR hardness 10, Resist acid 10, cold 10, fire 10
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity

OFFENSE
Spd 50 ft.
Melee bite +7 (1d6+3), 2 claws +7 melee (1d2+1)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.

STATISTICS
Str 16, Dex 20, Con 0, Int 2, Wis 8, Cha 2
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 17
Feats Alertness, Weapon Finesse
Skills Perception +5, Sense Motive +3, Stealth +12
Languages none
SQ construct traits, healing lick,  metal workings, pride mind, pride’s rage

ECOLOGY
Environment any
Organization pair or pride (3-8)
Treasure 1/2 coins; no goods; double items
Advancement 4-5 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment

SPECIAL ABILITIES
Hardness (Ex): Though it is not an object, a clockwork cat has a hardness of 10.

Healing Lick (Sp): Once per day, a clockwork cat can cast make whole onto any other member of the pride to heal 2d8+2 damage. As an alternative, the cat can completely repair an object made of any substance, even one with multiple breaks, to be as strong as new.

Metal Workings (Ex): Beneath its skin, a clockwork cat has a metal framework. It counts as a ferrous creature for the purpose of effects that affect metal.

Pride Mind (Ex): Each clockwork cat in a pride that is within 100 ft. of another member of its pride is in constant communication with that other cat. (Members can relay information through a chain of communication as needed.) If a clockwork cat is aware of a particular danger, as long as that cat is within 100 ft. of another member of the pride, they all can become aware of the danger. If one member in the pride is not flat-footed, others that are within range of communication with that member also aren’t flat-footed. No member is considered flanked unless all of them are. This effect is cancelled by a silence spell or similar effect.

Pride’s Rage (Ex): Each time a member of the pride loses contact due to destruction or a silence spell or similar, roll 1d8. If the result is greater than the total number of clockwork cats still communicating, all cats within that pride fly into a berserk rage on their next turn, clawing and biting madly until they or their foes are all dead. While in a rage, each member of the pride gains a +4 bonus to Strength and a –2 penalty to AC. Clockwork cats cannot end their rage voluntarily.

Skills: Clockwork cats have a +2 racial bonus to Perception, Sense Motive, and Stealth checks. While moving, due to clicks and whirrs, clockwork cats lose this racial bonus to Stealth.

Vulnerability to Electricity (Ex): The interior mechanisms of a clockwork cat are very delicate and are vulnerable to electricity damage. As a result, it takes double damage from electricity on a failed saving throw and half damage on a successful saving throw.

Ecology

Clockwork cats are carefully crafted to serve as decoration and protect a designated location. Those crafting these cats do so in prides of two to eight, delicately setting their receptors and mechanisms so that they can communicate with others of the same pride through subtle clicks and whirrs.

Although some creators prefer that their clockwork cats have a natural look and add fur as an element of creation, others craft them as beautiful statues set among normal ones. In this latter case, the creator might use these cats as guardians in an area. All clockwork cats can remain still indefinitely, and some use this disguise to surprise their foes. They require no food, water, or air, and when set as guardians, they move only to protect the designated place or to ensure that each other member of the pride is properly wound up.

Tactics

Clockwork cats remain still until a trespasser provides an opportunity for a surprise attack. Clockwork cats prefer to study their targets before moving, favoring attacks to healers and arcane casters. Once they decide to attack, they attack with the same initiative, taking coordinated actions due to their pride mind abilities. Each member of the pride affected by a silence spell or equivalent loses its ability to communicate with the rest of the pride and simmers with pride’s rage.

Knowledge

Knowledge (arcana) DC 15: Clockwork cats never appear alone.
Knowledge (arcana) DC 20: Each time a member of the pride is destroyed, the rest might go into aberserker fury.
Knowledge (arcana) DC 25: A clockwork cat’s communication is based on low frequency sound, so a silence spell can prevent a pride of them from working together effectively.

(This post is Product Identity.)

    9 Comments

  1. Nice. There’e something that can easily be slipped into most campaigns. Who doesn’t have an eccentric rich guy or a side plot where the party breaks into someone’s home?

    Healing Lick has me a little miffed though.

    BrianLiberge

    October 17, 2011

  2. I like the pride mind and pride rage abilities, very well thought out and flavorful. Healing lick seems a bit potent, but damaged objects don’t come up that often in most games(in my experience at least), so it’s not a big deal. Hardness, why not DR 10/adamantine?

    What are the building requirements and costs?

    Hecknoshow

    October 17, 2011

  3. Interesting monster, I like it.

    Dmitri

    October 17, 2011

  4. Thanks for the feedback! Hmmm…yes, it would be nice to have requirements and whatnot. Let me see what I can do about that this week, though I’m always happy to hear any suggestions you’d like to provide? I’m all about feedback.

    Miranda

    October 17, 2011

  5. Just curious, what are the construction requirements? I have an Artificer in my game that would love to build this.

    Gerald Kirby

    October 17, 2011

  6. One of those things I learned early in the 3rd edition era: gotta have construction requirements. I think they’d be fairly steep here, with the use of make whole, hardness, rage (roughly Bull’s Strength), and telepathy.

    Wolfgang

    October 17, 2011

  7. Welcome aboard, Miranda! Scott will be missed, but I hear your Rat Tartar recipe Is second to none…!

    Mighty Mongo

    October 17, 2011

  8. That’s a cool little write-up. I’m not a huge fan of constructs healing one another, but I don’t think it would impact my games too much. Otherwise, this is pretty damned sharp!

    Jaye

    October 17, 2011

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