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Machinations of Magludias Fynch: Clockroaches

Machinations of Magludias Fynch: Clockroaches

A brainchild incubated in greed and aspirations of greatness, clockroaches are a decades-long culmination of research, experimentation, and refinement. These three tiny constructs are examples of an ingenious series of micro-clockwork designs, arcane assemblies, sensor arrays, and eclectic defense systems. Each clockroach is designed with its ignoble abilities and equipment obviously to the fore.

These meticulously engineered, magically enhanced constructs were designed as instruments of intelligence gathering (blackmail), financial ruin, arson, theft, and intimidation.

Read up on previous machinations of Magludias Fynch!

Clockroach Models

Each of the three models resembles their insect namesakes in size, form, and mannerisms, except for the metal carapaces, each burnished to a bright shade of orange.

Burglars. The Confiscator model is 2–3 inches long and equipped for housebreaking with extendable forelegs outfitted with miniature glass-cutters, grapples, and lock picks. Drills, caustic chemicals, and magnets aid in cell, vault, and safecracking. A storage compartment hidden under the hinged carapace serves as a tiny loot bag.

Bruisers. Thelargest and heaviest model, the 12-inch long Intimidator is the enforcer and leg breaker. These clockroaches are aggressively outfitted with various chemical and physical assault tools, and restraint capabilities.

Blackmailers. The stealthyInvestigator type is 2 inches long and designed for target-location, tracking, surveillance, and recording.

Any clockroach can be data-wiped by its creator. Afterward, the clockroach can be reprogrammed (attuned), to a new owner at GM’s discretion.


Tiny Construct, Unaligned
Armor Class 16
Hit Points 10 (4d4)
Speed 40 ft., fly 20 ft.

2 (−4)18 (+4)10 (+0)4 (−3)12 (+1)3 (−4)

Skills Acrobatics +6, Perception +5, Sleight of Hand +8, Stealth +6
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 1/2 (100 XP)                  Proficiency Bonus +2

Lengthy Lock Picks. The confiscator is considered to have thieves’ tools for purposes of opening locks and disarming traps at a range of 6 feet, and it has advantage on attempts to do so.

Queer Compartmentalization. The loot space under the hinged carapace is magically larger (4 x 4 x 4 inches) than the area of the clockroach. The extra-dimensional space carries up to 2 pounds without encumbrance. If the clockroach is destroyed, contents of this compartment spill out into the Material Plane.

Self-Destruct. If reduced to 0 hit points, the confiscator explodes into shards and slivers of brass, broken springs, and gearworks, dealing 3 (1d4 +1) piercing damage to all targets within 5 feet.

Trap and Treasure Detector. Confiscator antennae detect the presence of all mechanical traps, precious metals, and gemstones within 30 feet. Two inches of metal or 2 feet of rock impede this function.


Ball Bearings (Recharge 5–6). The confiscator can blanket a 5-foot area within 10 feet of it in a wash of  brass ball bearings. Any creature entering or exiting the area must succeed on a DC 14 Dexterity saving throw or fall prone.

Drill. For every minute that the confiscator uses its Drill on a heavy containment (safes, prison doors, vaults, gate locks, etc.) the DC to open the lock on that object is reduced by 1 (maximum −3). Using the drill on standard, lighter-weight locking mechanisms renders them inoperable.

Fletchette. Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 20 ft., one target. Hit: 2 (1d4) piercing damage and target creature is paralyzed for 1 round unless a successful DC 13 Constitution saving throw is made.

Telescoping Pocket Picker. The confiscator has advantage when making Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) pick pocket attempts.


Tiny Construct, Unaligned
Armor Class 15
Hit Points 22 (4d4 + 12)
Speed 25 ft.

6 (−2)16 (+3)16 (+3)4 (−3)12 (+1)3 (−4)

Skills  Perception +3, Stealth +7
Senses blindsight 30 ft., darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 13
Challenge 1 (200 XP)                      Proficiency Bonus +2

Eldritch Exoskeleton. The intimidator has advantage on saving throws against spells and magical effects.

Self-Destruct. When reduced to 0 hit points, the intimidator disintegrates into a caustic cloud of vapors. All creatures within 5 feet must succeed on a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw or suffer blindness for 1d4 rounds.


 Chemical Coercion. The intimidator sprays a fine, orange-blossom-scented mist in a 5-foot area at a range of 5 feet. Creatures caught in this mist must succeed on a DC13 Constitution saving throw or suffer the poisoned condition (40%), or the blinded condition (40%), or both (20%), lasting 4 (1d4 + 1) rounds. Saves are made at the end of each round, ending any effects on a success.

Multiattack (recharge 5–6). The intimidator makes 2 Pneumatic Knuckle attacks.

Pneumatic Knuckle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 5 ft., one target. Hit: 4 (1d4 + 2) bludgeoning damage.

Buckshot Pellets. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 10 ft., up to two adjacent targets. Hit: 3 (1d6) piercing damage each.


Tiny Construct, Unaligned
Armor Class 14
Hit Points 5 (2d4)
Speed 30 ft., fly 60 ft.

1 (−5)14 (+2)7 (−2)16 (+3)12 (+1)3 (−4)

Skills Investigation +7,Perception +7,Stealth +6, Survival (tracking) +7

Senses blindsight 60ft., darkvision 90 ft., tremorsense 30 ft., passive Perception 17

Challenge 1/8 (10 XP)                    Proficiency Bonus +2

Enhanced Audio-Visual. The investigator has advantage on all Intelligence (Investigation and Tracking), Wisdom (Perception), and Dexterity (Stealth) checks.

Self-Destruct. When reduced to 0 hit points, the investigator and its data sizzle and melt into a pile of slag.


Psychic Hiss (recharge 5–6). All target creatures in a 15-foot line that the investigator can see must succeed on a DC 14 Intelligence saving throw or suffer 3 (1d6) psychic damage and lose their action on their following turn. Once a creature has succeeded on this save, it is immune to it for 24 hours.


Transmit Sound. The investigator can record, translate, or transmit (up to 1 mile) any spoken languages or noises it can hear within 50 feet, even though it does not understand them.

about Robert Fairbanks

Robert Fairbanks, first plunged into the unknown in 1976, with ye olde boxed, blue-book basics. He has yet to return.

Robert’s been fortunate to be a long-time contributor to Kobold Press, with whom he broke into game design in 2014. His other publisher contributions include Inner Ham Productions, Storm Bunny Studios, and TOR books.

1 thought on “Machinations of Magludias Fynch: Clockroaches”

  1. Love this series on Magludias Fynch and his creations! Keeps me coming back for more and sharing it with my trpg friends – thanks!

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