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Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Clockwork Ooze

Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Clockwork Ooze

Seize the Tin CrownIn the next several days, we’ll be posting the entries we received for the Seize the Tin Crown contest. These will each be only lightly proofread so that you, our voting public, have a chance to judge them based on your own criteria. After we post the last of the entries, we’ll be calling for you all to vote. The winner will seize the tin crown! Oh, the power!

Next let’s creep on over to a Pathfinder monster entry. The clockwork ooze might give your characters some pause, and rust monsters need to watch out!

Clockwork Ooze

This translucent column of lubricated gears, crystalline orbs, and odd parts shifts and shuffles about. The strange orbs suddenly seem to converge in your direction as the monstrous shape shambles toward you.

Clockwork Ooze     CR 6

XP 2,400
N Large Ooze
Init –5; Senses blindsense 30 ft., metal sense 90 ft.; Perception +0

AC 15, touch 5, flat-footed 15 (–5 Dex, +10 natural)
hp 105 (9d8+36+9+20)
Fort +3, Ref +3, Will +3
SD Immune ooze traits DR 5/adamant, ferocity; hard as brass

Speed 20 ft., climb 10 ft., burrow 10 ft.
Melee 2 pseudopod slams +11 (1d6+6 and 1 Con and 1 bleed )
Space 5 ft.; 5 ft.
SA animate objects, death throws, natural attacks

Str 22, Dex 1, Con 18, Int 1, Wis 10, Cha 1
Base Atk +6; CMB +13 (+15 sunder); CMD 17 (can’t be tripped)
Feats Greater Sunder, Improved Sunder, Power Attack, Skill Focus (Climb), Toughness
Skills Climb +23
SQ split, rust vulnerability, lubrication

Environment city
Organization solitary or pod (1 ooze and 2–4 animated objects)
Treasure none


Natural Attacks (Ex) A clockwork ooze’s natural attacks are particularly adept at destroying objects; treat them as adamantine.

Animate Objects (Su) A clockwork ooze can deliver a touch against a clockwork object not normally imbued with life. Portions of the ooze’s mechanical bits infuse with the clockwork creation as well as a portion of its own liquid form. This object immediately comes to life as per an animate objects spell except the duration has no limit. These object are wild and uncontrolled, though somewhat guided by the ooze’s instinct. They never attack the clockwork ooze itself. The caster level of this effect is equal to the ooze’s Hit Dice.

Lubrication (Ex) The ooze constantly secretes an effective lubrication. Any squares the creature is in and any squares it moves through act as if affected by a grease spell. Any machines that the creature contacts become well lubricated and move more easily, gaining a +1 bonus to rolls involving that machine. Constructs become well lubricated and gain +2 bonus to Dexterity for 1 hour.

Split (Ex) Slashing and piercing weapons deal no damage to a clockwork ooze. If an attack with a weapon would normally cause damage past the creature’s damage reduction, instead the creature splits into two identical oozes, each with half of the original’s current hit points (round down). An ooze with 10 hit points or fewer cannot be further split and dies if reduced to 0 hit points.

Hard as Brass (Ex) Being composed of mostly hard-packed gears and other parts, the ooze enjoys similar toughness to a construct and gains bonus hit points just as a construct does. In the case of this Medium-sized ooze, it gains 20 additional hit points.

Metal Sense (Ex) This functions as Scent but detects metallic objects or objects with metallic components (such as the iron in a creature’s blood). Creatures without metallic bits are not detectable by this ability. These include nonmetallic constructs, incorporeal creatures, and perhaps certain aberrations.

Rust Vulnerability (Ex) A clockworks ooze’s metal bits are susceptible to rusting attacks. This causes the creature to lose its damage reduction and death throws ability for 1 round per caster level; however, it also floods the creature’s system with rich nutrients, giving the creature fast healing 5 for the duration of its lost damage reduction.

Death Throws (Ex) A clockwork ooze’s internal metal components are held together by its high-pressured liquid parts. When slain, the ooze explodes, sending shrapnel in all directions. Any creature within 10 ft. of the ooze takes 1d6 points of piercing damage and is knocked prone. A Reflex save DC 20 is allowed for half damage and to avoid being knocked prone.


A clockwork ooze is a strange ooze creature whose form is packed tightly with gears and various other mechanical contraptions. Crystalline sensors float about in the mixture, serving as sensory organs. Some whisper about the strange mechanical oozes, and the mad proclaim they are the start of a new form of mechanical clockwork life that will grind all living creatures into mincemeat. Still others proclaim religious dogma in denouncing the evil of technology.

The truth is not nearly as grandiose as either of these theories. They date back several years. The kobold assistant of a master gearworker was busy working on a new lubricant to present to his boss. Unfortunately, though, the local kobold authorities called one of their infamous “we no work” days. The excitable kobold assistant left the mixture bubbling. One small spasm later, and the rest is history: The mixture combined with other alchemical reagents, some brain fluid, and a sample of ooze tissue to create the first clockwork ooze.

Now these creatures, strange as they are, haunt the dark alleyways. The strange alchemy of their accident causes them to seek smaller bits of iron to fortify themselves and replenish their living parts. The oozes seem to leach trace iron and minerals in the form of rust from the slowly corroding clockwork pieces they take into themselves. The ooze can also, it seems, draw the iron from living blood for similar sustenance. Though intelligent on only the most basic of levels, the ooze’s strange feeding habits often cause it to come into conflict where there are clockworks and living creatures, making it a monstrous bane to most any being.

These creatures also come into conflicts with rust monsters since they share a similar predatory niche.

(This post is Product Identity.)

6 thoughts on “Seize the Tin Crown Entry: Clockwork Ooze”

  1. Zobeck oozes with clockworks so I do get the theme :-)

    I do think that this particular monster tries to do far too much and I am also quite sure that its CR is off – I did a quick compare to the black pudding and this beats that CR 7 monster.

    I think that by making this a little bigger than large and making the rust vulnerability a true vulnerability instead of a switch in mechanics it would work a little better.

  2. Just thought of something else, which also shows that the clockwork ooze’s theme is pretty cool (it stays in the mind): The ooze works better as a boon to constructs than as a predator, the animate objects and lubrication abilities already point in that way, so by aiming the ooze at ‘flesh’ creatures is the way to go.

  3. I love the flavor of this monster. It drips of Midgard.

    It also occurred to me that this Monster does a lot. My first instinct is to take it to 4e, where you could separate some its features and make, for example, a Soldier Version and a Controller version.

  4. Oozes are my second favorite creature type + the coolness of constructs = amazing concept! Players will be in for a surprise when they meet this baddie in a hall. Very tightly themed and the Rust Vulnerability is wicked.

  5. Love it. Small nitpick, the phrase “Death Throws” is spelled “Death Throes”, but otherwise very tight presentation.

    Drawing this thing seems like a fantasy artists dream (or nightmare). ;-)

    Best if luck to you, sir!

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