Over the past several days, we’ve been 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!
Watch yourself in Zobeck! The clockwork stalker might be waiting for you.
The Clockwork Stalker
The glint of red lenses in the darkness, the ominous clicking of a set of giant, metal mandibles: these are the only warnings that precede this clockwork creature. Its hulking body resembles that of a giant ant, with six legs and a smooth, iron-colored carapace.
Clockwork Stalker CR 7
N Medium Construct (clockwork)
Init +7; Senses Darkvision 60 feet, low-light vision; Perception +0
AC 21, touch 15, flat-footed 16 (+3 Dex, +2 dodge, +6 natural)
hp 69 (9d10+20);
Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +3
DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity
Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft.
Melee bite +12 (1d6+3 plus sneak attack)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks high gear, sneak attack +3d6
Str 16, Dex 16, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +9; CMB +12; CMD 24 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Improved Initiative(b), Lightning Reflexes(b)
Skills Climb +15, Stealth +11; Racial Modifiers +4 Climb, +8 Stealth
SQ swift reactions, winding
High Gear (Ex) As a swift action, the clockwork stalker can switch itself into high gear. Using this ability shifts its operation from near silent to a deafening cacophony of noise as its mechanisms speed up. Any creature within 30 feet must make a DC 15 Fortitude save or be stunned for 1 round. Any creature that fails this save is also sickened as long as the noise persists. The clockwork stalker can maintain high gear as a swift action each round. While high gear is active, the clockwork stalker gains an additional attack with its bite and loses its racial bonus to Stealth.
A clockwork stalker is a terrifying mechanical assassin that obeys the every whim of its master. It stalks the streets and alleys with deadly quiet, pursuing its prey, choosing the perfect moment to strike, its whirring gears leaving its victim nearly defenseless as it tears him or her apart with razor sharp mandibles.
The clockwork stalker uses a newly invented mechanism to help muffle any sound the cogs and gears would normally generate during operation, allowing the creature to move in near silence while still conserving most of its energy. When the stalker is ready to engage, it can switch to a higher gear, trading its silence for alacrity in combat. The major side effect of this higher speed is the tremendous sound created by the higher gear, which often renders opponents nearly helpless.
A typical clockwork stalker is about 6 feet long and weighs 400 pounds.
Clockwork Stalkers in Zobeck
Clockwork stalkers are a recent addition to the terrors that plague the darker corners of Zobeck. Most people assume the creatures are being built by the Arcane Collegium, the Geargrinders’ Guild, or some combination of the two, but it is the mystery of who controls these dangerous constructs which is of much more immediate concern. Most speculation points to the obvious suspects: the Keeper in White, prominent members of the Free City Council, or any of the major Guildmasters, but there are darker murmurs of a connection to the Honorable Order of Weavers. The resemblance these creatures bear to the clockwork weaving spiders is simply too uncanny to be ignored, but the Weavers stand firm behind their claim that these beasts are simply the product of some malicious malcontent trying to besmirch their good name.
The creator must have crafted clockwork pieces worth 1,500 gp.
CL 12th; Price 45,000 gp
Requirements Craft Construct, cat’s grace and geas/quest, creator must be at least caster level 12th; Skill Craft (clockwork) DC 20; Cost 22,500 gp