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Clockwork, Clockwork Dragon

Though made of thousands of metal parts, this masterpiece of gleaming metal glides through the air with impossible grace.

Clockwork Dragon CR 16

Source Bestiary 4 pg. 30, Pathfinder #66: The Dead Heart of Xin pg. 86
XP 76,800
N Huge construct (clockwork)
Init +8; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision, see invisibility; Perception +8


AC 34, touch 14, flat-footed 28 (+4 Dex, +2 dodge, +20 natural, –2 size)
hp 177 (25d10+40)
Fort +8, Ref +14, Will +8
DR 15/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Resist fire 20; SR 27
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity


Speed 60 ft., fly 100 ft. (average), swim 60 ft.
Melee bite +35 (4d6+12), 2 claws +35 (2d8+12), tail slap +30 (2d6+6), 2 wings +30 (2d6+6)
Space 15 ft., Reach 15 ft. (15 ft. with bite)
Special Attacks adamantine weapons, breath weapon (100-ft. line, 14d6 fire damage, Reflex DC 22 half, usable every 1d4 rounds), self-destruction


Str 34, Dex 19, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +25; CMB +39; CMD 55 (59 vs. trip)
Feats Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB
Skills Fly +8, Perception +8, Swim +20; Racial Modifiers +8 Fly, +8 Perception
SQ difficult to create, efficient winding, swift reactions


Environment any land
Organization solitary
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Adamantine Weapons (Ex) The teeth and claws of a clockwork dragon are made of adamantine and have the qualities of a weapon made from that material.

Efficient Winding (Ex) Built for long and dangerous missions, a clockwork dragon can function for 3 days per Hit Die each time it’s wound.

Self-Destruction (Ex) When a clockwork dragon’s hit points are reduced to 10% of its total (17 in the case of most clockwork dragons) or less but are still above 0, the creature self-destructs on its next turn, bursting into an explosion of metal scraps and steam that deals 10d6 points of slashing damage plus 10d6 points of fire damage to all creatures within a 20-foot-radius burst. A successful DC 22 Reflex save halves the damage. The save is Charisma-based.


While the clockwork goliaths possess more brute power, clockwork dragons’ powerful breath weapons and mastery of flight make them more versatile and graceful killers. Designed for long flights and missions, the intricate winding mechanism of the clockwork dragon is more efficient than that of other clockwork constructs, partially because it reuses some of the energy generated by its intricate wings and the complex machinery of its breath weapon device. One of the most complicated and subtly crafted clockworks, its many moving parts are fortified by adamantine supports and fixtures, making this killing machine a brilliant mix of intricacy and unyielding terror.

The basic chassis and internal workings of the clockwork dragons are highly adaptable, and many variants of the clockwork dragon exist. Clockwork dragons are typically 20 feet long from snout to the tip of its tail, and weigh nearly 75 tons.

Variant Clockwork Dragons

The following are a number of variant clockwork dragons. Some clockwork dragons exhibit more than one of these variations.

Acid Breath (CR +0): Equipped with an internal fountain of caustic liquid, this type of clockwork dragon replaces its fire breath with a 60-foot line of acid. Targeted creatures take 10d8 points of acid damage (Reflex DC 22 half ).

Destroyer (CR + 0): These clockwork dragons are used as highly mobile and powerful siege engines. While the destroyer clockwork dragon lacks a breath weapon, as a full-round action taken while on solid ground, it can move its gears to pull its wings apart and to rise up as a heavy bombard (Pathfinder RPG Ultimate Combat 161). The body of the clockwork is used as the platform for the bombard, and the internal workings of the clockwork can load the bombard without a crew, though it still takes five full-round actions on the part of the clockwork to load the bombard. The clockwork dragon can also take the actions necessary to aim the bombard. A clockwork dragon carries enough ammunition to fire the bombard 10 times.

Flaming Tar Breath (CR +1): Instead of breathing fire, some clockwork dragons spray a 30-foot cone of flaming tar. Creatures in the area of effect take 14d6 points of fire damage and are entangled in a thick layer of flaming tar. A successful DC 22 Reflex save halves the damage and negates the entangled effect. Creatures are entangled for 5 rounds as the tar burns. Entangled creatures take 3d6 points of fire damage each round on their turn. Spending a full-round action and succeeding at a DC 22 Reflex save removes the tar, freeing the trapped creature from the entanglement and further fire damage.

Infiltrator (CR + 1): These clockwork dragons are more subtle and nimble than those of other clockwork dragons. An infiltrator clockwork dragon can rearrange its movable parts into very serpentine and compact shapes, which gives it the compression ability. Furthermore, its parts are coated with a black, noise-dampening resin, granting it a +8 racial bonus on Stealth checks (typically Stealth +0). Finally, it’s infused with magic allowing it, as a standard action, to become invisible as the greater invisibility spell (CL 15th) three times per day. The infiltrator clockwork dragon’s invisibility is a supernatural ability.

Mithral (CR +0): This variant loses its adamantine weapons and its DR, which are replaced by greater flight capability thanks to its spell-infused mithral parts. Its land and swim speeds increase to 70 feet, and its fly speed increases to 200 feet with good maneuverability. In addition, once per day as a swift action, it can gain the benefits of the haste spell for 1d4 rounds.

Rust Breath (CR +0): Rust-breath clockwork dragons do not breathe fire. Instead, the creatures breathe out a fine mist of an alchemical solvent that instantly rusts exposed metals. This so-called “rust breath” issues forth in a 60-foot line. Creatures can attempt a DC 22 Reflex save to avoid the effect for attended items; however, they need to make a separate attempt for each exposed item. Each alchemical dragon can hold enough of the alchemical solvent to make up to three breath weapon attacks before the solvent must be refilled manually, which takes 10 minutes. These clockwork dragons are made of ironwood, adamantine, and other resistant materials immune to rusting of any form.

Sleep Gas Breath (CR +0): This clockwork dragon’s breath weapon is replaced with tanks of sleep gas. When the clockwork breathes out this gas in a 30-foot cone, creatures within the cone must succeed a DC 22 Will save or fall asleep for 1d6+10 rounds. Clockwork dragons with this breath weapon tend to have either the infiltrator or mithral variants, and often they have both variants. These clockwork dragons excel at missions that require stealth and precision rather than brute force.


The clockwork dragon is a masterpiece of clockwork construction and is exceptionally difficult to create. The creator must begin with crafted clockwork pieces worth 25,000 gp.

Clockwork Dragon

CL 18th; Price 300,000 gp


Requirements Craft Construct, animate objects, geas/quest, and limited wish, creator must be at least CL 18th; Skill Craft (clockwork) DC 20; Cost 162,500 gp

Creatures in "Clockwork" Category

Clockwork Angel15
Clockwork Assassin13
Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Excavator10
Clockwork Familiar2
Clockwork Fiend17
Clockwork Goblin3
Clockwork Goliath19
Clockwork Guardian8
Clockwork Gunslinger7
Clockwork Hound5
Clockwork Leviathan12
Clockwork Mage9
Clockwork Nautiloid14
Clockwork Overseer7
Clockwork Priest11
Clockwork Servant2
Clockwork Snail10
Clockwork Soldier6
Clockwork Songbird1/2
Clockwork Spy1/2
Clockwork Steed6
Clockwork Vivisectionist10
Mechanical Efreeti1
Toy Golem5


Source Bestiary 3 pg. 53
Clockwork constructs are the technological cousins of golems, constructed with a combination of magic and precise technologies dependant upon the internal churning and turning of thousands of intricate springs, screws, and gears.

There are those who would scoff at the work of clockwork engineers, whose constructs seem at best merely imitations of the creations brought to life by practitioners of the purely arcane arts. However, those canny enough to realize the potential of clockwork engines know their true power to be both exotic and potent. In worlds where clockworks are common, these creatures can rival even the most powerful of golems for raw power. Massive giants comprising countless nuts and bolts have torn entire empires asunder. Time and time again, clockwork creatures have proven themselves a formidable presence in the face of more traditional rivals, and those who have borne witness to the feats of these creatures know to hold their tongues before questioning the constructs' power.

Clockwork creatures function by combining magical energies and clockwork mechanisms. The myriad metal parts that go into the construction of a clockwork creation require absolute precision in order to function properly, so they must be built by only the steadiest of hands. Amateurish attempts at clockwork construction typically result in nonfunctional units or misfires, and many an engineering lab has been burned to the ground by novices seeking to learn the basics of clockworks and the elements that power them.

Particularly guileful crafters may construct miniature clockwork spies that can record sound, and rumors tell of even more advanced technologies that allow visual recording. While magical wonders such as spells can allow the user to scry information or to see where one isn't normally physically able to, clockwork spies provide an edge in that their memories are concrete and incorruptible, enabling them to make flawless recordings of events not subject to the regular perversions of human memories.

Clockwork creations, as their names suggests, must be wound up before they animate. The creator of a clockwork crafts a unique key for each creation. This key is typically inserted into the clockwork's back and turned clockwise to wind it. Turning the key counterclockwise has the effect of winding the machine down, though only a willing (or completely helpless) machine will allow itself to be unwound in this way, meaning either its creator or someone its creator has specifically designated can normally do so. Since each key is totally unique, construction of a new key (or bypassing a key entirely) requires a successful Disable Device check (DC = 20 + the clockwork's CR). Larger clockworks tend to have larger keys, and particularly huge keys require more than one set of hands to turn. Rather than seek assistance from other engineers, eccentric or hermetic inventors often rely upon other clockwork creations to help them turn keys or aid in the creation of more monumental constructs. Other times, engineers give copies of keys to their most trusted clockworks, which can be programmed to wind allies and even themselves as the situation requires.

Much like golems and animated objects, clockwork creatures can be given any number of commands; a perpetually turning script in their core records those orders and programs the rest of the machine. Only one who possesses a key to the clockwork can program it, but any commands given to the construct last until the clockwork is reprogrammed or destroyed. An individual clockwork's potential is only limited by its creator's innovation and aptitude. Unlike many golems, which are trapped in bodies resembling lumbering and fallible cages, clockwork constructs can be repeatedly reworked and reengineered—gears can be oiled, springs can be replaced, and pistons can be fine-tuned. The ever-adjustable framework of these mechanical beasts allows for extreme variation from creation to creation.

Since clockwork creations are mostly mechanical and are at the mercy of their creator's adeptness with the technology, they are prone to the follies of human error. Loose bolts, improper programming, or lack of maintenance are all cause for malfunctions, errors that can range from minute energy leaks to deadly explosions. The most common cause of malfunction, however, is not imparted by the creator, but by the clockwork's destroyer. Creatures attacking the machine gradually unhinge screws and twist cogs with each landed blow, giving the clockwork a greater chance of backfire. Many combat clockworks are thus accompanied by clockwork servants—servitor clockworks that quickly and readily fix their mechanical allies in the heat of battle.

In the earlier days of clockwork technology, many practical hindrances prevented rapid maturation of the devices. Clockwork machines were powered by inefficient, costly resources; however, the advent of arcane enchantment not only has allowed for greater precision in the crafting of gears and other key components, but has also opened up a wide new range of possibilities for defensive systems and offensive weaponry. Early attempts to combine clockwork with steam power or other nonmagical forms of energy tended to overcomplicate the already delicate machinery, and have long since been abandoned as a result. Whispers abound of an even more unusual category of clockwork that has solved this problem and has merged the complexities of steam power with the adaptability of magical energies, yet such exotic and unusual clockworks remain nothing more than rumors in most worlds at this time.

Clockwork Augmentations

Source Pathfinder #123: The Flooded Cathedral pg. 81
In addition to the standard special abilities and qualities granted by the clockwork subtype, many clockwork designs incorporate more abilities designed by their engineers. The following examples are intended to help GMs build new clockworks or modify existing ones. Some of the most common clockwork special abilities have been gathered in this section along with a number of new ones.

Charged (Ex): Equipped with a static generator, a clockwork with this special ability deals an additional 1d6 points of electricity damage with all natural attacks and melee weapons it has.

Efficient Winding (Ex): Built for long missions, a clockwork with this special ability can function for 2 days per Hit Die each time it’s wound. If the creature’s CR is 11 or higher, it can function for 3 days per Hit Die each time it is wound.

Embedded Ioun Stone (Ex): As a full-round action, an ioun stone can be embedded in (or removed from) a slot in the clockwork creature (usually on its forehead). It is possible to embed or remove an ioun stone only if the clockwork is helpless, pinned, or willing. The clockwork gains the benefit of the ioun stone, including its resonant power.

Grind (Ex): A clockwork with this special attack deals additional slashing damage when it makes a successful grapple combat maneuver check because of many twisting gears and churning pistons in its body. This additional damage is equal to 1d4 points (1d6 if Large, 1d8 if Huge, 2d6 if Gargantuan, or 3d6 if Colossal) plus 1-1/2 the creature’s Strength bonus.

Integrated Firearm (Ex): One of the clockwork’s arms ends in a firearm. The firearm generally functions as a pistol or musket intended for a creature of the clockwork’s size, but nearly any firearm of suitable size is possible. The clockwork is considered proficient with the weapon. The clockwork can reload an integrated one-handed firearm as a swift action and an integrated two-handed firearm as a move action. As a standard action, the clockwork can remove the broken condition from an integrated firearm, provided that the condition resulted from a misfire. A clockwork usually has 10 rounds of ammunition and gunpowder stored within a reloading mechanism.

Proficient (Ex): A clockwork with this special ability is proficient with all simple and martial weapons. The clockwork must have humanlike hands in order to gain this ability.

Repair Clockwork (Ex): Clockworks with this special ability are adept at repairing other clockwork constructs. As a standard action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity, the clockwork can repair damage done to either itself or an adjacent clockwork creature, restoring 1d10 hit points to the target. If the repairing creature’s CR is 11 or higher, the amount of hit points restored increases to 2d10.

Self-Destruction (Ex): When the hit points of a creature with this special ability are reduced to 10% of its total or less but are still above 0, the creature self-destructs on its next turn, bursting in an explosion of metal scraps and steam in a 20-foot-radius burst. The damage dealt is equal to 1d6 points for each Hit Die above 5 the construct has (clockworks with 5 or fewer Hit Dice cannot gain this ability). Half of this damage is fire damage and half is slashing damage. A target that succeeds at a Reflex save (DC = 10 + half the clockwork’s Hit Dice + the creature’s Constitution modifier [usually 0]) takes half damage.

Standby (Ex): A clockwork creature with this special ability can place itself on standby as a standard action. While on standby, the clockwork creature cannot move or take any actions. It remains aware of its surroundings but takes a –4 penalty on Perception checks. Time spent on standby does not count against the clockwork’s wind-down duration. The clockwork can exit standby as a swift action. If it does so to initiate combat, it gains a +4 racial bonus on its Initiative check.

Tough Alloys (Ex): The clockwork gains Toughness as a bonus feat.