Archives of Nethys

Pathfinder | Starfinder

All | Unique
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
Families | Templates | Types | Subtypes | Universal Monster Rules


Clockwork

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.

Creatures in "Clockwork" Category

NameCR
Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Excavator10
Clockwork Familiar2
Clockwork Goblin3
Clockwork Goliath19
Clockwork Gunslinger7
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

Clockwork, Clockwork Spy

This tiny steel creature has one oversized eye, a spherical body, and several spiderlike legs of grinding metal.

Clockwork Spy CR 1/2

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 58
XP 200
N Tiny construct (clockwork)
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0

Defense

AC 15, touch 15, flat-footed 12 (+1 Dex, +2 dodge, +2 size)
hp 5 (1d10)
Fort +0, Ref +3, Will +0
Immune construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity

Offense

Speed 30 ft., fly 30 ft. (clumsy)
Melee slam +3 (1d2)
Special Attacks record audio, self-destruct

Statistics

Str 10, Dex 13, Con —, Int —, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +1; CMB +0; CMD 12
Feats Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB
Skills Climb +3, Fly –3, Stealth +11; Racial Modifiers +2 Climb, +2 Stealth
SQ swift reactions, winding

Ecology

Environment any
Organization solitary
Treasure incidental (gemstone worth 50 gp)

Special Abilities

Record Audio (Su) A clockwork spy can record nearby sounds as a swift action, archiving all sound within a 20-foot spread onto a small gemstone worth 50 gp embedded in its body. The clockwork spy can record up to 1 hour of sound per Hit Die it possesses. Starting and stopping playback of recorded sound is a swift action. Removing a gemstone or installing a gemstone into a clockwork spy requires a DC 25 Disable Device check as a full-round action—failure does not damage the gemstone but does erase any recorded sounds on the gemstone. Since clockwork spies are not intelligent, they must be given simple commands as to when they are to start recording sounds. A clockwork spy can differentiate between creature types and subtypes, but not between specific individuals—a spy can be ordered to start recording sound as soon as a humanoid (human) or an aberration comes in range, but it cannot be ordered to start recording when a specific person comes within range. Once a clockwork spy begins recording sound, it cannot cease recording early. Likewise, it cannot record sound onto a gemstone that already contains a recording.

Self-Destruct (Su) Unless specifically programmed otherwise by its creator, a clockwork spy explodes 1 round after it is destroyed. During this round, the thing shrieks and thrashes about as if undergoing convulsions. On what would normally have been the clockwork spy’s next action, it explodes, dealing 1d6 points of fire damage in a 5-foot radius (Reflex DC 10 for half damage). A DC 20 Disable Device check made as a standard action can halt the spy’s self-destruct sequence, but does not prevent it from dying. A clockwork spy that self-destructs automatically destroys its gemstone, along with any information contained inside it. The save DC is Constitution-based.

Description

These spindly and discreet mechanical arachnids are ideal for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, and can be vital tools in political intrigues or illicit consortium tactics. Their retractable, insectile wings make the swift creatures even craftier foes than most would anticipate. As they are less combat-oriented than many other clockworks, if a clockwork spy is caught in the act of recording its target, escape is usually the most practical course of action for it.

Clockwork spies are about 2 feet wide from leg to leg, and weigh less than 40 pounds.

Construction

These delicate constructs are full of small parts and difficult to construct. The creator must start with crafted clockwork pieces worth 250 gp.

Clockwork Spy

CL 12th; Price 1,250 gp

Construction

Requirements Craft Construct, geas/quest and ghost sound, creator must be at least caster level 12th; Skill Craft (clockwork) DC 20; Cost 750 gp