Archives of Nethys

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Miscellaneous bits of rusted machinery are fused to the body of this shambling corpse.

Rust-Risen CR 2

Source Pathfinder #86: Lords of Rust pg. 90
XP 600
CE Medium undead
Init +5; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +7


AC 15, touch 11, flat-footed 14 (+1 Dex, +4 natural)
hp 19 (3d8+6)
Fort +3, Ref +2, Will +4
Defensive Abilities absorb electricity; Immune undead traits
Weaknesses malfunction


Speed 30 ft.
Melee arm drill +5 (1d6+3), metal jaw +5 (1d6+3)


Str 17, Dex 13, Con —, Int 5, Wis 12, Cha 14
Base Atk +2; CMB +5; CMD 16
Feats Improved Initiative, Power Attack
Skills Intimidate +6, Perception +7, Stealth +5; Racial Modifiers +2 Perception
Languages Common
SQ augmentations


Environment any
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–12)
Treasure none

Special Abilities

Absorb Electricity (Ex) When a rust-risen is damaged by electricity, it takes no damage (as if immune). Instead, the rust-risen gains 1 temporary hit point for every 4 points of damage it would have taken. A rust-risen can only have a number of temporary hit points equal to 150% of its hit point total. These temporary hit points disappear 1 hour later. If a rust-risen takes more than double its normal hit point total in electricity damage from a single attack, the creature is destroyed.

Augmentations (Ex) Rust-risen have various pieces of malfunctioning machinery embedded in their bodies. Each of these augmentations provides the rust-risen with different abilities. A rust-risen has one augmentation plus one additional augmentation for every 3 Hit Dice the creature possesses (typically 2 for most rust-risen). The rust-risen presented here has the arm drill and metal jaw augmentations. See the next page for other augmentations.

Malfunction (Ex) The machinery embedded in a rust-risen functions unpredictably in stressful situations. When a rustrisen enters combat, there is a cumulative 1% chance each round that it malfunctions. This chance resets to 0% 1 minute after combat ends. When a rust-risen malfunctions, it takes a –2 penalty on attack rolls, saving throws, skill checks, and ability checks for 1d4 minutes.


Rust-risen lurk in the burned-out husks of ancient space-faring vessels and among the grease and blood stained laboratories of mad, technologist necromancers. These hideous undead mockeries riddled with the remnants of ancient technology—rotting creatures, outfitted with twitching relics of a spacefaring race, that prey on the living by tearing their victims to shreds with gnashing drills, vivisecting scalpels, and flailing exsanguination tubes.


Necromancers with a twisted affinity for technology often forgo the usual ghoul or zombie minions for a rust-risen ally. Far from mindless, rust-risen possess limited memories of their lives before undeath, though these recollections are more like misshapen shadows flickering on the walls of their minds, and are often distorted and highly inaccurate.

Habitat & Society

Rust-risen possess the unnatural hunger for the living shared by other undead, but they also maintain a strange obsession with technological artifacts. It’s not uncommon when breaching a rust-risen lair to find it filled with baubles, gizmos, and other technological oddities—even schematics which rust-risen cannot make sense of. Rust-risen collect such items, which appear to give them some semblance of comfort in their rotting horror of an existence. Rustrisen also seek sources of electrical power, finding them comforting in the same way a warm bath soothes living flesh. If denied access to an electrical power source, rust-risen become sluggish and despondent, but spring to activity as soon as they are exposed to electricity.

Rust-risen are always bonded to their creator, serving them as loyally as an animal companion does its master. They rely on their creator to keep their malfunctioning technology from completely breaking down. Over time however, their bond grows into obsession; eventually it becomes an uncontrollable desire for their master to join them in undeath. Such obsessed rust-risen often overpower their necromancer overlords, who awaken to find themselves on an operating table, their machine-studded monstrosities hovering busily over their extracted viscera.

If a rust-risen’s creator is destroyed, the undead becomes despondent and lost. It wanders, avoiding civilization and hovering at the fringes of communities, preying on stragglers and wallowing in misanthropic misery. At the same time, it constantly seeks the aid of anyone who can keep it from breaking down. This duality means that the mood of an uncontrolled rust-risen is nigh-impossible to predict.

Rust-Risen Augmentations

As rust-risen are cobbled together from dead bodies augmented with barely-functioning machinery, no two are exactly alike. Some technologically minded necromancers with enough raw materials and a consistent design plan try to make their rust-risen conform to a template, but most packs of rust-risen are motley and violent amalgamations of flesh and steel.

A GM can further modify rust-risen in their games with augmentations of their own creation, but they should be no more powerful than those described below.

Additional Appendage: Some rust-risen are augmented with an additional mechanical limb. A rust-risen with this augmentation gains a slam attack that deals damage appropriate for its size (1d4 for most rust-risen). This arm can manipulate objects as well as a normal arm, but cannot be used to wield a weapon.

Antifreeze: A rust-risen with this augmentation has an embedded series of tubes connected to a pump that keeps a chemical flowing through its body, preventing ice from forming inside it. The rust-risen gains resistance 5 to cold.

Arm Drill: A rust-risen with this augmentation has a deadly, spinning drill grafted onto its forearm. The rustrisen can use the drill to make a melee attack that deals 1d6 points of bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.

Cling Hooks: A rust-risen with this augmentation has barbed hooks grafted into its arms and legs. The rust-risen gains a +4 racial bonus on Climb checks and a +4 racial bonus on combat maneuvers to grapple opponents.

Cutting Arm: A rust-risen with this augmentation has one of its forearms replaced with a functional laser torch. The rust-risen deals 1d10 points of fire damage as a touch attack. This damage is not modified further by Strength. When the laser torch is used as a tool or as a weapon to sunder, damage dealt by it bypasses hardness up to 20 points and isn’t halved (as is normally the case for energy damage applied to objects) unless the object is fire resistant. A laser torch’s cutting beam passes through a force field and force effect without damaging that field. Invisible objects and creatures cannot be harmed by a laser torch.

Eviscerator: A rust-risen with the eviscerator augmentation has a number of twisting blades, reciprocating saws, and spinning drills built into its chest. The rust-risen deals an additional 1d8 points of damage when grappling.

Exsanguination Tubes: A rust-risen with exsanguination tubes can drain blood from creatures it has grappled. If the rust-risen establishes or maintains a pin, it bleeds the target, dealing 1 point of Constitution damage.

Metal Jaw: A rust-risen with this augmentation has a metal jaw replacing its natural one. The rust-risen gains a bite attack that deals damage appropriate for its size (1d6 points of damage for most rust-risen).

Multi-tool: A rust-risen with this augmentation has at least one of its hands replaced with a variety of tools. The rust-risen gains a +4 competence bonus on Disable Device checks and is considered to be trained in that skill. The rust-risen also gains a +2 competence bonus on one specific Craft skill.

Steel Clad: A rust-risen with this augmentation has sheets of metal riveted to is body. The rust-risen gains a +2 natural armor bonus.

Tripod: A rust-risen with this augmentation has an additional mechanical leg. The rust-risen gains a +2 bonus to CMD against overrun and trip attempts and a +2 bonus on Acrobatics when moving on narrow surfaces or uneven ground. The rust-risen isn’t considered flat-footed nor does it lose its Dexterity bonus to AC when using Acrobatics in this way.