Clockworks

This page is part of the Swords of the Red Sun Monsters Project.

The Cult of the Machine God excelled in creating mechanical monsters it used as servants, guardians, and on occasion assassins. I’ve already detailed the most common guardian, the Clockwork Skeletons. Below we discuss the Clockwork Servant, which is as common as the Clockwork Skeleton but less dangerous and the rarely seen Clockwork Hunter, the Cult’s assassins.

Clockwork Servants
Armor Class:8[11]*
Hit Dice:1+1
Number of Attacks: See below
Damage: See below
Dexterity:3d6(avg 10)
Movement: 40
Number Appearing: 3d6 , rarely found in wilderness
Save as: Fighter 1
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None

The Clockwork Servant were utility items created by the Cult of the Machine God. They were roughly humanoid shaped although their limbs looked like jointed pipe segments than organics. Their bodies were a flattened metal cylinder with a dome emitting light for a head. While the legs ended in feet the arms ended in sockets for various attachments. The clockwork servants performed a variety of tasks including cleaning, cooking, and basic maintenance of cult holdings. They were also imbued with a basic self-defense and guarding mechanism. They had a variety of attachments for various jobs and these attachments affect their damage from attacks and the nature of the attacks.

For a random encounter generally I roll a d4 for each d6 and the d4 determines the d6’s type.

Servant Types

  1. Carpenter Servant: This servant did basic carpentry. It has hammer and saw attachments. If it is attacking a character pinned against an object or even standing against something it will attack with hammer and nails for d6 damage. Each damage point is a single nail. Once it has driven in 8+ nails the character must save versus turned to stone or be held for a number of rounds equal to the nails in it. The servant will pick a new target if the character is held. Characters who are free-standing are as lumber to cut and attacked with the saw for d8 damage.
  2. Cleaning Servant: A janitor servant it has a broom/mop attachment and a bucket attachment. It can attack with both each round, each for d6 damage. Every round roll a d6 before attacking. On 1-2 the servant instead dips the mop/broom in the bucket then attacks with the mop/broom only. If it hit the target is doused with cleaning solution. Cleaning solution is a mild contact poison which does 1hp of damage each turn until the character rolls an even number (use any convenient die).
  3. Gardening Servant: A garden servant has pruning shears and bug spray attachments. It can attack with the gardening sheers for d6 damage in melee. If not in melee it will use the bug spray as a ranged weapon. The bug spray is 5′ wide by 20′ long cone and is a neurotoxin. It does 2d4 damage with a poison saving throw for half damage.
  4. Cooking Hunter: The cooking servant will defend itself with its selection of cooking knives and its cleaver. It has four chef’s knives and a meat cleaver. In melee it will attack with the cleaver (treat as a hand axe). Outside of melee it will throw the knives (treat as dangers) and throw the cleaver last. If it is out of weapons from throwing it will try to retrieve them. If forced into melee its paring knife does 1d2 damage.

Because of the variety of options servants bring to the table a combat with many servants of multiple types often is more time-consuming that you expect.

Clockwork Hunters
Armor Class:4[15]*
Hit Dice:4+4
Number of Attacks: 1
Damage: d8 or weapon
Dexterity:3d6(avg 10)
Movement: 40
Number Appearing: 1d3
Save as: Fighter 5
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: None

The Clockwork Hunter is an advanced Clockwork Skeleton clothed in artificial flesh. They also have an actual, if primitive, artificial brain. They are capable of open-ended tasks, asking questions (“What’s wrong with your eyes?”) , and even giving commands (“Your clothes… give them to me, now.”). The voice is stilted and at best people will think they are a moron. They have of 17 strength and do receive your system’s strength bonus to damage and to hit (if any).

Whenever a Clockwork Hunter has taken half damage it is a tattered form on the Clockwork Skeleton frame. Characters seeing it this way have to save versus paralyzation or be frozen in horror for d3 rounds. If attacked they will snap out of the daze.

Clockwork Hunters encountered randomly are on a given mission on 1-2 on a d6. Check reaction for hunters on a mission. If it is positive they will engage the characters in an attempt to gain information about their mission. If negative they will attempt to move on and will only engage in combat if attacked. If not directly in combat they will again try to continue with their mission.

General rules for all clockworks
Clockworks have a weird vulnerability to electricity that appears to confuse them, often causing them to run away in a random fashion or cease working. If a Clockwork is the target of an electrically based attack it and all skeletons within 20′ of it react as if they were undead of equivalent hit dice being faced by a cleric. Roll to turn undead at the level of the person wielding electricity. If turned they move about randomly without attacking until they make a successful save. The round after they save they return to normal action. If destroyed they are not physically destroyed but merely freeze in place and cease functioning (if using BFRPG or similar games that interpret D as damaged instead of destroyed apply damage as per those rules).

* For BFRPG add 1 to the AC, for LotFP use the conversion guidelines from DM book

As per the licensing page the material in this box is available under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License or the Open Gaming License. Choose the license which best suits your purposes but I prefer the Creative Commons.

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