The Initiative – Clockworks

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This time around is rules for clockworks in The Initiative. I used the rules from Pathfinder Bestiary for the basis and then changed some rules to fit my game world. Also included is the stats for the clockworks our heroes had to overcome during their latest adventures.

Enjoy!

-Mike

Clockworks:

So first off, why clockworks? This is a fantasy world where wizards can make golems of immense power that can perform all the functions, and more, of a clockwork without the need to wind it up so why would anyone want to build clockworks? The simplest answer is cost. To create the design of a clockwork involves a great deal of time and money, but once the design is done it costs a fraction of what it would to produce golems capable of performing the same functions. Talented clockwork engineers can also program clockworks to be nearly as versatile as golems in their operation. Golems, once created, are unable to be modified without great amounts of effort. Clockworks are relatively easy to repair, modify and upgrade as needed. Another advantage is that clockworks can be built without using magic. At a location with anti-magic fields, or similar non-magical areas, a clockwork will continue to function while golems will not. Clockworks can be created with magical components but any clockwork created with a controlling spirit is technically a golem and should be created with standard rules (see Clockwork Golem, Bestiary 2, pg 137 for an example).

How do you create a clockwork? Before going into the detail, I need to advise you of some major differences between clockworks in Pathfinder and clockworks in The Initiative.

  • First change, the wind down time has been replaced with wind points. Four wind points are equal to one day of wind down time, so effectively clockworks have four wind points for every HD, unless designed for different amounts (example: Efficient Winding from Clockwork Soldier would double the wind points). Unless noted otherwise, a clockwork can operate for 6 hours for every wind point it has. Most clockworks are programmed not to use special abilities that require wind points when they are low  The main reason for this change was to allow for special abilities that use wind points to function. Winding a clockwork for a full round action restores one wind point, up to it’s maximum wind points.

  • Second change, clockworks do not require caster levels or Create Construct feat to create. Anyone with the Craft (Clockwork) skill can make a clockwork. Functions can be incorporated to a clockwork using enchants but are completely optional. The reason for this change is to draw a definitive line between magic constructs and science constructs.

  • Third change, the cost of clockworks are significantly different. The cost and time to make a new clockwork is roughly double that of a golem, but once a design is created that clockwork can go into production for roughly half the cost and time. If the clockwork engineer wants to create a unique clockwork without plans for creating another, then this cost is roughly 150%. Details for craft DC, cost and time are discussed below.

For the clockwork you have to decide what size and abilities it will have. Use the rules in Pathfinder Bestiary to determine the CR of your clockwork and use this CR squared times 1000 gp as your starting point. Example, if your clockwork will be a CR 4 then your base cost for design is 16,000 gp (4×4=16, 16×1000 gp = base cost). Fractional CR’s are not squared (CR ½ = 500 gp).

Special abilities, attacks and defenses increase the base cost of the clockwork. The first special ability is included in this cost. The second and third special abilities increase the calculated price by +½ CR each. Thereafter, each additional special ability adds +1 CR per ability. Examples of special abilities include having a higher DR value than a typical clockwork of its CR (above DR 5 for CRs 1–8, above DR 10 for CR 9+), monster statistics that exceed those recommended for the clockwork’s CR, and most special attacks and special qualities.

If you want plans to create more of the same clockwork, then add half this base cost to the total. Once a clockwork engineer has plans created for a clockwork then future production of that same clockwork will be one fourth the cost as long as they are produced on an assembly line. Without a facility to mass produce clockworks then simply use the base cost (note that base cost is about the same cost as pathfinder clockworks).

Here is an example of the cost using the Clockwork Soldier (Bestiary 3, pg 57). The CR for a Clockwork Soldier is 6. It has three special abilities, first is included in cost, second and third are +½ CR each bringing the CR total (for calculating base price) to 7. So, the CR 7 is squared (7X7=49) and then multiplied by 1000 gp (49×1000) for a base cost of 49,000 gp (personally, I would round this up to 50,000 gp but I’ll leave it for the example). To make plans for the Clockwork Soldier you add another ½ of the base cost (49,000×1.5) for a total of 73,500 gp. With the plans for the Clockwork Soldier available, a production facility will be able to mass produce them at 1/4th the cost (73,500/4=18,375 gp each). These prices include the cost of normal materials.

You can use exotic materials for clockworks but the cost will increase significantly. As an example, let’s say we want to make our Clockwork Soldier out of living steel. Using heavy armor as a point of reference, the cost to make a set of heavy armor out of living steel is +1500 gp. A set of half-plate or full plate weighs 50lb. Considering the weight of a Clockwork Soldier is 500lb, this gives us a cost of +15,000 gp. This cost is added to the final cost of each clockwork and is not modified by being in mass production (a mass produced Clockwork Soldier normally costing 18,375 gp will add 15,000 gp to the cost for a total of 33,375 gp). Note that living steel has a price listing for cost per pound but that cost is intended for miscellaneous items and should NOT be used (at +250 gp/lb we would have to add +125,000gp to our final cost… WAY more than it should be). Once the clockwork is built with the new material, it receives any armor bonuses as if wearing heavy armor and weapon bonuses to attacks of the appropriate type (slashing/piercing weapons but not ammo). As another example, if we built our Clockwork Soldier out of adamantine, then we would add +150,000 gp to the final cost (of course, that is if you could even acquire enough adamantine to build even one clockwork).

And finally, now that we know what we are building, how we are going to build it , and how much it will cost… how long is it going to take? This is where our clockwork engineer comes in. Once per week our engineer makes a Craft (Clockwork) check against the DC 20 plus half the CR of the clockwork (round up). Smaller clockworks are much more difficult to craft and have increased DC based on size; small is DC +2, tiny is DC +4, diminutive is DC +8 and fine is DC +12. Take the amount the roll was successful by and multiply that amount by 1000 gp (roll equal to the DC indicates no progress). If this amount is equal to or more than the final cost of the clockwork, then it is completed. If this amount is less than the final cost, then keep track of this amount and add it to the results for the next weeks results until the total is equal to or more than the final cost. If the craft check was a failure then multiply the failed amount by 1000 gp and subtract that amount from the progress total but not below 0 gp (if the engineer fails on his first week he simply makes no progress). On a natural roll of 20, roll another D20 and add the result to your total craft check. On a natural roll of 1, not only do you loose progress but you ruin some of the materials and must spend 1/6th the base cost to continue crafting the clockwork.

The clockwork engineer can use skilled assistants to help with the progress on a clockwork. Everyone that is working on the clockwork rolls their Craft (Clockwork) check against the same DC. The highest craft check is used for the results of the progress. Each assistant that succeeds on their craft check increases the amount of the progress check multiplayer by 500 gp. Any assistants that fails will reduce the total progress by the amount failed multiplied by 500 gp.

Example, the Clockwork Soldier with its CR 6 gives us a DC 23. We need to make 73,500 gp worth of progress to build it and have plans for future mass production. On the first week the engineer makes a craft check and gets 33 so we succeeded the roll by 10. This put our progress at 10,000 gp out of the 73,500 gp needed. This is going to be a bigger project than our engineer anticipated, so he recruits some fellow clockwork engineers to help. With three other engineers to assist they get to work and everyone rolls a craft check resulting in 24, 28, 35 and 21. The highest result was 35 so this is the roll we use to determine the amount of progress. The results of 24 and 28 both succeed, so each of them add 500 gp to the success multiplier making it x2000 gp. With a total of 21 the last assistant failed and reduced the total progress by 1000 gp (roll failed by 2 x 500 gp). So, with the highest roll succeeding by 12, multiplied by 2000 gp, then subtracting 1000 gp, and adding the previous progress (12X2000=24,000-1000=23,000+10,000) puts the total progress at 33,000 gp. As a team they doubled their progress and the project is nearly half way done, despite one of their colleagues causing setbacks.

Remember that only so many engineers can work on the same medium sized humanoid clockwork at the same time, but larger clockworks can (and usually should) have larger teams of engineers working on them.

So, I’m sure this is all clear as mud so please let me know if you have questions, comments or suggestions at: [email protected]

Clockwork Bestiary:

 

Master tinker Braden Rooks has been busy experimenting with various animal forms while looking for ways to improve on his clockworks.

 

Clockwork guard dog CR 1, 400 XP

N Small Animal (Construct)

hp 15 (2d10)

wp 8

Init +7

Speed: 40

AC: 15, Touch 14, flat footed 12

(+1 Dex, +1 Natural, +1 size, +2 dodge)

BAB +2; CMB +3; CMD 15

Attack Bite +4 (1d4+2)

Space 5ft.; Reach 5

SQ: Max Wind Points 8, Bark: emits a loud barking noise to alert guards of intruders (everyone gets a +10 to perception checks to hear the bark), Clockwork traits: Vulnerability to electricity. Clockwork constructs take 150% as much damage as is normal from electricity attacks, Winding: The construct must be wound with a special key in order to function.

Fort +1, Ref +6, Will +1,

Str 14, Dex 12, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Base Cost: 1000 gp

(special ability: bark)

 

Clockwork Cheetah CR 2, 600 XP

N Medium Animal (Construct)

hp 36 (3d10)

wp 12

Init +10

Speed: 50, Sprint (x10)

AC: 18, Touch 18, flat footed 10

(+6 Dex, +2 dodge)

BAB +2; CMB +5; CMD 23

Attack: Bite +5 (1d6+3), 2 Claw +5 (1d3+3)

Space 5ft.; Reach 5

SA: Swipe (Ex): +5 (1d8+6) – clockwork cheetah uses retractable blades to do a swipe attack while using sprint to run past opponents. The target can choose to make an attack of opportunity at -4 or roll reflex save for half damage (DC 15), but not both. (This is a high speed trample that does slashing damage)

SQ: Max Wind Points 12, Sprint: can charge at 500 ft (2 wind points used per sprint, can use every other turn, will no longer use sprint if below 1/3rd wp), Clockwork traits: Vulnerability to electricity. Clockwork constructs take 150% as much damage as is normal from electricity attacks, Winding: The construct must be wound with a special key in order to function.

Fort +1, Ref +13, Will +1,

Str 16, Dex 22, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Base Cost:  9000 gp

(three special abilities: swipe attack, sprint, increased dexterity)

 

Clockwork Ant CR 4, 1200 XP

N Medium Vermin (Construct)

hp 47 (5d10)

wp 20

Init +6

Speed: 30

AC: 18, Touch 14, flat footed 14

(+2 Dex, +4 Natural, +2 dodge)

BAB +3 CMB +6 (+10 grapple); CMD 18 (26 vs. trip)

Attack Bite +6 (1d6+3 plus grab)

Space 5ft.; Reach 5

SA: Grab – grapple after successful bite attack.

SQ: Max Wind Points 20, Grab: +4 to grapple with successful bite attack, Clockwork traits: Vulnerability to electricity. Clockwork constructs take 150% as much damage as is normal from electricity attacks, Winding: The construct must be wound with a special key in order to function.

Fort +3, Ref +7, Will +3,

Str 16, Dex 14, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Base Cost: 16,000 gp

(special ability: grab)

 

Clockwork Snake, constrictor CR 3, 800 XP

N Medium Animal (Construct)

hp 44 (4d10)

wp 16

Init +9

Speed: 20, swim 20ft., climb 20ft.

AC: 15, Touch 15, flat footed 10

(+3 Dex, +2 dodge)

BAB +3; CMB +7 (+11 imp. grab); CMD 20,

Attack Bite +7 (1d6+4 plus grab)

Space 10ft 2x2ft.; Reach 5ft

SA: Improved Grab: if hit with a bite gets a free grapple attempt at +4 CMB, Constrict: 1d4+4 on a successful grapple (1 wind point to constrict, will not constrict if less than 1/4th wp).

SQ: Max Wind Points 16, Clockwork traits: Vulnerability to electricity. Clockwork constructs take 150% as much damage as is normal from electricity attacks, Winding: The construct must be wound with a special key in order to function.

Fort +2, Ref +9, Will +2,

Str 18, Dex 16, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Base Cost: 12,250 gp

(two special abilities: improved grab, constrict)

 

Clockwork Tyrannosaurus CR 5, 1,600 XP

N Huge Animal (Construct)

hp 63 (6d10)

wp 24

Init +4

Speed: 40

AC: 17, Touch 10, flat footed 15

(+7 Natural, -2 size, +2 dodge)

BAB +6; CMB +12; CMD 22,

Attack: Bite +11 (1D8+5), Slam +11 (1D6+5)

Space 10ftx20ft (2×4); Reach 10ft (2)

SA: Trample (Ex): (1d6+7, DC 18) 1 wind point to use, will not trample if less than 1/4th wp.

SQ: Max Wind Points 24, Clockwork traits: Vulnerability to electricity. Clockwork constructs take 150% as much damage as is normal from electricity attacks, Winding: The construct must be wound with a special key in order to function.

Fort +4, Ref +6 Will +4,

Str 20, Dex 10, Con -, Int -, Wis 11, Cha 1

Skills Feats: Improved Initiative, Lightning Reflexes

Base Cost:  36,000 gp

(special ability: trample)

Note: I reduced the bite damage so a crit would not 1 shot the players (wich it almost did anyway).

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