Clockwork automatons are as diverse as all the races of the land and sea, and represent the full gambit of alignments, but each and every construct is unified under one common concept: Immortality. While not fitting the true definition of an immortal creature, a clockwork automaton never ages and with careful preparation a clockwork automaton could conceivably live forever.
The conversion process is shrouded in mystery, requiring the acquisition of secret knowledge, the consultation of sages specializing in engineering and the creation of constructs, vast expenders of wealth and time in research, and even then possibly the use of wishes and divine miracles. Once all the information is gathered, the result is a body is constructed out of gears, springs, and assorted similar parts tailored to the specific tastes of the target creature. In a final arcane act, the machine is then given life through a complex ritual where the soul of the base creature is permanently bonded to the new body leaving his mortal remains to decay naturally.
The clockwork automaton template is an acquired template can be applied to any creature provided the base creature has an intelligence of at least 3, a definable corporeal body, and has a soul that can be freely transported. Before adopting this template, this document should be carefully evaluated by a GM to verify the implied level of technology and magical complexity exists within the setting.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature.
Type and Size: A clockwork automaton gains the construct racial type with modifiers as specified below. Do not recalculate BAB, saves, skill ranks and size.
Armor Class: A clockwork automaton loses the base creature’s natural armor bonuses.
Hit Dice: All hit dice derived from the base creature’s class level or racial level remains unchanged. If the base creature had a constitution score that score is removed, any bonus hit points from Constitution is lost, and no additional hit points are gained from the construct type. Once the template has been established, additional hit dice are derived from class levels only.
Defensive Abilities: A clockwork automaton retains all of the defensive abilities, including existing weapon and armor proficiency, of the base creature. The clockwork automaton also gains the following defensive ability:
A clockwork automaton is slightly sturdier than the base creature it was designed after, and in turn has a damage reduction of 5/bludgeoning and gains an energy resistance of 5 against cold and fire damage.
Speed: A clockwork automaton retains their previous speeds.
Special Qualities: A clockwork automaton retains all of the special qualities of the base creature and any special qualities pertaining to self-healing will function as self-repair.
A clockwork automaton is susceptible to spells that affect metal, and in turn is considered a ferrous creature. A successful rusting grasp spell will in addition to damage leave the automaton staggered for 1d4 rounds (no save).
A clockwork automaton is susceptible to acid corrosion, and is treated as having acid vulnerability, taking 150% damage from all acid attacks and effects. If the automaton is immune to acid damage, they take no damage but instead are treated as entangled for 1d4 rounds (no save).
A clockwork automaton is susceptible to electrical currents and such is treated as having electric vulnerability, taking 150% damage from all electrical attacks and effects. If the automaton is immune to electrical damage, they take no damage but are instead dazed for 1d4 rounds (no save).
A clockwork automaton can only be repaired by spells that affect the construct type such as rapid repair. In addition a clockwork automaton is not subject to massive damage, are not subject to the rules for damaging items.
If a clockwork automaton reaches 0 HP or below, the automaton will case functioning and be treated as unconscious. Additional damage may be inflicted while an automaton is unconscious, but it cannot be truly destroyed by normal means. An automaton may be restored by use of the make whole spell, the Craft Construct feat, or other repair spells for constructs. Regardless of the method used, the repair consumes an additional 2,000 GP in material cost, plus an additional 500 GP in for every hit point below 0 and will leave the automaton at 1 HP. All repairs must be performed no later than 1 day / character level, otherwise the cost increases to 6,000 GP in materials and 1,000 GP for every hit point below 0. Some aspect of the original automaton must be present for repairs to commence, and once restored additional parts not used in the restoration go inert. An automaton can be reincarnated once below 0 hp, provided the spirit is willing.
If the automaton has been melted down or reduced to dust by disintegrate or similar spell, the soul is unbound from the body and the automaton is dead, as per organic creatures in the same state. They may only be brought back by a carefully worded wish or miracle spell, provided the spirit is willing, at which point the automaton is restored back to life in full condition with no extra cost or penalties.
A clockwork automaton is powered by a complex clockwork spring-driven design and requires periodic winding. Anyone may wind an automaton, provided they have a key, or the necessary skills to complete the task. Winding is achieved by placing a key into a specially designed slot and turning it constantly for 60 seconds, this action provokes an attack of opportunity. If the winding process is interrupted, all previous rounds of winding are lost and the process must be restarted. If the key is missing, an automaton can be wound with a successful Disable Device (DC20). The winding will provide one day of operation per hit dice of the automaton. When the automaton runs down, it becomes unconscious, and will persist as such indefinitely until rewound, at which point it will become active again with no knowledge of passing time.”
While not requiring food, drink, or sleep, the automaton requires periodic maintenance to their body. This process takes one hour of time and involves cleaning components, adjusting fit of gears and repairing any damaged parts, and reapplying lubricants. This requires an hour of time and a Disable Device (DC 15). Failure results in needing to repeat the task. The automaton may do this procedure to itself, but the difficulty of the Disable Device (DC 25) rises and an additional Sleight of Hand (DC 25) check is required due to the difficulty of reaching parts.
Maintenance must be performed once per month. For every two months without maintenance, the automaton takes a -1 penalty to all attack rolls, saves, and checks, persisting until maintenance is performed. An automaton that goes more than one year without maintenance will shut down as if unwound, and will not be able to be restarted until maintenance is performed.
The clockwork automaton has the unique ability to incorporate some magical or masterwork items into its body semi-permanently. This only applies to wearable items that provide a persistent effect (such as armor, necklaces, or rings). All persistent effects remain including armor bonuses and magical abilities, while triggered effects such as magical charges or per day effects are unavailable while the items are integrated. This procedure prevents the items from being targeted by spells or abilities, but does not negate any penalties from we aring (such as armor check penalties or maximum dexterity/speed from confining armor, any penalties from wearing armor without appropriate training). All ‘slots’ with an integrated piece of equipment are still considered used, and they cannot wear additional items (such as two amulets, three rings, or so on) unless normally permitted. Integrating a piece of equipment involves four hours of work, does not destroy the item, and cannot be complete by the automaton itself. Removing an integrated item involves four hours of work.
Clockwork Automaton © 2011, Authors: J. Augis, B. Nace, R. Veneklase. All rights reserved.