A war machine is a construct of terrible power built from various metals, and granted the powers of another creature. Designed to resemble a living creature, a war machine’s body is a complicated construction of layered metals that give it the shape the desired creature would normally have. Magic grants the war machine the powers of the creature it was built to resemble.
A war machine follows the commands of its creator much as a golem does. Although unintelligent, it has an instinctual understanding of its abilities and of combat. A war machine is capable of limited strategy when carrying out its creator’s instructions and it can follow any simple command that the creator can give in a few sentences.
“War machine” is an inherited template that can be added to any living, corporeal creature except those with the ooze type (referred to hereafter as the base creature). A war machine uses all the base creature’s statistics and special abilities except as noted here.
Challenge Rating: Same as the base creature +3.
Alignment: Always neutral.
Type: The creature’s type changes to construct and loses all racial subtypes.
Armor Class: Natural armor class increases by +5.
Defensive Abilities: The base creature gains all of the defensive abilities granted by the construct type. Additionally, it gains DR 10/—, acid, cold and fire resistance 10, and immunity to electricity. If the base creature has better resistances or immunities, it keeps those.
Weaknesses: The base creature gains the following weakness:
Beneath its skin, a war machine is largely composed of metal. It counts as a ferrous creature for the purposes of rusting grasp and other spells that have special effects on metal.
Speed: Each of the war machine’s speeds is double the corresponding speed of the base creature and gains the following.
Attacks: Each of a war machine’s natural attacks deals damage as though the war machine was two size categories larger than it is. Furthermore, the war machine can wield weapons up to two size categories larger than the base creature could without taking penalties.
Special Attacks: A war machine gains the following.
Spikes and blades cover a war machine’s body. When another creature attacks it with handheld or natural weapons, the attacker takes 1d8 points of slashing and piercing damage. Incorporeal creatures and creatures using weapons with exceptional reach, such as longspears, do not take this damage. In addition, a war machine deals 1d8 points of piercing and slashing damage to a grabbed opponent with each successful grapple check.
Skills: Ignore the base creature’s skill modifiers, since a war machine has no skill points. However, it retains any racial bonuses that the base creature has. In addition, a war machine gains a +10 racial bonus on Acrobatics, Climb, and Perception checks.
Feats: A war machine retains the base creature’s bonus feats, but loses all others.
Special Qualities: A war machine gains the mindless universal monster ability, as well as the following.
For an extra 500 gp, the war machine’s creator can create a war machine that can carry them as a rider without subjecting them to the damage from its body blades.
Environment: Change to any.
Organization: Change to solitary, pair, or squad (3-6)
War machines are created in the same manner as golems. Because a war machine is composed of various metals, it weighs three times what the base creature does.
Advanced Bestiary, Copyright 2014, Green Ronin Publishing, LLC; Author Jeff Hersh, Developer Owen K.C. Stephens