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Automaton, Stalker

This construct resembles a large cat. Its body coloring and the glowing core in the center of its head constantly shift in color.

Stalker Automaton CR 5

XP 1,600
LN Medium construct (automaton, extraplanar)
Init +7; Senses darkvision 120 ft., low-light vision; Perception +11

DEFENSE

AC 18, touch 13, flat-footed 15 (+3 Dex, +5 natural)
hp 53 (6d10+20); fast healing 5
Fort +1, Ref +4, Will +3; DR 5/magic; Immune construct traits, electricity; Resist cold 10, sonic 10; SR 16
Weaknesses vulnerable mind

OFFENSE

Speed 50 ft., climb 20 ft.; sprint
Melee bite +10 (1d6+4 plus grab), 2 claws +10 (1d4+4)
Special Attacks pounce, rake (2 claws, 1d4+4)
Spell-Like Abilities (CL 6th; concentration +7)

At willdimension door
1/dayblur, invisibility
1/weekplane shift (self plus 50 lbs. of objects only)

STATISTICS

Str 18, Dex 16, Con —, Int 13, Wis 15, Cha 12
Base Atk +6; CMB +10 (+14 grapple); CMD 23 (27 vs. trip)
Feats Combat Reflexes, Improved Initiative, Run
Skills Acrobatics +12, Climb +21, Perception +11, Stealth +17 (+22 when not moving), Survival +8; Racial Modifiers +5 Stealth (+10 when not moving)
Languages Common; telepathy 50 ft.
SQ adaptive camouflage, automaton core, astral blink, intelligent construct

SPECIAL ABILITIES

Adaptive Camouflage (Su)

A stalker automaton’s magically treated metal frame constantly shifts to match its surroundings, granting the stalker a +10 racial bonus on Stealth checks. This bonus is reduced to +5 if the stalker is moving. The stalker can use the Stealth skill even while being observed. This ability is overcome by see invisibility and similar abilities. The camouflage is suppressed by invisibility purge and similar abilities, but the stalker can resume the ability as a free action.

Astral Blink (Su)

A stalker automaton can phase in and out of the Astral Plane while moving, allowing it to travel quickly between two points.

Once per round as part of a move action, a stalker automaton can teleport up to 15 feet as per dimension door. A stalker can continue to move and act immediately after teleporting. If the stalker is charging, it can teleport up to 30 feet with this ability and continue its charge from its new destination, so long as it has a clear path toward its target.

Sprint (Ex)

Once per hour, a stalker automaton can move at 10 times its normal speed (500 feet) when it makes a charge.

ECOLOGY

Environment any (Axis)
Organization solitary, pair, or pack (3–6)
Treasure none

Stalker automatons house the minds of the greatest hunters, serving as the best scouts and assassins among the automatons. Unmatched at pursuing targets, they set out individually or in deadly groups to follow their quarry for days on end, using their construct forms to outlast even the hardiest of targets.

The bodies of stalker automatons were designed to emulate large cats, such as aurumvoraxes, kamadans, and mountain lions. These creatures served as a basis for the strength and design of the bodies. A stalker automaton is typically 5 feet long and weighs 300 pounds, but the oldest of their kind remember the construction of larger stalker frames, including those that resemble creatures such as bears and drakes.

A stalker’s automaton core uses a combination of illusion and transmutation magic to physically alter the makeup of its body to better blend into its surroundings, altering features like color and texture. Although the stalker’s frame consists mostly of metal, its planar-powered camouflage is capable of extraordinary adaptive feats, such as including creating the appearance of moss or leaves when appropriate. This effect is mostly an illusion, however, and those capable of seeing past such images can see the automaton for what it is.

A number of hunters jumped at the chance to become more animal-like in their new automaton bodies. The new bodies afforded these hunters enhanced instincts, which allowed them to connect with their quarries on a more primal level. While stalker automatons initially used their new bodies to hunt enemies, they quickly took to using their new skills for their own purposes, setting off on their own to seek out the hunts they longed for.

In combat, stalker automatons are a subtle force unrivaled by even the most cunning rogues or deadly assassins. Stalkers are capable of stepping between planar boundaries and reaching the Astral Plane instantly. This ability allows them to appear between different parts of the battlefield in the blink of an eye, not through typical planar travel but instead utilizing a kind of planar overlap similar in nature to ethereal jaunt.

While pursuing a target, a stalker automaton will first trail its quarry long enough to understand the creature’s tactics so that it can strike strategically at a later time.

Due to their innate sense of honor, many stalkers prefer to make themselves known before an encounter or at least strike when the target is aware and ready. Stalkers see striking a creature while that target is at its strongest as the only way to prove their combat superiority. The automatons do understand their own limitations, however, and against targets they deem truly fearsome or powerful, they attack with every advantage possible.

If it fails to overcome a target, or the target proves itself a worthy opponent, a stalker retreats, content with the outcome and leaving its opponent in peace.

Though stalker automatons typically live secluded lives, it is not uncommon for them to create tight-knit packs, especially after bonding during a successful combat or hunt. These packs take on group names that match their hunting style or the previous success. The packs rarely have a true leader, instead rotating leadership among its members. The current leader locates the next hunt and the pack follows. Once the hunt is complete, another member finds the next hunt she deems worthy.

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Construct Handbook © 2018, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Brian Duckwitz, Andrew Hoskins, Nathan King, Kris Leonard, Luis Loza, Adrian Ng, Tom Phillips, Alex Riggs, and Nicholas Wasko.