Clockwork Overseer

One arm of this six-limbed clockwork construct ends in a broad fist, and the other extends into an articulated metal lash.

Clockwork Overseer CR 7

XP 3,200
N Medium construct (clockwork)
Init +6; Senses all-around vision, darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1
Aura aura of command (30 ft.)


AC 21, touch 14, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +2 dodge, +7 natural)
hp 75 (10d10+20)
Fort +4, Ref +8, Will +5
DR 5/adamantine; Immune construct traits
Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity


Speed 30 ft., climb 30 ft.
Melee lash +15 (1d4+5 plus trip), slam +15 (1d6+5 plus push)
Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft. (10 ft. with lash)
Special Attacks overclock, push (slam, 10 ft.)


Str 19, Dex 14, Con —, Int —, Wis 13, Cha 1
Base Atk +10; CMB +15; CMD 2
Feats Improved Initiative B, Lightning ReflexesB
Skills Climb +12
SQ swift reactions, tactical calculus, winding


Aura of Command (Ex)

A clockwork overseer broadcasts subtle commands in a 30-foot radius, granting heightened combat abilities to all clockwork creatures in the area.

Affected clockwork creatures, including the clockwork overseer, gain a +1 competence bonus on saving throws, attack rolls, and weapon damage rolls; these bonuses are already calculated into the clockwork overseer’s statistics.

As a standard action, a clockwork overseer can intensify the aura until the beginning of its next turn, increasing the competence bonus to +2.

Lash (Ex)

A clockwork overseer’s lash is a primary natural attack that deals bludgeoning damage.

Overclock (Ex)

In place of making a lash attack on its turn, a clockwork overseer can overclock another clockwork creature within its reach, impelling it to exceed its performance limitations. At the beginning of its turn, an overclocked creature takes an amount of damage equal to half its Hit Dice (minimum 1), expends 1 full day of activity stored by its winding ability, and gains one of the following benefits, selected by the clockwork overseer.

  • The overclocked creature gains the benefits of haste.
  • The overclocked creature’s natural attacks and attacks with metal melee weapons deal an additional 1d6 points of fire damage. If the creature already deals fire damage, including with a breath weapon or the swallow whole ability, that special attack’s fire damage increases by 2d6.
  • The overclocked creature gains Combat Reflexes as a bonus feat and gains a +2 bonus on attack rolls when making attacks of opportunity.

A clockwork overseer can end this effect on a clockwork creature affected by its aura of command as a free action.

The overclocked condition otherwise continues until the clockwork creature expends its stored days of activity or is destroyed.

Tactical Calculus (Ex)

A clockwork overseer can store hundreds of commands and scripts, allowing it to perform modest feats of problem-solving and strategic command as though it had an Intelligence score of 10.

In practice, this enables a clockwork overseer to make tactical decisions, such as exploiting terrain or flanking targets, as well as convey simple tactical commands to other clockwork creatures in its aura of command. If the clockwork overseer takes electricity damage, it must succeed at a Fortitude save (DC = the electricity damage dealt) or lose both its aura of command and tactical calculus abilities for 1d4 rounds.


Environment any land
Organization solitary, crew (1 plus 2–5 clockwork servants), or deployment (1–2 plus 2–5 clockwork soldiers)
Treasure none

What clockwork creatures boast in both strength and resilience, they often lack in nuance and strategy. Most machinists are content to command their constructs directly when seeking tactical precision, but only a few artificers have the technical expertise needed to create a mechanical lieutenant capable of reasoning and adapting in its master’s absence. Known as clockwork overseers, these constructs boast extraordinarily complex programming that far exceeds the basic command vocabulary of other clockwork creatures. This allows clockwork overseers to store hundreds or even thousands of commands, which they can parse and sort quickly enough to simulate an intelligent creature’s adaptive thinking—at least regarding combat strategy and moderately complex tasks of coordinating construct laborers. These functions fall short of true thought, and clockwork overseers are incapable of language, emotion, higher thinking, or symbolic reasoning beyond specific sounds and statements they might parrot on command.

Like most clockwork creatures, clockwork overseers are finely tuned creations of metal, gears, and magic, but they differ in two major regards: their mechanical “brains” and their kinetic generators. The complex inner workings of a clockwork overseer’s programming core are an order of magnitude more complicated that those of its counterparts, composed of delicate arrays of counters, springs, toggles, and other perfectly fitted components that collectively store and compute data.

Clockwork overseers can compel even greater feats from their subordinates, though doing so requires direct contact between the constructs via the overseer’s lash to convey an electrical charge. This electricity builds over time, accumulated by static energy discharges created by the movement of limbs and gears. Most clockwork creatures respond readily to this electrical goading, overriding their standard operating specifications based on the exact combination of current and voltage the overseer conveys. Clockwork overseers harness and exploit electricity in small amounts, but they’re as vulnerable as other clockwork creatures to massive discharges—arguably more so, since such attacks can scramble an overseer’s decision-making hardware and temporarily reduce it to a truly mindless state.

Numerous cultures and machine schools have built clockwork overseers over the ages, emphasizing different martial techniques in the process. These variant clockwork overseers can grant a different combat feat—typically one for which they qualify—to their minions. What’s more, these overseers sometimes represent the last record of otherwise extinct fighting styles; a creature with the Craft Construct feat or that succeeds at a DC 21 Craft (clockwork) or Knowledge (engineering) check can spend 8 hours deciphering an overseer’s mechanical “brain” in order to decode the stored combat feat, using this new knowledge as the basis to learn the feat or teach it to others.

Habitat and Society

Since they are artificial constructs, clockwork overseers almost always exist because either a skilled artificer or a machinist created them.

The creator typically already owns several other clockwork creatures and needs a capable, tireless entity to direct them. As a result, a clockwork overseer is only rarely encountered alone, unless attrition, misfortune, or time have destroyed its entourage.

Under rare circumstances—especially involving areas of sustained magical energy—an overseer can independently learn new tricks or even develop self-awareness.

These creatures often commandeer other clockwork creatures, creating tiny fiefdoms dedicated to building new wonders or helping the overseer attain true sentience. Some faithful seek out such awakened constructs, considering it their duty to protect and guide these mechanical “children.” Construction

The creator of a clockwork overseer must start with crafted clockwork pieces worth 2,000 gp.

Clockwork Overseer Construction

CL 12th; Price 42,000 gp


Feats Craft Construct; Spells geas/quest and haste; Special creator must be at least caster level 12th; Skills Craft (clockwork) DC 20; Cost 22,000 gp

Section 15: Copyright Notice

Pathfinder Adventure Path #123: The Flooded Cathedral © 2017, Paizo Inc.; Authors: Mikko Kallio, with John Compton, Adam Daigle, Kalervo Oikarinen, and David Schwartz.

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