Today is the beginning of Clockwork Week, and that means it’s time for a new clockwork creature. Or, perhaps, a new clockwork take on an old, but still exciting creature. I give you the clockwork manticore.
This steel monstrosity resembles some mad engineer’s attempt to create a mechanical horror, with a lion-like body, bat-like wings with folding flaps of black leather, and a dagger-studded tail.
CLOCKWORK MANTICORE CR 8
N Large construct (clockwork)
Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +1
AC 21, touch 13, flat-footed 17 (+2 Dex, +2 dodge, +8 natural, -1 size)
hp 85 (10d10+30)
Fort +3, Ref +5, Will +4
DR 10/adamantine; Immune construct traits; Weaknesses vulnerable to electricity
Speed 30 ft., fly 50 ft. (clumsy)
Melee bite +14 (1d8+5), 2 claws +14 (1d4+5), tail slap +9 (2d6+8)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
Special Attacks blade volley, bladed tail
Str 20, Dex 15, Con —, Int —, Wis 12, Cha 1
Base Atk +10; CMB +16; CMD 28 (32 vs. trip)
Feats Improved InitiativeB, Lightning ReflexesB
SQ swift reactions, winding
Organization solitary, pair, or pride (3–6)
Blade Volley (Ex): As a standard action, a clockwork manticore can snap its tail, unleashing a volley of daggers from its tail. Each use of this ability unleashes 1d8 daggers against a single target. Make a separate attack roll for each dagger. They are treated as having a range increment of 20 feet when launched in this way. Each dagger inflicts 1d4 points of piercing damage, plus the clockwork manticore’s Strength modifier (typically 1d4+5). A clockwork manticore cannot fire more daggers with this ability than it has remaining on its tail (see the bladed tail ability, below).
Bladed Tail (Ex): A clockwork manticore’s tail is studded with 20 detachable daggers, which can be thrown with its blade volley special attack. Its tail slap deals slashing damage, instead of bludgeoning. Additionally, it deals an additional 6 points of slashing damage with its tail (this is already factored into its statistics, above). Each time it uses its blade volley ability, for each dagger that is launched, it suffers a permanent –1 penalty on damage rolls made for its tail slap attack, until the next time its tail is restocked with blades (to a maximum damage penalty of –20; this cannot reduce the damage inflicted by any given attack to less than 0). The clockwork manticore cannot restock its own tail, but any creature with humanoid hands and access to 20 daggers can do so. Restocking the clockwork manticore’s tail with masterwork, poisoned, or even magical daggers does not impact its attack or damage bonuses for its tail slap attack, unless all of the daggers stored in the tail have the same masterwork quality, poison, or magical enhancement. Individual daggers can be removed from the clockwork manticore’s tail with a disarm or steal combat maneuver (or simply as a move action, if it is willing).
While there is some doubt as to the origins of living manticores, and whether or not they may have been magical creations, there can be no doubt that these clockwork terrors are entirely man-made. Created most often to serve as bodyguards or to protect important locations, some clockwork manticores are created simply because their creator wishes to test his abilities, for they are particularly difficult pieces of clockwork to craft, especially as far as making them able to fly.
Clockwork Manticore Construction
The clockwork manticore is a masterpiece of clockwork construction and is exceptionally difficult to create. The creator must begin with crafted clockwork pieces worth 10,000 gp. The cost of the daggers kept in the clockwork manticore’s tail is not included in this price.
CL 10th; Price 70,000 gp
Craft Construct, geas/quest, telekinesis, creator must be at least caster level 14th; Skill Craft (clockwork) DC 22; Cost 35,000 gp