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Clockwork Dragon

Clockwork dragons are a marvel of clockwork design. These powerful masterpieces have the ability to fly, making them versatile and dangerous killers. A clockwork dragon's winding mechanism is more efficient than those of other clockworks, allowing it to partially reuse energy generated by flapping its wings. Creating a clockwork dragon requires not only an advanced understanding of clockwork design, but also a greater cache of rare resources, as its body requires solid reinforcement. As a result, most clockwork dragons have adamantine fortification. Creating a clockwork dragon without adamantine is entirely possible, though such dragons are typically smaller and more fragile.

Recall Knowledge - Construct (Arcana, Crafting): DC 40

Clockwork DragonCreature 16

Source Bestiary 3 pg. 51
Perception +28; darkvision
Skills Acrobatics +29, Athletics +33
Str +9, Dex +5, Con +5, Int -5, Wis +4, Cha -5
Wind-Up 1 week, DC 35, standby
AC 39; Fort +30, Ref +28, Will +25
HP 265; Immunities death effects, disease, doomed, drained, fatigued, healing, mental, necromancy, nonlethal attacks, paralyzed, poison, sickened, unconscious; Resistances physical 15 (except adamantine or orichalcum); Weaknesses electricity 15, orichalcum 15
Self-Destruct ReactionReaction A clockwork dragon must use this reaction unless specifically programmed otherwise by its creator; Trigger The clockwork dragon is reduced to 0 Hit Points; Effect The dragon screeches to a stop and emits a steady, loud ticking sound. At the beginning of what would have been its next turn, the dragon explodes, dealing 12d10 piercing damage in a 40-foot emanation (DC 37 basic Reflex save).
An adjacent creature can cancel the self-destruct sequence by succeeding at a DC 37 Thievery check to Disable a Device.
Speed 40 feet, fly 120 feet
Melee Single ActionSingle Action adamantine jaws +33 [+28/+23] (reach 15 feet), Damage 3d12+17 piercingMelee Single ActionSingle Action adamantine claw +33 [+29/+25] (agile, reach 10 feet), Damage 3d8+17 slashingMelee Single ActionSingle Action tail +31 [+26/+21] (reach 20 feet), Damage 3d12+15 bludgeoningMelee Single ActionSingle Action wing +31 [+27/+23] (agile, reach 15 feet), Damage 2d10+15 piercingBreath Weapon Two ActionsTwo Actions (arcane, evocation, fire) Effect The clockwork dragon breathes a spray of flaming oil that deals 16d6 fire damage in a 40-foot cone (DC 37 basic Reflex save). Creatures that fail their saves are covered in burning oil and take 2d6 persistent fire damage. The clockwork dragon can't use Breath Weapon again for 2 rounds.Draconic Frenzy Two ActionsTwo Actions The clockwork dragon makes two claw Strikes and one wing Strike in any order.Spearing Tail Two ActionsTwo Actions The clockwork dragon attacks with the sharp point of its tail. It makes a tail Strike against each creature in a 20-foot line, rolling the attack roll once and applying the result to each target. Any creature hit takes 4d6 persistent bleed damage (doubled on a critical hit). This counts as two attacks for the dragon's multiple attack penalty.

All Monsters in "Clockworks"

Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Mage9
Clockwork Soldier6
Clockwork Spy-1


Source Bestiary 3 pg. 48
Intricate, complex machines, clockworks are built with care by highly skilled engineers. Though their creation involves some amount of magic, they're primarily mechanical, packed with precision-tuned gears and springs working in concert.

The sturdy mainspring within a clockwork must be wound to provide the energy needed to power the device. Some larger clockworks contain a series of springs for different limbs that each need to be wound. A clockwork's crafter creates a unique metal key while building the clockwork; winding the clockwork usually involves inserting the key into the machine's back and turning clockwise. Larger clockworks require greater strength to turn the key, and typically have larger keys to allow for more torque—some even accommodating a team of winders rather than an individual. Programming a clockwork requires both the key and the knowledge to set the program correctly, information usually reserved for the clockwork's creator or owner.

Winding Clockworks

A clockwork must be wound to remain operational. Each clockwork has the wind-up ability, with the specifics listed in its stat block.

Wind-Up For a clockwork to act, it must be wound with a unique key by another creature. This takes 1 minute. Once wound, it remains operational for the listed amount of time, usually 24 hours, after which time it becomes unaware of its surroundings and can't act until it's wound again. Some clockworks' abilities require them to spend some of their remaining operational time. They can't spend more than they have and shut down immediately once they have 0 time remaining. If it's unclear when a clockwork was last wound, most clockwork keepers wind all their clockworks at a set time, typically 8 a.m.

A clockwork that lists standby in its wind-up entry can enter standby mode as a 3-action activity. Its operational time doesn't decrease in standby, but it can sense its surroundings (with a –2 penalty to Perception). It can't act, with one exception: when it perceives a creature, it can exit standby as a reaction (rolling initiative if appropriate).

A creature can attempt to Disable a Device to wind a clockwork down (with a DC listed in the wind-up entry). For each success, the clockwork loses 1 hour of operational time. This can be done even if the clockwork is in standby mode.

Sidebar - Locations Clockwork Research

Clockworks were invented in ancient times, culminating in the clockwork army of Xin, the first emperor of ancient Thassilon, but were lost for millennia. Disparate peoples later rediscovered the techniques and began to alter and improve them. Today, the Clockwork Cathedral in Absalom is a center of clockwork research, with many breakthroughs also coming from the kingdom of Nex and the mechanically savvy Grand Duchy of Alkenstar. The Qadiran professor Hadia Al-Dannah, formerly of the Clockwork Cathedral, wrote the best-regarded modern text on clockwork design—Glorious Rhythms in Life and Mechanica.

Sidebar - Advice and Rules Malfunction!

Clockworks can be prone to errors if not well maintained or properly programmed. You might want to introduce one of the malfunctions listed below in a clockwork that is in disrepair or gets damaged heavily in battle (such as with a critical hit).

Backfire: The clockwork rolls a DC 5 flat check at the start of each of its turns. On a failure, it backfires, dealing 2d6 fire damage in a 15-foot cone, including to itself (basic Reflex save at the standard DC for its level), and is slowed 1 this turn.

Damaged Propulsion: The clockwork loses 1d4 hours of operational time at the end of each of its turns.

Loose Screws: When damaged, the clockwork attempts a DC 5 flat check. On a failure, a plate of its armor falls loose. It takes a status penalty to AC equal to the number of lost plates (up to –4).

Sidebar - Additional Lore Winding Routines

Maintaining a group of clockworks that are meant to operate on a regular basis takes planning and attention. A cadre of clockwork soldiers set to patrol a location needs to be regularly wound. Typically, one or more servants are assigned to wind all the clockworks serving in one place at a standard time.