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Clockwork Cannoneer

Clockwork cannoneers are cannon-armed constructs created to defend the Grand Duchy of Alkenstar. The people of Alkenstar typically find conventional arms sufficient for battling creatures who wander out of the Mana Wastes, but recent increases in activity from the fleshforges of Nex and the necromantic chambers of Geb have spurred the people of the city into a flurry of defensive innovations. Created by an experimental collaboration between the city's gunsmiths and clockwork inventors, the clockwork cannoneer provides exceptional mobile firepower. Two cannon-arms swing at the sides of the 15-foot-tall automaton, and its body contains a hopper of cannonballs that are replenished by engineers when the creature is wound up for duty. Triple-walled reinforcement on the cannoneer's black-powder reservoirs provides ample protection from the accidental explosions and backfires that often troubled early prototypes of the finely engineered machine. The current design combines the long-range capabilities of field artillery with the stopping power of a firedrake against engaged enemies, and its heat-tempered gear assembly minimizes warping that might cause slipping, grinding, or shaking.

While reports from living artillery members serving alongside clockwork cannoneers complain of blisters, smoke inhalation, and singed eyebrows, the Grand Duchy's chief clockwork machinists have assured the city's leadership that the constructs function well within safety parameters. The clockwork cannoneer's self-sufficient construction frees crews to see to those battlefield tasks that can, for the moment, only be conducted by sentient beings.

Intelligence reports from Quantium and Absalom indicate that attempts to replicate the clockwork cannoneer's design have been spectacularly unsuccessful.

Recall Knowledge - Construct (Arcana, Crafting): DC 39
Unspecific Lore: DC 37
Specific Lore: DC 34

Elite | Normal | Weak
Proficiency without Level

Clockwork CannoneerCreature 15

Rare N Huge Clockwork Construct Mindless 
Source Impossible Lands pg. 325
Perception +25; darkvision
Skills Athletics +30
Str +7, Dex +8, Con +6, Int -5, Wis +4, Cha -5
Wind-Up 24 hours, DC 33, standby
AC 38; Fort +27, Ref +29, Will +23
HP 250; Immunities death effects, disease, doomed, drained, fatigued, healing, mental, necromancy, nonlethal attacks, paralyzed, poison, sickened, unconscious; Resistances physical 10 (except adamantine or orichalcum); Weaknesses electricity 15, orichalcum 15
Speed 25 feet
Melee [one-action] bore +28 [+23/+18] (backswing, shove), Damage 3d12+12 bludgeoningRanged [one-action] cannonball +29 [+24/+19] (range increment 100 feet), Damage 6d12 bludgeoningBombard [two-actions] (fire) The clockwork cannoneer launches an explosive shot up to a range of 200 feet that explodes in a 20-foot burst. Creatures within the burst take 5d10 bludgeoning damage (DC 36 basic Reflex save).Muzzleburn The heat from a discharged cannon sears those who touch its metal shell. The clockwork cannoneer's bore Strike deal an additional 2d6 fire damage until the end of its next turn after it makes a cannonball Strike or uses its Bombard or Powder Blast abilities.Powder Blast [two-actions] (fire) The clockwork cannoneer spews flames from one of its cannons, dealing 8d6 fire damage in a 30-foot cone (DC 36 basic Reflex save). Those that fail the save also take 2d6 persistent fire damage.

Sidebar - Additional Lore Safety and Innovation

Eager to solve two operational challenges with one construction feature, Alkenstar's clockwork engineers connected a gear-driven barrel cleaning mechanism to the clockwork cannoneer's winding drive. Now, operators can be sure that as long as the construct is wound, it's safe to fire. This feature is just one of the marvels of automation demonstrated by the project, along with its self-loading cannonballs and automatic powder measuring systems.

All Monsters in "Clockworks"

Clockwork Amalgam20
Clockwork Assassin13
Clockwork Brewer3
Clockwork Buccaneer9
Clockwork Cannoneer15
Clockwork Clock Tower20
Clockwork Disposer5
Clockwork Door Warden4
Clockwork Dragon16
Clockwork Fabricator4
Clockwork Handler1
Clockwork Hunter0
Clockwork Mage9
Clockwork Puppeteer12
Clockwork Soldier6
Clockwork Sphinx8
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 - Advice and Rules Versatile Designs

Most clockwork builders design their mechanical minions to perform a single specific task, as in the case of the clockwork door warden or clockwork disposer. Though these constructs' intended functions are typically limited, creative owners can find workarounds or loopholes to exploit, effectively turning their single-purpose clockwork into a versatile guardian or servant. Of course, nearly every clockwork is pre-programmed to defend itself against foes, a function which typically requires no special action on the clockwork's part.

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.