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Clockwork Swordsman

by Jamie Baty

Medium Construct
Hit Dice: 5d10+20 (47 hp)
Initiative: +4 (+3 Dex, +4 Improved Initiative)
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares) (can't run)
Armour Class: 18 (+3 Dex, +5 natural), touch 13, flat-footed 15
Base Attack/Grapple: +3/+6
Attack: Rapier +6 melee (1d6 +3)
Full Attack: Rapier +4 melee (1d6 +3) and dagger +4 melee (1d4+1)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Amusing quip, bold attack, charming compliment, fancy moves, salute
Special Qualities: Construct traits, darkvision 60ft., low-light vision, water vulnerability, wound up
Saves: Fort +1, Ref +4, Will -2
Abilities: Str 17, Dex 16, Con -, Int 14, Wis 4, Cha 15
Skills: Balance +7, Bluff +6, Climb +7, Escape Artist +7, Jump +7, Listen +1, Spot +1, Tumble +7
Feats: Improved Initiative, Two-Weapon Fighting
Environment: Any land
Organisation: Solitary
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Gems and precious metals worth 1d4x1000gp
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: 6-10 HD (Medium)
Level Adjustment: -

Clockwork swordsmen are the mechanical and magical creations of powerful mages, originally devised as elite bodyguards. Clockwork swordsmen are fearless and act according to a "code of conduct" very similar to that of a swashbuckler.
Clockwork swordsmen are sentient, generally intelligent and charismatic, but they have a horrendous Wisdom. It is very difficult for them to learn from their mistakes, and they will repeat the same error over and over again, even if corrected. These automatons are quite capable of handling sophisticated missions within a limited time frame and are capable of limited interpolation and extrapolation of past behaviour to cope with new situations. However, the results generally leave something to be desired.
Clockwork swordsmen are almost perfect replicas of the humanoids they were built to emulate, with only slight clicks and whirs to betray their true nature. There are both male and female "swordsmen". All clockwork swordsmen are obsessed with the fact that they only have a mechanical heart and no soul. They see this condition as a curse. A clockwork swordsman in company is cheery and quite outgoing. When a clockwork swordsman thinks that is unobserved or alone, however, it can be quite morose and melancholy. As magical constructs, they are bound to serve their creators, but most clockwork swordsmen quickly develop an intense dislike (or even hatred) for their creators.
Clockwork swordsmen have no treasure and generally have no desire to accumulate any beyond the trappings necessary to support a flashy, graceful lifestyle. Clockwork swordsmen seek to emulate swashbucklers in every particular, including the flashy clothing, gaudy belongings, and lavish gifts.
Clockwork swordsmen desires above all else to be human. As such, they attempt to behave as humanly as possible. Clockwork swordsmen often harbour deep fears that they do not really have emotions and a sense of humour. Given the opportunity, a clockwork swordsman will ask endless questions about "emotions" and what it means to be "real."
Clockwork swordsmen are valuable and expensive servants. Most creators will not risk their creations unnecessarily, so they send them out only on critically important missions. Most of the time, they keep such automatons close by to serve as bodyguards. In this case, a clockwork swordsman may only be partially wound up, forcing it to stay close to its master.
If destroyed, the body of a clockwork swordsman yields rare gems and precious metals (gold, platinum, and silver) worth 1d4x1000 gold pieces. These materials are part of the automaton's internal workings.
Clockwork swordsmen need to be rewound on a regular basis in order to operate. This is done by a special key, usually in the possession of its creator. They can be repaired, but only by the original creator. Clockwork swordsmen cannot rewind themselves, and the most powerful automatons often require magical keys, which are usually safeguarded by their creators.
A clockwork swordsman could conceivably host a heroic spirit. Such a clockwork swordsman could rewind itself, if it obtained its key. This would allow it to become independent from its creator. The heroic spirit would stay with its mechanical host until its internal workings rusted, which could be a very long time.
Occasionally, a clockwork swordsman becomes a host for a legacy leech. The combination creates an utterly ruthless, cold-hearted, mechanical killer known as a rogue automaton. Like a clockwork swordsman hosting a heroic spirit, a rogue automaton has no need for a key, and it is independent from its creator. The rogue automaton and the legacy leech exist in a symbiotic partnership, so the legacy leech will often let the rogue use its stolen Legacies.
A rogue automaton retains all of its swashbuckling abilities and flashy behaviour patterns, so they can be quite deadly. Rogues also develop a taste for wealth for its own sake and will often accumulate a significant treasure horde.
Rogue automatons will stop at nothing to track down and kill their creators. Rogues prefer a long, drawn-out stalking campaign culminating in the dramatic death of their creators. A rogue automaton attempts to kill any other clockwork servants made by its creators first, then living servants and immediate relatives, leaving its creators for last.

Flashy, daring and full of panache is how a clockwork swordsman fights. They almost always duel wield weapons.
However, they do not like to actually fight much, as it reduces their time between rewindings. So they will often simply defend themselves with parries, defensive manoeuvres and witty repartee in hopes their foes will relent.
Clockwork swordsmen are proficient with all simple and martial weapons. They are not proficient with any armour or shields.

Amusing Quip (Su): 5/day the clockwork swordsman can call out an amusing joke at the expense of its opponent, such as "I've spoken with pigs more polite than you." That opponent must make a Will save vs DC 14 (Cha based) or suffer a -2 penalty to all attack rolls and skill checks for the next 1d4 rounds. This is a swift action.

Bold Attack (Ex): As a full round action, the clockwork swordsman may make a daring and forceful attack. The clockwork swordsman gains a +2 bonus to his attack roll and if the opponent is hit, he must make a Reflex save vs DC 15 (Str based) or be forced to move 1d4x5 ft backwards.

Charming Compliment (Sp): 5/day the clockwork swordsman may compliment a member of the opposite sex. The victim must make a Will save vs DC 14 (Cha based) or be affected as if under the effects of a charm person spell.

Fancy Moves (Ex): As a full round action, the clockwork swordsman forgoes all attacks and performs a variety of complicated weapon manoeuvres and parries. As a result, he gains a +6 bonus to AC against all attacks this round.

Salute (Su): 5/day the clockwork swordsman can call out a poetic and amusing salute for friends and foes alike. All allies of the clockwork swordsman receive a +1 bonus to all attack and damage rolls. All enemies receive a -1 penalty to attack and damage rolls. This affect lasts for 1 round per HD of the clockwork swordsman.

Water Vulnerability (Ex): A clockwork swordsman immersed or doused with water must make a Fort Save vs DC 20. If failed, 1d4 days later, it suffers 6d6 damage.

Wound Up (Ex): A clockwork swordsman must be wound up in order to operate. They can operate for a maximum of (hit points x 10) hours before needing to be rewound. If its springs run out, the clockwork swordsman goes dormant.
Each point of damage inflicted on a foe by the swordsman reduces its operation time by 1 hour, thus a 7 hp hit will reduce its time to operate by 7 hours.
Rewinding a clockwork swordsman takes one round per hour of activity restored. When attempting to fully wind the springs, there is a 10% chance of breaking the automaton's delicate internal workings, which effectively kills it.

Construct Traits: A construct possesses the following traits: Immunity to all mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects); Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, stunning, disease , death effects, and necromancy effects; Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, ability drain, fatigue, exhaustion, or energy drain; Immunity to any effect that requires a Fortitude save (unless the effect also works on objects, or is harmless); Not at risk of death from massive damage. Immediately destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points or less; Since it was never alive, a construct cannot be raised or resurrected; Constructs do not eat, sleep, or breathe. Please see the 3.5E Monster Manual for more information.

The Red Curse
Clockwork swordsmen never acquire Legacies or require cinnabryl.