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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    A lean man dressed wrapped in a traveling cloak walks into the tavern. The patrons turn, notice him, and then dismiss him - just another dusty, road-weary adventurer. Nothing special.

    He takes a seat and says nothing to anyone. A waitress asks for his order - several times. Finally, the barkeep comes up to him and says he'll be dead before he lets some freeloader take up space in his bar.

    A dagger flashes out, and the barkeep falls to the floor, his throat cut.

    And the stranger continues to sit there.


    Clockwork Men

    Despite the name, Clockwork Men can physically appear as human men or women.

    Sadly, and disturbingly, they are anything but.

    The first Clockwork Man was the "son" of a clockmaker who was desperately lonely. One day, he made a man out of wood and steel and gears, and he gave him a face and eyes and ears. But when it came time to give him a heart, he inserted one of his beloved clocks. That night, he prayed to his god that his son could come to life.

    That morning, the Clockwork Man was moving, and he asked his "father" who he was. Delighted, the clockmaker fell to his knees and thanked his god, then took the boy under his wing.

    The clockmaker was happy for several months.

    One day, the clockmaker gave his son a weapon and told him to seek his fortune. Acting on the cold, progressive logic of his clockwork heart, the boy killed his father to inherit his shop. He was arrested for murder, but escaped and began making more like him.

    Because he was lonely, and he wished desperately for a son.

    Appearence - Clockwork Men have many and varied appearences, but fall into general trends - infiltrators, clockwalkers, and exotics.

    Infiltrators are designed to look human. They are painted and constructed carefully to give the illusion of humanity. Their bodies are typically covered in cloaks, and their face is shaped with magic during construction in order to be expressive. Their wind-up keys tend to be over the heart or inserted into the backs of their necks.

    Clockwalkers, on the other hand, look very much like constructs. Often they have (armored) cogs showing, and their wind-up keys are large and prominent upon their backs. Many Clockwalkers have wooden bodies and only barely seem human.

    Exotics are designed with to the strange tastes of artists or rich patrons. Possessing useless limbs such as clockwork wings, or extra eyes or, in some cases, strange construction materials such as angel's bones or smelted dragon scales, Exotics tend to be the most diverse of the Clockwork Men, and tend to have non-clock hearts.

    Racial Traits

    Strength +2, Intelligence +2, Wisdom -2, Charisma -2. Clockwork Men were designed stronger than their human creator and possess the cold logic of a machine, but their ability to comprehend other beings and think creatively are hampered by their fragmented souls.

    Medium Construct (Living Construct). As medium creatures, Clockwork Men have no bonuses or penalties associated with size.

    Base Land Speed 30 ft.

    +2 on Craft (Clockwork) checks. Craft (Clockwork) is always a class skill for Clockwork Men.

    +2 Climb, Jump, and Tumble checks. Clockwork Men move with cold, logical efficiency.

    Overdrive (Ex) - Once per encounter, as a swift action, a Clockwork Man can force his gears into an overdrive, gaining a +2 on attack and damage rolls, as well as saving throws, for a number of rounds equal to his character level. At the end of the duration, the gears slow down, and many catch badly in the Clockwork Man's body; he recieves a -2 penalty to attack rolls, damage rolls, and saving throws, and recieves one point of damage per character level, ignoring damage reduction. These penalties last until the end of the encounter.

    Reconstruct (Ex) - Repairs may be made to a Clockwork Man by anyone with ranks in Craft (Clockwork), including the Clockwork Man himself. If another being is repairing the Man, the DC is 15; the Clockwork Man heals an amount of damage equal to the amount by which the DC is beaten. A Clockwork Man attempting to repair himself must beat a DC of 20.

    Shattered Soul (Ex) - Clockwork Men do not possess whole souls, instead having fragmented soul-shards loosely cobbled together by some strange magic. They are immune to death effects, fear effects, and anything that would steal their soul. Anyone attempting to raise or ressurect them must make a caster level check vs. a DC equal to 10 + the Clockwork Man's character level.

    Tick, Tock, Tick (Ex) - Clockwork Men are constantly ticking, but this sound is usually inaudible. Once per encounter, as a standard action, the Clockwork Man may increase the volume of this ticking to a deafening level. All creatures within ten feet must make a Fortitude save (DC = 10 + the Clockwork Man's constitution modifier) or be deafened for the duration of the encounter and dazed for one round; creatures who succeed the save are merely dazed for one round.

    Wood and String and Strange Other Things (Ex) - Being artificially made out of many and diverse materials, Clockwork Men react differently from other constructs to certain kinds of magic. Any spell that would destroy or affect wood, metal, or glass in a negative fashion (such as warp wood or rusting grasp) deal them 1d6 points of damage per caster level of the spellcaster (Fortitude save half). Spells that would affect wood, metal, or glass in a positive fashion (such as ironwood or glassteel) instead grant them DR 5/- for one round per caster level of the spellcaster.

    Languages - Common. Bonus languages - Any, except for secret languages.

    Favored Class - Any

    Level Adjustment - +0 (+1?)

    A Note on Alignment - The vast majority of Clockwork Men are trapped in a cold, logical, merciless outlook, and are Lawful Nuetral or Lawful Evil. Some of them, with hearts that are not clocks or those with more complete souls, break this trend, and may be any alignment.
    Last edited by Lord_Gareth; 2008-08-17 at 09:53 PM.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Do clockwork men have all the traits commonly associated with living constructs? [my error in not seeing that you had put "living" in there]. I'm only asking because you left out many standard traits.

    Traits: A living construct possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature's entry]).


    • Unlike other constructs, a living construct has a Constitution score. A living construct does not gain bonus hit points by size but gains (or loses) bonus hit points through a Constitution bonus (or penalty) as with other living creatures.
    • Unlike other constructs, a living construct does not have low-light vision or darkvision.
    • Unlike other constructs, a living construct is not immune to mind-influencing effects.
    • Immunity to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, nausea, fatigue, exhaustion, and energy drain.
    • A living construct cannot heal damage naturally.
    • Unlike other constructs, living constructs are subject to critical hits, effects requiring a Fort save, death from massive damage, nonlethal damage, stunning, ability damage, ability drain, and death effects or necromancy effects.
    • Unlike other constructs, a living construct can use the run action.
    • Living constructs can be affected by spells that target living creatures as well as by those that target constructs. Damage dealt to a living construct can be healed by a cure light wounds spell or a repair light damage spell, for example, and a living construct is vulnerable to a harm spell. However, spells from the healing subschool provide only half effect to a living construct.
    • A living construct responds slightly differently from other living creatures when reduced to 0 hit points. A living construct with 0 hit points is disabled, just like a living creature. He can only take a single move action or standard action in each round, but strenuous activity does not risk further injury. When his hit points are less than 0 and greater than -10, a living construct is inert. He is unconscious and helpless, and he cannot perform any actions. However, an inert living construct does not lose additional hit points unless more damage is dealt to him, as with a living creature that is stable.
    • Can be raised or resurrected.
    • Does not need to eat, sleep, or breathe, but can still benefit from the effects of consumable spells and magic items such as heroes' feast and potions.
    • Does not need to sleep, but must rest for 8 hours before preparing spells.


    The Craft Construct feat allows anyone to repair a construct, making Reconstruct unneccesary. You could simply allow the clockwork men to have Craft Construct as a bonus feat. That way they can fix themselves and create new clockwork men. Note: Repair or Craft Clockwork are not standard skills and they have too limited a focus. The skill associated with Constructs is the Knowledge (Aracna) skill.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2008-08-17 at 01:24 PM. Reason: fixed traits and other errors

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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Something like Reconstruct is standard for LIVING constructs, which he specified these are, he just didn't give the half-page of explanations that go along with that type descriptor. This over-rides the listing you gave for constructs...
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Something like Reconstruct is standard for LIVING constructs, which he specified these are, he just didn't give the half-page of explanations that go along with that type descriptor. This over-rides the listing you gave for constructs...
    Alas, I've not seen anything like that in the warforged. If Reconstruct is "standard" then please tell me where I can find it. Since living constructs can benefit from cure spells it seems odd.

    [I've now edited my earlier post to reflect the traits of living constructs]. I wasn't nearly as familiar with them as I should have been.

    Debby
    Last edited by Debihuman; 2008-08-17 at 01:23 PM.

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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    I'd like to know a bit more about the fluff, like, are they truly sentient like the warforged or do they just rely purely on logic? Do they seek to relate to other cultures, or are they content to remain as heartless constructs? Like the warforged, do they require regular mental activity to remain sane, or do they (being clockwork) focus squarely on a single goal, never deviating from their purpose? A physical description would be nice too (if you want a picture, just type in Clockwork Man on DeviantArt or Elfwood and see what comes up).

    The crunch, however seems balanced, solid and interesting.

    EDIT: Ninja'd. Yes, the Living Construct subtype is a very big pile o' words. Repair Damage spells really need to be standard in any campaign using them, or your players are gonna hate you for only getting half benefit from healing spells.

    Oh, and are these guys affected by Heat Metal, Chill Metal, or Rusting Grasp?
    Last edited by Lappy9000; 2008-08-17 at 01:29 PM.

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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Well, I had to research Living Constructs when creating the Lords of Rest so I remember the mechanic in general terms (specific enough for this discussion), but my Ebberon book is CURRENTLY AWOL...

    I beleive the skills for Warforged are Craft( Metalworking), Craft(Wood working), and Profession(Sculptor) or some such... In any case it merely serves as a replacement for the "Heal" skill, and as such is the MUNDANE counterpart to Cure and Repair spells.
    Last edited by DracoDei; 2008-08-17 at 04:53 PM.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    I love the fluff. It's maybe a tiny bit cliche but very well presented. Crunch is interesting, but it may be a bit too good. Balancewise it's a so-so race up until Tick, Tock Tick. AoE daze on a failed save, with no daily limit on uses? No action is specified to activate either, although I assume it's a standard action.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    FYI: Spell Compendium has a slew of repair spells (repair critical damage, repair light damage, repair minor damage, repair moderate damage and repair serious damage). All of these affect constructs.

    They could be similar to inevitables too.

    Would electricity affect clockwork men?

    Debby

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Regarding Overdrive, how long does the -2 penalty last? I'm assuming it's until the end of the encounter, but it seems like something I should confirm. :)

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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lappy9000 View Post
    I'd like to know a bit more about the fluff, like, are they truly sentient like the warforged or do they just rely purely on logic? Do they seek to relate to other cultures, or are they content to remain as heartless constructs? Like the warforged, do they require regular mental activity to remain sane, or do they (being clockwork) focus squarely on a single goal, never deviating from their purpose? A physical description would be nice too (if you want a picture, just type in Clockwork Man on DeviantArt or Elfwood and see what comes up).
    Clockwork Men can be most accurately described as partially sentient; like a colder, more calculating version of Data (yay Trekkie!). Clockwork Men have the potential for full sentience, but it isn't easy - it requires them to break the cage of logic that many have built around themselves. It also depends on the nature of their "heart" - those with actual clocks for their hearts have extreme tendencies towards LE, while some that have human or sentient hearts tend to take on the alignment of their former owners. Hearts of various materials leads to various alignments, as well as the way they were "raised". Most of their issues with other sentients revolves around their literal interpretation of wordings.

    Some Clockwork Men become fully sentient but remain chained to their logic; think of the AI in the book I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream.

    How an individual Clockwork Man regards their environment, other cultures, and their own sanity depends on their level of sentience. Many of the Lawful Evil Clockwork Men set a single purpose for themselves and refuse to let anything stand in the way of it - these eventually go mad, becoming entire solipsistic and unable to understand anything outside of their own selves. The more a Clockwork Man deviates from this alignment, the more they regard the world around them. Let's try a few examples:

    Tocks Smithson is a Nuetral Evil Clockwork Man Rogue who was built by a human mage to serve as a burglar. Tocks was taught from the start of his existence that the best method of aquisition is to steal, and that getting caught is the greatest sin one can commit. The wizard used a series of golden gears for Tocks' heart, so while logical, he is generally motivated by greed. Tocks is interested in humans, but the only way he knows how to learn is to steal, and he's perfectly willing to kill to avoid being caught.

    On the other hand, Smiles Marlyn was built as a soldier. She was given a knife for a heart and raised to fight. She wasn't interested in other cultures or other peoples; as far as she knew, the Fight was everything. This changed when she was captured by a group of elves that her unit had been ordered to clear out of the forest. They treated her with, not kindness, but not the kind of cruelty she would have given a helpless foe. She observed them while their prisoner, picked up the rudiments of their language, and eventually began tentative communications. Through cultural contact, Smiles eventually decided her former masters were in the wrong. Smiles eventually became Lawful Good and trained as a paladin; fighting is still her life, but it's fighting with a reason.

    As a clock only stops when it has a problem, Clockwork Men are typically doing something. Constant activity helps keep them sane; a lack of something concrete to do tends to unnerve them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Lappy9000
    Oh, and are these guys affected by Heat Metal, Chill Metal, or Rusting Grasp?
    Good question - I edited in the answer to my first post as a racial ability (Wood and String and Strange Other Things).

    Reconstruct was meant as a nonmagical method of healing. Craft (Clockwork) is a Craft I've seen used fairly often, especially in the kind of high-tech games Clockwork Men would (in theory) typically be used with.

    Due to their variable composition, Clockwork Men are affected normally by electricity damage.

    Tick, Tock, Tick is indeed a standard action.

    These have been good questions so far - keep 'em coming!

    P.S. - A physical description will be forthcoming.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord_Gareth View Post
    A Note on Alignment - The vast majority of Clockwork Men are trapped in a cold, logical, merciless outlook, and are Lawful Nuetral or Lawful Evil. Some of them, with hearts that are not clocks or those with more complete souls, break this trend, and may be any alignment.
    My first thought is, "so what's a good and happy clockwork thing?" What about a music box?
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    My first thought is, "so what's a good and happy clockwork thing?" What about a music box?
    Perhaps, but just check out VorpalTribble's latest monster competition (in the sig). Just 'cause it's elegant and plays pretty music doesn't mean it won't hesitate to rip you to shreds.

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    Ettin in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    ...This is fantastic. You tend to do that...I still haven't gotten around to using your elemental races, but I want to.

    I like the story of the first one a lot, very creepy. I'd guess LA +1, due to the abilities, most of which are balanced with downsides, but a downside and upside can always be chosen to suit the user, so even if they are equal the opportunity is a benefit.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    A Clockwork Man's heart is up to the player; whatever they feel is most appropriate for their concept. Perhaps a music box makes a very happy Clockwork Man, or perhaps it plays maddening faerie reels in his head, driving him mad with insidious sound.

    I'm leaning towards the higher end of L.A. 0 at the moment; I mean, seriously, look at dwarves and then look at, say, Aasimar or Tiefling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    I like the idea of the heart being the core motivation. They seem to function like the belief of the ancient Egyptians that the heart was the seat of all knowledge (motivation) and power (alignment or drive), so what would happen if I took the heart out of one? It would do damage yes, but would it render the construct 'dead'? (I know their living constructs, but I'm picturing them more like smart constructs rather then living, sapient beings like warforged.) Secondly, If I were to take one and replace it's heart with something else, what effect would that have? (Capture a soldier with a knife and replace it with a silver spoon for example.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Removing the heart will reduce them to -10 HP (disabled, but not dead, as per the Living Construct entry) until they have a heart again. The heart is the center of their animation; without one, they cannot function. Replacing the heart drags and pulls on their soul-fragments, usually driving the Clockwork Man in question at least temporarily mad. Those that become sane again still have traces of their old personality, as adjusted by their new heart (your soldier example might become a mercenary to earn money, motivated by a new feeling of greed).

    Clockwork Men are at least partially sentient - thought I'd reiterate that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    Interesting...I like the concept, but it seems very similar to a golem to me, except for the whole part of having a soul...or at least part of one, as well as the whole sentience matter.

    One question, though...is there any sort of Level Adjustment for this race?
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    Default Re: [Race] "If I only had a heart..."

    I'm wavering between LA 0 and LA 1 at the moment - I'm unsure as to which.


    Quote Originally Posted by Chilingsworth View Post
    Wow! Not only was that awesome, I think I actually kinda understand Archeron now. If all the "intermediate" outer planes got that kind of treatment, I doubt there would be anywhere near as many critics of their utility.
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