Monday, January 3, 2011

General Rules: Monsters - Eisernguard

Eisernguard (adapted from Hammer & Helm: A Guidebook to Dwarves; originally Thaneguard)
Large Construct

Hit Dice: 4d10 (22 hit points)
Initiative: +0
Speed: 40 feet
Armor Class: 16 (-2 size, +7 natural); touch 8, flat-footed 16
BAB/Grapple: +0/-13
Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d8+7, bludgeoning, 20 x2)
Full Attack: Slam +7 melee (1d8+7, bludgeoning, 20 x2)
Space/Reach: 5 feet by 5 feet/10 feet
Special Attacks: None
Special Qualities: Construct traits, carry rider, DR 5/+1
Saves: Fortitude +1, Reflex +1, Will +1
Abilities: Str 20, Int -, Wis 11, Dex 10, Con -, Cha 1
Skills: -
Feats: -
Environment: Any
Organization: Solitary or accompanied by dwarves
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: None
Alignment: Always neutral
Advancement: -

An eisernguard is a Large humanoid-shaped construct built to hold one Medium-size humanoid inside as a rider. With no Intelligence, eisernguards are little more than animated conveyances.

First built by dwarven wizards long ago, eisernguards serve as transportation and protection for elite dwavren spellcaster. The wealthiest dwarven cities and nations field units of eisernguard-equipped cavalry, but these are rare and never large. Most eisernguards are built by clerics to demonstrate the might of their faith.

Spirits of ancient dwarves provide the animating factor for eisernguards. The creation process calls a willing ancestor from the outer realms and binds it to the eisernguard's frame. Although they are not undead, the spirits have a faint connection to the Three Worlds, making the constructs more tractable than many golems.

Eisernguards have the straightforward approach to combat typical of constructs. When threatened, they simply walk up to the enemy and start bashing. What makes them unusual is that they are built to house a rider and are often under the control of a thinking being. The eiserbguard obeys simple commands from the rider. Unlike golems, eisernguards obey without question, making them ideal protection in battle. Typically, a spellcaster riding an eisernguard moves in relative safety across the battlefield while casting.

Carry Rider (Ex): An eisernguard can hold one Medium-size creature of roughly dwarf-sized physiology.

Construct: Immune to mind-influencing effects, poison, disease, death effects, paralysis, stunning, sleep, and similar effects. Not subject to critical hits, nonlethal damage, ability damage, energy drain, or death from massive damage. Destroyed when reduced to 0 hit points, cannot be raised. Cannot be healed with healing magic unless it specifically says it works on constructs, and does not heal on its own.

Riding an Eisernguard
Eisernguards offer several advantages in combat. They move faster than most Medium-size humanoids, offer substantial cover to a rider, and allow most characters, especially spellcasters, to do more in a round of combat.

Arcane Spell Failure: An eisernguard confines its rider much like a suit of armor. The rider suffers an arcane spell failure chance of 20%, which stacks with any arcane spell failure chance from armor and shields.

Cover: Eisernguards provide the rider with one-half cover, granting a +4 cover bonus to Armor Class and a +2 cover bonus to Reflex saving throws. An attack that misses the rider within the margin provided by cover instead hits the eisernguard, provided the attack roll is at least equal to the eisernguard's Armor Class.

Maneuvering: A rider uses the Ride skill to control an eisernguard as though it were a mount. Riding an eisernguard follows many of the rules for mounted combat. Bring mindless, eiserguards are never frightened by combat; the rider need not make a Ride check to control one in battle. A rider can make a DC 5 Ride check to guide the eisernguard while keeping both arms free, allowing normal spellcasting and attacking. The rider follows all other normal rules for mounted combat, including making Concentration checks to cast spells if the eisernguard moves more than its speed, being limited to partial actions if it moves more than 5 feet, and suffering penalties to ranged attacks while moving. Although the eisernguard can make charge attacks, it cannot run fast enough to allow a rider to deal double damage with a lance, as do horses and other common mounts.

Constructing an Eisernguard
Building an eisernguard is expensive and time-consuming, but nowhere near as demanding as the creation process for more powerful consteucts. The physical body is a wood-and-iron framework that must be built befoe the magical animation can take place. Constructing the body requires 4,000 shillings worth of material, as well as a successful DC 15 Craft:Metalworking check and a successful DC 15 Craft: Woodworking check.

The creator must have the Craft Wondrous Item feat and be able to cast animate large object, bull's strength, and mount. The creation process takes four weeks and drains 160 experience points from the creator. Multiple spellcasters can cooperate in the creation process, but the experience point cost must be paid by only one.

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