Sunday, January 15, 2012

New Monster: Clockwork Lich [Engines & Empires]

Image from
Hey, John Higgins! I got another monster for you.

Practitioners of magic aren't the only ones that try to cheat death. Occasionally, a wily inventor finds a way to extend his life in ways that would turn most peoples stomach. Through a combination of chemical treatments, mechanical enhancements and various medicines, the inventor becomes effectively immortal. However, the result is nothing more than a brain in a jar of chemicals operating a mechanical analogue of a human being. The inventor's voice becomes nothing more than a series of phonograph tubes playing different sounds in a hollow mockery of speech. His senses are now dulled due to the replacements not being as effective as living sense organs. Between the extreme loss of humanity and the alienation of others due to the inventor's horrific appearance, it is no wonder that these beings eventually go mad. These cyborgs, called "clockwork liches" by some, typically reside in their old laboratories as they focus on the only thing that keeps them going, their work.

Clockwork Lich

No. Appearing: 1
Alignment: Chaotic
Movement: 300' (100')
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: as technologist class, minimum of 21st level
Fighting Ability: as technologist class
Damage: 1d10 + special
Save: as technologist class
Morale: 10
Intelligence: High
Hoard Class: Special

The clockwork lich attacks with it's mechanical hands for 1d10 damage plus a special effect depending on what the inventor's primary class. Physicists inflict an electrical shock that stuns the target for 1d4 rounds if a saving throw is failed. Chemists inject a psychotropic compound as per the 2nd degree ability. Biologists inject an anaphylactic agent that causes paralysis for 1d6 rounds unless a saving throw is made.

Clockwork liches are immune to cold, electricity and gasses. Their mechanical bodies are sturdy enough that they can only be damaged by weapons of +1 or greater. Contrary to their misnomer, they are not undead and cannot be turned. Curative magic cast on a clockwork lich will heal it as they do retain biological components. All clockwork liches are built using the kinetic engine degree, which accounts for the creatures movement rate and unarmed damage.

Being technologists, they can an will use technological degrees available per their level. It is not uncommon for clockwork liches to have 1d6 automatons that it can summon via radio. These machines arrive in 2d20 rounds. In a pinch, a clockwork lich may use it's own body to jury rig a device. This can inflicts 1d8 damage to the clockwork lich and can only be used three times a day before risking damaging the clockwork liches subsystems.


  1. Now this is interesting, and brings up far too much logic. And with it, a question that maybe I shouldn't ask...

    What would happen if a Lich built an iron golem to take the place of it's body?

  2. Dave! Dude! Long time, no see!

    This... is a brilliant variation on the classic lich. I love the radio-controlled automata, that's a very clever touch!

    Anyhoo... how's things?

    Since I moved to Nebraska, I haven't found hangout quite as cool as ye auld Griffon (and of course, I didn't expect that I would: that place is rather one-of-a-kind); but I have managed to get up another E&E game that's been running since early summer.

    [Jeez, I haven't touched my blog in a while, maybe I should start writing about it. It's just a matter of finding the time... Yikes.]