Ever eager to innovate and create, the artifice city marches onward with all sorts of strange ideas. However, many prove to be quite practical. Whether to ensure the city runs like clockwork or to keep the peace in some regard, Alza’um provides in many strange ways. Even in Bashar, there are many marvelous sights to see… and some significantly less so.
Author’s Note: Pardon the extreme lateness. Job hunting and other things have held me up. Simply put, I can’t afford to dedicate too much free time to what I love until I find some kind of job in the meantime. That said, I’ll try to keep some stuff moving along. Plus, I have a project that I want to start up soon, inspired by one of my patrons on Patreon! Stay tuned for all sorts of magic and mayhem. In the meantime, hopefully some steampunk-y goodness will suffice.
Streamlined constructs built for handling more suspicious targets. Sleek and quick to act, the gunfighter model is capable of cover-based combat and the occasional run-and-gun. They look like a slimmed down version of their cousin models, but that doesn’t make them inherently weak.
Medium construct, neutral
Armor Class 16 (armor plating)
Hit Points 39 (6d8 + 12)
Speed 35 ft.
STR 12 (+1) DEX 17 (+3) CON 14 (+2) INT 11 (+1) WIS 15 (+2) CHA 9 (-1)
Saving Throws Strength +5, Dexterity +5
Skills Acrobatics +5, Investigation +3, Insight +4
Damage Immunities poison
Condition Immunities charmed, exhaustion, frightened, poisoned
Senses Darkvision 120ft., passive Perception 12
Languages Common, Dwarvish, Gnomish
Challenge 4 (1,100 XP)
Fleet Steps. As a bonus action, the Clockwork Gunfighter may disengage or dodge.
Machine Form. Specialized constructs are immune to diseases and any spell or effect that would alter its form.
Steam Burst. When the Clockwork Gunfighter is first damaged for the round, it releases burning steam. Any creature within 5ft. of the Gunfighter must make a DC 13 Dexterity saving throw or take 3 (1d6) fire damage.
Talented Shooter. The Gunfighter does not get disadvantage for making a ranged attack with their gun while adjacent to an enemy or when firing from long range. The Gunfighter ignores 1/2 and 3/4 cover as well, while using ranged weapons.
Multiattack. The Clockwork Gunfighter can attack twice per round.
Auto-Reload Gun. Ranged Weapon Attack: +5 to hit, range 40/120ft., one target. Hit: 10 (2d6 + 3) piercing damage.
Quick Feet. As a reaction, the Clockwork Gunfighter may halve the damage from a Dexterity Saving Throw based effect or spell. If the save would be a success, the Clockwork Gunfighter instead takes no damage.
Clad in dark, but lightweight armor, these stealth assassins sneak between dark passageways to snuff out anything causing too much commotion. Should you come across a Sweeper, you have done something horribly wrong.
Medium humanoid (any humanoid), lawful evil
Armor Class 17 (reinforced leather)
Hit Points 65 (10d8 + 20)
STR 14 (+2) DEX 19 (+4) CON 15 (+2) INT 13 (+1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 11 (+0)
Saving Throws Strength +6, Dexterity +8, Intelligence +5, Wisdom +6
Skills Acrobatics +12, Athletics +6, Perception +6, Stealth +12
Senses passive Perception 16
Challenge 8 (3,900 XP)
Cunning Action. As a bonus action, the Sweeper may dash, disengage, or hide.
Daring Leap. As long as the Sweeper has speed, they may leap between surfaces using an acrobatics check. When making a jump after a running start, jumping distance is doubled.
Magic Attacks. All of the Sweeper’s attacks count as magical and gain a +1 bonus, as if they were magical weapons. In the hands of other creatures, treat them as regular weapons.
Sharp Mind. Intense training makes these operatives hard to crack. They gain advantage on all saves and checks against enchantments, illusions and other manipulative mundane and magical effects. Likewise, the Sweeper is considered proficient in saving throws against magical effects and spells.
Stealth Assassination. When attacking a creature that grants the Sweeper advantage or a creature the Sweeper is hiding from, add an additional 10 (3d6) damage to the hit. However, on creatures that haven’t seen the sweeper or acted yet, this first successful attack against that target. deals an extra 21 (6d6) damage.
Multiattack. The Sweeper may attack up to three times.
Well-Placed Dagger. Melee Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, reach 5ft., one target. Hit: 15 (4d4 + 4) piercing damage.
Rifle. Ranged Weapon Attack: +8 to hit, range 60/180ft., one target. Hit: 14 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage.
NOTE: Some Sweepers have magical gear that bestows an extra darkvision 60ft. Adding this should not change the total challenge.
A squat clockwork construct built with spindly small legs, oblong oval shape “head” and bulb-like connect body. These creations often patrol perimeters, awaiting orders for defense. However, should a target either provoke hostilities or be registered as an intruder, the machines jump into action, firing multiple energy rounds from the vase-shaped blaster. Their weaponry is far more experimental and cutting edge than with other constructs.
Small construct, unaligned
Armor Class 15 (armor plating)
Hit Points 32 (9d6)
Speed 25 ft.
STR 11 (+0) DEX 15 (+2) CON 10 (+0) INT 6 (-2) WIS 9 (-1) CHA 5 (-3)
Skills Perception +1
Damage Immunity poison
Condition Immunity poisoned
Senses Blindsight 60ft., passive Perception 11
Languages understands Common
Challenge 2 (450 XP)
Machine Form. Specialized constructs are immune to diseases and any spell or effect that would alter its form.
Chain Shot. The turret may attack up to three times per round. It may select multiple targets, if they are within 10ft. of the original one.
Turret Shot. Ranged weapon attack: +4 to hit, range 60/180ft., one target. Hit: 7 (1d10 + 2) force damage.
One of the denizens that lies beyond one of Bashar’s curious “anomalies”. The creatures are bestial, but unlike any animal found on the material plane. Vaguely amorphous, the figure warps and sloshes its way to whatever prey has entered its domain. Many limbs flail about madly, either to propel it forward or to enact some strange body language, when it encounters an outside being.
Chaotic Anatomy. This creature makes no sense by any natural standpoint. Attempting to analyze it is useless.
Large monstrosity, unaligned
Armor Class 14 (natural armor)
Hit Points 77 (9d10 + 27)
Speed 40ft., Fly 30ft. (hovers up to 5ft. off the ground)
STR 19 (+4) DEX 17 (+3) CON 16 (+3) INT 9 (-1) WIS 14 (+2) CHA 7 (-2)
Saving Throws Constitution +6
Skills Athletics +7, Perception +5, Survival +5
Damage Resistance necrotic, radiant; bludgeoning, piercing and slashing from non-magical weapons
Senses Blindsight 120ft., passive Perception 15
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)
Incorporeal. The Shadow Thing may phase through an object with its movement. However, should it end its turn in the object, it takes 5 (2d4) force damage.
Shadow Pack. The Shadow Thing gains advantage on an attack while an ally is within 5ft. of it.
Vanishing Shadows. The Shadow Thing may turn invisible until the start of its next turn as an action or bonus action. Attacking or any other hostile action ends this effect early.
Raking Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 10ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) force damage. The target must make a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or take an additional 14 (4d6) piercing damage.
Monsters from Other Sources
Other creatures work wonderfully for Alza’um and Bashar… and somewhere in between. The following are the author’s recommendations, as well as their original source.
- Clockwork Patrols – Similar to the Gunfighter, these fortified constructs are given the task of observing the many floors of the stacked dominion. Some are reconfigured to work as a private security for the more elite. Aesthetics tend to mix from classical knights to brutish looking things covered in spikes and monstrous designs. (Give humanoid clockworks firearms, hunter and watchman gain a 1d8 gun with 60ft./120ft. range, myrmidon gains 2d6 gun with 120ft./360ft. range, Tome of Beasts, Pages 62 – 65)
- Desert Giant – Decked in the motifs and styles of their tribes, desert giants stride with swagger and confidence to their step as they storm the desert wastes with little care for whatever is in their way. These overly proud people view the world as their treading ground, as least as long as that world is rich with golden color sand and a blazing sun. These giants enjoy running through the barren wastes with a sense of abandon and glee, sometimes stopping at various ruins and settlements to see what they can take for themselves, often finding themselves at odds with meddling adventurers. (Tome of Beasts, Page 222)
- Elementals – Forces of fierce nature. These beings meander in the endless wastes, often protecting whatever type of element closely resembles them. It’s not uncommon for them to dwell within the rare oasis sighting, especially water-based elementals. (Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes, Page 202/Monster Manual, Page 124)
- Gnoll – Bipedal hyena creatures. The gnolls travel in marauding packs, roving and pillaging whatever they come across. While they tend to hover closer towards mainstays of civilization, some hover near Alza’um’s fake village, in hopes of picking off stragglers who wander away lightly armed. Some have made their way near Bashar, either eating off the scraps of the land or hoping to ambush foolish adventurers. Most tend to heed the often cruel orders of a Clan Matriach, and those who haven’t proved to be powerful assets of “The Cackle” are brutally subjugated. However, they’re not above trading on outsider terms when away from their lands. (Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 154/Monster Manual, Page 162)
- Manticore – Often found in the caves that line the rocky hills between Bashar and a harsh desert beyond. Few of the dreaded manticore are daring enough to stage an attack in the city, but some have found ways to lure many into their lairs. (Monster Manual, Page 213)
- Mummy – The vengeful dead in long forgotten crypts of long since ruined civilizations. While many of these “crypts” and “dungeons” were built by Alza’um to distract any travelers, the rest are actual ruins that these lonely fallen nobles guard as their own. In one case, a cursed traveler lead a mummy and their undead horde right into Bashar, resulting in a horrible skirmish lasting many hours. (Monster Manual, Page 227)
- Naga – Fell spirits that haunt the darkest depths of defiled temples and dungeons. They obsess over protecting the dark secrets of the past, especially everything that they’ve learned themselves. Oddly enough, they may be one of the few barriers ultimately preventing the Stygian Order from spreading further. (Monster Manual, Page 223)
- Stygian Order of the Serpent – Originally deep within the vast wasteland, a sinister group reveres a dark snake deity. Recently, they’ve discovered the grand artificer city. A few members have found their way into the society. While they have no desire to subvert and ruin it, they’re interested in using the artificers to unintentionally bolster the cult’s power. In time, they will raid the city in full as well as lands beyond. (Yuan-Ti – Monster Manual, Page 307/Volo’s Guide to Monsters, Page 202)
Image Credit: Fuzzy Wonder – Fraternity Prank
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