Ancient Automaton (5e Creature)
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Medium construct, neutral
Arcane Engine. It does not need to breathe. While it does not need food to sustain itself, its engine requires it to consume at least 2 pints (half of a waterskin) of water to fuel its engine.
Multiattack. The automaton makes two slam attacks.
Slam. Melee Weapon Attack: +4 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 9 (2d6 + 2) damtype damage.
Automatons are humanoid machines that were created around a thousand years ago by a group of wise men, known only as the Automaton Engineers Guild. The names of these designers were forgotten over time, only to be remembered by the emblems left on their creations as signatures. Their goal was to create machines that emulate humans, in movement as well as intelligence, skill, and emotion. Automatons range from 6 ft to 7 ft depending on their model. Automatons are created and do not age or die when well maintained, however, there are no Automatons older than 1100 years or younger than 900 years due to the disappearance of the engineers.
At first glance they appear to be regular humanoid males with shaven heads, however, at closer inspection, it becomes apparent that what appears to be skin are interlocking metal coverings. This »skin« varies in color from iron-gray to copper, bronze, silver and in rare cases even gold, based on the preference of the person who designed and constructed them. Sometimes, when the Automaton is not well-maintained, the skin changes colour from exposure to the elements and becomes red when its skin is made out of metal or green if it's made out of copper. Their facial structures vary only slightly between the different models, having likely been based on a single person, whose name and relevance have been lost in the annals of history. Their eyes are lenses inside their metallic skulls, focusing and rotating to accurately see their surroundings. Their square mouths open like the mouth of a wooden puppet. Their heads are bald, although it is unknown if that is by design or simply the effect of the passing time, and their foreheads are marked with the emblem of their designer, usually some variant of an alchemic symbol. As they were created with a specific purpose in mind and that purpose changed over time, the designs of the Automatons also started to vary, with older models being smaller and more agile and itnger models being larger and bulkier in design.
These machines are constructed from metal plates, gears and springs and powered by a mysterious engine, the blueprints for which have been lost to the ages. Some of their components have been described as so complex that they resemble magic and parts of their functioning still remain a mystery even to scholars who have dedicated their entire lives to studying Automatons. This mysterious nature makes Automatons highly wanted in some circles to the point that they are actively hunted in some regions so that they could be disassembled and studied.
- Designed Sentience
How the Automaton Engineers managed to grant the Automatons sentience and intelligence remains unknown, many theorize that it is some sort of magic or soul transference or that the Automatons were designed as a way to achieve immortality. It has been observed that all automatons tend to think logically and somewhat lack creativity and mental flexibility. They rarely show emotion and have almost no sense of humor. However, the older an Automaton becomes, the more personality it gains, meaning that, while itnger models seem emotionally blank, older models seem to show slight signs of distinct personalities. Over time it also became apparent that the Automatons mechanical nature gives the disadvantage of being almost completely unable to lie and deceive others, although some find that trait to be endearing as they are one of the most honest races in existence. This mechanical nature also makes Automatons, especially less experienced ones, more vulnerable to deception, as it is harder for them to pick up on subtle behavioral changes.
While every Automaton was created with a purpose, the immortal nature of the Automatons meant that they would live long after the purpose they were created for was no longer relevant and were then left wandering the land. Some scholars believe that this lack of forethought as to the future of their creations might have lead to the ultimate downfall and disappearance of the Automaton Designers. After the disappearance of the Automaton Engineers Guild, many Automatons, who managed to either fulfill or outlive their purpose, over time started to desperately search for their own purpose, whether it be pursuing a craft or hunting monsters, while some who were damaged and forgot their purpose spend the entire rest of their existence trying to find it again. Many Automatons chose as their purpose the pursuit of the truth about the disappearance of their creators and what caused it. Its purpose gives Automatons meaning to their existence and is therefore extremely important to them, never abandoning it unless it becomes impossible for them to continue following it.
Based on their model, Automatons separate themselves into two distinct subgroups: Early model Automatons and Late model Automatons. Automatons served many purposes, from law-enforcers, guards and soldiers to assistants and servants, thus they also vary in design and materials. Early models were designed with assisting and body-guarding roles in mind and were more intelligent and agile while later models showed a clear lean towards the militaristic with larger, bulkier and more intimidating designs produced in larger numbers. This lead scholars to later separate the era of Automaton production into two separate periods: the streamlined era of design and the industrial era. Automatons separate themselves similarly into early model Automatons and later model Automatons, with members of the same model group seeing each other almost as siblings but feeling a lot of resentment towards the other group.
Early model Automatons
The earliest models, created by the Automaton Engineers Guild are very similar in appearance to normal humans, with the exception of their skin colour. Their body frames are modest, resembling that of a healthy male human. These models often have more expensive outer coverings made out of copper, bronze, silver and in rare cases even gold. Their faces, unlike the later models, tend to differ slightly in certain features depending on the engineer who created them. Early models were fewer in numbers, however, due to their higher quality, a greater number managed to survive in the long run compared to the later models. Early models were known to be more agile and faster than other models. They were often created for the purpose of protecting wealthy and powerful people as well as assisting scholars and scientists conducting their research. They were also known for being the most discrete form of protection, having no visible weapons on them, relying on the blades hidden in compartments in their forearms. The early models share a bond of brotherhood amongst them, however, they all feel a slight resentment towards the later models, considering them to be the reason for the downfall of their creators. After the disappearance of the Automaton Designer group, the early models wandered the land and occupied themselves with different kinds of work, many of them finding their place in monasteries and knights orders. Others wander the land aimlessly as hermits seeking meaning to their existence. Early model AUtomatons are often very vibrantly colored with many being gold, silver, bronze, copper, and becoming green when rusted.
Ability Score Increase. its Intelligence score increases by 1 and its Dexterity score increases by 2. Size. between 5.5 and 6.5 ft Proficiencies. it are proficient with tools as well as weapons, it may choose one simple melee weapon and one set of artisans tools to be proficient with Hidden blades. within its arms are secret compartments with two natural weapons, these blades can slide out from openings under its wrist and deal 1d4 slashing damage on a hit. Increased speed. its walking speed increases by 5 feet
Late model Automatons
After the great success of the early model Automatons, a demand arose for an Automaton design with more heavy combat capabilities that could be mass-produced to create entire battalions of Automaton warriors. The Automaton Engineers created for that purpose multiple models of larger, stronger Automatons, that were easier to manufacture. These models are larger in stature, with frames resembling that of legendary barbarian warriors with large muscles. The skin of these models was rarely out of any other material than iron, due to the designers trying to conserve costs whenever possible. Their faces, unlike the previous models, are completely uniform without any deviation. These newer models were notably lacking in speed, agility and built-in weapons, however, they made up for it with their superior strength. Due to their lower quality production and constant exposure to war, few of these models survived to this day. While at first, the itnger models respected the older ones as their elders, they over time developed a superiority complex due to their greater physical capabilities. Now they mostly view the previous models as inferior trash. After their creators disappeared and their work was completed, the surviving later models found employment as bodyguards and mercenaries. These automatons are iron-gray and turn red when rusted.
Ability Score Increase. its Constitution score increases by 1 and its Strength score increases by 2 Size. 6.5 and 7.5 ft Heated Hands. it can use its hands to heat its weapon to deal additional 1d4 fire damage upon a successful attack. it may use this attack twice per day, which resets at dawn every day. The energy needed for this attack requires it to consume an additional pint of water every day. Weapons Master. it are proficient with one martial melee weapon and one simple ranged weapon Thicker armor. its AC increases by 1.