Half-Machine Template

A Pathfinder Roleplaying Game update of the half-machine template from Dungeon Magazine #91.

Slightly modified versions of this template were used to create the Logicus Units and Logicus Programmers from Doors to the Unknown, and the modronoids for The Great Modron March.

Creating a Half-Machine

“Half-machine” is a template that can be added to any corporeal creature except constructs, elementals, oozes, plants, shapechangers, and undead. Creatures with this template retain their type but gain partial construct qualities.

Challenge Rating: Same as base creature +3

Armour Class: Natural armour improves by +8 from its mechanical limbs and exoskeleton.

Hit Dice: Increase all racial Hit Dice by one die type, to a maximum of d12. Class Hit Dice are unaffected.

Defensive Abilities: A half-machine is immune to poison and disease, and gain a +4 resistance bonus to mind-affecting attacks and effects. A half-machine is considered one size larger when determining death from massive damage. (Colossal half-machines are not subject to death from massive damage.) A half-machine is subject to critical hits but takes only half damage from subdual attacks. It can be healed with a successful Craft (metalworking) check as with the standard Heal check. A slain half-machine that is resurrected returns to life as the base creature it was before undergoing mechanical alteration.

Weaknesses: All half-machines (save those with the Rust Protection special quality, described below) are affected by rust attacks, such as that of the rust monster or a rusting grasp spell.

Speed: Same as the base creature. There is a 25% chance that the base creature is fitted with metal wings that enable it to fly at its normal speed (average manoeuvrability). Different wing types are possible (bat wings, bronze feathered wings, foil butterfly wings, and so on). Base creatures already fitted with wings could have their organic wings removed and replaced with metal ones.

Special Abilities: A half-machine retains all of the base creatures special abilities. It also gains the following special quality:

Programmed (Su): The half-machine is programmed to completely obey its creator as if under the effects of a dominate monster spell cast by a 20th-level wizard. If the creator dies or is destroyed, the half-machine becomes free-willed, but the residual program gives the half-machine a -4 penalty to Will saves against Enchantment spells (unless it has the Shielded Mind special quality, described below). The programming can be erased only with a wish or similar spell.

In addition, a half-machine gains one of the following abilities every 3 character levels or HD, or fraction thereof.

Damage Reduction (Ex): A half-machine gains damage reduction commensurate with its size: 5/adamantine (Tiny or smaller), 10/adamantine (Small, Medium, Large), 15/adamantine (Huge or larger).
Darkvision (Ex): A half-machine gains darkvision at a range of 60 feet. If the base creature already has darkvision, it gains an extra 60 feet to its range.
Energy Resistance (Su): A half-machine gains resistance 10 to one energy type, or increases an existing resistance by 10. Resistance increased beyond 30 becomes immunity instead. This ability can be selected more than once.
Enhanced Scent (Ex): A half-machine gains the Scent ability (see Appendix 3: Glossary in the Pathfinder RPG Bestiary). If the base creature already has the Scent ability, it gains a +10 competence bonus to Survival checks when tracking by scent.
Haste (Sp): After it has engaged in at least 1 round of combat, a half-machine can haste itself once per day as a standard action. The effect is the same as the haste spell cast by a 10th-level sorcerer.
Improved Invisibility (Sp): A half-machine can, as a standard action, bend light around its body. The effect is otherwise the same as the improved invisibility spell cast by a 10th-level sorcerer.
Rust Protection (Ex): A half-machine is impervious to rust attacks (this counters Rust Vulnerability above).
Shielded Mind (Su): A half-machine is immune to mind-affecting attacks.
Spell Resistance (Su): A half-machine gains spell resistance equal 11 + its CR. This does not stack with any existing SR possessed by the base creature.

Attacks: Primary weapons use the half-machine’s full attack bonus, no matter how many primary weapons there are. A half-machine’s attack bonus depends on its type, Hit Dice, size, and Strength modifier (for melee attacks) or Dexterity modifier (for ranged attacks). All other natural weapons are secondary. Reduce the half-machine creature’s attack bonus by 5 for all secondary weapons. Creatures with the Multiattack feat suffer only a -2 penalty to secondary attacks. A half-machine threatens critical hits on a 20 unless otherwise specified.

In general, a half-machine attacks once with each primary or secondary weapon it has (this includes “natural” attacks such as claw, bite, slam, or gore as well as weapons). Half-machines that wield weapons follow all the rules characters do, including multiple attacks with the same weapon and penalties for using two weapons at once.

Damage: If the base creature has natural attacks, use the values below or the base creature’s damage, whichever is greater:

Size Bite Claw Slam Gore
Fine 1 1
Diminutive 1 1d2 1d2
Tiny 1 1d2 1d3 1d3
Small 1d2 1d3 1d4 1d4
Medium 1d3 1d4 1d6 1d6
Large 1d4 1d6 1d8 1d8
Huge 1d6 2d4 2d6 2d6
Gargantuan 1d8 2d6 2d8 2d8
Colossal 2d6 2d8 4d6 4d6

Special Attacks: A half-machine creature retains all the special attacks of the base creature. A half-machine gains one of the following special attacks every 3 character levels or HD, or fraction thereof.

Breath Weapon (Su): The half-machine of Tiny size or bigger can belch forth one of the following as a standard action once per day: cone of superheated steam, cone of fire, cone of ice, cone or sleep gas (as the sleep spell without the restriction on Hit Dice or number of targets), cone of sonic energy, cone of slow gas (as the slow spell), line of acid, or line of lightning. Breath weapons that mirror spell effects are cast at the half-machine’s level or 5th-level, whichever is higher. The breath weapon’s save DC is 10 + (1/2 creature’s HD) + Con modifier.

Creature Size Line Length* Cone Length** Damage
Tiny 30 ft. 15 ft. 1d6
Small 40 ft. 20 ft. 2d6
Medium 60 ft. 30 ft. 3d6
Large 80 ft. 40 ft. 5d6
Huge 100 ft. 50 ft. 7d6
Gargantuan 120 ft. 60 ft. 11d6
Colossal 140 ft. 70 ft. 15d6

*A line is always 5 feet high and 5 feet wide.
**A cone is as high and wide as its length.
Extra Attacks (Ex): The half-machine has 1d4 extra arms or tentacles. Each new appendage is treated as an extra secondary weapon (see Attacks above).
Increased Bite Damage (Ex): Large metal jaws add an extra die of the damage to the half-machine’s bite attack. Thus, a normal bite attack dealing 2d8+12 points of damage would deal 3d8+12 points of damage instead. If the base creature does not have a bite attack normally, this ability gives the half-machine one normal bite attack (see Damage above).
Increased Claw Damage (Ex): Long, metal claws add an extra die of damage to the half-machine’s claw attacks. Thus, a claw attack dealing 1d6+2 points of damage each would deal 2d6+2 points of damage instead. If the base creature does not have any claw attack normally, this ability gives the half-machine one normal claw attack (see Damage above).
Metal Projectiles (Ex): The half-machine can fire a metal spike, needle, or similar metallic projectile as a standard action. This attack has a range increment of 30 feet. Each projectile deals damage equal to the half-machine creature’s base claw attack (with no Strength modifier; see Damage above) and threatens a critical hit on a natural attack roll of 20. The half-machine can fire a number of projectiles equal to twice its level before its supply of ammunition is depleted.
Projectiles can be coated with Injury or Contact poison; see Appendix 1 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for damage and cost of various poisons.
A half-machine can have a grenadelike weapon instead of metal projectiles; these behave exactly as described in the Combat section of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for throwing splash weapons. The half-machine can “throw” a number of grenadelike weapons equal to its level before its supply of ammunition is depleted.
Tail Slap (Ex): The half-machine is equipped with a lizardlike mechanical tail it can use to slap one opponent each round as a secondary attack. A tail slap deals claw damage (see above) plus 1-1/2 times the half-machine’s Strength bonus (round down).
A half-machine cannot have both this special attack and the Tail Spike special attack.
Tail Spike (Ex): The half-machine is equipped with a scorpionlike mechanical tail with which it can sting one opponent each round as a secondary attack. The stinger deals claw damage (see above) with no Strength modifier and holds enough Injury-type poison for one injection per level of the half-machine; see Appendix 1 of the Pathfinder RPG Core Rulebook for damage and cost of various poisons.
A half-machine cannot have both this special attack and the Tail Slap special attack.

Abilities: Str +4, Con +4.

Skills: A half-machine receives a +8 competence bonus to any two of the following skills: Climb, Intimidate, Perception, Swim.

Feats: A half-machine gains any four of the following feats, assuming the base creature doesn’t already have them: Alertness, Blind-Fight, Combat Reflexes, Endurance, Flyby Attack, Great Fortitude, Lightning Reflexes, Multiattack, Multiweapon Fighting, Run, Toughness.

Climate/Terrain: Any land and underground

Organization: Solitary or gang (2-5)

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