New Player Race: The Ticking Tinman

May 12th, 2018
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  1. Terrors crafted in the labs of Yendor, ticking tinmen are perhaps the most intimidating of the gear-driven tools known as clockworks. Built on the same principles as other clockwork creations, the creators of ticking tinmen took the process a few steps further, binding the cores of oozes that straddle the edge of sentience into the heads, hearts, and extremities of these magical metallic beings. Power lines akin to vascular systems run through the limbs of a tinman, a phosphorescent fluid pumped through the mock blood vessels by way of motors in the torso. These motors run concurrently with each other, routing slime as the tinman's nervous system sees fit, and draw power from the winding mechanisms inherent to clockworks.
  3. First-generation ticking tinmen have placeholder skin, looking akin to a masked humanoid pooltoy filled with coloured goo, with a mechanical frame suspended inside and synthetic muscle laid over top of that, softly-glowing blood vessels strung throughout. The internals are plainly visible, whirring along as powered machinery does. Second-generation ticking tinmen, however, have had a touch more effort put into their cosmetics (an effective use of the Disguise skill on the part of their creators), which means a Perception check result of 23 is required to notice they aren't what they seem: elven. Particularly in the hands, where acrylic fingernails sit on thin rubber, and the eyes, which are low-quality glass, the fuel feed shines through. This look, however, might suit a costumed crusader, should any specimen stumble upon such an idea.
  4. However, under the effects of Constitution changes such as a barbarian's rage or a poison spell's Constitution damage, when pumps work overtime and the false blood glows with desperate power, it's impossible to hide the glow of fuel lines from sighted creatures through the artificial skin used by Yendor Labs, allowing characters to make Knowledge (arcana) checks to realize the nature of tinmen as living constructs regardless of generation. The DC for this Knowledge check is based on the tinman's level rather than CR, and due to the non-obvious nature of second-generation tinmen, it has a base for them of 20 rather than 15.
  6. Ticking Tinman
  7. Ticking tinmen are defined by class levels—they don’t have racial Hit Dice. Ticking tinmen have the following racial traits.
  8. +2 to One Ability Score: We won't tell you how to play your character. They're part of the initial production run (or built off stolen plans), and each ticking tinman is a unique creation, customized for its role.
  9. Medium: Ticking tinmen are Medium creatures and have no bonuses or penalties due to their size.
  10. Living Clockwork: Ticking tinmen are constructs with the clockwork and living construct subtypes. The difficult to create trait is a part of their nature as unique creatures, and they have an advanced version of the winding trait, below. Otherwise, all traits are reproduced here for your benefit.
  11. Normal Speed: Ticking tinmen have a base speed of 30 feet.
  12. Advanced Winding (Ex): Each ticking tinman must be wound with a unique key in order to function. A fully wound tinman can remain active for 1 day before going inert—unconscious (thus helpless) and unable to take actions until wound for a minimum of 10 minutes. Since each key is totally unique, construction of a new key (or bypassing a key entirely) requires a successful Disable Device check (DC = 20 + the ticking tinman’s character level). Given 2 hours of restful calm, a ticking tinman can use their key to wind themself using the keyhole hidden in the port on their shoulder, which allows them to recover from 1 point of lethal damage per character level and an equal amount of nonlethal damage. Time spent winding counts as restful calm for the ticking tinman, regardless of distraction, allowing them to wind before preparing spells and regaining power points. The ticking tinman's known sublime maneuvers (if any) are readied with a short maintenance rewind to center themself and check their programming, rather than the usual exercise routine. When the tinman readies maneuvers in this way, they're healed of 1 point of lethal damage and 1 point of nonlethal damage. Even ticking tinmen who don't know sublime maneuvers can perform these maintenance rewinds, given ten minutes without interruption.
  13. Winding Ports: Each ticking tinman has three keyholes (in ports located on the shoulder, the spinal column, and the navel, which can be hidden as part of Disguise checks to appear as another race, or by clothing; armor more substantial than a haramaki can cover all the winding ports, and armor can be made specifically to expose any of the tinman's winding ports). Aggressors in possession of the tinman's key can open the protective cover on a port they're aware of with a successful dirty trick combat maneuver, and can then insert the key by successfully starting a grapple with key in hand (which always provokes an attack of opportunity from the ticking tinman, even if the opponent has Improved Dirty Trick, Improved Grapple, or any similar effect). Creatures attempting to turn the key are considered grappled if they weren't already, but can simply let go if they're in control of the grapple, as usual. Each time the opponent maintains the grapple, in addition to the usual damage, the ticking tinman must make a Fortitude save as if they'd suffered a coup de grace (DC 10 + the damage dealt by the limb used to turn the key), and suffers a further amount of nonlethal damage equal to their own Hit Dice, the motors driving the tinman's artificial blood not equipped for the shock of unauthorized unwinding.
  14. Vulnerable to Electricity: Ticking tinmen take 150% as much damage as normal from electricity attacks.
  15. Swift Reactions (Ex): Ticking tinmen gain Improved Initiative and Lightning Reflexes as bonus feats, and gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC.
  16. Languages: Ticking tinmen begin play speaking Common and Dark Folk. A ticking tinman with a high Intelligence score can choose any language (except secret languages, like Druidic).
  18. Ticking tinman's standard keys are Diminutive adamantine objects with hardnesses of 20 and 15 hit points. They weigh 1 pound, and cast light like a torch (shedding normal light in a 20-foot radius, and increasing the light level 1 step up to normal in the 20 feet beyond that), having had both _light_ and _permanency_ spells (each heightened to a 9th-level spell) cast on them by a 19th-level arcane spellcaster. If it ever matters, the saving throw DC for the spells is 26.
  20. Campaign Trait: Yendor Labs' Latest
  21. (Your GM may allow you to gain mechanical benefit from two character traits, as long as they're of different categories, such as campaign traits and faith traits.)
  22. As a first-generation ticking tinman, you've been fitted with only the most potent ooze cores, though you may have replaced your skin to look more fleshy. You gain a reserve of 1 power point, giving you the psionic subtype if you didn't already have it, and the psionic aptitude racial trait, allowing you to choose a power point instead of a hit point or skill point whenever you take a level in your favoured class.
  24. A living construct is a new type of construct, a created being given sentience and free will through powerful and complex creation enchantments. Living constructs combine aspects of both constructs and living creatures, possessing the following traits:
  25. • Unlike other constructs, a living construct has a Constitution score, and adjusts its hit points by Constitution modifier rather than by size, like a living creature.
  26. • Unlike other constructs, a living construct does not have low-light vision or darkvision.
  27. • Unlike other constructs, a living construct is not immune to mind-affecting effects, critical hits, bleed, ability damage, ability drain, effects that allow Fortitude saves, death from massive damage, nonlethal damage, stunning, necromancy effects, or death effects. They are still immune to poison, sleep effects, paralysis, disease, fatigue, exhaustion, energy drain, and being sickened or nauseated.
  28. • A living construct cannot heal damage naturally, but is considered living for the purpose of spells that affect living creatures (like _death knell_, as well as a construct for the purpose of spells that affect constructs (such as _make whole_). However, spells from the healing subschool that combine dice and modifiers are minimized for a living construct; treat all dice (for spells such as _cure light wounds_ or _breath of life_) as if the caster had rolled a 1—for instance, a _mass cure light wounds_ spell cast by a 9th-level cleric would heal a ticking tinman of 10 points of damage, regardless of how much it healed others. Dice-only healing, such as that of the _body adjustment_ psionic power, and diceless healing, such as that of the _heal_ spell or _natural healing_ power, are instead halved when originating from sources other than the living construct, before applying additional effects that increase the amount of damage the living construct heals (such as from an ethumion oracle casting _heal_ and increasing the amount healed by 6 points).
  29. • A living construct reduced to 0 hit points is disabled, as other creatures, but does not risk damaging itself with strenuous activity, and a living construct below 0 hit points becomes inert rather than entering the dying state—they are unconscious and unable to take actions. The Diehard feat allows a living construct to become staggered instead of inert, and they can take strenuous action without receiving the associated point of damage. The _bleed_ spell deals 1 point of damage to living constructs below 0 hit points, but fails to put them into a dying state.
  30. • A living construct can be raised, resurrected, or reincarnated, just like a native outsider.
  31. • A living construct does not breathe, eat, or sleep, but can benefit from magical food and drink such as potions and the _heroes' feast_ spell, and must have sufficient rest to prepare spells or regain power points.
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