Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Pathfinder Bestiary: Thaneguard

The dwarven race is justly famed for its master craftsmen. Likewise, dwarven spellcasters produce powerful magical items as well as arcane constructs to help protect their people. One such magical invention is the thaneguard, or construct armor, which is designed to protect spellcasters as it quickly conveys them around the battlefield.

The following stat block converts the thaneguard, from Green Ronin's Hammer & Helm: A Guidebook to Dwarves (pages 61-62), to the Pathfinder RPG.


This tall machine of wood and metal is vaguely humanoid in shape, with powerful-looking arms and legs. Instead of a head, its torso has a space large enough for a man or dwarf to sit inside. Straps and levers can be seen within.

XP 800
N Large construct
Init +0; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +0
AC 16, touch 9, flat-footed 16 (+7 natural, -1 size)
hp 52 (4d10+30)
Fort +1, Ref +1, Will +1
DR 5/magic; Immune construct traits
Speed 40 ft.; cannot run
Melee slam +8 (1d8+7)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Str 20, Dex 10, Con --, Int --, Wis 11, Cha 1
Base Atk +4; CMB +10; CMD 20
SQ carry rider
Environment any land
Organization solitary or accompanied by dwarves
Treasure none
Special Abilities
Carry Rider (Ex) A thaneguard can hold one Medium--sized creature of roughly dwarf-shaped physiology.

A thaneguard is a Large humanoid-shaped construct built to hold one Medium-sized humanoid inside (the "rider"). With no Intelligence, thaneguards are little more than animated conveyances.

First built by dwarf wizards long ago, thaneguards serve as transportation and protection for elite dwarf spellcasters. The wealthiest dwarven cities and nations field units of thaneguard-equipped cavalry, but these cadres are rare and never large. Many thaneguards are built by clerics to demonstrate the might of the dwarven gods of artifice.

The spirit of a willing dwarven ancestor is bound to the thaneguard's frame in order to animate it. These spirits are not undead, but their faint connection to the Material Plane makes the thaneguards more tractable than many golems.

In combat, a thaneguard has the straightforward approach to combat typical of constructs. When threatened, they simply close with the enemy and start bashing. However, a thaneguard may bear a rider who directs its actions. The thaneguard obeys simple commands from its rider, and obey without question, making them ideal protection in battle.

Riding a Thaneguard
Maneuvering: A rider uses the Ride skill to control a thaneguard as though it were a mount. Operating a thaneguard follows the normal rules for mounted combat, including making concentration checks to cast spells if the mount moves more than its speed, and penalties to ranged attacks while the mount is moving. Being mindless, thaneguards are never frightened by combat; the rider never needs to make a check to control the mount in battle. A rider can make a Ride check (DC 5) to guide the thaneguard while keeping both hands free, allowing normal spellcasting and attacking. Although a thaneguard can make charge attacks, it cannot run fast enough to allow a rider to deal double damage with a lance, as do horses and other common mounts.

Arcane Spell Failure: A thaneguard confines its user much like a suit of armor. The rider suffers a 20% chance of arcane spell failure, which stacks with any arcane pell failure chance from armor and shields.

Cover: A thaneguard providers the rider with cover, giving a +4 cover bonus to AC and a +2 cover bonus to Reflex saves. An attack that misses the rider within the margin provided by cover hits the thaneguard, provided that the attack is at least equal to the construct's AC.

The thaneguard's body is constructed of wooden and metal panels over an iron framework.

CL 5th; Price 8,000 gp

Constriction Requirements
Craft Construct, animate objects*, bull's strength, mount; creator must be at least caster level 5th; Skill Craft (metalworking) DC 15, Craft (woodworking) DC 15; Cost 4,000 gp.

* Casters using the new spells from Hammer & Helm may substitute animate large object for this requirement (see below).

Alternate Animate Object Spells
Hammer & Helm introduces several arcane variants of the animate objects spell (pages 67-68). These new spells have a casting time of 1 round, and may animate a single object of the spell name's size or smaller (minimum size Tiny), but otherwise work exactly as the animate objects spell. The spells are as follows:

  • Animate Small Object: sorcerer/wizard 1
  • Animate Medium Object: sorcerer/wizard 2
  • Animate Large Object: sorcerer/wizard 3
  • Animate Huge Object: sorcerer/wizard 5
  • Animate Gargantuan Object: sorcerer/wizard 7
  • Animate Colossal Object: sorcerer/wizard 9

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