Saturday, April 19, 2014

B/X D&D Month XIX: Gear Maidens

Gear Maidens
Armor Class: 0
Hit Dice: 8+3** (M)
Move: 120' (40')
Attacks: by slam attack or arm blades
Damage: 1D8 slam attack or 1D6+4/1D6+4, one for each blade
No. Appearing: 1D6 (2D8)
Save As: F8
Morale: 12
Treasure Type: F
Intelligence: 14
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 2025
Creature Type: Enchanted Constructs
Terrain: any ancient ruins

Gear maidens are an unusual construct sometimes found in the ancient ruins of Pergerron. Each gear maiden has the appearance of a suit of armor or a mannequin made to look like a woman comprised of complex clockwork moving parts. Most of the gear maidens appear to be one of three types: jackal-headed, elvish-looking, and on rare occasion smooth, featureless faces with a mirror of silver where eyes, nose and mouth would be located.

Gear maidens may have served some other purpose in the ancient past, constructs designed for amusement, or to serve as guards perhaps. Today they are relics which haunt the ancient ruins, acting erratically and without purpose. When a gear maiden (or group of such) is encountered roll to see what their pattern of behavior is (D10):

1-4 - the gear maidens function as if the ruin around them is still alive; they prop skeletal remains up on chairs, serving them empty platters of food while serving long-dried bottles of wine. They will grow antagonistic to anyone who tries to point out the absurdity of their actions or the deathly nature of those they "serve."

5-7 - the gear maidens are mad, and appear to have suffered some sort of mania, which they may call "malfunctioning" to those who can prompt them to speak coherently. These are deadly, usually attacking randomly before fleeing, only to circle back later and strike again.

8-9 - some may be found which are coherent, usually hunting for parts. These gear maidens salvage relics of lore and preserve them, as if enshrining the lost civilizations of old Sar and other empires of the past. They are not above cutting down maddened versions of their own to salvage parts to repair themselves.

10 - occasionally a cunning and vengeful gear maiden will be found. These are the deadliest, for they remember the fall of the old empires, and the destruction of those they served. They will seek to hunt down and exterminate all humand and demi-humans they come across, and will do so with great cunning and relish.

Aside from the retractable blades (about as long as a short sword, but much sharper) gear maidens have the traits of other constructs, and are immune to any gaseous or poison attacks, as well as any attacks that affect life force (negative energy draining, for example). They are also immune to mind-affecting spells, for their magical artificial brains cannot comprehend or react to the magical influence of the mind. Lighting damage heals them. Cold damage deals 1/2 damage to them but they are slowed for 1 round after being subject to the cold attack.

An entrepreneurial fighter with some weaponsmithing skills could extract the arm blades of a destroyed gear maiden to find that they will make +2 enchanted short swords of amazing quality.

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