Clockwork Octopus
–Monday Monster

“We pulled it up in our nets!” the half-drowned fisherman sputtered. “It pulled Gosha off the deck and smashed the tiller before we knew what was happening.” He coughed up some more seawater. “It was armored like a knight…” He lapsed back into unconsciousness.

“Will he be okay?” asked the innkeeper.

Patrika, the barmaid who was trying to help the man they had seen wash up on shore, nodded. “Other than a nasty knock on the head, he seems fine now. I wonder what boat he came from.”

A boy, who had been wandering the shore with his dog, pointed out to sea. “There’s a bit of wreckage!”

Patrika, the innkeeper, and the small crowd of onlookers who had congregated around peered out, trying to make out the flotsam coming in with the tide. Whatever part of a boat it had been, it was now little more than driftwood.

“There’s more!” shouted the boy.

They looked, but as they did so they realized that this new sighting was not pieces of a wrecked fishing boat. Though tarnished and barnacle-encrusted, it was clearly made of metal. As it neared, they began to make out the shape of a huge, terrifying octopus. The boy’s dog began barking at it.

“Everybody back from the water!” ordered the innkeeper, and no one needed to be told twice. They hurried up the bluff overlooking the stony beach, carrying the seaman with. Reaching the top, the innkeeper turned to look.

“Spawn of Neptune!” he swore. The thing, both creature and machine, was rising out of the surf and walking on four legs toward the village, its other four arms writhing like snakes in search of prey…

Clockwork Octopus

No. Enc.: 0 (1)
Alignment: Neutral
Movement: 60 (20)
     Swim: 150 (50)
Armor Class: 3 [16]
Hit Dice: 9
Attacks: 8 (tentacles) plus 1 (steam jet) if on land
Damage: 1d6 per tentacle/3d6 steam
Save: F9
Morale: 12
Hoard Class: None or XIX (see below)
XP: 2400

No one knows the origin of these mechanical monsters, but they wander the seas wreaking havoc. Worse, some of them have been known to leave the depths and lumber ashore, using four of their armored tentacles as legs. They attack all living things with reckless abandon, knowing neither fear nor fatigue.

When in the water, a jet in the underside of the body can propel a clockwork octopus at high speeds. When ashore, the jet can fire a burst of scalding steam in a linear stream 30′ long and 3′ wide.

Each tentacle is 12′ long and can, on a ‘to-hit’ roll of ’20’, grab an opponent ogre-sized or smaller, causing an automatic 1d4 of constriction damage on successive rounds. Victims of this attack can only be freed by disabling the tentacle (see below). Suction cups on the underside of each tentacle allow clockwork octopi to scale sheer surfaces.

Clockwork octopi cannot be “healed” or repaired. When first constructed, each had a full 72 hit points, but over the ages, battles and the ravages of years in salt water have reduced this. When rolling hit points for a clockwork octopus, the highest single die applies to the body while each of the other eight hit dice applies to one of tentacles. When a tentacle is reduced to 0 hit points, it is permanently disabled. No single attack (even area attacks) can damage more than one tentacle at a time and the main body cannot be attacked until all tentacles have been disabled. A clockwork octopus reduced to three or fewer tentacles while on land will topple over but continue to fight with steam (against targets within the jet’s firing arc) and remaining tentacles.

(White Box) Clockwork Octopus: HD: 9; AC 3 [16]; Atk 8 tentacles (1d6); Move 6 (Swim 15); Save 10; XP 2000
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4 Responses to Clockwork Octopus
–Monday Monster

  1. JB says:

    This one is pretty cool. I always loved sea-going encounters, and this one works for both an open-waves voyage, or the subterranean lake beneath some mad wizard’s tower!

  2. bat says:

    That is a really neat monster. Excellent flavor text and a great write-up. I also like the point about this creature not healing. Like a clock running down, a very nice addition.

  3. bulette says:

    cool. i’m imagining the underwater lair of an evil wizard/engineer that created these things. very Jules Verne.

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