Monday, March 20, 2017

Frightful Fridays! Brass Belt Master

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Frightful (almost opposite of) Fridays! This edition's monster is something I've wanted to do for a while: a creature capable of sparring with PCs and learning as it goes. I borrowed somewhat from the brawler class for the brass belt master's ability to change feats out as quickly as possible. Hopefully, one (or more) of these will challenge your characters as it adapts in combat.

I hope you enjoy the brass belt master, and I will be back again soon with another monster. Thanks for reading!

This brass clockwork approximates a powerfully built human; it takes a sparring stance.
Brass Belt Master      CR 9
XP 6,400
N Medium construct
Init +6; Senses darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +19
AC 24, touch 16, flat-footed 18 (+6 Dex, +8 natural)
hp 86 (12d10+20)
Fort +4, Ref +10, Will +8
Defensive Abilities evasion, hardness 10; Immune construct traits, cold, electricity, fire
Speed 40 ft.
Melee unarmed strike +20/+15/+10 (2d6+7) or
   unarmed strike +18/+13/+8 (2d6+5), unarmed strike +18/+13 (2d6+5)
Special Attacks stunning fist (3/day, DC 19)
Str 20, Dex 23, Con —, Int 15, Wis 18, Cha 7
Base Atk +12; CMB +17; CMD 33
Feats Alertness, Combat Reflexes, Deflect ArrowsB, Double SliceB, Improved Two-Weapon FightingB, Improved Unarmed Strike, Stunning Fist, Two-Weapon FightingB, Weapon Finesse, Weapon Focus (unarmed strike)
Skills Acrobatics +18 (+22 when jumping), Bluff –2 (+14 when feinting), Escape Artist +18, Perception +20, Sense Motive +20; Racial Modifiers +4 Acrobatics when jumping, +16 Bluff when feinting
Languages Common, Dwarven (can't speak)
SQ adaptive combatant
Environment any land
Organization solitary, pair, gym (3–12)
Treasure incidental
Adaptive Combatant (Ex) A brass belt master can gain the benefit of one combat feat as an immediate action or three combat feats as a swift action. The total additional combat feats it can gain equals its Wisdom modifier (for a total of 14 feats for a typical brass belt master). The creature can replace any of the listed bonus feats or any of the new feats selected through this ability, but cannot replace any of its other starting feats. Additionally, the brass belt master must meet all the feat’s prerequisites (meaning it cannot swap out a feat that would act as a prerequisite for a new feat), and it uses its Hit Dice as its fighter or monk level for the purpose of qualifying for feats. If a feat’s prerequisite level is higher than its Hit Dice, it may attempt a Wisdom check with a DC equal to the prerequisite level to acquire the feat; on a failure, the brass belt master may not attempt to gain the feat again for 24 hours.
A brass belt master that acquires templates which increase its CR gains bonus feats equal to the CR increase.

Brass belt masters were clockwork sparring constructs given sentience to increase the challenge of fighting them as opposed to the predictability of preprogrammed automata. This sentience drove many of the creations to seek out their own challenges as the clockwork creatures became bored with what they saw as inferior opponents. While some were dismantled after pitched battles, several managed to escape and form collectives in abandoned mines or in high-altitude locations where they could train peacefully with each other. As they began to break down or desired to create additional brass belt masters, they realized they needed to reengage with the outside world. Believers in fair fights and not wishing to gain infamy by forcibly taking the materials they required, they sought to challenge worthy opponents with the necessary metal and tools as the prize. Several became ronin, traveling from village to village and dispatching monsters or other threats to the villages in return for supplies. Some even wound up in the company of adventuring fleshy creatures who proved themselves worthy in combat. Whatever their journeys, brass belt masters find themselves returning occasionally to the gyms they call home. While a brass belt master gym is not difficult to find, since the clockwork creatures seem to eschew slyness, creatures following a brass belt master to its gym typically find themselves overmatched against the gym’s residents.

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