Tuesday, 26 September 2017

5e: Shipwreck Golem

I recently painted the first of my many, many Reaper Bones 3 miniatures. Which was probably a bit daft considering most of the minis I got from Bones 1 are still unpainted.

The first I decided to paint was a surprise favourite. I added the Coral and Shipwreck Golem to my orders because they looked kind of cool, but I wasn't at all prepared for how awesome the Shipwreck Golem in particular really looks when you have it in your hands. Guys, this is a really great mini. Not only does it look utterly badass, it also has a lot of incredible fine details such as an octopus and starfish hanging on the coral and limpets clinging to the broken hull of the ship. The skeleton strapped to the ship's wheel, the mermaid figurehead, exotic tiki statue, bottles, and random treasures that help make up the golem's body are all great touches too. I really can't singe the praises of this miniature enough.

All in all, it's a bit of a shame that I was the one who painted it, since my talent is passable at best. That said, I ended up being pretty pleased with the results.

Shipwreck Golem and Grubblin  


Of course with the mini painted, I was itching for an excuse to use it! To make that happen, I needed a statblock. Here's a few things I was thinking about when making this monster:

  • The CR needed to be appropriate for my CR 12 party, or close enough that I wouldn't have to wait too long!
  • The skeleton on the wheel reminded me that shipwrecks are intimately connected with death. I thought it would be interesting to say that the animating force for a shipwreck golem is the unquiet spirits of the ship's deceased crew. Therefore, while the golem is not technically an undead creature, spellcasters who make a shipwreck golem are often necromancers, or at least not squeamish about borrowing the power of the dead. This feature factored into the golem's mental ability scores and my decision to give it proficiency in Wisdom saves. 
  • Given the size of the miniature and the fact it is a ship (albeit a wrecked one), I thought it would be cool if one of a shipwreck golem's features was the ability to safely transport one or more people under the sea. This led to the decision that the golem is attuned to an amulet, like a shield guardian, and the owner of the amulet can control the golem's movements and enter a magically watertight chamber in its interior. 
  • Golems are generally vulnerable to kiting. Even though the shipwreck golem miniature does have two cannons (one large and one small), these aren't its primary attack modes (the larger cannon is limited with a recharge, and it can't multiattack with either one). Kiting is still a fairly viable strategy—and especially a problem for me if my PCs encounter the golem in its typical underwater environment. My party would be able to use their cloaks of the manta ray (which grant an obscene swim speed of 60 ft., so take a lesson from me and don't ever give your party the recipe for this item if you want to run any more water-based adventures). Accordingly I thought about ways to limit the movement of nearby PCs and keep them where the golem can threaten them.

Whether or not you have the perfect miniature, I hope you all like the monster presented below and get a chance to use it in your campaigns!

As a special bonus, stats for Grubblin the goblin pirate (also pictured) are included. In my home campaign, Grubblin acquired the Shipwreck Golem's control amulet under unknown circumstances (he claims he slew a Merrow Priestess for it) and now wanders the bottom of the ocean inside it, in search of treasures.

Shipwreck Golem
Huge construct, unaligned

Armor Class

17 (natural armor)

Hit Points

199 (19d12 + 95)

Speed

40 ft., swim 40 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
24 (+7) 15 (+2) 20 (+5) 7 (-2) 10 (+0) 3 (-4)

Saving Throws

Wis +4

Damage Immunities

poison; bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing from nonmagical attacks that aren't made with an adamantine or dreamcoral weapon.

Condition Immunities

charmed, exhaustion, frightened, paralyzed, petrified, poisoned

Senses

darkvision 120 ft.; passive Perception 10

Languages

Understands commands given in any language but can't speak

Challenge

12 (8,400 XP)

Bound.

The shipwreck golem is magically bound to an amulet, which must be attuned. As long as the golem and its amulet are on the same plane of existence, the amulet's wearer can telepathically call the golem to travel to it, and the golem knows the distance and direction to the amulet.

Immutable Form.

The golem is immune to any spell or effect that would alter its form.

Magic Resistance.

The golem has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.

Magic Weapons.

The golem's weapon attacks are magical.

Submersible.

The wearer of the shipwreck golem's amulet can enter the interior of the golem as an action, as long as they are at least one size smaller than the golem. If the wearer is Medium or smaller, they can also take up to three willing creatures into the golem's interior with them. The shipwreck golem's interior is magically watertight, enabling underwater travel.

Tidal Anchor.

Waters within 60 feet of the shipwreck golem rage with powerful currents, halving the speed and swim speed of all creatures other than the golem itself while they within the affected area and they are even partially submerged in water.
Actions

Multiattack.

The shipwreck golem makes two attacks with its anchor pick and one with its falconet.

Anchor Pick.

Melee Weapon Attack: +11 to hit, reach 10 ft., one target. Hit: 20 (2d12 +7) piercing damage.

Falconet.

Ranged Weapon Attack: +6 to hit, range 300/1,200 ft, one target. Hit: 24 (3d10 +7) bludgeoning damage, and the target must make a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone or pushed 10 feet (golem's choice).

Cannon (Recharge 5-6).

+6 to hit, range 600/2,400 ft, one target. Hit: 51 (8d10 +7) bludgeoning damage, and the target must make a DC 19 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone or pushed 10 feet (golem's choice).

Alternatively, the shipwreck golem targets a 5-foot wide and 60-foot long line which is cut short if the cannonball hits a Huge or Gargantuan creature before reaching the end of its trajectory. All creatures within the affected area must make a DC 19 Dexterity saving throw, taking 22 (4d10) bludgeoning damage and falling prone on a failed save or taking half as much damage if successful.


Grubblin, Goblin Pirate
Small humanoid (goblin), neutral evil

Armor Class

15 (leather armor)

Hit Points

108 (24d6 + 24)

Speed

40 ft., swim 40 ft.
STR DEX CON INT WIS CHA
11 (+0) 19 (+4) 13 (+1) 12 (+1) 11 (+0) 15 (+2)

Saving Throws

Con +4, Wis +3

Skills

Acrobatics +10, Deception +8, Perception +6, Persuasion +5, Stealth +10

Senses

darkvision 60 ft.; passive Perception +3

Languages

Common, Goblin

Challenge

5 (1,800 XP)

Audacious Attacks

Grubblin has advantage on attack rolls against any target when there are no hostile creatures other than the target adjacent to him.

When Grubblin is adjacent to two or more hostile creatures, he can make an additional attack when he uses his Multiattack action as long as he doesn't target the same creature with all four attacks.

Nimble Escape.

Grubblin can take the Disengage or Hide action as a bonus action on each of his turns.

Doing it with Style.

Grubblin adds his Charisma bonus to his initiative and damage rolls (included in his attacks).
Actions

Multiattack.

Grubblin makes three attacks with his cutlass.

Cutlass.

Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 10 (1d8 +6) slashing damage.

Hand Crossbow.

Ranged Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, range 30/120 ft, one target. Hit: 9 (1d6 +6) piercing damage.

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